Minerva Elements Records

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    A qualitative longitudinal study exploring adjustment experiences post laryngectomy
    Chapman, Penelope Kate ( 2021)
    Background: A total laryngectomy operation involves the surgical removal of the larynx for management of advanced laryngeal or hypopharyngeal cancer. A total laryngectomy nearly always has a profound impact on a person’s life. There are significant physical and functional changes as well as psycho-social consequences to adapt to post-operatively. There is currently a paucity of qualitative longitudinal laryngectomy studies exploring the phenomenon of lived experiences in the first six months post laryngectomy. Aim: To investigate the adjustment experiences of people in the first six months post laryngectomy. Methods: A qualitative longitudinal study was conducted. Participants planned for a total laryngectomy during August, 2018 – April, 2020 were recruited to the study. Each participant completed a distress screening using the Distress Thermometer and in-depth semi-structured interviews at two weeks post discharge, and at three months and six months post operation. Inductive Thematic Analysis method was chosen following the six phases described by Braun & Clarke, 2014, to analyse the data. Results: Of the six participants in the study, 14 distress screenings and in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed (complete data sets were obtained for four participants). Distress levels were high in the pre and immediate post-operative weeks but little or no distress were reported in the longer term. Three phases of adjustment were identified; Phase one – Not normal life; Phase two – Never going to be the same again; and Phase three – Just get on with it. Clinical implications of results: The insights from this study can lead to improved clinical practice regarding assisting people in the early phases of adjustment. Targeted education, supportive care and independence care training are essential and positively impacts adjustment.
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    What are the creative solutions to material cultures repatriation?
    Perry, Ashley James ( 2022)
    This Master of Fine Arts research project asks how we might creatively address the issue of the repatriation of material culture by investigating some of the approaches to repatriation used by both artists and institutions, and by producing new creative works that engage this problematic history. This research has been approached through a series of inquiries: firstly, through an examination of the history of Western Museums, to offer a critical analysis of some of the ideologies behind museums and key moments which have shaped them into what we know today; and secondly, through analysis of the practices of other Indigenous artists who are dealing with museum collections and different forms of repatriation. This research paper also addresses some of the artworks that I have produced during this period, and which have been both generated from and influenced by this broader research. These include An Incomplete Register 2015 – , Precipitation 2021, Enlightenment 2020, and Reconnaissance Object disguised as Country Observes 2019, which forms part of the larger series Repatriation Objects. While this research project charts some of the significant steps towards cultural repatriation, it also acknowledges that this work is not complete. In response to shifts in this field, changing attitudes from Western institutions and states, this research also asks, “what next in a process of decolonisation?” and asserts the need to remain vigilant. The research affirms that this is a long, complex process and new issues and discussions are already emerging out of this shifting landscape.
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    Three Act Plays
    Bailey, Matthew John ( 2021)
    Three Act Plays is a practice-led Master of Fine Arts (Visual Art) research project that considers how sculpture and performance combine to act as metaphor for audience/viewer relations. The research explores what it might mean to subjectivise or flatten these relationships within an interdisciplinary practice, and incorporates analysis of works that use cross disciplinary moments to further interrogate the discussion. Through sculptural and performance video works created throughout the research, the project seeks to elaborate upon definitions of the ‘backstage’, the ‘prop’, the ‘rehearsal’, and ‘the audience’ as a way to explore a space of inter-subjectivity. The dissertation addresses these tropes via a re-reading of Michael Fried’s influential 1967 essay ‘Art and Objecthood’, prompting a critical re-evaluation of the relationships between sculpture and performance.
