ResearchPad - religion https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Recreational drug use among Nigerian university students: Prevalence, correlates and frequency of use]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15734 Given the paucity of data on recreational drug use and the recent media attention on the abuse of drugs such as codeine cough syrups and tramadol, in Nigeria, our study examined the prevalence and frequency of recreational drug use among young adults from two Nigerian universities. We drew from the Socio-ecological Model to examine the influence of factors at the individual and family level on recreational drug use among adolescents and young adults.MethodsThis cross-sectional study was conducted between February and March 2018 among a final sample of 784 male and female university students selected using stratified random sampling. Binary logistic regression was used to identify significant predictors of ever use and current use of drugs.ResultsOur analyses showed that 24.5% of students had ever used drugs for recreational purposes, and 17.5% are current users. The median drug use frequency over the past month was six days among current users (n = 137). In the multivariable analyses, living in the same household as one's mother (AOR 0.28 95% CI 0.16–0.49), adequate family support (AOR 0.48 95% CI 0.26–0.89) and frequent attendance of religious fellowships (AOR 0.13 95% CI 0.07–0.25) were significantly associated with a lower likelihood of recreational drug use. However, male sex (AOR 1.52 95% CI 1.05–2.21) was associated with higher odds of recreational drug use.ConclusionThe family should be considered as an important unit to sensitize young people on the harmful effects of drug use. It is also vital that religious leaders speak against drug use in their various fellowships. There is a need to address recreational drug use on Nigerian campuses by educating students about its adverse impacts. ]]> <![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[Barriers and facilitating factors in the prevention of diabetes type 2 and gestational diabetes in vulnerable groups: A scoping review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13859 Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and gestational diabetes (GDM) are globally on the rise, accompanied by comorbidities and associated health costs. Increased physical activity, healthy nutrition, and weight loss have shown the potential to prevent T2DM/GDM. Despite this, reaching vulnerable groups remains a key challenge. The aim of this scoping review was to identify barriers and facilitating factors in the prevention of T2DM/GDM in vulnerable groups.MethodsWe conducted a systematic literature search in May 2018, updated in September 2019, in several databases (e.g. PubMed, Embase) to identify barriers and facilitating factors in the prevention of T2DM/GDM in vulnerable groups. Two reviewers independently screened the results. Extracted data was charted, categorized, and summarized.ResultsWe included 125 articles. Ninety-eight studies were extracted, and eight categories of barriers and facilitating factors were formed. The most common categories of barriers were limited knowledge, family/friends, and economic factors, and the most common categories of facilitating factors were family/friends, social support, and knowledge.ConclusionThis scoping review identified various barriers and facilitating factors in vulnerable groups. Preventive interventions should consider these barriers and facilitating factors in developing preventive interventions or in adapting existing ones. ]]> <![CDATA[Systematic scoping review of the concept of ‘genetic identity’ and its relevance for germline modification]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb5b3e5e6-9f74-4bf5-850c-740f6e227f81

EU legislation prohibits clinical trials that modify germ line ‘genetic identity’. ‘Genetic identity’ however, is left undefined. This study aims to identify the use of the term ‘genetic identity’ in academic literature, and investigate its relevance for debates on genetic modification. A total of 616 articles that contained the term were identified. Content analysis revealed that the term was used in various and contradicting ways and a clear understanding of the term is lacking. This review demonstrates that the EU legislation is open to interpretation, because of the diversity of meaning with which ‘genetic identity’ is currently used. Because of the diversity of meaning with which ‘genetic identity’ is used and understood, further reflection is needed. This requires further medical, legal, ethical and social debate and a coordinated response at both a European and a global level.

