Recent Submissions

  • Investigating morphometrics, movement and oviposition in the Lissotriton and Triturus newts

    Johnson, Lisa (University of Chester, 2015-09)
    This thesis focuses on the UK pond newts, the smaller bodied species known as Lissotriton newts and the larger Triturus. The primary aims were to identify and address gaps in the current Tritus/Lissotriton literature; to provide a more complete understanding of this group as many assumptions about morphology and physiology exist untested, for example that larger/fatter females will lay more eggs. Specifically for Lissotriton helveticus, many assumptions are based on the similarly sized Lissotriton vulgaris, potentially missing any species specific differences. A further focus of the work was to provide a clearer view over the whole breeding season; using measures of condition over a season and egg-laying.
  • Physiological and behavioural measures of stress in domestic horses

    Young, Tamsin (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education), 2011-09)
    The welfare of domestic horses has been scrutinised by the scientific community in recent years. Traditional riding and stable management practices have been recognised to be at odds with the physical and behavioural adaptations of the horse. There is, therefore, a growing need to understand how modern horse management can impact on horse welfare. The first study in this thesis assessed the impact of common management practices on physiological stress in the horse. Faecal cortisol was higher in horses that were stabled and exercised, than turned out to grass with no exercise. The effect of exercise alone was also seen to increase levels of salivary cortisol. No change was seen in cortisol following short-term routine husbandry procedures such as exposure to the sound of electric coat clippers, but it was suggested that this required further investigation. The study confirmed exercise increased stress as reflected by cortisol concentration, and indicated that individual stabling may also contribute to elevated stress. The study recommended that horses may benefit from periods of rest and turn out to grass, to reduce stress levels and improve welfare. The measurement of stress for the purpose of welfare assessment is, however, best carried out using an integration of both physiological and behavioural measures. Behaviour scores offer non-invasive, quick and easy methods of assessing stress in domestic animals, but have typically been developed using only behavioural assessment of the stress response. In the second study a scale of behavioural indicators of stress was developed using behavioural and physiological measures for the purpose of assessing stress in stabled domestic horses. Principal component analysis of behavioural reactions and changes in salivary cortisol concentration in response to routine husbandry procedures, revealed three meaningful components that were used as the basis to the stress scale. Behavioural reactions to the husbandry procedures were further analysed by a panel of equestrian professionals using free choice profiling, and results were added to the appropriate components. The final scale comprised of four levels of stress (no stress, low, iii medium and high stress), and each category was further sub-divided into behaviour scores (BS). The scores represented accumulating levels of behavioural indicators of stress within each stress level, and provided indices of physiological stress. The scale offers an easy to use method of welfare assessment in horses, and reduces the need for additional physiological measures to be taken. The scale represented a novel approach to measuring stress, and was used in the final study to measure stress in horses stabled individually, group housed, and in horses moved from stabling to group housing. The effectiveness of the scale at measuring stress, was compared to the effectiveness of measures of heart rate variability (HRV) and faecal cortisol at measuring stress in the same horses. Lower levels of stress were recorded in group housed horses as measured by the BS, but measures of HRV and faecal cortisol showed no difference between those stabled or group housed. Stress levels were unaffected by the move to group housing, but BS declined significantly over the three weeks that the horses remained group housed. The physiological measures did not, however, reflect such a decrease in stress. Stress levels were also compared between horses housed in both environments whilst waiting to be fed. Group housed horses had lower stress levels as measured by the BS. Results provided by the BS were supported by relevant literature, and the scale appeared to be more sensitive than the physiological measures which did not yield significant results with the small sample sizes used in the study. The research confirmed short-term management practices horses are typically exposed to daily, can elevate their stress levels. Further research into which practices put horse welfare at a particular risk, and thus require modification or need to be avoided where possible, is necessary. The findings also suggest horse-owners may need to pay more attention to their horse’s stress levels, to avoid repeated or on-going stress that can jeopardise health and welfare. The scale of behavioural indicators of stress would provide a suitable method by which stress could be monitored and thus become a part of horse management.
  • The physical, physiological and performance characteristics of English youth team handball players

    Twist, Craig; McWhannell, Nicola; Moss, Samantha L. (University of Chester, 2014-07)
    This theses includes 4 case studies covering - (1)an examination of the anthropometric and physical characteristics of youth female team handball players (16.07 ± 1.30 y) in non-elite (n= 47), elite (n= 37) and top-elite players (n= 29); (2) a comprehensive analysis of team handball match play in youth English U18 Men’s National League players through the assessment of player movement demands, technical actions and heart rate during match play and secondly, the impact of team handball competition on fatigue during and after matches; (3) an investigation into neuromuscular fatigue and well-being of English handball players during a training camp and an international tournament; (4) the effect of two different interchange strategies on performance and pacing strategy during a simulated team-sports protocol.
  • Genetic analysis of the critically endangered Trinidad Piping guan (Pipile pipile): Implications for phylogenetic placement and conservation strategies

    McDowall, Ian; Hosie, Charlotte A.; Robinson, Louise A. (University of Chester, 2011-11)
    Classified as critically endangered since 1994, the Trinidad Piping guan (Pipile pipile) is an endemic species estimated to number less than 200 individuals. Known to locals of Trinidad as the ‘Pawi’ this bird has been the subject of substantial hunting pressures and much of the species habitat has been destroyed through deforestation. Although officially protected since 1958, occasional recreational hunting of this elusive species still occurs. Due to difficulties locating and capturing the species, no genetic research has previously been performed using samples obtained from Trinidad. All previous research studies have been conducted using biological materials obtained from captive birds outside Trinidad and island data has never been obtained or compared. The genetic diversity of the remaining population was therefore examined through the investigation of mitochondrial haplotypes, pairwise comparison and SNP analysis. With the intention of assisting the protection of this endangered species by the location of remaining areas of habitation, methods of genetic identification were established for the Trinidad Piping guan utilising non-invasive feather samples. Species specific primers were created in the regions of the ND2 and cyt b genes of the mitochondrial genome to identify Pipile pipile. Species detection was further verified with the use of PCR-RFLP of the same gene regions digested with BsaXI, EcoRV and BsrDI. This combined approach allowed the separation of closely related taxa based on single inter-species SNPs. Confirmation of species identification was subsequently performed through the use of forensically informative nucleotide sequencing. The established methodologies were used in the current study to correct the classification of a UK breeding population of Piping guans thought to be Pipile pipile and to identify Trinidad field samples. These detection methods have implications for ecological studies through the location of populations from trace evidence collected in the field. In addition this method could be used to assist Trinidadian police forces in the identification of bushmeats or simply act as a deterrent to hunters. The sequence data obtained in the present study were also used to re-assess the phylogeny of Piping guans. As genetic sequence from a true island bird was previously unstudied, differences between phylogenies created using non-island and island bird data sets were examined. Combined analysis was performed on 1884bp of the ND2 and cyt b genes and placement of Trinidad Piping guan was found to differ from that which has been previously published.
  • The sportization of swimming: A sociological examination of the development of swimming as a modern competitive sport, c.1595-1908

