Recent Submissions

  • An investigation into the impact of visual imagery ability on the development and experience of mindfulness

    Galbraith, Niall; Smith, Órla; School of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-08)
    Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have an established evidence base demonstrating positive outcomes across biopsychosocial domains. One variable which may impact engagement with MBIs is that of visual imagery ability (VVIQ), the ability to create a mental image of object that is not in sight. This study aimed to explore the impact of individual differences in visual imagery ability on the experience and development of mindfulness. The study used a mixed method, randomised, experimental design and was delivered remotely. A sample size of 77 was achieved, comprising of undergraduate psychology students and the general public. The aim of the quantitative element was two-fold. Firstly, to examine whether an interaction between visual imagery ability (low, high) and mode of mindfulness (virtual environment, audio, video) would impact on state mindfulness scores. Secondly, it looked to examine whether such an interaction would impact on participants’ views of acceptability, inclination towards future use, and enjoyment of the mindfulness task undertaken. The aim of the qualitative element was to develop themes contrasting and comparing the participants’ subjective experience of the mindfulness tasks. Thematic analysis was applied to the qualitative data to develop common themes that characterise participant experience. This produced two overarching themes, ‘being here versus being there’ and ‘positive benefits’. The first had four subthemes: memory, technology, distractions, and sensory elements. ‘Positive benefits’ contained two subthemes: future practice and change in state. The quantitative study data were analysed with a mixed ANOVA and MANOVA. These results indicate a significant interaction between VVIQ and the method of delivery of a mindfulness task although this did not occur in the predicted way. For those high in VVIQ optimal results were found within an audio modality, those low in VVIQ did better within a video only modality. No significant difference was found on measures of enjoyment, acceptability, or willingness to engage in future practice. The qualitative data supported these findings. There was a main effect of time with a significant increase in mindfulness across all conditions pre to post intervention. These results have been explored within the current evidence base and discussed with regard to ideas for future research. Implications for counselling psychology practice include suggestions about how the current study might encourage wider accessibility to mindfulness-based interventions through their individualisation based on VVIQ. This individualisation may benefit Counselling Psychologists with lower visual imagery ability who facilitate mindfulness-based interventions within their work.
  • Emotions surrounding restrained eating in young adult students

    Devonport, Tracey; Nicholls, Wendy; Budon, Prianca; School of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-08)
    Aims: A mixed-methods study focusing on experiences of restrained eating in young adult students, to develop our understanding of emotions surrounding dieting, diet violation and diet abandonment, thought to precede issues with weight management and disordered eating behaviours. Method: Using the participant selection model variant of the sequential explanatory mixed method design (Creswell, 2007), quantitative study 1 measured emotions, dietary restraint, perceived deprivation and self-control reported by students during a non-examination period, in comparison to emotions reported the week before exam(s). Results identified ‘restrained eaters’ according to the Revised Restraint Scale (Herman & Polivy, 1980), informing participant selection for qualitative study 2, using semi-structured interviews and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Main findings: Study 1. There was a significant main effect of group (restrained/unrestrained eater) on Total Mood Disturbance. This supported previous findings that restrained eaters are more likely to experience unpleasant emotions than unrestrained eaters (Herman & Polivy, 2020). Study 2. Three superordinate themes emerged; “It is better to be ‘someone that isn’t overweight!”, “Happy about the diet plan” and “Danger Zone”. The early development of internalised weight bias appeared influential for motivations to diet and susceptibility to weight-normative narratives, which determined ‘successful’ dieting methods. Pleasant achievement emotions and perseverance were associated with dietary restraint, to overcome intrapsychic conflict in pursuit of specific goals. However, efforts to exercise self-control seemed to fluctuate according to emotional state and result in dietary violations, possibly due to ‘ego depletion’ referred to in the strength model of self-control (Baumeister, 2006). Subsequent counterregulatory eating and emotional eating, appeared to prompt further dietary restraint in response to unpleasant emotions of guilt, shame, and failure. Conclusions: Dietary restraint presents a repetitive pattern of conflicting emotional, cognitive, psychosocial, and behavioural processes that might precede disordered eating behaviours in young adults. Weight concerns and unmet emotional needs that emerge in childhood and adolescence might be risk factors for further investigation. Recommendations: A novel dual process model of emotions surrounding restrained eating in young adults is proposed as an early identification and therapeutic intervention tool for unhelpful intrapsychic conflict and eating behaviours. Weight-inclusive, and compassion-focussed approaches also appear suited to working with associated emotions of guilt and shame.
  • Investigation of the smart cities strategies within the United Kingdom

