• Understanding and improving police health and wellbeing: the PHeW project

      Kukucska, Dora (University of Bedfordshire, 2020-06)
      Aim: In the UK it has been reported that over 50% of the police workforce has taken sick leave for mental or physical health issues within the past five years. Bedfordshire Police Force has the fourth highest long term sick leave in the UK due to both physical and psychological health. Method: The study employed mixed methods across four phases of work (1. needs assessment, 2. Baseline assessment, 3. Intervention implementation, 4. Evaluation) to assess the physical health (body mass index, blood pressure), psychological wellbeing (stress anxiety, depression, mood, wellbeing), health behaviours (physical activity, nutrition, substance use, sleep), support needs and factors that influence the health and wellbeing of Bedfordshire Police employees. The study moreover tested the feasibility of brief positive psychology interventions (3 Good Things [expressive writing] Technique and Positive Password Mantras) for a length of 1 month. Results: Stress levels (personal, organisational and operational) and BMI were high in Bedfordshire Police Force employees and significantly correlated with poorer health behaviours. Recruitment to the interventions was low, and attrition over the four weeks was high, suggesting the current approach was not feasible. Interview findings indicated that future initiatives need to 1) Build belief in the support available; 2) Address perceived stigma; 3) Provide timely support; 4) Reduce work-related stress; 5) Make health and wellbeing a priority; 6) Encourage camaraderie and social support, and 7) Support positive coping strategies. Conclusion: There is a clear need and desire for occupational health support within Bedfordshire Police Force to support employees’ physical health and psychological wellbeing. Future interventions should consider employee’s capability, opportunity and motivation to engage and make initiatives easy, attractive, social and timely.
    • Understanding the role of tourism in poverty reduction, the case of communities adjacent to Mikumi National Park in Tanzania

      Kalemo, Zacharia Revocatus (University of Bedfordshire, 2011-03)
      For over three decades tourism has been said to have the potential to accelerate economic growth that can guarantee significant development especially in developing countries. To some extent, the notion seems to be gripping ground at national level, as many developing countries, including Tanzania have begun recording a relative increase in national incomes as a result of recent boom of tourism industry in these countries. Nevertheless, the notion seems to be off-track and perhaps unrealistic from local perspective, since until now there is little empirical evidence to suggest how much tourism is reducing poverty at household level and individual level. Given this lack of research into the effects of tourism on poverty, the study therefore aimed to contribute to the knowledge base on the role of tourism in poverty reduction, by evaluating how tourism is perceived as agent for improving the livelihoods of poor in communities adjacent to Mikumi National Park (MINAPA) in Tanzania. To achieve this goal, the study developed three key research questions to guide this investigation: How is poverty understood and experienced by the communities adjacent to MINAPA? How is tourism understood as an agent for reducing poverty in these communities? Do barriers to participation of the poor in tourism exist and how could these be overcome? Since this study intended to ascertain data on understandings and lived experiences of poverty, and the perceptions about the interaction of tourism with poverty, the overarching stance for this study is therefore interpretivist, with emphasis on understanding the subjective meaning of lived experiences, rather than explaining the objective aspect of lived experience as in positivist paradigm. The research involved amalgamating phenomenology and ethnography coupled with various research methods in order to gain rich data on phenomena investigated. Themes were identified by using thematic analysis method. The findings of this study suggest that at the moment tourism is having insignificant contribution on poverty reduction in communities investigated in this study. However, most research participants perceived tourism as a positive initiative that can help to improve the livelihoods of the poor in their communities. But a number of barriers were acknowledged that hinder their participation in tourism, including, lack of involvement and empowerment of local communities in the management and sharing of benefits accrued through tourism in MINAPA. This study has therefore recommended for the renewed cooperation between all stakeholders in tourism, which is built on the real realm of transparency should poverty reduction through tourism turned from theory to reality. The contributions of this study to the tourism poverty reduction knowledge base include information on how tourism is perceived by the resource poor; enhanced knowledge with findings indicating tourism is not improving the livelihoods of the poor in communities investigated in this study; just to mention few.
    • Undressing truth: applications and negations of nudity on the stage and in the audience

