ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0122.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: oral health; quality of life; postmenopausal women
Online: 13 August 2016 (03:14:09 CEST)
Interrelationships between traditional dental variables are becoming more evident in far reaching aspects of life such as psychosocial interaction, self-esteem, overall health and even occupational performance. This study compares quality of life (QoL) in postmenopausal women (PMW) with poor oral health (POH) with QoL in PMW with good oral health. 200 randomly recruited PMW received a dental evaluation and completed Utian Quality of Life Survey. The participants were divided into POH and healthy groups based on dental exam. Mean scores were calculated for each QoL item, domain and the overall summary score. For each of the four parameters for periodontitis diagnosis, periodontitis patients’ QoL outcomes were compared to those of healthy patients using T-test with threshold of significance at p<0.05. QoL in all fields measured were significantly poorer in the POH compared to the healthy patients, occupational (19.95±5.35vs. 27.56±6.13), health (18.02±8.23 vs. 26.59 ±6.45), emotional (15.68±10.22vs. 21.15±9.15), sexual (6.2±5.98vs. 10.02±5.35), and total score (60.21±25.85 vs. 84.26±22.35). This study finds that PMW with POH, report significantly poorer quality of life. Clinicians caring for PMW should be aware of that oral health impacts QoL and make appropriate referral decisions for patients’ dental care. Keywords: Quality of Life, Oral Health, Post-menopause, Women
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201612.0038.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Rosa rugosa; UPLC-DAD; quality control; fingerprint
Online: 7 December 2016 (11:11:00 CET)
A method based on ultra performance liquid chromatography with diode array detector (UPLC-DAD) was developed for quantitative analysis of five active compounds and chemical fingerprint analysis of Rosa rugosa. Ten batches of Rosa rugosa collected from different plantations in the Xinjiang region of China were used to establish the fingerprint. The feasibility and advantages of the used UPLC fingerprint were verified for its similarity evaluation by systematically comparing chromatograms with professional analytical software recommended by State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) of China. In quantitative analysis, the five compounds showed good regression (R2=0.999 5) within the test ranges and the recovery of the method was in the range of 94.2–103.8%. The similarities of the fingerprints of 10 batches of the samples were more than 0.981. The developed UPLC fingerprint method is simple, reliable and validated for the quality control and identification of Rosa rugosa. Additionally, simultaneous quantification of five major bioactive ingredients in the Rosa rugosa samples was conducted to interpret the consistency of the quality test. The results indicated that the UPLC fingerprint as a characteristic distinguishing method combining similarity evaluation and quantification analysis, can be successfully used to assess the quality and to identify the authenticity of Rosa rugosa.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0174.v1
Online: 18 August 2016 (10:36:09 CEST)
The ambient air quality data for particulate matter as well as criteria of gaseous pollutants were assembled during December 2013 to December 2015 from the Continuous Air Quality Monitoring Station (CAMS) located at Agrabad, Chittagong. The observation showed that during April- October, 24 hour average concentration of PM10 and PM2.5 were within the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) level but it increased occasionally by more than two and a half times during the whole non-monsoon period (November-March). The highest values found of PM2.5 were 321.1 µg/m3 in January, 2013 and 220.34 µg/m3 in December 2015. Whether, the highest alarming concentration of PM10 was reported as 474 µg/m3 in January 2007. The other gaseous pollutants such as SO2, NO2, O3, CO and Hydrocarbons remain well within the permissible limit except dry non-monsoon period. The yearly average increase of Air Quality Index (AQI) value indicates the growth rate of air pollution in Chittagong city. The main responsible pollutant for air pollution is found PM2.5.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0201.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Clinical Psychology Keywords: Iran; sanctions; mental health; quality of life
Online: 17 November 2019 (10:53:30 CET)
In order to synchronize foreign policies of governments, firm actions in the form of economic sanctions have long been employed by western countries. Those countries that tend to have independent views and policies are made to undergo economic adversity to fall in line. But the hardest hit by these coercive actions are the ordinary citizens who have to endure immense difficulty with social and economic issues not to mention the human rights violations. This paper provides a review regarding the effect of economic sanctions on mental health and quality of life of Iranian citizens based on data available from Iran post-sanctions. From 2012 stronger sanctions have been implemented on Iran as its nuclear program failed to draw faith in terms of its peaceful execution. Evidence have pointed out that economic sanctions imposed by western countries have a detrimental and destructive effect on the health of individual Iranians and they violated some basic human rights.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0024.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: multi scale; quality of life; wavelets; mathematical models
Online: 1 March 2022 (13:32:59 CET)
The present paper is concerned with the study of the quality of life index. Such an index has become an important index for measuring the well-being of individuals. However, the quality of life index is always a subjective, intangible, and often hard to quantify with precision due to the lack of quantitative models dealing with. The main goal of the present paper is thus to propose a mathematical, quantitative model for the measurement of a quality of life index. The main novelty is firstly the construction of a wavelet dynamic multiscale model to quantify and investigate the effect of time scale on the quality of life index measuring. The proposed procedure is acted empirically on a sample corresponding to Saudi Arabia as a case of study during the period from 2003 to 2020 as part of the 2030-vision plan. Saudi Arabia has implemented the so-called 2030-vision plan where the quality of life improvement is one of the main goals to be attempted. The findings show that wavelets are capable to localize the time-wise behavior of the index contrarily to classical studies which estimate a global view of the index. Moreover, the study shows the link between the quality of life behavior and many other indices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201612.0088.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Numerical Analysis & Optimization Keywords: multiple criteria analysis; algorithms performance; Pareto optimality; quality indicator
Online: 16 December 2016 (08:31:29 CET)
In multi-objective optimization problems, the optimization target is to obtain a set of non-dominated solutions. Comparing solution sets is crucial in evaluating the performances of different optimization algorithms. The use of performance indicators is common in comparing those sets and, subsequently, optimization algorithms. A good solution set must be close to the Pareto-optimal front, well-distributed, maximally extended and fully filled. Therefore, an effective performance indicator must encompass these features as a whole and must be Pareto dominance compliant. Unfortunately, some of the known indicators often fail to properly reflect the quality of a solution set or cost a lot to compute. This paper demonstrates that the Degree of Approximation (DOA) quality indicator, is a weakly Pareto compliant unary indicator that gives a good estimation of the match between the approximated front and the Pareto-optimal front. Moreover, DOA computation is easy and fast.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0525.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: Occupational Health; Quality of Life; Nurses; Working Conditions; Work; Primary Health Care.
Online: 29 November 2021 (11:54:29 CET)
Background: The concept of Quality of Work Life (QWL) has been built multidimensionally through social reproduction; it is impacted by the perceptions of each individual and by the relationship between workers and the work environment. Objective: to analyze the Work Process and QWL of assisting nurses in public health. Methods: Research in a critical paradigm, descriptive, exploratory with a qualitative approach. The population corresponds to Nurses who work in care work. Semi-structured guiding questions were applied and were analyzed with content analysis. Results: seven participants declared female; all Chilean; seven are young adults; six singles; only one has children, and one has a person dependent on her care; six are heads of household, and five receive help with housework. All have a nursing degree, five have a diploma, but none have a postgraduate. Work Process has three subcategories: work object, instrument, organization, and work conditions; the QWL category has six subcategories: definition and perception of QWL, QWL potentiating factors, QWL exhausting factors, QWL improvement strategies, the emotional burden associated with QWL, and Health problems. Conclusions: In this way, the lifestyle built by the assistance in the health area has repercussions on the quality of life and health in general.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0397.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: Hypertension management; Complications of cardiovascular; Quality of Life
Online: 23 September 2021 (09:03:57 CEST)
The aim of this study as to determine the relationship between the factors of demography, comor-bidity, medication, lifestyle, and access to health services related to the QoL of people with hy-pertension and its complications in Sleman Regency, Yogyakarta. The study was conducted in a cross-sectional manner using data from Sleman HDSS (Health and Demographic Surveillance System) from 2015 to 2018 in cycles 3 and 2 with the inclusion criteria of hypertensive patients and their complications aged 25 years or older obtained by using a total sampling of 532 people. Measurement of QoL using Short Form 12v2 2a and 2b questionnaires presented in the Physical Component Summary (PCS) and Mental Component Summary (MCS). Data analysis using Mann-Whitney test and Kruskal Wallis test. The results showed factors related to the QoL in PCS were variables of gender, age, diagnosis of hypertension and its complications, the presence of comorbidities, fatty foods, drug consumption in the last two weeks, while factors related to the mental component (MCS) were education and occupation seen from the p-value <0.05. QoL with hypertension and its complications influence and decrease the physical than the patient's mental condition.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0386.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: RTE salads; Microbiological quality; shelf-life; MBS method
Online: 17 September 2020 (08:03:50 CEST)
The market of ready-to-eat salads is experiencing a noticeable growth in Europe. Since they are intended to be consumed without additional treatments, these ready-to-eat products are associated with a high microbiological risk. The aim of this work was to evaluate the microbiological quality and safety of ready-to-eat salads sold in widespread supermarket chains in Lazio, Italy, at the packaging date, during shelf-life and during home-refrigeration. The study also aimed to determine the differences between low, medium, and high cost products. Salmonella spp., L. monocytogenes were chosen as safety indicators as specified by European regulations while total aerobic mesophilic bacteria and Escherichia coli were chosen as quality indicators as suggested by national guidelines. Analyses were performed following the ISO standards and in parallel, for the evaluation of total aerobic mesophilic bacteria, with an alternative colorimetric system, the Micro Biological Survey method, in order to propose a simple, affordable and accurate alternative for testing the microbiological quality of products, especially suitable for small and medium enterprises and on-site analyses. The study revealed high, unsatisfactory, total bacterial loads in all analyzed samples at the packaging date and expiring date and a very high prevalence of Salmonella spp. (67%) regardless of the selected varieties and cost-categories; L. monocytogenes was instead not recovered aligning with the results obtained in other studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0512.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: RTE salads; Microbiological quality; shelf-life; MBS method
Online: 22 July 2020 (10:09:19 CEST)
The market of ready-to-eat salads is experiencing a noticeable growth in Europe. The commercial success of these products is linked to the growing demand for fresh, healthy and nutritionally valuable products that can be consumed without preparation time and are perceived as safe and very high-quality products. Since they are intended to be consumed without additional treatments, these ready-to-eat products are associated with a high microbiological risk. The aim of this work was to evaluate the microbiological quality and safety of ready-to-eat salads sold in widespread supermarket chains in Lazio, Italy, at the packaging date, during shelf-life and during home-refrigeration. The study also aimed to determine the differences between low, medium and high cost products. Salmonella spp., L. monocytogenes were chosen as safety indicators as specified by European regulations while total aerobic mesophilic bacteria and Escherichia coli were chosen as quality indicators as suggested by national guidelines. Analyses were performed following the ISO standards and in parallel, for the evaluation of total aerobic mesophilic bacteria, with an alternative colorimetric system, the MBS method, in order to propose a simple, affordable and accurate alternative for testing the microbiological quality of products, especially suitable for small and medium enterprises and on-site analyses.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0196.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: gluten neuropathy; coeliac disease; gluten free diet; quality of life
Online: 16 April 2018 (08:19:54 CEST)
Background: Gluten neuropathy (GN) is defined as an otherwise idiopathic peripheral neuropathy in the presence of serological evidence of gluten sensitivity (positive antigliadin and/or transglutaminase or endomysium antibodies). We aimed to compare the quality of life (QoL) of GN patients with control subjects and to investigate the effect of a gluten free diet (GFD) on the QoL. Methods: All consecutive patients with GN attending a specialist neuropathy clinic were invited to participate. Overall Neuropathy Limitations Scale (ONLS) was used to assess the severity of neuropathy. The SF-36 questionnaire was used to measure participants’ QoL. A strict GFD was defined as effectively been able to eliminate all circulating gluten sensitivity-related antibodies whilst on the diet. Results: Fifty-three patients with GN and 53 age and gender matched controls were recruited. Compared to controls, GN showed significantly worse scores in physical functioning, role limitations due to physical health, energy/fatigue and general health subdomains of SF-36. After having adjusted for age, gender and disease severity, being on a strict GFD correlated with better SF-36 scores on the pain domain of the SF-36 (beta 0.317, p=0.019) and the overall health change domain of the SF-36 (beta 0.306, p=0.017). Conclusion: In GN physical dysfunctioning is the major determinant of poor QoL compared to controls. Routine checking for elimination of gluten sensitivity-related antibodies that results from a strict GFD should be encouraged as such elimination ameliorates the overall pain and health scores, indicating better QoL.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0082.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: water; physical; chemical; microbiological; quality; household; stored; source
Online: 14 March 2017 (10:49:43 CET)
In this study, we evaluated the physicochemical and microbial qualities of source and stored household waters in some communities in Southwestern Nigeria using standard methods. Compared parameters include physicochemical constituents; Temperature (T), pH, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Total Hardness (TH), Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD), Magnesium ion (Mg2+) and Calcium ion (Ca2+) and microbiological parameters included Total Coliform Counts (TC), Faecal Coliform Counts (FC), Fungal Counts (Fung C), Heterotrophic Plate Counts (HPC). Comparing Stored and Source samples, the mean values of some physicochemical parameters of most of the stored water samples significantly (P<0.05) exceeded that of Sources and ranged in the following order: T (15.3±0.3oC - 28.3±0.5oC), pH (6.4±0.1 - 7.6±0.1), TDS (192.1±11.1 ppm - 473.7±27.9 ppm), TH (10.6±1.7 mg/L - 248.6±18.6 mg/L), BOD (0.5±0.0 mg/L - 3.2±0.3 mg/L), Mg2+ (6.5±2.4 mg/L - 29.1±3.2 mg/L) and Ca2+ (6.5±2.4 mg/L - 51.6±4.4 mg/L). The mean microbial counts obtained from microbial comparison of different points (Stored and Source) of collection showed that most of the stored water had counts significantly exceeding (P<0.05) those of the source water samples (cfu/100 mL) which ranged as follows: TC (3.1±1.5 - 156.8±42.9), FC (0.0±0.0 - 64.3±14.2) and HPC (47.8±12.1 - 266.1±12.2) across all sampled communities. Also, the predominant isolates recovered from the samples were identified as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter aerogenes, Aspergillus spp, Mucor spp, Rhizopus spp and Candida spp. The presence of these pathogenic and potentially pathogenic organisms in the waters and the high counts of the indicator organisms suggest the waters to be a threat to public health.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0700.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: physical fitness; exercise self-efficacy; quality of life; adulthood
Online: 29 July 2020 (12:57:08 CEST)
Background: The aim of the present work is the elaboration of a systematic review of existing research on physical fitness, self-efficacy for physical exercise, and quality of life in adulthood. Method: Using the PRISMA statement guidelines, and based on the findings in 396 articles, the final sample was composed of 31 articles, which were reviewed to show whether self-efficacy has previously been studied as a mediator in the relationship between physical fitness and quality of life in adulthood. Results: The results indicate that little research exists in relation to healthy, populations with the majority being people with pathology. Physical fitness should be considered as a fundamental aspect in determining the functional capacity of the person. Conclusions: We discuss the need to investigate the mediation of self-efficacy in relation to the value of physical activity on quality of life and well-being in the healthy adult population in adult life.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0567.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: multimedia; self-care; quality of life; enterostomy
Online: 23 June 2021 (11:08:14 CEST)
(1)Background: This report was an effective evaluation of using multimedia educational program for self-care and quality of life in patients with a stoma at postoperative and established a simple threshold for enterostomy self-care skills.(2)Methods:108 patients with enterostomy were randomly assigned to receive either the intervention multimedia education program (including information about preparation for enterostomy care, cleaning method, manual bag replacement steps and precautions). The primary outcome was self-care ability and quality of life (defined as overall enterostomy self-care ability and overall quality of life), which was assessed at 2 weeks after intervention via an interview.(3)Results: Compared with those who in the conventional stoma education program, patients received the multimedia education program significantly improved their overall self-care ability and quality of life in statistically. The threshold of the enterostomy self-care skill scale was 20 points, and its corresponding sensitivity was 77.8%, and the specificity was 75.7%.(4)Conclusions: According to our study, the multimedia education program could enhance self-care ability of home care and quality of life in patients with enterostomy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0287.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Covid-19; quality of life; mental health; physical health
Online: 8 March 2021 (09:51:55 CET)
Introduction: The majority of epidemiological reports focus on confirmed cases of COVID-19. In this study, we aim to assess the health and well-being of adults not infected with Covid-19 after two months of quarantine in Morocco. Materials and methods: Two months after the declaration of quarantine in Morocco following the Covid-19 epidemic, we carried out a descriptive cross-sectional study of 279 Moroccan citizens. We used the Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) as a determinant of quality of life, which is based on eight dimensions of health. The data were collected using an electronic questionnaire distributed online. The participants also indicated their socio-demographic data, their knowledge and practices regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and whether they had chronic health problems. Results: The quality of life of all participants was moderately disrupted during the Covid-19 pandemic with a mental health score (MCS) of 34.49 (± 6.44) and a physical health score (PCS) of 36.10 (± 5.82). Participants with chronic diseases scored lower with 29.28 (± 1.23) in mental health (MCS) and 32.51 (± 7.14) in physical health (PCS). The seriousness of COVID-19 has an impact on the quality of life and health well-being of people and this impact is more marked in people with chronic health problems. Conclusion: Our results confirm the need to pay attention to the health of people who have not been infected with the virus. Our results also point out that uninfected people with chronic illnesses may be more likely to have well-being problems due to quarantine restrictions.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: quality of life; celiac disease; parents; caregivers
