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Effectiveness of a Novel Low Cost Intervention to Reduce Prenatal Alcohol Exposure in the Congo  [PDF]
Andrew D. Williams, Yannick Nkombo, Gery Nkodia, Gary Leonardson, Kathryn Martsolf, Larry Burd
Open Journal of Pediatrics (OJPed) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/ojped.2014.41012

Objective: Determine the effectiveness of an intervention to reduce prenatal alcohol exposure in the Congo. Methods: We utilized a screening tool validated in the Congo to identify women who were drinking during pregnancy. The intervention was implemented by prenatal care providers comparing 162 women receiving the intervention with 58 (controls) who did not. The study endpoints were proportion of women who quit drinking, drinking days per week, drinks per drinking day, most drinks on any day, and number of binge episodes per week. Results: In the control group 36% of the women quit drinking compared to 54% in the intervention group (Chi-square 5.61; p = 0.02). The number of drinking days per week for the controls decreased by 50.1% compared to 68% for the intervention group (p = 0.008); drinks per drinking day for the controls decreased by 37% compared to 60.1% for the intervention group (p = 0.001); and most drinks on any occasion in the controls decreased by 38% compared to 61% for the intervention group (p = 0.004). Conclusions: This study demonstrates the effectiveness of a low cost in-office intervention to reduce prenatal alcohol exposure in the Congo. At $1.50 per beer, the reduction in drinks per week would more than pay for the cost of the intervention. In addition to efforts to reduce alcohol use prior to pregnancy in the Congo, providers can now offer an evidence based intervention to reduce exposure for women who continue to drink during pregnancy.

Curse of dimensionality and related issues in nonparametric functional regression
Gery Geenens
Statistics Surveys , 2011,
Abstract: Recently, some nonparametric regression ideas have been extended to the case of functional regression. Within that framework, the main concern arises from the infinite dimensional nature of the explanatory objects. Specifically, in the classical multivariate regression context, it is well-known that any nonparametric method is affected by the so-called “curse of dimensionality”, caused by the sparsity of data in high-dimensional spaces, resulting in a decrease in fastest achievable rates of convergence of regression function estimators toward their target curve as the dimension of the regressor vector increases. Therefore, it is not surprising to find dramatically bad theoretical properties for the nonparametric functional regression estimators, leading many authors to condemn the methodology. Nevertheless, a closer look at the meaning of the functional data under study and on the conclusions that the statistician would like to draw from it allows to consider the problem from another point-of-view, and to justify the use of slightly modified estimators. In most cases, it can be entirely legitimate to measure the proximity between two elements of the infinite dimensional functional space via a semi-metric, which could prevent those estimators suffering from what we will call the “curse of infinite dimensionality”.
The Definition of Lymphocyte Activating Factor: Giving a Helping Hand to Serendipity
Igal Gery
Frontiers in Immunology , 2014, DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2014.00610
A long exact sequence in cohomology for deleted and restricted subspaces arrangements
Gery Debongnie
Mathematics , 2007,
Abstract: The notions of deleted and restricted arrangements have been useful in the study of arrangements of hyperplanes. If A is an arrangement of hyperplanes, x in A and A', A'' the deleted and restricted arrangements, there is a formula connecting the Poincare polynomials of the complement spaces M(A), M(A') and M(A''). In this paper, we consider the extension of this formula to arbitrary subspaces arrangements. The main result is the existence of a long exact sequence connecting the rational cohomology of M(A), M(A') and M(A''). Using this sequence, we obtain new results connecting the Betti numbers and Poincare polynomials of deleted and restricted arrangements.
Probit transformation for kernel density estimation on the unit interval
Gery Geenens
Statistics , 2013,
Abstract: Kernel estimation of a probability density function supported on the unit interval has proved difficult, because of the well known boundary bias issues a conventional kernel density estimator would necessarily face in this situation. Transforming the variable of interest into a variable whose density has unconstrained support, estimating that density, and obtaining an estimate of the density of the original variable through back-transformation, seems a natural idea to easily get rid of the boundary problems. In practice, however, a simple and efficient implementation of this methodology is far from immediate, and the few attempts found in the literature have been reported not to perform well. In this paper, the main reasons for this failure are identified and an easy way to correct them is suggested. It turns out that combining the transformation idea with local likelihood density estimation produces viable density estimators, mostly free from boundary issues. Their asymptotic properties are derived, and a practical cross-validation bandwidth selection rule is devised. Extensive simulations demonstrate the excellent performance of these estimators compared to their main competitors for a wide range of density shapes. In fact, they turn out to be the best choice overall. Finally, they are used to successfully estimate a density of non-standard shape supported on $[0,1]$ from a small-size real data sample.
