91,089 results

  • Lecturer’s perceptions of intercultural communicative competence and its impact on teaching performance : a case study in a New Zealand higher education institution

    Dhanaraj, Indra (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    This research explores Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC) with specific focus on lecturers teaching English as a second language (ESL) in a New Zealand tertiary institution. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the ‘lived’ experiences of lecturers in the tertiary educational sector. This research aims to address a gap in the literature about lecturers’ understanding of their own intercultural communicative competence (ICC) by illuminating the key components, namely knowledge, motivation and skill, which impact upon ICC in the English language (ESL) classroom. A qualitative approach that incorporated triangulation was used to analyse Intercultural Communicative Competence in practice in the Department of Language Studies (DOLS) Unitec. The research consisted of two data collection methods, namely reflective journal entry and focus group discussions, which enabled data collection related to the participants’ personal perceptions, opinions, attitudes, values, power distance, and non-verbal communication on ESL classroom experiences. Although the reflective journal entry was collected from only lecturer participants as they are the primary focus of this research, the focus group discussions were conducted with lecturer and student participants in separate groups to give the research a valuable comparison. Overall, the findings of this study indicate the lecturers have an awareness of intercultural communicative competence and they view ICC as an on-going process. However, the lecturers’ perceptions about ICC are different from students’ perceptions. While the findings of the student analysis generally indicate they believe lecturers display satisfactory ICC, there were two points of contention. One important difference was lecturers’ assumptions of students’ ability in understanding New Zealand academic norms. The other difference was non-verbal communication. These different perceptions indicate that although lecturers believe they make a conscious effort to gain knowledge about students’ cultures in order to interpret and react to a situation, the students believe otherwise, and this impacts on students’ learning. Finally, the research proposes future research directions for a longitudinal study across Unitec, including further exploration of the theme of ‘Western’, and makes recommendations to the DOLS management team for professional development on ICC.

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  • A production trial of the omnibus ratings of perceived exertion scale in treadmill exercise

    Quinton, Cheri (2012)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Purpose: To establish variability for measures of absolute and relative intensity during treadmill exercise produced for each of three prescribed ratings of perceived exertion (RPEP), and differences among RPEP conditions. Secondarily, to evaluate how age, sex, fitness level and exercise mode affect produced intensities and reported ratings of perceived exertion (RPER). Methods: Healthy adults (n = 40; 18 – 58 years) exercised for three bouts of 5-min bouts at RPEP 5, 7 and 8 (OMNI RPE walk/run scale), in randomised, counterbalanced sequence. A submaximal graded exercise test followed 24 h to one week later to estimate maximal oxygen uptake. Results: A wide range of relative heart-rates were reported, where the +1 SD range spanned from 66 – 89% maximum heart-rate (HRmax) for RPEP of 5, 76 – 97% for PEP 7, and 80 – 100% for RPEP 8. An effect of intensity was demonstrated for all outcome measures, %HRmax, treadmill speed and RPER, (P < 0.001), with differences between each RPEP level (P < 0.05). At RPEP 5 males reported higher RPER values than females (P < 0.05), and age was inversely related to %HRmax and RPER (r = -0.5, P < 0.01). Participants’ choices to walk or run (mode) for each RPEP demonstrated association with %HRmax at all RPEP values (P < 0.05 – 0.001). Regression analysis determined that mode accounted for the majority of variance demonstrated for %HRmax, explaining 29 to 37% of its variability at different RPEP levels. Conclusion: Participants demonstrated the ability to produce relative and absolute workloads that increased with each RPEP increment, however there was large variability of HRmax with the current sample. This indicates that perceptual based prescription has limitations and may produce variable results.

