ResearchPad - professions 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[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[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[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[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[Development and validation of a questionnaire to assess healthcare personnel competence in cardiac arrest and resuscitation in pregnancy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7826 Cardiac arrest is rare in pregnancy, and up-to date competence can be difficult to assess and maintain. The objective of this study was to develop and validate a questionnaire to assess healthcare personnel experiences, self-assessed competence and perception of role and resposibility related to cardiac arrest and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in pregnancyMethodsThe study had a cross-sectional design, developing and validating a questionnaire: the Competence in cardiac arrest and CPR in pregnancy (ComCA-P). Development and validation of the ComCA-P was conducted in three stages: 1) Literature review and expert group panel inputs, 2) a pilot study and 3) a cross-sectional questionnaire study. In stage one, the ComCA-P was developed over several iterations between the researchers, including inputs from an expert group panel consisting of highly competent professionals (n = 11). In stage two, the questionnaire was piloted in a group of healthcare personnel with relevant competence (n = 16). The ComCA-P was then used in a baseline study including healthcare personnel potentially involved in CPR in pregnancy (n = 527) in six hospital wards. Based on these data, internal consistency, intra-class correlations, and confirmatory factor analysis were utilized to validate the questionnaire.ResultsThe expert group and pilot study participants evaluated the appropriateness, relevance and accuracy to be high. Formulation of the items was considered appropriate, with no difficulties identified related to content- or face validity. Cronbach’s alpha was 0.8 on the thematic area self-assessment, and 0.73 on the theoretical knowledge area of the ComCA-P. On both the self-assessed competence items and the teoretical knowledge items, Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin was 0.8. Moreover, the Bertletts’ test of sphericity was greater than the critical value for chi-square, and significant (p < .0001).ConclusionsFindings indicate that the ComCA-P is a valid questionnaire that can be used to assess healthcare personnel competence in cardiac arrest and resuscitation in pregnancy. ]]> <![CDATA[Effect of minimally invasive autopsy and ethnic background on acceptance of clinical postmortem investigation in adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7646 Autopsy rates worldwide have dropped significantly over the last five decades. Imaging based autopsies are increasingly used as alternatives to conventional autopsy (CA). The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the introduction of minimally invasive autopsy, consisting of CT, MRI and tissue biopsies on the overall autopsy rate (of CA and minimally invasive autopsy) and the autopsy rate among different ethnicities.MethodsWe performed a prospective single center before-after study. The intervention was the introduction of minimally invasive autopsy as an alternative to CA. Minimally invasive autopsy consisted of MRI, CT, and CT-guided tissue biopsies. Autopsy rates over time and the effect of introducing minimally invasive autopsy were analyzed with a linear regression model. We performed a subgroup analysis comparing the autopsy rates of two groups: a group of western-European ethnicity versus a group of other ethnicities.ResultsAutopsy rates declined from 14.0% in 2010 to 8.3% in 2019. The linear regression model showed a significant effect of both time and availability of minimally invasive autopsy on the overall autopsy rate. The predicted autopsy rate in the model started at 15.1% in 2010 and dropped approximately 0.1% per month (β = -0.001, p < 0.001). Availability of minimally invasive autopsy increased the overall autopsy rate by 2.4% (β = 0.024, p < 0.001). The overall autopsy rate of people with an ethnic background other than western-European was significantly higher in years when minimally invasive autopsy was available compared to when it was not (22/176 = 12.5% vs. 81/1014 (8.0%), p = 0.049).ConclusionsThe introduction of the minimally invasive autopsy had a small, but significant effect on the overall autopsy rate. Furthermore, the minimally invasive autopsy appears to be more acceptable than CA among people with an ethnicity other than western-European. ]]> <![CDATA[A new simple brain segmentation method for extracerebral intracranial tumors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb837d809-9647-425d-8dfd-2c3174a6dd80

Normal brain segmentation is available via FreeSurfer, Vbm, and Ibaspm software. However, these software packages cannot perform segmentation of the brain for patients with brain tumors. As we know, damage from extracerebral tumors to the brain occurs mainly by way of pushing and compressing while leaving the structure of the brain intact. Three-dimensional (3D) imaging, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) technology have begun to be applied in clinical practice. The free medical open-source software 3D Slicer allows us to perform 3D simulations on a computer and requires little user interaction. Moreover, 3D Slicer can integrate with the third-party software mentioned above. The relationship between the tumor and surrounding brain tissue can be judged, but accurate brain segmentation cannot be performed using 3D Slicer. In this study, we combine 3D Slicer and FreeSurfer to provide a novel brain segmentation method for extracerebral tumors. This method can help surgeons identify the “real” relationship between the lesion and adjacent brain tissue before surgery and improve preoperative planning.