    Suresh, Subashini; Renukappa, Suresh; Keshvardoost, Sina; School of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2024-03)
    The Smart City (SC) concept has emerged as an innovative response to the challenges and opportunities faced by cities around the world. However, despite many attempts to implement various strategies, many organisations within the United Kingdom still encounter difficulties embedding the smart city agenda in their systems and processes. The aim of this research is to develop a strategic framework for implementing smart city strategies in the United Kingdom to improve the quality of life for its citizens. Exploratory qualitative research was undertaken due to the lack of strategy frameworks on the subject. This research explores the understanding of the smart city school of thought and the evaluation of the smart city concept from economic, digital, environmental, and citizen’s perspectives. Additionally, this study strives to investigate the key policy challenges that help to innovate smart cities and how the governments of smart cities can use technology and smart city infrastructure such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Furthermore, this research develops and evaluates the strategic smart city framework. Twenty-five key influential business CEOs in the smart city sector were chosen and through snowball sampling, the participants were interviewed. Through the literature review and the thematic analysis of the interviews, firstly, the different perspectives of smart cities were identified (citizen, environmental, digital, and economic perspectives) and the key challenges that affect the innovation of smart cities were found from the government’s point of view and policy development aspect. It was found that the technology infrastructure (IT/ICT), cybersecurity, funding, stakeholders, and their collaboration with the government and citizens, as well as the knowledge and awareness of smart cities. Strategic challenges were highlighted as the main inhibitor of smart city implementation within the United Kingdom. The framework developed provides valuable insights and serves as a roadmap for decision-makers, providing them with the tools, strategies and guidance they need to plan and implement initiatives that improve the quality of life for citizens, by leveraging data, improving citizen engagement, encouraging collaboration, and prioritising privacy and security, cities can realise the full potential of smart technologies to improve quality of life and drive economic growth. By following the framework, decision-makers can ensure that smart city projects are aligned with the city's goals and priorities and deliver tangible benefits to citizens.
  • The deported: how the forcibly removed are treated in their country of origin – evidence from Ghana

    Pryke, Sam; Housee, Shirin; N-yo, Haruna; Faculty of Arts, Business, and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2024-01)
    In recent decades, the practice of deportation has gained prominence in immigration policies, forming a crucial part of the immigration control armoury of many European and industrialised states. Some politicians across the political spectrum in these states often stoke xenophobic sentiments among sections of their populations, who demand the swift expulsion of foreign nationals they deem undesirable or 'illegal'. Governments duly oblige, introducing harsh removal policies that cause untold hardships for vulnerable immigrants who are administratively detained and ultimately sent back to their countries of origin, where they often face alienation. This study explored the detention and removal experiences of Ghanaian deportees, focusing on their reincorporation and estrangement in their home country from their perspective. The findings show that deportees' daily realities are centred around uncertainty, persistent social stigmatisation, and lack of governmental support that harms their economic, cultural, and psychosocial embeddedness. Despite their strenuous efforts to fully reintegrate and be accepted as valued members of their communities, their deportation seems to have defined their place in Ghanaian society as 'failures' and irresponsible individuals, leading many to contemplate leaving the country again. Aside from the reasons that instigated their initial migration, such as lack of opportunities, insecurity, and deprivation, deportation creates additional factors that drive deportees to consider remigrating. These include dealing with debt incurred from their initial migration and feelings of inadequacy and embarrassment of returning home empty-handed. The study thus sheds light on the repercussions of forced return migration, an underresearched area in this country.
  • The use of a novel scent enrichment to improve captive primate welfare and its potential application to conservation breeding

    Vaglio, Stefano; Elwell, Emily Jayne; School of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2024-05)
    Scent-marking behaviours are common across vertebrates, having roles in territoriality, sex identification and advertising fertility. Lemurs which rely on olfactory communication are a conservation priority and modern zoos have a role in contributing to their conservation with captive breeding programmes. But mismatches between zoo and wild environments may lead to welfare problems, which can impact upon breeding success. To improve welfare, zoos routinely use environmental enrichments, including scents (typically essential oils) which may have applications to improve breeding success for lemurs. My project aims to study the scent-marking and odour profiles of zoo-housed crowned lemurs (Eulemur coronatus) and red-ruffed lemurs (Varecia rubra). I also aim to develop a novel, biologically-relevant scent enrichment based on odour profiles. Firstly, I examined the scent-marking behaviours and odour secretions released by lemurs, by combining commonly used behavioural sampling methods (scan sampling) and cutting-edge semiochemistry techniques, including solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and Gas-Chromatography-Mass-Spectrometry (GC-MS). I found that both male crowned (n= 1) and red-ruffed (n= 1) lemurs’ scent-mark significantly more than their respective females (n = 1 for both). I identified 12 volatile compounds on female red-ruffed lemur odour samples that may provide breeding season cues and used them to develop a novel scent enrichment. Following this, I tested this enrichment with groups (n= 4) of red-ruffed and black-and-white ruffed (V. variegata) lemurs housed at Twycross Zoo (n= 2), Dudley Zoo & Castle (n= 7) and Shaldon Wildlife Trust (n= 6). To assess both welfare and breeding indicators I combined behavioural observations with faecal endocrinology using enzyme immunoassay techniques to analyse cortisol and testosterone. The enrichment had effects on welfare, with a significant increase of active behaviours observed during the enrichment period in comparison to the baseline; however, stress-related behaviours and faecal cortisol concentration also increased. Encouragingly, the scent enrichment triggered sexual behaviours, crucially including mounting, in all but one male, but no effects were found on male faecal testosterone concentration. Thus, biologically-relevant scent enrichments have the potential to impact on conservation breeding and in the future this could be applied to other endangered species.
  • Exploring how global majority psychological therapists manage racial microaggressions in therapy with white clients