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    Adjunctive Natural Low Dose Docosahexanoic Acid (DHA) Omega-3 in Residual Symptoms in Depressed Patients
    Piperoglou, Michael Vasilios ( 2021)
    The stated goal of psychiatric treatment is the remission of all presenting symptoms and a return of the patient to full pre-morbid functional status. Increasingly, the presence of residual symptoms of disorder have been linked to an early relapse of the underlying psychiatric syndrome. While pharmacological treatments of moderate to severe psychiatric disorders are the main therapeutic approach, remission is achieved in around 30% of patients with the first treatment. Adjunctive treatment regimens based on medications, so-called ‘nutraceuticals’ or psychotherapy, have been investigated for their ability to alleviate these persistent residual symptoms. Among adjunctive treatments omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been investigated for their effects on symptoms of depression and anxiety. While many questions remain, one PUFA, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), has shown promise as an adjunct to the treatment for the presenting complaints in Major Depressive Disorder but has not been investigated for residual symptoms. This exploratory study utilised a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over methodology to investigate the efficacy of DHA in patients with residual symptoms of depression and anxiety meeting DSM-V criteria for a Major Depressive Disorder. Depression and anxiety symptoms were assessed at the end of 12-weeks of either placebo or DHA (and then the crossed-over situation) with clinician and patient rated scales and compared using a repeated measures analysis of variance. Neither the last observation carried forward nor the observed cases sets of data showed any statistically significant changes in depression or anxiety symptoms during treatment with placebo or DHA. Changes in patient rated scales, assessed using the same statistical methodology, were concordant with the findings from the clinician rated scales. It is concluded that DHA, in the doses used in this study, does not offer significant clinical benefits to patients with persistent residual mood symptoms. Several factors specific to the patient population studied are discussed which may explain the apparent lack of clinical effect. Further studies are suggested which could overcome some of the barriers to efficacy encountered in this trial.
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    Culturally responsive practice in Positive Behaviour Interventions and Supports: a critical analysis of the Cultural Responsiveness Field Guide
    Delany, Timothy Vianney ( 2022)
    Cultural responsiveness is a consideration when implementing a whole school change framework such as Positive Behaviour Interventions and Supports (PBIS). This thesis examines guidance for improving culturally responsive practice in Positive Behaviour Interventions and Supports (PBIS) settings. The study mobilises critical policy analysis and Decolonising Race Theory (DRT) to analyse the PBIS Cultural Responsiveness Field Guide: Resources for Trainers and Coaches (CRFG) and discusses the possibilities and consequences of the CRFG for educators working with Indigenous students in Australian schools. The research questions guiding this study examine how culturally responsive the CFRG is for Indigenous students in Australian schools and how the tenets of DRT, which present theoretical and practical opportunities for decolonising practice in education, interact with the CRFG. PBIS is a whole school learning and engagement approach that originated in the US and is now implemented in schools and systems around the world, including in other settler colonial states such as Australia. The CRFG is part of a broader PBIS practice advice ensemble and the authors are based in the US, where much of the understanding of cultural responsiveness grows from work seeking justice for African American people and the legacies of slavery. This study analyses the relevance of the advice in the CRFG for educators who are working with Indigenous students in settings that inherit and uphold structural racisms endemic to colonisation. Overall, this study has commenced a conversation about the possible intended and unintended effects of the PBIS CRFG in settler colonial contexts, particularly Australia. Despite clear and well-intentioned attempts to address the problem of cultural inequities in schools through the CRFG, critical analysis using DRT highlighted some silences and erasures within the PBIS cultural responsiveness advice and noted the tendency towards othering, binary thinking, and maintenance of the cultural status quo. However, this study also showed how DRT offers rich opportunities for unsettling settler colonial hegemonies in PBIS and in education more broadly. Further engagement with the tenets of DRT in education would be a strong step towards addressing racial justice and working towards decolonising schools.
