108 research outputs found

    Combining SERVQUAL and QFD to Evaluate and Improve Airline Service Quality

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    Purpose: This paper shows how to evaluate and analyze the service quality for airline business and provide feasible suggestions to improve the service. The purpose is to illustrate how the two quality improvement methods, SERVQUAL and QFD, can be combined and used to improve the service quality for service companies such as airlines. Design/Methodology/Approach: The data were obtained by the way of interviewing the customers who have experienced the service offered by Air Macau, with tool of SERVQUAL. Comparing the perceived scores of Air Macau to the customers‚Äô expected value as well as to its competitors, we finally believe that the shortest board of service quality is the ‚Äúresponsiveness‚ÄĚ among its five dimensions. Quality function deployment is then used to translate customers‚Äô actual requirements into practical service measures to further improvement. Findings: It is more effective if SERVQUAL is combined with QFD in evaluating firm\u27s quality and quality improvement. Research Limitations: Effectiveness should be tested over time with bottom line evidences. Practical Implications: Practitioners should use more than one effective methods in quality improvement whenever possible. Social Implications: People are more aware of SERVQUAL and QFD

    Increased risk of dementia among people with a history of fractures: a systematic review and meta-analysis of population-based studies

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    BackgroundEmerging evidence suggests that there may be an association between a history of fractures and dementia risk, but the epidemiological findings are inconsistent. We, therefore, conducted a meta-analysis to systematically assess the risk of dementia among people with a history of fractures.MethodsWe comprehensively searched four electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, and Cochrane Library) for relevant literature published from inception to 10 January 2023. Longitudinal observational studies that investigated the association between any type of fracture occurrence and the subsequent risk of dementia were included for qualitative and quantitative analysis. Risk estimates were pooled using fixed-effects or random-effects models according to the level of heterogeneity. The Newcastle-Ottawa scale was used to evaluate the risk of bias in the included studies.ResultsA total of seven population-based studies involving 3,658,108 participants (136,179 with a history of fractures) were eventually included. Pooled results showed a significant association between fracture and subsequent risk of dementia [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.28, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11‚Äď1.48] in cohort studies. Patients with fractures at different sites showed a similar trend toward increased risk of subsequent dementia. No gender, age, region, duration of follow-up, study quality, or study design specificity were observed. Sensitivity analysis indicates that the current results are robust. No publication bias existed. The results were similar in the cohort study with the standardized incidence ratio (SIR) as the statistical measure (SIR = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.25‚Äď2.00) and in the case-control study (OR = 1.38, 95% CI: 1.18‚Äď1.61). Of note, the causal relationship between fracture and dementia was not demonstrated in this meta-analysis.ConclusionPeople with a history of fractures are at increased risk of developing dementia. Enhanced screening and preventive management of dementia in people with a history of fractures may be beneficial

    Effect of probiotic fermented milk on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

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    Previous studies have suggested that probiotic fermented milk may possess blood pressure (BP)-lowering properties. In the present study, we aimed to systematically examine the effect of probiotic fermented milk on BP by conducting a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. PubMed, Cochrane library and the ClinicalTrials.gov databases were searched up to March 2012 to identify eligible studies. The reference lists of the obtained articles were also reviewed. Either a fixed-effects or a random-effects model was used to calculate the combined treatment effect. Meta-analysis of fourteen randomised placebo-controlled trials involving 702 participants showed that probiotic fermented milk, compared with placebo, produced a significant reduction of 3¬∑10mmHg (95% CI ‚ąí4¬∑64, ‚ąí1¬∑56) in systolic BP and 1¬∑09mmHg (95% CI ‚ąí2¬∑11, ‚ąí0¬∑06) in diastolic BP. Subgroup analyses suggested a slightly greater effect on systolic BP in hypertensive participants than in normotensive ones (‚ąí3¬∑98 v. ‚ąí2¬∑09mmHg). Analysis of trials conducted in Japan showed a greater reduction than those conducted in European countries for both systolic BP (‚ąí6¬∑12 v. ‚ąí2¬∑08mmHg) and diastolic BP (‚ąí3¬∑45 v. ‚ąí0¬∑52mmHg). Some evidence of publication bias was present, but sensitivity analysis excluding small trials that reported extreme results only affected the pooled effect size minimally. In summary, the present meta-analysis suggested that probiotic fermented milk has BP-lowering effects in pre-hypertensive and hypertensive subject

    Chinese patent medicine as adjuvant for mild-to-moderate active ulcerative colitis : a network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

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    Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of Chinese patent medicine for mild-to-moderate active ulcerative colitis (UC) using network meta-analysis (NMA). Methods. We systematically searched PubMed, Cochrane library, Embase, Sino-Med, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wanfang, and Chinese Scientific Journal Database (VIP) databases to October, 2020. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on Chinese patent medicine for mild-to-moderate active UC. The main analysis was complemented by network subanalyses and standard pairwise comparisons. Statistical heterogeneity, inconsistencies, and ranking probability were also evaluated. Results. The databases search identified 3222 citations, of which 33 RCTs involving 2971 patients met the inclusion criteria. A total of 15 Chinese patent medicines were analyzed. The overall quality of the included studies was low. Pairwise meta-analysis showed that Chinese patent medicine was superior to Mesalazine in improving disappearances of clinical symptoms, recurrence rate, and Mayo score. Based on decreases in adverse events, results from NMA showed that Xilei powder plus Mesalazine was more effective than other drugs. Other NMA results indicated that Danshen freeze-dried powder plus Mesalazine (RR: 0.13; 95% CI, 0.02‚Äď0.78) and Kangfuxin lotion plus Mesalazine (RR: 0.24; 95% CI, 0.07‚Äď0.57) were superior to Mesalazine in decreasing recurrence rate. Another NMA result indicated that Kangfuxin lotion plus Mesalazine (RR: 0.00; 95% CI, 0.00‚Äď0.02) and Zhi Kang capsule plus Mesalazine (RR: 0.00; 95% CI, 0.00‚Äď0.02) were superior to Mesalazine in increasing the disappearance of tenesmus. Conclusion. In the probability sorting, Xilei powder combined with Mesalazine ranked first for having the fewest adverse events, Maintaining Intestines Antidiarrheal Pills combined with Mesalazine ranked first for having the lowest recurrence rate, Xilei powder combined with Mesalazine ranked first for improving disappearance rate of mucopurulent bloody stool/abdominal pain, and Kangfuxin lotion combined with Mesalazine ranked first for improving the disappearance rate of diarrhea/tenesmus. However, there is a lack of direct comparisons among Chinese patent medicines for UC. More multiarm RCTs are needed in the future to provide direct comparative evidence

