Quantitative Evidence (quantitative + evidence)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Self-provision in retirement: Quantitative evidence on older Australians' expectations and experiences

Rachel Ong
Objectives:,To explore factors that correlate with expectations and experiences of self-provision in retirement. Methods:,A regression modelling approach is adopted using a national survey that contains data on the retirement expectations and experiences of older Australians. Results:,Older Australians approaching retirement are more likely to expect to be self-funded in retirement if they possess high qualification levels, stable employment and have healthy levels of wealth holdings. Divorced or separated older women are more likely to expect to be welfare-reliant than other groups. The presence of children, disabilities and residence outside major cities do not affect prospective retirees' expectations of being primarily self-funded in retirement, but they do impact negatively on actual self-provision in retirement. Forced retirement will significantly decrease the probability of self-provision in retirement. Conclusions:,Policy reforms that focus on increasing employment opportunities for women after child-bearing and promoting retirement choice will reduce welfare reliance among older Australians. [source]

Peer mediation training and program implementation in elementary schools: Research results

Kathy Bickmore
This research examines the implementation and effects of a peer mediation program in twenty-eight urban elementary schools. The Center for Conflict Resolution, a program of the Cleveland, Ohio, public schools, provided intensive training and follow-up support for teams of peer mediators and adult advisers at each school. Trainers were youths from the same community. Qualitative and quantitative evidence indicate that this program significantly improved the average eight- to eleven-year-old students understanding of and inclination to use nonviolent conflict resolution and his or her capacity to achieve in school. The study outlines the specific commitments from administrators and other staff members that were required to develop and implement equitable, effective, and sustainable programs. [source]

Documenting Loss of Large Trophy Fish from the Florida Keys with Historical Photographs

arrecifes de coral; ecología histórica; directrices cambiantes; peces de arrecife; sobrepesca Abstract:,A loss of large vertebrates has occurred in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, but data to measure long-term population changes are sparse. Historical photographs provide visual and quantitative evidence of changes in mean individual size and species composition for groups of marine fish that have been targeted by sport fishing. I measured such trends for 13 groups of recreationally caught "trophy" reef fish with photographs taken in Key West, Florida, from 1956 to 2007. The mean fish size declined from an estimated 19.9 kg (SE 1.5) to 2.3 kg (SE 0.3), and there was a major shift in species composition. Landings from 1956 to 1960 were dominated by large groupers (Epinephelus spp.), and other large predatory fish were commonly caught, including sharks with an average length of just <2 m. In contrast, landings in 2007 were composed of small snappers (Lutjanus spp. and Ocyurus chrysurus) with an average length of 34.4 cm (SE 0.62), and the average length of sharks declined by more than 50% over 50 years. Major declines in the size of fish caught were not reflected in the price of fishing trips, so customers paid the same amount for a less-valuable product. Historical photographs provide a window into a more pristine coral reef ecosystem that existed a half a century ago and lend support to current observations that unfished reef communities are able to support large numbers of large-bodied fish. Resumen:,Una pérdida de vertebrados mayores ha ocurrido en ecosistemas acuáticos y terrestres, pero los datos para medir los cambios poblaciones a largo plazo son escasos. Las fotografías históricas proporcionan evidencia visual y cuantitativa de cambios en el tamaño individual promedio y de la composición de especies en grupos de peces marinos que han sido blanco de la pesca deportiva. Medí esas tendencias en 13 grupos de peces de arrecife capturados recreativamente como "trofeos" mediante fotografías tomadas en Key West, Florida, desde 1956 a 2007. El peso promedio de los peces declinó de unos 19.9 kg (ES 1.5) a 2.3 kg (ES 0.3), y hubo un cambio mayor en la composición de especies. Las capturas entre 1956 y 1960 estuvieron dominadas por meros (Epinephelus spp.) grandes, y otros peces depredadores eran capturados comúnmente, incluyendo tiburones con una longitud promedio de poco menos de 2m. En contraste, las capturas en 2007 fueron compuestas de pargos (Lutjanus spp. y Ocyurus chrysurus) pequeños con una longitud promedio de 34.4 cm (ES 0.62), y la longitud promedio de los tiburones declinó más de 50% en 50 años. La gran declinación en el tamaño de los peces capturados no se reflejó en los precios de los viajes de pesca, así que los clientes pagaron la misma cantidad por un producto menos valioso. Las fotografías históricas proporcionan una visión de un ecosistema arrecifal coralino prístino que existió hace medio siglo y proporcionan soporte a los comentarios actuales de que las comunidades arrecifales no explotadas son capaces de soportar numerosos peces de talla grande. [source]

