Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Cardiff, United Kingdom
Recent publications
Educational building stock in Cyprus are a significant part of the public building stock, with these buildings leaning towards being less energy-efficient, especially in comparison to other public buildings. The energy and climate directives set by the European Union for 2050 call for changes in the building sector, particularly for existing public building stock. This study suggests a design approach and assessment for retrofitting scenarios, which meet energy demands for educational buildings in Cyprus, based on their long-term cost effectiveness. Adaptation measures refer to changes in the geometry, construction, and operation of buildings. The approach combines energy demand modelling through dynamic software simulation using Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES-VE) and retrofit options, ranked by life cycle costing analysis (LCCA). These options may have very different upfront costs, but also very different carbon implications, and they result in different life expectancy predictions. The research findings contributes to delivering novel knowledge in the rather limited literature regarding the implication of adaptation measures on energy performance of educational buildings in the Mediterranean region and especially in correlation to their life-cycle cost. The aim is to give the stakeholders as much information as possible regarding their interventions, so that they can make informed decisions. This information will then be used to develop a framework that may be used more extensively to support decision-making in retrofitting existing educational buildings for climate change resilience.
Holding major events has the capacity to improve a host city's tourism image. Effective event leverage for image benefits requires host destinations to implement strategies to influence event media coverage in the lead up, during, and after the event. This research takes a media frame building perspective to understand the processes behind how event media personnel frame coverage of an event host. Fourteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with event media personnel at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. We developed a grounded theory model that depicts how event media personnel's pre-event frame repository and event period experiences influenced their perceptions and potential frames of the host destination. We advance knowledge of event leveraging, and media framing theory, by demonstrating the importance of experience and unofficial sources in event media framing. This knowledge can be used by stakeholders involved in event leveraging to better design strategies aimed at positively influencing media coverage of events.
Structural identifiability analysis of fractional-order equivalent circuit models (FO-ECMs) obtained through electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) remains as a challenging problem. Aside from practical challenges such as measurement noise and the selection of excitation signals, no widely accepted analytical or numerical proof addressing the structural identifiability of impedance spectroscopy FO-ECMs exists. Through the use of coefficient mapping technique, this paper proposes novel computationally-efficient algebraic equations for numerical structural identifiability analysis of a widely used FO-ECM with Grünwald–Letnikov fractional derivative approximation and two constant phase elements (CPEs) including the Warburg term. The effects of the length of the data and sampling time on the proposed method for the structural identifiability analysis of the two-CPE FO-ECMs are discussed along with two examples and a discussion of the results.
Maria Morgan and Ruth Fairchild consider why nutrition is an important consideration for dental teams.
Homelessness is seldom a choice. Oftentimes, homelessness reflects the systemic failures that can result from social issues being dismissed or disregarded. Globally, approximately 1.6 billion people lack adequate housing, with 15 million more individuals being evicted on an annual basis. This situation is often profoundly worse in low- and middle-income countries like China. It is estimated that 300 million people in the country—home to 1.4 billion Chinese—are homeless. However, despite the scale of this issue, China does not have a robust health and social infrastructure—preventive and proactive systems that could ensure people have stable and sustainable access to opportunities that are essential to their survival (e.g., food and shelter) and growth (e.g., training, education, and employment programs)—for homeless people. Research shows that, for instance, rather than relying on services provided by the local government, homeless people in Shanghai, one of the most advanced metropolitan areas in China, often have to address basic needs such as food and shelter on their own, let alone illnesses that demand structured mental or physical health services.
Citation: Jha, S.K.; Prakash, S.; Rathore, R.S.; Mahmud, M.; Kaiwartya, O.; Lloret, J. Quality-of-Service-Centric Design and Analysis of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Sensors 2022, 22, 5477.
