• Balance quality assessment as an early indicator of physical frailty in older people

      Chkeir, Aly; Safieddine, Doha; Bera, Delphine; Collart, Michèle; Novella, Jean-Luc; Drame, M.; Hewson, David; Duchêne, Jacques (IEEE, 2016-10-01)
      Frailty is an increasingly common geriatric condition that results in an increased risk of adverse health outcomes such as falls. The most widely-used means of detecting frailty is the Fried phenotype, which includes several objective measures such as grip strength and gait velocity. One method of screening for falls is to measure balance, which can be done by a range of techniques including the assessment of the Centre of Pressure (CoP) during a balance assessment. The Balance Quality Tester (BQT) is a device based on a commercial bathroom scale that can evaluate balance quality. The BQT provides instantaneously the position of the CoP (stabilogram) in both anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) directions and can estimate the vertical ground reaction force. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between balance quality assessment and physical frailty. Balance quality was compared to physical frailty in 186 older subjects. Rising rate (RR) was slower and trajectory velocity (TV) was higher in subjects classified as frail for both grip strength and gait velocity (p<;0.05). Balance assessment could be used in conjunction with functional tests of grip strength and gait velocity as a means of screening for frailty.
    • Balancing risk and protective factors: how do social workers and managers analyse referrals that may indicate children are at risk of significant harm?

      Wilkins, David (Oxford University Press, 2013-09-07)
      This paper is based upon the findings of a qualitative study of how child protection social workers and social work managers analyse referrals. The study involved interviews with eighteen participants based on four vignettes of children potentially at risk of emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect. Three themes in particular are discussed—the balancing of risk, protective and resilience factors; the use of family history and the child's wider circumstances; and ‘known’ and ‘unknown’ unknowns (‘missing information’). These findings are considered in relation to the potential use of actuarial risk assessment tools or Structured Decisions Making tools in child protection social work. The first of two conclusions is that when given adequate space and time the participants tended to be to be reflective and analytical, but that difficulties remained in their ability to analyse the referrals, in particular with the identification of protective or resilience factors and in the balancing of risk and protective or resilience factors in relation to individual children. The second conclusion is that social workers and managers may benefit from assistance in identifying protective and resilience factors (and distinguishing between protective factors and resilience factors) in particular and this may offer a focus for the introduction of structured tools as a way to support current practice rather than to replace it.
    • Ballistic exercise as a pre-activation stimulus: a review of the literature and practical applications

      Maloney, Sean J.; Turner, Anthony; Fletcher, Iain M.; (Springer International Publishing, 2014-06-19)
      Post-activation potentiation (PAP) refers to the acute enhancement of muscular function as a direct result of its contractile history. Protocols designed to elicit PAP have commonly employed heavy resistance exercise (HRE) as the pre-activation stimulus; however, a growing body of research suggests that low-load ballistic exercises (BE) may also provide an effective stimulus. The ability to elicit PAP without the need for heavy equipment would make it easier to utilise prior to competition. It is hypothesised that BE can induce PAP given the high recruitment of type II muscle fibres associated with its performance. The literature has reported augmentations in power performance typically ranging from 2 to 5 %. The performance effects of BE are modulated by loading, recovery and physical characteristics. Jumps performed with an additional loading, such as depth jumps or weighted jumps, appear to be the most effective activities for inducing PAP. Whilst the impact of recovery duration on subsequent performance requires further research, durations of 1–6 min have been prescribed successfully in multiple instances. The effect of strength and sex on the PAP response to BE is not yet clear. Direct comparisons of BE and HRE, to date, suggest a tendency for HRE protocols to be more effective; future research should consider that these strategies must be optimised in different ways. The role of acute augmentations in lower limb stiffness is proposed as an additional mechanism that may further explain the PAP response following BE. In summary, BE demonstrates the potential to enhance performance in power tasks such as jumps and sprints. This review provides the reader with some practical recommendations for the application of BE as a pre-activation stimulus.
    • Banks’ lending behaviour under repressed financial regulatory environment: in the context of Myanmar

