ResearchPad - religious-faiths https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![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[Using morphological attributes for the fast assessment of nutritional responses of Buddhist pine (Podocarpus macrophyllus [Thunb.] D. Don) seedlings to exponential fertilization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5094337c-fdbe-414d-8545-a46f7fbb230f

Culturing slowly growing tree seedlings is a potential approach for managing the conflict between the increasing demand for ornamental stock and the decreasing area of farmlands due to urbanization. In this study, Buddhist pine (Podocarpus macrophyllus [Thunb.] D. Don) seedlings were raised in multishelves with light-emitting diode lighting in the spectrum of 17:75:8 (red:green:blue) at 190–320 μmol m-2 s-1 with controlled temperature and relative humidity at 19.5°C and 60%, respectively. Seedlings were fed by exponential fertilization (EF) (nitrogen [N]-phosphorus [P]2O5-K2O, 10-7-9) at eight rates of 0 (control), 20 (E20), 40 (E40), 60 (E60), 80 (E80), 100 (E100), 120 (E120), and 140 (E140) mg N seedling-1 for four months through 16 fertilizer applications. The nutritional responses of Buddhist pine seedlings can be identified and classified into various stages in response to increasing doses, up to and over 120 N seedling-1. Morphological traits, i.e., the green color index and leaf area (LA) obtained by digital analysis and the fine root growth, all remained constant in response to doses that induced steady nutrient loading. LA had a positive relationship with most of the nutritional parameters. A dose range between 60 and 120 mg N seedling-1 was recommended for the culture of Buddhist pine seedlings. At this range of fertilizer doses, measuring the leaf area through digital scanning can easily and rapidly indicate the inherent nutrient status of the seedlings.

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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[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[Religious service attendance, divorce, and remarriage among U.S. nurses in mid and late life]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ed792d5eed0c484f143f1

Prior research has suggested religious participation can promote marital satisfaction and stability. However, current literature has mainly focused on early life divorce, and used cross-sectional data, leaving open the question of the directionality of effects. We evaluated the prospective associations between service attendance and marital stability in mid and late life considering either 1) divorce or separation; or 2) remarriage, as separate outcomes. Data were drawn from the Nurses’ Health Study, a large prospective cohort study that consisted of US female nurses in their 50s at study enrollment, with repeated measures of service attendance and marital status over 14 years of follow-up from 1996–2010. During follow up, among 66,444 initially married nurses who were mainly Christians, frequent service attendance was associated with 50% lower risk of divorce (95% CI: 32%, 63%), and 52% lower risk of either divorce or separation (95%CI: 37%, 63%). Among initially divorced or separated women, frequent service attendance was not associated with subsequent likelihood of remarriage; however, among widowed women, women who attended services frequently had 49% increased likelihood of remarriage (95% CI: 13%, 97%) compared to those women who did not. The study provides evidence that in this cohort of US nurses, frequent service attendance is associated with lower risk of becoming divorced in mid- and late- life, and increased likelihood of remarriage among widowed nurses, but not among divorced or separated nurses.

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<![CDATA[Waiting time at health facilities and social class: Evidence from the Indian caste system]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bce3d4140307c69b197f50a

Waiting time for non-emergency medical care in developing countries is rarely of immediate concern to policy makers that prioritize provision of basic health services. However, waiting time as a measure of health system responsiveness is important because longer waiting times worsen health outcomes and affect utilization of services. Studies that assess socio-economic inequalities in waiting time provide evidence from developed countries such as England and the United States; evidence from developing countries is lacking. In this paper, we assess the relationship between social class i.e. caste of an individual and waiting time at health facilities—a client orientation dimension of responsiveness. We use household level data from two rounds of the Indian Human Development Survey with a sample size of 27,251 households in each wave (2005 and 2012) and find that lower social class is associated with higher waiting time. This relationship is significant for individuals that visited a male provider but not so for those that visited a female provider. Further, caste is positively related to higher waiting time only if visiting a private facility; for individuals visiting a government facility the relationship between waiting time and caste is not significant. In general, caste related inequality in waiting time has worsened over time. The results are robust to different specifications and the inclusion of several confounders.

