Activity-specific mobility of adults in a rural region of western Kenya.
ABSTRACT: Improving rural household access to resources such as markets, schools and healthcare can help alleviate poverty in low-income settings. Current models of geographic accessibility to various resources rarely take individual variation into account due to a lack of appropriate data, yet understanding mobility at an individual level is key to knowing how people access their local resources. Our study used both an activity-specific survey and GPS trackers to evaluate how adults in a rural area of western Kenya accessed local resources. We calculated the travel time and time spent at six different types of resource and compared the GPS and survey data to see how well they matched. We found links between several demographic characteristics and the time spent at different resources, and that the GPS data reflected the survey data well for time spent at some types of resource, but poorly for others. We conclude that demography and activity are important drivers of mobility, and a better understanding of individual variation in mobility could be obtained through the use of GPS trackers on a wider scale.
Project description:Human and livestock mobility are key factors in the transmission of several high-burden zoonoses such as rift valley fever and trypanosomiasis, yet our knowledge of this mobility is relatively poor due to difficulty in quantifying population-level movement patterns. Significant variation in the movement patterns of individual hosts means it is necessary to capture their fine-scale mobility in order to gain useful knowledge that can be extrapolated to a population level. Here we explore how the movements of people and their ruminants, and their exposure to various types of land cover, correlate with ruminant ownership and other demographic factors which could affect individual exposure to zoonoses. The study was conducted in Busia County, western Kenya, where the population are mostly subsistence farmers operating a mixed crop/livestock farming system. We used GPS trackers to collect movement data from 26 people and their ruminants for 1?week per individual in July/August 2016, and the study was repeated at the end of the same year to compare movement patterns between the short rainy and dry seasons respectively. We found that during the dry season, people and their ruminants travelled further on trips outside of the household, and that people spent less time on swampland compared to the short rainy season. Our findings also showed that ruminant owners spent longer and travelled further on trips outside the household than non-ruminant owners, and that people and ruminants from poorer households travelled further than people from relatively wealthier households. These results indicate that some individual-level mobility may be predicted by season and by household characteristics such as ruminant ownership and household wealth, which could have practical uses for assessing individual risk of exposure to some zoonoses and for future modelling studies of zoonosis transmission in similar rural areas.
Project description:The home address is a common spatial proxy for exposure assessment in epidemiological studies but mobility may introduce exposure misclassification. Mobility can be assessed using self-reports or objectively measured using GPS logging but self-reports may not assess the same information as measured mobility. We aimed to assess mobility patterns of a rural population in the Netherlands using GPS measurements and self-reports and to compare GPS measured to self-reported data, and to evaluate correlates of differences in mobility patterns.In total 870 participants filled in a questionnaire regarding their transport modes and carried a GPS-logger for 7 consecutive days. Transport modes were assigned to GPS-tracks based on speed patterns. Correlates of measured mobility data were evaluated using multiple linear regression. We calculated walking, biking and motorised transport durations based on GPS and self-reported data and compared outcomes. We used Cohen's kappa analyses to compare categorised self-reported and GPS measured data for time spent outdoors.Self-reported time spent walking and biking was strongly overestimated when compared to GPS measurements. Participants estimated their time spent in motorised transport accurately. Several variables were associated with differences in mobility patterns, we found for instance that obese people (BMI > 30 kg/m2) spent less time in non-motorised transport (GMR 0.69-0.74) and people with COPD tended to travel longer distances from home in motorised transport (GMR 1.42-1.51).If time spent walking outdoors and biking is relevant for the exposure to environmental factors, then relying on the home address as a proxy for exposure location may introduce misclassification. In addition, this misclassification is potentially differential, and specific groups of people will show stronger misclassification of exposure than others. Performing GPS measurements and identifying explanatory factors of mobility patterns may assist in regression calibration of self-reports in other studies.
Project description:Research into how the environment affects health and related behaviour is typically limited in at least two ways: it represents the environment to which people are exposed using fixed areal units, and, it focuses on one or two environmental characteristics only. This study developed a methodology for describing children's mobility and the complexity of their environmental exposure across a 1934 km2 study area, including urban, suburban and rural zones. It conceptualised and modelled this area as a landscape, comprised of spatially discrete amenities, infrastructure features, differing land covers/use and broader environmental contexts. The model used a 25 m2 grid system (∼3 million cells). For each cell, there was detailed built-environment information. We joined data for 100 10/11-year-old children who had worn GPS trackers to provide individual-level mobility information for one week during 2015/16 to our model. Using negative binomial regression, we explored which landscape features were associated with a child visiting that space and time spent there. We examined whether relationships between the features across our study area and children's use of the space differed by their sociodemographic characteristics. We found that children often used specific amenities outside their home neighbourhood, even if they were also available close to home. They spent more time in cells containing roads/transportation stops, food/drink retail (Incidence rate ratio (IRR):4.02, 95%CI 2.33 to 6.94), places of worship (IRR:5.98, 95%CI 3.33 to 10.72) and libraries (IRR:7.40, 95%CI 2.13 to 25.68), independently of proximity to home. This has importance for the optimal location of place-based health interventions. If we want to target children, we need to understand that using fixed neighbourhood boundaries may not be the best way to do it. The variations we found in time spent in certain areas by sex and socio-economic position also raise the possibility that interventions which ignore these differences may exacerbate inequalities.
