Now showing items 1-20 of 5956

    • The impact of the Coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19) pandemic on the provision of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) antenatal care and outcomes of pregnancies in women with IBD

      Steed, Helen; Selinger, CP; Segal, JP; Fraser, A; Collins, P; Gunn, Melanie; Chew, Then Soon; Kerry, Georgina; Patel, Kamal V; Toysam, M; et al. (BMJ, 2021-12-31)
      Background The impact of COVID-19 on pregnant Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients is currently unknown. Reconfiguration of services during the pandemic may negatively affect medical and obstetric care. We aimed to examine the impacts on IBD antenatal care and pregnancy outcomes. Methods Retrospective data were recorded in consecutive patients attending for IBD antenatal care including outpatient appointments, infusion unit visits and advice line encounters. Results We included 244 pregnant women with IBD, of which 75 (30.7%) were on biologics in whom the treatment was stopped in 29.3% at a median 28 weeks gestation. In addition 9% of patients were on corticosteroids and 21.5% continued on thiopurines. The care provided during 460 patient encounters was not affected by the pandemic in 94.1% but 68.2% were performed via telephone (compared to 3% pre-pandemic practice; p<0.0001). One-hundred-ten women delivered 111 alive babies (mean 38.2 weeks gestation, mean birthweight 3324grams) with 12 (11.0%) giving birth before week 37. Birth occurred by vaginal delivery in 72 (56.4%) and by caesarean section in 48 (43.6%) cases. Thirty three were elective (12 for IBD indications) and 15 emergency caesarean sections. Breast feeding rates were low (38.6%). Amongst 244 pregnant women with IBD 1 suspected COVID-19 infection was recorded. Conclusion IBD antenatal care adjustments during the COVID-19 pandemic have not negatively affected patient care. Despite high levels of immunosuppression only a single COVID-19 infection occurred. Adverse pregnancy outcomes were infrequent.
    • Longitudinal complications associated with PEG: rate and severity of 30-day and 1-year complications experienced by patients after primary PEG insertion

      Boylan, Conor; Barrett, Diane; Li, Vincent; Merrick, Susan; Steed, Helen (Elsevier, 2021-02-24)
      Background and Aims Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) feeding is utilised in patients with exceptionally poor oral intake but is associated with both short and long-term complications. This study reviews longitudinal PEG complications and compares key subgroups. Methods Single-centre retrospective observational study of all patients receiving PEG insertion between January 2016 and December 2018. Results 306 patients met the inclusion criteria. The mean age at insertion was 67 years. The majority were cared for in their own home (80.4%) by themselves or family (74.9%). 127 PEG tubes were inserted for dysphagia and 165 prophylactically prior to treatment for head and neck cancer. In the first 30 days 16.7% experienced a complication. The most frequently reported was peristomal pain (9.2%). In the first year, 35.6% experienced at least one complication, 12.4% two complications and 6.6% three complications and 6.5% required inpatient treatment for their complication. The most common was pain (14.4%) followed by site weeping, site infection and external overgranulation. Patients with dysphagia took longer to develop complications, had fewer complications and took longer to require management by members of the secondary care team than those with head and neck cancer. Discounting peristomal pain, there was no difference in total complications between patients caring for themselves when compared to those receiving professional input. Conclusion One third of patients will experience a complication related to their PEG tube over 1 year, but the majority are managed in an outpatient setting. This study has implications for planning support services and consenting and counselling patients pre-PEG-insertion.
    • Impact of Covid-19 on water sector projects and practices

      Renukappa, Suresh; Suresh, Subashini; Kamunda, Andrew (Elsevier, 2021-12-31)
      The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected world economies. The water industry was adversely affected, with unprecedented slow down and changes to ways of working. However, the pandemic also accelerated positive digital transformation. A qualitative research approach was adopted to analyze data collected from 12 interviewees representing six water sector organizations. The paper provides insight into the impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of water sector projects and how organizational practices have adapted from business as usual.
    • Tackling the global challenge of illegal wildlife trafficking and trade

      Mbzibain, Aurelian; Mohsen Mohamed, Habiba (University of Wolverhampton Centre for International Development & Training (CIDT), 2020-09-09)
    • Experiences from frontline forest communities: Covid-19 impacts on indigenous peoples and local communities, women and forest and wildlife illegality in the Congo Basin

