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1.  Reduced inclination of cervical spine in a novel notebook screen system - implications for rehabilitation 
Background
Professional working at computer notebooks is associated with high requirements on the body posture in the seated position. By the high continuous static muscle stress resulting from this position at notebooks, professionals frequently working at notebooks for long hours are exposed to an increased risk of musculoskeletal complaints. Especially in subjects with back pain, new notebooks should be evaluated with a focus on rehabilitative issues.
Methods
In a field study a new notebook design with adjustable screen was analyzed and compared to standard notebook position.
Results
There are highly significant differences in the visual axis of individuals who are seated in the novel notebook position in comparison to the standard position. Also, differences are present between further alternative notebook positions. Testing of gender and glasses did not reveal influences.
Conclusion
This study demonstrates that notebooks with adjustable screen may be used to improve the posture. Future studies may focus on patients with musculoskeletal diseases.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-6-30
PMCID: PMC3253038  PMID: 22118159
2.  Scientometric Analysis and Combined Density-Equalizing Mapping of Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) Research 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(6):e11254.
Background
Passive exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is estimated to exert a major burden of disease. Currently, numerous countries have taken legal actions to protect the population against ETS. Numerous studies have been conducted in this field. Therefore, scientometric methods should be used to analyze the accumulated data since there is no such approach available so far.
Methods and Results
A combination of scientometric methods and novel visualizing procedures were used, including density-equalizing mapping and radar charting techniques. 6,580 ETS-related studies published between 1900 and 2008 were identified in the ISI database. Using different scientometric approaches, a continuous increase of both quantitative and qualitative parameters was found. The combination with density-equalizing calculations demonstrated a leading position of the United States (2,959 items published) in terms of quantitative research activities. Charting techniques demonstrated that there are numerous bi- and multilateral networks between different countries and institutions in this field. Again, a leading position of American institutions was found.
Conclusions
This is the first comprehensive scientometric analysis of data on global scientific activities in the field of environmental tobacco smoke research. The present findings can be used as a benchmark for funding allocation processes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011254
PMCID: PMC2889821  PMID: 20582305
3.  Berlin's medical students' smoking habits, knowledge about smoking and attitudes toward smoking cessation counseling 
Background
Diseases associated with smoking are a foremost cause of premature death in the world, both in developed and developing countries. Eliminating smoking can do more to improve health and prolong life than any other measure in the field of preventive medicine. Today's medical students will play a prominent role in future efforts to prevent and control tobacco use.
Methods
A cross-sectional, self-administered, anonymous survey of fifth-year medical students in Berlin, Germany was conducted in November 2007. The study explored the prevalence of smoking among medical students. We assessed their current knowledge regarding tobacco dependence and the effectiveness of smoking cessation methods. Students' perceived competence to counsel smokers and promote smoking cessation treatments was also explored. Analyses were based on responses from 258 students (86.6% response rate).
Results
One quarter of the medical students surveyed were current smokers. The smoking rate was 22.1% among women, 32.4% among men. Students underestimated smoking-related mortality and the negative effect of smoking on longevity. A considerable number of subjects erroneously assumed that nicotine causes coronary artery disease. Students' overall knowledge of the effectiveness of smoking cessation methods was inadequate. Only one third of the students indicated that they felt qualified to counsel patients about tobacco dependence.
Conclusions
This study reveals serious deficiencies in knowledge and counseling skills among medical students in our sample. The curriculum of every medical school should include a tobacco module. Thus, by providing comprehensive training in nicotine dependence interventions to medical students, smokers will have access to the professional expertise they need to quit smoking.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-5-9
PMCID: PMC2861685  PMID: 20398350
4.  Mobile Air Quality Studies (MAQS)-an international project 
Due to an increasing awareness of the potential hazardousness of air pollutants, new laws, rules and guidelines have recently been implemented globally. In this respect, numerous studies have addressed traffic-related exposure to particulate matter using stationary technology so far. By contrast, only few studies used the advanced technology of mobile exposure analysis. The Mobile Air Quality Study (MAQS) addresses the issue of air pollutant exposure by combining advanced high-granularity spatial-temporal analysis with vehicle-mounted, person-mounted and roadside sensors. The MAQS-platform will be used by international collaborators in order 1) to assess air pollutant exposure in relation to road structure, 2) to assess air pollutant exposure in relation to traffic density, 3) to assess air pollutant exposure in relation to weather conditions, 4) to compare exposure within vehicles between front and back seat (children) positions, and 5) to evaluate "traffic zone"-exposure in relation to non-"traffic zone"-exposure.
Primarily, the MAQS-platform will focus on particulate matter. With the establishment of advanced mobile analysis tools, it is planed to extend the analysis to other pollutants including NO2, SO2, nanoparticles and ozone.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-5-8
PMCID: PMC2865482  PMID: 20380704
5.  Air pollution research: visualization of research activity using density-equalizing mapping and scientometric benchmarking procedures 
Background
Due to constantly rising air pollution levels as well as an increasing awareness of the hazardousness of air pollutants, new laws and rules have recently been passed. Although there has been a large amount of research on this topic, bibliometric data is still to be collected. Thus this study provides a scientometric approach to the material published on this subject so far.
