Current Performance (current + performance)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Application of the theory of planned behavior to understand intentions to engage in physical and psychosocial health behaviors after cancer diagnosis

Michael A. Andrykowski
Abstract A cancer diagnosis can trigger change in both lifestyle behaviors and mental health outcomes such as ,growth' and ,benefit-finding'. Assuming changes in mental health outcomes are based upon changes in specific behaviors, the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) may facilitate understanding of post-diagnosis change in physical and psychosocial ,health' behaviors. Adults (n=130) ,2 years post-cancer diagnosis completed an internet survey. Current performance and future behavior intentions for two physical (e.g. eating a healthy diet) and four psychosocial (e.g. spending quality time with family/friends; engaging in spiritual or religious activities) health behaviors were assessed. TPB constructs (subjective norm, behavior attitudes, perceived behavioral control) for each of the six behaviors were also assessed. Multiple regression analyses indicated the set of TPB constructs accounted for an increment of 25,53% of variance in behavioral intentions beyond that accounted for by clinical and demographic variables. Among individual TPB constructs, behavioral attitude was most consistently associated with behavioral intentions while subjective norm was least consistently associated with behavioral intentions. The TPB could serve as a comprehensive model for understanding change in both physical and psychosocial health behaviors after cancer diagnosis and could suggest innovative approaches to developing interventions to enhance post-diagnosis ,growth' and ,benefit finding'. Copyright 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Audit Qualifications of Income-Decreasing Accounting Choices,

Frank D. Hodge
Abstract In this study we conduct an experiment to examine how qualifying an income-decreasing accounting change in years of strong financial performance affects financial report users' assessments of strategic reporting, current financial performance, and future financial performance (performance over the next three years). We find that without the qualification, users viewed the income-decreasing accounting change as relatively nonstrategic and that user assessments of current and future performance were not different. In the presence of the qualification, users believed that the accounting change was relatively strategic, and they discounted the income effect of the accounting change. We find further that their assessments of future performance were below their assessments of current performance but no different from the assessments of future performance in the absence of the qualification. Although our findings suggest that audit qualifications encourage users to be skeptical of income-decreasing accounting changes, we find no evidence that they impose negative consequences on management in terms of lower assessments of financial performance. [source]

Stretching the limits: Stem cells in regeneration science

David L. Stocum
Abstract The focus of regenerative medicine is rebuilding damaged tissues by cell transplantation or implantation of bioartificial tissues. In either case, therapies focus on adult stem cells (ASCs) and embryonic stem cells (ESCs) as cell sources. Here we review four topics based on these two cell sources. The first compares the current performance of ASCs and ESCs as cell transplant therapies and the drawbacks of each. The second explores somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) as a method to derive ESCs that will not be immunorejected. The third topic explores how SCNT and ESC research has led to the ability to derive pluripotent ESCs by the dedifferentiation of adult somatic cells. Lastly, we discuss how research on activation of intrinsic adult stem cells and on somatic cell dedifferentiation can evolve regenerative medicine from a platform consisting of cell transplantation to one that includes the chemical induction of regeneration from the body's own cells at the site of injury. Developmental Dynamics 237:3648,3671, 2008. 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Spectral analysis and design approach for high force-to-volume extrusion damper-based structural energy dissipation

Geoffrey W. Rodgers
Abstract High force-to-volume extrusion damping devices can offer significant energy dissipation directly in structural connections and significantly reduce seismic response. Realistic force levels up to 400,kN have been obtained experimentally validating this overall concept. This paper develops spectral-based design equations for their application. Response spectra analysis for multiple, probabilistically scaled earthquake suites are used to delineate the response reductions due to added extrusion damping. Representative statistics and damping reduction factors are utilized to characterize the modified response in a form suitable for current performance-based design methods. Multiple equation regression analysis is used to characterize reduction factors in the constant acceleration, constant velocity, and constant displacement regions of the response spectra. With peak device forces of 10% of structural weight, peak damping reduction factors in the constant displacement region of the spectra are approximately 6.5,, 4.0,, and 2.8, for the low, medium, and high suites, respectively. At T,=,1,s, these values are approximately 3.6,, 1.8,, and 1.4,, respectively. The maximum systematic bias introduced by using empirical equations to approximate damping reduction factors in design analyses is within the range of +10 to ,20%. The seismic demand spectrum approach is shown to be conservative across a majority of the spectrum, except for large added damping between T,=,0.8 and 3.5,s, where it slightly underestimates the demand up to a maximum of approximately 10%. Overall, the analysis shows that these devices have significant potential to reduce seismic response and damage at validated prototype device force levels. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Learning and re-learning regime support: The dynamics of post-communist regimes