Estimate of the Area Affected Ecologically by the Road System in the United States

Richard T. T. Forman
Two recent studies in The Netherlands and Massachusetts ( U.S.A.) evaluated several ecological effects of roads, including traffic noise effects, and provide quantitative evidence for a definable "road-effect zone." Based on the approximate width of this asymmetric convoluted zone, I estimate that about one-fifth of the U.S. land area is directly affected ecologically by the system of public roads. I identify a series of assumptions and variables suggesting that over time this preliminary estimate is more likely to rise than drop. Several transportation planning and policy recommendations, ranging from perforating the road barrier for wildlife crossings to closing certain roads, offer promise for reducing this enormous ecological effect. Resumen: En vista de un sistema carretero extensivo, un abundante y creciente tráfico vehicular y una literatura dispersa indicando que algunos efectos ecológicos de las carreteras se extienden más allá de 100 m, parece probable que los efectos ecológicos acumulativos del sistema carretero en los Estados Unidos es considerable. Dos estudios recientes en los Países Bajos y Massachusetts ( USA) evaluaron diversos efectos ecológicos de las carreteras, incluyendo efectos del ruido del tráfico y proporcionan evidencia cuantitativa para una definible "zona de efecto carretero". En base a la amplitud aproximada de esta zona conpleja y asimétrica, estimé que alrededor de una auinta parte del área terrestre de los Estados Unidos es directamente afectada ecológicamente por el sistema de carreteras públicas. Identifiqué series de conjeturas y variables que surgieren que a lo largo del tiempo esta estimación preliminar es mas probable que incremente a que disminuya. Diversos planes de transportación y recomendaciones políticas, que van desde perforar la barrera carretera para propiciar el cruce de vida silvestre hasta el cierre de ciertas carreteras ofrecen la promesa de reducir este efecto carretero. [source]

Mental health patients in criminal justice populations: needs, treatment and criminal behaviour

J. Keene PhD Professor of Primary Care
Background Government policy requires that health and social care agencies work more closely together and in partnership with the criminal justice system. There is a well-established relationship between crime and mental disorder. Method The Tracking Project provides for the first time in England the means of collating and analysing data on mental disorder (defined as receiving secondary care as patients of a Mental Health Trust) and crime (defined as all those charged with an offence). Data were collected over a three-year period for all individuals who had contact with the criminal justice system and mental health services in an English county. Results In a county population of 800,400, some 30,329 were offenders. More than a third had used a health or social care service during the three-year period; 8.0% were mentally disordered. Those offenders aged 25,64 and who contacted the police more than once were significantly more likely to be mentally disordered. Type of offence was also a relevant variable. The probation service showed broadly similar results. Discussion The research has provided for the first time substantive quantitative evidence of the relationship between crime and mental disorder. The results can be used as the basis for further work to target assessment and risk reduction measures at those most at risk. Copyright © 2003 Whurr Publishers Ltd. [source]

Avoiding tragedies: a Flemish common and its commoners under the pressure of social and economic change during the eighteenth century1

Despite the wide application of the metaphor of ,the tragedy of the commons', there is little historical literature that points to the weaknesses of its historical basis. There is, however, sufficient qualitative and quantitative evidence to prove that commons were well regulated and organized in order to achieve a sustainable management, that also took into account the needs and wishes of its commoners. This case study of a common in Flanders looks at the evidence for this in the eighteenth century, examining bookkeeping and other archival sources. A model that incorporates the different functions of the commons (sustainability, efficiency, and utility) is explained and applied. [source]

