Now showing items 1-20 of 6342

    • A historical institutionalist perspective on the persistence of state controls during financial sector reforms: the insightful case of Myanmar

      Win, Sandar; Kofinas, Alexander K. (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2020-09-23)
      Purpose: Many transition economies are former socialist planned economies and have undergone market reforms of their financial sector to signal their transition towards democracy. However, governments in these countries have been reluctant to relinquish the pre-existing controls on economy and have adopted nuanced and sophisticated approaches to retain control. In such context, scholars may find it challenging to investigate the role played by the state in the success or failure of attempted market reforms. This work investigates the different forms of state-induced accounting controls that may preserve the status quo within the economy during transition, using Myanmar as an example. Design/methodology/approach: The authors adopted a longitudinal qualitative research method aiming to reveal the very processes and mechanisms used by the banks and their evolution over time. This method is in accordance with the historical institutionalist perspective that we have applied within this research. Findings: The authors found that the Myanmar government embarked on the privatisation of their financial sector from 1990 to 2016 as a major public sector reform initiative. Under the guise of market reforms, it used both state-led and market-led controls to emulate and retain the socialist banking model where banks are used to fund the immediate government's budget deficits. This created a series of intended and unintended consequences, resulting in the ultimate failure of the government's market reforms. Research limitations/implications: Previously, research on public sector management accounting in emerging economies was not relying consistently on using theory. The relative limited theorisation led to gaps when attempting to understand and explain the opaque forms of state control mechanisms in transition economies. By applying historical institutionalist perspective, and a more theory-driven, reflective approach to the interpretation of the data collected, we have provided a deeper insight and understanding on how different forms of state controls can emerge, adapt and persist in transition economies such as Myanmar. Practical implications: The authors demonstrated that though the state may have implemented market reforms to signal regimes change, this does not necessarily mean that the government has relinquished their control on the economy. The state could take a more sophisticated, covert approach towards state controls leading to both intended and unintended consequences. Thus, even if the state's preferences change, the decisions cannot be easily reversed, as path-dependent state controls may have become pervasive affecting any further institutional and policy developments. Thus, the authors suggest that governments in both transition and developed economies should be cautious when enacting regulations on corporate control. Originality/value: In this paper, the authors have applied a historical institutional perspective in our analysis instead of the more widely used sociological, institutionalist approach. This allowed authors to harness rich longitudinal data indicating that market reforms and their success or failure should be examined as an ongoing process rather than a completed action. This is especially important in transition economies where the state may be unwilling to renounce the existing controls on the industry and may resort to more opaque forms of state control, eventually obstructing the intended reforms.
    • An exploration of ending psychotherapy: the experiences of volunteer counsellors

      Ling, Lydia Success; Stathopoulou, C. Haroula; (Wiley Blackwell, 2020-12-27)
      Background/aims: Literature suggests that the ending phase of therapy can be difficult and challenging for counsellors. Despite this, there is limited research in this area and no study has specifically looked at the experiences of volunteer counsellors. This is the first study to explore the experiences and challenges of volunteer counsellors and the impact of ending therapeutic relationships. Method/design: A verbatim account of semi-structured interview data was analysed using thematic analysis. The participants were six volunteer counsellors working in a mental health charity. Findings: Three main themes were identified during the analysis—length of therapy, impact of organisational structure and strategies for managing challenges. Discussion: The counsellors perceived the fixed number of eight sessions as insufficient to address the presenting issues and problematic with regard to managing endings. The organisational structure (most likely influenced by the commissioning contracts) had a particular impact on these experiences. Endings were generally experienced as challenging; however, some of the participants perceived the time-limited therapy as helpful in working with less difficult and complex issues. Clinical implications: The study highlighted the need for an ongoing consideration of the impact of inflexible regulations/structure by counselling organisations and funding bodies in order to empower and enable these clinicians to practice and manage endings effectively. There is need for therapeutic settings to consider flexibility of therapy length and allow volunteer counsellors to offer their services with some degree of autonomy. Services could think of creative ways of offering interventions based on clients’ needs and complexity of presenting problems.
    • A semiotics-oriented approach to aid the design of ubiquitously monitored healthcare systems