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<![CDATA[The role of moral reasoning & personality in explaining lyrical preferences]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N58765145-20be-4ad7-966a-c2141b60fcef

Previous research has supported that personality traits can act to a precursor to media preferences. Due to the ongoing association between morality and media preferences in public and political discourse (e.g., blaming immoral behaviours on media preferences), this research sought to expand the knowledge about factors that contribute to media preferences by investigating if moral reasoning styles explain some of the variance that was not already explained by personality traits. A specific form of media preferences were chosen – lyrical preferences in metal music – as claims between metal lyrical themes and behaviour have been ongoing since the 1980s, despite a lack of empirical evidence to support these claims. A lyrical preferences scale was developed, and utilizing this scale, it was found that different types of metal fans exhibit different moral reasoning styles dependent on their metal sub-genre identification. Further, it was found that moral reasoning styles explain a portion of the variance in lyrical preferences that weren’t already explained by personality traits. In particular, lyrical preferences were often thematically consistent with moral reasoning content and personality traits, such as that individuals that preferred lyrics about celebrating metal culture and unity had higher levels of the group loyalty moral reasoning domain alongside being higher in extraversion. The implications of moral reasoning styles and personality traits as being precursors to media preferences are discussed.

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<![CDATA[“Even if she’s really sick at home, she will pretend that everything is fine.”: Delays in seeking care and treatment for advanced HIV disease in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9efd5eed0c48452a55d

Introduction

HIV prevalence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is estimated to be 1.2%, and access to HIV testing and treatment remains low across the country. Despite advances in treatment, HIV continues to be one of the main reasons for hospitalisation and death in low- and middle-income countries, including DRC, but the reasons why people delay seeking health-care when they are extremely sick remain little understood. People in Kinshasa, DRC, continue to present to health-care facilities in an advanced stage of HIV when they are close to death and needing intensive treatment.

Methods

This qualitative study was conducted in one health-care facility in Kinshasa. A total of 24 in-depth interviews with purposively selected health-care workers, patients and care-givers were conducted. Patients were currently or previously hospitalised with advanced HIV, defined as CD4 count <200 cells/μl. Patients included those who had previously started antiretroviral treatment (ART), and those who had not. Participant observation was also carried out. Interviews were audio-recorded, translated from French and Lingala into English, transcribed, coded and thematically analysed using NVivo.

Results

The main reasons for delaying access to health-care were stigmatisation, religious beliefs and limited economic resources. Stigmatisation meant that people feared disclosing their HIV status and thus did not receive support from their families. Religious leaders were reported to have encouraged people not to take ART. Patients delayed seeking treatment as they could not afford it, and health-care workers believed that staff at other facilities in Kinshasa were delaying HIV diagnoses for economic benefit.

Conclusions

Delays in accessing care and treatment linked to stigma, religious beliefs and economic factors contribute to explaining the persistence of advanced HIV within this context. Access to free HIV-testing, ART and treatment of opportunistic infections; counselling; training of health-care workers; support for care-givers and stigma reduction strategies are urgently needed to prevent unnecessary deaths.

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<![CDATA[Barriers to effective uptake and provision of immunization in a rural district in Uganda]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1537d5eed0c48467aee3

Introduction

Hoima, one of the largest districts in mid- western Uganda, has persistently performed poorly with low immunization coverage, high immunization drop outs rates and repeated outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases especially measles. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the state of immunization services and to identify the gaps in immunization health systems that contribute to low uptake and completion of immunization schedules in Hoima District.

Methods

This was a cross sectional mixed methods study, utilizing both qualitative and quantitative approaches. A situation analysis of the immunization services was carried out using in-depth interviews with vaccinators, focus group discussions and key informant interviews with ethno-videography. Secondary data was sourced from records at headquarters and vaccination centres within Hoima District. The quantitative component utilized cluster random sampling with sample size estimated using the World Health Organization’s 30 cluster sampling technique.

Results

A total of 311 caretaker/child pairs were included in the study. Immunization completion among children of age at least 12 months was 95% for BCG, 96% for OPV0, 93% for DPT1, 84.5% for DPT2, 81% for DPT3 and 65.5% for measles vaccines. Access to immunization centres is difficult due to poor road terrain, which affects effectiveness of outreach program, support supervision, mentorship and timely delivery of immunization program support supplies especially refrigerator gas and vaccines. Some facilities are under-equipped to effectively support the program. Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) identification, reporting and management is poorly understood.

