• 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.
    • Assessing efficacy of cardiac rehabilitation exercise therapy in heart failure patients

      Leslie, Rosalind (University of Chester, 2015-10)
      Background: Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is considered routine practice for patients following an acute cardiac event or surgical intervention. Although there is a seemingly strong evidence base supporting it for patients with chronic heart failure (CHF), provision in the UK remains poor for this patient group. In addition, data for CHF patients reported in key CR reviews and meta-analyses are not a true representation of the UKs CHF population. The transferability of current evidence into actual practice settings in the UK therefore remains incongruous. Rationale and aims: Study outcomes have typically included an increase in VO2 peak/ VO2 max, a decrease in natriuretic peptides, improved left ventricular function and improved health related quality of life (QoL). Access to facilities and equipment, such as cardiopulmonary exercise testing equipment is limited in the UK for the majority of CR services thus an alternative means of assessment and exercise prescription is required. The recommended alternative for testing CHF patients is the six-minute walk test (6MWT); this requires a given space and a full practice test, the latter which adds to valuable clinical and staff time available. Methods: The first set of studies of this thesis therefore investigated two adapted assessment procedures for use with CHF patients: i. the use of a shorter practice walk test of two minutes vs six minutes prior to a 6MWT and ii. the use of the space saving Chester step test with an adapted lower step height protocol to accommodate the anticipated lower fitness in CHF (4-inch vs 6-inch). Having determined a more practical and efficient means of assessing exercise capacity in CHF patients, this thesis then used the 6MWT to evaluate the efficacy of a typically recommended 12-week programme (for the UK) of exercise-based rehabilitation. It was the aim of this PhD to also combine the use of the Chester step test with cardiopulmonary measures as a corresponding physiological outcome in a sub-sample of participants; however due to resource problems, only validation of the low-step protocol was possible. In the main intervention study, the efficacy of a 12-week course of supervised moderate intensity exercise in CHF patients (ejection fraction <44%, NYHA class II to III) was then evaluated. For purposes of evaluating safety and recovery of any acute myocardial stress induced by exercise in CHF, a sub-group study was performed to evaluate the influence of an acute exercise session on two-day post-exercise levels of circulating NT-proBNP. Results: In this current suite of studies, participants were more representative of the UK CHF population than typically reported in the current evidence. Their profile involved a median age of 76 ± 16 years (mean: 67 years and range: 30 to 84 years). 98% of whom were prescribed beta-blockers, 66% were diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and 98% had two or more co-morbidities. Study 1 (Chapter 3a) verified the efficacy of a two-minute practice walk in comparison to the recommended six-minute practice walk prior to performing a baseline 6MWT in patients with CHF. Study 2 (Chapter 3b) demonstrated that a 4-inch Chester step test is a reliable assessment when space is an issue, but the criterion validity of the actual oxygen costs at each stage compared with those estimated in healthy populations were significantly lower than recommended estimations from healthy populations. Study 3 (Chapter 4) revealed individual variability in the acute response of NT-proBNP release to exercise that is worthy of further study. However the NT-proBNP data overall did not suggest a need for ‘rest days’ between exercise training sessions. The main intervention study (Study 4, Chapter 5) demonstrated a significant improvement in 6MWT performance responses, compared with control, where an increased walking distance of 25 m (p < .0001) was coupled with a reduction in heart-rate-walking speed index (T1 16.3 ± 7.3 vs T2 15.3 ± 8.7 beats per 10 walked; p < .0001). Perceptually, patients were walking faster for the same rating of perceived exertion (RPE 12 to 13). This improved aerobic functioning coincided with an improved NYHA class (T1 2.3 ± .5 vs T2 1.8 ± .6; p < .0001); however there was no change in resting NT-proBNP levels after 12 weeks. Patients in the “control group” who then went on to be offered the same 12-week intervention achieved similar outcomes, but delaying their commencement of an exercise programme by 12 weeks negatively impacted on participation uptake. Key findings and conclusions: These results have demonstrated that exercise training in CHF can lead to an improvement in both physical and perceived functioning (NYHA class). In light of some previous studies showing decreases in BNP following an exercise programme and others like this one showing no change, further questions are raised about the effect of different types and doses of activity being offered to CHF patients and the responsiveness to training of different types of patients (disease severity and demographics). The nature of the cross-over design of this study revealed that delayed commencement of exercise negatively affects participation uptake by patients, which supports current UK standards in aiming for early referral to CR.