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  • A cultural footprint in Auckland’s public space

    Fichter, Grit (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    This thesis presents an interdisciplinary and exploratory study that seeks to identify transformations of the public space in Auckland’s Northcote Town Centre produced by the Northeast Asian cultural group, particularly its Chinese community. It makes an attempt to integrate the two fields of intercultural communication and urban planning that have been little explored together in the past. In order to identify changes in the public space, this research investigates experiences, perceptions, events, activities and representations within the relationship between the Northeast Asian cultural group and the public space in the Northcote Town Centre, with an emphasis on cultural identity and belonging. The overall phenomenological research design with particular focus on non-participant observations along with semi-structured interviews, archival research and photography provides effective measures to collect and analyse the data required to achieve the research aim. Findings of this study indicate that the cultural transformation of the public space is significantly experienced through the changing uses of the public space. In this sense, this research reveals cultural and social leisure activities, such as Tai Chi, Chinese chess, Chinese dance exercises, reading, meeting and networking which are important to the Northeast Asian cultural group and especially its elderly members. Further, signs and manifestations are revealed through which this specific culture manifests itself in the context of New Zealand’s public urban space and its 'immigrant gateway city' - Auckland. This includes, for example, smells, sounds, activities, costumes, colours, and language signboards which also communicate cultural identity to the outside. The results of this research indicate that a transformation of the public space has taken place. This change started in the late 1990s, when Northeast Asian owned business entrepreneurs settled into the neglected and rundown European-based town centre and turned the area into a colourful, food oriented ethnic precinct. This study contributes to an interdisciplinary research field with a particular emphasis on Auckland’s future urban planning issues. It provides some recommendations for urban planners and policy makers to deepen the understanding of cultural groups as space-users and their aspirations, needs, priorities and demands to create responsive and successful public spaces in Auckland’s future public environment.

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  • Understanding choices in the grouping of children within early childhood education : an Auckland based study of same-age / multi-age grouping arrangements

    Beach, Aroha (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    The New Zealand early childhood sector is characterised by a diverse range of early childhood education settings. In grouping children, early childhood settings adopt one of two grouping arrangements - some centres choose to arrange children homogeneously in same-age groupings whilst others adopt heterogeneous, multi-age grouping arrangements. Historically, same-age and multi-age grouping arrangements have been left relatively unquestioned, particularly within the Aotearoa / New Zealand context. As participation in early childhood education continues to grow, it is timely that we question these grouping arrangements in order to best understand the issues and complexities associated with each of these approaches. This study was designed as a qualitative investigation of teacher beliefs surrounding same-age and multi-age grouping arrangements in early childhood education within the bicultural context of Aotearoa / New Zealand. The aims of this study were to address teacher beliefs about the otives and values that underlie these grouping arrangements, to identify the advantages and disadvantages unique to each of these settings and the ways in which these two settings can be improved. To meet these aims, 23 early childhood teachers within Auckland participated in one of four focus groups from which data was collected and thematically analysed. This thesis provides support for previous Aotearoa / New Zealand research into same-age and multi-age groupings and recognises that both settings offer children unique and differing learning experiences. Through a critical analysis of the data collected from the focus groups four key themes emerged – ‘The organisational perspective’, which is concerned with the underlying motives behind the on-going existence of same-age and multi-age groupings, ‘The teachers’ perspective’, that identifies the teachers’ beliefs in regards to the advantages and disadvantages of same-age and multi-age settings, ‘The cultural perspective’ that questions the relevancy of these grouping arrangements within the Aotearoa / New Zealand context and finally, ‘Improvements’ in which the teachers make recommendations for the improvement of practice in both grouping arrangements. These themes are used to categorise data and assign meaning to the findings. This study acknowledges that further research is needed to understand the cultural nature of same-age and multi-age settings and suggests that the inclusion of a wider group of key stakeholders would provide more generalizable findings.

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  • Investigating the introduction of spectroscopy and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) sequences to increase the specificity of breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

    Oberlin-Brown, Peter (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Current breast MRI practice in New Zealand closely emulates the American and European guidelines. The most commonly used protocols used for imaging breasts using these guidelines are dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) sequences that involve the intravenous injection of contrast and generation of contrast kinetic graphs to differentiate any suspicious lesions. Breast MRI has been widely researched and is described as having high sensitivity to breast lesions. Specificity of breast MRI (DCE) is more debatable with wider variations reported resulting in false positives. This research has set out to examine the introduction of DWI and spectroscopy to routine protocols in order to evaluate their effect on sensitivity and specificity. This research was undertaken on a 1.5 Tesla MRI scanner using only pathology confirmed lesions. This selection of lesions included a wide range of all of the commonly presenting malignant lesions (Lobular, Invasive ductal, DCIS and Mucinous). In order to fully evaluate the performance of DWI and spectroscopy an audit of 68 pathology confirmed breast lesions was undertaken. DCE MRI gave sensitivity and specificity of 90% and 62.5% respectively. When evaluating the same sample with DWI, specificity was increased to 88%. Perhaps the most significant finding of this research was 100% sensitivity to DCIS (n=11) when using DWI alone. Spectroscopy was undertaken using a smaller sample of mass-like lesions (n=21) achieving sensitivity of 100%. Positive predictive value for this sample was 90%. In drawing conclusions from this research DWI using a b-value pairing of 0 and 750 mm2/s increases the specificity of breast MRI to malignancy in a clinically manageable time of less than four minutes and as such would be a worthy addition to routine breast MRI protocols. Spectroscopy demonstrated both high sensitivity and PPV to breast lesions but with a specificity of 66% and imaging times of between five and eight minutes needs further evaluation before being undertaken routinely.

