ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0418.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: Security patterns; Software patterns; Systematic literature review (SLR)
Online: 16 November 2020 (12:13:53 CET)
Security patterns encompass security-related issues in secure software system development and operations that often appear in certain contexts. Since the late 1990s about 500 security patterns have been proposed. Although the technical components are well investigated, the direction, overall picture, and barriers to implementation are not. Here, a systematic literature review of 240 papers is used to devise a taxonomy for security pattern research. Our taxonomy and the survey results should improve communications among practitioners and researchers, standardize the terminology, and increase the effectiveness of security patterns.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0600.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: Tor; hidden services; onion services; systematic literature review; survey
Online: 27 July 2021 (11:22:06 CEST)
Anonymous communications networks were born to protect the privacy of our communications, preventing censorship and traffic analysis. The most famous anonymous communication network is Tor. This anonymous communication network provides some interesting features, among them, we can mention user’s IP location or Tor Hidden Services (THS) as a mechanism to conceal the location of servers, mainly, web servers. THS is an important research field in Tor. However, there is a lack of reviews that sump up main findings and research challenges. In this article we present a systematic literature review that aims to offer a comprehensive view on the research made on Tor Hidden services presenting the state of the art and the different research challenges to be addressed. This review has been developed from a selection of 57 articles and present main findings and advances regarding Tor Hidden Services, limitations found, and future issues to be investigated.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0281.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Organizational Economics & Management Keywords: Drive tourism; Routes; Sustainable; Systematic Literature Review; PRISMA.
Online: 19 September 2022 (10:37:29 CEST)
Drive tourism (DT) have become an attractive way of tourist destination for an increasing number of visitors along driving routes. This flow of visitors has made sustainability a major issue that is, the way by which tourism development ensure economic benefits for local communities and preserves local identity, along the route, without compromising the environmental resources. Many studies focused the topic of DT, mainly the analysis of a particular angle, either be economic sustainability, e.g., advantages of the ones related to economic and environment sustainability [e.g., 2,4,5,10], such as the impact of tourists along the route environment. Nevertheless, little attention has been paid to the social consequences of DT in the local entrepreneurial environment and ensuing over enhancing of their cultural representativeness in terms of authenticity. Our aim is to summon these points of view and achieve, through a systematic literature review, a clear and integrative picture of the driving tourism impacts in terms of sustainability along the routes throughout local communities. A systematic literature review was performed using the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) methodology. This systematic literature review sought to consolidate knowledge on the subject. In order to illustrate the link between major categories and their corresponding trends, authors used VOSviewer scientific software. The gathering of existing knowledge around the three components of sustainability highlighted the importance of community involvement and collaboration among DT stakeholders to ensure a trade-off between the protection and promotion of DT routes. Opportunities for future studies are suggested.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0011.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Marketing Keywords: alternative food networks; systematic literature review; sustainability
Online: 29 January 2019 (10:34:36 CET)
In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to individuals organizing themselves and managing food systems in an ‘alternative’ and more sustainable way. Such emerging food initiatives are most commonly known as ‘Alternative Food Networks’ (AFNs). However, there is an ongoing debate concerning the extent to which AFNs facilitate social, economic and environmental change. There are criticisms of the overall sustainability promise of AFNs related to sufficiency of impact, possible counter effects and relevance of impacts. Because often empirical studies only focus on specific sustainability issues or AFNs, it has been difficult to develop more robust theories about the relations between diverse AFNs arrangements and sustainability. Thus, the aim of this paper is to contribute towards reducing this knowledge gap through a systematic literature review on AFNs in relation to sustainability. We summarize main methodological approaches, types of AFNs studied and sustainability dimensions addressed in literature to date. Findings serve as reference to propose opportunities for future research regarding sustainability in AFNs.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0044.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Circular Economy; Social Aspects; Systematic Review; Sustainable Development
Online: 2 September 2020 (11:42:04 CEST)
Circular Economy (CE) is a growing topic among scholars, industry and government aiming at decoupling economic growth and development from the consumption of finite resources. CE incorporates different meanings, from reduce, reuse and recycle activities to environmental degradation or resource scarcity, and supported by specific indicators to attain sustainable development. However, so far, there has been no agreement to measure how effective an industry/product is in making the transition from linear to circular approaches, particularly those affected the society. This research work aims to perform a systematic literature review (n=60) to analyze and discuss how social aspects have been considered and integrated in the CE research so far. Moreover, this review provides and overview of the literature on social impact within CE, that resulted in three main outputs: a knowledge map of the CE, an analysis of social aspects within CE, and the theories/frameworks used to evaluate social impact of CE. Finally, this study brings to light how CE implementation can affect society and highlights the importance of social dimension in the domains of CE and policy-making community, which could help moving CE towards a sustainable development.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0138.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Clinical Neurology Keywords: dengue fever; transverse myelitis; risk; systematic review
Online: 12 December 2018 (05:22:13 CET)
Dengue virus (DENV) is the most common arbovirus disease, with wide spectrum of presentation. Spinal cord involvement in dengue infection (DF) is rare. However, the risk of transverse myelitis (TM) following Dengue has not been systematically assessed. Methods: We undertook a systematic review of the English literature published from January 1974 to December 2017 to assess risk of TM and outcomes following DF. Data sources included MEDLINE, EMBASE Cochrane library, and references within identified articles. Results: We identified 242 potential studies, 62 were duplicates. A further 136 were excluded on the basis of title and abstract and 19 studies did not meet the eligibility criteria on full text screening. We included 25 publications involving 2672 cases of DF. 10.8% (289/2672) had neurological complications, of which 2.3% (61/2672) was TM. For articles reporting epidemiological data, the neurological complication was twice in males compared to female 67.7% (130/192) vs 32.7% (62/192) and 1.5 fold increase TM for males 59.3% (32/54) vs 40.7% (22/54). The mean age at presentation was 33.1years (Range 0.75 – 61), with onset at 11.7days. The method of diagnosing TM due to DF was mainly IgM seropositivity 92% (n=23/25) and the commonest treatment modality was steroid 78.3% (n=18/23). Only half had full recovery 50.8% (n=31/61). There was no mortality following dengue, however, the crude case fatality rate following TM was 3.3% (n=2/61). Conclusion: This review highlights the risk of TM following dengue. Although neurological complications are rare, especially TM, once set in, it is associated with a significant morbidity.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0345.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: big data; machine learning; agriculture; challenges; systematic literature review
Online: 28 February 2022 (03:14:56 CET)
Agricultural Big Data is a set of technologies that allows responding to the challenges of the new data era. In conjunction with machine learning, farmers can use data to address different problems such as farmers' decision-making, crops, weeds, animal research, land, food availability and security, weather, and climate change. The purpose of this paper is to synthesize the evidence regarding the challenges involved in implementing machine learning in Agricultural Big Data. We conducted a Systematic Literature Review applying the PRISMA protocol. This review includes 30 papers, published from 2015 to 2020. We develop a framework that summarizes the main challenges encountered, the use of machine learning techniques, as well as the main technologies used. A major challenge is the design of Agricultural Big Data architectures, due to the need to modify the set of technologies adapting the machine learning techniques, as the volume of data increases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0648.v1
Online: 26 April 2021 (10:22:54 CEST)
The runtime environment is an important concern for self-adaptive systems (SASs). Although researchers have proposed many approaches for developing SASs that address the issue of uncertain runtime environments, the understanding of these environments varies depending on the objectives, perspectives, and assumptions of the research. Thus, the current understanding of the environment in SAS development is ambiguous and abstract. To make this understanding more concrete, we describe the landscape in this area through a systematic literature review (SLR). We examined 128 primary studies and 14 unique environment models. We investigated concepts of the environment depicted in the primary studies and the proposed environment models based on their ability to aid in understanding. This illustrates the characteristics of the SAS environment, the associated emerging environmental uncertainties, and what is expressed in the existing environment models. This paper makes explicit the implicit understanding about the environment made by the SAS research community and organizes and visualizes them.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0043.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Collaborative Problem Based Learning; Metacognitive; Chemistry Students; Systematic Literature Review
Online: 2 August 2021 (13:23:11 CEST)
Increasing the metacognitive abilities of chemistry students is an indisputable output of the teaching and learning process today. Collaborative problem based learning is a learning method that has been tested and proven to be applied, especially in Western countries in increasing the metacognitive abilities of students, but it is still very minimal applied in Asian countries, including Indonesia. Thus, this study was conducted to explore previous studies that examined collaborative problem-based learning in improving students' metacognitive abilities. The research design used in this study is a Systematic Literature Review with the requirements of the inclusion of articles on collaborative problem-based learning in improving the metacognitive abilities of chemistry students, accredited national and international publications between 2010 and 2020, full text, journal articles, and open access. The results of the exploration that were carried out found 102 articles, then the title and abstract were read into 20 articles, and 4 articles were read in full, which fulfilled all the stipulated inclusion requirements. The results of the systematic literature review conducted in this study provide empirical evidence of literacy that problem based learning improves the metacognitive abilities of chemistry students. However, most of research conducted still uses various instruments, which are not standardized and validated.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0325.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: big data; architecture; agriculture; climate change; systematic literature review
Online: 24 May 2022 (07:42:55 CEST)
Climate change is currently one of the main problems facing agriculture to achieve sustainability. It causes situations such as drought, increased rainfall, and increased diseases, causing a decrease in food production. In order to combat these problems, Agricultural Big Data contributes with tools that allow improving the understanding of complex, multivariate, and unpredictable agricultural ecosystems through the collection, storage, processing, and analysis of vast amounts of data from diverse heterogeneous sources. This research aims to discuss the advancement of technologies used in Agricultural Big Data architectures in the context of climate change. The study aims to highlight the tools used to process, analyze, and visualize the data and discuss the use of the architectures in the crop, water, climate, and soil management, especially to analyze the context, whether it is in Resilience Mitigation or Adaptation. The PRISMA protocol guided the study, finding 33 relevant papers. Despite the advances in this line of research, few papers were found that mention the components of the architectures, in addition to the lack of standards and the use of reference architectures, which allow the proper development of Agricultural Big Data in the context of climate change.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0168.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: urban transportation; public transportation; bus services; quality of services; systematic literature review
Online: 12 May 2022 (10:13:53 CEST)
Bus services play a significant role as the main public transportation, especially in urban areas throughout the years. Since bus services compete greatly with other types of public transportation, such as e-hailing service and private vehicles, they have recently attracted scholars to conduct many relevant studies. However, most past research studies in the Asian region were not focused on engineering, social science, and Internet of Things (IOT). This present study concentrated on the service quality of bus services in Asia by using systematic literature review of articles. This study conducted a review based on previous studies, specifically on the service quality of performance. Several previous studies were selected by using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRIMSA) approach. SCOPUS and Science Direct were chosen as the main journal database. By using this method, 41 articles were selected for further analysis. This study was merely focused on three primary themes, such as study approach, stakeholder, and service quality attributes. Advanced analysis on these primary themes was used to formulate another 18 sub-themes. All themes and sub-themes which reflected the significant impacts of service quality towards bus services were discussed in detail. This study had addressed several qualities of bus services of bus performance towards improvement of urban transportation polices. Lastly, several recommendations that could provide necessary knowledge and information for future research were presented.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0134.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: zinc sensor; 8-amidoquinoline; fluorescent probe; chemosensor; systematic review
Online: 6 October 2020 (14:55:13 CEST)
Abundant of preparatory works have recognized that fluorescent sensors based on 8-aminoquinoline are popular tools to detect Zn2+ ions in environmental and biological applications. Along with these studies, researchers started to introduce a variety of carboxamido group into an 8-aminoquinoline molecule in forming 8-amidoquinoline derivatives. Therefore, this systematic review aims to introduce a general overview of the fluorophore 8-aminoquinoline as Zn2+ receptors and to provide comparisons of collected studies that related to 8-amidoquinoline derivatives as fluorophore probe of the sensor. According to PRISMA systematic searches strategy, 13 articles were analyzed for trends, research designs, results and discussion, subject samples, and remarks or conclusions. We found cross-sectional studies with four aspects in zinc sensing that have been targeted; binding studies via titration, detection's limit, interferences studies, and validation of the study. Hence, this paper also included assessments of those criteria and the trends of development of 8-amidoquinoline derivatives based-zinc fluorescent chemosensor. It also showed that most of the researches conducted in China. In conclusion, this study identified various research designs of fluorescent chemosensors based on 8-amidoquinoline prolong with the effectiveness and potential as a recognition probe to assist the detection of zinc. Hence, elucidation of those derivatives essential to be explored because more studies are needed to improve the sensing criteria of the zinc sensor
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0166.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: Climate information services; pilot projects; climate risk management, systematic literature review
Online: 18 February 2019 (16:53:45 CET)
Many pilot-based initiatives have been developed to promote awareness and use of climate information services among vulnerable smallholder farmers in Africa through million-dollar investments. However, despite their experimental nature, these pilot projects have been successful in raising participating farmers’ awareness and use of climate information services and they can inform transferrable good practices. Through a systematic literature review approach, this review sought to understand ways in which these past pilot projects have contributed to climate risk management in the context of smallholder farming and the factors that led to their success. Results showed that climate information services main contribution to climate risk management has been through facilitating farm level decision making. Factors that led to success of the pilots include: use of downscaled information; building institutional partnerships to add value to climate information; involving farmers through the co-designing and co-developing process; face-to-face way of communication; embedding pre-seasonal workshops in the activities of local institutions for sustainability; using diversity of communication channels to enhance reach among others. These factors can be borrowed as good practices to inform future efforts focused on increasing adoption of climate information services among a wider population beyond pilot project reach.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0702.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; influenza vaccine; systematic review; infection; severity; risk
Online: 29 September 2020 (09:14:03 CEST)
We reviewed the association between seasonal influenza vaccination and the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection or complicated illness or poor outcome (e.g. severe disease, need for hospitalization or ventilatory support, or death) among COVID-19 patients. None of the studies that were reviewed (n=12) found a significant increase in the risk of infection or in the illness severity or lethality, while some reported significantly inverse associations. Our findings support measures aimed at raising influenza vaccination coverage in the coming months.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0121.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: agent-based modelling; agent-based simulation; urban energy system; district energy system; systematic literature review; net-zero energy district; positive energy district
Online: 8 December 2021 (12:06:02 CET)
There is an increased interest in the district-scale energy transition within interdisciplinary research community. Agent-based modelling presents a suitable approach to address variety of questions related to policies, technologies, processes, and the different stakeholder roles that can foster such transition. This state-of-the-art review focuses on the application of agent-based modelling for exploring policy interventions that facilitate the decarbonisation (i.e., energy transition) of districts and neighbourhoods while considering stakeholders’ social characteristics and interactions. We systematically select and analyse peer-reviewed literature and discuss the key modelling aspects, such as model purpose, agents and decision-making logic, spatial and temporal aspects, and empirical grounding. The analysis reveals that the most established agent-based models’ focus on innovation diffusion (e.g., adoption of solar panels) and dissemination of energy-saving behaviour among a group of buildings in urban areas. We see a considerable gap in exploring the decisions and interactions of agents other than residential households, such as commercial and even industrial energy consumers (and prosumers). Moreover, measures such as building retrofits and conversion to district energy systems involve many stakeholders and complex interactions between them that up to now have hardly been represented in the agent-based modelling environment.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0102.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: Food; feeding style; eating trends; food interactions, food intake; food preparation; food management; food insecurity; meal planning; parent; child; family food environment; COVID-19; systematic review
Online: 4 August 2022 (05:26:38 CEST)
Home confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by dramatic changes in household food dynamics that can significantly influence health. This systematic literature review presents parental perspectives of the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on food preparation and meal routines, as well as other food-related behaviors, capturing both favorable and unfavorable changes in the family food environment (FFE). Themes and trends are identified and associations with other lifestyle factors are assessed. In overall, families enjoyed more time together around food, including planning meals, cooking, and eating together. Eating more diverse foods and balanced meals was combined with overeating and increased snacking, as parents became more permissive towards food; however, food insecurity increased among families with the lowest income. Adoption of meal planning skills and online shopping behavior emerged alongside behaviors aimed at self-sufficiency, such as bulk purchasing and stockpiling. These results are an important first step in recognizing how this pandemic may be affecting the FFE, including low-income families. Future obesity prevention and treatment initiatives, but also ongoing efforts to address food management, parental feeding practices, and food insecurity, can account for these changes moving forward.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0077.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: systematic review; forest therapy; depression; adults
Online: 14 March 2017 (08:45:56 CET)
The purpose of this study was to systematically review forest therapy programs designed to decrease the level of depression among adults and subsequently identify the gaps in the literature. This systematic review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. The authors independently screened full-text articles from various databases using the following criteria: 1) intervention studies assessing the effects of forest therapy on depression in adults aged 18 years and over; 2) studies including at least one control group or condition; 3) been peer-reviewed; and 4) been published either in English or Korean before July 2016. The Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network (SIGN) measurement tool was used to assess the risk of bias in each trial. In the final sample, a total of 28 articles (English: 13, Korean: 15) were included in the present systematic review. This review concluded that forest therapy is one of the emerging and effective interventions for decreasing the level of depression in adults. However, the studies included in this review lacked methodological rigor. Future studies assessing the long-term effect of forest therapy on depression using rigorous study designs are needed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0136.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Other Keywords: blockchain; consensus; distributed systems; healthcare; systematic review.
