4,549 research outputs found

    How explicable are differences between reviews that appear to address a similar research question? A review of reviews of physical activity interventions

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    Background Systematic reviews are promoted as being important to inform decision-making. However, when presented with a set of reviews in a complex area, how easy is it to understand how and why they may differ from one another? Methods An analysis of eight reviews reporting evidence on effectiveness of community interventions to promote physical activity. We assessed review quality and investigated overlap of included studies, citation of relevant reviews, consistency in reporting, and reasons why specific studies may be excluded. Results There were 28 included studies. The majority (n = 22; 79%) were included only in one review. There was little cross-citation between reviews (n = 4/28 possible citations; 14%). Where studies appeared in multiple reviews, results were consistently reported except for complex studies with multiple publications. Review conclusions were similar. For most reviews (n = 6/8; 75%), we could explain why primary data were not included; this was usually due to the scope of the reviews. Most reviews tended to be narrow in focus, making it difficult to gain an understanding of the field as a whole. Conclusions In areas where evaluating impact is known to be difficult, review findings often relate to uncertainty of data and methodologies, rather than providing substantive findings for policy and practice. Systematic ‘maps’ of research can help identify where existing research is robust enough for multiple in-depth syntheses and also show where new reviews are needed. To ensure quality and fidelity, review authors should systematically search for all publications from complex studies. Other relevant reviews should be searched for and cited to facilitate knowledge-building

    The Effect of 1,25-Dihydroxy Vitamin D3 on AT1 Cell Receptor Expression in Human Iliac Artery Endothelial Cells (HIAEC)

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    The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays an important part in homeostasis through angiotensin IPs role as a vasoconstrictor. Defects in the renin angiotensin system can lead to hypertension, heart attack, and stroke (Weir, 1999). Studies have shown an inverse relationship between Vitamin D3 and blood pressure (Li et al., 2002). While studies have been performed on vitamin D\u27s effect on renin expression, little is known about vitamin D\u27s effect on the angiotensin II high-affinity type 1 (ATi) receptor. The hypothesis for this study was that human iliac artery endothelial cells (HIAEC) supplemented with 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 will express less AT] receptor protein expression than the control group. After exposing the cell to 1,25- dihydroxy vitamin D3, RNA was isolated and RT-PCR was completed using AT| primers. Gel electrophoresis allowed for quantification of expression by measuring the density of bands. Two way ANOVA was used to determine significance, and it was determined that the presence of 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 had no significant effect on either AT] or B-actin expression in HIAE cells. The hypothesis can neither be rejected nor accepted however because the control group did not express AT| and therefore it cannot be determined whether ATi expression would have been reduced

    Senior Capstone Project : educating and empowering local women

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    This paper is about an education program designed for local women in recovery homes. Educating them on the HIV/AIDS epidemic and ways in which they can keep themselves safe; while making choices that will empower them and enable the women to pass on this information to others in the community

    An holistic evaluation of the workplace: understanding the impact of the workplace environment on satisfaction, perceived productivity and stimulation

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    The central argument in this thesis is that the workplace environment has an impact upon users and that perceptions of the environment are related to overall satisfaction with the workplace, stimulation and perceived productivity. In addition, it is proposed that changing the environment can influence users’ perceptions and stimulation levels. To test this argument a methodology was developed to allow the collection of both objective and subjective data relating to a range of aspects of the workplace environment. A questionnaire was developed to test users’ attitudes towards aspects of the workplace environment including the internal climate, spatial layout, interior design and workplace features. These user perceptions were analysed in relation to corresponding objective measures of these workplace aspects. Data was collected in 16 workplaces and analysed to determine the relationship between user perceptions and objective measurements of the workplace and establish how these were related to overall satisfaction, stimulation and perceived productivity. The results revealed that users were satisfied with the more quantitative aspects of the workplace: internal climate and spatial layout, but were not satisfied with the qualitative aspects of the workplace: decoration, furniture, personal control and choice, window provision and break areas. All aspects of the workplace were significantly correlated with satisfaction with the workplace and stimulation. There was also an effect on perceived productivity. The findings of the workplace evaluations were tested to determine whether changing the environment in the afternoon could affect stimulation. The results revealed some evidence of a positive impact upon stimulation levels through variation of the workplace environment. Implications for the design of future workplaces and further research in light of the findings are discussed

