Good admission procedures reflect the requirements of the aspired program and, thus, help select applicants who will finish their studies successfully. Accordingly, admission procedures should predict students’ grades and dropout. A distance learning study program provided applicants with relevant learning materials in advance and used a study-related learning test on this material in an online setting to select students. In total 236 applicants participated in the four waves of the admission examination of which the best-ranked 82 were admitted. Results showed that (a) applicants in the first wave scored higher than applicants in the fourth wave, (b) the test can be regarded as fair concerning gender and age but not in terms of form of entrance and citizenship, and (c) the test is valid in predicting students’ grade average in the first semester and shows a tendency in predicting dropout in the first semester but is not valid in predicting grade average and dropout in the second semester. These results are discussed regarding time of application, school experiences, language skills, and environmental factors. As the test informs applicants about the study program’s content, proficiency level, study format, and the necessity of self-regulated learning it is a good measure to clarify applicants’ expectations.
Large language models (LLMs) have revolutionized the field of artificial intelligence, endowing it with sophisticated language understanding and generation capabilities. However, when faced with more complex and interconnected tasks that demand a profound and iterative thought process, LLMs reveal their inherent limitations. Autonomous LLM-powered multi-agent systems represent a strategic response to these challenges. While these architectures hold promising potential in amplifying AI capabilities, striking the right balance between different levels of autonomy and alignment remains the crucial challenge for their effective operation. This paper proposes a comprehensive multi-dimensional taxonomy, engineered to analyze how autonomous LLM-powered multi-agent systems balance the dynamic interplay between autonomy and alignment across various aspects inherent to architectural viewpoints such as goal-driven task management, agent composition, multi-agent collaboration, and context interaction. Our taxonomy aims to empower researchers, engineers, and AI practitioners to systematically analyze the architectural dynamics and balancing strategies employed by these increasingly prevalent AI systems. The exploratory taxonomic classification of selected representative LLM-powered multi-agent systems illustrates its practical utility and reveals potential for future research and development.
Chronic physical health conditions (CPHC) are on the rise in younger age groups and might have a negative impact on children and adolescents. In a representative sample of Austrian adolescents aged 10–18 years, internalizing, externalizing, and behavioral problems were assessed cross-sectionally using the Youth Self-Report and health-related quality of life (HrQoL) using the KIDSCREEN questionnaire. Sociodemographic variables, life events, and chronic illness specific parameters were considered as associated variables with mental health problems in individuals with CPHC. Of 3469 adolescents, 9.4% of girls and 7.1% of boys suffered from a chronic pediatric illness. Of these individuals, 31.7% and 11.9% had clinically relevant levels of internalizing and externalizing mental health problems, respectively, compared to 16.3% and 7.1% adolescents without a CPHC. Anxiety, depression, and social problems were twice as high in this population. Medication intake due to CPHC and any traumatic life-event were related to mental health problems. All HrQoL domains were deteriorated in adolescents with a double burden of mental and CPHC, whereas adolescents with a CPHC without mental health problems did not differ significantly from adolescents without a chronic illness. Targeted prevention programs for adolescents with a CPHC are urgently needed to prevent mental health problems in the long term.
In recent years, there has been an increase in initiatives focused on the promotion and intervention mediated by technologies and that have favored access and dissemination of effective interventions regardless of distances, physical and social barriers and with this, reaching people who otherwise would not receive attention. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sudden shift in health and care services, moving from face-to-face to online, challenging mental health professionals to quickly adapt to meet user needs. The pandemic presented a double challenge because not only was it necessary to design and develop interventions to meet the demand for mental health services, but these interventions had to be adapted to the requirements of a population that was in confinement. Therefore, the development of projects that provided remote care to the general population was extremely relevant. However, given the emerging transition, it is relevant to point out some ethical and privacy considerations related to the use of technologies applied to psychological interventions aimed at confidentiality, competence and responsibility in their implementation.For this purpose, this collection includes a selection of articles, which gained high interest in 2021/2022
Background: For improving health literacy (HL) by national and international public health policy, measuring population HL by a comprehensive instrument is needed. A short instrument, the HLS19-Q12 based on the HLS-EU-Q47, was developed, translated, applied, and validated in 17 countries in the WHO European Region. Methods: For factorial validity/dimensionality, Cronbach alphas, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), Rasch model (RM), and Partial Credit Model (PCM) were used. For discriminant validity, correlation analysis, and for concurrent predictive validity, linear regression analysis were carried out. Results: The Cronbach alpha coefficients are above 0.7. The fit indices for the single-factor CFAs indicate a good model fit. Some items show differential item functioning in certain country data sets. The regression analyses demonstrate an association of the HLS19-Q12 score with social determinants and selected consequences of HL. The HLS19-Q12 score correlates sufficiently highly (r ≥ 0.897) with the equivalent score for the HLS19-Q47 long form. Conclusions: The HLS19-Q12, based on a comprehensive understanding of HL, shows acceptable psychometric and validity characteristics for different languages, country contexts, and methods of data collection, and is suitable for measuring HL in general, national, adult populations. There are also indications for further improvement of the instrument.