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    Inducing human movement pattern change
    Xu, Yangmengfei ( 2021)
    Human’s movement pattern shaping is widely used in neurorehabilitation and sports training. Recent studies have shown that robotic device has its potential to become an efficient tool for clinicians to induce this change. To understand human's movement, different computational models were proposed and studied to explain how human resolves their redundancy. Although some arguments are still existing, the general idea of optimization has been well accepted. Based on these computational models, the motor learning studies showed that through practice in the new environment, the reward-based optimization could drive human to search for a better movement pattern 1) to maximize the performance and 2) to minimize the motor cost. Leveraging this optimization idea in human motor learning, this work aims to induce the movement pattern changes in an experimental setup solely relying on the motor cost without any explicit kinematic error. In this strategy, the intervention space and adaptation space are decoupled: while the force field only applies to the hand linear velocity, the adaptation is expected to happen in the redundant arm joint space (\textit{i.e.} the swivel angle). This work, therefore, explores the following topics: * Investigating the feasibility of inducing human motor adaptation in the redundant space by providing a task space intervention without explicit error feedback or instruction; * Evaluating the contribution of a progressively changing goal in this implicit motor adaptation, assuming that this adaptation may be further promoted through subtle prompts to explore the cost space; * Demonstrating a motor cost analysis based on the upper limb kinematics and dynamics model to validate the relationship between observations and motor cost.
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    Sensitivity of canine haematological cancers to BH3 mimetics
    Jegatheeson, Selvi ( 2022)
    Background: Haematological cancers such non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and acute and chronic leukaemias are common in both humans and dogs. Whilst these cancers can be treated with cytotoxic chemotherapy (and immunotherapy in people), development of treatment resistance is common. A frequently identified mechanism associated with resistance to chemotherapy-induced cell death is overexpression of the antiapoptotic B cell lymphoma 2 (BCL2) protein. Highly specific small molecule inhibitors of antiapoptotic BCL2 proteins, known as B cell lymphoma Homology 3 (BH3) mimetics, result in rapid induction of apoptosis in vitro and in vivo in human haematological cancer cells. This has led to the approval of the BCL2-specific inhibitor, venetoclax (VEN), for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) in Australia, North America and Europe. Expression of BCL2 has been reported in canine nodal lymphoma, however sensitivity of primary canine cells to BH3 mimetics has not been evaluated. Objectives: This study aimed to assess the in vitro sensitivity of non-neoplastic lymphocytes and primary haematological cancer cells from dogs to VEN or the dual BCL2/BCLxL inhibitor, navitoclax (NAV). The second aim was to evaluate the association between BCL2 protein expression and sensitivity to VEN. Methods: Nine dogs without cancer and 30 dogs with haematological cancers were recruited. Lymphocytes were isolated from peripheral blood, lymph node and/or bone marrow and incubated with VEN or NAV for 24 hours. Viable cells were enumerated using flow cytometry and the half maximal effective concentration (EC50) was calculated; BCL2 protein from whole cell lysates was assessed via immunoblotting. Results: Non-neoplastic lymph node-derived B and T canine lymphocytes were more sensitive to VEN than circulating lymphocytes (P = 0.02). Eighteen dogs with haematological cancers were included in the final analysis, including six cases of non-indolent multicentric B cell lymphoma, four cases of acute leukaemia, three cases of non-indolent multicentric T cell lymphoma, two cases each of indolent T-zone lymphoma and T-cell CLL, and one case of multiple myeloma. Neoplastic T lymphocytes (7/7) showed marked sensitivity to BH3 mimetics, with an EC50 <100nM, whilst 6/7 samples of non-indolent B cell cancers were resistant to VEN, with an EC50 >1000nM. All samples of acute leukaemia showed sensitivity to NAV, however sensitivity to VEN varied. Canine BCL2 protein was detected in all samples sensitive to VEN and was variably detected in resistant samples. All samples that lacked BCL2 were resistant to VEN. Conclusion and Clinical Importance: Neoplastic canine T lymphocytes are sensitive to VEN at concentrations achievable in vivo, thus VEN may be a novel therapeutic agent for treatment of canine T cell cancers. Detection of BCL2 protein is insufficient to predict in vitro sensitivity to VEN.
