Now showing items 1-20 of 8065

    • Compassionate communities: design and preliminary results of the experience of Vic (Barcelona, Spain) caring city

      Gómez-Batiste, X.; Mateu, S.; Serra-Jofre, S.; Molas, M.; Mir-Roca, S.; Amblàs, J.; Costa, X.; Lasmarías, C.; Serrarols, M.; Solà-Serrabou, A.; Calle, C.; Kellehear, Allan (2018)
      Background: A program of Compassionate City or Community (CC) has been designed and developed in the City of Vic (43,964 habitants, Barcelona, Spain), based on The Compassionate City Charter and other public health literature and experiments, with the joint leadership of the City Council and the Chair of Palliative Care at the University of Vic, and as an expansion of a comprehensive and integrated system of palliative care. Methods: The program started with an assessment of needs of the city as identified by 48 social organizations with a foundational workshop and a semi-structured survey. After this assessment, the mission, vision, values and aims were agreed. The main aims consisted in promoting changes in social and cultural attitudes toward the end of life (EoL) and providing integrated care for people with advanced chronic conditions and social needs such as loneliness, poverty, low access to services at home, or conflict. The selected slogan was “Living with meaning, dignity, and support the end of life”. Results: The program for the first year has included 19 activities (cultural, training, informative, and mixed) and followed by 1,260 attendants, and the training activities were followed by 147 people. Local and regional sponsors are funding the initiative. After a year, a quantitative and qualitative evaluation was performed, showing high participation and satisfaction of the attendants and organizations. In the second year, the care for particular vulnerable people defined as targets (EoL and social factors described before) will start with volunteers with more organizations to join the project. Conclusions: The key identified factors for the initial success are: the strong joint leadership between social department of the Council and the University; clear aims and targets; high participation rates; the limited size of the geographical context; which allowed high participation and recognition; and the commitment to evaluate results.
    • Pricing of time-varying illiquidity within the Eurozone: Evidence using a Markov switching liquidity-adjusted capital asset pricing model

      Grillini, S.; Ozkan, A.; Sharma, Abhijit; Al Janabi, M.A.M. (2019)
      This paper investigates time-varying characteristics of illiquidity and the pricing of its risk using a liquidity-adjusted capital asset pricing model (L-CAPM). Collecting data from a pool of Eurozone countries between 1990 and 2018, we employ Markov switching models to assess the degree of persistence of illiquidity shocks. Contrary to prior research, which largely makes use of autoregressive (AR) processes, we provide strong evidence that illiquidity is time-varying and the persistence of shocks determines two distinct regimes characterised by high and low illiquidity. We assess pricing of illiquidity risk by developing and empirically testing a conditional L-CAPM model, where different regimes constitute priced risk factors for the cross-section of stock returns. We extend previous unconditional versions of L-CAPM models and we show that the various channels through which illiquidity affects asset returns and price of risks are time-varying. We find strong support for our conditional L-CAPM and our results are robust to alternative specifications and estimation techniques. These findings have important implications for portfolio management practices and are relevant to portfolio and risk managers and regulatory institutions.
    • Evaluating Healthcare Governance Using Knowledge-based System to Enhance Quality Management

      Al Khamisi, Yousuf N.; Munive-Hernandez, J. Eduardo; Campean, I. Felician (2018-07)
      Governance perspective plays a vital role in the success of Quality Management in Healthcare Environment (QMHE). In fact QMHE has adopted and applied different quality tools and models in recent times, with some even developing their own quality‐based initiatives. This paper will present an original and novel approach (KB/ES coupled with GAP analysis) to evaluate the effectiveness of governance body in QMHE. The KB system inserts GAP for benchmarking and evaluating the current practices with the desired ones. The KB system will benchmark the current position of governance perspective as part of QMHE with the ideal benchmark one. The results will help healthcare practitioners to improve the governance boy’s gaps and take the correct decisions.
    • Is Radiative Forcing Cointegrated with Temperature? A Further Examination Using a Structural Time Series Approach