Methods
For this purpose, data retrieved from the "Web of Science" provided by the Thomson Scientific Institute was analyzed and visualized both with density-equalizing methods and classic data-processing methods such as tables and charts.
Results
For the time span between 1955 and 2006, 26,253 items were listed and related to the topic of air pollution, published by 124 countries in 24 different languages. General citation activity has been constantly increasing since the beginning of the examined period. However, beginning with the year 1991, citation levels have been rising exponentially each year, reaching 39,220 citations in the year 2006. The United States, the UK and Germany were the three most productive countries in the area, with English and German ranked first and second in publishing languages, followed by French. An article published by Dockery, Pope, Xu et al. was both the most cited in total numbers and in average citation rate. J. Schwartz was able to claim the highest total number of citations on his publications, while D.W. Dockery has the highest citation rate per publication. As to the subject areas the items are assigned with, the most item were published in Environmental Sciences, followed by Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences and Public, Environmental & Occupational Health. Nine out of the ten publishing journals with more than 300 entries dealt with environmental interests and one dealt with epidemiology.
Conclusions
Using the method of density-equalizing mapping and further common data processing procedures, it can be concluded that scientific work concerning air pollution and related topics enjoys unbrokenly growing scientific interest. This can be observed both in publication numbers and in citation activity.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-5-5
PMCID: PMC2865481  PMID: 20359334
6.  Density-equalizing mapping and scientometric benchmarking of European allergy research 
Due to the great socioeconomic burden of allergic diseases, research in this field which is important for environmental medicine is currently increasing. Therefore the European Union has initiated the Global Allergy and Asthma European network (GA2LEN). However, despite increasing research in the past years detailed scientometric analyses have not been conducted so far. This study is the first scientometric analysis in a field of growing interest. It analyses scientific contributions in European allergy research between 2001 and 2007. Three different meetings of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology were analysed for contributions and an increase in both the amount of research and networks was found.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-5-2
PMCID: PMC2843702  PMID: 20925908
7.  The Role of Endocarditis, Myocarditis and Pericarditis in Qualitative and Quantitative Data Analysis 
The current study is the first scientometric analysis of research activity and output in the field of inflammatory disorders of the heart (endo-, myo- and pericarditis). Scientometric methods are used to compare scientific performance on national and on international scale to identify single areas of research interest. Interest and research productivity in inflammatory diseases of the heart have increased since 1990. The majority of publications about inflammatory heart disorders were published in Western Europe and North America. The United States of America had a leading position in terms of research productivity and quality; half of the most productive authors in this study came from American institutions. The analysis of international cooperation revealed research activity in countries that are less established in the field of inflammatory heart disorder research, such as Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. These results indicate that future research of heart inflammation may no longer be influenced predominantly by a small number of countries. Furthermore, this study revealed weaknesses in currently established scientometric parameters (i.e., h-index, impact factor) that limit their suitability as measures of research quality. In this respect, self-citations should be generally excluded from calculations of h-index and impact factor.
doi:10.3390/ijerph6122919
PMCID: PMC2800323  PMID: 20049235
endocarditis; myocarditis; pericarditis; scientometrics; h-index; self-citation; impact factor; coauthor ship
8.  Physicians' working conditions and job satisfaction: does hospital ownership in Germany make a difference? 
Background
A growing number of German hospitals have been privatized with the intention of increasing cost effectiveness and improving the quality of health care. Numerous studies investigated what possible qualitative and economic consequences these changes issues might have on patient care.
However, little is known about how this privatization trend relates to physicians' working conditions and job satisfaction. It was anticipated that different working conditions would be associated with different types of hospital ownership. To that end, this study's purpose is to compare how physicians, working for both public and privatized hospitals, rate their respective psychosocial working conditions and job satisfaction.
Methods
The study was designed as a cross-sectional comparison using questionnaire data from 203 physicians working at German hospitals of different ownership types (private for-profit, public and private nonprofit).
Results
The present study shows that several aspects of physicians' perceived working conditions differ significantly depending on hospital ownership. However, results also indicated that physicians' job satisfaction does not vary between different types of hospital ownership. Finally, it was demonstrated that job demands and resources are associated with job satisfaction, while type of ownership is not.
Conclusion
This study represents one of a few studies that investigate the effect of hospital ownership on physicians work situation and demonstrated that the type of ownership is a potential factor accounting for differences in working conditions. The findings provide an informative basis to find solutions improving physicians' work at German hospitals.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-9-148
PMCID: PMC2735742  PMID: 19678932
9.  Psychotrauma and effective treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in soldiers and peacekeepers 
Psychotrauma occurs as a result to a traumatic event, which may involve witnessing someone's actual death or personally experiencing serious physical injury, assault, rape and sexual abuse, being held as a hostage, or a threat to physical or psychological integrity. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder and was defined in the past as railway spine, traumatic war neurosis, stress syndrome, shell shock, battle fatigue, combat fatigue, or post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS). If untreated, post-traumatic stress disorder can impair relationships of those affected and strain their families and society. Deployed soldiers are especially at a high risk to be affected by PTSD but often receive inadequate treatment. Reviews to date have focused only on a single type of treatment or groups of soldiers from only one country. The aim of the current review was to evaluate characteristics of therapeutic methods used internationally to treat male soldiers' PTSD after peacekeeping operations in South Eastern Europe and the Gulf wars.