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<![CDATA[A positive attitude towards provision of end-of-life care may protect against burnout: Burnout and religion in a super-aging society]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0c04e8d5eed0c48481cf68

Aim

The aim of our study was to investigate factors associated with burnout of nurses and care workers in nursing homes and geriatric hospitals in Japan. The use of Buddhist priests, the major religion in Japan, was also explored.

Methods

Questionnaires for nurses and care workers were sent to 10 care facilities. The survey questions included basic demographic information, the Japanese Burnout Index and the Japanese version of the Frommelt Attitude Toward Care Of Dying Scale Form B. They also asked questions about use of Buddhist priests for tasks such as helping to manage the anxiety or distress of patients, families, and staff, or providing sutra chanting.

Results

In total, 323 questionnaires were returned, of which 260 were used for analysis. Only 18 (6.9%) answered that they had any religious beliefs, which was relatively low compared to 27% from governmental survey data. In total, however, 71% expressed a need for Buddhist priests to help with anxiety or distress among patients. A positive attitude towards providing end-of-life care was a protective factor against depersonalization. It was, however, also related to lower feelings of personal accomplishment.

Conclusion

Care homes and geriatric hospitals may want to consider calling more on religious resources as a support for staff and patients.

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<![CDATA[“We might get a lot more families who will agree”: Muslim and Jewish perspectives on less invasive perinatal and paediatric autopsy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0c04f1d5eed0c48481d0d7

Background

Perinatal and paediatric autopsy rates are at historically low levels with declining uptake due to dislike of the invasiveness of the procedure, and religious objections particularly amongst Muslim and Jewish parents. Less invasive methods of autopsy including imaging with and without tissue sampling have been shown to be feasible alternatives. We sought to investigate attitudes including religious permissibility and potential uptake amongst members of the Muslim and Jewish communities in the United Kingdom.

Methods

Semi-structured interviews with religious and faith-based authorities (n = 16) and bereaved parents from the Jewish community (n = 3) as well as 10 focus groups with community members (60 Muslim participants and 16 Jewish participants) were conducted. Data were analysed using thematic analysis to identify key themes.

Findings

Muslim and Jewish religious and faith-based authorities agreed that non-invasive autopsy with imaging was religiously permissible because it did not require incisions or interference with the body. A minimally invasive approach was less acceptable as it still required incisions to the body, although in those circumstances where it was required by law it was more acceptable than a full autopsy. During focus group discussions with community members, the majority of participants indicated they would potentially consent to a non-invasive autopsy if the body could be returned for burial within 24 hours, or if a family had experienced multiple fetal/pregnancy losses and the information gained might be useful in future pregnancies. Minimally invasive autopsy was less acceptable but around half of participants might consent if a non-invasive autopsy was not suitable, with the exception of the Jewish Haredi community who unanimously stated they would decline this alternative.

Conclusions

Our research suggests less invasive autopsy offers a viable alternative to many Muslim and Jewish parents in the UK who currently decline a full autopsy. The findings may be of importance to other countries with significant Muslim and/or Jewish communities as well as to other religious communities where concerns around autopsy exist. Awareness-raising amongst religious leaders and community members will be important if these methods become routinely available.

