Public attitudes towards self-harm are critically important, yet relatively unexplored. They can moderate or further exacerbate social and emotional difficulties that instigated initial self-harming episodes and considerably influence help-seeking behaviour. Participants from the general public (N = 109) answered a repeated measures self-report questionnaire that assessed desired social distance and perceived dangerousness towards individuals depicted in eight hypothetical vignettes, which varied between gender (male, female), presence of self-harm (no, yes) and self-harm intent (without suicidal intent, suicidal intent, ambivalent intent). Regarding desired social distance, evidence was identified to suggest that people who engage in self-harm without suicidal intent are perceived more negatively than individuals who do not have a history of self-harm (p < .001, d = 1.55). Numerous factors were identified to further adversely affect desired social distance from individuals who engage in self-harming behaviour. Males tended to have more negative attitudes towards people who self-harmed (p = .015, d = .48) and both genders displayed more negative attitudes towards male self-harmers (p < .001, d = .55). Both males (p = .004, d = .57) and females (p < .001, d = 1.31) who indicated suicidal intent received more negative responses than those who self-harmed without suicidal intent. Overall, perceptions of dangerousness were positively correlated with desired social distance (r = .36, p = < .001), however, gender and intent-specific attitudes contributed conflicting evidence to this relationship. These findings provide foundations for research into public attitudes towards individuals who self-harm, which could potentially inform public awareness campaigns.
Alford, Simon (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education), 2004-03)
Nutritional knowledge, sports nutrition and dietary habits were investigated using a questionnaire completed by 21 professional and 24 semi-professional football players, aged 18 to over 35 years. A number of misconceptions were discovered. Areas where improvements in understanding are required include: fluids and how dehydration can affect performance and be avoided; protein sources, the required intake and how it plays a role in the diet; and use of nutritional supplements, including creatine, and how they \ play a role within the diet and can affect performance. Such misconceptions were in line with previous findings in the literature. Areas of good understanding were found to include fats, pre-match meals, weight control and carbohydrates. Correlations were evident between nutritional scores and age (r = 0.36, p < 0.05) and highest levels of education (r = 0.36, p < 0.05). Those players sourcing information from magazines were also found to score significantly (r = 0.30, p <0.05) higher. Once again, such correlations were similar to previous athletic groups studied by others. No correlation was found between total scores and the levels of playing, the time players last received nutritional training or any other sources of nutritional information. Between playing levels, players were found to have no significant (p > 0.05) difference with regards to habits of eating and drinking before matches and training. Both professional and semi-professional players consumed similar levels of fluid, including sports drinks. Meals were also eaten at the same time between professional and semi-professional players, in line with recommended practice, to maximise performance. The knowledge of the semi-professional players compared similarly to that of the professional players, with no significant (p > 0.05) difference found in total score regarding questions on nutritional knowledge.
Smith, Geoffrey T. (University of Chester, 2006-08)
Purpose. This study sought to determine the effects of a supervised cardiac rehabilitation exercise programme on left ventricular function in patients with ischaemic heart disease and any degree of left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Subjects. At the time of this interim report twelve male subjects (median age 59 years, interquartile range 56 – 67.75) and five female subjects (median age 70 years, interquartile range 55 - 72) have been recruited to the study. Eight patients are in the exercise group and nine in the control group. Eventually twenty patients will be required in each group for statistical significance. Methods. This is a repeated measures design. Echocardiographic measurements of left ventricular function were taken at the time of recruitment and repeated after a 6 week programme of exercise. Control group measurements were repeated after a similar period of usual care without exercise. Results. Both groups show an improvement in ejection fraction on repeated measurement but only the exercise group reaches statistical significance (median EF pre 43.0%, median EF post 58.6%, p=0.025). Neither group shows any significant difference in measures of diastolic function. Conclusion. An exercise based cardiac rehabilitation programme has a positive effect on left ventricular ejection fraction in patients with ischaemic heart disease and any degree of left ventricular systolic dysfunction. There is no effect on diastolic function. It remains to be seen if these findings are maintained at the end of recruitment.
