Survey on Awareness, Knowledge and Practices: Managing Osteoporosis among Practitioners in a Tertiary Hospital, Malaysia

This study evaluates the management of osteoporosis in a tertiary care government hospital in Malaysia. As the number of admitted patients having osteoporotic fractures is on the rise, osteoporotic medications are an increasing financial burden to government hospitals because they account for half of the orthopedic budget and expenditure. Comprehensive knowledge among practitioners is important to detect early and avoid this preventable disease and its serious complications. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the awareness, knowledge, and practices in managing osteoporosis among practitioners in Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah (HTAR), Klang. A questionnaire from an overseas study in managing osteoporosis among primary care physicians is adapted to Malaysia’s Clinical Practice Guideline of Osteoporosis 2012 (revised 2015) and international guidelines were distributed to all orthopedic practitioners in HTAR Klang (including surgeons, orthopedic medical officers), endocrinologists, rheumatologists and geriatricians. The participants were evaluated on their expertise in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment decision and medications for osteoporosis. Collected data were analyzed for all descriptive and statistical analyses as appropriate. All 45 participants responded to the questionnaire. Participants scored highest on expertise in prevention, followed by diagnosis, treatment decision and lastly, medication. Most practitioners stated that own-initiated continuing professional education from articles and books was the most effective way to update their knowledge, followed by attendance in conferences on osteoporosis. This study confirms the importance of comprehensive training and education regarding osteoporosis among tertiary care physicians and surgeons, predominantly in pharmacotherapy, to deliver wholesome care for osteoporotic patients.

Attention Based Fully Convolutional Neural Network for Simultaneous Detection and Segmentation of Optic Disc in Retinal Fundus Images

Accurate segmentation of the optic disc is very important for computer-aided diagnosis of several ocular diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and hypertensive retinopathy. The paper presents an accurate and fast optic disc detection and segmentation method using an attention based fully convolutional network. The network is trained from scratch using the fundus images of extended MESSIDOR database and the trained model is used for segmentation of optic disc. The false positives are removed based on morphological operation and shape features. The result is evaluated using three-fold cross-validation on six public fundus image databases such as DIARETDB0, DIARETDB1, DRIVE, AV-INSPIRE, CHASE DB1 and MESSIDOR. The attention based fully convolutional network is robust and effective for detection and segmentation of optic disc in the images affected by diabetic retinopathy and it outperforms existing techniques.

Low Cost Microcontroller Based ECG Machine

Electrocardiographic (ECG) machine is an important equipment to diagnose heart problems. Besides, the ECG signals are used to detect many other features of human body and behavior. But it is not so cheap and simple in operation to be used in the countries like Bangladesh, where most of the people are very low income earners. Therefore, in this paper, we have tried to implement a simple and portable ECG machine. Since Arduino Uno microcontroller is very cheap, we have used it in our system to minimize the cost. Our designed system is powered by a 2-voltage level DC power supply. It provides wireless connectivity to have ECG data either in smartphone having android operating system or a PC/laptop having Windows operating system. To get the data, a graphic user interface has been designed. Android application has also been made using IDE for Android 2.3 and API 10. Since it requires no USB host API, almost 98% Android smartphones, available in the country, will be able to use it. We have calculated the heart rate from the measured ECG by our designed machine and by an ECG machine of a reputed diagnostic center in Dhaka city for the same people at the same time on same day. Then we calculated the percentage of errors between the readings of two machines and computed its average. From this computation, we have found out that the average percentage of error is within an acceptable limit.

An Exploratory Survey Questionnaire to Understand What Emotions Are Important and Difficult to Communicate for People with Dysarthria and Their Methodology of Communicating

People with speech disorders may rely on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technologies to help them communicate. However, the limitations of the current AAC technologies act as barriers to the optimal use of these technologies in daily communication settings. The ability to communicate effectively relies on a number of factors that are not limited to the intelligibility of the spoken words. In fact, non-verbal cues play a critical role in the correct comprehension of messages and having to rely on verbal communication only, as is the case with current AAC technology, may contribute to problems in communication. This is especially true for people’s ability to express their feelings and emotions, which are communicated to a large part through non-verbal cues. This paper focuses on understanding more about the non-verbal communication ability of people with dysarthria, with the overarching aim of this research being to improve AAC technology by allowing people with dysarthria to better communicate emotions. Preliminary survey results are presented that gives an understanding of how people with dysarthria convey emotions, what emotions that are important for them to get across, what emotions that are difficult for them to convey, and whether there is a difference in communicating emotions when speaking to familiar versus unfamiliar people.