      Mbzibain, Aurelian; Mohsen Mohamed, Habiba; Baur, Daniela; Jara Cazares, Cristina (The University of Wolverhampton, Centre for International Development and Training (CIDT), 2021-01-27)
    • Balance performance of undergraduate dancers: an evaluation of current and novel approaches in balance testing and training in theatrical dance

      Wyon, Matthew; Clarke, Frances A. (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-08)
      Balance skills are considered essential for dancers as they are required to perform complex, virtuoso movements. However, there is a dearth of evidence on the appropriateness of existing balance tests and training protocols for dancers. The aims of this thesis were to: (a) test sequentially the assumptions of associations between different field balance tests and between dancers’ balance ability and their dance performance, followed by an examination of the relevance of sports functional balance tests on dancers and, building on the first aim, (b) develop a reliable, dance-specific balance scoring tool and testing protocol examining the effects of balance training in a randomised controlled trial. Study 1 assessed associations between five field balance tests: Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT), the modified Romberg test, the Airplane test, the BioSway Balance System (Biodex, USA) and a dance-specific pirouette test. Results showed strongest relationships between some (SEBT) reach directions (p<0.01), but very weak to moderate relationships between some balance tests including some SEBT directions, Romberg, Airplane, Biosway, and pirouette (p<0.01 and p<0.05). Study 2 assessed associations between balance ability and dance performance comparing the five field tests from Study 1 to the same participants’ technique and repertoire performance scores in ballet, contemporary, and jazz genres. Results showed a low predictive association of balance ability on dance performance (p<0.01 and p<0.05). The first two studies demonstrated low predictive association between field tests and between balance ability and dance performance, suggesting limitations in the sensitivity of the tests for the dance population. Thus, studies 3 and 4 used a more functional tool to assess its sensitivity towards balance ability of the undergraduate population. Study 3 examined the effects of potential bilateral differences on dynamic postural stability during single-leg landing using a time to stabilisation protocol. Asymmetric training has been suggested in the literature but results showed that bilateral differences did not correlate with dancers’ balance ability; no significant differences were found in dynamic postural stability between the right and left leg and poor effect size was noted. Next, Study 4 examined the effects of fatigue using the same time to stabilisation protocol as Study 3. Fatigue has been associated with injury levels in dancers and balance ability in pre-professional dancers. Results showed that a fatigue condition (Dance Aerobic Fitness Test) had no significant effect on dancers’ postural stability or bilateral differences. Similar to the earlier studies, the functional test protocols in these two studies were limited to basic movements for dancers and lacked the sensitivity to measure variable postural control adaptations. Building on the findings of the first four studies, Study 5 developed a novel Accumulation Balance Score designed to gather data on postural stability and control in a variety of dance-specific settings. Results showed excellent interrater (ICC=0.963) and intrarater (0.992) reliability. Study 6 examined the effects of balance training on postural stability in a randomised trial. To capture postural control data, the Accumulation Balance Score was applied to the data. Results showed effects of training on some balance tasks: time (p=0.048), distance (p=0.004), and in various balances: arms (p=.014), legs (p=.016 and p=.001 and p=.042), and spine (p=.041 and p=.018). Post hoc tests revealed mixed findings between groups. Collectively, the results in this thesis revealed that current balance testing and training may not be functionally relevant for dancers with expertise in organising and patterning balance strategies. In contrast, aspects of novel dance-specific balance training may challenge dancers’ entrained responses, and the reliable Accumulation Balance Score can be applied to more novel approaches and protocols in assessing balance, more closely replicating embodied dance experience with ecological validity. For the first time, postural stability and postural control can be measured together in a balance assessment.
    • An examination of the emotional impact of the insertion of documentary footage into trauma cinema