    Galbraith, Niall; Orchard, Lisa; Sinclair, Alisha; School of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-11)
    Aim and Rationale: Racial Microaggressions can have a detrimental psychological and physical impact on people belonging to marginalised groups, including those working as healthcare professionals (Spainerman et al., 2021; Von Bartel, 2022). Multicultural counselling has not typically centred research concerning Global Majority psychological therapists. The aim of the current study aims to explore how racial microaggressions are managed by Global Majority psychological therapists in therapy with white clients. Method: The current study utilises a mixed methods design guided by qualitative methods. Q-methodology was used as the overall method for both studies. In the first study, psychological therapists took part in semi-structured interviews to discuss how they managed racial microaggressions in therapy with white clients. A reflexive thematic analysis was utilised to analyse the interview transcripts. Three overarching themes and six subthemes were identified. The second study utilised the emerged themes in the first study as the concourse for the Q-statements in the second study. The Q-study analysed similar and divergent views of how therapists managed racial microaggressions in therapy. Results: In the first study, the three overarching themes were: 1) Racism is commonplace, 2) The therapist’s sense of unsafety and 3) The conflict between maintaining a connection with the client and addressing racial microaggressions were generated. In the second study three factors were extracted using Q-methodology: factor 1, the strength of the therapeutic relationship; therapists considered the therapeutic alliance before addressing racial microaggressions. Factor 2, I’m not supported, I feel powerless; therapists expressed feeling unsupportive by colleagues and experienced a powerlessness in addressing racial microaggressions, and factor 3, I’m not shocked, I have no desire, therapists felt that racial microaggressions were normal and had no desire to address. These findings identified a series of convergent and divergent viewpoints. Conclusion: The current study’s findings pinpoint the complexities faced when managing racial microaggressions in therapy within a global majority therapist and white client therapy dyad. The current study highlights the antiracist training needs for therapists, managers, and supervisors. Findings illustrate the effects of colourblind attitudes on managing racial microaggressions and the risk to therapists’ psychological well-being. The implications of these results will inform multicultural and antiracist supervision, clinical practice, and training.
  • Dance injury monitoring, strength and conditioning training for decreasing injury incidence for Chinese pre-professional dancers

    Wyon, Matthew; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Chen, Ruoling; Dang, Yanan; School of Sport, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2024-04)
    The high prevalence of dance injuries affects elements of training, rehearsals, performance, and even the daily lives of those involved. Therefore, reducing and preventing dance injuries is an ultimate goal. Previous studies have evidenced that greater levels of physical fitness have been linked to decreased injury incidence and improved dance performance, whilst they had not been reviewed. The systematic review, for the first time, systematically reviewed the efficacy of physical fitness training on dance injury. It included 10 studies that met the inclusion criteria from an initial 2450 publications. These studies offered physical fitness training for professional (n = 3) and pre-professional dancers (n = 7), participant sample size ranged between 5 to 62, ages from 11 to 27 years, and most participants were females. Assessment scores were classified as Fair (n = 1), Limited (n = 7), and Expert Opinion Only (n = 2) and risk of bias scores ranged from 22.7% to 68.2 %. After physical fitness training, 80 % of studies reported significant benefits in injury rate, the time between injuries, pain intensity, pain severity, missed dance activities and injury count. This review suggests that physical fitness training could have a beneficial effect on injury incidence in dance. The evidence is limited by the current study methodologies. Based on this evidence, the following studies (studies 1-4) focused on improving the level of evidence in study design, dance injury tracking methods, physical fitness training content and load, and dance injury reduction. In addition, previous research has mostly focused on Western populations, with only a few studies examining Chinese dancers. Therefore, using exclusively Chinese dancers, the aims of this thesis were fourfold: (a) to investigate and compare injury prevalence, causes, and risk factors before and during the COVID-19 lockdown, (b) to develop a dance injury monitoring tool on a weekly basis and examine its efficacy of weekly reporting and respondent compliance, (c) to determine injury incidence and injury severity of Chinese full-time pre-professional dancers using the injury monitoring tool, and (d) to examine the efficacy of strength and conditioning training on dance injury, physical fitness, and dance performance. Study 1 investigated dance injury in 2086 full-time Chinese pre-professional dancers pre- and post-COVID lockdown. Self-reports revealed that injury prevalence dropped significantly from 39.6% to 16.5% during this period (p<0.01). During the lockdown, the injuries on the lower back, feet and shoulders decreased significantly (p<0.01), but the knee, ankle and groin joint injuries remained the same. Fatigue and the recurrence of an old injury remained reported as the top two perceived causes of an injury between the two periods. Study 2 developed a weekly online dance injury monitoring tool and examined its efficacy. A total of 756 respondents from 16 different Chinese dance schools engaged in the survey. Over a two-semester period, the dropout rate was 70.1%, with student respondents under 18 years of age having a slightly lower drop-out rate than adult respondents (69% vs 71%). It was concluded that the researchers would need to weigh reduced completion rates (<100%) against data efficacy to achieve generalizability. Study 3 determined dance injury incidence and severity in full-time Chinese pre-professional dancers using the injury monitoring tool developed in Study 2. A total of 450 individuals’ data from 11 different schools were included in the analyses. The injury prevalence was 64.9%, and the injury incidence was 5.51 injuries per 1000 hours. Forty-eight percent of the injuries were minor severity and 41% were of moderate severity. Female dancers are at a higher risk of injury and reported higher levels of injury severity than male dancers (p<0.001). Study 4 examined the effects of a strength and conditioning training intervention on dance injury, physical fitness and dance performance. A total of 89 full-time pre-professional dancers participated. Sixty-seven dancers volunteered for a 12-week strength and conditioning training intervention (2-session/week, 40-60-min/session), and 22 dancers acted as controls. The injury was self-reported using the dance injury monitoring tool (Study 2). The intervention group significantly increased physical fitness (p<0.001), but their dance performance data remained unchanged (p>0.05). The intervention group reported lower injury prevalence (28% vs 15%, p<0.001) and injury incidence (8.09 vs 5.16 injuries per 1000hrs, p<0.05) than the previous year. In conclusion, this thesis examined dance injury epidemiology following the COVID-19 arrival for a sizable sample size of Chinese pre-professional dancers and then determined injury incidence at a higher level of evidence using an innovative self-developed dance injury monitoring tool. Building on this, this thesis reinforced the positive effect of strength and conditioning training on dance injury incidence. The thesis has contributed to moving one step closer to reducing and preventing dance injuries and enriching the diversity of participants in dance injury studies.
  • Learning lessons from five student paramedics within their exposure to suicide: a critical narrative study