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<![CDATA[Early Medieval Muslim Graves in France: First Archaeological, Anthropological and Palaeogenomic Evidence]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf5ab0ee8fa60bc2901

The rapid Arab-Islamic conquest during the early Middle Ages led to major political and cultural changes in the Mediterranean world. Although the early medieval Muslim presence in the Iberian Peninsula is now well documented, based in the evaluation of archeological and historical sources, the Muslim expansion in the area north of the Pyrenees has only been documented so far through textual sources or rare archaeological data. Our study provides the first archaeo-anthropological testimony of the Muslim establishment in South of France through the multidisciplinary analysis of three graves excavated at Nimes. First, we argue in favor of burials that followed Islamic rites and then note the presence of a community practicing Muslim traditions in Nimes. Second, the radiometric dates obtained from all three human skeletons (between the 7th and the 9th centuries AD) echo historical sources documenting an early Muslim presence in southern Gaul (i.e., the first half of 8th century AD). Finally, palaeogenomic analyses conducted on the human remains provide arguments in favor of a North African ancestry of the three individuals, at least considering the paternal lineages. Given all of these data, we propose that the skeletons from the Nimes burials belonged to Berbers integrated into the Umayyad army during the Arab expansion in North Africa. Our discovery not only discusses the first anthropological and genetic data concerning the Muslim occupation of the Visigothic territory of Septimania but also highlights the complexity of the relationship between the two communities during this period.

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<![CDATA[Religious Fragmentation, Social Identity and Conflict: Evidence from an Artefactual Field Experiment in India]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0eab0ee8fa60bcb525

We examine the impact of religious identity and village-level religious fragmentation on behavior in Tullock contests. We report on a series of two-player Tullock contest experiments conducted on a sample of 516 Hindu and Muslim participants in rural West Bengal, India. Our treatments are the identity of the two players and the degree of religious fragmentation in the village where subjects reside. Our main finding is that the effect of social identity is small and inconsistent across the two religious groups in our study. While we find small but statistically significant results in line with our hypotheses in the Hindu sample, we find no statistically significant effects in the Muslim sample. This is in contrast to evidence from Chakravarty et al. (2016), who report significant differences in cooperation levels in prisoners’ dilemma and stag hunt games, both in terms of village composition and identity. We attribute this to the fact that social identity may have a more powerful effect on cooperation than on conflict.

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<![CDATA[Identifying Topics in Microblogs Using Wikipedia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da32ab0ee8fa60b84bd8

Twitter is an extremely high volume platform for user generated contributions regarding any topic. The wealth of content created at real-time in massive quantities calls for automated approaches to identify the topics of the contributions. Such topics can be utilized in numerous ways, such as public opinion mining, marketing, entertainment, and disaster management. Towards this end, approaches to relate single or partial posts to knowledge base items have been proposed. However, in microblogging systems like Twitter, topics emerge from the culmination of a large number of contributions. Therefore, identifying topics based on collections of posts, where individual posts contribute to some aspect of the greater topic is necessary. Models, such as Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA), propose algorithms for relating collections of posts to sets of keywords that represent underlying topics. In these approaches, figuring out what the specific topic(s) the keyword sets represent remains as a separate task. Another issue in topic detection is the scope, which is often limited to specific domain, such as health. This work proposes an approach for identifying domain-independent specific topics related to sets of posts. In this approach, individual posts are processed and then aggregated to identify key tokens, which are then mapped to specific topics. Wikipedia article titles are selected to represent topics, since they are up to date, user-generated, sophisticated articles that span topics of human interest. This paper describes the proposed approach, a prototype implementation, and a case study based on data gathered during the heavily contributed periods corresponding to the four US election debates in 2012. The manually evaluated results (0.96 precision) and other observations from the study are discussed in detail.