Online: 7 September 2018 (12:55:42 CEST)
Blockchain technology enables a decentralized and distributed environment with no need for a central authority. Transactions are simultaneously secure and trustworthy due to the use of cryptographic principles. In recent years, blockchain technology has become very trendy and penetrated different domains, mostly due to the popularity of cryptocurrencies. One field where blockchain technology has tremendous potential is healthcare, due to the need for a more patient-centric approach to healthcare systems and to connect disparate systems and increase the accuracy of electronic healthcare records (EHRs). In this systematic review, an analysis of state-of-the-art blockchain research in the field of healthcare is conducted. The aim is to reveal the potential applications of the technology and to highlight the challenges and possible directions of blockchain research in healthcare. First, background information is discussed, followed by a description of the exact methodology used in this paper. Next, an analysis of the results is given, which includes a bibliometric overview, an analysis of gathered data and its properties, and the results of a literature quality assessment. Lastly, there is a discussion of the results from the analysis. The findings indicate that blockchain technology research in healthcare is increasing and it is mostly used for data sharing, managing health records and access control. Other scenarios are very rare. Most research is aimed at presenting novel structural designs in the form of frameworks, architectures or models. Findings also show that technical details about the used blockchain elements are not given in most of the analyzed publications and that most research does not present any prototype implementation or implementation details. Often even with a prototype implementation, no details about blockchain elements are given.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0693.v1
Online: 29 July 2020 (11:12:32 CEST)
This last decade, the amount of data exchanged in the Internet increased by over a staggering factor of 100, and is expected to exceed well over the 500 exabytes by 2020. This phenomenon is mainly due to the evolution of high speed broadband Internet and, more specifically, the popularization and wide spread use of smartphones and associated accessible data plans. Although 4G with its long-term evolution (LTE) technology is seen as a mature technology, there is continual improvement to its radio technology and architecture such as in the scope of the LTE Advanced standard, a major enhancement of LTE. But for the long run, the next generation of telecommunication (5G) is considered and is gaining considerable momentum from both industry and researchers. In addition, with the deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT) applications, smart cities, vehicular networks, e-health systems, and Industry 4.0, a new plethora of 5G services has emerged with very diverging and technologically challenging design requirements. These include: high mobile data volume per area, high number of devices connected per area, high data rates, longer battery life for low-power devices, and reduced end-to-end latency. Several technologies are being developed to meet these new requirements. Among these we list ultra-densification, millimeter Wave usage, antennas with massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO), antenna beamforming to increase spacial diversity, edge/fog computing, among others. Each of these technologies brings its own design issues and challenges. For instance, ultra-densification and MIMO will increase the complexity to estimate channel condition and traditional channel state information (CSI) estimation techniques are no longer suitable due to the complexity of the new scenarios. As a result, new approaches to evaluate network condition such as by continuously collecting and monitoring key performance indicators become necessary. Timely decisions are needed to ensure the correct operation of such network. In this context, deep learning (DL) models could be seen as one of the main tools that can be used to process monitoring data and automate decisions. As these models are able to extract relevant features from raw data (images, texts, and other types of unstructured data), the integration between 5G and DL looks promising and one that requires exploring. As main contributions, this paper presents a systematic review about how DL is being applied to solve some 5G issues. We examine data from the last decade and the works that addressed diverse 5G problems, such as physical medium state estimation, network traffic prediction, user device location prediction, self network management, among others. We also discuss the main research challenges when using DL models in 5G scenarios and identify several issues that deserve further consideration.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0184.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; diet, education; systematic review.
Online: 8 July 2021 (09:57:01 CEST)
As the incidence and prevalence of diabetes increases, intervention through dietary education is becoming more important for diabetes control. This systematic review aimed to confirm the ef-fect of dietary intervention education on diabetes control. The study subjects were type 2 diabet-ic patients, and the main outcome variable was glycosylated hemoglobin level (HbA1c). The target studies were randomized controlled trials. Thirty-six studies were included in the analysis, of which 33 were included in the meta-analysis. The effect size between the dietary education and general intervention, was -0.42 (n=5,639, MD=-0.42; 95% CI -0.53 to -0.31) and was signifi-cantly different (Z=7.73, P<.001). When subgroup analyses were performed following the appli-cation periods, intervention methods, and intervention contents, the mean differences in 4–6-month application, individual education, diet-exercise-psychosocial intervention were -0.51, (n=2,742, 95% CI -0.71 to -0.32), -0.63 (n=627, 95% CI -1.00 to -0.26), and -0.51 (n=3.244, 95% CI -0.71 to -0.32), respectively. Dietary education interventions provided for at least 3 months were highly effective in controlling blood sugar levels. Regarding the education method, individual-ized education was more effective, and for this, contact or non-contact education may be applied. Combining diet, exercise, and psychosocial intervention is more effective than diet education alone.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0505.v1
Online: 29 August 2018 (15:52:44 CEST)
Background: Alcohol is a psychoactive substance that leads to dependence and harmful drinking in worldwide. Alcohol use is the most prevalent among age from 13 to 29 year particularly in high school, college, and university students. It affected students mentally, physically, economically and their social issues. In low and middle-income countries particularly in Ethiopia, there is lack of data in systematic review and meta-analysis regarding the prevalence of alcohol use and associated factors among students. Methods: We will search studies using computerized search engine, main electronic databases and other applicable sources. PubMed/Medline, Global Health, Africa-wides, PsycINFO, Google Scholar, EMBASE, and direct Google search will be searched to retrieve studies written in English language from 2010 to 2017. Observational studies (case control, cross-sectional, cohort or longitudinal survey, and surveillance reports) on the prevalence of alcohol use and associated factors among students in Ethiopia will be eligible. Data will be extracted by two authors independently. Data synthesis and statistical analysis will be carried out. Pooled estimate will be done to determine the prevalence of alcohol use by using comprehensive meta-analysis software. Protocol registration PROSPERO: 2017: CRD42018083222.
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Anthropology & Ethnography Keywords: creativity; ideation; architectural design studio; education; systematic review
Online: 17 December 2020 (11:58:29 CET)
Creativity is fundamental to design problem-solving. This paper sets out a systematic review of the literature in relation to its role in the architectural design studio in order to identify central issues that impact upon this activity. Challenges and best practice in relation to systematic reviews are outlined, and the procedure followed in this context is set out in detail. This involves an iterative evaluation process that resulted in a pool of 17 papers for analysis. Eleven themes emerged in the analysis of the papers, which were organized into 5 key categories dealing with: pedagogy, cognitive approach, interaction and socialization, information representation, and measuring ideation and creativity. A discussion of these categories contributed to the comparison and connections between the selected papers, and the identification of critical issues and directions for promoting creativity in the architectural design studio.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0143.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: coping strategies; children; imprisoned parents; interventions; systematic review
Online: 19 May 2017 (06:14:31 CEST)
Children of imprisoned parents have a two times greater risk for health problems, including difficulties in their environment, academic and behavioural problems as well as social stigma. Focusing on children who have parents in prison has not been a priority for research. This review aims to describe current knowledge on children who have imprisoned parents in a global context and highlight areas for additional research. This review highlights the coping strategies that children of imprisoned parents use and explore interventions that exist to support children of imprisoned parents. This review employed a qualitative narrative synthesis. The database search yielded 1989 articles, of which 11 met inclusion and quality criteria. Stigmatizing children due to parental imprisonment was a widespread problem. Children’s coping strategies included maintaining distance from the imprisoned parent, normalizing the parent’s situation and taking better control over their lives through distraction, sports, supportive people and therapy. Children received the best support in school-based interventions or mentoring programmes. The overall low quality of the included studies indicates a need for further research.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0220.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: Acute pancreatitis; Etiology; Biliary pancreatitis; Systematic review; Meta-analysis
Online: 25 February 2019 (08:58:59 CET)
Introduction: Cholelithiasis and consumption of alcohol are the most frequent causes of acute pancreatitis (AP), accounting for about 30 to 40% of the cases, respectively. The frequency of acute biliary pancreatitis is high in a certain population in Brazil. Objective: To estimate the global frequencies of acute biliary pancreatitis (ABP), acute alcoholic pancreatitis (AAP) and the cases considered as acute idiopathic pancreatitis (AIP) in studies published from October 2006 to December 31, 2018. Methods: A systematic review of observational studies was performed from October 2006 to December 31, 2018. A meta-analysis by the random effects model was used to calculate the frequencies of global ABP, AIP and AAP and subgroups. Results: Forty-six studies representing 2,341,007 AP cases were included in 36 countries. The overall estimate for acute biliary pancreatitis (ABP) was 41.6% (95% CI 39.2-44.1), followed by acute alcoholic pancreatitis (AAP) with 20.5% (95% CI) 16.6- 24.6) and acute idiopathic pancreatitis (AIP) in 18.3% (95% CI 15.1-27.7). Conclusion: ABP is the most prevalent etiology of AP, being two times more frequent than second-placed pancreatitis. Latin America has a frequency for ABP much higher than the rest of the world. The importance of the etiologic diagnosis is the treatment of the cause for prevention of recurrence.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0184.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: pneumoparotid; systematic review; pneumoparotitis; parotid gland; etiology; intraoral pressure; Stensen’s duct
Online: 10 November 2022 (02:56:35 CET)
Pneumoparotid describes the presence of retrogradely insufflated air within the Stensen's duct and/or parotid gland. It is a rare condition with variable causative factors. This study aimed to clarify the clinical characteristics of pneumoparotid; reports in all languages were evaluated fol-lowing the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement 2020. A literature search was conducted using electronic medical databases (PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, EBSCO, Ovid, Google Scholar, SciElo, LILIACS, and others) from 1890 to June 30, 2022. One hundred and seventy patients (mean age; 28.4 years) from 126 studies were reviewed. Common symptoms included swelling (84.7%) and pain (35.9%). Characteristic findings were crepitus in the parotid region (40%) and frothy saliva from the orifice (39.4%). Common etiologies included abnormal habits such as blowing out the cheeks (23.5%), idiopathic (20%), self-induced (15.9%), playing wind instruments such as trumpets or flutes (8.8%), and diseases inducing coughing or sneezing (8.2%). Treatments included antibiotic therapy (30%), behavioral therapy to avoid continuing causative habits (25.9%), psychiatric therapy (8.2%), and surgical procedures (8.2%). Treatment should be individualized based on the etiology. However, the etiology was not identified in 20% of patients. Further detailed data from larger samples are necessary to better understand and improve the recognition of this entity.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0405.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: Systematic Review; Sustainable Agriculture; Climate Change; Resilience; Agro-Systems
Online: 27 February 2020 (12:23:04 CET)
In the last few decades, a lot has been written on the use of sustainable agriculture to improve ecosystem services for resilience to climate change. However, no tangible and systematic evidence exists on how this would participate in alleviating impacts on vulnerable rural communities. This paper provides a narrative systematic review (SR) integrated with a bibliometric analysis and a concept network analysis to understand how, in a changing climate, sustainable agriculture builds the resilience of agro-systems. The search was set from the date of the first relevant article until the end of 2018. Results generated have demonstrated that: a. Only single practices and methods have been studied to assess impacts on single ecosystem services. b. Soil quality and health are considered a key indicator of sustainable agriculture. c. Albeit the assessed practices and methods have shown to improve the biodiversity of agro-systems, which makes them more resilient to extreme climate events, we are still far from reaching interdisciplinary and multi-dimensional agriculture which integrates all management aspects and generates a full range of ecosystem services. In conclusion, the study addressed the following recommendations for the scientific community and for decision-makers to orient future research strategies and efforts: a. Integration of all agro-systems services into sustainable management using an ecosystem-based approach on a life-cycle basis using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method; b. Improving the scientific understanding of traditional knowledge for higher synergies and for further integration; c. Unification of assessment methods and indicators for the quantification of impacts; d. Creation of a platform to share, monitor, screen, and approve assessments and evaluations of sustainable agriculture by region.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0194.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: aphthous stomatitis, risk factors, genetic polymorphisms, multivariate analysis, systematic review
Online: 10 May 2021 (13:55:48 CEST)
The cause and prevention of recurrent aphthous stomatitis (also called aphthous ulcers or canker sores) are still unknown. This may be due in part to ignorance of the risk factors present in susceptible people. In this systematic review (PROSPERO record #CRD42019122214), we show that most of the risk factors for the disease are single nucleotide genetic polymorphisms in genes related to the functioning of immune system (TLR4, MMP9, E-selectin, IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha). Single nucleotide genetic polymorphisms do not constitute a modifiable risk. This indicates that, at least in part, susceptibility to recurrent aphthous stomatitis is hereditary, and that these factors cannot be modified.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0070.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: dietary pattern; prostate cancer; systematic review; meta-analysis
Online: 6 August 2016 (12:30:38 CEST)
Dietary patterns were recently applied to examine the relationship between eating habits and prostate cancer (PC) risk. While the associations between PC risk with glycemic index and Mediterranean score have been reviewed, no meta-analysis is currently available on dietary patterns defined by “a posteriori” methods. Search was carried out (PubMed, Web of Science) to identify studies reporting the relationship between dietary patterns and PC risk. Relevant dietary patterns were selected and the risk estimated were calculated by a random-effect model. Multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for a 1st-percentile increase in dietary pattern score were combined by a dose response meta-analysis. 12 observational studies were included in the meta-analysis which identified “Healthy pattern” and “Western pattern”. The Healthy pattern was not related to PC risk (OR=0.96; 95% CI: 0.88-1.04) while the Western pattern significantly increased it (OR=1.34; 95% CI: 1.08-1.65). In addition, a “Carbohydrate pattern”, identified in four articles, was positively associated with a higher PC risk (OR=1.64; 95% CI: 1.35-2.00). A significant linear trend between the Western (p=0.011) and the Carbohydrate (p=0.005) pattern and the increment of PC risk was observed. The small numbers of studies included suggest that further investigations are necessary to support these findings.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0034.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Business And Administrative Sciences Keywords: remote work; telework; systematic literature review; work design; workforce planning
Online: 2 September 2022 (05:54:08 CEST)
The practice of telework, remote work, and working from home has grown significantly across the pandemic era (2020+). These practices offer new ways of working but come with a lack of clarity as to the role it plays in supporting the wellbeing of staff. (1) Background: the purpose of this study is to examine the current literature on wellbeing outcomes and effects of telework; (2) Methods: this study adopts a systematic literature review from 2000-2022 using the PRISMA approach and thematic analysis guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (Wellbeing, Decent Work, Gender Equality, and Inclusive Production); (3) Results: it was evident that there is a lack of clarity on the actual effects of telework on employee wellbeing, but it appeared that it had a generally positive effect on short-term wellbeing of staff, and created more flexible and proactive work design opportunities; (4) Conclusions: there is a need for more targeted research into work designs that support wellbeing and productivity of staff, and consider the environmental sustainability changes from reduced office and onsite work and increased working from home.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0111.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: eastern Mediterranean; EMR; hospital; malnutrition; prevalence; systematic review