    Cureton, Debra; Dickens, Clare; Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2024-04)
    Background A suicide loss leaves behind a ripple effect of exposure and sense-making. Postvention research and practice has in part focused on professional/occupational exposure. However, it appears to have largely neglected paramedic science and emerging professional/occupational contexts for students who are studying a Higher Education course in allied health professions. Methodology The study design is methodologically grounded in the narrative method. The stories of five student paramedics who self-identified as experiencing exposure to suicide in their emerging professional/occupational context were collected. Positioned as socially co-constructed, and emerging in a post-structuralist world, this narrative inquiry then becomes a critical narrative study. A collocation of sense-making emerges within the discussions and places the students’ narrations side-by-side with the wider discourse and discursive practices which surround and construct professional/occupational suicide exposure, which are then analysed through a Foucauldian lens. Findings Having engaged in a critical interpretive synthesis of the background literature, this thesis has exposed how professional/occupational suicide exposure research is constructed as a problem. Expanding this body of knowledge, the student paramedics’ experiences and sense-making are presented within this study against an emergent plot line of voyage and return, travelling through themes of anticipation, initial fascination, frustration, nightmare, and return, and offer a form of oral history and co-constructed sense-making. These themes are merged and held against a narrative plot line and depicts a metaphor of multiple journeys. The concluding chapter offers an evocative and poetic representation of this metaphor, which has the capacity to bridge concepts, and to extend imagination into recognising new possibilities that emerge from the lessons our student paramedics offer. Possibilities Other avenues of research as well as paramedic science pedagogic possibilities emerge from this study, such as a decision to focus on allied health professional students studying in a Higher Education and placement learning context when exploring suicide exposure. Narrative as a way of knowing, would see us move away from a research and pedagogic approach that simply imparts knowledge of an accepted culture to the next generation of professionals. More so, a student paramedics education should offer sufficient time, space, and place to critically evaluate, to develop better knowledge of themselves and their contexts so that they can participate in that professional/occupational space to transform it. The augmented theoretical and conceptual model that is constructed within this critical narrative study, could be adopted within any study focus or topic of inquiry.
  • Soundtracking American smart cinema: self-expression, identity and alienation

    Halligan, Benjamin; Pheasant-Kelly, Fran; Martin, Scott; Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2024-03)
    The thesis argues that American smart cinema, a film development identified initially by Sconce (2002) and expanded by Perkins (2012), demonstrates a variation in its use of the diegetic soundtrack. This has allowed characters within its narratives to use the expressive qualities offered by listening and consuming music, furthering their desires to communicate with other characters and regulate their sense of self-identity. The thesis has therefore assembled a new and effective method of viewing this cycle of films, one that is characterised by its treatment of music, situated diegetically within the narrative. Rather than view the interrelationship between sound and image as a hierarchy in which the image dominates and soundtrack is subordinate to the visual realm of cinema, the thesis first looks to establish traditional soundtrack strategies and chart their development and alterations across the American smart cinema cycle, in contrast to more mainstream and historical modes of soundtrack. The intersection of the thematic concerns of American smart cinema, most overtly in representations of alienation, identity and memory as barriers towards communication, are supported by the use of the diegetic soundtrack, reinforcing uniformity across the cycle and helping to maintain a general consistency of tone, mood and characterisation. To conclude, this thesis contributes to a body of thought on the use of diegetic soundtrack as a key component in cinema, in this case helping to establish themes within the smart film cycle, namely those of fractured relationships, alienation, identity and nostalgia. Critically, I consider these features and examine the signifying functions in the overlaps between representation, narrative and soundtrack within American smart film.
  • Life for the student at a neoliberal university: a case study investigating the influence of neoliberalism on the experiences of higher education students

