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  • Welsh Primary Schoolchildren’s Perceptions of Electronic Cigarettes: A Mixed Methods Study

    Porcellato; email: L.A.Porcellato@ljmu.ac.uk; Ross-Houle; email: k.rosshoule@chester.ac.uk; Quigg; email: Z.A.Quigg@ljmu.ac.uk; Harris; email: j.harris@ljmu.ac.uk; Bigland; email: C.Bigland@ljmu.ac.uk; Bates; email: R.Bates@ljmu.ac.uk; Timpson; email: H.Timpson@ljmu.ac.uk; Gee; email: I.L.Gee@ljmu.ac.uk; Bishop; email: julie.bishop4@wales.nhs.uk; Gould; email: ashley.gould@wales.nhs.uk; et al. (MDPI, 2020-05-21)
    There are concerns that the growing popularity of e-cigarettes promotes experimentation among children. Given the influence of the early years on attitude and habit formation, better understanding of how younger children perceive vaping before experimentation begins is needed, to prevent uptake and inform tobacco control strategies. We explored Welsh primary schoolchildren’s (aged 7−11) awareness of e-cigarettes relative to tobacco smoking, their understanding of the perceived risks and benefits and their intentions and beliefs about vaping. Data was collected using a mix of methods in June and July 2017 from 8 purposively selected primary schools across Wales. Four hundred and ninety-five children (52% female) aged 7 years (n = 165), 9 years (n = 185) and 11 years (n = 145) completed a class-administered booklet encompassing a draw and write exercise and survey. Ninety-six children participated in 24 peer discussion groups comprised of 2 boys and 2 girls from each year group. Data were analysed independently and findings triangulated. Survey analyses used frequencies, descriptive statistics and chi-squared tests. Content analysis was undertaken on the draw and write data and peer discussion groups were analysed thematically. Study findings highlight that primary schoolchildren have general awareness of e-cigarettes. Vaping was perceived to be healthier than smoking and there was some recognition that e-cigarettes were used for smoking cessation. Understanding of any health harms was limited. Few children intended to smoke or vape in the future but almost half thought it was okay for grownups. Children’s perceptions were influenced by exposure through family and friends. Findings suggest a need for e-cigarette education in primary schools, to highlight the associated risks of e-cigarette experimentation including the potential for tobacco initiation.
  • Effects of intranasal oxytocin on the attentional bias to emotional stimuli in patients with bulimia nervosa

    Kim, Youl-Ri; Eom, Jin-Sup; Leppanen, Jenni; Leslie, Monica; Treasure, Janet; Inje University; Chungbuk National University; King's College London
    Background: Bulimia nervosa (BN) is characterized by binge eating and emotional dysregulation including increased negative affectivity (anger, anxiety). The aim of this study was to examine the effect of oxytocin on attentional processes towards anger in patients with BN. Method: The study design consisted of a double-blind, placebo-controlled within-subject crossover, single dose experiment. Sixty-four women (31 patients with BN and 33 healthy comparisons) completed self-reported measures to evaluate emotional difficulties and were administered a single dose of intranasal oxytocin (40IU) or placebo followed by a visual probe detection task to examine attentional orienting to angry or happy faces. Results: Patients with BN reported higher emotional dysregulation and more difficulties in controlling anger compared to the healthy comparison group. Patients with BN and the healthy women exhibited similar attentional bias to angry faces in the placebo condition. Intranasal oxytocin reduced the attentional bias towards angry faces in both the BN patients and the healthy women. Conclusions: We found that a single dose of oxytocin reduced vigilance towards angry faces in patients with BN as well as healthy women. The results showed that patients with BN are not different from healthy women in terms of vigilance towards threat.
  • 'The Great Famine in Fiction, 1901-2015'

