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2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
pp. 1-22
Juanan Pereira ◽  
Óscar Díaz

Capstone projects usually represent the most significant academic endeavor with which students have been involved. Time management tends to be one of the hurdles. On top, University students are prone to procrastinatory behavior. Inexperience and procrastination team up for students failing to meet deadlines. Supervisors strive to help. Yet heavy workloads frequently prevent tutors from continuous involvement. This article looks into the extent to which conversational agents (a.k.a. chatbots) can tackle procrastination in single-student capstone projects. Specifically, chatbot enablers put in play include (1) alerts, (2) advice, (3) automatic rescheduling, (4) motivational messages, and (5) reference to previous capstone projects. Informed by Cognitive Behavioural Theory, these enablers are framed within the three phases involved in self-regulation misalignment: pre-actional, actional, and post-actional. To motivate this research, we first analyzed 77 capstone-project reports. We found that students’ Gantt charts (1) fail to acknowledge review meetings (70%) and milestones (100%) and (2) suffer deviations from the initial planned effort (16.28%). On these grounds, we develop GanttBot, a Telegram chatbot that is configured from the student’s Gantt diagram. GanttBot reminds students about close landmarks, it informs tutors when intervention might be required, and it learns from previous projects about common pitfalls, advising students accordingly. For evaluation purposes, course 17/18 acts as the control group ( N=28 ) while course 18/19 acts as the treatment group ( N=25 students). Using “overdue days” as the proxy for procrastination, results indicate that course 17/18 accounted for an average of 19 days of delay (SD = 5), whereas these days go down to 10 for the intervention group in course 18/19 (SD = 4). GanttBot is available for public usage as a Telegram chatbot.

2121 ◽  
Vol 7 (1) ◽  
pp. 1-8
Mona Shokri Shams ◽  
Anahita Khodabakhshi-Koolaee ◽  
Mohammad Reza Falsafinejad ◽  

Background: Although pregnancy and motherhood are enjoyable experiences, they are associated with numerous biopsychological changes requiring adaptation. The present study aimed to assess the effects of relaxing music on life distress and Maternal-Fetal Attachment (MFA) in pregnant women. Methods: This was a quasi-experimental study with a pre-test, post-test and a control group design. The research population included all Iranian pregnant women referring to Laleh Hospital in Tehran City, Iran, in 2020. In total, 30 women were selected using the convenience sampling method and randomly assigned into the intervention and control groups (n=15/group). The required data were collected using the Life Distress Inventory (LDI) and the Maternal-Fetal Attachment Scale (MFAS). The intervention group listened to relaxing music for twelve 45-50-minute sessions in the morning and during routine midwifery visits; however, the controls received no intervention. The collected data were analyzed using Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) in SPSS V. 22. Results: The obtained results indicated that the intervention group reported a lower level of life distress in the post-test, compared to the controls (P=0.0001, F=15.860). The intervention group also achieved a higher mean score on MFA, than the control group (P=0.0001, F=35.872). Conclusion: According to the present research findings, reproductive health, nursing professionals, and psychologists could recommend music as a complementary therapy to reduce stress and distress experienced by expecting mothers and to improve MFA.

