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This study explores the potentials of digital transformation for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with emphasis on SDG 4 and SDG 9 in Nigeria. The study adopts a conceptual approach, reviewing existing literature to explore the topic from various views of authors on the issue. It focuses on the contextual factors such as stakeholder input to the process of the implementation of digitalisation and SDGs 4 and 9 which focuses on educational development at all levels, industrial collaborations and improvements, respectively. The results indicate that digital transformation potentially enhances the attainment of SDGs 4 and 9, but this is mediated by the level of stakeholder commitment and e-governance performance. Part of the recommendation is the adoption of a multi-disciplinary approach to development-oriented digital transformation interventions for SDGs 4 and 9 in Nigeria, through a process of effective stakeholder engagement and transparent institutional signalling. The study draws research attention to the use of digital transformation for social development, especially in a developing economy such as Nigeria, to enhance the compendium of knowledge in the implementation of digital approach to the attainment of SDGs 4 and 9. It is also suggested for the government institutions to take further responsibility to provide a fair platform for the implementation of digital transformation and the attainment of SDGs 4 and 9 in Nigeria.
People living with dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) experience stigmatisation and there are not many specific psychosocial interventions dedicated to help them coping with this issue, reducing its impact on their lives.
This study aimed to a) investigate the stigmatisation level among people with dementia and MCI in Poland, Italy and the United Kingdom and b) assess the role of the Meeting Centre Support Programme (MCSP) in decreasing stigmatisation.
We investigated outcomes for 114 people with dementia and MCI living in Italy, Poland and the UK who participated 6 months in MCSP or usual care (UC) using a pre/post-test control group study design. Level of stigmatisation was assessed with the Stigma Impact Scale: neurological impairment (SIS).
Stigmatisation level (SIS) among participants varied from 2 to 65 (median=33.5; Q1=27; Q3=41) with people from the UK experiencing a statistically significantly higher level of stigmatisation than people in Italy and Poland. In Italy, stigmatisation was lower (p=0.02) in the MCSP group following the intervention. In Poland, the social isolation level did not significantly change in MCSP, but increased (p=0.05) in UC. In the UK, the social rejection level raised (p=0.03) in MCSP. Overall, the combined data of the three countries did not show statistically significant differences in SIS between MCSP and UC.
Stigmatisation among people with dementia and MCI is complex and seems culturally dependent. There is a great opportunity in psychosocial interventions to reduce the burden of stigma among people with dementia which requires further investigation.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), underscoring the urgent need for simple, efficient, and inexpensive methods to decontaminate masks and respirators exposed to severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We hypothesized that methylene blue (MB) photochemical treatment, which has various clinical applications, could decontaminate PPE contaminated with coronavirus.
The 2 arms of the study included (1) PPE inoculation with coronaviruses followed by MB with light (MBL) decontamination treatment and (2) PPE treatment with MBL for 5 cycles of decontamination to determine maintenance of PPE performance.
MBL treatment was used to inactivate coronaviruses on 3 N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) and 2 medical mask models. We inoculated FFR and medical mask materials with 3 coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and we treated them with 10 µM MB and exposed them to 50,000 lux of white light or 12,500 lux of red light for 30 minutes. In parallel, integrity was assessed after 5 cycles of decontamination using multiple US and international test methods, and the process was compared with the FDA-authorized vaporized hydrogen peroxide plus ozone (VHP+O3) decontamination method.
Overall, MBL robustly and consistently inactivated all 3 coronaviruses with 99.8% to >99.9% virus inactivation across all FFRs and medical masks tested. FFR and medical mask integrity was maintained after 5 cycles of MBL treatment, whereas 1 FFR model failed after 5 cycles of VHP+O3.
MBL treatment decontaminated respirators and masks by inactivating 3 tested coronaviruses without compromising integrity through 5 cycles of decontamination. MBL decontamination is effective, is low cost, and does not require specialized equipment, making it applicable in low- to high-resource settings.
To characterize postextraction antibiotic prescribing patterns, predictors for antibiotic prescribing and the incidence of and risk factors for postextraction oral infection.
Retrospective analysis of a random sample of veterans who received tooth extractions from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017.
VA dental clinics.
Overall, 69,610 patients met inclusion criteria, of whom 404 were randomly selected for inclusion. Adjunctive antibiotics were prescribed to 154 patients (38.1%).
