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Patients’ experience of the quality of care received throughout their continuum of care can be used to direct quality improvement efforts in areas where they are most needed. This study aims to establish validity and reliability of the Healthcare Access and Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire (HAPSQ) – a tool that collects patients’ experience that quantifies aspect of care used to make judgments about quality from the perspective of the Alberta Quality Matrix for Health (AQMH).
The AQMH is a framework that can be used to assess and compare the quality of care in different healthcare settings. The AQMH provides a common language, understanding, and approach to assessing quality. The HAPSQ is one tool that is able to assess quality of care according to five of six AQMH’s dimensions.
This was a prospective methodologic study. Between March and October 2015, a convenience sample of patients presenting with chronic full-thickness rotator cuff tears was recruited prospectively from the University of Calgary Sport Medicine Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Reliability of the HAPSQ was assessed using test–retest reliability [interclass correlation coefficient (ICC)>0.70]. Validity was assessed through content validity (patient interviews, floor and ceiling effects), criterion validity (percent agreement >70%), and construct validity (hypothesis testing).
Reliability testing was completed on 70 patients; validity testing occurred on 96 patients. The mean duration of symptoms was three years (SD: 5.0, range: 0.1–29). Only out-of-pocket utilization possessed an ICC<0.70. Patients reported that items were relevant and appropriate to measuring quality of care. No floor or ceiling effects were present. Criterion validity was reached for all items assessed. A priori hypotheses were confirmed. The HAPSQ represents an inexpensive, reliable, and valid approach toward collecting clinical information across a patient’s continuum of care.
Landraces (including heritage varieties) are an important agrobiodiversity resource offering considerable value as a buffer against crop failures, as a crop for niche markets, and as a source of diversity for crop genetic improvement activities underpinning future food security. Home gardens are reservoirs of landrace diversity, but some of the accessions held in them are vulnerable or threatened with extinction. Those associated with seed saving networks have added security, for example, ca. 800 varieties are stored in the Heritage Seed Library (HSL) of Garden Organic, UK. In this study, Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms-based genetic analysis of accessions held in the HSL was used to (a) demonstrate the range of diversity in the collection, (b) characterize accessions to aid collection management and (c) promote broader use of the collection. In total, 171 accessions were included from six crops: Vicia faba L., Pisum sativum L., Daucus carota L., Cucumis sativus L., Lactuca sativa L. and Brassica oleracea L. var. acephala (DC.) Metzq. Average expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.18 to 0.28 in D. carota; 0.02–0.18 in P. sativum; 0.05–0.18 in L. sativa; 0.15–0.26 in B. oleracea var. acephala; 0.15–0.37 in C. sativus and 0.07–0.36 in V. faba. Genetic diversity and Fst values generally reflected the breeding system and cultivation history of the different crops. Comparisons of the diversity found in heritage varieties with that found in commercial varieties did not show a consistent pattern. Principal coordinates analysis and Unweighted Pair Group Method with Arithmetic Mean cluster analysis were used to identify four potential duplicate accession pairs.
In this study the onset of stress-free Boussinesq thermal convection in rotating spherical shells with aspect ratio η = rinner/router = 0.9, Prandtl numbers Pr ∈ [10−4, 10−1], and Taylor numbers Ta ∈ [104, 1012] is considered. We focus on the form of the convective cell pattern that develops, and on its time scales, since this may have observational consequences for thermonuclear burning and the development of burst oscillations in the exploding oceans of accreting neutron stars (Watts (2012)).
For fifty years astronomers have been searching for pulsar signals in observational data. Throughout this time the process of choosing detections worthy of investigation, so called ‘candidate selection’, has been effective, yielding thousands of pulsar discoveries. Yet in recent years technological advances have permitted the proliferation of pulsar-like candidates, straining our candidate selection capabilities, and ultimately reducing selection accuracy. To overcome such problems, we now apply ‘intelligent’ machine learning tools. Whilst these have achieved success, candidate volumes continue to increase, and our methods have to evolve to keep pace with the change. This talk considers how to meet this challenge as a community.