This dissertation argues that the contemporary Western mindfulness movement has taken two forms: 'mindful individualism' and 'communitarian engaged Buddhisms.' Mindful individualism adopts a personal, individual and 'self-help' view of mindfulness, and is largely commodified, secularised and disconnected from the Buddhist roots of mindfulness in order to further other agendas. Communitarian engaged Buddhisms maintains many connections to the history and teachings of Buddhism and tends to use mindfulness in conjunction with other Buddhist concepts, such as interconnectedness, with an overall emphasis on compassionate action and social justice. I provide a comparative analysis of mindful individualism and community-focused engaged Buddhism, while demonstrating that Thich Nhat Hanh, a significant figure in the contemporary mindfulness movement, is depicted as a paradoxical figure within the movement. While he maintains his reputation as the archetypal engaged Buddhist, peace activist and global spiritual leader, Hanh's bestselling books teach the benefits of mindfulness in a range of contexts, and have been especially popular among a secular Anglo-American audience. Hanh has therefore also been viewed as the archetypal 'packager' of mindfulness, which in contrast to the community-focused nature of engaged Buddhism, has been criticised as being individualistic, secularised, and disconnected from its Buddhist roots, since flourishing in Euro-America. This dissertation explores the ways in which mindfulness has been applied to a variety of secular contexts, including mindfulness as a therapeutic technique, corporate mindfulness, mindful eating and more. I use these examples to demonstrate that contemporary mindfulness has become largely individualistic, secular and focused on personal happiness, whilst in contrast, those involved in engaged Buddhism remain focused on the aspect of community and reducing the suffering of those around them. I argue that Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings function within both sides of this dichotomy, promoting a mindfulness which 'begins with the individual' and is accessible for a non-Buddhist readership, while actively engaging with and encouraging his concept of engaged Buddhism. This dissertation uses Hanh as a lens to explore and analyse the theoretical 'paradox' problem in Western Buddhism.
Women with previous history of gestational diabetes (GD) remain at high risk of developing diabetes which can be delayed or avoided by adopting a healthy life style. Low risk perception has been recognised as a barrier to the adoption of positive health behaviour. The current qualitative study aimed to explore the risk perception and awareness of follow up screenings and life style changes amongst the women with a previous history of gestational diabetes, living in the Merseyside area. Seven women were recruited and qualitative data was collected using face to face interviews with the help of a semi-structured interview schedule which was voice-recorded and transcribed for thematic analysis. Eight major themes emerged as the result of data analysis. Five themes provided direct answers to the research questions while the others provided additional relevant information. The findings showed a low risk perception of developing diabetes in the future. Patients who knew about the risk believed that their risk of developing type 2 diabetes was no different from that of women with no history of GD. The study highlighted a significant contrast in antenatal and postnatal health behaviour. Women were consulted regarding the immediate effects of gestational diabetes on pregnancy and foetal health and as a result, patients followed the expected health behaviours. Whereas, GD was perceived as a temporary condition and participants were not fully convinced about the future health risk of developing diabetes. Participation in postpartum screening was high. However, participants were unaware of annual screening requirements as recommended by NICE guidelines and they were not offered any post delivery health intervention or counselling. This study warrants a need for developing a long term intervention programme which should include an early intervention to prevent initial shock and anxiety during pregnancy, and a long term follow up incorporating life style advice and a reminder for annual screening.
This research explores the value of integrating all emotions for well-being, including those that can have negative connotations in today’s world. Contemporary Western culture, possibly influenced by the positive psychology movement, has placed emphasis on the pursuit of happiness. Emotions that may be classified as negative can be rejected, distorted or denied as they may be viewed as undesirable or harmful. This study has the potential to contribute to the understanding of the vital functions that emotions with negative connotations can serve. The basic emotions of anger and sadness are highlighted for closer examination. The study is literature-based using thematic analysis as the qualitative research method. The key findings indicate support for emotions with negative connotations such as anger and sadness making a constructive contribution to the maintenance of healthy, close interpersonal relationships. Influences on how emotions are experienced and expressed are diverse and can include the following: biological, historical, cultural, social and gender role stereotypes. Assertively expressing emotions can be beneficial whereas chronic suppression may be detrimental to health and well-being. The ability to choose flexibly between both expression and suppression of emotions is the most valuable approach, depending on the context, relationship and the individual. The main conclusion drawn from the study is that the experience and expression of emotions that can have negative connotations can contribute to our health and well-being, when used intelligently. This dissertation recommends promoting the potential value of emotions that can have negative connotations through emotional intelligence competencies, emotion regulation and therapy.
This study considers the research question “The suitability of the business model currently used in the family business, Hedge Farm, for the transition of the business between generations.” The research aims are: a) To understand contemporary literature on family business models. b) To understand contemporary literature on succession in family businesses. c) To identify the business model used by family business Hedge Farm including the position of the business with respect to the succession process. d) To evaluate the business model of family business Hedge Farm for the transition of businesses between generations. e) To draw conclusions and make recommendations on the business model for the transition the business between generations. This will be based on analysis of the current observed business model, and the theory, based on the findings of aims a, b, c and d. This case study research is predominantly interpretive in its philosophy. Both deductive and inductive techniques were used during the research. After a literature review was completed a conceptual model and set of interview questions were developed. The semi structured interviews were conducted with all members of the case study to gain a rich insight into the organisation. The data collected was analysed inductively and grouped into a number of categories. The findings from the research suggest that a number of aspects relating to the business model at Hedge Farm will need to change as part of the succession process and it is likely that this will occur through a staged process. It was concluded that the incumbent’s reluctance to let go of the business, poor communication between business members and lack of planning for succession were factors resisting succession. Despite these there was shared agreement who will be the successor and some limited evidence that changes were beginning to occur.
