• Examining health equity through satisfaction and confidence of patients in primary healthcare in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

      Rudzik, Alanna E. F. (BioMed Central, 2003)
      Surveys of patient satisfaction are widely used for identifying priorities and problems in healthcare reforms. The present study examined satisfaction and confidence of patients in public healthcare in Trinidad and Tobago. Data were gathered by interviewing a random sample (n = 280) of primary healthcare (PHC) patients. Level of patient satisfaction was high but not constant. Results of interviews showed that patients with a higher monthly income (p = 0.032) and patients who most recently used private medical care (p = 0.037) had lower levels of satisfaction with health services. Employment had an effect on satisfaction (p = 0.065), significant among patients who had recently accessed private medical care (p = 0.039). Patients using PHC clinics preferred private care to public care. Confidence in public care decreased with increasing complexity of the medical condition. These preliminary results support continued efforts in health-sector reforms and call for the enhancement of data on satisfaction through more comprehensive qualitative data-collection methods.
    • Advanced Models and Algorithms for Self–Similar IP Network Traffic Simulation and Performance Analysis

      Radev, Dimitar; Lokshina, Izabella V. (FEI STU Bratislava, 2010)
      The paper examines self-similar (or fractal) properties of real communication network traffic data over a wide range of time scales. These self-similar properties are very different from the properties of traditional models based on Poisson and Markov-modulated Poisson processes. Advanced fractal models of sequentional generators and fixed-length sequence generators, and efficient algorithms that are used to simulate self-similar behavior of IP network traffic data are developed and applied. Numerical examples are provided; and simulation results are obtained and analyzed.
    • Role of Phytoestrogens in Cancer Therapy

      Virk-Baker, Mandeep; Nagy, Tim R.; Barnes, Stephen (Theime Medical Publishers, 2010)
      Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, and the numbers of new cancer cases are expected to continue to rise. The main goals of cancer therapy include removing the primary tumor, preventing the spread of distant metastases, and improving survival and quality of life for the patients. To attain these goals of cancer therapy, the combination of different chemotherapeutics, as opposed to the conventional single-agent treatment, is an emerging area of research. Given the potential risks of drug toxicity in such treatment, the focus is to have a second compound that increases the anticancer potential of the primary agent but which reduces toxicity. There is an ever growing interest in treatment with natural compounds, such as plant phytoestrogens, as an adjuvant cancer therapy along with conventional cancer therapy. The question remains whether or not adding these compounds to the cancer therapy regimen as a second agent would be beneficial, and if they are safe to be used among cancer patients. The current literature suggests that phytoestrogen treatment is capable of inducing G2/M cell cycle arrest in a number of cancer cell lines, as well as upregulating cell cycle inhibitory molecules. Phytoestrogen therapy has been shown to inhibit inflammation, angiogenesis and metastases in various in vivo tumor models, and pronounced benefits have been observed when combined with radiation therapy. The lack of side effects from phase I and II clinical trials of phytoestrogens in cancer therapy points towards their safety, but to further understand their added benefit clinical studies with large sample sizes are required. We have reviewed the recent research studies in these areas in an attempt to find evidence for their role in cancer therapy as well as safety.
    • Determinants of Tubal Ligation in Puebla, Mexico

      Rudzik, Alanna E. F.; Leonard, Susan H.; Sievert, Lynnette L. (Taylor & Francis Online, 2011)
      Tubal ligation provides an effective and reliable method by which women can choose to limit the number of children they will bear. However, because of the irreversibility of the procedure and other potential disadvantages, it is important to understand factors associated with women's choice of this method of birth control. Between May 1999 and August 2000, data were collected from 755 women aged 40 to 60 years from a cross-section of neighborhoods of varying socio-economic make-up in Puebla, Mexico, finding a tubal ligation rate of 42.2%. Multiple logistic regression models were utilized to examine demographic, socio-economic, and reproductive history characteristics in relation to women's choice of tubal ligation. Regression analyses were repeated with participants grouped by age to determine how the timing of availability of tubal ligation related to the decision to undergo the procedure. The results of this study suggest that younger age, more education, use of some forms of birth control, and increased parity were associated with women's decisions to undergo tubal ligation. The statistically significant difference of greater tubal ligation and lower hysterectomy rates across age groups reflect increased access to tubal ligation in Mexico from the early 1970s, supporting the idea that women's choice of tubal ligation was related to access.
    • The Experience and Determinants of First-Time Breast-Feeding Duration among Low-Income Women from São Paulo, Brazil