Vision-Based Daily Routine Recognition for Healthcare with Transfer Learning

We propose to record Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) of elderly people using a vision-based system so as to provide better assistive and personalization technologies. Current ADL-related research is based on data collected with help from non-elderly subjects in laboratory environments and the activities performed are predetermined for the sole purpose of data collection. To obtain more realistic datasets for the application, we recorded ADLs for the elderly with data collected from real-world environment involving real elderly subjects. Motivated by the need to collect data for more effective research related to elderly care, we chose to collect data in the room of an elderly person. Specifically, we installed Kinect, a vision-based sensor on the ceiling, to capture the activities that the elderly subject performs in the morning every day. Based on the data, we identified 12 morning activities that the elderly person performs daily. To recognize these activities, we created a HARELCARE framework to investigate into the effectiveness of existing Human Activity Recognition (HAR) algorithms and propose the use of a transfer learning algorithm for HAR. We compared the performance, in terms of accuracy, and training progress. Although the collected dataset is relatively small, the proposed algorithm has a good potential to be applied to all daily routine activities for healthcare purposes such as evidence-based diagnosis and treatment.

Design of Hydroxyapatite-Polyetheretherketone Fixation Plates for Diaphysis Femur Fracture

In this study, scanned data of a damaged femur diaphysis are used to generate three dimensional model of the bone. Further, customized implant of Hydroxyapatite-Polyetheretherketone (HA-PEEK) material for this damaged bone is prepared using CAD modeling. Damaged bone and implant have been assembled to prepare the intact bone. This assembled model has been analyzed to evaluate the stresses and deformation developed during the static loading. It has been observed that these stresses and deformation are very less thus imply that the proposed method of preparing implant is appropriate.

Analysis of Career Support Programs for Olympic Athletes in Japan with Fifteen Conceptual Categories

The Japan Sports Agency has made efforts to unify several career support programs for Olympic athletes prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. One of the programs, the Japan Olympic Committee Career Academy (JCA) was established in 2008 for Olympic athletes at their retirement. Research focusing on the service content of sport career support programs can help athletes experience a more positive transition. This study was designed to investigate the service content of the JCA program in relation to athletes’ career transition needs, including any differences of the reasons for retirement between Summer/Winter and Male/Female Olympic athletes, and to suggest the directions of how to unify the career support programs in Japan after hosting the Olympic Games using sport career transition models. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and analyzed the JCA director who started and managed the program since its inception, and a total of 15 conceptual categories were generated by the analysis. Four conceptual categories were in the result of “JCA situation”, 4 conceptual categories were in the result of “Athletes using JCA”, and 7 conceptual categories were in the result of “JCA current difficulties”. Through the analysis it was revealed that: the JCA had occupational supports for both current and retired Olympic athletes; other supports such as psychological support were unclear due to the lack of psychological professionals in JCA and the difficulties collaborating with other sports organizations; and there are differences in tendencies of visiting JCA, financial situations, and career choices depending on Summer/Winter and Male/Female athletes.

