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2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Ziyanda Mpetile ◽  
Willie Chinyamurindi

Purpose The transformation of the agricultural landscape is deemed as an essential nation-building priority in post-democratic South Africa. Part of the activity of transformation is affording disenfranchised groups opportunity to participate in careers where they were excluded. The purpose of the study is to investigate the motivational factors that influenced emerging Black farmers as entrepreneurs to choose agriculture as a career path in post-democratic South Africa. Design/methodology/approach This study adopted a qualitative study using a semi-structured interview technique. The sample comprised of 29 emerging Black entrepreneurs working within the agriculture context in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Findings Upon analysis, the individual stories of Black emerging farmers as entrepreneurs showed the role of personal influences; the community; the quest for financial influence through economic sustenance; and socio-economic influences as playing a part in informing career entrance into agriculture amongst the Black emerging farmers. Research limitations/implications A limitation, familiar with qualitative research, concerns the use of a small sample size. However, a strength of the study is the in-depth focus, especially through interviews lasting a minimum of 1 h. Practical implications This study answers the call for a contemporary understanding of career processes in professions such as agriculture that have not received attention. This can be a practical basis to encourage more recent entrants into occupations and entrepreneurial pursuits that have been restricted. This study thus offers a practical basis for career counselling interventions in the agricultural space. This includes farmer training and development opportunities and provision of financial support to Black farmers. Social implications The findings offer insight into the role of a range of socially embedded factors and how they influence occupational aspirations and individuals fulfilling their entrepreneurial pursuits. Originality/value This study ignites focus into an under-researched area, especially on the African continent.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Amarnath Tripathi ◽  
Nisha Bharti ◽  
Sucheta Sardar ◽  
Sushant Malik

PurposeThis paper examines the impact of the Covid-19 induced lockdown on selected vegetables to confirm if the vegetable supply chain was disrupted during that period. It attempts to see if direct marketing via FPOs/FPCs helped Indian farmers to cope with adverse situations aroused in vegetable marketing.Design/methodology/approachThis study opted for mixed methods research. First, a granular data set comprising daily observation on wholesale price and the market arrival of vegetables were analysed. Descriptive statistics and Kalmogorov-Smirnov test were used to understand the severity of disruptions in the vegetable supply chain in India during the lockdown. Then, qualitative information from different stakeholders engaged in the vegetable marketing was collected through a phone survey and assessed using content analysis to comprehend how FPOs have helped farmer’s during this crisis.FindingsThis paper confirms disruptions in the vegetable supply chain. Quantities of chosen vegetables arriving in the mandis were significantly lower than in the previous year for all phases of lockdown. Consequently, prices were much higher than in 2019–2020 for both the lockdown and subsequent phases unlock. Results further suggest that those farmers who are already in networks of FPOs/FPCs are able to get benefited. It was also observed that direct marketing through institutional supports is being more explored in the regions where FPOs/FPCs already exist.Research limitations/implicationsSince it is an exploratory study involving a small sample, the research results may lack generalisability.Originality/valueThis study provides scope for direct marketing through FPOs/FPCs in improving the food supply chain.


Author(s):  
A. R. Durmaz ◽  
N. Hadzic ◽  
T. Straub ◽  
C. Eberl ◽  
P. Gumbsch

Abstract Background Early fatigue mechanisms for various materials are yet to be unveiled for the (very) high-cycle fatigue (VHCF) regime. This can be ascribed to a lack of available data capturing initial fatigue damage evolution, which continues to adversely affect data scientists and computational modeling experts attempting to derive microstructural dependencies from small sample size data and incomplete feature representations. Objective The aim of this work is to address this lack and to drive the digital transformation of materials such that future virtual component design can be rendered more reliable and more efficient. Achieving this relies on fatigue models that comprehensively capture all relevant dependencies. Methods To this end, this work proposes a combined experimental and data post-processing workflow to establish multimodal fatigue crack initiation and propagation data sets efficiently. It evolves around fatigue testing of mesoscale specimens to increase damage detection sensitivity, data fusion through multimodal registration to address data heterogeneity, and image-based data-driven damage localization. Results A workflow with a high degree of automation is established, that links large distortion-corrected microstructure data with damage localization and evolution kinetics. The workflow enables cycling up to the VHCF regime in comparatively short time spans, while maintaining unprecedented time resolution of damage evolution. Resulting data sets capture the interaction of damage with microstructural features and hold the potential to unravel a mechanistic understanding. Conclusions The proposed workflow lays the foundation for future data mining and data-driven modeling of microstructural fatigue by providing statistically meaningful data sets extendable to a wide range of materials.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Kelly A. Ryan ◽  
Shawna N. Smith ◽  
Anastasia K. Yocum ◽  
Isabel Carley ◽  
Celeste Liebrecht ◽  
...  

