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Heliyon ; 8(11): e11392, 2022 Nov.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36387504


This study investigated the land tenure system, harvesting time and marketing behaviour of cashew farmers in Ghana. Primary data was compiled from 120 cashew farmers, and the multinomial probit was used to assess the determinants of cashew marketing outlets. Types of land ownership (tenure system) for cashew production in Ghana were leasehold, stool, family, state and customary lands. The sales of cashew nuts to buying companies and/or exporters is positively influenced by the land tenure system, good road network, weekly harvest, contract agreements and grading of cashew nuts. Conversely, the experience of farmers coupled with less than one week of harvesting influences the choice of brokers' outlet. The result implies that, cashew cultivation on stool land, likewise harvesting time increases the probability of selling to buying companies and exporters who offered higher margins compared with brokers. Consequently, generic land reform for the whole country to enhance agribusinesses may be important but unnecessary. It is also suggested that the customary land arrangement provided the opportunity to sell to a profitable marketing outlet, it is suggested that Government and NGOs should rather be interested in strengthening the current customary land regime and consultatively recommend for review where necessary in the study areas.

AIDS Care ; : 1-7, 2022 Sep 14.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36102039


Human Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status disclosure to sexual partners is associated with prevention, care, treatment, and support for pregnant women with HIV. We aimed to assess HIV status disclosure and sexual activity among pregnant women with HIV. We conducted a cross-sectional hospital-based survey using quantitative methods. Data were collected from 118 pregnant women with HIV enrolled in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) program from January to November 2019. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of these pregnant women did not know they had HIV until they were tested in the routine antenatal HIV testing program. HIV status nondisclosure rate was 62.7%, and the most common reason for nondisclosure was fear of loss of financial support (41.9%). Higher parity was associated with lower odds of disclosing HIV status (aOR = 0.36; p < 0.01). Sexual activity with partners and condom use were associated with HIV disclosure (ps < 0.01). Pregnant women who disclosed their HIV status to their partners were sexually active with them (37.3%), and all those who did not but were sexually active with their partners did not use condoms (36.2%) during the pregnancy. Our findings emphasize the need for interventions that encourage HIV status disclosure and affirm the importance of routine HIV testing for pregnant women.

JMIR Form Res ; 6(7): e38068, 2022 Jul 28.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35900824


BACKGROUND: Social media-delivered lifestyle interventions have shown promising outcomes, often generating modest but significant weight loss. Participant engagement appears to be an important predictor of weight loss outcomes; however, engagement generally declines over time and is highly variable both within and across studies. Research on factors that influence participant engagement remains scant in the context of social media-delivered lifestyle interventions. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to identify predictors of participant engagement from the content generated during a social media-delivered lifestyle intervention, including characteristics of the posts, the conversation that followed the post, and participants' previous engagement patterns. METHODS: We performed secondary analyses using data from a pilot randomized trial that delivered 2 lifestyle interventions via Facebook. We analyzed 80 participants' engagement data over a 16-week intervention period and linked them to predictors, including characteristics of the posts, conversations that followed the post, and participants' previous engagement, using a mixed-effects model. We also performed machine learning-based classification to confirm the importance of the significant predictors previously identified and explore how well these measures can predict whether participants will engage with a specific post. RESULTS: The probability of participants' engagement with each post decreased by 0.28% each week (P<.001; 95% CI 0.16%-0.4%). The probability of participants engaging with posts generated by interventionists was 6.3% (P<.001; 95% CI 5.1%-7.5%) higher than posts generated by other participants. Participants also had a 6.5% (P<.001; 95% CI 4.9%-8.1%) and 6.1% (P<.001; 95% CI 4.1%-8.1%) higher probability of engaging with posts that directly mentioned weight and goals, respectively, than other types of posts. Participants were 44.8% (P<.001; 95% CI 42.8%-46.9%) and 46% (P<.001; 95% CI 44.1%-48.0%) more likely to engage with a post when they were replied to by other participants and by interventionists, respectively. A 1 SD decrease in the sentiment of the conversation on a specific post was associated with a 5.4% (P<.001; 95% CI 4.9%-5.9%) increase in the probability of participants' subsequent engagement with the post. Participants' engagement in previous posts was also a predictor of engagement in subsequent posts (P<.001; 95% CI 0.74%-0.79%). Moreover, using a machine learning approach, we confirmed the importance of the predictors previously identified and achieved an accuracy of 90.9% in terms of predicting participants' engagement using a balanced testing sample with 1600 observations. CONCLUSIONS: Findings revealed several predictors of engagement derived from the content generated by interventionists and other participants. Results have implications for increasing engagement in asynchronous, remotely delivered lifestyle interventions, which could improve outcomes. Our results also point to the potential of data science and natural language processing to analyze microlevel conversational data and identify factors influencing participant engagement. Future studies should validate these results in larger trials. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02656680; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02656680.