Impact of Preksha Meditation on Academic Anxiety of Female Teenagers

The pressure of scoring higher marks to be able to get admission in a higher ranked institution has become a social stigma for school students. It leads to various social and academic pressures on them, causing psychological anxiety. This undue stress on students sometimes may even steer to aggressive behavior or suicidal tendencies. Human mind is always surrounded by the some desires, emotions and passions, which usually disturbs our mental peace. In such a scenario, we look for a solution that helps in removing all the obstacles of mind and make us mentally peaceful and strong enough to be able to deal with all kind of pressure. Preksha meditation is one such technique which aims at bringing the positive changes for overall transformation of personality. Hence, the present study was undertaken to assess the impact of Preksha Meditation on the academic anxiety on female teenagers. The study was conducted on 120 high school students from the capital city of India. All students were in the age group of 13-15 years. They also belonged to similar social as well as economic status. The sample was equally divided into two groups i.e. experimental group (N = 60) and control group (N = 60). Subjects of the experimental group were given the intervention of Preksha Meditation practice by the trained instructor for one hour per day, six days a week, for three months for the first experimental stage and another three months for the second experimental stage. The subjects of the control group were not assigned any specific type of activity rather they continued doing their normal official activities as usual. The Academic Anxiety Scale was used to collect data during multi-level stages i.e. pre-experimental stage, post-experimental stage phase-I, and post-experimental stage phase-II. The data were statistically analyzed by computing the two-tailed-‘t’ test for inter group comparison and Sandler’s ‘A’ test with alpha = or p < 0.05 for intra-group comparisons. The study concluded that the practice for longer duration of Preksha Meditation practice brings about very significant and beneficial changes in the pattern of academic anxiety.

Electroencephalography Activity during Sensory Organization Balance Test

Postural balance plays essential role throughout life in daily activities. Somatosensory, visual and vestibular inputs play the fundamental role in maintaining body equilibrium to balance the posture. The aim of this study was to find out electroencephalography (EEG) responses during balance activity of young people during Sensory Organization Balance Test. The outcome of this study will help to create the fitness and neurorehabilitation plan. 25 young people (25 ± 3.1 years) have been analyzed on Balance Master NeuroCom® with the coupling of Brain Vision 32 electrode wireless EEG system during the Sensory Organization Test. From the results it has been found that the balance score of samples is significantly higher under the influence of somatosensory input as compared to visual and vestibular input (p < 0.05). The EEG between somatosensory and visual input to balance the posture showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) alpha and beta activities during somatosensory input in somatosensory, attention and visual functions of the cortex whereas executive and motor functions of the cerebral cortex showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) alpha EEG activity during the visual input. The results suggest that somatosensory and attention function of the cerebral cortex has alpha and beta activity, respectively high during somatosensory and vestibular input in maintaining balance. In patients with balance impairments both physical and cognitive training, including neurofeedback will be helpful to improve balance abilities.

Improving the Safety Performance of Workers by Assessing the Impact of Safety Culture on Workers’ Safety Behaviour in Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry: A Pilot Study in the Niger Delta Region

Interest in the development of appropriate safety culture in the oil and gas industry has taken centre stage among stakeholders in the industry. Human behaviour has been identified as a major contributor to occupational accidents, where abnormal activities associated with safety management are taken as normal behaviour. Poor safety culture is one of the major factors that influence employee’s safety behaviour at work, which may consequently result in injuries and accidents and strengthening such a culture can improve workers safety performance. Nigeria oil and gas industry has contributed to the growth and development of the country in diverse ways. However, in terms of safety and health of workers, this industry is a dangerous place to work as workers are often exposed to occupational safety and health hazard. To ascertain the impact of employees’ safety and how it impacts health and safety compliance within the local industry, online safety culture survey targeting frontline workers within the industry was administered covering major subjects that include; perception of management commitment and style of leadership; safety communication method and its resultant impact on employees’ behaviour; employee safety commitment and training needs. The preliminary result revealed that 54% of the participants feel that there is a lack of motivation from the management to work safely. In addition, 55% of participants revealed that employers place more emphasis on work delivery over employee’s safety on the installation. It is expected that the study outcome will provide measures aimed at strengthening and sustaining safety culture in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Survey of Epidemiology and Mechanisms of Badminton Injury Using Medical Check-Up and Questionnaire of School Age Badminton Players

Badminton is one type of racket sports that requires repetitive overhead motion, with the shoulder in abduction/external rotation and requires players to perform jumps, lunges, and quick directional changes. These characteristics could be stressful for body regions that may cause badminton injuries. Regarding racket players including badminton players, there have not been any studies that have utilized medical check-up to evaluate epidemiology and mechanism of injuries. In addition, epidemiology of badminton injury in school age badminton players is unknown. The first purpose of this study was to investigate the badminton injuries, physical fitness parameters, and intensity of shoulder pain using medical check-up so that the mechanisms of shoulder injuries might be revealed. The second purpose of this study was to survey the distribution of badminton injuries in elementary school age players so that injury prevention can be implemented as early as possible. The results of this study revealed that shoulder pain occurred in all players, and present shoulder pain players had smaller weight, greater shoulder external rotation (ER) gain, significantly thinner circumference of upper limbs and greater trunk extension. Identifying players with specific of these factors may enhance the prevention of badminton injury. This study also shows that there are high incidences of knee, ankle, plantar, and shoulder injury or pain in elementary school age badminton players. Injury prevention program might be implemented for elementary school age players.