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<![CDATA[Deep learning assessment of breast terminal duct lobular unit involution: Towards automated prediction of breast cancer risk]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8ae86a5e-90c1-41b1-ba31-58a5a939e3bc

Terminal duct lobular unit (TDLU) involution is the regression of milk-producing structures in the breast. Women with less TDLU involution are more likely to develop breast cancer. A major bottleneck in studying TDLU involution in large cohort studies is the need for labor-intensive manual assessment of TDLUs. We developed a computational pathology solution to automatically capture TDLU involution measures. Whole slide images (WSIs) of benign breast biopsies were obtained from the Nurses’ Health Study. A set of 92 WSIs was annotated for acini, TDLUs and adipose tissue to train deep convolutional neural network (CNN) models for detection of acini, and segmentation of TDLUs and adipose tissue. These networks were integrated into a single computational method to capture TDLU involution measures including number of TDLUs per tissue area, median TDLU span and median number of acini per TDLU. We validated our method on 40 additional WSIs by comparing with manually acquired measures. Our CNN models detected acini with an F1 score of 0.73±0.07, and segmented TDLUs and adipose tissue with Dice scores of 0.84±0.13 and 0.87±0.04, respectively. The inter-observer ICC scores for manual assessments on 40 WSIs of number of TDLUs per tissue area, median TDLU span, and median acini count per TDLU were 0.71, 0.81 and 0.73, respectively. Intra-observer reliability was evaluated on 10/40 WSIs with ICC scores of >0.8. Inter-observer ICC scores between automated results and the mean of the two observers were: 0.80 for number of TDLUs per tissue area, 0.57 for median TDLU span, and 0.80 for median acini count per TDLU. TDLU involution measures evaluated by manual and automated assessment were inversely associated with age and menopausal status. We developed a computational pathology method to measure TDLU involution. This technology eliminates the labor-intensiveness and subjectivity of manual TDLU assessment, and can be applied to future breast cancer risk studies.

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<![CDATA[Feasibility of establishing an HIV vaccine preparedness cohort in a population of the Uganda Police Force: Lessons learnt from a prospective study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne890bb8a-5661-4c39-82f7-6f40a2e69675

Background

Members of uniformed armed forces are considered to be at high risk for HIV infection and have been proposed as suitable candidates for participation in HIV intervention studies. We report on the feasibility of recruitment and follow up of individuals from the community of the Uganda Police Force (UPF) for an HIV vaccine preparedness study.

Methods

HIV-negative volunteers aged 18–49 years, were identified from UPF facilities situated in Kampala and Wakiso districts through community HIV counselling and testing. Potential volunteers were referred to the study clinic for screening, enrolment and quarterly visits for one year. HIV incidence, retention rates were estimated and expressed as cases per 100 person years of observation (PYO). Rate ratios were used to determine factors associated with retention using Poisson regression models.

Results

We screened 560 to enroll 500 volunteers between November 2015 and May 2016. One HIV seroconversion occurred among 431 PYO, for an incidence rate of 0.23/100 PYO (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.03–1.64). Overall, retention rate was 87% at one year, and this was independently associated with residence duration (compared to <1 year, 1 to 5 years adjusted rate ratio (aRR) = 1.19, 95%CI: 1.00–1.44); and >5 years aRR = 1.34, 95%CI: 0.95–1.37); absence of genital discharge in the last 3 months (aRR = 1.97, 95% CI: 1.38–2.83, absence of genital ulcers (aRR = 1.90, 95%CI: 1.26–2.87, reporting of new sexual partner in the last month (aRR = 0.57, 95%CI: 0.45–0.71, being away from home for more than two nights (aRR = 1.27, 95%CI: 1.04–1.56, compared to those who had not travelled) and absence of knowledge on HIV prevention (aRR = 2.67, 95%CI: 1.62–4.39).

Conclusions

While our study demonstrates the feasibility of recruiting and retaining individuals from the UPF for HIV research, we did observe lower than anticipated HIV incidence, perhaps because individuals at lower risk of HIV infection may have been the first to come forward to participate or participants followed HIV risk reduction measures. Our findings suggest lessons for recruitment of populations at high risk of HIV infection.