Patients who received or did not receive an antibiotic were compared for the occurrence of postextraction infection as documented in the electronic health record. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify factors associated with antibiotic receipt.
There was no difference in the frequency of postextraction oral infection identified among patients who did and did not receive antibiotics (4.5% vs 3.2%; P = .59). Risk factors for postextraction infection could not be identified due to the low frequency of this outcome. Patients who received antibiotics were more likely to have a greater number of teeth extracted (aOR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.03–1.18), documentation of acute infection at time of extraction (aOR, 3.02; 95% CI, 1.57–5.82), molar extraction (aOR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.10–2.86) and extraction performed by an oral maxillofacial surgeon (aOR, 2.29; 95% CI, 1.44–3.58) or specialty dentist (aOR, 5.77; 95% CI, 2.05–16.19).
Infectious complications occurred at a low incidence among veterans undergoing tooth extraction who did and did not receive postextraction antibiotics. These results suggest that antibiotics have a limited role in preventing postprocedural infection; however, future studies are necessary to more clearly define the role of antibiotics for this indication.
This study compared the level of education and tests from multiple cognitive domains as proxies for cognitive reserve.
The participants were educationally, ethnically, and cognitively diverse older adults enrolled in a longitudinal aging study. We examined independent and interactive effects of education, baseline cognitive scores, and MRI measures of cortical gray matter change on longitudinal cognitive change.
Baseline episodic memory was related to cognitive decline independent of brain and demographic variables and moderated (weakened) the impact of gray matter change. Education moderated (strengthened) the gray matter change effect. Non-memory cognitive measures did not incrementally explain cognitive decline or moderate gray matter change effects.
Episodic memory showed strong construct validity as a measure of cognitive reserve. Education effects on cognitive decline were dependent upon the rate of atrophy, indicating education effectively measures cognitive reserve only when atrophy rate is low. Results indicate that episodic memory has clinical utility as a predictor of future cognitive decline and better represents the neural basis of cognitive reserve than other cognitive abilities or static proxies like education.
Community research advisory councils (C-RAC) bring together community members with interest in research to support design, evaluation, and dissemination of research in the communities they represent. There are few ways for early career researchers, such as TL1 trainees, to develop skills in community-engaged research, and there are limited opportunities for C-RAC members to influence early career researchers. In our novel training collaboration, TL1 trainees presented their research projects to C-RAC members who provided feedback. We present on initial evidence of student learning and summarize lessons learned that TL1 programs and C-RACs can incorporate into future collaborations.
This is an epidemiological study of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) in Veterans’ Affairs medical centers (VAMCs). In 2017, almost 75% of VAMCs had at least 1 CRE case. We observed substantial geographic variability, with more cases in urban, complex facilities. This supports the benefit of tailoring infection control strategies to facility characteristics.
Understanding risk factors for death from Covid-19 is key to providing good quality clinical care. We assessed the presenting characteristics of the ‘first wave’ of patients with Covid-19 at Royal Oldham Hospital, UK and undertook logistic regression modelling to investigate factors associated with death. Of 470 patients admitted, 169 (36%) died. The median age was 71 years (interquartile range 57–82), and 255 (54.3%) were men. The most common comorbidities were hypertension (n = 218, 46.4%), diabetes (n = 143, 30.4%) and chronic neurological disease (n = 123, 26.1%). The most frequent complications were acute kidney injury (AKI) (n = 157, 33.4%) and myocardial injury (n = 21, 4.5%). Forty-three (9.1%) patients required intubation and ventilation, and 39 (8.3%) received non-invasive ventilation. Independent risk factors for death were increasing age (odds ratio (OR) per 10 year increase above 40 years 1.87, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.57–2.27), hypertension (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.10–2.70), cancer (OR 2.20, 95% CI 1.27–3.81), platelets <150 × 103/μl (OR 1.93, 95% CI 1.13–3.30), C-reactive protein ≥100 μg/ml (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.05–2.68), >50% chest radiograph infiltrates (OR 2.09, 95% CI 1.16–3.77) and AKI (OR 2.60, 95% CI 1.64–4.13). There was no independent association between death and gender, ethnicity, deprivation level, fever, SpO2/FiO2, lymphopoenia or other comorbidities. These findings will inform clinical and shared decision making, including use of respiratory support and therapeutic agents.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Potential effectiveness of harvest weed seed control (HWSC) systems depends upon seed shatter of the target weed species at crop maturity, enabling its collection and processing at crop harvest. However, seed retention likely is influenced by agroecological and environmental factors. In 2016 and 2017, we assessed seed-shatter phenology in 13 economically important broadleaf weed species in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] from crop physiological maturity to 4 wk after physiological maturity at multiple sites spread across 14 states in the southern, northern, and mid-Atlantic United States. Greater proportions of seeds were retained by weeds in southern latitudes and shatter rate increased at northern latitudes. Amaranthus spp. seed shatter was low (0% to 2%), whereas shatter varied widely in common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) (2% to 90%) over the weeks following soybean physiological maturity. Overall, the broadleaf species studied shattered less than 10% of their seeds by soybean harvest. Our results suggest that some of the broadleaf species with greater seed retention rates in the weeks following soybean physiological maturity may be good candidates for HWSC.