Does Migration Lead to Development? Or is it Contributing to a Global Divide?
Annelies Zoomers,Gery Nijenhuis
Societies , 2012, DOI: 10.3390/soc2030122
Abstract: This article aims to show that the benefits of international migration (often presented as a ‘global flow’) very much depend on the positionality of the areas involved, as well as the regional particularities. It is argued that countries producing south-north migration or diasporic states are in a more favorable position to benefit from international migration than countries that are mainly involved in south-south migration. In addition, the opportunity to benefit from international migration very much depends on geographical particularities. For example, international migration in the context of Latin America/USA is in many respects not comparable to what is happening in Africa, Asia, the EU and the Gulf States. Even though international migration is often described in terms of a growing connectedness in the age of globalization, it progresses also hand in hand with new gaps and regional divides.
Attitude Formation of Benefits Satisfaction: Knowledge and Fit of Benefits
Gery Markova, Foard Jones
International Journal of Business Research and Management , 2011,
Abstract: Using the theoretical framework of the Theory of Reasoned Action [6], we examine benefits satisfactionas an attitude formed by the beliefs about benefits (i.e., benefits knowledge) and the perceived value ofthese benefits (i.e., fit of benefits to individual needs). We use questionnaires to gather data from arandom sample of 591 employees in a large county agency in the South-eastern United States. The datasupport that knowledge of benefits is associated with enhanced benefits satisfaction and mediates theeffect of explanations about benefits on satisfaction. The results provide strong evidence that benefitsperceived to suit employee needs generate highest benefits satisfaction. Employees satisfied with theirbenefits are less likely to consider leaving the organization. The tested model is a starting point for futurestudies to apply the extended Theory of Reasoned Action [1] and incorporate perceived behaviouralcontrol and subjective norms (i.e., co-workers’ attitudes) in forming benefits satisfaction. Understandingemployees’ affective and cognitive reactions to compensation, including benefits, can render betterpractices. Companies should use information campaigns to improve employee beliefs about benefits.Better attentiveness to individual needs and preferences can maximize the utility of a benefits plan andimprove its acceptance. We replicate and extend past research in a parsimonious model of benefitssatisfaction with a random sample of public sector employees.
Werkers in de zorg voor gehandicapten: Op weg naar een verdere professionalisering
Hans van Ewijk,Gery Lammersen
Journal of Social Intervention : Theory and Practice , 2008,
Abstract: In dit artikel gaan we in op de essentie van het beroep en de beroepsopvatting van werkers in de gehandicaptensector, gebaseerd op de deelstudie Work with Adults with Severe Disabilities. A Case Study of Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden (Hansen & Jensen, 2004; Ewijk, Lammersen & Broers, 2003) die is verricht in het kader van het meerjarig grootschalig Europees onderzoek Care Work in Europe. Current Understandings and Future Directions (2001-2005). We laten zien dat voor werkers in de zorg de relatie de kern van het werk is en dat het werk zich afspeelt binnen een gevoelige ethische context en vanuit een diffuus beroepsbeeld.
Affine Tensors in Mechanics of Freely Falling Particles and Rigid Bodies
Gery de Saxce,Claude Vallee
Physics , 2006,
Abstract: In a previous paper, we proposed an approach for the dynamics of 3D bodies and shells based on the use of affine tensors. This new theoretical frame is very large and the applications are not limited to the mechanics of continua. In the present paper, we show how it can be also applied to the description of the mechanics of freely falling particles and rigid bodies. The mass, the linear and angular momenta are structured as a single object called torsor. Excluding all metric notions, we define the torsors as skew-symmetric bilinear mappings operating on the linear space of the affine functions. Torsors are a particular family of affine tensors. On this ground, we define an intrinsic differential operator called the affine covariant derivative. Next, we claim that the torsor characterizing the behavior of a freely falling particle is affine covariant derivative free, that allows recovering both laws of linear and angular momentum. Finally, it is shown how the motion of rigid bodies can be describe within this frame.
A symplectic Brezis-Ekeland-Nayroles principle
Marius Buliga,Gery de Saxce
Mathematics , 2014,
Abstract: We propose a modification of the hamiltonian formalism which can be used for dissipative systems. This work continues arXiv:0810.1419 and advances by the introduction of a symplectic version of the Brezis-Ekeland-Nayroles principle [Brezis Ekeland 1976] [Nayroles 1976]. As an application we show how standard plasticity can be treated in our formalism.
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