      Rudzik, Alanna E. F. (University of Chicago Press, 2012)
      While the ability to breast-feed is virtually universal among women, the experience of breast-feeding is particular to each woman and is influenced by her social, economic, and personal circumstances. This paper explores quantitative and experience-focused ethnographic data on the experiences of low-income women from the eastern periphery of the city of São Paulo, Brazil, who were breast-feeding for the first time. The prospective, longitudinal data collection method involved repeated in-depth interviews with a group of 65 women, from the end of pregnancy through the first 12 weeks postpartum. Multivariate statistical analyses of the quantitative data revealed that older age, lower interpersonal satisfaction, and unplanned pregnancy shortened the period of exclusive breast-feeding and increased women’s likelihood of having begun supplementation by 12 weeks postpartum. Ethnographic data analysis exposed the meanings of breast-feeding and motherhood for women who had experienced unplanned pregnancy and helped to shed light on the dramatic influence of unplanned pregnancy on women’s breast-feeding practice.
    • Citation Behavior of Undergraduate Students: A Study of History, Political Science and Sociology Papers

      Hendley, Michelle (Taylor & Francis Online, 2012-08)
      The goal of this analysis was to obtain local citation behavior data on undergraduates researching history, political science, and sociology papers. The study found that students cited books and journals even with the availability of web sources; however, usage varied by subject. References to specific websites' domains also varied across subject area. Most of the top journal titles that students referenced were online and locally owned. Students cited a broader range of journal titles than predicted by the Law of Scattering and cited titles across a wide array of subject areas. This data helped identify potential gaps in the library's collection and services.
    • Redesigning the Healthcare Model to Address Obesity Problem Using Incentives Delivered through a Combination of Processes and Mobile Technologies

      Lokshina, Izabella V.; Bartolacci, Michael R. (IGI Global, 2013)
      Obesity and other lifestyle-related illnesses are among the top global healthcare challenges today. Obesity in young population is an alarming predictor for obesity in adulthood, but also entails different short term health complications. Knowing how to stay healthy is not enough to motivate young individuals to adopt healthy lifestyles. However, relevant progress can be achieved with use of incentives delivered through combination of processes and mobile technologies. Recognizing effectiveness of new healthcare model to prevent obesity in young population, an innovative multi-dimensional cross-disciplinary ICT framework should be developed, which uses sophisticated game mechanics to motivate behavior changes towards healthier lifestyles and supports three main functions: individual & environmental monitoring, including wearable sensors, mobile phones and multimedia diaries; feedback to users, presenting personalized healthy options for alternative lifestyles; and social connectivity, encouraging involvement in sharing experiences through social networks and social engagement. System development should be based on user-centered design, social and networking games and online education and supported by a wide stakeholder’s ecosystem, including health authorities and research institutions, industries and academia from the ICT and healthcare sectors, as well as food companies and SMEs.
    • Thinking eHealth: A Mathematical Background of an Individual Health Status Monitoring System to Empower Young People to Manage their Health

      Lokshina, Izabella V.; Bartolacci, Michael R. (IGI Global, 2014)
      This paper focuses on a mathematical background of an individual health status monitoring system to empower young people to manage their health. The proposed health status monitoring system uses symptoms observed with mobile sensing devices and prior information about health and environment (provided it exists) to define individual physical and psychological status. It assumes that a health status identification process is influenced by many parameters and conditions. It has a flexible logical inference system providing positive psychological influence on young people since full acceptance of recommendations on their behavioral changes towards healthy lifestyles is reached and a correct interpretation is guaranteed. The model and algorithms of the individual health status monitoring system are developed based on the composition inference rule in Zadeh's fuzzy logic. The model allows us to include in the algorithms of logical inference the possibility of masking (by means of a certain health condition) the symptoms of other health situations as well as prior information (if it exists) regarding health and environment. The algorithms are generated by optimizing the truth of a single natural “axiom”, which connects an individual health status (represented by classes of health situations) with symptoms and matrices of influence of health situations on symptoms and masking of symptoms. The new algorithms are fairly different from traditional algorithms, in which the result is produced in the course of numerous single processing rules. Therefore, the use of a composition inference rule makes a health status identification process faster and the obtained results more precise and efficient comparing to traditional algorithms.
    • Study on Estimating Buffer Overflow Probabilities in High-Speed Communication Networks