BACKGROUND Life Goals is an evidence-based self-management intervention that assist individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) by aligning BD symptom coping strategies with their personal goals. It is available for in-person and telephone sessions, and has been recently developed as an individualized, customizable mobile application (app). OBJECTIVE We examined the feasibility, usability, and acceptability of the Life Goals self-management app among individuals diagnosed with BD who used the app for up to six months. METHODS Twenty-eight participants with BD used the Life Goals app on their personal smartphone for six months. They completed key clinical outcome measurements of functioning, disability, and psychiatric symptoms at baseline, three-, and six-months and a post-study survey about usability and satisfaction. RESULTS Participants used the app a median of 25 times (interquartile range [IQR]: 13, 65.75), and for greater minutes during the first three months of the study. Depression and Anxiety modules were the most frequently used, accounting for 35% and 22% of usage respectively. Overall participants found the app useful (60%), easy to use (72%), and the screen displayed material adequately (88%), but under half found the app helpful in managing their health (40%) or in making progress on their wellness goals (36%). Clinical outcomes showed a trend for improvements in mental and physical health and mania-related well-being. CONCLUSIONS The Life Goals app showed feasibility of use among individuals with bipolar disorder. There was greater user engagement in the initial three months with user interests most frequently with the mood modules compared to other wellness modules. Participants showed acceptability with ease of use and satisfaction with user interface but showed less success in encouraging self-management in this small sample. The Life Goals app is a mHealth technology that can allow those with serious mental illness more flexible access to evidence-based treatments.


2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Author(s):  
Muna Dubad ◽  
Farah Elahi ◽  
Steven Marwaha

Background: Limited evidence suggests that mobile mood-monitoring can improve mental health outcomes and therapeutic engagement in young people. The aim of this mixed methods study was to explore the clinical impacts of mobile mood-monitoring in youth with mental health problems, using a publicly accessible app.Methods: Twenty-three patients with mental health problems and 24 young people without mental health problems participated in the quantitative study. Participants monitored their mood using a mood-monitoring app twice a day for 3 weeks, which was preceded by a 3-week baseline period. Outcome measures included momentary and retrospective assessments of affect regulation (all participants) and therapeutic engagement (patients only). Following the quantitative study, patients (n = 7) and their clinicians (n = 6) participated in individual interviews. Interview data was analysed using thematic analysis.Results: Use of the mood-monitoring app significantly reduced momentary negative mood (p < 0.001) and retrospectively assessed impulsivity across all 47 participants (p = 0.001). All other outcomes showed no significant difference. Qualitative feedback similarly indicated the potential of apps to improve problems with impulsivity in patients. Furthermore, apps may aid communication, promote empowerment, and ameliorate memory difficulties in clinical appointments.Conclusions: This mixed methods study demonstrated the potential utility of apps for clinical practice. Apps may potentially be an interventional tool, or at a minimum, an adjunct to existing treatments. Data was collected from a small sample size over a short study duration, limiting the generalisability of findings and inferences regarding long-term effects. Potential sources of bias in the qualitative study (e.g., researcher bias) should also be considered.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Gemma Bridge ◽  
Johanna Fawkes ◽  
Ralph Tench

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore the pressures to publish facing European public relations (PR) and communication management scholars across career stages.Design/methodology/approachThe Delphi method was used with PR and communication management scholars at associate professor level or higher across Europe. An online survey was then shared with the wider academic community to gather insights from scholars at different career stages.FindingsThe suitability and status of the journal and the language of the outputs are considered. Academics are caught between the rock of publishing inside the field to support its development and the hard place of being required to publish in high-ranking journals for funding and promotion. Scholars are evaluated regularly, with journal articles being the main unit of assessment. Academics, regardless of career stage, feel under pressure to publish.Research limitations/implicationsThe wider survey enabled publishing insights to be gathered from academics across the career spectrum, but it was completed by a small sample. Nevertheless, similar concerns emerged from both methods of data gathering, suggesting a clear agenda for discussion and further research.Practical implicationsPR and communications management is an academic discipline without an accepted list of high-impact journals. This study provides an annotated journal list to aid institutional evaluations, aid scholarly journal publishing decisions and support early career researchers navigating the publishing process.Originality/valueThis adds to the somewhat limited discussion regarding how academics in PR and communication management decide where to publish and provides a resource that can be used by scholars, institutions and funders.