Online: 20 September 2019 (19:04:08 CEST)
Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disorder triggered by the ingestion of gluten and affects approximately 1% of the global population. Currently, the only treatment available is lifelong strict adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD). Chronic diseases such as CD affect patients and their family members’ quality of life (QoL); particularly parents and caregivers who play an essential role in the child’s care and treatment. A higher level of psychological distress has been found in the parents of children with chronic ailments due to limited control over the child’s daily activities and the child’s illness. In this context, the validation of a specific questionnaire of QoL is a valuable tool to evaluate the difficulties faced by parents or caregivers of children with this chronic illness. A specific questionnaire for this population can elucidate the reasons for stress in their daily lives as well as the physical, mental, emotional, and social impact caused by CD. Therefore, this study aimed to develop and validate a specific questionnaire to evaluate the QoL of parents and caregivers of children and adolescents with CD. The study was developed in six steps: (i) development of the CD parent/caregiver QoL questionnaire (CDPC-QoL); (ii) subjective evaluation; (iii) validation of the questionnaire by the Delphi method; (iv) evaluation of the internal consistency and reproducibility of the CDPC-QoL; (v) application of the questionnaire to Brazilian CD parents or caregivers; and (vi) statistical analysis. Overall results showed that a higher family income resulted in a higher score of the worries domain. In addition, having another illness besides CD decreased the QoL (except in the worries domain). The other variables studied did not present a statistically significant impact on the QoL, which was shown to be low in all aspects. Knowledge of the QoL is important to help implement effective strategies to improve celiac patients’ quality of life and reduce their physical, emotional, and social burden.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0075.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Business And Administrative Sciences Keywords: SCM; SCM performance; mediated power; non- mediated power; partnership quality
Online: 16 January 2017 (10:21:48 CET)
A supply chain management (SCM) system is a strategic cooperative that organically integrates all supply chains to improve the performance of a company. The greatest critical success factor of SCM is partnership. Without cooperation between companies, SCM performance is limited. Does this imply, therefore, that companies within the supply chain can achieve mutual transactions equally? If the power between companies is unequal, how does this affect their partnership? The focus of this study is to assess whether power types enhance SCM performance through partnerships. We categorize power types as mediated and non-mediated. Mediated power is categorized based on coercion, reward, and legitimate, while non-mediated power is categorized based on information, expert, and reference. Therefore, this study examines how power types form a causal partnership relationship within the supply chain, and performs an empirical investigation on how the partnerships influence SCM performance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0168.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: Nursing; Spiritual care; Quality of life; Chronic disease; Children
Online: 13 June 2022 (05:17:18 CEST)
Background: Chronic disease is the leading cause of death and disability in children. Various complex stressors faced by children due to illness and a series of treatments can negatively impact children's welfare, which can negatively affect children's quality of life.Objectives: This literature aims to study the philosophy of spiritual-based care interventions to improve the quality of life of children with chronic diseases viewed from three philosophical perspectives, namely ontology, epistemology, and axiology.Methods: A literature search was performed on five databases, namely SCOPUS, PubMed, ProQuest, ScienceDirect, and SAGEPub. Population limitations and diagnoses in this literature of children with chronic disease. This research is a quantitative study focusing on publications between 2017-2021.Results: The philosophy of spiritual care intervention is humanistic, pragmatic, and religious intervention. Humanistic interventions are interventions in which nurses are actively involved in spiritual care. Pragmatic intervention is the activeness of a nurse in assessing the spiritual needs of patients. Meanwhile, religious intervention is an intervention that is directly related to the practice or ritual of a specific belief system. Spiritual care is an essential part of holistic care, which is considered an indicator of improving the quality of care. It will ultimately affect the optimal quality of life of children.Conclusion: Spiritual-based care interventions are essential to improve the quality of life of children with chronic diseases. Spiritual care given to children with chronic illnesses must consider all aspects such as developmental stage, life experience, and socio-cultural of the child.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0024.v3
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: SWAT; water quality; paddy fields; irrigation; rice; watershed
Online: 13 September 2018 (08:42:30 CEST)
The recent increase in global consumption of rice has led to increased demand for sustainable water management in paddy cultivation. In this study, we propose an enhanced paddy simulation module to be introduced to Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to evaluate the sustainability of paddy cultivation. The enhancements added to SWAT include: (1) modification of water balance calculation for impounded fields, (2) addition of an irrigation management option for paddy fields that are characterized by flood irrigation with target water depth, and (3) addition of a puddling operation that influences the water quality and infiltration rate of the top soil layer. In a case study, the enhanced model, entitled SWAT-Paddy, was applied to an agricultural watershed in Japan. The results showed that the SWAT-Paddy successfully represented paddy cultivation, water management, and discharge processes. Simulated daily discharge rates with SWAT-Paddy (R2 = 0.8) were superior to the SWAT result (R2 = 0.002). SWAT-Paddy allows the simulation of paddy management processes realistically, and thus can enhance model accuracy in paddy-dominant agricultural watersheds.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0357.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Sport Sciences & Therapy Keywords: breast cancer; rowing; quality of life; perceived health; IPAQ-SF; SF-36.
Online: 14 May 2021 (17:14:31 CEST)
The aim of this study was to determine whether a rowing training program improved the quantity and quality of physical activity and quality of life in female breast cancer survivors (stage I - 4.35%; II - 30.43%; III - 52.17%; and IV - 8.7%) diagnosed 6.57 ± 5.02 years previously, who had undergone a subsequent intervention (preservation 53.52%; total mastectomy 39.13% and double mastectomy 4.35%) and had a current mean age of 53.70 ± 7.88 years. The participants (N = 30) engaged in a 12-week training program, each week comprising three sessions and each session lasting 60-90 minutes. An anthropometric evaluation was performed before and after the program. The short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ-SF) and the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) were also administered. The results showed statistically significant improvements in levels of physical activity and in the dimensions of quality of life. We can conclude that a 12-week rowing training program tailored to women who have had breast cancer increases physical activity levels, leading to improved health status and quality of life.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0301.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Sport Sciences & Therapy Keywords: breast cancer; rowing; quality of life; perceived health; IPAQ-SF; SF-36.
Online: 12 February 2021 (12:09:55 CET)
The aim of this study was to determine whether a rowing training program improved the quantity and quality of physical activity and quality of life in female breast cancer survivors (stage I - 4.35%; II - 30.43%; III - 52.17%; and IV - 8.7%) diagnosed 6.57 ± 5.02 years previously, who had undergone a subsequent intervention (preservation 53.52%; total mastectomy 39.13% and double mastectomy 4.35%) and had a current mean age of 53.70 ± 7.88 years. The participants (N = 30) engaged in a 12-week training program, each week comprising three sessions and each session lasting 60-90 minutes. An anthropometric evaluation was performed before and after the program. The short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ-SF) and the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) were also administered. The results showed statistically significant improvements in levels of physical activity and in the dimensions of quality of life. We can conclude that a 12-week rowing training program tailored to women who have had breast cancer increases physical activity levels, leading to improved health status and quality of life.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0351.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Tuberculosis; Health-related quality of life; COVID-19; Guinea
Online: 25 July 2022 (05:37:10 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on all facets of life and has exacerbated many challenges faced by people living with tuberculosis (TB). This study aimed to assess the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of TB patients in Guinea during the COVID-19 pandemic. A mixed-methods study was conducted using two validated psychometric tools to assess HRQoL and qualitative interviews among TB patients enrolled in treatment at three centers in Conakry, Guinea. Multinomial logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with the deterioration of HRQoL. We included 439 participants in the study, among whom 44% and 31% experienced pain and anxiety, respectively. We found that an increase in the number of household members and the distance from participants’ residence to the health centre were significantly associated with lower HRQoL. Qualitative interviews highlighted nutritional and financial concerns which were exacerbated during COVID-19 pandemic and beliefs that the Guinean Government’s assistance plan was insufficient. This study supports the implementation of specific relief plans for TB patients which includes nutritional and psychological support, especially those whose movements are limited by travel restrictions, impeding access to TB care, reducing work opportunities and exacerbating financial needs and stress.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0171.v1
Online: 6 April 2021 (11:31:59 CEST)
Background: Breast cancer is the second type of cancer diagnosed in women and is the first cancer in women worldwide. Breast cancer also causes high morbidity and mortality in women and becomes a heavy burden due to the incidence of disability due to the disease. Purpose: This literature review aims to examine how social support affects anxiety, depression and quality of life in breast cancer sufferers. Method: The data were obtained by searching for reputable and trustworthy journals. have high quality criteria, namely Scopus, Proquest, Science Direct, Elsevier, Pubmed. Journals or articles used in this review literature are searched using keywords and Boolean operators (AND, OR NOT, or AND NOT). Keywords in this review literature are as follows: social support OR family support, quality of life OR Quality, anxiety OR depression, AND Cancer OR cancer treatment OR Chronic disease. Results: The results of this literature review show that there is a significant influence between the social support received by breast cancer patients on the improvement of their quality of life. The social support provided is also able to reduce anxiety and depression in breast cancer sufferersConclusion: Social support given to breast cancer patients is proven to have an effect on improving the quality of life, reducing anxiety and depression.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0268.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Sociology Keywords: Wavelets; Quality of life index; Pandemics, Social media; Mathematical models.
Online: 19 October 2022 (05:37:25 CEST)
In the present paper, we investigate the impact of the timescale factor on the quality of life index behavior on specific time intervals characterized by the presence of socio-economic, political, and/or health severe movements such as pandemics and crises. We essentially aim to show that effectively the quality of life measuring based on a single index in the existing studies may be described more adequately by a variable index due to the social, political, economic, and also healthy environment. The variability discovered is expressed by the existence and the estimation of a multi-index instead of a single one relatively to many factors. Our focus is mainly on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the quality of life. Our model is applied empirically to a sample corresponding to Saudi Arabia as a case of study during the period from January 1990 to December 2021 as the main period affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The sample is based on social media conversations and texts discussing and describing the satisfaction with the quality of life. The study confirms effectively that the role of the timescale factor is more described when considering a multi-index rather than measurement on the whole time interval.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0352.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: paralysis; dogs; cats; quality of life; physiotherapy; recovering standing position
Online: 14 June 2021 (11:28:45 CEST)
Paralyzed patients have always been ideal candidates for physiotherapy due to their body's inability to recover on its own. Regardless of the cause that led to the onset of paralysis (whether localized or generalized), physiotherapy helps these patients with devices and methods designed to restore their proper functioning of the body, as well as quality of life. Obtaining the standing position is the main stage in the therapeutic process, being the indispensable element for the entire protocol. The present study focused on the devices we developed over time, adapting them for each patient, depending on the degree of damage they presented and the possible associated pathologies. At the same time, we wanted these devices to be available for any therapist or even owner, being made of common materials, easy to find, but also affordable.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0134.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Triticum aestivum; carbon dioxide; minerals; protein; starch; baking properties; crop quality; food security
Online: 31 January 2017 (11:49:41 CET)
Elevated carbon dioxide (eCO2) stimulates wheat grain yield, but simultaneously reduces protein (N) concentration. Also other essential nutrients are subject to change. This study is a comprehensive synthesis of wheat experiments with eCO2, estimating effects on N, minerals (B, Ca, Cd, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, P, S, Zn), and starch. Analysis was made by i) deriving response functions for the relative effect on element concentration in relation to CO2 concentration, ii) meta-analysis to test the magnitude and significance of observed effects, and iii) relating CO2 effects on minerals to effects on N and grain yield. Responses range from zero to strong negative effects of eCO2 on mineral concentration, with largest reductions for the nutritionally important elements N, Fe, S, Zn and Mg. Together with the positive but small and non-significant effect on starch concentration, the large variation in effects suggests that CO2-induced responses cannot be explained by a simple dilution model. To explain the observed pattern, uptake and transport mechanisms may have to be considered, along with the link of different elements to N uptake. Our study shows that eCO2 has a significant effect on wheat grain stoichiometry, with implications for human nutrition in a world of rising CO2.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0205.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, General Psychology Keywords: taste; smell; quality of life; sensitivity; threshold; QUEST
Online: 17 February 2022 (10:00:37 CET)
Taste and smell function decline with age, with robust impairment in the very old. Much less is known about taste and smell function in young and middle old. We investigated taste and smell sensitivity via thresholds in a sub-sample of the NutriAct Family Study (NFS), the NFS Examinations cohort (NFSE; N=251, age M=62.5 years). We examined different aspects relating to taste and smell function: the degree to which taste and smell sensitivity relate to another and to taste and smell preferences, the role of gender and age, as well as effects on Quality of Life (QOL). Taste thresholds were highly correlated but no correlation was observed between taste and smell thresholds and between thresholds and preference. Women were more sensitive for both taste and smell than men. We found no effect of age on sensitivity and no effect of sensitivity on QoL. All null-findings were corroborated with Bayesian statistics providing evidence for the null hypotheses. Together our results indicate the independence of taste and smell despite their overlap during sensorial experiences. We found no evidence for age-related sensory decline, which could be due to our sample´s characteristics of non-clinical volunteers with good dental health and 93% non-smokers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0088.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: Face milling; Cost saving; Power consumption; Surface quality; Tool wear
Online: 6 December 2018 (14:09:34 CET)
Face milling is a well known commercial process highly used in heavy industries that consumes high amount of power. Besides power issue, modern manufacturing industries are aiming for per part cost reduction keeping the product quality unimpaired. Unexpectedly if the part is rejected in any stage of manufacturing, the cost of manufacturing dramatically increases. Major cause of part rejection is excessive tool wear that imparts poor surface profile or catastrophic tool failure that causes adherence of broken tool debris onto machined surface. Furthermore, the tool wear is associated with sliding distance (frictional distance) and the tool life quantifies the cost of tools. As such, from the perspective of manufacturing industries it is imperative to optimize the surface quality parameter, cost of part, power consumption, and material removal – this is exactly what is accomplished here. By this work, it is possible to conserve power consumption, produce parts with lower cost, manufacture with uncompromising surface quality and enhanced material removal rate. Moreover, as intermediate factors of interest, the influences of sliding distance, tool life and tool flank wear on the overall machining performance are evaluated. The multi-objective optimization by Grey Relational Analysis (GRA) revealed that for improved product performance and fast manufacturing (case 1) optimum results are: feed per tooth fz = 0.25 mm/tooth, cutting speed vc = 392.6 m/min and cutting length l = 0.5 mm; for resource conservation (case 2) the optimum results are: feed per tooth fz = 0.125 mm/tooth, cutting speed vc = 392.6 m/min, cutting length l = 0.5 mm.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0470.v1
Online: 24 August 2021 (13:59:30 CEST)
Background: The tsunami and earthquake occurred in 1927 and 2018 made life quality of Da’a Tribe women in refugee camps was affected by violence. It affects on women reproductive health in various aspects of life as high maternal mortality rate of 450 per 100 thousand live births and half of women victims of natural disasters have reproductive health problems such as anemia and malnutrition during pregnancy. The study objective is to explore the health quality of women related to the couple violence during the humanitarian crisis at refugees’ camps. Method: The population was 798 cases of violence. The 90 samples were selected by simple random sampling and calculated by Slovin method. Data analysis was done by descriptive qualitative and cross tabulation. The research location was Palu City. Results: The research findings showed that health quality of Da’a Tribe women after the couple violence is influenced by three factors, namely economic by 40%, psychological by 7%, violence during pregnancy 59.3%. Conclusion: Social life and women violence handling can be done by symbolizing the threat of criminal law for male perpetrators in accordance with applicable laws in Indonesia and improving the life quality of population, especially women in education and skills through empowering the family economy and increasing gender equality justice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0408.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: quality of work life; organizational culture; organizational support; self-efficacy; maritime workers; culture-work-health model
Online: 23 July 2018 (10:00:06 CEST)
Using the culture-work-health model, this study investigates the factors influencing the quality of life of maritime workers. This study conducted a survey of 320 maritime workers who have experience living and working on a ship for more than six months. This self-administered questionnaire included questions on organizational culture and support, self-efficacy, perceived fatigue, as well as the quality of work life. Organizational culture and self-efficacy were identified as factors affecting the quality of work life, while organizational support was found to have an indirect effect after passing through self-efficacy and perceived fatigue. The final model accounts for 63.1% of the variance in maritime workers’ quality of life. As such, this study shows that self-efficacy is important for the quality of life of maritime workers, having both direct and indirect effects. Moreover, organizational support may prove the primary intervention point for relieving perceived fatigue and enhancing self-efficacy, thus improving the quality of work life.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0243.v1
Subject: Keywords: Early Psychosis; Cardiovascular Disease Risk; Quality of Life; Lifestyle Behaviours.
