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How We Live and Die: A Qualitative Analysis of the Relationship between Healthcare Experiences and Perspectives on Physician-Assisted Suicide

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Physician-assisted suicide occurs when a physician facilitates a patient's death by prescribing a lethal medication that they understand will be used for the purpose of ending the patient's life. It is a highly contentious subject and, with the recent addition

Physician-assisted suicide occurs when a physician facilitates a patient's death by prescribing a lethal medication that they understand will be used for the purpose of ending the patient's life. It is a highly contentious subject and, with the recent addition of California to the list of states that allow physician-assisted suicide, is an increasingly relevant subject. Physician-assisted suicide is rarely framed as a healthcare experience, despite being a choice in the process of end-of-life care. The research seeks to bring together the debates about physician-assisted suicide with conversations about health care experiences. The experiences and perspectives of young people are particularly valuable to evaluate now, as their voices will soon be the leaders in the debate over physician-assisted suicide. Within this research, there is an underlying theme of independence of individuals that is present through both the literature review and the body of data collected and analyzed. The study found that there was no significant relationship between the quality of a person's healthcare and their perspectives about physician-assisted suicide.

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2016-05

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Austin City Limits: An Ethnographic Analysis of the Modern Music Festival

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This ethnographic study explores the music festival phenomenon in the context of the Austin City Limits music festival, held in Austin, Texas with a total attendance of over 450,000 people annually. Using Glaser and Strauss' grounded theory method (1967), central

This ethnographic study explores the music festival phenomenon in the context of the Austin City Limits music festival, held in Austin, Texas with a total attendance of over 450,000 people annually. Using Glaser and Strauss' grounded theory method (1967), central questions concerning structure, community identity, sustainable consumption, and waste were generated from the ethnography. These topics were analyzed with supporting theory in cultural anthropology, sociology, and sustainability. The findings are the basis for our "local-washing" theory, suggesting that localness is utilized to create a sense of authenticity. It is our shared conclusion that local-washing is a prevalent phenomenon at the modern music festival and presents the impact of commercialization on the public sphere. The research conducted includes collecting ethnographic fieldnotes pertaining to festival-goers behaviors that we observed at the festival as well as an investigation of the waste at the festival. By attending the Austin City Limits music festival and utilizing the ethnographic research method, we gained a deeper understanding of what motivates and bonds people in the unique context of the music festival. Through this we found basis for an analysis of the sustainable consumption of food and beverages at the festival as well as waste behaviors and theories behind them including the idea of waste having an absent presence in society.

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2016-05

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PUERTO RICAN TRADITIONAL FOLK MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE AND PATIENT SATISFACTION IN A PUERTO RICAN CLINICAL SETTING

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Over the past three decades, medical anthropology research, published within both public health and anthropological journals, demonstrates both the prevalence of traditional folk medicine in Latino populations in the United States and the potential difficulty of negotiating these beliefs and

Over the past three decades, medical anthropology research, published within both public health and anthropological journals, demonstrates both the prevalence of traditional folk medicine in Latino populations in the United States and the potential difficulty of negotiating these beliefs and practices with clinical, western biomedicine. I bring attention to what might be a narrative of divergent values that occurs in Latino communities in the United States. A well-documented source (Pachter, 1994) of this clash is the culturally pervasive use of folk medicine in Latino layperson populations seeking biomedical care in the Unites States (U.S.). Numerous studies (Padilla, 2001; Koss 1972) suggest that a significant portion of Latinos in the continental United States call upon folk knowledge to diagnose, reinterpret, and treat illness. The Puerto Rican population seems to be no exception, though few studies are specific to native-born Puerto Ricans living in Puerto Rico, where the issue of access to quality public health care becomes increasingly problematic. In this honors undergraduate thesis project, I conduct a review of the literature that bridges anthropology and public health research and proceed to describe a study I conducted on Culebra Island, Puerto Rico in May of 2015. The study aims to determine whether patient satisfaction can be linked to being treated by a physician hailing from a similar cultural background, or if an irredeemable disparity between patient and provider present a roadblock to health outcomes. I found that the Puerto Rican physicians are receptive to folk illness (symptoms) and consider folk therapy as part of the treatment regimen. The physicians make patients feel understood, which might improve treatment adherence and thus health outcomes. Still, respondents demonstrated that there is high patient trust in the biomedical model by emphasizing the use of conventional medications in tandem with the folk therapy. Nevertheless, the health care provider's disposition in regards to folk knowledge and modalities are important but does not present a roadblock to optimal care and health outcomes as much as access, available services or clinic resources.

