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2022 ◽  
Vol 21 (1) ◽  
Sumirtha Gandhi ◽  
Umakant Dash ◽  
M. Suresh Babu

Abstract Background Continuum of Maternal Health Care Services (CMHS) has garnered attention in recent times and reducing socio-economic disparity and geographical variations in its utilisation becomes crucial from an egalitarian perspective. In this study, we estimate inequity in the utilisation of CMHS in India between 2005 and 06 and 2015-16. Methods We used two rounds of National Family Health Survey (NFHS) - 2005-06 and 2015-16 encompassing a sample size of 34,560 and 178,857 pregnant women respectively. The magnitude of horizontal inequities (HI) in the utilisation of CMHS was captured by adopting the Erreygers Corrected Concentration indices method. Need-based standardisation was conducted to disentangle the variations in the utilisation of CMHS across different wealth quintiles and state groups.  Further, a decomposition analysis was undertaken to enumerate the contribution of legitimate and illegitimate factors towards health inequity. Results The study indicates that the pro-rich inequity in the utilisation of CMHS has increased by around 2 percentage points since the implementation of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), where illegitimate factors are dominant. Decomposition analysis reveals that the contribution of access related barriers plummeted in the considered period of time. The results also indicate that mother’s education and access to media continue to remain major contributors of pro-rich inequity in India. Considering, regional variations, it is found that the percentage of pro-rich inequity in high focus group states increased by around 3% between 2005 and 06 and 2015-16. The performance of southern states of India is commendable. Conclusions Our study concludes that there exists a pro-rich inequity in the utilisation of CMHS with marked variations across state boundaries. The pro-rich inequity in India has increased between 2005 and 06 and high focus group states suffered predominantly. Decentralisation of healthcare policies and  granting greater power to the states might lead to equitable distribution of CMHS.

2022 ◽  
Vol 6 (GROUP) ◽  
pp. 1-21
Ronda Ringfort-Felner ◽  
Matthias Laschke ◽  
Shadan Sadeghian ◽  
Marc Hassenzahl

Soon, voice assistants might be able to engage in fully-fledged social conversations with people, rather than merely providing a voice-operated interface to functionality and data. So far, not much is known about designing such "social" voice assistants and the potential social experiences, which could and should emerge in everyday situations. In the present paper, we created a design fiction to explore a sophisticated social voice assistant in the context of the car. Based on models from psychology and psychotherapy, we designed the fictional "virtual passenger" Kiro. We created a website for Kiro (, distributed it, and collected responses in various ways (e.g., comments). We further ran a market research-type focus group. In general, we found people to accept Kiro as a conversation partner but not as a replacement for human-human conversations. We suggest designing social voice assistants in a way to enable novel types of socially fulfilling, yet distinct human-machine conversations.

10.2196/32458 ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 6 (1) ◽  
pp. e32458
Jennifer Huberty ◽  
Nishat Bhuiyan ◽  
Taylor Neher ◽  
Lynda Joeman ◽  
Ruben Mesa ◽  