Changes in women's use of illicit drugs following imprisonment

ADDICTION, Issue 2 2009
Emma Plugge
ABSTRACT Aim To provide data on changes in illegal drug use in women following imprisonment. Design Prospective cohort study. Setting Recruitment took place in two prisons in the Midlands and South-East England and follow-up in 13 prisons across England. Participants A total of 505 women prisoners participated, a response rate of 82%. Measurements Questions about drug use were contained within a questionnaire which examined broad aspects of health. On entry into prison, women answered questions about daily drug use and injecting drug use prior to imprisonment. One month later the questionnaires examined drug use during this period of imprisonment. Findings Prior to imprisonment, 53% [95% confidence interval (CI): 49,58%] of women took at least one illegal drug daily and 38% (CI: 34,42%) said they had ever injected drugs. Following imprisonment, some women continued to use drugs; 14% (CI: 10,20%) of women reported using at least one illegal drug daily and 2% (CI: 0.7,5%) of women had injected drugs. There were important changes in the types of drugs used; there was a change in use from crack and heroin to benzodiazepines and opiate substitutes. Prior to imprisonment, women most commonly used crack and heroin, but in prison the two most commonly used illegal drugs were benzodiazepines and opiate substitutes. Conclusions The study provides quantitative evidence of the impact of imprisonment on drug use among women. It highlights the need for enhanced drug treatment services and stronger measures to reduce the availability of illegal drugs to women in prison. [source]


EVOLUTION, Issue 8 2010
David Nogués-Bravo
Between 50,000 and 3,000 years before present (BP) 65% of mammal genera weighing over 44 kg went extinct, together with a lower proportion of small mammals. Why species went extinct in such large numbers is hotly debated. One of the arguments proposes that climate changes underlie Late Quaternary extinctions, but global quantitative evidence for this hypothesis is still lacking. We test the potential role of global climate change on the extinction of mammals during the Late Quaternary. Our results suggest that continents with the highest climate footprint values, in other words, with climate changes of greater magnitudes during the Late Quaternary, witnessed more extinctions than continents with lower climate footprint values, with the exception of South America. Our results are consistent across species with different body masses, reinforcing the view that past climate changes contributed to global extinctions. Our model outputs, the climate change footprint dataset, provide a new research venue to test hypotheses about biodiversity dynamics during the Late Quaternary from the genetic to the species richness level. [source]

Quantifying the erosional impact of the Fennoscandian ice sheet in the Torneträsk,Narvik corridor, northern Sweden, based on cosmogenic radionuclide data

Arjen P. Stroeven
Despite spectacular landform evidence of a dominant role for glacial action in shaping landscapes under former northern hemisphere ice sheets, there is little quantitative evidence for rates and patterns of erosion associated with specific glaciations. Here we use cosmogenic nuclide data to assess rates of subglacial erosion underneath the Fennoscandian ice sheet. By testing whether there are remnant nuclide concentrations in samples taken from sites that include both relict areas and features and landscapes typically associated with vigorous glacial erosion, we can constrain the level and pattern of modification that resulted from the last glaciation. Cosmogenic 10Be and 36Cl data from the Torneträsk region confirm the temporal and spatial variability of glacial erosion suggested by geomorphological mapping. At some sites, glacial erosion estimates in what appear to be heavily scoured areas indicate erosion of only c. 2 ± 0.4 m of bedrock, based on cosmogenic nuclide inheritance. This implies that the generation of severely scoured terrain in this study area required multiple glaciations. The overall modification produced by ice sheets along glacial corridors may be more restricted than previously thought, or may have occurred preferentially during earlier Quaternary glacial periods. [source]


Louis Awanyo
ABSTRACT. This article employs qualitative and quantitative evidence from primary social research in Ghana to examine the link between land tenure security and social identities (of wealth/income and gender), and how they condition farmers' investments in practices that contribute to the rehabilitation of tree biodiversity (agrobiodiversity). Statistical analyses of the significance of the effects of farmers' de jure land tenure security regimes, and income and gender on agrobiodiversity practices were inconclusive. The conventional causation link between investments and more secure formal land tenure rights, for instance, was confirmed in investments in four out of eight agrobiodiversity practices. Testimonial-based evidence of farmers provided a clearer concept of land tenure security and an explanatory framework about the interacting and complex effects of income and gender on land tenure security. The theoretical and empirical argument developed from these testimonies portrays land tenure as embodying negotiated social processes, influenced by gender and income of individuals, whereby breadth of land rights, duration of rights over land, and assurance of rights are established, sustained, enhanced or changed through a variety of strategies to shape tenure security. These processes , tenure building and renewal processes , are critical because all farmers have lingering anxiety about land tenure rights, even among farmers with more secure formal rights. Investments are made in agrobiodiversity practices as a strategy to strengthen land tenure security and thereby minimize anxiety, leading to reverse causation effects between land tenure, social identities, and investments. [source]