      Tehrani, Jasmine; Ahmed, Sajeel; University of Bedfordshire (SciTePress, 2020-05-31)
      Ubiquitous computing technology, sensor networks, and ambient intelligence have initiated the birth of pervasive health. While successful in many environments, in healthcare, monitoring technologies have been known to cause undesirable effects, such as increases in stress in patients being observed. To date, the use of this monitoring technology and its effect on human behaviour have not been thoroughly investigated, meaning future system designs may result in (preventable) undesirable effects. Pervasive healthcare’s envisioned deep intertwining with the patient’s day-to-day care, makes patient’s socio-cultural values a fundamental consideration. In this paper, we present a semiotics-oriented approach for analysing factors, identified in the literature and believed to influence patient’s behaviour, from both physical and social perspectives to aid the design of socially aware and patient-centric ubiquitous monitoring environments that are successfully adopted and used whilst aiding the incorporation of social aspects of pervasive technologies in the design.
    • Walking in Jozi: guided tours, insecurity and urban regeneration in inner city Johannesburg

      Opfermann, Lena S. (Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2020-04-26)
      This article explores how the emerging tourism sector in Johannesburg is intertwined with current processes of urban regeneration and development. Using walking tours as a case study, I illustrate how tour operators navigate insecure urban spaces and contribute to their (re-)development by performing (in)security, by offering ‘authentic’ experiences and by actively engaging in social and economic activities. I argue that walking tours promote a particular kind of urban development that aims to appeal to a new urban middle class and is in line with the vision pursued by big private investors and new urban entrepreneurs. Similar to other global gentrification processes, this vision draws on Western notions of hip urban lifestyles and aesthetics in order to foster an image of the city as pan-African and cool. While making new spaces accessible, this approach to urban development also affects and threatens other inner city users, including African migrants living or working in precarious conditions. I contend that these side effects of the currently promoted urban regeneration have so far been overlooked. In order to create a social and sustainable urban development that supersedes apartheid-era spatial segregation, these effects should be taken into account by the tourism sector, by private investors and policy makers alike.
    • Praxis, pedagogy and teachers’ professionalism in England Praksa, pedagogika in učiteljska strokovnost v Angliji

      Raiker, Andrea; University of Bedfordshire (University of Ljubljana, 2020-09-29)
      The article considers current teachers’ participation in educational research in England and whether Stenhouse’s perception that such involvement was necessary to stall the political undermining of democratic teacher professionalism has been addressed. Stenhouse instigated the emergence of the teacher-as-researcher movement, whereby teachers engaged with a process that created knowledge and practice. From 1979, when the Conservative Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister, the increasing dominance of globalised knowledge economies turned knowledge away from being a process into a product. Teacher and student education became controlled and consumed by increasingly competitive educational institutions. Learning became aimed at assuring the attainment of higher grades to increase the country’s economic growth and profit, leading to democratic teacher professionalism being undermined. However, contemporary research by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has indicated that teacher professionalism should involve teachers in conducting classroom-based individual or collaborative research. In addition, a recent academic inquiry by the British Education Research Association has con-cluded that teachers as researchers, in both literate and practical terms, will have a positive impact on learner outcomes by developing an education system that has the internal capacity to direct its own progress. At the same time, the Department for Education in England commissioned a two-year study to assess progress towards an evidence-informed teaching system. Taking a systematic literature approach, the present article considers the extent to which current teacher education and practice encourage teacher research as a form of developing pedagogical practice, in other words, praxis, in order to re-establish democratic teacher professionalism in Eng-land. It also explores whether there are alternative practices to create the same, or a similar, outcome.
    • Selective anticancer effect of Phellinus linteus on epidermoid cell lines studied by atomic force microscopy: anticancer activity on A431 cancer cells and low toxicity on HaCat normal cells

