Roche, M.A., Friedman, S., Duffield, C., Twigg, D.E. & Cook, R. 2017, 'A comparison of nursing tasks undertaken by regulated nurses and nursing support workers: a work sampling study', Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 73, no. 6, pp. 1421-1432.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
AIMS: The aim of this study was to determine which tasks unregulated nursing support staff spend their work time undertaking and to determine differences between the work undertaken by licensed/regulated nurses on units which have nursing support workers and those on units which do not. BACKGROUND: Acute hospital nursing teams often include nursing support staff; little is known about what kinds of tasks these unregulated support workers do and how it affects the work tasks of their licensed/regulated team members. DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of nurse work sampling data. METHODS: Data collection took place between March-October 2013. The proportion of time spent on 25 work activities by nursing support staff and licensed/regulated nursing staff was compared. Logistic regression models estimated whether nursing support staff or licensed/regulated nurses were more likely to conduct direct and indirect patient care tasks and whether licensed/regulated nurses on units with nursing support staff were more likely to conduct direct or indirect tasks compared with those on units without nursing support workers. RESULTS: Nursing support staff spent the majority of their time engaged in direct care tasks, e.g. admission and assessment, hygiene and mobility. Although licensed/regulated nurses were less likely to undertake direct care tasks compared with support workers, those who worked on units with support workers undertook more direct care compared with those who worked on units without support workers. CONCLUSIONS: Nursing support workers were given tasks that required substantial amounts of patient interaction. These staff may be associated with an increase in direct care tasks for licensed/regulated nurses, who may duplicate the direct care done by nursing support workers.
Cox, E.P., O'Dwyer, N., Cook, R., Vetter, M., Cheng, H.L., Rooney, K. & O'Connor, H. 2016, 'Relationship between physical activity and cognitive function in apparently healthy young to middle-aged adults: A systematic review.', Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, vol. 19, no. 8, pp. 616-628.View/Download from: Publisher's site
There is increasing evidence that physical activity (PA) positively affects cognitive function (CF). Existing research has focussed on this association in children and the elderly, with less research available in young to middle-aged adults who constitute a substantial proportion of the population.A systematic review investigating the relationship between habitual PA (12 months) and CF in young to middle-aged adults (18-50 years).A search was conducted using AMED, CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsychINFO, AUSPORT MED and SPORTDiscus databases. Eligible studies had to report descriptive statistics for CF and PA levels in healthy participants 18-50 years. Effect sizes (ES) (Hedges g) were calculated where possible.The initial search netted 26,988 potentially relevant manuscripts, with four more identified through hand searching. Fourteen were included for review. A range of validated platforms assessed CF across three domains: executive function (12 studies), memory (four studies) and processing speed (seven studies). Habitual PA was assessed via questionnaire/self-report methods (n=13, 8 validated) or accelerometers (n=1). In studies of executive function, five found a significant ES in favour of higher PA, ranging from small to large. Although three of four studies in the memory domain reported a significant benefit of higher PA, there was only one significant ES, which favoured low PA. Only one study examining processing speed had a significant ES, favouring higher PA.A limited body of evidence supports a positive effect of PA on CF in young to middle-aged adults. Further research into this relationship at this age stage is warranted.
Cook, R., Zoumpoulidou, G., Luczynski, M.T., Rieger, S., Moquet, J., Spanswick, V.J., Hartley, J.A., Rothkamm, K., Huang, P.H. & Mittnacht, S. 2015, 'Direct involvement of retinoblastoma family proteins in DNA repair by non-homologous end-joining.', Cell reports, vol. 10, no. 12, pp. 2006-2018.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Deficiencies in DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair lead to genetic instability, a recognized cause of cancer initiation and evolution. We report that the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein (RB1) is required for DNA DSB repair by canonical non-homologous end-joining (cNHEJ). Support of cNHEJ involves a mechanism independent of RB1's cell-cycle function and depends on its amino terminal domain with which it binds to NHEJ components XRCC5 and XRCC6. Cells with engineered loss of RB family function as well as cancer-derived cells with mutational RB1 loss show substantially reduced levels of cNHEJ. RB1 variants disabled for the interaction with XRCC5 and XRCC6, including a cancer-associated variant, are unable to support cNHEJ despite being able to confer cell-cycle control. Our data identify RB1 loss as a candidate driver of structural genomic instability and a causative factor for cancer somatic heterogeneity and evolution.