    Bloyce, Daniel; Cock, Steven (University of Chester, 2012-04)
    Modern competitive swimming is a highly structured, organized, codified and regulated sport. This has not always been the case. The aim of this thesis has been to examine the long-term development of competitive forms of swimming throughout the periods between the late sixteenth and early twentieth centuries. Despite some recent historical analyses, the emergence of swimming as a modern competitive sport is an under-researched topic. There are no sociological analyses relating to the development of competitive swimming and significant gaps within much historical research. This thesis has been conducted from a sociological perspective in order to test the relative adequacy of Norbert Elias’s concept of sportization. Figurational sociologists have often examined the concept of sportization in relation to the development of contact sports such as boxing and rugby. Some authors have sought to criticize figurational sociologists for over-emphasizing issues relating to the increasing control of violence when examining the development of such activities. In this manner, there is scope to contribute to existing empirical and theoretical knowledge by testing the relative adequacy of the concept of sportization in relation to the long-term development of the predominantly non-contact sport of competitive swimming. To this end, data have been examined from a range of documentary sources. Various swimming-based texts, treatises, periodicals and magazines were examined at the British Library and Colindale Newspaper Library in London. The original minute books of the Amateur Swimming Association and its predecessor bodies have also been analyzed. In addition, a range of digitized source material has been examined from several electronic databases. It has been argued that the development of modern competitive swimming was an unplanned and unintended outcome resulting from the complex interweaving of wider social processes in England throughout the periods between the Middle-Ages and the early twentieth century. The earliest reported swimming contests took place in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in the form of a cash wager between two or more individuals. These events were less structured and regulated than modern forms of competitive swimming. Betting upon the outcome of such events was deemed to be an appropriate means to experience heightened levels of tension-excitement within the context of an emerging society in which people were increasingly expected to demonstrate greater self-control over their behaviour and emotions. More organized forms of competitive swimming gradually emerged during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The emergence of an increasingly complex network of clubs, societies and associations at local, county, district and national levels facilitated such developments and contributed to the emergence of standardized rules and regulations within the emerging sport of swimming. Such developments have been explained in relation to ongoing processes of state-formation, pacification, lengthening chains of interdependence and a gradual lowering in the threshold of repugnance within England in the period between the Middle-Ages and the early twentieth century. In this manner, it has been argued that the concept of sportization is an appropriate theoretical framework for explaining the long-term development of the modern non-contact sport of competitive swimming.
  • A kinematic analysis of the role of the upper-extremities during vertical jumping

    Worsfold, Paul R.; Twist, Craig; Lamb, Kevin L.; Connell, Robert (University of Chester, 2013)
    Over the last two decades, plyometric training has been extensively adopted by athletes, coaches and sport scientists with a primary aim to improve vertical jump height. The focus of these plyometric programmes has been to train the lower-extremity musculature in order to enhance jump performance. However, the lower-extremities are not the only contributing factor to vertical jump performance, as the use of an arm-swing during vertical jumping has also been shown to contribute to achieving maximum vertical jump height, yet training programmes for improving the arm-swing during the vertical jump are limited. Therefore, the primary aim of this thesis was to examine the full arm-swing mechanics during vertical jumping, and to then develop and assess the suitability of an upper-extremity plyometric programme for increasing both arm-swing kinematics and jump height. Firstly, a descriptive study was conducted to assess if an arm-swing countermovement was utilised during the vertical jump, which was deemed the prerequisite for using plyometric training to improve the arm-swing. Then an experimental study was conducted comparing vertical jumps performed with and without an arm-swing countermovement. The results showed that jumps performed with an arm-swing countermovement significantly increased mean peak shoulder angular velocity (ω) (+67.5 deg·s-1) and mean jump height (+ 6.2 cm) when compared to jumps performed using no arm-swing countermovement. During the final chapter of this thesis, a group of elite basketball players volunteered to participate in upper-extremity plyometric training aimed at increasing vertical jump height by training only the upper-extremities. Vertical jump height and full body kinematics were analysed using a 3 dimensional (3D) motion capture system, and key kinematic jump variables and various arm-swing performance measurements were collated both before and after a 4 week upper-extremity plyometric intervention. The use of upper-extremity plyometric training significantly increased the mean jump height (+ 7.2 cm), mean peak shoulder ω (+ 167.1 deg·s-1), mean peak frontal shoulder ω (+ 121 deg·s-1) and mean active range of motion at the shoulder joint (+ 5.3°), when compared to a control group. Furthermore, the use of a large active range of motion armswing during the arm-swing countermovement was shown to be the preferred arm-swing condition for increasing arm-swing kinematics. The increase in arm-swing kinematics and jump height after the 4 week upper-extremity plyometric programme was attributed to the participants’ improved ability to use the stretch-shortening cycle, elastic energy transfer system and stretch reflex system. Therefore, the use of upper-extremity plyometric exercises as part of a training regime for improving vertical jump performance should be advocated.
  • The effects of exercise-induced muscle damage on endurance performance

    Twist, Craig; Lamb, Kevin L.; Nicholas, Ceri; Burt, Dean G. (University of Chester, 2013)
    It is well documented that engaging in resistance exercise can lead to further improvements in endurance performance. Whilst, not fully understood, it is speculated that increased motor unit recruitment, improved muscle coordination and enhanced utilisation of stored elastic energy after resistance-based exercise improves exercise economy. Nevertheless, while prolonged exposure to resistance training improves endurance performance in the long-term, a consequence of such training when unaccustomed is the appearance of exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD). Exercise-induced muscle damage is well known to affect athletic performance requiring muscular strength and power; however, its effects on markers of endurance exercise are unclear. Therefore, the aim of this thesis was to investigate the effects of EIMD on endurance performance, with an emphasis on the physiological (oxygen uptake; , minute ventilation; ), metabolic (blood lactate; [La]), perceptual (rating of perceived exertion; RPE) and kinematic (stride length; SL, stride frequency; SF) responses during sub-maximal endurance exercise.
  • A mixed methods study of the early development of childhood overweight and obesity: Understanding the process of infant feeding

