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Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Working conditions and the possibility of providing good care

Gunvor Lövgren RN
Background,An open and tolerant climate characterized by joy in work where the personnel can mature as people and develop their professional competence was postulated as essential to working conditions under which good care can be provided in line with a care policy accepted for healthcare in a northern Swedish county. Aim, This study aimed to examine working conditions before and 3 years after the implementation of the care policy. Method, All personnel working on four hospital wards in the county described their experiences in questionnaires in a baseline measure in 1995 (n = 119) and a follow-up measure in 1998 (n = 106). Findings, Lower ratings for working conditions were found in many respects in the follow-up measure. Fewer respondents from three wards expressed satisfaction with their current work situation. More respondents in one of these wards expressed, in addition, an inability to keep up with their work and fewer also evaluated their immediate superiors as good leaders. More of the respondents from one ward expressed the intention of looking for alternative employment and wanted to have another job. More respondents in two wards reached scores indicating burnout risk or burnout, and lower means were seen in two to 10 work climate dimensions per ward, out of 10 possible, in the follow-up measure compared with the baseline. Conclusion, The working conditions seen as requisite for the possibility of providing good care seem to have deteriorated in a number of respects on the wards studied over a three-year period and improvements are needed if the care offered is to be in line with the stated care policy. A concurrent study investigating patient satisfaction of the care quality in the same county showed a deterioration in their assessments between measurements carried through with a three-year interval, implying a relationship between the working conditions of the personnel and the patients' experiences of care. [source]

Health perceptions and health behaviours of poor urban Jordanian women

Sawsan Majali Mahasneh PhD RN
Health perceptions and health behaviours of poor urban Jordanian women Background.,The economic recession and stringent economic adjustment programme that Jordan has gone through since the early 1980s have resulted in lower living standards and higher rates of poverty and unemployment. Poverty debilitates women and impairs their access to health care, proper nutrition and well-being in general. Rationale.,Women's health behaviours and problems need to be analysed from the perspective of women themselves. The purpose of this study was to describe the health perceptions and health behaviours of poor urban Jordanian women aged 15,45 years in the context of the family and community in which they live. The sample consisted of 267 Jordanian women aged 18,45 years, whose household income was below the poverty line. Method.,This was a community-based study that collected data using semi-structured interviews with women. Health perceptions were measured by asking the women to describe their health status, as they perceived it. Health behaviours were measured by asking the women about their personal hygiene, diet, activity and exercise, sleep, smoking, drinking alcohol, and safety and security. Results.,The average age of women was 33 years, 93% were or had been married, and 87·5% had received some form of education. Although the mean age at marriage was about 20 years, 13·6% were married when they were less than 16 years of age. Study women gave a lower rating of their health status than those reported in national studies. Although they reported bathing once a week, eating about three meals a day, and getting 8 hours sleep, there remain areas for improvement in their health behaviours in terms of performing regular exercise, carrying out regular health examinations, and the type and amount of food consumed. Recommendations.,Implications for nursing, with a special focus on health education and meeting the health needs of these women, are presented. [source]

Anabolic steroid users' attitudes towards physicians

ADDICTION, Issue 9 2004
Harrison G. Pope
ABSTRACT Aims To assess anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) users' trust in the knowledge and advice of physicians. Design Interviews of AAS users and non-users. Setting Research offices. Participants Eighty weight-lifters (43 AAS users, 37 non-users) recruited by advertisement in Massachusetts and Florida, USA. Measurements Personal interviews and questionnaire responses, including subjects' ratings of physicians' knowledge regarding various health- and drug-related topics. AAS users also rated their level of trust in various sources of information about AAS. Findings Both groups of subjects gave physicians high ratings on knowledge about general health, cigarette smoking, alcohol, and conventional illicit drugs, but gave physicians markedly and significantly lower ratings on knowledge about AAS. When rating sources of information on AAS, users scored physicians as no more reliable than their friends, Internet sites, or the person(s) who sold them the steroids. Forty percent of users trusted information on AAS from their drug dealers at least as much as information from any physician that they had seen, and 56% had never revealed their AAS use to any physician. Conclusion AAS users show little trust in physicians' knowledge about AAS, and often do not disclose their AAS use to physicians. These attitudes compromise physicians' ability to educate or treat AAS users. Physicians can respond to these problems by learning more about AAS and by maintaining a high index of suspicion when evaluating athletic male patients. [source]

