• QSAR and molecular docking for the search of AOX inhibitors: a rational drug discovery approach

      Rosell-Hidalgo, Alicia; Young, Luke; Moore, Anthony L.; Ghafourian, Taravat; University of Sussex; University of Bedfordshire (Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH, 2020-12-08)
      The alternative oxidase (AOX) is a monotopic diiron carboxylate protein that catalyses the oxidation of ubiquinol and the reduction of oxygen to water. Although a number of AOX inhibitors have been discovered, little is still known about the ligand–protein interaction and essential chemical characteristics of compounds required for a potent inhibition. Furthermore, owing to the rapidly growing resistance to existing inhibitors, new compounds with improved potency and pharmacokinetic properties are urgently required. In this study we used two computational approaches, ligand–protein docking and Quantitative Structure–Activity Relationships (QSAR) to investigate binding of AOX inhibitors to the enzyme and the molecular characteristics required for inhibition. Docking studies followed by protein–ligand interaction fingerprint (PLIF) analysis using the AOX enzyme and the mutated analogues revealed the importance of the residues Leu 122, Arg 118 and Thr 219 within the hydrophobic cavity. QSAR analysis, using stepwise regression analysis with experimentally obtained IC50 values as the response variable, resulted in a multiple regression model with a good prediction accuracy. The model highlighted the importance of the presence of hydrogen bonding acceptor groups on specific positions of the aromatic ring of ascofuranone derivatives, acidity of the compounds, and a large linker group on the compounds on the inhibitory effect of AOX.
    • A qualitative exploration of staff views towards the uptake of NHS Direct

      Cook, Erica Jane; Randhawa, Gurch; Large, Shirley; Guppy, Andrew; Chater, Angel M.; Ali, Nasreen (Elsevier, 2014-02-24)
      Objectives To explore the views of staff to examine the underlying factors that may contribute to the variation of uptake to NHS Direct. Methods Adopting a qualitative approach two focus groups were carried out with staff (n=13); which included registered nurse advisors and health advisors at two NHS Direct sites: Bristol and Manchester in England. Findings were analysed using framework analysis [1] . Results Staff views for explaining reasons why people do and do not engage with NHS Direct focused on themes centred on ‘knowledge of NHS Direct’, ‘attitudes towards NHS Direct’, ‘the cost of using NHS Direct’, ‘time/speed of using NHS Direct’ and finally ‘satisfaction with the service’. Conclusion This research has explored staff views of the barriers and facilitators that may impact on the uptake NHS Direct, which can help enable the development of future promotional campaigns that can target particular sections of the population to encourage use of telephone based healthcare services.
    • Qualitative investigation of the flipped classroom teaching approach as an alternative to the traditional lecture

      Abdulaziz Almanasef, M.; Chater, Angel M.; Portlock, Jane (International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), 2020-04-25)
    • A qualitative study exploring the experiences of bereavement after stillbirth in Pakistani, Bangladeshi and White British mothers living in Luton, UK

      Garcia, Rebecca; Ali, Nasreen; Griffiths, Malcolm; Randhawa, Gurch; Open University; University of Bedfodshire; Luton & Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (Elsevier, 2020-08-29)
      This study aims to explore the experiences of bereavement after stillbirth of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and White British mothers in a town with multi-ethnic populations in England. A purposive sample of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and White British mothers aged over 16 (at time of infant birth), who suffered a stillbirth in the preceding 6-24 months and residing in a specified postcode area were invited to take part in the study, by an identified gatekeeper (audit midwife) from the local National Health Service Trust, in addition to local bereavement charities. Qualitative methods using face-to-face semi-structured interviews were undertaken, recorded and transcribed verbatim. Using framework analysis, several themes were identified. There were three main themes identified from the data; 1. knowledge and information of pregnancy and perinatal mortality; 2. attitudes and perceptions to pregnancy and perinatal mortality and 3. experiences with maternity care. The findings revealed mostly similarities in the bereavement experiences of the Pakistani, Bangladeshi and White British mothers. A few cultural and religious differences were identified. This study found important similarities in bereavement experiences of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and White British mothers and highlights considerations for policy makers and maternity services in how the timing of bereavement after care is provided, including advice surrounding the infant post-mortem.
    • A qualitative study of healthcare professionals’ experiences of providing maternity services for Muslim women in the UK