Global evidence that deforestation amplifies flood risk and severity in the developing world

Abstract With the wide acceptance of forest-protection policies in the developing world comes a requirement for clear demonstrations of how deforestation may erode human well-being and economies. For centuries, it has been believed that forests provide protection against flooding. However, such claims have given rise to a heated polemic, and broad-scale quantitative evidence of the possible role of forests in flood protection has not been forthcoming. Using data collected from 1990 to 2000 from 56 developing countries, we show using generalized linear and mixed-effects models contrasted with information-theoretic measures of parsimony that flood frequency is negatively correlated with the amount of remaining natural forest and positively correlated with natural forest area loss (after controlling for rainfall, slope and degraded landscape area). The most parsimonious models accounted for over 65% of the variation in flood frequency, of which nearly 14% was due to forest cover variables alone. During the decade investigated, nearly 100 000 people were killed and 320 million people were displaced by floods, with total reported economic damages exceeding US$1151 billion. Extracted measures of flood severity (flood duration, people killed and displaced, and total damage) showed some weaker, albeit detectable correlations to natural forest cover and loss. Based on an arbitrary decrease in natural forest area of 10%, the model-averaged prediction of flood frequency increased between 4% and 28% among the countries modeled. Using the same hypothetical decline in natural forest area resulted in a 4,8% increase in total flood duration. These correlations suggest that global-scale patterns in mean forest trends across countries are meaningful with respect to flood dynamics. Unabated loss of forests may increase or exacerbate the number of flood-related disasters, negatively impact millions of poor people, and inflict trillions of dollars in damage in disadvantaged economies over the coming decades. This first global-scale empirical demonstration that forests are correlated with flood risk and severity in developing countries reinforces the imperative for large-scale forest protection to protect human welfare, and suggests that reforestation may help to reduce the frequency and severity of flood-related catastrophes. [source]

Adult sex ratios in wild bird populations

IBIS, Issue 4 2007
Offspring sex ratios in wild bird populations, and the extent to which they vary from the equality expected by random genotypic sex determination, have received much recent attention. Adult sex ratios (ASRs) in wild birds, on the other hand, remain very poorly described, and many of the questions about them posed by Ernst Mayr in 1939 remain unanswered. This review assesses population-level sex ratio patterns in wild bird populations, with an emphasis on the ASR. A quantitative assessment of over 200 published estimates of ASR, covering species from a wide range of taxa, regions and habitats, supported Mayr's assertion that skewed ASRs are common in wild bird populations. On average, males outnumbered females by around 33%, and 65% of published estimates differed significantly from equality. In contrast, population-level estimates of offspring sex ratio in birds did not generally differ from equality, and mean ASR across a range of wild mammal species was strongly female-skewed. ASR distortion in birds was significantly more severe in populations of globally threatened species than in non-threatened species, a previously undescribed pattern that has profound implications for their monitoring and conservation. Higher female mortality, rather than skewed offspring sex ratio, is the main driver of male-skewed ASRs in birds, and the causes and implications of this are reviewed. While estimates of ASR in wild bird populations may be subject to a number of biases, which are discussed, there is currently no quantitative evidence that an ASR of one male to one female represents the norm in birds. A better understanding and reporting of ASRs in wild bird populations could contribute greatly to our understanding of population processes and could contribute much to theoretical and applied research and conservation. [source]

Systematic review on embracing cultural diversity for developing and sustaining a healthy work environment in healthcare

