3,911 research outputs found

    A novel empirical model of the k-factor for radiowave propagation in Southern Africa for communication planning applications

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    The objective of this study was to provide an adequate model of the k-factor for scientific radio planning in South Africa for terrestrial propagation. An extensive literature survey played an essential role in the research and provided verification and confirmation for the novelty of the research on historical grounds. The approach of the research was initially structured around theoretical analysis of existing data, which resulted from the work of J. W. Nel. The search for analytical models was extended further to empirical studies of primary data obtained from the South African Weather Service. The methodology of the research was based on software technology, which provided new tools and opportunities to process data effectively and to visualise the results in an innovative manner by a means of digital terrain maps (DTMs) and spreadsheet graphics. MINITABThesis (PhD)--University of Pretoria, 2005.Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineeringunrestricte

    Multimorbidity and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in a nationally representative population sample: implications of count versus cluster method for defining multimorbidity on HRQoL

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    Background: No universally accepted definition of multimorbidity (MM) exists, and implications of different definitions have not been explored. This study examined the performance of the count and cluster definitions of multimorbidity on the sociodemographic profile and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in a general population. Methods: Data were derived from the nationally representative 2007 Australian National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (n = 8841). The HRQoL scores were measured using the Assessment of Quality of Life (AQoL-4D) instrument. The simple count (2+ & 3+ conditions) and hierarchical cluster methods were used to define/identify clusters of multimorbidity. Linear regression was used to assess the associations between HRQoL and multimorbidity as defined by the different methods. Results: The assessment of multimorbidity, which was defined using the count method, resulting in the prevalence of 26% (MM2+) and 10.1% (MM3+). Statistically significant clusters identified through hierarchical cluster analysis included heart or circulatory conditions (CVD)/arthritis (cluster-1, 9%) and major depressive disorder (MDD)/anxiety (cluster-2, 4%). A sensitivity analysis suggested that the stability of the clusters resulted from hierarchical clustering. The sociodemographic profiles were similar between MM2+, MM3+ and cluster-1, but were different from cluster-2. HRQoL was negatively associated with MM2+ (Ξ²: βˆ’0.18, SE: βˆ’0.01, p < 0.001), MM3+ (Ξ²: βˆ’0.23, SE: βˆ’0.02, p < 0.001), cluster-1 (Ξ²: βˆ’0.10, SE: 0.01, p < 0.001) and cluster-2 (Ξ²: βˆ’0.36, SE: 0.01, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Our findings confirm the existence of an inverse relationship between multimorbidity and HRQoL in the Australian population and indicate that the hierarchical clustering approach is validated when the outcome of interest is HRQoL from this head-to-head comparison. Moreover, a simple count fails to identify if there are specific conditions of interest that are driving poorer HRQoL. Researchers should exercise caution when selecting a definition of multimorbidity because it may significantly influence the study outcomes
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