Online: 11 August 2021 (08:55:02 CEST)
Introduction: People with schizophrenia have poor cardiometabolic health, with elevated 10-year cardiovascular disease risk (CVD-R) scores and poor quality of life (QOL). There is lack of understanding of these issues in early psychosis. Aims: To quantify CVD-R in people with early psychosis and profile their obesity prevalence, lifestyle behaviours and QOL. Secondary aim was to explore associations between lifestyle behaviours/treatment characteristics and CVD-R/QOL. Method:Baseline data from 81 RCT participants were used to profile cardiometabolic health risks (QRISK®3, BMI and waist circumference). Participants self-reported lifestyle behaviours and QOL. Relationships between modifiable treatment/lifestyle factors and QOL/CVD-R were explored using bivariate analyses. Results: Participants’ relative risk for CVD over 10 years was 1.93 times higher than healthy counterparts; 39% also had an obese BMI and physical QOL was poor. No significant associations were observed between CVD-R or QOL with treatment characteristics and lifestyle factors. Discussion: Despite positive lifestyle behaviours, participants had elevated CVD-R scores and poor physical health related QOL. Quantifying CVD-R with QRISK®3 may highlight the need for health promotion interventions. Implications for practice: Mental health professionals should be alert to elevated cardiometabolic health risks in early psychosis, particularly as these can occur in the context of relatively healthy lifestyle behaviours.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201702.0059.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: fine particulate matter (PM2.5); aerosol optical depth; community multi-scale air quality (CMAQ) model; data fusion; exposure assessment
Online: 16 February 2017 (08:58:09 CET)
Estimating ground surface PM2.5 with fine spatiotemporal resolution is a critical technique for exposure assessments in epidemiological studies of its health risks. Previous studies have utilized monitoring, satellite remote sensing or air quality modeling data to evaluate the spatiotemporal variations of PM2.5 concentrations, but such studies rarely combined these data simultaneously. We develop a three-stage model to fuse PM2.5 monitoring data, satellite-derived aerosol optical depth (AOD) and community multi-scale air quality (CMAQ) simulations together and apply it to estimate daily PM2.5 at a spatial resolution of 0.1˚ over China. Performance of the three-stage model is evaluated using a cross-validation (CV) method step by step. CV results show that the finally fused estimator of PM2.5 is in good agreement with the observational data (RMSE = 23.00 μg/m^3 and R2 = 0.72) and outperforms either AOD-retrieved PM2.5 (R2 = 0.62) or CMAQ simulations (R2 = 0.51). According to step-specific CVs, in data fusion, AOD-retrieved PM2.5 plays a key role to reduce mean bias, whereas CMAQ provides all-spacetime-covered predictions, which avoids sampling bias caused by non-random incompleteness in satellite-derived AOD. Our fused products are more capable than either CMAQ simulations or AOD-based estimates in characterizing the polluting procedure during haze episodes and thus can support both chronic and acute exposure assessments of ambient PM2.5. Based on the products, averaged concentration of annual exposure to PM2.5 was 55.75 μg/m3, while averaged count of polluted days (PM2.5 > 75 μg/m3) was 81, across China during 2014. Fused estimates will be publicly available for future health-related studies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0221.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: renewable energy sources; life quality; RES public acceptance; logit regression
Online: 17 April 2018 (10:18:42 CEST)
The aim of this paper is to analyze and evaluate Renewable Energy Sources (RES) usage and their contribution to citizens’ life quality. For this purpose, a survey was conducted, using a sample of 400 residents in an urban area of Attica region in Greece. The methods of Principal Components Analysis and Logit Regression were used on a dataset containing respondents’ views on various aspects of RES. Two statistical models were constructed for the identification of the main variables that are associated with RES’ usage and respondents’ opinion on their contribution to life quality. The conclusions that can be drawn show that the respondents are adequately informed about some of the RES’ types while most of them use at least one of the examined types of RES. The benefits that RES offer, were the most crucial variable in determining both respondents’ perceptions on their usage and on their contribution to life quality.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0254.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: Prunus persica; edible coating; 1-methylcycyclopropene; Aloe spp; post-harvest quality
Online: 22 October 2019 (05:36:34 CEST)
The maintenance of high quality standards for prolonging shelf life of fruit and maintaining sensory and nutritional quality is a priority the horticultural products. The aim of this work was to test the effectiveness of a single treatment of edible coating based on Aloe arborescens and a combined treatment of 1-Methylcycyclopropene and edible coating to prolong the shelf-life of "Settembrina" white flesh peach fruit. White flesh peach fruit were harvested at the commercial ripening stage and treated with edible coating (EC) or 1-MCP +EC and stored for 28 days at 1°C. After 7, 14, 21 and 28 days fruits were removed from cold storage, transferred at 20°C and then analyzed immediately (cold out) and after 6 days (shelf life) to evaluate the combined effect of cold storage and room temperature. Weight loss, physical, chemical and sensory parameters were measured. Fruit treated with EC and 1-MCP +EC kept their marketing values better than CTR after 14 days of storage and 6 days of simulated shelf life, in terms of flesh firmness, total soluble solids and titratable acidity as well as sensory parameters. After 21 days of storage, all treatments showed a deterioration of the quality parameters. The single and combined application of Aloe-based coating (with 1-MCP) slowed down the maturation processes of the fruit, limited the weight loss and preserved its organoleptic characteristics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202212.0044.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: breast cancer; mastectomy; autologous breast reconstruction; PAP flap; DIEP flap; donor-site morbidity; quality of life; aesthetic outcome; scar quality; Breast Q
Online: 2 December 2022 (09:57:20 CET)
(1) Background: This work aimed to conduct the first comparative study providing long-term data about patient reported outcome measures as well as donor-site scar assessment and aesthetic evaluation of the reconstructed breasts in patients with DIEP versus PAP flap breast reconstruction. (2) Methods: This prospective, single-center, matched cohort study included a total of 36 patients after DIEP and PAP flap breast reconstruction. Evaluation was done using the Breast-Q and POSAS questionnaire as well as the Breast Aesthetic Scale for cosmetic analysis by four plastic surgeons. (3) Results: Post-operative Breast-Q evaluation revealed no significant differences between both patient groups for the categories physical well-being donor-site, physical well-being breast and satisfaction with the breast. Scar evaluation of the donor-site region showed equivalent results for the thigh and the abdomen concerning the overall opinion of patients and observers. There was no significant difference between both methods of reconstruction for all aspects of breast aesthetics. (4) Conclusions: Similar results of donor-site morbidity, scar quality and aesthetic outcome of the breast in both the DIEP and PAP patient group have been demonstrated. Hence, in cases suitable for both types of reconstruction, the decision can be based on factors such as patients’ lifestyle, leisure activities and preferences.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0169.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: adolescents; diabetes type I; quality of life; family conflicts; fear of injecting
Online: 10 May 2021 (10:54:28 CEST)
A good management of diabetes requires at the same time self-regulation behaviour and a balanced involvement of family components. This study’s aims were: understanding fear of injections and perceptions of family conflicts in preadolescents and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus and their mothers, comparing their perceptions, and identifying the risk factors impacting patients’ quality of life. Participants were one hundred and two patients (Mean age = 14.63, SD = 2.43; age range = 10-19 years; Females = 52) and their mothers (Mean age = 46.94, SD = 6.2, age range = 27-63 years), who filled in self and proxy-report questionnaires. Twenty % of patients and 14.7% of their mothers reported clinical score for fear of self-injection and blood testing. Mothers reported higher fear of injecting and family conflicts compared with the patients. Age, fear of injecting and family conflicts impacted significantly on patients’ quality of life perceptions. Clinical consideration and recommendations are given basing on the empirical results.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0211.v2
Subject: Keywords: Rehabilitation, Stroke, Long-term care, Quality of life, Post-stroke checklist, Unmet needs
Online: 26 August 2019 (12:21:22 CEST)
Background: This study investigated the prevalence of worsening problems using Post Stroke Checklist (PSC) at 3, 6, and 12 months post-stroke and their associations with health-related quality of life. Methods: In stroke patients admitted between June 2014 and December 2015, PSC and EuroQol-5Dthree level (EQ-5D-3L) were assessed at post-stroke 3 (n=181), 6 (n=175), and 12months (n=89). The prevalence of worsening problems and its association withEQ-5D-3L at post-stroke 3 and 6months were analyzed. Results: An average of 0.59 (range 0–12), 1.47 (range 0–12), and 1.00 (range 0–10) worsening problems per patient was identified at 3, 6, and 12months after stroke, respectively. The most frequently and continuously identified worsening problems were mood disturbances (reported by 8.8%, 16.0% and13.5% of patients at 3, 6, and 12 months post-stroke, respectively). Worsening mobility was significantly associated with worse EQ-5D index at post-stroke 3 months (β,-0.583; 95% CI, -1.045 to -0.120). The worsening of mobility and communication was significantly associated with worse EQ-5D index at post-stroke 6 months (mobility: β,-0.170; 95% CI, -0.305 to -0.034, communication: β,-0.164; 95% CI, -0.309 to -0.020). Conclusions: PSC may be useful for the detection of various subjective worsening problems during serial clinical follow-up after stroke. Appropriate rehabilitation and management strategy to solve the identified problems could improve the quality of life in stroke survivors.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0148.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: microcystin; saxitoxin; cylindrospermopsin; anatoxin-a; anatoxin-a(S); cyanobacteria; organic anion transporting polypeptide; phosphatase inhibitor; acetylcholinesterase; neurotoxicity; water quality; eutrophication; drinking water
Online: 20 March 2017 (06:17:48 CET)
Cyanobacteria are ubiquitous phototrophic bacteria that inhabit diverse environments across the planet. They dominate many eutrophic lakes impacted by excess nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) forming dense accumulations of biomass known as cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms or cyanoHABs. Their dominance in eutrophic lakes is attributed to a variety of unique adaptations including N and P concentrating mechanisms, N fixation, colony formation that inhibits predation, vertical movement via gas vesicles, and the production of toxic or otherwise bioactive molecules. While some of these molecules have been explored for their medicinal benefits, others are potent toxins harmful to humans, animals, and other wildlife known as cyanotoxins. In humans these cyanotoxins affect various tissues, including the liver, central and peripheral nervous system, kidneys, and reproductive organs among others. They induce acute effects at low doses in the parts-per-billion range and some are tumor promoters linked to chronic diseases such as liver and colorectal cancer. The occurrence of cyanoHABs and cyanotoxins in lakes presents challenges for maintaining safe recreational aquatic environments and the production of potable drinking water. CyanoHABs are a growing problem in the North American (Laurentian) Great Lakes basin. This review summarizes information on the occurrence of cyanoHABs in the Great Lakes, toxicological effects of cyanotoxins, and appropriate numerical limits on cyanotoxins in finished drinking water.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0006.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Other Keywords: surface water; Tibetan Plateau pastoral area; Xiahe County; hydrochemical characteristics; fuzzy comprehensive method; water quality
Online: 2 August 2016 (04:20:00 CEST)
Water quality assessment in pastoral of Tibetan Plateau, which is water sources for about 40% of world's population and the runoff-yield area of Yellow rivers, is very important. In this paper, Xiahe county which belongs to Tibetan Plateau pastoral was investigated. Six parameters(via, chloride, COD, ammonia nitrogen, nitrate, fluoride, sulfate) were selected to assess the water quality and health degree by using fuzzy comprehensive evaluation methods. The hydrochemical type in surface water was of HCO3--Mg2+-Ca2+ type. The cations and anions in surface water were mainly from weathering and dissolution of carbonate rock. Results showed that the water quality in all 69 sampling sites was all of class Ⅰ. The integrated health degree reached more than 0.85 and the health rate were 100%. Although ammonia nitrogen was regarded as the main contamination factor, but it had a little effect on the entire body of water. Overall, the surface water qualities of most samples in Xiahe County was good condition.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0036.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: wearable cardiac sensors; electrocardiography; photoplethysmography; heart rate variability; signal quality; real-life measurements
Online: 1 July 2021 (15:40:21 CEST)
Wearable cardiac sensors pave the way to advanced cardiac monitoring applications based on heart rate variability (HRV). In real-life settings, heart rate (HR) measurements are subject to mo-tion artifacts that can be timely removed from the recordings. This leads to frequent data loss in the HR signal, especially for commercial devices based on photoplethysmography (PPG). The cur-rent study had two main goals: (i) to provide a white-box quality index that estimates the amount of missing samples in any piece of HR signal; and (ii) to quantify the impact of data loss on feature extraction in a PPG-based HR signal. This was done by comparing real-life recordings from com-mercial sensors featuring both PPG (Empatica E4) and ECG (Zephyr BioHarness 3). After an out-lier rejection process, our quality index was used to isolate portions of ECG-based HR signal that could be used as benchmark, to validate the output of Empatica E4 at the signal level and at the feature level. Our results showed high accuracy for estimating the mean HR, poor accuracy for short-term HRV features and moderate accuracy for longer-term HRV features. Levels of error could be substantially reduced by using our quality index to identify time windows with few or no missing data.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0478.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Applied Psychology Keywords: Down's Syndrome; perception; quality of life; sport; age; gender; scale
Online: 18 December 2020 (16:17:41 CET)
The hypothesis posed was whether participation in LaLiga Genuine Santander (competitive football) influenced the quality of life (QL) of the people who participated in it, since their perception of themselves is enhanced by all the aformentioned factors (self-determination, social inclusion, emotional well-being, physical well-being, material well-being, rights, personal development, interpersonal relationships). The objective was to evaluate the QL of people with Down's Syndrome (DS) using their self-perception (n=39) and the perception of the informants (family members, teachers) (n=39). The KidsLife-Down Scale, with a few modifications was used. In general, differences of opinion between the subgroups of participants with DS and informants showed that results were higher in terms of perception for participants in the DS subgroup. Scores for all variables were higher for those participants with DS who said they did engage in practicing competitive football. Despite the perception of informants provides a great deal of information regarding the QL of participants with DS, the latter should be involved in the evaluation process and their self perceptions taken into account. Our research shows that participation in the league modifies the perceptions of the participants with Down's Syndrome regarding their quality of life. However, these perceptions are not shared by the informants.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0025.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: work engagement; job satisfaction; quality of life; occupational health; nursing practitioners; nursing
Online: 8 July 2022 (04:20:10 CEST)
Objective: To investigate the correlation between engagement and quality of life at work in nursing professionals, from a public hospital in the interior of the state of São Paulo, Brazil, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Methods: Cross-sectional, descriptive, and correlational study, with nursing professionals, conducted between December 2020 and January 2021. We used the Brazilian versions of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale and the Walton Model scale. Results: The nursing professionals obtained a strong and positive correlation (r≥0.70) between the social integration domain of QWL and vigor dimension of work engagement (r=0.88; p=<0.001); moderate positive correlation (r≥0.40≤0.69) between QWL working conditions and vigor (r=0.40; p=<0.001), dedication (r=0.40; p=<0.001) and overall score (r=0.41; p=<0.001) of the work engagement. The correlations were positive and weak (r≤0.39) for the other domains of QWL and dimensions of work engagement. Conclusion: Professionals with satisfactory levels of quality of life tended to have higher levels of engagement at work. Professionals were strongly engaged and satisfied with their quality of life at work at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0191.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: COVID-19; pandemic; GAD-7; mental health; quality of life; Asia
Online: 14 March 2022 (16:20:20 CET)
This study aims to identify factors associated with anxiety levels of adults living in Singapore before the pandemic and during the COVID-19 outbreak. Data were collected using a cross-sectional web-based survey conducted from July to November 2020 accruing 264 eligible participants. Ordered logistic regression was used to assess Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), ranked as minimal (0-4), mild (5-9), moderate (10-14), and severe (15-21) before the pandemic and during the pandemic. About 74% of participants were female, 50% were aged 25-34, and 50% were married. The GAD-7 level went up from pre-pandemic for both moderate (from 12.5% to 16%) and severe GAD (from 2% to 11%). Alcohol consumption (AOR 1.79, 95% CI 1.04-3.06), loneliness (AOR 1.28, 95% CI 1.05-1.54), and difficulty in switching off social media (AOR 2.21, 95% CI 1.29-3.79) predicted increased GAD-7 levels. The quality of life (AOR 0.84, 95% CI 0.79-0.90) was significantly associated with decreased GAD-7 levels. The results heighten the awareness that early initiation of mental health support is crucial for the population in addition to the various financial support measures provided by the government as they are adapting to live with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: self-care; self-care monitoring; quality of life; stoma care; health promotion; nurse – patient interaction
