ResearchPad - population-groupings https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Newborn body composition after maternal bariatric surgery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13862 In pregnancy after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), there is increased risk of low birthweight in the offspring. The present study examined how offspring body composition was affected by RYGB.Material and methodsMother-newborn dyads, where the mothers had undergone RYGB were included. Main outcome measure was neonatal body composition. Neonatal body composition was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanning (DXA) within 48 hours after birth. In a statistical model offspring born after RYGB were compared with a reference material of offspring and analyses were made to estimate the effect of maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), gestational weight gain, parity, gestational age at birth and newborn sex on newborn body composition. Analyses were made to estimate the impact of maternal weight loss before pregnancy and of other effects of bariatric surgery respectively. The study was performed at a university hospital between October 2012 and December 2013.ResultsWe included 25 mother-newborn dyads where the mothers had undergone RYGB and compared them to a reference material of 311 mother-newborn dyads with comparable pre-pregnancy BMI. Offspring born by mothers after RYGB had lower birthweight (335g, p<0.001), fat-free mass (268g, p<0.001) and fat% (2.8%, p<0.001) compared with reference material. Only 2% of the average reduction in newborn fat free mass could be attributed to maternal pre-pregnancy weight loss whereas other effects of RYGB accounted for 98%. Regarding reduction in fat mass 52% was attributed to weight loss and 47% to other effects of surgery.ConclusionOffspring born after maternal bariatric surgery, had lower birthweight, fat-free mass and fat percentage when compared with a reference material. RYGB itself and not the pre-pregnancy weight loss seems to have had the greatest impact on fetal growth. ]]> <![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[Impacts of host gender on <i>Schistosoma mansoni</i> risk in rural Uganda—A mixed-methods approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13851 Globally, over 230 million people are infected with schistosomiasis, an infectious disease caused by parasitic helminths. Humans can get infected when they contact water which contains Schistosoma parasites. Although the disease can be treated with a drug, people get rapidly reinfected in certain high-transmission settings. Drug treatment alone may not be sufficient to eliminate this disease and additional interventions such as health promotion or improvements in water and sanitation need to be scaled up. To provide recommendations to these control programmes we carried out interdisciplinary research in Eastern Uganda to understand the influence of gender on schistosomiasis risk. We found that the water contact behaviour of boys and girls is quite similar, and we did not see differences in reinfection or genetic diversity of the parasite between boys and girls. Differences in water contact between genders is greater in adults, and further research is required for these individuals. In this setting, infection rates are high in school-aged children and there are no differences between genders. These results emphasise improved control efforts for all school-aged children in communities like these. Our interdisciplinary approach provided complementary findings. Such an integrated approach can therefore have more power to meaningfully inform policy on schistosomiasis control.

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<![CDATA[Possible risk factors for poor asthma control assessed in a cross-sectional population-based study from Telemark, Norway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13801 This cross-sectional study of the general population of Telemark County, Norway, aimed to identify risk factors associated with poor asthma control as defined by the Asthma Control Test (ACT), and to determine the proportions of patients with poorly controlled asthma who had undergone spirometry, used asthma medication, or been examined by a pulmonary physician. In 2014–2015, the study recruited 326 subjects aged 16–50 years who had self-reported physician-diagnosed asthma and presence of respiratory symptoms during the previous 12 months. The clinical outcome measures were body mass index (BMI), forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), immunoglobulin E (IgE) in serum and serum C-reactive protein (CRP). An ACT score ≤ 19 was defined as poorly controlled asthma. Overall, 113 subjects (35%) reported poor asthma control. The odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for factors associated with poorly controlled asthma were: self-reported occupational exposure to vapor, gas, dust, or fumes during the previous 12 months (OR 2.0; 95% CI 1.1–3.6), body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2 (OR 2.2; 95% CI 1.2–4.1), female sex (OR 2.6; 95% CI 1.5–4.7), current smoking (OR 2.8; 95% CI 1.5–5.3), and past smoking (OR 2.3; 95% CI 1.3–4.0). Poor asthma control was also associated with reduced FEV1 after bronchodilation (β –3.6; 95% CI –7.0 to –0.2). Moreover, 13% of the participants with poor asthma control reported no use of asthma medication, 51% had not been assessed by a pulmonary physician, and 20% had never undergone spirometry. Because these data are cross-sectional, further studies assessing possible risk factors in general and objectively measured occupational exposure in particular are needed. However, our results suggest that there is room for improvement with regards to use of spirometry and pulmonary physician referrals when a patient’s asthma is inadequately controlled.

