We are in the process of finalizing the assessment electronic capturing form and the manual and are facing challenges with finding a formula to calculate estimated
and getting information for nutrition, psycho-social health and communicable diseases. But we are hopeful that this will be finalized in the coming weeks. The App and Website development is happening in parallel with us putting together content for these two platforms. Next week Monday we start with DASH T4 testing and we are very excited to be going back to schools for the last round of testing of the same schoolchildren.
During the course of the past two weeks, we have added the finishing touches to the Teacher’s toolkit for the KaziBantu website. At this stage, we are ready to hand over the following documents to the Nelson Mandela University CCT:
- KaziBantu risk assessment manual for the health professional and the teacher - this document describes the pre-exercise procedures and the physical activity and physical fitness evaluation for the health professional as well as the teacher.
- KaziBantu risk assessment developer criteria for the electronic capturing form - this is a comprehensive document which encompasses two assessment protocols (full protocol or minimal protocol may be implemented based on available facilities and equipment) that will be used to electronically capture the patient’s information for the initial risk assessment as well as the physical examination (a battery of physical activity and physical fitness tests).
Over the next four weeks, the CCT team will develop and design the skeleton for the website and mobile application (app). We hope to receive the first draft by mid-February 2018. The website is designed to be a user-friendly platform which provides standardized testing procedures for the health professional but also provides an understanding of the test procedures for the teachers by avoiding the use of complicated medical jargon. We have also had numerous meetings with the CCT team to discuss the design of the mobile app. Creating and designing the mobile app has been an exciting process, as we are creating a platform which combines the use of multiple apps into one user-friendly app that will address physical activity, nutrition, and psychosocial health.
In conjunction to this, we are preparing for the fourth phase of testing for DASH study which will take place February - March 2018. Our team has gained invaluable fieldwork experience since the first testing phase in 2015 and we are looking forward to the upcoming testing period at the eight schools among former study participants.
In the new year, the DASH team continues to prosper as we welcome additional members to our team. In the meantime, we also eagerly await the arrival of our Swiss colleagues who will join us for the DASH testing phase.
Hello again readers
In the last two weeks, we have made some progress with regards to the development of the Teachers Toolkit. At present, we are in the process of finalizing several aspects, namely:
1 - The KaziBantu Teachers Risk Assessment Manual for the Health Professional, as well the KaziBantu Teachers Risk Assessment Manual for the Teacher (i.e. participant or end-user). Essentially, these documents will be used to describe the entire battery of tests to be performed, including classification guidelines, the equipment utilized and will provide instructions to both the tester and the participant. Hence, these documents are imperative for:
- The standardization of the data assessment for the Health Professional; and
- A step-by-step description of the data assessment procedure for the novice/non-professional, to familiarize the individual with respect to the various upcoming processes.
Since our focus is primarily in rural, or urban-rural communities, we have decided to provide a full assessment protocol, which will essentially be the gold standard of the assessment protocol. In addition, we have also provided a minimal assessment protocol for those individuals or institutions who would still like to be a part of the KaziBantu programme; although they are not able to, or do not have access to all the necessary facilities and equipment to conduct the full assessment protocol. A brief outline of the proposed full assessment protocol can be seen below:
- Medical History;
- Anthropometry (Height, Weight, Body Mass Index);
- Body Composition (Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry, Body Impedance, Skinfolds, Waist and Hip Circumferences);
- Cardiovascular Risk (Hypertension, Blood Glucose, Hypercholesterolemia);
- Communicable Diseases (Soil-Transmitted Helminths, Schistosomiasis);
- Psychosocial Health (Depression, Insomnia, Burnout, Stress);
- Physical Activity [Objective (Accelerometry) and Subjective (Self-Reported) Physical Activity];
- Physical Fitness (6-Minute Walk Test and Hand Grip Strength); and
- Nutrition (24hr Dietary Recall).
2 - Technological Development: As described in our last update, the South African team - in part, comprised of team members Danielle Smith, Siphesihle Nqweniso, Larissa Adams and Nandi Joubert - are in the process of producing some of the technological development material for the Teachers Toolkit, in conjunction with the Nelson Mandela University CCT. This stage of development has certainly tested our imaginations and has awakened a creative side that pleasantly surprised us all. With regards to the flow of events and materials that the CCT required from us to ensure the developers of KaziBantu website and mobile application have a clear description and image of the concept we have in mind; the following provides a brief update on the progress thereof:
a - Firstly, a KaziBantu Website Map was developed. This document is used during the planning of a website by its designers. It is a structured model of the website’s content designed to assist the end-user to navigate the site. Essentially, this sitemap presents a systematic overview of the site intended to help those utilizing the site to find specific pages on the website. This provided the CCT team with an impeccable concept that would make the KaziBantu Project a one-of-a-kind programme that would set us apart from the rest.
