Medicine & Health

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 10
  • (2008) Lomax, A; Bertrand, P. P; Barajas, A; Bertrand, R
    Conference Paper
    Serotonin (5-HT) containing enterochromaffin (EC) cells of the intestine detect chemical and mechanical stimuli in the lumen and respond by releasing 5-HT on to afferent nerve terminals. Recent electrochemical studies in healthy mucosa have shown that the real-time release of 5-HT is a dynamic and highly regulated process, but how this might change in disease is unknown. Our aim was to characterize real-time uptake and release of 5-HT in a mouse model of colitis and compare it with ELISA measurements of 5-HT. Real-time electrochemical methods were coupled with an ELISA assay to determine the effect on 5-HT availability of a mouse model of inflammation (5% w/v dextran sodium sulphate (DSS) induced colitis). Peak and steady state (SS) 5-HT concentrations (calculated from the oxidation current at +400 mV; amperometry mode) were measured with our without the serotonin reuptake transporter blocker fluoxetine (1 lM) in control and DSS-treated mice. Paired and unpaired data were compared with a one way ANOVA (P < 0.05). In mouse colon, SS release of 5-HT was 1.9 ± 0.6 lM (n = 9) and compression-evoked release was 7.1 ± 2.5 lM (n = 9). In DSS treated mice, the release of 5-HT was significantly increased (SS: 3.4 ± 0.6 lM; peak: 14.7 ± 3.0 lM; n = 11). In control mice, fluoxetine significantly increased peak (9.9 ± lM) but not SS release (2.6 ± 0.4 lM), while in DSS mice both were significantly increased (SS: 7.3 ± 1.2 lM; peak: 23.4 ± 4.1 lM). The effects of fluoxetine in DSS mice were greater than in control. ELISA assays supported these data, showing an increase in 5-HT release detected from inflamed colon (n = 5) compared to control (n = 5) in unstimulated or mechanically stimulated preparations and with or without fluoxetine. The release and uptake of 5-HT from the EC cells of the mouse colon are increased during DSS colitis. Our electrochemical data show that both peak and steady state levels are increased and these changes are mirrored by the ELISA data. In addition, the localised 5-HT concentrations at the site of release, measured using amperometry, are significantly higher than those reported using ELISA techniques. Overall, these data show that during colitis, 5-HT availability will be increased. These raised concentrations may substantially alter the activation or desensitisation of serotonin receptors on afferent nerve terminals.

  • (2008) Bertrand, P. P; Senadheera, S.; Markus, I.; Bertrand, R. L.; Liu, L.; Morris, M. J.
    Conference Paper

  • (2008) Hu, X.; Bertrand, P. P
    Conference Paper

  • (2008) Razee, Husna; Ritchie, Jan; Eisenbruch, Maurice
    Conference Paper
    Description of a certain experience as ‘illness’ or distress and the presumed course of treatment developed in one cultural group, may not be applicable to people who share a different set of cultural beliefs about illness and treatment (Kleinman, 1980). Miscommunication occurs in the absence of an understanding of the cultural norms, values and beliefs of the patients (Guindon & Sobhany, 2001) leading to misperceptions and quite possibly to misdiagnosis (Patel, 2001; Wagner et al., 2006). This seminal study provides an empirical understanding of Maldivian women’s mental well-being and contributes a proposed foundation for mental health policy development. Findings of this study may be useful to educate and inform mental health practitioners about culturally congruent and culturally competent approaches to mental health promotion for Maldivian patients and patients who share their cultural concepts such as South Asians.

  • (2008) Cranney, Jacquelyn; Jones, Gwyn; Morris, Suzanne; Starfield, Sue; Martire, Kristy; Newell, Benjamin; Wong, Kwan
    Conference Paper

  • (2008) Bertrand, P. P; Bertrand, R. L.; Liu, L.
    Conference Paper

  • (2008) Bertrand, R. L; Barajas-Espinosa, A.; Nesbit, S.; Bertrand, P. P.; Lomax, A. E.
    Conference Paper

  • (2008) Jin, F; Prestage, Garrett; Dore, Gregory; Zablotska, I; Rawstorne, Patrick; Kippax, Susan; Kaldor, John; Grulich, Andrew
    Conference Paper