      Badsey, Stephen; Pheasant-Kelly, Frances; Hockenhull, Stella; Yiassemides, Spyros C. (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-01)
      This thesis proposes that trauma cinema fiction films based on true dramatic events stand to gain much from utilising specific nonfiction material in their staged narratives and, furthermore, enhance emotional affect for the spectator. It deploys David Bordwell’s and Kristin Thompson’s (2017) formalist film theory to textually analyse a range of films, while also considering the dialogue between journalistic approaches and contemporary critical reviews of the films examined. The aim of this study is to show that there are similarities between certain films in the embedding and utilisation of documentary footage within the narratives of these films and that the footage has the ability to invite an emotional response in audiences, depending on certain personal factors and conditions. In general, previous work in Film Studies links actuality in feature films to greater emotional affect but does so epidermically. In other words, it fails to examine how footage which is real and not staged affects the emotional dynamics of the narratives in which it is inserted. The focus of this study is specifically on the 9/11 sub-genre where, arguably, the utilisation of actuality material in these films is a useful technique for encouraging an emotional response. Three films belonging to the 9/11 sub-genre of trauma cinema are examined in this work where there are certain commonalities of theme and style. These are World Trade Center (Stone, 2006), United 93 (Greengrass, 2006) and Zero Dark Thirty (Bigelow, 2012). There is also an emergent pattern in the way that actuality footage is deployed within the three films’ narratives, namely through props such as television sets, which appears to influence how the associated nonfiction content is relayed. Arguably, this delivery of the footage is more easily assimilated by audiences familiar with this initial mode of communication of the events of 9/11. Theoretically, the results produced mean that filmmakers can utilise documentary inserts in the same effective way as other emotion-eliciting cinematic devices, such as close-ups, cut zoom ins, and poignant non-diegetic music, to augment the narrative engagement of the spectator and to enhance the experience. In summary, this thesis contributes to knowledge in that it identifies possible usage of documentary inserts in the narratives of feature films not previously considered and suggests ways in which the emotional potential of these inserts can be exposed therein. It therefore provides a new way to think about calibrating the emotional barometer of these films through heightening the realism of their storylines by making use of documentary inserts
    • The lived experiences of counselling psychologists working with black, asian and minority ethnic survivors of domestic violence and abuse: An interpretative phenomenological analysis study

      Taiwo, Abigail; Morgan, Angela; Kandola, Sharanjit (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-01)
      Rationale: Research has shown that therapists face difficulties when providing therapy to BAME survivors of DVA. Due to the complexities of this client group, it appears that specialist skills are required for therapists to utilise in therapy. Previous research has highlighted these challenges concerned with the therapists’ personal and professional issues. However, there has been relatively minimal research on exploring Counselling Psychologists’ experiences of working with BAME survivors of DVA. It is apparent that it would be useful to explore how Counselling Psychologists feel and the impact it may have on their personal and professional lives. Method: A qualitative approach was adopted to explore the Counselling Psychologists’ lived experiences of working with BAME survivors of DVA. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with five Counselling Psychologists who had worked with BAME survivors of DVA. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was utilised to analyse the data. Findings: There were five major themes that emerged from the interviews. These were: (i) understanding the needs of a Counselling Psychologist, (ii) the complexity of working with BAME survivors of DVA, (iii) the psychological impact on a Counselling Psychologist, (iv) the need for containment as a Counselling Psychologist and (v) the identity of a Counselling Psychologist. Conclusion: These themes highlighted the personal and professional impact this has on Counselling Psychologists and the multifaceted challenges that occur when working with BAME survivors of DVA. The different aspects of culture, core beliefs, pressures of family and wider community and identity can intertwine and impact the Counselling Psychologist and ultimately the therapeutic alliance. The psychological impact on the participants appeared to be prominent through experiencing vicarious trauma, fear for clients’ safety and frustration. Participants reported how difficult it was for them to manage and understand the clients’ perspectives, therefore suggestions were made for further specialist cultural training, clinical and peer supervision, alongside self-care.
    • The role of mating-relevant factors in the perpetration of digital dating abuse

      Bhogal, Manpal; Tudor, Courtney; Hira, Simran (SAGE, 2021-12-31)
      Previous research has explored offline intimate partner violence from an evolutionary perspective, primarily focusing on the role of individual differences inperpetration and victimisation. However, a current form of intimate partner violence is digital dating abuse, which involves abuse towards a romantic partner, occuring online through the use of electronic communication technology. This form of abuse differs from offline abuse, in that physical proximity is not required. Although research has focused on the effects digital dating abuse has on victims, little research has focused on the perpetration of digital dating abuse. This is important, as research focused on perpetration can inform a wide range of initiatives geared towards understanding the factors which drive this behaviour. Recent research has focused on evolutionary mating-relevant factors that drive the perpetration of digital dating abuse. Here, we extended and replicated previous work by reporting two studies (study 1, n = 114; study 2, n = 162) which explored the roles of mate value discrepancy, intrasexual competition, and relationship-contingent self-esteem in the perpetration of digital dating abuse. We found that mate value discrepancy (study 1 and 2) and intrasexual competition (study 2) positively predicted the perpetration of digital dating abuse. To our knowledge, this paper is the first to provide support that those who report high intrasexual competition, engage in greater levels of digital dating abuse, thus furthering theoretical advancements in this field by showing digital dating abuse is a mate retention tactic. Our findings further our understanding of online behaviour in romantic relationships through an evolutionary psychological lens.
    • Future directions and requirements for tissue engineering biomaterials

