516 research outputs found

    Can digital stories go where palliative care research has never gone before? A descriptive qualitative study exploring the application of an emerging public health research method in an indigenous palliative care context.

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    BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for global approaches to palliative care development. Yet it is questionable whether one-size-fits-all solutions can accommodate international disparities in palliative care need. More flexible research methods are called for in order to understand diverse priorities at local levels. This is especially imperative for Indigenous populations and other groups underrepresented in the palliative care evidence-base. Digital storytelling (DST) offers the potential to be one such method. Digital stories are short first-person videos that tell a story of great significance to the creator. The method has already found a place within public health research and has been described as a useful, emergent method for community-based participatory research. METHODS: The aim of this study was to explore Māori participants' views on DST's usefulness, from an Indigenous perspective, as a research method within the discipline of palliative care. The digital storytelling method was adapted to include Māori cultural protocols. Data capturing participant experience of the study were collected using participant observation and anonymous questionnaires. Eight participants, seven women and one man, took part. Field notes and questionnaire data were analysed using critical thematic analysis. RESULTS: Two main themes were identified during analyses: 1) issues that facilitated digital storytelling's usefulness as a research method for Māori reporting on end of life caregiving; and 2) issues that hindered this process. All subthemes identified: recruitment, the pōwhiri process, (Māori formal welcome of visitors) and technology, related to both main themes and are presented in this way. CONCLUSION: Digital storytelling is an emerging method useful for exploring Indigenous palliative care issues. In line with a Health Promoting Palliative Care approach that centres research in communities, it helps meet the need for diverse approaches to involve underrepresented groups

    The International Working Group on Neurotransmitter related Disorders (iNTD): A worldwide research project focused on primary and secondary neurotransmitter disorders

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    INTRODUCTION: Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that enable communication between the neurons in the synaptic cleft. Inborn errors of neurotransmitter biosynthesis, breakdown and transport are a group of very rare neurometabolic diseases resulting in neurological impairment at any age from newborn to adulthood. METHODS AND RESULTS: The International Working Group on Neurotransmitter related Disorders (iNTD) is the first international network focusing on the study of primary and secondary neurotransmitter disorders. It was founded with the aim to foster exchange and improve knowledge in the field of these rare diseases. The newly established iNTD patient registry for neurotransmitter related diseases collects longitudinal data on the natural disease course, approach to diagnosis, therapeutic strategies, and quality of life of affected patients. The registry forms the evidence base for the development of consensus guidelines for patients with neurotransmitter related disorders. CONCLUSION: The iNTD network and registry will improve knowledge and strengthen research capacities in the field of inborn neurotransmitter disorders. The evidence-based guidelines will facilitate standardized diagnostic procedures and treatment approaches

    A multivariate analysis of women's mating strategies and sexual selection on men's facial morphology

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    The strength and direction of sexual selection via female choice on masculine facial traits in men is a paradox in human mate choice research. While masculinity may communicate benefits to women and offspring directly (i.e. resources) or indirectly (i.e. health), masculine men may be costly as long-term partners owing to lower paternal investment. Mating strategy theory suggests women's preferences for masculine traits are strongest when the costs associated with masculinity are reduced. This study takes a multivariate approach to testing whether women's mate preferences are context-dependent. Women (n = 919) rated attractiveness when considering long-term and short-term relationships for male faces varying in beardedness (clean-shaven and full beards) and facial masculinity (30% and 60% feminized, unmanipulated, 30% and 60% masculinized). Participants then completed scales measuring pathogen, sexual and moral disgust, disgust towards ectoparasites, reproductive ambition, self-perceived mate value and the facial hair in partners and fathers. In contrast to past research, we found no associations between pathogen disgust, self-perceived mate value or reproductive ambition and facial masculinity preferences. However, we found a significant positive association between moral disgust and preferences for masculine faces and bearded faces. Preferences for beards were lower among women with higher ectoparasite disgust, providing evidence for ectoparasite avoidance hypothesis. However, women reporting higher pathogen disgust gave higher attractiveness ratings for bearded faces than women reporting lower pathogen disgust, providing support for parasite-stress theories of sexual selection and mate choice. Preferences for beards were also highest among single and married women with the strongest reproductive ambition. Overall, our results reflect mixed associations between individual differences in mating strategies and women's mate preferences for masculine facial traits