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    Studies of Exercise induced pulmonary haemorrhage in Thoroughbred and Standardbred Racehorses
    Sullivan, Stacey Louise ( 2022)
    Exercise induced pulmonary haemorrhage (EIPH) or ‘bleeding’ is an important disease of exercising horses. Though it is a disease commonly identified by equine veterinary practitioners, there is a lack of information regarding the impact of an episode of EIPH to career after examination or whether occurrence of EIPH is predictive of a horse’s lifetime athletic potential. There also exists a lack of consensus as whether the commonly used treatment, frusemide (a loop diuretic) is an effective medication to reduce or prevent EIPH. This research project addresses these two questions, with the aim of producing high quality information which can be used to underpin evidence based clinical recommendations for EIPH in horses.
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    Balancing Performance of Haptic Physical Human-Robot Interaction
    Liu, Zheyu ( 2022)
    In the field of physical human-robot interaction (p-HRI), haptic interaction is one of the most popular features that can be applied to various applications such as rehabilitation for post-stroke patients, telemanipulation surgery, game-based training, and so on. On the one hand, stability or passivity is one of the basic requirements in designing p-HRI systems. On the other hand, other performance indices such as transparency are also needed in p-HRI. It is well-known that transparency and passivity are two conflicting performance requirements in p-HRI. This thesis focused on developing a data-driven strategy to address the performance trade-off between stability and desired dynamic behaviors of an admittance device for a physical human-robot interaction, which are known to be conflicting with each other. In this work, a novel concept of ultimate passivity is proposed to relax the requirement of passivity in transient response while keeping steady-state passivity to allow flexibility in improving other performance requirements. A new admittance-type passivity controller, consisting of a conservative controller to keep stability, a nominal controller to keep transparency, and a switching law between them to ensure the ultimate passivity, is proposed. The main result of this work provides sufficient conditions so that appropriately selected parameters can ensure the ultimate passivity. In order to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework, a haptic simulation model is built in Matlab/Simulink. Simulation results support the theoretical findings.
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    Investigating First and Second Language English Teachers’ Attitudes to ‘Grammar’ and ‘Grammar Teaching’ in Secondary Schools Using Q-methodology
    Victor, James Lewis ( 2022)
    Abstract: This thesis investigates first and second language English teachers’ attitudes to ‘grammar’ and ‘grammar teaching’ in secondary schools using Q-methodology. It aims to investigate these key questions: a) What attitudes to ‘grammar’ and ‘grammar teaching’ do subject English and EAL/D teachers hold? b) What factors shape these attitudes? They raise other interesting and important lines of enquiry, beginning with what teachers understand by the terms ‘grammar’ and ‘grammar teaching’, terms that have been defined in different ways and which evoke a range of attitudes. This study is significant in that it provides a unique and contemporary snapshot of teachers’ attitudes to grammar and grammar teaching. Other significant questions include the effect various discourses about ‘grammar’ have on teacher attitudes, the extent to which teachers value grammatical content in the curriculum, their views about their own level of grammar knowledge and their attitudes to various pedagogical approaches to its teaching. In addition, there is the question of beliefs teachers hold about claims of the utility (or otherwise) of grammatical knowledge as a set of tools to improve students writing and text analysis skills. This study involved 25 English and EAL teacher participants. Online data collection was conducted remotely with Q software and questionnaires. From the q-sorts, factors were extracted and rotated, and attitudes represented by six emerging factors were identified, representing distinctive teacher viewpoints towards grammar teaching. These factors were named, characterised and analysed in relation to the research questions. Despite the contested nature of the field of grammar, the findings were significant in that most participants conveyed positive attitudes to grammar and to its teaching. The data also supported the theme of teachers viewing grammar as an important resource and a useful tool for teaching students how to be better writers and text analysers, and viewed grammar as worthy of its place in the curriculum. Other implications of this systematic examination of teacher attitudes to grammar and grammar teaching are considered and will be of interest and of value to stakeholders such as pre-service and in-service teachers, curriculum writers and professional development providers.