    • Assessment of strength and power responses to resistance exercise in young and middle-aged trained males

      Twist, Craig; Lamb, Kevin; Fernandes, John (University of Chester, 2018-08-31)
      Little is known about the muscle function capabilities of trained middle-aged males and how they differ to younger counterparts. Accordingly, the overall aim of the research documented in this thesis was to compare the acute muscle function responses to resistance exercise in middle-aged and young resistance trained males. The first study (Chapter 3) examined the intra- and inter-day reliability of an ecologically valid device (FitroDyne rotary encoder) for measuring upper and lower-body muscle function during three popular multi-jointed resistance training exercises (bench press, squat, and bent-over-row), and confirmed that it was capable of detecting moderate changes in muscle function across a range of submaximal loads. In the second study (Chapter 4) the load-velocity and load-power relationships were investigated during the same exercises among 20 young (age 21.0 ± 1.6 y) and 20 middle-aged (age 42.6 ± 6.7 y) resistance trained males, and it emerged that, despite their regular training, the middle-aged males were unable to achieve velocities at low external loads and peak powers at all external loads as high as the young males across a range of external resistances. Study three (Chapter 5) proceeded to compare the internal (heart rate (HR), OMNI-ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and sRPE) and external (peak velocity and power and volume load) loads experienced during high volume squatting exercise, and the fatigue responses among nine young (age 22.3 ± 1.7 years) and nine middle-aged (age 39.9 ± 6.2 years) resistance trained males. The findings highlighted that internal, but not certain markers of external (peak power and volume load), load responses can be monitored during exercise in a like manner between these age groups. Moreover, compared to young resistance trained males, middle-aged males can expect greater decrements in peak power after lower-limb resistance exercise. In the final study (Chapter 6), the time-course of recovery in nine trained young (age 22.3 ± 1.7 years) and nine trained (39.9 ± 6.2 years) and nine untrained (44.4 ± 6.3 years) middle-aged males after high volume lower-body resistance (muscle damaging) exercise was investigated. Of practical importance, it emerged that compared to the young males, the trained middle-aged males experienced greater symptoms of muscle damage and an impaired recovery profile, the implication of which is the need for trained middle-aged males to adopt strategies to enhance their recovery. Furthermore, both middle-aged groups experienced similar symptoms of muscle-damage, albeit the untrained group demonstrated greater losses in peak power at low and high external loads. For the first time, the current research has determined that middle-aged males, despite regular resistance training, are subject to losses in peak velocity and power output across a range external loads, compared to young males. When undergoing lower-body resistance training to ameliorate these decrements, applied practitioners can use internal load markers and peak velocity, but not peak power or volume load, to monitor trained young and middle-aged males alike. Furthermore, the muscle damage response (24 to 72 h), and losses in peak power (0 to 72 h), after lower-body resistance exercise are greater in trained middle-aged than young males. Consequently, future research should seek to corroborate these observations in upper-body exercise and determine the effectiveness of strategies (e.g. nutritional intake) to enhance recovery in middle-aged males.