This study aims to investigate the psychosocial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adolescents with type-1-diabetes (T1D). We conducted 18 semi-structured interviews including adolescents with T1D (n = 10, 50% female, 15-18 years) and their parents (n = 8, 88% mothers). The main topics addressed were experiences during confinement regarding everyday life, lifestyle behaviors, diabetes management and treatment. We applied thematic analysis to identify common patterns of meanings. Being aware of belonging to a potential COVID-19 risk group caused worries especially in parents which resulted in strict adherence to preventive measures. Information from trustworthy sources regarding the actual risk mitigated the concerns. Digital diabetes treatment was well accepted and experienced as highly usable. The pandemic situation either facilitated or hindered the transition from parental control to diabetes self-management. While some patients managed to improve healthy lifestyle behaviors as their everyday lives seemed more predictable, others had difficulties in adapting to changed daily routines resulting in increased sedentary behavior and snacking. The perceived level of stress was directly associated with blood glucose levels. In conclusion, the implementation of psychological interventions (both for adolescents with T1D and their parents) addressing mental health literacy and media literacy seems to be important to promote positive coping skills for dealing with the pandemic situation.
Background Eating disorders are causing severe consequences for those affected as well as a high burden for their carers. Although there is a substantial need for psychological assistance, different factors are hindering access to support. Internet-based interventions can help to overcome these barriers. To date, there is only little knowledge on attitudes of potential users, facilitators (e.g. psychologists) and decision makers (e.g. health insurances) regarding these interventions. Methods We conducted focus groups with potential users (N = 30) and semi-structured interviews with potential decision makers (N = 4). Potential facilitators (N = 41) participated in an online survey. Stakeholders’ experiences, attitudes, and their needs regarding Internet-based interventions for eating disorder patients and carers were assessed. Furthermore, hindering and fostering factors related to reach, adoption, implementation and maintenance were analyzed. Results About two-thirds of the participating facilitators have heard or read about Internet-based interventions in general. In contrast, the other stakeholders mentioned to have no or little experience with such interventions. Factors like anonymity, availability and cost-effectiveness were seen as major advantages. Also disadvantages, e.g. lack of personal contact, limitations by disease severity and concerns on data safety, were mentioned. Stakeholders stated the need for interventions which are usable, evidence-based, tailored and provide personal support. Conclusion Stakeholders considered Internet-based programmes to have more advantages than disadvantages. Effort should be put in providing systematic education to address prejudices. When offering an online intervention, stakeholders’ needs, as well as a continuous evaluation and adaptation, have to be taken into account.
Background There is a growing body of research and evidence for the efficacy of Internet-based eating disorder (ED) prevention interventions for adults. However, much less is known about the reach, adoption, implementation and maintenance of these interventions. The RE-AIM (reach, efficacy/effectiveness, adoption, implementation, maintenance) model provides a framework to systematically assess this information. Methods A literature search was conducted in PubMed, Web of Science and PsycINFO for articles published between 2000 and 2019. Additionally, reference lists of the studies included and existing reviews published until the end of 2020 were searched. Sixty original articles describing 54 individual studies fulfilled inclusion criteria. Data were extracted for a total of 43 RE-AIM indicators for each study. Fostering and hindering factors for reach, adoption, implementation and maintenance were assessed qualitatively. Results Overall reporting rates were best for the RE-AIM dimensions reach (62.6%), implementation (57.0%) and effectiveness (54.2%), while adoption (24.2%) and maintenance (21.5%) had comparatively low overall reporting rates. Reporting on indicators of internal validity, such as sample size, effects or description of interventions was better than indicators relevant for dissemination and implementation in real-world settings, e.g. characteristics of non-participants, characteristics and representativeness of settings, and data to estimate cost. Conclusions Because most Internet-based ED prevention interventions are provided in a research-funded context, little is known about their public health impact. Better reporting of factors determining external validity is needed to inform dissemination and implementation of these interventions.
Background Schools are key settings for delivering mental illness prevention in adolescents. Data on stakeholders’ attitudes and factors relevant for the implementation of Internet-based prevention programmes are scarce. Methods Stakeholders in the school setting from Austria and Spain were consulted. Potential facilitators (e.g. teachers and school psychologists) completed an online questionnaire (N=50), policy makers (e.g. representatives of the ministry of education and health professional associations) participated in semi-structured interviews (N=9) and pupils (N=29, 14–19 years) participated in focus groups. Thematic analysis was used to identify experiences with, attitudes and needs towards Internet-based prevention programmes, underserved groups, as well as barriers and facilitators for reach, adoption, implementation and maintenance. Results Experiences with Internet-based prevention programmes were low across all stakeholder groups. Better reach of the target groups was seen as main advantage whereas lack of personal contact, privacy concerns, risk for misuse and potential stigmatization when implemented during school hours were regarded as disadvantages. Relevant needs towards Internet-based programmes involved attributes of the development process, general requirements for safety and performance, presentation of content, media/tools and contact options of online programmes. Positive attitudes of school staff, low effort for schools and compatibility to schools’ curriculum were seen as key factors for successful adoption and implementation. A sound implementation of the programme in the school routine and continued improvement could facilitate maintenance of online prevention initiatives in schools. Conclusions Attitudes towards Internet-based mental illness prevention programmes in school settings are positive across all stakeholder groups. However, especially safety concerns have to be considered.