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<![CDATA[Assessment of availability, awareness and perception of stakeholders regarding preschool vision screening in Kumasi, Ghana: An exploratory study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N637f6c02-dcec-48f9-ae4a-5e42bca666db

Background

Regardless of the importance of preschool vision screening (PSVS), there is limited data on the current state of these programs in Africa (particularly Ghana). This study sought to investigate the level of awareness and perception of stakeholders regarding PSVS, its availability and related policies/programmes in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana.

Methods

This descriptive cross-sectional study included 100 systematically sampled preschools in the metropolis (using probability proportional-to-size method); 72 private schools and 28 public schools. Convenience sampling was used to recruit stakeholders of preschools (teachers, head teachers, proprietors, administrators, directors, and educationists), and were interviewed using a well-structured questionnaire. Questionnaires were administered to all eligible respondents who were present at the time of data collection.

Results

A total of 344 respondents participated in the study; 123 (35.8%) males and 221 (64.2%) females. The overall mean age of respondents was 37.63 ±12.20 years (18–71 years). Of the respondents, 215 (62.5%), 94 (27.3%), and 35 (10.2%) were enrolled from private schools, public schools, and Metropolitan Education Directorate, respectively. 73.8% of respondents reported the absence of routine PSVS in schools whereas 90.1% reported no written policies for PSVS in schools. Only 63.6% of respondents were aware of PSVS whereas more than half (59.6%) of all respondents perceived PSVS to be very important for preschoolers. Private school ownership was significantly associated with availability of PSVS whereas age, teachers, private school ownership, and preschool experience > 10 years were significantly associated with awareness of PSVS (P < 0.05). However, there was no significant association between sociodemographic factors and perception of PSVS.

Conclusion

PSVS is largely unavailable in most Ghanaian schools. Majority of stakeholders were aware of PSVS and agreed to its implementation and incorporation into schools’ health programmes. There is the need to implement a national programme/policy on preschool vision screening in Ghana.

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<![CDATA[Multiple criteria decision analysis approach to consider therapeutic innovations in the emergency department: The methoxyflurane organizational impact in acute trauma pain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N48fe9543-bf7a-4bb3-b7f3-098351efee5f

Background

Acute trauma pain is poorly managed in the emergency department (ED). The reasons are partly organizational: ED crowding and rare trauma care pathways contribute to oligoanalgesia. Anticipating the organizational impact of an innovative care procedure might facilitate the decision-making process and help to optimize pain management.

Methods

We used a multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA) approach to consider the organizational impact of methoxyflurane (self-administered) in the ED, introduced alone or supported by a trauma care pathway. A MCDA experiment was designed for this specific context, 8 experts in emergency trauma care pathways (leading physicians and pharmacists working in French urban tertiary hospitals) were recruited. The study involved four steps: (i) Selection of organizational criteria for evaluating the innovation’s impact; (ii) assessment of the relative weight of each criterion; (iii) choice of appropriate scenarios for exploring the organizational impact of MEOX under various contexts; and (iv) software-assisted simulation based on pairwise comparisons of the scenarios. The final outcome measure was the expected overall organizational impact of methoxyflurane on a 0-to-100 scale (score >50: positive impact).

Results

Nine organizational criteria were selected. "Mean length of stay in the ED" was the most weighted. Methoxyflurane alone obtained 59 as a total score, with a putative positive impact for eight criteria, and a neutral effect on one. When a trauma care pathway was introduced concomitantly, the impact of methoxyflurane was greater overall (score: 75) and for each individual criterion.

Conclusions

Our model highlighted the putative positive organizational impact of methoxyflurane in the ED—particularly when supported by a trauma care pathway—and the relevance of expert consensus in this particular pharmacoeconomic context. The MCDA approach could be extended to other research fields and healthcare challenges in emergency medicine.

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<![CDATA[Characterization of e-Government adoption in Europe]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N2f6308d0-16b2-46c8-b471-69fa510f181d

The digital divide in Europe has not yet been bridged and thus more contributions towards understanding the factors affecting the different dimensions involved are required. This research offers some insights into the topic by analyzing the e-Government adoption or practical use of e-Government across Europe (26 EU countries). Based on the data provided by the statistical office of the European Union (Eurostat), we defined two indexes, the E-Government Use Index (EGUI) and an extreme version of it taking into account only null or complete use (EGUI+), and characterized the use/non use of e-Government tools using supervised learning procedures in a selection of countries with different e-Government adoption levels. These procedures achieved an average accuracy of 73% and determined the main factors related to the practical use of e-Government in each of the countries, e.g. the frequency of buying goods over the Internet or the education level. In addition, we compared the proposed indexes to other indexes measuring the level of e-readiness of a country such as the E-Government Development Index (EGDI) its Online Service Index (OSI) component, the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) and its Government usage component (GU). The ranking comparison found that EGUI+ is correlated with the four indexes mentioned at 0.05 significance level, as the majority of countries were ranked in similar positions. The outcomes contribute to gaining understanding about the factors influencing the use of e-Government in Europe and the different adoption levels.

