ResearchPad - labor-economics https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[What makes an effective grants peer reviewer? An exploratory study of the necessary skills]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13869 This exploratory mixed methods study describes skills required to be an effective peer reviewer as a member of review panels conducted for federal agencies that fund research, and examines how reviewer experience and the use of technology within such panels impacts reviewer skill development. Two specific review panel formats are considered: in-person face-to-face and virtual video conference. Data were collected through interviews with seven program officers and five expert peer review panelists, and surveys from 51 respondents. Results include the skills reviewers’ consider necessary for effective review panel participation, their assessment of the relative importance of these skills, how they are learned, and how review format affects skill development and improvement. Results are discussed relative to the peer review literature and with consideration of the importance of professional skills needed by successful scientists and peer reviewers.

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<![CDATA[Not sick enough to worry? "Influenza-like" symptoms and work-related behavior among healthcare workers and other professionals: Results of a global survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13852 Healthcare workers (HCWs) and non-HCWs may contribute to the transmission of influenza-like illness (ILI) to colleagues and susceptible patients by working while sick (presenteeism). The present study aimed to explore the views and behavior of HCWs and non-HCWs towards the phenomenon of working while experiencing ILI.MethodsThe study was a cross-sectional online survey conducted between October 2018 and January 2019 to explore sickness presenteeism and the behaviour of HCWs and non-HCWs when experiencing ILI. The survey questionnaire was distributed to the members and international networks of the International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (ISAC) Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Working Group, as well as via social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Twitter and IPC Blog.ResultsIn total, 533 respondents from 49 countries participated (Europe 69.2%, Asia-Pacific 19.1%, the Americas 10.9%, and Africa 0.8%) representing 249 HCWs (46.7%) and 284 non-HCWs (53.2%). Overall, 312 (58.5%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 56.2–64.6) would continue to work when sick with ILI, with no variation between the two categories. Sixty-seven (26.9%) HCWs and forty-six (16.2%) non-HCWs would work with fever alone (p<0 .01) Most HCWs (89.2–99.2%) and non-HCWs (80%-96.5%) would work with “minor” ILI symptoms, such as sore throat, sinus cold, fatigue, sneezing, runny nose, mild cough and reduced appetite.ConclusionA future strategy to successfully prevent the transmission of ILI in healthcare settings should address sick-leave policy management, in addition to encouraging the uptake of influenza vaccine. ]]> <![CDATA[The early experiences of Physician Associate students in the UK: A regional cross-sectional study investigating factors associated with engagement]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13815 The number of physician associates (PAs) training and working in the UK has increased over the last few years following the proliferation of postgraduate courses. Understanding early experiences and what impacts on engagement is important if we are to appropriately support this relatively new professional group.MethodsThis paper reports on a cross-sectional analysis of the first year of data from a prospective 10-year longitudinal cohort study. First year PA students (n = 89) were enrolled from five universities in one UK region where the training programmes were less than 2 years old. Data collected were: demographic information, wellbeing, burnout and engagement, expectations, placement experience, performance and caring responsibilities. Pearson’s correlations were used to examine relationships between variables and to select variables for a hierarchical regression analysis to understand which factors were associated with engagement. Descriptive statistics were calculated for questions relating to experience.ResultsThe experiences of PA students during their first 3–6 months were mixed. For example, 78.7% of students felt that there were staff on placement they could go to for support, however, 44.8% reported that staff did not know about the role and 61.3% reported that staff did not know what clinical work they should undertake. Regression analysis found that their level of engagement was associated with their perceived career satisfaction, overall well-being, and caring responsibilities.ConclusionsThe support systems required for PAs may need to be examined as results showed that the PA student demographic is different to that of medical students and caring responsibilities are highly associated with engagement. A lack of understanding around the PA role in clinical settings may also need to be addressed in order to better support and develop this workforce. ]]> <![CDATA[Implementation of maternity protection legislation: Gynecologists’ perceptions and practices in French-speaking Switzerland]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11226 In several countries, maternity protection legislations (MPL) confer an essential role to gynecologist-obstetricians (OBGYNs) for the protection of pregnant workers and their future children from occupational exposures. This study explores OBGYNs’ practices and difficulties in implementing MPL in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.MethodsAn online survey was sent to 333 OBGYNs. Data analysis included: 1) descriptive and correlational statistics and 2) hierarchical cluster analysis to identify patterns of practices.ResultsOBGYNs evoked several problems in MPL implementation: absence of risk analysis in the companies, difficult collaboration with employers, lack of competencies in the field of occupational health. Preventive leave was underused, with sick leave being prescribed instead. Training had a positive effect on OBGYNs’ knowledge and implementation of MPL. Hierarchical cluster analysis highlighted three main types of practices: 1) practice in line with legislation; 2) practice on a case-by-case basis; 3) limited practice. OBGYNs with good knowledge of MPL more consistently applied its provisions.ConclusionThe implementation of MPL appears challenging for OBGYNs. Collaboration with occupational physicians and training might help OBGYNs to better take on their role in maternity protection. MPL in itself could be improved. ]]> <![CDATA[Proficiency based progression simulation training significantly reduces utility strikes; A prospective, randomized and blinded study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7871 We evaluated a simulation-based training curriculum with quantitatively defined performance benchmarks for utility workers location and excavation of utility services.BackgroundDamaging buried utilities is associated with considerable safety risks to workers and substantial cost to employers.MethodsIn a prospective, randomized and blinded study we assessed the impact of Proficiency Based Progression (PBP) simulation training on the location and excavation of utility services work.ResultsPBP simulation training reduced performance errors (33%, p = 0.006) in comparison a standard trained group. When implemented across all workers in the same division there was a 35–61% reduction in utility strikes (p = 0.028) and an estimated cost saving of £116,000 –£2,175,000 in the 12 months (47,000 work hours) studied.ConclusionsThe magnitude of the training benefit of PBP simulation training in the utilities sector appears to be the same as it is in surgery, cardiology and procedure-based medicine.ApplicationQuality-assured utility worker simulation training significantly reduces utility damage and associated costs. ]]> <![CDATA[Lifestyle, sick leave and work ability among Norwegian employees with asthma—A population-based cross-sectional survey conducted in Telemark County, Norway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ndae955f4-245c-442b-a4a6-579d96a7b9a3

