1,959 research outputs found

    A ‘quiet revolution’? The impact of Training Schools on initial teacher training partnerships

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    This paper discusses the impact on initial teacher training of a new policy initiative in England: the introduction of Training Schools. First, the Training School project is set in context by exploring the evolution of a partnership approach to initial teacher training in England. Ways in which Training Schools represent a break with established practice are considered together with their implications for the dominant mode of partnership led by higher education institutions (HEIs). The capacity of Training Schools to achieve their own policy objectives is examined, especially their efficacy as a strategy for managing innovation and the dissemination of innovation. The paper ends by focusing on a particular Training School project which has adopted an unusual approach to its work and enquires whether this alternative approach could offer a more profitable way forward. During the course of the paper, five different models of partnership are considered: collaborative, complementary, HEI-led, school-led and partnership within a partnership

    Affinity purification of fibrinogen using an Affimer column

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    Background Fibrinogen is an abundant plasma protein with an essential role in blood coagulation and haemostasis thus receiving significant research interest. However, protein purification is time consuming and commercial preparations often have protein contaminants. The aim of this study was to develop a new method to purify high quality and functional fibrinogen. Methods Fibrinogen-specific Affimer protein, isolated using phage display systems, was immobilised to SulfoLink resin column and employed for fibrinogen purification from plasma samples. Fibrinogen was eluted using a high pH solution. Commercial human fibrinogen was also further purified using the Affimer column. Fibrinogen purity was determined by SDS-PAGE and mass spectrometry, while functionality was assessed using turbidimetric analysis. Results Affimer-purified fibrinogen from human plasma showed purity at least comparable to commercially available preparations and was able to form physiological fibrin networks. Further purification of commercially available fibrinogen using the Affimercolumn eliminated multiple contaminant proteins, a significant number of which are key elements of the coagulation cascade, including plasminogen and factor XIII. Conclusions The Affimercolumn represents a proof of concept novel, rapid method for isolating functional fibrinogen from plasma and for further purification of commercially available fibrinogen preparations. General significance Our methodology provides an efficient way of purifying functional fibrinogen with superior purity without the need of expensive pieces of equipment or the use of harsh conditions

    The association between family and community social capital and health risk behaviours in young people: an integrative review

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    Background: Health risk behaviours known to result in poorer outcomes in adulthood are generally established in late childhood and adolescence. These ‘risky’ behaviours include smoking, alcohol and illicit drug use and sexual risk taking. While the role of social capital in the establishment of health risk behaviours in young people has been explored, to date, no attempt has been made to consolidate the evidence in the form of a review. Thus, this integrative review was undertaken to identify and synthesise research findings on the role and impact of family and community social capital on health risk behaviours in young people and provide a consolidated evidence base to inform multi-sectorial policy and practice.<p></p> Methods: Key electronic databases were searched (i.e. ASSIA, CINAHL, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, Embase, Medline, PsycINFO, Sociological Abstracts) for relevant studies and this was complemented by hand searching. Inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied and data was extracted from the included studies. Heterogeneity in study design and the outcomes assessed precluded meta-analysis/meta-synthesis; the results are therefore presented in narrative form.<p></p> Results: Thirty-four papers satisfied the review inclusion criteria; most were cross-sectional surveys. The majority of the studies were conducted in North America (n=25), with three being conducted in the UK. Sample sizes ranged from 61 to 98,340. The synthesised evidence demonstrates that social capital is an important construct for understanding the establishment of health risk behaviours in young people. The different elements of family and community social capital varied in terms of their saliency within each behavioural domain, with positive parent–child relations, parental monitoring, religiosity and school quality being particularly important in reducing risk.<p></p> Conclusions: This review is the first to systematically synthesise research findings about the association between social capital and health risk behaviours in young people. While providing evidence that may inform the development of interventions framed around social capital, the review also highlights key areas where further research is required to provide a fuller account of the nature and role of social capital in influencing the uptake of health risk behaviours.<p></p&gt

    Towards Protein Crystallization as a Process Step in Downstream Processing of Therapeutic Antibodies: Screening and Optimization at Microbatch Scale

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    Crystallization conditions of an intact monoclonal IgG4 (immunoglobulin G, subclass 4) antibody were established in vapor diffusion mode by sparse matrix screening and subsequent optimization. The procedure was transferred to microbatch conditions and a phase diagram was built showing surprisingly low solubility of the antibody at equilibrium. With up-scaling to process scale in mind, purification efficiency of the crystallization step was investigated. Added model protein contaminants were excluded from the crystals to more than 95%. No measurable loss of Fc-binding activity was observed in the crystallized and redissolved antibody. Conditions could be adapted to crystallize the antibody directly from concentrated and diafiltrated cell culture supernatant, showing purification efficiency similar to that of Protein A chromatography. We conclude that crystallization has the potential to be included in downstream processing as a low-cost purification or formulation step

    Process evaluation of a community-based intervention promoting multiple maternal and neonatal care practices in rural Nepal