    The fragility of intergroup relations: Divergent effects of delayed audio-visual feedback in intergroup and intragroup interactions

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    ABSTRACT-Intergroup interactions between racial or ethnic majority and minority groups are often stressful for members of both groups; however, the dynamic processes that promote or alleviate tension in intergroup interaction remain poorly understood. Here we identify a behavioral mechanism-response delay-that can uniquely contribute to anxiety and promote disengagement from intergroup contact. Minimally acquainted White, Black, and Latino participants engaged in intergroup or intragroup dyadic conversation either in real time or with a subtle temporal disruption (1-s delay) in audiovisual feedback. Whereas intergroup dyads reported greater anxiety and less interest in contact after engaging in delayed conversation than after engaging in real-time conversation, intragroup dyads reported less anxiety in the delay condition than they did after interacting in real time. These findings have theoretical and practical implications for understanding intergroup communication and social dynamics and for promoting positive intergroup contact

    Multivariate Intra-Sexual Selection on Men’s Perceptions of Male Facial Morphology

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    Objectives Intra-sexual selection has shaped the evolution of sexually dimorphic traits in males of many primates, including humans. In men, sexual dimorphism in craniofacial shape (i.e. facial masculinity) and facial hair have both been shown to communicate aspects of social and physical dominance intra-sexually. However, less attention has been given to how variation in physical and social dominance among receivers impacts on perceptions of facial masculinity and beards as intra-sexual signals of formidability. Methods In the current study, male participants (N = 951) rated male faces varying in masculinity and beardedness when judging masculinity, dominance and aggressiveness. These participants also responded to scales measuring their psychological dominance, sexual jealousy, status seeking, and masculine morphology (facial masculinity, facial hair, and height). Results Beardedness exerted strong effects over clean-shaven faces on ratings of masculinity, dominance, and aggressiveness. Trait ratings of masculinity, dominance, and aggressiveness rose linearly with increasing craniofacial masculinity. The significant facial masculinity × facial hair interaction suggests that beardedness caused strong effects on all trait ratings over clean-shaven faces at every level of facial masculinity. Participants with full beards also reported higher scores on dominance and assertiveness scales. Participants high in dominance and assertiveness also gave higher ratings for dominance, but not masculinity or aggressiveness, to bearded over clean-shaven faces. Participants low in intra-sexual jealousy rated clean-shaven and/or feminised faces as less dominant, less masculine, and less aggressive. Conclusions These findings demonstrate that facial hair enhances perceptions of masculinity, dominance, and aggressiveness above ratings of facial masculinity, potentially by augmenting masculine craniofacial features. Individual differences in intra-sexual dominance showed associations with judgments of facial hair but not facial masculinity. Our study demonstrates that when two sexually dimorphic androgen dependent facial traits are judged in concert, ornamental rather than structural masculine facial features underpin men’s intra-sexual judgments of formidability

    ‘The only way is Essex’: Gender, union and mobilisation among fire service control room staff

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    This contribution to On the Front Line records a dialogue between two female Fire Brigades Union (FBU) representatives in the Essex Emergency Control Room who led industrial action over the imposition of a shift system that stretched their work–life balance to breaking point and constrained their ability to work full-time. Their testimony reveals how male members were mobilised in the interests of predominantly female control staff. Kate and Lynne’s discussion illuminates the interaction of gender and class interests and identities in the union and in the lives of its women members. It provides insight into the efficacy of trade unions for women’s collective action

    An agenda for future Social Sciences and Humanities research on energy efficiency : 100 priority research questions

