Now showing items 21-40 of 7402

    • Navigating flood resilience: challenges, solutions, and lessons learnt from the Dominican Republic

      Reynoso Vanderhorst, Hamlet; Pathirage, Chaminda; Proverbs, David (MDPI, 2024-01-24)
      Recent unprecedented events worldwide, such as floods in Dubai, recurring heavy rainfall in Santo Domingo, and abrupt temperature changes in the United Kingdom (UK), underscore the tangible impacts of climate change. In response to escalating threats from natural disasters, global communities prioritise resilience and effective disaster management systems. This paper addresses best practices for managing abnormal floods, laying the foundation for the next generation of preparedness and mitigation plans. Focusing on flood risk in Santo Domingo, the study employs the Community Disaster Resilience Framework, conducting a workshop with over 100 stakeholders from government, private, and academic sectors. The assessment spans physical, economic, environmental, and social aspects, revealing common challenges in infrastructure upkeep, public awareness, urban planning, drainage, and economic disparities. The paper proposes technological solutions like predictive maintenance and smart drainage systems, emphasising the potential for implementation. Recognising the importance of community involvement and preparedness, insights from the United Kingdom guide initial steps in strategy development. The conclusions advocate for collaborative efforts among government, academia, and society to navigate the complexities of disaster management and community resilience, ultimately proposing a framework to address these challenges. Further research is suggested in expanding online platforms for disaster risk reduction education in the Caribbean region.
    • A peer-led walking intervention for adolescent girls (the WISH study): a cluster-randomised controlled trial

      Murphy, Marie H.; O'Kane, S. Maria; Carlin, Angela; Lahart, Ian; Doherty, Leanne C.; Jago, Russell; McDermott, Gary; Faulkner, Maria; Gallagher, Alison M.; Centre for Exercise Medicine, Physical Activity and Health, Sports and Exercise Sciences Research Institute, Ulster University, Belfast, UK; Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PHARC), Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK. (Elsevier, 2023-11-23)
      BACKGROUND: Adolescent girls in the UK and Ireland fail to meet physical activity (PA) guidelines. PA behaviours track from childhood into adulthood. The effects of walking interventions on adult health are known; however, the potential of walking to promote PA in adolescents is less known. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a novel, school-based walking intervention aimed at increasing PA levels of adolescent girls. METHODS: In this cluster-randomised controlled trial, female pupils aged 12-14 years were recruited from 18 (mixed or single-sex) schools across the border region of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Schools were randomly assigned to either the control group (usual physical activity; n=9) or the intervention group (n=9) by independent faculty staff using an online randomisation tool ( In intervention schools, female pupils aged 15-18 years were trained as walk leaders and led the younger pupils in 10-15 min walks before school, at break, and at lunchtime. Walks were in school grounds and pupils were encouraged to join as many walks as possible. The intervention was delivered for a full school year excluding holidays (for a total of 18-21 weeks). Accelerometers measured PA, and the primary outcome was total PA (counts per minute [cpm]). Ethics approval was granted by Ulster University Research Ethics Committee and written informed consent (parent or guardian) and assent (pupils) was obtained. This study is registered with the ISRCTN Registry, 12847782. FINDINGS: The study took place from Sept 1, 2021, to May 31, 2023. In total, 589 pupils were recruited (n=286 in intervention group; n=303 in control group). Median moderate-vigorous PA (MVPA) at baseline was 36·1 min/day (IQR 23·0) for the intervention group and 35·3 min/day (19·8) for the control group. Only 37 (15%) girls in the intervention group and 29 (10%) girls in the control group met PA guidelines (60 min/day of MVPA). The mean total PA after intervention was 676 cpm (SD 18·7) for the intervention group and 710 cpm (SD 17·7) for the control group. Post-intervention total PA did not differ between groups when adjusted for age, body-mass index, z-scores, and baseline PA (mean difference -33·5, 95% CI -21·2 to 88·1; p=0·213). INTERPRETATION: Scaling up PA interventions is challenging. Despite a promising feasibility study, the results of this fully powered trial indicate that in this context, the walking programme did not increase PA. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, school environments have changed, and although pupils enjoyed the programme, attendance at walks was low. There is a need to better understand the implementation of interventions such as this within schools. FUNDING: Cross-border Healthcare Intervention Trials in Ireland Network (CHITIN).
    • Biosynthesis and characterisation of polyhydroxyalkanoate biopolymers and their oligomers for circular economy