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<![CDATA[Psychological symptoms and quality of life after repeated exposure to earthquake: A cohort study in Italy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13809 In 2005, a random sample of 200 people were assessed in Camerino, Italy, eight years after an earthquake. Psychological symptom levels were low and only one person had current Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In 2016 a new earthquake occurred in Camerino. The study aims to assess the impact of the second exposure in the same cohort. A longitudinal study was conducted, 130 participants were re-interviewed between July and December 2017. Psychological symptoms were self-rated on the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and the Global Severity Index (GSI) was analysed. Post-traumatic stress symptoms were self-rated on the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). Subjective quality of life (SQOL) was assessed on the Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life (MANSA). Mean scores of GSI and IES-R were significantly higher than in 2005 (p<0.01 and p<0.001), whilst SQOL remained almost unchanged (p = 0.163). In 2017, 16.9% of the sample had reached the PTSD threshold whilst in 2005 only the 0.5% had reached it. Despite low symptom levels several years after an earthquake, people can show psychological distress after a new exposure, whilst average quality of life levels are not affected.

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<![CDATA[Left powerless: A qualitative social media content analysis of the Dutch #breakthesilence campaign on negative and traumatic experiences of labour and birth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13813 Disrespect and abuse during labour and birth are increasingly reported all over the world. In 2016, a Dutch client organization initiated an online campaign, #genoeggezwegen (#breakthesilence) which encouraged women to share negative and traumatic maternity care experiences. This study aimed (1) to determine what types of disrespect and abuse were described in #genoeggezwegen and (2) to gain a more detailed understanding of these experiences.MethodsA qualitative social media content analysis was carried out in two phases. (1) A deductive coding procedure was carried out to identify types of disrespect and abuse, using Bohren et al.’s existing typology of mistreatment during childbirth. (2) A separate, inductive coding procedure was performed to gain further understanding of the data.Results438 #genoeggezwegen stories were included. Based on the typology of mistreatment during childbirth, it was found that situations of ineffective communication, loss of autonomy and lack of informed consent and confidentiality were most often described. The inductive analysis revealed five major themes: ‘‘lack of informed consent”; ‘‘not being taken seriously and not being listened to”; ‘‘lack of compassion”; ‘‘use of force”; and ‘‘short and long term consequences”. “Left powerless” was identified as an overarching theme that occurred throughout all five main themes.ConclusionThis study gives insight into the negative and traumatic maternity care experiences of Dutch women participating in the #genoeggezwegen campaign. This may indicate that disrespect and abuse during labour and birth do happen in the Netherlands, although the current study gives no insight into prevalence. The findings of this study may increase awareness amongst maternity care providers and the community of the existence of disrespect and abuse in Dutch maternity care, and encourage joint effort on improving care both individually and systemically/institutionally. ]]> <![CDATA[Operational method of reliability and content-validity analysis: Taking “trait-symptoms” screening of individuals at high-risk for OCD as an example]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13806 A well-designed self-reported scale is highly applicable to current clinical and research practices. However, the problems with the scale method, such as quantitative analysis of content validity and test-retest reliability analysis of state-like variables are yet to be resolved. The main purpose of this paper is to propose an operational method for solving these problems. Additionally, it aims to enhance understanding of the research paradigm for the scale method (excluding criterion-related validity). This paper used a study that involved screening of high-risk groups for OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), conducted 5 rounds of tests, and developed scales, reliability, and validity analysis (using sample sizes of 496, 610, 600, 600 and 990). The operational method we propose is practical, feasible, and can be used to develop and validate a scale.