Association amongst factors thought to be important by instructors in dental education and perceived effectiveness of these instructors by students

D. W. Chambers
It is hypothesised that dental educators have perceptions of their roles as effective teachers. It is expected that subject matter expertise would be amongst the components of such personal philosophies of education, but it is unclear whether faculty member self-perceptions carry over into student ratings of instructors' effectiveness. A 20-item survey of ,Teaching Characteristics' was completed by 86% of full-time and 64% of the part-time faculty members at the University of the Pacific. Respondents distributed 100 points amongst the descriptions of what makes an effective instructor. The responses were factor-analysed, resulting in four general faculty ,types' that explained about 50% of the variance in ratings: expert, enthusiast, judicial and good soldier. Student ratings for the 2 years running up to the date of the survey administration were used to gauge student perceptions of instructor effectiveness. Faculty members who placed emphasis on expertise as key to being a good instructor received significantly lower ratings for teacher effectiveness from students than did other faculty members. Faculty members who conceived their roles as motivating students, explaining difficult concepts, displaying interest in the subject, showing compassion and caring, and being proactive tended to receive high ratings for teaching effectiveness from students. [source]


Ralph Kober
This study examines the usefulness of three accounting systems (cash, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) accrual, and Government Finance Statistics (GFS) accrual) for public sector decision-making. From a survey of internal users, external users, and preparers in Australia, we find that GAAP accrual information is perceived to be relatively more useful and understandable than the other two systems for most decisions examined. The relatively higher ratings for GAAP accrual information differ from earlier studies and may reflect an experience or familiarity effect whereby perceptions of usefulness are enhanced because respondents have become more used to the system. This effect might also explain the lower ratings for GFS accrual. [source]

A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi

Verbalization Bias in Evaluation
People's evaluations of stimuli may change when they verbally attempt to communicate the reasons underlying their judgments. The reported experiments demonstrate the interactive influence of expertise, verbalizability (i.e., the ease with which stimulus features can be linguistically encoded), and appraisal mode in the verbalization bias phenomenon. In Experiment 1, art novices and experts rated their liking of artworks with compositional features that were easy (e.g., figurative,naturalistic) or difficult (e.g., abstract) to verbalize. When asked to verbalize the reasons underlying their judgments, novices assigned lower ratings to abstract but not figurative works. Experts, in contrast, were not influenced by the verbalization manipulation. Experiment 2 explored the possibility that verbalization bias is attributable to a componential appraisal mode that verbalization induces, rather than the specific reasons that people articulate. We found that verbalizing reasons for liking or disliking one abstract work influenced art novices' judgments of a second work for which they did not attempt to verbalize reasons. Moreover, those who merely attempted to verbalize their perceptual experiences also exhibited this contamination effect. The results of both studies suggest that verbalizing the attributes of complex stimuli can significantly alter the way we evaluate these stimuli. [source]

