• Can physiotherapy breathing exercises improve lung function and quality of life in patients with heart failure?

      Fallows, Stephen; Collins, Susan K. (University College ChesterLeighton Hospital, 2005-11-16)
      The purpose of the study was to determine whether it is possible to increase lung function and quality of life in patients with diagnosed heart failure, by teaching the active cycle of breathing technique (ACBT), traditionally used by physiotherapists for patients with respiratory conditions. Eleven participants were recruited, seven males and four females with an average age of 74 years for the repeated measures study. Participants were taught and performed the ACBT three times a day for eight weeks. Lung function and quality of life was assessed pre and post intervention using a vitalograph, for five variables of lung function and the short form 36 (SF36) questionnaire for physical and mental scores respectively. The data generated was statistically analysed using a paired t-test for lung function and Wilcoxon test for SF36. The results for lung function and physical SF36 were statistically significant, therefore proving the hypothesis that ACBT can affect lung volume and quality of life in heart failure patients. Although, not statistically significant there was a percentage increase in the mental SF36 scores. The conclusions drawn demonstrate the benefits of using ACBT in this group of patients and the positive implications this could have in the management of the symptoms of heart failure and indicates a service development need for physiotherapy input, using ACBT, in this group of patients, in conjunction with traditional pharmacological modalities.
    • Downsizing and the impact on employee job satisfaction: An analysis of employee job satisfaction with regard to organisational downsizing and merger, between two major BT business departments - BT Retail and BT Wholesale Markets

      Page, Steve; Brenton, Cullum (University College Chester, 2005-06)
      This dissertational report represents analytical findings and conclusions following a six month investigation into the issue of downsizing and its impact on employee job satisfaction. Through qualitative, case-study research, the aim was to explore not only the impact on job satisfaction downsizing had on employees, but also to identify existing literature, in order to understand and establish the subjects being studied. The data is drawn from two stages of case study research. Stage one involved a literature review of downsizing and employee job satisfaction. This was necessary, in order to build a theoretical background, allowing the author to discuss the findings with the primary research resulting from the survey. Stage two consisted of the primary research tool relating to a distributed questionnaire to one hundred and eight two (182) employees from British Telecom's retail division, identified as the most affected staff group of the BT downsizing strategy. The main results from this study are presented through tables and pictorial diagrams and are aligned to the existing literature in order to present any similarities with the existing literature or is there new evidence stating opposites the existing literature. The aims of the investigation are to analyse post downsizing, job satisfaction scores using a job satisfaction survey (JSS).
    • Exploring the potential of a writing group to encourage academic staff and postgraduate students to publish

      Mason-Whitehead, Elizabeth; Keen, Adam (University College ChesterUniversity of Liverpool (University College Chester), 2005-11)
      The aim of this research dissertation is to explore the potential of a writing group to encourage post graduate students and academic members of staff to publish. Writing for publication is identified as a desirable, if not essential, element of personal and organisational development. A triangulated survey is presented based on the interpretivist research paradigm. The methods used included a self administered questionnaire which provided quantitative and qualitative data. The design of this instrument was informed by the use of focus groups. In addition, five semi-structured interviews were conducted. Analysis for the quantitative element of the study was based on the provision of descriptive statistics and non-parametric comparisons. Microanalysis and axial coding as described by Strauss & Corbin (1998) were applied to qualitative data sources, in order to identify data categories and their associated properties. Triangulation was based on the notion of data completeness as opposed to data confirmation. The results of the study show that writing groups have a significant potential to encourage those interested in writing for publication. However, the concepts of motivation and time have a major impact on those expressing an interest in becoming involved in writing for publication. It is therefore concluded that writing groups do not represent a panacea, but rather should be implemented as one of many support strategies used.
    • Liverpool City Council's performance management framework: An evaluation of its impact on customer-focused results

      Heath, Jan (University College Chester, 2004-08)
      Following the emergence of New Public Management, and the increased focus on performance management by the current UK government through initiatives such as the Local Government Modernisation Agenda, Best Value and Comprehensive Performance Assessment, local authorities have come under increasing pressure to improve their performance management systems. Within this context Liverpool City Council, with a history of poorly performing services and the highest Council Tax in the country, introduced its Comprehensive Performance Management Framework in 2000 to deliver performance improvement and embed a performance culture across the organisation. Since then, the Council has transformed services and overturned its image as a failing authority. This study evaluates the impact of the Council's Corporate Performance Management Framework on customer-focused results through analysis of quantitative and qualitative data and considers the potential negative consequences of performance management systems within the UK public sector with reference to other research. The research also identifies the role of control and accountability within public sector performance management regimes and considers whether it is possible to implement performance management systems based on private sector practices that are able to fulfil a dual role of both accountability and performance improvement.
    • P.E. teachers : Their knowledge and opinions related to exercise management of pupils with diabetes