    Families and Communities Against Child Sexual Exploitation (FCASE) : final evaluation report

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    This is the final evaluation report for the Barnardo’s Families and Communities Against Sexual Exploitation project (FCASE), produced by the International Centre, researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking at the University of Bedfordshire. The programme was launched in April 2013, funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and concluded in March 2015. The evaluation was undertaken during the same period. The FCASE model has been piloted in three sites, which for the purposes of this report have been anonymised and will be referred to using pseudonyms. It consists of the following elements: a structured programme of six to eight weeks direct work with young people and families where a risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE) has been identified; delivery of CSE training with professionals; and undertaking community awareness raising. The evaluation has been informed by a range of qualitative data. The report identifies the elements that work well and some of the challenges in its implementation. This had been done in order to determine good practice in supporting families and communities and embed more effective practice on protecting children and young people, including those in foster care, from sexual exploitation, harnessing the protective factors within a child’s family and/or foster home. The learning from the project is intended to help other agencies to implement the FCASE model. An on-line learning resource is to be produced in order to facilitate this process

    Coming to America: Challenges and difficulties faced by African student athletes

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    There is a considerable lack of literature on international student athletes despite the extent to which colleges and universities are increasingly relying on them to heighten the winning reputation of their sports programs. This research focuses on international student athletes from Africa. Based on interviews of 16 student athletes from seven different African countries, the range of their experiences upon entering universities in the United States, particularly their challenges, were identified. Many of the serious issues affecting the student athletes were matters related to the host environment\u27s underestimations about the African student athletes\u27 desires to learn, misunderstandings about their culture and religions and other negative assumptions that undermined their academic success. We also found that the vast majority of these student athletes experienced negative stereotypes and discrimination based on their race and their region of origin. © 2011 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC

    Optimal operation of combined heat and power systems: an optimization-based control strategy

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    The use of decentralized Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants is increasing since the high levels of efficiency they can achieve. Thus, to determine the optimal operation of these systems in dynamic energy-market scenarios, operational constraints and the time-varying price profiles for both electricity and the required resources should be taken into account. In order to maximize the profit during the operation of the CHP plant, this paper proposes an optimization-based controller designed according to the Economic Model Predictive Control (EMPC) approach, which uses a non-constant time step along the prediction horizon to get a shorter step size at the beginning of that horizon while a lower resolution for the far instants. Besides, a softening of related constraints to meet the market requirements related to the sale of electric power to the grid point is proposed. Simulation results show that the computational burden to solve optimization problems in real time is reduced while minimizing operational costs and satisfying the market constraints. The proposed controller is developed based on a real CHP plant installed at the ETA research factory in Darmstadt, Germany.Peer ReviewedPostprint (author's final draft

    Economic model predictive control for optimal operation of combined heat and power systems

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    © 2019. ElsevierThe use of decentralized Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants is increasing since the high levels of efficiency they can achieve. Hence, to determine the optimal operation of these systems in the changing energy market, the time-varying price profiles for both electricity as well as the required resources and the energy-market constraints should be considered into the design of the control strategies. To solve these issues and maximize the profit during the operation of the CHP plant, this paper proposes an optimization-based controller, which will be designed according to the Economic Model Predictive Control (EMPC) approach. The proposed controller is designed considering a non-constant time step to get a high sampling frequency for the near instants and a lower resolution for the far instants. Besides, a soft constraint to met the market constraints for the sale of electric power is proposed. The proposed controller is developed based on a real CHP plant installed in the ETA research factory in Darmstadt, Germany. Simulation results show that lower computational time can be achieved if a non-constant step time is implemented while the market constraints are satisfied.Peer ReviewedPostprint (author's final draft
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