    Lalli, Gurpinder; Elliot, Mark; School of Education, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-09)
    This study aims to develop an understanding of how students experience university life during neoliberal times. Literature which explains the influence of neoliberalism on higher education (HE) is reviewed. In addition, the social theory of Ritzer (2015) is employed to help understand developments in the HE sector. Whilst there is an abundant body of existing literature examining the impact of neoliberalism on HE, the experiences of students remain relatively unexplored. The research is philosophically underpinned by a constructionist ontology and an interpretivist epistemology. A case study research design is employed with semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis used to collect and analyse the data respectively. Throughout the project, the researcher attempts to occupy a reflexive position which emphasises the need for critical self-evaluation. Despite some participants rejecting the assertion that they were consumers of HE, the study finds that students are increasingly adopting a consumerist and instrumental orientation towards their studies and conceive of university as a means through which to enhance their career prospects. The research also finds that students are becoming increasingly performative and view their relationships with academic staff as transactional rather than pedagogical. This is to say that the experiences of students are increasingly neoliberal in character.
  • Targets and mechanism of actions of novel hybrid peptides with insulin-releasing or glucose-lowering effects

    Ojo, Opeolu O.; Falobi, Ayodele Abiodun; Research Institute in Healthcare Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2024-03)
  • Investigation of the anticancer activity and mechanisms of zinc diethyldithiocarbamate in multiple myeloma

    Wang, Weiguang; Basu, Supratik; Rajendran, Gowtham; Research Institute in Healthcare Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-11)
    Background: Multiple myeloma (MM) is a haematological malignancy of the plasma cells that primarily arises in the bone marrow. Although the advent of multiple treatment options such as immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs), proteasome inhibitors (PI), CAR-T therapy and antibody-based therapies have improved the prognosis of MM, all patients eventually relapse due to the presence and development of drug resistance. Therefore, the development of new drugs to meet this challenge is of clinical urgency. Due to the time (15 years) and costs (£1.5 billion/drug) for new drug development, repurposing old drugs for new indications is an emerging alternative strategy that is more viable in terms of costs and time. Disulfiram (DS), an anti-alcoholism drug used in the clinic for over 70 years, demonstrates excellent specific anticancer activity with no/low toxicity to normal tissues. DS chelates with transition metals such as copper and zinc to form metal-metabolite complexes (zinc/copper diethyldithiocarbamate), which are the active anticancer compounds. Diethyldithiocarbamate (DDC), a metabolite of DS, has previously been trialled in clinics to treat HIV patients due to its immunomodulatory properties. Zinc diethyldithiocarbamate (ZnDDC) is a promising compound to translate for MM treatment as a multi-target drug due to the established immunomodulatory properties of its structural moieties Zn and DDC. Although the anticancer potential of DS and its metabolites has been known for more than three decades, its translation has been limited by its very short half-life in the bloodstream (< 4 min) and its metabolite DDC is methylated in the liver that results in the loss of anticancer activity. This study focuses on investigating the anticancer and immunomodulatory potential of ZnDDC in MM and developing a novel PEGylated liposome nanoformulation of ZnDDC (PEGLipo-ZnDDC) to overcome the translational limitations of ZnDDC. Results: In this study, ZnDDC showed potent cytotoxicity in MM cell lines and patient-derived MM cells (IC50s: 5-10μM). ZnDDC synergistically enhances the cytotoxicity of IMiDs (lenalidomide, Pomalidomide) and PI (bortezomib) and reverses resistance of MM cells to these drugs. ZnDDC is able to induce apoptosis in MM cells, demonstrated by cleavage of PARP-1. Although ZnDDC has no effect on the mRNA expression of cereblon (CRBN), Ikaros (IKZF1), aiolos (IKZF3) and Interferon regulatory factor-4 (IRF4), a significant downregulation of protein levels was observed after treating the MM cell lines with sub-cytotoxic concentrations of ZnDDC (2-5 μM). After exposure to low concentration of ZnDDC, levels of both IL-2 mRNA and protein were significantly boosted in T lymphocytes. Molecular docking simulation using the AutoDock4 software predicted the potential binding of ZnDDC to the IMiD binding pocket present in CRBN. The study has led to the successful development of a PEGLipo-ZnDDC nano formulation with appreciable drug-loading content and stability. The formulation also retained the potent cytotoxic profile of free ZnDDC. Conclusion: ZnDDC demonstrates excellent cytotoxicity and synergistic effect when used in combination with clinically used IMiDs and BTZ in MM cells. The developed PEGLipo-ZnDDC nano formulation demonstrates desirable drug loading, size, and stability and retains the cytotoxicity.
  • Sustained competitive advantage using Industry 4.0 strategies: a case of UK infrastructure sector

