Plemochoe is an open access institutional repository established for the sole purpose of gathering preserving and distributing original research material produced by the EUC faculty and researchers. Plemochoe aims to validate the intellectual life of the University by promoting scientific research to the local and international communities. Plemochoe comprises undergraduate and graduate dissertations, doctoral theses, journal articles, conference papers, working papers, technical reports, and other educational or research documents.
Research outputs
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Projects
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  • Publication
    Impulsive behaviors and clinical outcomes following a flexible intensive inpatient treatment for eating disorders: findings from an observational study
    (Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH, 2021-04) ;
    Patrizia Todisco
    ;
    Paolo Meneguzzo
    ;
    Alice Garolla
    ;
    Athos Antoniades
    ;
    Federica Tozzi
    Purpose: The aim of the study was to assess the differences between impulsive and non-impulsive patients in response to a multidisciplinary intensive inpatient treatment for eating disorders (EDs). Methods: 320 patients with EDs were consecutively recruited in an eating disorders unit (EDU). They were assessed by clinical interviews and self-reported questionnaires. The treatment was characterized by a patient-centric approach and included both an intensive and comprehensive standardized multidisciplinary program based on cognitive–behavioral therapy and a flexible and personalized component according to the needs and the history of each patient. Results: Impulsive ED patients showed greater improvement in specific psychopathological areas, in particular: interpersonal sensitivity of Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90) (p = 0.007); Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) Global Score (p = 0.009), EDE-Q eating concern (p < 0.001) and EDE-Q shape concern (p = 0.025). The two groups also showed a different pattern on the Body Uneasiness Test, with impulsive patients uniquely showing improvement on Global Severity Index (p = 0.006), body image concern (p = 0.008), compulsive self monitoring (p = 0.002), and weight phobia (p = 0.037). Discussion: Results support the hypothesis that patients with impulsive behaviors might benefit from treatments characterized by a standardized cognitive behavioral therapy implemented by third-wave interventions according to each patient’s clinical profile. Personalized treatment approaches could be an answer to the complexity of ED, addressing individual psychopathology. Further studies are needed to confirm these preliminary findings. Level of Evidence: III, cohort or case-control analytic studies.
  • Publication
    Impact assessment of COVID-19 non-pharmaceutical interventions in long term care facilities in Cyprus: Safety improvement strategy
    (Elsevier B.V., 2021-11) ; ; ;
    Christos D. Argyropoulos
    ;
    Christos Haralambous
    ;
    Michalis Andreou
    ;
    Valentinos Silvestros
    ;
    Fani Theofanous
    ;
    Soteroulla Soteriou
    ;
    Ioanna Gregoriou
    ;
    Andri Jaber Apostolidou
    ;
    Anna Demetriou
    ;
    Maria Athanasiadou
    ;
    Carolina Stylianou
    ;
    Maria Michael
    ;
    Herodotos Herodotou
    ;
    Denise Alexandrou
    ;
    Olga Kalakouta
    ;
    Zoi Dorothea Pana
    The current COVID-19 crisis has changed our everyday lives almost in every aspect. Many people worldwide have died or hospitalised due to the severe impact of COVID-19 on the vulnerable population, and in particular to the elderly residents of long term care facilities (LTCF). The problem is amplified due to the fact that many of those occupants also suffer from comorbidities (e.g. respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, etc.) and are therefore regarded as a susceptible host to severe COVID-19 disease. Impacts can be felt in the wider societal safety level. The aim of the present study is, therefore, to present the first National multimodal quality and safety improvement strategy plan for the LTCF in the Republic of Cyprus. The current program focused on the intensification of COVID-19 epidemiological surveillance, the promotion of educational training on best practises in infection control and prevention, and the implementation of additional non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), according to the recommendations of ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) and WHO (World Health Organization). This innovative program fostered the interconnectivity and collaboration among the local authorities, academia and the local leaders of the LTCF. In addition, this program reinforced the importance of volunteerism and active participation of medical students in the National initiatives against the COVID-19 pandemic. The effectiveness of the adopted multimodal advanced care-safety planning program is appraised based on the reported new confirmed COVID-19 cases among LTCF healthcare workers and occupants, after the introducing and implementation of the selected NPIs. This multimodal strategy plan seems to be capable of reducing significantly the number of new cases of COVID-19 infections in LTCF and as a result, to also affect the residents’ death number.