    • Behavioural development in wild Western lowland gorillas (gorilla gorilla gorilla)

      Fletcher, Alison W.; Nowell, Angela A. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2005-02)
      Behavioural development has received little attention in primates, despite having important influences on infant mortality, interbirth intervals, and therefore, growth of populations. Gorillas have long developmental periods, exhibit strong maternal bonds and integrate into intricate social systems, making them an ideal species in which to investigate non-human primate development. Gorillas exist across a range of habitats, and differences in behaviour, both within and between species reflect socioecological differences, for example, in the availability and distribution of food. Consequently, by using gorillas as a model, opportunities also exist to investigate environmental constraints on the development of independence. This study provides the first detailed analysis, with reference to ecological factors, of the development of behavioural skills and relationships in wild western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla). Behavioural development of western lowland gorillas is then compared with published accounts of development in mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) to determine the extent to which differing ecology influences behaviour. The study was conducted at Mbeli Bai in the Republic of Congo, a large, marshy clearing, visited by gorillas predominantly for feeding purposes. Data were collected using scan, focal, all-occurrence and ad libitum sampling methods from 58 gorillas below 8 years of age. Spatial relationships, suckling, and the nature of interactions involving immature individuals were analysed. The distribution of time between different behaviours by immatures, and the development of independent feeding and travelling behaviour was also investigated, and all were tested for differences as a result of immature age, sex and social group, or the mother's parity. Towards the end of infancy, individuals showed competent feeding behaviour in the bai. However, western lowland gorillas were not weaned until the juvenile period, and until this time, close association was common between mothers and offspring. With increasing independence from the mother there was limited investment in relationships with other individuals, and instead, a greater emphasis was placed on developing skills through play, alloparenting and agonistic interactions. When results were compared with those of mountain gorillas, there was evidence of increased investment in relationships, particularly with the silverback, by immature mountain gorillas, which was assumed to reflect lower rates of natal dispersal by mountain gorillas, and the greater likelihood that relationships with individuals in the natal group could prove useful in the future. Suckling and close proximity to the mother continued until later ages in western lowland gorillas, resulting in clear differences between them mountain gorillas in the duration of investment by mothers. More frugivorous western lowland gorillas required increased levels of investment by the mother before independence could be achieved, demonstrating the effect that resource availability can have on behavioural development in species where resources are widely and unpredictably dispersed.
    • The classification and management of limestone pavements - an endangered habitat

      Burek, Cynthia V.; Alexander, Roy; Thom, Tim; Willis, Sue D. M. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2011-01)
      This thesis describes an in-depth study of limestone pavements across North West England and North Wales. The aim was to combine elements of geodiversity and biodiversity in order to create a holistic limestone pavement classification to inform future management. A field-based research protocol was used to assess a stratified random sample (46 pavements), accounting for approximately 10% of the limestone pavements in the geographical area. Detailed analyses of key elements are presented, along with important issues that continue to pose threats to this Annex One Priority Habitat. This research resulted in a comprehensive classification, using TWINSPAN analysis and Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling, identifying six distinct holistic functional groups. The prime factors driving limestone pavement morphology, and hence the classification, were established to be lithology, proximity to structural fault, altitude and human intervention, particularly in terms of grazing intensity. Three upland, open limestone pavement classes were formed. Of these, the richest in terms of geodiversity and biodiversity was the group with the thickest bedding planes and hence the deepest grikes, typically greater than 1m. The class that was most species-poor was "at the highest altitude (above 450m), formed on the thin limestones of the Yoredales. These were characterised by shallow, wide grikes. The third upland limestone pavement group had mid-range grikes, generally 0.5-1m in depth, and small clints. Two wooded classes were identified. One was a lowland 'classic' wooded limestone pavement group with deep, narrow grikes and shallow soils. Indicator species included Juniperus communis and Taxus baccata. The second wooded group was situated proximal to a major structural fault. In this group the pavement dip ranged between 10°-40° with well-runnelled clints that were heavily moss-covered. The sixth group was low altitude, proximal to the coast, characterised by low moss growth, un-vegetated clints and the presence of Ulex europaeus. Conservation management was identified as key to the quality of the limestone pavement habitat and this thesis identifies best management practises and links these to the holistic limestone pavement classification. Finally, as a sample case study, this thesis presents mollusc species and diversity from eleven of the Yorkshire limestone pavements. Analysis establishes significant links between geodiversity and mollusc populations, with key drivers for mollusc communities echoing those of plant species on limestone pavement.