      Win, Sandar (Emerald, 2017-05-04)
      In an ideal world, banking operations should ensure that there is a match between business strategy and loan assessment behaviour (Berger and Udell, 2004). However, in reality, banks are confined within a highly institutionalised environment which shapes their lending behaviour. Banks operate between two spectra in terms of regulatory environment, with policies based either on financial repression or liberalisation. Repressive policies are more common in the banking sector than capital markets. According to McKinnon (1973), financial repression is defined by various policies whereby the state influences credit allocation in channelling financial resources to priority areas identified by the government and micromanaging banks’ lending behaviour through interest-rate caps, collateral requirements and capital controls. Financial liberalisation, on the other hand, is regarded as an efficient means of fostering competition and inviting growth impulses from abroad (Bartolini and Drazen, 1997). After a series of decisions supporting financial liberalisation which took place from the 1970s to the 1990s, this type of policy has been intensively studied by scholars. However, there is still no consensus on whether it has positive or negative impacts.
    • Barnardo’s ReachOut: final evaluation report March 2019

      McNeish, Di; Scott, Sara; Lloyd, Sarah; Pearce, Jenny J.; University of Bedfordshire; DMSS Research (University of Bedfordshire, 2019-03-01)
      ReachOut is a preventative child sexual exploitation (CSE) project established in 2016 under a partnership funding agreement between Barnardo’s, the KPMG Foundation, Department for Education, Communities and Local Government and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC). An independent evaluation was commissioned from the University of Bedfordshire with DMSS Research both to evaluate the impact of the project and to provide ongoing learning and feedback. A diverse staff team was recruited from a range of professional backgrounds including criminal justice, social work and youth work. There have been three main strands of work undertaken by ReachOut in order to achieve its aims: •Outreach work to raise awareness and provide support to children and young people in their communities  •Healthy relationship education in schools and other settings •Direct support for children and young people identified as at risk of CSE. These have operated at three levels of prevention: universal, including outreach at community events across Rotherham, helping to convey the message  that CSE is relevant to everyone; primary prevention, including education work in schools reaching over 2000 children and young people; targeted prevention with groups and communities identified as potentially more vulnerable to CSE as well as direct work with around 300 individual children and young people. Over the course of the three years, evaluators have carried out interviews with ReachOut staff and managers and representatives from external agencies; observed sessions of delivery; interviewed samples of young people and parents; analysed feedback questionnaires from school students and staff; reviewed project monitoring and samples of case records.
    • Barriers and facilitators to adherence to group exercise in institutionalized older people living with dementia: a systematic review

      Vseteckova, Jitka; Deepak-Gopinath, Manik; Borgstrom, Erica; Holland, Caroline; Draper, Jan; Pappas, Yannis; McKeown, Eamonn; Dadova, Klara; Gray, Steve; Open University; et al. (BioMed Central, 2018-12-28)
      Research suggests targeted exercise is important for people living with dementia, especially those living in residential care. The aim of this review was to collect and synthesize evidence on the known barriers and facilitators to adherence to group exercise of institutionalized older people living with dementia. We searched all available electronic databases. Additionally, we searched trial registries (clinicaltrial.gov, and WHO ICTRP) for ongoing studies. We searched for and included papers from January 1990 until September 2017 in any language. We included randomized, non-randomized trials. Studies were not eligible if participants were either healthy older people or people suffering from dementia but not living in an institution. Studies were also excluded if they were not focused on barriers and facilitators to adherence to group exercise. Using narrative analysis, we identified the following themes for barriers: bio-medical reasons and mental wellbeing and physical ability, relationships dynamics, and socioeconomic reasons. The facilitators were grouped under the following thematic frames: bio-medical benefits and benefits related to physical ability, feelings and emotions and confidence improvements, therapist and group relationships dynamics and activity related reasons. We conclude that institutionalized older people living with dementia, even those who are physically frail, incontinent and/or have mild dementia can demonstrate certain level of exercise adherence, and therefore can respond positively to exercise programs. Tailored, individually-adjusted and supported physical activity, led by a knowledgeable, engaging and well communicating therapist/facilitator improves the adherence to group exercise interventions of institutionalized older people living with dementia. Objectives Methods Results Conclusions
    • Barriers and facilitators to adherence to walking group exercise in older people living with dementia in the community: a systematic review