  • Publication
    Sequential motion rate and oral reading rate: normative data for Greek and clinical implications
    (Taylor and Francis Ltd., 2022)
    K. Konstantopoulos
    ;
    P. Vogazianos
    ;
    Y. Christou
    ;
    M. Pisinou
    ;
    Introduction: The aim of the present study was to provide normative data in Greek, regarding sequential motion rate (SMR) and oral reading rate (ORR), and to show the sensitivity of both tasks to predict Parkinson’s disease (PD). Methods: The speech rate of sixty-five healthy control participants was recorded and analyzed using speech acoustics. The speech rate of a subsample of 20 healthy control participants was compared to the speech rate of 20 pair-matched dysarthric parkinsonian participants. All participants produced the syllables /pataka/ (SMR task) as quickly as possible and read aloud a standard Greek passage (ORR task). Results: In normative data, the mean score for the SMR variable was 4.91 syllables per second (SD = 0.73) and for the ORR variable was 4.42 syllables per second (SD = 0.87). The Mann–Whitney test showed significant differences between the two groups of participants in the SMR (U = 64.000, Z = –4.60, p <.001) and ORR (U = 77.000, Z = –4.36, p <.001). Multiple binary logistic regression analysis examined the combined effect of ORR and SMR on the occurrence of the disease. The sensitivity of both tasks to predict PD was found to be 0.88 and the specificity 0.90. The optimal screening cutoff point was found to be 4.66 syllables/second for the SMR task and 2.79 syllables/second for the ORR task. Conclusions: This study provided Greek normative data in SMR and ORR tasks. Both tasks showed high sensitivity and specificity to predict PD in the Greek sample of participants.
  • Publication
    Bifidobacterium Is Enriched in Gut Microbiome of Kashmiri Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
    (MDPI, 2022-02) ;
    Saqib Hassan
    ;
    Marika A. Kaakinen
    ;
    Harmen Draisma
    ;
    Liudmila Zudina
    ;
    Mohd A. Ganie
    ;
    Aafia Rashid
    ;
    Zhanna Balkhiyarova
    ;
    George S. Kiran
    ;
    Christos Shammas
    ;
    Joseph Selvin
    ;
    Athos Antoniades
    ;
    Ayse Demirkan
    ;
    Inga Prokopenko
    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a very common endocrine condition in women in India. Gut microbiome alterations were shown to be involved in PCOS, yet it is remarkably un-derstudied in Indian women who have a higher incidence of PCOS as compared to other ethnic populations. During the regional PCOS screening program among young women, we recruited 19 drug naive women with PCOS and 20 control women at the Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Kashmir, North India. We profiled the gut microbiome in faecal samples by 16S rRNA sequencing and included 40/58 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) detected in at least 1/3 of the subjects with relative abundance (RA) ≥ 0.1%. We compared the RAs at a family/genus level in PCOS/non-PCOS groups and their correlation with 33 metabolic and hormonal factors, and corrected for multiple testing, while taking the variation in day of menstrual cycle at sample collection, age and BMI into account. Five genera were significantly enriched in PCOS cases: Sarcina, Megasphaera, and previously reported for PCOS Bifidobacterium, Collinsella and Paraprevotella confirmed by different statistical models. At the family level, the relative abundance of Bifidobacteriaceae was enriched, whereas Peptococcaceae was decreased among cases. We observed increased relative abundance of Collinsella and Paraprevotella with higher fasting blood glucose levels, and Paraprevotella and Alkalibacterium with larger hip, waist circumference, weight, and Peptococcaceae with lower prolactin levels. We also detected a novel association between Eubacterium and follicle-stimulating hormone levels and between Bifidobacterium and alkaline phosphatase, independently of the BMI of the participants. Our report supports that there is a relationship between gut microbiome composition and PCOS with links to specific reproductive health metabolic and hormonal predictors in Indian women.