This systematic literature review returned results pertaining to the symptoms, diagnosis, timing and effectiveness of treatment. Sample groups and controls were relatively small and, therefore, the results lack generalizability. Further research is needed to understand the influence and unique psychological requirements of each specific military operation on the internationally deployed soldiers.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-4-21
PMCID: PMC2726154  PMID: 19643016
10.  Scoliosis: density-equalizing mapping and scientometric analysis 
Scoliosis  2009;4:15.
Background
Publications related to scoliosis have increased enormously. A differentiation between publications of major and minor importance has become difficult even for experts. Scientometric data on developments and tendencies in scoliosis research has not been available to date. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the scientific efforts of scoliosis research both quantitatively and qualitatively.
Methods
Large-scale data analysis, density-equalizing algorithms and scientometric methods were used to evaluate both the quantity and quality of research achievements of scientists studying scoliosis. Density-equalizing algorithms were applied to data retrieved from ISI-Web.
Results
From 1904 to 2007, 8,186 items pertaining to scoliosis were published and included in the database. The studies were published in 76 countries: the USA, the U.K. and Canada being the most productive centers. The Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri) was identified as the most prolific institution during that period, and orthopedics represented by far the most productive medical discipline. "BRADFORD, DS" is the most productive author (146 items), and "DANSEREAU, J" is the author with the highest scientific impact (h-index of 27).
Conclusion
Our results suggest that currently established measures of research output (i.e. impact factor, h-index) should be evaluated critically because phenomena, such as self-citation and co-authorship, distort the results and limit the value of the conclusions that may be drawn from these measures. Qualitative statements are just tractable by the comparison of the parameters with respect to multiple linkages. In order to obtain more objective evaluation tools, new measurements need to be developed.
doi:10.1186/1748-7161-4-15
PMCID: PMC2732600  PMID: 19638232
11.  Does type of hospital ownership influence physicians' daily work schedules? An observational real-time study in German hospital departments 
Background
During the last two decades the German hospital sector has been engaged in a constant process of transformation. One obvious sign of this is the growing amount of hospital privatization. To date, most research studies have focused on the effects of privatization regarding financial outcomes and quality of care, leaving important organizational issues unexplored. Yet little attention has been devoted to the effects of privatization on physicians' working routines. The aim of this observational real-time study is to deliver exact data about physicians' work at hospitals of different ownership. By analysing working hours, further impacts of hospital privatization can be assessed and areas of improvement identified.
Methods
Observations were made by shadowing 100 physicians working in private, for-profit or non-profit as well as public hospital departments individually during whole weekday shifts in urban German settings. A total of 300 days of observations were conducted. All working activities were recorded, accurate to the second, by using a mobile personal computer.
Results
Results have shown significant differences in physicians' working activities, depending on hospital ownership, concerning working hours and time spent on direct and indirect patient care.
Conclusion
This is the first real-time analysis on differences in work activities depending on hospital ownership. The study provides an objective insight into physicians' daily work routines at hospitals of different ownership, with additional information on effects of hospital privatization.
doi:10.1186/1478-4491-7-41
PMCID: PMC2692979  PMID: 19473487
12.  Development and evaluation of a computer-based medical work assessment programme 
Background
There are several ways to conduct a job task analysis in medical work environments including pencil-paper observations, interviews and questionnaires. However these methods implicate bias problems such as high inter-individual deviations and risks of misjudgement. Computer-based observation helps to reduce these problems. The aim of this paper is to give an overview of the development process of a computer-based job task analysis instrument for real-time observations to quantify the job tasks performed by physicians working in different medical settings. In addition reliability and validity data of this instrument will be demonstrated.
Methods
This instrument was developed in consequential steps. First, lists comprising tasks performed by physicians in different care settings were classified. Afterwards content validity of task lists was proved. After establishing the final task categories, computer software was programmed and implemented in a mobile personal computer. At least inter-observer reliability was evaluated. Two trained observers recorded simultaneously tasks of the same physician.
Results
Content validity of the task lists was confirmed by observations and experienced specialists of each medical area. Development process of the job task analysis instrument was completed successfully. Simultaneous records showed adequate interrater reliability.
Conclusion
Initial results of this analysis supported the validity and reliability of this developed method for assessing physicians' working routines as well as organizational context factors. Based on results using this method, possible improvements for health professionals' work organisation can be identified.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-3-35
PMCID: PMC2628342  PMID: 19094213

Results 1-12 (12)