      Lokshina, Izabella V. (River Publishers, 2015)
      The paper recommends new methods to estimate effectively the probabilities of buffer overflow in high-speed communication networks. The frequency of buffer overflow in queuing system is very small; therefore the overflow is defined as rare event and can be estimated using rare event simulation with continuous-time Markov chains. First, a two-node queuing system is considered and the buffer overflow at the second node is studied. Two efficient rare event simulation algorithms, based on the Importance sampling and Cross-entropy methods, are developed and applied to accelerate the buffer overflow simulation with Markov chain modeling. Then, the buffer overflow in self-similar queuing system is studied and the simulations with long-range dependent self-similar traffic source models are conducted. A new efficient simulation algorithm, based on the RESTART method with limited relative error technique, is developed and applied to accelerate the buffer overflow simulation with SSM/M/1/B modeling using different parameters of arrival processes and different buffer sizes. Numerical examples and simulation results are provided for all methods to estimate the probabilities of buffer overflow, proposed in this paper.
    • Analysis of Turbo Code Behavior with Extrinsic Information Transfer Charts in High-Speed Wireless Data Services

      Lokshina, Izabella V.; Zhong, Hua (IGI Global, 2017)
      This paper examines turbo codes that are currently introduced in many international standards and implemented in numerous advanced communication systems, and evaluates the process of extrinsic information transfer (EXIT). The convergence properties of the iterative decoding process, associated with a given turbo-coding scheme, are estimated using the analysis technique based on so-called extrinsic information transfer (EXIT) charts. This approach provides a possibility to predict the bit-error rate (BER) of a turbo code system with only the extrinsic information transfer chart. It is shown that extrinsic information transfer charts are powerful tools to analyze and optimize the convergence behavior of iterative systems utilizing the turbo principle, i.e., systems exchanging and refining extrinsic information. The idea is to consider the associated soft-input soft-output (SISO) stages as information processors, which map input a priori log likelihood ratios (LLRs) onto output extrinsic LLRs, the information content being obviously assumed to increase from input to output, and introduce them to the design of turbo systems without the reliance on extensive simulation. Compared with the other methods for generating extrinsic information transfer functions, the suggested approach provides insight into the iterative behavior of linear turbo systems with substantial reduction in numerical complexity.
    • Addressing Ethical Concerns of Big Data as a Prerequisite for a Sustainable Big Data Industry

      Lokshina, Izabella V.; Lanting, Cees J. M. (IGI Global, 2018)
      Big Data combines information from diverse sources to create knowledge, make better predictions and tailor services. This article analyzes Big Data both as a technology and an industrial activity, and identifies the points of weakness and ethical concerns created by current business practices. Potential solutions for these concerns are proposed in order to build and maintain business practices respecting ethical standards as a prerequisite for a sustainable Big Data industry. This article covers both the usage of Big Data by industry and the development of a sustainable Big Data services industry.
    • Qualitative Evaluation of IoT-Driven eHealth: KM, Business Models, Deployment and Evolution

      Lokshina, Izabella V.; Lanting, Cees J. M. (IGI Global, 2018)
      This article explains that eHealth has major potential, and its adoption may be considered necessary to achieve increased ambulant and remote medical care, increased quality, reduced personnel needs, and reduced costs potential in healthcare. In this paper, the authors try to give a reasonable, qualitative evaluation of IoT-driven eHealth from theoretical and practical viewpoints. They look at associated knowledge management issues and contributions of IoT to eHealth, along with requirements, benefits, limitations and entry barriers. Important attention is given to security and privacy issues. Finally, the conditions for business plans and accompanying value chains are realistically analyzed. The resulting implementation issues and required commitments are also discussed. The authors confirm that IoT-driven eHealth can happen and will happen; however, much more needs to be addressed to bring it back in sync with medical and general technological developments in an industrial state-of-the-art perspective and to recognize and get timely the benefits.
    • IoT- and Big Data-Driven Data Analysis Services for Third Parties, Strategic Implications and Business Opportunities

      Lokshina, Izabella V.; Lanting, Cees J. M.; Durkin, Barbara J. (IGI Global, 2018)
      This article describes ubiquitous sensing devices, enabled by wireless sensor network (WSN) technologies, now cut across every area of modern day living, affecting individuals and businesses and offering the ability to obtain and measure environmental indicators. Proliferation of these devices in a communicating-actuating network creates an Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT provides the tools to establish a major, global data-driven ecosystem that also enables Big Data techniques to be used. New business models may focus on the provision of services, i.e., the Internet of Services (IoS). These models assume the presence and development of the necessary IoT measurement and control instruments, communications infrastructure, and easy access to the data collected and information generated. Different business models may support opportunities to create revenue and value for various types of customers. This article contributes to the literature by considering, a first, knowledge-based management practices, business models, strategic implications and business opportunities for third-party data analysis services.
    • Understanding the Language of Information Literacy