William Mishler
The political support of citizens of new democracies reflects two sets of experiences. Initially, people are socialized into an undemocratic regime; then, they must re-learn political support in relation to a new regime. In an established democracy, it is difficult to disentangle the effect of early socialization and current performance because both refer to the same regime. However, this is both possible and necessary in countries where there has been a change in regime. Critical questions then arise: When, whether and how do citizens determine their support for their new regime? At the start of a new regime past socialization should be more important but, after a few years, current performance should become more important. We draw on 47 Barometer surveys between 1991 and 1998 in ten more or less democratic post-communist regimes of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to test the relative importance of early socialization influences, the legacy of the communist past, and the political and economic performance of new regimes. We find that economic and political performance explains the most variance in support and, secondarily, the communist legacy. Early socialization is insignificant. However, contrary to economic theories of voting, the impact of political performance is greater than the impact of economic performance in post-communist countries , and its impact is increasing. [source]

A proactive management algorithm for self-healing mobile ad hoc networks

Adel F. Iskander
The ability to proactively manage mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) is critical for supporting complex services such as quality of service, security and access control in these networks. This paper focuses on the problem of managing highly dynamic and resource-constrained MANET environments through the proposal of a novel proactive management algorithm (PMA) for self-healing MANETs. PMA is based on an effective integration of autonomous, predictive and adaptive distributed management strategies. Proactive management is achieved through the distributed analysis of the current performance of the mobile nodes utilizing an optimistic discrete event simulation method, which is used to predict the mobile nodes' future status, and execution a proactive fault-tolerant management scheme. PMA takes advantage of distributed parallel processing, flexibility and intelligence of active packets to minimize the management overhead, while adapting to the highly dynamic and resource-constrained nature of MANETs. The performance of the proposed architecture is validated through analytical performance analysis and comparative simulation with the Active Virtual Network Management Protocol. The simulation results demonstrate that PMA not only significantly reduces management control overhead, but also improves both the performance and the stability of MANETs. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Effects of level of feed intake and Fusarium toxin-contaminated wheat on rumen fermentation as well as on blood and milk parameters in cows

K. Seeling
Summary The aims of this study were to examine the effects of and possible interactions between dry matter (DM) intake and feeding Fusarium toxin-contaminated wheat on ruminal fermentation, serum chemical parameters and milk yield of dairy cows. Fourteen dairy cows equipped with ruminal and duodenal cannulas were analysed. All animals were fed the same ration, the daily feed amounts being adjusted to current performance. On DM basis, the ration consisted of 60% concentrate including 55% wheat [Fusarium -contaminated wheat (mycotoxin period) or control wheat (control period)] and was completed with 40% maize and grass silage. Each cow was fed the contaminated wheat [deoxynivalenol (DON), 8.21 mg/kg DM and zearalenone (ZON), 0.09 mg/kg DM] and the control wheat (0.25 mg DON/kg DM and 51 ,g ZON/kg DM). As expected, a higher organic matter (OM) intake decreased the amounts of fermented crude nutrients related to the respective intakes. An increased amount of crude protein degraded (p < 0.05) and a lower molar percentage of propionate in the rumen fluid were observed when feeding the Fusarium toxin-contaminated wheat at increased OM intakes in comparison with the control wheat. The activities of serum aspartate aminotransferase (ASAT; p < 0.001), glutamate dehydrogenase (GLDH; p < 0.01) and gamma glutamyl transferase (, -GT; p < 0.01) increased with increasing OM intake and were not related to the mycotoxin contamination of the wheat. [source]