Objective

To investigate whether physician-diagnosed asthma modifies the associations between multiple lifestyle factors, sick leave and work ability in a general working population.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted in Telemark County, Norway, in 2013. A sample of 16 099 respondents completed a self-administered questionnaire. We obtained complete data on lifestyle, work ability and sick leave for 10 355 employed persons aged 18–50 years. We modelled sick leave and work ability using multiple logistic regression, and introduced interaction terms to investigate whether associations with lifestyle factors were modified by asthma status.

Results

Several lifestyle risk factors and a multiple lifestyle risk index were associated with sick leave and reduced work ability score among persons both with and without physician-diagnosed asthma. A stronger association between lifestyle and sick leave among persons with asthma was confirmed by including interaction terms in the analysis: moderate lifestyle risk score * asthma OR = 1.4 (95% CI 1.02–2.1); high lifestyle risk score * asthma OR = 1.6 (95% CI 1.1–2.3); very high lifestyle risk score * asthma OR = 1.6 (95% CI 0.97–2.7); obesity * asthma OR = 1.5 (95% CI 1.02–2.1); past smoking * asthma OR = 1.4 (95% CI 1.01–1.9); and current smoking * asthma OR = 1.4 (95% CI 1.03–2.0).

There was no significant difference in the association between lifestyle and work ability score among respondents with and without asthma.

Conclusions

In the present study, we found that physician-diagnosed asthma modified the association between lifestyle risk factors and sick leave. Asthma status did not significantly modify these associations with reduced work ability score. The results indicate that lifestyle changes could be of particular importance for employees with asthma.

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<![CDATA[Effectiveness of the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA) in reducing intimate partner violence and hazardous alcohol use in Zambia (VATU): A randomized controlled trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N3889b1ed-7187-41ba-b4d5-94f42ba3d649

Background

Both intimate partner violence (IPV) and alcohol misuse are highly prevalent, and partner alcohol misuse is a significant contributor to women’s risk for IPV. There are few evidence-based interventions to address these problems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We evaluated the effectiveness of an evidence-based, multi-problem, flexible, transdiagnostic intervention, the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA) in reducing (a) women’s experience of IPV and (b) their male partner’s alcohol misuse among couples in urban Zambia.

