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  • Public defence: 2019-11-22 13:00 Wicksell, Växjö
    Billsten, Johan
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Dissemination and Implementation of the Swedish National Guidelines for Treatment of Substance use: – A five year evaluation2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis contains four empirical studies. The data derives from an evaluation project named Knowledge to Practice (KtP) that aimed to disseminate and implement the Swedish National Guidelines for Alcohol and Substance Abuse in Substance Use Disorder-treatment from 2010–2014. The aim of this thesis was to identify key determinants affecting implementation.

    The data collection consisted of:

    - Web surveys that were distributed annually from 2010–2014 to a panel of 3,852 respondents working in substance abuse treatment in social services and health care

    - Web surveys distributed to approximately 10,000 participants in the national core curriculum course. Surveys were distributed before the start of the course and immediately after the course ended. A follow-up web survey was distributed one year later

    - Semi-structured surveys for all regions’ user organizations to answer in focus groups

    - Interviews with process managers in every region

    The aim of Study I was to describe KtP's efforts and the situation in 2012. Web surveys were distributed to a panel of 3,852 respondents and 10,000 participants from core curriculum courses. Process managers from all 21 regions were interviewed. Study II used an instrument named Organizational Readiness for Change (ORC).The aim was to: (a) identify clusters of employees with different ORC profiles and (b) investigate whether belonging to a specific profile predicted the use of therapy methods, assessment instruments and cross-sectional collaboration. The ORC instrument was part of an annual web survey to a panel of 3,852 respondents.The aim of Study III was to evaluate, via a four-year follow-up study, whether user organizations continued existing after national support concluded and if their influence within social services and health care was implemented over time. The aim of Study III was to evaluate, via a four-year follow-up study, whether user organizations continued existing after national support concluded and if their influence within social services and health care was implemented over time. The aim of Study IV was to evaluate the extent of the dissemination and implementation work organised by KtP and whether there was increased use of treatment methods, assessment instruments and changes in cross-sectional collaboration between authorities. Factors associated with success were studied on three organizational levels: regional, municipal and individual. Results show that setting and person-related determinants, as measured by the ORC instrument, predicted implementation of assessment instruments and treatment methods. Profiles with high scores on institutional resources, staff attributes and organizational climate and low scores on motivational readiness were associated with more successful implementation. Respondent-level specialist competence and the ORC factors of staff attributes and institutional resources were related to the use of treatment methods. The ORC factor of organizational climate was related to the increase of cross-sectionalcollaboration at a respondent level. Years of employment working with substance users predicted increased use of assessment instruments and in contrast, the ORC factor institutional resources available were negatively related to instrument use. No predictors were found at the region/municipality level. The majority of respondents were positive to the national guidelines and found them useful in their daily work. They also reported positive attitudes to the KtP project. In 2011, two-thirds of the process managers from Sweden's 21 counties assessed that KtP's most important results were access to education and method support. The one-year follow-up web survey distributed to the participants in core curriculum courses showed that memory retention of the course content was fair. Eighty per cent of the respondents gave the correct answer to seven out of nine questions. User organizations still existed in most regions and they reported increased influence in the field of substance use treatment, both in social services and within health care services.

  • Public defence: 2019-11-22 13:15 Magna B118, Kalmar
    Henriksson, Kristina
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice.
    Skolbesökets osynliga bedömningsprocesser: en studie av hur lärarstudenters yrkeskunnande bedöms under verksamhetsförlagd utbildning2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis treats the assessment of student teachers’ professional skills within the school-based section of Swedish teacher education, more specifically the school visits organized by the university. School visits ordinarily consist of an observed lesson, followed by a post-observation conference. School-based teacher education is regarded as a specific educational element, where the education is transferred to the organisation of professional teachers who educate the student teacher. However, there is a lack of direct research about what happens to the assessment of the student teacher’s proficiency when the assessment system of the education is applied outside the university domain. Research shows that there is tension regarding the view of professional skills between players in teacher education and school organisations, and uncertainties regarding the mandate to develop the student teacher’s professional skills. From a political perspective the school visit is perceived as a guarantee for the fulfilment of the increasing demands for equal and legally secure assessments. The aim of this thesis has therefore been to enhance the understanding of the function of assessment within school-based teacher education. The interactive assessment process of the post-observation conference has been in focus and studied through video observations and interviews. The study assumes multiple theoretical perspectives; a new institutional perspective, Goffman’s interactionist perspective and a professional theoretical perspective. The result shows that simultaneous and conflicting assessment logics guide the assessment task, creating protective and defensive interaction patterns to establish a loyal consensus between conference participants. The situation needs to be played down. The interactive patterns of the conference counteract the institutional logics of the visit, making access to information selective and limited. Judgements and feedback become invisible and the aim of the assessment process is unclear. The controlling purpose of the process, and partly also the formative purpose, is impaired. However, in the execution of assessment itself, assessment logics collaborate with interaction patterns, displaying a secondary adaptation to the situation. This collaboration contributes to a reasonable and legitimate manner of executing the assessment process, assigning meaning to the school visit.

  • Public defence: 2019-12-06 09:30 Fullriggaren (Ma135), Kalmar
    Fridolfsson, Emil
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Thiamin (vitamin B1) in the aquatic food web2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Thiamin (vitamin B1) is required for several life-sustaining processes in most organisms and cells, e.g. in the conversion of food to energy. It also serves as an antioxidant and is important for proper nerve signaling. Thiamin is produced predominantly by bacteria and phytoplankton in the aquatic food web. Not all bacteria and phytoplankton, nor any organisms in higher trophic levels can produce thiamin; instead, they rely on a continuous external supply and uptake of this essential compound. Thiamin deficiencies occur episodically in a wide range of taxa, especially in higher trophic levels. In the Baltic Sea, thiamin deficiencies has been most pronounced in salmon (Salmo salar) and recently deficiencies are also reported for other fish species and birds.