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  • Imaging informatics professionals in New Zealand healthcare

    Hughes, Kevin (2012)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    This study investigated the Imaging Informatics Professionals in New Zealand Healthcare. It is a qualitative study which examined who is currently performing this role while analysing their experience, background and educational qualifications to do so. In addition it also examined the continuing professional development of these individuals and what are the current and projected functions of this role both internationally and in New Zealand. This emerging/evolving role originated from the expansion of Diagnostic Imaging into the world of digital imaging and its further progression into the realm of medical informatics. It has grown from that of a Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) and or Radiology Information System (RIS) support person to its current position with the greater integration of electronic patient records for all forms of digital imaging and reports. New Zealand Healthcare has a goal of an easily accessible electronic patient record by the end of 2014 and is progressing to this end. With the boom in the amount of data generated by current information and imaging systems, it follows, therefore, that the role of the Imaging Informatics Professional (IIP) has to grow to support these systems and assist in attaining that goal. Additionally they must provide enhanced, efficient, secure and functional care for the patients and end user clinicians while maintaining these features in the respective departments that contribute the data. This research has demonstrated there is a diverse group of individuals undertaking this role to varying levels across the District Health Boards of New Zealand. The lack of availability of formal training and post graduate courses has been overwhelmingly demonstrated and may well be a contributing factor to the lack of published New Zealand literature. Most of the individuals surveyed have learned what they know from their vendor(s) and on the job. Many feel that the biggest issues are in not knowing what they don’t know and therefore not having a full understanding of the Imaging Informatics field. Whilst there are some on-line courses offered predominantly from the United States and Canada, training programs are almost non-existent in Australasia. As most respondents indicated their desire to do some form of additional training if it was provided, lack of accessibility to local training only serves to compound the issue. Of those surveyed and interviewed, only one (1) has obtained any formal certification in PACS administration. Today the two (2) available certifications are provided by professional organisations located outside of Australasia and not from recognised educational institutions. Both of these certifications are by examination only. Only one of the two organisations that offer these examinations is currently available on-line in New Zealand at the participant’s leisure. The other can only currently be sat in an approved supervised location (the closest is in Australia) in pre-defined semi-annual sittings. The numbers of IIP’s in New Zealand healthcare is very small and may well not justify a formal education or regulatory body. However, most feel there is a need for some education, regulation and recognition of what they overwhelmingly agree is a unique advanced practice role, and one which they and the literature, recognise as a very critical component of the patient care chain. It is clear that the field of Imaging Informatics will only grow in the foreseeable future in order to provide the support services that are required to maintain a best practice environment for New Zealand. It follows, therefore, that there is a need for both education and regulation of the IIP’s in New Zealand. In addition, the global nature of today’s health care industry may well demand that the education, standards and regulations, conforms not only to that of our Asia-Pacific neighbours, but also those of the international leaders in the field.