Conclusion

Immunization services in Hoima District require urgent improvement in the following areas: vaccine supply, expanding service delivery points, more health workers, transport and tailored mechanisms to ensure adequate communication between health workers and caretakers.

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<![CDATA[Individual and community level factors associated with health facility delivery: A cross sectional multilevel analysis in Bangladesh]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dca09d5eed0c48452a6ef

Introduction

Improving maternal health remains one of the targets of sustainable development goals. A maternal death can occur at any time during pregnancy, but delivery is by far the most dangerous time for both the woman and her baby. Delivery at a health facility can avoid most maternal deaths occurring from preventable obstetric complications. The influence of both individual and community factors is critical to the use of health facility delivery services. In this study, we aim to examine the role of individual and community factors associated with health facility-based delivery in Bangladesh.

Methods

This cross-sectional study used data from the Bangladesh Maternal Mortality Survey. The sample size constitutes of 28,032 women who had delivered within five years preceding the survey. We fitted logistic random effects regression models with the community as a random effect to assess the influence of individual and community level factors on use of health facility delivery services.

Results

Our study observed substantial amount of variation at the community level. About 28.6% of the total variance in health facility delivery could be attributed to the differences across the community. At community level, place of residence (AOR 1.48; 95% CI 1.35–1.64), concentration of poverty (AOR 1.15; 95% CI 1.03–1.28), concentration of use of antenatal care services (AOR 1.11, 95% CI 1.00–1.23), concentration of media exposure (AOR 1.20, 95% CI 1.07–1.34) and concentration of educated women (AOR 1.12, 95% CI 1.02–1.23) were found to be significantly associated with health facility delivery. At individual level, maternal age, educational status of the mother, religion, parity, delivery complications, individual exposure to media, individual access to antenatal care and household socioeconomic status showed strong association with health facility-based delivery.

Conclusion

Our results strongly suggest factors at both Individual, and community level influenced the use of health facility delivery services in Bangladesh. Thus, any future strategy to improve maternal health in Bangladesh must consider community contexts and undertake multi-sectorial approach to address barriers at different levels. At the individual level the programs should also focus on the need of the young mother, the multiparous the less educated and women in the poorest households.

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<![CDATA[The prevalence of religiosity and association between religiosity and alcohol use, other drug use, and risky sexual behaviours among grade 8-10 learners in Western Cape, South Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dca34d5eed0c48452a8c1

Background

Alcohol and other drug use (AOD) and risky sexual behaviours remain high among adolescents in South Africa and globally. Religiosity influences, mitigates and provides resilience against engaging in risky behaviours among young people but few South African studies have explored potential associations between religiosity, AOD use and risky sex. We report the prevalence of religiosity and association between religiosity and AOD use and risky sexual behaviours among learners in the Western Cape Province, South Africa.

Methods

Between May and August 2011, a cross sectional survey was conducted among 20 227 learners from 240 public schools randomly selected through a stratified multistage sampling design to determine the prevalence of AOD use and sexual risk behaviours. We performed univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses to assess the association between religiosity, AOD use and risky sexual behaviours.

Results

The learners were aged 10–23 years. Almost three quarters (74%) of learners reported high religiosity (defined as attending religious services or activities at least 1–2 times a month). More female than male learners had high religiosity. The prevalence of past 30 day reported alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use was 23%, 19% and 8% respectively. Compared to learners with low religiosity, those with high religiosity were less likely to engage in AOD use: specifically alcohol use, (AOR = 0.86, 95%CI: 0.76–0.97), tobacco use (AOR = 0.76, 95%CI: 0.67–0.87), cannabis use (AOR = 0.57, 95%CI: 0.48–0.68) in the last 30 days. They were also less likely to engage in risky sexual behaviours (AOR = 0.90, 95%CI: 0.81–0.99).