      Radecka, Iza; Ekere, Anabel; Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-05)
      Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are biodegradable bioplastics that can potentially replace non-biodegradable petroleum-based plastics. However, the high production cost of PHAs which is associated with the high cost of starting substrate extraction solvents limits its integration into large scale biotechnology process. To overcome this limitation, this research examined the upcycling and bioconversion of plastic wastes to PHA. Novel plastic wastes investigated in this study were oxidised low-density polyethylene (LDPE), LDPE separated from Tetra Pak® waste (PE-T) and [text redacted]. These plastic wastes were supplied directly to Cupriavidus necator for use as potential carbon sources for PHA accumulation in a 48-hour shake flask cultivation study, in either tryptone soy broth or basal salt medium. LDPE and PE-T produced the most PHA yield with high purity (29% CDW and 40% CDW respectively). While cultures with [text redacted] had the highest yield (32-68% CDW), characterisation results showed this was due to high contamination from the [text redacted] starting material. Electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) confirmed the monomer composition of the polymer produced with LDPE and PE-T to be 3-hydroxybutyrate, 3-hydroxyvalerate and 3-hydroxyhexanoate and that with [text redacted] to be 3-hydroxybutyrate and 3-hydroxyvalerate. Chloroform solvent extraction and soap digestion were also compared to determine the most cost-effective, characterized by high PHA yield and purity. Chloroform extraction technique resulted in higher PHA yields (40% CDW) than soap digestion technique (14% CDW). In PHA oligomer production studies, thermal degradation of PHBV to PHA oligomers proved to be a better method for obtaining PHA oligomers than from yeast biomass in brewery waste. The outcome from this study provides preliminary evidence for further developmental work on the cost-effective microbial recycling of LDPE and Tetra Pak® plastic wastes for PHA production.
    • Genome-wide identification and expression analysis of the C2H2-zinc finger transcription factor gene family and screening of candidate genes involved in floral development in Coptis teeta Wall. (Ranunculaceae)

      Duan, Shao-Feng; Zhao, Yan; Yu, Ji-Chen; Xiang, Gui-Sheng; Xiao, Lin; Cui, Rui; Hu, Qian-Qian; Baldwin, Timothy; Lu, Ying-Chun; Liang, Yan-Li (Frontiers Media, 2024-01-22)
      Background: C2H2-zinc finger transcription factors comprise one of the largest and most diverse gene superfamilies and are involved in the transcriptional regulation of flowering. Although a large number of C2H2 zinc-finger proteins (C2H2-ZFPs) have been well characterized in a number of model plant species, little is known about their expression and function in Coptis teeta. C. teeta displays two floral phenotypes (herkogamy phenotypes). It has been proposed that the C2H2-zinc finger transcription factor family may play a crucial role in the formation of floral development and herkogamy observed in C. teeta. As such, we performed a genome-wide analysis of the C2H2-ZFP gene family in C. teeta. Results: The complexity and diversity of C. teeta C2H2 zinc finger proteins were established by evaluation of their physicochemical properties, phylogenetic relationships, exon-intron structure, and conserved motifs. Chromosome localization showed that 95 members of the C2H2 zinc-finger genes were unevenly distributed across the nine chromosomes of C. teeta, and that these genes were replicated in tandem and segmentally and had undergone purifying selection. Analysis of cis-acting regulatory elements revealed a possible involvement of C2H2 zinc-finger proteins in the regulation of phytohormones. Transcriptome data was then used to compare the expression levels of these genes during the growth and development of the two floral phenotypes (F-type and M-type). These data demonstrate that in groups A and B, the expression levels of 23 genes were higher in F-type flowers, while 15 genes showed higher expressions in M-type flowers. qRT-PCR analysis further revealed that the relative expression was highly consistent with the transcriptome data. Conclusion: These data provide a solid basis for further in-depth studies of the C2H2 zinc finger transcription factor gene family in this species and provide preliminary information on which to base further research into the role of the C2H2 ZFPs gene family in floral development in C. teeta.
    • Dietary restraint and emotional eating among elite/international combat sport athletes

      Barker, Laura; Ruiz, Montse C.; Nevill, Alan M.; Cloak, Ross; Lane, Andrew; Devonport, Tracey (Taylor & Francis, 2024-01-31)
      In one-on-one combat sport, weight classifications are enforced to promote fair fights and minimise injury risk. Most combat sport athletes try to fight at weight much lower than their natural weight necessitating use of weight loss strategies including restrained eating prior to competition. Previous research indicates that individuals self-reporting as high in dietary restraint also self-report a higher desire to emotionally eat, which if acted upon would compromise weight management goals. This mixed-methods exploratory study examined associations between dietary restraint and emotional eating among elite/international combat sport athletes. Nineteen elite/international competitors in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts completed the emotional eating scale, a revised restraint scale, and a rapid weight loss questionnaire. A subsample of six participants then completed individual interviews to explore emotional eating, particularly during the lead-up to and post-competition. Quantitative findings via non-parametric tests found high scores in restrained eating associated with a greater urge to emotionally eat. Qualitative findings via content analysis of interview data identified three themes that helped understand this association, ‘emotions eliciting an urge to eat’, ‘outcomes of emotional eating’, and ‘resisting emotional eating’. Participants described a cycle of restrained eating pre-competition followed by an increased tendency toward emotional eating post-competition, with the extent of emotional eating influenced by the degree of restrained eating required and competition outcomes.
    • Antipsychotic drugs for the treatment of acute schizophrenia after the first episode