Background Mobile meditation apps may offer a long-term, accessible, and effective solution for ongoing symptom management in cancer patients/survivors. However, there are currently no commercial cancer-specific meditation apps that reflect cancer specialist expertise, input from cancer patients/survivors, and features and content specific to cancer patients’/survivors’ needs. Objective The aim of this study was to gain insight (via surveys, daily journals, and focus groups) from cancer patients/survivors, health care providers, and current subscribers of Calm (a consumer-based mobile meditation app) who were patients/survivors to develop a prototype of a mobile meditation app specifically designed for cancer patients/survivors. Methods Participants were recruited via prior partnerships, word-of-mouth referrals, and recruitment posts on Facebook and Instagram. Cancer patients/survivors and health care providers were instructed to download and use the Calm app for at least 10 minutes a day for 7 days, complete an online daily journal for 7 days, and participate in a virtual focus group (one for cancer patients/survivors and one for providers). Current Calm subscribers who were cancer patients/survivors completed an online survey about different aspects of the Calm app and participated in a third virtual focus group. Data were qualitatively analyzed using a combination of deductive and inductive coding. Results A total of 27 participants (11 cancer patients/survivors, 10 health care providers, 6 current Calm subscribers) completed the study. Similar themes and subthemes were found across surveys, daily journals, and focus groups, and fell into two major categories, content and functionality, with cancer-specific and noncancer-specific themes identified within each category. The majority of content preferences and suggestions that arose were cancer-specific, such as content related to negative emotions or feelings (eg, anxiety, grief, trauma/posttraumatic stress disorder, fear of recurrence, isolation), positive feelings and finding meaning (eg, gratitude, storytelling, acceptance), scenarios and experiences (eg, waiting, treatment-specific mediations), type and stage of cancer journey, and movement modifications. Some of the noncancer-specific themes under app content included sleep, music, and visualizations. In terms of app functionality, the majority of participants expressed interest in having a section/tab/area of the app that was specifically geared toward cancer patients/survivors. Preferences and suggestions for cancer-specific functionality features included options based on symptoms or journey, being able to communicate with other patients or survivors to share suggestions for specific meditations, and having an emergency toolkit for patients/survivors. Conclusions Findings from cancer patients/survivors, health care providers, and current Calm subscribers who were patients/survivors to be incorporated into the development of the prototype fell into two major categories: (1) content of the app and (2) functionality of the app. The prototype’s form and function will be pilot-tested among 30 cancer patients/survivors in a 4-week study, and the resulting feasibility data will be used to inform the final app design and an efficacy study.

Animals ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (2) ◽  
pp. 185
Sharon Sweeney ◽  
Áine Regan ◽  
Claire McKernan ◽  
Tony Benson ◽  
Alison Hanlon ◽  

There has been increased public interest and concerns in issues such as farm animal welfare (FAW) on the island of Ireland, stoked in part by political and governance changes, such as Brexit and COVID-19. Front-of-pack food labelling represents a primary information channel for many people. In advance of considering formalised food labelling schemes, specifically relating to FAW, it is important to ensure an up-to-date understanding of current consumer perceptions of FAW. With this aim, the current study utilised a mixed methodology. Nine focus group discussions (n = 41) and an online survey (n = 972) with food consumers in Ireland and Northern Ireland explored perceptions of FAW. Results suggest that overall perceptions of FAW are high, and consumers perceive FAW to have improved in the last decade. Quantitative (ANOVA) and qualitative results show variations in perception of FAW between sectors. Results from the focus group discussions identified factors underlying consumers’ perception of FAW: the living conditions of the animal, size and intensity of the farm, national standards and schemes, and visibility. Information insufficiencies and knowledge gaps were identified. The findings are discussed in relation to policy implications for the role of public engagement, front-of-pack welfare labelling, and quality assurance schemes.

2022 ◽  
Vol 20 (1) ◽  
pp. 49-57
Thobekani Lose ◽  
Sebenzile Khuzwayo

This study aimed to explore the attitudes of students of a higher education institution towards infopreneurship. The study emanated from observations that the widespread use of information technologies has created a new sector in the labor market – infopreneurship. The study adopted the case study research design based on focus group discussions to establish the students’ attitudes towards infopreneurship. The participants for the focus groups were students of the Information Science department at the University of Technology, Cape Town. Data collection during the focus group discussions was based on unstructured interviews. Quantitative data analysis was applied based on data reduction from codes to categories. An enterprising attitude (26.4% code frequency) dominated the positive responses while negative attitudes were mainly reflected by a critical attitude (20.8% code frequency) towards infopreneurship. While it appeared that positive attitudes were more prevalent than negative attitudes, there were notable observations that the respondents were critical or neutral towards the essence of infopreneurship in the South African context. It was found that the belief that infopreneurship is not a viable form of employment was still prevalent. Some respondents believed that employment means working for someone. They felt that there is greater respect in being employed than engaging in infopreneurship. Some respondents, however, appear to have stronger entrepreneurial orientations and felt that infopreneurship offers the best employment opportunities. The study recommends changes in higher education curricula and the creation of a stimulating environment for infopreneurship.