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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[Mortality estimates by age and sex among persons living with HIV after ART initiation in Zambia using electronic medical records supplemented with tracing a sample of lost patients: A cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13858 Despite many studies demonstrating differences in HIV-related outcomes between men and women on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa, few studies use a probability sample that would enable them to offer regionally representative estimates.Many studies taken from routine service delivery settings are unable to account for outcomes among individuals lost to follow-up, which may threaten the validity of estimates comparing mortality in men and women.Furthermore, whether differences in survival between men and women vary across other important sociodemographic characteristics (such as age) remains underexplored.What did the researchers do and find?We used a multistage sampling approach to enumerate an analysis population of HIV-positive patients visiting public health facilities in 4 provinces in Zambia (Lusaka, Southern, Eastern, and Western).We estimated the association between sex and mortality overall and by age, adjusting for other sociodemographic and clinical characteristics.Of 49,129 adults newly initiating ART, the mortality rate was almost twice as high in men compared to women.Analysis of age-by-sex interactions revealed particularly elevated mortality among young males (as compared to females of the same age). While mortality rates appeared to fall with age among men, mortality rates rose with age among women, and by 50 years of age, women had a 2–3 times higher rate of death compared to women under 30.What do these findings mean?Among adults living with HIV in Zambia, men on average experience greater mortality compared to women, but this difference varies markedly by age, even after adjustment for other sociodemographic and clinical characteristics (e.g., baseline level of immunosuppression).Additional means of engaging and supporting younger men in HIV care is urgently needed and may include improved access to self-testing, use of financial incentives, and male-friendly services that feature flexible hours, an integrated multi-disease care model, and reduced visit frequency.Rising mortality associated with age in women greater than would be expected in the general population suggests that health services targeting women of reproductive age may be in part responsible for good clinical outcomes in younger women, but also highlights the need for specific programs to engage older women in care. ]]> <![CDATA[Women’s empowerment as self-compassion?: Empirical observations from  India]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13876 Although ICPD brought about an international consensus on the centrality of women’s empowerment and gender equity as desired national goals, the conceptualization and measurement of empowerment in demography and economics have been largely understood in a relational and in a family welfare context where women’s altruistic behaviour within the household is tied either to developmental or child health outcomes. The goals of this study were twofold: (1) to offer an empirical examination of the household level empowerment measure through the theoretical construct of self-compassion and investigate its association with antenatal health, and (2) to ensure robust psychometric quality for this new measure. Drawing data from the nationally representative, multi-topic dataset of 42, 152 households, India Human Development Survey, IHDS II (2011–2012), the study performed a confirmatory factor analysis followed by an OLS estimation to investigate the association between a self-compassionate based empowerment and antenatal care. Empowerment was shown to be positively and significantly associated with antenatal care with significant age and education gradient. A woman’s married status, her relation to the household head and joint family residence created conditions of restricted freedom in terms of her mobility, decision making and sociality. The empowerment measure showed inconsistent associations with social group affiliations and household wealth. The study provided an intellectual starting point to rethink the traditional formulations of empowerment by foregrounding its empirical measure within the relatively unexplored area of social psychology. In the process it addressed measurement gaps in the empowerment-health debate in India and beyond.

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<![CDATA[The association between national income and adult obesity prevalence: Empirical insights into temporal patterns and moderators of the association using 40 years of data across 147 countries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13857 At a country level, population obesity prevalence is often associated with economic affluence, reflecting a potential adverse outcome concomitant with economic growth. We estimated the pattern and strength of the empirically observed relationship between national income and adult obesity prevalence, and the moderating role of countries’ macro-environments on this relationship.MethodsWe assembled data on national obesity prevalence, income and a range of variables that characterize macro-environments related to 147 countries from multiple international organizations and databases. We used a Bayesian hierarchical model to estimate the relationship (elasticities) between national income (using Gross Domestic Product Per Capita, GDPPC) and adult obesity prevalence, and the moderating effects of five different dimensions (globalization orientation, demographic characteristics, economic environment, labor market characteristics, and strength of health policies) of countries’ macro-environments on the income elasticities. Using the latest (2019–2024) available national income growth projections from the International Monetary Fund, we forecast future global trends in obesity prevalence.FindingsOver the 40-years 1975–2014, adult obesity prevalence increased at a declining rate with GDPPC across the 147 countries. The mean income elasticity estimates were 1.23 (95% credible interval 1.04–1.42) for males and 1.01 (0.82–1.18) for females. The elasticities were positively associated with the extent of political globalization and negatively associated with urbanization and share of agriculture in the national GDP. Income based projections indicate that obesity prevalence would continue to grow at an average annual rate of 2.47% across the studied countries during 2019–2024.ConclusionsPopulation obesity prevalence exhibits a positive relationship with national income and there