    Thurston, Miranda; Perry, Catherine (University of Liverpool (University of Chester)University of Chester, 2013-03)
    Prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased in adult and child populations during the last two to three decades in both developed and developing countries. Childhood obesity is common in the United Kingdom and has become a major public health issue. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that the development of overweight and obesity in children has its roots in early life, with evidence of increasing weight over time in pre-school children. The study explored the early development of overweight in infants in Halton, an area of Northwest England. It was a mixed methods study comprising a quantitative analysis of routinely collected infant weight data and a longitudinal qualitative study of the process of weaning. Phase one - patterns of weight in Halton infants: The retrospective quantitative study utilised birthweight, and weight and length/height at eight weeks, eight months and 40 months of age from Halton infants born between 1994 and 2006 (16,328 singleton births). Analysis of these data provided further evidence of the early development of overweight, and highlighted patterns of infant overweight at eight months of age not previously reported. Phase two - longitudinal qualitative study of the process of weaning: Given the findings of phase one, factors that may influence early weight gain were considered. Therefore, the second phase focussed upon weaning, which has been little researched in terms of the way in which mothers manage the process. The aim was to explore weaning as a social process, focussing on the experience, knowledge, perceptions and actions of mothers as they weaned, in order to consider whether this could shed light on infant growth and development in general and the early development of overweight in particular. A grounded theory approach was utilised. Twenty one women were recruited and interviewed antenatally and then up to three times after their babies were born. A total of 67 interviews took place. A grounded theory, or ‘plausible account’, of the weaning process was developed. The centrality of the baby, and the way in which mothers talk about following the lead of the baby as they wean was highlighted, along with the ways in which this focus may falter or shift because of the complexity of influences on mothers’ lives. The primacy of embodied knowledge, that is the knowledge that mothers built up through the experience of feeding and weaning their infant, and the significance of being a mother in terms of being an ‘authority’ on feeding and weaning, were evident. In addition, the limitations of providing information, such as the feeding and weaning guidelines, without taking account of the individual mother, infant and their context was indicated. This is how some mistrust of the advice of health professionals, and possibly other ‘health messages’ emerged, as mothers did not see the advice as appropriate to them, their infant, or circumstances. Mothers did recognise babies as ‘bigger’ or ‘smaller’, but through valuing weight and weight gain were particularly aware of having small babies, which may have limited their capacity for recognising the significance of early signs of overweight in their infants. Final conclusions: Using mixed methods in this study allowed a broad picture of patterns of weight and overweight in Halton infants, and what some of the contributory factors to those patterns might be, to emerge, than if a single research method had been used. A number of implications for policy and practice: at an individual level in terms of the way in which women are supported to feed and wean their babies; and at a population level in terms of the monitoring of weight, were identified.
  • A longitudinal analysis of performance, growth and maturation in youth rugby league players: Implications for talent identification and development

    Worsfold, Paul R.; Twist, Craig; Lamb, Kevin L.; Waldron, Mark (University of Chester, 2013)
    This study monitored a cohort of youth rugby league players from one professional club in England, across three competitive seasons (under-15 to under-17 age group). The aims were to establish which dimensions of growth and performance characterized players who were either coach-selected or unselected each season and to evaluate annual developments in growth and performance. It was also necessary to establish the credibility of various measurement techniques that are implicated in the talent identification process. In the assessment of sprint performance, GPS measurements systematically underestimated both distance and timing gate speed but can be used to reliably evaluate sprint performance, particularly for measurements of peak speed (95% Limits of Agreement (LoA) = 0.00 ± 0.8 km·h-1; CV = 0.78%). Using a larger sample of youth team sport players (n = 60), multiple linear regression analysis, incorporating mean and peak GPS speeds as predictors of timing gate speed, yielded a prediction model that was able to provide a valid alternative to timing gates in the assessment of sprint performance over 30 m. With regards to the reliability of assessments of sport-specific skill in youth rugby league players, no comparisons met the pre-determined analytical goal of ‘perfect agreement’, meaning that up to 56% of players’ skill could be misinterpreted. The credibility of such assessments should be questioned and alternative tests considered. In the period between the under-15 and under-16 group, there were large annual increments in speed (5.02 Δ%), force (13.82 Δ%) and power (19.85 Δ%) generated over 10 m sprint intervals and predicted vertical jumping power (13.02 Δ%), with concomitant developments in body mass (5.14 Δ%), lean body mass (3.20 Δ%) and predicted muscle of the quadriceps (10.12 Δ%). A discriminant function analysis also highlighted 30 m force and 10 m acceleration as significant predictors of selected players in the under-15 group and under-16 group, explaining 47.3% and 40.7% of the between-group variance, respectively – which was the case independent of age at peak maturity. However, there were 5 no differences between selected and unselected players in the under-17 group. During match time, there were differences between selected (57.1 ± 11.9 min) and unselected (44.1 ± 12.3 min) players for average playing interval in the under-16 group. In turn, selected players covered more total distance (5181.0 ± 1063.5 m c.f. 3942.6 ± 1108.6 m, respectively; P = 0.012) and high intensity distance (1808.8 ± 369.3 m c.f. 1380.5 ± 367.7 m, respectively; P = 0.011) than unselected players. When age at peak height velocity (PHV) was statistically controlled, only distance in zone 3 and summated-HR remained higher in the selected players of the under-16 group. Conversely, higher values amongst the unselected under-16 players for total and relative distance in zone 4, 5 and high intensity were revealed. There was a relationship in the under-15 group (R = 0.702, P < 0.001), under-16 group (R = 0.607, P < 0.001) and under-17 group (R = 0.671, P < 0.006) between the number of successful ball carries and 10 m sprinting force, thus supporting the use of 10 m sprinting force as a predictor of match performance. The relationship (r = 0.51, P = 0.044) between aerobic capacity and HIT·min-1 in the under-17 group also provides preliminary evidence of aerobic endurance as a potential predictor of match running intensity. It was concluded that players who are coach-selected are not characterized by match related performance variables but are offered greater match exposure during the under-16 age group, resulting in larger running distances. Unselected players are unrewarded for higher intensity running during matches when maturational age is statistically controlled and are also equally effective in regard to tackling and ball carrying outcomes. These results collectively indicate the inability of match performance measurements to contribute to talent identification processes in players of this type. The changes in growth and performance should be used to guide talent development practices of rugby league coaches. In particular, the assessment of force (i.e. the product of acceleration and body mass) should be considered as an important factor in differentiating between higher and lower ability players, as well as relating to match performance.
  • A multidisciplinary approach to structuring in reduced triacylglycerol based systems