  • Publication
    Exercise and Occupational Stress among Firefighters
    (MDPI, 2022-05-01) ;
    Elpidoforos S. Soteriades
    ;
    Federica Tozzi
    ;
    Athos Antoniades
    ;
    Eleftheria C. Economidou
    ;
    Lilia Psalta
    ;
    George Spanoudis
    The aim of our study was to evaluate the potential association between physical activity and occupational stress among firefighters. Data were collected from Cypriot firefighters through a web-based battery of internationally validated questionnaires completed anonymously (COPSOQ, DASS). A total of 430 firefighters (response rate 68%) completed the survey (age range: 21–60 years). More than half of the firefighters (54%) reported either no or minimal physical activity. A total of 11% of firefighters reported moderate to extremely severe stress based on the DASS-S scale. Using multivariable-adjusted logistic regression models, we showed that firefighters who exercised had 50% lower risk of occupational stress, and using a categorical model, we found that every hour per week of increased physical activity among firefighters was associated with 16% lower risk of occupational stress after adjusting for age, education, smoking, and body mass index (OR = 1.16; p = 0.05). In addition, our findings suggest an inverse dose–response relationship between physical activity and occupational stress among firefighters. Physical activity appears to be inversely associated with occupational stress and serves as an important mitigating factor of occupational stress in firefighters. Further research is warranted to evaluate the potential effect of exercise interventions on occupational stress, and the overall mental health of firefighters and other occupational groups.
Most viewed
  • Person
    Louca, Loucas T.
    Dr. Loucas Louca is an Associate Professor of Science Education at the European University Cyprus. His research interests focus on student abilities for inquiry in science, on modeling-based learning in scinece and on teachers’ instructional strategies for promoting student inquiry in science. He has also a longstanding interest in supporting professional teacher development in science education. He has been involved in several nationally and EU funded projects focusing on student inquiry in science, teacher professional development, professional learning communities, development of curriculum materials, promoting opportunities for gender balance in science education, STEM education, and promoting inquiry-based teaching and learning in science. He has also experiences in the development and enactment of afternoon clubs for young children in Science, and he also has designed various out-of-school STEM activities for students.
  • Research Project
    Mediterranean practitioners’ network & capacity
    The Mediterranean and Black Sea region is an international centre of economic and commercial development and transactions. At the same time, though, it is characterised by a very volatile and dynamically changing security environment that poses severe threats and challenges on the societies and their prosperity. MEDEA aspires to contribute to the establishment of safer and more secure societies throughout the Mediterranean and Black Sea region using research and innovation as a catalyst to promote collaboration between practitioners from diverse disciplines and countries. The MEDEA project, during its 60 months of implementation aims to: Establish and Operate the MEDEA network. A multi-disciplinary network of security practitioners, with active links to policy makers and users/providers of security innovations across the M&BS countries focusing on Border Protection and other Security- and Disaster-Related tasks. All MEDEA members will engage in activities towards maintaining its sustainability and longevity even after the end of the project. Engage participants in anticipatory governance on emerging security challenges that the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions would face in the coming years (present until +10 years), based on a threefold structure that forms the backbone of the project: i) understanding the unsatisfactory state of play, ii) design the desirable future and iii) define a resilient pathway on how to achieve this. Push for the “co-creation” of security technology and capabilities innovations between practitioners and innovation. Their evaluation and prioritization will be based on a multi-criteria analysis (technology, operational, cost-benefit, etc.) and it will be linked to Human Development, Policy Making and Organizational Improvements in-terms of facilitating their use by the practitioners. Establish and annually update the Mediterranean Security Research and Innovation Agenda (MSRIA), that identifies areas where security & defence research is needed (including the research needs that are not covered by civilian research) and establishes recommendations for European Security & Defence technology investments. It will constitute the common position of the Mediterranean practitioners’ for future call for proposals from European and National funding mechanisms.