      Morrissey, Hana; Ball, Patrick; Sherzad Qadir, Zina; Research Institute in Healthcare Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-10)
      Background: Antipsychotic drugs (APDs) represent the treatment of choice for psychotic disorders, but uncertainty surrounds the optimal selection of agents. Methodology: This was a mixed method study which included a systematic review and psychiatrists’ opinion survey. The systematic review focused on comparative analysis of APDs, regardless of being typical or atypical, which are used for the treatment of schizophrenia, to determine their relative efficacy, rate and causes of discontinuations and potential side-effects. The review followed the PRISMA-P© statement and checklist and used the RevMan© statistical analysis tool to report on the findings. PubMed©, CINHAL© and ScienceDirect™ were searched for suitable studies. The primary outcomes of interest were clinical response measured by symptoms improvement, tolerance to side effects and discontinuation rate and reasons. The study analyses were presented as forest plots, with 95% confidence intervals and p value of 0.05 or less as significant. The selected study population was adults who were APD-naïve or only a short history of APD use (<16 weeks). A cross-sectional survey of psychiatrists from the UK and India was conducted to understand their opinions regarding their choice of APDs, their experience with tolerance and efficacy in managing psychosis in patients diagnosed with acute schizophrenia after first episode of psychosis. Both categorical and qualitative data was collected and analysed. The survey was opened from 26 April 2022 to 31 July 2022. Findings: Twenty one RCTs were included in the systematic review. There was better individual patients’ response to aripiprazole vs. ziprasidone (CDSS p=0.04), aripiprazole vs. quetiapine (BPRS p=0.02, YMRS p=0.001) and ziprasidone vs. quetiapine (CGI p=0.02, CDSS p=0.02) in the study sample. In the short term APDs use, the difference between aripiprazole and risperidone was statistically significant for diminished sexual desire (p=0.01). Long term APDs use, the difference between aripiprazole and ziprasidone was significant for increased duration of sleep (p=0.003), rigidity (p=0.02), erectile dysfunction (p=0.005), ejaculatory dysfunction (p=0.02) and weight gain (p=0.01); aripiprazole and quetiapine for sleepiness (p<0.001), increased duration of sleep (p=0.001), tremors (p=0.04), erectile dysfunction (p=0.002), akathisia (p=0.05); quetiapine and ziprasidone for rigidity (p=0.03), vertigo (p=0.05), weight gain (p=0.003) and akathisia (p=0.005); olanzapine and quetiapine for weight gain (p<0.001), risperidone and quetiapine for increased duration of sleep (p=0.02), olanzapine and risperidone for weight gain (p=0.03), olanzapine and haloperidol for weight gain (p<0.001) and akathisia (p=0.0003), haloperidol and quetiapine for akathisia (p=0.02), haloperidol and ziprasidone for weight gain (p=0.03) and olanzapine and ziprasidone weight gain (p<0.001). Total discontinuation after short term use for quetiapine vs. aripiprazole, ziprasidone vs. olanzapine, ziprasidone vs. quetiapine, ziprasidone vs. olanzapine and aripiprazole vs. risperidone was not significantly different (p>0.05) but it was for ziprasidone vs. olanzapine (p=0.02). After long term use of APDs, total discontinuation rate difference was significantly different in six pairs: p=0.03 for quetiapine vs. olanzapine, p<0.001 for quetiapine vs. ziprasidone, p<0.001 for quetiapine vs. aripiprazole, p=0.02 for olanzapine vs. ziprasidone, p=0.002 for haloperidol vs. olanzapine, p=0.05 for haloperidol vs. ziprasidone. However the difference was not significantly different (p>0.05) between quetiapine vs. risperidone, haloperidol vs. quetiapine, ziprasidone vs. aripiprazole, risperidone vs. olanzapine, ziprasidone vs. risperidone haloperidol vs. risperidone. Discontinuation reasons were possible to analyse only with long term APDs use and 12 pairs were compared. The difference was significant between olanzapine and risperidone due to the lack of efficacy (p<0.001), quetiapine and ziprasidone due to lack of efficacy (p<0.001) and side effects (p<0.001), quetiapine and haloperidol due to side effects (p=0.01), quetiapine and aripiprazole due to lack of efficacy (p<0.001) and drop-out (p=0.04), aripiprazole and ziprasidone due to side effects (p<0.001) and lack of compliance (p=0.0005), olanzapine and haloperidol due to lack of efficacy (p<0.001) and side effects (p=0.001), haloperidol and ziprasidone due to lack of compliance (p=0.01) and olanzapine and ziprasidone due to lack of efficacy (p=0.01), side effects (p<0.001) and lack of compliance (p=0.05). For risperidone vs. olanzapine, risperidone vs. ziprasidone vs. risperidone, quetiapine vs. risperidone vs. haloperidol, there was no significant difference in reported reasons (p>0.05). The most selected first line APDs in both countries were olanzapine (47.5%), risperidone (42.8%) and aripiprazole (25.3%). 60% of psychiatrists from India (60%) and 48% from UK (48%) selected that ‘medication efficacy’ as the main reason for choosing specific APD. Switching one APD to another within 4-6 weeks from initiation was selected by 53.7% of psychiatrists and 3-6 months was selected by 11.6%. The main reasons for switching APDs indicated were poor clinical efficacy (69%) and lack of tolerability (45%). Poor efficacy was the most selected reason by the Indian practitioners (68%) and the UK practitioners(71%) for switching APDs. When one APDs did not control the symptoms, 35% of the UK psychiatrists waited 3-6 months and 47% of Indian psychiatrists waited for 4-6 weeks before adding another APDs to manage poor efficacy. Nonadherence was the most common reason for relapse (90% UK psychiatrist and 70% Indian psychiatrist) followed by elicit drug use (27.6%). The most reported side effects which led to nonadherence were weight gain (10.8%), drowsiness (10.4%), erectile dysfunction and movement disorders (equally 8.7%). Weight gain (8.1%), movement disorders (7.7%) and hyperprolactinaemia (7%) were the highest reported side effects that caused psychiatrist to switch to another APDs. Similarly, weight gain (11.4%) was the most common side effects prompting patients to seek termination of the treatment, followed by drowsiness (10.3%) and erectile dysfunction (9.4%). Life threatening rare side effects was the main reason to discontinue the use of APDs (10.5%). Conclusion: Olanzapine, risperidone and aripiprazole were the most selected as initial treatment choice by psychiatrists from India and UK and are perceived as widely effective and/or widely tolerated. It was concluded that no single antipsychotic stands out as uniquely effective or free of side effects for all treated individuals. Individual patient clinical response, tolerance to side effects or life threatening side effects remain the most reliable basis for continuing the use of APD. relevant However, lack of clinical effect or intolerable side effects lead to therapy being reviewed, APD switched or ceased.
    • An exploration of the efficacy of instructor modelling in the application of situated learning to educating student British Sign Language/English interpreters in healthcare interpreting