      Balcombe, K.; Fraser, I.M.; Sharma, Abhijit (2019)
      This paper re-examines the long-run relationship between radiative forcing (including emissions of carbon dioxide, sulphur oxides, methane, and solar radiation) and temperatures from a structural time series modeling perspective. We assess whether forcing measures are cointegrated with global temperatures using the structural time series approach.
    • Developing a Discrete Event Simulation Methodology to support a Six Sigma Approach

      Hussain, Anees; Munive-Hernandez, J. Eduardo; Campean, I. Felician (2019)
      Competition in the manufacturing industry is growing at an accelerated rate due to globalization trend. This global competition urges manufacturing organizations to review and improve their processes in order to enhance and maintain their competitive advantage. One of those initiatives is the implementation of the Six Sigma methodology to analyze and reduce variation hence improving the processes of manufacturing organizations. This paper presents a Discrete Event Simulation methodology to support a Six Sigma approach for manufacturing organizations. Several approaches to implement Six Sigma focus on improving time management and reducing cycle time. However, these efforts may fail in their effective and practical implementation to achieve the desired results. Following the proposed methodology, a Discrete Event Simulation model was built to assist decision makers in understanding the behavior of the current manufacturing process. This approach helps to systematically define, measure and analyze the current state process to test different scenarios to improve performance. The paper is amongst the first to offer a simulation methodology to support a process improvement approach. It applies an action research strategy to develop and validate the proposed modelling methodology in a British manufacturing organization competing in global markets.
    • Developing a FMEA Methodology to Assess Non-Technical Risks in Power Plants

      Almashaqbeh, Sahar; Munive-Hernandez, J. Eduardo; Khan, M. Khurshid (2018-07)
      Risk Management is one of the most relevant approaches and systematic application of strategies, procedures and practices management that have been introduced in literature to identifying and analysing risks which exist through the whole life of a product or a process. As a quality management tool, the novelty of this paper suggests a modified Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA) for understanding the non-technical risk comprehensively, and to attain a systemic methodology by decomposing the risk for nine risk categories including an appropriate 84 Risk Indicators (RI's) within all those categories through the Life Cycle (LC) stages of power plants. These risk categories have been identified as: economic risks, environmental and safety health risks, social risks, technological risks, customer/demand risks, supply chain risks, internal and operational business process risks, human resources risks and management risks. These indicators are collected from literatures. The enhanced FMEA has combined the exponential and the weighted geometric mean (WGM) to calculate the Exponential Weighted Geometric Mean-RPN (EWGM-RPN). The EWGM-RPN can be used to evaluate the risk level, after which the high-risk areas can be determined. Subsequently, effective actions either preventive or corrective can be taken in time to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. However, in this paper the FMEA will not adapt an action plan. Due to that, all RPN's will be considered depending on the point scale (1 to 5) afterward, the results will be combined and extended later with AHP. This developed methodology is able to boost effective decision- making about risks, improve the awareness towards the risk management at power plants, and assist the top management to have an acceptable and preferable understanding of the organisation than lower level managers do who are close to the day-to-day (tactical plan). Additionally, this will support the organisation to develop strategic plans which are for long term. And the essential part of applying this methodology is the economic benefit. Also, this paper includes developed sustainability perspective indicators with a new fourth pillar, which is the technological dimension. The results of the analysis show that the potential strategic makers should pay special attention to the environmental and internal and operational business process risks. The developed methodology will be applied and validated for different power plants in the Middle East. An expanded validation is required to completely prove drawbacks and benefits after completing the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) model.
    • Assessing community readiness for early intervention programmes to promote social and emotional health in children