    Bonwick, Graham A.; Young, Niall; Wassell, Paul (University of Chester, 2013-05)
    This study (Wassell & Young 2007; Wassell et al., 2010a) shows that behenic (C22:0) fatty acid rich Monoacylglycerol (MAG), or its significant inclusion, has a pronounced effect on crystallisation (Wassell et al., 2010b; 2012; Young et al., 2008) and interfacial kinetics (3.0; 4.0). New interfacial measurements demonstrate an unusual surface-interactive relationship of long chain MAG compositions, with and without Polyglycerol Polyricinoleate (PGPR). A novel MAG synthesised from Moringa oleifera Triacylglycerol (TAG) influenced textural behaviour of water-in-oil (W/O) emulsions and anhydrous TAG systems (4.0: 5.0; 6.0). Emulsifier mixtures of PGPR and MAG rich in C18:1 / 18:2 and C16:0 / C18:0 do not decrease interfacial tension compared with PGPR alone. Only those containing MAG with significant proportion of C22:0 impacted interfacial behaviour. A mixture of C22:0 based MAG and PGPR results with decreasing tension from ~20°C and is initially dominated by PGPR, then through rearrangement, the surface is rapidly dominated by C22:0 fatty acids. A Moringa oleifera based MAG showed unusual decreased interfacial behaviour not dissimilar to PGPR. All other tested MAG (excluding a C22:0 based MAG), irrespective of fatty acid composition resulted with high interfacial tension values across the measured temperature spectrum (50°C to 5°C). A relative decrease of interfacial tension, with decreased temperature, was greater, the longer the chain length (Krog & Larsson 1992). Moreover, results from bulk and interfacial rheology showed that the presence of C22:0 based MAG has a pronounced effect on both elastic modulus (G’) and viscous modulus (G’’). Through a multidisciplinary approach, results were verified in relevant product applications. By means of ultrasonic velocity profiling with pressure difference (UVP-PD) technique, it was possible to examine the effect of a C22:0 based MAG in an anhydrous TAG system whilst in a dynamic non-isothermal condition (3.0). The non-invasive UVP-PD technique conclusively validated structural events. The application of a Moringa oleifera based MAG in low TAG (35% - 41%), W/O emulsions, results in high emulsion stability without a co-surfactant (PGPR). The bi-functional behaviour of Moringa oleifera based MAG is probably attributed to miscibility (Ueno et al., 1994) of its fatty acids, ranging ~30% of saturated fatty acids (SAFA), with ~70% of C18:1 (5.0). It is concluded that the surface-interactive behaviour of Moringa oleifera based MAG, is attributed to approximately 10% of its SAFA commencing from C20:0. When examined separately and compared, results showed that physical effect of a Moringa oleifera based MAG was not dissimilar to PGPR, influencing the crystallisation kinetics of the particular anhydrous TAG system. When either was combined with a C22:0 rich MAG, enhanced gelation onset and strong propensity to form dendrite structure occurred (5.0). Macrobeam and synchrotron radiation microbeam small angle x-ray diffraction (SR-μ-SAXD) was utilized (6.0) to assess behavior of C22:0 rich MAG, with and without PGPR (Wassell et al., 2012). The C22:0 based MAG combined with PGPR promoted TAG crystallisation as observed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Polarised optical microscopy (POM) observations indicated that C22:0 based MAG eliminates formation of large crystal aggregates, resulting in the likely formation of tiny Pickering TAG / MAG crystals (6.0). It is concluded that the presence and interactive behaviour of Pickering surface-active MAG, is strongly linked to increased fatty acid chain length, which induce increased textural resilience owing to viscoelasticity (4.0; 5.0). A multidisciplinary approach was able to verify structuring behaviour (4.0; 5.0), using multiple analyses (Wassell et al., 2010b; 2012; Young et al., 2008). Novel structuring solutions in reduced TAG based systems have been provided (4.0; 5.0). This study both enhances current understanding of structuring in low TAG W/O emulsions and has led to novel MAG compositions, which address emulsification, structuring and texture in TAG based food systems (Wassell et al., 2010a; 2012a; 2012b; 2012c; 2012d; 2012e; Bech et al., 2013).
  • Alternative methods of treating atelectasis in post-operative patients

    Fallows, Stephen; Mason-Whitehead, Elizabeth; Al Mutairi, Fouad (University of Chester, 2013)
    Cardiac surgery incisional pain can decrease inspiratory effort, alter normal respiratory mechanics, and increase the potential for post-operative pulmonary complications. Post-surgical atelectasis is the most frequent complication after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), ranging from 54% to 92%. All types of therapy such as an incentive spirometry (IS), deep breathing exercises (DBE) or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) have a valuable role to play in the prevention or the treatment of post-surgical atelectasis. However, the type of therapy that should be used is not completely clear yet. The present research aims to evaluate the benefit of early use of CPAP via mask therapy to treat or prevent post-surgical atelectasis after CABG, particularly in smokers and elderly patients, as compared to regular (IS) therapy. Also, it aims to evaluate the patients' and medical staff's experience about the use of the new method of CPAP via mask therapy. The present research was conducted at King Fahd Armed Forces Hospital in Saudi Arabia between March 2010 and December 2011. It used a mixed methods approach. The first two studies were intervention quantitative studies, which investigated the benefit of CPAP via mask therapy. The others were qualitative studies that evaluated the experience of patients and medical staff regarding CPAP therapy use.A total of 180 patients (male and female) (36 in each group) participated in the two quantitative studies. Ninety two participants (male and female) participated in the qualitative studies. The first quantitative study results showed an improvement in CPAP via mask therapy for half hours every two hours group measurements as compared to IS therapy groups. IC was increased significantly in the "CPAP every two hours group" as compared to control group (IS) (baseline mean for IS group 1.34L and "CPAP every two hours group" 1.42L, post- therapy mean 1.59L and 1.88L respectively, p= 0.037). In addition, when chest physiotherapy was added to the two regimens, the improvement of CPAP therapy measurements became more than IS therapy. Moreover, the patient’s acceptance rate for CPAP therapy every two hours was 93% and the medical staff acceptance rate was 86%. CPAP via mask therapy for half hour every two hours had better outcomes in treating or preventing post-surgical atelectasis after CABG, particularly in smokers and elderly patients. Adding chest physiotherapy led to even better outcomes. The use of the new method of CPAP therapy had high acceptance rate by the participants and medical staff.
  • Delivery and engagement in public health nutrition: The use of ethnographic fiction to examine the socio-cultural experiences of food and health among mothers of young children in Skelmersdale, Lancashire