The Internet of things model enables a world in which all of our everyday devices can be integrated and communicate with each other and their surroundings to gather and share data and simplify task implementation. Such an Internet of things environment would require seamless authentication, data protection, stability, attack resistance, ease of deployment, and self-maintenance, among other things. Blockchain, a technology that was born with the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, may fulfill Internet of things requirements. However, due to the characteristics of both Internet of things devices and Blockchain technology, integrating Blockchain and the Internet of things can cause several challenges. Despite a large number of papers that have been published in the field of Blockchain and the Internet of things, the problems of this combination remain unclear and scattered. Accordingly, this paper aims to provide a comprehensive survey of the challenges related to Blockchain–Internet of things integration by evaluating the related peer-reviewed literature. The paper also discusses some of the recommendations for reducing the effects of these challenges. Moreover, the paper discusses some of the unsolved concerns that must be addressed before the next generation of integrated Blockchain–Internet of things applications can be deployed. Lastly, future trends in the context of Blockchain–Internet of things integration are discussed.
Barillas, SR, Oliver, JL, Lloyd, RS, and Pedley, J. Kinetic responses to external cues are specific to both the type of cue and type of exercise in adolescent athletes. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2022-The purpose of this study was to examine how external cues influence kinetics during isometric and dynamic tasks in adolescent athletes. Fifteen adolescent male soccer players performed an isometric midthigh pull (IMTP), unloaded and loaded squat jumps (SJs) (15 and 30% of body mass), countermovement jump (CMJ), and drop jump (DJ) using a neutral or external force-specific or velocity-specific cues. Cue type had limited effects on outcomes in the IMTP or SJs, with mostly trivial (g < 0.20), nonsignificant differences (p > 0.05) across kinetic variables. In the CMJ and DJ, a force cue significantly (p < 0.05) increased jump height (g = 0.43 & 0.52) compared with a velocity cue, but in the DJ, a force cue significantly increased jump height (g = 0.52) compared with both a neutral and velocity cue. However, a velocity cue significantly (p < 0.05) reduced ground contact time (g = 0.73-1.52) and time to peak force (g = 0.50-1.29) in both the CMJ and DJ when compared with a force and neutral cue and increased force and power-related measures (g = 0.33-1.12) in the CMJ and DJ when compared with a force cue. In adolescent athletes, the type of external cue had limited effects on kinetic measures in an IMTP and SJ but differential effects on both a CMJ and DJ, suggesting cues have more effect with increasing movement velocity. Consequently, practitioners working with adolescent athletes should consider both the type of exercise and the desired outcome when providing external cues.
Training and rehabilitation programs involving neuromuscular electrical stimulation superimposed onto voluntary contractions (NMES+) have gained popularity in the last decades. Yet, there is no clear consensus on the effectiveness of such intervention. The aim of this review was to evaluate the effect of chronic exposure to NMES+ on muscle strength and mass compared to conventional volitional training or passive electrical stimulation alone. Two authors conducted an electronic search to identify randomized controlled trials that investigated the effect of NMES+ training, involved healthy participants or orthopaedic patients, detailed a well-defined NMES training protocol, and provided outcomes related to skeletal-muscle strength and/or mass. The authors extracted data on participants, intervention characteristics, muscle-related outcomes, and assessed the methodological quality of the studies.A total of twenty-four studies were included in the review. The majority of these reported an increase in muscle strength following training with NMES+ compared to an equivalent voluntary training or passive NMES training. The highest improvements were found when NMES was superimposed on sub-maximal exercises involving both concentric and eccentric contractions. Only two studies reported an increase in muscle mass after NMES+ intervention, while no significant improvements were found in two other studies.This review indicated that chronic exposure to NMES+ determines muscle strength improvements greater or equal compared to volitional training alone. However, differences in the methodological characteristics of the stimulation and the type of exercise associated with NMES+, revealed significant discrepancies in the results. A deeper understanding of the neurophysiological adaptations to NMES+ is crucial to fully explain the muscle-related enhancement resulting from such intervention.