Online: 7 September 2022 (11:06:27 CEST)
Background: Malnutrition has negative consequences in hospitals, like poor disease recovery, increased mortality, length of hospitalization, readmission, and health care costs.Aims: This review was designed to determine malnutrition prevalence in hospitals located in eastern Mediterranean region (EMR).Study design: To conduct this systematic review, papers, including original articles, related references and conference proceedings on the prevalence of malnutrition in adult hospitalized patients published in international journals and scientific databases from 1 Jan 2017 to 31 Jan 2022 will be included. The following keywords and their alternatives will be used in the literature search: malnutrition, patient, and EMR. The protocol has been registered at PROSPERO (code: CRD42022339426).Methods: After initial screening based on inclusion and exclusion criteria, the full text articles will be read carefully and eligible documents will be selected according to the defined objectives. Afterward, the selected papers will be reviewed for methodological quality and the required information will be extracted. Finally, in case of sufficient data, a meta-analysis will be performed. Screening, selection, quality assessment, and data extraction will be done by at least two independent reviewers.Results: This review is ongoing and will be completed until the end of year 2023.Conclusion: This review aims to provide comprehensive evidence about the prevalence of malnutrition among adult inpatients in EMR hospitals. This can provide regional authorities, health managers and policy makers good information regarding current status to make appropriate decisions for promoting the health status in hospitals.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0260.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: Childhood cancer; financial costs; Africa; systematic review; meta-analysis
Online: 15 August 2022 (11:53:44 CEST)
The high costs of cancer treatment and lack of investment in health care are significant obstacles to public health on the African continent. The objective of this study was to estimate the financial cost of treating children suffering from cancer in Africa. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of expert opinions between March 2000 and March 2020. The key search terms included ‘cost’, ‘cancer’ and ‘child’; we selected articles that specifically addressed the financial costs of childhood cancer in African countries. Of the 103 articles found, 18 met the inclusion criteria. Cancer care was a heavy financial burden in most of the countries studied, although costs varied from country to country; the average expenditure on healthcare was US$1017.39 ± US$319.1 per year. In countries without a health insurance system, the highest proportion of cancer care costs, 46.6%, was indirect, whereas in countries with a cancer financing system, the direct cost of treatment was low, 53.4%. The cost of treating childhood cancer is high in Africa in relation to the standard of living of individuals residing in this region.
REVIEW | doi:10.3390/sci1010015.v1
Subject: Keywords: wastewater treatment; temperatures; systematic review; biofilms; endocrine disrupting compounds
Online: 21 March 2019 (00:00:00 CET)
Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) are contaminants with estrogenic or androgenic activity that negatively impact human and animal communities. These compounds have become one of the significant concerns for wastewater treatment in recent decades. Several studies have evaluated EDC removal methods from wastewater across the globe including the United Kingdom (UK). Accordingly, the current study reviews EDC removal methods from municipal/domestic wastewater in the United Kingdom (UK) for the period of 2010–2017. The research highlights that despite the relative efficacy of existing chemical and physical methods for removing certain EDCs from wastewater there is emerging evidence supporting the need for more widespread application of nature-based and biological approaches, particularly the use of biofilms. The analysis reveals that there have been relatively few research studies on EDC removal methods have been carried out in the UK in the 2010–2017 period and none of the research focused on EDC removal using biofilms. Finally, this review suggests that more research is needed to remove EDCs, particularly through the application of biofilms, from municipal wastewater in current scenarios.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0074.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: 5G, Resource allocation, Resource distribution, Congestion, 5G communication, Comprehensive, Review, Systematic.
Online: 3 August 2021 (11:31:27 CEST)
Fifth Generation (5G) communication technology is intended to offer higher data rates, outstanding user exposure, power consumption, and extremely short latency. Such cellular networks will implement a diverse multi-layer model comprising of device-to-device networks, macro-cells, and dissimilar categories of small-cells to assist customers with desired quality-of-service (QoS). This multi-layer model affects several studies that confront utilizing interference management and resource allocation in 5G networks. With the growing need and the lack of resources, the resource distribution problem desires to be focused capably to accomplish the traffic and to enhance network working. One of the utmost serious problems is to alleviate the jamming from the network in support of having a better QoS. However, there are limited review papers written on resource distribution, there is no particularize and organized review carry out in 5G resource allocation. Hence, this article covers and evaluates the argument using a classification of existing developing resource allocation schemes in 5G thoroughly by classifying the schemes to enhance the service quality. This survey comprises the discussion based on metrics used to evaluate the performance. It would also permit ahead beyond evidence on resource allocation methods in 5G and empowers the scholars to meet the present research areas to focus on.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0028.v2
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: Deep Learning; Depression; Electroencephalogram; EEG; Depressive Disorders; Systematic Literature Review
Online: 10 November 2021 (15:29:25 CET)
Depression is considered by WHO as the main contributor to global disability and it poses dangerous threats to approximately all aspects of human life, in particular public and private health. This mental disorder is usually characterized by considerable changes in feelings, routines, or thoughts. With respect to the fact that early diagnosis of this illness would be of critical importance ineffective treatment, some development has occurred in the purpose of depression detection. EEG signals reflect the working status of the human brain by which are considered the most proper tools for a depression diagnosis. Deep learning algorithms have the capacity of pattern discovery and extracting features from the raw data which is fed into them. Owing to this significant characteristic of deep learning, recently, these methods have intensely utilized in the diverse field of researches, specifically medicine and healthcare. Thereby, in this article, we aimed to review all papers concentrated on using deep learning to detect or predict depressive subjects with the help of EEG signals as input data. Regarding the adopted search method, we finally evaluated 22 articles between 2016 and 2021. This article which is organized according to the systematic literature review (SLR) method, provides complete summaries of all exploited studies and compares the noticeable aspects of them. Moreover, some statistical analysis performs to gain a depth perception of the general ideas of the latest researches in this area. A pattern of a five-step procedure was also established by which almost all reviewed articles fulfilled the goal of depression detection. Finally, open issues and challenges in this way of depression diagnosis or prediction and suggested works as the future directions discussed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0405.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: caffeine; coffee; systematic review; pregnancy; safety
Online: 23 August 2018 (05:33:43 CEST)
In 2016–2017, we conducted and published a systematic review on caffeine safety  that set out to determine whether conclusions presented in the heavily cited Health Canada assessment, Nawrot et al. , remain supported by more recent data. To that end, we reviewed data from 380 studies published between June 2001 and June 2015, which were identified from an initial batch of over 5,000 articles through a stringent search and evaluation process . In the current paper, we use plain language to summarize our process and findings, with the intent of sharing additional context for broader reach to the general public. We addressed whether caffeine doses previously determined not to be associated with adverse effects by Health Canada (400 mg/day for healthy adults, 300 mg/day for pregnant women, 2. 5 mg/kg body weight/day for adolescents and children, and 10 g/day for acute effects) remain appropriate for five outcome areas (acute toxicity, cardiovascular toxicity, bone & calcium effects, behavior, and development and reproduction) in healthy adults, pregnant women, adolescents, and children. We used a weight-of-evidence approach to draw conclusions for each of the five outcomes, as well as more specific endpoints within those outcomes, which considered study quality, consistency, level of adversity, and magnitude of response. In general, updated evidence confirms the levels of intake put forth by Nawrot et al., as not being associated with any adverse health effects, and our results support a shift in caffeine research from healthy to sensitive populations.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0316.v1
Subject: Engineering, Civil Engineering Keywords: Infrastructure projects; LCCA; Systematic Review; PRISMA statement; Sustainability; LCA
Online: 11 March 2021 (11:23:23 CET)
The comfort of human life depends on the quality, size, and reliability of the infrastructure projects. In the infrastructure systems, rapid growth is found, where the economic and sustainable impact has become a topic of significant concern for policies and government officials. To achieve con-straints of sustainable development, all the policies and actions over the infrastructure project's life cycle must be assessed. Decision-makers have adopted approaches for economic, social, and en-vironmental initiatives through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Life Cycle Cost Analyses (LCCA) of infrastructure projects. The purpose of this review is to highlight the impact of per-forming LCA and LCCA in infrastructure projects. To achieve this goal, a systematic literature review methodology is adopted in which renowned databases, i.e., Web of Science, Science Direct, Emerald and Scopus were selected to extract the relevant literature. Using the PRISMA approach, 1251 publications were identified which were then filtered and 55 documents were included in the final review. In the extracted publications most, researchers were biased toward LCA and LCA individually, whereas few focused on integrated LCA and LCCA. The researchers assessed the costs and impact associated with the infrastructure project while there were less focused on the environmental cost. Besides this, techniques of economic, social, and environmental growth of infrastructure projects have been emphasized during the design phase because of substantial relations between infrastructure design and operation management. Moreover, a conceptual framework has been developed that will assist the decision-makers to consider the effects of LCA and LCCA on various aspects of the infrastructure project and how it impacts sustainability. In the last, a case study was performed to assess the developed framework with the incorporation of environmental impact cost.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0299.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: Obesity; Eating Disorders; Adolescents; Prevention programs; Systematic Review
Online: 13 August 2020 (10:38:34 CEST)
An effective behavior changes program is the first-line of prevention for youth obesity. However, effectiveness in prevention of adolescent obesity requires several approaches, with special attention paid to disordered eating behaviors and psychological support among other environmental factors. The aim of this systematic review was to compare the impact of two types of obesity prevention programs, inclusive of behavior change components on weight outcomes. Energy-balance studies were aimed at reducing calories from high-energy sources and increasing PA levels, while “shared risk factors for obesity and eating disorders” focused on reducing disordered eating behaviors to promote a positive relationship with food and eating. A systematic search of ProQuest, PubMed, PsycInfo, SciELO, and Web of Science identified 8825 articles. Twenty were considered “energy-balance” and fifteen “shared-risk factors for obesity and eating disorders”. Overall, energy-balance studies were unable to support a maintenance weight status, diet, and PA over time. Shared risk factors programs also did not result in significant differences in weight status over time. However, the majority of shared risk factors studies demonstrated reduced body dissatisfaction, dieting, and weight-control behaviors. More research is needed to examine how a shared risk factor approach can address both obesity and eating disorder.
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Electricity demand forecast; Machine Learning; Artificial Neural Networks; systematic review.
Online: 21 May 2021 (09:48:10 CEST)
The forecast of electricity demand has been a recurrent research topic for decades, due to its economical and strategic relevance. Several Machine Learning (ML) techniques have evolved in parallel with the complexity of the electric grid. This paper reviews a wide selection of approaches that have used Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) to forecast electricity demand, aiming to help newcomers and experienced researchers to appraise the common practices and to detect areas where there is room for improvement in the face of the current widespread deployment of smart meters and sensors, which yields an unprecedented amount of data to work with. The review looks at the specific problems tackled by each one of the selected papers, at the results attained by their algorithms, and at the strategies followed to validate and compare the results. This way, it is possible to highlight some peculiarities and algorithm configurations that seem to consistently outperform others in specific settings.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0625.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Social Psychology Keywords: precision agriculture; agricultural extension; profitability; production quality; systematic review
Online: 25 June 2021 (15:52:08 CEST)
Precision agriculture (PA) is a holistic, sustainable, innovative systems approach that assists farmers in production management. Adopting PA could improve sustainable food security and community economic sustainability. Developing an understanding of PA adoption attributes is needed to assist extension practitioners to promote adoption and better understand the innovation adoption phenomena. A systematic review of literature was conducted to investigate PA adoption. Thirty-three publications were examined, and four themes were found among the reviewed publications. The results were interpreted using Rogers’ diffusion of innovations framework to address the research objectives. Of the reviewed literature, we found relative advantage and compatibility were two dominant attributes to strengthen the adoption of PA, and the complexity attribute was rarely used to promote the adoption of PA. This study shows that change agents do not fully use five attributes of innovation when they promote PA technology to stakeholders to adopt. Thus, we recommend studies from the agricultural extension specialists’ perspectives in the future may determine contributions to motivate farmers’ adoption of PA, in particular related to complexity.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0218.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Image accessibility; touchscreen; nonvisual feedback; blind; visual impairment; systematic review
Online: 8 March 2021 (13:41:50 CET)
A number of studies have been conducted to improve the accessibility of images using touchscreen devices for screen reader users. In this study, we conducted a systematic review of 33 papers to get a holistic understanding of existing approaches and to suggest a research road map given identified gaps. As a result, we identified types of images, visual information, input device and feedback modalities that were studied for improving image accessibility using touchscreen devices. Findings also revealed that little has studied how to automate the generation of image-related information, and that screen reader users play important roles during the evaluation but the design process. Then we introduce two of our recent studies on the accessibility of artwork and comics, AccessArt and AccessComics respectively. Based on the identified key challenges, we suggest a research agenda for improving image accessibility for screen reader users.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0219.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: TMDs; temporomandibular; TMJ; network meta-analysis; systematic review
Online: 11 November 2022 (07:04:36 CET)
Abstract: Background: Pain management is one of the main parts of treatments for Temporomandibular Disorders (TMDs). However, there is still a lack of high-quality evidence that compare the overall effects of these non-surgical treatments. The objective of this systematic review is to identify the most potential treatment protocol in dealing with pain caused by TMDs through a mixed comparison of interventions based on network meta-analysis. Methods: A systematic review and network meta-analysis of studies identified by searching PubMed, Embase, Medline, Ovid, and CINAHL. All the included studies should have characteristics that: (1) participants with TMDs of any age; (2) non-surgical treatments; (3) score of Visual Analog Scale (VAS) as the outcome measure; (4) randomized controlled trials. The Cochrane Bias Assessment Toll was used to assess the bias, the CINeMA website was applied to rate the confidence of evidence, and ADDIS software was used to conduct the network meta-analysis. Results: 46 studies were included in this review. The agreement between authors reached a kappa value of 0.78. The results of the network meta-analysis showed that wearable therapy devices are more likely to be the best choice for reducing the pain of patients with myogenic TMDs, whereas a combination of platelet-rich plasma injection and wearable therapy devices is more likely to be the best choice for reducing the pain in a long term after treatment for patients with mix-type TMDs. Moreover, the application of therapy equipment has the most potential in reducing pain in a long term after treatment for patients with articular TMDs. Discussion: Wearable devices have a great potential for pain syndrome caused by TMDs, the mechanism might come from a biomechanical perspective. However, the overall confidence rating of evidence is low. Studies with high quality are still needed in the future. Other: The PROSPERO Registration Number of this systematic review is CRD42021253442.