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  • A single systems research design to examine the effectiveness of osteopathic treatment for people with osteoarthritis of the hip

    Howat, Tony (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is considered to be one of the leading causes of disability and the most frequent form of arthritis worldwide. There exists a growing body of evidence that manual therapy may be efficacious in reducing pain and improving function in individuals with hip OA. However, no studies have been conducted to study the effect of osteopathic treatment for hip osteoarthritis. The aim of this study was to quantitatively examine any functional effect osteopathic treatment might have on individuals with hip osteoarthritis. Participants (n=6) with previously diagnosed hip OA were recruited and followed during a 12-week study protocol. Participants completed 6 weekly osteopathic treatment sessions aimed at decreasing the pain experienced and increasing the participant’s overall functionality. Both pain and functionality were assessed using the WOMAC score and ICOAP score via an online survey. Clinically meaningful change was defined as effects larger than 14 points of change from mean baseline scores for both WOMAC and ICOAP. Outcome measures were taken weekly for 3-weeks prior to treatment, during the 6 weeks of treatment, and for 3-weeks following treatment. A number of participants were lost to follow up (n=4). All remaining participants showed no clinically meaningful change for both WOMAC and ICOAP at the end of the 12-week study protocol. The results of this study therefore fail to suggest any clinically meaningful effect to the pain and functionality of individuals affected by hip OA was caused by osteopathic treatment. Further research is required to determine the role of osteopathy in the management of people with hip OA.

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  • The effects of dance on fall-related self-efficacy and quality of life, and the relationship between psychosocial and physical effects in older adults in New Zealand

    Russell, Tania (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    There are physical and psychosocial factors that contribute to and predict falls and successful aging in older adults. Interventions which can improve these factors present an opportunity to reduce the social and economic costs associated with aging, which are forecast to escalate over the next two decades (Statistics New Zealand, 2009). The aims of this thesis were to review psychosocial factors associated with successful aging, including reduced falls risk, and current interventions thought to improve these factors, and to investigate whether dancing as an intervention in a New Zealand setting has any effect on these psychosocial factors in independently-living older adults within New Zealand. An investigation into the physical factors associated with aging and the effects of dancing as an intervention on these physical factors forms the basis of another thesis undertaken concurrently. This thesis consists of a literature review followed by a manuscript. The literature review introduces fall risks and successful aging in older adults and specifically provides a rationale for the importance of investigating psychosocial factors in addition to physical factors. Interventions that may improve these are outlined, including a rationale for investigating dancing as one of these interventions. This is followed by an in depth review and analysis of studies already undertaken into the effects of dancing on psychosocial factors associated with falls risk and successful aging in over 65 year olds.The manuscript that follows details a double cohort pilot study in independently living over 65 year olds in New Zealand that investigates the effects of two dance programs on two psychosocial risk factors associated with falls risk and successful aging: fall-related self-efficacy and quality of life and the relationship of these psychosocial factors to physical factors. The Dance Mobility program was organized by DANZ and Creative Communities and based on contemporary dance and ballet exercises ; the folk dance program was organized by Unitec New Zealand in conjunction with Selwyn Retirement Village. This manuscript follows the format expected by the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics (Elsevier) journal, available at http://www.elsevier.com/journals/archives-of-gerontology-and-geriatrics/0167-4943/guide-for-authors. Appendices to this thesis contain ethics letters, research questionnaires and additional full result tables with baseline and follow-up data.

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  • The effect of cervical spine manipulation on the postural sway of patients with non-specific neck pain

    Fisher, Alison (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    OBJECTIVE: Neck pain has been associated with impaired proprioceptive performance which may be improved by cervical manipulation. This crossover study aimed to determine whether a high velocity, low amplitude manipulation affected postural sway in adults with nonspecific neck pain.METHODS: Ten participants received, in random order, 7-days apart, a high velocity, low amplitude manipulation applied to a dysfunctional spinal segment and a passive head-movement control. Four parameters of postural sway were measured before, immediately following, and at 5 and 10 minutes after each procedure. RESULTS: Results showed no differences between interventions in change in any of the parameters. When changes before and immediately following each procedure were analysed separately, only the control showed a significant change in the length of centre of pressure path (an increase from median = 118 mm; IQR = 93 – 137 mm to an increase to 132 mm; 112 – 147; p = 0.02).CONCLUSION: This study failed to show any evidence that manipulation of a dysfunctional cervical segment influences postural sway. Given the ability of the postural control system to reweight the hierarchy of sensory information in order to compensate for inadequacies in any one component, it is possible that any improvements in the mechanisms controlling postural sway elicited by the manipulative intervention may have been concealed.