Seed shatter is an important weediness trait on which the efficacy of harvest weed seed control (HWSC) depends. The level of seed shatter in a species is likely influenced by agroecological and environmental factors. In 2016 and 2017, we assessed seed shatter of eight economically important grass weed species in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] from crop physiological maturity to 4 wk after maturity at multiple sites spread across 11 states in the southern, northern, and mid-Atlantic United States. From soybean maturity to 4 wk after maturity, cumulative percent seed shatter was lowest in the southern U.S. regions and increased moving north through the states. At soybean maturity, the percent of seed shatter ranged from 1% to 70%. That range had shifted to 5% to 100% (mean: 42%) by 25 d after soybean maturity. There were considerable differences in seed-shatter onset and rate of progression between sites and years in some species that could impact their susceptibility to HWSC. Our results suggest that many summer annual grass species are likely not ideal candidates for HWSC, although HWSC could substantially reduce their seed output during certain years.
Liquid phase (or liquid cell) transmission electron microscopy (LP-TEM) has been established as a powerful tool for observing dynamic processes in liquids at nanometer to atomic length scales. However, the simple act of observation using electrons irreversibly alters the nature of the sample. A clear understanding of electron-beam-driven processes during LP-TEM is required to interpret in situ observations and utilize the electron beam as a stimulus to drive nanoscale dynamic processes. In this article, we discuss recent advances toward understanding, quantifying, mitigating, and harnessing electron-beam-driven chemical processes occurring during LP-TEM. We highlight progress in several research areas, including modeling electron-beam-induced radiolysis near interfaces, electron-beam-induced nanocrystal formation, and radiation damage of soft materials and biomolecules.
The Kilmaluag Formation on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, provides one of the richest Mesozoic vertebrate fossil assemblages in the UK, and is among the richest globally for Middle Jurassic tetrapods. Since its discovery in 1971, this assemblage has predominantly yielded small-bodied tetrapods, including salamanders, choristoderes, lepidosaurs, turtles, crocodylomorphs, pterosaurs, dinosaurs, non-mammalian cynodonts and mammals, alongside abundant fish and invertebrates. It is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and by Nature Conservancy Order. Unlike contemporaneous localities from England, this assemblage yields associated partial skeletons, providing unprecedented new data. We present a comprehensive updated overview of the Kilmaluag Formation, including its geology and the fossil collections made to date, with evidence of several species occurrences presented here for the first time. We place the vertebrate faunal assemblage in an international context through comparisons with relevant contemporaneous localities from the UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and the US. This wealth of material reveals the Kilmaluag Formation as a vertebrate fossil assemblage of global significance, both in terms of understanding Middle Jurassic faunal composition and the completeness of specimens, with implications for the early evolutionary histories of mammals, squamates and amphibians.
Over the past 15 years, there has been substantial growth in web-based psychological interventions. We summarize evidence regarding the efficacy of web-based self-directed psychological interventions on depressive, anxiety and distress symptoms in people living with a chronic health condition.
We searched Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, EMBASE databases and Cochrane Database from 1990 to 1 May 2019. English language papers of randomized controlled trials (usual care or waitlist control) of web-based psychological interventions with a primary or secondary aim to reduce anxiety, depression or distress in adults with a chronic health condition were eligible. Results were assessed using narrative synthases and random-effects meta-analyses.