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Social Psychology Keywords: systematic review; community intervention; greenhouse gas emissions; climate change
Online: 3 September 2020 (02:54:04 CEST)
This paper reviews research on community efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We conducted a systematic search of relevant literature and supplemented our findings with an analysis of review papers previously published on the topic. Results indicate that there have been no peer-reviewed experimental evaluations of community-wide interventions to reduce greenhouse gases involving electricity, refrigeration, or food. The lack of findings limits the conclusions which can be made about the efficacy of these efforts. As a result, we are not accumulating effective interventions and some communities may be implementing strategies that are not effective. We advocate the funding of experimental evaluations of multi-sector community interventions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Such interventions would attempt to engage every sector of the community in identifying and implementing policies and practices to reduce emissions. Comprehensive multi-sector interventions are likely to have synergistic effects, such that the total impact is greater than the sum of impact of individual components. We describe the value of interrupted time-series designs as an alternative to randomized trials because these designs confer particular advantages for evaluating strategies in entire communities.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0493.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: systematic review; time series classification; digital biomarkers; machine learning; feature engineering
Online: 29 August 2022 (12:42:39 CEST)
Background: Digital clinical measures collected via various digital sensing technologies such as smartphones, smartwatches, wearables, ingestible, and implantable are increasingly used by individuals and clinicians to capture health outcomes or behavioral and physiological characteristics of individuals. Time series classification (TSC) is very commonly used in modeling digital clinical measures. While deep learning models for TSC are very common and powerful, there exist some fundamental challenges. This review presents non-deep learning models commonly used for time series classification in biomedical applications that achieve high performance. Objective: We performed a systematic review to characterize the techniques used in time series classification of digital clinical measures throughout all stages of data processing and model building. Methods: We conducted a literature search on PubMed, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Web of Science, and SCOPUS databases using a range of search terms to retrieve peer-reviewed articles reporting academic research on digital clinical measures in the five year period between June 2016 and June 2021. We identified and categorized research studies based on the types of classification algorithms and sensor input types. Results: We found 452 papers in total from four different databases: PubMed, IEEE, Web of Science Database, and SCOPUS. After removing duplicates and irrelevant papers, 135 articles remained for detailed review and data extraction. Among these, engineered features using time series methods that were subsequently fed into widely-used machine learning classifiers was the most commonly used technique and also most frequently achieved the best performance metrics (77 out of 135 articles). Statistical modeling (24 out of 135 articles) algorithms were the second most common and also second best classification technique. Wavelet-based classification models (8 out of 135 articles) were also common. Electroencephalogram (29 out of 135 articles) was the most common data type used as an input. Accuracy was the most commonly reported performance metric, with 67.65% of articles reporting on accuracy. In this review paper, we provide summaries of signal pre-processing methods, feature engineering and selection methods, time series models, as well as model interpretations. Importantly, we found that about 50% of the papers only report one performance metric, which may result in a skewed view of overall performance. Conclusion: While high time series classification performance has been achieved in digital clinical, physiological, or biomedical measures, no standard benchmark datasets, modeling methods, or reporting methodology exist. There is no single widely used method for time series model development or feature interpretation– many different methods have proven successful.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0344.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: hybrid problem-based learning; hybrid-PBL; biomedicine; systematic review; higher education
Online: 15 November 2018 (05:37:35 CET)
The impact of instructional guidance on learning outcomes in higher biomedical education is subject of intense debate. There is the teacher-centered or traditional way of teaching (TT) and, on the other side, the notion that students learn best under minimal guidance (problem-based learning, PBL). Although the benefits of PBL are well-known, there are aspects susceptible to improvement. Hence, a format merging TT and PBL (hybrid-PBL, h-PBL) may advance education in biomedical sciences. Here, we systematically reviewed studies that employed h-PBL in higher biomedical education compared to TT and/or pure PBL. We found that h-PBL resulted in better overall students’ performance and perception than TT or pure PBL. These findings encourage more research on investigating the pedagogical benefits of h-PBL and posit an eclectic system in which the pedagogical tools from TT and PBL are used cooperatively in the best interest of the education and satisfaction of the students.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0200.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: sequelae; COVID-19; SARS-COV-2; long-COVID; systematic review
Online: 14 September 2022 (08:50:08 CEST)
Background: COVID-19 made its debut as a pandemic in 2020; since then, more than 607 million cases and at least 6.5 million deaths have been reported worldwide. While the burden of disease has been described, the long-term effects or chronic sequelae are still being described. Objective: To describe the findings of a current systematic review of the long-term effects related to post-COVID-19 sequelae. Design: A systematic review was carried out in which cohort studies, case series, clinical case reports were included, and the PubMed, Scielo, SCOPUS and Web of Science databases were ex-tracted. Information published 2020 to June 1, 2022, was sought. Results: We reviewed 300 manuscripts during the first step of the literature review process. Then 260 abstracts were analyzed. In the end, we included 32 manuscripts: 9 for pulmonary, 6 for cardiac, 2 for renal, 9 for neurological and psychiatric, and 8 for cutaneous sequelae. Conclusion: Studies show that the most common sequelae are those linked to the lungs, followed by skin, cutaneous and psychiatric alterations. Women report a higher incidence of the sequelae, as well as those with comorbidities and severer COVID-19 history. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only caused death and disease since its apparition but has also sickened millions of people around the globe who potentially suffer from serious illnesses that will continue to add to the list of health problems and further burden healthcare systems around the world.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: systematic review; cannabis; neuroimaging; age-of-onset psychosis; psychosis; schizophrenia
Online: 14 May 2021 (09:58:14 CEST)
Acute exposure to cannabis has been associated with an array of cognitive alterations, increased risk for neuropsychiatric illness, and other neuropsychiatric sequelae including the emergence of acute psychotic symptoms. However, the brain alterations associating cannabis use and these behavioral and clinical phenotypes remains disputed. To this end, neuroimaging can be a powerful technique to non-invasively study the impact of cannabis exposure on brain structure and function in both humans and animal models. While chronic exposure studies provide insight into how use may be related to long-term outcomes, acute exposure may reveal interesting information regarding the immediate impact of use and abuse on brain circuits. Understanding these alterations could reveal the connection with symptom dimensions in neuropsychiatric disorders and, more specifically with psychosis. The purpose of the present review is to: 1) provide an update on the findings of pharmacological neuroimaging studies examining the effects of administered cannabinoids and 2) focus the discussion on studies that examine the sensitive window for the emergence of psychosis. Current literature indicates that cannabis exposure has varied effects on the brain, with the principal compounds in cannabis (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol) altering activity across different brain regions. Importantly, we also discorvered critical gaps in the literature, particularly regarding sex-dependent responses and long-term effects of chronic exposure. Certain networks often characterized as dysregulated in psychosis, like the default mode network and limbic system, were also impacted by THC exposure, identifying areas of particular interest for future work investigating the potential relationship between the two.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0169.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: Tooth size; Tooth size discrepancy; Bolton ratios; Meta-analysis; Systematic review
Online: 18 February 2019 (17:17:20 CET)
Introduction: The purposes of this study were to seek for overall ratio (OR) and anterior ratio (AR) patients data in normal occlusion and Angle’s malocclusion studies, and to assess if such results support Bolton’s standards as general references. Methods: Pubmed, Medline, CENTRAL and Scholar databases were searched up to February 2018 (CRD42018088438). Gray literature was explored through OpenGray. Non-randomized clinical studies, published in English and assessing Bolton’s OR and AR in normal occlusion and Angle’s malocclusion groups (Class I, Class II, Class II division 1, Class 2 division 2, Class III) patients were included. OR and AR means and standard deviations (SD) were collected. Potential covariates (study design, publication year, country where the study was conducted, number of cases, gender, mesiodistal measurement method, and calibration method) were also extracted. The National Health Heart Lung, and Blood Institute’s Quality Assessment Tool for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies was used to assess each included studies quality. Pairwise Random-Effects and Multilevel Bayesian Network Meta-Analyses were used to synthesize available data. Results: Fifty-two observational studies were included (8872 participants; male/females 2674/3272; 16 studies lacked gender information). For normal occlusion, global pooled estimates for OR and AR means were 91.74% (95% CI: 91.37-92.10) and 78.24% (95% CI: 77.85-78.63), respectively. We could identify on Angle’s Class III patients meaningful OR and AR mean deviations from normal occlusion (0.89, 95% credible interval [CrI], 0.66-1.12, and 0.66, 95% CrI, 0.38-0.94, respectively), while on Class I patients we found a meaningful mean deviation from normal occlusion only for OR (0.25, 95% CrI, 0.03-0.47). Concerning gender impact, male patients presented higher OR (0.30, 95% CI 0.00-0.59) and AR (0.41, 95% CI 0.00-0.83) mean values than females in Class I. Conclusions: The results show that global pooled OR and AR mean values for normal occlusion patients are slightly above Bolton’s original values. Class I, for OR mean values, and Class III, for both OR and AR, are proportionally larger than normal occlusion patients. Gender had almost no impact on teeth mesiodistal proportion.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0431.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: LULC Products, systematic review, Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia
Online: 23 July 2018 (15:33:55 CEST)
A large variety of remote sensing-based land use/land cover (LULC) products are currently available on national and global scales. This literature review and in-situ validation study evaluates the suitability of these products for local scale applications in the complex terrain of the Ethiopian mountains. For the review, 146 research papers were analyzed. Most studies (73%) have been published since 2013 and are based on individually computed maps. Not a single study relied on readily available LULC products. Nine readily available LULC products with 20, 30, 300, 500 and 1,000 m spatial resolution have been identified at national and global scales. To complement and extend this body of research, the recent (since 2013) LULC products were validated using 185 ground truth points collected in the Bale Mountains National Park between 1,500 and 4,385 m a.s.l. The results indicate a rather poor overall accuracy (<50%).