Online: 12 January 2021 (17:32:17 CET)
The current article examined stoma self-care and health-related quality of life in patients with drainage enterostomy, describe clinical and sociodemographic variables and analyze the relations between all of them. Trained interviewers collected data using a standardized form that queried sociodemographic and clinical variables, collected from the electronic medical record, in addition to the Specific Self-Care for Ostomized Patients Questionnaire (CAESPO) and Stoma Quality of life (S-QoL) from January 2016 to January 2017. This was a multicenter, cross sectional study conducted in four hospitals of the province of Castellon (Spain) where 120 participants were studied. Significant differences were found in Self Care according to sex (p = .043); married participants show higher score (p < .01); also, significant differences according to work activity were observed (p < .01). Regarding the clinical variables, differences were observed according to the autonomy of care, the presence of complications in the stoma, the use of irrigation and the type of effluent (p < .01). We can highlight the importance of the skills related to self-care by ostomized patients has for a good level of quality of life related to health. In this learning process, the figure of the stoma therapist plays a very important role.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0320.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: crohn's disease; inflmmatory bowel disease; quality of life; ulcerative colitis
Online: 24 May 2022 (04:33:57 CEST)
Background: Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Questionnaire-32 (CUCQ-32) is a validated questionnaire to measure the quality of life (QoL) in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, it does not have stoma specific questions and can be lengthy. This study aimed to validate a subset of the CUCQ-32 that would be suitable for patients with a stoma. Methods: Baseline data were collected from a cohort of patients with acute ulcerative colitis who were participating in the CONSTRUCT multi-centre clinical trial. A subset of the CUCQ-32 questions was selected by stepwise regression. Further validation was examined using data from the UK IBD biological therapies audit. Construct validity was carried out using the EuroQol 5 dimensions (EQ5D) questionnaire, Simple Clinical Colitis Activity Index (SCCAI) and the Harvey-Bradshaw Index (HBI). Literature review and an expert focus group identified supplementary questions to cover patients with a stoma. Test-retest analysis was done during the patients’ second follow up visits. Results: Using the data from 124 patients, a short version questionnaire (CUCQ-12) was developed. Further validation using data from 484 patients with IBD as part of the UK IBD biological therapies audit. Using the data from 61 patients with a stoma, we identified 5 stoma specific questions for the CUCQ-12+. The CUCQ-12+ demonstrated excellent internal consistency (Cronbach’s α= 0.86); established effective reproducibility (intra-class correlation coefficient= 0.74); correlated well with the EQ5D (r= - 0.48), HBI (r= 0.45) and SCCAI (r= 0.43); and represented good responsiveness statistics (>0.5). Conclusions: CUCQ-12+ is a valid and reliable QoL measure that can be used for all patients with IBD in clinical practice including patients with a stoma.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: Huntington's disease; quality of life; family caregiving; reliability and validity; factor analysis; Poland
Online: 27 May 2019 (11:53:51 CEST)
Huntington's disease (HD) is a rare genetic neurodegenerative disorder that causes motor disorders, neuropsychiatric symptoms and a progressing deterioration of cognitive functions. Complex issues resulting from the hereditary nature of HD, the complexity of symptoms and the concealed onset of the disease have a great impact on the quality of life of family carers. The caregivers are called as “forgotten people” in HD family, also in genetic counseling. This study aims to explore the reliability and validity of the Huntington’s Disease Quality of Life Battery for carers (HDQoL-C) within a Polish population. 90 carers recruited from the Enroll-HD study in Polish research centres of the European Huntington`s Disease Network completed a polish translation of the HDQoL-C. Data was subjected to Principle Components Analysis and reliability measures. The Polish version of the shortened versions of the HDQoL–C is similarly valid compared to the original English version and suitable for use within this population. The HDQoL-C has previously demonstrated a wide range of benefits for practitioners in capturing and understanding carer experience and these benefits can now be extended to Polish speaking populations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0462.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: iron; blood donation; restless legs syndrome; quality of life; sleep; fatigue
Online: 31 March 2020 (22:32:59 CEST)
Background: Besides anemia, iron deficiency may cause more subtle symptoms including those of the restless legs syndrome (RLS), the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or sleeping disorders. Objective: The aim of this pre-planned secondary analysis was to compare the frequency and severity of symptoms associated with iron deficiency before and after (intravenous or oral) iron supplementation in iron deficient blood donors. Methods/Design: Prospective, randomized, controlled, single centre trial. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01787526). Setting: Tertiary care center in Graz, Austria Participants: 138 female and 38 male whole blood and platelet apheresis donors aged ≥18 and ≤65 years with iron deficiency (ferritin ≤30ng/ml at the time of blood donation). Interventions: Intravenous iron (1 g ferric carboxymaltose, n=86) or oral iron supplementation (10 g iron fumarate, 100 capsules, n=90). Measurements: Clinical symptoms were evaluated by a survey before iron therapy (visit 0, V0) and after 8-12 weeks (visit 1, V1) including questions about symptoms of RLS, CFS, sleeping disorders, quality of life and symptoms like headaches, dyspnoea, dizziness, palpitations, pica and trophic changes of fingernails or hair. Results: We found a significant improvement in the severity of symptoms for RLS, fatigue and sleep quality (p<0.001). Furthermore, a significant decrease of headaches, dyspnoea, dizziness and palpitations was reported (p<0.05). There was no difference between the type of iron supplementation (intravenous versus oral) and clinical outcome data. Conclusion: Iron supplementation in iron deficient blood donors may be an effective strategy to improve symptoms related to iron deficiency and the wellbeing of blood donors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0282.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: demographic change; barrier-free design; living space; quality of life; specific needs; modular home design
Online: 16 July 2018 (11:51:08 CEST)
In Europe we can see a change in the social structure in the last period. Average life expectancy has increased dramatically over the last 50 years. Because of the improved life situation and advanced level of health care, older people are slower. With advancing age, the likelihood of experiencing a variety of constraints such as visual impairment, reduced hearing or physical ability increases. In such a life stage tenants are often forced to leave their long-term living space because these homes can not serve "new" individual needs and the resulting personal protection goal. This transition from the privacy of their home to the new environment often appears to be a painful change. They will take their familiar and well-known surroundings, because their homes can not be adapted to serve new needs. It must be the policy’s role to create a new inclusive social space and the requirement for architects and designers to create new goals for the design of an adaptable environment. This is a comprehensive approach to the design of the outer and inner space that could serve people even if there is an unexpected situation and changes in movement and physiological limitations of older people. The contribution shows the results of the survey conducted in Germany and Slovakia. In the survey respondents expressed their opinion on what they considered important in creating an adaptive environment. Results are processed graphically with explanation. The results were mainly for designers and developers of the indoor environment. Based on the results of the questionnaire survey, studies of possible modifications in the interior of the flats were then prepared. The contribution yielded these results in three age groups of respondents; i. people aged 35, 50 and over 50.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0633.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pediatrics Keywords: Children; adolescents; post-road traffic accidents; EQ-5D-5L; disability burden; health-related quality of life
Online: 26 July 2020 (03:11:18 CEST)
The objective of the study was to report the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) following road traffic accidents (RTAs) among children. A community-based survey using EuroQol five-dimension questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L) in Hindi was used to collected data from community. The survey included 2620 households from urban and rural areas of Ujjain, India. From these households 229 children aged 5–18 years with a history of RTA in the last 1 year were identified, with 27%, 63%, and 10% children reporting mild, moderate, and severe injury based on length of hospitalization. Motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians constituted most RTAs. Helmet use was low (12%). EQ-5D-5L revealed that the most severe and extreme problem was pain and discomfort, whereas the least severe problem was usual activity and self-care. The most common (65%) injuries were either abrasion or fracture and dislocation. EQ-5D-5L severity index was maximum (mean 72) for lower extremity injuries. The results of the present study highlight the ability and requirement for quality of life measurement using EQ-5D-5L among children post-RTA.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0193.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: Astragalus polysaccharides; PG2; cytokine; inflammatory cascade; cancer cachexia; quality of life; QoL; fatigue
Online: 20 June 2019 (08:01:18 CEST)
Background: Improving patients’ quality of life (QoL) is a principal objective of all treatment in any clinical setting, including oncology practice. Cancer-associated inflammation is implicated in disease progression and worsening of patients’ QoL. Conventional anticancer therapeutics while selectively eliminating cancerous cells, are evaded by stem cell-like cells, and associated with varying degrees of adverse effects, thus reducing patients’ QoL. This necessitates novel therapeutic approaches with enhanced efficacy, minimal or no treatment-related adverse effects, and improved QoL in patients with cancer, especially those with metastatic/advance stage disease. Methods: Sequel to our team’s previous publication, the present study explores probable effects of Astragalus polysaccharides (PG2) on cancer-related inflammatory landscape and known determinants of QoL, as well as the probable link between the two to provide mechanistic insight. In exploratory double blind randomized controlled trial using patients with metastatic disease (n=23), we comparatively evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of high (500mg) or low (250mg) dose PG2 administered intravenously (i.v.), with particular focus on its suggested anti-inflammatory function and the probable effect of same on QoL indices at baseline, then at weeks 4 and 8 post-PG2 treatment. Results: All 23 patients with metastatic disease treated with either low or high PG2 experienced reduced pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue, as well as better appetite and sleep, culminating in improved global QoL. This was most apparent in the high dose group, with significant co-suppression of pro-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-4, IL-6, IL-13, IL-17, monocytes chemotactic protein (MCP)1, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), tumor growth factor (TGF)-β1, interferon (IFN)-γ, and immune suppressors IL-10, and IL-12. Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that IL-1β, IL-13 and GM-CSF are independent prognosticators of improved QoL. Conclusion: This proof-of-concept study provides premier evidence of functional association between PG2 anti-inflammatory effects and improved QoL in patients with advanced stage cancers, laying the groundwork for future larger cohort blinded controlled trials to establish the efficacy of PG2 as adjuvant anticancer therapy in metastatic or advanced stage clinical settings.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0385.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: Health-related quality of life; Vitality; Body composition; Phenolic compounds; Mediterranean diet
Online: 15 December 2020 (13:09:12 CET)
Overweight and obesity adversely affect health-related quality of life (HRQOL) through day-to-day impairments of both mental and physical functioning. It is assumed that polyphenols within the Mediterranean diet may contribute to improve HRQOL. This investigation aimed at studying the effects of a polyphenol-rich ingredient on HRQOL in overweight and obese but otherwise healthy individuals. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study including 72 volunteers was conducted. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive for a 16-week period either 900 mg/day of the supplement or a placebo. Dietary recommendations were individually determined, and intakes were recorded; daily physical mobility was monitored. Improvement of HRQOL was set as the primary outcome and assessed at baseline and at the end of the investigation, using the Short-Form 36 (SF-36) Health survey. Body composition was analyzed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Physical activity level was calculated using International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). After 16 weeks, despite there was no adherence to the Mediterranean Diet Serving Score (MDSS), supplemented individuals experienced significant HRQOL improvement (+5.3%; P=0.001), including enhanced perceived physical (+11.2%; P=0.002) and mental health (+4.1%; P=0.021) components; bodily pain, vitality, and general health, being the greatest contributors. Besides, body fat mass significantly decreased (-1.2 kg; P=0.033), mainly within trunk area (-1.0 kg; P=0.002). Engagement in physical activity significantly increased (+1308 Met-min/week; P=0.050). Hence, chronic supplementation with a nutritional diversity and dose of a Mediterranean diet-inspired polyphenol-rich ingredient resulted in a significant amelioration in both perceived physical and mental health, concomitant with the improvement of body composition, in healthy subjects with excessive adiposity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0186.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Anesthesiology Keywords: breakthrough cancer pain; cancer-associated pain; cancer; health-related quality of life; sleep disorders; transmucosal fentanyl
Online: 14 February 2020 (03:36:53 CET)
Objectives: To explore the effect of breakthrough cancer pain (BTcP) treatment on quality of sleep and other aspects of the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with cancer pain. Methods: In an observational, multicenter, cohort study, cancer patients from palliative care units, oncology departments, and pain clinics and affected by BTcP were included. Enrolled patients were assessed at the four visits: T0 (baseline), T7, T14, and T28. Well-controlled chronic background pain during the whole study period was mandatory. BTcP was treated through transmucosal fentanyl. Three questionnaires were used to measure the HRQoL: EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS). Results: In 154 patients, the HRQoL showed a significant improvement for all physical and emotional characteristics in the EORTC QLQ-C15-PAL, except for nausea and vomiting (Linear p-value = 0.1) and dyspnoea (Linear p-value =0.05). The ESAS and PSQI questionnaires confirmed these positive results (p<0.0001 and p=0.002, respectively). Conclusions: This prospective investigation by an Italian expert group, has confirmed that careful management of BTcP induces a paramount improvement on the HRQoL. Because in cancer patients there is a high prevalence of BTcP and this severe acute pain has deleterious consequences, this information can have an important clinical significance
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0234.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: mitochondrial quality control, mitochondrial biogenesis, mitochondrial dynamics, mitophagy, mtDNA, TFAM binding, oxidative lesions, mtDNA damage, cardioprotection, peroxiredoxin
Online: 13 September 2018 (11:36:07 CEST)
Mitochondrial dysfunction is relevant mechanism in cardiac aging. Here, we investigated the effects of late-life enalapril administration at non-antihypertensive dose on mitochondrial genomic stability, oxidative damage, and mitochondrial quality control (MQC) signaling in the heart of aged rats. The protein expression of selected mediators (i.e., mitochondrial antioxidant enzymes, energy metabolism, mitochondrial biogenesis, dynamics, and autophagy) was measured in old rats randomly assigned to receive enalapril (n=8) or placebo (n=8) from 24 to 27 months of age. We also assessed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content, citrate synthase activity, oxidative lesions to protein and mtDNA (i.e., carbonyls and abundance of mtDNA4834 deletion), and mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) binding to specific mtDNA regions. Enalapril attenuated cardiac hypertrophy and oxidative stress-derived damage (mtDNA oxidation, mtDNA4834 deletion, and protein carbonylation), while increasing mitochondrial antioxidant defenses. TFAM binding to mtDNA regions involved in replication and deletion generation was increased following enalapril administration. Increased mitochondrial mass as well as mitochondriogenesis and autophagy signaling was found in enalapril-treated rats. Late-life enalapril administration mitigates age-dependent cardiac hypertrophy and oxidative damage, while increasing mitochondrial mass and modulating MQC signaling. Further analyses are needed to conclusively establish whether enalapril may offer cardioprotection during aging.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0038.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: historical reconstruction; modeling; drinking water; water quality; VOC; epidemiological study; health study; Camp Lejeune
Online: 4 August 2016 (10:09:23 CEST)