Methods and findings

This was a single-blind, parallel-assignment randomized controlled trial in Lusaka, Zambia. Women who reported moderate or higher levels of IPV and their male partners with hazardous alcohol use were enrolled as a couple and randomized to CETA or treatment as usual plus safety checks (TAU-Plus). The primary outcome, IPV, was assessed by the Severity of Violence Against Women Scale (SVAWS) physical/sexual violence subscale, and the secondary outcome, male alcohol misuse, by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Assessors were blinded. Analyses were intent-to-treat. Primary outcome assessments were planned at post-treatment, 12 months post-baseline, and 24 months post-baseline. Enrollment was conducted between May 23, 2016, and December 17, 2016. In total, 123 couples were randomized to CETA, 125 to TAU-Plus. The majority of female (66%) and a plurality of male (48%) participants were between 18 and 35 years of age. Mean reduction in IPV (via SVAWS subscale score) at 12 months post-baseline was statistically significantly greater among women who received CETA compared to women who received TAU-Plus (−8.2, 95% CI −14.9 to −1.5, p = 0.02, Cohen’s d effect size = 0.49). Similarly, mean reduction in AUDIT score at 12 months post-baseline was statistically significantly greater among men who received CETA compared to men who received TAU (−4.5, 95% CI −6.9 to −2.2, p < 0.001, Cohen’s d effect size = 0.43). The Data and Safety Monitoring Board recommended the trial be stopped early due to treatment effectiveness following the 12-month post-baseline assessment, and CETA was offered to control participants. Limitations of the trial included the lack of a true control condition (i.e., that received no intervention), self-reported outcomes that may be subject to social desirability bias, and low statistical power for secondary IPV outcomes.

Conclusions

Results showed that CETA was more effective than TAU-Plus in reducing IPV and hazardous alcohol use among high-risk couples in Zambia. Future research and programming should include tertiary prevention approaches to IPV, such as CETA, rather than offering only community mobilization and primary prevention.

Trial registration

The trial was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02790827).

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<![CDATA[‘In search of lost time’: Identifying the causative role of cumulative competition load and competition time-loss in professional tennis using a structural nested mean model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4f3da08e-598e-44d5-a4f3-a2c64fcebd1f

Injury prevention is critical to the achievement of peak performance in elite sport. For professional tennis players, the topic of injury prevention has gained even greater importance in recent years as multiple of the best male players have been sidelined owing to injury. Identifying potential causative factors of injury is essential for the development of effective prevention strategies, yet such research is hampered by incomplete data, the complexity of injury etiology, and observational study biases. The present study attempts to address these challenges by focusing on competition load and time-loss to competition—a completely observable risk factor and outcome—and using a structural nested mean model (SNMM) to identify the potential causal role of cumulative competition load on the risk of time-loss. Using inverse probability of treatment weights to balance exposure histories with respect to player ability, past injury, and consecutive competition weeks at each time point; the SNMM analysis of 389 professional male players and 55,773 weeks of competition found that total load significantly increases the risk of time-loss (HR = 1.05 per 1,000 games of additional load 95% CI 1.01-1.10) and this effect becomes magnified with age. Standard regression showed a protective effect of load, highlighting the value of more robust causal methods in the study of dynamic exposures and injury in sport and the need for further applications of these methods for understanding how time-loss and injuries of elite athletes might be prevented in the future.

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<![CDATA[Long-term effect of the Brazilian Workers’ Food Program on the nutritional status of manufacturing workers: A population-based prospective cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N23375fc9-a89d-407e-9d06-75f348bd7d78

Background

The Brazilian Workers Food Program (WFP) is a public policy program of nutritional assistance to workers, with the main objective of improving nutritional conditions, which was implemented 40 years ago and serves over 21.4 million workers.

Objectives

To compare the long-term change in anthropometric indicators of the nutritional status and dietary intake between workers of manufacturing industries adherent to and non-adherent to the WFP.