Mehjabeen Musharraf ◽  
Ambreen Aslam ◽  
Lubna Baig

Objectives: To explore the role of media during mass casualty events and its impact on the people. Method: The qualitative thematic content analysis was conducted at Jinnah Sindh Medical University, Karachi, from 2028 to 2020 and comprised semi-structured in-depth interviews and focus group discussions involving participants from the health sector and policymakers at the provincial level. Besides, frontline workers such as the ambulance drivers and the first-aid-givers were also included. Data was subjected to conventional content analysis to generate themes. Results: There were 5 in-depth interviews and 4 focus group discussions in the study. Qualitative analysis revealed that the media has a great deal to do in times of a disaster. The media is the strongest weapon and largely impacts people's mind and behaviour, but it has been playing with their emotions and creating unrest among them. Conclusion: There is a need for the policymakers to set guidelines and define the role of the media in times of a disaster. Key Words: Mass casualty, Media, Catastrophe.

Amanda J. Reich ◽  
Stephen Perez ◽  
Priscilla Gazarian ◽  
Noah D’Arcangelo ◽  
Kristina Gonzales ◽  

2022 ◽  
Trevor Lies ◽  
Glenn Adams

During the year 2020, we were considering the problem of climate change anxiety in the Lawrence, Kansas, and Kansas City metro areas. In September of 2020, we partnered to conduct focus groups with environmentally engaged participants to understand their experience of climate change anxiety. We conducted 14 semi-structured focus groups with 46 community members to understand their emotions, behaviors, and perceptions of community in light of the climate crisis. We asked participants, many of whom were local environmental activists, to engage in a group discussion via Zoom videoconference which lasted between 60 and 90 minutes. After the discussion, we sent participants a brief survey. This executive summary is a preliminary report of the findings of that investigation. We present charts detailing participants’ responses to the focus group questions, followed by select excerpts from the conversations and some statistical relationships of interest.

2022 ◽  
Vol 15 (1) ◽  
pp. 315-321
Amanda Aguila Gonzalez ◽  
Martha Henao ◽  
Cari Ahlers-Schmidt

Introduction. Hispanics represent the largest minority group in the United States. In Kansas, the population of Hispanics has been increasing; unfortunately, their infant mortality rate has increased as well. Baby Talk is a prenatal education program promoting maternal and infant health through risk-reduction strategies and healthy decision-making. The aim of this pilot project was to develop and evaluate a Spanish curriculum for Baby Talk. Methods. A collaborative partnership between community members and bilingual health professionals from different origins, nationalities, and Spanish dialects was formed to create a culturally and linguistically appropriate Spanish Baby Talk curriculum. This interventional pilot study employed survey and interviews to evaluate participant knowledge, intentions, satisfaction and perceptions of the newly developed curriculum. Results. Fifteen pregnant women participated in Spanish Baby Talk. Of those, 12 participated in either phone interviews (n=6) or a focus group (n=6). All respondents described their experience with the Spanish Baby Talk program as “excellent”. Significant increases in knowledge were seen related to topics such as benefits of full-term pregnancy and benefits of breastfeeding. Four themes were identified from the focus group and interviews: 1) lack of accessible community resources; 2) sense of community; 3) Spanish Baby Talk strengths; and 4) areas for improvements. Conclusions. Findings suggested that the Spanish Baby Talk curriculum was linguistically appropriate and resulted in increases in knowledge and intentions related to health and safety behaviors. Areas for improvement were related to marketing the program and referring to resources that provide material supports (i.e., diapers) to continue the move towards a culturally competent program.

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