In total 70 eligible studies across 17 health conditions [most commonly: cancer (k = 20), chronic pain (k = 9), arthritis (k = 6) and multiple sclerosis (k = 5), diabetes (k = 4), fibromyalgia (k = 4)] were identified. Interventions were based on CBT principles in 46 (66%) studies and 42 (60%) included a facilitator. When combining all chronic health conditions, web-based interventions were more efficacious than control conditions in reducing symptoms of depression g = 0.30 (95% CI 0.22–0.39), anxiety g = 0.19 (95% CI 0.12–0.27), and distress g = 0.36 (95% CI 0.23–0.49).
Evidence regarding effectiveness for specific chronic health conditions was inconsistent. While self-guided online psychological interventions may help to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and distress in people with chronic health conditions in general, it is unclear if these interventions are effective for specific health conditions. More high-quality evidence is needed before definite conclusions can be made.
Social contact is one of the most effective strategies for improving inter-group relations and is supported by decades of positive evidence. Several studies specifically support social contact interventions as a way of reducing stigma against people with mental health problems. Despite the effectiveness of this approach, some social groups have few opportunities for social contact in the real world.
Using the England Time to Change anti-stigma campaign as an example, we investigate the feasibility and effectiveness of delivering social contact interventions at the mass population level to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental health problems.
To investigate: (i) the feasibility of scaling up social contact interventions to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental health problems and (ii) the effectiveness of mass population social contact interventions to: improve intended stigmatising behaviour, increase willingness to disclose mental health problems and to promote engagement in antistigma activities.
Two types of mass participation social contact programmes within England's Time to Change campaign were evaluated via self-report questionnaire. Participants at social contact events were asked about the occurrence and quality of contact, attitudes, readiness to discuss mental health, and intended behaviour towards people with mental health problems.
Findings on feasibility and effectiveness of social contact programmes will be presented.
This study suggests that social contact interventions can be used by anti-stigma campaigns to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental health problems. Further investigation is needed regarding the maintenance of these changes
Stigma and social exclusion related to mental health are of substantial public health importance for Europe. As part of ROAMER (ROAdmap for MEntal health Research in Europe), we used systematic mapping techniques to describe the current state of research on stigma and social exclusion across Europe. Findings demonstrate growing interest in this field between 2007 and 2012. Most studies were descriptive (60%), focused on adults of working age (60%) and were performed in Northwest Europe—primarily in the UK (32%), Finland (8%), Sweden (8%) and Germany (7%). In terms of mental health characteristics, the largest proportion of studies investigated general mental health (20%), common mental disorders (16%), schizophrenia (16%) or depression (14%). There is a paucity of research looking at mechanisms to reduce stigma and promote social inclusion, or at factors that might promote resilience or protect against stigma/social exclusion across the life course. Evidence is also limited in relation to evaluations of interventions. Increasing incentives for cross-country research collaborations, especially with new EU Member States and collaboration across European professional organizations and disciplines, could improve understanding of the range of underpinning social and cultural factors which promote inclusion or contribute toward lower levels of stigma, especially during times of hardship.
The Meeting Centre Support Programme (MCSP) is a community-based approach to support people living with dementia and their families. It was developed in the Netherlands and has been implemented in other European Countries (Italy, Poland and the UK) within the JPND-MEETINGDEM project.
To assess the relationship between background characteristics of people with dementia participating in MCSP, mood, quality of life (QoL) and experienced stigma, and to explore if and how the experienced stigma changed after 6 months of participation in MCSP.
A pretest (M1) post-test (M7) control group design with matched groups regarding severity of dementia was applied. In each country, a minimum of 25 participants using MCSP were compared with people with dementia receiving ‘usual care’. Data were collected with the Stigma Impact Scale, Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia, Global Deterioration Scale and two QoL scales (QoL-AD & DQoL). Differences in background characteristics were taken into account in the analyses.
The preliminary analysis on 116 participants at baseline shows that the level of stigma was low to moderate. People felt more socially rejected in the UK than in Poland and Italy. The level of perceived stigmatization appeared negatively correlated with QoL areas and positively correlated with negative mood. Changes after 6 months will be presented.
It is expected that after 6 months people living with dementia participating in MCSP will experience less stigma, as in contrast with usual care MCSP promotes social integration of people with dementia and person-centered support.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.