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  • The effects of dance on physical risk factors that influence falling in older adults

    Chesterfield, Stephen David Mann (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    BACKGROUND: Falls are a substantial source of morbidity and mortality in older adults. Dance may offer fall prevention benefits for older adults who are at high risk of falling. METHODS: A double-cohort pilot study was conducted to investigate the effects of group-based dance on physical risk factors, in independent communitydwelling and retirement village-dwelling adults over 65-years of age. The first cohort of participants (n=7) were independent community-dwelling older adults who took part in a dance-based mobility class ; the second cohort of participants (n=14) were independent residents of a retirement village who undertook folk dancing classes. Classes were scheduled once weekly, for 9 consecutive weeks, followed by social time. Outcome measures included a 30 s seated chair stand, single leg stance, a four square step test and bipedal static sway. RESULTS: Improvements were observed pre-to post-intervention, for seated chair stand and four square step test in both cohorts and no meaningful improvement was observed for sway variables in both cohorts. Cohort 1 mobility dance: seated chair stand (d=0.50, p=0.04), single leg stance (d=0.57, p=0.03), four square step test (d=0.72, p=0.01). Cohort 2 folk dancing: seated chair stand (d=0.13, p=0.01), single leg stance (d=0.35, p=0.14), four square step test (d=0.55, p=0.03). CONCLUSION: In both cohorts, participation in dance classes was associated with favourable reductions in risk factors for falling. These preliminary findings should be further investigated in a larger scale, randomised controlled trial.

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  • Investigating inter-relationships between pain, mobility, and posture following osteopathic treatment in patients with chronic neck pain

    Frith, Kathryn Louise (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    BACKGROUND: Previous studies have investigated the benefits of osteopathic treatment on pain and disability associated with neck pain but variables associated with treatment efficacy are unclear. This study aimed to investigate whether posture or mobility is associated with changes in pain and disability following osteopathic treatment. METHODS: Twenty-one participants (15 female and 6 male) with chronic neck pain received two osteopathic treatments per week for 3 weeks. and were randomised to start treatment immediately or after a 3-week delay. Neck Disability Index (NDI), pain via Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), cervical range of motion (in two planes and about its rotational axis), and posture via craniovertebral angle (CVA) were measured. RESULTS: A large inverse correlation was seen between initial NDI and change in VAS (from initial to post treatment) following osteopathic treatment (r = -0.62, p = 0.004). Non-significant trends towards inverse correlations of moderate effect size were observed between initial CVA and change in NDI from initial to follow-up (r = -0.41, p = 0.07), and between initial rotation left and change in NDI (initial to follow up) (r = -0.44, p = 0.28). Changes in pain and disability were not associated with any other posture or mobility variables or their change. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows little evidence that neck posture or mobility, or their changes, are associated with neck disability or pain changes following osteopathic treatment. Posture and mobility measures do not seem useful for predicting clinical outcomes of manual therapy.

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  • Load balancing in a distributed network environment : an ant colony inspired approach

    Veerisetty, Neeharika (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    With the incidence of technology at each and every juncture of human life, there has been an accelerated growth in computational needs to satisfy the technological cravings. Computer networks have evolutionarily emerged and have evolved as life blood of today’s global communication challenges. To fulfil the dynamic needs of present day networks, distributed and parallel computing applications are gaining momentum rapidly. Distributed networks have apparently become a better choice favouring the processing of large scale intensive applications which was previously unimaginable. However, it is evident that the load on a network is always relative to the volume of the application being processed. Eventually if the load on the network is not fairly distributed among all the available processing elements, it might result in improper resource usage and degraded network performance. Efficient load balancing approaches are essential to achieve proportional distribution of load among the network nodes to preserve the overall system integrity. Therefore, the process of identifying an efficient method to achieve proportional distribution of load is of paramount importance. To achieve an affective balance in load, this thesis investigates into an already existing Ant Colony based prototype called Messor and establishes a new approach based on dynamic load table concept augmented with ant search using Artificial Neural Networks. The proposed approach is simulated on a software based model network and the results are presented. The performance of the approach is evaluated based on certain performance criteria.