This systematic review of scientific literature was undertaken to investigate the possibility of a role for diet in the alleviation of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms, with an objective of highlighting specific nutrients and/or certain food groups and diets that may impact upon the symptoms of RA. Studies displaying conflicting evidence (i.e. show diets that have no effect on RA symptom alleviation) were also reviewed. A comprehensive literature search to identify relevant papers was carried out with the use of criteria, in an attempt to identify as many studies as possible, but also to minimise selection bias for those that were found. Electronic databases, library catalogues and internet search engines played key parts in paper identification. A total of 31 papers were identified after meeting selection criteria and summaries and critical appraisals were compiled for comparison. Some studies show that fish oil supplementation displayed the greatest benefits through a reduction in the number of tender joints and morning stiffness. One paper offers a dosage figure for improvement in clinical symptoms as 40mg/kg body weight/day of oil containing n-3 fatty acids (FAs) combined with <10g/day of dietary (n-6) FAs. Periods of fasting with a vegetarian diet promotes a reduction in RA symptoms. Several studies identify Gammalinolenic Acid as capable of decreasing pro-inflammatory products of Arachidonic Acid. Similarly, elemental diets and foods devoid of allergens may benefit RA activity parameters, however improvements in RA symptoms seen in response to elemental diets are not sustained on individualised diets. Many researchers recognised the influence of a Mediterranean diet, rich in anti-oxidant containing vegetables, n-3 FAs and a lower ratio of n-6 to n-3 FAs as sources of inflammation reduction. Vitamin E treatment was shown to provide a small analgesic property compared to placebo, the mechanism of which and identification of additional vitamins and food sources with such potential require further study. Further work is required on establishing most beneficial supplement dosage, duration and length of treatment interval. Knowledge of correlations of food allergies in RA sufferers to immune responses compared to food antigens in the fluid of blood and joints would be useful.
Hunt, Andrew N. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2007-07-11)
The central claim of the thesis is that the thought of the German existentialist Karl Jaspers (1883-1969) articulates a significant approach to the epistemological problems posed by the question of Transcendence. It is arguably a philosophy of special relevance to the ongoing and often competing discourse about existence adumbrated in the 'science and religion' debate. The thesis sets out the key themes of Jaspers that are relevant to the special issues that surround the problem of Transcendence, before critically presenting two contrasting and variant solutions to the philosophical difficulties it poses. An elaboration of Jaspers' cipher theory of Transcendence is believed to be an improvement upon these methodological approaches, is critically outlined as a strategy, and further evaluated against another competing epistemology, that of inference based explanation. The thesis argues that with appropriate qualifications Jaspers provides a compelling account of the human engagement of Transcendence through their otherwise ordinary activity.
BACKGROUND A history of gestational diabetes significantly increases the risk of progression to type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Lifestyle intervention is an effective technique for delaying or preventing the onset of T2DM in this population and represents a unique opportunity for the primary prevention of type 2 diabetes. Following gestational diabetes, women face significant barriers to engaging in education and achieving health behaviour change. A multimedia patient education programme could overcome the barriers and be an effective method of reaching this population. OBJECTIVE The aim of the programme was to support women with a recent history of gestational diabetes to make lifestyle changes with the view to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in the future. This stage of the project aimed to evaluate the relevance, usability, content and appearance of the programme and also to identify any issues with the programme prior to proceeding to clinical trial. METHODS The multimedia education programme was developed using a five stage system development method: identification of user requirements, system design, system development, system evaluation and system application. Experts and patient representatives assessed the relevance, usability, content and appearance through a formative evaluation. RESULTS The multimedia education programme ‘Keeping Healthy after Gestational Diabetes’ contained seven modules: introduction, health, diet, lifestyle, baby health, living post GDM and warning signs. The formative evaluation by 22 experts and 20 patient representatives has provided valuable direction for the on-going development of the programme and suggest that the programme is relevant, easy to use, interesting and visually appealing. CONCLUSION Findings suggest that users found the programme relevant, easy to use, interesting and visually appealing; suggesting that this may be a feasible and acceptable mode of education.
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