Conclusion

Religiosity was associated with lower odds of reported AOD use and risky sexual behaviours among learners in the Western Cape. This calls for further exploration on how to incorporate religiosity into AOD use and risky sexual behaviour interventions.

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<![CDATA[Role of insurance in determining utilization of healthcare and financial risk protection in India]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633943d5eed0c484ae6374

Background

Universal health coverage has become a policy goal in most developing economies. We assess the association of health insurance (HI) schemes in general, and RSBY (National Health Insurance Scheme) in particular, on extent and pattern of healthcare utilization. Secondly, we assess the relationship of HI and RSBY on out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditures and financial risk protection (FRP).

Methods

A cross-sectional study was undertaken to interview 62335 individuals among 12,134 households in 8 districts of three states in India i.e. Gujarat, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (UP). Data on socio-demographic characteristics, assets, education, occupation, consumption expenditure, illness in last 15 days or hospitalization during last 365 days, treatment sought and its OOP expenditure was collected. We computed catastrophic health expenditures (CHE) as indicator for FRP. Hospitalization rate, choice of care provider and CHE were regressed to assess their association with insurance status and type of insurance scheme, after adjusting for other covariates.

Results

Mean OOP expenditures for outpatient care among insured and uninsured were INR 961 (USD 16) and INR 840 (USD 14); and INR 32573 (USD 543) and INR 24788 (USD 413) for an episode of hospitalization respectively. The prevalence of CHE for hospitalization was 28% and 26% among the insured and uninsured population respectively. No significant association was observed in multivariate analysis between hospitalization rate, choice of care provider or CHE with insurance status or RSBY in particular.

Conclusion

Health insurance in its present form does not seem to provide requisite improvement in access to care or financial risk protection.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence and determinant factors of unintended pregnancy among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics of Addis Zemen hospital]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52cfd5eed0c4842bd074

Introduction

Unintended pregnancy is a pregnancy which is not wanted and/or not planed at the time of conception. It has a major consequence on mothers’ and newborns’ health and its prevalence remains a major health problem in Ethiopia. This study was aimed to assess the prevalence and determinants of unintended pregnancy among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics of Addis Zemen hospital.

Methods

An institutional-based cross-sectional study was employed in Addis Zemen hospital from April 01 to May 30, 2018. The sampled 398 pregnant mothers were selected by systematic random sampling. The data were collected using a-pretested structured questionnaire via face to face interview and the collected data were analyzed by using SPSS Version-20. The data were summarized with frequency and cross-tabulation. Both binary and multiple logistic regressions were used in order to identify predictor variables using odds ratio at 95% confidence interval.

Results

All of 398 mothers answered the questionnaire making the response rate 100%. The prevalence of unintended pregnancy was 26.1% (CI;22.1, 30.4). Women who were multigravid (AOR; 4.7: CI; 2.3, 6.8), women who were multipara (AOR; 2.8: CI; 2.6, 9.7), and women who were from rural (AOR; 2.6: CI; 1.5, 4.6) were more likely experienced unintended pregnancy than their counterparts. Women who were Muslim (AOR; 0.79: CI; 0.6, 0.90) and women who attended secondary education (AOR; 0.58: CI; 0.42, 0.78) were less likely experienced unintended pregnancy.

Conclusion and recommendation

The prevalence of unintended pregnancy is high in the study area. Educational status, parity, gravity, residence, and religion were the most important predictor variables of unintended pregnancy. Reducing the prevalence of unintended pregnancy especially in the rural area is recommended.

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<![CDATA[Socio-economic and demographic disparities in ownership and use of insecticide-treated bed nets for preventing malaria among rural reproductive-aged women in northern Ghana]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fed1d5eed0c48413562d

Background

Malaria continues to be a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) is one of the cost-effective interventions for preventing malaria in endemic settings. Ghana has made tremendous efforts to ensure widespread ownership and use of ITNs. However, national coverage statistics can mask important inequities that demand targeted attention. This study assesses the disparities in ownership and utilization of ITNs among reproductive-aged women in a rural impoverished setting of Ghana.