Methods

A prospective cohort study, based on a combined stratified and multistage probability sampling, was carried out, with two waves with a 4-year interval. The change in body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and dietary intake at lunch by the 24-hour recall method were compared between groups with analysis of covariance.

Results

A total of 273 workers in 16 industries from an initial cohort of 1069 workers in 26 industries of the State of Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil were evaluated in the two waves. The mean age was 37±10 years and 53.1% were male, with no differences between groups in age and sex distribution. BMI increased in both groups (0.44 kg/m2 in non-WFP, p = 0.003, and 0.56 kg/m2 in WFP, p = 0.0006) and WC increased in the WFP group (1.50 cm, p = 0.0006). BMI change over time did not show statistical differences between groups (p = 0.54) but WC had a greater increase in the WFP group (difference 1.37 cm, p = 0.047). There were no differences between groups in the change over time of the dietary intake.

Conclusion

BMI and WC increased over time in manufacturing workers of industries both adherent and non-adherent to the WFP, but with a greater increase of WC in the WFP group. In order to achieve the objectives of the WFP, there will be a need for periodic evaluation and monitoring of nutritional indicators in these workers and implementation of monitoring and enforcement actions of the WFP.

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<![CDATA[Risk of stomach cancer incidence in a cohort of Mayak PA workers occupationally exposed to ionizing radiation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb5246167-3f67-43a4-8a84-93c6a22ed7ff

Stomach cancer is a widespread health condition associated with environmental and genetic factors. Contribution of ionizing radiation to stomach cancer etiology is not sufficiently studied. This study was aimed to assess an association of the stomach cancer incidence risk with doses from occupational radiation exposure in a cohort of workers hired at main Mayak production association facilities in 1948–1982 taking into account non-radiation factors including digestive disorders. The study cohort comprised 22,377 individuals and by 31.12.2013 343 stomach cancer diagnoses had been reported among the cohort members. Occupational stomach absorbed doses were provided by the Mayak Worker Dosimetry System– 2008 (MWDS–2008) for external gamma ray exposure and by the Mayak Worker Dosimetry System– 2013 (MWDS–2013) for internal exposure to plutonium. Excess relative risks (ERR) per Gy for stomach cancer were estimated using the Poisson’s regression. Analyses were run using the AMFIT module of the EPICURE software. The stomach cancer incidence risk in the study cohort was found to be significantly associated with the stomach absorbed dose of gamma rays: ERR/Gy = 0.19 (95% CI: 0.01, 0.44) with a 0 year lag, and ERR/Gy = 0.20 (95% CI: 0.01, 0.45) with a 5 year lag. To estimate the baseline risk, sex, attained age, smoking status and alcohol consumption, chronic diseases (peptic ulcer, gastritis and duodenitis) were taken into account. No modifications of the radiogenic risk by non-radiation factors were found in the study worker cohort. No association of the stomach cancer incidence risk with internal exposure to incorporated plutonium was observed.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence of depressive symptoms among Italian medical students: The multicentre cross-sectional “PRIMES” study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N89095419-220d-4d38-944c-d00bb778cf6f

Background

Four percent of the world’s population suffers from depression, which is a major public health issue. Medical students are at risk, as their depressive symptoms (DS) prevalence is reported to be approximately 27% worldwide. Since few data on Italian medical students exist, this study aimed to estimate their DS prevalence and assess risk and protective factors.

Methods

The PRIMES was a multicentre cross-sectional study performed in 12 Italian medical schools. Questionnaires were self-reported and included 30 sociodemographic items and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). The primary outcome was the presence of DS (BDI-II score≥14). The main analyses were chi-squared tests and multivariable logistic regressions with a p-value<0.05 considered significant.