Alan Pearson RN, FRCN, FRCNA
Abstract Objectives, The objective of this review was to evaluate evidence on the structures and processes that support development of effective culturally competent practices and a healthy work environment. Culturally competent practices are a congruent set of workforce behaviours, management practices and institutional policies within a practice setting resulting in an organisational environment that is inclusive of cultural and other forms of diversity. Inclusion criteria, This review included quantitative and qualitative evidence, with a particular emphasis on identifying systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials. For quantitative evidence, other controlled, and descriptive designs were also included. For qualitative evidence, all methodologies were considered. Participants were staff, patients, and systems or policies that were involved or affected by concepts of cultural competence in the nursing workforce in a healthcare environment. Types of interventions included any strategy that had a cultural competence component, which influenced the work environment, and/or patient and nursing staff in the environment. The types of outcomes of interest to this review included nursing staff outcomes, patient outcomes, organisational outcomes and systems level outcomes. Search strategy, The search sought both published and unpublished literature written in the English language. A comprehensive three-step search strategy was used, first to identify appropriate key words, second to combine all optimal key words into a comprehensive search strategy for each database and finally to review the reference lists of all included reviews and research reports. The databases searched were CINAHL, Medline, Current Contents, the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness, The Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, Embase, Sociological Abstracts, Econ lit, ABI/Inform, ERIC and PubMed. The search for unpublished literature used Dissertation Abstracts International. Methodological quality, Methodological quality was independently established by two reviewers, using standardised techniques from the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) System for the Unified Management, Assessment and Review of Information (SUMARI) package. Discussion with a third reviewer was initiated where a low level of agreement was identified for a particular paper. Following inclusion, data extraction was conducted using standardised data extraction tools from the JBI SUMARI suite for quantitative and qualitative research. Data synthesis was performed using the JBI Qualitative Assessment and Review Instrument and JBI Narrative, Opinion and Text Assessment and Review Instrument software to aggregate findings by identifying commonalities across texts. Quantitative data were presented in narrative summary, as statistical pooling was not appropriate with the included studies. Results, Of the 659 identified papers, 45 were selected for full paper retrieval, and 19 were considered to meet the inclusion criteria for this review. The results identified a number of processes that would contribute to the development of a culturally competent workforce. Appropriate and competent linguistic services, and intercultural staff training and education, were identified as key findings in this review. Conclusions, The review recommends that health provider agencies establish links with organisations that can address needs of culturally diverse groups of patients, include cultural competence in decision support systems and staff education as well as embed them in patient brochures and educational materials. The review also concluded that staff in-service programs consider the skills needed to foster a culturally competent workforce, and recruitment strategies that also explicitly address this need. [source]

Simulation-based learning in nurse education: systematic review

Robyn P. Cant
Abstract Title.,Simulation-based learning in nurse education: systematic review. Aim., This paper is a report of a review of the quantitative evidence for medium to high fidelity simulation using manikins in nursing, in comparison to other educational strategies. Background., Human simulation is an educational process that can replicate clinical practices in a safe environment. Although endorsed in nursing curricula, its effectiveness is largely unknown. Review methods., A systematic review of quantitative studies published between 1999 and January 2009 was undertaken using the following databases: CINAHL Plus, ERIC, Embase, Medline, SCOPUS, ProQuest and ProQuest Dissertation and Theses Database. The primary search terms were ,simulation' and ,human simulation'. Reference lists from relevant papers and the websites of relevant nursing organizations were also searched. The quality of the included studies was appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme criteria. Results. Twelve studies were included in the review. These used experimental or quasi-experimental designs. All reported simulation as a valid teaching/learning strategy. Six of the studies showed additional gains in knowledge, critical thinking ability, satisfaction or confidence compared with a control group (range 7,11%). The validity and reliability of the studies varied due to differences in design and assessment methods. Conclusion. Medium and/or high fidelity simulation using manikins is an effective teaching and learning method when best practice guidelines are adhered to. Simulation may have some advantage over other teaching methods, depending on the context, topic and method. Further exploration is needed to determine the effect of team size on learning and to develop a universal method of outcome measurement. [source]

Reproductive asynchrony in natural butterfly populations and its consequences for female matelessness

Justin M. Calabrese
Summary 1Reproductive asynchrony, where individuals in a population are short-lived relative to the population-level reproductive period, has been identified recently as a theoretical mechanism of the Allee effect that could operate in diverse plant and insect species. The degree to which this effect impinges on the growth potential of natural populations is not yet well understood. 2Building on previous models of reproductive timing, we develop a general framework that allows a detailed, quantitative examination of the reproductive potential lost to asynchrony in small natural populations. 3Our framework includes a range of biologically plausible submodels that allow details of mating biology of different species to be incorporated into the basic reproductive timing model. 4We tailor the parameter estimation methods of the full model (basic model plus mating biology submodels) to take full advantage of data from detailed field studies of two species of Parnassius butterflies whose mating status may be assessed easily in the field. 5We demonstrate that for both species, a substantial portion of the female population (6·5,18·6%) is expected to die unmated. These analyses provide the first direct, quantitative evidence of female reproductive failure due to asynchrony in small natural populations, and suggest that reproductive asynchrony exerts a strong and largely unappreciated influence on the population dynamics of these butterflies and other species with similarly asynchronous reproductive phenology. [source]