    Ellahi, Basma; Cox, Peter; Gregg, Rebecca A. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2013-04)
    Encouraging good nutrition is particularly important in the early years of life for the development of appropriate food habits and healthy adults in later life. These are governed by many contending and conflicting influences. Objective: This research examines the food choice influences for mothers of young children in Skelmersdale, West Lancashire (UK). Participants were recruited from a large community food intervention (clients) and were compared with those not involved in the initiative (non-clients). This enabled the reflection of the broader socio-cultural experiences of food and the influence of “structure” and “agency” on food choices. The research adopted a phenomenological approach using ethnographic recording techniques (interview and observation). The research findings are presented as ethnographic fictions. These short fictional stories provide a “thick” description of the participant’s lifeworld. They locate these choices in the person and the place. A hierarchy of food choice influences emerged from the data, with three main findings. Most prominently, the influence of individual capacity on the food choices made. Secondly, the influence of place, town planning and the geography of an area on food choices. Thirdly, the influence of gender, relationships and social networks. Central to the thesis of this research is the use of ethnographic fiction to enable a better understanding of the complexity involved in food choice and community development approaches to nutritional change. The use of ethnographic fiction conveyed a better understanding of people and of the role and impact of an intervention upon the wider processes involved in food choice. Ethnographic fiction was used here for the first time in public health nutrition to explain the complex picture of food choice for mothers of young children in Skelmersdale, and to convey new insight on food choice and the complexity of food choice influence.
  • The prediction of maximal oxygen uptake from a perceptually-regulated exercise test (PRET)

    Lamb, Kevin L.; Buckley, John P.; Cotterrell, David; Morris, Mike (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2012-12)
    The Borg 6–20 rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scale is a common measure reported during exercise testing and training, and is usually taken as a response measurement to provide a subjective assessment of exercise intensity. A lesser used application of the scale is for regulating exercise intensity, referred to as its ‘production mode’. Recent research on this topic initiated by Eston et al. (2005) has led to a novel application of this procedure as a means of predicting an individual’s maximal oxygen uptake ( O2max) via a perceptually-regulated exercise test (PRET). The PRET could play a significant role in guiding exercise prescription and monitoring cardiorespiratory fitness levels in situations where the normal heart rate response is affected. The aim of this thesis is to develop further and test the integrity of the PRET technique. Firstly, a review of the evidence on the validity and reliability of the Borg RPE scale when used to regulate exercise intensity in healthy and unhealthy adults is presented, as to-date, no scholarly publication has synthesised the body of knowledge on this specific application of the scale. Subsequently, four studies were completed to investigate the effects of different methodological variations on the predictive capabilities of the PRET, including an examination (for the first time) of its utility among heart failure patients (Study 4). Study 1 re-visited the validity and reliability of the PRET technique utilising a modified protocol of differing durations (2 and 4 min bouts), with revised instructions and placing the graded exercise test (GXT) as the final trial during cycle ergometry. Superior results were observed to those reported in previous investigations (Eston et al., 2008; Faulkner et al. 2007; Eston et al., 2006) during the 3 min trial, further reinforcing the validity and reliability of this technique. Accordingly, Study 2 was the first to investigate the reliability and validity of a treadmill PRET protocol with a ceiling intensity of RPE 15, rather than RPE 17, and observed that a safer modified PRET (with practice) provides acceptably valid and reliable predictions of O2max in healthy adults. In addition, Study 3 extended the research thus far by investigating the PRET protocol during cycle exercise, once again with a ceiling intensity of RPE 15, and demonstrated that (with practice) a cycle-based PRET can yield reliable and valid predictions of O2max that compare favourably to previous investigations. Finally, given that the research employing a PRET has unanimously alluded to its likely value in clinical populations among whom heart rate as a physiological response to exercise is affected (e.g. via medication) and precluded as a means predicting O2max, Study 4 investigated the utility of a PRET in a beta-blocked population of heart failure patients. In the event, it was observed that a PRET (up to RPE 15) was too strenuous and needs to be capped at an intensity of RPE 13 in this population. In addition a continuous protocol seemed unsuitable due to its length and it was recommended that a discontinuous PRET protocol be investigated. Future research needs to investigate the utilisation of the PRET (i) in different exercise modes; (ii) determine the optimum number of practice trials required; (iii) whether a discontinuous or continuous protocol is more appropariate; (iv) whether the extrapolation should be made to RPE 19 or 20 and; (v) whether the PRET can be employed succesfully in other clinical populations.
  • Education and welfare in professional football academies and centres of excellence: A sociological study

    Bloyce, Daniel; Lamb, Kevin L.; Platts, Chris (University of Chester, 2012-01)
    A career as a professional footballer has long been regarded as a highly sought after occupation for many young males within the UK and, against this backdrop, since the 1970s increasing attention has come to be placed on the way young players are identified and developed within professional clubs. Particular concern has been expressed over the number of players who, having been developed by professional clubs, fail to secure a professional contract, and the ways in which clubs should help young players safeguard their futures through alternative career training. There, have, however, been very few studies that have analyzed the education and welfare provisions that are offered within professional football Academies and Centres of Excellence, and fewer still that have done this from a sociological perspective. By drawing upon the figurational sociology of Norbert Elias, concepts derived from symbolic interactionism, and existing work in the sociology of youth, the objective of this study is to examine the realities of young players' day-to-day working-lives, the experiences they have of the educational programmes they follow, and the welfare-related matters that arise within present-day Academies and CoE. Using data generated by self-completion questionnaires and focus groups with 303 players in 21 Academies and CoE in England and Wales, the findings of the study suggest that players continue to be socialized into a largely anti-academic culture that has traditionally underpinned the world of professional football, and in which the demonstration of a 'good attitude' and commitment to the more central members of players' interdependencies (especially coaches and managers) dominated all other concerns. Indeed, it was also clear that the deep-seated values players held in relation to the professional game as part of their individual and group habituses were shaped by the figurations into which they were born and had been developed during the more impressionable phases of childhood and youth. Players' welfare needs were significantly compromised by the strong degree of suspicion and obvious degree of mistrust that characterized their relationship with club management, which emanated from players' fears that confidential matters would always 'get back' to others inside the club. This was exacerbated, in almost all cases, by players' observations that they were treated as if they were 'bottom of the club' and whose welfare needs were not generally well understood by those working within Academies and CoE.
  • Maternal investment in mountain gorillas (Gorilla Beringei Beringei)