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0136.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Sport Sciences & Therapy Keywords: meta-analyses; primary knee osteoarthritis; stem cells; systematic review
Online: 9 February 2022 (10:57:45 CET)
Background: Conclusions of meta-analyses of clinical studies may substantially influence opinions of perspective patients and stakeholders in health care. Nineteen meta-analyses of clinical studies on the management of primary knee osteoarthritis (pkOA) with stem cells, published between January 2020 and July 2021, came to inconsistent conclusions regarding the efficacy of this treatment modality. It is possible that a separate meta-analysis based on an independent, systematic assessment of clinical studies on the management of pkOA with stem cells may reach a different conclusion. Methods: PubMed, Web of Science and the Cochrane library were systematically searched for clinical studies and meta-analyses of clinical studies on the management of pkOA with stem cells. All clinical studies and meta-analyses identified were evaluated in detail, as were all sub-analyses included in the meta-analyses. Results: The inconsistent conclusions regarding the efficacy of treating pkOA with stem cells in the 19 assessed meta-analyses were most probably based on substantial differences in literature search strategies among different authors, misconceptions about meta-analyses themselves, and misconceptions about the biology of stem cells. An independent, systematic review of the literature yielded a total of 183 studies, of which 33 were randomized clinical trials, including a total of 6860 patients with pkOA. However, it was not possible to perform a scientifically sound meta-analysis. Conclusion: Clinicians should interpret the results of the 19 assessed meta-analyses of clinical studies on the management of pkOA with stem cells with caution, and should be cautious of the conclusions drawn therein. Clinicians and researchers should strive to participate in FDA and/or EMA reviewed and approved clinical trials to provide clinically and statistically valid efficacy.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0075.v1
Subject: Keywords: Schistosomiasis; diagnosis; non-human hosts; surveillance; systematic review; meta-analysis
Online: 6 May 2021 (12:04:50 CEST)
Background Reliable and field-applicable diagnosis of schistosome infections in non-human animals is important for surveillance, control, and verification of interruption of human schistosomiasis transmission. This study aimed to summarize uses of available diagnostic techniques through a systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods and principal findings We systematically searched the literature and reports comparing two or more diagnostic tests in non-human animals for schistosome infection. Out of 4,909 articles and reports screened, 18 met our inclusion criteria, four of which were considered in the meta-analysis. A total of 14 techniques (parasitologic, immunologic, and molecular) and nine types of non-human animals were involved in the studies. Notably, four studies compared parasitologic tests (miracidium hatching test (MHT), Kato-Katz (KK), the Danish Bilharziasis Laboratory technique (DBL), and formalin-ethyl acetate sedimentation-digestion (FED-SD)) with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and sensitivity estimates (using qPCR as the reference) were extracted and included in the meta-analyses, showing significant heterogeneity across studies and animals hosts. The pooled estimate of sensitivity was 0.21 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.03 – 0.48) with FED-SD showing highest sensitivity (0.89, 95% CI: 0.65 – 1.00). Conclusions and significance Our findings suggest that the parasitologic technique FEA-SD and the molecular technique, qPCR, are the most promising field-applicable techniques for schistosome diagnosis in non-human animal hosts. Future studies are needed for validation and standardization of the techniques for real-world field applications.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0180.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: Nitrous Oxid; N₂O; nangs; systematic review; harm reduction; drug use
Online: 9 August 2022 (11:29:40 CEST)
Background Nitrous Oxide (N₂O) is a dissociative anaesthetic that is sometimes used recreationally. The prevalence of N₂O use is difficult to quantify but appears to be increasing. Research on N₂O harms and application of harm reduction strategies are limited. The aim of this mixed method systematic review was to collate and synthesise the disparate body of research on recreational nitrous oxide use to inform harm reduction approaches tailored for young people. Methods To identify publications reporting recreational use of N₂O, a search of public health, psychology and social science databases was conducted. Databases included PubMed, CIHNAL, PsycINFO, Scopus and Web of Science. Gray literature and Google advanced search were also used. Due to limited published literature on the recreational use of N₂O, no limit was placed on publication date or study type. A thematic synthesis extracted descriptive and analytical themes from the selected studies. Quality appraisal was conducted using the CASP Tool for Qualitative studies and the Joanna Briggs Institute case report assessment tool Results The search retrieved 407 reports. Thirty-four were included in the final analysis including sixteen case reports. The included studies were primarily concerned with raising awareness of the apparently increasing use and subsequently increasing harms of recreational N₂O use. There was limited reference to policy or legislative responses in any published studies, no suggestions for harm reduction strategies or application of service level responses. In general, individuals lack awareness of N2O related harms. Conclusion The review found three key areas that deserve further consideration including: 1) policy, 2) service delivery, and 3) harm associated with N₂O use. We recommend a top-down (policy) and bottom-up (services delivery/services users) approach to harm reduction for N₂O use which also includes further consultation and research with both groups. Future research could explore young people’s experience of N₂O use including benefits and problems to inform contextually relevant harm reduction strategies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0214.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: inflammatory bowel diseases; parenteral nutrition; systematic review; meta-analysis; crohn disease
Online: 18 October 2019 (11:36:07 CEST)
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic disease mediated by the immune system and characterized by the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. This study is to understand how the use of parenteral nutrition (PN) can affect the adult population diagnosed with IBD. We conducted a systematic review, meta-analysis and a meta-regression. On the different databases, (MEDLINE, Scopus, Cochrane, LILACS, CINAHL, WOS) we found 119 registers, the accuracy was 16% (19 registers); After a Full-text review, only 15 research studies were selected for qualitative synthesis and 10 for Meta-analysis and Meta-regression. The variables used were Crohn’s Disease Activity Index (CDAI), albumin, body weight (BW) and post-operative complications (COM). PN has shown to have efficacy for the treatment of IBD and is compatible with other medicines. The CDAI and albumin improve although the effect of PN are greater after a while. However, the effect on the albumin could be less than the observed value in the meta-analysis, due to a possible publication bias. The BW does not change after intervention. COM utilizing PN has been observed, although the proportion is low.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0009.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: inflammatory bowel diseases; enteral nutrition; systematic review; meta-analysis; Crohn disease
Online: 1 September 2019 (10:32:09 CEST)
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic disease mediated by the immune system and characterized by the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. One of the possible treatments for this pathology is a change in the type of diet, the enteral nutrition (EN) is one of them. This study is to understand how the use of EN can affect the adult population diagnosed with IBD. We conducted a systematic review, meta-analysis and a meta-regression. On the different databases, (MEDLINE, Scopus, Cochrane, LILACS, Cinhal, WOS) we found 363 registers, the accuracy was 12% (44 registers); After a Full-text review, only 30 research studies were selected for qualitative synthesis and 11 for Meta-analysis and Meta-regression. The variables used were Crohn’s Disease Activity Index (CDAI), C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR). EN has shown to have efficacy for the treatment of Crohn’s Disease and is compatible with other medicines. As for the CDAI or the rates of remission, there were no differences between enteral and parenteral nutrition. Polymeric formulas, have shown better results with respect to the CRP. The long-term treatment could dilute the good CDAI results that are obtained at the start of the EN treatment.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0226.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography Keywords: adaptation; adaptive capacity; adaptation tracking; climate change; systematic review; vulnerability; developed nation; Australia
Online: 13 August 2018 (10:13:42 CEST)
We develop and apply a systematic literature review methodology to identify and characterize the ways in which the peer-reviewed literature depicts how climate change adaptation is occurring in Australia. We reviewed the peer-reviewed, English-language literature between January 2005 and January 2018 for examples of documented adaptation actions. Our results challenge previous assumptions that adaptation action is not happening in Australia and describes adaptation processes that are underway. For the most part, actions can be described as preliminary or groundwork, with a particular focus on documenting stakeholder perspectives on climate change and adaptation, and modelling or scenario planning in the coastal zone, agriculture and health sectors. Where concrete adaptations are reported, they are usually in the agricultural sector and are most common in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia’s food basket. The findings of the review advance our understanding of adaptation to climate change as a process and the need to consider different stages in the process when tracking adaptation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0276.v1
Subject: Biology, Entomology Keywords: genetic improvement; genetic variation; heritability; systematic review; biocontrol agent; life history traits
Online: 24 January 2020 (10:39:55 CET)
The concept of genetic improvement in relation to biological control involves the exploitation of natural genetic variation for the benefit of existing biological control agents (BCAs). Despite recent calls for this process to be adopted in biological control research, there is no clear overview of the current state of research into genetic variation within a biological control context, including quantifiable estimates such as narrow-sense heritability (h2). In this systematic review, we aim to determine the current state of research on the genetic variation of biological control traits in natural enemies. After the searching process, screening for papers that can deliver on our research question reduced the initial 2,927 search hits to only a mere 69 papers for data extraction. Of these, the majority (73.6%) did not report quantitative values for genetic variation. Extracting the traits measured in these papers, we categorized them according to two approaches; the first related to fitness components, and the second related to biological control importance. This systematic review highlights the need for more rigorous reporting of the quantitative values of genetic variation to enable the successful genetic improvement of biological control agents.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0011.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: intercultural education; intervention programs; Roma student; systematic review; PRISMA
Online: 5 May 2019 (11:04:28 CEST)
Intercultural education can be seen as a cornerstone in the sustainability of the current culturally diverse society. In addition, through the establishment of policies and strategies to reverse situations of discrimination and exclusion, there is a consensus on the importance of the social inclusion of groups at risk of exclusion. In this context, actions are suggested to reverse high dropout rates and school failure within the Roma population. The aim of this systematic review in the educational context is to analyze investigations of programs and interventions that have been made to promote the educational inclusion of Roma students. Three databases are used, Scopus, Web of Science, and Eric, to examine 419 articles, which after a selection, based on an inclusion criterion which follows the guidelines given by the Declaration PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyzes), 17 articles were chosen for the analysis. The main findings shed light on data for programs and interventions developed mostly within the school setting and for students of elementary and secondary education. These programs provide answers for the molding of intercultural education and the policies for educational inclusion of Roma people.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0314.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: antiretroviral therapy; differentiated service delivery; retention; suppression; Africa; systematic review
Online: 19 May 2020 (09:53:46 CEST)
Introduction: Differentiated service delivery (DSD) models for antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV are being scaled up in the expectation that they will improve the quality and efficiency of treatment delivery and reduce costs while maintaining at least equivalent clinical outcomes. Even this minimum requirement of equivalent clinical outcomes is poorly documented for most models and settings, however. We reviewed the recent literature on DSD models to describe what is known about clinical outcomes. Methods: We conducted a rapid systematic review of peer-reviewed publications in PubMed, Embase, and the Web of Science and major international conference abstracts that reported outcomes of DSD models for the provision of ART in sub-Saharan Africa from January 1, 2016 to September 12, 2019. Sources reporting standard clinical HIV treatment metrics, primarily retention in care and viral load suppression, were reviewed and categorized by DSD model and source quality assessed. Results and Discussion: Twenty-nine papers and abstracts describing 37 DSD models and reporting 52 discrete outcomes met search inclusion criteria. Of the 37 models, 7 (19%) were facility-based individual models, 12 (32%) out-of-facility based individual models, 5 (14%) client-led groups, and 13 (35%) healthcare worker-led groups. Retention was reported for 73% of the models and viral suppression for 57%. Where a comparison with conventional care was provided, retention in most DSD models was within 5% of that for conventional care; where no comparison was provided, retention generally exceeded 80%. For viral suppression, all those with a comparison to conventional care reported a small increase in suppression in the DSD model; reported suppression exceeded 90% in 11/21 models. Analysis was limited by the extensive heterogeneity of study designs, outcomes, models, and populations. Most sources did not provide comparisons with conventional care, and metrics for assessing outcomes varied widely and were in many cases poorly defined. Conclusion: Existing evidence on the clinical outcomes of DSD models for HIV treatment in sub-Saharan Africa is limited in both quantity and quality but suggests that retention in care and viral suppression are roughly equivalent to those in conventional models of care.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0104.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: diabetes self-management; family support; glycemic uncontrolled; type 2 DM; systematic review
Online: 12 May 2017 (05:27:28 CEST)
Abstract Background: Diabetes mellitus is dramatically increasing in the wide world. The managing of diabetes care emphasized the self-management education and support into patients’ care and family care. Objective: to review and synthesizes the effectiveness of DSME strategies involving family as a key person to provide social support for diabetes mellitus self-management of glycemic uncontrolled patients Method: Three databases through PubMed, CINAHL, and Scopus were reviewed to assess the relevant articles. The following search terms: “type 2 diabetes,” “self-management,” “family support,” and “glycemic uncontrolled.” We summarized details of family support on self-management among glycemic uncontrolled patients for 14 existing studies. Results: A total of 22 intervention studies were identified. Those studies have a heterogeneous of the education strategies, support perceived, follow-ups strategies and outcomes among type 2 DM. Family integration on diabetes self-management education (DSME) has a positive impact on several outcomes including, self-care behaviors, psychological outcomes, self-efficacy and clinical outcomes Conclusions: This systematic review found robust data related to the integration of family support on diabetes self-management among glycemic uncontrolled patients. Consequently, the improvement in outcomes was identified. Implications: The findings suggest model of family engagement is better and needed for sustaining the diabetes care in the long-term care
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0635.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TTS); biomarkers; specific and effective treatments; TTS management; genetic and epigenetic factors; systematic review
Online: 28 July 2021 (17:07:01 CEST)
Takotsubo syndrome (TTS), recognized as stress’s cardiomyopathy, or better as left ventricular apical balloon syndrome in the recent years, is a rare pathology, described for the first time by Japanese researchers in 1990. TTS is characterized by an interindividual heterogeneity in onset and progression, and by the strong predominance in postmenopausal women. The clear causes of these TTS features are uncertain, given the reduced understanding of this intriguing syndrome until now. However, the increasing frequency of TTS cases in the last years, and particularly correlated to SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, leads us to imperative necessity both of a complete knowledge of TTS pathophysiology for identifying biomarkers facilitating its management, and targets for specific and effective treatments. The suspect of a genetic basis in TTS pathogenesis has been evidenced. Accordingly, familial form of TTS has been described. But a systematic and comprehensive characterization of the genetic or epigenetic factors significantly associated with TTS is lacking. Thus, we, here, conducted a systematic review of literature before June 2021, to contribute to identify potential genetic and epigenetic factors associated with TTS. Interesting data were evidenced, but of reduced number and with diverse limitations. Consequently, we concluded further work is needed to address the gaps discussed, and probably a clear evidence may arrive using multi-omics investigations.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0200.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: critical care nurses; critical care setting; experiences; patient advocacy; systematic review; understanding