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<![CDATA[The Relationship between Mental and Somatic Practices and Wisdom]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db47ab0ee8fa60bd8bdd

In this study we sought to explore how experience with specific mental and somatic practices is associated with wisdom, using self-report measures of experience and wisdom. We administered standard surveys to measure wisdom and experience among four groups of practitioners of mental and somatic practices, namely, meditators, practitioners of the Alexander Technique, practitioners of the Feldenkrais Method, and classical ballet dancers. We additionally administered surveys of trait anxiety and empathy to all participants to explore possible mediating relationships of experience and wisdom by characteristics thought to be components of wisdom. Wisdom was higher on average among meditation practitioners, and lowest among ballet dancers, and this difference held when controlling for differences in age between practices, supporting the view that meditation is linked to wisdom and that ballet is not. However, we found that increased experience with meditation and ballet were both positively associated with wisdom, and that lowered trait anxiety mediated this positive association among meditation practitioners, and, non-significantly, among ballet dancers. These results suggest that not all practices that are purported to affect mental processing are related to wisdom to the same degree and different kinds of experience appear to relate to wisdom in different ways, suggesting different mechanisms that might underlie the development of wisdom with experience.

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<![CDATA[Isotope analyses to explore diet and mobility in a medieval Muslim population at Tauste (NE Spain)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf5a3

The Islamic necropolis discovered in Tauste (Zaragoza, Spain) is the only evidence that a large Muslim community lived in the area between the 8th and 10th centuries. A multi-isotope approach has been used to investigate the mobility and diet of this medieval Muslim population living in a shifting frontier region. Thirty-one individuals were analyzed to determine δ15N, δ13C, δ18O and 87Sr/86Sr composition. A combination of strontium and oxygen isotope analysis indicated that most individuals were of local origin although three females and two males were non-local. The non-local males would be from a warmer zone whereas two of the females would be from a more mountainous geographical region and the third from a geologically-different area. The extremely high δ15N baseline at Tauste was due to bedrock composition (gypsum and salt). High individual δ15N values were related to the manuring effect and consumption of fish. Adult males were the most privileged members of society in the medieval Muslim world and, as isotope data reflected, consumed more animal proteins than females and young males.

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<![CDATA[A New Species of Frog (Anura: Dicroglossidae) Discovered from the Mega City of Dhaka]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daebab0ee8fa60bbf1be

We describe a new species of frog of the genus Zakerana discovered from the urban core of Dhaka, Bangladesh, one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Although the new species is morphologically similar to the geographically proximate congeners in the Bangladeshi cricket frog group, we show that it can be distinguished from all congeners on the basis of morphological characters, advertisement calls and variation in two mitochondrial DNA genes (12S rRNA and 16S rRNA). Apart from several diagnostic differences in body proportions, the new species differs from other Zakerana species in having a flattened snout (from ventral view) projecting over the lower jaw, and diagnostic trapezoid-shaped red markings on the vocal sac in males. Molecular genetic analyses show that the new species is highly divergent (3.1–20.1% sequence divergence) from all congeneric species, and forms a well-supported clade with its sister species, Zakerana asmati. The discovery of a new amphibian species from the urban core of Dhaka together with several recent descriptions of new amphibian species from Bangladesh may indicate that more amphibian species remain to be discovered from this country.

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<![CDATA[From Observation to Information: Data-Driven Understanding of on Farm Yield Variation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e0ab0ee8fa60b696b6

Agriculture research uses “recommendation domains” to develop and transfer crop management practices adapted to specific contexts. The scale of recommendation domains is large when compared to individual production sites and often encompasses less environmental variation than farmers manage. Farmers constantly observe crop response to management practices at a field scale. These observations are of little use for other farms if the site and the weather are not described. The value of information obtained from farmers’ experiences and controlled experiments is enhanced when the circumstances under which it was generated are characterized within the conceptual framework of a recommendation domain, this latter defined by Non-Controllable Factors (NCFs). Controllable Factors (CFs) refer to those which farmers manage. Using a combination of expert guidance and a multi-stage analytic process, we evaluated the interplay of CFs and NCFs on plantain productivity in farmers’ fields. Data were obtained from multiple sources, including farmers. Experts identified candidate variables likely to influence yields. The influence of the candidate variables on yields was tested through conditional forests analysis. Factor analysis then clustered harvests produced under similar NCFs, into Homologous Events (HEs). The relationship between NCFs, CFs and productivity in intercropped plantain were analyzed with mixed models. Inclusion of HEs increased the explanatory power of models. Low median yields in monocropping coupled with the occasional high yields within most HEs indicated that most of these farmers were not using practices that exploited the yield potential of those HEs. Varieties grown by farmers were associated with particular HEs. This indicates that farmers do adapt their management to the particular conditions of their HEs. Our observations confirm that the definition of HEs as recommendation domains at a small-scale is valid, and that the effectiveness of distinct management practices for specific micro-recommendation domains can be identified with the methodologies developed.