    Fletcher, Alison W.; Eckardt, Winnie (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2010-02)
    Investigating maternal investment (Ml) and mother-offspring relationships during the period of infant dependency is critically important to furthering the understanding of female reproductive strategies in primates. Infant primates are completely dependent upon their mothers. The way in which a mother allocates her resources therefore is crucial for infant survival, but is balanced Against her need to invest in subsequent offspring. One approach to examining how mothers might invest in their offspring stems from the Trivers & Willard hypothesis (TWH, 1973), which predicts that mothers in good condition should bias their investment towards sons and whereas mothers in poorer condition should bias investment toward daughters. Long-term demographic records on birth sex ratio and inter-birth interval suggest that female mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) do not bias investment prenatally, but they may adjust postnatal Ml according to the TWH. This study investigated Ml and mother-offspring relationships in wild mountain gorillas, using behavioural correlates of Ml, including suckling, weaned age, physical contact, "transport, and grooming to redress the lack of understanding about Ml in this species. The appropriateness of TWH was investigated, integrating different indicators of maternal condition. Important determinants of Ml and mother-offspring relationships were considered, such as offspring age, parity, presence of siblings and maternal relatives, group size and lastly, personality, which has been largely neglected in nonhuman primates. The extent, to which the offspring influenced Ml patterns, was examined using the parent-offspring conflict theory (Trivers, 1972) as a theoretical framework. During 2006-2007, 38 mother-offspring dyads were observed in the Virunga massif, resulting in 1210 hours of direct behavioural observation. Additional field data from the previous four decades were integrated into the dataset for the analysis of suckling and weaned age. Gorilla personality was assessed through the Hominoid Personality Questionnaire. Findings relating to suckling frequency, weaned age, and maternal feeding activities were consistent with the TWH: sons suckled more often than daughters when they had mothers in good condition, whereas the reverse sex-pattern occurred in offspring with mothers in poorer condition. In addition, daughters were weaned at an earlier age than sons when mothers were in better condition, although this sex-difference reduced in older mothers that were categorised as being in good condition. Maternal feeding time and feeding efficiency revealed that mothers in poorer condition spent more time ingesting food when they had daughters, whereas mothers in better .condition spent more time ingesting food when they had sons. Furthermore, group size affected lactation duration with offspring in small groups being weaned earlier than offspring in large groups. Behavioural conflicts over Ml showed that the mother and offspring influenced Ml patterns during the period of dependency. Finally, six personality dimensions were identified, of which five revealed effects maternal behaviour, such as maternal retrieval, responsiveness and rejection, although their relative importance varied between those behaviours. In general, mother and offspring personality effects were complex due to their interactions with the developmental stage of offspring. In conclusion, my thesis research has made several novel contributions to furthering the understanding of female reproductive strategies in the highly endangered mountain gorilla. I presented the first evidence using behavioural data that females bias their postnatal investment towards the sex with the greatest fitness return as predicted by the TWH. My findings are discussed in the light of alternative Ml strategies, such as the local resource competition and enhancement model. My research has highlighted the importance of integrating anthropometric and physiological measures and demographic long-term data into future Ml studies to assess direct costs and benefits of Ml. The examination of mother-offspring behavioural conflicts showed that offspring have a strong impact on the level of Ml they receive. I have also examined the personality of a wild mountain gorilla population for the first time. My findings demonstrate that personality-parenting links are evident in several respects and I have demonstrated the great potential of personality as a determinant of maternal behaviour and mother-offspring relationships.
  • The regulation of osteoprotegerin and dickkopf-1 production in osteoblastic cells

    McCarthy, Helen S. (University of ChesterCharles Salt Centre, Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust in Oswestry, 2011-06)
    Bone is a highly specialised living tissue and has both mechanical and metabolical functions. Remodelling of the bone ensures a healthy bone mass and is regulated by a trio of secreted proteins, namely receptor-activator of NFKB (RANK), receptor-activator of NFKB ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG). OPG, a major regulator of osteoclastogenesis, bone resorption and vascular calcification, is produced by various cell types including mesenchymally derived cells, particularly osteoblastic cells. Wnt signalling also plays a role in maintaining healthy bone mass. Dickkopf- 1 (DKK-1) is a soluble inhibitor of Wnt signalling and its excessive expression contributes to bone loss in rheumatoid arthritis and multiple myeloma. Recently, NDKK-1 has been demonstrated to be over-produced in osteoblasts of patients with Paget's disease of bone (PDB). The osteoblastic cell lines MG63 and Saos-2 were subjected to a series of different growth factors, hormones and cytokines to investigate the production of OPG, DKK-1 and the expression of various Wnt proteins. These results demonstrate that during standard culture conditions, both OPG and DKK-1 production in osteoblastic cells depend on a factor present in serum. Serum deprivation resulted in the up-regulation of Wnt4 and Wnt11, while down-regulating the expression of Wnt7b. Serum-induced OPG and DKK-1 production and Wnt expression was found to be regulated via a number of different signalling pathways. OPG production and expression was stimulated by platelet-derived growth factor-AB (PDGF-AB) not only in MG63 and Saos-2 osteosarcoma cells, but also a mouse pre-osteoblastic cell line (MC3T3-E1) and human bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC). PDGF-AB was shown to act through the PDGF receptor, PKC, PI3K, ERK and P38 and not via NFKB or JNK. PDGF isoforms AA, BB and AB demonstrated a similar stimulation of OPG production. The importance of PDGF in fracture healing suggests a role for OPG production in countering bone resorption during the early phase of this process. BIO, an inhibitor of canonical Wnt signalling resulted in the down-regulation of DKK-1 and the up-regulation of WntSa. Phorbol ester (PE), a known stimulator of PKC resulted in the up-regualtion of DKK-1, Wnt4, WntTa and Wnt16. The effects of PE were inhibited by bisindolymaleamide but not staurosporine. DKK-1 production, but not expression, was observed to be stimulated by calcium along with an up-regulation of WntTb and a down-regulation of WntWa and Wnt11. Incubation of pre-stimulated cells with Triton-X demonstrated the ability of calcium to increase DKK-1 secretion. DKK-1 was shown to be significantly elevated in the serum of PDB patients compared to healthy controls and did not correlate with ALP levels. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that DKK-1 production is increased in both osteoblasts and fibrotic cells within the marrow cavity in PDB patients compared to fracture callus. B-catenin was found to be localised to intercellular membranes of plump osteoblasts, demonstrating its alternate role as a cell adhesion protein. DKK-1 therefore may be a useful biomarker of PDB and that Dkk-1 may play a central role in the aetiology of PDB. In summary, the results presented in this thesis have investigated the ways in which OPG and DKK-1 production in osteoblastic cells can be modulated with various effectors and the effect of Wnt signalling. These results may therefore be beneficial to increase the understanding of bone biology, improve fracture repair and generate further research into the role DKK-1 and the osteoblast in the aetiology of PDB to enable improved treatments to be developed.
  • An investigation of the test-retest reliability of an ultrasound densitometer