Results

The number of collected questionnaires was 2,513 (117 BDI-II incomplete). Females accounted for 61.3% of the respondents, and the median age was 22 years (IQR = 4). The prevalence of DS was 29.5%. Specifically, 14.0% had mild depression, 11.1% had moderate depression, and 4.5% had severe depression. The main risk factors for DS were age, being female, bisexual/asexual orientation, living with partner/housemates, poor economic status (worsened by living far from home), less than 90 min of weekly exercise, relatives with psychiatric disorders, personal chronic disease, judging medical school choice negatively, unsatisfying friendships with classmates, competitive and hostile climate among classmates, thinking that medical school hinders specific activities and being worried about not measuring up to the profession. Protective factors included family cohesion, hobbies, intellectual curiosity as a career motivation and no worries about the future.

Conclusion

Italian medical students are at high risk of reporting DS, similar to the global population of medical students’. Medical schools must make efforts to implement preventive and treatment interventions by offering counselling and working on modifiable factors, such as lifestyle and learning climate.

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<![CDATA[The effect of admitting fault versus shifting blame on expectations for others to do the same]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acc40d5eed0c48498f2ed

A wealth of research has investigated how and why people cast blame. However, less is known about blame-shifting (i.e., blaming someone else for one’s own failures) and how exposure to a blame-shifting agent might lead to expectations that other agents will also shift blame. The present research tested whether exposure to a blame-shifting (versus responsibility-taking) agent would lead perceivers to expect a second, unrelated target to also shift blame. Contrary to our expectations, people expected greater blame-shifting after exposure to a responsible agent, particularly when perceivers were surprised by this reaction to failure. Discussion focuses on how people habitually expect some people to shift blame for their mishaps, and how expectancy violations when people act in unexpected ways predict the extent to which perceivers expect unrelated agents to also shift blame.

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<![CDATA[Roads and livelihood activity choices in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem, Tanzania]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c1940d5eed0c484b4d270

Road development is occurring at an unprecedented rate in important conservation areas in tropical countries with limited understanding of how local people will adjust their livelihood activities in response. We use a discrete choice experiment to explore the effect of road development on respondents ex-ante preferences for changes in livelihood activities—crop and livestock production, hunting and trading bushmeat, and business and wage employment—under different incentives—provision of loans, livestock and crop extension services–in scenarios with reduced travel time to nearest district town in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem in Tanzania. We test four hypotheses about the effects of roads with opposing implication for conservation. Hypothesis 1 predicts that increased market access will lead to intensification of crop and livestock production activities (achieved through extension services and loans), and Hypothesis 2 that market access will facilitate the development of non-farm Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) providing new livelihood opportunities (e.g. business income and wage employment)–both reducing environmental pressure. Hypotheis 3 on the other hand predicts that improved market access will lead to extensification and expansion of crop and livestock production activities, while Hypotheis 4 suggests that it will encourage exploitation of environmental goods (here in the form of hunting and trading bushmeat and illegal grazing inside protected areas)–both increasing environmental pressure. We find increasing preferences for more cropland and more cattle as travel time to market is reduced but no preference for increased allocation of household members to hunting and trading bushmeat supporting hypothesis 3 while contradicting hypothesis 4. However, second-order effects might support hypothesis 4 as we find aversion towards decreasing effort invested in hunting and trading bushmeat. Preferences for increased cropland and livestock may furthermore interact to increase land use change and illegal grazing inside protected areas. Crop extension services had a negative modifying effect on preferences for more cropland (supporting hypothesis 1) while livestock extension services had a positive modifying effect on preferences for more cattle (contradicting hypothesis 1). Providing loans had a negative modifying effect on preferences for increasing cropland and number of cattle. Marginal rates of substitution suggest that 950,000 TSH borrowed at a 10% interest rate will reduce preferences for more cropland and cattle by 11.8 and 38.4% respectively. Crop extension services reduce preferences for more cropland by 27% whereas livestock extension services increase preferences for more cattle by 104%. Contradicting Hypothesis 2, we found no preference for increasing the number of households members engaged in business and wage employment in response to reduced travel time. Targeted efforts to increase the educational level as well as entrepreneurship skills in the GSE could promote engagement in the labour market and development of business enterprises diverting focus from traditional activities such as farming and livestock production and hence reducing pressure on the ecosystem.