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  • The effectiveness of a mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) program in a mixed chronic pain population

    Townsend, Leigh (2012)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of a mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) program on self reported pain, acceptance, resilience and quality of life in a mixed chronic pain population. Design: A single cohort observational study with pre-post measures. Setting: Community based program located in the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. Participants: Fifteen volunteers (1 male, 14 female; mean age=52.9y) with a history of chronic musculoskeletal pain referred from local healthcare providers. Methods: People who experienced chronic pain of a musculoskeletal origin and/or mild to moderate rheumatoid arthritis and who were interested in exploring the potential health benefits of mindfulness meditation were enrolled in the study. Participants were enrolled in an 8-week program of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Participants were required to attend a 2-hour group session once a week led by a qualified MBSR teacher and complete home practice in addition to daily mindfulness. Participants completed electronic questionnaires for each of the outcome measures at baseline, post intervention and 1, 2, and 3 months post intervention. Results: Perceived pain intensity: Clinically significant changes (>5 points) in the median MPQ score was observed at pre – post, 1 and 3 month contrasts. A 60% reduction in pain intensity scores was observed in pre and post measures. SF-36: The physical health subcategories improved in 4 out of 5 subcategories. Similarly the mental health subcategories demonstrated change in the anticipated direction on 3 out of 5 subcategories, with 2 significant changes being observed in 2 out of the 3 subcategories. The SF-36 total component scores (combined physical and mental health sub-scales) increased between the pre intervention median (Mdn=45) to the immediate 8-week post-intervention follow-up (Mdn=67.5) (difference in Mdn 22.5-points; z=-1.99, p=.046, r=-.63). Improvement in pre and post intervention medians was maintained at 1-month (Mdn=60, z=1.57, p=.116, r=-.52) and 2- months (Mdn=53, z=1.60, p=.109, r=-.66). A significant difference was observed between the pre and 3-month comparison (Mdn=68.5, z=-2.19, p=.028, r=-.70). There was no substantial change in the chronic pain acceptance or resilience scores between pre-intervention and all post-intervention time points. Conclusion: The findings of this study indicate that the mindfulness based stress reduction program has potential health benefits on a mixed chronic pain population. Moderate to large effect sizes were observed on the health related quality of life, and large effect sizes were observed on the perceived pain levels in this mixed cohort of people experiencing chronic pain. The beneficial effects were maintained at 3-month follow up for the majority of participants in both quality of life and pain. No change in acceptance and resilience was detected. Further research in a specific New Zealand health care environment should be undertaken, due to the unique differences in the prevalence and management of chronic pain in different cultures and health care models.

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  • Perceptions and attitudes of New Zealand Plunket nurses toward the use of complementary and alternative medicine in children

    Lo, Stephanie Lai Ha (2012)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    BACKGROUND: Studies suggest that the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is high in New Zealand children. Plunket nurses are primary child health care providers who play a significant role in assisting parents in making informed decisions. Their perceptions and attitudes toward CAM are important as they can influence their clinical approach to health issues. This study examines New Zealand Plunket nurses’ perceptions and attitudes toward CAM use in child health and explores factors that might affect the nurses’ clinical practice related to CAM issues. METHOD: This is a qualitative study using focus group method to collect data. A total of five Plunket nurses participated in the study. Data were analyzed using an interpretative description framework. FINDINGS: Four key themes emerged from the data. They were “organisational policy constraints”, “ambivalence about being an organisation employee and independent health professional”, “fear of liability” and “desire for knowledge and resources”. The findings aid understanding of New Zealand Plunket nurses’ perceptions and clinical responses toward CAM practices. CONCLUSIONS: Participants have ambiguous feelings toward the organisational policy of not endorsing or recommending any type of CAM in response to CAM enquiries. While feeling restricted by the policy, participants were concerned about the confusion among staff and the possible liability in engaging with CAM issues if the existing policy was not in place. All participants reported a desire to have more updated knowledge and in-service education about CAM to assist parents and caregivers in their choices of CAM care. This study highlights the need for further research to explore the current status of CAM use in New Zealand children and the strategies needed for the health care policy makers to respond appropriately.