A U.S. government health agency conducted epidemiological studies to evaluate whether exposures to drinking water contaminated with volatile organic compounds at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were associated with increased health risks to children and adults. These health studies required knowledge of contaminant concentrations in drinking water—at monthly intervals—delivered to family housing, barracks, and other facilities within the study area. Because concentration data were limited or unavailable during much of the period of contamination (1950s–1985), the historical reconstruction process was used to quantify estimates of monthly mean contaminant-specific concentrations. This paper integrates many efforts, reports, and papers into a synthesis of the overall approach to, and results from, a drinking-water historical reconstruction study. Results show that at the Tarawa Terrace water treatment plant (WTP) reconstructed (simulated) tetrachloroethylene (PCE) concentrations reached a maximum monthly average value of 183 micrograms per liter (ug/L) compared to a one-time maximum measured value of 215 ug/L and exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s current maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 5 ug/L during the period November 1957–February 1987. At the Hadnot Point WTP, reconstructed trichloroethylene (TCE) concentrations reached a maximum monthly average value of 783 ug/L compared to a one-time maximum measured value of 1,400 ug/L during the period August 1953–December 1984. The Hadnot Point WTP also provided contaminated drinking water to the Holcomb Boulevard housing area continuously prior to June 1972, when the Holcomb Boulevard WTP came on line (maximum reconstructed TCE concentration of 32 ug/L) and intermittently during the period June 1972–February 1985 (maximum reconstructed TCE concentration of 66 ug/L). Applying the historical reconstruction process to quantify contaminant-specific monthly drinking-water concentrations is advantageous for epidemiological studies when compared to using the classical exposed versus unexposed approach.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0006.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Sport Sciences & Therapy Keywords: Multi-function swing suspension training; Upper extremity function; Lower extremity function; Quality of life; Multiple sclerosis
Online: 1 July 2022 (07:59:06 CEST)
Background: Upper extremities’ function impairments (UEFI) and gait impairment are frequently reported even in the early stages of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) disease. These motor deficits can negatively affect the quality of life (QOL) in MS patient. Exercise has been repeatedly introduced as a beneficial adjuvant therapy for MS, attenuating a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms without any side effects or increased risks of relapse or exacerbation in disease symptoms.Aim: This paper investigates the effect of multi-function swing suspension training (MFSST) program on upper and lower extremities’ function (ULEF), and QOL in MS women according to expanded disability status scale (EDSS) score.Design: Experimental method with a pre-test and post-test design with control group. Setting: The department of Sports Injuries and Corrective Exercise at the Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman.Population: Forty-seven MS women.Methods: Eligible subjects who matched the selection criteria were randomly assigned into three groups as follow: i. Intervention group A (EDSS of 2 – 4), ii. Intervention group B (EDSS of 4.5 – 6.5), and iii. Control group (EDSS of 2 – 6.5). The intervention groups have been trained by the SET program for a duration of 8 weeks. At baseline and after the intervention, the upper extremities’ function (UEF) and the lower extremities’ function (LEF) were assessed by 9-hole peg test (9HPT) and the timed 25-foot walk (T25FW) test, respectively. Moreover, participants’ QOL was measured using the Short Form questionnaire (SF-36).Results: A significant difference was found between the pre-test and post-test variables of walking speed and upper extremity endurance in intervention groups, and between the intervention groups and control group (P < 0.05). Compared to control group, both intervention groups showed improvements in all subscales of QOL, except emotional role limitation score.Conclusions: In summary, these results show that the present protocol of MFSST could be effective in improving ULEF and QOL in MS patients, showing the improvements after 4th week. Moreover, this protocol was more useful for patients with an EDSS score of more than 4.5. Therefore, it seems that exercise therapy should be considered as a beneficial clinical intervention approach to improve ULEF and QOL in MS patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0256.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Sport Sciences & Therapy Keywords: older adults; cognitive impairment; tango-therapy; quality of life; well-being; physical performance; walking performances; abilities of daily living; dance movement therapy; arts with therapeutic intent
Online: 16 January 2023 (01:11:39 CET)
Cognitive impairment in older adults is associated with poor gait performance, physical decline, falls and poor quality of life. This paper analyzes the feasibility and efficacy of a tango-based in-tervention in older people with cognitive impairment living in nursing homes. A multicenter study, with pre and post-test, was carried out. Intervention attendance, well-being, physical abilities (Short Physical Performance Battery), walking performance, functional capacities (Katz Index), and quality of life (Quality of Life in Alzheimer’s Disease) were assessed. Fifty-four participants (84.9 ± 6.7 years, Mini Mental State Examination 14.5 ± 7.4) completed the protocol. Intervention attendance was 92%, and the mean subjective well-being after each session was 4.5 ± 0.5 (on a five-point scale). Statistically significant improvement was found in the quality of life (p = 0.030). Non statistically significant changes were found in walking performance, physical abilities, or in functional capacities. The study shows feasibility and suggests evidence for the effects of Tango therapy on well-being and quality of life. Further studies are necessary to contrast these findings and to verify the role of Tango interventions as a holistic approach to prevent functional decline in older people with cognitive impairment.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0232.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Other Keywords: Air Quality; Urban air quality; air quality measurement systems
Online: 26 April 2022 (09:57:05 CEST)
Urban air quality is increasingly becoming a cause for concern for the health of the human population. The poor air quality is already wreaking havoc in major cities of the world, where serious health issues and reduction of average human life by a factor of years are reported. The air quality in developing countries can become worse as they undergo development. The urban air quality varies non-linearly depending upon the various factors such as land use, industrialization, waste disposal, traffic volume, etc. To address this problem, it is necessary to look at the plethora of available literature from multiple perspectives such as types and sources of pollutants, meteorology, urban mobility, urban planning and development, health care, economics, etc. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive survey of the state-of-the-art in urban air quality. We first review the fundamental background on air quality and present the emerging landscape of urban air quality. We then explore the available literature from multiple urban air quality measurement projects and provides the insights uncovered in them. We then take a look at the sources that are significantly contributing to polluting the air quality. Finally, we highlight open issues and research challenges in dealing with urban air pollution.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0685.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: fusion; pansharpening; image quality; Worldview-3; quality index
Online: 28 September 2020 (11:05:51 CEST)
Image fusion is a useful tool for producing a high-resolution multispectral image to be used for land use and land cover mapping. In this study, we use nine pansharpening algorithms namely Color Normalized (CN), Gram-Schmidt (GS), Hyperspherical Color Space (HCS), High Pass Filter (HPF), Nearest-Neighbor Diffusion (NND), Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Resolution Merge (RM), Stationary Wavelet Transform (SWT), and Wavelet Resolution Merge (WRM) to fusion Worldview-3 multispectral Bands and panchromatic band. In spectral and spatial fidelity, several image quality metrics are used to evaluate the performance of pansharpening algorithms. The SWT and PCA algorithms showed better results compared to other pansharpening algorithms while GS and CN algorithms showed the worst results for the original image fusion. The effect of fusion on each band was separately investigated and according to the calculations, we found that the CoastalBlue band and the Blue band showed the best result and the NIR-1 band and NIR-2 band show the worst result for the original image fusion. In the end, we conclude that the choice of fusion method depends on the requirement of remote sensing application.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0527.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: PSPS; FBSS; chronic pain; health-related quality of life; mixture models analysis; personalized pain management; chronic pain after spinal surgery
Online: 27 August 2021 (15:23:27 CEST)
Persistent Spinal Pain Syndrome Type 2 (PSPS-T2), (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), dramatically impacts on patient quality of life, as evidenced by Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) assessment tools. However, the importance of functioning, pain perception and psychological status in HRQoL can substantially vary between subjects. Our goal was to extract patient profiles based on HRQoL dimensions in a sample of PSPS-T2 patients and to identify factors associated with these profiles. Two classes were clearly identified using a mixture of mixed effect models from a clinical data set of 200 patients enrolled in “PREDIBACK”, a multicenter observational prospective study including PSPS-T2 patients with 1-year follow-up. We observed that HRQoL was more impacted by functional disability for first class patients (n=136) and by pain perception for second class patients (n=62). Males that perceive their work as physical were more impacted by disability than pain intensity. Lower education level, lack of adaptive coping strategies and higher pain intensity were significantly associated with HRQoL being more impacted by pain perception. The identification of such classes allows for a better understanding of HRQoL dimensions and opens the gate towards optimized health-related quality of life evaluation and personalized pain management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0164.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Finance Keywords: Environmental quality; institutional quality; ethnic conflicts; socio-economic factors
Online: 18 April 2022 (10:38:40 CEST)
Nowadays, determining the socioeconomic factors' influence on environmental quality is a crucial issue for policymakers. We aim to explore the impact of socioeconomic factors i.e., ethnic conflicts inform ethnic fragmentation, institutions quality effectiveness, and energy consumption on environmental quality by testing the various hypotheses (Pollution Halo Hypothesis, IPAT, and EKC) in 40 selected Asian countries throughout 1993-2019. We also use a set of control variables which are gross domestic product per capita, foreign direct investment inflows, and population growth to determine their impact on environmental quality. We use the Panel Quintile Regression Method of 0.25, 0.5, and 0.75 to analyze the results. We find ethnic conflict negatively affects the environmental quality at all quantiles. The institution's variables regulatory quality and rule of law negatively influence the environmental quality. Our result supports Porter's hypothesis because the effect of direct foreign investment on the amount of CO2 emissions is negative and significant at 0.25, 0.5, and 0.75 quantiles which states that foreign direct investment in the host country supports environmental quality. Furthermore, our results support the IPAT hypothesis in selected Asian countries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0411.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: Automotive; Resistance Spot Welding; Quality Assurance; Quality Monitoring; Artificial Intelligence
Online: 27 October 2021 (13:27:03 CEST)
Resistance spot welding is an established joining process in the production of safety-relevant components in the automotive industry. Therefore, a consecutive process monitoring is essential to meet the high-quality requirements. Artificial neural networks can be used to evaluate the process parameters and signals to ensure the individual spot weld quality. The predictive accuracy of such algorithms depends on the provided training data set and the prediction of untrained data is challenging. The aim of this paper is to investigate the extrapolation capability of the multi-layer perceptron model. That means, that the predictive performance of the model will be tested with data that clearly differs from the training data in terms of material and coating composition. Therefore, three multi-layer perceptron regression models were implemented to predict the nugget diameter from process data. The three models were able to predict the trained datasets very well. The models, which were provided with features from the dynamic resistance curve predicted the new dataset better than the model with only process parameters. This study shows the beneficial influence of the process signals on the predictive accuracy and robustness of artificial neural network algorithms. Especially, when predicting a data set from outside of the training space.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0537.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Marketing Keywords: emotion; commitment; brand loyalty; willingness to pay more; coffee quality; service quality; physical environment quality; price fairness
Online: 23 October 2018 (11:58:03 CEST)
: Following the phenomenal growth of and competition among coffee chain retailers, the coffee chain market has expanded substantially thanks to rising income levels, the increasing young population, and rapidly changing lifestyles. Attracting consumers’ attention and enhancing their loyalty behaviors have become very difficult for coffee chain retailers. This study seeks to understand the mechanisms through which emotions and the dedication-constraint model lead to brand loyalty and willingness to pay more to certain coffee chain retailers. Emotions and the dedication-constraint model are major factors in the research, but few studies have combined them to examine the formation of loyalty behaviors. This study synthesizes emotional responses and the dedication-constraint model to develop a theoretical model. Based on the ambivalent view of emotions, it also examines how positive and negative emotions affect the combination of brand loyalty and willingness to pay more to certain coffee chain retailers. Moreover, it identifies the antecedents of affective and calculative commitments in the context of coffee chain retailers. Our findings indicate that loyalty behaviors (dedication- and constraint-based mechanisms from brand loyalty and willingness to pay more to certain coffee chain retailers), emotional responses, and affective and calculative commitments significantly affect brand loyalty directly and indirectly through both positive and negative emotions. Furthermore, service quality, physical environment quality, and price fairness significantly affect affective commitments, while price fairness significantly affects both affective and calculative commitments. Finally, affective and calculative commitments significantly affect willingness to pay more, both directly and indirectly, through positive emotions and affect it directly through negative emotions. The results’ theoretical and managerial implications and possible future research directions are discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0092.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: ANOVA; Asphalt Binder Extraction; Quality Assurance; Quality Control; RAP; RAS
Online: 5 October 2020 (14:06:31 CEST)
Asphalt binder requires more investigation to be accurately and precisely extracted since it is a significant procedure for quality control quality assurance (QC/QA) and subsequent binder characterization. In this research, the authors provided a hands-on experience with binder extraction to deliver recommendations concerning the sensitive steps that may affect the outcomes (extracted binder content, Pbe%). Based on the extraction by the centrifuge method, two mineral matter determination methods (ashing and centrifuge) were addressed. Field cores were investigated with comparing the Pbe% to the actual binder content, Pba%. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey Post-Hoc statistical analyses, in addition to linear least square regression analysis, were used to show the significance of difference according to 38 variant cores randomly obtained from the field segments (in-service roads) via the first two weeks from the construction date. Such cores involved reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP), reclaimed asphalt shingles (RAS), and a wide range of additives. The two extraction methods were compared with concluding that the centrifuge method was highly recommended based on a quantitative evaluation, which delivered the same average Pba% based on the 38 cores. Furthermore, the centrifuge method provided much saving in the experimental time (almost half the time required for the ashing method). It was found that the ashing outcomes were equal to the centrifuge outcomes with disregarding the ammonium carbonate addition. Thus, it could be recommended to reassess the ammonium carbonate addition as it might excessively compensate for fake minerals that have not been lost by the ignition oven.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0148.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: Quality of Experience; Quality of Service; QoE evaluation video on demand; Quality of Service; QoS correlation; subjective testing
Online: 11 December 2019 (04:46:57 CET)
In addition to the traditional QoS metrics of delay, delay jitter, and packet loss probability (PLP), Quality of Experience (QoE) is now widely accepted as a numerical proxy for actual user experience. The literature has reported many mathematical mappings between QoE and QoS. These QoS parameters are measured by the network providers using sampling. There are some papers studying sampling errors in QoS measurements; however there is no account of propagation of these sampling errors to QoE evaluation. In this paper, we used industrially acquired measurements of PLP and jitter to evaluate the sampling errors and correlation in measurements. Focussing on Video-on-demand (VoD) applications, we use subjective testing and regression to map QoE metrics onto PLP and jitter. The resulting mathematical functions of QoE and theory of error propagation was used to evaluate the propagated error in QoE, and this error was represented as confidence interval. Using the guidelines of UK government for sampling, our results indicate that confidence intervals around estimated QoE in a busy hour can be between MOS=1 to MOS=5 at targeted operating point of QoS parameters. These results are a new perspective on QoE evaluation, and are of great significance to all organisations that need to estimate the QoE VoD applications precisely.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0299.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: groundwater quality; extended SWAT model; water quality parameters; Athabasca River Basin
Online: 10 November 2020 (10:32:09 CET)
Groundwater is a vital resource for human welfare. However, due to various factors, groundwater pollution is one of the main environmental concerns facing. Yet, it is challenging to simulate groundwater quality dynamics due to the insufficient representation of nutrient percolation processes in the soil and Water Assessment Tool model. The objectives of this study were extending the SWAT module to predict groundwater quality. The results proved a linear relationship between observed and calculated groundwater quality considering No3 and TDS with R2, NSE and PBIAS values in the satisfied ranges, albeit underestimation and overestimation were observed due to limited data availability. These results highlight that nitrate and TDS concentrations and variability in groundwater may used as a tool in surface water quality that have to be assumed for designing adaptive management scenarios. Hence, extended SWAT model could be a powerful tool for future regional to global scale modelling of nutrient loads supporting effective surface and groundwater management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0260.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: reservoir; water quality indexes; GEVORG index; Armenian Water Quality Index; Armenia
