Archive for April, 2013

The 2013 annual survey of the delivery and use of business information services and sources in the UK

April 30, 2013

 

Survey and free podcast

From Business Information Review

The 23rd annual Business Information Survey has been published. This is the longest continuous survey of the delivery and use of business information services and sources in the UK. In addition to the survey a free accompanying podcast has been recorded.  The history of the survey and some of its findings are discussed.

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Using mobile phone apps in weight-loss programs

April 25, 2013

Design and pilot results of a mobile phone weight-loss application for women starting a meal replacement programme

From Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare

Mobile phones using text messaging and monitoring have been shown to be useful additions to health programs. The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a weight-loss intervention delivered by a smartphone app that supported individuals embarking on a diet and that was evidenced-based. Researchers developed and tested a mobile phone application (app) to support individuals embarking on a partial meal replacement program (MRP).

Overweight or obese women were randomly allocated to one of two study groups an intervention group and a control group. The intervention group received an MRP Support app. The control group received a static app based on the information available with the MRP. A total of 58 adult women) participated in the 8-week trial. Objective data suggested that users of the Support app were more engaged than those using the control app.  Women in the intervention group reported a greater increase in positive affect (i.e. mood) than those in the control group. At Week 8, those in the control group reported a greater decrease in the effort they were willing to put into staying on the diet than those who received the Support app  Preliminary data suggests that the MRP Support app has the potential to increase positive mood and maintain motivation during a weight loss programme. This study indicates that the support app could be a useful adjunct to existing MRPs for psychological outcomes.

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The challenges for science journalism in the UK

April 24, 2013

From Progress in Physical Geography

A science journalist is a specialist whose role is, broadly, to report scientific developments to a wider audience than that reached by the academic journals. The world of journalism is changing rapidly as online media grow, squeezing resources and putting pressure on journalists to produce maximum output on minimum resources.  The effect is to threaten to shift the role of science news production away from science journalists to public relations (PR) professionals, and to reduce the essential democratic role of the journalist holding the spenders of public money to account.

This study discusses in particular two significant pieces of recent research into science journalism in the UK, namely Williams and Clifford’s report into specialist science journalism in the UK national media (2010), and the recent BBC Impartiality Review. It also describes the working practices and pressures on science journalists with the intention of providing a guide to working with science journalists. The authors discuss the pressures facing the field as print news declines and online publication ascends.

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Medication errors during the home-to-hospital transition of epileptic children are unacceptably common

April 23, 2013

Anticonvulsant medication errors in children with epilepsy during the home-to-hospital transition

From Journal of Child Neurology

Since the Institute of Medicine’s report ‘‘To Err Is Human,’’  efforts to reduce medical errors have been intensified, especially for high-risk populations. A  group at increased risk for hospitalization and who can be particularly vulnerable to medication reconciliation errors, children with epilepsy can have multiple medical conditions and are frequently hospitalized, often for reasons unrelated to seizures. In such children, careful anticonvulsant management is the primary strategy for minimizing breakthrough seizures and attendant morbidity and mortality. Thus, optimizing anticonvulsant management is of high importance,

This study sought to estimate the frequency of anticonvulsant medication errors during transition into the hospital in children with epilepsy hospitalized for reasons other than seizures, and to examine factors associated with the occurrence of such errors. Of the children examined in the study almost a quarter experienced an anticonvulsant medication error. Findings indicate Anticonvulsant medication errors during the home-to-hospital transition were unacceptably common in children with epilepsy admitted for reasons other than seizures.

 

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Older patients have higher expectations and are more satisfied with healthcare

April 18, 2013

Patients’ experiences of their healthcare in relation to their expectations and satisfaction: A population

From Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine

This paper on patients’ experiences of health services and how these relate to their expectations and satisfaction reveal that older people have higher expectations of their care and that they believe that their expectations are being met. The research questions prevailing stereotypes that characterise older patients as being satisfied with their care because their expectations are lower. Patients visiting their GP and hospital outpatient departments were surveyed before and after their consultations. They were asked about their experiences of the physical environment, finding their way around, communication with the doctor, the content of the consultation, the information given and the outcome of the consultation.