      Hassan, Shaima Mohamed; Leavey, Conan; Rooney, Jane S.; Puthussery, Shuby (Biomed Central, 2020-07-10)
      Background: A growing Muslim population in the UK suggests the need for healthcare professionals (HCPs) to gain a better understanding of how the Islamic faith influences health related perceptions and healthcare seeking behaviour. Although some researchers have explored the experiences of Muslim women as recipients of healthcare, little attention has been paid to the challenges HCPs face as service providers on a day-to-day basis whilst caring for Muslim women. The aim of this study was to investigate HPCs lived experiences of providing maternity care for Muslim women. Method: Data was collected through twelve semi-structured one-to-one qualitative interviews with HCPs in a large National Health Service (NHS) maternity unit located in the North West of England. Interview participants included Community and specialist clinic (e.g. clinic for non-English speakers), Midwives in a variety of specialist roles (7), Gynaecology Nurses (2), Breastfeeding Support Workers (2) and a Sonographer (1). The audio-recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed thematically. Results: The majority of participants expressed an understanding of some religious values and practices related to Muslim women, such as fasting the month of Ramadhan and that pregnant and breastfeeding women are exempt from this. However, HCPs articulated the challenges they faced when dealing with certain religious values and practices, and how they tried to respond to Muslim women’s specific needs. Emerging themes included: 1) HCPs perceptions about Muslim women; 2) HCPs understanding and awareness of religious practices; 3) HCPs approaches in addressing and supporting Muslim women’s religious needs; 4) Importance of training in providing culturally and religiously appropriate woman-centred care. Conclusion: Through this study we gained insight into the day-to-day experiences of HCPs providing care provision for Muslim women. HCPs showed an understanding of the importance of religious and cultural practices in addressing the needs of Muslim women as part of their role as maternity care providers. However, they also identified a need to develop training programmes that focus on cultural and religious practices and their impact on women’s health care needs. This will help support HCPs in overcoming the challenges faced when dealing with needs of women from different backgrounds.
    • Qualitative tourism research: opportunities in the emergent soft sciences

      Wilson, Erica; Hollinshead, Keith; Southern Cross University; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier Ltd, 2015-06-23)
      A liberation in 'soft science' inquiry over recent decades has opened up ontological, epistemological and methodological opportunities, but this empowerment is often under-recognised in investigations of tourism. While qualitative inquiry has made significant advances within tourism studies, scholars can gain richly by continuing to cultivate forms of critical multilogicality, and by embracing some of the methods and approaches on offer elsewhere across the broader (soft) social sciences. This paper thereby advances a set of key conceptual principles which guide emergent soft science thinking; it reviews their applicability within tourism studies through a probative 'tableau' of qualitative approach exemplars.
    • Quality improvements in diabetes care, how holistic have they been? a case-study from the United Kingdom

      Wilkinson, Emma; Randhawa, Gurch; Singh, Maninder; University of Bedfordshire (BioMed Central Ltd., 2014-04-01)
      Aims: As quality in diabetes care includes patient centred support for self-management, investigating patients’ experiences upon diagnosis can help improve access to this element of care among diverse populations. This research explored this care in the context of recent national quality improvement initiatives which support self-management. Methods: South Asian and White European patients over 16 years with a recent (< 1 year) diagnosis of diabetes were recruited from 18 General Practitioner (GP) practices in three UK locations - Luton, West London and Leicester. A semi-structured qualitative interview was conducted with 47 patients. Results: Twenty one out of 47 (45%) reported unmet support and information needs at diagnosis. Although there was a small proportion of participants (8 out of 47, 17% of all respondents) who felt they did not require any help or support with managing their diabetes because their GP had provided comprehensive and efficient care, there was an equal number who voiced a negative view of the care they had received to date. This concerned information giving, support and communication, suggesting that recently implemented national quality improvement interventions may not have been successful in improving all aspects of diabetes care, particularly those encouraging self-management. The emerging analysis led to consideration of concordance as an important concept through which to understand inequalities and improve access to quality diabetes care. In order to encourage self-management from the start, care providers need to be cognisant that patients are not homogeneous and be responsive to their different information needs and emotional responses to diagnosis. Conclusions: In order to support self-management and deliver patient centred care in diverse populations, care providers will need to be adaptable to individual needs around diagnosis.
    • Quantifying lexical usage: vocabulary pertaining to ecosystems and the environment