    An ERP Study in English Relative Clause Processing by Chinese-English Bilinguals*

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    Abstract The processing of relative clauses receives much concern from linguists. The finding that object relatives are easier to process than subject relatives in Chinese challenges the notion that subject relative clauses are preferred universally. A large body of literature provides theories related to sentence processing mechanisms for native speakers but leaves one area relatively untouched: how bilinguals process sentences. This study is designed to examine the case where the individuals with a Chinese L1 language background process subject-extracted subject relative clauses (SS) and subject-extracted object relative clauses (SO) by using eventrelated potentials (ERPs) to probe into the real-time language processing and presents a direct manifestation of brain activity. The findings from this study support the subject relative clause preference due to the strong influence of English relative clause markedness and bilinguals' relative lower working memory capacity

    Protection of Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells against Oxidative Stress by MicroRNA-210

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    Oxidative stress induces endothelial cell apoptosis and promotes atherosclerosis development. MicroRNA-210 (miR-210) is linked with apoptosis in different cell types. This study aimed to investigate the role of miR-210 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) under oxidative stress and to determine the underlying mechanism. HUVECs were treated with different concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and cell viability was evaluated using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay and ATP assay. To evaluate the role of miR-210 in H2O2-mediated apoptosis, gain-and-loss-of-function approaches were used, and the effects on apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) level were assayed using flow cytometry. Moreover, miR-210 expression was detected by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), and expression of the following apoptosis-related genes was assessed by qRT-PCR and Western blot at the RNA and protein level, respectively: caspase-8-associated protein 2 (CASP8AP2), caspase-8, and caspase-3. The results showed that H2O2 induced apoptosis in HUVECs in a dose-dependent manner and increased miR-210 expression. Overexpression of miR-210 inhibited apoptosis and reduced ROS level in HUVECs treated with H2O2. Furthermore, miR-210 downregulated CASP8AP2 and related downstream caspases at protein level. Thus, under oxidative stress, miR-210 has a prosurvival and antiapoptotic effect on HUVECs by reducing ROS generation and downregulating the CASP8AP2 pathway

    Mining Big Data for Tourist Hot Spots: Geographical Patterns of Online Footprints

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    Understanding the complex, and often unequal, spatiality of tourist demand in urban contexts requires other methodologies, among which the information base available online and in social networks has gained prominence. Innovation supported by Information and Communication Technologies in terms of data access and data exchange has emerged as a complementary supporting tool for the more traditional data collection techniques currently in use, particularly, in urban destinations where there is the need to more (near)real-time monitoring. The capacity to collect and analise massive amounts of data on individual and group behaviour is leading to new data-rich research approaches. This chapter addresses the potential for discovering geographical insights regarding tourists’ spatial patterns within a destination, based on the analysis of geotagged data available from two social networks. ·info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Impact of COVID-19 on cardiovascular testing in the United States versus the rest of the world

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    Objectives: This study sought to quantify and compare the decline in volumes of cardiovascular procedures between the United States and non-US institutions during the early phase of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the care of many non-COVID-19 illnesses. Reductions in diagnostic cardiovascular testing around the world have led to concerns over the implications of reduced testing for cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality. Methods: Data were submitted to the INCAPS-COVID (International Atomic Energy Agency Non-Invasive Cardiology Protocols Study of COVID-19), a multinational registry comprising 909 institutions in 108 countries (including 155 facilities in 40 U.S. states), assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on volumes of diagnostic cardiovascular procedures. Data were obtained for April 2020 and compared with volumes of baseline procedures from March 2019. We compared laboratory characteristics, practices, and procedure volumes between U.S. and non-U.S. facilities and between U.S. geographic regions and identified factors associated with volume reduction in the United States. Results: Reductions in the volumes of procedures in the United States were similar to those in non-U.S. facilities (68% vs. 63%, respectively; p = 0.237), although U.S. facilities reported greater reductions in invasive coronary angiography (69% vs. 53%, respectively; p < 0.001). Significantly more U.S. facilities reported increased use of telehealth and patient screening measures than non-U.S. facilities, such as temperature checks, symptom screenings, and COVID-19 testing. Reductions in volumes of procedures differed between U.S. regions, with larger declines observed in the Northeast (76%) and Midwest (74%) than in the South (62%) and West (44%). Prevalence of COVID-19, staff redeployments, outpatient centers, and urban centers were associated with greater reductions in volume in U.S. facilities in a multivariable analysis. Conclusions: We observed marked reductions in U.S. cardiovascular testing in the early phase of the pandemic and significant variability between U.S. regions. The association between reductions of volumes and COVID-19 prevalence in the United States highlighted the need for proactive efforts to maintain access to cardiovascular testing in areas most affected by outbreaks of COVID-19 infection

    CSVM Architectures for Pixel-Wise Object Detection in High-Resolution Remote Sensing Images

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