      Fielding, Carly (University of Bedfordshire, 2014-03)
      The aim of this project is to test contemporary performance making’s trends and views in relation to the moral values imposed on them by society. As such, it looks at shock values applied to nudity within theatre and dance in the UK. The proposed argument of this work focuses on and questions whether the reaction of current British audiences to nudity still stem from tenets and biases rooted in Victorian morals. As suggested above, the research will explore the use of nudity within theatre and dance, applying theories of sexuality and social politics. To achieve the proposed aims, the thesis will briefly explore the work of two current practitioners who are investigating similar themes. These are Javier De Frutos and Dave St Pierre. They were chosen because of their use of shock tactics in performance. In line with the thinking that informs their practices, this work both proposes and relies on the creation of a test bed which, it is hoped, will help take the pulse of contemporary performance making in the UK. It will also check where is it that audiences and practitioners are standing in terms of social constraints regarding nudity. As such this is an experiment; and although there are many performances that use nudity for shock value, none of them appear to have published findings regarding the causal effect of nudity on shock. The work of Dave St Pierre and Javier De Frutos will be used to highlight the use of shock within performance making. The work of Sigmund Freud and Michel Foucault will also be explored as theoretical grounding for the research. The main body of text will draw upon the practice as research as the primary source, with some references to the authors previous research regarding censorship of nudity in theatre (2012). The formulation of the thesis will draw on the outcomes of the practice based investigation, references to books, journals and interviews - discussed more in depth in the ensuing literature review and, most significantly, on data collected and collated from questionnaires audience members attending the especially devised performance were asked to respond to.
    • United Nations sanctions and the individual: a proposal for an international judicial review/appeal procedure

      Stevens, Brian Joe (University of Bedfordshire, 2013-04)
      Currently the United Nations (UN) through its Security Council (UNSC) have issued a number of Resolutions that required member states to implement immediately, legislation which places severe restrictions such as assets freezing and travel bans on a number of individuals, groups and other entities who are believed to be involved in or connected to international terrorism, particularly those affiliated with Al Qaida. Those subjected to these sanctions have no ability to seek an independent judicial review or appeal capable of offering just satisfaction of their particular case at either national regional or international level due to the supremacy of the UN charter in international law. The UN itself currently has no judicial review or appeal mechanism capable of hearing complaints by those subjected to this system of ‘targeted’ or ‘smart’ sanctions. In most cases, with one notable exception national and regional Courts have given supremacy to the UN’s decision over human rights concerns due their own obligations under the UN Charter. In particular the right to have an effective method of judicial review has been ignored. This study will concentrate on the inability of those subjected to these measures imposed on them under UN sanctions to have a suitable judicial review mechanism for violations of internationally accepted human right norms. This study will suggest a theoretical solution, which is however grounded in international law, to counter this inherent lack of judicial review at the level of the United Nations. It will contend that the measures currently employed by the UN appear to run counter to internationally accepted human rights norms and the accepted international standards for the rule of law that the UN has through its own rhetoric set for itself and the wider international community.
    • Use of machine learning to reduce false alarms

      Ali, Muhammed Usman (University of Bedfordshire, 2020)
      Machine learning is adopted widely in many sectors including healthcare, automotive and finance where machine learning use cases include disease detection, predictive maintenance, and fraud detection. During 2017/2018, around 40%(226,000) of the incidents attended by fire and rescue service were false alarms. Therefore, this thesis is focused towards the application of machine learning on fire alarm systems data to address the rising problem of false alarms. The fire alarm system on site gathers the data about different events which can be utilised to conduct the experiments with machine learning. Therefore , to address this problem five different classification machine learning models including Logistic Regression, Support Vector Machines, Naïve Bayes Classifier, Decision Trees and Random Forests have been used to experiment with data gathered from fire alarm system. The performance of the different machine learning models is evaluated using different methods such as precision, recall, f1- score, confusion matrix, k-fold cross validation and mean accuracy to find the best suited models for reducing false alarm rates. Experiments were conducted on data gathered from the fire alarm system, 10-fold cross validation results indicated Naïve Bayes Classifier detecting 51 out of 53 Fires correctly but with a high misclassification rate and low mean accuracy of 61%. The remaining four models failed in classifying any fires correctly with 0.00 recall, still achieving overall accuracy in the range of 97-98% due to high imbalance in the dataset. The Cohen Kappa value of 0.0 was achieved by models indicating poor agreement in the decisions made. Machine learning models exhibited better performance on the new test data with incorporated temperature data, models achieved higher recall in the range of 0.70 to 1.00 during 10-fold cross validation as well as higher Cohen Kappa scores in the range 0.73 to 0.88 indicating substantial agreement in the decisions made by the machine learning models. The results on fire system data indicated machine may not be that effective due to poor correlation between the features in the data and high imbalance in the data. However, much better results are achieved by incorporating some additional sensors such as temperature into the fire alarm system data.
    • Validity of claims for efficacy of the O2 and CO2 “tolerance training tables”, and associated risks