2022 ◽  
Maryam Zahid ◽  
Ume Sughra

BACKGROUND Malnutrition is the most common problem in congenital heart diseases patients. Health based mobile applications play an important role in planning and tracking of diet for better nutritional status OBJECTIVE To assess the effect of artificial intelligence on nutritional status of children post cardiac surgery in comparison to usual care group. To assess usefulness of diet related mobile application in comparison to usual care group. METHODS This is a two arm randomized controlled trial that was conducted at a Tertiary Care Hospital, Rawalpindi. The study duration was 6 months from February 2021 till July 2021. Sample size was calculated to be 88. Intervention group was given a diet related mobile application and usual care group was handed a pamphlet with diet instructions on discharge. RESULTS Mean weight of all participants was 15 ± 5.7 kg at the time of discharge whereas at the end of 8th week mean weight of the participants in usual care group was 16.5 ± 7.2 kg and intervention group was 17.1 ± 5 kg. Average calories consumed by usual care group was 972 ± 252 kcal and 1000.75 ± 210 kcal by intervention group after 8 weeks of discharge. Average proteins consumed by the usual care group was 34.3 ± 12.5 grams and 39± 6.4 grams by intervention group after 8 weeks of discharge. At the end of intervention preferred diet planning tool for 79% of the participants was mobile application. At 8th week 93% of the participants considered the visual cues useful, 80% think that the mobile application language was understandable, 79% of the participants think nutritional goal setting is a useful feature in mobile application and 55% of the participants think the recipes in the application were useful. CONCLUSIONS The study showed strength for the future of scalable modern technology for self-nutrition monitoring. There was slight increase in the weight and nutritional intake of both groups as interventions period was limited. CLINICALTRIAL Study was registered on website with trial identity number NCT04782635.

2022 ◽  
Vol 10 (3) ◽  
Romina Kalantari ◽  
Fatihe Kermansaravi ◽  
Fariba Yaghoubinia

Background: The acute nature and complications of COVID-19, including fatigue and dyspnea, reduce the ability of the affected individuals to play individual and social roles and perform activities of daily living, and have adverse effects on the life quality and economic status of patients. Conducting pre-discharge rehabilitation programs following a home-based approach can be effective in reducing fatigue and dyspnea and improving the activities of daily living of COVID-19 patients. Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the effect of home-based pulmonary rehabilitation on fatigue, dyspnea, and activities of daily living of COVID-19 patients in the teaching hospitals of Zahedan University of Medical Sciences in 2020. Methods: The quasi-experimental study enrolled 60 patients with COVID-19 respiratory symptoms admitted to the COVID-19 intensive care units of teaching hospitals affiliated with Zahedan University of Medical Sciences in 2020. The patients who met the inclusion criteria were selected using convenience sampling and randomly divided into intervention and control groups with color cards. The instruments used to collect the data were the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), the Borg Dyspnea Scale, and the Barthel Index completed by the participants before, two weeks, and two months after the intervention. The rehabilitation training was provided to the patient and the primary caregiver in the intervention group in three 45-min sessions individually and using training videos during the hospital stay. After discharge, the patients were followed up in person or by phone for eight weeks to ensure the effectiveness of the rehabilitation program. The collected data were analyzed using SPSS-22 software through repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA), independent samples t-test, and chi-square test at a significance level of 0.05 (P < 0.05). Results: The repeated measures ANOVA showed that changes in the fatigue and dyspnea scores were significant over time (P < 0.001). Furthermore, the intervention effect was significant (P = 0.04), and more remarkable changes were observed in the intervention group than in the control group. Given the significance of the group-time interactive effect on the two given variables, the comparisons were made point by point and with Bonferroni correction again by time and group. There were significant differences in the mean fatigue scores in the second (P = 0.03) and third (P < 0.001) stages and the mean dyspnea scores (P < 0.001) between the two groups. The mean scores of activities of daily living two weeks and two months after the intervention were significantly different between the two groups, with higher scores in the intervention group than in the control group (P = 0.01). The repeated measures ANOVA confirmed a statistically significant difference between the two groups in terms of the effect of time (P < 0.001) and group (P = 0.03) on the patients’ activities of daily living. Conclusions: The study showed that home-based pulmonary rehabilitation measures were effective on fatigue, dyspnea, and activities of daily living of COVID-19 patients. Thus, this intervention approach by nurses for family participation can be practical for treating acute and chronic respiratory diseases.