      Islam, Shahid; Small, Neil A.; Bryant, M.; Bridges, S.; Hancock, N.; Dickerson, J. (2019)
      Evidence for early intervention and prevention-based approaches for im-proving social and emotional health in young children is robust. However, rates of participation in programmes are low. We explored the dynamics which affect levels of community readiness to address the issues of social and emotional health for preg-nant women, young children (0-4 years) and their mothers.Setting:A deprived inner‐city housing estate in the north of England. The estate falls within the catchment area of a project that has been awarded long-term funding to address social and emotional health during pregnancy and early childhood.Methods:We interviewed key respondents using the Community Readiness Model. This approach applies a mixed methodology, incorporating readiness scores and qualitative data. A mean community readiness score was calculated enabling the placement of the community in one of nine possible stages of readiness. Interview transcripts were analysed using a qualitative framework approach to generate con-textual information to augment the numerical scores.Results:An overall score consistent with vague awareness was achieved, indicating a low level of community readiness for social and emotional health interventions. This score suggests that there will be a low likelihood of participation in programmes that address these issues.Conclusion:Gauging community readiness offers a way of predicting how willing and prepared a community is to address an issue. Modifying implementation plans so that they first address community readiness may improve participation rates.
    • S. cerevisiae Srs2 helicase ensures normal recombination intermediate metabolism during meiosis and prevents accumulation of Rad51 aggregates

      Hunt, L.J.; Ahmed, E.A.; Kaur, H.; Ahuja, J.S.; Hulme, L.; Chou, T.C.; Lichten, M.; Goldman, Alastair S.H. (2019)
      We investigated the meiotic role of Srs2, a multi-functional DNA helicase/translocase that destabilises Rad51-DNA filaments and is thought to regulate strand invasion and prevent hyper-recombination during the mitotic cell cycle. We find that Srs2 activity is required for normal meiotic progression and spore viability. A significant fraction of srs2 mutant cells progress through both meiotic divisions without separating the bulk of their chromatin, although in such cells sister centromeres often separate. Undivided nuclei contain aggregates of Rad51 colocalised with the ssDNA-binding protein RPA, suggesting the presence of persistent single-strand DNA. Rad51 aggregate formation requires Spo11-induced DSBs, Rad51 strand-invasion activity and progression past the pachytene stage of meiosis, but not the DSB end-resection or the bias towards interhomologue strand invasion characteristic of normal meiosis. srs2 mutants also display altered meiotic recombination intermediate metabolism, revealed by defects in the formation of stable joint molecules. We suggest that Srs2, by limiting Rad51 accumulation on DNA, prevents the formation of aberrant recombination intermediates that otherwise would persist and interfere with normal chromosome segregation and nuclear division.
    • Developing a Risk Assessment Model for non-Technical Risk in Energy Sector

      Almashaqbeh, Sahar; Munive-Hernandez, J. Eduardo; Khan, M. Khurshid (2018-07)
      Risk Management is one of the most relevant approaches and systematic applications of strategies, procedures and practices management that have been introduced in literatures for identifying and analysing risks which exist through the whole life of a product ,a process or services. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to propose a risk assessment model that will be implemented to the energy sector, particularly to power plants. This model combines the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) technique with a new enhanced Balance Score Card (BSC). AHP is constructed to determine the weights and the priorities for all perspectives and risk indicators that involved in the BSC. The novelty in this paper is not only in using the BSC for risk assessment, but also, in developing a new BSC with six perspectives, which are sustainability perspective; economic; learning and growth; internal and operational business process; supply chain and customer/demand perspective. Another three contributions of this paper are firstly, including the sustainability dimension in BSC, and covering nine risk categories, which comprise 84 risk indicators that have been distributed across the six risk BSC perspectives. Secondly, assessing the non-technical risks in power plants and finally, this research will concentrate on the strategic level instead of the operational level where the majority of researches focus on latter but the former is far less researched. The created model will provide an effective measurement for the risks particularly, in the power plants sector. The results of this study demonstrate that the supply chain risks perspective is the keystone for the decision making process. Furthermore, these risk indicators with the new structure of BSC with six perspectives, help in achieving the organisation mission and vision in addition to affording a robust risk assessment model. The inputs of this model are composed from a previous stage using a modified Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) (which has been used the Exponential Weighted Geometric Mean (EWGM)) to understand and analyse all risks, after which, the results of the developed FMEA which are the Risk Priority Numbers (RPN’s), have been used to build the AHP-BSC risk model. These risks are collected with difficulty from various literatures. This study will be validated in the next stage in power plants in the Middle East.
    • A System Dynamics Model for Supply Chain Risk Assessment

