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There had been no plans to make this content public, but I thought I’d share it because of my interesting realisation that the Zemanta search tool may be a reasonably valid way to winkle out papers relevant to a topic of interest. Out of habit it now I offer link to further content that on first appearances seems to offer similar or contrasting views. Before I look at the selection that was offered to me, and the 7 from the 16 or so I was offered I am going to go through conventional route using the Open University Online Library and see what I may find that to any large extent differs.
I am not a physician or Medical Docotor, though I am asthmatic and have been in, on and off a variety of inhalers and sometimes oral steroids for some thirty years.
Preventer – Inhaled Steroid – two puffs twice a day. Used with a spacer to reduce chances of thrush.
Reliever – as needed, which is generally never, with rare need if I develop a chest infection, in which case I may end up on antibiotics anyway.
Oral Steroids – Very rarely, usually related to a chest infection. Once every five years?
Nebulizer – Never. Unlike my late father and one (or two) relations who take the view that they only need the preventer when they are wheezy … and end up hospitalised when they have an asthma attack and in the case of my father on steroids for so long that he became diabetic.
Preventative measures – know your triggers, avoid them, keep fit and attend an annual Asthma Clinic. I have to be cautious with house dust allergy and its partner in crime – damp. The odd list of triggers includes, at times, bleach, cumin seeds, one of the Lucozade sports drinks (odd that, coming from GSK who also produce asthma drugs). Possibly white flour. Yeast causes other problems too. We have a dog, but I’m not comfortable for long in a house with soft furnishings where there are cats. Get the bedroom windows open as often as possible. Use a specialist vacuum cleaner on the mattress, pillows and duvet. No carpets. No curtain. Leather sofa preferred.
Fig. 1. Twenty years ago I found myself producing, directing and writing a two information videos for a major pharmaceutical company – ‘Living with Asthma’ and ‘the Cost of Asthma’.
These had a shelf life of some ten to fifteen years, eventually to be replaced by DVD and online interactive equivalents. We did a combination of narrative drama reconstruction – a thread from a TV soap in which a protagonist has an asthma attack, interviews with patients and experts (doctors and pharma) and narration with 3D animations and charts.
The purpose of this exercise is to:
- Justify and explain the question for a piece of empirical research.
- Offer FIVE pieces that support then set you research on its way.
|What is the proposed research about?||Asthma patient ignorance of best practice in relation to taking their prescribe drugs – why they are taking the drugs, how they work, when they should take them, how and how often …|
|What is it trying to find out or achieve?||Improve patient care i.e. compliance (UK) – so taking their medicine correctly. This is important where the condition is chronic and the symptoms aren’t continuous. People tend to lapse taking the preventative drugs … it takes several days on onset of symptoms for these to kick in.|
|How will it go about doing that?||A randomised controlled trial in which all asthmatics are invited to sign up to receive information over a period of x months, reminders about asthma and their drug taking regime.|
|What will we learn from it and why was it worth learning?||That a significant percentage of asthmatics who have been prescribed an inhaled steroid (preventer medicine) to take twice daily are failing to do so, simply because they don’t see the need to do so unless they are feeling wheezy (a misconception, it should be taken regardless) or they allow their inhalers to run on empty for some time before being aware of this.That a significant percentage of asthmatics, probably largely the same group as above, misuse their reliever inhaler a) taking it too often b) not correctly inhaling so that drug ends up lining their mouth rather than entering their lungs.Taking the right dosage of inhaled steroid, as prescribed, in the correct manner, is likely to reduce need for the reliever inhaler to nil and will result in less long term damage being done to the lining of the lungs.It will improve patient outcomes, reduce the use of inhibitors and reduce hospital visits or overnights where a person has suffered an avoidable asthma attack.|
- Study Shows Combining 2 Inhalers Could Be Better Treatment For Asthma Patients (pittsburgh.cbslocal.com)
- Asthma Threatens The Baby Boomers Generation (livingwithallergy.com)
- New Phase 2 Asthma Clinical Trial Now Enrolling at Achieve Clinical Research in Birmingham, Alabama; Accepting Male & Female Participants Age 16-75 (prweb.com)
- 3 Steps To Helping Your Asthmatic Child (dominicspoweryoga.com)
Sources of inspiration and getting it down.
Get this for a start: Use of Blogs (2006) Axel Bruns and Joanna Jacobs.
It persuades you why to blog. Each chapter is written like an academic paper – an essay at least. Chapter 5 I found I was copying out verbatim (which I can’t do here). Go see ‘Can Blogging Unspin PR’ Trevor Cook.
Your starting off point can be anything at all, once you start (for me at least) it is like opening a vein.
Who cares if it is a note to yourself. If it’s work or course work remember that you can compose then recraft as often as you like; what is more, you can turn access on or off as you please too – even allow comments as you please – with other blog platforms the list of linking choices is as broad as the destination board at Heathrow – you can ‘blog’ to a person, a group, people in different groups and so on (though this is a level of complication may turn the novice off).
If you are at all stuck for content ideas then my suggestions are:
1)Write about the deep past (everything you write is of course in the past) – what this might means is thinking of your earliest experiences of whatever your blog may be about – if it is about education then try these:
2)Your best friend at nursery school
3)Your first day at school
4)The funniest thing that your witnessed or did at school
5)The first thing you learnt and how
6)Add a caption to an old photograph then expand these thoughts into the era.
7)A birthday party
9)A first book
All of these are possible jumping off points; once you’re in flight you’ll be surprised how easy it is to steer back to where you had planned to be – who cares about the journey you took to get there – you can leave it in or edit out the first paragraph / chapter.
If you kept a diary at any time in your life – milk it! Put it up, selectively, verbatim and / or relived – you can even retrofit the date.
Getting it down
There is a beauty and simplicity to pen/pencil onto paper. Personally I find typing it up afterwards tedious and will find myself inevitably expanding beyond the way the thing was initially written. The mistake here is that you can/do with ease turn a natural, conversational flow of thoughts into something else – verbose at best, disjoined at worst. You then get into editing and saving sections/chunks for future entries.
Ideally, whether you have notes, an essay plan or mind map to guide you, I’d recommend typing directly into the Blank Box. The QWERTY keyboard is a piano keyboard and you’re playing a ditty or having a jam.
Most blog platforms have ample editing tools, the only warning is to save regularly in some if you are prone to distraction.
Even back up onto a clipboard or Word, though personally I’m not a fan of overworking a piece in Word first.
Have a notepad, record a thought on paper or into a digital recorder, have a device that you can readily use on the go – my most fruitful blogging years were when I had a Psion – I could type this spec-case sized device and draw it into my Mac to upload.
I’ll discover in due course an iPad can offer this facility – I believe it will (and some).
A final thought for now – if you can touch-type and write stream of consciousness then how many words can you get down in so many minutes?
Let’s say you think at FIVE words a second, talk at THREE words a second and type at 40-60 words a minute. In theory in five minutes you can blog between 200 and 300 words. Perfect length. Have a plan, three or so points to make and fire away.
- Symbian retrospective: hits and misses (dw2blog.com)
- Pedagogical Pedagogy II (dfbierbrauer.wordpress.com)
- Using Zemanta with any blogging platform (zemanta.com)
- What Happens to TypePad Now? (byronmiller.typepad.com)
- Gawker to Allow Its Readers to Create Their Own Gawker Blogs (slog.thestranger.com)
- Svbtle, a beautiful blogging platform you’re not invited to, and Obtvse, its open-source clone (nextlevelofnews.com)