      Wild, Kate; Church, Andrew; McCarthy, Diana; Burgess, Jacquelin (Edinburgh University Press, 2013-03-31)
      A recent development in corpus linguistics has been the integration of critical discourse methodologies, which allow in-depth contextual and qualitative analyses, with corpus linguistic methodologies, which allow broader quantitative analyses. Our study is a contribution to this approach. We present the methods used in a study of vocabulary pertaining to the environment, undertaken as part of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment. A clear and replicable methodology was developed and applied to three custom-built specialised web corpora and a reference web corpus; automatic analysis of collocations found using the Sketch Engine was complemented by manual analysis; and a small-scale replicability check was carried out to ensure that investigator divergence was minimal. We outline the approach and some of the key findings, and we also suggest areas for further refinement/investigation.
    • Quantisation feasibility and performance of RSS-based secret key extraction in VANETs

      Bottarelli, Mirko; Epiphaniou, Gregory; Ben Ismail, Dhouha Kbair; Karadimas, Petros; al-Khateeb, Haider; University of Bedfordshire; University of Wolverhampton; University of Glasgow (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2018-12-06)
      Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks (VANETs) has emerged as a unique implementation of Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs). These networks promise to increase road safety and improve the driving experience by exploiting recent advances in wireless technologies for both intra-vehicle and inter-vehicle communications. Physical layer security is a promising alternative approach to secure communication in VANETs where physical and applications' constraints encourage the use of lightweight and fast cryptographic algorithms. Our work focuses on the quantisation stage of the secret generation process, by reviewing existing schemes in the public domain and associated performance metrics. Evaluations are done through simulation with the aid of a wireless channel model which includes three-dimensional scattering and scatterers' mobility. Preliminary findings show that RSS-based algorithms do not perform efficiently in the proposed vehicular stochastic wireless model. Hence they are not able to satisfy the typical low latency required in safety-related broadcasting messaging. We conclude that more research is desirable to design protocols capable of taking advantage from the nodes' high-mobility and the consequent variability of both coherence intervals and level crossing rates, to further improve secret bit extraction throughput.
    • Quantitative imaging for early detection of osteoarthritis

      Schetinin, Vitaly; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2020-07-09)
      The project supported by European Regional Development Fund is related to Quantitative Imaging for Early Detection of Osteoarthritis. The developed method has been tested on high resolution X-Ray images of knees at early stage when the pathological changes in patient's bones cannot be reliably quantified by using the standard radiologic tests. At early stage the pathology is latently developing and so being diagnosed later becomes untreatable. The proposed method has been developed in collaboration with Fusion Radiology (UK) and with Stavropol regional hospital (Russia). The Fusion Radiology (led by Mr Azizul Ambia) is a contractor of the NHS, providing radiology opinions for multiple UK hospitals. The regional hospital (the Deputy MD Anna Sadovaya) has verified the developed method on 160 patient cases. The new method has provided a statistically significant improvement of diagnostic accuracy on the anonymised patient records. The improvements were between 7% and 9%. The results achieved in the studies will allow radiologists to minimise false negative rate which is critically important for early diagnostics.
    • A quantitative investigation into the losses of proteins at different stages of a two-dimensional gel electrophoresis procedure

      Zhou, Shaobo; Bailey, Matthew J.; Dunn, Michael J.; Preedy, Victor R.; Emery, Peter W.; (Wiley, 2005-08-01)
      We report the results of a systematic investigation to quantify the losses of protein during a well-established two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2-DE) procedure. Radioactively labelled proteins ([(14)C]bovine serum albumin and a homogenate prepared from the liver of a rat that had been injected with [(35)S]methionine) were used, and recovery was quantified by digesting pieces of gel in H(2)O(2) and subjecting the digests to liquid scintillation counting. When samples were loaded onto the first dimension immobilised pH gradient strips by in-gel rehydration, recovery of protein from the strips was 44-80% of the amount of protein loaded, depending on the amount of protein in the sample. Most of the unrecovered protein appeared to have adhered to the reswelling tray. Losses during isoelectric focusing (IEF) were much smaller (7-14%), although approximately 2% of the protein appeared to migrate from sample strips to adjacent blank strips in the focussing apparatus. A further 17-24% of the proteins were lost into the buffers during equilibration prior to running in the second dimension. Losses during the second dimension run and subsequent staining with SYPRO Ruby amounted to less than 10%. The overall loss during 2-DE was reduced by approximately 25% when proteins were loaded onto the IEF strips using sample cups instead of by in-gel rehydration. These extensive and variable losses during the 2-DE procedure mean that spot intensities on 2-DE gels cannot be used to derive reliable, quantitative information on the amounts of proteins present in the original sample.
    • Quantum-like generalization of complex word embedding: a lightweight approach for textual classification.