      Vseteckova, Jitka; Dadova, Klara; Gracia, R.; Ryan, G.; Borgstrom, Erica; Abington, J.; Gopinath, M.; Pappas, Yannis; (BioMed Central Ltd, 2020-09-21)
      Summary: Background &amp; Aims: Evidence suggests that targeted exercise is important for people living with dementia. The aim of this review was to collect and synthesize evidence on the known barriers and facilitators to adherence to walking group exercise of older people living with dementia in the community. Methods: We have searched appropriate electronic databases between January 1990 until September 2019, in any language. Additionally, we searched trial registries (clinicaltrial.gov and WHO ICTRP) for ongoing studies. We included all study designs. Studies were excluded when participants were either healthy older people or people suffering from dementia but living in residential care. Narrative synthesis was used. Findings: 10 papers met the inclusion criteria. The narrative analysis focused on barriers, facilitators, and adherence. All studies reported on barriers and facilitators. Barriers included: bio-medical reasons (including mental wellbeing and physical ability); relationship dynamics; and socio-economic reasons and environmental issues. Facilitators included: bio-medical benefits &amp; benefits related to physical ability; staff, group relationship dynamics and social aspect of walking group; environmental issues and individual tailoring; and participants perceptions about the walks &amp; the program. Most studies did not provide data about adherence or attendance; where reported, adherence ranged from 47 to 89%. Conclusions: This systematic review of literature has highlighted known barriers and facilitators to adherence to walking groups type of exercise for people living with dementia in community. Carers' willingness to engage, their circumstances, perspectives and previous experiences of exercise seem to play a key role in facilitating adherence but there is little research that explores these. Also, the design, location and organisation of walking groups facilitate adherence. This reflects the need for such activities to be part of a wider 'program of care', tailored to the needs of the individual, flexible and convenient. Knowledgeable and well-trained instructors or healthcare professionals are recommended as group exercise leaders.
    • Barriers and facilitators to genetic testing amongst Black African women in the UK

      Kabeya, Valencia; Puthussery, Shuby; Furmanski, Anna L. (Oxford University Press, 2021-10-20)
      Background Black African women have the lowest attendance of genetic testing services and the highest mortality rate of breast and ovarian cancer amongst women from ethnic minority groups in the UK. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the barriers and facilitators to genetic testing to enable these women to make informed choices if found eligible. Methods A qualitative approach was used to explore the perceptions surrounding genetic testing amongst Twenty-four women aged 23-57 Black African women in Luton. Purposive sampling combined with snowballing sampling was used as a recruitment technique. Results The findings revealed that most of the participants had no awareness or knowledge of genetic testing and limited knowledge of their family medical history for eligibility to attend genetic testing services. Facilitators including family member's health, funding by the National Health services and accessibility and awareness and education on genetic testing were identified. Conclusions This study sought to explore the perceptions of Black African women on barriers and facilitators to genetic testing to enable researchers to implement efficient intervention that would increase genetic testing attendance whilst addressing the other barriers and facilitators to alter Black African's women health seeking behaviours.
    • Barriers and facilitators to smart home adoption

      Davidson, Rosemary (2015-11-12)
      This paper explores the social barriers and facilitators to smart home adoption with an analysis of public attitudes. Smart home services aim to improve the comfort, convenience and safety of householders, as well as allowing them to use energy more efficiently and cope with increasing costs. Despite the existence of smart homes and smart home technologies for some time, their prevalence is not widespread, and thus their potential largely untapped. Using in-depth deliberative public workshops this paper explores social barriers and facilitators to smart home technology, and how views vary by socio-economic status, expertise, life-stage and location. The research highlights the importance of themes such as environmental context, older housing stock, city living, perceptions of new homes, financial pressures/exclusion, lack of trust, and acceptability of smart home services.
    • Barriers children face complaining about social work practice: a study in one English local authority