      Stone, Christopher; Williams, Clare; Hughes, Thaïsa; School of Social Science and Humanities, Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-11)
      The aim of this thesis was to determine whether the performance of student sign language interpreters in simulated healthcare assignments was positively impacted by viewing a modelled interpretation, done by an experienced interpreter beforehand. It also explores the benefits of situating learning in a semi-authentic clinical environment, populated by members of the community of practice, where students can experience legitimate peripheral participation. This improvement in practice was sought in response to the call for interpreter education to address the perceived ‘readiness to work’ gap, which contributes to the disparity in health outcomes between deaf people and their hearing counterparts. This was achieved by undertaking an educational intervention as part of an action research cycle, to evaluate the benefits of situated learning and the cognitive apprenticeship stage of instructor modelling. The study demonstrated that student performance in simulated healthcare assignments was improved in several areas as a result of the educational intervention. For example, there was a reduction in the number of undesirable zero-renditions (which lead to a loss information). Students demonstrated a more proactive and successful approach to negotiating their positioning for the interpretation of a physical examination. They also showed an increased awareness of the role of cues of interest and back channels when used by an authentic healthcare professional. The study also revealed that authentic healthcare professionals use different communication behaviours than an actor playing the role of the professional and that the authenticity of participants in simulation activities is key. Whilst there is some limited existing research about the application of situated learning to interpreter training, it is largely perceptual in nature, without empirical evidence to support the use of such a method of education. This study provides evidence about the impact of this type of andragogy. The results have implications for interpreter education programmes and suggest that using situated learning and instructor modelling is a beneficial stage in the development of students who are soon to transition into practicuum.
    • Emerging themes in the Identifying Successful STARTS Methodologies project and exhibition

      Doyle, Denise; Glover, Richard; Khechara, Martin; Groes, Sebastian (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 2023-07-31)
      In 2019 a team of multi-disciplinary researchers undertook a research project entitled Identifying Successful STARTS Methodologies (ISSM) (2019-2021) in order to analyze the innovative and collaborative strategies utilized by the global Science, Technology and Arts (STARTS) Prize Winners and nominees. The aim was to identify and articulate successful STARTS Methodologies through a series of interviews and in-depth case studies of the recognized projects. The project culminated in a series of case studies and an exhibition at the Made in Wolves Gallery at the University of Wolverhampton, UK, and further presented at the UK Garden of Earthly Delights at Ars Electronica in 2020. The project identified three emerging themes: the significance of building a new language of art and science through a third space, the process of anti-disciplinarity as an emergent form of practice, and the importance of different ways of knowing through art and science. A number of the case studies and themes are presented here alongside images from the exhibition.
    • Musicians in the marsh: a new species of music frog (Anura: Ranidae: Nidirana) from Arunachal Pradesh, India

      Boruah, Bitupan; Veerappan, Deepak; Das, Abhijit (Magnolia Press, 2023-11-15)
      We describe a new species of ranid frog of the genus Nidirana from northeast India based on morphological, molecular and acoustic evidence. The new species is phenotypically distinct from its congeners by a combination of morphological characters: body robust with SVL 46.5–59.1 mm (n= 3) in adult males and SVL 60.6–66.0 mm (n= 2) in adult females; a pair of subgular vocal sacs and two patches of nuptial pad on the first finger in adult males; toe tips slightly dilated and oval; circum-marginal grooves present on all toes; dorsal skin with scattered small tubercles. A pale cream-coloured mid-dorsal line from the snout tip to the vent is present. Phylogenetically, the new species differs from its congeners by a genetic divergence of 3.4–8.0% and 7.7–12.4% in 16S and COI genes respectively. Furthermore, the new species can be differentiated from its congeners by its advertisement call, which consists of two different types of notes, call duration (0.58–0.92 s) and dominant frequency of the call (473.7 Hz). The discovery of a new species validates the presence of the genus Nidirana from India and emphasizes the importance of exploring specialized habitats such as marshlands, which are often overlooked.
    • Exploring contract cheating in further education: student engagement and academic integrity challenges