    Lamb, Kevin L.; Owen, David G. (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education), 18/10/1998)
    Army recruits undertake a rapidly increasing amount of exercise in their initial basic training period. Injuries due physical training forces many recruits out of the Army and costs the Ministry of Defence millions of pounds. Stress fractures are one of the most commonly diagnosed injuries amongst Army recruits. Low bone mineral density has been identified as a risk factor for stress fractures. A technique which can measure bone mineral density is Ultrasound Densitometry (US). This study will address a gap in the research by assessing the inter-observer and intra-observer reliability of the two US measurements, broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) and the velocity of sound (VOS). Ninety eight white male recruits, median aged 18 (I.Q. range 1yr) were measured at the calcanea of the non-dominant foot. A repeated measures design was used, BUA and VOS were measured in 55 subjects by both researcher 'A1 and 'B' for inter-observer (inter-BUA & inter-VOS), and 43 subjects were measured for BUA and VOS twice by researcher 'A' for the intra-observer analysis (intra-BUA & intra-VOS). The results from this study found that a coefficient of variation (CV) analysis was not appropriate for assessing measurement error, this was due to the homoscedasity of the data. An alternative method the '95% limits of agreement' found that only VOS was reliable. The '95% limits of agreement1 results (bias ±1.96 x s) were 0.74 ±22.77 m/s for intra-VOS and 4.85 ±23.44 m/s for inter-VOS, the variance in scores were judged to be acceptable, f-test confirmed this with a non-significant difference between measurements (t=0.83, p=0.477; t=0.42, p=0.677, respectively). The '95% limits of agreement1 results for BUA were -0.22±11.56 dB/MHz (inter-BUA) and -1.39 ±11.11 dB/MHz (intra-BUA). These results represent an unacceptable variability in the range of scores obtained. This is highlighted when expressed as a proportion of the mean measurement: inter-BUA ±11.41% and intra-BUA ± 11.91%. However, the West's for inter- and intra-BUA indicate no significant difference (t = -0.07, p = 0.091; t = 1.60, p = 0.116). This insignificance may be the result of the inappropriateness of a statistical method that reliance on a comparison of means. The CV results for BUA indicate that both inter- and intra-BUA are reliable (4.08% & 4.38%, respectively), even though as already stated that the BUA measurements are not deemed reliable when analysed by the '95% limits of agreement'. The results of this study suggest that VOS measurements are reliable and that BUA measurements are non-reliable. As both BUA and VOS would have been used to assess those at risk of suffering stress fractures it was essential that both were found to be reliable. Thus US's appropriateness in individual diagnosis is questioned. This study has also highlighted how the use of an inappropriate statistical method, in this case the CV, can effect the interpretation of data and cause false claims over e.g. reliability.
  • Novel anti-oxidant properties of cobalamin

    Williams, John H. H.; Andrew, Sarah M.; Altaie, Ala (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2009-09)
    Oxidative stress has been associated with a wide range of diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, Parkinson's disease and cancer. It also plays a role in the ageing process. Hyperhomocysteimia is commonly found to be associated with these diseases. The hyperhomocysteimia is a result of a deficiency in both folate and cobalamin Folate is known to reduce Hey and protect cells from apoptosis, but there are no studies investigating the impact of cobalamin on apoptosis induced by oxidative stress or the mechanism(s) of the protection. The aims of the research are to investigate the protective role of cobalamin and the possible mechanism(s) for this protection. It also examines the protective role of novel cobalamin and investigates their superior protection. The methods used in this research for apoptosis detection we used caspase-3 and the annexin-V, while for necrosis we used PI staining, where cell viability were detected using MTS assay. We also measured the generation of superoxide by Lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence and reactive oxygene species by using the redox active prob DCFH-DA. Moreover, the intracellular proteins were measured via staining with specific fluorescent-conjugated antibodies were detected using flowcytometry. Our result demonstrated that 25|iM of cobalamin protects cells from apoptosis. The protection by cobalamin was associated with induction of iHsp72 and iHO-1, and these are shown to be essential for the protection. Furthermore, our research demonstrated a novel mechanism of cobalamin-apoptosis protection involving induction of NfkB, ERK1/2 and AKT signal transduction pathways. In order to protect cells from apoptosis induced by oxidative stress, cobalamin induces the pNfkB which in turn regulate the iNOS and HO-1 induction. Cobalamin also induces thepERK1/2 which regulates the induction of Hps72 and Nrf2. And finally, pAKT induced by cobalamin which regulate the Nrf2 and HO-1 induction. The inhibition of any of theses pathways leads to loss the protection. The GSCbl and NACCbl provide a superior protection against oxidative stress, this protection involved induction of the signal transduction pathways and Hsps. To conclude; cobalamin provides protection against cells death induced by oxidative stress. Cobalamin achieves this by multiple pathways which include direct antioxidant stimulation and induction of signal transduction pathways. Different cobalamin derivatives have superior protections. These finding are a useful pharmaceutical tool in the treatment of the oxidative stress related diseases.
  • Conflict management in wild spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi yucatanensis)