      Gao, Mingyan; Huang, Yuxi; Hu, Cuihua; Hu, Jing; Wang, Ying; Chen, Yujuan; Song, Guicai; Song, Zhengxun; Wang, Zuobin; Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Cross-Scale Micro and Nano Manufacturing; et al. (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2020-12-02)
      The research on the morphological and mechanical properties of single cells has provided a crucial way of understanding the cellular physiology and metabolism. In this study, the selective anticancer effects of Phellinus linteus on A431 and HaCat cells and their morphological and mechanical properties were systematically investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Notably, the cell morphology on the micronano scale was observed under both the physiological environment and immobilization conditions. The significant morphological changes of A431 cells from the flat to spherical shape, the increase of cell height, and the decrease of the particles on the cell membrane were confirmed to be related to the cell apoptosis under the treatment of the Phellinus linteus water extract (PLWE). Moreover, the small morphology variations of HaCat cells showed that the PLWE presented a high anticancer effect on A431 cells but low toxicity on HaCat cells, which indicated a potential cell selectivity between cancer and normal cells. This work proved that Phellinus linteus could be used as a potential candidate for selective anticancer treatments.
    • Durotaxis behavior of bEnd.3 cells on soft substrate with patterned platinum nanoparticle array

      Wu, Xiaomin; Li, Li; Lei, Zecheng; Yang, Fan; Liu, Ri; Wang, Lu; Zhu, Xinyao; Wang, Zuobin; Changchun University of Science and Technology; University of Bedfordshire; et al. (Springer Science and Business Media, 2020-11-17)
      The directional arrangement of cells has crucial effect in tissue engineering fields such as wound healing and scar repair. Studies have shown that continuous nanostructures have directional regulatory effect on cells, but whether discontinuous nanostructures have the same regulatory effect on cells is also worthy of further study. Here, a series of discontinuous platinum nanoparticles (PtNPs) patterned on the surface of PDMS (PtNPs-PDMS&Glass) and glass (PtNPs-Glass) substrates were developed to investigate the effect on bEnd.3 cell durotaxis. The laser interference lithography and nanotransfer printing method were employed to fabricate the substrates. It was found that about 80% cells orderly arranged on the PtNPs-PDMS&Glass substrate, but only 20% cells orderly arrangement on the PtNPs-Glass substrate, and the number of cells on the PtNPs-PDMS&Glass substrate was five times more than that on the PDMS coated glass substrate (PDMS&Glass). The results suggested that patterning PtNPs on the PDMS substrate not only provided the topographical guidance for cells just like continuous nanostructures, but also promoted cell adhesion and growth. In addition, an improved whole cell coupling model was used to investigate and explain the cell durotaxis from the perspective of mechanism. These findings show the possibility of discontinuous nanostructures in regulating cell arrangement, and offer a useful method for the design of biological functional substrate, as well as help to understand the mechanism of cell durotaxis.
    • Atomic force microscopy imaging of the G-banding process of chromosomes

      Wang, Bowei; Li, Jiani; Dong, Jianjun; Yang, Fan; Qu, Kaige; Wang, Ying; Zhang, Jingran; Song, Zhengxun; Hu, Hongmei; Wang, Zuobin; et al. (Springer Science and Business Media, 2020-10-24)
      The chromosome is an important genetic material carrier in living individuals and the spatial conformation (mainly referring to the chromosomal structure, quantity, centromere position and other morphological information) may be abnormal or mutated. Thus, it may generate a high possibility to cause diseases. Generally, the karyotype of chromosome G-bands is detected and analyzed using an optical microscope. However, it is difficult to detect the G-band structures for traditional optical microscopes on the nanometer scale. Herein, we have studied the detection method of chromosome G-band samples by atomic force microscopy (AFM) imaging. The structures of chromosome G-banding are studied with different trypsin treatment durations. The experiment result shows that the treatment duration of 20 s is the best time to form G-band structures. The AFM images show the structures of chromosome G-bands which cannot be observed under an optical microscope. This work provides a new way for the detection and diagnosis of chromosome diseases on the nanometer scale.
    • Exploring language assessment and testing: language in action