  • (2008) Thompson, Rachel Elizabeth
    Conference Paper
    Abstract Introduction/background: Teaching statistics to medical students is hampered in two ways. Firstly, as a “Cinderella” subject, statistics is perceived to be less glamorous than other apparently more clinical disciplines. Secondly, as it involves mathematics students often view it as difficult, unpleasant or just plain boring. Since 2005, first and second year medical students, undertaking the new integrated undergraduate medical curriculum at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, have been learning medical statistics and evidence-based medicine (EBM) through a mainly online learning environment of nine consecutive online modules supported by lectures and practicals). Issues for exploration/ideas for discussion: This paper examines numeracy issues and threshold concepts as impediments to learning medical statistics and EBM and shows how online learning and support activities can be adapted to target these problematic areas. Purpose/objectives: Early feedback on the online statistics modules revealed that there was a problem with student engagement and also poor understanding of the major assessed topic areas. In an attempt to improve the modules, the impediments to student engagement and learning were identified. Prominent among these problem areas were major threshold concepts and also any content containing mathematics or formulae. Further research aimed to find a more engaging and successful way to approach these problem areas from both teaching and learning points of view. Sections in the modules with major threshold concepts and statistical formulae were redesigned to present information using more than one teaching approach (visual and narrative as well as mathematical) and by targeting online exercises and quizzes, lectures and face to face tutorials on hese more difficult areas. Several other changes were also implemented to support these initiatives, including a more comprehensive evaluation. Results: Subsequent evaluation using online evaluation forms, quiz and exam results revealed that the students’ knowledge in the targeted areas improved and that student engagement in the course had increased considerably. Discussion: The significance of these findings for other “Cinderella” subjects and for online statistical courses is discussed and suggestions are made for the application of this process to other areas of learning. However, the overall impact of changes is difficult to assess as numeracy issues involve emotional responses that are difficult to gauge and the measurement of student understanding of threshold concepts is complex and maximal evaluation remains elusive.

  • (2008) Quinnell, Rosanne; Thompson, Rachel
    Conference Paper
    As tertiary educators we have an expectation that students have developed sound numeracy skills from their previous studies in mathematics and that they should have the ability to transfer these numeracy skills into their studies in other discipline areas, such as the life sciences. In reality, each year this expectation is not being met by student cohorts. Despite resources being directed to improve the levels of academic numeracy of students in the tertiary sector and the so-called “maths problem” persists. In the life sciences, numeracy skills are required by the student and professional practitioner to express the patterns within populations and the dynamics of physiology. The patterns of populations are expressed in statistical parameters; the patterns of physiology are expressed in the parameters of physics. So what we really expect of the numeric competencies of our students is different from mathematics. We really want students to make sense of, and be critical of, the answers that they calculate in the context of life science. This has added importance when we consider that many of the points where students stumble over numbers, are probably threshold concepts. A grasp of numeracy at these key moments of learning might be essential and failure to appreciate this inhibits students from crossing over these thresholds of understanding. So where does that leave us with student numeracy? Can strategies to improve student numeracy be created by re-viewing and deconstructing the problem to discover the threshold concepts buried within academic numeracy? Here we present two case studies where re-viewing student numeracy has highlighted common stumbling points and it is at these impasses that intervention has been directed. Study 1: Plant Physiology. Online modules were created to assist students to improve their numeric competence. So why then did the “problem” not diminished? There have been numerous studies that show even students of mathematics have “maths anxiety”. Clearly there is a link between lack of confidence and students discomfort with doing calculations and from this a numeric skills task was designed and implemented in class. The task allowed each student to determine their confidence in: (a) understanding numeric concepts; (b) understanding quantities used in plant physiology; and, (c) their ability to calculate and convert between units of measure. For many students this was the first time their discomfort and their confidence with calculating had been highlighted so overtly. Enabling students to address their discomfort and engage in their own skills development has proved to be a useful approach, particularly for students lacking confidence. Study 2: Medical Statistics. Teaching medical students statistics relevant to their future practice is hampered in two ways. Firstly, because it is a “Cinderella” subject; statistics is far less glamorous or medical than the disciplines and topics of anatomy and physiology and so on. Secondly, as it is perceived to involve mathematics and numbers and hence is often viewed by students as difficult, complicated, unpleasant or just plain boring. In an attempt to engage and assist first and second year students in learning through a mainly online learning environment, the major threshold concepts were identified and analysed with the aim of finding a more engaging and successful way to approach teaching these topics. In so doing, the mathematic formulae were presented in a less mathematical way than previously and with an emphasis on functionality, theory and application.