Online: 12 March 2020 (04:42:24 CET)
Objectives: The purpose of this systematic review was to ascertain critical care nurses’ understanding and experiences of patient advocacy in adult critical care settings. The specific objectives were to identify how critical care nurses define patient advocacy, to explore the understanding and experiences of critical care nurses regarding patient advocacy, to explore critical care nurses’ role in patient advocacy, and to ascertain the barriers to encouraging advocacy in the critical care setting. Research design: Systematic literature search of CINAHL and Medline databases, Google Scholar, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, as well as grey literature search, was conducted. Search dates were restricted from January 2005 to 2015 in both CINAHL and Medline. Findings: 62 studies were identified, of which 6 qualitative research papers were included. Nurses gave varied definitions of patient advocacy, which were categorized into three themes: communication, protection, and doing. Nurses perceive advocacy as truly listening to patients and their families. Conclusion: For critical care nurses to be effective advocates, there must be support, collaboration, and improved working relationship between professional groups. Moreover, nurses must be empowered to be able to give power to patients and family.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0342.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19 lockdown; diabetes mellitus; meta-analysis; metabolic control; systematic review
Online: 14 June 2021 (09:44:15 CEST)
Background: The abrupt implementation of COVID-19 lockdown had impacted the management of diabetes mellitus. Limited access to health facilities and alterations in daily lifestyle put metabolic control among patients at risk. Thus, we observed the differences in metabolic control parameters in diabetic patients before and during the lockdown. Methods: We performed searches from five databases. Meta-analyses were done using random or fixed-effect approaches with glycemic control parameters (HbA1c, RBG, FBG, TIR, TAR, TBR) as primary outcomes. Mean difference (MD), Confidence Interval (CI), and p-value were calculated. Lipid profile presented as secondary outcome. Results: 21 studies with 3992 diabetic patients were included in the study. Meta-analysis presented an increase on HbA1c of T1D and T2D patients [MD=+0.06% (95%CI -0.10–0.23), I2=77%, p=0.45], TBR of T1D patients [MD=-0.05% (95%CI -0.38–0.28), I2=0%, p=0.77], FBG of T2D patients [MD=+3,47 mg/dL (95%CI 1.22–5.73), I2=0%, p=0.002], and lipid profile on qualitative analysis. However, TIR, TAR, and RBG of T1D patients were improved [MD=+3.52% (95%CI 0.29–6.74), I2=76%, p=0.03; MD=-3.36% (95%CI -6.48–-0.25), I2=75%, p=0.03; MD=-0.91 mg/dL (95%CI -4.52–6.34), I2=88%, p=0.74]. Conclusion: Lockdown enforcement did not worsen the glycemic control parameter in diabetic patients. Particular parameters inclined to improve during the lockdown.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0349.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: systematic review; extracellular vesicles; EVs; asthma; therapy; inflammation; respiratory disease; airway hyperresponsiveness; BALF
Online: 16 July 2020 (12:52:03 CEST)
Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children. It is characterized by difficulty in breathing and chronic airway inflammation associated with narrowing of the airways, and airway hyperresponsiveness. If left untreated, asthma can lead to respiratory distress and even death. A number of medications are available and prescribed to manage asthma. Yet despite that, only half of the asthmatic patients are able to control their condition. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) play an important role in transporting contents such as nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids to other cells. While EVs have been extensively studied as biomarkers of various pathological states, evidence indicates that they can play protective and therapeutic roles in mitigating diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and asthma. Here we propose to conduct a systematic review that provides a detailed analysis of the therapeutic effect of EVs in mitigating the primary (inflammation, airway hyperresponsiveness) and secondary outcomes (airway remodelling, molecular indices of cellular signalling, and inflammatory mediators in serum) associated with asthma in preclinical studies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0088.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Other Keywords: systematic review; second language acquisition; research interests; second language teaching and learning
Online: 8 November 2019 (04:21:41 CET)
The purpose of this systematic review is to provide second language acquisition (SLA) researchers with an overview of research trends in this field in the last ten years (2009-2019). In doing so, three international peer-reviewed journals, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Language Teaching Research, and The Modern Language Journal, were selected. 150 articles were systematically selected and analyzed. The analysis of data resulted in identifying six descriptive themes. Results showed that some areas of second language acquisition still need further exploration while some areas are of great interest for researchers. Some suggestions for future research as well as implications of the study were discussed in detail.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0394.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: Climate change adaptation; Coastal cities; Ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA); Socio-economic assessment; Systematic literature review
Online: 26 October 2022 (03:33:30 CEST)
Coastal areas are highly vulnerable to climate change hazards (e.g., sea-level rise, flooding, coastal erosion), which can lead to significant impacts at the ecosystem and societal level. Interest in Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) is gaining importance due to its potential multiple benefits, including social and environmental aspects, when compared to more traditional approaches such as hard engineering interventions. When assessing EbA strategies, further understanding of the nature-society functions, processes, values, and benefits is needed to increase its application. This study contributes to a better knowledge of EbA by developing a systematic literature review of studies performing socio-economic assessments of climate change adaptation in coastal areas. The analysis of 54 publications revealed that most of the studies assessed adaptation solutions through cost-benefit analysis, followed by multi-criteria analysis, and other techniques. Hybrid adaptation strategies based on different combinations of hard, soft and EbA interventions were considered as potential optimal solutions in a significant part of the assessments. This study suggests the potential co-benefits of EbA in the form of ecosystem services, livelihood diversification or biodiversity conservation, but also stresses the need for further research on this topic, as well as on evaluating how EbA perform in the long-term under climate changing conditions scenarios.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0419.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Trichuris trichiura; polymerase chain reaction; bead-beating; DNA extraction; Systematic review
Online: 19 April 2021 (11:54:06 CEST)
Objectives: This meta-analysis was designed to assess the effect of addition of a bead-beating step during DNA extraction to effectively isolate Trichuris trichura DNA for quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR)-based diagnosis. Abstract was reported according to PRISMA-DTA abstract checklist. Methods: Eligibility criteria: qPCR-based molecular studies comparing the inclusion of bead-beating step during the DNA extraction from stool samples with extraction without the step were included in the analysis. Information sources: Studies using real patient samples in community settings were included. PubMed and Google search engine were searched in December 2019. Risk of bias and applicability: Risk of bias and applicability were assessed using QUADAS-2 checklist. Synthesis of results: Odds ratio for individual studies were combined to estimate Random Effects Model odds ratio. Additional literature were searched to discuss biochemical nature of helminth eggs. Results:Included studies: A total of six independent sub-studies were gathered from two published original articles. Division of the two major studies into six sub-studies was indispensable due to natures of the study carried. 128 of total 192 samples (in all studies) were positive for Trichiuris trichiura when bead-beating was used during DNA extraction compared to 108/192 when bead-beating was excluded. Combined odds ratio was 1.66 (95% CI: 1.059 to 2.602). Biochemical nature of helminth eggs was discussed. Discussions: Strengths and limitations: Though only two article were included in the study, six exclusive individual sub-studies were analyzed. Inherent differences in the background prevalence of helminth in study population could impact sensitivity of qPCR. Interpretation: It was found that the inclusion of the bead-beating step during DNA extraction significantly increased the sensitivity of the test.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201706.0005.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: systematic review; greenness; GIS; physical health; buffers; green space; park; health outcomes; NDVI
Online: 1 June 2017 (07:54:16 CEST)
Is the amount of “greenness” within a 250-meter, 500-meter, 1000-meter or a 2000-meter buffer surrounding a person’s home a good predictor of their physical health? The evidence is inconclusive. We reviewed Web of Science articles that used geographic information systems buffer analyses to identify trends between physical health, greenness, and distance within which greenness is measured. Our inclusion criteria were: (1) use of buffers to estimate residential greenness; (2) statistical analyses that calculated significance of the greenness-physical health relationship; and (3) peer-reviewed articles published in English between 2007 and 2017. To capture multiple findings from a single article, we selected our unit of inquiry as the analysis, not the article. Our final sample included 260 analyses in 47 articles. All aspects of the review were in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Analyses were independently judged as more, less, or least likely to be biased based on the inclusion of objective health measures and income/education controls. We found evidence that larger buffer sizes, up to 2,000m, better predicted physical health than smaller ones. We recommend that future analyses use nested rather than overlapping buffers to evaluate to what extent greenness not immediately around a person’s home (i.e., within 1,000-2,000m) predicts physical health.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0468.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: e-learning; information technology services; e-learning adoption; e-learning diffusion; systematic review; bibliometric analysis
Online: 20 September 2020 (14:22:58 CEST)
Increased proliferation of IT services in all sectors has reinforced the adoption and diffusion across all levels of education and training institutions. However, lack of awareness of and knowledge about the key challenges and opportunities of elearning, seem to allude policymakers, resulting in low adoption or increased failure rate of many e-learning projects. Our study tries to address this problem through a review of relevant literature in e-learning. Our goal was to draw from the existing literature, insights into the opportunities and challenges of e-learning diffusion, and the current state-of-research in the field. To do this, we employed a systematic review of literature on some of the salient opportunities and challenges of e-learning innovation for educational institutions. These results aimed to inform policymakers and suggest some interesting issues to advance the research and adoption and diffusion of e-learning. Moreover, the bibliometric analysis shows that the field is experiencing high research attraction among scholars. However, several research areas in the field witnessed relatively low research paucity. Based on these findings, we discussed topics for possible future research.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0451.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: systematic review; ADR assessment; elderly; aged-care facilities; medications monitoring; nursing home; drug review
Online: 29 February 2020 (03:41:22 CET)
Aim: this scoping review was designed to identify studies that assess the adverse drug reactions (ADRs) for older people in Australian aged-care facilities. This review critically evaluated each published study to identify the risk of, or actual adverse drug events in older people. Inclusion criteria: This review considered any clinical studies that examined the adverse effects of medications in older people who were living in aged-care facilities. This review considered qualitative studies, analytical studies, RCTs, descriptive cross-sectional studies, and analytic observational studies that explored the use of medications and their adverse effects on older people in clinical settings (including aged care facilities). Methods: An initial search of the PubMed, OvidSP, EBSCOHost, MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, Wiley Online, SAGE, and SCOPUS databases, with full text was performed, followed by an analysis of the article’s title and abstract. Additionally, MeSH was used to describe the article. The initial round of the database search was based on inclusion criteria from studies that assessed tools or protocols aiming to identify the adverse effects of medications on the elderly population suffering chronic conditions or multiple co-morbidities. Two reviewers screened the retrieved papers for inclusion. The data presented in this review are in tabular forms and a narrative summary which aligns with the review’s objectives. Results: Seven studies were identified, and the extracted data from these studies were grouped according their characteristics and the auditing results of each study. Conclusion: There was no comprehensive or broadly adverse drug reaction assessment tool derived from Australian data that has been used on the elderly in an Australian healthcare setting.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0612.v2
Subject: Biology, Physiology Keywords: Medial Preoptic Area; MPOA; Parental behavior; Scientometry; Systematic Review; CiteSpace; Document Co-Citation Analysis; Keyword Analysis
Online: 1 April 2021 (14:52:17 CEST)
Research investigating the neural substrates underpinning parental behaviour has recently gained momentum. Particularly, the hypothalamic medial preoptic area (MPOA) has been identified as a crucial region for parenting. The current study conducted a scientometric analysis of publications from 01 January 1972 to 19 January 2021 using CiteSpace software to determine trends in the scientific literature exploring the relationship between MPOA and parental behaviour. In total, 677 scientific papers were analysed, producing a network of 1509 nodes and 5498 links. Four major clusters were identified: "C-Fos Expression'', "Lactating Rat'', "Medial Preoptic Area Interaction'' and "Parental Behavior''. Their content suggests an initial trend in which the properties of the MPOA in response to parental behavior were studied, followed by a growing attention towards the presence of a brain network, including the reward circuits, regulating such behavior. Furthermore, while attention was initially directed uniquely to maternal behavior, it has recently been extended to the understanding of paternal behaviors as well. Finally, although the majority of the studies were conducted on rodents, recent publications broaden the implications of previous documents to human parental behavior, giving insight into the mechanisms underlying postpartum depression. Potential directions in future works were also discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0801.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: systematic review; meta-analysis; cohort; case-control; sugar sweetened beverages; artificial sweetened beverages; fruit juice; cancer.
Online: 31 December 2020 (12:41:25 CET)
The consumption of sweet beverages, including sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) and fruit juices (FJ) is associated with the risk of different cardiometabolic diseases and probably with some tumors as well. We carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies aimed at evaluating the association between sweet beverage intake and different types of cancer risk. Suitable papers published up to June 2020 were searched through PubMed, Web of Science and SCOPUS databases, using relevant keywords. Overall, 64 studies were identified for the systematic review, of which 27 were selected for the meta-analysis. This was performed by analyzing the multivariable-adjusted OR, RR or HR of the highest compared with the lowest sweet beverage intake categories. Random effects showed significant positive association between SSBs intake and breast (RR: 1.14, 95% CI: 1.01 – 1.30) and prostate cancer risk (RR: 1.18, 95% CI: 1.10 – 1.27), also between FJs and prostate cancer risk (RR: 1.03, 95% CI: 1.01 – 1.05). Associations between SSBs and colorectal and pancreatic cancer risk, FJs and breast, colorectal and pancreatic cancer risk, ASBs and pancreatic cancer risk tended to be positive but did not reach the statistically significant threshold. This study supports the recommendation to limit the consumption of SSBs and FJs for cancer prevention and proposes to further investigate the potential harmful role of ASBs intake in cancer risk.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0423.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: breakfast skipping; overweight; obesity; weight gain; BMI change; systematic review; meta-analysis; observational longitudinal studies
Online: 17 December 2020 (11:05:41 CET)
Globally, increasing rates of obesity are one of the most important health issues. The association between breakfast skipping and body weight is contradictory between cross-sectional and interventional studies. The systematic review and meta-analyses aim to summarize this association based on observational longitudinal studies. We included prospective studies on breakfast skipping and overweight/obesity or weight change in adults. Literature was searched until September 2020 in PubMed and Web of Science. Summary RRs with a 95% CI were estimated in pairwise meta-analyses by applying a random-effects model. In total, 9 studies were included in the systematic review and 6 of them were included in the meta-analyses. The meta-analysis indicated an 13% increased RR for overweight/obesity when breakfast was skipped on ≥ 3 days per week compared to ≤ 2 days per week (95% CI: 1.06, 1.21, n=3 studies). The meta-analysis on weight change displays a 21% increased RR for weight gain for breakfast skippers compared to breakfast eaters (95% CI: 1.05, 1.40, n=2 studies). The meta-analysis on BMI change displayed no difference between breakfast skipping and eating (RR=1.02, 95% CI: 0.99, 1.05, n=2 studies). This study provides low meta-evidence for an increased risk for overweight/obesity and weight gain for breakfast skipping.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0230.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: patient empowerment; patient education; patient information; intensive care unit discharge; intensive care unit transition; nursing interventions, systematic review.