      Diaz, Clive; Pert, Hayley; Hill, Lauren; Aylward, Tricia; Neill, Donna (Wiley, 2019-09-04)
      Despite the introduction of guidelines and procedures aimed at encouraging and supporting children and young people to complain about the services they receive, children in care still face barriers to doing so in practice. This paper explores what happens when children in care are dissatisfied with the services they receive. Specifically, this study examines the complaints procedure for children in care. The findings are based on semistructured interviews with children in care, social workers, senior managers, and independent reviewing officers from one English local authority. Thematic analysis of these data identified five emergent themes: (a) complaints by children in care are managed at the lowest possible level, (b) senior managers have an overly optimistic view about children in care being informed of complaint procedures and being encouraged to do so, (c) children in care are worried about complaining, which is recognized by professionals, (d) children's voices are often not heard, and (e) when issues are clearly defined, independent reviewing officers have some degree of success in resolving complaints from children in care.
    • Barriers towards organ donor registration and consent among people of Indian origin living globally: a systematic review and integrative synthesis - protocol

      Vincent, Britzer Paul; Randhawa, Gurch; Cook, Erica Jane; University of Bedfordshire (BMJ Publishing Group, 2020-06-21)
      Introduction The need for organs is comparatively higher among people of Indian origin due to the higher prevalence of end-stage organ failure. In spite of the higher need, they have a lower number of organ donors. Studies have been carried out among people of Indian origin living globally to understand the reasons for the low donation rate, but there has been no systematic review that has integrated all of these studies to synthesise the current literature. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to examine the barriers towards organ donor registration and consent among Indians living globally. Methods and analysis A systematic search will be conducted using the following relevant databases namely CINHAL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed Central, Global Health and Grey literature. Studies from 1994 that satisfy our inclusion criteria will be included. Two reviewers will conduct the screening, data extraction and quality assessment of the studies; in event of any disagreement between the two reviewers at any stage, the third reviewer will reconcile any disagreements and consensus will be made. Ethics and dissemination As this study includes only secondary data, ethical approval for secondary data usage has been sought. This study will use Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis guidelines to report and the study outcomes will be disseminated through a relevant peer-review publication, related conferences and also to various non-governmental organisations globally which are working with this particular community; following which further research can be developed based on this evidence and also helps in building a culturally competent strategy. PROSPERO registration number CRD42019155274.
    • Baseline and triangulation geometry in a standard plenoptic camera

      Hahne, Christopher; Aggoun, Amar; Velisavljević, Vladan; Fiebig, Susanne; Pesch, Matthias (Springer, 2017-09-22)
      In this paper, we demonstrate light field triangulation to determine depth distances and baselines in a plenoptic camera. The advancement of micro lenses and image sensors enabled plenoptic cameras to capture a scene from different viewpoints with sufficient spatial resolution. While object distances can be inferred from disparities in a stereo viewpoint pair using triangulation, this concept remains ambiguous when applied in case of plenoptic cameras. We present a geometrical light field model allowing the triangulation to be applied to a plenoptic camera in order to predict object distances or to specify baselines as desired. It is shown that distance estimates from our novel method match those of real objects placed in front of the camera. Additional benchmark tests with an optical design software further validate the model’s accuracy with deviations of less than 0:33 % for several main lens types and focus settings. A variety of applications in the automotive and robotics field can benefit from this estimation model.
    • Basics of analytics and big data

      Dinesh Kumar, U.; Pradhan. M.; Ramanathan, Ramakrishnan (CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, 2017-07-17)
      In this book chapter, we introduce fundamental concepts of analytics and big data and role of analytic in multi-criteria decision making.  Three components of analytics, namely, descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics are explained using different applications of these three components.  The chapter also introduces big data challenges and technology used for handling big data problems.  The primary objective of the chapter is to introduce basic concepts in analytics and big data to the readers.
    • Battery-assisted electric vehicle charging: data driven performance analysis

