Recent Submissions

  • Disparities in the timing of antenatal care initiation and associated factors in an ethnically dense maternal cohort with high levels of area deprivation

    Puthussery, Shuby; Tseng, Pei-Ching; Sharma, Esther; Harden, Angela; Griffiths, Malcolm; Bamfo, Jacqueline; Li, Leah; ; University of Bedfordshire; Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; et al. (MDPI, 2022-09-19)
    Late access to antenatal care is a contributor to excess mortality and morbidity among ethnic minority mothers compared to White British in the UK. While individual ethnicity and socioeconomic disadvantage are linked to late antenatal care initiation, studies have seldom explored patterns of late initiation and associated factors in ethnically dense socially disadvantaged settings. This study investigated disparities in the timing of antenatal care initiation, and associated factors in an ethnically dense socially disadvantaged maternal cohort.
  • Fundamentals of mental health assessment for non-mental health practitioners

    Sale, Joanne; Capolucci, Skye (Taylor and Francis, 2022-05-06)
    This chapter will focus on assessment in relation to mental health, however, it is likely in practice that you will be assessing both mental health and physical health combined. Someone may attend your service for a physical health complaint but present with a mental health problem and contrariwise. This chapter will also suggest how health care workers can increase their understanding of mental health, mental ill health and undertake a mental health assessment. Whilst it is acknowledged that the purpose of assessment is to inform the referral to the mental health specialists who will complete a full assessment, it is also important, that the information communicated is accurate and demonstrates that the person is currently safe and receiving quality care.
  • Communication: a person-centred approach

    Neale, Nicola; Sale, Joanne (Taylor and Francis, 2022-05-06)
    This book focuses on practical nursing skills, and in this chapter, we explore interactions between nurses and people while carrying out skills. The chapter addresses aspects of the Standards of Proficiency for registered nurses and nursing associates, (Nursing and Midwifery Council [NMC] 2018 a and b) which outline expectations of nurse associates, nursing students and newly qualified nurses.
  • Developing practical nursing skills: foundations for nursing and healthcare students

    Neale, Nicola; Sale, Joanne; Buckinghamshire New University; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2022-05-06)
    Developing Practical Nursing Skills helps you learn and perfect the practical skills required to become a qualified nurse. Adopting a patient-focused and caring approach, this essential text helps you integrate nursing values alongside physical skills in your daily practice. Now in its fifth edition, the text takes into account the NMC standards of proficiency and is relevant to nurses across all fields. Key features of the book include: i) New chapters on mental health assessment and end-of-life care, along with expanded content on sleep, pain and medication management. ii) Full-colour text design with clear illustrations and clinical photographs to aid visual learning. iii) Reader-friendly style with learning outcomes, activities and reflection points to help you link theory to practice. iv) Scenarios from a range of settings, including community, mental health and learning disabilities nursing. v) A focus on adults and young people, and with 'pointers' on caring for children and pregnant women to promote a lifespan approach. This is a complete clinical skills resource for all pre-registration nursing students. It is also a useful text for nursing associate and healthcare support workers.
  • Caring for people with impaired mobility

    Slope, Rowena; Hopkinson, Katherine; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2022-05-06)
    This chapter includes the following topics: Pressure ulcer risk assessments; Pressure ulcer prevention; Prevention of other complications of immobility; Key principles of moving and handling people; Assisting with mobilisation and preventing falls.
  • #mothersday: Constructions of motherhood and femininity in social media posts

    Capdevila, Rose; Dann, Charlotte; Lazard, Lisa; Roper, Sandra; Locke, Abigail; Open University; University of Northampton; University of Bedfordshire; Keele University (SAGE Publications Ltd, 2022-08-03)
    Images and representations of parenting, and particularly mothering, have become commonplace on social media platforms over the past decade. These displays, however, take place in the context of popular contemporary discourses around gender and parenting that are in many ways prescriptive. This paper explores the constructions of mothering online through an analysis of posts about mothers on Mother’s Day from 2018 to 2020. Data were collected from Instagram and Twitter using hashtags such as #mothersday, #happymothersday and #motheringsunday. Both content and thematic analyses were conducted. This paper will consider three main themes that were identified in the data: “Beauty & biology”; “Grief & loss” and “Care (& COVID)”, with a focus on constructions of gendered parenting and family through the explicit celebration of the lives and roles of mothers. The findings provide insight into normative constructions of gender and how these are mediated through the affordances of social media platforms in a neoliberal context.
  • Investigation into antiepileptic effect of ganoderic acid A and its mechanism in seizure rats induced by pentylenetetrazole