Online: 25 January 2019 (15:03:46 CET)
In this article, the quality of water in the reservoirs of Lake Arpi, Lake Yerevan, Akhuryan, Azat, Aparan and Kechut was estimated with usage of the Armenian Water Quality Index. It was established that in the waters of reservoirs the the maximum permissible concentration of copper, vanadium, aluminum, chromium, manganese, iron, NH4+ and NO2- regularly increases. The following computational algorithm was used for determination of the Armenian Water Quality Index values: to determine the number of cases of MPC excess of i-substance or indicator of water –n; to estimate the total amount of cases of the maximum permissible concentration (N) – N = ∑n; to computes log2N, nlog2n and ∑nlog2n; to determine geoecological syntropy (I) and entropy (H): I = ∑ nlog2n/N and H = log2N – I. Then, Geo-Ecological Evolving Organized index index was determined: G = H/I. Further, the total amount multiplicity of MAC exceedances was estimated: (M) - M=∑m and log2M was computed. Finally, Armenian Water Quality Index was obtained: AWQI = G + 0.1log2M. It was established that the Armenian Water Qquality Index showed a linear dependence on the Water Contamination Index, the Specific Combinatory Water Quality Index, the Geo-Ecological Evolving Organized index and an inverse dependence on the Canadian Water Quality Index.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0339.v2
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Water Quality Index; irrigation water quality; Tabriz Aquifer
Online: 9 September 2019 (08:42:20 CEST)
The key goal of the current study was to determine suitable areas of water pumping for drinking and agricultural harvest in Tabriz aquifer, located in East Azerbaijan province, northwest Iran. In the study area, groundwater is the key foundation of water for drinking and farming requirements. Groundwater compatibility study was conducted by analyzing Electrical conductivity (EC), Total dissolved solids (TDS), Chloride (Cl), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Sodium (Na), Potassium (K), Sulfate (SO4), Total hardness (TH), Bicarbonate (HCO3), pH, carbonate (CO3) and Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR) obtained from 39 wells in the period of 2003 to 2014. For this purpose, the Water Quality Index (WQI) and irrigation water quality (IWQ) index were utilized. The WQI index zoning exposed that the groundwater of the study area for drinking purposes is categorized as excellent, good and poor water. Most drinking water harvested for urban and rural areas are in the class of 'excellent water'. The results revealed that about 37 percent (296 km2) of groundwater has high compatibility, and 63 percent of the study area (495 km2) has average compatibility for agricultural purposes. The trend of IWQ and WQI indexes demonstrates that the groundwater is getting worse over the time.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0240.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: background reconstruction; image quality assessment; image dataset; subjective evaluation; perceptual quality; objective quality metric
Online: 17 May 2018 (09:36:33 CEST)
With an increased interest in applications that require a clean background image, such as video surveillance, object tracking, street view imaging and location-based services on web-based maps, multiple algorithms have been developed to reconstruct a background image from cluttered scenes. Traditionally, statistical measures and existing image quality techniques have been applied for evaluating the quality of the reconstructed background images. Though these quality assessment methods have been widely used in the past, their performance in evaluating the perceived quality of the reconstructed background image has not been verified. In this work, we discuss the shortcomings in existing metrics and propose a full reference Reconstructed Background image Quality Index (RBQI) that combines color and structural information at multiple scales using a probability summation model to predict the perceived quality in the reconstructed background image given a reference image. To compare the performance of the proposed quality index with existing image quality assessment measures, we construct two different datasets consisting of reconstructed background images and corresponding subjective scores. The quality assessment measures are evaluated by correlating their objective scores with human subjective ratings. The correlation results show that the proposed RBQI outperforms all the existing approaches. Additionally, the constructed datasets and the corresponding subjective scores provide a benchmark to evaluate the performance of future metrics that are developed to evaluate the perceived quality of reconstructed background images.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0113.v1
Online: 23 September 2017 (11:05:13 CEST)
The Delaware River has made a marked recovery in the half-century since the adoption of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) Compact in 1961 and passage of the Federal Clean Water Act amendments during the 1970s. During the 1960s, the DRBC set a 3.5 mg/l dissolved oxygen criteria for the river based on an economic analysis that concluded a waste load abatement program designed to meet fishable water quality goals would generate significant recreation and environmental benefits. Scientists with the Delaware Estuary Program have recently called for raising the 1960s DO criteria along the Delaware River from 3.5 mg/l to 5.0 mg/l to protect anadromous American shad and Atlantic sturgeon and address the prospect of rising temperatures, sea levels, and salinity in the estuary. This research concludes through a marginal abatement cost (MAC) analysis that it would be cost effective to raise DO levels to meet a more stringent standard by prioritizing agricultural conservation and wastewater treatment investments in the Delaware River watershed to reduce 90% of the pollutant load 13.6 million kg/year of nitrogen (30 million lb/year) for $160 million at 35% of the $449 million annual cost. The annual least cost to reduce nitrogen loads and raise dissolved oxygen levels to meet more stringent water quality standards in the Delaware River totals $45 million for atmospheric NOX reduction, $130 million for wastewater treatment, $132 million for agriculture conservation, and $141 million for urban stormwater retrofitting. This 21st century least cost analysis estimates that $50 million/year is needed to reduce pollutant loads in the Delaware River to raise dissolved oxygen levels to 4.0 mg/l, $150 million/year is needed to reach 4.5 mg/l, and $449 million/year is needed to reach 5.0 mg/l.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0126.v1
Online: 8 December 2021 (14:10:05 CET)
The purpose of this research is to determine if the tradeoffs that Kissick proposed among cost containment, quality, and access remain as rigidly interconnected as originally conceived in the contemporary health care context. Although many have relied on the Kissick model to advocate for health policy decisions, to our knowledge, the model has never been empirically tested. Some have called for policy makers to come to terms with the premise of the Kissick model tradeoffs, others have questioned the model given the proliferation of quality enhancing initiatives, automation, and information technology in the health care industry. One wonders whether these evolutionary changes alter or disrupt the originality of the Kissick paradigms themselves. Methods: Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used to evaluate the Kissick hypothetical relationships among the unobserved constructs of cost, quality, and access in hospitals for the year 2018. Hospital data were obtained from Definitive Healthcare a subscription site which contains Medicare data as well as non-Medicare data for networks, hospitals, and clinics (final n= 2,766). Results: Reporting significant net effects as defined by our chosen study variables, we find that as quality increases costs increase, as access increases quality increases, and as access increases, costs increase. Policy and Practice Implications: Our findings lend continued relevance to a balanced approach to health care policy reform efforts. Simultaneously bending the health care cost curve, increasing access to care, and advancing quality of care is as challenging now as it was when the Kissick model was originally conceived.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0440.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: air quality; thermal comfort; air quality index; heat index; wind chill; Bulgaria; Europe
Online: 16 June 2021 (11:18:02 CEST)
Air pollution is responsible for any adverse effects on human beings. Thermal discomfort, on the other hand, is able to overload the human body and eventually provoke health implications due to the heat imbalance. Methods: The aim of the present work is to study the behavior of two bio-climatic indexes and statistical characteristics of the air quality index for Sofia city - the capital of Bulgaria for the period 2008 - 2014. The study is based on WRF-CMAQ model system simula-tions with a spatial resolution of 1 kilometer. The air quality is estimated by the air quality index, taking into account the influence of different pollutants and the thermal conditions by two indi-ces, respectively, for hot and cold weather. Results: It was found that half of the heat and cold index categories are present in the simulations. Their distribution has some spatial features. All air quality categories are present in the domain, with dominance only of the O3 and PM10. Conclu-sions: It was found that Sofia is not so hot and air polluted place, but in some situations, people have to have some concerns when intend to be outdoors for a prolonged time.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: HIV viral load; external quality assessment; verification; quality; thermostable; PrimeStore MTM
Online: 18 January 2021 (12:24:31 CET)
The tiered laboratory framework for HIV viral load monitoring accommodates a range of HIV viral load testing platforms, with quality assessment critical to ensure quality patient testing. HIV plasma viral load testing is challenged by the instability of viral RNA. An approach using an RNA stabilizing buffer is described for the Xpert® HIV-1 Viral Load (Cepheid) assay and was tested in remote laboratories in South Africa. EDTA-plasma panels with known HIV viral titres were prepared in PrimeStore molecular transport medium for per-module verification and per-instrument external quality assessment. The panels were transported at ambient temperatures to 13 testing laboratories during 2017 and 2018, tested according to standard procedures and uploaded to a web portal for analysis. A total of 275 quality assessment specimens (57 verification panels and two EQA cycles) were tested. All participating laboratories met study verification criteria (n=171 specimens) with an overall concordance correlation coefficient (ρc) of 0.997 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.996 to 0.998) and a mean bias of -0.019 log cp/mL (95% CI: -0.044 to 0.063). The overall EQA ρc (n=104 specimens) was 0.999 (95% CI: 0.998 to 0.999), with a mean bias of 0.03 log cp/mL (95% CI: 0.02 to 0.05). These panels are suitable for use in quality monitoring of Xpert® HIV-1 VL and are applicable to laboratories in remote settings.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0320.v1
Subject: Keywords: RT-qPCR; assay validity; standard curve; quality assurance; quality control; wastewater surveillance
Online: 11 June 2021 (14:10:51 CEST)
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to wastewater surveillance becoming an important tool for monitoring the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) within communities. As a result, molecular methods, in particular reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), have been employed to generate large data sets aimed at the detection and quantification of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. Although RT-qPCR is rapid and sensitive, there is no standard method that fits all use cases, there are no certified quantification standards and experiments are carried out using numerous different assays, reagents, instruments, and data analysis protocols. These variations can lead to the reporting of erroneous quantitative data resulting in potentially misleading interpretations and conclusions. We have reviewed the SARS-CoV-2 wastewater surveillance literature focusing on the variability of RT-qPCR data as revealed by inconsistent standard curves and associated parameters. We find that variation in these parameters and deviations from best practices as described in The Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments (MIQE) guidelines suggest a lack of reproducibility and reliability in quantitative measurements of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0721.v1
Online: 27 April 2021 (12:52:15 CEST)
The success of a software product depends on several factors. Given that different organizations and institutions use software products, the need to have a quality and desirable software according to the goals and needs of the organization makes measuring the quality of software products an important issue for most organizations and institutions. To be sure of having the right software. It is necessary to use a standard quality model to examine the features and sub-features for a detailed and principled study in the quality discussion. In this study, the quality of Word software was measured. Considering the importance of software quality and to have a good and usable software in terms of quality and measuring the quality of software during the study, experts and skilled in this field were used and the impact of each factor and quality characteristics. It was applied at different levels according to their opinion to make the result of measuring the quality of Word software more accurate and closer to reality. In this research, the quality of the software product is measured based on the fuzzy inference system in ISO standard. According to the results obtained in this study, it is understood that quality is a continuous and hierarchical concept and the quality of each part of the software at any stage of production can lead to high quality products.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0589.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: globalization; systems thinking; global quality management; global quality system
Online: 27 August 2020 (03:28:46 CEST)
A global approach towards quality management highlights the need for constructing a new body of knowledge that views the field of global quality from a systems perspective. Based on the results of field experiments, and in light of the need to develop new global quality management terminology, the current article presents several key concepts in this field, with emphasis on a systems-oriented rationale and perspective. As such, the article is an important stage in building this body of knowledge, and towards the conceptualization of key variables used in global quality management, from a systems approach that interacts with the fields of international management and strategic management.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0254.v1
Online: 10 December 2020 (12:27:31 CET)
Background: There is an upsurge in the consumption of chicken meat leading to a high influx of imported frozen chicken parts into the Ghanaian markets with little information on their microbial qualities. This study examined the microbial quality of imported frozen chicken parts from three major import countries (USA, the Netherlands and Brazil) into the Kumasi Metropolis. Methods: A total of 45 chicken meat parts of 15 thighs, wings and backs from wholesale cold stores market in the Kumasi Metropolis were randomly sampled for laboratory examinations. A ten-fold serial dilution was performed on each homogenized chicken parts to determine microbiological quality using Plate Count Agar , MacConkey Agar (MCA), Mannitol Salt Agar (MSA) and Desoxycholate Citrate Agar (DCA) for the total viable count (TVC), total coliform count (TCC), Staphylococcus and Salmonella spp counts respectively incubated at 37oC for 48 hours. Sabouraud Dextrose Agar (SDA) was used for fungal counts. We identified bacterial and fungal isolates using appropriate laboratory and biochemical tests. Descriptive data analysis was carried using SPSS-IBM version 16. Results: Mean TVCs of 5.93, 5.98 and 6.14 log10cfu/g were recorded for frozen chicken meats from the USA, the Netherlands and Brazil respectively. Means TCCs of 6.14, 5.93 and 5.98 log10cfu/g were obtained for chicken meats from Brazil, USA and the Netherlands respectively. Staphylococcus spp. (35.4%), E. coli (26.2%), Salmonella spp. (24.6%), and Klebsiella spp. (13.8%) were isolated with Aspergillus spp (33.3%), Rhizopus spp (27.3%), Penicillin spp (24.2%), and Cladosporium spp (15.2%). Chicken thighs, backs and wings recorded 46.2%, 29.2% and 24.6% bacterial contaminants in this order. Bacterial isolates of 49.2%, 28.8% and 22.0% were recorded in frozen chicken meat products from Brazil, the Netherlands USA respectively. Conclusion: The results suggest that imported frozen chicken meats into the Ghanaian market have moderate quality with potential pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella spp.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201704.0031.v1
Online: 5 April 2017 (18:09:25 CEST)
Models come in different forms: visual, arithmetic, mental, physical. The most common type of model is arguably the mental model, which people use to view and interpret the world. A model can be described as a representation of a problem or a situation – a simplified representation. The process of building or developing a model is called modeling. A model once developed by the modeller, can be ‘owned’ by a manager or decision maker. The ideal is to make the model an extension of the user’s ability to think about and analyse problems or situations. When used properly – taking into consideration its limitations – an economic model for a project can provide insight for decision makers, when making the crucial decision to approve a project. An economic model for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project is shown as an example.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0637.v1
Subject: Keywords: Mean Opinion Score (MOS); Quality of Experience (QoE); bandwidth; bandwidth cost; Quality of Service (QoS)
Online: 30 October 2020 (12:55:01 CET)
Quality of Service (QoS) metrics deal with network quantities, e.g. latency and loss, whereas Quality of Experience (QoE) provides a proxy metric for end-user experience. Many papers in the literature have proposed mappings between various QoS metrics and QoE. This paper goes further in providing analysis for QoE versus bandwidth cost. We measure QoE using the widely accepted Mean Opinion Score (MOS) rating. Our results naturally show that increasing bandwidth increases MOS. However, we extend this understanding by providing analysis for internet access scenarios, using TCP, and varying the number of TCP sources multiplexed together. For these target scenarios our analysis indicates what MOS increase you get by further expenditure on bandwidth. We anticipate that this will be of considerable value to commercial organizations responsible for bandwidth purchase and allocation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0517.v3
Subject: Engineering, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: Robust Design, Taguchi Method, Product Design, Manufacturing Systems, Quality Engineering, Quality Loss Function.