Quantifying the grazing impacts associated with different herbivores on rangelands

Summary 1Rangelands, produced by grazing herbivores, are important for a variety of agricultural, hunting, recreation and conservation objectives world-wide. Typically, there is little quantitative evidence regarding the magnitude of the grazing impact of different herbivores on rangeland habitats to inform their management. 2We quantified the grazing and trampling impact of sheep, cattle, red deer Cervus elaphus, rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus, mountain hares Lepus timidus and red grouse Lagopus lagopus on open-hill habitats in 11 areas of upland Scotland. The degradation of heather in upland Scotland Calluna vulgaris -dominated habitats, of conservation significance at a European scale, has been attributed, anecdotally, to increasing sheep and red deer populations. 3Field indicators of habitat condition were used to generate a five-point scale of impact in vegetation polygons of seven habitats. The presence of each herbivore species was attributed on the basis of ,signs' of occupancy. A Bayesian regression model was used to analyse the association of herbivore species with grazing impact on plant communities, controlling for environmental attributes. 4Overall the presence of sheep was associated with the largest increase (7/11 areas) in grazing and trampling impact of all herbivores. Cattle had the second largest impact but generally this was restricted to fewer areas and habitats than sheep. In contrast, impacts associated with wild herbivores tended to be small and only significant locally. 5Although red deer presence was associated with a significantly lower impact than sheep, this impact increased with increasing deer density at both land-ownership and regional scales. For sheep there was little or no evidence of density dependence. 6Synthesis and applications. The higher impact associated with sheep presence probably reflects their greater aggregation because of their limited ranging behaviour, exacerbated by sheep being herded in places convenient for land managers. Consequently, future reductions in sheep numbers as a result of reform of European Union farming policies may limit the extent of their impact, but not necessarily the local magnitude. However, reductions in sheep stocks may lead to increases in deer densities, with greater impact, particularly in heather-dominated habitats. Where habitat conservation is a priority this may well require a reduction in deer numbers. [source]

Productivity in Malagasy rice systems: wealth-differentiated constraints and priorities

Bart Minten
rice productivity; poverty; technology adoption; Madagascar Abstract This study explores the constraints on agricultural productivity and priorities in boosting productivity in rice, the main staple in Madagascar, using a range of different data sets and analytical methods, integrating qualitative assessments by farmers and quantitative evidence from panel data production function analysis and willingness-to-pay estimates for chemical fertilizer. Nationwide, farmers seek primarily labor productivity enhancing interventions, e.g., improved access to agricultural equipment, cattle, and irrigation. Shock mitigation measures, land productivity increasing technologies, and improved land tenure are reported to be much less important. Research and interventions aimed at reducing costs and price volatility within the fertilizer supply chain might help at least the more accessible regions to more readily adopt chemical fertilizer. [source]

Meta-analysis of the diagnostic accuracy of transesophageal echocardiography for assessment of atherosclerosis in the ascending aorta in patients undergoing cardiac surgery

Background: Stroke after cardiac surgery may be caused by emboli emerging from an atherosclerotic ascending aorta (AA). Epiaortic ultrasound scanning (EUS), the current ,gold' standard for detecting AA atherosclerosis, has not gained widespread use because there is a lack of optimized ultrasound devices, it lengthens the procedure, it endangers sterility, and there is a false belief by many surgeons that palpation is as sensitive as EUS. Furthermore there is no clear evidence proving that the use of epiaortic scanning changes outcome in cardiac surgery. Various researchers investigated the ability of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) to discriminate between the presence and absence of AA atherosclerosis. It is acknowledged that TEE has limited value in this, but it has never been supported by a meta-analysis estimating the true diagnostic accuracy of TEE based on all quantitative evidence. We aimed to do this using state-of-the-art methodology of diagnostic meta-analyses. Methods: We searched multiple databases for studies comparing TEE vs. EUS for detection of atherosclerosis. A random-effects bivariate meta-regression model was used to obtain summary estimates of sensitivity and specificity, incorporating the correlation between sensitivity and specificity as well as covariates to explore heterogeneity across studies. Results: We extracted six studies with a total of 346 patients, of whom 419 aortic segments were analyzed, including 100 segments with atherosclerosis [median prevalence 25% (range 17,62%)]. Summary estimates of sensitivity and specificity were 21% (95% CI 13,32%) and 99% (96,99%), respectively. Conclusions: Because of the low sensitivity of TEE for the detection of AA atherosclerosis, a negative test result requires verification by additional testing using epiaortic scanning. In case of a positive test result, AA atherosclerosis can be considered as present, and less manipulative strategies might be indicated. [source]