      Rahimi, Roya; Jones, Jenni; Bailey, Carol (Taylor & Francis, 2024-01-22)
      Contract cheating is a challenging problem facing higher and further education providers (HE and FE) worldwide. In the UK, contract cheating has been identified as a growing problem by the HEA and, more recently, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and the Department for Education. The high rate of contact cheating among students suggests that 8-9% of degrees awarded in the UK are unsafe. To address this issue, the current study with a new approach seeks to investigate student’s motivations, experiences, and rationale for using contract cheating from their point of view. Collected data has been subjected to content analysis and the findings show different phases and drivers in this process as follows: initial stage of connection and conversation, beginning stage of contracting, middle stage which is obtaining a guarantee for a pass and the final stage which includes payment and submission. This study will help increase awareness among UK academics and education providers about the processes involved in contract cheating and propose a set of recommendations for the future.
    • The Influence of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and other related factors upon health-related quality of life in women of reproductive age: a case-control study

      Kite, Chris; Lahart, Ian; Randeva, Harpal S.; Kyrou, Ioannis; Brown, James E. P. (Taylor & Francis, 2024-01-09)
      This study aimed to assess the impact of a polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) diagnosis and other factors on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in women of reproductive age. Online questionnaires were completed and study groups compared. Potential causal relationships were evaluated using path analysis. Analyses revealed that a PCOS diagnosis alongside BMI had the largest effect on HRQoL. Higher levels of physical activity (PA) were not associated with greater HRQoL, and PA was not directly affected by any other outcome. However, reduced self-esteem was identified as a key factor in the promotion of physical and mental health.
    • Enhancing the fire-resistance performance of composite laminates via multi-scale hybridisation: A review

      Dalfi, Hussein Kommur; Jan, Khayale; Al-Badri, Alaa; Peerzada, Mazhar; Yousaf, Zeshan; Parnell, William; Morrison, Neil; Bari, Klaudio (SAGE, 2024-01-09)
      Fibre-reinforced composites laminates (FRCLs) are employed in various applications such as in marine, aerospace, automotive, and civil industries due to their lightweight nature, design tailorability, and superior specific mechanical properties. However, they possess extremely low flame resistance mainly due to the inherent flammability of the polymer matrix. Various treatments have been applied to improve the fire resistance of FRCLs. In particular, hybridisation (fibre hybridisation and polymer hybridisation) is an important technique which is becoming very popular to enhance the thermal performance and flame resistance of FRCLs. This article is a comprehensive review of the recent developments that broadly cover the improvements in fire resistance of composite laminates via multi-scale hybridisation; the characteristics of thermal decomposition of FRCLs have been presented to comprehend the need for flame retardancy. Approaches for improving the fire resistance of FRCLs and thermal stability, both in polymer and in fibre systems, are discussed. Enhancing the fire resistance has been significant through additives to the matrix, use of flame-retardant modified fibres at interfacial regions and by way of multi-layered hybrid laminates besides hybridization at fibre, yarn and layer level. Finally, a review is presented on the modelling of fire resistance of composite laminates by considering thermo-mechanical models for the prediction of decomposition and failure of laminates at elevated temperatures.
    • Identity of the holotype and type locality of Rhabdophis leonardi (Wall, 1923) (Colubridae: Natricinae), with notes on the morphology and natural history of the species in southwestern China

      Yang, Shi-Jun; Savitzky, Alan H.; Gower, David J.; Veerappan, Deepak; Mori, Akira; Khot, Rahul; Shi, Jing-Song; Ding, Li; Hou, Mian; Xu, Hai-Yuan; et al. (Wiley, 2023-05-02)
      The original description of Natrix leonardi (currently Rhabdophis leonardi) by Frank Wall in 1923, based on a specimen from the “Upper Burma Hills,” lacked important morphological details that have complicated the assignment of recently collected material. Furthermore, although the holotype was never lost, its location has been misreported in one important taxonomic reference, leading to further confusion. We report the correct repository of the holotype (Natural History Museum, London), together with its current catalog number. We also describe key features of that specimen that were omitted from the original description, and provide new details on the morphology of the species, including sexual dichromatism unusual for the genus, based upon specimens from southern Sichuan, China. Rhabdophis leonardi is distinguished from its congeners by the following characters: 15 or 17 DSR at midbody and 6 supralabials; distinct annulus around the neck, broad and red in males, and narrow and orange with a black border in females; dorsal ground color light green or olive; some lateral and dorsal scales possessing black edges, the frequency of black edges gradually increasing from anterior to posterior, forming irregular and ill-defined transverse black bands; eye with prominent green iris; black ventral spots with a red edge, most numerous at midbody but extending halfway down the length of the tail. In southwestern China, this species is frequently found at 1730–2230 m elevation. It has been documented to prey upon anuran amphibians, including toads. A recently published phylogenetic analysis showed this species to be deeply nested with the genus Rhabdophis, as a member of the R. nuchalis Group. That analysis also revealed the existence of two closely related but geographically distinct subclades in the molecular analysis, one of which may represent an unnamed taxon.
    • Understanding the experiences of post-diagnostic dementia support for South Asians living in England: the need for co-production