Annotation: Deconstructing the attention deficit in fragile X syndrome: a developmental neuropsychological approach

K.M. Cornish
Background:, Fragile X syndrome is one of the world's leading hereditary causes of developmental delay in males. The past decade has witnessed an explosion of research that has begun to unravel the condition at its various levels: from the genetic and brain levels to the cognitive level, and then to the environmental and behavioural levels. Our aim in this review is to attempt to integrate some of the extensive body of knowledge to move the research a step closer to understanding how the dynamics of atypical development can influence the specific cognitive and behavioural end-states frequently observed in children and adolescents with fragile X syndrome. Methods:, We conducted a review of the current neuropsychological and neuropsychiatric approaches that have attempted to delineate the pattern of ,spared' and ,impaired' functions associated with the phenotype. Results:, The profile of findings suggests that fragile X syndrome should not be viewed merely as a catalogue of spared and impaired cognitive functions or modules. Instead, there appears to be a process of almost gradual modularisation whereby cognitive mechanisms become domain specific as a function of development itself (Karmiloff-Smith, 1992). The results of a decade of intense research point towards an early weakness in one or more components of executive control rather than single, static higher-level deficits (e.g., spatial cognition, speech processing). This weakness affects both the development of more complex functions and current performance. Conclusions:, The prevailing tendency to interpret developmental disorders in terms of fixed damage to distinct modular functions needs to be reconsidered. We offer this review as an example of an alternative approach, attempting to identify an initial deficit and its consequences for the course of development. Through better definition of the cognitive and behavioural phenotype, in combination with current progress in brain imaging techniques and molecular studies, the next decade should continue to hold exciting promise for fragile X syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders. [source]

Where to Focus Efforts to Improve Overall Ratings of Care and Willingness to Return: The Case of Tuscan Emergency Departments

Chiara Seghieri PhD
Abstract Objectives:, Both regression and optimization models were used to identify an efficient combination of aspects of care (e.g., comfort of waiting room) necessary to improve global emergency department (ED) patient satisfaction. The approach, based on patient survey data, tends to favor aspects of care with large regression coefficients and those whose current performance is low, because improvements produce a greater effect on global satisfaction. Methods:, The authors used ED patient satisfaction survey data collected between September and October 2007 from a random sample of 5,277 adult patients who visited 43 EDs in Tuscany, Italy. Ordinal logistic regression models were run to predict overall ratings of care and willingness to return using 20 independent variables (i.e., aspects of care). An optimization model was run to increase these two global items to a maximum of 15%. This model minimizes the total combined percentage increase of the aspects of care. Models using all cases (n = 5,277), cases from local hospitals (n = 4,264), and cases from teaching hospitals (n = 1,013) were run. Results:, Four aspects selected by the optimization algorithm were in all models: "satisfaction with waiting time,""comfort of the waiting room,""professionalism of physicians" (technical skills), and "level of collaboration between physicians and nursing staff." Most aspects needed a 15% increase to comply with the percentage increases set for the global satisfaction items. The model found that to increase overall ratings of care by 1, 2, or 8%, hospitals would need to focus only on one aspect: "level of collaboration between physicians and nursing staff." The total number of variables increased to six when the improvement in overall ratings of care was set at 15%. To increase 3 or 5% willingness to return, the optimization algorithm found that 6 or 14 aspects, respectively, are needed. An increase of 6% or more was unfeasible. Conclusions:, This approach is only somewhat efficient, as a cost structure is absent. The optimization model assumes that the cost to increase each aspect by 1% is equivalent. By applying this modeling technique we have demonstrated that, at least, two elements are important to consider when developing efficient improvement strategies to increase global satisfaction: 1) the current level of satisfaction of the aspects of care and 2) the importance ascribed to the aspects of care. A third element, the cost to increase the aspects of care, might also be important. However, the impact of this element on the optimal solution is currently unknown. [source]