Background Over the past decade, the rise of consumers following a gluten-free diet has increased greatly. The majority of people following a gluten-free diet have not been diagnosed with coeliac disease or gluten or wheat intolerance but believe it to be a health benefit. Aim To assess the differences between gluten-free and gluten-containing products with regards to the implications this might have on oral (and wider) health. Method In total, 50 purposively selected products (25 gluten-free and gluten-containing pairs) available to UK consumers, classified using the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey food categories, were analysed using content analysis of food packaging. The European Union front-of-pack labelling system revealed the nutritional composition of each product, focusing on carbohydrates, sugars and energy. Cost and use of emotive language to market products was also assessed. Results A nutritional comparison of the 25 product pairings found that, on average, all gluten-free products contained more calories, total carbohydrates and total sugar. The majority of the gluten-free products were classified as 'confectionary' or 'baked goods,' emphasising that products primarily consisted of foods high in sugar. The average sugar per 100 g for each category of food ranged from 2.5-37.0 g/100 g (gluten-free) compared to 2.1-30 g/100 g (gluten-containing). All gluten-free products were considerably more expensive when compared with the conventional version; the average price difference ranged from £0.08 to £4.40. Conclusion This study emphasises the 'health halo' phenomena, where foods for special diets are regarded by consumers as healthy when in fact they are not. This results partly from the products being mainly high-sugar 'treats', which are not a core of the UK Eatwell Guide food-based dietary guidelines. As many people consuming gluten-free products in the UK do not need them from a medical perspective, this could have implications for oral and wider health. It is important that members of the dental team are aware of the possible implications of a gluten-free diet where it is not medically indicated, coupled with reliance on convenience foods. Consumers selecting gluten-free products who have not been diagnosed with coeliac disease or gluten or wheat intolerance, but erroneously believe gluten-free to be a health benefit, run the risk of consuming more energy and sugar by selecting gluten-free above gluten-containing products.Gluten-free manufacturers are using a 'health halo'; promoting foods using emotive words to market their products as 'good for you', despite high sugar and energy contents.It is important that members of the dental team are aware of the possible implications of a gluten-free diet where it is not medically indicated, coupled with reliance on convenience foods. Consumers selecting gluten-free products who have not been diagnosed with coeliac disease or gluten or wheat intolerance, but erroneously believe gluten-free to be a health benefit, run the risk of consuming more energy and sugar by selecting gluten-free above gluten-containing products. Gluten-free manufacturers are using a 'health halo'; promoting foods using emotive words to market their products as 'good for you', despite high sugar and energy contents. It is important that members of the dental team are aware of the possible implications of a gluten-free diet where it is not medically indicated, coupled with reliance on convenience foods.
Objective: To systematically evaluate the development of Machine Learning (ML) models and compare their diagnostic accuracy for the classification of Middle Ear Disorders (MED) using Tympanic Membrane (TM) images. Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, and CENTRAL were searched up until November 30, 2021. Studies on the development of ML approaches for diagnosing MED using TM images were selected according to the inclusion criteria. PRISMA guidelines were followed with study design, analysis method, and outcomes extracted. Sensitivity, specificity, and area under the curve (AUC) were used to summarize the performance metrics of the meta-analysis. Risk of Bias was assessed using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies-2 tool in combination with the Prediction Model Risk of Bias Assessment Tool. Results: Sixteen studies were included, encompassing 20254 TM images (7025 normal TM and 13229 MED). The sample size ranged from 45 to 6066 per study. The accuracy of the 25 included ML approaches ranged from 76.00% to 98.26%. Eleven studies (68.8%) were rated as having a low risk of bias, with the reference standard as the major domain of high risk of bias (37.5%). Sensitivity and specificity were 93% (95% CI, 90%-95%) and 85% (95% CI, 82%-88%), respectively. The AUC of total TM images was 94% (95% CI, 91%-96%). The greater AUC was found using otoendoscopic images than otoscopic images. Conclusions: ML approaches perform robustly in distinguishing between normal ears and MED, however, it is proposed that a standardized TM image acquisition and annotation protocol should be developed. Level of evidence: Not Applicable Laryngoscope, 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in huge disruption to the healthcare sector. In response to this, there have been collaborative efforts between many different public and private organizations to foster medical innovations. The effect of crisis upon innovation, particularly medical innovation, remains a debatable subject. In addition, the role of inter-personal relations is becoming more widely acknowledged as a critical feature of innovation. Drawing upon exaptation literature, the study aims to understand the nature of the micro-relations within medical innovations that are undertaken in response to COVID-19. The findings of this paper contribute to the limited literature that examines the performance of medical innovation in response to crisis. In addition to confirming the importance of exaptive pools, exaptive events, and exaptive forums in fostering serendipitous developments, the study makes a contribution to theory by identifying a further form of serendipitous encounter that is ‘exaptive relations’.