Methods

Population-based cross-sectional data of 3,993 women between the age of 15 and 49 years were collected in seven districts of the Upper East region of Ghana using a two-stage cluster sampling approach. Bivariate and multivariate regression models were used to assess the social, economic and demographic disparities in ownership and utilization of ITN and to compare utilization rates among women in households owning at least one ITN.

Results

As high as 79% of respondents were found to own ITN while 62% of ITN owners used them the night preceding the survey. We identified disparities in both ownership and utilization of ITNs in wealth index, occupational status, religion, and district of residence. Respondents in the relative richest wealth quintile were 74% more likely to own ITNs compared to those in the poorest quintile (p-value< 0.001, CI = 1.29–2.34) however, they were 33% less likely to use ITNs compared to the poorest (p-value = 0.01, CI = 0.50–0.91).

Conclusion

Interventions aimed at preventing and controlling malaria through the use of bed nets in rural Ghana and other similar settings should give more attention to disadvantage populations such as the poor and unemployed. Tailored massages and educational campaigns are required to ensure consistent use of treated bed nets.

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<![CDATA[How happy are your neighbours? Variation in life satisfaction among 1200 Canadian neighbourhoods and communities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217fed5eed0c484795ed8

This paper presents a new public-use dataset for community-level life satisfaction in Canada, based on more than 500,000 observations from the Canadian Community Health Surveys and the General Social Surveys. The country is divided into 1216 similarly sampled geographic regions, using natural, built, and administrative boundaries. A cross-validation exercise suggests that our choice of minimum sampling thresholds approximately maximizes the predictive power of our estimates. The resulting dataset reveals robust differences in life satisfaction between and across urban and rural communities. We compare aggregated life satisfaction data with a range of key census variables to illustrate some of the ways in which lives differ in the most and least happy communities.

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<![CDATA[Community knowledge, attitude, and perceived stigma of leprosy amongst community members living in Dhanusha and Parsa districts of Southern Central Nepal]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c424369d5eed0c4845e00dc

Background

Though Nepal declared leprosy elimination in 2010, its burden is constantly rising in Terai communities for the past 2 years with 3000 new leprosy cases being diagnosed annually. Community’s perception is important for prevention and control of leprosy and enhancing quality of life of leprosy patients. Poor knowledge, unfavorable attitude and stigma create a hindrance to leprosy control. The main objective of this study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and stigma of leprosy amongst the community members living in Dhanusha and Parsa districts of Southern Central Nepal.

Methods

A total of 423 individuals were interviewed using a structured questionnaire in Dhanusha and Parsa districts. Data was analyzed using both descriptive (frequency, percentage, median) and statistical inferences (Chi-square test, Kruskal Wallis H test, Mann Whitney U test, binary logistic regression) using SPSSvs20.

Results

All respondents had heard about leprosy. Source of information on leprosy was mainly found to be health workers/hospitals (33.1%). Only 62.6% reported bacteria being its cause followed by other myths such as bad blood/curse/heredity/bad deeds (36%). Only 43.8% responded that leprosy is transmitted by prolonged close contact with leprosy patients and 25.7% reported religious rituals as the treatment. Only 42.1% had good knowledge and 40.9% had favorable attitude. Good knowledge of leprosy was highly associated with favorable attitude towards leprosy (P<0.001). The outcome variables- knowledge, attitude and EMIC score were found to have highly significant association with age, sex, ethnicity, religion, education and occupation of the respondents (P<0.001). Having knowledge on leprosy transmission was positively associated with favorable attitude towards leprosy (P<0.001).

Conclusions

Strategizing the awareness programmes according to socio-demographic characteristics for enhancing the knowledge regarding leprosy cause, symptoms, transmission, prevention and treatment, can foster the positive community attitude towards leprosy affected persons. Enhancing positive attitude towards leprosy affected persons can reduce the community stigma, thus may increase their participation in the community. Positive attitude may further increase their early health seeking behaviour including their quality of life.

