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Birmingham City University is a newly established British university in the city of Birmingham, England. It is the second largest of five universities in the city, the other four being Aston University, University of Birmingham, University College Birmingham, and Newman University. It is the third most highly ranked of the five universities in Birmingham according to the Complete University Guide, below both the University of Birmingham and Aston University. Initially established as the Birmingham College of Art with roots dating back to 1843, it was designated as a polytechnic in 1971 and gained university status in 1992.The university has three main campuses serving four faculties, and offers courses in art and design, business, the built environment, computing, education, engineering, English, healthcare, law, the performing arts, social science, and technology. A £125million extension to its campus in the city centre of Birmingham, part of the Eastside development of a new technology and learning quarter, is opening in two stages, with the first phase having opened its doors in 2013. The university is a member of the million+ group of New Universities.Roughly half of the university's full-time students are from the West Midlands, and a large percentage of these are from ethnic minorities. The university runs access and foundation programmes through an international network of associated universities and further education colleges, and has the highest intake of foreign students in the Birmingham area. Wikipedia.


Lane D.A.,Birmingham City University
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) causes considerable morbidity and mortality. Hypertension is a risk factor for PAD. Treatment for hypertension must be compatible with the symptoms of PAD. Controversy regarding the effects of beta-adrenoreceptor blockade for hypertension in patients with PAD has led many physicians to stop prescribing beta-adrenoreceptor blockers. Little is known about the effects of other classes of anti-hypertensive drugs in the presence of PAD. This is the second update of a Cochrane review first published in 2003. To determine the effects of anti-hypertensive drugs in patients with both raised blood pressure and symptomatic PAD in terms of the rate of cardiovascular events and death, symptoms of claudication and critical leg ischaemia, and progression of atherosclerotic PAD as measured by ankle brachial index (ABI) changes and the need for revascularisation (reconstructive surgery or angioplasty) or amputation. For this update the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group Trials Search Co-ordinator searched the Cochrane Peripheral Vascular Diseases Group Specialised Register (last searched March 2013) and CENTRAL (2013, Issue 2). Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of at least one anti-hypertensive treatment against placebo or two anti-hypertensive medications against each other, with interventions lasting at least one month. Trials had to include patients with symptomatic PAD. Data were extracted by one author (DAL) and checked by the other (GYHL). Potentially eligible studies were excluded when the results presentation prevented adequate extraction of data and enquiries to authors did not yield raw data. Eight RCTs were included with a total of 3610 PAD patients. Four studies compared a recognised class of anti-hypertensive treatment with placebo and four studies compared two anti-hypertensive treatments with each other. Studies were not pooled due to the variation of the comparisons and the outcomes presented. Overall the quality of the available evidence was unclear, primarily as a result of a lack of detail in the study reports on the randomisation and blinding procedures and incomplete outcome data. Two studies compared angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors against placebo. In one study there was a significant reduction in the number of cardiovascular events in patients receiving ramipril (odds ratio (OR) 0.72, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.58 to 0.91; n = 1725). In the second trial using perindopril (n = 52) there was a marginal increase in claudication distance but no change in ABI and a reduction in maximum walking distance. A trial comparing the calcium antagonist verapamil versus placebo in patients undergoing angioplasty (n = 96) suggested that verapamil reduced restenosis (per cent diameter stenosis (± SD) 48.0% ± 11.5 versus 69.6% ± 12.2; P < 0.01), although this was not reflected in the maintenance of a high ABI (0.76 ± 0.10 versus 0.72 ± 0.08 for verapamil versus placebo). Another study (n = 80) demonstrated no significant difference in arterial intima-media thickness (IMT) in men receiving the thiazide diuretic hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) compared to those receiving the alpha-adrenoreceptor blocker doxazosin (-0.12 ± 0.14 mm and -0.08 ± 0.13 mm, respectively; P = 0.66). A study (n = 36) comparing telmisartan to placebo found a significant improvement in maximum walking distance at 12 months with telmisartan (median (interquartile range (IQR)) 191 m (157 to 226) versus 103 m (76 to 164); P < 0.001) but no differences in ABI (median (IQR) 0.60 (0.60 to 0.77) versus 0.52 (0.48 to 0.67)) or arterial IMT (median (IQR) 0.08 cm (0.07 to 0.09) versus 0.09 cm (0.08 to 0.10)). Two studies compared the beta-adrenoreceptor blocker nebivolol with either the thiazide diuretic HCTZ or with metoprolol. Both studies found no significant differences in intermittent or absolute claudication distance, ABI, or all-cause mortality between the anti-hypertensives. A subgroup analysis of PAD patients (n = 2699) in a study which compared a calcium antagonist-based strategy (verapamil slow release (SR) ± trandolapril) to a beta-adrenoreceptor blocker-based strategy (atenolol ± hydrochlorothiazide) found no significant differences in the composite endpoints of death, non-fatal myocardial infarction or non-fatal stroke with or without revascularisation (OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.76 to 1.07 and OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.13, respectively). Evidence on the use of various anti-hypertensive drugs in people with PAD is poor so that it is unknown whether significant benefits or risks accrue. However, lack of data specifically examining outcomes in PAD patients should not detract from the overwhelming evidence on the benefit of treating hypertension and lowering blood pressure. Source