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<![CDATA[Associations of women's position in the household and food insecurity with family planning use in Nepal]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db59ab0ee8fa60bdf16a

Background

Women in Nepal have low status, especially younger women in co-resident households. Nepal also faces high levels of household food insecurity and malnutrition, and stagnation in uptake of modern family planning methods.

Objective

This study aims to understand if household structure and food insecurity interact to influence family planning use in Nepal.

Methods

Using data on married, non-pregnant women aged 15–49 with at least one child from the Nepal 2011 Demographic and Health Survey (N = 7,460), we explore the relationship between women’s position in the household, food insecurity as a moderator, and family planning use, using multi-variable logistic regressions. We adjust for household and individual factors, including other status-related variables.

Results

In adjusted models, living in a food insecure household and co-residing with in-laws either with no other daughter-in-laws or as the eldest or youngest daughter-in-law (compared to not-co-residing with in-laws) are all associated with lower odds of family planning use. In the interaction model, younger-sisters-in-law and women co-residing with no sisters-in-law in food insecure households have the lowest odds of family planning use.

Conclusion

This study shows that household position is associated with family planning use in Nepal, and that food insecurity modifies these associations–highlighting the importance of considering both factors in understanding reproductive health care use in Nepal. Policies and programs should focus on the multiple pathways through which food insecurity impacts women’s reproductive health, including focusing on women with the lowest status in households.

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<![CDATA[An empirical examination of the factor structure of compassion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdca72

Compassion has long been regarded as a core part of our humanity by contemplative traditions, and in recent years, it has received growing research interest. Following a recent review of existing conceptualisations, compassion has been defined as consisting of the following five elements: 1) recognising suffering, 2) understanding the universality of suffering in human experience, 3) feeling moved by the person suffering and emotionally connecting with their distress, 4) tolerating uncomfortable feelings aroused (e.g., fear, distress) so that we remain open to and accepting of the person suffering, and 5) acting or being motivated to act to alleviate suffering. As a prerequisite to developing a high quality compassion measure and furthering research in this field, the current study empirically investigated the factor structure of the five-element definition using a combination of existing and newly generated self-report items. This study consisted of three stages: a systematic consultation with experts to review items from existing self-report measures of compassion and generate additional items (Stage 1), exploratory factor analysis of items gathered from Stage 1 to identify the underlying structure of compassion (Stage 2), and confirmatory factor analysis to validate the identified factor structure (Stage 3). Findings showed preliminary empirical support for a five-factor structure of compassion consistent with the five-element definition. However, findings indicated that the ‘tolerating’ factor may be problematic and not a core aspect of compassion. This possibility requires further empirical testing. Limitations with items from included measures lead us to recommend against using these items collectively to assess compassion. Instead, we call for the development of a new self-report measure of compassion, using the five-element definition to guide item generation. We recommend including newly generated ‘tolerating’ items in the initial item pool, to determine whether or not factor-level issues are resolved once item-level issues are addressed.

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<![CDATA[Factors Affecting Family Satisfaction with Inpatient End-of-Life Care]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac6ab0ee8fa60bb296f

Background

Little data exists addressing satisfaction with end-of-life care among hospitalized patients, as they and their family members are systematically excluded from routine satisfaction surveys. It is imperative that we closely examine patient and institution factors associated with quality end-of-life care and determine high-priority target areas for quality improvement.