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<![CDATA[Resisting hostility generated by terror: An agent-based study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c466585d5eed0c484519942

We propose an agent-based model leading to a decrease or an increase of hostility between agents after a major cultural threat such as a terrorist attack. The model is inspired from the Terror Management Theory and the Social Judgement Theory. An agent has a cultural identity defined through its acceptance segments about each of three different cultural worldviews (i.e., Atheist, Muslim, Christian) of the considered society. An agent’s acceptance segment is composed from its acceptable positions toward a cultural worldview, including its most acceptable position. An agent forms an attitude about another agent depending on the similarity between their cultural identities. When a terrorist attack is perpetrated in the name of an extreme cultural identity, the negatively perceived agents from this extreme cultural identity point of view tend to decrease the width of their acceptance segments in order to differentiate themselves more from the threatening cultural identity. We generated a set of populations with cultural identities compatible with data from a survey on attitudes among a large sample representative of the population of France; we then simulated the reaction of these agents facing a terrorist attack from Muslim extremists. For most populations, the average attitude toward Muslims becomes more negative. However, for some specific populations, we noticed the opposite effect as the average attitude of the population toward Muslims becomes less negative. In these populations, the Muslim agents strongly differentiate themselves from the terrorists’ extreme cultural identity, and the other agents are aware of these changes. These reactions are due to particular properties of their cultural identities that are identified in this paper.

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<![CDATA[The keys to happiness: Associations between personal values regarding core life domains and happiness in South Korea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5bbd5eed0c484ca7e6f

Personal values refer to the beliefs, principles or ideas that are important to people’s lives. We investigated the associations between personal values and happiness. We inquired about the importance of four different categories of personal values: prioritizing social relationships, extrinsic achievements, physical health, and spirituality. Data were drawn from the Korean General Social Survey (KGSS), a nationally representative cross-sectional sample collected over three years (i.e., 2007, 2008, and 2009). The findings showed that respondents prioritizing religion (i.e., spirituality) were the most likely to be happy, followed by those prioritizing social relationships, including family, friends, and neighbors. Those who prioritized extrinsic achievements (money, power, educational attainment, work, and leisure) as well as health were least likely to be happy. The findings suggest that pursuing goals focused on self-enhancement or self-centered value are less likely to result in happiness compared to pursuing alter-centered collective goals or self-transcendence/selflessness.

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<![CDATA[Recognizing and appraising symptoms of breast cancer as a reason for delayed presentation in Ghanaian women: A qualitative study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa59ad5eed0c484ca65b4

Background

The burden of late presentation is well established in women presenting with advanced breast cancer in Africa. This paper aims to explore the reasons for delayed presentation in Ghanaian women with breast cancer.

Method

Eleven (11) women diagnosed with advanced breast cancer were purposively sampled within three years of diagnosis at the palliative care clinic of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Ghana. Participation was voluntary. Data was collected through in-depth interviews using a self-devised semi-structured interview guide. The interviews were conducted in “Twi” (local language), audio-tape recorded and covered the women’s journey from symptom discovery to their intention to seek help. All audio-taped interviews were transcribed based on the meaning of the respondents’ comments. The data was managed using Nvivo version 11 qualitative software. Data was analyzed concurrently with data collection applying the principles of thematic analysis.

Key findings

All the women delayed presentation due to overlapping reasons. Symptom appraisal among the women occurred in two main stages: individual understanding of breast symptom and interactive understanding of the breast symptom. These stages were based on cognitive, psycho-cultural and social factors. The five main themes generated from the data were: symptom experience, knowledge of breast cancer, role of social life and network, coping with a breast symptom and lastly intent to seeking health care. A conceptual model was developed to illustrate the relationships among the key factors and concepts emanated from this study.

Conclusion

Recognition and appraisal of breast cancer symptom in the eleven (11) Ghanaian women interviewed in this study was poor. For instance, a painless breast lump was considered not serious until a sensory symptom appears. This led women to experience appraisal and time point intervals. To minimize the incidence of late presentation of breast cancer cases in Ghana, adequate educational intervention should be provided for Ghanaian women and their social network, and other stakeholders.

