The Center for Academic Studies
Or Yehuda, Israel
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Handelzalts J.E.,P.A. College | Becker G.,The Center for Academic Studies | Ahren M.-P.,P.A. College | Lurie S.,Wolfson Medical Center | And 3 more authors.
Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics | Year: 2015

Purpose: This study was aimed at investigating the delivery continuum starting from constant personality variables and their association with Fear of childbirth (FOC) pre-partum, following the association of FOC pre-partum with the delivery process (as measured by birth outcome variables and subjective experience) and the effect of all of these variables over FOC post-partum.Methods: In this prospective questionnaire study, 101 nulliparous, singleton pregnancy, healthy parturients were randomly recruited during 2011. Questionnaires were administered on admittance to the delivery ward (FOC, anxiety-sensitivity index, demographic information) and 2 days post-partum (FOC, Big five inventory and a question regarding the birth experience). Medical Variables were taken from medical records.Results: FOC pre- and post-partum were associated with neuroticism (p < 0.05; p < 0.01) and anxiety sensitivity (p < 0.01). FOC pre-partum was correlated with mode of delivery, higher FOC pre-partum associated with instrumental delivery and emergency CS (p < 0.01). FOC post-partum was associated with both mode of delivery and length of the second phase of delivery (p < 0.05). Hierarchical regression analysis showed FOC pre-partum (β = 0.35, p < 0.01), anxiety sensitivity (β = 0.38, p < 0.01), mode of delivery (β = 0.19, p < 0.05) and birth experience (β = −0.17, p < 0.05) as major predictors for high FOC post-partum explaining 61 % of variance (F(7,84) = 16.82; p < 0.001).Conclusions: The difference between FOC levels pre- and post-partum was associated with personality variables and birth outcomes resulting in a model describing the variance in FOC post-partum by all of the above mentioned variables. As the implications of FOC over delivery outcomes are evident, women suffering from FOC pre-partum should be screened routinely before delivery and offered proper care. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Ahmed S.M.,Medical College of Wisconsin | Palermo A.-G.S.,The Center for Academic Studies | Palermo A.-G.S.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2010

Community engagement in research may enhance a community's ability to address its own health needs and health disparities issues while ensuring that researchers understand community priorities. However, there are researchers with limited understanding of andexperience with effective methods of engaging communities. Furthermore, limited guidance is available for peer-review panels on evaluating proposals for research that engages communities. The National Institutes of Health Director's Council of Public Representatives developed a community engagement framework that includes values, strategies to operationalize each value, and potential outcomes of their use, as well as a peer-review framework for evaluating research that engages communities. Use of these frameworks for educating researchers to create and sustain authentic community-academic partnerships will increase accountability and equality betweenthe partners.

Parry E.,Auckland District Health Board | Roos C.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Stone P.,Auckland District Health Board | Hayward L.,Counties Manukau District Health Board | And 3 more authors.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Year: 2014

Objective In an unselected group of women with signs of preterm labour, maintenance tocolysis is not effective in the prevention of preterm birth and does not improve neonatal outcome. Among women with signs of preterm labour, those who are fetal fibronectin positive have an increased risk of preterm birth. We investigated whether maintenance tocolysis with nifedipine would delay delivery and improve neonatal outcome in women with threatened preterm labour and a positive fetal fibronectin status. Study Design Women with a singleton pregnancy in threatened preterm labour (24+0 to 33+6 weeks) with a positive fetal fibronectin test were randomised to nifedipine or placebo. Study medication was continued until 36 completed weeks' gestation. The primary endpoint was prolongation of pregnancy of seven days. Secondary endpoints were gestational age at delivery and length of NICU admission. Results Of the 60 participants, 29 received nifedipine and 31 placebo. Prolongation of pregnancy by >7 days occurred in 22/29 (76%) in the nifedipine group and 25/31 (81%) in the placebo group (relative risks, RR 0.94 [0.72-1.2]). Gestational age at delivery was 36.1 ± 5.1 weeks for nifedipine and 36.8 ± 3.6 weeks for placebo (P = 0.027). Length of NICU admission [median (interquartile ranges, IQR)] was 27 (24-41) days and 16 (8-37) days in nifedipine and placebo groups, respectively (P = 0.17). Conclusion In women with threatened preterm labour who are fetal fibronectin positive, maintenance tocolysis with nifedipine does not seem to prolong pregnancy, nor reduce length of NICU admission. © 2014 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Coelho A.M.,The Center for Academic Studies | Delalibera M.A.,Hospital Santa Maria | Barbosa A.,The Center for Academic Studies
American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine | Year: 2016