Scintillation arcs provide an unprecedented degree of detail into the scattering of radio waves from pulsars. We review evidence that has emerged over the last fifteen years that: a) the scattering of many nearby pulsars is dominated by one or several relatively thin “screens” of material, b) the resulting image on the sky is highly linear, with axial ratios at least as high as 10:1, and c) this arrangement is persistent for at least one source (B1133+16) for at least 25 years. We expand on the idea of Pen and Levin (2014) and previous authors that such scattering may be caused by linear sheets of plasma seen nearly edge-on. Further analysis of such scintillation arcs, including new work on multi-frequency, multi-epoch observations, should help elucidate the astrophysical nature of these ubiquitous scattering entities, which are currently not convincingly linked with any known structures.
Superburst oscillations are high frequency X-ray variations observed during hours’ long superbursts on accreting neutron stars. We investigate a potential mechanism to explain these observations; a buoyant r-mode, excited in the ocean layers of the star. These modes are affected by ash composition in the ocean so are a good probe of nuclear burning processes. The phenomenon could be used in pulse profile modelling as a way of measuring neutron star mass and radius, and so the dense matter equation of state.
In August 2017 a new radio telescope, the Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory (GRAO), was officially inaugurated at Kuntunse, Ghana. The GRAO is a former satellite Earth station and now the first operational station in the African VLBI Network (AVN). The Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics (JBCA), supported by the UK’s STFC/Newton Fund, has developed a new pulsar timing system (Hebe) for the GRAO. We present some aspects of the design of Hebe and an outline of the first pulsar detection at GRAO.
Phased Array Feed (PAF) technology is the next major advancement in radio astronomy in terms of combining high sensitivity and large field of view. The Focal L-band Array for the Green Bank Telescope (FLAG) is one of the most sensitive PAFs developed so far. It consists of 19 dual-polarization elements mounted on a prime focus dewar resulting in seven beams on the sky. Its unprecedented system temperature of ~17 K will lead to a 3 fold increase in pulsar survey speeds as compared to contemporary single pixel feeds. Early science observations were conducted in a recently concluded commissioning phase of the FLAG where we clearly demonstrated its science capabilities. We observed a selection of normal and millisecond pulsars and detected giant pulses from PSR B1937+21.
Multi-decade observing campaigns of the globular clusters 47 Tucanae and M15 have led to an outstanding number of discoveries. Here, we report on the latest results of the long-term observations of the pulsars in these two clusters. For most of the pulsars in 47 Tucanae we have measured, among other things, their higher-order spin period derivatives, which have in turn provided stringent constraints on the physical parameters of the cluster, such as its distance and gravitational potential. For M15, we have studied the relativistic spin precession effect in PSR B2127+11C. We have used full-Stokes observations to model the precession effect, and to constrain the system geometry. We find that the visible beam of the pulsar is swiftly moving away from our line of sight and may very soon become undetectable. On the other hand, we expect to see the opposite emission beam sometime between 2041 and 2053.
The majority of fast radio bursts (FRBs) are poorly localised, hindering their potential scientific yield as galactic, intergalactic, and cosmological probes. LOFT-e, a digital backend for the U.K.’s e-MERLIN seven-telescope interferometer will provide commensal search and real-time detection of FRBs, taking full advantage of its field of view (FoV), sensitivity, and observation time. Upon burst detection, LOFT-e will store raw data offline, enabling the sub-arcsecond localisation provided by e-MERLIN and expanding the pool of localised FRBs. The high-time resolution backend will additionally introduce pulsar observing capabilities to e-MERLIN.
PSR B1828–11 is a young pulsar once thought to be undergoing free precession and recently found instead to be switching magnetospheric states in tandem with spin-down changes. Here we show the two extreme states of the mode-changing found for this pulsar and comment briefly on its interpretation.