JMIR Form Res ; 6(5): e33663, 2022 May 06.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35522466


BACKGROUND: Behavioral weight loss programs typically enroll 12-40 people into groups that then suffer from declining engagement over time. Web-based patient communities, on the other hand, typically offer no limits on capacity and membership is fluid. This model may be useful for boosting engagement in behavioral weight loss interventions, which could lead to better outcomes. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we aimed to examine the feasibility and acceptability of continuously enrolling participants into a Facebook-delivered weight loss intervention for the first 8 of 16 weeks relative to the same intervention where no new participants were enrolled after randomization. METHODS: We conducted a randomized pilot trial to compare a Facebook weight loss group that used open enrollment with a group that used closed enrollment on feasibility and acceptability in adults with BMI 27-45 kg/m2. The feasibility outcomes included retention, engagement, and diet tracking adherence. We described the percentage loss of ≥5% weight in both groups as an exploratory outcome. We also explored the relationship between total volume of activity in the group and weight loss. The participants provided feedback via web-based surveys and focus groups. RESULTS: Randomized participants (68/80, 85% women) were on average, aged 40.2 (SD 11.2) years with a mean BMI of 34.4 (SD 4.98) kg/m2. We enrolled an additional 54 participants (50/54, 93% female) in the open enrollment condition between weeks 1 and 8, resulting in a total group size of 94. Retention was 88% and 98% under the open and closed conditions, respectively. Randomized participants across conditions did not differ in engagement (P=.72), or diet tracking adherence (P=.42). Participant feedback in both conditions revealed that sense of community was what they liked most about the program and not enough individualized feedback was what they liked the least. Weight loss of ≥5% was achieved by 30% (12/40) of the participants randomized to the open enrollment condition and 18% (7/40) of the participants in the closed enrollment condition. Exploratory analyses revealed that the open condition (median 385, IQR 228-536.5) had a greater volume of engagement than the closed condition (median 215, IQR 145.5-292; P=.007). Furthermore, an increase of 100 in the total volume of engagement in the Facebook group each week was associated with an additional 0.1% weekly weight loss among the randomized participants (P=.02), which was independent of time, individual participant engagement, and sociodemographic characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: Open enrollment was as feasible and acceptable as closed enrollment. A greater volume of engagement in the Facebook group was associated with weight loss, suggesting that larger groups that produce more engagement overall may be beneficial. Future research should examine the efficacy of the open enrollment approach for weight loss in a fully powered randomized trial. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02656680; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02656680.

Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-36992723


Aims: Although traditional tests such as serum urea, creatinine, and microalbuminuria have been widely employed in the diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy, their sensitivity and accuracy are limited because kidney damage precedes the excretion of these biomarkers. This study investigated the role of serum free light chains in the disease manifestation of diabetic nephropathy. Materials and Methods: Using a cross-sectional design we recruited 107 diabetes mellitus out-patients who visited the Diabetes and Renal Disease Clinics at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Manhyia District Hospital, and Suntreso Government Hospital all in Ghana from November 2019 to February 2020. Five (5) mls of blood was collected from each participant and analyzed for fasting blood glucose (FBG) urea, creatinine, immunoglobulin free light chains. Urine samples were obtained and analyzed for albumin. Anthropometric characteristics were also measured. Data were analyzed using descriptive analysis, analysis of variance (ANOVA) test, Tukey HSD post hoc, and Kruskal Wallis test. Chi-squared test was used to examine if there are significant associations with the indicators of interest. In addition, Spearman's correlation was used to test for associations between appropriate variables. Receiver operating characteristic analysis (ROC) was also performed to assess the diagnostic performance of free light chains. Results: The mean age of studied participants was 58.2 years (SD: ± 11.1), 63.2% were females and most of the participants were married (63.0%). The mean FBG of the studied participants was 8.0mmol/L (SD: ± 5.86), and the average duration of diabetes mellitus (DM) was 11.88 years (SD: ± 7.96). The median serum Kappa, Lambda, and Kappa: Lambda ratios for the studied participants were 18.51 (15.63-24.18), 12.19(10.84-14.48), and 1.50(1.23-1.86) respectively. A positive correlation was observed between albuminuria and; Kappa (rs=0.132; p=0.209), and Lambda (rs=0.076; p=0.469). However, a negative correlation was observed between albuminuria and K: L ratio (rs=-0.006; p=0.956). Conclusions: The current study observed an increasing trend in the levels of free light chains and degree of diabetic nephropathy, although not statistically significant. The exploration of serum free light chains as a better marker of diabetic nephropathy showed very promising results but further studies are required to elucidate its predictive value as a diagnostic tool for diabetic nephropathy.

Pathog Glob Health ; 114(5): 271-278, 2020 07.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32530747


Long Lasting Insecticidal Net (LLIN) is an effective malaria prevention mechanism. However, ownership of LLIN does not imply its use among households. The availability of enough sleeping space is a natural prerequisite to install and use LLINs. The objective of this study was to explore the effect of sleeping space and other socio-demographic factors of households' heads on LLINs usage among households. A cross-sectional household-based study was conducted using a quantitative approach. Data was collected exclusively from households that received LLINs at no direct financial cost to them in a mass malaria campaign conducted in the study area using a structured questionnaire. A total of 383 households sampled for the study received 1,181 LLINs with a range of 1 to 15 LLINs per household. Less than 16% of households that received more than 2 LLINs installed all the LLINs they received during the distribution. Among households that received LLINs, 45% of them did not use them at all and 36% of them used them every night including the night before data collection. The number of bedrooms, children and members per household, and the number of occupants per bedroom were also found statistically associated with the use of LLINs among households. The study used a quantitative approach to investigate sleeping space in relation to LLINs usage and malaria control, an area and topic that has not been adequately covered in the literature.

Mosquiteros Tratados con Insecticida/estadística & datos numéricos , Malaria/prevención & control , Adulto , Estudios Transversales , Composición Familiar , Femenino , Ghana , Humanos , Masculino , Persona de Mediana Edad , Control de Mosquitos , Propiedad , Encuestas y Cuestionarios , Adulto Joven