Getting Hired: Sex and Race

The hiring process is currently probably the least understood aspect of the employment relationship. It may very well be the most important for understanding the broad processes of stratification with allocation by sex and race to jobs and firms. A central reason for the lack of knowledge is that it is very difficult to assemble extensive data on the processes that occur at the point of hiring. We analyzed data on all applicants to a large service organization in the U.S. in a 16-month period in 1993,1994. We investigated the rating at the time of application, the probability of getting hired, and the ratings achieved one, three, and six months after hire. Overall differences between men and women were (a) negligible in rating received at the time of application, (b) small but slightly in favor of women in probability of getting hired, and (c) clearly in favor of women for ratings after hire. The evidence points unambiguously in one direction: Women do not come out worse than men in the hiring process in this organization. To the extent there is a difference, it is to the advantage of women. However, if the posthire performance ratings are free of sex bias, then women should have been hired at an even higher rate. When analyses were done separately by occupation, there are few differences between men and women in getting hired in the three occupations accounting for 94 percent of hires. In the other two, only 8 and 15 hires were made, making statistical analysis less meaningful. However, there is evidence that blacks face a disadvantage in getting hired, and also receive lower ratings after hire. Hispanic men are especially disadvantaged in getting hired. [source]

The Effects of Race and Worker Productivity on Performance Evaluations

Marta Elvira
Using personnel data from a large firm, we examine the role of race, supervisor's race, and worker productivity on performance ratings for a diverse employee population. Controlling for worker productivity and other demographic variables, black employees receive lower ratings than whites. These differences in performance evaluations are associated with the racial composition of the subordinate-supervisor pair. Racial differences between subordinate and supervisor lead to lower ratings for both black and white subordinates. [source]

The Perceptions of Infant Distress Signals Varying in Pitch by Cocaine-Using Mothers

INFANCY, Issue 1 2003
Pamela Schuetze
Perceptual responses to infant distress signals were studied in 16 cocaine-using and 15 comparison mothers. All mothers rated tape recordings of 48 replications of a newborn infant's hunger cry digitally altered to increase in fundamental frequency in 100-Hz increments. Cries were rated on 4 perceptual (arousing, aversive, urgent, and sick) and 6 caregiving rating scale items (clean, cuddle, feed, give pacifier, pick up, and wait and see) used in previous studies. Analyses of variance showed that, as cry pitch increased, cries were rated as more arousing, aversive, and urgent sounding. The highest pitched cries received the highest ratings for caregiving interventions. Main effects for cocaine use showed cocaine-using mothers (a) rated cries as less arousing, aversive, urgent, and sick; (b) indicated they were less likely to pick up or feed the infant; and (c) indicated they more likely to give the crying infant a pacifier or just "wait and see." A Group x Cry Pitch interaction effect showed that mothers in the cocaine group gave higher ratings to wait and see as the pitch of the cries increased, whereas mothers in the comparison group gave lower ratings to wait and see as the pitch of the cries increased. These ratings indicate that cocaine-using mothers found cries to be less perceptually salient and less likely to elicit nurturant caregiving responses. These results suggest that maternal cocaine use is associated with altered perceptions of infant distress signals that may provide the basis for differential social responsivity in the caregiving context. [source]

A Cross-Modal Comparison of Telephone and Face-to-Face Selection Interviews in Graduate Recruitment

Joanne Silvester
Although there has been an increase in the use of telephone interviews for graduate recruitment by companies in the UK, there is little evidence attesting to their equivalence with traditional face-to-face selection interviews. A total of 70 candidates applying to a multinational oil corporation received both face-to-face and telephone interviews as the first stage of the 1996 graduate recruitment milkround. Group A (N = 41) received an initial face-to-face interview followed by a telephone interview and group B (N = 29) a telephone interview followed by a face-to-face interview. Findings indicate that candidates received significantly lower ratings when interviewed by telephone than when interviewed face-to-face (p , 0.001). A significant interaction was also found (p , 0.05) with candidates who received face-to-face interviews following telephone interviews demonstrating improved performance in their face-to-face interviews. The practical implications of these findings for companies wishing to use telephone interviews are discussed. [source]

Evaluating the Evaluators: Perceptions of Interviewers by Rejected Job Applicants as a Function of Interviewer and Applicant Sex,