    • Colonisation and development of salt mark in the Dee estuary, NW England: Integrating large-scale pattern and small-scale ecological process

      Marrs, Robert H.; Potter, Jacqueline; Huckle, Jonathan M. (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education), 2000-07)
      The Dee estuary, one of the most important British estuaries in terms of size and conservation value, has been subject to extensive colonisation and development of intertidal mudflats by salt marsh vegetation. In the last century, acceleration of this process has been attributed to the ability of Spartina anglica C.E. Hubbard to colonise bare sediment. The research in this thesis aims to investigate the ecological patterns and processes involved in the development of salt marsh vegetation. These have been examined using a large-scale approach involving remote sensing techniques and a small-scale approach to examine ecological processes at the level of the individual plant and species. Large-scale temporal patterns in the distribution were investigated by analysing a sequence of monochrome aerial photographs dating from 1955 to 1997. At the marsh apex, initial rapid colonisation was followed by a decreased rate of expansion and a reduction in the pioneer zone. This suggested a steepening of the marsh elevation gradient, which is interpreted as the marsh approaching its natural limit of expansion. The rate of salt marsh expansion was consistent across the time sequence for the second target area, a cross-section of the marsh gradient, but with S. a«g/zca-dominated colonisation of mudflats changing to colonisation by a pioneer community co-dominated by S. anglica and Salicornia europaea. Large-scale spatial distribution patterns were further investigated using multispectral remote sensing data from 1997. Radiometric data were used to define the spectral characteristics of the major types of salt marsh vegetation. Airborne Thematic Mapper data were used to classify the reflectance data from the whole marsh to determine the spatial distribution of plant communities based on their spectral characteristics. Mapping of these communities provided a baseline that will be a useful tool for future management of the salt marsh. An experimental approach was used to examine the role of abiotic and biotic factors on the growth and interactions between S. anglica and Puccinellia maritima (Huds.) Parl. In two series of competition experiments, P. maritima exerted a one¬way effect over S. anglica. The intensity of this interaction was increased in environmental conditions favourable to P. maritima, and was greater in terms of above-ground than below-ground biomass. In both experiments, S. anglica exhibited a disproportionate reduction in below-ground competitive interaction in abiotic conditions less favourable to P. maritima. A corresponding increase in rhizomes suggested that this is a potential mechanism by which S. anglica may evade competitive neighbours at low marsh elevations. An appreciation of the importance of scale has led to a multi-scaled and holistic view of the ecological process of salt marsh colonisation and development. Integration of both large and small-scale approaches has provided valuable information on the ecological patterns and processes, and has important implications for current and future management of salt marsh in the Dee estuary.
    • 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.
    • 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 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.
    • The development of a novel rugby league match simulation protocol

      Twist, Craig; Nicholas, Ceri; Lamb, Kevin L.; Sykes, Dave (University of Liverpool (University of Chester)University of Chester, 2011-12)
      The effectiveness of recovery interventions following prolonged multiple sprint team sports matches has rarely been studied despite the potential for exercise-induced muscle damage to adversely affect training in the days following games. The lack of research related to this topic is probably owing to the wide variability that exists in the movement demands of players between matches and the impact that this has on the subsequent rate and magnitude of recovery which makes it difficult to detect meaningful differences when conducting research with small sample sizes. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis was to develop a rugby league-specific match simulation protocol that replicates the movement demands, physiological responses and subsequent recovery from matches in order to study the effectiveness of recovery interventions. Hence, two time-motion analysis studies were conducted using a semi-automated image recognition system to inform the development of the rugby league match simulation protocol (RLMSP). Whilst mean total distance covered over the duration of the match was 8,503 m, ball in play and stoppage work-to-rest ratios were 1:6.9 and 1:87.4, respectively, for all players. Furthermore, a significant decline in high and very high intensity running locomotive rates were observed between the initial and final 20 min periods of the match. Thus a RLMSP was devised to replicate the overall movement demands, intra-match fatigue and recovery from a senior elite rugby league match. Not only was there a low level of variability in the movement demands during the RLMSP over consecutive trials, but with the exception of creatine kinase, the rate and magnitude of recovery following the RLMSP was similar to that that has been published following competitive matches. Therefore, the RLMSP devised in this thesis may be a more appropriate research tool for assessing the effectiveness of recovery interventions following match related exercise than following actual match play.