Fatal Road Accident Causer's Driving Aptitude in Hungary

Those causing fatal traffic accidents are traumatized, which negatively influences their cognitive functions and their personality. In order to clarify how much the trauma of causing a fatal accident effects their driving skills and personality traits, the results of a psychological aptitude and a personality test of drivers carelessly causing fatal accidents and of drivers not causing any accidents were compared separately. The sample (N = 354) consists of randomly selected drivers from the Transportation Aptitude and Examination Centre database who caused fatal accidents (Fatal group, n = 177) or did not cause accidents (Control group, n = 177). The aptitude tests were taken between 2014 and 2019. The comparison of the 2 groups was done according to 3 aspects: 1. Categories of aptitude (suitable, restricted, unsuited); 2. Categories of causes (ability, personality, ability and personality) within the restricted or unsuited (altogether: non-suitable subgroups); 3. Categories of ability and personality within the non-suitable subgroups regardless of the cause-category. Within ability deficiency, the two groups include those, whose ability factor is impaired or limited. This is also true in case of personality failure. Compared to the control group, the number of restricted drivers causing fatal accidents is significantly higher (p < .000) and the number of unsuited drivers is higher on a tendency-level (p = .06). Compared to the control group in the fatal non-suitable subgroup, the ratio of restricted suitability and the unsuitability due to ability factors is exclusively significantly lower (p < .000). The restricted suitability and the unsuitability due to personality factors are more significant in the fatal non-suitable subgroup (p < .000). Incapacity due to combination of ability and personality is also significantly higher in the fatal group (p = .002). Compared to the control group both ability and personality factors are also significantly higher in the fatal non-suitable subgroup (p < .000). Overall, the control group is more eligible for driving than drivers who have caused fatalities. The ability and personality factors are significantly higher in the case of fatal accident causers who are non-suitable for driving. Moreover the concomitance of ability and personality factors occur almost exclusively to drivers who caused fatal accidents. Further investigation is needed to understand the causes and how the aptitude test results for the fatal group could improve over time.

The Cardiac Diagnostic Prediction Applied to a Designed Holter

We have designed a Holter that measures the heart´s activity for over 24 hours, implemented a prediction methodology, and generate alarms as well as indicators to patients and treating physicians. Various diagnostic advances have been developed in clinical cardiology thanks to Holter implementation; however, their interpretation has largely been conditioned to clinical analysis and measurements adjusted to diverse population characteristics, thus turning it into a subjective examination. This, however, requires vast population studies to be validated that, in turn, have not achieved the ultimate goal: mortality prediction. Given this context, our Insight Research Group developed a mathematical methodology that assesses cardiac dynamics through entropy and probability, creating a numerical and geometrical attractor which allows quantifying the normalcy of chronic and acute disease as well as the evolution between such states, and our Tigum Research Group developed a holter device with 12 channels and advanced computer software. This has been shown in different contexts with 100% sensitivity and specificity results.

Modeling and Analysis of a Cycling Prosthetic

There are currently many people living with limb loss in the USA. The main causes for amputation can range from vascular disease, to trauma, or cancer. This number is expected increase over the next decade. Many patients have a single prosthetic for the first year but end up getting a second one to accommodate their changing physique. Afterwards, the prosthesis gets replaced every three to five years depending on how often it is used. This could cost the patient up to $500,000 throughout their lifetime. Complications do not end there, however. Due to the absence of nerves, it becomes more difficult to traverse terrain with a prosthetic. Moving on an incline or decline becomes difficult, thus curbs and stairs can be a challenge. Certain physical activities, such as cycling, could be even more strenuous. It will need to be relearned to accommodate for the change in weight, center of gravity, and transfer of energy from the leg to the pedal. The purpose of this research project is to develop a new, alternate below-knee cycling prosthetic using Dieter & Schmidt’s design process approach. It will be subjected to fatigue analysis under dynamic loading to observe the limitations as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the prosthetic. Benchmark comparisons will be made between existing prosthetics and the proposed one, examining the benefits and disadvantages. The resulting prosthetic will be 3D printed using acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) or polycarbonate (PC) plastic.