Lip G.Y.,Birmingham City University
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

Patients with chronic heart failure (heart failure) are at risk of thromboembolic events, including stroke, pulmonary embolism and peripheral arterial embolism, whilst coronary ischaemic events also contribute to the progression of heart failure. Long-term oral anticoagulation is established in certain groups, including patients with heart failure and atrial fibrillation, but there is wide variation in the indications and use of oral anticoagulation in the broader heart failure population. To determine whether long-term oral anticoagulation reduces total deaths and/or major thromboembolic events in patients with heart failure. We updated the searches in February 2010 on CENTRAL on The Cochrane Library (Issue 1, 2010), MEDLINE (2000 to February 2010) and EMBASE (1998 to February 2010). Reference lists of papers and abstracts from national and international cardiovascular meetings were studied to identify unpublished studies. Relevant authors were contacted to obtain further data. No language restrictions were applied. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing oral anticoagulants with placebo in adults with heart failure, and with treatment duration at least one month. Non-randomised studies were also included for assessing side-effects. Inclusion decisions were duplicated, disagreement resolved by discussion or a third party. Four review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion and assessed the risks and benefits from antithrombotic therapy using relative measures of effects, such as odds ratio, accompanied with 95% confidence intervals. Two RCTs were identified. One compared warfarin, aspirin and no antithrombotic therapy and the second compared warfarin with placebo in patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. Three small prospective controlled studies of warfarin in heart failure were also identified, but were over 50 years old with methods not considered reliable by modern standards. In both WASH 2004 and HELAS 2006, there were no significant differences in the incidence of myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke and death between patients taking oral anticoagulation and placebo. Four retrospective non-randomised cohort analyses and four observational studies of oral anticoagulation in heart failure included differing populations of heart failure patients and reported contradictory results. Based on the two major randomised trials (HELAS 2006; WASH 2004), there is no convincing evidence that oral anticoagulant therapy modifies mortality or vascular events in patients with heart failure and sinus rhythm. Although oral anticoagulation is indicated in certain groups of patients with heart failure (for example atrial fibrillation), the data available does not support its routine use in heart failure patients who remain in sinus rhythm. A large randomised trial of warfarin in heart failure patients in sinus rhythm is currently in progress and data from this trial will be a useful addition to this topic. Source