      Jutlla, Karan; Arblaster, Kielan (Opast Publishing Group, 2023-04-19)
      Background: The increase in the numbers of South Asians in the United Kingdom (UK) is likely to lead to an increased need for dementia services yet; they are currently under-represented in dementia services. Furthermore, little is known about the prevalence, experience and treatment of dementia in the UK South Asian population, including their experiences of post-diagnostic support. Consequently, a project was commissioned by Alzheimer’s Society in the UK to gather insight into the experiences of post-diagnostic dementia support for the South Asian community in England to identify whether their post-diagnostic support needs were being met and what they needed from post-diagnostic support services. Methodology/Methods: As this project sought to understand experiences, a qualitative case-study approach was adopted. Twelve South Asian carers of a person with dementia and one South Asian person living with dementia took part in an on-line in-depth, topic-guided conversation. All conversations were audio recorded with consent and analysed using a thematic analysis. Findings: Analysis revealed that the South Asian community are doubly affected by dementia in relation to post-diagnostic support because 1) they received very little post-diagnostic support and 2) even when they did, it wasn’t culturally appropriate and therefore ineffective. Essentially, the lack of culturally inclusive care compounds the lack of access further. Consequently, people discussed current gaps in service provision, making recommendations that will result in better support, and more positive experiences for South Asians when diagnosed with dementia in England. In order to achieve this, South Asians in need of dementia support should be involved in the planning, development and delivery of post-diagnostic support services. Conclusions: This paper discusses findings that highlight the importance and benefits of co-production whereby people who use services and carers work with professionals in equal partnerships towards shared goals.
    • Additively manufactured aluminium auxetic architecture with targeted mechanical and energy absorption characteristics

      Arjunan, Arun; Baroutaji, Ahmad; Singh, Manpreet; Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-10)
      Auxetic materials offer unconventional properties owing to their negative Poisson’s ratio (−𝜐) leading to deformation modes and mechanical characteristics different to traditional porous architecture. This leads to favourable outcomes for lightweight applications where precise control of the mechanical and crashworthiness responses is required. In this regard, the thesis puts forward an open innovation framework for the selective laser melting (SLM) of auxetic architecture that offers stiffness (E), strength (𝜎𝑡) and energy absorption characteristics suitable for a targeted scenario. The primary objective is to create a framework that integrates numerical modelling, multi-criteria decision-making, and optimisation tools to generate scenario-based auxetic architectures that offer targeted performances. The selection of the five-unit cells were informed by the density and auxeticity criteria. A lower density is required to accommodate large deformation during loading, leading to a relative density range of 0.17-0.26 as suitable to achieve the required porosities. When it comes to unit-cell shape, all fundamental architectures that can lead to auxetic performance were considered. Experimental and numerical analysis is used to reveal the range of −𝜐, E, 𝜎𝑡, specific energy absorption (SEA), peak crush force (PCF), and crush force efficiency (CFE) of the auxetic architectures. The surrogate model developed in this thesis enables the manufacturing of auxetic structures with tailored stiffness (E), (𝜎𝑡) strength, and energy absorption characteristics (SEA, PCF, CFE) to meet specific requirements of the target scenario. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) found the central composite design (CCD) to be suitable for developing the surrogate model and capturing the influence of all design variables on–𝜐, 𝜎𝑦, E, SEA, PCF, CFE for AlSi10Mg metamaterial architecture informed by the sinusoidal ligament architecture (AUX5). When optimising the selected auxetic architecture AUX5 for lightweight application (Scenario 1) a stiffness and strength of 991-1023 MPa and 5.95-5.68 MPa can be expected at a strut thickness and length of 0.371 and 0.632 mm respectively. For crashworthiness performance (Scenario 2), CFE, SEA and PCF can be expected in the range of 69.10-71.62%, 14.48-14.14 kJ/kg and 1762-1850 kN respectively at a strut thickness and length of 0.304 and 1.268 mm. When the scenario changes to a balanced performance (Scenario 3) between targeted mechanical and crashworthiness behaviour can be obtained at 𝑡𝑠 and 𝑙𝑠 of 0.229 mm and 1.268 mm respectively. The resulting characteristics for −𝜐, E, 𝜎𝑦, CFE, SEA and PCF can be expected in the range of -0.21-0.125, 761-771 MPa, 5.53-5.69 MPa, 73.23-69.98%, 17.23-16.89 kJ/kg, 983-960 kN. The error percentage of three scenarios (S1-S3) was less than 5% which justifies the accuracy of the predicted model. The errors were minimised using a validated finite element model to predict the performance characteristics of the auxetic architectures considered. Furthermore, a mesh sensitivity analysis was carried out to ensure results were independent of the meshing strategies used. The results of this study provide a solid foundation for future research and applications in the field of auxetic Material. The thesis demonstrates the use of the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) and Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) methodology to select the best-performing architecture based on five criteria. Overall, this thesis offers a new direction in the development of scenario-based tuneable auxetic architectures.
    • Low back pain in ballet, modern, and hip-hop dancers