    • The development of an amateur boxing simulation protocol

      Thomson, Edward (University of Chester, 2015)
      There is a dearth of research attempting to quantify the external (physical) and internal (physiological) demands of amateur boxing performance. Therefore, the purpose of this programme of research was to investigate the external demands of amateur boxing performance, and subsequently, develop a sport-specific simulation protocol that could replicate these demands and the accompanying physiological responses while appraising the reliability and validity of the attempt.To achieve this it was necessary initially to identify key offensive and defensive performance indicators and assess the intra- and inter-observer reliability with which such actions could be quantified. Intra-observer reliability was deemed excellent with high agreement (>92%) for all actions identified. Inter-observer reliability was less impressive (>75%), though remained consistently high nevertheless. Subsequently, research utilising this template quantified the offensive and defensive external demands and effectiveness (i.e. frequency of actions deemed successful) according to the independent and interactive influences of contest outcome, weight class and ability using post-contest video analysis. Main effects, two- and three-way interactions were established when appraising the frequency of actions and their outcomes in relation to the independent variables. Whilst the ability of the boxers evidenced the most prominent impact, contest outcome and weight class remained important influences for most actions. Moreover, substantial (CV >30%) within-group variation was evidenced implicating the role of boxer ‘styles’ and strategies in modifying the demands. The offensive and defensive demands were then supplemented with Global Positioning System (GPS) analyses of the boxers’ sport-specific time-displacement movements. Having established the GPS’s reliability and validity for assessing the boxingmovements, it was observed that boxers typically moved a distance of 35.9 m·min-1 at an average speed of 0.6 m·s-1. Such data was amalgamated with the technical demands to produce a boxing-specific simulation protocol that was reflective of the average competitive demand and thus had the potential to be a boxing conditioning and fitness test (BOXFIT). Despite providing the most valid external demand to-date, owing to confounding influences and within-group dispersion, application of the typical external demand was shown to afford only an approximation of the actual demands in all boxers. As such an issue is characteristic of simulation protocols, the BOXFIT was still employed to evaluate the physiological response and appraise the associated reliability and validity. The internal demand was characterised by a high aerobic cardiopulmonary response (peak heart rate > 189 b·min-1; peak 𝑉̇O2 > 55 ml·kg-1·min-1) coupled with a marked indication of anaerobic energy provision (blood lactate = 4.6 ± 1.3 mmol·l-1). The reliability of the physiological responses elicited by BOXFIT performance was generally sufficient to enable the detection of moderate effects (i.e. 0.6 x pooled SD) and practically relevant changes in physiological and physical performance owing to training and nutritional interventions. However, the BOXFIT-induced responses underestimated selected markers of internal load (e.g. Mean heart rate ≈ -4.5%), questioning its validity. Thus, application of the average external demand typically approximated, rather than replicated, the actual physiology of boxing. With modifications, the validity of the external demands and internal response could be improved. The BOXFIT might therefore be used as part of a boxer’s conditioning, providing a sport-specific means of training and offers an ergonomic framework to assess the impact of systematic, intervention-based changes in boxing-specific exercise physiology.
    • 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.
    • The effect of bone matrix extract on bone cell activity

      Williams, John H. H.; Powell, Diane E. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2006-10)
      Bone remodelling is a complex process, which involves the coupling of bone formation to completed foci of bone resorption, the balance between these 2 processes determines if bone is lost or gained at a particular site. During bone resorption osteoclasts release growth factors sequestered in bone matrix, which are thought to initiate new bone formation. On the other hand, osteoblasts can regulate osteoclast activity through the expression of the counter-acting cytokines, RANKL and OPG. The aim of this project was to determine if factors released during bone resorption impact on the RANKL/OPG system or on osteoclasts directly to regulate bone remodelling. OPG secretion was characterized in a number of osteoblast-like cells and the osteosarcoma cell line MG-63 was chosen as a model for osteoblastic cell behaviour in vitro. EDTA bone extracts prepared from normal human cortical bone powder were used to treat MG-63 cells in vitro. The response to the extract was dependent on the purification procedure used. OPG production was inhibited by partially purified extracts prepared using hydrophobic interaction chromatography, C18 SPE. In comparison extracts prepared using size exclusion centrifugal filters stimulated OPG secretion in confluent MG-63 cells. Therefore bone matrix constituents were able to influence osteoclast activity directly and indirectly through the osteoblastic cells to produce the same response. The simplest mechanism for this co-ordinated response would be the presence of one factor in the extract that is able to influence both osteoblasts and osteoclasts. The identity of the factor responsible for the opposing effects seen in the bone matrix extracts is at the moment unknown. The work presented in this thesis clearly demonstrated that unknown growth factors present in bone matrix influence bone remodelling.