In this paper, we present the findings from our critical analysis of the health discourses evident with physical education (PE) curricula in each UK home nation—England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. We carried out a critical discourse analysis of those curriculum documents that talk directly to PE teachers about how to organise, enact and assess PE curricula in schools. The results from our analysis uncovered that, with the exception of the curriculum in England, all PE curricula conceptualise health and wellbeing holistically. However, our analysis also uncovered complex health landscapes within curricula, where discourses move from notions of supporting and enabling pupil health and wellbeing towards a more concrete (and measurable) concept of health‐related learning, often associated with public health goals of promoting physical activity. Furthermore, although the public health discourses are presented in a way that suggests that young people will develop knowledge and skills to support their health, closer scrutiny reveals that they may be more associated with discourses of risk, promoting ‘healthy’ behaviours to avoid ‘ill health’. We conclude by suggesting that PE teachers need to develop a critical understanding of the health discourses within their PE curriculum. This will help them to navigate, interpret and enact curricula in an informed way, enabling them to challenge discourses that are deficit in nature, where pupils are taught how to be healthy, rather than having the freedom to learn about themselves and their health.
This cross-sectional study investigated how stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) function and kinetic variables differed between young female gymnasts of varying competitive levels. Drop jump (DJ) force-time profiles were examined in 118 female gymnasts, sub-divided by competitive level (n = 21 recreational, n = 41 regional and n = 50 elite). DJ force-time data were analyzed to calculate performance and kinetic variables. Participants' SSC function was categorized as poor, moderate, or good, depending on the presence of an impact peak and spring-like behavior. A high proportion of gymnasts across each group were categorized as having "good" or "moderate" SSC function (i.e., >94.8%), with a trend of increasingly better SSC function observed with competitive level. Significant differences in reactive strength index, contact time, time of landing peak force, relative propulsive peak force, impulse, and ratio of braking: propulsive impulse were found between the elite and recreational group (p < 0.05). While SSC function was generally good to moderate, elite gymnasts had a more desirable kinetic jump-landing strategy than recreational level gymnasts. Drop jump kinetic variables appear to distinguish between elite and recreational gymnasts but not between regional standard gymnasts. Practitioners should consider the kinetic profile of gymnasts when benchmarking and setting training objectives.
Introduction and aims Neurological complications such as peripheral neuropathy are very common in the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients, occurring in 60–80% of this specific population. The aim of the present study was to examine whether a 9-month hybrid intradialytic exercise training program could alter motor and sensory nerve conduction study (NCS) parameters in hemodialysis population. Methods Seventeen stable patients undergoing HD with no clinical evidence of uremic polyneuropathy were included in the study (15 M/2F, 59 ± 13.7 years). All patients completed a 9-month supervised exercise training program composed of both aerobic cycling and resistance training (hybrid) during HD. Functional capacity was assessed by a battery of tests, while pain levels and fatigue profile were assessed via validated questionnaires. Motor and sensory NCS on bilateral median, ulnar, peroneal and tibial nerves as well as F-wave were assessed using a full neurographic electromyography (EMG) assessment. Results After the 9-month exercise training intervention, exercise capacity was increased by 65% and functional capacity by an average of 40%. The neurological assessment showed that conduction velocity from tibial and peroneal nerves was improved by 3.7% and 4.2%, respectively, while tibial F-wave latency and peroneal and sural nerve distal latency were significantly improved by 4.2%, 4.9% and 10%, respectively. Fatigue and pain were improved after the exercise intervention while fatigue score was positively correlated with conduction velocity and amplitude values. Conclusions The results of the current study demonstrate that 9-month hybrid exercise training induces beneficial effects on both sensory and motor NCS parameters, improving conduction velocity and F-wave latency. Improvements in neural activity were accompanied by changes in fatigue score and pain-related aspects. The parallel improvement in motor nerve conduction velocity and its correlations with functional tests supports the hypothesis that exercise could be beneficial for preventing a decline in neural function in HD patients.