Dialect stabilization and speaker awareness in non-native varieties of English1

Devyani Sharma
Research on indigenized non-native varieties of English has aimed to distinguish these varieties from individual second language learning in structural and social terms (B. Kachru 1983; Platt, Weber and Ho 1984; Cheshire 1991),; however, quantitative evidence of this divergence remains scarce. Through an analysis of a range of Indian English speakers in a contact situation in the United States, this study distinguishes developing dialect features from second language learning features and explores the concomitant emergence of dialect consciousness. First, an implicational analysis shows that some non-standard variables (past marking, copula use, agreement) exhibit a second language learning cline while others (articles) form a more stable, incipient non-standard system shared to some extent by all speakers; a multivariate analysis suggests that both sets of variables are governed by proficiency levels. Next, the explanatory scope of proficiency is assessed by examining the use of selected phonological variants (rhoticity, l -velarization, aspiration). The use of these features resembles native-like style-shifting, as it appears to be more sensitive to speakers' attitudinal stances than to proficiency levels. This points to the importance of understanding emerging speaker awareness and perceptions of stigma, risk, and value in new varieties of English. [source]

Substrate inhibition of Pediococcus acidilactici by glucose on a waste medium.

Simulations, experimental results
Abstract Aims: The possibility of substrate inhibition by glucose on biomass and pediocin production was studied in cultures of Pediococcus acidilactici on a residual medium. Methods and Results: Calculation of the substrate inhibition coefficient in the context of microbial growth is generally laborious, and very prone to experimental error. However, a simulation combining logistic and Monod kinetics equations demonstrates that quantitative evidence for this type of inhibition, without the possibility of misinterpretation, can be obtained through the comparison of punctual preasymptotic productions as a function of substrate concentration. Significance and Impact of the Study: It was concluded that glucose had an inhibitory effect on growth, but not on bacteriocin production. [source]

Detection and climatology of fronts in a high-resolution model reanalysis over the Alps

J. Jenkner
Abstract The identification of low-level thermal fronts is particularly challenging in high-resolution model fields over complex terrain. Firstly, direct model output often contains numerical noise which spuriously influences the high-frequency variability of thermal parameters. Secondly, the boundary layer interferes via convection and consequently leaves its thermal marks on low levels. Here, an automated objective method for the detection of frontal lines is introduced which is designed to be insusceptible to consequences of small grid spacings. To this end, existing algorithms are readopted and combined in a novel way. The overall technique subdivides into a basic detection of fronts and a supplemental division into local fronts and synoptic fronts. The fundamental parts of the detection are: (1) a smoothing of the initial fields, (2) a definition of the frontal strength, and, (3) a localisation with the thermal front parameter. The local fronts are identified by means of a classification of open and closed thermal contours. The resulting data comprise the spatial outline of the frontal structures in a binary field as well as their type and movement. The novel methodology is applied to a 3 year high-resolution reanalysis over central Europe computed with the COSMO model using a grid spacing of 7 km. Grid-point based climatologies are derived for the Alpine region. Frequencies of occurrence and characteristics of motion are analysed for different frontal types. The novel climatology also provides quantitative evidence of dynamical properties such as the retardation of cold fronts ahead of mountains and the dissolution of warm fronts over mountains. Copyright © 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

One of These Things Is Not Like the Others: The Idea of Precedence in Health Technology Assessment and Coverage Decisions

Health plans often deliberate covering technologies with challenging purposes, effects, or costs. They must integrate quantitative evidence (e.g., how well a technology works) with qualitative, normative assessments (e.g., whether it works well enough for a worthwhile purpose). Arguments from analogy and precedent help integrate these criteria and establish standards for their policy application. Examples of arguments are described for three technologies (ICSI, genetic tests, and Viagra). Drawing lessons from law, ethics, philosophy, and the social sciences, a framework is developed for case-based evaluation of new technologies. The decision-making cycle includes (1) taking stock of past decisions and formulating precedents, (2) deciding new cases, and (3) assimilating decisions into the case history and evaluation framework. Each stage requires distinctive decision maker roles, information, and methods. [source]