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The challenge of delivering multiple, complex messages to promote maternal and newborn health in the <it>terai </it>region of Nepal was addressed through training Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs) to counsel pregnant women and their families using a flipchart and a pictorial booklet that was distributed to clients. The booklet consists of illustrated messages presented on postcard-sized laminated cards that are joined by a ring. Pregnant women were encouraged to discuss booklet content with their families.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We examined use of the booklet and factors affecting adoption of practices through semi-structured interviews with district and community-level government health personnel, staff from the Nepal Family Health Program, FCHVs, recently delivered women and their husbands and mothers-in-law.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The booklet is shared among household members, promotes discussion, and is referred to when questions arise or during emergencies. Booklet cards on danger signs and nutritious foods are particularly well-received. Cards on family planning and certain aspects of birth preparedness generate less interest. Husbands and mothers-in-law control decision-making for maternal and newborn care-seeking and related household-level behaviors.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Interpersonal peer communication through trusted community-level volunteers is an acceptable primary strategy in Nepal for promotion of household-level behaviors. The content and number of messages should be simplified or streamlined before being scaled-up to minimize intervention complexity and redundant communication.</p

    Maternal obesity support services: a qualitative study of the perspectives of women and midwives

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    Background - Twenty percent of pregnant women in the UK are obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2), reflecting the growing public health challenge of obesity in the 21st century. Obesity increases the risk of adverse outcomes during pregnancy and birth and has significant cost implications for maternity services. Gestational weight management strategies are a high priority; however the evidence for effective, feasible and acceptable weight control interventions is limited and inconclusive. This qualitative study explored the experiences and perceptions of pregnant women and midwives regarding existing support for weight management in pregnancy and their ideas for service development. Methods - A purposive sample of 6 women and 7 midwives from Doncaster, UK, participated in two separate focus groups. Transcripts were analysed thematically. Results - Two overarching themes were identified, 'Explanations for obesity and weight management' and 'Best care for pregnant women'. 'Explanations' included a lack of knowledge about weight, diet and exercise during pregnancy; self-talk messages which excused overeating; difficulties maintaining motivation for a healthy lifestyle; the importance of social support; stigmatisation; and sensitivity surrounding communication about obesity between midwives and their clients. 'Best care' suggested that weight management required care which was consistent and continuous, supportive and non-judgemental, and which created opportunities for interaction and mutual support between obese pregnant women. Conclusions - Women need unambiguous advice regarding healthy lifestyles, diet and exercise in pregnancy to address a lack of knowledge and a tendency towards unhelpful self-talk messages. Midwives expressed difficulties in communicating with their clients about their weight, given awareness that obesity is a sensitive and potentially stigmatising issue. This indicates more could be done to educate and support them in their work with obese pregnant women. Motivation and social support were strong explanatory themes for obesity and weight management, suggesting that interventions should focus on motivational strategies and social support facilitation

    Use of technology in children's dietary assessment

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    Background: Information on dietary intake provides some of the most valuable insights for mounting intervention programmes for the prevention of chronic diseases. With the growing concern about adolescent overweight, the need to accurately measure diet becomes imperative. Assessment among adolescents is problematic as this group has irregular eating patterns and they have less enthusiasm for recording food intake. Subjects/Methods: We used qualitative and quantitative techniques among adolescents to assess their preferences for dietary assessment methods.Results: Dietary assessment methods using technology, for example, a personal digital assistant (PDA) or a disposable camera, were preferred over the pen and paper food record. Conclusions: There was a strong preference for using methods that incorporate technology such as capturing images of food. This suggests that for adolescents, dietary methods that incorporate technology may improve cooperation and accuracy. Current computing technology includes higher resolution images, improved memory capacity and faster processors that allow small mobile devices to process information not previously possible. Our goal is to develop, implement and evaluate a mobile device (for example, PDA, mobile phone) food record that will translate to an accurate account of daily food and nutrient intake among adolescents. This mobile computing device will include digital images, a nutrient database and image analysis for identification and quantification of food consumption. Mobile computing devices provide a unique vehicle for collecting dietary information that reduces the burden on record keepers. Images of food can be marked with a variety of input methods that link the item for image processing and analysis to estimate the amount of food. Images before and after the foods are eaten can estimate the amount of food consumed. The initial stages and potential of this project will be described

    Pneumonia care and the nursing home: a qualitative descriptive study of resident and family member perspectives

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    BACKGROUND: Nursing home residents are frequently sent to hospital for diagnostic tests or to receive acute health care services. These transfers are both costly and for some, associated with increased risks. Although improved technology allows long-term care facilities to deliver more complex health care on site, if this is to become a trend then residents and family members must see the value of such care. This qualitative study examined resident and family member perspectives on in situ care for pneumonia. METHODS: A qualitative descriptive study design was used. Participants were residents and family members of residents treated for pneumonia drawn from a larger randomized controlled trial of a clinical pathway to manage nursing home-acquired pneumonia on-site. A total of 14 in-depth interviews were conducted. Interview data were analyzed using the editing style, described by Miller and Crabtree, to identify key themes. RESULTS: Both residents and family members preferred that pneumonia be treated in the nursing home, where possible. They both felt that caring and attention are key aspects of care which are more easily accessible in the nursing home setting. However, residents felt that staff or doctors should make the decision whether to hospitalize them, whereas family members wanted to be consulted or involved in the decision-making process. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that interventions to reduce hospitalization of nursing home residents with pneumonia are consistent with resident and family member preferences
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