      Barry-Wilson, Samantha (University of Bedfordshire, 2010-03)
      Both physical and apneic (voluntary breath hold) training have been shown to prolong apneic time. One of the most readily available training developments are the 'tolerance training tables' (TTT). These are a series of breath-hold and breathing periods intended to elicit low O2 or high CO2 levels in a progressive fashion. Developments of the tables have been made on the basis of anecdotal evidence. These tables are yet to be formalised and validated or risk assessed During a familiarisation session, participants were required to attempt a maximal breath-hold (MaxBH) time; breath-hold and breathing period ratios for the 'tables' were derived from this MaxBH. During the investigation participants were required to attend two counterbalanced weeks (C02 and O2) of testing. Expiratory gases were monitored using breath-by-breath analysis (Cortex Biophysics, Liepzig, Germany) to observe any intervention derived blood gas changes. Blood oxygen saturation levels were monitored non-invasively via pulse oximetry (LifePulse, LP28, HME Ltd., England [extremity]; Avant 2120, Nonin, USA [ear]). Empirical trends in O2 values were seen within the O2 TTT. O2 values prior to breath-hold displayed a pattern of progressive increase over the series of eight breath-holds with a controlled 3-breath breath-up strategy. O2 values post breath-hold displayed a pattern of progressive reduction over the series of eight breath-holds, evidencing the increasing metabolism of O2 during apnea. Despite this, a univariate ANOVA indicated no statistical significance between the eight phases of breath-hold (e.g. p = 0.134). CO2 values indicated no empirical trends and no statistical significance prior to, or following, breath-hold. CO2 values displayed relatively unchanged values following the series of eight breath-holds. Comparisons between O2 and CO2 protocols indicated no statistical difference.
    • The validity of two compartment model methods of body composition as compared to magnetic resonance imaging in Asian Indian versus Caucasian males

      Davies, Ben Rhys (University of Bedfordshire, 2010-11)
      Background: The two-compartment (2C) model is a relatively accessible, inexpensive and time efficient method for body composition measurement. There is very little validated research on the 2C model in Asian Indians: a high risk population in terms of obesity and related disorders. This highlights the need for valid estimates of body composition from the 2C model. Purpose: The goal was to compare 2C model (predictor) estimates of body composition to those from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (criterion), an established gold standard measure of total adiposity in order to determine the validity of the 2C model in the Asian Indian population. From this data it is hoped that a correction equation may be determined for more accurate prediction of Asian Indian body composition using 2C model methods. Methods: 21 males (10 Asian Indian and 11 Caucasian, aged 18-55 yrs) had estimates of percent body fat from 2C methods (sum of four skinfolds and anthropometry, bioelectrical impedance analysis [Bodystat 1500 and Tanita segmental impedance analyser], air displacement plethysmography [Bod Pod] and hydrostatic weighing) compared to MRI measured body composition values. Agreement was assessed using multiple linear regression analysis and Bland-Altman plots. Differences were assessed using repeated measures analysis of variance. Results: Regression analysis showed air displacement plethysmography predicts MRI body composition in Caucasian males (adjusted r2 = 0.74; SEE =3.27 ). In Asian Indians, tricep skinfold thickness and hydrostatic weighing predicted MRI body composition with a low prediction error (adjusted r2 = 0.90; SEE =1.75). Despite strong correlations and no significant difference between mean differences of the 2C methods, used in the prediction model, and MRI, BlandAltman plots revealed no acceptable limits of agreement between the methods. Asian Indian body composition was underestimated by all two compartment devices compared to MRI. Conclusion: There appears to be potential for the use of tricep skinfold thickness and hydrostatic weighing to predict an established reference measure (MRI) in the high risk Asian Indian population. The 2C model underestimated Asian Indian body composition, this suggests that un-validated, the 2C model may misidentify obesity and in turn health risk. However the small sample tested, has implications for the interpretation of the findings. Further investigation is required with a greater sample size to validate the 2C model against an established reference measure such as MRI as there is currently little published validation data in this ethnic group.
    • Wearable non-invasive optical body sensor for measuring personal health vital signs

      Cohen, Zachary Joel Valentino (University of Bedfordshire, 2016-01)
      In this thesis, we report the development and implementation of healthcare sensor devices integrated into a wearable ring device. Using photoplethysmography (PPG) methods, we design a heart rate monitor, a unique method to measure oxygen saturation in the blood and discuss a potentially new method of continuous measurement of blood pressure. In this thesis we also report implementation of a temperature sensor using an LM35 transistor to measure body temperature. A method of integrating electrocardiography into the proposed device is also presented.
    • What happens between 4-5am?