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    Decades of techno-economic energy policymaking and research have meant evidence from the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)-including critical reflections on what changing a society's relation to energy (efficiency) even means-have been underutilised. In particular, (i) the SSH have too often been sidelined and/or narrowly pigeonholed by policymakers, funders, and other decision-makers when driving research agendas, and (ii) the setting of SSH-focused research agendas has not historically embedded inclusive and deliberative processes. The aim of this paper is to address these gaps through the production of a research agenda outlining future SSH research priorities for energy efficiency. A Horizon Scanning exercise was run, which sought to identify 100 priority SSH questions for energy efficiency research. This exercise included 152 researchers with prior SSH expertise on energy efficiency, who together spanned 62 (sub-)disciplines of SSH, 23 countries, and a full range of career stages. The resultant questions were inductively clustered into seven themes as follows: (1) Citizenship, engagement and knowledge exchange in relation to energy efficiency; (2) Energy efficiency in relation to equity, justice, poverty and vulnerability; (3) Energy efficiency in relation to everyday life and practices of energy consumption and production; (4) Framing, defining and measuring energy efficiency; (5) Governance, policy and political issues around energy efficiency; (6) Roles of economic systems, supply chains and financial mechanisms in improving energy efficiency; and (7) The interactions, unintended consequences and rebound effects of energy efficiency interventions. Given the consistent centrality of energy efficiency in policy programmes, this paper highlights that well-developed SSH approaches are ready to be mobilised to contribute to the development, and/or to understand the implications, of energy efficiency measures and governance solutions. Implicitly, it also emphasises the heterogeneity of SSH policy evidence that can be produced. The agenda will be of use for both (1) those new to the energy-SSH field (including policyworkers), for learnings on the capabilities and capacities of energy-SSH, and (2) established energy-SSH researchers, for insights on the collectively held futures of energy-SSH research.Peer reviewe

    Insights into the expanding phenotypic spectrum of inherited disorders of biogenic amines

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    Inherited disorders of neurotransmitter metabolism are rare neurodevelopmental diseases presenting with movement disorders and global developmental delay. This study presents the results of the first standardized deep phenotyping approach and describes the clinical and biochemical presentation at disease onset as well as diagnostic approaches of 275 patients from the registry of the International Working Group on Neurotransmitter related Disorders. The results reveal an increased rate of prematurity, a high risk for being small for gestational age and for congenital microcephaly in some disorders. Age at diagnosis and the diagnostic delay are influenced by the diagnostic methods applied and by disease-specific symptoms. The timepoint of investigation was also a significant factor: delay to diagnosis has decreased in recent years, possibly due to novel diagnostic approaches or raised awareness. Although each disorder has a specific biochemical pattern, we observed confounding exceptions to the rule. The data provide comprehensive insights into the phenotypic spectrum of neurotransmitter disorders.We thank all patients and their families for their contributions to this study and for their trust. T.H. and J.K. were supported the grant from the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic RVO-VFN 64165 GJIH-0599-00-7-846 and ProgresQ26/LF1. A.G.C. and N.J.P. are supported by FIS P118/00111 “Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)” and “Fondo Europeo de desarrollo regional (FEDER)”. T.O., K.J., G.F.H. and O.K.H. were supported in parts by the Dietmar Hopp Foundation, St. Leon-Rot, Germany. M.A.K. is funded by an NIHR Professorship, the Sir Jules Thorn Award for Biomedical Research and the Rosetrees trust. M.V. is supported by Stichting Stofwisselkracht Grant. D.H. acknowledges funding by the Molecular Diagnostics Program of the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg.Peer reviewe

    A framework for human microbiome research

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    A variety of microbial communities and their genes (the microbiome) exist throughout the human body, with fundamental roles in human health and disease. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Human Microbiome Project Consortium has established a population-scale framework to develop metagenomic protocols, resulting in a broad range of quality-controlled resources and data including standardized methods for creating, processing and interpreting distinct types of high-throughput metagenomic data available to the scientific community. Here we present resources from a population of 242 healthy adults sampled at 15 or 18 body sites up to three times, which have generated 5,177 microbial taxonomic profiles from 16S ribosomal RNA genes and over 3.5 terabases of metagenomic sequence so far. In parallel, approximately 800 reference strains isolated from the human body have been sequenced. Collectively, these data represent the largest resource describing the abundance and variety of the human microbiome, while providing a framework for current and future studies
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