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<![CDATA[Women’s reproductive health decision-making: A multi-country analysis of demographic and health surveys in sub-Saharan Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa58fd5eed0c484ca5c5a

Introduction

Women’s ability to make decisions regarding their reproductive health has important implications for their health and well-being. We studied the socio-demographic factors affecting reproductive health decision-making among women in 27 sub-Sahara African countries.

Materials and methods

The study made use of pooled data from current Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) conducted from January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2016 in 27 countries in sub-Sahara African. Binary and multivariate logistic regression models were used to investigate the associations of women’s socio-demographic factors with decision-making regarding sexual reproductive health.

Results

The proportion of women who can ask their partners to use a condom during sexual intercourse ranged from lowest in Mali (16.6%) to highest in Namibia (93.4%). Furthermore, the proportion of women who can refuse sex ranged from 18.3% in Mali to 92.4% in Namibia. Overall, approximately every five out of ten women can ask their partners to use a condom, six out ten women could refuse their partners sex and seven out of ten women could make at least 1 decision. Women from rural areas (OR = 0.51, CI = 0.48–0.54), those with no education (OR = 0.11, CI = 0.10–0.12), Muslim women (OR = 0.29, CI = 0.27–0.31), women not working (OR = 0.53, CI = 0.51–0.56) and women whose partners had no education (OR = 0.17, CI = 0.16–0.19) were less likely to make a decision on their reproductive health.

Conclusion

Residence, age, level of education, religion, occupation and partner’s education were found to be associated with women’s decision-making about sexual intercourse, condom use and reproductive health decision-making index. This study contributes to the discourse on reproductive health decision-making in Africa. Policies and intervention targeted at improving women’s autonomy and empowering them to take charge of their sexual and reproductive health issues should be focused on these factors.

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<![CDATA[Spatial constraints on the diffusion of religious innovations: The case of early Christianity in the Roman Empire]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2d2eabd5eed0c484d9b009

Christianity emerged as a small and marginal movement in the first century Palestine and throughout the following three centuries it became highly visible in the whole Mediterranean. Little is known about the mechanisms of spreading innovative ideas in past societies. Here we investigate how well the spread of Christianity can be explained as a diffusive process constrained by physical travel in the Roman Empire. First, we combine a previously established model of the transportation network with city population estimates and evaluate to which extent the spatio-temporal pattern of the spread of Christianity can be explained by static factors. Second, we apply a network-theoretical approach to analyze the spreading process utilizing effective distance. We show that the spread of Christianity in the first two centuries closely follows a gravity-guided diffusion, and is substantially accelerated in the third century. Using the effective distance measure, we are able to suggest the probable path of the spread. Our work demonstrates how the spatio-temporal patterns we observe in the data can be explained using only spatial constraints and urbanization structure of the empire. Our findings also provide a methodological framework to be reused for studying other cultural spreading phenomena.

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<![CDATA[Theories of God: Explanatory coherence in religious cognition]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2d2ec6d5eed0c484d9b8be

Representations of God in art, literature, and discourse range from the highly anthropomorphic to the highly abstract. The present study explored whether people who endorse anthropomorphic God concepts hold different religious beliefs and engage in different religious practices than those who endorse abstract concepts. Adults of various religious affiliations (n = 275) completed a questionnaire that probed their beliefs about God, angels, Satan, Heaven, Hell, cosmogenesis, anthropogenesis, human suffering, and human misdeeds, as well as their experiences regarding prayer, worship, and religious development. Responses to the questionnaire were analyzed by how strongly participants anthropomorphized God in a property-attribution task. Overall, the more participants anthropomorphized God, the more concretely they interpreted religious ideas, importing their understanding of human affairs into their understanding of divine affairs. These findings suggest not only that individuals vary greatly in how they interpret the same religious ideas but also that those interpretations cohere along a concrete-to-abstract dimension, anchored on the concrete side by our everyday notions of people.

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