      Ali, Junade; Dyo, Vladimir; Zhang, Sijing (2020-11-10)
      As the number of electric vehicles rapidly increases, their peak demand on the grid becomes one of the major challenges. A battery-assisted charging concept has emerged recently, which allows to accumulate energy during off-peak hours and in-between charging sessions to boost-charge the vehicle at a higher rate than available from the grid. While prior research focused on the design and implementation aspects of battery- assisted charging, its impact at large geographical scales remains largely unexplored. In this paper we analyse to which extent the battery-assisted charging can replace high-speed chargers using a dataset of over 3 million EV charging sessions in both domestic and public setting in the UK. We first develop a discrete-event EV charge model that takes into account battery capacity, grid supply capacity and power output among other parameters. We then run simulations to evaluate the battery-assisted charging performance in terms of delivered energy, charging time and parity with conventional high-speed chargers. The results indicate that in domestic settings battery-assisted charging provides 98% performance parity of high-speed chargers from a standard 3 kW grid connection with a single battery pack. For non-domestic settings, the battery-assisted chargers can provide 92% and 99% performance parity of high-speed chargers with 10 battery packs using 3kW and 7kW grid supply respectively.
    • Battling under Britannia’s shadow: UK jazz dancing in the 1970s and ‘80s

      Carr, Jane (Springer Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-03-31)
      UK Jazz dancing, that is the subject of this chapter, emerged in British clubs in the late 1970s. Drawing upon insights from intersectional and postcolonial theories, this subcultural development of jazz is examined to explore how attitudes to ‘race’, class and gender might be understood as embodied in the styles of dancing. By situating the dancing in relation to its historical context of often turbulent political, social and economic change, it is suggested that while the dancers were focussed on recognition on the dance floor, the dance challenges they participated in can be understood as sites within which young people not only battled against each other but with others to negotiate new British identities.
    • Bayesian averaging over Decision Tree models for trauma severity scoring

      Schetinin, Vitaly; Jakaite, Livija; Krzanowski, Wojtek (Elsevier, 2017-12-21)
      Health care practitioners analyse possible risks of misleading decisions and need to estimate and quantify uncertainty in predictions. We have examined the “gold” standard of screening a patient's conditions for predicting survival probability, based on logistic regression modelling, which is used in trauma care for clinical purposes and quality audit. This methodology is based on theoretical assumptions about data and uncertainties. Models induced within such an approach have exposed a number of problems, providing unexplained fluctuation of predicted survival and low accuracy of estimating uncertainty intervals within which predictions are made. Bayesian method, which in theory is capable of providing accurate predictions and uncertainty estimates, has been adopted in our study using Decision Tree models. Our approach has been tested on a large set of patients registered in the US National Trauma Data Bank and has outperformed the standard method in terms of prediction accuracy, thereby providing practitioners with accurate estimates of the predictive posterior densities of interest that are required for making risk-aware decisions.
    • Bayesian averaging over decision tree models: an application for estimating uncertainty in trauma severity scoring

      Schetinin, Vitaly; Jakaite, Livija; Krzanowski, Wojtek; University of Bedfordshire; University of Exeter (Elsevier, 2018-01-11)
      Introduction For making reliable decisions, practitioners need to estimate uncertainties that exist in data and decision models. In this paper we analyse uncertainties of predicting survival probability for patients in trauma care. The existing prediction methodology employs logistic regression modelling of Trauma and Injury Severity Score(external) (TRISS), which is based on theoretical assumptions. These assumptions limit the capability of TRISS methodology to provide accurate and reliable predictions. Methods We adopt the methodology of Bayesian model averaging and show how this methodology can be applied to decision trees in order to provide practitioners with new insights into the uncertainty. The proposed method has been validated on a large set of 447,176 cases registered in the US National Trauma Data Bank in terms of discrimination ability evaluated with receiver operating characteristic (ROC) and precision–recall (PRC) curves. Results Areas under curves were improved for ROC from 0.951 to 0.956 (p = 3.89 × 10−18) and for PRC from 0.564 to 0.605 (p = 3.89 × 10−18). The new model has significantly better calibration in terms of the Hosmer–Lemeshow Hˆ" role="presentation"> statistic, showing an improvement from 223.14 (the standard method) to 11.59 (p = 2.31 × 10−18). Conclusion The proposed Bayesian method is capable of improving the accuracy and reliability of survival prediction. The new method has been made available for evaluation purposes as a web application.
    • Bayesian learning of models for estimating uncertainty in alert systems: application to air traffic conflict avoidance