    Pang, Wei; Lu, Shuqing; Zheng, Rong; Li, Xin; Yang, Shunbo; Feng, Yuxia; Wang, Shuqiu; Guo, Jin; Zhou, Shaobo; ; et al. (Hindawi, 2022-09-01)
    Ganoderic acid A (GAA) exhibited neuron protection in in vitro epilepsy study, but no study has been done in vivo. Rats were administered (i.p.) pentylenetetrazole daily for 28 days to induce seizure. Rats with grade II or above of epileptic score were divided into three groups and given placebo, sodium valproate, or GAA treatment, respectively, for 7 days. The electrical signals of brain were monitored with electroencephalography (EGG); epileptic behavior was assessed using the Racine scale; morphological changes and apoptosis rate of cortical neurons were assessed with H&E staining and TUNEL staining, respectively. Protein expression of calcium-sensing receptor, p-ERK, p-JNK, and p-p38 in hippocampal tissue and Bcl-2, cleaved caspase-3, and Bax in cortical tissues was observed by Western blot and immunohistochemistry assay, respectively. After GAA treatment, apparent seizure-like EEG with significant arrhythmic disorder and spike waves was reduced or disappeared, and wave amplitude of EEG was reduced significantly. GAA showed similar effect with sodium valproate treatments on epilepsy. There were an apparent improvement of the epileptic behavior and a significant increase in the epileptic latency and shortening of the epileptic duration in the treatment group compared to control. GAA treatment ameliorated the nuclear pyknosis of neurons which appeared seriously in the epilepsy group. GAA treatment significantly reduced the cortical neuron apoptosis of epilepsy and the expression of calcium-sensing receptor, p-P38, p-JNK, cleaved caspase-3, and Bax but increased the expression of both p-ERK and Bcl-2. In conclusion, GAA treatment showed strong antiepileptic effect by decreasing apoptosis in cortical neuron and the expression of calcium-sensing receptor and stimulating the MAPK pathway.
  • Detoxification gene families at the genome-wide level of Rhus gall aphid Schlechtendalia chinensis

    He, Hongli; Crabbe, M. James C.; Ren, Zhumei; Shanxi University; Oxford University; University of Bedfordshire (MDPI, 2022-09-10)
    The Rhus gall aphid Schlechtendalia chinensis uses the species Rhus chinensis as its primary host plant, on which galls are produced. The galls have medicinal properties and can be used in various situations due to their high tannin content. Detoxification enzymes play significant roles in the insect lifecycle. In this study, we focused on five detoxification gene families, i.e., glutathione-Stransferase (GST), ABC transporter (ABC), Carboxylesterase (CCE), cyto-chrome P450 (CYP), and UDP-glycosyltransferase (UDP), and manually annotated 144 detoxification genes of S. chinensis using genome-wide techniques. The detoxification genes appeared mostly on chromosome 1, where a total of two pair genes were identified to show tandem duplications. There were 38 gene pairs between genomes of S. chinensis and Acyrthosiphon pisum in the detoxification gene families by collinear comparison. Ka/Ks ratios showed that detoxification genes of S. chinensis were mainly affected by purification selection during evolution. The gene expression numbers of P450s and ABCs by transcriptome sequencing data were greater, while gene expression of CCEs was the highest, suggesting they might be important in the detoxification process. Our study has firstly identified the genes of the different detoxification gene families in the S. chinensis genome, and then analyzed their general features and expression, demonstrating the importance of the detoxification genes in the aphid and providing new information for further research.
  • Identification of the antigens recognised by colorectal cancer patients using sera from patients who exhibit a Crohn's-like lymphoid reaction