2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
Mariko Hojo ◽  
Daisuke Asaoka ◽  
Yuji Shimada ◽  
Shuko Nojiri ◽  
Akihito Nagahara

Abstract Background Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), including potassium ion-competitive acid blocker, are widely used worldwide and are often used for long periods of time. However, in recent years, potential side effects associated with long-term PPI use have been reported. Many patients take PPI for a long period of time, even though it is unnecessary, and it is necessary to discontinue PPI administration in such patients. However, sudden discontinuation may cause symptoms to recur and discontinuation may be unsuccessful. A strategy for safe and secure PPI discontinuation has not yet been established. The purpose of this study is to determine whether PPI can be safely discontinued by tapering the PPI dose or by abrupt discontinuation of PPI, and to establish a strategy for safe and secure PPI discontinuation. Methods The evaluation will be conducted as a multicenter, randomized, parallel-group clinical trial with five assessment points at the start of the study and 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months after the start of the study. One intervention group is the group in which PPI administration is abruptly discontinued (Group A), and the second group is the group in which the PPI dose is gradually tapered and then PPI administration is discontinued (Group B). The primary outcome and secondary outcome are the proportion of patients who successfully discontinued the PPI at 6 months and at 12 months after the start of the study in groups A and B, respectively. Discussion We predict that the proportion of patients who successfully discontinue PPI will be higher in the group in which PPI administration was gradually tapered than in the group in which PPI administration was abruptly discontinued. On the other hand, we expect that many participants will succeed in discontinuing PPI regardless of the discontinuation strategy due to the explanation that discontinuation is necessary. Trial registration Japan Registry of Clinical Trials, jRCT1031180383. Registered 20 March 2019,

Dimitrije Kovac ◽  
Zarko Krkeljas ◽  
Ranel Venter

Abstract Background Improving the quality of functional movements in athletes generally requires additional training targeting specific functional deficiencies. However, well-rounded, traditional strength and conditioning program should also improve player’s movement quality. Therefore, the primary aim of this study was to compare the effect of two different six-week interventions on the functional score of female netball players. Methods In a randomized controlled study, players were divided into control and intervention group. Both groups completed identical six-week strength and conditioning program, with the intervention group also completing additional corrective exercises three sessions per week during the same period. Results The FMS® score was significantly higher in the intervention group after 6-week program (f = 9.85, p = 0.004). However, the differences in total score may be attributed mainly to differences between groups in active straight leg raise (p = 0.004) and trunk stability push-up test (p = 0.02), as other individual tests demonstrated similar time and group effect. Conclusion These results indicate that although FMS® based intervention may improve overall functional movement score, the athletes in both groups have demonstrated similar improvements in most of the individual tests. Hence, a well-rounded strength and conditioning program incorporating athlete-specific exercises based on limitations identified in the functional movement screen, may result in a balanced training strategy and reduce the need for supplementary functional training sessions.

2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
Dinithi Vidanage ◽  
Shamini Prathapan ◽  
Priyadarshika Hettiarachchi ◽  
Sudharshani Wasalathanthri

Abstract Background Regular exercise is a key element in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Although the importance of regular exercises on glycemic control in people with diabetes is studied extensively, evidence is lacking on its impact on sweet taste perception. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the impact of aerobic exercises on taste perception for sucrose in people with diabetes. Methods A sample of 225 people with diabetes aged 35-60 years was assigned randomly into 3 groups; aerobic exercise, combined exercise and a control group. The outcomes of the combined exercise group is not reported. The aerobic exercise group performed brisk walking 30min/day, 4-5days/week for 6 months. The primary outcome measures were supra-threshold intensity ratings and preference for sucrose assessed at baseline, at 3 and 6 months using ‘general Labeled Magnitude Scale’ and ‘Monell 2-series-forced choice method’ respectively. Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) level was assessed at baseline and at 6 months to determine glycemic control. Results Aerobic exercise group showed significantly increased ratings (mm) for higher sucrose concentrations at 3 months (mean difference for 2.02M; +6.63±2.50, p=0.048 and for 0.64M; +7.26±2.76, p=0.026) and at 6 months (mean difference for 0.64M; +7.79±4.49, p= 0.044) compared to baseline and also when compared to controls (mean difference for 2.02M between baseline and 3 months; intervention: +6.63±2.50, control: -4.01±1.79, p=0.02 and between baseline and 6 months for 2.02M; intervention: +3.15±0.57, control: -7.96±0.40, p=0.022 and for 0.64M; intervention: +7.79±4.49, control: -8.98±0.99, p=0.003). A significantly reduced preference (mol/L) was seen both at 3 (mean difference; -0.03±0.02, p= 0.037) and at 6 months (mean difference; -0.05±0.12, p=0.011) compared to baseline within the intervention group. Also, a significant reduction was seen in the intervention group compared to controls at 6 months (mean difference; intervention: -0.05±0.12, control: 0.01±0.03, p=0.044). HbA1c was significantly reduced in the intervention group compared to controls at 6 months (mean difference; intervention -0.43±1.6%, control +0.33±1.8%, p=0.018). Conclusion Regular aerobic exercises increase the sweet taste sensitivity, especially for higher concentrations of sucrose and decrease sweet taste preference in people with diabetes . These alterations in sweet taste perception, are likely to contribute to a better glycemic control in people with diabetes. Trial registration This trial was registered at the Sri Lanka Clinical Trial registry on 16/12/2015. (Trial registration number- SLCTR/2015/029,