      Schetinin, Vitaly; Jakaite, Livija; Krzanowski, Wojtek; University of Bedfordshire; University of Exeter (IOS Press, 2018-05-17)
      Alert systems detect critical events which can happen in the short term. Uncertainties in data and in the models used for detection cause alert errors. In the case of air traffic control systems such as Short-Term Conflict Alert (STCA), uncertainty increases errors in alerts of separation loss. Statistical methods that are based on analytical assumptions can provide biased estimates of uncertainties. More accurate analysis can be achieved by using Bayesian Model Averaging, which provides estimates of the posterior probability distribution of a prediction. We propose a new approach to estimate the prediction uncertainty, which is based on observations that the uncertainty can be quantified by variance of predicted outcomes. In our approach, predictions for which variances of posterior probabilities are above a given threshold are assigned to be uncertain. To verify our approach we calculate a probability of alert based on the extrapolation of closest point of approach. Using Heathrow airport flight data we found that alerts are often generated under different conditions, variations in which lead to alert detection errors. Achieving 82.1% accuracy of modelling the STCA system, which is a necessary condition for evaluating the uncertainty in prediction, we found that the proposed method is capable of reducing the uncertain component. Comparison with a bootstrap aggregation method has demonstrated a significant reduction of uncertainty in predictions. Realistic estimates of uncertainties will open up new approaches to improving the performance of alert systems.
    • The beam and shadow of the spotlight: visibility and invisibility in women’s experiences of domestic violence and abuse

      Neale, Jo; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2019-01-29)
      Although it has received greater policy attention in recent years, domestic violence and abuse (DVA) is a global problem that, at a national level, remains under-reported, under-prosecuted and under-convicted. The apparent ineffectiveness of policy approaches in reducing the incidence of DVA, or mitigating its social and economic costs, not least upon those directly experiencing DVA, forms the backcloth of this enquiry. The aim of the study presented in this thesis was to explore, from a feminist poststructuralist perspective, the processes by which heterosexual women enter, endure and leave abusive relationships. Using semi-structured narrative style interviews, I worked with fourteen women with a wide range of characteristics in terms of age, ethnicity, physicality, socio-economic status and the length of time elapsed since their experiences of abuse. Using Nicola Gavey’s (2005) concept of cultural scaffolding (the discourses and [hetero]normative practices that make it so difficult to identify a relationship as abusive), I examined the space between normalised heterosexual relationships and abuse and, in the process, provided a better understanding of women’s routes into DVA. I have shone a spotlight on the full range of perpetrators’ behaviours that entrap and oppress their female partners and have identified four key domains in which the tactics of the abuser work to: ensnare his victim; dismantle her previous identities; prevent her from leaving the relationship; and punish her for leaving. These include behaviours used to manipulate women’s social and support networks in order to prolong or sabotage their attempts to escape the abuse. From a feminist poststructuralist perspective, participants’ experiences of entering, enduring and leaving abusive relationships can be read as part of the wider cultural scaffolding of heteropatriarchy, which left them exposed to ensnarement and exploitation. Using Dark Triad (Paulhus 2002) as a model for conceptualising perpetrators’ manipulation of their ex-partners, their children, and professionals, I offer an alternative way of understanding men’s abuse of their female partners.
    • Becoming a home-educator in a networked world: towards the democratisation of education alternatives?

      Fensham-Smith, Amber; University of Bedfordshire (Other Business, 2019-06-09)
      The internet is assumed to play a special role in UK home-education and has apparently fuelled an increase its prevalence. This paper reports the place and purpose of the internet, online networks and offline communities in the decision to home-educate amongst parents in England, Scotland and Wales. The research formed part of a mixed-method doctoral study that included: an online survey of 242 home-educators; 52 individual and group interviews with 85 parents, children and young people and a week-long participant observation with families. The sample included a range of both ‘new’ and ‘experienced’ home-educators. The findings show that online and offline networking helped prospective parents to learn of home-education as a viable and positive alternative to schooled provision. For parents, socialising with existing home-educators was pivotal for cultivating a sense of identity, belonging and commitment to an education without school. At the same time, becoming a legitimate home-educator was a complex achievement; hinged upon social and economic resources and cultural competencies. Evidence of exclusionary practices among home-educators both online and offline, challenges the extent to which home-education is truly more ‘open’ now than it once was. In the decision to home-educate, it is concluded that the democratising potential of the internet points to ‘old wine in new bottles’.