      Orgeron, Jean-Paul (Elsevier, 2018-01)
      Understanding the language of information literacy is necessary for the effective use of library resources. The results of a recent study indicate that undergraduate students lack such an understanding, and the authors recommend that librarians, working with faculty, reassess information literacy terms. This article examines what is involved in reassessing these terms by drawing on several ideas from the philosophy of language, which provides a foundation for grasping the semantic challenges librarians face in educating users. Any reassessment of information literacy terms should recognize their ordinary and specialized use and aim for the holistic expression of core concepts, however complex they may be.
    • Discrepancies in maternal reports of infant sleep vs. actigraphy by mode of feeding

      Rudzik, Alanna E. F.; Robinson-Smith, Lyn; Ball, Helen L. (Elsevier, 2018-09)
      Objectives: Many studies of infant sleep rely solely on parentally-reported data, assuming that parents accurately report their infant's sleep parameters. The objective of this paper is to examine whether night-time sleep parameters of exclusively breastfed or exclusively formula-fed infants differ, and whether correspondence between parental reports and objective measures varies by feeding type. Methods: Mother-infant dyads intending to breastfeed or formula-feed exclusively for 18 weeks were recruited. Mothers were multiparas and primiparas, aged between 18 and 45 years. Infants were full-term, normal birthweight singletons. Maternal report and actigraphic data on infant sleep were collected fortnightly, from four to 18 weeks postpartum. Data were analysed cross-sectionally using t-tests and GLM analysis to control for interaction between feed-type and sleep location. Results: Actigraphy-assessed infant sleep parameters did not vary by feed-type but parentally reported sleep parameters did. Maternal report and actigraphy data diverged at 10 weeks postpartum and discrepancies were associated with infant feeding type. Compared to actigraphy, maternal reports by formula-feeding mothers (controlling for infant sleep location) over-estimated infant's Total Sleep Time (TST) at 10 weeks and Longest Sleep Period (LSP) at 10, 12 and 18 weeks. Conclusions: These results raise questions about the outcomes of previous infant sleep studies where accuracy of parentally-reported infant sleep data is assumed. That parental reports of infant sleep vary by feeding type is particularly important for reconsidering previous studies of infant sleep development and intervention studies designed to influence sleep outcomes, especially where feed-type was heterogeneous, but was not considered as an independent variable.
    • The crowding-out effect of tobacco expenditure on household spending patterns in Bangladesh

      Husain, Muhammad Jami; Datta, Biplab Kumar; Virk-Baker, Mandeep; Parascandola, Mark; Khondker, Bazlul Haque (PLOS, 2018-10)
      Background: Tobacco consumption constitutes a sizable portion of household consumption expenditure, which can lead to reduced expenditures on other basic commodities. This is known as the crowding-out effect. This study analyzes the crowding-out effect of tobacco consumption in Bangladesh, and the research findings have relevance for strengthening the tobacco control for improving health and well-being. Methods: We analyzed data from the Bangladesh Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2010 to examine the differences in consumption expenditure pattern between tobacco user and non-user households. We further categorize tobacco user households in three mutually exclusive groups of smoking-only, smokeless-only, and dual (both smoking and smokeless); and investigated the crowding-out effects for these subgroups. We compared the mean expenditure shares of different types of households, and then estimated the conditional Engel curves for various expenditure categories using Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) method. Crowding-out was considered to have occurred if estimated coefficient of the tobacco use indicator was negative and statistically significant. Results: We find that tobacco user households on average allocated less in clothing, housing, education, energy, and transportation and communication compared to tobacco non-user households. The SUR estimates also confirmed crowding-out in these consumption categories. Mean expenditure share of food and medical expenditure of tobacco user households, however, are greater than those of tobacco non-user households. Albeit similar patterns observed for different tobacco user households, there were differences in magnitudes depending on the type of tobacco-use, rural-urban locations and economic status. Conclusion: Policy measures that reduce tobacco use could reduce displacement of commodities by households with tobacco users, including those commodities that can contribute to human capital investments.
    • Residential immersive life skills programs for youth with disabilities: a case study of youth developmental trajectories of personal growth and caregiver perspectives