    Renukappa, Suresh; Suresh, Subashini; Jallow, Haddy; School of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2024-03)
    Globally, technological development is growing rapidly where nations around the world are becoming more digital and data driven to shift into the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). The United Kingdom is on the route to follow these footsteps as their government have set plans to digitise and automate industries to achieve the goal of better efficiency and productivity thus, improving the economy. Despite the efforts from the UK Government enforcing a mandate in a minimum Level 2 BIM (Building Information Model) for all public sector projects over the contract is over 12 months and worth £10,000,000 or more, organisations within the infrastructure sector are still witnessing challenges in incorporating industry 4.0 agenda within their projects and processes. Additionally, there is a scarcity of literature and research on the implementation of industry 4.0 strategies within the UK infrastructure sector to increase productivity and improve organisations competitiveness. Consequently, this research aims to conduct an evaluation of the UK infrastructure sector and their implementation of industry 4.0 strategies to improve processes and competitiveness. This research uses a qualitative approach, and 21 interviews were conducted from five large UK infrastructure sector organisations and eight small to medium sized organisations within the sector. Purposive sampling was adopted in the early stages of research which was turned into snowball sampling further in the research. The data collection method adopted was semi structured interviews where the interviews data were analysed through thematic analysis to gain a wider perspective of the interview data. To accomplish the aim of the research, the following systematic approaches were adopted; TISM (Total Interpretive Structural Model), Fuzzy MICMAC (Fuzzy Matrice d’Impacts Croises-Multiplication Applique an Classment), GTMA (Graph Theoretic and matrix Approach), and the Maturity Model. This research outputs a framework and a developed readiness tool. The results have suggested that the infrastructure sector have identified four key change processes that are vital for industry 4.0 strategies: People, Processes, Strategies, and Tools/Technology. The UK infrastructure sector is behind in complying with the laws set by the UK government despite organisations providing the required tools for implementation. It has been found that competitiveness has been one of the main key drivers for organisations implementing industry 4.0 initiatives. Software and hardware challenges were highlighted as the main challenges for industry 4.0 initiatives implementation within the infrastructure sector. The results of this research study highlight useful intuitions that would be beneficial to the UK infrastructure sector and the decision makers within their organisations to adopt and implement industry 4.0 initiatives to provide value to organisations productivity and efficiency.
  • Enemy of the state: political surveillance in twentieth century Britain

    Price, Oliver (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-11)
  • Bio-active strategies: bacterial cellulose dressings for combating fungal wound infections

    Radecka, Iza; Swingler, Sam; Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2024)
  • An IPA investigation into the experience of a hypnobirthing birth

    Wesson, Caroline; Brooks, Hannah; School of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-11)
    Background: Pregnancy and birth pose significant emotional and physical challenges to birthing people. The prevalence of psychological trauma due to birth has been reported to occur in 7% of the birthing population, with up to 48% of those who have birthed reportedly finding birth as traumatic. The hypnobirthing method is gaining significant popularity and aims to improve the birth experience by reducing the need for medical intervention, increasing feelings of empowerment, control, and feelings of calm, as well as increasing birth partner support. Currently, no research is available on the subjective experience of a hypnobirthing birth that is traumainformed. We must understand more ways to protect birthing people from psychological trauma, and as such, the research aims to explore the experience of utilising this method for birth. Methods: Five participants were self-selected after approaching a local Katharine Graves hypnobirthing Facebook group. Semistructured interviews were conducted up to 6 months after birth. Interviews were analysed using an IPA method to understand the idiographic lived experience of participants. Results: Four superordinate themes were identified: Education protects the birthing process and increases coping; Choice empowers; ‘Rules’ or ‘guidance’ a self-perception; Labour and the ‘mother’ in societal discourse. Conclusions: The birthing people in this study reported that their educative experience helped to reduce fear, and increase their empowerment and perceived coping going into the birth experience. Their ability to engage with the hypnobirthing method appeared affected by their perception of it as ‘guidance’ or ‘rules’ and their feelings of support in the labour room. There were reflections on how the method interacts with the more general societal discourse around labour. Implications: Hypnobirthing antenatal preparation may help improve the labour experience and reduce the risk of psychological trauma following birth. However, the study points to important factors that should be considered. Counselling and Clinical Psychologists in Perinatal and Maternal Mental Health Services, hypnobirthing practitioners and antenatal educators are best placed to utilise the findings of this research and incorporate them into both their antenatal preparation delivery and training, as well as the formulations of service user birth trauma.
  • Asymmetries within elite youth soccer players: an investigation into the impact of soccer-specific loading