      Arjunan, Arun; Baroutaji, Ahmad; Robinson, John; Praveen, Ayyappan S; Pollard, Andrew; Wang, Chang (Elsevier, 2021-02-24)
      A wide array of biomaterials are being developed to be used as tissue engineering scaffolds, including metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites. For all biomaterials, the challenge remains to achieve functionality to mimic the biomechanical environment, induce bioactivity, and support critical size tissue reintegration. This calls for a functional evolution in biomaterials to be used as tissue engineering constructs for partial and full tissue reconstruction. When characterizing biomaterials for tissue engineering, the relevant extensions include engineered surfaces, micro-patterns, and porous architectures along with, bioactive, bioresorbable, and infection resistant properties. Accordingly, functional biomaterials will drive the next generation of tissue engineering constructs. This paper, therefore, explores the major concepts, future direction, and recent signs of progress in the field of tissue engineering biomaterials. Traditional materials are not discounted entirely as bioinert materials are still relevant and emerging research offers new functionalities for them to support drug, gene, and cell tissue engineering. Therefore, an attempt is also made to explain how the requirements of biomaterials are changing to facilitate, sustain, control, and proliferate engineered tissue. The article begins with a brief introduction to the evolution of biomaterials followed by a commentary on their functional requirements when applied to tissue engineering. This is followed by an exploratory evaluation of key tissue engineering constructs and their qualifiers while systematically identifying their future direction and potential.
    • Predicting cardiorespiratory fitness using the 20-m shuttle run test

      Nevill, Alan M; de Menezes-Junior, Francisco José; de Jesus, Íncare Correa; de Fatima Aguiar Lopes, Maria; Corazza, Patricia Ribeiro Paes; Tadiotto, Maiara Cristina; Mota, Jorge; Leite, Neiva (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2021-02-12)
      PURPOSE Recently, doubts have been raised concerning the validity of the 20-m shuttle run test (20mSRT) to predict cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in youth. Despite these doubts, authors continue to provide powerful evidence that CRF can be predicted reliably using the 20mSRT albeit using contrasting models. Therefore, we aimed to compare a new linear model with an alternative allometric model to predict CRF (peak oxygen uptake, V˙O2peak) using 20mSRT. METHODS The study included 148 adolescents (43% girls), aged 13.37 ± 1.84 years. Adolescents were randomly assigned to validation (n = 91) and cross-validation (n = 57) groups. V˙O2peak was measured using a gas analyser in both maximal exercise tests in the laboratory as well as 20mSRT. Multiple linear regression methods were applied to develop the linear models using 20mSRT (laps), BMI and body fat percentage. Alternative allometric models were also proposed/fitted using 20mSRT (laps), height and body mass. RESULTS The criterion validity of both the linear and the allomeric models were found to be acceptable R2=82.5% and 82.7% respectively, providing reassuring evidence that the 20mSRT can be used with confidence to predict CRF. However, the allometric model identified a height-to-mass ratio, not dissimilar to the inverse BMI (known to be a measure of leanness), to be associated with CRF. The allometric model also revealed that the rise in energy cost (V˙O2peak) with increasing laps was exponential. This will more accurately reflect the non-linear rise in energy demand of shuttle running as the test progresses to exhaustion. CONCLUSIONS These observations provided powerful evidence that allometric models are more than satisfactory in terms of both criterion AND construct validity when predicting CRF (V˙O2peak) using the 20mSRT.
    • First Report on the Geologic Occurrence of Natural Na–A Zeolite and Associated Minerals in Cretaceous Mudstones of the Paja Formation of Vélez (Santander), Colombia