      Almashaqbeh, Sahar; Munive-Hernandez, J. Eduardo; Khan, M. Khurshid (2019-07)
      Risk assessment is a strategic approach for building resilient supply chains in different types of industries, including the energy sector. In case of an important event with a high level of the risk happening, it could jeopardize the operations of an organization. This could even interrupt the delivery of a product or service, damaging the profitability and reputation of the organization. This could also have a long-term effect on the strategic performance of the firm. Furthermore, key risks might be linked through causal interrelationships. Given the nature of a dynamic business environment, risk assessment also needs to consider the effect of time on those risks. Hence, it is important to understand the behaviour of a complex and dynamic system of interrelated risks to improve strategic decision making in the energy sector. This paper presents a System Dynamics model to assess risks with a supply chain perspective for power plants. The risk assessment model was validated with a case study of three power plants in the Middle East. The developed risk assessment model allowed to understand the long-term effect of risk on three performance indicators: availability of the power plant, efficiency, and operational and maintenance costs. The model provides a different approach to traditional risk assessment by proposing a dynamic modelling methodology.
    • A System Dynamics Model for Risk Assessment of Strategic Customer Performance Perspective in Power Plants

      Almashaqbeh, Sahar; Munive-Hernandez, J. Eduardo; Khan, M. Khurshid (2019-07)
      The energy sector is a dynamic business environment, power plants have to deal with several complex risks, including both technical and non-technical risks. Thus, unexpected risks can disrupt the energy generation processes, with a negative long-term impact. Furthermore, these risks are not isolated, as their impact may affect a series of interrelated risks. To add to this complexity, the assessment of those risks may change with time in a dynamic business environment. This situation makes strategic decision making less effective regarding the successful design of a risk management system. Understanding the dynamic behaviour of a complex system of interrelated risks in the energy sector is very important to achieve a more sustainable overall performance of the power plants. This paper presents a System Dynamics (SD) approach to capture the interdependencies of strategic non-technical risks associated to the customer performance perspective in a risk management system for the energy sector. Several approaches for risk assessment focus on technical risks related to equipment but fail to consider the complex interactions with other risks and neither consider the dynamic nature of the business environment. A system dynamics model with 15 risk factors was built to assist decision makers in understanding the behaviour for such risks affecting the customer performance perspective. The model was validated in a power plant in the Middle East. The model allowed to highlight the impact of mitigating the risk of policy and regulations on the availability risk of the power plant and on the risk factor related to operational and maintenance cost.
    • Using the Exponential Weighted Geometric Mean (EWGM) Method to Optimise the FMEA as a Risk Assessment Methodology

      Almashaqbeh, Sahar; Munive-Hernandez, J. Eduardo; Khan, M. Khurshid (2019)
      Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA) is a proactive, highly structured, and systematic approach for failure analysis. It has been also applied as a risk assessment tool, by ranking potential risks based on the estimation of Risk Priority Numbers (RPNs). This paper develops an improved FMEA methodology for strategic risk analysis. The proposed approach combines the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) technique with the Exponential and Weighted Geometric Mean method (EWGM) to support risk analysis. AHP is applied to estimate the weights of three risk factors: Severity (S), Occurrence (O) and Detection (D), which integrate the RPN for each risk. The EWGM method is applied for ranking RPNs. Combining AHP with EWGM allows avoiding repetition of FMEA results. The results of the developed methodology reveal that duplication of RPNs has been decreased, and facilitating an effective risk ranking by offering a unique value for each risk. The proposed methodology focuses not only on high severity values for risk ranking but also it considers other risk factors (O and D), resulting in an enhanced risk assessment process. Furthermore, the weights of the three risk factors are considered. In this way, the developed methodology offers unique value for each risk in a simple way which makes the risk assessment results more accurate. This methodology provides a practical and systematic approach to support decision-makers in assessing and ranking risks that could affect long-term strategy implementation. The methodology was validated through the case study of a power plant in the Middle East, assessing 84 risks within 9 risk categories. The case study revealed that top management should pay more attention to key risks associated with electricity price, gas emissions, lost-time injuries, bad odor, and production.
    • A Grounded Theory approach to understanding the role of medication safety within a hospital early discharge team