      Jaiswal, Amit Kumar; Holdack, Guilherme; Frommholz, Ingo; Liu, Haiming; University of Bedfordshire (CEUR Workshop Proceedings, 2018-09-30)
      In this paper, we present an extension, and an evaluation, to existing Quantum like approaches of word embedding for IR tasks that (1) improves complex features detection of word use (e.g., syntax and semantics), (2) enhances how this method extends these aforementioned uses across linguistic contexts (i.e., to model lexical ambiguity) - specifically Question Classification -, and (3) reduces computational resources needed for training and operating Quantum based neural networks, when confronted with existing models. This approach could also be latter applicable to significantly enhance the state-of the-art across Natural Language Processing (NLP) word-level tasks such as entity recognition, part-of-speech tagging, or sentence-level ones such as textual relatedness and entailment, to name a few.
    • Questioning policy, youth participation and lifestyle sports

      King, Katherine; Church, Andrew (Routledge, 2014-05-05)
      Young people have been identified as a key target group for whom participation in sport and physical activity could have important benefits to health and well-being and consequently have been the focus of several government policies to increase participation in the UK. Lifestyle sports represent one such strategy for encouraging and sustaining new engagements in sport and physical activity in youth groups, however, there is at present a lack of understanding of the use of these activities within policy contexts. This paper presents findings from a government initiative which sought to increase participation in sport for young people through provision of facilities for mountain biking in a forest in south-east England. Findings from qualitative research with 40 young people who participated in mountain biking at the case study location highlight the importance of non-traditional sports as a means to experience the natural environments through forms of consumption which are healthy, active and appeal to their identities. In addition, however, the paper raises questions over the accessibility of schemes for some individuals and social groups, and the ability to incorporate sports which are inherently participant-led into state-managed schemes. Lifestyle sports such as mountain biking involve distinct forms of participation which present a challenge for policy-makers who seek to create and maintain sustainable communities of youth participants.
    • Race and educational leadership: the influence of research methods and critical theorising in understanding representation, roles and ethnic disparities

      Maylor, Uvanney; Roberts, Lorna; Linton, Kenisha; Arday, Jason; University of Bedfordshire; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Greenwich; Durham University (SAGE, 2021-06-29)
      Editorial. The special issue offers new knowledge about racialised educational experiences by shedding light on racialised leadership in school and higher education in diverse geographical and educational contexts in England, Canada, America and South Africa through a mix of research methods (phenomenological, longitudinal, documentary, semi-structured interviews), analytical (content and textual analysis) and theoretical approaches (critical race theory [CRT], critical ecological). This special issue prioritises the centring of educational leaders’ lived experiences and their voices alongside the research methods used to illuminate the nuances associated with race and educational leadership in schools and higher education. The prism of race enables us to add new educational leadership insights to the field associated with ethnicity, gender, culturally constructed notions of leadership, intersectionality and/or geographical location. The findings highlight implications for researching race and educational leadership.
    • Racial and ethnic differences in falls among older adults: a systematic review and meta‑analysis

      Wehner‑Hewson, Natasha; Watts, Paul; Buscombe, Richard; Bourne, Nicholas; Hewson, David; (Springer Nature, 2021-11-16)
      The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine whether differences in reported fall rates exist between different ethnic groups. Searches were carried out on four databases: Medline, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Scopus, and Web of Science. Only English language studies with community-dwelling participants aged 60 + years were included. Studies also needed to compare fall prevalence for at least two or more ethnic groups. Two reviewers independently screened all articles and evaluated study quality. Twenty-three articles were included for systematic review, and meta-analyses were carried out on the 16 retrospective studies that reported falls in the previous 12 months. The Asian group demonstrated significantly lower fall prevalence than all other ethnic groups at 13.89% (10.87, 16.91). The Hispanic group had a fall prevalence of 18.54% (12.95, 24.13), closely followed by the Black group at 18.60% (13.27, 23.93). The White group had the highest prevalence at 23.77% (18.66, 28.88). Some studies provided adjusted estimates of effect statistics for the odds/risk of falls, which showed that differences still existed between some ethnic groups even after adjusting for other risk factors. Overall, differences in fall prevalence do appear to exist between different ethnic groups, although the reasons for these differences currently remain undetermined and require further investigation. These findings highlight the need to provide more ethnically tailored responses to public health challenges, which could potentially increase the adherence to prevention interventions, and allow for a more targeted use of resources.
    • A radical take on co-production? community partner leadership in research