      Ríos-Reyes, Carlos Alberto; Reyes-Mendoza, German Alfonso; Henao-Martínez, José Antonio; Williams, Craig; Dyer, Alan (MDPI, 2021-02-22)
      This study reports for the first time the geologic occurrence of natural zeolite A and associated minerals in mudstones from the Cretaceous Paja Formation in the urban area of the municipality of Vélez (Santander), Colombia. These rocks are mainly composed of quartz, muscovite, pyrophyllite, kaolinite and chlorite group minerals, framboidal and cubic pyrite, as well as marcasite, with minor feldspar, sulphates, and phosphates. Total organic carbon (TOC), total sulfur (TS), and millimeter fragments of algae are high, whereas few centimeters and not biodiverse small ammonite fossils, and other allochemical components are subordinated. Na–A zeolite and associated mineral phases as sodalite occur just beside the interparticle micropores (honeycomb from framboidal, cube molds, and amorphous cavities). It is facilitated by petrophysical properties alterations, due to processes of high diagenesis, temperatures up to 80–100 °C, with weathering contributions, which increase the porosity and permeability, as well as the transmissivity (fluid flow), allowing the geochemistry remobilization and/or recrystallization of pre-existing silica, muscovite, kaolinite minerals group, salts, carbonates, oxides and peroxides. X-ray diffraction analyses reveal the mineral composition of the mudstones and scanning electron micrographs show the typical cubic morphology of Na–A zeolite of approximately 0.45 mμ in particle size. Our data show that the sequence of the transformation of phases is: Poorly crystalline aluminosilicate → sodalite → Na–A zeolite. A literature review shows that this is an unusual example of the occurrence of natural zeolites in sedimentary marine rocks recognized around the world.
    • Job stress and employee outcomes: employment practices in a charity

      Wang, Wen; Seifert, Roger (Emerald Publishing, 2021-12-31)
      Design/methodology/approach We collected both quantitative (through a staff survey and administrative records of sick leave in the previous 12 months) and qualitative data (through interviews and focus groups) from one branch of an internationally well-established and UK-based religious charity between 2017 and 2018. Purpose The study intends to examine employee relations with a changing workforce resulting from the business-like transformation in the charity sector. We investigated sector-specific employment practices which can alleviate job stress (as a given and which has been made worse by the transformation). Developed from the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation framework, the findings can inform human resource management practices in its new efficiency-seeking business model. Findings The quantitative results support a strong mediating effect of job satisfaction between job stress and staff sick leave. The negative correlation shown between job stress and job satisfaction is subject to paid staff perception of meaningful work and their level of involvement in decisionmaking, with the latter having a stronger moderating effect. The qualitative data provides further contextualized evidence on the findings. Practical implications It is important for charities to uphold and reflect their charitable mission towards beneficiaries and paid staff during the shift to an efficiency-seeking business model. Charities should involve their new professional workforce in strategic decision-making to better shape a context-based operational model. Originality/value The study examined employee relations in the nonprofit charity sector with a changing workforce during the transition to a more business-oriented model. In particular, we revealed sector-specific factors that can moderate the association between job stress and absenteeism, and thereby contribute to the understanding of HRM practices in the sector.
    • Minimum energy transmission forest-based Geocast in software-defined wireless sensor networks

      Banerjee, Anuradha; Sufian, Abu; Sadiq, Ali Safaa; Mirjalili, Seyedali (Wiley, 2021-12-31)
      Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs)-based geographic addressing and routing have many potential applications. Geocast protocols should be made energy efficient to increase the lifetime of nodes and packet delivery ratio. This technique will increase the number of live nodes, reduce message costs, and enhance network throughput. All geocast protocols in the literature of WSN apply mostly restricted flooding and perimeter flooding, which is why still the redundancy they produce significantly high message transmission costs and unnecessarily eats up immense energy in nodes. Moreover, perimeter flooding cannot succeed in the presence of holes. The present article models wireless sensor networks with software-defined constructs where the network area is divided into some zones. Energy-efficient transmission tree(s) are constructed in the geocast area to organize the flow of data packets and their links. Therefore, redundancy in the transmission is eliminated while maintaining network throughput as good as regular flooding. This proposed technique significantly reduces energy cost and improves nodes' lifetime to function for higher time duration and produce a higher data packet delivery ratio. To the best of the author's knowledge, this is the first work on geocast in SD-WSNs.
    • ‘This is about an ordinary average life with all its ups and downs’: Continuity and change in the life and family experiences of fifty English working-class individuals between the years 1900 and 1945