Online: 25 August 2022 (08:36:39 CEST)
One of the main technological and economic challenges for an engineer is designing high-quality products in manufacturing processes. Most of these processes involve a large number of variables included the setting of controllable (design) and uncontrollable (noise) variables. Robust Design (RD) method uses a collection of mathematical and statistical tools to study a large number of variables in the process with a minimum value of computational cost. Robust design method tries to make high-quality products according to customers’ viewpoints with an acceptable profit margin. This paper aims to provide a brief up-to-date review of the latest development of RD method particularly applied in manufacturing systems. The basic concepts of the quality loss function, orthogonal array, and crossed array design are explained. According to robust design approach, two classifications are presented, first for different types of factors, and second for different types of data. This classification plays an important role in determining the number of necessity replications for experiments and choose the best method for analyzing data. In addition, the combination of RD method with some other optimization methods applied in designing and optimizing of processes are discussed.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Client; Satisfaction; Quality; Nursing Services
Online: 2 April 2021 (11:11:18 CEST)
Client or patient satisfaction is a very important indicator in determining service quality, patient satisfaction with various factors, but the main determining factor for patient satisfaction is the nurse, because nurses are medical personnel who are always near the patient and almost approaching the treatment that the client receives always involves the nurse. In it, therefore, nursing services, namely in the form of nursing care, are important to penetrate patient satisfaction. The purpose of this paper is to determine the effect of the quality of nursing services in increasing patient satisfaction. The method used in this research was a literature study which is analyzed from 25 articles searched through Google Scholar and Pubmed and selected based on indexes, namely Scopus, Sinta 1, and 2 and the topics discussed. The results showed that if the quality of service of nursing or nursing care can significantly increase patient satisfaction.
Online: 12 July 2020 (15:14:30 CEST)
The PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) market is heterogenous with dozens of PACS providers having deployed installations in healthcare facilities. The DICOM query and retrieve interfaces provided by PACS have multiple variations, related to the implemented SOP (Service Object Pair) Class UID (Unique Identifier), transfer syntaxes, extended negotiations, matching attributes and matching types. These variations make any integration of a new DICOM consumer with a PACS complex and time consuming. As there is no collective information describing the various PACS query and retrieve capabilities, application developers and healthcare facilities lack a method to evaluate the PACS capabilities and classify its functionalities. GE designed a method to evaluate the PACS capabilities in terms of query retrieve functionalities. Our aim is to analyze several PACS in test and production environments, using our method to provide the DICOM object consumers a macroscopic knowledge of query/retrieve capabilities of PACS functionalities and its different variations. Our evaluation can also be used by PACS and VNA (Vendor Neutral Archive) developers to evaluate their query/retrieve capabilities, for quality improvement purpose.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0130.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: Wikipedia; information quality; WikiRank; DBpedia
Online: 26 September 2017 (15:34:18 CEST)
Despite the fact that Wikipedia is often criticized for its poor quality, it continues to be one of the most popular knowledge base in the world. Articles in this free encyclopedia on various topics can be created and edited in about 300 different language versions independently. Our research showed that in language sensitive topics quality of information can be relatively better in the relevant language versions. However, in most cases it is difficult for the Wikipedia readers to determine the language affiliation of the described subject. Additionally, each language edition of Wikipedia can have own rules in manual assessing of the content quality. This makes automatic quality comparison of articles between various languages a challenging task. The paper presents results of relative quality and popularity assessment of over 28 million articles in 44 selected language versions. In addition, a comparative analysis of the quality and popularity of articles in some topics was conducted. The proposed method allows to find articles with information of better quality that can be used to automatically enrich other language editions of Wikipedia.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0003.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: polyphenols; reproduction; phytoestrogens; ovary function; sirtuin; testis function; spermatozoa; cryopreservation; sperm quality; oocyte quality
Online: 1 September 2020 (09:55:01 CEST)
Resveratrol is one of the most investigated natural polyphenolic compounds and is contained in more than 70 types of plants and in red wine. The widespread interest in this polyphenol derives from its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. Several studies have established that resveratrol regulates animal reproduction. However, the mechanisms of action and the potential therapeutic effects are still unclear. This review aims to clarify the role of resveratrol in the male and female reproductive functions, with a focus on animals of veterinary interest. In the female, resveratrol has been considered a phytoestrogen due to its capacity to modulate ovarian function and steroidogenesis via sirtuins, SIRT1, in particular. Resveratrol has also been used to enhance aged oocyte quality, and as a gametes cryo-protectant with mainly antioxidant, and anti-apoptotic effects. In the male, resveratrol enhanced testes function and spermatogenesis through activation of AMPK pathway. Furthermore, resveratrol has been supplemented to semen extenders improving the preservation of sperm quality. In conclusion, resveratrol has potentially beneficial effects for ameliorating ovarian and testes function. However, due to unclear data, further studies are necessary to consolidate these findings.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0048.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: emergency rainwater tanks; earthquake; Wellington; health hazards; drinking-water quality; E. coli; lead; zinc
Online: 13 October 2016 (05:41:48 CEST)
The greater Wellington region, New Zealand, is highly vulnerable to large earthquakes because it is cut by active faults. Bulk water supply pipelines cross the Wellington Fault at several different locations, and there is considerable concern about severe disruption of the provision of reticulated water supplies to households and businesses in the aftermath of a large earthquake. A number of policy initiatives have been launched encouraging householders to install rainwater tanks to increase post-disaster resilience. However, little attention has been paid to potential health hazards associated with consumption of these supplies. To assess health hazards for householders in emergency situations, six 200-litre emergency water tanks were installed at properties across the Wellington region, with five tanks being allowed to fill with roof-collected rainwater and one tank being filled with municipal tapwater as a control. Such tanks are predominantly set aside for water storage, and once filled, feature limited drawdown and recharge. Sampling from these tanks was carried out fortnightly for one year, and samples analysed for E. coli, pH, conductivity, a range of major and trace elements, and organic compounds, enabling an assessment of the evolution of water chemistry in water storage tanks over time. Key findings were that the overall rate of E.coli detections in the rain-fed tanks was 17.7%, which is low in relation to other studies. We propose that low incidences of E.coli may be due to biocidal effects of high zinc concentrations in tanks, originating from unpainted galvanised steel roof cladding. Lead concentrations were high compared to other studies, with 69% of rain-fed tank samples exceeding the World Health Organisation’s health-based guideline of 0.01 mg/L. Further work is required to determine risks of short-term consumption of this water in emergency situations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0013.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Groundwater quality; irrigation and drinking water; hydrochemistry; Water Quality Index; geochemical process; Senegal
Online: 1 February 2023 (11:45:43 CET)
Senegal central regions face rainfall deficit combined with scarcity of surface water and poor quality. Populations use groundwater for drinking and irrigation. A Groundwater assessment studiebased on 42 samples aims to determine their quality. Several parameters (TDS, TH, WQI, SAR, RSC, %N, PI, KR and MR) and ion chemistry determined . Samples exhibit an alcaline pH (7.6) and hydrochemical facies mainly Ca-Na-Mg-HCO3. The ionic dominance is Na+ ˃ Ca2+ ˃ Mg2+ ˃ K+ and HCO3- ˃ Cl- ˃ SO42- ˃ NO3- ˃ F-. From TDS and WQI index most of the groundwaters are suitable for drinking. Irrigation quality (based on SAR, %N, RSC, KR, MR) varie from excellent to good water type. Plotting chemical data (USSL salinity & Wilcox diagrams) reveals that the majority of the groundwater samples belong to the fields excellent to good and from good to permissible . Natural processes (rock weathering, mineral dissolution, evaporation and ion exchange) control groundwater quality. As the region faced a persistent rainfall deficit combine with fragile groundwater quality should alert the stakeholders. A sustainable development of the region can be faced if strong measures are planned to follow water quality evolution and quantity available for human purposes
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0234.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: chronic fatigue syndrome; fatigue; myalgic encephalomyelitis; melatonin; quality of life; sleep quality; zinc
Online: 8 March 2021 (16:00:25 CET)
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a complex, multisystem, and profoundly debilitating condition, probably of multifactorial etiology. No effective approved drugs are currently available for its treatment. Several studies have proposed symptomatic treatment with melatonin and zinc supplementation in chronic illnesses; however, little is known about the synergistic effect of this treatment on fatigue-related symptoms in ME/CFS. The primary endpoint of the study was to assess the effect of oral melatonin plus zinc supplementation on fatigue in ME/CFS. Secondary measures included participants’ sleep disturbances, anxiety/depression, and health-related quality of life. A proof-of-concept, 16-week, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial was conducted in 50 ME/CFS patients assigned to receive either oral melatonin (1 mg) plus zinc (10 mg) supplementation (n = 24) or matching placebo (n = 26) once daily. Endpoint outcomes were evaluated at baseline and then reassessed at 8 and 16 weeks of treatment and 4 weeks after treatment cessation, using self-reported outcome measures. Treatment was safe and well-tolerated. The most relevant results were the significant reduction in the perception of physical fatigue in the active group at the final follow-up versus placebo (p < 0.05), and the significant improvement in the physical component summary at all follow-up visits in the experimental group. Our findings suggest that oral melatonin plus zinc supplementation for 16 weeks is safe and potentially effective in reducing fatigue and improving the quality of life in ME/CFS. This clinical study was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03000777).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0325.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Pollution in Lakes; Quality assessment; Water and metal quality index; Metal pollution index; Correlation analysis
Online: 22 October 2021 (10:09:36 CEST)
With this article, impact of effluent mixed water with the quality of the Mansagar Lake has been established by evaluating the physico-chemical parameters and the heavy-metal contents experimentally. The process of calculating water quality and the metal pollution quality indices is also explained in brief with respect to selected sample locations and varied environmental conditions (Pre- and Post-Monsoon season). Distribution trends of Pearson‘s correlation factor have also been discussed to establish their relation among the physico-chemical parameters and the heavy-metal contents for varied environmental conditions. In the end, detailed discussion on observations made during this study and useful recommendations are also elaborated in details. With this article, we intend to present a document for better understanding of the water quality of this lake in view of futuristic management strategies to be adopted to maintain it heritage values.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0326.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: organic; conventional; potato; quality; disease
Online: 14 May 2021 (11:44:40 CEST)
Interest in organic foods is increasing at a moment when humanity is facing a range of health challenges including the concern that some conventionally produced foods may pose possible adverse effects on human and livestock health. With the increasing human population, intensive production is increasingly trending towards high-input systems that aim to close yield gaps, increase crop yields, and develop new crop varieties with higher yield potential and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses, all within the context of incorporating specific traits to satisfy consumer demand. Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is one of the most consumed foods under different cultural diets, however its production faces some challenges related to soilborne diseases, marketable yield and quality, sugars and dry matter content of the produced tubers, tuber content in terms of nitrate, minerals, vitamins, bioactive compounds and antioxidants, and consumer appreciation regarding the sensory characteristics of tubers and processed products. Different studies have been investigating some of these challenges, with sometimes straightforward and sometimes connflicting results. This variability in research results indicates the general non-transferability of the results from one location to another under the same management practices in addition to differences in plant material. This review compares some characteristics of raw or boiled potato and processed products from potato tubers grown organically and conventionally. Ideally, such information may be of benefit in decision making by consumers in their dietary choices, by potato growers in their selection of crop management practices, and by scientists looking at potential areas for future research on potatoes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0545.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: Composite score; Machine learning; PSPS; Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS); Chronic pain; Pain Intensity; Quality of Life; Pain Mapping; Pain Surface; Functional Capacity; Psychological Distress; Anxiety and Depression
Online: 30 August 2021 (13:04:51 CEST)
The multidimensionality of chronic pain forces us to look beyond isolated pain assessment such as pain intensity, which does not consider multiple key parameters, particularly in patients suffering from post-operative Persistent Spinal Pain Syndrome (PSPS-T2). Our ambition was to provide a novel Multi-dimensional Clinical Response Index (MCRI), including not only pain intensity but also functional capacity, anxiety-depression, quality of life and objective quantitative pain mapping assessments, the objective being to capture patient condition instantaneously, using machine learning techniques. Two hundred PSPS-T2 patients were enrolled in a real-life observational prospective PREDIBACK study with 12-month follow-up and received various treatments. From a multitude of questionnaires/scores, specific items were combined using exploratory factor analyses to create an optimally accurate MCRI; as a single composite index, using pairwise correlations between measurements, it appeared to better represent all pain dimensions than any other classical score. It appeared to be the best compromise among all existing indexes, showing the highest sensitivity/specificity related to Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC). Novel composite indexes could help to refine pain assessment by changing the physician’s perception of patient condition on the basis of objective and holistic metrics, and by providing new insights to therapy efficacy/patient outcome assessments, before ultimately being adapted to other pathologies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0196.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: Speech Rehabilitation; Speech Quality Assessment; LSTM
Online: 13 December 2021 (10:10:36 CET)
The article considers an approach to the problem of assessing the quality of speech during speech rehabilitation as a classification problem. For this, a classifier is built on the basis of an LSTM neural network for dividing speech signals into two classes: before the operation and immediately after. At the same time, speech before the operation is the standard to which it is necessary to approach in the process of rehabilitation. The metric of belonging of the evaluated signal to the reference class acts as an assessment of speech. An experimental assessment of rehabilitation sessions and a comparison of the resulting assessments with expert assessments of phrasal intelligibility were carried out.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201711.0060.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: ECG quality assessment; complexity; entropy; ROC