    This thesis focuses on thiamin dynamics in lower trophic levels, covering primary producers as well as primary consumers, as this topic has not received much attention previously. Thiamin content of common phytoplankton and zooplankton species and the transfer between them was investigated in experiments and field studies. The relationship between thiamin deficiency and underlying environmental factors was also investigated using monitoring data.

    Thiamin content differed among phytoplankton classes, species and even strains. Filamentous Cyanophyceae had considerably higher thiamin content than other classes. However, thiamin transfer to copepods was lower, probably associated with difficulties ingesting the filaments. Moreover, thiamin content in seston varied seasonally, being highest during summer when both Prymnesiophyceae and filamentous Cyanophyceae were more abundant. Thiamin content in the two size fractions correlated strongly and was always higher in the smaller size fraction, illustrating the importance of picoplankton and bacteria in the food web. Also, seston thiamin content was higher in the Baltic Proper than in the Skagerrak. Copepods differed in thiamin content among genera, as well as between locations. Acartia sp. had the highest thiamin content and copepods from the Skagerrak had higher levels than congeners from the Baltic Sea. Thiamin deficiency syndromes in salmon was associated with changes in all trophic levels, as well as changes in several abiotic variables.

    In all, this thesis provides new insights on thiamin content and seasonal dynamics in various phytoplankton and zooplankton species, the transfer of this vitamin between trophic levels as well as the overall importance of thiamin in the aquatic food web.

  • Public defence: 2019-12-12 09:15 Azur, Kalmar
    Sandholm, Kerstin
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences.
    Development and evaluation of immunoassays for complement diagnostics2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Laboratory analyses of human body fluids play an important role in clinical diagnosis. This thesis comprises projects in which various immune assays have been developed and evaluated as complement diagnostics in both plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Various methods have been used, such as ELISA, Western blot, flow cytometry, and xMAP technology.

    In paper 1, we monitored complement parameters in EDTA-plasma and CSF from patients with suspected neuroborreliosis (NB) by using in-house sandwich ELISAs.  We found significantly elevated levels of C1q, C4, C3, and C3a in CSF, but not in plasma, suggesting that complement plays a role in the intrathecal immune response in NB.

    Complement is a main player in early inflammation, and in paper 2, we investigated the role of complement activation in phagocytosis and the release of cytokines and chemokines in response to two clinical isolates: Borrelia afzelii K78 and Borrelia garinii LU59. Our results show that complement activation plays an important role in the initial process of phagocytosis, but not in the subsequent cytokine release that occurs in response to live Borrelia spirochetes. C1q, a valuable biomarker of disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), can be quantitated using a number of different immunochemical techniques.

    In paper 3, we developed and validated a magnetic bead-based immunoassay for quantifying C1q in EDTA-plasma and CSF. In contrast to soluble immunoprecipitation assays such as nephelometry and turbidimetry, this new assay was not hampered by the interaction between C1q and detecting antibodies. The novel assay was shown to give a clear correlation between nephritis and SLEDAI score in SLE.

    Warfarin is a commonly used but complicated treatment in patients with thrombosis. It reduces the function of vitamin K-dependent coagulation proteins, including protein S, which is a ligand for C4b-binding protein (C4BP). In paper 4, we demonstrated a decrease in various isoforms of C4BP that resulted in a strong complement activation in patients treated with warfarin, but not in patients treated with other anticoagulants.

    Taken together, the results from the papers included in this thesis stress the importance of validated assays with high sensitivity and specificity in enabling accurate diagnosis in patients with various inflammatory diseases.

  • Public defence: 2019-12-17 13:15 Homeros, Växjö
    Engström, Robin
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
    The Scottish Independence Referendum in Text, Image and Thought2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In 2014, a referendum was held in Scotland in order to decide the country’s constitutional future. The referendum was the climax of years of campaigning that gave rise to a rich body of political discourse. This compilation thesis attempts to show how an independent Scotland was discursively constructed, and how these constructions impacted on Scottish identity. The thesis consists of four original research papers which employ a number of complementary approaches in order to analyse a rich and diverse data set.

    The first article examines how the Scottish government looked at small European states in order to construct a vision of a future independent Scotland. This was achieved by discursively constructing small states as economically successful and democratically progressive and then by emphasizing Scotland’s role as a small country.

    The second article analyses the many new metaphorical personifications of Scotland, notably as a woman, that appeared during the campaign. The article finds that traditional, gendered metaphors were largely reworked in order to function in a modern political context.

    The third article maps the central topics and the ideological morphology of discourses on Scottish independence produced by the Scottish National Party and the intellectual and artistic movement National Collective. Unlike previous research, the results of the analysis suggest that these organizations as complementary but labels the former politically nationalist and the latter culturally nationalist.

    The fourth article analyses image tweets published by the official Yes and No campaigns in order to ascertain how the two campaigns legitimated their own standpoints and how they delegitimated their opponents online. The analysis finds that the Yes campaign balanced between promoting its own visions whilst criticizing their opponents, in contrast to the No campaign which almost entirely focused on delegitimating its opponents, thus failing to offer alternative visions.

    Collectively, the thesis paints a picture of a diverse independence movement with different aims and different rationales for advocating independence. Besides making a contribution to the literature on nationalism in general and Scottish nationalism in particular, the thesis further integrates the fields of political theory and discourse studies.

    The full text will be freely available from 2019-11-22 22:21