Methods

Between September 1, 2010 and January 1, 2012 the Canadian Health care Evaluation Project (CANHELP) Bereavement Questionnaire was mailed to the next-of-kin of recently deceased inpatients to seek factors associated with satisfaction with end-of-life care. The primary outcome was the global rating of satisfaction. Secondary outcomes included rates of actual versus preferred location of death, associations between demographic factors and global satisfaction, and identification of targets for quality improvement.

Results

Response rate was 33% among 275 valid addresses. Overall, 67.4% of respondents were very or completely satisfied with the overall quality of care their relative received. However, 71.4% of respondents who thought their relative did not die in their preferred location favoured an out-of-hospital location of death. A common location of death was the intensive care unit (45.7%); however, this was not the preferred location of death for 47.6% of such patients. Multivariate Poisson regression analysis showed respondents who believed their relative died in their preferred location were 1.7 times more likely to be satisfied with the end-of-life care that was provided (p = 0.001). Items identified as high-priority targets for improvement included: relationships with, and characteristics of health care professionals; illness management; communication; and end-of-life decision-making.

Interpretation

Nearly three-quarters of recently deceased inpatients would have preferred an out-of-hospital death. Intensive care units were a common, but not preferred, location of in-hospital deaths. Family satisfaction with end-of-life care was strongly associated with their relative dying in their preferred location. Improved communication regarding end-of-life care preferences should be a high-priority quality improvement target.

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<![CDATA[A Social Identity Approach to Understanding Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Allegations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da96ab0ee8fa60ba1daa

Two studies investigated the role of group allegiances in contributing to the failure of institutions to appropriately respond to allegations of child sexual abuse. In Study 1, 601 participants read a news article detailing an allegation of child sexual abuse against a Catholic Priest. Catholics were more protective of the accused–and more skeptical of the accuser—than other participants, an effect that was particularly pronounced among strongly identified Catholics. In Study 2 (N = 404), the tendency for Catholics to be more protective of the accused and more skeptical of the accuser than non-Catholics was replicated. Moreover, these effects held independently of the objective likelihood that the accused was guilty. Overall, the data show that group loyalties provide a psychological motivation to disbelieve child abuse allegations. Furthermore, the people for whom this motivation is strongest are also the people who are most likely to be responsible for receiving and investigating allegations: highly identified ingroup members. The findings highlight the psychological mechanisms that may limit the ability of senior Church figures to conduct impartial investigations into allegations of child abuse within the Church.

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<![CDATA[Long Term Population, City Size and Climate Trends in the Fertile Crescent: A First Approximation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1eab0ee8fa60b7dcd6

Over the last 8000 years the Fertile Crescent of the Near East has seen the emergence of urban agglomerations, small scale polities and large territorial empires, all of which had profound effects on settlement patterns. Computational approaches, including the use of remote sensing data, allow us to analyse these changes at unprecedented geographical and temporal scales. Here we employ these techniques to examine and compare long term trends in urbanisation, population and climate records. Maximum city size is used as a proxy for the intensity of urbanisation, whilst population trends are modelled from settlement densities in nine archaeological surveys conducted over the last 30 years across the region. These two measures are then compared with atmospheric moisture levels derived from multiple proxy analyses from two locations close to the study area, Soreq Cave in Israel and Lake Van in south-eastern Turkey, as well as wider literature. The earliest urban sites emerged during a period of relatively high atmospheric moisture levels and conform to a series of size thresholds. However, after the Early Bronze Age maximum urban size and population levels increase rapidly whilst atmospheric moisture declines. We argue that although the initial phase of urbanization may have been linked to climate conditions, we can see a definitive decoupling of climate and settlement patterns after 2000 BC. We relate this phenomenon to changes in socio-economic organisation and integration in large territorial empires. The complex relationships sustaining urban growth during this later period resulted in an increase in system fragility and ultimately impacted on the sustainability of cities in the long term.

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