Rebecca Holloway
Students who had recently had an unsuccessful job interview rated the competence of their interviewer and completed the Women As Managers Scale (WAMS; Terborg, Peters, Ilgen, & Smith, 1977). The results showed an impact of the sex of interviewer on judgments of interviewer competence and WAMS scores, but only for male participants. Male participants gave lower ratings of interviewer competence to female than to male interviewers, and ratings for the female interviewers were also lower than those given by female participants. Scores on the WAMS were lower for male participants who were interviewed by a female interviewer than those interviewed by a male interviewer, and were lower for male than for female participants with a female interviewer. [source]

Action, inaction, and factors influencing perceived decision making

Laura Y. Niedermayer
Abstract Two studies examined factors hypothesized to be related to the subjective perception of decision making. A total of 302 introductory psychology students read four hypothetical scenarios that varied on two dimensions: frequency of the behavior and whether the behavior was an action or an inaction (a 2 × 2 design). Subjects rated the scenarios on whether the actor made a decision. In Experiment 1, the frequency of behavior was unrelated to decision making. In addition, actions were given higher decision ratings than inactions in two scenarios, but lower ratings in the other two scenarios. In Experiment 2 the latter discrepancy was explained by ratings of whether the actor behaved thoughtfully rather than reflexively, in that these ratings mediated the action,decision rating relationship. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Simulated driving performance following prolonged wakefulness and alcohol consumption: separate and combined contributions to impairment

The separate and combined effects of prolonged wakefulness and alcohol were compared on measures of subjective sleepiness, simulated driving performance and drivers' ability to judge impairment. Twenty-two males aged between 19 and 35 years were tested on four occasions. Subjects drove for 30 min on a simulated driving task under conditions determined by the factorial combination of 16 and 20 h of wakefulness and blood alcohol concentrations of 0.00 and 0.08%. The simulated driving session took place 30 min postingestion; subjects in the two alcohol conditions participated in a second 30-min driving session 90-min postingestion. Subjects made simultaneous ratings of their impairment while driving and retrospective ratings at the end of each test session. Subjective sleepiness measures were completed before and after each driving session. The combination of 20 h of prolonged wakefulness and alcohol produced significantly lower ratings of subjective sleepiness and driving performance that was worse, but not significantly so, than would be expected from the additive effects of each condition alone. Driving performance was always worse in the second driving session, during the elimination phase of alcohol metabolism, despite blood alcohol concentrations being lower than during the first driving session. There was a modest association between perceived and actual impairments in driving performance following prolonged wakefulness and alcohol. The findings suggest that the combination of prolonged wakefulness and alcohol consumption produced greater decrements in simulated driving performance than each condition alone and that drivers have only a modest ability to appreciate the magnitude of their impairment. [source]

Serum 6-Beta-Naltrexol Levels Are Related to Alcohol Responses in Heavy Drinkers

ALCOHOLISM, Issue 9 2000
Mary E. McCaul
Background: There is strong evidence for the role of the endogenous opioid system in alcohol reinforcement and consumption; however, recent human laboratory studies and clinical trials have reported mixed effects of naltrexone (a nonselective opioid antagonist) on alcohol-related behaviors. This paper reports a secondary data analysis of a human laboratory study that examines the relationship between serum levels of 6-beta-naltrexol, the major, biologically active metabolite of naltrexone, and subjective effects of alcohol. Methods: The study used a within-subjects design to examine the effects of naltrexone (0, 50, and 100 mg/day) on subjective responses to alcohol (none, moderate, and high dose) in heavy drinkers (n= 23). Each subject received three doses of naltrexone in random order; each naltrexone dose was administered over an 8 day period on an inpatient unit, with a 1 week outpatient washout between doses. After stabilization at each of the naltrexone doses, subjects participated in three alcohol challenge sessions (none, moderate, and high dose) in random order; thus, each subject participated in a total of nine alcohol administration sessions. Results: Doubling the naltrexone dose (50 vs. 100 mg/day) doubled the mean serum 6-beta-naltrexol levels. At each naltrexone dose, there was a 4-fold range in 6-beta-naltrexol levels across subjects. Before alcohol administration, higher 6-beta-naltrexol levels were associated with higher ratings of sedation. After high-dose alcohol administration, higher 6-beta-naltrexol levels were associated with significantly lower ratings of liking and best effects. Conclusions: These findings provide further evidence of the involvement of the opioid system in the modulation of alcohol effects and suggest that serum 6-beta-naltrexol concentrations may be important in predicting therapeutic response to naltrexone. [source]