      Wyon, Matthew; Henn, Erica; Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-06)
      Low back pain (LBP) is a global medical issue that continues to rise in the general population. However, the consequences of low back pain in dance populations have been difficult to quantify, in part due to varying injury definitions. Low back pain is a multifaceted problem that is anecdotally common, but more research is needed to understand how low back pain impacts dancers’ lives and movements. The key aim of this thesis was to investigate low back pain in ballet, modern, and hip-hop dancers, and provide practical recommendations based on the findings. The aims of this thesis were to: (a) investigate the dancers’ perspectives on low back pain and what aspects of their lives and dancing it affects, including a determination of what movements dancers associate with exacerbating their low back pain, and (b) to further examine these movements, through archival and biomechanical research, to provide recommendations to the dance community. Study 1 assessed the dancers’ perspective on the impact and management of low back pain through an online questionnaire disseminated to primarily ballet, modern, and hip-hop dance populations. The results showed that low back pain negatively impacted dancers’ dance movements and non-dance activities, with spinal extension movements being most frequently reported as a movement that increased the dancers’ low back pain. Therefore, Study 2 utilized archival dance videos from to identify how often dancers were exposed to the movements that they reported in Study 1 as exacerbating their low back pain. Results showed that the dance movements that exacerbate low back pain were present in all the dance environments studied: ballet class and performance, modern dance class and performance, and hip-hop breaking, cyphers, and battles. Ballet performance environments had the highest number of total spinal extension movements (77±69.8), and hip-hop cypher environments had the highest frequency of spinal extension movements per minute (7±9.6). Recommendations for training focuses, based on the complete movement profile for each dance genre, are also presented. Study 3 used a case study to examine the biomechanics of three spinal extension movements: the ballet arabesque, the modern dance attitude with body roll, and the hip-hop dolphin dive. The influence of speed on the forces of the spine in dance had not been studied previously. Results suggest that thoracic and lumbar spine joint angles, angular velocity, and angular acceleration increase all three dance genres when performing movements from slow to fast speeds. Collectively, the results in this thesis verified that low back pain is an impactful condition with significant negative consequences for those dancers who are afflicted. The results also revealed dancers are frequently exposed to movements that they report can increase their low back pain. The results show increased angular displacements, angular velocity, angular acceleration in spinal extension movements performed at progressively increasing speeds. However, further research is needed to confirm if the forces at the low back increase as speed increases, and to clarify the role of asymmetry in movements that increase dancer LBP
    • ‘Including us, talking to us and creating a safe environment’—youth patient and public involvement and the Walking In ScHools Study (WISH): lessons learned

      Gallagher, Alison M.; O'Kane, S. Maria; Doherty, Leanne C.; Faulkner, Maria; McDermott, Gary; Jago, Russell; Lahart, Ian; Murphy, Marie H.; Carlin, Angela (Wiley, 2023-10-06)
      Background: Young people have the right to be informed and consulted about decisions affecting their lives. Patient and public involvement (PPI) ensures that research is carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ young people rather than ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them. The aim of this paper is to outline how youth PPI can be embedded within a physical activity intervention, reflect on the impact of PPI and provide recommendations for future PPI in a similar context. Methods: A Youth Advisory Group (YAG) was set up within the Walking In ScHools (WISH) Study to involve adolescent girls in the delivery, implementation and dissemination of a physical activity intervention targeted at adolescents. Schools invited pupils aged 12–14 years and 15–18 years to YAG meetings (n3, from 2019 to 2023). Participative methods were used to inform recruitment strategies and data collection methods for the WISH Study. Results: Across the three YAG meetings, n51 pupils from n8 schools were involved. Pupils enjoyed the YAG meetings, felt that their feedback was valued and considered the meetings a good way to get young people involved in research. The YAG advised on specific issues and although measuring impact was not the primary aim of the YAG meetings, over the course of the study there were many examples of the impact of PPI. Recruitment targets for the WISH Study were exceeded, the attrition rate was low and pupils were engaged in data collection. Conclusion: Youth PPI is a developing field and there are few physical activity studies that report the PPI work undertaken. Within the WISH Study, three YAG meetings were held successfully, and the views of adolescent girls were central to the development of the study. Considering the specific issues that the YAG advised on (study recruitment, attrition and data collection), there was evidence of a positive impact of PPI. Patient or Public Contribution: Pupils from post-primary schools interested/participating in the WISH Study were invited to attend YAG meetings. YAG meetings were set up to consult adolescent girls on the delivery, implementation and dissemination of the WISH intervention.
    • Teaching professionalism during and posta pandemic to surgical trainees: A survey of the impact of a workshop on trainers and trainees