The aim of the study is to identify the mediators of complicated grief in a Portuguese sample of caregivers. Grief mediators were prospectively evaluated using a list of risk factors completed by the palliative care team members, during the predeath and bereavement period. More than 6 months after the death, we applied PG-13 to diagnose prolonged grief disorder (PGD). The sample was composed of 64 family caregivers. Factors associated with PGD were insecure and dependent relationship, unresolved family crisis, and the perceived deterioration and disfigurement of the patient. The results show relational factors are relevant, but we must consider the reciprocal influence among factors, as well as their impact on specific symptoms. © 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.

Shalev R.,The Center for Academic Studies | Ben-Asher S.,Kay Academic College
Journal of Loss and Trauma | Year: 2011

The present study is a pilot in Israel that examines the issue of "ambiguous loss": the presence-absence of a parent from the perspective of adults who were children when their father was a POW. The period of the father's absence was examined by means of in-depth interviews with the children of the family almost four decades after the POW event, and as a focus group. The findings are explained by means of the two-track model of bereavement. © 2011 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Shintel H.,The Center for Academic Studies | Anderson N.L.,Michigan State University | Fenn K.M.,Michigan State University
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General | Year: 2014

Speakers modulate their prosody to express not only emotional information but also semantic information (e.g., raising pitch for upward motion). Moreover, this information can help listeners infer meaning. Work investigating the communicative role of prosodically conveyed meaning has focused on reference resolution, and potential mnemonic benefits remain unexplored. We investigated the effect of prosody on memory for the meaning of novel words, even when it conveys superfluous information. Participants heard novel words, produced with congruent or incongruent prosody, and viewed image pairs representing the intended meaning and its antonym (e.g., a small and a large dog). Importantly, an arrow indicated the image representing the intended meaning, resolving the ambiguity. Participants then completed 2 memory tests, either immediately after learning or after a 24-hr delay, on which they chose an image (out of a new image pair) and a definition that best represented the word. On the image test, memory was similar on the immediate test, but incongruent prosody led to greater loss over time. On the definition test, memory was better for congruent prosody at both times. Results suggest that listeners extract semantic information from prosody even when it is redundant and that prosody can enhance memory, beyond its role in comprehension. © 2014 American Psychological Association.

Mears R.,The Center for Academic Studies | Jago R.,University of Bristol
British Journal of Sports Medicine | Year: 2016

Aim Physical activity in children improves cardiovascular, mental, metabolic and skeletal health. Many children fail to meet the national recommendation of at least 60 min per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). After-school programmes provide an opportunity to engage children in physical activity. This systematic review and meta-analysis examine the effectiveness of after-school interventions at increasing MVPA levels in children and adolescents. Design Systematic review and meta-analyses. Data sources A literature search was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsychINFO databases from January 1950 to April 2015. Eligibility criteria for selecting studies Inclusion criteria-Population: participants aged 5-18 years. Intervention: an after-school programme in a schoolbased setting as the main component of an intervention to increase physical activity levels. Outcomes: individuallevel measure of time spent in MVPA. Study design: quasi-experimental, pilot, non-randomised or randomised trials. Exclusion criteria: conference abstracts, unpublished articles, dissertations and non-English language papers. Results 1387 records were identified through database searching. After removal of duplicates, there were 748 records. 15 articles met the inclusion criteria for the systematic review. 6 studies were eligible for metaanalysis and the pooled intervention effect at end point follow-up was 4.84 min/day of MVPA (95% CI -0.94 to 10.61). The effectiveness of after-school interventions varied considerably and comparisons between studies limited by different methodological study designs. Subgroup analyses within a small minority of studies revealed significant benefits in overweight/obese children and boys. There was a lack of convincing evidence that interventions based on theories of behaviour change were more effective than those with no underlying theory. Conclusions After-school physical activity interventions to date have had mixed effectiveness on increasing MVPA levels. More robust evaluations of extracurricular physical activity interventions are required, particularly studies that use objective assessment of physical activity. © 2016 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine.