Pelvic floor disorders and quality of life in women with self-reported irritable bowel syndrome

Aliment Pharmacol Ther,31, 424,431 Summary Background, Quality of life among women with irritable bowel syndrome may be affected by pelvic floor disorders. Aim, To assess the association of self-reported irritable bowel syndrome with urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, sexual function and quality of life. Methods, We analysed data from the Reproductive Risks for Incontinence Study at Kaiser Permanente, a random population-based study of 2109 racially diverse women (mean age = 56). Multivariate analyses assessed the association of irritable bowel syndrome with pelvic floor disorders and quality of life. Results, The prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome was 9.7% (n = 204). Women with irritable bowel had higher adjusted odds of reporting symptomatic pelvic organ prolapse (OR 2.4; 95% CI, 1.4,4.1) and urinary urgency (OR 1.4; 95% CI, 1.0,1.9); greater bother from pelvic organ prolapse (OR 4.3; 95% CI, 1.5,11.9) and faecal incontinence (OR 2.0; 95% CI, 1.3,3.2); greater lifestyle impact from urinary incontinence (OR 2.2; 95% CI, 1.3,3.8); and worse quality of life (P < 0.01). Women with irritable bowel reported more inability to relax and enjoy sexual activity (OR 1.8; 95% CI, 1.3,2.6) and lower ratings for sexual satisfaction (OR 1.8; 95% CI, 1.3,2.5), but no difference in sexual frequency, interest or ability to have an orgasm. Conclusions, Women with irritable bowel are more likely to report symptomatic pelvic organ prolapse and sexual dysfunction, and report lower quality of life. [source]

Nurse burnout and quality of care: Cross-national investigation in six countries,

Lusine Poghosyan
Abstract We explored the relationship between nurse burnout and ratings of quality of care in 53,846 nurses from six countries. In this secondary analysis, we used data from the International Hospital Outcomes Study; data were collected from 1998 to 2005. The Maslach Burnout Inventory and a single-item reflecting nurse-rated quality of care were used in multiple logistic regression modeling to investigate the association between nurse burnout and nurse-rated quality of care. Across countries, higher levels of burnout were associated with lower ratings of the quality of care independent of nurses' ratings of practice environments. These findings suggest that reducing nurse burnout may be an effective strategy for improving nurse-rated quality of care in hospitals. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 33:288,298, 2010 [source]

Positive life goals and plans in parasuicide

Paula J. Vincent
Parasuicidal individuals lack positive expectations about the future. This study set out to examine two aspects of positive future thinking,the ability to think of goals and the presence of cognitions related to achieving those goals, including plans, perceived control and perceived likelihood. Individuals who had recently engaged in an episode of parasuicide (N = 24) were compared with matched, hospital controls (N = 24) on a range of measures to assess number and type of goals, ability to think of plans to achieve goals, sense of control over goal outcomes, and perceived likelihood of achieving goals, as well as self-report measures of hope, hopelessness, depression and anxiety. The two groups did not differ in the number of goals they could identify, especially after controlling for unemployment. The groups did differ in the quality of goals with the parasuicide patients' goals being less specific and more self-focused in important goals, though these effects were confounded by group differences in employment status. Compared to controls, and after controlling for employment, parasuicide patients gave less specific plans, could think of more obstacles to achieving their goals and gave lower ratings of control and likelihood of achieving their goals. Parasuicide patients appear able to think of positive life goals but have clear problems in being able to think of how to achieve those goals.,Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]