      Rudzik, Alanna E. F.; McPherson, Amy C.; King, Gillian; Kingsnorth, Shauna (BMC / Springer Nature, 2019)
      Background: Professional support in pediatric and rehabilitation care environments has been recommended as a means to build youth competence in life skills during their transition to adulthood. Life skills are the essential psychosocial competencies and interpersonal skills needed to manage one’s life. Residential immersive life skills (RILS) programs offer youth with physical disabilities enriched learning environments to acquire these skills. This study explored trajectories of personal growth in life skills and positive psychological outcomes among youth participating in a RILS program and related caregiver perspectives. Method: Delivered by a multidisciplinary healthcare team, The Independence Program is an intensive summer program housed in a college residence that provides realistic experiences of living away from home for small groups of youth between 17 and 21 years of age who have congenital and/or acquired physical disabilities. Using a longitudinal case study and qualitative descriptive design, four youth and their parents/guardians participated in semi-structured interviews prior to, and then 1 month, and 3 to 4 months after the program. A conventional content analysis yielded chronological narratives for each youth and caregiver dyad of their experiences, perceptions and outcomes over time. These narratives were further summarized using a ‘line of development’ perspective to describe individual developmental trajectories of personal growth. Results: All four of the youth returned from the program with positive reports about the new life skills acquired and new behaviours they engaged in. These positive reports generally continued post-program, albeit with differing trajectories unique to each youth and varying levels of congruence with their caregivers’ readiness to support, accommodate and facilitate these changes. Caregivers differed in their capacity to shift in their parenting role to support consolidation of youth life skill competencies following program participation. Conclusions: RILS programs can be transformative. Varied youth trajectories identified significant personal growth through enhanced self-determination, self-efficacy and self-advocacy. Congruence in youth and caregiver perceptions of post-program changes was an important transactional factor. Professional support addressing caregiver needs may be beneficial to facilitate developmentally appropriate shifts in parenting roles. This shift is central to a model of shared management whereby adolescents take on greater responsibility for their own care and life choices.
    • Application of Integrated Building Information Modeling, IoT and Blockchain Technologies in System Design of a Smart Building

      Lokshina, Izabella V.; Greguš, Michal; Thomas, Wade L. (Elsevier, 2019)
      The Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry has not adopted digital transformation enthusiastically like other industries, for instance, manufacturing, aerospace or finance. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an innovative technology that is considered as an opportunity for the AEC industry to move to the digital era and improve the collaboration among stakeholders by applying Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). BIM provides all required tools and automations to achieve end-to-end communication, data exchange and information sharing among collaborators. Accordingly, virtual 3D models, created by the BIM process, delivered as physical assets, monitored in real-time and managed using Building Management Systems (BMS), can adopt the Internet of Things (IoT) designs and services. However, the implementation of IoT in a highly modular environment with various moving parts and inter-dependencies between stakeholders leads to security concerns. Therefore, this paper proposes system design that employs the blockchain technology as a measure to secure and control the framework that involves integrated IoT and BIM technologies. Although this paper considers system design applied in a smart museum, the authors assume that design is generic and applicable in other building categories. For instance, this design can be implemented in the ongoing Alumni Hall renovation project at State University of New York College at Oneonta.
    • “The Carrels are Essential”: An Investigation of Faculty Study Spaces at a Mid-Size State College

      Hendley, Michelle (Elsevier, 2019-01)
      Are dedicated study spaces for faculty still essential in academic libraries in the digital age? The results of a survey of faculty who use the library’s locked study carrels at a state college suggest two important discoveries. First, faculty continue to desire these spaces. Second, these spaces appear to facilitate faculty research. The college is a mid-size, liberal arts and sciences state institution located in rural New York State.
    • Research catches up with the unstoppable reality of science communication through online video

      Stengler, A. Erik; Sherman, Hannah (Sissa Medialab, 2019-02)
      While online video has become synonymous with web-based searches for the younger generations and the communication of science and technology has jumped on the bandwagon of this trend, too, relatively little research has been undertaken on this phenomenon. Over the last few years a small group of scholars from different institutions have independently begun to explore this field and to discuss their findings at international conferences, as reported previously in Allgaier and Geipel [2016] and in this journal in Stengler [2016]. Some articles have become essential references, such as Welbourne and Grant [2016] and Muñoz Morcillo, Czurda and Robertson-von Trotha [2016]. While there was an e-book published in German on the topic [Körkel and Hoppenhaus, 2016], and an extensive review will also be included in the Second International Handbook of Internet Research [Allgaier, 2020, to appear], the book Communicating Science and Technology Through Online Video edited by Bienvenido León and Michael Bourk is a timely arrival in the academic literature and shows that a critical mass of research in the field is being reached.