    Boncheva, Viktoriya Bogdanova; Linnebacher, Michael; Kdimati, Said; Draper, Hannah; Orchard, Laurence; Mills, Ken I.; O'Sullivan, Gerald; Tangney, Mark; Guinn, Barbara-Ann; University of Bedfordshire; et al. (MDPI, 2022-07-29)
    A Crohn's-like lymphoid reaction (CLR) is observed in about 15% of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients and is associated with favourable outcomes. To identify the immune targets recognised by CRC CLR patient sera, we immunoscreened a testes cDNA library with sera from three patients. Immunoscreening of the 18 antigens identified by SEREX with sera from normal donors showed that only the heavy chain of IgG3 (IGHG3) and a novel antigen we named UOB-COL-7, were solely recognised by sera from CRC CLR patients. ELISA showed an elevation in IgG3 levels in patients with CRC (p = 0.01). To extend our studies we analysed the expression of our SEREX-identified antigens using the RNA-sequencing dataset (GSE5206). We found that the transcript levels of multiple IGHG probesets were highly significant (p < 0.001) in their association with clinical features of CRC while above median levels of DAPK1 (p = 0.005) and below median levels of GTF2H5 (p = 0.004) and SH3RF2 (p = 0.02) were associated with improved overall survival. Our findings demonstrate the potential of SEREX-identified CRC CLR antigens to act as biomarkers for CRC and provide a rationale for their further characterization and validation.
  • ‘I know how it sounds on paper’ : risk talk, the use of documents and epistemic justice in child protection assessment home visits

    Bostock, Lisa; Koprowska, Juliet; ; University of Bedfordshire; University of York (SAGE, 2022-09-06)
    Social workers carry much of the frontline authority to define risk to children and discuss it with families. Assessment reports and other institutional documents record professional views about family information, and also have the potential to convey the ‘voice’ of the family to institutions. Social workers have responsibility for sharing these documents with families, yet little is known about how they do this. This paper focuses on episodes when social workers introduce institutional documents in home visits, and on the family responses elicited. These are high-stakes encounters which, when they go seriously wrong, emerge in the press as tragedies and scandals. For families, these documents carry an emotional depth-charge as intimate, potentially shaming, and sometimes inaccurate details of their lives are inscribed in them by and for others. Latour’s (1996) concept of interobjectivity sheds light on the use of documents, while concepts of epistemic authority (Heritage and Raymond, 2005) and epistemic injustice (Fricker, 2007) are employed to examine how social workers respond to parental testimony about themselves and their children. Learning how to present institutional documentation in ways that reduce the risk of emotional reactivity and treating family perspectives with epistemic justice may enhance social work practice. At a policy level, the design of documents warrants review, so that they facilitate rather than obstruct social workers’ efforts to build what are already fragile relationships with families.
  • Why does systemic supervision support practitioners’ practice more effectively with children and families?

    Bostock, Lisa; Patrizo, Louis; Godfrey, Tessa; Forrester, Donald; ; University of Bedfordshire; Frontline; University of Cardiff (ELSEVIER, 2022-08-30)
    The importance of supervision for social work practice is widely accepted. This paper focuses on one specific type of supervision: systemic group supervision or “systemic supervision”. Systemic social work practice is a group-based, multi-disciplinary model of service delivery that aims to work therapeutically with the whole family. Central to this model is the use of systemically-informed group supervision. This has been shown to impact positively on the quality of direct practice with families, but what is it about this type of supervision that supports frontline practitioners to practice more skillfully? This paper is based on interviews with 49 frontline staff across five children’s services departments in the UK. It identifies the key features of systemic supervision and explores why workers think that developing collective, group-based understandings of risk to children supports them to intervene more effectively with families in contact with children’s services. These findings contribute to a growing body of knowledge about the practice shaping function of supervision within child and family social work.
  • ‘It’s like a much deeper understanding and you kind of believe them more…’: the value of peer support for young people affected by sexual violence