This is the fourth Active Healthy Kids (AHK) Wales Report Card. The 2021 card produced grades on children and young people’s physical activity (PA) using pre-COVID-19 data that were not used in previous versions. Eleven quality indicators of PA were graded through expert consensus and synthesis of the best available evidence. Grades were assigned as follows: Overall PA—F; Organised Sport and PA—C; Active Play—C+; Active Transportation—C−; Sedentary Behaviours—F; Physical Fitness—C−; Family and Peer Influences—D+; School—B−; Community and the Built Environment—C; National Government and Policy—C; and Physical Literacy—C−. All but three grades remained the same or decreased from the 2018 AHK-Wales Report Card (Active Play increased from C− to C+; Active Transportation, D+ to C−; Family and Peers, D to D+). This is concerning for children’s health and well-being in Wales, particularly given recent evidence that PA has further decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results from the Report Card should be used to inform the decision making of policy makers, practitioners and educators to improve children and young people’s PA levels and opportunities and decrease PA inequalities.
Background Weightlifting training (WLT) is commonly used to improve strength, power and speed in athletes. However, to date, WLT studies have either not compared training effects against those of other training methods, or been limited by small sample sizes, which are issues that can be resolved by pooling studies in a meta-analysis. Therefore, the objective of this systematic review with meta-analysis was to evaluate the effects of WLT compared with traditional resistance training (TRT), plyometric training (PLYO) and/or control (CON) on strength, power and speed. Methods The systematic review included peer-reviewed articles that employed a WLT intervention, a comparison group (i.e. TRT, PLYO, CON), and a measure of strength, power and/or speed. Means and standard deviations of outcomes were converted to Hedges’ g effect sizes using an inverse variance random-effects model to generate a weighted mean effect size (ES). Results Sixteen studies were included in the analysis, comprising 427 participants. Data indicated that when compared with TRT, WLT resulted in greater improvements in weightlifting load lifted (4 studies, p = 0.02, g = 1.35; 95% CI 0.20–2.51) and countermovement jump (CMJ) height (9 studies, p = 0.00, g = 0.95; 95% CI 0.04–1.87). There was also a large effect in terms of linear sprint speed (4 studies, p = 0.13, g = 1.04; 95% CI − 0.03 to 2.39) and change of direction speed (CODS) (2 studies, p = 0.36, g = 1.21; 95% CI − 1.41 to 3.83); however, this was not significant. Interpretation of these findings should acknowledge the high heterogeneity across the included studies and potential risk of bias. WLT and PLYO resulted in similar improvements in speed, power and strength as demonstrated by negligible to moderate, non-significant effects in favour of WLT for improvements in linear sprint speed (4 studies, p = 0.35, g = 0.20; 95% CI − 0.23 to 0.63), CODS (3 studies, p = 0.52, g = 0.17; 95% CI − 0.35 to 0.68), CMJ (6 studies, p = 0.09, g = 0.31; 95% CI − 0.05 to 0.67), squat jump performance (5 studies, p = 0.08, g = 0.34; 95% CI − 0.04 to 0.73) and strength (4 studies, p = 0.20, g = 0.69; 95% CI − 0.37 to 1.75). Conclusion Overall, these findings support the notion that if the training goal is to improve strength, power and speed, supplementary weightlifting training may be advantageous for athletic development. Whilst WLT and PLYO may result in similar improvements, WLT can elicit additional benefits above that of TRT, resulting in greater improvements in weightlifting and jumping performance.