Online: 14 September 2021 (10:05:11 CEST)
Intensive care unit discharge is an important transition which impacts on patient wellbeing. Nurses can play an essential role in this scenario, potentiating patient empowerment. A systematic review was conducted using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses: the PRISMA Statement. Embase, PubMed/MEDLINE, CINAHL, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) databases were evaluated in May 2021. Two independent reviewers analyzed the studies, extracted the data, and assessed the quality of evidence. Quality of the studies included was assessed using the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool. Of the 273 articles initially identified, eight randomized controlled trials reported nursing interventions mainly focused on patients’ ICU discharge preparation through information and education. The creation of ICU Nurse-Led and nurses’ involvement in critical care multidisciplinary teams also aimed to support patients during ICU discharge. This systematic review provides an update on clinical practice aimed at improving the patient experience during ICU discharge. The main nursing interventions were based on information and education, as well as the development of new nursing roles. Understanding transitional needs and patient empowerment are key to making the transition easier.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0557.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: transplantation; dental implant; marginal bone loss; implant failure rate; systematic review; periodontitis; periodontal diseases; oral health
Online: 25 August 2020 (13:45:34 CEST)
This systematic review investigates the failure rate and marginal bone loss (MBL) of dental implants placed in Solid-organ transplant (SOT) patients compared to healthy controls. Three databases (PubMed, Web of Sciences and the Cochrane Library) were searched up to June 2020 (PROSPERO CRD42019124896). Case-control and cohort studies reporting data failure rate and marginal bone loss (MBL) of dental implants placed in SOT patients were included. The risk of bias of observational studies was assessed through the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS). Four case-control studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria, all of low risk of bias. Meta-analyses revealed consistently lower implant failure rate than control populations at patient and implant levels. SOT patients had a significant difference of -18% (p-value <0.001) of MLB towards healthy patients. SOT status poses no serious threat to implant survival. Overall, this group of patients presented lower levels of dental implant failure rate and marginal bone loss compared to otherwise healthy patients. Further intervention trials with wider sample size and longer follow-ups are necessary to confirm these summary results.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0562.v1
Subject: Nursing & Health Studies, Medicine & Pharmacology Keywords: health equity; implementation; obesity; systematic review; CFIR; qualitative review; school-based interventions; children; facilitators
Online: 30 November 2022 (03:59:34 CET)
Background: Health inequity (HI) remains a major challenge in public health. Improving the health of children with low socioeconomic status (SES) can help to reduce overall HI in children. Childhood obesity is a global problem, entailing several adverse health effects. It is crucial to assess influencing factors for adoption, implementation and sustainment of interventions. This review aims to identify articles reporting about influencing factors for the implementation of school-based interventions promoting obesity prevention behaviors in children with low SES. It aims to critically appraise the articles’ quality, assess influencing factors, categorize and evaluate them, and to discuss possible implications. Methods: A systematic search was conducted in 7 databases with the following main inclusion criteria: 1) school-based interventions and 2) target group aged 5–14 years. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, its five domains (intervention characteristics, inner setting, outer setting, characteristics of individuals, process) along with 39 constructs within these domains were used to deductively analyze the data. We grouped the articles with regard to the characteristics of the interventions in simple and complex interventions. For each domain, and for the groups of simple and complex interventions, the most commonly reported influencing factors are identified. Results: 6452 articles were screened, and 16 met all eligibility criteria. Included articles applied mixed methods (n=10), qualitative (n=5) and quantitative design (n=1). Of these, five were considered to report simple interventions and eleven were considered to report complex interventions. In total, 295 influencing factors were assessed. Aspects of the inner setting were reported in every study, aspects of the outer setting were the least reported domain, and in the group of simple interventions not reported at all. In the inner setting, most reported influencing factors were time (n=7), scheduling (n=6) and communication (n=6). Conclusion: This review found a wide range of influencing factors for implementation. Most important influencing factors need to be assessed for every setting. Including all stakeholders involved in the implementation process enhances the prioritization of the most important influencing factors for the specific setting. More empirical research and practical guidance are needed to promote obesity prevention behaviors among children with low SES.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0649.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Infertile women; Hysteroscopy; Clinical pregnancy rate; Live birth rate; No Intrauterine pathology; endometrial stimulation; Systematic review
Online: 26 September 2020 (16:39:39 CEST)
(1) Background: The aim of this work was to systematically review existing studies on whether hysteroscopy improves the reproductive outcomes of women with infertility even in the absence of intrauterine pathologies when compared to women who did not receive a hysteroscopy. (2) Methods: We established the Participant-Intervention-Comparison-Outcome strategy and used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement to conduct a systematic review of 11 studies which were retrieved from 3 electronic databases: Ovid-Medline, Ovid-Embase, and the Cochrane Library. Two independent investigators extracted the data from the included studies and used the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool to assess their quality. (3) Results: The primary outcome measures were the clinical pregnancy rates (CPRs) and live birth rates (LBRs) in the in vitro fertilization (IVF)/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles. Hysteroscopy in infertile women without intrauterine pathologies showed higher CPRs and LBRs than those in the same population who did not receive hysteroscopy in cases of recurrent implantation failure and IVF (odds ratio: 1.79 and 1.46, 95% confidence interval: 1.46-2.30 and 1.08-1.97 for CPR and LBR, respectively); however, the degree of significance was not as high for LBR. (4) Conclusions: Hysteroscopy before IVF/ICSI in infertile women without intrauterine pathologies may potentially be effective in improving the CPRs and LBRs in patients with RIF. Robust and high-quality randomized trials are warranted to confirm this finding.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0150.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Gastroenterology Keywords: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis; Vitamin D; VDR; CYP27B1; CYP2R1; CYP24A1; GC; DHCR7; Genetic variation; Polymorphism; Systematic review
Online: 11 July 2022 (04:57:43 CEST)
Background: Studies have demonstrated the link between vitamin D-related genetic variations and non-skeletal outcomes. We aimed to identify all available data on the association of vitamin D-related genetic variations with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Methods: Potentially eligible studies were identified from Embase and Medline databases from inception to June 2022 using search strategy that comprised terms for “Vitamin D” and “NAFLD”. Eligible study must report the association between vitamin D-related genetic variations and presence, severity or response to treatment of NAFLD. Data were extracted from each eligible study. Results: A total of 3,495 articles were identified. After systematic review, twelve studies were in-cluded. A total of 26 genetic variations were identified. Presence of NAFLD was associated with variations of GC (rs222054, rs222020, rs10011000, rs7041), VDR (rs2228570, rs11168287, rs10783219, rs4752), CYP24A1 (rs3787557, rs6068816, rs2296241, rs2248359) and CYP27B1 (rs4646536). Severity of NAFLD was associated with variations of GC (rs4588), VDR (rs2228570, rs4334089), CYP2R1 (rs10741657), DHCR7 (rs1544410, rs3829251, rs12785878) and CYP24A1 (rs3787557, rs6068816, rs6097809, rs6127119, rs2248359, rs3787554, rs4809960, rs6022999). Response to calcitriol treatment was associated with variation of VDR (rs10735810). Conclusions: Multiple vitamin D-related genetic variations were associated with NAFLD, indi-cating the role of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of NAFLD.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0278.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: systematic review; meta-analysis; dietary pattern; prospective cohort; randomized controlled trial; cancer prognosis; cancer survival; dietary intervention
Online: 16 December 2021 (15:06:33 CET)
Cancer survival continues to improve in high-income countries, partly explained by advances in screening and treatment. Previous studies have mainly examined the relationship between individual dietary components and cancer prognosis in tumours with good therapeutic response (breast, colon and prostate cancers). The aim of this review was to assess qualitatively (and quantitatively where appropriate) the associations of dietary patterns and cancer prognosis from published prospective cohort studies, as well as the effect of diet interventions by means of randomized controlled trials (RCT). A systematic search was conducted in PubMed, and a total of 35 prospective cohort studies and 14 RCT published between 2011 and 2021 were selected. Better overall diet quality was associated with improved survival among breast and colorectal cancer survivors; adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated to lower risk of mortality in colorectal and prostate cancer survivors. A meta-analysis using a random-effects model showed that higher versus lower diet quality was associated with a 23% reduction in overall mortality in breast cancer survivors. There was evidence that dietary interventions, generally combined with physical activity, improved overall quality of life, though most studies were in breast cancer survivors. Further cohort and intervention studies in other cancers are needed to make more specific recommendations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0184.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: differential drive robot; calibration; systematic error
Online: 8 November 2018 (03:50:39 CET)
An easier method for the calibration of differential drive robots is presented. Most of the calibration is done on-board and it is not necessary to expend too much time taking note of the robot's position. The calibration method does not need a big free space to perform the tests. The bigger space is just in a straight line, which is easy to find. Results with the proposed method are compared with those from UMB as a reference, and they show very little deviation while the proposed calibration is much simpler.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0456.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: oral; drugs; nanoparticles; polymers; systematic; meta-analysis
Online: 31 January 2022 (12:47:01 CET)
The oral route remains one of the most popular and important routes of administration that warrants the development of advanced drug delivery systems such as the polymeric nanoparticles capable of enhancing the absorption and bioavailability of the used drugs. In this work, systematic reviewing through several databases followed by a meta-analysis study were utilized in order to navigate the published studies and reach literature-based evidence about the capability of polymeric nanoparticulate systems of augmenting the absorption and the bioavailability of the orally administered drugs. The pharmacokinetic parameter; area under the curve (AUC) was utilized as the “effect” of the meta-analysis study. The meta-analysis study demonstrated the significant increase AUC as compared to the conventional formulations. Furthermore, comparing the synthetic polymeric nanoparticles versus the naturally-based counterparts, as subgroups of the meta-analysis, revealed no significant differences.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0051.v2
Subject: Social Sciences, Library & Information Science Keywords: COVID-19; WHO; database; systematic review; data quality
Online: 2 August 2020 (17:43:38 CEST)
Introduction: A large number of COVID-19 publications has created a need to collect all research-related material in practical and reliable centralized databases. The aim of this study was to evaluate the functionality and quality of the compiled World Health Organisation COVID-19 database and compare it to Pubmed and Scopus. Methods: Article metadata for COVID-19 articles and articles on 8 specific topics related to COVID-19 was exported from the WHO global research database, Scopus and Pubmed. The analysis was conducted in R to investigate the number and overlapping of the articles between the databases and the missingness of values in the metadata. Results: The WHO database contains the largest number of COVID-19 related articles overall but retrieved the same number of articles on 8 specific topics as Scopus and Pubmed. Despite having the smallest number of exclusive articles overall, the highest number of exclusive articles on specific COVID-19 related topics was retrieved from the Scopus database. Further investigation revealed that PubMed and Scopus have more comprehensive structure than the WHO database, and less missing values in the categories searched by the information retrieval systems. Discussion: This study suggests that the WHO COVID-19 database, even though it is compiled from multiple databases, has a very simple and limited structure, and significant problems with data quality. As a consequence, relying on this database as a source of articles for systematic reviews or bibliometric analyses is undesirable.
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: Query Variations; Query Reformulations; Query Performance Prediction; Systematic Reviews
Online: 13 September 2021 (09:56:16 CEST)
Evidence-based healthcare integrates the best research evidence with clinical expertise in order to make decisions based on the best practices available. In this context, the task of collecting all the relevant information, a recall oriented task, in order to take the right decision within a reasonable time frame has become an important issue. In this paper, we investigate the problem of building an effective Consumer Health Search (CHS) systems that use query variations to achieve high recall and fulfill the information needs of health consumers. In particular, we study an intent-aware gain metric used to estimate the amount of missing information and make a prediction about the achievable recall for each query reformulation during a search session. We evaluate and propose alternative formulations of this metric using standard test collections of the CLEF 2018 eHealth Evaluation Lab CHS.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0573.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Adverse Outcome Pathways; COVID-19; mechanisms; systematic organization; interdisciplinary
Online: 27 January 2021 (17:01:44 CET)
Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOP) provide structured frameworks for systematic organization of research data and knowledge. The AOP framework follows a set of key principles that allow for broad application across diverse disciplines related to human health, including toxicology, pharmacology, virology and medical research. The COVID-19 pandemic engages a great number of scientists world-wide and data is increasing with exponential speed. Diligent data management strategies are employed but approaches for systematically organizing the data-derived information and knowledge are lacking. We believe AOPs can play an important role in improving interpretation and efficient application of scientific understanding of COVID-19. Here, we outline a newly initiated effort to streamline collaboration between scientists across the world towards development of AOPs for COVID-19, and describe the overarching aims of the effort, as well as the expected outcomes and research support that they will provide.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0598.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Camellia sinensis; tea polyphenols; gut microbiota; gastrointestinal bacteria; systematic review
Online: 24 March 2021 (16:18:03 CET)
A diet high in polyphenols is associated with a diversified gut microbiome. Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, after water. The health benefits of tea might be attributed to the presence of polyphenol compounds such as catechins, theaflavins, tannins, and flavonoids. Although many studies are on tea, little is known of its effects on trillions of gut microbiota. Hence, this review is aimed at systematically studying the effect of tea polyphenols on the stimulation or suppression of gut microbiota in humans and animals. It was conducted according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) protocol. Articles were retrieved from PubMed and Scopus databases, and data were extracted from 6 human trials and 15 animal studies. Overall, huge variations were observed in terms of microbiota composition between humans and animals. A more consistent pattern of diversified microbiota was observed in animal studies. Tea alleviated the gut microbiota imbalance caused by high-fat diet-induced obesity, diabetes, and ultraviolet-induced damage. Overall changes in microbiota composition measured by beta diversity analysis showed that tea had shifted the microbiota from the pattern seen in animals that received tea-free intervention. In humans, the prebiotic-like effect was observed towards gut microbiota, but these results appear in lower-quality studies. Beta diversity in human microbiota remains intact despite tea intervention; supplementation with different teas affected different types of bacterial taxa in the gut. These studies suggest that tea polyphenols may have a prebiotic effect in disease-induced animals and in a limited number of human interventions. Further intervention is needed to identify the mechanisms of action underlying the effects of tea on gut microbiota.