Project description:Rural areas have problems in attracting and retaining primary care workforce. This might have consequences for the existing workforce. We studied whether general practitioners (GPs) in rural practices differ by age, sex, practice population and workload from those in less rural locations and whether their practices differ in resources and service profiles. We used data from 2 studies: QUALICOPC study collected data from 34 countries, including 7183 GPs in 2011, and Profiles of General Practice in Europe study collected data from 32 countries among 7895 GPs in 1993. Data were analyzed using multilevel analysis. Results show that the share of female GPs has increased in rural areas but is still lower than in urban areas. In rural areas, GPs work more hours and provide more medical procedures to their patients. Apart from these differences between locations, overall ageing of the GP population is evident. Higher workload in rural areas may be related to increased demand for care. Rural practices seem to cope by offering a broad range of services, such as medical procedures. Dedicated human resource policies for rural areas are required with a view to an ageing GP population, to the individual preferences and needs of the GPs, and to decreasing attractiveness of rural areas.
Project description:Empiric quantification of human mobility patterns is paramount for better urban planning, understanding social network structure and responding to infectious disease threats, especially in light of rapid growth in urbanization and globalization. This need is of particular relevance for developing countries, since they host the majority of the global urban population and are disproportionally affected by the burden of disease. We used Global Positioning System (GPS) data-loggers to track the fine-scale (within city) mobility patterns of 582 residents from two neighborhoods from the city of Iquitos, Peru. We used ?2.3 million GPS data-points to quantify age-specific mobility parameters and dynamic co-location networks among all tracked individuals. Geographic space significantly affected human mobility, giving rise to highly local mobility kernels. Most (?80%) movements occurred within 1 km of an individual's home. Potential hourly contacts among individuals were highly irregular and temporally unstructured. Only up to 38% of the tracked participants showed a regular and predictable mobility routine, a sharp contrast to the situation in the developed world. As a case study, we quantified the impact of spatially and temporally unstructured routines on the dynamics of transmission of an influenza-like pathogen within an Iquitos neighborhood. Temporally unstructured daily routines (e.g., not dominated by a single location, such as a workplace, where an individual repeatedly spent significant amount of time) increased an epidemic's final size and effective reproduction number by 20% in comparison to scenarios modeling temporally structured contacts. Our findings provide a mechanistic description of the basic rules that shape human mobility within a resource-poor urban center, and contribute to the understanding of the role of fine-scale patterns of individual movement and co-location in infectious disease dynamics. More generally, this study emphasizes the need for careful consideration of human social interactions when designing infectious disease mitigation strategies, particularly within resource-poor urban environments.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Policymakers need accurate data to develop efficient interventions to promote transport physical activity. Given the imprecise assessment of physical activity in trips, our aim was to illustrate novel advances in the measurement of walking in trips, including in trips incorporating non-walking modes.<h4>Methods</h4>We used data of 285 participants (RECORD MultiSensor Study, 2013-2015, Paris region) who carried GPS receivers and accelerometers over 7?days and underwent a phone-administered web mobility survey on the basis of algorithm-processed GPS data. With this mobility survey, we decomposed trips into unimodal trip stages with their start/end times, validated information on travel modes, and manually complemented and cleaned GPS tracks. This strategy enabled to quantify walking in trips with different modes with two alternative metrics: distance walked and accelerometry-derived number of steps taken.<h4>Results</h4>Compared with GPS-based mobility survey data, algorithm-only processed GPS data indicated that the median distance covered by participants per day was 25.3?km (rather than 23.4?km); correctly identified transport time vs. time at visited places in 72.7% of time; and correctly identified the transport mode in 67% of time (and only in 55% of time for public transport). The 285 participants provided data for 8983 trips (21,163 segments of observation). Participants spent a median of 7.0% of their total time in trips. The median distance walked per trip was 0.40?km for entirely walked trips and 0.85?km for public transport trips (the median number of accelerometer steps were 425 and 1352 in the corresponding trips). Overall, 33.8% of the total distance walked in trips and 37.3% of the accelerometer steps in trips were accumulated during public transport trips. Residents of the far suburbs cumulated a 1.7 times lower distance walked per day and a 1.6 times lower number of steps during trips per 8?h of wear time than residents of the Paris core city.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our approach complementing GPS and accelerometer tracking with a GPS-based mobility survey substantially improved transport mode detection. Our findings suggest that promoting public transport use should be one of the cornerstones of policies to promote physical activity.