905 research outputs found

    The Professional Identity of Doctors who Provide Abortions: A Sociological Investigation

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    Abortion is a medicalised problem in England and Wales, where the law places doctors at the centre of legal provision and puts doctors in control of who has an abortion. However, the sex-selection abortion scandal of 2012 presented a very real threat to 'abortion doctors', when the medical profession's values and practices were questioned in the media, society and by Members of Parliament. Doctors found themselves at the centre of a series of claims that stated doctors were acting both illegally and unethically, driven by profit rather than patient needs. Yet, the perspectives of those doctors who provide abortions has been under-researched; this thesis aims to fill that gap by examining the beliefs and values of this group of doctors. Early chapters highlight the ambiguous position of the abortion provider in Britain, where doctors are seen as a collective group of professionals motivated by medical dominance and medical autonomy. They outline how this position is then questioned and contested, with doctors being presented as unethical. By studying abortion at the macro-, meso- and micro-levels, this thesis seeks to better understand the values of the 'abortion doctor', and how these levels shape the work and experiences of abortion providers in England and Wales. This thesis thus addresses the question: 'What do abortion doctors' accounts of their professional work suggest about the contemporary dynamics of the medicalisation of abortion in Britain?'. It investigates the research question using a qualitative methodological approach: face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted with 47 doctors who provide abortions in England and Wales. The findings from this empirical study show how doctors' values are linked to how they view the 'normalisation of abortion'. At the macro-level doctors, openly resisted the medicalisation of abortion through the position ascribed to them by the legal framework, yet at the meso-level doctors construct an identity where normalising abortion is based on further medicalising services. Finally, at the micro-level, the ambiguous position of the abortion provider is further identified in terms of being both a proud provider and a stigmatised individual. This thesis shows that while the existing medicalisation literature has some utility, it has limited explanatory power when investigating the problem of abortion. The thesis thus provides some innovative insights into the relevance and value of medicalisation through a comprehensive study on doctors' values, beliefs and practices

    Understanding the implementation of maternity waiting homes in low- and middle-income countries: a qualitative thematic synthesis.

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    BACKGROUND: Maternity waiting homes (MWHs) are accommodations located near a health facility where women can stay towards the end of pregnancy and/or after birth to enable timely access to essential childbirth care or care for complications. Although MWHs have been implemented for over four decades, different operational models exist. This secondary thematic +analysis explores factors related to their implementation. METHODS: A qualitative thematic analysis was conducted using 29 studies across 17 countries. The papers were identified through an existing Cochrane review and a mapping of the maternal health literature. The Supporting the Use of Research Evidence framework (SURE) guided the thematic analysis to explore the perceptions of various stakeholders and barriers and facilitators for implementation. The influence of contextual factors, the design of the MWHs, and the conditions under which they operated were examined. RESULTS: Key problems of MWH implementation included challenges in MWH maintenance and utilization by pregnant women. Poor utilization was due to lack of knowledge and acceptance of the MWH among women and communities, long distances to reach the MWH, and culturally inappropriate care. Poor MWH structures were identified by almost all studies as a major barrier, and included poor toilets and kitchens, and a lack of space for family and companions. Facilitators included reduced or removal of costs associated with using a MWH, community involvement in the design and upkeep of the MWHs, activities to raise awareness and acceptance among family and community members, and integrating culturally-appropriate practices into the provision of maternal and newborn care at the MWHs and the health facilities to which they are linked. CONCLUSION: MWHs should not be designed as an isolated intervention but using a health systems perspective, taking account of women and community perspectives, the quality of the MWH structure and the care provided at the health facility. Careful tailoring of the MWH to women's accommodation, social and dietary needs; low direct and indirect costs; and a functioning health system are key considerations when implementing MWH. Improved and harmonized documentation of implementation experiences would provide a better understanding of the factors that impact on successful implementation

    Cten promotes Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) in colorectal cancer through stabilisation of Src