    Fegan, Melissa; University of Chester
    This chapter considers Irish writers’ continual reimagining of the Great Famine and the way it has shaped understandings of the past and present. In doing so, it addresses novels and short stories from nineteenth-century writers such as William Carleton, Mary Anne Hoare, and Margaret Brew, who sought to explain or reinterpret the catastrophe while it was still a living memory. The return of the Famine in later historical and neo-Victorian fiction by writers such as Liam O’Flaherty, John Banville, and Joseph O’Connor is considered in light of the association between Famine fiction and present-day crises in the post-independence era. The discussion also extends to the resurgence in literary interest in the Famine in the 1990s and early 2000s, which, the chapter suggests, was due not only to the greater exposure of the Famine in public discourse but also to a revival of insecurities that seemed to belong to the past.
  • Methadone‐Assisted Opiate Withdrawal and Subsequent Heroin Abstinence: The Importance of Psychological Preparedness

    Jones, Steven; Jack, Barbara; Kirby, Julie; Wilson, Thomas; Murphy, Philip; University of Chester
    Background and Objectives: Treatment guidelines emphasize patients’ readiness for transitioning from opiate substitution treatment (OST) to opiate withdrawal and abstinence. Psychological preparedness indicators for this transition were examined. Methods: Patients (all male) were recruited from three treatment settings: prison, an inpatient detoxification unit, and an outpatient clinic. Time 1 (T1) was admission to methadone‐assisted withdrawal in all settings. Time 2 (T2) was a 6‐month follow‐up. With n = 24 at T1 for each group (N = 72), a battery of instruments relevant to psychological preparedness was administered. Results: At T1, inpatients had higher self‐efficacy beliefs for successful treatment completion than prison patients. For patients contactable at T2, T1 self‐efficacy positively predicted T2 opiate abstinence. No other variable improved prediction. T1 SOCRATES (Stages of Change Readiness and Treatment Eagerness Scale) ambivalence scores, age, and lifetime heroin use duration predicted maintenance of contact or not with treatment services and contactability by the researcher. Measures of mood did not differ between groups at T1 or predict T2 outcomes. Discussion and Conclusions: Self‐efficacy beliefs are a potentially useful indicator of readiness for transitioning from OST to a medically assisted opiate withdrawal and subsequent abstinence. Ambivalence regarding change, age, and lifetime heroin use duration are potentially useful predictors of patients maintaining contact with services, and of being retained in research. Scientific Significance: These findings advance existing literature and knowledge by highlighting the importance of self‐efficacy in psychological preparedness for opiate abstinence, and the predictive utility to clinicians of this and other variables measurable at admission, in the clinical management of opiate users
  • From public issues to personal troubles: individualising social inequalities in health within local public health partnerships

    Mead, Rebecca; Thurston, Miranda; Bloyce, Daniel; University of Lancaster; Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences; University of Chester
    This paper explores public health policy implementation through partnership working at the local level by examining how local actors from public health and the wider workforce, make sense of and work on social inequalities in health. An ethnographic case study was used to examine policy implementation in one local strategic partnership in north-west England during a period of significant resource constraint. Semi-structured interviews were the primary method of data generation. Sensitising concepts from figurational sociology were used to develop a theoretical account of how local policy implementation directed at narrowing social inequalities in health tended to give rise to relatively fragmented and short-term services, projects and practices, which focused on lifestyle factors and behaviour change. Theorising partnership work as figurations goes some way to explaining the apparent paradox among participants who expressed a relatively detached appreciation of wider social influences, alongside emotional involvement in their work. This process of individualisation explains how local professionals tended to conceptualise health inequality and the social determinants of health as personal troubles. Individualisation meant that the social reality of working in partnerships on difficult issues was simplified. Thus, any scope for working on the social determinants of health tended to be overlooked. The extent to which this was intentional or a matter of struggling to see opportunities, or a mixture of the two, was difficult to discern. Although the policy landscape has changed, the findings give some insight into understanding how local collaborative processes reproduce local public health work underpinned by lifestyle choices.

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