    Schaffner, Colleen; Rebecchini, Luisa (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2010-05)
    Animals living in groups are frequently exposed to conflicts of interest which can escalate into aggression. Aggressive interactions may be a means to resolve incompatibility among objectives. Nevertheless, aggression may undermine the benefits of group living by disrupting the relationships between opponents. Thus, conflict management mechanisms have evolved to cope with the potential damage brought about by aggressive interactions. The aim of my thesis was to investigate the mechanisms to prevent aggressive escalation and to mitigate its negative consequences in 2 communities of wild spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi yucanensis). I also examined the factors, such as relationship characteristics, affecting the occurrence of these mechanisms. Spider monkeys live in communities with a high degree of fission fusion dynamics in which individuals frequently split and merge into subgroups of variable composition. The implications of this social system for conflict management were also explored. To characterise spider monkeys’ social relationships, two components were identified and labelled compatibility and risk. These components were further related to relationship characteristics, such as kinship, sex combinations, and tenure in the community. Kin had more compatible relationships than non kin, but there was no difference for risk. Male-male dyads were characterised as being significantly more compatible and riskier than either female-female dyads or male-female dyads. Furthermore, individuals with longer tenure had riskier relationships than individuals with shorter tenure. Among the post-conflict management mechanisms spider monkeys did not engage in reconciliation, redirected aggression, or bystander affiliation. However, an option afforded by their high degree of fission fusion dynamics was used in the aftermath of aggression. Fission from former aggressors was more likely to occur within one hour of the aggressive conflicts than in control periods. Furthermore, individuals sharing riskier and less compatible relationships had significantly shorter latencies to fission compared to those with less risky and more compatible relationships. These patterns suggest that fission may function to reduce the possibility of renewed aggression and cope with increased post-conflict anxiety. Indeed, anxiety levels were higher in the recipients of aggression during the first 5 post-conflict minutes compared to baseline levels. Whereas fission may be a mechanism to cope with the negative consequences of aggressive escalation, fusion of subgroups could lead to uncertainty and hostility. Indeed, aggression increased in the first five post-fusion minutes compared to baseline levels. There was also an increase in post-fusion friendly behaviours, which may function as signals of good intentions. This view was confirmed as post-fusion aggression was reduced when friendly behaviours took place. In addition, shorter latencies of post-fusion aggression and friendly behaviours were found between individuals with riskier relationships compared to those with less risky relationships. Prevention of aggressive conflicts may also be achieved by adjusting subgroup size to the availability of feeding resources thereby reducing competition. The effectiveness of this flexible adjustment was demonstrated during a period of drastic reduction in food sources caused by two consecutive hurricanes at the field site. Mean subgroup size and fusion rates were significantly reduced in the post-hurricane compared to pre-hurricane periods. Hence, my thesis adds to the study of social relationships and conflict management in non-human animals by making several contributions. I provided the first evidence of relationship components in new world monkeys. I then examined the potential of fission-fusion dynamics as a means to manage conflicts among community members. I was the first demonstrating that fission is a post-conflict mechanism. Fission from the former aggressor was especially used by individuals with riskier and less compatible relationships. Subgroup fusion increased aggressive conflicts, especially between individuals with riskier relationships, but post-fusion friendly behaviours reduced them. The effectiveness of fission-fusion dynamics in conflict management was further demonstrated by how the spider monkeys coped with the potential increase in conflict among community members due to a dramatic reduction in food supplies due to two hurricanes. Overall, spider monkeys appear to deal with conflicts using the full range of the flexible social options afforded by their social system.
  • The development and effectiveness of perceptual training programme for coaches and judges in gymnastics

    Lafferty, Moira E.; Page, Jennifer L. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2009-03)
    This thesis investigated the development and effectiveness of a perceptual training programmes for coaches and judges in gymnastics. Study one examined the variability of visual search for coaches and judges when viewing handspring vaults. The study found that there were no significant differences between the mean number of fixations, fixation duration and number of areas fixated across two time-points four weeks apart. In addtion, the natural range of variation of the number of fixations, fixation duration and number of area fixated was found to be 9/7%, 5.7% and 14.2% (expressed as coefficient of variation). Study two examined differences between expert and novice gymnastics coaches' and judges' visual search. Analysis of gaze behaviour showed that experts make significantly more fixations of significantly longer duration to significantly fewer areas than novies. There was no significant difference between the outcome juddgements made by the expert and novice coaches and judges. These findings suggest that visual search may be a contributing factor to expert performance in judgement formation. Study three explored the visual search pattern and knowledge used by expert coaches and judges when making decisions. Data were gathered through the used of eye-tracking and semi-structered interviews. Analyses established that experts tend to fixate on the torso and shoulders of gymnasts throughout the vault, and that there are three to four specific areas which are explored during each phase of a vault. Study four examined the effectiveness of a perceptual training programme for a perceptual traning and control group. Fixation number, fixation duration, number of areas fixated and outcome judgement were recorded at baseline, immediently after the programme and four weeks after it had been withdrawn. 2 (control vs. perceputal training) x 3 (intervention phase) ANOVA's with repeated measures showed that the perceptual training group produced significantly less error at the retention stage for number of fixations (F (2,6) = 12.57, p = 0.01, effect size n2 = .81), at the post-test for fixation duration (F (2,6) = 7.49, p = 0.02, effect size n2 = .71). However post-hoc analyses could not detect the difference for number of areas fixated. In study five, four participants that took part in the experiental condition watched a perceptual training DVD twice a week for six weeks. The case study data showed that the expert and novices who watched the perceptual training DVD made changes to their visual search variables and judgements and therefore became more analogous to the experts from study three to baseline to the post-test. However, only the novices retained the beneficial effects of the intervention. To conclude, this programme of research examinaed the development and effectiveness of a perceptual training programee for coaches' and judges' in gymnastics. This thesis suggests that a perceptual training programme based on the visual search and declarative knowledge of expert coaches and judges is effective at altering visual search and enhancing decision making for noveice coaches and judges. This research programme therefore promotes the use of perceptual training programmes for novice coaches and judges in sport.

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