    Cody, Claire; Bovarnick, Silvie; Peace, Delphine; University of Bedfordshire (Wiley, 2022-09-05)
    Research demonstrates that relationships are key when working to support young people affected by sexual violence. Within these relationships young people show a preference for non-judgemental, flexible, consistent and informal support. Peer support - defined here as support provided by those with similar experiences - is however an uncharted area for assisting young people affected by sexual violence. This paper draws on interviews with 25 respondents with knowledge and experience of setting up, supervising and/or participating in peer support initiatives for young people impacted by different forms of sexual violence in Europe and North America. The article highlights how one form of peer support, peer or ‘survivor’ mentoring, can provide emotional and social support; create space for ‘normality’; and give choices to young people. It outlines three unique dimensions to the support provided by peers more generally; relatability, credibility and translatability. The discussion reflects on what this might mean for traditional support provided by professionals. It also draws attention to the significance of recognising both the variety of experience and identity of young survivors of sexual trauma and the impact this may have on promoting relatability within relationships.
  • The role of attachment in immigrant socio-cultural adaptation and psychological distress

    Sochos, Antigonos; Diniz, Marcio (Wiley, 2011-07-18)
    The study extends recent research on the link between attachment security and the sociocultural and psychological adaptation of immigrants. It was hypothesised that attachment style would moderate the effects of sociocultural adaptation difficulties on psychological distress and the relationship between attachment style and immigrant background variables was explored. The study was correlational and questionnaire‐based, including a sample of 172 Brazilian immigrants living in the UK. According to the findings, secure and dismissing attachment styles moderated the effects of sociocultural adaptation difficulties on psychological distress. Preoccupied attachment style moderated the effects of previous immigration experience on psychological distress and the effects of duration of stay in the UK on concerns over terrorism. Future studies should employ longitudinal designs and include a variety of immigrant groups.
  • Attachment style and interpersonal difficulties in immigrants with coronary heart disease

    Sochos, Antigonos; Biskanaki, F.; Tassoulas, E.; (North American Journal of Pyschology, 2006-03-01)
    The aim of this study was to investigate the role of interpersonal factors and immigration in the development and management of coronary heart disease (CHD). In a cross-sectional design, three groups matched on age and gender were compared on attachment style and interpersonal difficulties: a group of 20 Greek-Cypriot immigrants with CHD, a group 20 Greek-Cypriot immigrants without CHD, and a group of 18 Greek-Cypriots with the disease living in Cyprus, without a history of immigration. Three self-report questionnaires were used: the Interpersonal Problems, the Relationship Questionnaire, and the Hostility Scale. According to the findings, a dismissive attachment style in couple relationships and difficulties indicating lack of general interpersonal engagement were associated with the presence of CHD. Although the association between dismissing attachment and CHD was indicated irrespective of immigrant status, general interpersonal problems were related to the disease only when such a status was also present. Examined in the context of the relevant literature, these findings suggested that attachment and interpersonal difficulties may play a role in the development and/or successful management of CHD. Such a role may be particularly evident in social groups experiencing additional psychosocial stressors, such as the immigrants. Future studies are needed to explore the issue further.
  • Attachment and representational change in cognitive analytic therapy: developing a taxonomy

    Sochos, Antigonos; University of Bedfordshire (BPS, 2005-03-01)
    A number of studies suggest that the couple relationship is a crucial aspect of the individual's supportive network, playing an important role in the maintenance of mental health and the recovery from psychological disorder. The aim of this study was to investigate how Cognitive Analytic Therapy may change the patients' understandings of their couple relationships and, possibly, the relationships themselves. Eleven outpatients presenting mostly with neurotic and personality disorders were interviewed before and after treatment about their current couple relationships, while clinical improvement was also assessed on a number of scales. A qualitative analysis was conducted on the patients' accounts, revealing that the patients experienced their interpersonal space as being defined by three dichotomies: self vs. other, autonomy vs. relatedness, and dependent vs. depended-on positions. Moreover, the patients' perception of autonomy tended to change in reference to the dependent position, while that of relatedness did so in reference to the depended-on. In addition, post-therapy changes regarding autonomy were asymmetrical, with the self being presented as strengthened and the other as relatively weakened; in contrast, changes regarding relatedness were symmetrical, presenting both partners either as more, or as less emotionally available. On the basis of differences in change, three types of patients were identified. As the findings were considered within the framework of attachment theory three research questions were formulated for further investigation: (a) the patients' subjective experience may have revealed information about their deeper attachment representations; (b) changes in that experience may have suggested shifts in the patients' security of attachment; and (c) different types of change in that experience may have suggested diverse pathways through which shifts in attachment security may have been attained. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Research informed learning in the psychology curriculum: an initial evaluation