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2016-05

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MULTIVECTORED SMAS SUSPENSION FOR SURGICAL RECONSTRUCTION OF FACIAL PARALYSIS

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In this study, we propose and then assess the efficacy of a new approach to static suspension to correct for facial paralysis. Our method involves placing barbed sutures through the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) and anchoring them in the

In this study, we propose and then assess the efficacy of a new approach to static suspension to correct for facial paralysis. Our method involves placing barbed sutures through the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) and anchoring them in the temporal fascia parallel to the underlying facial muscles. We first analyzed the ability of this procedure to improve facial symmetry by comparing the degree of asymmetry between the paralyzed and unaffected sides of a patient's face (N=10) prior to and following surgery. Then, to determine if symmetry is improved as a result of placing the sutures parallel to the direction of facial muscle forces, we measured the vectors of levator labii superioris and zygomaticus major in cadaver hemifaces (N=3) and compared them to the angles of the vectors of correction from the patient sample to angles of muscle vectors in three facial hemispheres from cadaver controls. Results indicate that: (1) facial symmetry was significantly improved in these patients and (2) this improvement. We conclude that, compared to existing protocols, our novel surgical method is a better means of static suspension for reconstruction following onset of facial paralysis as it is simple to perform, easy to replicate, able to be post-operatively adjusted in-office, has a good long-term prognosis, and, as we have demonstrated, effectively corrects the appearance of asymmetry by working with the underlying facial anatomy.

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2016-05

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Postprandial Glucose Responses to a High Glycemic Meal with Raw or Cooked Vegetables

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Early humans adapted to eating cooked food with increased energy density and absorption of macronutrients. However, in modern times many suffer from diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes which can result from too much energy being absorbed from food.

Early humans adapted to eating cooked food with increased energy density and absorption of macronutrients. However, in modern times many suffer from diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes which can result from too much energy being absorbed from food. This study measures glucose responses to a high glycemic meal with a side dish of raw or cooked vegetables. There was a slight trend for raw vegetables to have decreased postprandial blood glucose responses when compared to cooked vegetables.

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2014-05

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A Comparison of the Interactions between Tiwanaku and Chen Chen Based on Dietary and Isotopic Analyses

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Paleodietary analysis through the interpretation of stable isotopic analyses can be used to determine the approximate diet consumed at archaeological sites. The following question was investigated through the course of this research: What are the differences between the Middle Horizon

Paleodietary analysis through the interpretation of stable isotopic analyses can be used to determine the approximate diet consumed at archaeological sites. The following question was investigated through the course of this research: What are the differences between the Middle Horizon capital of Tiwanaku and the associated colony of Chen Chen; and what do these differences, including those associated with paleodiet, suggest about interactions between the two sites? The main hypothesis suggested a similar dietary analysis between the two sites with two possible explanations. First, it is possible that similarities between the sites were due to the exchange and consumption of goods at both locations, perhaps through trade. Secondly, it is possible that the similarities were due to the acquisition of similar goods through local sourcing or limited trade. To assess this, an analysis was conducted based on δ13Cdiet (VPDB) values in the comparison of the city center Tiwanaku and the agricultural site of Chen Chen. Archaeological bone samples were processed from a diverse group of individuals at Chen Chen and combined with published values by Tomczak (2001), then compared against δ13C from Tiwanaku, published by Berryman (2010). After conversion to δ13Cdiet (VPDB) as described by Kellner and Schoeninger (2007), it was determined that there was no statistically significant difference between the δ13Cdiet (VPDB) values from either site, suggesting a similar ratio of goods consumed. These values were then compared to baseline values from the region to determine an approximate ratio of C3 to C4 flora or dependent fauna consumed. These data most likely support the second explanation of the main hypothesis, that both sites had access to similar goods through local sourcing or limited trade as an explanation for their similarity. However, because a similar ratio of foods consumed was determined in this analysis, it is still possible that trade occurred in both directions between Tiwanaku and Chen Chen. Additional isotopic analyses would be required to support the first claim, which can be addressed in future research projects.

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2015-05

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Genetically-Related Health Disparities in Sports: Frequency Analysis of Two Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in NCAA Student Athletes with Sickle Cell Trait

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The NCAA recently declared sickle cell trait (SCT) to be a risk factor for sudden illness and death among student athletes. Fetal hemoglobin (HbF) concentration in adults is negatively correlated with disease severity in sickle cell anemia, although its effect

The NCAA recently declared sickle cell trait (SCT) to be a risk factor for sudden illness and death among student athletes. Fetal hemoglobin (HbF) concentration in adults is negatively correlated with disease severity in sickle cell anemia, although its effect on SCT is not fully understood and the concentration is found to have high variability across populations. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at the human beta globin gene cluster, rs7482144 and rs10128556, contribute to the heritable variation in HbF levels and are associated with increased HbF concentrations in adults. A sample population of NCAA football student athletes was genotyped for these two polymorphisms, and their allele frequencies were compared to those of other populations. The minor allele of both polymorphisms had allele frequencies of 0.091 in the sample population, which compared closely with other populations of recent African heritage but was significantly different from European populations. The results of this study will be included in a larger study to predict whether these among other polymorphisms can be used as markers to predict susceptibility to heat-related emergencies in NCAA student athletes with SCT, although the small sample size will delay this process until participation in the study increases. Since both rs7482144 and rs10128556 exhibit high levels of linkage disequilibrium, and as their contributions to the heritable variability of HbF concentrations tend to differ greatly between populations of different ancestry, further investigations should be aimed at distinguishing between the effects of each SNP in African American, European, and other populations represented in NCAA football before conclusions can be drawn as to their practical use as genetic markers of heat susceptibility in student athletes with SCT.

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2014-05