      Martikke, Susanne; Church, Andrew; Hart, Angie (Bristol University Press: Policy Press, 2018-12-19)
    • Radio spectrum support for timely and reliable communication over vehicular ad-hoc networks (VANETs)

      Eze, Elias Chinedum; Zhang, Sijing; Liu, Enjie; Eze, Joy C. (SciTePress, 2017-04-24)
      This paper studied the required amount of radio spectral resource enough to support timely and reliable vehicular communication via vehicular ad-hoc networks (VANETs). The study focussed on both DSRC/WAVE and the European standard ITS-G5 that are based on recently approved IEEE 802.11p specification, which uses a simplified version of CSMA/CA as MAC protocol, and an STDMA MAC recently proposed by European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). The paper further carried out a feasibility analysis of radio spectrum requirement for timely and reliable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication. In the feasibility analysis, synchronized STDMA MAC is compared with the CSMA/CA MAC protocol, which 802.11p is based on. Message Reception Failure (MRF) probability is used as a performance metric to investigate and ascertain the minimum spectrum requirement for efficient, timely, and reliable V2V communication. Simulation results show that even at the same allocation of 10MHz channel bandwidth, STDMA MAC outperforms the CSMA/CA based MACs due to the fact that STDMA based MACs provide a structured shared medium access and prevent negative impact of unhealthy contention for shared channel access. The results further show that up to 40MHz channel bandwidth over 5.9GHz band would be required to guarantee optimal reliability of safety packets exchange in vehicular networks as opposed to 10MHz allocated in US.
    • Raising of the participation age in the UK: the dichotomy between full participation and institutional accountability

      Lambert, Steve; Maylor, Uvanney; Coughlin, Annika (Inderscience, 2015-06-17)
      At a time of mass youth unemployment in the UK, the introduction of the Raising of the Participation Age (RPA) policy advocates the benefits of a prolonged period of education for all young people. As part of the policy, accountability was placed on schools for its implementation, with government imposed destination measures being used as an indicator of the policy's success. This paper argues that RPA will have little impact on young people who are Not in Education, Employment and/or Training (NEET) and that the accountability for the policy's implementation is at best problematic and at worse fundamentally flawed.
    • Randomised controlled feasibility study of the MyHealthAvatar-Diabetes smartphone app for reducing prolonged sitting time in Type 2 diabetes mellitus

      Bailey, Daniel Paul; Mugridge, Lucie; Dong, Feng; Zhang, Xu; Chater, Angel M.; Brunel University; University of Bedfordshire; University of Strathclyde (MDPI, 2020-06-19)
      This study evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of a self-regulation smartphone app for reducing prolonged sitting in people with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This was a two-arm, randomised, controlled feasibility trial. The intervention group used the MyHealthAvatar-Diabetes smartphone app for 8 weeks. The app uses a number of behaviour change techniques aimed at reducing and breaking up sitting time. Eligibility, recruitment, retention, and completion rates for the outcomes (sitting, standing, stepping, and health-related measures) assessed trial feasibility. Interviews with participants explored intervention acceptability. Participants with T2DM were randomised to the control (n = 10) and intervention groups (n = 10). Recruitment and retention rates were 71% and 90%, respectively. The remaining participants provided 100% of data for the study measures. The MyHealthAvatar-Diabetes app was viewed as acceptable for reducing and breaking up sitting time. There were preliminary improvements in the number of breaks in sitting per day, body fat %, glucose tolerance, attitude, intention, planning, wellbeing, and positive and negative affect in favour of the intervention group. In conclusion, the findings indicate that it would be feasible to deliver and evaluate the efficacy of the MyHealthAvatar-Diabetes app for breaking up sitting time and improving health outcomes in a full trial.