    Cloak, Ross; Grant, Lewis; School of Sport, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-10)
    This PhD thesis aimed to investigate how the training environment in youth soccer can influence the development of interlimb asymmetries and propose a holistic approach to reduce these asymmetries. The literature review provides a comprehensive review of the physical and technical demands of youth soccer and how they contribute to asymmetrical loading and adaptation between limbs. The high frequency of unilateral actions places uneven stress on each limb, potentially leading to performance deficits or increased injury risk if players are not adequately prepared to handle the load on their weaker side. Although current methods for reducing asymmetries have shown effectiveness, their implementation may be challenging owing to financial and time constraints. Moreover, these methods may only provide short-term solutions, as consistent loading discrepancies within soccer make asymmetries likely to reoccur. Therefore, it may be more appropriate to focus on reducing inter-limb loading discrepancies within the training environment for young soccer players. To assess the current perceptions and practical interventions regarding asymmetry in soccer from technical and physical standpoints, Study 1 explores the viewpoints of coaches, practitioners, and players. Survey responses revealed that although there is agreement on the importance of limb symmetry from a technical standpoint, coaches do not adequately emphasise training the non-dominant limb. Players often rely on their dominant limb for actions such as shooting and passing, indicating that current coaching methods are insufficient for promoting skill symmetry. On the other hand, practitioners reported a significant emphasis on reducing physical asymmetries during gym sessions by consistently prescribing unilateral exercises. However, the high prevalence of physical asymmetries among youth soccer players suggests that these gym programs alone are insufficient to achieve limb symmetry. The persistence of imbalances highlights the need for a more balanced distribution of load between limbs throughout the training week, as the current integrated training methods from coaches and practitioners are inadequate to resolve asymmetry in youth soccer players. Study 2 involves match analysis to quantify high-intensity unilateral actions, such as change of directions (CODs) and single-leg decelerations (SLDs), as well as the total sum of CODs and SLDs (TOT), performed by elite academy players during soccer matches. On average, 292 ± 34.1 unilateral actions were performed per match. When considering the direction of asymmetry (dominant vs. non-dominant limb), the frequency of CODs was significantly greater for the dominant limb than for the non-dominant limb. Furthermore, the analysis revealed large differences in the frequency of utilisation between limbs when direction was not considered. This indicates that although the difference in actions performed between the dominant and non-dominant limbs is only identified for COD frequency, players display significant asymmetries in the actions performed throughout a soccer match at the individual level. Study 3 focuses on the reliability of common tests used to assess physical asymmetries in elite male youth soccer players (U12-U16) across different maturation groups. Tests such as the isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP), countermovement jump (CMJ), single-leg countermovement jump (SLCMJ), and single-leg drop jump (SLDJ) were analysed. The results showed good reliability for the propulsive and braking phase metrics in jumping tests (CMJ and SLCMJ), whereas the metrics in the landing and transition phases were less reliable, particularly in the pre-peak height velocity (PHV) group. PHV is defined as the maximal rate of growth during the adolescent growth spurt (Read et al., 2016). The reactive strength index of the SLDJ also exhibited poor reliability. The IMTP peak force was reliable; however, time-specific forces were less reliable across groups, with reliability varying among maturation groups. In Study 4, a body weight warm-up program aimed at reducing asymmetry in elite youth soccer players is examined. Participants were assigned to a control group, bilateral warm-up group, or unilateral warm-up group. The warm-up was performed twice a week for six weeks, and players were tested before and after the intervention using the SLCMJ, bilateral CMJ, and IMTP. The results showed no significant reduction in asymmetry for any group or test, suggesting that alternative training methods may be needed to address asymmetry in youth soccer players. In summary, despite the recognised importance of symmetry, youth soccer players develop substantial asymmetry between limbs because of consistent asymmetric loading. Match analysis confirmed a high number of unilateral actions performed during games, with significant differences between limbs at the individual level. The warm-up protocol proposed in this study failed to reduce the asymmetry values for the reliable metrics identified in Study 3. This indicates that a longitudinal approach with a more even distribution of loading between limbs may be necessary as limb asymmetries are established over consistent loading over a longer period. Additionally, external resistance loads may be required, along with an even distribution of loading, to assist in reducing limb asymmetry in youth soccer players.
  • Exploring emotional eating and its management among Middle Eastern females living in the UK: From exploration to culturally adapted intervention