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<![CDATA[On the value of preprints: An early career researcher perspective]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c784facd5eed0c4840072e6

Peer-reviewed journal publication is the main means for academic researchers in the life sciences to create a permanent public record of their work. These publications are also the de facto currency for career progress, with a strong link between journal brand recognition and perceived value. The current peer-review process can lead to long delays between submission and publication, with cycles of rejection, revision, and resubmission causing redundant peer review. This situation creates unique challenges for early career researchers (ECRs), who rely heavily on timely publication of their work to gain recognition for their efforts. Today, ECRs face a changing academic landscape, including the increased interdisciplinarity of life sciences research, expansion of the researcher population, and consequent shifts in employer and funding demands. The publication of preprints, publicly available scientific manuscripts posted on dedicated preprint servers prior to journal-managed peer review, can play a key role in addressing these ECR challenges. Preprinting benefits include rapid dissemination of academic work, open access, establishing priority or concurrence, receiving feedback, and facilitating collaborations. Although there is a growing appreciation for and adoption of preprints, a minority of all articles in life sciences and medicine are preprinted. The current low rate of preprint submissions in life sciences and ECR concerns regarding preprinting need to be addressed. We provide a perspective from an interdisciplinary group of ECRs on the value of preprints and advocate their wide adoption to advance knowledge and facilitate career development.

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<![CDATA[Just how miserable is work? A meta-analysis comparing work and non-work affect]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823b0d5eed0c484638e4a

Although we spend much of our waking hours working, the emotional experience of work, versus non-work, remains unclear. While the large literature on work stress suggests that work generally is aversive, some seminal theory and findings portray working as salubrious and perhaps as an escape from home life. Here, we examine the subjective experience of work (versus non-work) by conducting a quantitative review of 59 primary studies that assessed affect on working days. Meta-analyses of within-day studies indicated that there was no difference in positive affect (PA) between work versus non-work domains. Negative affect (NA) was higher for work than non-work, although the magnitude of difference was small (i.e., .22 SD, an effect size comparable to that of the difference in NA between different leisure activities like watching TV versus playing board games). Moderator analyses revealed that PA was relatively higher at work and NA relatively lower when affect was measured using “real-time” measurement (e.g., Experience Sampling Methodology) versus measured using the Day Reconstruction Method (i.e., real-time reports reveal a more favorable view of work as compared to recall/DRM reports). Additional findings from moderator analyses included significant differences in main effect sizes as a function of the specific affect, and, for PA, as a function of the age of the sample and the time of day when the non-work measurements were taken. Results for the other possible moderators including job complexity and affect intensity were not statistically significant.

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<![CDATA[The mediating role of coping behavior on the age-technostress relationship: A longitudinal multilevel mediation model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823acd5eed0c484638de4

This study seeks to explain the interplay between chronological age and technology-related strain through techno-stressors and coping strategy choices in organizational settings. Grounded in Lazarus´ stress theory, theories of cognitive aging, the life span theory of control and socioemotional selectivity theory, this study argues that even though older workers are more prone to techno-stressors, aging is connected to gaining coping skills, which in turn reduce technology-related strain over time. Understanding these processes enables modifying employees’ coping strategy choices and mitigating negative outcomes of technostress at the workplace. Longitudinal data from 1,216 employees over a time period of 8 months were used to perform multilevel mediation modeling. The findings reveal that age was negatively related to technology-related strain. The link between age and technology-related strain was explained through behavioral disengagement, which older workers used less than younger workers. Active coping and social coping did not act as mediators of this relationship across time points. These relationships were stable after controlling for dependency on technology.

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<![CDATA[High capacity reversible data hiding with interpolation and adaptive embedding]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897722d5eed0c4847d2525

A new Interpolation based Reversible Data Hiding (IRDH) scheme is reported in this paper. For different applications of an IRDH scheme to the digital image, video, multimedia, big-data and biological data, the embedding capacity requirement usually varies. Disregarding this important consideration, existing IRDH schemes do not offer a better embedding rate-distortion performance for varying size payloads. To attain this varying capacity requirement with our proposed adaptive embedding, we formulate a capacity control parameter and propose to utilize it to determine a minimum set of embeddable bits in a pixel. Additionally, we use a logical (or bit-wise) correlation between the embeddable pixel and estimated versions of an embedded pixel. Thereby, while a higher range between an upper and lower limit of the embedding capacity is maintained, a given capacity requirement within that limit is also attained with a better-embedded image quality. Computational modeling of all new processes of the scheme is presented, and performance of the scheme is evaluated with a set of popular test-images. Experimental results of our proposed scheme compared to the prominent IRDH schemes have recorded a significantly better-embedding rate-distortion performance.