      Ashwood, Neil; Stanhope, Edward; Lahart, Ian; Dekker, Andrew; Hind, Jamie; Carmichael, Amtul Razzaq; University of Wolverhampton, Research Institute, Wulfruna St, Wolverhampton WV1 1LY, United Kingdom. (Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, 2023-10-31)
      Introduction: Focussed professionalism training improves surgical trainees’ communication, information gathering, and counselling skills. This study reviews the impact of a professionalism workshop for surgical trainees within a large trust in the United Kingdom developed during the pandemic to support the trainees and help them develop resilience and appropriate behaviours during the time of increased pressure. Methods: A workshop involving case-based discussions and reflections on professionalism was developed from the themes and methods of training noted to be effective on a literature search of Medline, EMBASE, and PsycINFO databases carried out in May 2020. The impact of Covid on surgical trainees and educator’s professionalism training and the techniques of training preferred by trainees was evaluated by a survey of trainees and trainers after the intervention to evolve future training initiatives. During the workshop, a behavioural marker checklist was used to improve feedback on the observed behaviours. Results: 83 trainers and trainees were surveyed following a professional behaviour workshop training 63 surgeons at various stages of training. Surgical list availability had reduced by at least 5-10 a month for all the trainees within the trust during the pandemic. Most trainees surveyed (49 (60%)) felt that this had reduced the opportunities to train technical skills and develop professional non-technical skills like teamwork and communication skills, adversely impacting the trainee’s clinical performance. The increased support offered by the workshop helped 50 trainees (80%) to improve non-technical skill performance objectively by referencing to behavioural markers and this was felt to have become embedded in practice when surveyed 4 weeks later in 38 trainees (60%). The majority of those surveyed (47 (75%)) felt trainers and trainees had acted professionally during the pandemic and subsequently. The workshop discussions also helped (56 (67%)) trainers and trainees to consider how best to engage professionally with new ways of working as work, and training switched to virtual or telemedicine platforms during the pandemic. Conclusion: Professionalism-based education facilitates surgical trainee development, making them stronger team members and helping to restore team working skills and embrace new working practices.
    • Designing of drug delivery systems to improve the antimicrobial efficacy in the periodontal pocket based on biodegradable polyesters

      Zięba, Magdalena; Sikorska, Wanda; Musioł, Marta; Janeczek, Henryk; Włodarczyk, Jakub; Pastusiak, Małgorzata; Gupta, Abhishek; Radecka, Iza; Parati, Mattia; Tylko, Grzegorz; et al. (MDPI, 2023-12-29)
      Delivery systems for biologically active substances such as proanthocyanidins (PCANs), produced in the form of electrospun nonwoven through the electrospinning method, were designed using a polymeric blend of poly(L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA)and poly[(R,S)-3-hydroxybutyrate] ((R,S)-PHB). The studies involved the structural and thermal characteristics of the developed electrospun three-dimensional fibre matrices unloaded and loaded with PCANs. In the next step, the hydrolytic degradation tests of these systems were performed. The release profile of PCANs from the electrospun nonwoven was determined with the aid of UV–VIS spectroscopy. Approximately 30% of the PCANs were released from the tested electrospun nonwoven during the initial 15–20 days of incubation. The chemical structure of water-soluble oligomers that were formed after the hydrolytic degradation of the developed delivery system was identified through electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Oligomers of lactic acid and OLAGA oligocopolyester, as well as oligo-3-hydroxybutyrate terminated with hydroxyl and carboxyl end groups, were recognized as degradation products released into the water during the incubation time. It was also demonstrated that variations in the degradation rate of individual mat components influenced the degradation pattern and the number of formed oligomers. The obtained results suggest that the incorporation of proanthocyanidins into the system slowed down the hydrolytic degradation process of the poly(L-lactide-co-glycolide)/poly[(R,S)-3-hydroxybutyrate] three-dimensional fibre matrix. In addition, in vitro cytotoxicity and antimicrobial studies advocate the use of PCANs for biomedical applications with promising antimicrobial activity.
    • ‘I’m not the same person now’: The psychological implications of online contact risk experiences for adults with intellectual disabilities

      Clements, Fiona; Chadwick, Darren; Orchard, Lisa (SAGE, 2023-12-22)
      Understanding online risk for adults with intellectual disabilities is important to improve digital inclusion in society. Perceptions of online risk can determine behaviours that obstruct or facilitate Internet access and use. This current study aimed to qualitatively investigate the psychological implications of online victimisation risks, including online negative comments and/or messages for adults with intellectual disabilities, as a novel area yet explored in-depth. Semi-structured interview data was collected remotely. Template analysis found there to be both negative and positive psychological implications experienced in response to online risks. Specifically, participants reported a wide range of negative emotions but also positive growth in the form of learning from the experience and increased confidence. The attribution of blame process in cybervictimisation can involve both blaming the perpetrator but also internalised victim-blaming which may be a consequence of the type of online risk (i.e. sexual risks). Implications for both practice and research are suggested.