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    Cten is an oncogene promoting EMT in many signaling pathways, namely through Snail. We investigated whether Cten function could be mediated through Src. Cten levels were modulated by forced expression in HCT116 and gene knockdown in SW620 CRC (colorectal cancer) cell lines. In all cell lines, Cten was a positive regulator of Src expression. The functional importance of Src was tested by simultaneous Cten overexpression and Src knockdown. This resulted in abrogation of Cten motility-inducing activity and reduction of colony formation ability together with failure to induce Cten targets. In SW620ΔCten reduced Src expression increased following restoration of Cten, also leading to increased cell motility and colony formation, which were lost if Src was concomitantly knocked down. By qRT-PCR we showed modulation of Cten had no effect on Src mRNA. However, a CHX pulse chase assay demonstrated stabilization of Src protein by Cten. Finally, expression of Cten and Src was tested in a series of 84 primary CRCs and there was a significant correlation between them (P = 0.001). We conclude that Src is a novel and functionally important target of the Cten signaling pathway and that Cten protein causes post-transcriptional stabilization of Src in promoting EMT and possibly metastasis in CRC

    Context-Aware Sensing and Implicit Ground Truth Collection: Building a Foundation for Event Triggered Surveys on Autonomous Shuttles: Artikel

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    The LINC project aims to study interactions between passengers and autonomous vehicles in natural settings at the campus of Technical University of Denmark. To leverage the potential of IoT components in smartphone-based surveying, a system to identify specific spatial, temporal and occupancy contexts relevant for passengers’ experience was proposed as a central data collection strategy in the LINC project. Based on predefined contextual triggers specific questionnaires can be distributed to affected passengers. This work focuses on the data-based discrimination between two fundamental contexts for LINC passengers: be-in and be-out (BIBO) of the vehicle. We present empirical evidence that Bluetooth-low-energy beacons (BLE) have the potential for BIBO independent classification. We compare BLE with other smartphone onboard sensors, such as the global positioning system (GPS) and the accelerometer through: (i) random-forest (RF); (ii) multi-layer perceptron (MLP); and (iii) smartphone native off-the-shelve classifiers. We also perform a sensitivity analysis regarding the impact that faulty BIBO ground-truth has on the performance of the supervised classifiers (i) and (ii). Results show that BLE and GPS could allow reciprocal validation for BIBO passengers’ status. This potential might lift passengers from providing any further validation. We describe the smartphone-sensing platform deployed to gather the dataset used in this work, which involves passengers and autonomous vehicles in a realistic setting

    Towards the International Standardization of Carbon Dioxide Capture, Transportation, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) Technologies : Current Challenges and Future Directions

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    We gratefully acknowledge support of the RCGI – Research Centre for Gas Innovation, hosted by the University of São Paulo (USP) and sponsored by FAPESP – São Paulo Research Foundation (2014/50279-4 and 2020/15230-5) and Shell Brasil, and the strategic importance of the support given by ANP (Brazil’s National Oil, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency) through the R&D levy regulation. The present work has been realized with support of CNPq, Conselho Nacional de DesenvolvimentoCientífico e Tecnológico, Brazil.Peer reviewedPublisher PD

    Clinical and cost effectiveness of endoscopic bipolar radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of malignant biliary obstruction: a systematic review