      Green, Anthony (Routledge, 2020-12-30)
      Exploring Language Assessment and Testing offers a straightforward and accessible introduction that starts from real-world experiences and uses practical examples to introduce the reader to the academic field of language assessment and testing. Extensively updated, with additional features such as reader tasks (with extensive commentaries from the author), a glossary of key terms and an annotated further reading section, this second edition provides coverage of recent theoretical and technological developments and explores specific purposes for assessment. Including concrete models and examples to guide readers into the relevant literature, this book also offers practical guidance for educators and researchers on designing, developing and using assessments. Providing an inclusive and impartial survey of both classroom-based assessment by teachers and larger-scale testing, this is an indispensable introduction for postgraduate and advanced undergraduate students studying Language Education, Applied Linguistics and Language Assessment.
    • Don't turn a deaf ear: a case for assessing interactive listening

      Lam, Daniel M. K.; ; University of Bedfordshire (Oxford University Press, 2021-01-11)
      The reciprocal nature of spoken interaction means that participants constantly alternate between speaker and listener roles. However, listener or recipient actions – also known as interactive listening (IL) – are somewhat underrepresented in language tests. In conventional listening tests, they are not directly assessed. In speaking tests, they have often been overshadowed by an emphasis on production features or subsumed under broader constructs such as interactional competence. This paper is an effort to represent the rich IL phenomena that can be found in peer interactive speaking assessments, where the candidate-candidate format and discussion task offer opportunities to elicit and assess IL. Taking a close look at candidate discourse and non-verbal actions through a conversation analytic approach, the analysis focuses on three IL features: 1) listenership displays, 2) contingent responses, and 3) collaborative completions, and unpacks their relative strength in evidencing listener understanding. This paper concludes by making a case for revisiting the role of interactive listening, calling for more explicit inclusion of IL in L2 assessment as well as pedagogy.
    • Secondary school physical education

      Bowler, Mark; Newton, Angela; Keyworth, Saul; McKeown, Joanne; University of Bedfordshire (Routledge, 2019-12-19)
    • Content-based image search system design for capturing user preferences during query formulation

      Artemi, Mahmoud; Liu, Haiming; University of Bedfordshire (CEUR-WS, 2020-07-30)
      Most existing studies of content-based image retrieval (CBIR) system design focus on learning users’ information needs through relevance feedback at the result assessment stage only. However, in many CBIR systems, the underlying machine learning mechanisms need the users’ feedback at query formulation stage for a better training and search performance, which unfortunately is often not supported by the search interface design. The lack of support for the users’ query formulation through an effective CBIR interface has been a drawback for system performance and the users’ search satisfaction and experiences. We propose a new CBIR system design approach based on Vakkari’s three-stage model, which encourages the users to provide feedback at the query formulation stage through a user-centered interface. The interface helps the users to form and express their information needs through enabling the users to participate in the training phase of the machine learning mechanism of the system. A user study with 28 participants shows how the proposed system design supports the users’ interaction through the user-centered search interface. The findings of this study highlight the importance for the users to engage in all stages of the search process, especially at the query formulation stage when the considered mechanism requires a training process, through a user-centered interaction design.
    • Infectious disease management systems in the Gulf region: the current status and potential impact

      Alanezi, Fahad; Hussain, F.; Yu, Hong Qing; University of Bedfordshire (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2017-07-17)
      No study has investigated the current state and potential impact of using infectious disease management systems in the Gulf Region. In this paper, we aim to investigatethe current published literature to identify the studies and the potential impact of these technologies on improving infectious disease management. This study reviews the published papers (1975-2014) using a systematic approach. This entails searchingpeer-reviewed articles in both English (PubMed, Web of Science, and IEEE Xplorer) and Arabic (Al Manhal, Mandumah, and AskZad) electronic databases using the following terms: "infectious diseases", "e-health", "infectious diseases management systems", and country name. We analysed 96 English articles and 68 Arabic articles. No studies met the inclusion criteria. In conclusion, there is a need to conduct extensive research in this region, such as designing asystem based on the needs of infectious patients as well as relevant social phenomena.
    • A study on perception of managing infectious disease through social networking in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