Age, Body Composition, Body Mass Index and Chronic Venous Diseases in Postmenopausal Women

Chronic venous diseases (CVD) are one of the common, though controversial problems in medicine. It is generally accepted that this pathology predominantly occurs in women. The issue of excessive weight as a risk factor for CVD is still considered debatable. To the author's best knowledge, today in Ukraine, there are barely any studies that describe the relationship between CVD and obesity. Our study aims to determine the association between age, body composition, obesity and CVD in postmenopausal women. The study was conducted in D. F. Chebotarev Institute of Gerontology, National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine. We have examined 96 postmenopausal women aged 46-85 years (mean age – 66.19 ± 0.96 years), who were divided into two groups depending on the presence of CVD. The women were examined by vascular surgeons. For the diagnosis of CVD, we used clinical, anatomic and pathophysiologic classifications. We also performed clinical, ultrasound and densitometry examinations. We found that the CVD frequency in postmenopausal women increased with age (from 72% in those aged 45-59 years to 84% in those aged 75-89 years). A significant correlation between the total fat mass and age was determined in postmenopausal women with CVD. We also observed a significant correlation between the lower extremities’ fat mass and age in both examined groups. A significant correlation between body mass index and age was determined only in postmenopausal women without CVD.

Significance of Bike-Frame Geometric Factors for Cycling Efficiency and Muscle Activation

With the advocacy of green transportation and green traveling, cycling has become increasingly popular nowadays. Physiology and bike design are key factors for the influence of cycling efficiency. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the significance of bike-frame geometric factors on cycling efficiency and muscle activation for different body sizes of non-professional Asian male cyclists. Participants who represented various body sizes, as measured by leg and back lengths, carried out cycling tests using a tailor-assembled road bike with different ergonomic design configurations including seat-height adjustments (i.e., 96%, 100%, and 104% of trochanteric height) and bike frame sizes (i.e., small and medium frames) for an assessable distance of 1 km. A specific power meter and self-developed adaptable surface electromyography (sEMG) were used to measure average pedaling power and cadence generated and muscle activation, respectively. The results showed that changing the seat height was far more significant than the body and bike frame sizes. The sEMG data evidently provided a better understanding of muscle activation as a function of different seat heights. Therefore, the interpretation of this study is that the major bike ergonomic design factor dominating the cycling efficiency of Asian participants with different body sizes was the seat height.

Levels and Trends of Under-Five Mortality in South Africa from 1998 to 2012

Childhood mortality is a key sign of the coverage of child survival interventions, social and economic progressions. Although the level of under-five mortality has been declining, it is still unacceptably high. The primary aim of this paper is to establish and analyse the levels and trends of under-five mortality for the periods 1998, 2003 and 2012 in South Africa. Methods: The data used for analysis came from the 1998 SADHS, the 2003 SADHS and the 2012 SABSSM which collected information on the survival status of children. The Kaplan-Meier estimate of the survival function method was used to determine the probabilities of failure (death) from birth up to 59 months. Results and Conclusion: The overall U5MR declined by 28.2% from 53.1 in 1998 to 38.1 in 2012. The U5MR of male children declined from 59.2 in 1998 to 46.2 in 2003 and dropped further to 41.4 in 2012. The U5MR of children of mothers aged 40 years and older increased from 64.0 in 1998 to 89.0 in 2003 and rose further to 129.9 in 2012. The U5MR of children of mothers with education level of 12 years or more increased from 32.2 in 1998 to 35.2 in 2003 and declined substantially to 17.5 in 2012.