  • Research Project
    Global Response Against Child Exploitation
    GRACE aims to equip European law enforcement agencies with advanced analytical and investigative capabilities to respond to the spread of online child sexual exploitation material. The growth in online child sexual exploitation and abuse material is a significant challenge for European law enforcement agencies. Referrals of CSEM exceed the capacity of LEAs to respond in a practical and timely manner. To safeguard victims, prosecute offenders and limit the spread of CSEM, LEAs need a next-generation AI-powered investigative platform. Background The sexual exploitation and abuse of children, the production of CSEM and subsequent distribution of this material via the internet is a shocking crime. Referrals from Online Service Providers (OSPs) are crucial to fighting CSE. Growth in the number of referrals of CSEM to LEAs is driven both by increased availability and distribution of online CSEM and improved detection and reporting processes. The extent of referrals is affecting LEAs' capacity to respond promptly, leading to an inability to prevent harm to infants and children, rescue those in immediate danger, and investigate and prosecute perpetrators. Core concepts Recent improvements to the referral process have improved LEAs capabilities. However, the sheer volume of data obtained in CSE cases stretches human resources, the limits of manual analysis beyond most LEAs reach. Given there has been a 4,000% increase in referrals since 2014, a new approach to managing, processing and analysing this content is necessary. At the heart of the project, GRACE has three core concepts. Adress the volume and analyse the content of online CSEM through technological innovations; Provide genuine operational value to LEAs in their investigation of online CSEM; and Impact at the strategic and policy level in the harmonisation of EU-wide responses to CSE.
  • Research Project
    Developing Flipped Methods
    Flipped classroom (FC) is a pedagogical approach in which the conventional notion of classroom-based learning is inverted, so that students are introduced to the learning material before class, with classroom time then being used to deepen understanding through discussion with peers and problem-solving activities facilitated by teachers. Although using FC methods has multiple benefits and is growing popularity, researchers and practitioners indicate that among impediments of widespread usage of FC methods are the additional time and technological support in relation to development of flipped learning activities. The flipped approach often involves the investment of significant time and energy on the part of instructors (e.g., recording video lectures; designing additional in-class activities). It is therefore recommended for teachers flipping their courses in team. By working in team, teachers can share their experiences of implementing flipped classrooms as well as their teaching resources The “Developing Flipped Methods for Teaching” project aims at developing all the necessary flipped learning pedagogical material (out-of-class tasks, pre-assessment tools, in-class activities) for teaching a discipline (psychology) covering a whole academic year course. The project aims at overcoming the difficulties of elaborating multiple materials for teaching with flipped classroom design. By collaboration of six education institutions an entire discipline will be covered with FC materials in seven languages (English, Romanian, Hungarian, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Slovak and Greek), tackling a gap between educational research and practice. One of the project partners, The Mihai Eminescu National Pedagogical High School (Romania) is a secondary-level educational institute. Due to the particularities of the Romanian education system they offer teacher and kindergarten teacher training program, whereby graduates receive a teacher-kindergarten teacher degree. In Romania psychology is part of the secondary-level school curricula, so high schools can also benefit from educational materials translated to Romanian. Their main role in the project is to translate the developed educational methods by the higher education institutes from the partnership, to test and adapt it to the Romanian requirements. The partnership is composed from other six Higher Education Institutes with Teacher Training Faculties, who have important experience as partners or leaders Strategic Partnership projects and educational innovation. The main intellectual output of the project are the pedagogical materials for teaching an entire course of psychology with flipped classroom (FC) methods (materials for 30 courses), available in seven languages. Each pedagogical material is composed of instructional video, out-of-class work plans (online activities) associated with Low-stakes, formative assignments as well as in-class activities and assessment tools.