      Tomlinson, Justine; Silcock, Jonathan; Karban, Kate; Blenkinsopp, Alison; Smith, H. (2019-02)
    • Examining the utility of the connect with pharmacy (CWP) intervention in reducing elderly readmission

      Sabir, F.; Tomlinson, Justine; Strickland-Hodge, B.; Smith, H. (2019-02)
    • Diet and physical activity in pregnancy: a study exploring women's beliefs and behaviours

      Chana, R.; Haith-Cooper, Melanie (2019-05-02)
      Being obese or gaining excessive weight during pregnancy can increase health risks for mother and baby. Adopting a healthy diet and increasing physical activity reduces these risks and has long-term health benefits for women. Despite this, women do not always maintain a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy. Aim To explore the factors that encouraged and prevented a diverse group of women to maintain a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy. Methods A total of 12 women participated in semi-structured qualitative interviews, underpinned by the theory of planned behaviour. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim then subject to deductive thematic analysis. Findings Four themes emerged: women's knowledge of a healthy lifestyle, sociocultural influences, physical health and health professional support. These influenced women's intentions and actual behaviours during pregnancy. Conclusions Enhanced health professional advice may motivate women to adopt a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy. This could be through new means such as health technology.
    • Stakes, Scales, and Skepticism

      Francis, Kathryn B.; Beaman, P.; Hansen, N. (2019)
      There is conflicting experimental evidence about whether the “stakes” or importance of being wrong affect judgments about whether a subject knows a proposition. To date, judgments about stakes effects on knowledge have been investigated using binary paradigms: responses to “low” stakes cases are compared with responses to “high stakes” cases. However, stakes or importance are not binary properties—they are scalar: whether a situation is “high” or “low” stakes is a matter of degree. So far, no experimental work has investigated the scalar nature of stakes effects on knowledge: do stakes effects increase as the stakes get higher? Do stakes effects only appear once a certain threshold of stakes has been crossed? Does the effect plateau at a certain point? To address these questions, we conducted experiments that probe for the scalarity of stakes effects using several experimental approaches. We found evidence of scalar stakes effects using an “evidenceseeking” experimental design, but no evidence of scalar effects using a traditional “evidence-fixed” experimental design. In addition, using the evidence-seeking design, we uncovered a large, but previously unnoticed framing effect on whether participants are skeptical about whether someone can know something, no matter how much evidence they have. The rate of skeptical responses and the rate at which participants were willing to attribute “lazy knowledge”—that someone can know something without having to check— were themselves subject to a stakes effect: participants were more skeptical when the stakes were higher, and more prone to attribute lazy knowledge when the stakes were lower. We argue that the novel skeptical stakes effect provides resources to respond to criticisms of the evidence-seeking approach that argue that it does not target knowledge
    • Kinase regulation of HOX transcription factors

      Primon, Monika; Hunter, K.D.; Pandha, H.S.; Morgan, Richard (2019-04)
      The HOX genes are a group of homeodomain-containing transcription factors that play important regulatory roles in early development, including the establishment of cell and tissue identity. HOX expression is generally reduced in adult cells but is frequently re-established as an early event in tumour formation and supports an oncogenic phenotype. HOX transcription factors are also involved in cell cycle regulation and DNA repair, along with normal adult physiological process including stem cell renewal. There have been extensive studies on the mechanism by which HOX proteins regulate transcription, with particular emphasis on their interaction with cofactors such as Pre-B-cell Leukaemia Homeobox (PBX) and Myeloid Ecotropic Viral Integration Site 1 (MEIS). However, significantly less is known of how the activity of HOX proteins is regulated. There is growing evidence that phosphorylation may play an important role in this context, and in this review, we draw together a number of important studies published over the last 20 years, and discuss the relevance of phosphorylation in the regulation and function of HOX proteins in development, evolution, cell cycle regulation, and cancer.
    • Caregivers' beliefs about dementia: findings from the IDEAL study