Relationship between the Use of Hormonal Contraceptives and the Promotion of Changes in Hemodynamic Factors that Predispose to Cardiovascular Risk

The use of hormonal contraceptive drugs is widely used in different age groups, mainly due to easy acquisition and due to a large number of prescriptions. Besides, several studies point to the high cardiovascular risk concerning the use of hormonal contraceptives. In this study, we evaluated 620 Brazilian women to demonstrate the correlation between the hormonal contraceptives uses with the increase of the predisposition of risk for cardiovascular diseases. Our data demonstrated that concomitant use of contraceptives showed a significant reduction activated partial thromboplastin time and prothrombin time similar to hypercoagulability clinical conditions. Besides, as a compensation mechanism, there was an increase in the Fibrinogen levels. We also verified a significant increase at the total cholesterol and platelet aggregation up to 10%. Therefore, it was evidenced through this study that the use of hormonal contraceptives may increase cardiovascular risk. Besides, our data represents an alert since, in Brazil, the primary contraceptive hormone prescribed in public health units consists of second-generation drugs, which are the ones that most present associations with cardiovascular risk.

A Study to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Simulation on Anaesthetic Non-Technical Skills in the Management of Major Trauma Patients

Background: Dynamic, challenging instances during the management of major trauma patients requires optimal team intervention to ensure patient safety and effective crisis management. These factors highlight the importance of increased awareness in both technical and non-technical skills (NTS) training. Simulation based training (SBT) is an effective tool that replicates and teaches the required clinical skills, resulting in teamwork improvement, better patient safety, and care. Aims: This study investigates change in NTS, during the management of major trauma patients, using SBT. We also investigated the relationship between NTS performance and participation in previous NTS workshop (NTSW), years of experience, previous simulation (PS), previous exposure to major trauma patient management (MTPM) and group size. Methods: NTS behaviours were assessed by a single rater using previously validated framework for observing and rating Anaesthetists’ Non-Technical Skills (ANTS) for anaesthetists and Anaesthetic Non-Technical Skills for Anaesthetic Practitioners (ANTS-AP) for anaesthetic nurses during SBT. Two anaesthetists (one senior, one junior) together with one to four registered anaesthetic nurses formed 17 teams. The SBT consisted of 3 major trauma scenarios: 1) Major haemorrhage following multiple stab wounds to the torso, 2) Traumatic brain injury complicated by unanticipated difficult intubation, and 3) Penetrating neck injury with major haemorrhage, complicated by a failed intubation. The scores of each NTS category for each scenario are evaluated for significance in change and used to correlate whether NTS during the simulation were affected by previous NTSW, PS, previous exposure to MTPM and group size. Results: The resulting anaesthetists and anesthetic nurses’ p-values were < 0.05 indicating a significant improvement in all NTS resulting from score differences between scenarios 1 & 2 and 1 & 3. Anaesthetists’ NTS categories were not influenced by PS, previous NTSW, and exposure to MTPM. However, anaesthetic nurses NTS categories were influenced by PS, exposure to MTPM but not by NTSW. Conclusions: SBT has shown to be effective in improving the NTS for both anaesthetists and anaesthetic nurses. This enhances safety and team performance for MTPM. The impact of SBT in the clinical environment for patient management and safety warrants further research.

Pilot Trial of Evidence-Based Integrative Group Therapy to Improve Executive Functioning among Adults: Implications for Community Mental Health and Training Clinics

Objective: Executive functioning (EF) deficits underlie several mental health diagnoses including ADHD, anxiety, and depression. Community mental health clinics face extensive waitlists for services with many referrals involving EF deficits. A pilot trial of a four-week group therapy was developed using key components from Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and mindfulness with an aim to improve EF skills and offer low-fee services. Method: Eight adults (M = 34.5) waiting for services at a community clinic were enrolled in a four-week group therapy at an in-house training clinic for doctoral trainees. Baseline EF, pre-/post-intervention ADHD and distress symptoms, group satisfaction, and curriculum helpfulness were assessed. Results: Downward trends in ADHD and distress symptoms pre/post-intervention were not significant. Favorable responses on group satisfaction and helpfulness suggest clinical utility. Conclusion: Preliminary pilot data from a brief group therapy to improve EF may be an efficacious, acceptable, and feasible intervention for adults waiting for services at community mental health and training clinics where there are high demands and limits to services and staffs.