• Assessing the generalisability of a multicentre qualitative dementia research: the experience and challenges faced by the MinD project in Europe

      Lim, Jennifer NW; Niedderer, Kristina; Tournier, Isabelle; Almeida, Rosa; Harrison, Dew; Holthoff-Detto, Vjera; Ludden, Geke; van Rompay, Thomas; van der Voort, Mascha; Galansinska, Aleksandra; et al. (F1000 Research, 2021-11-10)
      Background: Generalisation of findings is an important aspect of research and essential for evidence-based practice. While generalisation is common in quantitative research, there is a lack of generalisability in qualitative research. This paper presents the experience and challenges faced by the Designing for People with Dementia (MinD) project in meeting the requirements to strengthen the generalisation of findings on the lived experience of people living with dementia and their engagement to co-create designs to empower their everyday living. Methods: Polit and Beck (2010)’s strategies to generalise qualitative findings were applied: (1) replication in sampling; (2) replication of studies; (3) meta-synthesis of findings; (4) reflexivity and conceptualization; (5) immersion with the data; and (6) thick description. Results: While it is possible to increase the generabilisabilty of qualitative evidence through the replication of the sampling to attain a large, heterogeneous sample in different and multiple contexts and environments; implementation of sound and robust research; conducting in-depth analysis and interpretation collaboratively for emergent themes; and meeting the thick description requirement, there are challenges that the project team faced in implementing some of the Polit and Beck’s strategies because of the condition, namely dementia, that our participants are having. Other challenges faced were: the language and cultural diversity in the team; diverse work and organisational procedures; and the inter-disciplinary differences relating to the methods of enquiry, approaches and techniques to conduct research. These challenges will need to be identified and addressed at the start of the project with a strong leadership to ensure a seamless journey to complete the project successfully. Trust between the researchers and participants, and time to build this trust are critical to recruitment and participation in the study; these factors are of utmost important in research involving participants with condition such as dementia.
    • Association of fat mass profile with natriuretic peptide receptor alpha in subcutaneous adipose tissue of medication-free healthy men: A cross-sectional study

      Dinas, Petros C; Nintou, Eleni; Psychou, Dimitra; Granzotto, Marnie; Rossato, Marco; Vettor, Roberto; Jamurtas, Athanasios Z; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Metsios, George S; Flouris, Andreas D (F1000 Research, 2018-07-18)
      Background: Atrial natriuretic peptide increases lipolysis in human adipocytes by binding to natriuretic peptide receptor-A (NPRA). The aim of the current study was to examine the associations of NPRA mRNA of subcutaneous adipose tissue with fat mass, fat-free mass, body mass index (BMI) and arterial blood pressure in medication-free healthy men. Method: Thirty-two volunteers [age (years): 36.06±7.36, BMI: 27.60±4.63 (kg/m2)] underwent assessments of body height/weight, % fat mass, fat-free mass (kg), blood pressure, and a subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsy via a surgical technique. Results: We found that NPRA mRNA was negatively associated with % fat mass (r=-0.40, R2=0.16, p=0.03) and BMI (r=-0.45, R2=0.20, p=0.01). Cohen’s f2 effect size analyses showed a small effect size between NPRA mRNA and BMI (f2=0.25). One-way analysis of variance with Bonferroni post-hoc tests showed a tendency for mean differences of NPRA mRNA across BMI categories (p=0.06). This was confirmed by Cohen’s d effect size analyses revealing a large effect size of NPRA mRNA between obese individuals (BMI≥30 kg/m2) and either normal weight (BMI=19-25 kg/m2; d=0.94) or overweight (BMI=25-30 kg/m2; d=1.12) individuals. Conclusions: NPRA mRNA is negatively associated with % fat mass and BMI in medication-free healthy men, suggesting a possible role of NPRA in the control of fat mass accumulation
    • Effects of physical activity on the link between PGC-1a and FNDC5 in muscle, circulating Ιrisin and UCP1 of white adipocytes in humans: A systematic review

      Dinas, Petros C.; Lahart, Ian M.; Timmons, James A.; Svensson, Per-Arne; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Flouris, Andreas D.; Metsios, George S. (F1000 Research, 2017-05-26)
      Background: Exercise may activate a brown adipose-like phenotype in white adipose tissue. The aim of this systematic review was to identify the effects of physical activity on the link between peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1a) and fibronectin type III domain-containing protein 5 (FNDC5) in muscle, circulating Irisin and uncoupling protein one (UCP1) of white adipocytes in humans. Methods: Two databases (PubMed 1966 to 08/2016 and EMBASE 1974 to 08/2016) were searched using an appropriate algorithm. We included articles that examined physical activity and/or exercise in humans that met the following criteria: a) PGC-1a in conjunction with FNDC5 measurements, and b) FNDC5 and/or circulating Irisin and/or UCP1 levels in white adipocytes. Results: We included 51 studies (12 randomised controlled trials) with 2474 participants. Out of the 51 studies, 16 examined PGC-1a and FNDC5 in response to exercise, and only four found increases in both PGC-1a and FNDC5 mRNA and one showed increased FNDC5 mRNA. In total, 22 out of 45 studies that examined circulating Irisin in response to exercise showed increased concentrations when ELISA techniques were used; two studies also revealed increased Irisin levels measured via mass spectrometry. Three studies showed a positive association of circulating Irisin with physical activity levels. One study found no exercise effects on UCP1 mRNA in white adipocytes. Conclusions: The effects of physical activity on the link between PGC-1a, FNDC5 mRNA in muscle and UCP1 in white human adipocytes has attracted little scientific attention. Current methods for Irisin identification lack precision and, therefore, the existing evidence does not allow for conclusions to be made regarding Irisin responses to physical activity. We found a contrast between standardised review methods and accuracy of the measurements used. This should be considered in future systematic reviews.