    Robertson, S. Ian; Teoh, Kevin; McMurray, Isabella; Roberts, Patricia Isobel; Sochos, Antigonos; University of Bedfordshire (SAGE, 2011-01-01)
    Research-informed teaching and learning have become an important area for development in psychology departments. There is an assumption that staff research can enhance the curriculum and the student experience. The methods of research and statistical awareness are also deemed important skills for a student in professional psychology to develop. This article reports an evaluation of the degree to which research informs staff teaching and the impact of research methods teaching on student employability. Undergraduate students and recent graduates were surveyed in a mixed qualitative and quantitative research design involving questionnaires, focus groups and a job analysis. A discrepancy was found between lecturers' and students' views of the extent to which staff's research informed their teaching. While lecturers regarded themselves as researchers as well as teachers, students regarded them as mainly teachers and ‘entertainers’. Where staff did refer to their own research to illustrate their teaching they were regarded as enthusiastic and authoritative. Staff-led projects in particular had a positive impact on both students and staff as they appeared to enhance group identity among the students involved and to improve students' understanding of research design. The focus on research, research methods, statistics and research ethics appears to have led some students to develop a critical attitude to events and information in the media and everyday life.
  • The European Union as an object of insecure collective attachment : a response to ‘Brexit: Who is afraid of group attachment? Part I. Europe: What Europe?’ by Arturo Ezquerro

    Sochos, Antigonos; University of Bedfordshire (Sage, 2021-04-07)
    In this commentary I argue that the European Union has been functioning as an insecure object of collective attachment for large parts of the European population for many years. According to attachment theory, in relationships of asymmetrical power insecure attachment is formed as the narrative constructed by the most powerful party overwrites the authentic experience of the weakest, generating conflicted representation of self and the attachment object. That attachment object may be interpersonal or collective. The EU narrative on how it safeguards democracy and citizen well-being contradicts the true experience of many Europeans who struggle to make ends meet in neoliberal Europe. On this basis, an insecure collective bond with the EU is established, as the latter fails to recognize and address the needs of many of its citizens.
  • Biomarkers associated with lower limb muscle function in individuals with sarcopenia: a systematic review