2021 ◽  
pp. 20210414
Author(s):  
Mark Paxton ◽  
Eitan Barbalat ◽  
Nathan Perlis ◽  
Ravi J Menezes ◽  
Mark Gertner ◽  
...  

Objective: Determine the multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) appearance of the prostate following focal laser ablation (FLA) for PCa and to identify imaging characteristics associated with recurrent disease. Methods: Retrospective analysis of patients who underwent FLA for low-intermediate risk PCa between 2010 and 2014 was performed. Early (median 4 months) and late mpMRI (median 49 months) follow-up were qualitatively assessed for T2-weighted, dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) and diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) appearances and also compared to corresponding PSA values and biopsy results. Results: 55 cancers were treated in 54 men (mean age 61.0 years). Early mpMRI was performed in 30 (54.5%) patients while late follow-up mpMRI in 42 (84%). Ill-defined scarring with and without atrophy at the treatment site were the most common appearances. In patients with paired MRI and biopsy, one of four patients with clinically significant PCa on biopsy (≥GG2 or≥6 mm GG1) showed hyperenhancement or restricted diffusion at early follow-up. At late follow-up, positive biopsies were seen in 5/8 (63%) cases with hyperenhancement and 5/6 (83%) cases with restricted diffusion at the treatment site. PSA change was not associated with biopsy results at either time point. Conclusion: mpMRI is able to document the morphological and temporal changes following focal therapy. It has limited ability to detect recurrent disease in early months following treatment. Late-term mpMRI is sensitive at identifying patients with recurrent disease. Small sample size is, however, a limitation of the study. Advances in knowledge: Implementing MRI in follow-up after FT may be useful in predicting residual or recurrent PCa and therefore provide reliable outcome data.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Yi-Jung Teresa Hsieh

PurposeMuslim refugee migrants are a growing ethno-religious disadvantaged minority group in several Western societies, and host-country language proficiency and employment are essential factors in reducing this disadvantage. This paper thus explores the efficacy of English training programs in facilitating the settlement and employment of a group of male Muslim refugees in Australia.Design/methodology/approachThis study is qualitative in nature, with data collected using semi-structured, in-depth interviews with the eight participants in the study. Analysis was conducted using Bourdieu's concepts of field, capital and habitus.FindingsEnglish training programs offered to Australian Muslim men are problematic in their aim of linking them to employment. Areas of concern are identified in respect to the training hours offered, their learning environment, their content and pedagogy, their lack of focus on employment and their failure to recognise the existing work skills of the migrants.Research limitations/implicationsThe study is conducted with a small sample of male Muslim migrants: while the findings may be similar for other refugee groups, further research is necessary to confirm this.Practical implicationsThere is a need to restructure the current English training programs offered to refugee migrants in Australia, Muslim or otherwise. This study identifies several areas where such restructuring might occur, both at the policy and pedagogical levels.Originality/valueFew studies focus on Australian male Muslim migrants. This study enhances understanding of this under-researched group and their struggles to learn English, find employment and rise above their disadvantaged societal position.


Author(s):  
Nabeel K. Al Hamzawi

Background: Topical nicotinamide (NAM) can reduce excessive melanin deposition in cell culture, by reversibly blocking the transfer of melanosomes from melanocytes to the adjacent keratinocytes. Thus, it has been increasingly used as a whitening agent. Objective: To assess the efficacy and safety of topical nicotinamide used for the treatment of melasma and hyperpigmentation. Methods: An electronic search for topical nicotinamide was carried out on Pubmed and Medline databases to identify studies that addressed this topic as a whitening agent. And to review the primary and secondary outcomes. Results: A significant decrease in hyperpigmentation and increased skin lightness was found with the use of topical nicotinamide, compared with the vehicle In two small sample size clinical studies. Combined regimens including nicotinamide and other ingredients offer more synergistic effects than monotherapy. Conclusion: Due to the lack of sufficient evidence, the use of nicotinamide for melasma remains controversial. Extended randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials with long-term follow-up periods are needed to assess the efficacy of nicotinamide as a whitening agent. 


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