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 113
Sung-Hoon Kim ◽  
Dong-Min Ji ◽  
Chan-Yong Kim ◽  
Sung-Bok Choi ◽  
Min-Cheol Joo ◽  

We developed a magnetic-force-based three-dimensional (3D) rehabilitation device that can perform motor rehabilitation treatment for paralyzed fingers, regardless of upper extremity movement and position, and investigated the therapeutic effects of the device. An end-effector type rehabilitation device that can generate magnetic fields in three directions was developed using electromagnets and permanent magnetics. A double-blinded randomized controlled pilot study was conducted with a total of 12 patients. The intervention group had rehabilitation treatment using the developed magnetic finger rehabilitation device for 30 min a day for four weeks. The control group underwent exercise rehabilitation treatment. The control group received conventional occupational therapy on the upper limbs, including hands, from an occupational therapist, for the same amount of time. Adverse effects were monitored, and the patient’s sensory or proprioceptive deficits were examined before the intervention. No participants reported safety concerns while the intervention was conducted. The Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT) scores were significantly improved in the intervention group (from 13.4 ± 3.6 to 20.9 ± 4.0 points) compared to the control group (from 13.1 ± 4.0 to 15.2 ± 3.8 points) (p = 0.016). The patients in the intervention group (from 88 ± 12 to 67 ± 13 s) showed greater improvement of WMFT times compared to the control group (from 89 ± 10 to 73 ± 11 s) (p = 0.042). The Manual Function Test and the upper limb score of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment were significantly improved in the intervention group compared with the control group (p = 0.038 and p = 0.042). The patients in the intervention group also showed significantly greater enhancement of the Korean version of the modified Barthel Index than the control group (p = 0.042). Rehabilitation treatment using the 3D magnetic-force-driven finger rehabilitation device helped improve finger motor function and activities of daily living in subacute stroke patients.

2022 ◽  
Vol 11 (2) ◽  
pp. 392
Paolo Murabito ◽  
Marinella Astuto ◽  
Filippo Sanfilippo ◽  
Luigi La Via ◽  
Francesco Vasile ◽  