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  • Inter and intra-rater reliability of the manual assessment of respiratory motion ('MARM' technique) in adults

    Ludwig, Martin (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    AIM: The primary aim of this study was to investigate the inter- and intra-rater reliability of a "manual assessment of breathing" (MARM). A secondary aim was to explore the relationship between Breath Holding Time (BHT), Breathing Rate (BR), breathing compartment dominance (thoracic and abdominal), and two questionnaires concerned with symptoms of breathing (Nijmegen (NQ) and Self Evaluation of Breathing Questionnaires (SEBQ)). METHODS: Practitioners (n=6) received introductory level instruction in MARM assessment. They then rated the mechanical breathing pattern of 16 participants with nil to moderate breathing dysfunction. Participants completed two breathing questionnaires (NQ and SEBQ) and were also assessed for Breath Holding Time, Breathing Rate and Abdominal Excursion using Respiratory Inductive Plethysmography.RESULTS: The inter-rater and intra-rater reliability of the MARM was poor (inter-rater: ICC[2,1] range = -0.18 to 0.36; intra-rater: ICC[2,1] range = -0.51 to 0.92). Inter and intra-rater reliability of the MARM was insufficient to warrant clinical use. Moderate correlations were identified between Breathing Rate (BR) and Breath Holding Time (BHT) (r = 0.5; p = 0.04), between BHT and the Self Evaluation of Breathing Questionnaire (SEBQ) (r = 0.5; p = 0.05), and between the SEBQ and the Nijmegen Questionnaire (NQ) (r = 0.6; p = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Raters in this study demonstrated poor inter-rater reliability of the MARM. The intra-rater reliability is higher for some raters indicating that the MARM may be more useful for individual practice, when the same rater is undertaking assessment of breathing.

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  • A spatial analysis of the geographic distribution of musculoskeletal and general practice healthcare clinics in Auckland, New Zealand

    Sanders, Lara Jane (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    BACKGROUND & AIMS: Musculoskeletal disorders represent a substantial health burden, both within society and to the general practice workload. Although a number of allied and complementary musculoskeletal healthcare options are available in the primary healthcare system, the geographic distribution of such healthcare clinics may be subject to a number of social and commercial influences that may not take into account the healthcare needs of the population. The dual aims of the study reported in this thesis were to determine the extent to which the geographical distribution of musculoskeletal healthcare clinics varies across urban Auckland, in comparison to general practitioner (GP) clinics, and to determine factors which may be related to variations in the spatial pattern of clinic locations.METHODS: The locations of all physiotherapy, chiropractic, osteopathic, podiatry, acupuncture and GP clinics in urban Auckland were mapped and analysed using a combination of spatial statistical tools. Kernel density, Getis-Ord Gi* and Local Moran’s I statistics were utilised to visualise clinic spatial distributions and patterns. Regression modelling using Ordinary Least Squares and Geographically Weighted Regression statistics was conducted to describe relationships between clinic locations and the urban environment. RESULTS: Musculoskeletal clinics showed evidence of clustering in central and northern parts of Auckland, with regression analyses highlighting the importance of clinic proximity to major roads and urban centres, and location within areas of higher percentages of European residents and socioeconomic prosperity. GP clinics appeared more evenly distributed across the study area, with areas of higher clinic density particularly in central and southern Auckland. CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that musculoskeletal clinics may tend to be positioned to capture the commercial advantages of location within urban areas with a high commuter inflow and a population with the financial resources to afford privately funded treatment. These results may help to inform the development of strategies to improve the accessibility of musculoskeletal healthcare services for people living or working in areas with low provision of musculoskeletal clinics.

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  • Teacher perceptions and management of challenging student behaviours in primary school classrooms

    Dhaliwal, Manpreet (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    This study aimed at investigating Teacher perceptions and management of challenging student behaviours in classrooms and what support is available to the teachers to manage students with challenging behaviours. Managing challenging behaviour in a classroom setting is a problem faced by many teachers. The literature review indicated that teachers who show a genuine interest in students and what they learn and do are more likely to build strong positive relationships with their students and as a result are better able to manage challenging behaviours in their classrooms. The literature review also indicated that it is important, that teachers recognise their perceptions of challenging behaviour and reflect on their own personal beliefs and the beliefs of others regarding the understanding of challenging behaviours. The study is a small-scale educational research project that was qualitative in nature. The qualitative nature of this research allowed for the exploration of the eight teacher participants’ experiences shared during the semi-structured interviews regarding challenging behaviours and what the issues are in managing these behaviours. The outcomes of this study confirm findings in literature by demonstrating that a close, positive and supportive relationship between teacher and students is essential for developing a mutual relationship of respect and for managing challenging behaviours successfully. Findings indicate that teachers need to discuss with colleagues their current perceptions and attitudes towards working with those students who present challenges and investigate ways of working positively with these students. School management and teachers need to work collaboratively in order to minimise the occurrence of and impact of challenging behaviours in classrooms. Findings also indicated some issues raised by teachers that were not viewed in the literature. reviewed. For example issues facing teachers due to occurrence of challenging student behaviour.