      Fallows, Stephen; Clarke, David N. (University College ChesterFaculty of Education, St Martin's College, 2004-10)
      This study investigated Physical Education (PE) teachers' experiences, knowledge and attitudes towards exercise management of pupils with Type I diabetes. It was hypothesised that because of the specialist nature of Type I diabetes, PE teachers with experience of, or education in the condition, would score higher in a knowledge test then those without; additionally, PE teachers in this country would exhibit a similar lack of knowledge and understanding of Type I diabetes as their contemporaries in the USA. A cross-sectional postal questionnaire was issued to 100 PE teachers from partnership schools of St. Martin's College. 34 respondents, (19 male and 15 female, mean age 38 years, standard deviation (SD) = 9.5 years, mean years teaching experience 13.4 years, SD = 10.7 years) completed open questions assessing opinions and closed multiple-choice knowledge questions. Mann-Whitney U tests demonstrated no significant differences in the knowledge test scores for those with personal experience of, or previous education in Type I diabetes compared to those without prior experience (Z = -0.935, p = 0.35 or p > 0.05). Similarly, no significant differences in the overall group mean scores for the UK teachers compared to their USA peers were detected (Z = -1.061, p = 0.289 or p > 0.05). Overall, knowledge scores were low with the UK teachers' group mean score 15.3 % correct. This study has established a need for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Institutions to include a knowledge and understanding of diabetes and exercise management as part of a student's training.
    • A pilot study of the possible effects of early morning fasting on blood glucose levels and cognitive preformance, which may impact on work safety

      Thornton, Ev; Barnes, Michael (University College Chester, 2005)
      Objectives: Previous investigations have demonstrated that blood glucose might play a role in the action of some aspects of cognitive performance in adults of various age ranges. Generally these studies have used a procedure where participants were tested after administration of a glucose drink. The aims of the study, was to investigate the glucose cognitive facilitation affects under more natural conditions of breakfast consumption or early morning fasting. Method: 20 participants with a mean age of 50.4 years (± 4.22) were studied. Measures of auditory verbal learning, executive function, visual attention and motor speed were compared following overnight fasting and after breakfast consumption with presumed elevation of glyceamic conditions Results: There was a significant difference under the two conditions (overnight fasting vs., breakfast consumption) on time taken to complete the motor speed test (p< 0.0005). There was also a significant condition effect on the amount of words recalled immediately on the auditory verbal learning test (p< 0.005) and the time taken to complete a simple executive function test (p< 0.0005). There was no significant effect on delayed word call on the auditory verbal learning test, attention test or the more complex executive function test. Changes in cognitive performance were significantly correlated with levels of blood glucose. Conclusion: The results of the study support the hypothesis that during neuropsychological testing, capacities of cognitive performance were inversely affected by early morning fasting and may have an impact on work place safety.
    • Web-based information systems: An assessment of impact

      Page, Steve; Holman, Dennis (University College ChesterUniversity College Chester, 2003-05)
      Chester College developed its first formal Information Strategy in 1999, within which was the major commitment to develop an integrated web-based information system to replace the majority of unintegrated and/or paper-based systems used across the institution. The system, ‘IBIS’ (Internet-Based Information System), was seen as a major driver for instigating change and had a broad range of objectives beyond the purely functional ones, including the changing of work practices and a realignment of attitudes and culture. In 2001 College committees received a summary of functional changes resulting from IBIS. However, a number of authors suggest that to gain a real understanding of the impact which an information system has achieved within its organisation it is necessary to take into account a whole range of issues, attitudes, and perceptions at both individual and workgroup level. To date no such appraisal has been undertaken within Chester College, though the available literature suggests that the College is anything but unique in this as few firms successfully undertake the exercise in practice. This present research study was therefore undertaken in order to assess the impact that IBIS had achieved during its first four years of development and implementation. A questionnaire, the design of which was informed by a literature survey and exploratory interviews with three staff, was issued to 55 current academic staff members who had been employed full-time by the institution prior to the introduction of IBIS. The 50 responses were analysed in tabular form for perceived impacts upon individuals, workgroups and the institution as a whole. The conclusion reached was that, overall, IBIS has achieved a positive impact within the College and the potential benefits identified within the 1999 strategy were being achieved. However, a number of issues were identified from the analysis which were leading to the potential impact being lessened for certain individuals and workgroups, resulting in some loss of organisational efficiency and effectiveness. Recommendations are proposed to address these issues.