      Quinn, Catherine; Jones, I.R.; Martyr, A.; Nelis, S.M.; Morris, R.G.; Clare, L.; IDEAL Study Team (2019)
      Objective: Informal caregivers of people with dementia develop their own beliefs about the condition, referred to as Dementia Representations (DRs), as they try to make sense of the changes they are observing. The first aim of this study was to provide a profile of the types of DRs held by caregivers. The second aim was to examine the impact of caregivers’ DRs on their well-being, satisfaction with life (SwL) and caregiving stress. Methods: Participants were 1264 informal caregivers of people in the mild-to-moderate stages of dementia from time-point 1 of the IDEAL cohort study. Measures: DRs were measured using questionnaire items covering: Identity, Cause, Control, and Timeline. Results: Almost half (49.2%) of caregivers used a diagnostic term to describe the person’s condition, although 93.4% of caregivers stated they were aware of the diagnosis. Higher well-being, SwL, and lower caregiving stress were associated with the use of an identity term relating to specific symptoms of dementia, attributing the cause to ageing or not knowing the cause, and believing the condition would stay the same. Lower well-being, SwL, and higher caregiving stress were associated with believing there was little that could be done to control the effects of the condition. Conclusion: Healthcare professionals should assess and gain an understanding of caregivers’ DRs in order to provide more tailored information and support.
    • Design and economic evaluation of solar-powered hybrid multi effect and reverse osmosis system for seawater desalination

      Filippini, G.; Al-Obaidi, M.A.; Manenti, F.; Mujtaba, Iqbal M. (2019)
      Reducing the cost of fresh water has always been a major concern in the desalination industry. A solar powered hybrid multi-effect distillation and reverse osmosis desalination plant (MED+RO) has been designed and optimised from an economical point of view in a previous work by the same authors. In the present study, the possibility of coupling the desalination plant with a photovoltaic (PV) solar farm is investigated, with the aim of generating electricity at low cost and in a sustainable way. A detailed mathematical model for the PV system has been implemented from the literature. Interestingly, the model can predict the cost of the PV system in terms of capital cost and electricity cost per kWh considering the input data of solar irradiation, duration of daylight and technical specification of a real solar module. Consequently, the solar PV model has been combined with the desalination model, which enables to estimate the cost of fresh water per cubic meter. Data about four locations, namely Isola di Pantelleria (IT), Las Palmas (ES), Abu Dhabi (UAE), and Perth (AUS), have been used to economically test the feasibility of installing the proposed plant, and especially of the PV solar farm.
    • Optimisation of several industrial and recently developed AJAM naphtha isomerization processes using model based techniques

      Jarullah, A.T.; Abed, F.M.; Ahmed, A.M.; Mujtaba, Iqbal M. (2019-07)
      Increasing the yield and research octane number (RON) of naphtha isomerization process are the most important issues in industries. There are many alternative industrial naphtha isomerization processes practiced around the world. In addition, AJAM is a new naphtha isomerization process proposed by the authors recently (Ahmed et al., 2018) where the isomerization reactor model was validated using real data of Baiji North Refinery (BNR) of Iraq. In this work, first, the performance of the AJAM Process is evaluated against 8 existing industrial isomerization processes in terms of RON, yield and the cost using model based optimisation techniques. To be consistent, we have used the same isomerization reactor model in all the industrial processes we evaluated here. Secondly, energy saving opportunity in the new AJAM process is studied using pinch technology.