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  • A quantum inspired competitive coevolution evolutionary algorithm

    Tirumala, Sreenivas Sremath (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Continued and rapid improvement in evolutionary algorithms has made them suitable technologies for tackling many difficult optimization problems. Recently the introduction of quantum inspired evolutionary computation has opened a new direction for further enhancing the effectiveness of these algorithms. Existing studies on quantum inspired algorithms focused primarily on evolving a single set of homogeneous solutions. This thesis expands the scope of current research by applying quantum computing principles, in particular the quantum superposition principle, to competitive coevolution algorithms (CCEA) and proposes a novel Quantum inspired Competitive Coevolutionary Algorithm (QCCEA). QCCEA uses a new approach to quantize candidate solution unlike previous quantum evolutionary algorithms that use qubit representation. The proposed QCCEA quantifies the selection procedure using normal distribution, which empowers the algorithm to reach the optimal fitness faster than original CCEA. QCCEA is evaluated against CCEA on twenty benchmark numerical optimization problems. The experimental results show that QCCEA performed significantly better than CCEA for most benchmark functions.

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  • Requirements engineering process improvement in health IT projects. Master’s Thesis

    Chitti, Anupama (2013)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Research has proved that requirements engineering in e-health projects is a challenge. Many of the ehealth software end-users do not believe in investment in this process and e-health vendors find it challenging to deliver what client wants without having defined requirements accurately. Healthcare is an industry where patient information is very crucial not just for the patient but also for healthcare providers. Appropriate health related information is one of the keys to quality care of the patient. This has been the reason for computerising business processes in healthcare. Given that many privacy models can be applied to protect patient’s health information and complex business models and processes in healthcare, designing and developing such IT processes needs to be meticulously analysed and implemented. This thesis deliberates on requirements engineering effort required for e-health vendors in delivering complex IT projects for e-health. The aim of this thesis is to study approaches taken by software engineers in an e-health vendor company in accomplishing such complex projects. The approach of literature review, survey and interviews has been adopted to investigate the requirements engineering effort carried out in such projects. An optimised solution has been presented with the help of quantitative and qualitative analysis of the collected data, conglomeration of different approaches defined by contemporary researchers and usage of Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 to improve the requirement engineering process in the e-health vendor organisation.

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  • Managing diversity to achieve ethnic inclusion in multi-ethnic secondary schools

    Handjani, Manjula (2014)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    This research is set in the context of New Zealand and specifically in Auckland secondary schools which are becoming increasingly diverse in terms of ethnicity. Leaders in these schools face challenges to manage diversity to achieve inclusion of a diverse range of ethnically-related values, cultures and expectations. Many international studies advocate for the introduction of ethnically inclusive practices because these support student success. In the absence of any specific studies of ethnically inclusive practices in New Zealand schools, this thesis attempts to close a gap in the literature.This research uses a qualitative approach in two case studies of multi-ethnic state secondary schools in South Auckland. Across the two case studies, data were collected using semi-structured interviews of senior leaders. Documentary analysis of school charter and equity policies was carried out to gain an understanding of the intent of managing ethnic diversity The findings of the study revealed the leaders valued ethnic diversity and were committed to improving the academic achievement of all students by using inclusive practices that could impact on student success. On the other hand, the study revealed that inclusive practices where not evident to any large extent compared to what the literature establishes as effective practice. The majority of these practices focused on Maori and Pasifika students with other ethnic groups generally excluded. Minor ethnic groups were recognised in practices such as promoting student leadership and sporting activities in a few instances. Leaders’ attempts to increase inclusive strategies were challenged by difficulties such as understanding of the concepts of ethnic inclusion, cultures of ethnic groups apart from Pasifika and Maori, recruiting ethnically representative staff and low levels of parental involvement. The study recommends that leaders develop a more clear understanding of the ethnically inclusive practices and promote open dialogue about the needs of ethnic groups beyond the current focus on Maori and Pasifika initiatives. A further recommendation is that curriculum leaders provide teachers with professional development in the understanding of cultures of all ethnic groups.

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