is no evidence that the relationship, while weakening, actually turns negative at higher income levels (“obesity Kuznets curve”). Based on current trends, global obesity prevalence will continue to increase during 2019–2024, with the rate of growth higher in low- and middle-income countries. As most people currently live in low- and middle-income countries with rising incomes, our findings underscore the urgent societal imperatives for effective policy initiatives, especially those that target the concomitant “nutrition transition” process with economic affluence, to break or at least further weaken the positive relationship of population obesity prevalence with national income. ]]> <![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[The effect of monetary incentive on survey response for vulnerable children and youths: A randomized controlled trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13807 In surveys non-responders may introduce bias and lower the validity of the studies. Ways to increase response rates are therefore important. The purpose of the study was to investigate if an unconditional monetary incentive can increase the response rate for vulnerable children and youths in a postal questionnaire survey.MethodsThe study was designed as a randomized controlled trial. The study population consisted of 262 children and youth who participated in an established intervention study aimed at creating networks for different groups of vulnerable children and youths. The mean age of the participants was 16.7 years (range 11–28) and 67.9% were female. The questionnaire was adapted to three different age groups and covered different aspects of the participants’ life situation, including the dimensions from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). In the follow-up survey, participants were randomly allocated to two groups that either received a €15 voucher for a supermarket together with the questionnaire or only received the questionnaire. We used Poisson regression to estimate the differences in response rate (Rate Ratio RR) between the intervention group and the control group.ResultsThe response rate was 75.5% in the intervention group and 42.9% in the control group. The response rate in the intervention group was significantly higher than in the control group when adjusting for age and gender (Rate Ratio, RR 1.73; 95% CI 1.38–2.17). We did not find any significant differences in scales scores between the two groups for the five scales of the SDQ. In stratified analyses, we found the effect of the incentive to be higher for males (RR 2.81; 95% CI 1.61–4.91) than for females (1.43; 95% CI 1.12–1.84).ConclusionsMonetary incentives can increase the response rate for vulnerable children and youths in surveys.Trial registrationThe trial was retrospectively registered at ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01741675. ]]> <![CDATA[Warm, lively, rough? Assessing agreement on aesthetic effects of artworks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13856 The idea that simple visual elements such as colors and lines have specific, universal associations—for example red being warm—appears rather intuitive. Such associations have formed a basis for the description of artworks since the 18th century and are still fundamental to discourses on art today. Art historians might describe a painting where red is dominant as “warm,” “aggressive,” or “lively,” with the tacit assumption that beholders would universally associate the works’ certain key forms with specific qualities, or “aesthetic effects”. However, is this actually the case? Do we actually share similar responses to the same line or color? In this paper, we tested whether and to what extent this assumption of universality (sharing of perceived qualities) is justified. We employed—for the first time—abstract artworks as well as single elements (lines and colors) extracted from these artworks in an experiment in which participants rated the stimuli on 14 “aesthetic effect” scales derived from art literature and empirical aesthetics. To test the validity of the assumption of universality, we examined on which of the dimensions there was agreement, and investigated the influence of art expertise, comparing art historians with lay people. In one study and its replication, we found significantly lower agreement than expected. For the whole artworks, participants agreed on the effects of warm-cold, heavy-light, and happy-sad, but not on 11 other dimensions. Further, we found that the image type (artwork or its constituting elements) was a major factor influencing agreement; people agreed more on the whole artwork than on single elements. Art expertise did not play a significant role and agreement was especially low on dimensions usually of interest in empirical aesthetics (e.g., like-dislike). Our results challenge the practice of interpreting artworks based on their aesthetic effects, as these effects may not be as universal as previously thought.

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<![CDATA[Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the trail-making test in older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13819 The trail-making test (TMT) is a popular neuropsychological test, which is used extensively to measure cognitive impairment associated with neurodegenerative disorders in older adults. Behavioural performance on the TMT has been investigated in older populations, but there is limited research on task-related brain activity in older adults. The current study administered a naturalistic version of the TMT to a healthy older-aged population in an MRI environment using a novel, MRI-compatible tablet. Functional MRI was conducted during task completion, allowing characterization of the brain activity associated with the TMT. Performance on the TMT was evaluated using number of errors and seconds per completion of each link. Results are reported for 36 cognitively healthy older adults between the ages of 52 and 85. Task-related activation was observed in extensive regions of the bilateral frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes as well as key motor areas. Increased age was associated with reduced brain activity and worse task performance. Specifically, older age was correlated with decreased task-related activity in the bilateral occipital, temporal and parietal lobes. These results suggest that healthy older aging significantly affects brain function during the TMT, which consequently may result in performance decrements. The current study reveals the brain activation patterns underlying TMT performance in a healthy older aging population, which functions as an important, clinically-relevant control to compare to pathological aging in future investigations.