      La-Traille, Mike (University of Bedfordshire, 2010)
      My research involved the use of sound and the visual image, to show the development of time through a multi-screen installation that allowed the sixty minutes to unfold from a fixed camera position. The work looked at the use of multi-screen projections and what they can lend to an installation and how the audience understands them. This work also explores the idea of whether it is important to construct a narrative in an audio/visual installation for an audience or whether they would understand the concept without any manipulation. The concept of the piece is about what occurs between the hours of 4-5am. To help demonstrate my findings I decided to produce a series of films that all lasted for sixty minutes each. The films were unedited, fixed camera shots that observe the action to capture reality and never attempt to follow and construct one. I felt Andre Bazin’s technique of ‘pure cinema’ with long shots was the most appropriate way of achieving this. I believed the best way to illustrate this would be to build up the screens from a one screen painterly shot through to multi-screens progressing from a triptych to five, seven and finally a nine screen film which was full of images. The idea is to expose various spaces, their differences during the time period and suggest how all are occurring concurrently during this one solitary hour. In conclusion, it’s becomes obvious that a viewer of an installation can construct their own narrative. The viewer has the ability to construct their own structured narrative with a start, middle and end depending on when they entered the installation. The installation is important because it allowed the viewer to become immersed in the subject and interact with the films and not just become a passive observer. The use of natural sound added to the atmosphere created through the fixed camera films. The fixed camera filming allowed for observation of the time period capturing what was in front of the lens and never following the action, the use of multi-screens meant more information could be disseminated to the viewer without the need for film editing and manipulation. The multi-screen images allowed the viewer to generate their own perceptions of the time period. They also allowed the viewer to make links between the different locations, seasons and time zones.
    • With the launch of the government’s ‘Anywhere Working’ initiative: from the perspective of remote or flexible workers/employees with perceived high self-efficacy – what might be the preferred performance target and appraisal process, as part of the performance management system?

      Stewart-Birch, Linda (University of Bedfordshire, 2012-10)
      Labour markets are changing, demographics are changing; the world is becoming more global with traditional offices being superseded by 'landscapes of mobility' (Hardill & Green 2003) and workers too are changing and demanding change with subsequent rise in remote and flexible working. This study recognises that remote workers may have and demand different performance management and appraisal systems based on their levels of perceived self-efficacy; based on Bandura's (1978) social cognition theory (Bandura 1978) of self-efficacy concerns the judgement an individual makes about their ability to execute a particular behaviour and 'belief in one's capabilities to organise and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations' (Bandura 1995). This study utilises a mixed-method of quantitative questionnaire and interpretivist qualitativism to reach a snowball sample of remote workers with perceived high self-efficacy and examines their responses to questions concerning their preferred performance management and appraisal systems and procedures; the results found in this sample including levels of autonomy, styles of communication and systems of feedback might be present in across many remote workers with perceived high self-efficacy which has implications for organisational cultures and objective setting at organisational through to individual level. Recommendation and limitations are expressed along with further ideas for future studies.
    • Writing the wrong: an investigation into incest and transgressive sexuality in the novel 'Clutching shadow'

      McKenna, Lesley Margaret (University of Bedfordshire, 2005-01)
      Writing The Wrong is the accompanying thesis to my novel, Clutching Shadow, and investigates the nature of transgressive sexuality, namely an incestuous relationship between half-siblings Jez and Lex Sinclair. The thesis explores issues within the novel, such as how our childhood might have an effect on our sexual development, and how our sexual past influences our sexual present, and looks to various theoretical works for verification of the outcomes in the novel. The thesis also questions the concept of transgression and taboo; the novel deals with consensual incest as though it is a love story, which throws up the questions: why is incest wrong if it is a consensual relationship? Looking to other literary works shows how other writers have approached this subject. The subject of abuse and control in Clutching Shadow is also explored, and backed up by using theoretical sources on the psychology of child abuse and submissionldomination which shows how the abuse cycle can continue throughout a person's life.