Background Students beginning university are at a heightened risk for developing mental health disorders. Online prevention and early intervention programmes targeting mental health have the potential to reduce this risk, however, previous research has shown uptake to be rather poor. Understanding university stakeholders’ (e.g. governing level and delivery staff [DS] and students) views and attitudes towards such online prevention programmes could help with their development, implementation and dissemination within university settings. Methods Semi-structured interviews, focus groups and online surveys were completed with staff at a governing level, university students and DS (i.e. student health or teaching staff) from six European countries. They were asked about their experiences with, and needs and attitudes towards, online prevention programmes, as well as the factors that influence the translation of these programmes into real-world settings. Results were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results Participating stakeholders knew little about online prevention programmes for university settings; however, they viewed them as acceptable. The main themes to emerge were the basic conditions and content of the programmes, the awareness and engagement, the resources needed, the usability and the responsibility and ongoing efforts to increase reach. Conclusions Overall, although these stakeholders had little knowledge about online prevention programmes, they were open to the idea of introducing them. They could see the potential benefits that these programmes might bring to a university setting as a whole and the individual students and staff members.
Background Online interventions to prevent mental health problems have proven to be effective. However, knowledge about their implementation in real-world practice as well as for dissemination to the target groups in different settings is scarce. The goal of the ‘ICare’ network is to establish a comprehensive model of eMental-health service delivery in and across different European countries. Since implementation and dissemination are influenced by many contextual factors, in the first phase of ICare a stakeholder survey was conducted. The survey aim was to explore stakeholders’ experiences, needs and attitudes regarding Internet-based prevention of mental health problems and hindering and fostering factors for implementation and dissemination. This article is part of a supplement and describes the design of the stakeholder survey. Survey results are published in separate articles in the same supplement. Methods Based on a literature review and the individual characteristics of the ICare interventions, stakeholder groups were identified in different settings across six European countries. The RE-AIM framework guided the development of the research questions and survey instruments. A concurrent mixed methods design was applied comprising focus groups with the intended target groups of ICare interventions, an online questionnaire with potential facilitators/delivery staff and semi-structured interviews with policy makers. Conclusion The challenge was to develop a design that allowed flexibility but at the same did not jeopardize the validity of the study. Implications drawn from this survey are not restricted to specific preventive interventions but will provide general information on how online mental illness prevention can be best implemented in various settings.
Bis hierher wurden im Sinne des Mega-Green-Marketing Potenziale der 4.0-Welt für grüne Akteure aufgezeigt. Es hat sich bereits gezeigt, dass die Green Davids und Greening Goliaths in denselben Märkten zwar durchaus dieselben Zielsetzungen verfolgen, aber häufig unterschiedlich agieren. In diesem Kapitel finden sich spezifische Marketingansätze für Green Davids sowie für Greening Goliaths.
Die „Große Transformation“ war lange die ambitionierte Zielsetzung der grünen Akteure der letzten Dekaden. Mit dem beginnenden 21. Jahrhundert hat die Transformation auch die Nachhaltigkeit in allen Branchen erfasst und ist dabei, durch ihre disruptive Kraft massive Veränderungen zu realisieren. Einige davon zeichnen sich schon heute ab und formen neue Wertschöpfungsmodelle, eine dezentralisierte Netzwerkökonomie, Prosumage, Transparenz und neue Vertrauensmärkte. Für die Zukunft werden die Effekte der Entkoppelung von Ressourcenverbrauch und Wirtschaftswachstum oder der Technologie-Eco-Sprung die Wirtschaft in Richtung Nachhaltigkeit transformieren. Diese Zukunft wird sich schneller realisieren, als wir uns heute vorstellen können. Denn mit dieser Transformation verändern sich die Rahmenbedingungen, wie wir sie heute kennen. Das Green Marketing 4.0 wird in diesem Prozess vor gänzlich neue Herausforderungen gestellt, die weit über die heutigen Aufgabenstellungen hinausgehen.
In diesem Kapitel werden effektive Marketingansätze für Green Davids aufgezeigt, die den relativ kleinen Ökoakteuren zur Seite stehen, um ihre grünen Marken und Produkte am Markt zu platzieren oder gar eine unique Positionierung zu behaupten. Sie sind prädestiniert, um führende Akteure in der Wir-Ökonomie zu sein. Mit Limbischen Landkarten können sie ihre Marken mit Werte- und Emotionssystemen abgleichen. Und sie sind besonders für ein Story-Marketing geeignet. Ihre Nähe zu den Communitys eröffnet ihnen zudem das Potenzial, Formen des kooperativen Storytellings umzusetzen.
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