The Timed Up and Go (TUG) is a global measure of mobility and has the ability to detect frail individuals. Frail patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are usually undiagnosed. We hypothesised that the TUG would identify frail patients with COPD. Frailty was assessed in 520 patients diagnosed with COPD and 150 controls using a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment questionnaire and frailty index (FI) was derived. The TUG was used to assess physical mobility. All participants were assessed for lung function and body composition. A ROC curve was used to identify how well TUG discriminates between frail and non-frail patients with COPD. The patients with COPD and controls were similar in age, sex and BMI but the patients with COPD were more frail, mean ± SD FI 0.16 ± 0.08 than controls 0.05 ± 0.03, P < 0.001. Frail patients with COPD had a greater TUG time (11.55 ± 4.03 s) compared to non-frail patients (9.2 ± 1.6 sec), after controlling for age and lung function (F = 15.94, P < 0.001), and both were greater than the controls (8.3 ± 1.2 sec), P < 0.001. The TUG discriminated between frail and non-frail patients with COPD with an area under the curve of 72 (95% CI: 67–76), and a diagnostic odds ratio of 2.67 (95% CI:1.5–4.6), P < 0.001. The TUG showed the ability to discriminate between frail and non-frail patients with COPD, independent of age and severity of the airflow obstruction. The TUG is a simple, easy and quick measure that could be easily applied in restricted settings to screen for frailty in COPD.
With the increasing popularity of 5G communications, smart cities have become one of the inevitable trends in the development of modern cities, and smart city services are the foundation of 5G smart cities. Sparse mobile crowdsensing (SparseMCS), as a new and informative urban service model, has attracted the attention of many researchers. Generally, the data required for a sensing task often has a high spatial and temporal correlation, which means that the data uploaded by users need to carry their location information, which may cause serious location privacy issues. The existing location privacy protection mechanism usually only pays attention to the location information of the user’s travel and ignores that people’s daily travel often has a fixed pattern. The attacker can use long-term observation and prior knowledge to infer the victim’s travel mode and analyze its location information. To achieve efficient, robust, and private data sensing, we built a SparseMCS framework with the following three elements: (1) We train the data adjustment model offline on the server-side and solve the position mapping matrix; (2) Design a noise-sensitive data reasoning algorithm improves the accuracy of data; (3) Combining differences and spatiotemporal location privacy to protect the user’s location information and travel mode. Experiments based on real datasets prove that our 5G-supported sparse mobile crowdsensing framework provides more comprehensive and effective location privacy protection.
Captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) mature earlier in body mass and have a greater growth rate compared to wild individuals. However, relatively little is known about how growth parameters compare between chimpanzees living in different captive environments. To investigate, body mass was measured in 298 African sanctuary chimpanzees and was acquired from 1030 zoological and 442 research chimpanzees, using data repositories. An analysis of covariance, adjusting for age, was performed to assess same-sex body mass differences between adult sanctuary, zoological, and research populations. Piecewise linear regression was performed to estimate sex-specific growth rates and the age at maturation, which were compared between sexes and across populations using extra-sum-of-squares F tests. Adult body mass was greater in the zoological and resarch populations compared to the sanctuary chimpanzees, in both sexes. Male and female sanctuary chimpanzees were estimated to have a slower rate of growth compared with their zoological and research counterparts. Additionally, male sanctuary chimpanzees were estimated to have an older age at maturation for body mass compared with zoological and research males, whereas the age at maturation was similar across female populations. For both the zoological and research populations, the estimated growth rate was greater in males compared to females. Together, these data contribute to current understanding of growth and maturation in this species and suggest marked differences between the growth patterns of chimpanzees living in different captive environments.
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Abdulla Badawy
  • Cardiff School of Health Sciences
Geraldine Akerman
  • Department of Applied Psychology
Wai-keung Fung
  • Cardiff School of Technologies
Luca Laudani
  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences
Diane Crone
  • Sport and health sciences
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