    Devonport, Tracey; Lim, Jennifer; Lalli, Gurpinder Singh; Ahmed, Suha; School of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2024-02)
    Rationale: Emotional Eating (EE) is a worldwide concern due to its potential impact on physical health. Despite this, there is a dearth of research and interventions, particularly among the Middle Eastern population whereby cultural differences are overlooked. This research was undertaken in two phases using a mixed-methods approach. Phase 1 Method: Semi-structured interviews explored EE among sixteen Middle Eastern females who identified EE as something they would like to better manage (mean age = 37, SD = 4.13). Results: Thematic analysis identified three themes compromising of: ‘Experiences of Emotional Eating’, ‘Factors Perceived as Influencing Emotional Eating’ and ‘Recommendations for culturally adapted Emotional Eating interventions’. These findings, along with relevant literature, and use of patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) were utilised when developing a culturally adapted intervention for delivery in phase two. Phase 2 Method: Thirteen Middle Eastern women participated in four sessions of Cognitive Behavioural group therapy over four weeks. This involved psychoeducation, identifying and challenging thoughts, goal setting, problem-solving, and formulating relapse plans. Ten participants were in a waiting list control group for comparative purposes. Results: Participants completed the emotional eating subscale from the modified Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (DEBQ: Bailly et al., 2012). A repeated ANOVA analysed pre- and post-scores to assess the effectiveness of the intervention, and a statistically significant (F1, 21= 49.18, p<.001 η2=.701) reduction in participants’ EE post-intervention was found. Thematic analysis revealed the benefits of sharing and hearing others’ stories and psychoeducation in increasing understanding of EE and improving coping strategies for the management of unmet needs and unpleasant emotions. Implications: Findings offer insight into Middle Eastern women's experiences of EE, factors which contribute towards it, and the outcomes of a culturally adapted intervention intended to help manage EE. Future research could explore the use of culturally adapted interventions longitudinally to examine individuals’ experiences with, and management of EE longer term.
  • Understanding the motivation of voluntary joining and engaging in treatment programmes for intimate partner violence: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

    Wesson, Caroline; Purewal, Satvinder; Bhogal, Tarnveer; School of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2024-02)
    The present study explored the factors which influenced motivation on joining and engaging in voluntary treatment programmes for intimate partner violence (IPV). The aim was to understand the motivation of why men attend voluntary treatment programmes. The nature of most UK based IPV programmes have court-mandated attendance. The researcher wanted to understand why men would voluntarily undertake such programmes with the assumption that this attendance could then facilitate better outcomes in IPV programmes. Seven male attendees of a charity run IPV perpetrator programme were interviewed post completion of the intervention programme. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was completed with the data collected in the interviews. Four superordinate themes were found; ‘Getting Results’, ‘The Process of Change’, ‘Men as the Victim’ and ‘Can You See Me for Who I Am?’. The first superordinate theme highlights the need for the men to gain some result by attending the programme, such as having access to their children and or as a pre-emptive measure against any future court mandated need to attend IPV programmes. The second superordinate theme, ‘The Process of Change’ looks at the self-perceptions of the men prior to and during the programme. Specially, the men suggest wanting to develop themselves and become better fathers as poignant in this theme. However, a conflict in their perception of themselves as IPV perpetrators is also found within this superordinate theme. Thirdly, the theme of ‘Men as Victims’ gives an account of the male experiences of IPV being a ‘male issue’ and their interpretations of services and others stigmatising them. Lastly, the theme of ‘Can You See Me for Who I Am?’ describes acceptance and understanding from peers and facilitators as a motivator to meaningfully engage in the interventions of the programme. The findings help broaden the limited understanding of why men join and engage in IPV perpetrator programmes. Implications include adding to the already limited early intervention IPV research as well as contributing to the current knowledge of male experiences of IPV prevention intervention. The study also aims to highlight the importance of personal motivation in help seeking and readiness to change. The knowledge presented in the current study can support future IPV prevention and treatment interventions. Further recommendations of future research are also included.
  • The impact of servant leadership on job satisfaction within Indian family firms in the UK

    Firth, Janet; Wang, Yong; Singh, Guriqbal; Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences; University of Wolverhampton Business School, Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-08)
    Family businesses, including those owned by ethnic minority groups, are vital to the UK's economy. Indian family firms, for example, contribute significantly to the nation's GDP, providing employment, fostering innovation, and supporting local communities. The importance of servant leadership emphasises the leader's responsibility to serve others and prioritise their well-being and growth. This leadership style has been linked to higher job satisfaction among employees, a crucial factor for the success of small family firms. In family businesses, both family and non-family employees play essential roles. Family employees often profoundly understand the business's values, history, and long-term goals. In contrast, non-family employees bring diverse perspectives and expertise, contributing to the company's adaptability and resilience. Balancing the needs and expectations of both groups is vital for maintaining a harmonious and productive work environment, ultimately leading to the firm's success. Despite growing interest in leadership research within family businesses, there remains a notable gap in the study of ethnic minority businesses, particularly in the United Kingdom. This thesis addresses this gap by focusing on servant leadership and its influence on job satisfaction among family and non-family employees. It also explores the moderating effect of socioemotional wealth (SEW) on this relationship. This study aims to understand the subject matter using a mixed-method research design. The findings suggest that job satisfaction in small family firms differs in terms of its impact on family and non-family employees. This research offers several valuable contributions to understanding servant leadership within UK-based family firms, particularly those of Indian origin. Examining the role of servant leadership in enhancing job satisfaction for family and non-family employees in family businesses, thus shedding light on the potential benefits of adopting this leadership approach within such firms. Investigating the moderating impact of SEW on the relationship between servant leadership and job satisfaction reveals that while SEW positively influences family employees, it harms non-family employees. Expanding the scope of research on Indian family businesses in the UK contributes to the broader knowledge base on ethnic minority enterprises within the country.

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