Cheng, H.L., O'Connor, H., Kay, S., Cook, R., Parker, H. & Orr, R. 2014, 'Anthropometric characteristics of Australian junior representative rugby league players.', Journal of science and medicine in sport, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 546-551.View/Download from: Publisher's site
To comprehensively describe anthropometric characteristics of Australian junior elite rugby league players and assess potential anthropometric dissimilarities between players of varying positional groups, ethnicity (Polynesian vs. non-Polynesian) and playing level (junior vs. professional; using published data from Australian professional players).Cross-sectional study.Height, body mass, eight skinfolds, five girths and two bone breadths were measured with body fat (BF%) and somatotype calculated using population-appropriate equations.mean ± SD.This study recruited 116 junior players. Mean age, mass and BF% were 17 ± 1 y, 87.0 ± 11.6 kg and 14.0 ± 4.6% respectively. Compared to backs, forwards had greater mass (92.6 ± 12.2 vs. 80.9 ± 7.1 kg), skinfolds, girths, femur breadth, BF% (16.1 ± 4.8% vs. 11.8 ± 3.2%) (all p<0.01), and were more endo- and mesomorphic, but less ectomorphic (all p<0.001). Compared to other positional groups, props had greater mass, adiposity, calf girth and endomorphy, while adjustables (fullbacks, five-eighths, halfbacks, hookers) had the shortest stature (all p<0.01). Polynesians exhibited greater height (181.0 ± 5.7 vs. 178.7 ± 6.3 cm), mass (90.6 ± 11.7 vs. 84.7 ± 11.1 kg), arm and calf girths, bone breadths and mesomorphy (7.6 ± 1.2 vs. 6.7 ± 1.1) than non-Polynesians (all p<0.05). Juniors had lower height, mass, waist and smaller sum of skinfolds than professional players (all p<0.05).Greater mass, mesomorphy, adiposity and bone size in forwards is desirable for tackling and attacking and may protect against high impact forces sustained in this position. Advantageous anthropometric attributes exhibited in Polynesian players may influence selection into junior elite rugby league teams. Anthropometric data from this study may assist other junior players and coaches with training, dietary modification and position allocation.
Cheng, H.L., Bryant, C., Cook, R., O'Connor, H., Rooney, K. & Steinbeck, K. 2012, 'The relationship between obesity and hypoferraemia in adults: a systematic review.', Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 150-161.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
A growing number of studies suggest a potential link between obesity and altered iron metabolism. The purpose of this systematic review was to examine existing literature on iron status in obese populations. A comprehensive literature search was conducted. Included studies recruited participants 18 years with a body mass index 30 kg m(-2) and provided descriptive statistics for haemoglobin or ferritin at a minimum. There were 25 studies meeting all eligibility criteria, of these 10 examined iron status in free-living obese individuals and 15 reported baseline iron biomarkers from bariatric surgery candidates. Non-obese comparison groups were used by 10 (40%) articles. In these, seven obese groups reported higher mean haemoglobin concentration; six reported significantly higher ferritin concentration; and four significantly lower transferrin saturation. Due to insufficient data, it was not possible to make conclusions regarding mean differences for soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR), hepcidin or C-reactive protein. Existing evidence suggests a tendency for higher haemoglobin and ferritin concentration and lower transferrin saturation in obesity. Alternation of iron biomarkers in obese populations may be a result of obesity-related inflammation and/or related comorbidities. Further research incorporating measurement of inflammatory cytokines, sTfR and hepcidin is required to confirm the impact of obesity on iron status.