Background: Intraoperative hypotension is associated with increased postoperative morbidity and mortality. Methods: We randomly assigned patients undergoing major general surgery to early warning system (EWS) and hemodynamic algorithm (intervention group, n = 20) or standard care (n = 20). The primary outcome was the difference in hypotension (defined as mean arterial pressure < 65 mmHg) and as secondary outcome surrogate markers of organ injury and oxidative stress. Results: The median number of hypotensive episodes was lower in the intervention group (−5.0 (95% CI: −9.0, −0.5); p < 0.001), with lower time spent in hypotension (−12.8 min (95% CI: −38.0, −2.3 min); p = 0.048), correspondent to −4.8% of total surgery time (95% CI: −12.7, 0.01%; p = 0.048).The median time-weighted average of hypotension was 0.12 mmHg (0.35) in the intervention group and 0.37 mmHg (1.11) in the control group, with a median difference of −0.25 mmHg (95% CI: −0.85, −0.01; p = 0.025). Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin (NGAL) correlated with time-weighted average of hypotension (R = 0.32; p = 0.038) and S100B with number of hypotensive episodes, absolute time of hypotension, relative time of hypotension and time-weighted average of hypotension (p < 0.001 for all). The intervention group showed lower Neuronal Specific Enolase (NSE) and higher reduced glutathione when compared to the control group. Conclusions: The use of an EWS coupled with a hemodynamic algorithm resulted in reduced intraoperative hypotension, reduced NSE and oxidative stress.

2022 ◽  
pp. 1-2
Markus Stücker

<b>Importance:</b> One-year outcomes from the Early Venous Reflux Ablation (EVRA) randomized trial showed accelerated venous leg ulcer healing and greater ulcer-free time for participants who are treated with early endovenous ablation of lower extremity superficial reflux. <b>Objective:</b> To evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of early endovenous ablation of superficial venous reflux in patients with venous leg ulceration. <b>Design, Setting, and Participants:</b> Between October 24, 2013, and September 27, 2016, the EVRA randomized clinical trial enrolled 450 participants (450 legs) with venous leg ulceration of less than 6 months’ duration and superficial venous reflux. Initially, 6555 patients were assessed for eligibility, and 6105 were excluded for reasons including ulcer duration greater than 6 months, healed ulcer by the time of randomization, deep venous occlusive disease, and insufficient superficial venous reflux to warrant ablation therapy, among others. A total of 426 of 450 participants (94.7%) from the vascular surgery departments of 20 hospitals in the United Kingdom were included in the analysis for ulcer recurrence. Surgeons, participants, and follow-up assessors were not blinded to the treatment group. Data were analyzed from August 11 to November 4, 2019. <b>Interventions:</b> Patients were randomly assigned to receive compression therapy with early endovenous ablation within 2 weeks of randomization (early intervention, n  =  224) or compression with deferred endovenous treatment of superficial venous reflux (deferred intervention, n  =  226). Endovenous modality and strategy were left to the preference of the treating clinical team. <b>Main Outcomes and Measures:</b> The primary outcome for the extended phase was time to first ulcer recurrence. Secondary outcomes included ulcer recurrence rate and cost-effectiveness. <b>Results:</b> The early-intervention group consisted of 224 participants (mean [SD] age, 67.0 [15.5] years; 127 men [56.7%]; 206 White participants [92%]). The deferred-intervention group consisted of 226 participants (mean [SD] age, 68.9 [14.0] years; 120 men [53.1%]; 208 White participants [92%]). Of the 426 participants whose leg ulcer had healed, 121 (28.4%) experienced at least 1 recurrence during follow-up. There was no clear difference in time to first ulcer recurrence between the 2 groups (hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.57–1.17; P  =  .28). Ulcers recurred at a lower rate of 0.11 per person-year in the early-intervention group compared with 0.16 per person-year in the deferred-intervention group (incidence rate ratio, 0.658; 95% CI, 0.480–0.898; P  =  .003). Time to ulcer healing was shorter in the early-intervention group for primary ulcers (hazard ratio, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.12–1.64; P  =  .002). At 3 years, early intervention was 91.6% likely to be cost-effective at a willingness to pay of £20 000 ($26 283) per quality-adjusted life year and 90.8% likely at a threshold of £35 000 ($45 995) per quality-adjusted life year. <b>Conclusions and Relevance:</b> Early endovenous ablation of superficial venous reflux was highly likely to be cost-effective over a 3-year horizon compared with deferred intervention. Early intervention accelerated the healing of venous leg ulcers and reduced the overall incidence of ulcer recurrence. <b>Trial Registration:</b> identifier: ISRCTN02335796.

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