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<![CDATA[Beware of vested interests: Epistemic vigilance improves reasoning about scientific evidence (for some people)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na4c1a7a8-d330-434e-b120-e60e98785391

In public disputes, stakeholders sometimes misrepresent statistics or other types of scientific evidence to support their claims. One of the reasons this is problematic is that citizens often do not have the motivation nor the cognitive skills to accurately judge the meaning of statistics and thus run the risk of being misinformed. This study reports an experiment investigating the conditions under which people become vigilant towards a source’s claim and thus reason more carefully about the supporting evidence. For this, participants were presented with a claim by a vested-interest or a neutral source and with statistical evidence which was cited by the source as being in support of the claim. However, this statistical evidence actually contradicted the source’s claim but was presented as a contingency table, which are typically difficult for people to interpret correctly. When the source was a lobbyist arguing for his company’s product people were better at interpreting the evidence compared to when the same source argued against the product. This was not the case for a different vested-interests source nor for the neutral source. Further, while all sources were rated as less trustworthy when participants realized that the source had misrepresented the evidence, only for the lobbyist source was this seen as a deliberate attempt at deception. Implications for research on epistemic trust, source credibility effects and science communication are discussed.

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<![CDATA[“It is always better for a man to know his HIV status” – A qualitative study exploring the context, barriers and facilitators of HIV testing among men in Nairobi, Kenya]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N633bb09e-858a-4016-b37a-13e5d588b21f

HIV testing services are an important component of HIV program and provide an entry point for clinical care for persons newly diagnosed with HIV. Although uptake of HIV testing has increased in Kenya, men are still less likely than women to get tested and access services. There is, however, limited understanding of the context, barriers and facilitators of HIV testing among men in the country. Data are from in-depth interviews with 30 men living with HIV and 8 HIV testing counsellors that were conducted to gain insights on motivations and drivers for HIV testing among men in the city of Nairobi. Men were identified retroactively by examining clinical CD4 registers on early and late diagnosis (e.g. CD4 of ≥500 cells/mm, early diagnosis and <500 cells/mm, late diagnosis). Analysis involved identifying broad themes and generating descriptive codes and categories. Timing for early testing is linked with strong social support systems and agency to test, while cost of testing, choice of facility to test and weak social support systems (especially poor inter-partner relations) resulted in late testing. Minimal discussions occurred prior to testing and whenever there was dialogue it happened with partners or other close relatives. Interrelated barriers at individual, health-care system, and interpersonal levels hindered access to testing services. Specifically, barriers to testing included perceived providers attitudes, facility location and set up, wait time/inconvenient clinic times, low perception of risk, limited HIV knowled ge, stigma, discrimination and fear of having a test. High risk perception, severe illness, awareness of partner’s status, confidentiality, quality of services and supplies, flexible/extended opening hours, and pre–and post–test counselling were facilitators. Experiences between early and late testers overlapped though there were minor differences. In order to achieve the desired impact nationally and to attain the 90-90-90 targets, multiple interventions addressing both barriers and facilitators to testing are needed to increase uptake of testing and to link the positive to care.

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<![CDATA[Children’s descriptions of playing and learning as related processes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb68d6bfc-75c6-4e1a-9b4b-3dced51d37df

Many studies have examined children’s understanding of playing and learning as separate concepts, but the ways that children relate playing and learning to one another remain relatively unexplored. The current study asked 5- to 8-year-olds (N = 92) to define playing and learning, and examined whether children defined them as abstract processes or merely as labels for particular types of activities. We also asked children to state whether playing and learning can occur simultaneously, and examined whether they could give examples of playing and learning with attributes either congruent or incongruent with those activities. Older children were more likely to define both playing and learning in terms of abstract processes, rather than by describing particular topics or activities. Children who defined both playing and learning in this way were able to generate more examples of situations where they were simultaneously playing and learning, and were better able to generate examples of learning with characteristics of play, and examples of playing with characteristics of learning. These data suggest that children develop an understanding that learning and playing can coincide. These results are critical to researchers and educators who seek to integrate play and learning, as children’s beliefs about these concepts can influence how they reflect on playful learning opportunities.

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<![CDATA[Will COVID-19 become the next neglected tropical disease?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N3ea3a36c-f707-4121-8cab-1c306bbb1993 ]]>