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<![CDATA[Video loss prediction model in wireless networks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8977a4d5eed0c4847d3245

This work discusses video communications over wireless networks (IEEE 802.11ac standard). The videos are in three different resolutions: 720p, 1080p, and 2160p. It is essential to study the performance of these media in access technologies to enhance the current coding and communications techniques. This study sets out a video quality prediction model that includes the different resolutions that are based on wireless network terms and conditions, an approach that has not previously been adopted in the literature. The model involves obtaining Service and Experience Quality Metrics, such as PSNR (Peak Signal-to-Noise Ratio) and packet loss. This article outlines a methodology and mathematical model for video quality loss in the wireless network from simulated data and its accuracy is ensured through the use of performance metrics (RMSE and Standard Deviation). The methodology is based on two mathematical functions, (logarithmic and exponential), and their parameters are defined by linear regression. The model obtained RMSE values and standard deviation of 2.32 dB and 2.2 dB for the predicted values, respectively. The results should lead to a CODEC (Coder-Decoder) improvement and contribute to a better wireless networks design.

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<![CDATA[The time-varying relationship between economic globalization and the ideological center of gravity of party systems]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c803c63d5eed0c484ad8866

Does economic globalization influence the positioning of parties and, as a consequence, the ideological characteristics of party systems? Answering this question is important because we need to understand the constraints that parties face in formulating policies from which voters have to choose. In our paper, we take a systemic perspective and conceptualize a party system’s ideological center of gravity as the outcome of interest. We define the center of gravity as the weighted mean position of all parliamentary parties in a country that represents the position to which parties gravitate. We start by formulating static hypotheses on the effect of imports and exports on the center of gravity and derive their underlying mechanisms. We further derive dynamic hypotheses stipulating varying effects over time based on the premise that partisan attitudes toward globalization have undergone multiple changes over the last decades. A time-series cross-section analysis of 129 elections in 15 Western European countries from 1974 to 2015 finds evidence for opposite effects of exports and imports in the pooled data. Additionally, a moving-window analysis indicates that the relationship between globalization and the center of gravity varies over time. This is a significant finding because it suggests that economic globalization has an influence on party systems and that it is important to test for time-varying effects.

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<![CDATA[eHealth and telemedicine: Practices and beliefs among healthcare professionals and medical students at a medical university]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c818e91d5eed0c484cc2592

Digitalization affects almost every aspect of modern daily life including healthcare delivery. Successful adoption and sustainable integration of information technology-based eHealth and telemedicine concepts in clinical practice depend on constant evaluation of end user needs, proficiencies, and preferences. We therefore assessed how current and future healthcare professionals perceived health technology solutions and whether their perceptions differed. We conducted an online survey among a purposive sample of employees and students at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria. The structured questionnaire collected self-reported practices and beliefs in the context of eHealth and telemedicine among 905 participants (59.0% females), of which 48.4% were employees and 51.6% were students. Participants expressed moderate knowledge of eHealth and telemedicine concepts with higher levels among employees compared to students (both: p<0.05). Compared to employees, students were less convinced that online health information improves patient knowledge (p<0.001), but were more optimistic that telemedicine reduces healthcare costs (p<0.05). Participants doubted that telemedicine services would enhance the doctor-patient relationship and raised concerns regarding data security and privacy issues. Accordingly, quantitative context analysis of free text comments revealed that the four most frequently mentioned themes were related to issues concerning data privacy and security, questions of responsibility, doctor-patient interaction, and reliability of information. This study provides valuable insights into how current and future healthcare professionals differ in their perceptions regarding eHealth and telemedicine. These findings raise awareness of the need to bridge the gap between digital age groups and professional groups, especially in clinical healthcare delivery in a clocked-through, strenuous academic setting as found at a medical university.

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