    • The effect of dietary components on non-haem iron absorption in healthy and iron-deficient women

      Mushtaq, Sohail; Ahmad Fuzi, Salma F. (University of Chester, 2017-02)
      Two clinical trials investigating the effect of modulating two dietary components, tea containing polyphenols and vitamin D aimed at improving non-haem iron absorption and iron status recovery, were carried out in a cohort of healthy and iron deficient UK women, respectively. Tea has been shown to be a potent inhibitor of non-haem iron absorption but it remains unclear whether the timing of tea consumption relative to a meal influences iron bioavailability, with limited published evidence, especially in human trials. The aim of the first study was to investigate the effect of tea consumption on non-haem iron absorption and to assess the effect of time interval of tea consumption on non-haem iron absorption relative to an iron-containing meal, in a cohort of healthy female participants using a stable iron isotope (57Fe).
    • 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.
    • The effects of targeted therapy on cell viability and apoptosis on CML and AML cell lines

      Williams, John; Ireland, Elyse; Marsico, Paolo (University of Chester, 2019-01-15)
      Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are currently the first therapy option for chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) patients. However, many patients affected by CML and AML may develop resistance to TKIs or may not recover under this treatment regime. New potential and more effective treatments are recently emerging. Heat shock protein inhibitors (HSPIs) and the proteasome inhibitor Bortezomib are drugs which have been yet to be successfully tested on leukemic patients, despite being successful on other malignancies such as multiple myeloma (MM). The combination between HSPIs and Bortezomib could potentially be successful in killing leukemic cells, by enhancing their respective molecular mechanisms. Indeed, HSPIs would bind to HSP72 avoiding the protein to exert its ligase function to the proteasome, whilst Bortezomib could stop the ubiquitinated proteins to enter the proteasome and ultimately inducing apoptosis. To test the effects of such combination, cell viability was measured via MTS assay, apoptosis levels were tested through Annexin V\PI assays. Involvement of HSP72 and pro-survival protein Bcl-2 were measured via flow-cytometry. The cells were administered with HSPIs and Bortezomib first as single agents for 24 hours, to establish working minimal concentration. Also, the drugs were tested for a shorter time, to understand when the drugs start to be effective. It emerged that one hour is sufficient for the drugs to give an initial effect in terms of cell viability and apoptosis. Following, combination experiments of HSPIs and Bortezomib were performed; the first drug was administered for one hour, the second following one hour and the cells were incubated for 24 hours. This was repeated alternatively for both type of drugs on the different cell lines. MTS and Annexin V\PI showed that there is not a synergistic effect between drugs, but instead there is antagonism. No necrosis was found at any level of the study. The cells were then probed for HSP72 and Bcl-2, to investigate their involvement in apoptosis mechanisms. Following 6 hours of combined and single agent treatment, both type of drugs inhibit HSP72 but failed to reduce the expression of Bcl-2, particularly on AML cells. It is thus proposed that CML and AML cells may die by apoptosis following a short time of treatment with HSPIs and Bortezomib by an extrinsic pathway of apoptosis, independent from Bcl-2 involvement and from mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis. This study may be the first to indicate a potential use of HSPIs and Bortezomib on CML and AML patients for a short time of treatment, although not in combination. Future studies are needed to further investigate the mechanisms of action of these drugs, aiming to potentially give CML and AML patients another successful therapy option to overcome resistance to canonic chemotherapy.