Hasgall A.,The Center for Academic Studies
VINE | Year: 2013

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to define optimal behavioral characteristics for members in digital social networks (DSNs). To this end, an assumption was tested that DSN members behave similarly to autonomous agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS) by maintaining a process of self-branding. Design/methodology/approach: Online questionnaires were presented to 94 DSN users. Their answers were used to assess: different parameters of their behavior on the DSN; and their perception of the DSN's effectiveness. Statistical analyses were conducted to examine possible correlations between these parameters and the optimal behavioral characteristics of individual agents in the CAS model. Findings: Subjects who reported a higher degree of functional autonomy and self-branding on the DSN also reported a higher degree of DSN effectiveness. A significant positive linear correlation was found between the degree of self-branding and optimal behavioral characteristics described previously for individual agents in a CAS. Practical implications: The study provides first empirical evidence that the CAS model parameters can be used to explain DSN-related phenomena in general, and the perception of DSN effectiveness in particular. This suggests that individual DSN members should generate and maintain a powerful self-brand through autonomous activities to increase DSN effectiveness. Such activities can be manifested through behavioral processes characterizing individuals in CAS, and especially through maximizing situational sensitivity and integration of information. Originality/value: This is the first study to empirically test the CAS theoretical model on DSNs. It specifies behavioral characteristics, which individual DSN members should incorporate to increase the perceived DSN effectiveness. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Shariatmadari M.,The Center for Academic Studies | Azadi S.,The Center for Academic Studies
Journal of Information and Knowledge Management | Year: 2013

One of the fundamental features of enterprises' supremacy over one another, particularly in SMEs, is intangible assets and their intellectual capital (IC). Varieties of approaches to assessing and evaluating enterprises' intellectual capital have far been offered. None of them, however, has been considered in the face of qualitative indicators and their synthesis and quantitative indicators, as well as accounting the failure to have access to evidence during evaluation. In this article, a framework for the assessment of intellectual capital is offered by using an evidential reasoning approach developed based on a hierarchical model and Dempster-Shafer (D-S) theory of evidence. The explanation of this framework is accompanied by its application in the assessment of intellectual capital of SMEs in the field of IT in one of Iran's regions. © 2013 World Scientific Publishing Co.

Hasgall A.E.,The Center for Academic Studies
Journal of Systems and Information Technology | Year: 2012

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine whether working environments possessing characteristics of a complex adaptive systems (CAS), such as organizational social networks (SNs), will be perceived by the individual worker as contributing to working efficiency. The author tested whether SNs increase the workers' sharing of knowledge, sensitivity to environmental changes and synchronization of resource, which contribute to the autonomic ability to create solutions according to changing demands in turbulent environments. Design/methodology/approach: A research questionnaire distributed online assessed the views and behaviors of 94 subjects regarding SNs. An index was formed for each of the four CAS variables (Goal compliance; Situational sensitivity; Integration of information; and Resource synchronization) to evaluate how the subjects perceive SN effectiveness. Findings: A significant positive correlation was found between the degree of contribution to organizational working processes and the variables "Situational sensitivity" and "Integration of information". This suggests that SNs allow workers to increase the degree of sensitivity to environmental changes; and that SNs allow a high degree of integration of information between the worker and other workers. Originality/value: The utilization of SNs in organizations may allow quick and direct transfer of information between workers and answer immediate demands and requirements. Thus, organizations that are required to adapt to turbulent environments with high uncertainty factors and strong competition may benefit if their workers utilize SNs effectively. It can be concluded that SNs can be used as a friendly platform for the knowledge workers to update, be updated, sense environmental changes and integrate information in cooperation with other workers. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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