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Soule E.K.,Virginia Commonwealth University | Nasim A.,Virginia Commonwealth University | Rosas S.,Concept Systems Inc.
Nicotine and Tobacco Research | Year: 2016

Introduction: Electronic cigarette (ECIG) use has grown rapidly in popularity within a short period of time. As ECIG products continue to evolve and more individuals begin using ECIGs, it is important to understand the potential adverse effects that are associated with ECIG use. The purpose of this study was to examine and describe the acute adverse effects associated with ECIG use. Methods: This study used an integrated, mixed-method participatory approach called concept mapping (CM). Experienced ECIG users (n = 85) provided statements that answered the focus prompt "A specific negative or unpleasant effect (ie, physical or psychological) that I have experienced either during or immediately after using an electronic cigarette device is..." in an online program. Participants sorted these statements into piles of common themes and rated each statement. Using multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis, a concept map of the adverse effects statements was created. Results: Participants generated 79 statements that completed the focus prompt and were retained by researchers. Analysis generated a map containing five clusters that characterized perceived adverse effects of ECIG use: Stigma, Worry/Guilt, Addiction Signs, Physical Effects, and Device/Vapor Problems. Conclusions: ECIG use is associated with adverse effects that should be monitored as ECIGs continue to grow in popularity. If ECIGs are to be regulated, policies should be created that minimize the likelihood of user identified adverse effects. Implications: This article provides a list of adverse effects reported by experienced ECIG users. This article organizes these effects into a conceptual model that may be useful for better understanding the adverse outcomes associated with ECIG use. These identified adverse effects may be useful for health professionals and policy makers. Health professionals should be aware of potential negative health effects that may be associated with ECIG use and policy makers could design ECIG regulations that minimize the risk of the adverse effects reported by ECIG users in this study. © The Author 2015. Source


Haque N.,Wellesley Institute | Rosas S.,Concept Systems Inc.
Family and Community Health | Year: 2010

This inquiry successfully sequenced and integrated 2 participatory research methods: photovoice and concept mapping. In the photovoice phase, immigrant residents shared perceptions and thoughts of their neighborhood through photographs and stories, capturing neighborhood characteristics that influence their health and well-being. In the concept mapping phase, active involvement of immigrant residents was facilitated to systematically organize and build consensus around the wide range of neighborhood factors identified from the photovoice work. The combination of these 2 participatory methods resulted in a conceptual framework of factors influencing immigrants' health and well-being, whereas the photographs with captions facilitated interpretation and action at multiple levels. Copyright © 2010 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source


Goldman A.W.,Concept Systems Inc.
Journal of Informetrics | Year: 2014

This paper contributes to the longitudinal study and representation of the diffusion of scholarly knowledge through bibliometrics. The case of systems biology is used to illustrate a means for considering the structure and different roles of journals in the diffusion of a relatively new field to diverse subject areas. Using a bipartite network analysis of journals and subject categories, a core-intermediary-periphery diffusion structure is detected through comparative analysis of betweenness centrality over time. Systems biology diffuses from a core of foundational, theoretical areas to more specific, applied, practical fields, most of which relate to human health. Next, cluster analysis is applied to subject category co-occurrence networks to longitudinally trace the movement of fields within the core-intermediary-periphery structure. The results of these analyses reveal patterns of systems biology's diffusion across both theoretical and applied fields, and are also used to suggest how the dynamics of a field's interdisciplinary evolution can be realized. The author concludes by presenting a typology for considering how journals may function to support attributes of the core-intermediary-periphery structure and diffusion patterns more broadly. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Gurney M.,Concept Systems Inc.
Control Engineering | Year: 2011

Concept Systems was able to increase its green bean infeed rate by 100% using a 3D robotic vision system while eliminating a safety and material waste problem that was costing it 100,000 lb of lost beans per year. Plant managers decided to upgrade the bean bag handling system with the help of a system integrator having expertise in advance automation systems, including smart robotic workcells guided with machine vision systems. The control system used incorporated an advanced 3D vision system with high-end PC-based software to build a 3D model of the environment in which the infeed robot operated. The system modeled each pallet of bean bags for the coffee roaster application, using distance measurements obtained through laser triangulation. A new computer model was constructed for every tier of bags on the pallet and the model was run through an advanced algorithm that identifies unique features of the bags, and determined the precise position and orientation of each bag in that tier. Source


Schmitt C.L.,Rti International | Rosas S.R.,Concept Systems Inc.
Preventing Chronic Disease | Year: 2012

Introduction: Collaborations between cancer prevention and tobacco control programs can leverage scarce resources to address noncommunicable diseases globally, but barriers to cooperation and actual collaboration are substantial. To foster collaboration between cancer prevention and tobacco control programs, the Global Health Partnership conducted research to identify similarities and differences in how the 2 programs viewed program success. Methods: Using concept mapping, cancer prevention and tobacco control experts generated statements describing the components of a successful cancer prevention or tobacco control program and 33 participants sorted and rated the final 99 statements. Multidimensional scaling analysis with a 2-dimensional solution was used to identify an 8-cluster conceptual map of program success. We calculated Pearson correlation coefficients for all 99 statements to compare the item-level ratings of both groups and used t tests to compare the mean importance of ratings assigned to each cluster. Results: Eight major clusters of success were identified: 1) advocacy and persuasion, 2) building sustainability, 3) partnerships, 4) readiness and support, 5) program management fundamentals, 6) monitoring and evaluation, 7) utilization of evidence, and 8) implementation. We found no significant difference between the maps created by the 2 groups and only 1 mean difference for the importance ratings for 1 of the clusters: cancer prevention experts rated partnerships as more important to program success than did tobacco control experts. Conclusions: Our findings are consistent with those of research documenting the necessary components of successful programs and the similarities between cancer prevention and tobacco control. Both programs value the same strategies to address a common risk factor: tobacco use. Identifying common ground between these 2 research and practice communities can benefit future collaborations at the local, state, tribal, national, and international levels, and inform the broader discussion on resource sharing among other organizations whose mission focuses on noncommunicable diseases. Source

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