White matter abnormalities in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia detected using diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging

Jessika E Sussmann
Objectives:, Strong qualitative and quantitative evidence exists of white matter abnormalities in both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (BD). Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies suggest altered connectivity in both disorders. We aim to address the diagnostic specificity of white matter abnormalities in these disorders. Methods:, DTI was used to assess white matter integrity in clinically stable patients with familial BD (n = 42) and familial schizophrenia (n = 28), and in controls (n = 38). Differences in fractional anisotropy (FA) were measured using voxel-based morphometry and automated region of interest analysis. Results:, Reduced FA was found in the anterior limb of the internal capsule (ALIC), anterior thalamic radiation (ATR), and in the region of the uncinate fasciculus in patients with BD and those with schizophrenia compared with controls. A direct comparison between patient groups found no significant differences in these regions. None of the findings were associated with psychotropic medication. Conclusions:, Reduced integrity of the ALIC, uncinate fasciculus, and ATR regions is common to both schizophrenia and BD. These results imply an overlap in white matter pathology, possibly relating to risk factors common to both disorders. [source]

Aromaticity of Tri- and Tetranuclear Metal,Carbonyl Clusters Based on Magnetic Criteria

Clémence Corminboeuf Dr.
Abstract Recently, the ,-aromaticity model proposed for cyclopropane by Dewar was employed to account for the stability of Group,8 trinuclear metal,carbonyl compounds [M3(CO)12] (M=Fe, Ru, Os). This paper further examines this hypothesis and provides the first quantitative evidence for the ,-aromatic/antiaromatic nature of the [M3(CO)12]/[M4(CO)16] species based on structural and nucleus-independent chemical-shift analysis. In addition, the extent of electron delocalization in tetrahedral [M4(CO)14] and butterfly [M4(CO)15] is analyzed and compared to prototype cycloalkanes. While remarkable analogies exist between metal,carbonyls and cycloalkanes, transition metals provide additional overlap possibilities that affect both the ring strain and the magnetic properties of metal,carbonyl rings and cages. [source]

Do Integrated Children's Services Improve Children's Outcomes?: Evidence From England's Children's Trust Pathfinders

CHILDREN & SOCIETY, Issue 5 2009
Margaret O'Brien
Thirty-five children's trust pathfinders, local cross-sector partnerships, were introduced across England in 2003 to promote greater integration in children's services. Using administrative performance data, this paper tracks yearly trends in child service outputs and child well-being outcomes from 1997 to 2004 in these local areas, including the period before their introduction. Professional perceptions of change in child outcomes are also presented. Time series regression analysis shows there was a general improvement in England in these selected performance indicators prior to the introduction of children's trusts pathfinders. Children's trust pathfinder areas initially focusing on ,all children' in their local area, rather than selected groups of children, showed the most progress. There was no consistent quantitative evidence for better outcomes in more integrated areas, however, 25 of the 35 survey respondents provided locally specific examples of children's trust pathfinder arrangements improving outcomes for children and young people. [source]

Consequences of the Serial Nature of Linguistic Input for Sentenial Complexity

Daniel Grodner
Abstract All other things being equal the parser favors attaching an ambiguous modifier to the most recent possible site. A plausible explanation is that locality preferences such as this arise in the service of minimizing memory costs,more distant sentential material is more difficult to reactivate than more recent material. Note that processing any sentence requires linking each new lexical item with material in the current parse. This often involves the construction of long-distance dependencies. Under a resource-limited view of language processing, lengthy integrations should induce difficulty even in unambiguous sentences. To date there has been little direct quantitative evidence in support of this perspective. This article presents 2 self-paced reading studies, which explore the hypothesis that dependency distance is a fundamental determinant of reading complexity in unambiguous constructions in English. The evidence suggests that the difficulty associated with integrating a new input item is heavily determined by the amount of lexical material intervening between the input item and the site of its target dependents. The patterns observed here are not straightforwardly accounted for within purely experience-based models of complexity. Instead, this work supports the role of a memory bottleneck in language comprehension. This constraint arises because hierarchical linguistic relations must be recovered from a linear input stream. [source]