Scott A.,Birmingham City University
Land Use Policy | Year: 2011

This paper assesses the efficacy and relevance of focus groups as participative tools for land use policy and planning. The use of focus groups has mushroomed in land use research and policy in response to new governance and empowerment agendas with their emphasis on using more deliberative and participative approaches. However, their use within social science research has been controversial given perceived methodological limitations of rigour and bias. A detailed critique of three recent research projects has been undertaken to assess focus group in theory and practice; rural diversification, public perception of landscape and visitor payback. The assessment considers key questions relating to inclusion, participation, empowerment, policy impact and understanding of complex policy issues. The results show that focus groups can perform multiple roles as exploratory, explanatory, participative and deliberative tools. Nevertheless, focus groups have important limitations and methodological protocols which demand more care and attention. Crucially, they should not be used in isolation to influence policy decisions; end user pressure for quick fixes, group dynamics, issues of representativeness, together with the biases of a facilitator, can easily mask, distort or misrepresent results. It is concluded that focus groups have significant potential as qualitative tools in landscape research but that they must be used carefully and in tandem with other techniques if their true potential is to be realised. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Clarkesmith D.E.,Birmingham City University
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

Current guidelines recommend oral anticoagulation therapy for patients with atrial fibrillation who are at moderate-to-high risk of stroke, however anticoagulation control (time in therapeutic range (TTR)) is dependent on many factors. Educational and behavioural interventions may impact on patients' ability to maintain their International Normalised Ratio (INR) control. To evaluate the effects on TTR of educational and behavioural interventions for oral anticoagulation therapy (OAT) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) and the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE) in The Cochrane Library (2012, Issue 7 of 12), MEDLINE Ovid (1950 to week 4 July 2012), EMBASE Classic + EMBASE Ovid (1947 to Week 31 2012), PsycINFO Ovid (1806 to 2012 week 5 July) on 8 August 2012 and CINAHL Plus with Full Text EBSCO (to August 2012) on 9 August 2012. We applied no language restrictions. The primary outcome analysed was TTR. Secondary outcomes included decision conflict (patient's uncertainty in making health-related decisions), percentage of INRs in the therapeutic range, major bleeding, stroke and thromboembolic events, patient knowledge, patient satisfaction, quality of life (QoL), and anxiety. The two review authors independently extracted data. Where insufficient data were present to conduct a meta-analysis, effect sizes and confidence intervals (CIs) of the included studies were reported. Data were pooled for two outcomes, TTR and decision conflict. Eight trials with a total of 1215 AF patients (number of AF participants included in the individual trials ranging from 14 to 434) were included within the review. Studies included education, decision aids, and self-monitoring plus education.For the primary outcome of TTR, data for the AF participants in two self-monitoring plus education trials were pooled and did not favour self-monitoring plus education or usual care in improving TTR, with a mean difference of 6.31 (95% CI -5.63 to 18.25). For the secondary outcome of decision conflict, data from two decision aid trials favoured usual care over the decision aid in terms of reducing decision conflict, with a mean difference of -0.1 (95% CI -0.2 to -0.02). This review demonstrated that there is insufficient evidence to draw definitive conclusions regarding the impact of educational or behavioural interventions on TTR in AF patients receiving OAT. Thus, more trials are needed to examine the impact of interventions on anticoagulation control in AF patients and the mechanisms by which they are successful. It is also important to explore the psychological implications for patients suffering from this long-term chronic condition. Source


MacDonald M.,Birmingham City University
International Journal of Law and Psychiatry | Year: 2013

This article examines the specific experiences of women in prison, focusing on previous (and continuing) physical and mental abuse, the consequent health care requirements of women prisoners, the policy response and the availability of suitable health care in prisons across the EU. It draws from an extensive review of the literature on women prisoners across Europe that was part of an on-going European Project funded by the DAPHNE programme of the European Commission, entitled 'DAPHNE Strong'. It also uses the field research from the project collected via surveys and in-depth interviews with key personnel in organisations that work with women prisoners or ex-prisoners and staff with a strategic overview of activity from the ministries of justice, police, prison service and women's support organisations.There are probably many more women prisoners with a history of domestic abuse than is officially recognised. Many of the women prison population who have experienced violence and abuse mask this by problematic drug or alcohol use as well as self-injury. These are key areas that training for prison staff needs to address.The availability of services for this group of women is inconsistent within and between countries of the EU. The political will to address the situation of women in prison, as distinct from the norms applied to men, is variable and it seems to take the determined efforts of active lobby groups to make inroads into an area of latent inertia. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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