[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As a route to providing a framework for elucidating the content of public thinking concerning emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (EID), this article examines public engagement with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It explores how British lay publics represent MRSA utilising a social representations framework. For this group, MRSA is associated primarily with dirty National Health Service (NHS) hospitals that have been neglected due to management culture having superseded the matron culture that dominated the putative golden age of the NHS. Furthermore, MRSA represents a transgression of the purpose of a hospital as a clean and curative institution. While this widely shared picture is accompanied by a strong sense of general concern, the respondents associate contracting MRSA with other identities, such as hospitalised, young and old people. These associations are linked to feelings of personal invulnerability. There is also blame of foreigners--especially cleaners and nurses--for MRSA's spread. Thus, the data corroborate a key pattern of response found in relation to myriad EID--that of othering. However, the identities associated with contracting MRSA are mutable; therefore, the threat cannot be distanced unequivocally. Beyond developing an understanding of the relationship between epidemics and identities, this article proposes a fitting theory with which to explore EID-related public thinking.
Psychology & Health 02/2011; 26(6):667-83. DOI:10.1080/08870441003763238 · 1.95 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The UK has set an ambitious plan to substantially cut its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In order to meet this 2050 target of 80% reduction, the UK is facing a significant challenge of restructuring its energy system. One way to do this is via the wider use of decentralised energy (DE) systems in urban areas. A significant lack of understanding exists however, regarding the main factors that drive these energy projects. Following semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, nine UK and four international exemplar cases have been analysed and critiqued in order to investigate the variety and inter-relationship of the drivers employed and involved encouraging their implementation. The role of regulation, and environmental awareness and concern as drivers for implementation are explored, as are the differing impacts of these drivers. Whilst academic literature commonly portrays financial incentives and the impact of policies as the main or initiating driver, many stakeholders investigated here emphasised the role of environmental awareness and concern as a prominent driver. Compliance with regulations and environmental awareness and concern seem not mutually exclusive; instead, environmental concern reinforces the willingness to comply (and over-comply) with the regulations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives
This qualitative study examines performance bias, i.e. unintended differences between groups, in the context of a weight loss trial in which a novel patient counseling program was compared to usual care in general practice.
14/381 consecutive interviewees (6 intervention group, 8 control group) within the CAMWEL (Camden Weight Loss) effectiveness trial process study were asked about their engagement with various features of the research study and a thematic content analysis undertaken.
Decisions to participate were interwoven with decisions to change behavior, to the extent that for many participants the two were synonymous. The intervention group were satisfied with their allocation. The control group spoke of their disappointment at having been offered usual care when they had taken part in the trial to access new forms of help. Reactions to disappointment involved both movements towards and away from behavior change.
There is a prima facie case that reactions to disappointment may introduce bias, as they lead the randomized groups to differ in ways other than the intended experimental contrast.
In-depth qualitative studies nested within trials are needed to understand better the processes through which bias may be introduced.
Trial Registration: Clincaltrials.gov NCT00891943
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