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<![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[Breeding practices and trait preferences of smallholder farmers for indigenous sheep in the northwest highlands of Ethiopia: Inputs to design a breeding program]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7865 The aim of this study was to identify breeding practices and trait preferences for indigenous sheep in three districts (Estie, Farta and Lay Gayient) located in the northwest highlands of Ethiopia. Questionnaire survey and choice experiment methods were used to collect data from 370 smallholder farmers. Respondents were selected randomly among smallholder farmers who own sheep in the aforementioned districts. A generalized multinomial logit model was employed to examine preferences for sheep attributes, while descriptive statistics and index values were computed to describe sheep breeding practices. Having the highest index value of 0.36, income generation was ranked as the primary reason for keeping sheep, followed by meat and manure sources. The average flock size per smallholder farmer was 10.21 sheep. The majority of the smallholder farmers (91%) have the experience of selecting breeding rams and ewes within their own flock using diverse criteria. Given the highest index value of 0.34, body size was ranked as a primary ram and ewe selection criteria, followed by coat color. Furthermore, choice modeling results revealed that tail type, body size, coat color, growth rate, horn and ear size have shown significant influences on smallholder farmers’ preference for breeding rams (P<0.01). The part-worth utility coefficients were positive for all ram attributes except ear size. For breeding ewes, mothering ability, coat color, body size, lambing interval, growth rate, tail type and litter size have shown significant effects on choice preferences of smallholder farmers (P<0.05). Moreover, significant scale heterogeneity was observed among respondents for ewe attributes (P<0.001). Overall, the results implied that sheep breeding objectives suitable for the northwest highlands of the country can be derived from traits such as linear body measurement, weight and survival at different ages, and lambing intervals. However, selection decisions at the smallholder level should not only be based on estimated breeding values of traits included in the breeding objective but instead, incorporate ways to address farmers’ preference for qualitative traits.

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<![CDATA[Towards universal coverage for nutrition services in children under five years—A descriptive analysis of the capacity of level one hospitals to provide nutrition services in five provinces of Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7846 Malnutrition continues to be a major public health challenge in Zambia. To effectively address this, health systems must be well strengthened to deliver an effective continuum of care. This paper examines health systems issues and services in relation to nutritional support to children under five years, in order to identify gaps and propose interventions towards universal coverage of essential nutrition services.MethodsThis analysis utilized data from a cross sectional mixed-methods study on factors associated with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in under-five children to assess health facility nutrition services on offer at select level-one hospitals in five out of ten provinces in Zambia. Stata version 13 was used for analysis. We conducted univariate analysis to assess nutrition services offered, functionality of equipment and tools, availability of human resource and human resource development, and availability of drugs used for assessment and management of nutrition-related health outcomes.ResultsWe found large variations in the level of nutrition services on offer across districts and provinces. Eighty-eight percent of all the hospitals sampled provided group nutrition counseling and 92% of the hospitals in our sample offered individual nutrition counseling to their clients. Overall, the existence of referral and counter-referral systems between the Community Based Volunteers and hospitals were the lowest among all services assessed at 48% and 58% respectively. We also found inadequate numbers of human resource across all cadres with an exception of nutritionists as recommended by the Ministry of Health.ConclusionsThis study has revealed a number of gaps in the health system and health service delivery that requires to be addressed; most notably, a lack of tools, policies and guidelines, drugs and health specialists to help care for malnourished infants and children. Our findings also reveal inadequate referral systems between the community and health facilities in the management of severe acute malnutrition. Achieving universal coverage for nutrition services in Zambia will require a lot more attention to the health systems issues found in this study. ]]> <![CDATA[A descriptive cross sectional study comparing barriers and determinants of physical activity of Sri Lankan middle aged and older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7830 Benefits of physical activities are numerous. Barriers for physical exercise may differ among middle aged and older adults. Therefore, identifying and comparing the barriers for participating in regular physical exercises among middle aged and older adults will be useful in designing age specific physical exercise programmes.MethodsThis descriptive cross sectional study was carried out among 206 Sri Lankan adults in the age range of 40–84 years in the Colombo North region of Sri Lanka using culturally validated questionnaires to determine and compare the barriers and factors associated with regular physical activity participation. Majority were males (56%) and 54% were < 60 years. People in the age range of 40–59 years were considered as middle age and ≥ 60 years as older adults. Bivariate analysis and multivariate analysis was carried out to determine the significant factors that are associated with regular physical activity participation.ResultsLack of free time (52%), feeling too lazy (26%) and bad weather (29%) were the main barriers for the participants. In < 60 years, high level of income (p = 0.008) and in ≥ 60 years, being a male (p = 0.016), having a high level of education (P = 0.002) and a high BMI (p = 0.002) had a significant negative association with the level of physical activities.ConclusionsContrary to findings from surveys in several developed countries, this study showed that having a high level of education and being a male were strongly related with lack of physical activity participation. ]]>