The Sardinia Radio Telescope (SRT) is a modern, fully-steerable 64-m dish located in San Basilio, Sardinia (Italy). It is characterized by an active surface that allows it to cover a wide range of radio frequencies (300 MHz to 100 GHz). During SRT’s commissioning phase, we installed the hardware and software needed for pulsar observations. Since then, SRT has taken part in Large European Array for Pulsars and European Pulsar Timing Array observations for the purpose of gravitational wave detection. We have installed a new S-band receiver that will allow us to search for pulsars in the Galactic Center. We also plan to combine our efforts to search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) with the search for pulsars and Fast Radio Bursts.
The recent revelation that there are correlated period derivative and pulse shape changes in pulsars has dramatically changed our understanding of timing noise as well as the relationship between the radio emission and the properties of the magnetosphere as a whole. Using Gaussian processes we are able to model timing and emission variability using a regression technique that imposes no functional form on the data. We revisit the pulsars first studied by Lyne et al. (2010). We not only confirm the emission and rotational transitions revealed therein, but reveal further transitions and periodicities in 8 years of extended monitoring. We also show that in many of these objects the pulse profile transitions between two well-defined shapes, coincident with changes to the period derivative. With a view to the SKA and other telescopes capable of higher cadence we also study the detection limitations of period derivative changes.
The millisecond pulsar PSR J0337+1715 is in a mildly relativistic hierarchical triple system with two white dwarfs. This offers the possibility of testing the universality of free fall: does the neutron star fall with the same acceleration as the inner white dwarf in the gravity of the outer white dwarf? We have carried out an intensive pulsar timing campaign, yielding some 27000 pulse time-of-arrival (TOA) measurements with a median uncertainty of 1.2 μs. Here we describe our analysis procedure and timing model.
PSR J0337+1715 is a millisecond radio pulsar in a hierarchical stellar triple system with two white dwarfs. This system is a unique and excellent laboratory in which to test the strong equivalence principle (SEP) of general relativity. An initial SEP-violation test was performed using direct 3-body numerical integration of the orbit in order to model the more than 25000 pulse times of arrival (TOAs) from three radio telescopes: Arecibo, Green Bank and Westerbork. In this work I present our efforts to quantify the effects of systematics in the TOAs and timing residuals, which limit the precision of an SEP test. In particular, we apply Fourier-based techniques to the timing residuals in order to isolate the effects of systematics that can masquerade as an SEP violation.
New simultaneous X-ray and radio observations of the archetypal mode-switching pulsar PSR B0943+10 have been carried out with XMM-Newton and the LOFAR, LWA and Arecibo radio telescopes in November 2014. They allowed us to better constrain the X-ray spectral and variability properties of this pulsar and to detect, for the first time, the X-ray pulsations also during the X-ray-fainter mode. The combined timing and spectral analysis indicates that unpulsed non-thermal emission, likely of magnetospheric origin, and pulsed thermal emission from a small polar cap are present during both radio modes and vary in a correlated way.
The class of radio transients called Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) encompasses enigmatic single pulses, each unique in its own way, hindering a consensus for their origin. The key to demystifying FRBs lies in discovering many of them in order to identity commonalities – and in real time, in order to find potential counterparts at other wavelengths. The recently upgraded UTMOST in Australia, is undergoing a backend transformation to rise as a fast transient detection machine. The first interferometric detections of FRBs with UTMOST, place their origin beyond the near-field region of the telescope thus ruling out local sources of interference as a possible origin. We have localised these bursts to much better than the ones discovered at the Parkes radio telescope and have plans to upgrade UTMOST to be capable of much better localisation still.
We highlight the advances and difficulties in understanding PSR B1828-11, which undergoes long-term periodic modulations in its timing and pulse shape over several years. A model comparison of precession and magnetospheric switching models based on the long-term modulation data favours the former; we discuss the implications of this in the context of short timescale switching observed in this pulsar. Furthermore, we highlight the difficulties this pulsar poses for our understanding of pulsars due to the increasing rate of the modulation period and its behaviour during a recent glitch.