Online: 9 November 2017 (05:47:22 CET)
We compared performance of a novel encoding Lempel-Ziv complexity (ELZC) with approximate entropy (ApEn), sample entropy (SmpEn) and permutation entropy (PerEn) as nonlinear metric to assess ECG quality. Firstly to compare performance of discerning randomness and inherent nonlinear properties within time series, this study calculated the aforementioned four nonlinear complexity values on several typical artificial time series i.e., Gauss noise, two kinds of noisy time series, two kinds of Logistic series and periodic series, respectively. Then for analyzing sensitivity of the aforementioned four complexity methods to content level of different types noise within ECG recordings, we investigated variation trend of ELZC, ApEn, SmpEn and PerEn in several synthetic ECG recordings containing different types noise (i.e., baseline wander, muscle artefacts, electrode motion, power line and mixed noise) and different signal noise ratios (i.e., 15, 10, 5, 0, −5 and −10 dB). Finally, the four complexity methods were employed to classify the quality of real ECG recordings from the PhysioNet/Computing in Cardiology Challenge 2011 (CINC 2011) of the MIT databases, then receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC) and their corresponding area under curve (AUC) were yielded. The results showed ELZC could not only distinguish randomness and chaotic within time series but also reflect content level of noise within time series, and the highest AUC of PerEn, ELZC, SmpEn and ApEn were 0.850, 0.695, 0.474 and 0.461, respectively. The results demonstrated PerEn and ELZC were more effectively than ApEn and SmpEn for assessing ECG quality.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0424.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: nursing homes; quality indicators; quality measurement; palliative care; quality of care; end of life care; advance care planning
Online: 17 December 2020 (11:07:43 CET)
An increasingly frail population in nursing homes accentuates the need for high quality care at the end of life and better access to palliative care in this context. Implementation of palliative care and its outcomes can be monitored by using quality indicators. Therefore, we developed a quality indicator set for palliative care in nursing homes and a tailored measurement procedure using a mixed-methods design. We developed the instrument in three phases: 1) literature search, 2) interviews with experts and 3) indicator and measurement selection by expert consensus (RAND/UCLA). Second, we pilot tested and evaluated the instrument in nine nursing homes in Flanders, Belgium. After identifying 26 indicators in the literature and expert interviews, 19 of them were selected through expert consensus. Setting-specific themes were advance care planning, autonomy and communication with family. The quantitative and qualitative analyses showed the indicators were measurable, had good preliminary face validity and discriminative power and were considered useful in terms of quality monitoring according to the caregivers. The quality indicators can be used in a large implementation study and process evaluation in order to achieve continuous monitoring of the access to palliative care for all residents in nursing homes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0479.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: software quality, Adaptive Neural Fuzzy, ISO standard, quality model, Inference system
Online: 20 May 2021 (10:31:56 CEST)
Computer systems are involved in many critical human applications today, so that a small error can lead to serious and dangerous problems. These errors can be from an error in the incorrect design of the user interface to an error in the program code. The success of a software product depends on several factors. Given that different organizations and institutions use software products, the need to have a quality and desirable Software according to the goals and needs of the organization makes measuring the quality of software products. an important issue for most organizations and institutions, To be sure of having the right software. It is necessary to use a standard quality model to examine the features and sub-features for a detailed and principled study in the quality discussion. In this study, the quality of Word software was measured by Adaptive Neural Fuzzy Inference System. In recent years, powerful systems called fuzzy inference systems on The basis of adaptive neural network (ANFIS) has been used in various sciences. Using the power of neural network training and the linguistic advantage of fuzzy systems, these types of systems have been able to realize the advantages of the two in terms of analyzing very powerful complex processes. Considering the importance of software quality and to have a good and usable software in terms of quality and measuring the quality of software during the study. It was applied at different levels to make the result of measuring the quality of Word software more accurate and closer to reality. In this research, the quality of the software product is measured based on the adaptive neural-fuzzy inference system in ISO standard. According to the results obtained in this study, it is understood that quality is a continuous and hierarchical concept and the quality of each part of the software at any stage of production can lead to high quality products.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0016.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Other Keywords: keyword 1; Hapkido 2; Service Quality 3; Quality on Exercise Continuation 4; Recommendation Intentions
Online: 1 March 2021 (13:37:51 CET)
This research analyzed the impact of quality of service as perceived by Hapkido students on their exercise continuation and recommendation intentions. It also identified the measures to reduce the rate of student dropout, strengthen competitiveness, and create more efficient marketing strategies for consumer patterns that are rapidly diversifying Hapkido. A questionnaire survey method was conducted with 300 middle and high school students aged 14–19 years having Hapkido training of three months to two years in Incheon and Bucheon during March–April 2019. Frequency, factor, reliability, correlation, and standard multiple regression analyses were conducted on the surveyed data. The conclusions are as follows. First, considering the impact of service quality on exercise continuation intention, service quality positively affects reliability, personification, and perceptual openness; in terms of possibility, it positively affects typicality, personification, and perceptual openness; and in terms of reinforcement, it positively affects reliability and perceptual openness. Second, examining the impact of service quality on recommendation intention positively affects reliability, personification, and perceptual openness. Third, exercise continuation intention positively affects recommendation intention.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0569.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: Sleep quality; Chronic pain; Temporomandibular disorder; Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; STOP-Bang; Epworth Sleepiness Scale
Online: 23 June 2021 (11:11:14 CEST)
Objectives: This study aimed to investigate and compare sleep quality between patients with chronic temporomandibular disorder and healthy controls, and to analyze the association of sleep quality with disease characteristics, obstructive sleep apnea risk factors, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Methods: Chronic temporomandibular disorder patients (n=503) and 180 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were included, who completed well-organized clinical report and answered questions on sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), sleep apnea risk factors (STOP-Bang questionnaire), and excessive daytime sleepiness (Epworth sleepiness scale). Results: Mean global Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores were significantly higher in the patients (6.25±2.77) than in healthy controls (6.25±2.77) (p<0.001). Poor sleep was significantly more prevalent in the patient group (56.9%) than in healthy controls (22.2%) (p<0.001). Compared with healthy controls, chronic temporomandibular disorder patients had a higher likelihood of obstructive sleep apnea. (STOP-Bang total score ≥3; 7.2% vs. 16.1%; p<0.01) and higher excessive daytime sleepiness (Epworth sleepiness scale score ≥10; 12.8% vs. 19.7%; p<0.05). Age (odds ratio=2.551; p<0.001), female sex (odds ratio=1.885; p=0.007), total Epworth sleepiness scale score (odds ratio=1.839; p=0.014), and headache attributed to temporomandibular disorder (odds ratio=1.519; p=0.049) were the most powerful predictors of poor sleep (global Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index score ≥5) in chronic temporomandibular disorder patients. Conclusion: Chronic temporomandibular disorder patients had sleep quality impairment. Various factors, including peripheral and central factors, affect the patient's sleep quality. Therefore, in addition to sleep quality and sleep-related problems, the underlying central mechanism for poor sleep quality should be assessed when treating chronic temporomandibular disorder patients.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0091.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Organizational Economics & Management Keywords: 2030 Agenda; strategic planning; quality criteria
Online: 8 November 2019 (08:11:50 CET)
The UN’s 2030 Agenda brings new governance challenges to municipal environmental planning, both in large urban centres and in metropolitan peripheries. The opportunities of the new framework of action proposed by the United Nations (UN) and its integrative, global and transversal nature constitute advances from the previous models of municipal management based on the Local Agenda 21. This text provides evidence to apply quality criteria and validated instruments of participatory evaluation. These instruments have been built on the foundation of Evaluative Research, a scientific discipline that provides rigour and validity to those decisions adopted at a municipal level. A case study focused on a metropolitan area serves as a field of experimentation for this model of the modernization of environmental management structures at a local level. Details of the instruments, agents, priority decision areas, methodologies, participation processes and quality criteria are provided, as well as an empirically validated model for participatory municipal management based on action research processes and strategic planning that favours a shared responsibility across all social groups in the decision-making process and in the development of continuous improvement activities that are committed to sustainability. Finally, a critical comparison of weaknesses and strengths is included in light of the evidence collected.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0016.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: citizen science; volunteered geographical information; metadata; data quality; quality assurance; scientific workflow; provenance; metaquality; open data
Online: 3 October 2017 (13:52:29 CEST)
Environmental policy involving citizen science (CS) is of growing interest. In support of this open data stream, validation or quality assessment of the CS data and their appropriate usage for evidence-based policy making, needs a flexible and easily adaptable data curation process ensuring transparency. Addressing these needs, this paper describes an approach for automatic quality assurance as proposed by the Citizen OBservatory WEB (COBWEB) FP7 project. This approach is based upon a workflow composition that combines different quality controls, each belonging to seven categories or ‘pillars’. Each pillar focuses on a specific dimension in the types of reasoning algorithms for CS data qualification. These pillars attribute values to a range of quality elements belonging to three complementary quality models. Additional data from various sources, such as Earth Observation (EO) data, are often included as part of the inputs of quality controls within the pillars. However, qualified CS data can also contribute to the validation of EO data. Therefore, the question of validation can be considered as ‘two sides of the same coin’. Based on an invasive species CS study, concerning Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed), the paper discusses the flexibility and usefulness of qualifying CS data, either when using an EO data for the validation within the quality assurance process, or validating an EO data product that describes the risk of occurrence of the plant. Both validation paths are found to be improved by quality assurance of the CS data. Addressing the reliability of CS open data, issues and limitations of the role of quality assurance for validation, due to the quality of secondary data used within the automatic workflow, are described, e.g. error propagation, paving the route to improvements in the approach.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0381.v2
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: quinoa; genotype; nutritional traits; seed quality
Online: 8 September 2021 (12:37:08 CEST)
Exploiting the relationship between the nutritional properties of seeds and the genetic background, constitutes an essential analysis which contributes to broadening our knowledge regarding the control of the nutritional quality of seeds or any other edible plant structure. This constitutes an important aspect when aiming at improving the nutritional characteristics properties of crops, including those of Chenopodium quinoa Willd (quinoa) which is intended to be one of the main nutrient sources ensuring food security worldwide. Changes in the nutritional properties of quinoa seeds due to the influence exerted by the environment, the genotype, or their interaction, have been already described in previous works, but there is an important limitation in the analyses carried out, including the outcomes that can be translated into agronomical practices by which quality can be improved selecting the most adequate genotype. In the present study, several seed nutritional-related parameters from fifteen quinoa cultivars grown in a particular environmental context were analyzed aiming at targeting compounds that can be determinants of seed quality. Important agronomical and nutritional differences were found among cultivars such as distinct mineral or protein contents and seed viability. More importantly, our analyses revealed key correlations between seed quality-related traits in some cultivars, including those that relate yield and antioxidants or the germination rate. These results highlight the importance of considering the genotypic variation in quinoa when selecting improved quinoa varieties with the best nutritional characteristics for new cultivation environments.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0224.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: self-esteem; quality of sleep; eating; nursing
Online: 18 December 2018 (12:12:23 CET)
In recent decades, organizational research has given special attention to the mechanisms promoting the health and wellbeing of nursing professionals. In this context, self-esteem is a personal resource which influences wellbeing at work and psychological wellbeing of nurses. The purpose of this study was to analyze the mediating role of eating in the effect of sleep quality on self-esteem in nursing professionals. The sample of 1073 nurses were administered the Rosenberg General Self-Esteem Scale, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire-R18. The results show that poor sleep quality and type of eating directly and indirectly affect self-esteem. More so, poor sleep quality deteriorated self-esteem through emotional eating, and even though emotional eating facilitated disinhibited eating, this relationship had no significant effects on self-esteem. The findings of this study suggest that hospital management should implement employee health awareness programs on the importance of healthy sleep and design educational interventions for improving the quality of their diet.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0041.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: air quality; air pollution measurements; electrochemical sensors; low-cost sensors; AQI (Air Quality Index); Athens
Online: 1 June 2021 (15:08:39 CEST)
Most people living in Europe's cities are still exposed to levels of air pollution deemed harmful by the World Health Organization. In the modern world, air pollution is the foremost concern because of its impact in human health and economy. This strong connection appears gaining a lot of concern, driven by new installed low-cost electrochemical sensors monitoring systems. Highly accuracy, real-time monitoring, daily and yearly statistics, data access from experts or simple users, low-cost equipment and forecasting needs, enforce the market to develop new air quality monitoring systems using advanced technologies and protocols. In this study, a comparison via low-cost electrochemical sensors and of static, fixed site measurement monitoring station, is taking place in Athens, Greece, along with the data quality and Air Quality Index (AQI) including data accuracy and quality of data concerning adverse health effects due to air pollution. The findings presented in this work, relate to different flexible and affordable alternatives adopted during the evaluation and calibration of low-cost gas sensors for the monitoring. The significance of the positive results is particularly useful, especially considering the founding for interference, environmental conditions affections and air quality information including indexes and health recommendations for a specific location.