    Jones, Rebecca Louise; Paul, Lorna; Steultjens, Martijn P.M.; Smith, Stephanie Louise; University of Bedfordshire; University of Lincoln; Glasgow Caledonian University; University of Nottingham (Wiley, 2022-08-17)
    Lower limb muscle dysfunction is a key driver for impaired physical capacity and frailty status, both characteristics of sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is the key pathway between frailty and disability. Identifying biological markers for early diagnosis, treatment, and prevention may be key to early intervention and prevention of disability particularly mobility issues. To identify biological markers associated with lower limb muscle (dys)function in adults with sarcopenia, a systematic literature search was conducted in AMED, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Medline, PubMed, Scopus, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science databases from inception to 17 November 2021. Title, abstract, and full-text screening, data extraction, and methodological quality assessment were performed by two reviewers independently and verified by a third reviewer. Depending on available data, associations are reported as either Pearson's correlations, regression R2 or partial R2 , P value, and sample size (n). Twenty eligible studies including 3306 participants were included (females: 79%, males: 15%, unreported: 6%; mean age ranged from 53 to 92 years) with 36% in a distinct sarcopenic subgroup (females: 73%, males: 19%, unreported: 8%; mean age range 55-92 years). A total of 119 biomarkers were reported, categorized into: genetic and microRNAs (n = 64), oxidative stress (n = 10), energy metabolism (n = 18), inflammation (n = 7), enzyme (n = 4), hormone (n = 7), bone (n = 3), vitamin (n = 2), and cytokine (n = 4) markers) and seven lower limb muscle measures predominately focused on strength. Seven studies reported associations between lower limb muscle measures including (e.g. power, force, and torque) and biomarkers. In individuals with sarcopenia, muscle strength was positively associated with free testosterone (r = 0.40, P = 0.01; n = 46). In analysis with combined sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic individuals, muscle strength was positively associated with combined genetic and methylation score (partial R2 = 0.122, P = 0.03; n = 48) and negatively associated with sarcopenia-driven methylation score (partial R2 = 0.401, P < 0.01; n = 48). Biomarkers related to genetics (R2 = 0.001-0.014, partial R2 = 0.013-0.122, P > 0.05; n = 48), oxidative stress (r = 0.061, P > 0.05; n ≥ 77), hormone (r = 0.01, ρ = 0.052 p > 0.05, n ≥ 46) and combined protein, oxidative stress, muscle performance, and hormones (R2 = 22.0, P > 0.05; n ≥ 82) did not report significant associations with lower limb muscle strength. Several biomarkers demonstrated associations with lower limb muscle dysfunction. The current literature remains difficult to draw clear conclusions on the relationship between biomarkers and lower limb muscle dysfunction in adults with sarcopenia. Heterogeneity of biomarkers and lower limb muscle function precluded direct comparison. Use of international classification of sarcopenia and a set of core standardized outcome measures should be adopted to aid future investigation and recommendations to be made.
  • The pioneer transcription factor Foxa2 modulates T helper differentiation to reduce mouse allergic airway disease

    Yánez, Diana C.; Lau, Ching-In; Papaioannou, Eleftheria; Chawda, Mira Manilal; Rowell, Jasmine; Ross, Susan; Furmanski, Anna L.; Crompton, Tessa; ; UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health; et al. (Frontiers, 2022-08-08)
    Foxa2, a member of the Forkhead box (Fox) family of transcription factors, plays an important role in the regulation of lung function and lung tissue homeostasis. FOXA2 expression is reduced in the lung and airways epithelium of asthmatic patients and in mice absence of Foxa2 from the lung epithelium contributes to airway inflammation and goblet cell hyperplasia. Here we demonstrate a novel role for Foxa2 in the regulation of T helper differentiation and investigate its impact on lung inflammation. Conditional deletion of Foxa2 from T-cells led to increased Th2 cytokine secretion and differentiation, but decreased Th1 differentiation and IFN-γ expression in vitro. Induction of mouse allergic airway inflammation resulted in more severe disease in the conditional Foxa2 knockout than in control mice, with increased cellular infiltration to the lung, characterized by the recruitment of eosinophils and basophils, increased mucus production and increased production of Th2 cytokines and serum IgE. Thus, these experiments suggest that Foxa2 expression in T-cells is required to protect against the Th2 inflammatory response in allergic airway inflammation and that Foxa2 is important in T-cells to maintain the balance of effector cell differentiation and function in the lung.
  • A scoping review of empirical literature on people with intellectual disability in Nigeria

    Sango, Precious Nonye; Deveau, Roy; ; University of Bedfordshire; University of Kent (MDPI, 2022-08-19)
    Intellectual disability (ID) is an emerging field of research in Nigeria. This review seeks to identify what has been published in order to describe the evidence and to identify the major gaps in knowledge and practice. A systematic search of five databases and an African disability journal yielded 15 papers that reported on empirical studies related to people with ID in Nigeria. Fifteen studies across the databases and journal searched met the inclusion criteria. The participants included adults and children with ID and their families. Twelve of the papers employed quantitative methods, two were qualitative and one was a mixed methods study. There is a paucity of empirical research on people with ID in Nigeria, thus emphasising the need for more primary research about people with ID living in Nigeria. Nigeria is estimated to have the largest population of people with disabilities in Africa; however, this review found limited empirical work regarding their lives, prevalence and care. This limited evidence hinders the understanding of the challenges people with an intellectual disability face and potentially inhibit the creation of policy-oriented solutions to their plights in a globalised world.

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