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: COVID-19; origin; incentive factors of the outbreak; systematic perspective
Online: 8 April 2020 (11:31:35 CEST)
The new coronavirus is very likely to already exist in the complex system of human society, including the population and the surrounding environments. Therefore, the research focus of the origin of COVID-19 should be shifted from how wild animals spread it to humans to how it was triggered by complex natural, social, and living systems. We advocate three levels of attribution (i.e., the source of the virus), inducement (i.e., the incentive factors triggering the outbreak), and cause (i.e., the birth of the virus) to reveal the origin of COVID-19 from the shallower to the deeper. It not only meets the urgent needs of short-term prevention and control, but also provides technical weapons for the long-term fight against emerging viruses.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0016.v1
Subject: Engineering, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Keywords: artificial intelligence; machine learning; systematic literature review; applications; industry 4.0
Online: 3 December 2019 (05:34:17 CET)
The history of Artificial Intelligence (AI) development dates to the 40s. The researchers showed strong expectations until the 70s, when they began to encounter serious difficulties and investments were greatly, reduced. With the introduction of the Industry 4.0, one of the techniques adopted for AI implementation is Machine Learning (ML) that focuses on the machines ability to receive data series and learn on their own. Given the considerable importance of the subject, researchers have completed many studies on ML to ensure that machines are able to replace or relieve human tasks. This research aims to analyze, systematically, the literature on several aspects, including publication year, authors, scientific sector, country, institution, keywords. Analyzing existing literature on AI is a necessary stage to recommend policy on the matter. The analysis has been done using Web of Science and SCOPUS database. Furthermore, UCINET and NVivo 12 software have been used to complete them. Literature review on ML and AI empirical studies published in the last century was carried out to highlight the evolution of the topic before and after Industry 4.0 introduction, from 1999 to now. Eighty-two articles were reviewed and classified. A first interesting result is the greater number of works published by USA and the increasing interest after the birth of Industry 4.0.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0484.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: excessive daytime sleepiness; socioeconomic position; sleep; systematic review; sleepiness; health disparities
Online: 18 March 2021 (13:02:59 CET)
Objective: (1) Describe the current literature on the relationship between EDS and SEP and (2) provide recommendations for consideration of SEP in sleep medicine and biomedical research. Methods: Databases Medline/Pubmed, Web of Science, Google scholar and Scopus were screened using PRISMA guidelines and 19 articles were included in the final synthesis. Results: All studies were cross-sectional. Among these studies, 21.05% (n = 4) are focused on children and adolescent and the lasting 88.95% (n = 15) focused on adults and old people. Age ranged between 8 and 17 years old for children/adolescent and ranged from 18 until 102 years old for adults. Main SEP measures presented in these studies were education, income, perceived socioeconomic status and employment. Sample size in these studies varied from N = 90 participants until N = 33865 participants. Overall, a lower educational level, a lower income and full-time employment were associated with EDS. EDS symptoms are prevalent in women, especially those with a low income or no job; and children and adolescents with difficult living conditions or people working part-time reported more sleep disturbances. Conclusions: SEP is already considered as an important determinant for many health outcomes, but if SEP is embedded in experimental design in psychosomatic research, biomedical research and clinical practice as a constant variable regardless of outcome; it will move forward future investigations.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0026.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Studies Keywords: mobile augmented reality; inquiry-based learning; K12 education; systematic literature review
Online: 2 March 2020 (07:34:27 CET)
A systematic review of the potential of implementing augmented reality (AR) in inquiry-based learning was conducted. We considered the purposes, potential advantages, application characteristics and the effects of using AR in inquiry-based learning. The findings reveal that AR, in the context of inquiry-based learning, is mostly implemented successfully to achieve cognitive and, less often, motivational and emotional learning goals. The AR solutions have mainly been applied in the Conceptualization and less in the Investigation phase. The affordances of AR in the Orientation, Conclusion and Discussion phase need to be applied in further studies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0135.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: acupuncture; dysphagia; post-acute stroke; overview; systematic reviews; meta-analyses; rehabilitation
Online: 12 October 2019 (03:31:46 CEST)
Background: Many randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and systematic reviews (SRs) on acupuncture treatment for post-acute stroke dysphagia have been published. Due to conflicting results an overview of SRs to summarize and assess the quality of this evidence to determine whether acupuncture is effective for this disease was conducted. Methods: Seven databases were searched for SRs and/or Meta-analysis of RCTs and quasi-RCTs on acupuncture for post-acute stroke dysphagia. Two authors independently identified SRs and meta-analyses, collected data to assess the quality of included SRs and meta analyses according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) and the revised Assessment of Multiple Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR 2). Results: 31 SRs were identified. Quality of 22 SRs was critically low, 5 SRs were low, and 4 Cochrane SRs were moderate when evaluated by AMSTAR2. 17 SRs reported 85.2-96.3% items of PRISMA. Five SRs included explanatory RCTs, 16 SRs included pragmatic RCTs, and 10 SRs included both. Conclusion: Currently evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture on post-acute stroke dysphagia is low quality. Type of study appeared to have no direct influence on the result, but the primary outcome measures showed a relationship with the quality of SRs. High quality trials with large sample sizes should be the focus of future research. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42019134163
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0017.v4
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, General Mathematics Keywords: biomedical imaging; covariogram; design-based stereology; estimation of volume; systematic sampling
Online: 15 September 2016 (05:18:42 CEST)
The systematic sampling is used as a method to get the quantitative results from the tissues and the radiological images. Systematic sampling on real line (R) is a very attractive method within which the biomedical imaging is consulted by the practitioners. For the systematic sampling on R, the measurement function (MF) is occurred by slicing the three-dimensional object equidistant systematically. The currently used covariogram model in variance approximation proposed by [28,29] is tested for the different measurement functions in a class to see the performance on the variance estimation of systematically sampled R. This study is an extension of , and an exact calculation method is proposed to calculate the constant λ(q,N) of confidence interval in the systematic sampling. The exact value of constant λ(q,N) is examined for the different measurement functions as well. As a result, it is observed from the simulation that the proposed MF should be used to check the performances of the variance approximation and the constant λ(q,N). Synthetic data can support the results of real data.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0035.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: Climate change; Ecological dynamics; Mathematical programming; Optimization; Spatial analysis; Systematic Conservation Planning
Online: 2 December 2021 (11:59:43 CET)
Biodiversity conservation questions human practices towards biodiversity and, therefore, largely conflicts with ordinary societal aspirations. Decisions on the location of protected areas, one of the most convincing conservation tools, reflect such a competitive endeavor. Operations Research (OR) brings a set of analytical models and tools capable of resolving the conflicting interests between ecology and economy. Recent technological advances have boosted the size and variety of data available to planners, thus challenging conventional approaches bounded on optimized solutions. New models and methods are requested to use such a massive amount of data in integrative schemes addressing a large variety of concerns. Here, we provide an overview on the past, present and future challenges that characterize spatial conservation models supported by OR. By enlarging the spatial, temporal, taxonomic and societal horizons of biodiversity conservation planners navigate around multiple bio-socioeconomic equilibria and are able to decide on cost-effective strategies to improve biodiversity persistence.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0048.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Algebra & Number Theory Keywords: SSCM; Mathematical Model; Systematic Literature Review; SSCM Modules; Sustainable Development Goals; Gap analysis
Online: 2 June 2021 (07:19:32 CEST)
The main purpose of this paper is to present a comprehensive view of the application mathematical models in the designing and implementing SSCM beside to solving problems and making decision. The research questions are: what mathematical models are used for designing and implementing sustainable supply chain management, how to use them, which industries implemented in, what modules of SSCM depth in and finally finding the gaps of researches. The methodology of research is Systematic Literature review through peer review papers which are published in high ranking journals. In this paper, First, we search all papers through scientific data bases like Scopus, science direct, MDPI, Springer, Google Scholar, then, screening papers based on the criteria such as subject of paper, journals impact factor which is published in-should be peer review journal- and relative content of the papers. Finally, we selected 245 papers with three steps screening through 2806 papers that they have enough quality and relative to our research goals for context analysis. Through context analysis, first we categorized the information of the papers and drew the current situation of researches in the framework of our topic. Then, we evaluate and compare the goals of sustainability and current situation and found the gapes, then, offered new suggestions like implementing SSCMs models in pollutant industries like casting industry, Heavy industry, coal Industry and so on. On the other hand, there are gaps in researches in some modules of SSCM such as packaging, designing products, etc.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0125.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Economics Keywords: business models; business model innovation; food supply chain; food security; systematic literature review
Online: 12 January 2020 (15:41:18 CET)
This paper investigates the contribution of business model innovations in improvement of food supply chains. Through a systematic literature review, the notable business model innovations in the food industry are identified, surveyed, and evaluated. Findings reveal that the innovations in value proposition, value creation processes, and value delivery processes of business models are the successful strategies proposed in food industry. It is further disclosed that rural female entrepreneurs, social movements, and also urban conditions are the most important driving forces inducing the farmers to reconsider their business models. In addition, the new technologies and environmental factors are the secondary contributors in business model innovation for the food processors. It is concluded that digitalization has disruptively changed the food distributors models. E-commerce models and internet of things are reported as the essential factors imposing the retailers to innovate their business models. Furthermore, the consumption demand and the product quality are two main factors affecting the business models of all the firms operating in the food supply chain regardless of their positions in the chain. The findings of the current study provide an insight into the food industry to design a sustainable business model to bridge the gap between food supply and food demand.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0414.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Econometrics & Statistics Keywords: avelets; Non-uniform wavelets; CAPM; Wavelets CAPM; systematic (market) risk; scaling; Arab spring revolutions.
Online: 20 August 2021 (12:43:26 CEST)
The Capital Asset Pricing Model is a widely applied model to describe risky markets and to deduce their systematic risk. Its estimation, therefore, remains an important task in Econo-financial studies. Empirically, it focuses on the impact of return interval on the betas. Existing studies somehow turn around the same idea of measuring the value of the beta according to the uniform intervals of time during a fixed period. However, it is noticed easily, and especially in the last decade that many factors such as socio-political, and Econo-environmental ones have led to a perturbation in the timeline of the worldwide development, and especially in countries and regions having political changes. This led us to introduce a new idea of risk estimation taking into account the non-uniform changes in markets by introducing a non-uniform wavelet analysis. We aim to explain the Econo-political situation of Arab spring countries and the effect of the revolutions on the market beta. The main novelty is firstly the construction of a dynamic backward-forward model for missing data, and next the application of random non-uniform wavelets. The proposed procedure will be acted empirically on a sample corresponding to TUNINDEX stock as a representative index of the Tunisian market actively traded over the period January 14, 2016, to January 13, 2021. The chosen 5-years period is important as it constitutes the first 5-years-after the revolution and depends strongly on the Socio-Econo-political stability in the revolutionary countries.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0034.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: systematic literature review; agricultural sustainability assessment; circular economy; lice cycle methodologies; agri-food sustainability
Online: 1 February 2021 (13:48:13 CET)
This study aims at providing a systematic and critical review on the state-of-the-art of life cycle applications from the circular economy point of view. In particular, the main objective is to un-derstand how researchers adapt life cycle approaches for the measurement of the empirical cir-cular pathways of agri-food systems along the overall lifespan. To perform the literature review, PRISMA protocol was considered to conduct a review by qualitative synthesis. Specifically, an evaluation matrix has been set up to gather and synthesize research evidence, by classifying pa-pers according to several integrated criteria. The literature search was carried out employing scientiﬁc databases. Findings evidence that the most common circularity topics are about closed-loop production systems, i.e. nutrient recovery for agricultural purposes, production of renewable energy, valorization of residues and wastes as fertilizers, food waste, and agro-wastes recycling for agriculture. To evaluate the benefits/impacts of CE strategies, Life Cycle Assess-ment (LCA) proved to be the most common methodology applied by authors, as it can help to meet the main CE requirements slowing and closing resource loops.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0484.v1
Subject: Biology, Ecology Keywords: analytical index; continental U.S.; Human Footprint; human perception; landscape modification; landscape transformation; systematic conservation planning
Online: 29 September 2021 (10:04:40 CEST)
We assessed how close human perceptions of landscape modification matched a multivariate index based on remotely sensed data of the same locations. Using a Human Footprint (HF) map of the continental U.S. (scaled 0-100), we created three series of aerial images, each with ten images distributed evenly across the 10 deciles of HF score. Using a web-based survey, 290 members of the global public ranked the images in one series based on their perception of the degree of human modification. Respondents also reported age, sex, and country. The degree of correspondence between rankings by respondents and by HF score was high, an average of 1.29 units of difference out of a maximum possible of 5.0. Differences among respondents were not explained by age, sex, or general geographic location. These results suggest that human perception of relative landscape modification conforms closely with the relative ranking made by a multivariate, analytical index.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0253.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: point cloud objects (PCOs); volume calculation (VC); co-opposite-direction slicing method (CODSM); systematic directional errors; random errors
Online: 22 November 2019 (05:37:00 CET)
Although the Slicing Method (SM) is effective for calculating the volume of point cloud objects (PCOs), it is restricted in terms of applicability and practicability because of a certain contingency and directional defects. The Co-Opposite-Direction Slicing Method (CODSM) proposed in this paper is an improved method for calculating PCO volume by increasing parallel (co-opposite-direction) observation and considering the two-way mean as the result. This method takes full advantage of the mutual offsetting of random errors and the compensation of systematic directional errors, which can effectively overcome (or mitigate) the effect of random errors and reduce the effect of systematic errors in SM. In this paper, two typical objects, a cone model and a stone lion base, are the examples for calculating PCO volume using CODSM. The results show that CODSM has all the inherent advantages of SM and effectively weakens the volatility of random errors and the directionality of systematic errors from SM. Therefore, CODSM is a robust configuration upgrade of SM.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0026.v1
Subject: Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering Keywords: analog circuit design; buffer amplifiers; offset voltage's systematic component; voltage followers; operational amplifiers; depletion-mode; СMOS; JFET; Si; GaAs; GaN
Online: 5 May 2022 (08:42:15 CEST)
The authors of the article performed computer simulation of buffer amplifiers (BA), which have medium and extremely small values of the offset voltage's systematic component (Voff), for different technological processes (Si, GaAs and GaN). The proposed control units are distinguished by a small number of elements and allow operation in the range of low and high temperatures. The variants of circuitry implementation of control units based on GaAs, GaN depletion-mode CMOS and JFET technological processes are considered. The results of the comparative modeling showed that the basic circuit of the BA on two field-effect transistors, when implemented on various modifications of GaN MOS and depletion-mode MOS transistors, provides sufficiently low values of the offset voltage's systematic component (less than 2 μV). The proposed BAs are designed for use in the structure of the Sallen-Key low-pass filter (LPF) when they are implemented both on mid-frequency Si CJFET and on GaAs microwave transistors. Low values of the LPF Voff have a positive effect on the effective capacity of the ADC. An example of switching on a BA in the JFET OpAmp structure based on the depletion-mode MOS input stage and a “folded” cascode, which, with 100% negative feedback, can be used in the Sallen-Key LPF, is considered. Computer simulation of the JFET/MOS OpAmp showed that the OpAmp has an open-loop voltage gain of 76-85dB, and its Voff is within 7µV in the temperature range from -60°C to +120°C. The presented circuitry of buffer amplifiers is intended, first of all, for the tasks of designing precision Sallen-Key low-pass filter (low-pass filter, high-pass filter, PF, RF).
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0047.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Alzheimer disease; Amyloid β-protein; Antibodies; Cross-reactions; Nucleotide aptamers; Oligonucleotide ligands; Systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment; Specificity; Therapeutics
Online: 5 February 2018 (22:37:02 CET)
Aptamers are versatile oligonucleotide ligands used for molecular recognition of diverse targets. However, application of aptamers to the field of amyloid β-protein (Aβ) has been limited so far. Aβ is an intrinsically disordered protein that exists in a dynamic conformational equilibrium, presenting time-dependent ensembles of short-lived, metastable structures and assemblies that have been generally difficult to isolate and characterize. Moreover, despite understanding of potential physiological roles of Aβ, this peptide has been linked to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease, and its pathogenic roles remain controversial. Accumulated scientific evidence thus far highlights undesirable or nonspecific interactions between selected aptamers and different Aβ assemblies likely due to metastable nature of Aβ or inherent affinity of RNA oligonucleotides to β-sheet-rich fibrillar structures of amyloidogenic proteins. Accordingly, lessons drawn from Aβ–aptamer studies emphasize that purity and uniformity of the protein target and rigorous characterization of aptamers’ specificity are important for realizing and garnering the full potential of aptamers selected for recongizing Aβ or other intrinsically disordered proteins. This review summarizes studies of aptamers selected for recognizing different Aβ assemblies and highlights controversies, difficulties, and limitations of such studies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0130.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Sport Sciences & Therapy Keywords: extracorporeal shock wave therapy; ESWT; focused extracorporeal shock wave therapy; fESWT; mechanisms of action; radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy; rESWT; systematic review
Online: 14 April 2022 (07:42:55 CEST)
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is a safe and effective treatment option for various pathologies of the musculoskeletal system. Many studies addressed the molecular and cellular mechanisms of action of ESWT. However, no uniform concept could be established in this matter until now. We performed a systematic review of the effects of exposure of musculoskeletal tissue to extracorporeal shock waves (ESWs) reported in the literature. The key results were as follows: (i) compared to the effects of many other forms of therapy, the clinical benefit of ESWT does not appear to be based on a single mechanism; (ii) different tissues respond to the same mechanical stimulus in different ways; (iii) just because a mechanism of action of ESWT was described in a study does not automatically mean that this mechanism was relevant to the observed clinical effect; (iv) focused ESWs and radial ESWs seem to act in a similar way; and (v) even the most sophisticated research into the effects of exposure of musculoskeletal tissue to ESWs cannot substitute clinical research in order to determine the optimum intensity, treatment frequency and localization of ESWT.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0241.v1
Subject: Engineering, Marine Engineering Keywords: Collaborative robotics; Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC); Knowledge-Based Approach (KBA); collaborative workplace design; systematic layout planning; digital layout optimization; what-if analysis.
Online: 12 November 2021 (17:17:02 CET)
The innovation driven Industry 5.0, in agreement with Industry 4.0, leads to consider human in a prominence position as the center of manufacturing field. This pushes towards the hybridization of manufacturing plants promoting a fully collaboration between human and robot. Furthermore, the new paradigm of "human centred design" and "anthropocentric design" allows enabling a synergistic combination of human and robot skills. However, properly collaborative workplaces are currently very few. Industry is still not confident, and systems integrators hesitate to venture into Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC). Despite the effort in collaborative robotics, a general solution to overcome the current limitations in designing of collaborative workplaces still misses. In the current work, a Knowledge-Based Approach (KBA) is adopted to face collaborative workplace designing problem. The framework resulting from the KBA allows developing a modelling paradigm that enable to define a streamlined approach for the layout designing of a collaborative workplace. Finally, a what-if analysis and a ANOVA analysis are performed to generate and evaluate a set of scenarios related to a collaborative workplace for quality inspection of welded parts. Facing the high complexity and multidisciplinary of HRC can be conveyed to develop a general design approach aimed at overcoming the difficulties that limit the spread of HRC in the manufacturing field.