    • Exploring hygiene compliance in the small independent restaurant sector in Abu Dhabi

      Fallows, Stephen; Bonwick, Graham A.; Idriss, Johaina (University of Chester, 2017-10)
      Introduction: Food safety is widely recognised as one of the problems in the fight for improving public health. Many governments are trying to improve public health through reducing foodborne illnesses and setting the climate for implementing HACCP-based food safety management systems (FSMS). Following the global trend, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) launched the HACCP for Catering Project (2010 – 2014), which aimed at helping foodservice businesses, licensed in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, in implementing HACCP-based FSMS. Purpose: The project team recognised the limited resources and the diversity in education levels, ethnic backgrounds, and number of languages spoken among managers/supervisors and food handlers, as points of concern in the small independent restaurant (SIR) subsector. Thus, the Salamt Zadna (SZ) initiative, a simplified FSMS, was developed to train SIRs on implementing a set of safe operating procedures to improve compliance with food safety laws and regulations. Previous studies in the GCC region have mainly focused on governments’ attempts to enhance public health by developing laws, regulations, and policies, and recounting the barriers to implementing food safety controls. Methodology: This thesis took a different approach to food safety issues in the GCC region. It is comprised of two studies, which were conducted in two groups of SIRs – seven SZ participants and five non-participants – licensed in Al Ain, a major city in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The first explored awareness and understanding of food safety, related laws, regulations, and policies, and attitudes towards ADFCA services and inspectors, among managers/supervisors, by interviewing them. The second examined the efficacy of SZ in improving food handlers’ food-safety behaviours by observing their conduct, and comparing between the two SIR groups. Results: The study indicated low levels of awareness and understanding of food safety, related laws, regulations, and policies, in both groups of managers/supervisors; regardless of whether or not they were SZ Cparticipants. Both groups of interviewees expressed both negative and positive attitudes towards ADFCA’s services and inspectors; sometimes by the same interviewees, within the same, or between the two groups. However, SZ participating SIRs were slightly more positive than their counterparts. Key results highlighted the low impact of SZ on changing food handlers’ behaviours, except in two areas; namely, the food handlers working in SZ-participating SIRs scored higher than the other group in handwashing and changing gloves between handling raw meats and other foods. Implications: This research adds a new dimension to the food safety profile of the UAE, since it is the first of its kind in the UAE and the region as a whole. Its originality opens the door for other researchers to increase the volume of research in this field, which would help in understanding and tackling the barriers to improving the food safety status in the country, as well as the region.
    • Exploring the London 2012 Olympic legacy experiences of a non-host city: a policy based case study of those delivering sport in Birmingham before and after the Games

      Bloyce, Daniel; Lovett, Emily L. (University of Chester, 2016-11)
      In bidding to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the London bid committee promised a range of ambitious legacies. Planning for legacy pre-Games was a relatively new aspect of event planning (Leopkey & Parent, 2009). For the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), the sporting legacy from London 2012 was intended to be experienced across Britain. As such, a significant impact was expected on the sporting lives of people in non-host areas. To this extent it seems entirely appropriate, therefore, to examine the attempts to establish a ‘legacy’ in a city outside of London. Birmingham, one of the most populated cities in the UK, is therefore the focus of this study. The aim of this project was to investigate the legacy experiences of those delivering sport in Birmingham prior to, and soon after, the Games. This research was conducted from a figurational approach. A case study design was used to provide a detailed insight into a complex network of people and their perceptions that influence sport policy and development. The methods employed within this case study include documentary analysis of national policy documents and semi-structured interviews with key personnel in Birmingham. Interviews were conducted in the months prior to the Games and follow-up telephone interviews several months after the Games.