      Alanezi, Fahad; Hussain, F.; Yu, Hong Qing; University of Bedfordshire (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2017-07-17)
      The impact of infectious disease on the human population is very dangerous as it could cause severe damage, disruption in human life and can result in many deaths. There is an immediate need for effectively managing the infectious diseases and stop their spreading across other regions. The Infectious Disease management (IDM) process in a country like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), which is one of the developing countries with wide range of healthcare complications, and being one of the countries with high tourist inflow (hajj tourists) has to be very effective and efficient. Considering these factors, this paper presents the preliminary results of the stage one of the research work intended for developing a web IDM system integrating social networking concept. The study presented in this paper followed a mixed method strategy using survey questionnaires and the interviews as the part of data collection and analysis for assessing the perception of IDM through social networking in KSA. The outcome of the study indicated that most of the young participants supported the idea of using social networking in IDM. Other key outcomes include high level acceptance of using web technology and social networking with mapping strategy for creating awareness among the patients through education and information exchange. With in the participation.
    • Semantic lifting and reasoning on the personalised activity big data repository for healthcare research

      Yu, Hong Qing; Dong, Feng (Inderscience Publishers, 2019-10-08)
      The fast growing markets of smart health monitoring devices and mobile applications provide opportunities for common citizens to have capability for understanding and managing their own health situations. However, there are many challenges for data engineering and knowledge discovery research to enable efficient extraction of knowledge from data that is collected from heterogonous devices and applications with big volumes and velocity. This paper presents research that initially started with the EC MyHealthAvatar project and is under continual improvement following the project's completion. The major contribution of the work is a comprehensive big data and semantic knowledge discovery framework which integrates data from varied data resources. The framework applies hybrid database architecture of NoSQL and RDF repositories with introductions for semantic oriented data mining and knowledge lifting algorithms. The activity stream data is collected through Kafka's big data processing component. The motivation of the research is to enhance the knowledge management, discovery capabilities and efficiency to support further accurate health risk analysis and lifestyle summarisation.
    • Extracting reliable health condition and symptom information to support machine learning

      Yu, Hong Qing; University of Bedfordshire (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2020-04-09)
      Machine Learning (ML) technologies in recent times are widely applied in various areas to assist knowledge gaining and decision-making tasks and healthcare is one of the important area among these tasks. In this paper, we propose a process to identify reliable health data from online resources and process the data to enable being used by the ML technologies. As an example, we scrap a condition-symptom dataset with Natural Language Processing (NLP) features from one of the UK NHS website. In addition, we examine our data in depth by having symptom frequency, similarity and clustering analysis.
    • Parents’ experiences of complementary feeding among a United Kingdom culturally diverse and deprived community

      Cook, Erica Jane; Powell, Faye; Ali, Nasreen; Penn-Jones, Catrin; Ochieng, Bertha; Randhawa, Gurch; University of Bedfordshire; DeMontfort University (Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2020-11-09)
      Complementary feeding practices and adherence to health recommendations are influenced by a range of different and often interrelating factors such as socio-economic and cultural factors. However, the factors underlying these associations are often complex with less awareness of how complementary feeding approaches vary across the UK’s diverse population. This paper describes a qualitative investigation undertaken in a deprived and culturally diverse community in the UK which aimed to explore parents’ knowledge, beliefs and practices of complementary feeding. One hundred and ten mothers and fathers, self-identified as being White British, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black African/Caribbean or Polish took part in twenty-four focus group discussions, organised by age group, sex and ethnicity. The findings revealed that most parents initiated complementary feeding before the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendation of 6 months. Early initiation was strongly influenced by breast feeding practices alongside the extent to which parents believed that their usual milk; that is, breastmilk or formula was fulfilling their infants' nutritional needs. The composition of diet and parents' approach to complementary feeding was closely aligned to traditional cultural practices; however, some contradictions were noted. The findings also acknowledge the pertinent role of the father in influencing the dietary practices of the wider household. Learning about both the common and unique cultural feeding attitudes and practices held by parents may help us to tailor healthy complementary feeding advice in the context of increasing diversity in the United Kingdom.
    • Experimental disease prediction research on combining natural language processing and machine learning