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    BACKGROUND: Early evidence suggests that using radiofrequency ablation as an adjunct to standard care (i.e. endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography with stenting) may improve outcomes in patients with malignant biliary obstruction. OBJECTIVES: To assess the clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and potential risks of endoscopic bipolar radiofrequency ablation for malignant biliary obstruction, and the value of future research. DATA SOURCES: Seven bibliographic databases, three websites and seven trials registers were searched from 2008 until 21 January 2021. REVIEW METHODS: The study inclusion criteria were as follows: patients with biliary obstruction caused by any form of unresectable malignancy; the intervention was reported as an endoscopic biliary radiofrequency ablation to ablate malignant tissue that obstructs the bile or pancreatic ducts, either to fit a stent (primary radiofrequency ablation) or to clear an obstructed stent (secondary radiofrequency ablation); the primary outcomes were survival, quality of life or procedure-related adverse events; and the study design was a controlled study, an observational study or a case report. Risk of bias was assessed using Cochrane tools. The primary analysis was meta-analysis of the hazard ratio of mortality. Subgroup analyses were planned according to the type of probe, the type of stent (i.e. metal or plastic) and cancer type. A de novo Markov model was developed to model cost and quality-of-life outcomes associated with radiofrequency ablation in patients with primary advanced bile duct cancer. Insufficient data were available for pancreatic cancer and secondary bile duct cancer. An NHS and Personal Social Services perspective was adopted for the analysis. A probabilistic analysis was conducted to estimate the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for radiofrequency ablation and the probability that radiofrequency ablation was cost-effective at different thresholds. The population expected value of perfect information was estimated in total and for the effectiveness parameters. RESULTS: Sixty-eight studies (1742 patients) were included in the systematic review. Four studies (336 participants) were combined in a meta-analysis, which showed that the pooled hazard ratio for mortality following primary radiofrequency ablation compared with a stent-only control was 0.34 (95% confidence interval 0.21 to 0.55). Little evidence relating to the impact on quality of life was found. There was no evidence to suggest an increased risk of cholangitis or pancreatitis, but radiofrequency ablation may be associated with an increase in cholecystitis. The results of the cost-effectiveness analysis were that the costs of radiofrequency ablation was £2659 and radiofrequency ablation produced 0.18 quality-adjusted life-years, which was more than no radiofrequency ablation on average. With an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £14,392 per quality-adjusted life-year, radiofrequency ablation was likely to be cost-effective at a threshold of £20,000 per quality-adjusted life-year across most scenario analyses, with moderate uncertainty. The source of the vast majority of decision uncertainty lay in the effect of radiofrequency ablation on stent patency. LIMITATIONS: Only 6 of 18 comparative studies contributed to the survival meta-analysis, and few data were found concerning secondary radiofrequency ablation. The economic model and cost-effectiveness meta-analysis required simplification because of data limitations. Inconsistencies in standard reporting and study design were noted. CONCLUSIONS: Primary radiofrequency ablation increases survival and is likely to be cost-effective. The evidence for the impact of secondary radiofrequency ablation on survival and of quality of life is limited. There was a lack of robust clinical effectiveness data and, therefore, more information is needed for this indication. FUTURE WORK:  Future work investigating radiofrequency ablation must collect quality-of-life data. Highquality randomised controlled trials in secondary radiofrequency ablation are needed, with appropriate outcomes recorded. STUDY REGISTRATION: This study is registered as PROSPERO CRD42020170233. FUNDING:  This project was funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in Health Technology Assessment; Vol. 27, No. 7. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information

    Materials education: adapting to needs of the 21st Century

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    Abstract: What are Universities for? The short answer is: the creation, preservation and transmission of knowledge. The last of these -transmission -is what this Engineering Education symposium is about, but it can't be divorced from the other two. This paper is about the transmission of materials knowledge in ways that recognize the broader technical, economic and social conditions in which it takes place. A Materials education today must balance both depth, leading to expertise in the subject, and breadth, allowing material issues to be judged in the light of contemporary economic and societal concerns of the present and the future. This is consistent with the increasingly integrated nature of technical education and society's need for engineers that can make things happen. Materials teaching has already integrated a great deal. At one time metallurgy, polymer science, and glass and ceramic technology were taught in different departments, even at different universities; today they are generally integrated into a single program under the heading of Materials Science or Engineering Materials. There is now a move beyond this, towards what we will call Materials Systems and Design, integrating broader technical, economic, environmental and social issues and the skills necessary to make an effective engineer. This framework will encompass all the implications of, and trade-offs in, the adoption of materials in innovative design: not just the technical implications such as cost, strength or manufacturability, but also environmental impact, social awareness or material scarcity. Students will be prepared to take advantage of new technologies and learning opportunities throughout their careers
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