    • Extra-curricular education for sustainable development interventions in higher education

      Degg, Martin; Burek, Cynthia V.; Ribchester, Chris; Potter, Jacqueline; Lipscombe, Bryan P. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2009-12)
      Universities are seen to have a central role in the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), partly through their teaching and research activities. However, the critique of Higher Education's (HE) contribution to sustainable development thus far points to the limitations of a discipline driven, curriculum content and solely student focused response. Within this context, extra-curricular interventions, for example, running awareness campaigns, creating groups and organising events, appear to have potential to advance ESD in HE. However, there has been little investigation or published work in this area. Ideas of non formal and informal education; constructivist theories of learning; concepts of free choice, tacit and social learning, and the notions of whole systems thinking and sustainable education all point to roles for interventions in the extra-curricular sphere. This thesis explores the use of extra-curricular interventions in HE through an empirical investigation in the UK. A 2006 postal survey of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) records the extent and type of interventions in use and opinions about their utility. A case study, developed through action research, reports the use and impact of extra-curricular ESD-related interventions at one HEI over an academic year (2006-07). In this case study, regular contact with a group of staff and students over the year is used to map changes in their thoughts and actions relating to sustainable development, and to record the influences attributed to these changes. Importantly, extra-curricular ESD-related interventions are found to be commonly used in UK HE, and to have a prominent position in ESD work despite their limited visibility in the literature. Their utility is confirmed as they are seen to provide experiences that contribute to student and staff learning, as well as institutional change. The evidence collected supports their roles as: disciplinary bridge', community bridge; socialisation scaffold, and social learning arena. They appear to have a useful developmental role in mobilising and motivating members of the campus community. As peripheral activities, however, extra-curricular interventions may be prone to erratic implementation through being under-resourced. They can extend participation in BSD although will not reach everyone. They are best viewed as a complementary part of BSD and linked to a process of curricular and pedagogic renewal. In addition to confirming the extent, utility and limitations of extra-curricular ESD practice, the research contributes a model to map understandings of sustainable development. This model points to a core environmental understanding to which extra layers and strands of thinking can be added. It also confirms the importance of non formal and informal influences in shaping people's conceptions of sustainable development.
    • Factors affecting the quality of Acacia senegal gums

      Al-Assaf, Saphwan; Hamouda, Yasir (University of Chester, 2017-04)
      Gum arabic is a natural gummy exudate from acacia trees and exhibits natural built-in variations commonly associated with hydrocolloids. This study is concerned with the determination of factors which could influence its properties and functionality. These factors include origin (location, soil type, rainfall), different collections, age of the trees and storage condition. Previous studies acknowledged the influence of some of these factors but somehow lack providing definitive answers to questions being asked by the end user and required for the development of Gum arabic industry in Sudan. Local knowledge as well as the various stages of gum collection and processing were reviewed in order to provide a clear background and the justification for the experimental design. In this study samples were collected from six plantations located in the west and east regions in Sudan. Samples were collected from trees of different age (5, 10, 15 and 20 years old) and also from different picking interval (1-4). Each sample was divided into three portions (UK, Khartoum and Port Sudan) and stored for 5 years in order to determine the effect of the respective location. Various analytical parameters (% loss on drying, Optical rotation, % protein, intrinsic viscosity, molecular weight and molecular weight distribution) were measured to fully characterise the gum samples and to determine their functionality (emulsification). The results obtained for all samples were consistent with those previously reported in the literature (see Chapter 4). The only exception, identified in a number of samples from the western region, is the high proportion (~30%) of high molecular weight fraction termed arabinogalactan-protein complex (AGP). The results clearly demonstrated significant variations between plantations located in western region compared with the eastern region. However, the variations between the plantations within the same region are statistically not significant. High values of % protein, viscosity, Mw and % AGP were obtained from the 1st pick, from both regions, and then significantly decreased thereafter to the fourth pick. Samples from west region in Sudan, from 1st and 2nd pick and from tree age (15) years gave the highest viscosity, molecular weight, % AGP and superior emulsification performance compared to other samples from different tree ages. The regression statistical analysis for the physiochemical properties correlation with emulsification performance demonstrated the role of % AGP to be the most influential factor followed by viscosity. The major finding of this study is the effect of storage condition on the properties and functionality of Acacia senegal. An increase in the molecular weight for all stored samples (for 5 years) irrespective of region was evident and statically significant. However, this increase was more prominent for samples from the western region compared to the eastern region. The AGP fraction was increased by the storage treatment up to 40% in Port-Sudan, 20% in Khartoum-Sudan and 15% in UK. The result clearly demonstrated that the temperature and humidity are the crucial factors to induce the natural maturation process in acacia gums. Statistical analysis (linear regression) suggested statistically significant models and equations to predict and explain the variations in the physiochemical and functional properties based on the environmental factors, picking set and age of the tree.