      Yu, Hong Qing; University of Bedfordshire (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2020-01-20)
      Nowadays Artificial Intelligent (AI) technologies are applied widely in many different areas to assist knowledge gaining and decision-making tasks. Especially, health information system can get most benefits from the AI advantages. In particular, symptoms based disease prediction research and production became increasingly popular in the healthcare sector recently. Various researchers and organizations have turned their interest in using modern computational techniques to analyze and develop new approaches that can efficiently predict diseases with reasonable accuracy. In this paper, we propose a framework to evaluate the efficiency of applying both Machine Learning (ML) and Nature Language Processing (NLP) technologies for disease prediction system. As an example, we scraped a disease- symptom dataset with NLP features from one of the UK most trustable National Health Service (NHS) website. In addition, we will exam our data in depth having symptom frequency, similarity and clustering analysis. As result, we can see that the prediction can have a very positive efficient rate but still open issues need to be addressed.
    • Extracting and representing causal knowledge of health conditions

      Yu, Hong Qing; University of Bedfordshire (CEUR-WS, 2020-07-30)
      Most healthcare and health research organizations published their health knowledge on the web through HTML or semantic presentations nowadays e.g. UK National Health Service website. Especially, the HTML contents contain valuable information about the individual health condition and graph knowledge presents the semantics of words in the contents. This paper focuses on combining these two for extracting causality knowledge. Understanding causality relations is one of the crucial tasks to support building an Artificial Intelligent (AI) enabled healthcare system. Unlike other raw data sources used by AI processes, the causality semantic dataset is generated in this paper, which is believed to be more efficient and transparent for supporting AI tasks. Currently, neural network-based deep learning processes found themselves in a hard position to explain the prediction outputs, which is majorly because of lacking knowledge-based probability analysis. Dynamic probability analysis based on causality modeling is a new research area that not only can model the knowledge in a machine-understandable way but also can create causal probability relations inside the knowledge. To achieve this, a causal probability generation framework is proposed in this paper that extends the current Description Logic (DL), applies semantic Natural Language Processing (NLP) approach, and calculates runtime causal probabilities according to the given input conditions. The framework can be easily implemented using existing programming standards. The experimental evaluations extract 383 common disease conditions from the UK NHS (the National Health Service) and enable automatically linked 418 condition terms from the DBpedia dataset.
    • Knowledge and practice of organ donation among police personnel in Tamil Nadu: a cross-sectional study

      Thyagarajan, Ishwarya; Shroff, Sunil; Vincent, Britzer Paul; Rajendran, Juhija; Kanvinde, Hemal; Shankar, Siva; Aneesh, Kavitha; MOHAN Foundation; Madras Medical Mission Hospital; University of Bedfordshire (Wolters Kluwer Medknow Publications, 2020-07-06)
      Context: Police officers are one of the key stakeholders involved in the process of deceased organ donation. In India, as road traffic accidents account for the majority of brain deaths, the police play an important role to ensure legal and ethical practices of organ donation. In many instances, the undue delays in the inquest and postmortem lead to difficulties in completing the donation and also cause distress among the family members who have said yes to organ donation despite their grief. Aim: This study aims to assess the police officers' knowledge of the organ donation process and their practice toward it. Design and Subjects and Methods: This cross-sectional survey was conducted among 627 police officers in the state of Tamil Nadu in India within a period of 18 months. A structured questionnaire with multiple choice questions was used. Microsoft Excel and SPSS version 21 were used to compile and statistically analyze the data collected. The knowledge level and willingness of the officers to follow certain practices were analyzed. Results: It was found that 95.5% of the participants were aware of organ donation. Further analysis revealed that 86.6% of the police personnel were aware of brain death, but only 35.6% were aware of the transplant law, 12.1% knew about the green corridor, and 20.7% about the donor card. Very few participants (9.6%) had experience in processing brain deaths and organ donation cases. Knowledge about postmortem formalities and inquest protocols was unsatisfactory. A significant association between work experience and the knowledge and awareness about organ donation was noted. Conclusions: Including modules on organ donation awareness, transplant law, and hospital protocols in the training syllabus for the recruited personnel, followed by regular refresher courses on the subject, would be the key to enhance the knowledge and work practices of this important group to help ease pain points in the medicolegal cases where organ donation consent is provided by the relatives. A change in the attitude of police officers while handling organ donation cases would have an overall positive impact on the program.