      Ugolini, Laura; Ball, Rebecca Mary (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-01)
      This thesis is a study of the everyday lives of fifty working-class individuals in the first half of the twentieth century. These twenty-six women and twenty-four men were all born between 1899 and 1915 in England and self-identified as working class. These individuals were not politicians, influential historical figures or famous household names – such life histories have been recounted on many occasions – rather these are ‘ordinary average’ people, whose unpublished autobiographies this thesis draws upon to offer an insight into the everyday struggles, sacrifices and triumphs that the working class experienced between the years 1900 and 1945. By taking a microhistorical approach and focusing on this sample of fifty life stories, this thesis sheds light on wartime life, the impact of social change and the continued importance of working-class family values during the first half of the twentieth century. It uses these autobiographies to question the assumption that living through a period that witnessed two world wars would automatically equate to a life that was completely overshadowed by them. It also challenges the often accepted idea that wider social changes such as educational reform, the opening up of new employment opportunities and the fertility decline would have necessarily affected each working-class individual, suggesting instead that whilst change in these areas had certainly occurred by the end of the twentieth century, it was often too late to affect the lives of these autobiographers. Instead, the autobiographies suggest that the working-class lives were shaped by other issues of significance, most notably domesticity and the family life cycle. The thesis’ chapters focus on the five topics that the autobiographers most frequently discussed: death, absence, family relationships, consumption (with a particular focus on leisure, food and housing), and education and employment opportunities. The reminiscences on these topics revealed much that confirmed existing academic insights into working-class life between the years 1900 and 1945, including the importance of domestic ideals to working-class family life and the continued popularity of marriage as an institution Yet, importantly, as this thesis argues, they also revealed a variety of differing, although equally relevant and noteworthy experiences that have thus far been overlooked. These include a distinct lack of war-related deaths or war-related absences of immediate family members despite living through two conflicts, the subtle shift towards a companionate style of marriage and the significance of expectations of the working-class family life cycle in responses to instances of death or absence.
    • A systematic scoping review and textual narrative synthesis of undergraduate pediatric nursing simulations: what, why, and how?

      Cleaver, Karen; Essex, Ryan; Malamateniou, Christina; Narramore, Naomi; Shekede, Heather; Vargo, Elisabeth; Weldon, Sharon Marie (Elsevier, 2021-02-16)
      Background Simulation is increasingly being used to train health care professionals; however, there is limited knowledge on how pediatric simulation is being used to train undergraduate nurses. This article systematically scopes the literature on the types of undergraduate pediatric nursing simulations taking place, their value, the research methods used, and areas of research focused on. Methods A systematic scoping literature review, combined descriptive synthesis, and textual narrative synthesis were conducted. Results A total of 139 articles were identified by the search strategy. Of these, 32 articles were included for appraisal and synthesis. Seventeen articles were quantitative, five articles were qualitative, and eight articles were mixed-methods. The research took place in six different geographical locations. The total participant sample was 2,039. Articles were categorized according to their aims and objectives and simulation types. Conclusions This review revealed the heterogeneity of studies on this subject. Ultimately, studies were small and confined to single institutions or geographical locations. Studies that described or explored simulation as an intervention provided more interesting insights than those that evaluated or tested effectiveness. The variety of simulation types was wide, and the fidelity of the simulations being described was frequently noted; however, no reference was made as to how this was determined. Future studies would benefit from detailing the low, medium, or high technological, psychological, or environmental aspects of simulation.
    • A review of the English school meal: ‘Progress or a recipe for disaster?'