b - Our next step is to finalize the KaziBantu Risk Assessment Developer Criteria for Electronic Capturing Form, which entails the full assessment and minimal assessment protocol components. This document will be utilized to electronically capture the data from the initial risk assessment, as well as the evaluation at the end of the KaziBantu programme once the participant has completed all five phases (see bottom for a list of phases) involved in this project. Though the use of this document, the data assessment and data capturing procedure will be streamlined, enabling the process to run more efficiently; and ultimately, providing a huge time-saving benefit to the project.
c - Thirdly, the SA team have created and developed different personas, which as defined in our last update, describes and explains the typical end-user(s) of the KaziBantu website or mobile application. A persona takes the form of a storyline portraying an average day in the lives of our fictitious user(s). This is essential for the developer designing the website and mobile application so that they keep this in mind throughout the development phase. Four different personas have been developed and written; namely:
- a school teacher interested in KaziBantu for Teachers persona;
- a school teacher interested in KaziBantu for Children persona;
- a healthcare professional persona that will utilise the KaziBantu for Teachers programme; and
- a general public persona.
An interesting side notes: When receiving feedback for the various personas from CCT, one of our team members stated that one of the fictitious characters sounded like it was a storyline based on their lives (funny story). It must be noted; however, these characters are entirely fictional and do not refer to any specific individual.
d - Lastly, the SA team have also developed and created user case scenarios, which describes how our fictitious end-user(s) will utilize the website or mobile application. As previously described in our last update, this entails the steps that will lead him/her to the PC, how the website search is initiated and what the individual can, and ultimately will do once the website or mobile application has been opened. This is also essential to the developer designing the website and mobile application so that they keep this in mind throughout the development phase. A user case scenario was developed and written to take the individual through each of the 5 steps in the Teachers Toolkit; namely:
- User Case 1 – Initial Risk Assessment Phase;
- User Case 2 – Individual Risk Profile Phase;
- User Case 3 – Lifestyle Coaching Sessions Phase;
- User Case 4 – Follow-up Monitoring and Motivation Phase; and
- User Case 5 – Evaluation Phase.
Who knew that website and mobile application design entailed so many different and distinct aspects? We certainly did not. Nevertheless, all these facets have generated new challenges, but it has presented many opportunities for growth personally; and has also granted the discovery of a world that was previously completely unfamiliar to us. Until next time. Take care.
We, Nandi Joubert, Siphesihle Nqweniso, Larissa Adams and Danielle Smith, are working on a very interesting (and sometimes very confusing) stage of the KaziBantu Teachers’ Toolkit – the technology development phase. We are working closely with the Centre for Community Technologies (CCT) at the Nelson Mandela University, led by Professor Darelle van Greunen and a team of developers, project manager, designers and IT professionals.
Even though we as students and researchers work on websites and with mobile applications on a daily basis, we do not have an idea of the intricacies of the design of either of these. We quickly learned this during the past week!
Both parties started with a brainstorming session where everybody placed their ideas and difficulties on the table. This was followed by an intense discussion and problem-solving session that slowly led to the website and application we envisioned, pinned to paper. Feeling comfortable that everyone is (more or less) on the same page, the CCT started explaining the flow of events that will ensure that their developers know exactly what we require.
First of all, ‘Personas’ need to be created that explains the typical user of our application or website – keeping in mind that different people will visit these sites for different reasons – all of these possibilities need to be taken into consideration and therefore covered per ‘Persona’. The latter basically takes the form of a story, even including pictures, that contains as much detail as possible about all our fictitious users.
The second step entails ‘User Case Scenarios’. Here again a story needs to be written, this time explaining how our fictitious users will use the website or mobile application. Which steps will lead her (or him) to the computer, how will the website search begin and what they can, and ultimately will do once the website or application is opened.
Easy – don’t you think? Well, not so much. Research and project work remains an amazing process – who would have imagined ‘fiction writer’ can be added to the skills section of my CV.
Associations between selective attention and soil-transmitted helminth infections, socioeconomic status, and physical fitness in disadvantaged children in Port Elizabeth
Socioeconomically deprived children are at increased risk of ill-health associated with sedentary behavior, malnutrition, and helminth infection. The resulting reduced physical fitness, growth retardation, and impaired cognitive abilities may impede children’s capacity to pay attention. The data from the baseline testing showed that children infected with soil-transmitted helminths had lower selective attention, lower school grades and lower grip strength. In a multiple regression model, low selective attention was associated with soil-transmitted helminth infection and low shuttle run performance, whereas higher academic achievement was observed in children without soil-transmitted helminth infection and with higher shuttle run performance. These results provide new insights into the relative importance of different determinants of school children’s selective attention in a disadvantaged setting of South Africa. We found that soil-transmitted helminth infection and lower physical fitness may hamper children’s capacity to pay attention during cognitive tasks, and directly or indirectly impede their academic performance. It is conceivable that poor academic achievement will hinder children from realizing their full potential and disrupt the vicious cycle of poverty and ill health.