The leading researcher concluded that this research, chiming with the finding that satisfaction with the NHS among the general public is now at an all-time high, has implications for health professionals, managers and politicians. “There is no room for complacency, given that the delivery of healthcare in England is undergoing profound and unprecedented change, with many services facing severe cuts,” said Bowling and colleagues. “It will be essential for those who are delivering care in the midst of organisational and, frequently, personal turbulence, to remain focused on what matters most for patients, which means most of all effective communication, adequate information and good outcomes.”

 

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Graduate glut spells underused skills and dissatisfaction for many

April 16, 2013

Shades of grey: Understanding job quality in emerging graduate occupations

From Human Relations

Graduates are taking up jobs that don’t fully use their skills and as a result are causing high turnover for employers, claims this research. The findings raise questions about today’s high throughput in university education. Policy makers in many developed and developing countries envisioned high-value economies supported in part by a highly-skilled and well-paid workforce. As a result, many nations have increased higher education (HE) access, assuming that employers will be able to use this larger bank of skills effectively. However, the number of skilled jobs has not matched the rising number of skilled workers, so that today’s higher qualifications no longer guarantee graduates higher earnings, or further opportunities to use and develop knowledge and skills. Many graduates are now employed in ‘intermediate’ level jobs previously not regarded as graduate jobs. There is now an abundance of evidence that a substantial minority of graduates start their careers in non-graduate low-skill, low-pay occupations. Employment in emerging occupations may imply a step up, but does not compare with traditional graduate

This research forms part of Human Relations special issue on job quality, which features articles, amongst others on, the challenges of job quality, its conceptualization and its impact on individual, firm and national wellbeing, global variations and perceptions, global variations and the relationships between job and work quality.

 

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Only 15 minutes? The social layers of fame

April 11, 2013

Only 15 Minutes? The Social Stratification of Fame in Printed Medi

From American Sociological Review

In the long-standing tradition of stratification research, one major source of power and status has been virtually ignored, until recently: fame. People aspire to fame, just as they aspire to political power, wealth, income, education, and health. This study investigates the mobility of fame using a unique data source containing daily records of references to person names in a large corpus of English-language media sources. Fame exhibits strong continuity even in entertainment, on television, and on blogs, where it has been thought to be most ephemeral. These data reveal that only at the bottom of the public attention hierarchy do names exhibit fast turnover; at upper tiers, stable coverage persists around a fixed level and rank for decades. Analysis suggests that internal mechanisms can create stability even in the absence of external stabilizing forces. Fame need not become ephemeral when disconnected from fame-granting structural positions. The study concludes that once a person’s name is decoupled from the initial event that lent it momentary attention, self-reinforcing processes, career structures, and commemorative practices perpetuate fame.

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Does obesity begin in the first year of life?

April 10, 2013

Pilot study – Does obesity begin in the first year of life?

From Clinical Pediatrics

Recent research shows that obesity might begin much earlier in life than previously believed creating a lifelong weight struggle and numerous comorbidities that reduce life span. Once it appears, obesity tends to remain throughout a life course and systematic reviews reveal that rapid growth in infancy can be associated with a greater risk of later-life obesity.  This study conducted and graphed a longitudinal analysis of body mass index means based on the age postbirth. Data was gathered from 7 well-child visits during the first year of life for infants who remained healthy and uninjured from birth to 5 years age. Study aims were to (a) describe growth patterns in the first year of life and (b) determine if the first-year BMI values were associated with 5-year BMI values. The paper concludes that growth patterns in the first year of life can signify a pattern that indicates early development of obesity. The earlier in life we can identify obesity, then the earlier we can guide individualized interventions in the first year  after birth while precursors of later health are still forming.

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Outcomes in adults with autism spectrum disorders: A historical perspective

April 9, 2013

Article and Podcast

From Autism

To celebrate Autism Awareness Month we are highlighting the following article and podcast and offering free access to both. The paper examines the ways in which researchers have defined successful adult outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) from the first systematic follow-up reports to the present day. In the podcast the author discusses the co-authored review paper published in volume 17 issue 1 of Autism.

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