      Lalli, Gurpinder (Taylor & Francis, 2021-12-31)
      This paper examines the discourse on school meals as evidence suggests that political agendas feed into policy making. The paper fills a void by proposing new insights into how school meals could be reformed following reflections from a doctoral study and a review of the changing narrative on school food in England. Recommendations include rethinking the coverage on school meals by taking into account this multifaceted area of inquiry by recognising the importance of the physical context of the meals and the subjects of school mealtime.
    • Risk of COVID-19 hospital admission and COVID-19 mortality during the first COVID-19 wave with a special emphasis on ethnic minorities: an observational study of a single, deprived, multiethnic UK health economy

      Singh, Baldev M; Bateman, James; Viswanath, Ananth; Klaire, Vijay; Mahmud, Sultan; Nevill, Alan M; Dunmore, Simon J (BMJ, 2021-02-17)
      Objectives The objective of this study was to describe variations in COVID-19 outcomes in relation to local risks within a well-defined but diverse single-city area. Design Observational study of COVID-19 outcomes using quality-assured integrated data from a single UK hospital contextualised to its feeder population and associated factors (comorbidities, ethnicity, age, deprivation). Setting/participants Single-city hospital with a feeder population of 228 632 adults in Wolverhampton. Main outcome measures Hospital admissions (defined as COVID-19 admissions (CA) or non-COVID-19 admissions (NCA)) and mortality (defined as COVID-19 deaths or non-COVID-19 deaths). Results Of the 5558 patients admitted, 686 died (556 in hospital); 930 were CA, of which 270 were hospital COVID-19 deaths, 47 non-COVID-19 deaths and 36 deaths after discharge; of the 4628 NCA, there were 239 in-hospital deaths (2 COVID-19) and 94 deaths after discharge. Of the 223 074 adults not admitted, 407 died. Age, gender, multimorbidity and black ethnicity (OR 2.1 (95% CI 1.5 to 3.2), p<0.001, compared with white ethnicity, absolute excess risk of <1/1000) were associated with CA and mortality. The South Asian cohort had lower CA and NCA, lower mortality compared with the white group (CA, 0.5 (0.3 to 0.8), p<0.01; NCA, 0.4 (0.3 to 0.6), p<0.001) and community deaths (0.5 (0.3 to 0.7), p<0.001). Despite many common risk factors for CA and NCA, ethnic groups had different admission rates and within-group differing association of risk factors. Deprivation impacted only the white ethnicity, in the oldest age bracket and in a lesser (not most) deprived quintile. Conclusions Wolverhampton’s results, reflecting high ethnic diversity and deprivation, are similar to other studies of black ethnicity, age and comorbidity risk in COVID-19 but strikingly different in South Asians and for deprivation. Sequentially considering population and then hospital-based NCA and CA outcomes, we present a complete single health economy picture. Risk factors may differ within ethnic groups; our data may be more representative of communities with high Black, Asian and minority ethnic populations, highlighting the need for locally focused public health strategies. We emphasise the need for a more comprehensible and nuanced conveyance of risk.
    • Cyclodextrin diethyldithiocarbamate copper ii inclusion complexes: A promising chemotherapeutic delivery system against chemoresistant triple negative breast cancer cell lines

      Suliman, AS; Khoder, M; Tolaymat, I; Webster, M; Alany, RG; Wang, W; Elhissi, A; Najlah, M; Pharmaceutical Research Group, School of Allied Health, Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University, Bishops Hall Lane, Chelmsford CM1 1SQ, UK. (MDPI, 2021-01-10)
      Diethyldithiocarbamate Copper II (DDC-Cu) has shown potent anticancer activity against a wide range of cancer cells, but further investigations are hindered by its practical insolubility in water. In this study, inclusion complexes of DDC-Cu with hydroxypropyl beta-cyclodextrin (HP) or sulfobutyl ether beta-cyclodextrin (SBE) were prepared and investigated as an approach to enhance the apparent solubility of DDC-Cu. Formulations were prepared by simple mixing of DDC-Cu with both cyclodextrin (CDs) at room temperature. Phase solubility assessments of the resulting solutions were performed. DDC-Cu CD solutions were freeze-dried for further characterisations by DSC, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and FT-IR. Stability and cytotoxicity studies were also performed to investigate the maintenance of DDC-Cu anticancer activity. The phase solubility profile deviated positively from the linearity (Ap type) showing significant solubility enhancement of the DDC-Cu in both CD solutions (approximately 4 mg/mL at 20% w/w CD solutions). The DSC and TGA analysis confirmed the solid solution status of DDC-Cu in CD. The resulting solutions of DDC-Cu were stable for 28 days and conveyed the anticancer activity of DDC-Cu on chemoresistant triple negative breast cancer cell lines, with IC50 values less than 200 nM. Overall, cyclodextrin DDC-Cu complexes offer a great potential for anticancer applications, as evidenced by their very positive effects against chemoresistant triple negative breast cancer cells.