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Taenia solium (cysticercosis) is a parasitic cestode that is endemic in rural populations where open defecation is common and free-roaming pigs have access to human feces. The purpose of this study was to examine the roaming patterns of free-range pigs, and identify areas where T. solium transmission could occur via contact with human feces. We did this by using GPS trackers to log the movement of 108 pigs in three villages of northern Peru. Pigs were tracked for approximately six days each and tracking was repeated in the rainy and dry seasons. Maps of pig ranges were analyzed for size, distance from home, land type and contact with human defecation sites, which were assessed in a community-wide defecation survey.<h4>Results</h4>Consistent with prior GPS studies and spatial analyses, we found that the majority of pigs remained close to home during the tracking period and had contact with human feces in their home areas: pigs spent a median of 79% (IQR: 61-90%) of their active roaming time within 50 m of their homes and a median of 60% of their contact with open defecation within 100 m of home. Extended away-from-home roaming was predominately observed during the rainy season; overall, home range areas were 61% larger during the rainy season compared to the dry season (95% CI: 41-73%). Both home range size and contact with open defecation sites showed substantial variation between villages, and contact with open defecation sites was more frequent among pigs with larger home ranges and pigs living in higher density areas of their village.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our study builds upon prior work showing that pigs predominately roam and have contact with human feces within 50-100 m of the home, and that T. solium transmission is most likely to occur in these concentrated areas of contact. This finding, therefore, supports control strategies that target treatment resources to these areas of increased transmission. Our finding of a seasonal trend in roaming ranges may be useful for control programs relying on pig interventions, and in the field of transmission modeling, which require precise estimates of pig behavior and risk.
Project description:With the aggravation of rural aging, the well-being and self-rated health level of older people in rural communities are significantly lower than those in urban communities. Past studies hold that mobility is essential to the quality of life of the elderly, and well-being depends on their own adaptation strategies in the built environment. Therefore, this study combines three key factors related to active aging: environment, health and mobility, and assumes that the elderly with good health status will have environmental proactivity and a wider range of daily mobility in a poor rural built environment. This study attempts to track daily mobility by using a space-time path method in time geography and then to explore the relationship between outdoor mobility and older people's self-rated health. A 1-week mobility path survey for 20 senior citizens of Xishi Village, a typical rural village in Taiwan, was conducted by wearing a GPS sports watch. A questionnaire survey and in-depth interviews were done to provide more information about the seniors' personal backgrounds and lifestyles. The results show that when the built environment is unfit to the needs of daily activities, half of the participants can make adjustment strategies to go beyond the neighborhoods defined by administrative units. Correlation analysis demonstrated that mental health is associated with daily moving time and distance. In addition, men have higher self-rated health scores than women, and there are significant statistical differences between married and widowed seniors in daily outing time and distance. This exploratory study suggests that in future research on rural health and active aging in rural areas, understanding the daily outdoor mobility of the elderly can help to assess their health status and living demands and quickly find out whether there is a lack of rural living services or environmental planning.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Few studies have specifically assessed the scope, nature and challenges of palliative and end-of-life care in rural general practice. These knowledge gaps limit the development of evidence-based policies and services for patients in the last months of life. This study aimed to explore the perspectives of general practitioners (GPs) and other stakeholders on rural GPs' involvement and challenges in providing palliative and end-of-life care in regional Australia.<h4>Methods</h4>A qualitative study involving five focus groups with 26 GPs based in rural/regional Western Australia together with 15 individual telephone interviews with four GPs and 11 other stakeholders involved in end-of-life care across Australia.<h4>Results</h4>The rural GPs' central role in end-of-life care was recognized by the majority of participants but multiple challenges were also identified. Some challenges were comparable to those found in urban settings but others were more pronounced, including resource limitations and lack of training. Inappropriate payment models discouraged GPs' involvement in some aspects of end-of-life care, such as case conferences and home visits. Compared to GPs in urban settings, those in rural/regional communities often reported closer doctor-patient relationships and better care integration and collaboration. These positive aspects of care could be further developed to enhance service provision. Our study highlighted the importance of regular interactions with other professionals and patients in providing end-of-life care, but many GPs and other stakeholders found such interactions more challenging than the more "technical" aspects of care.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Rural/regional GPs appear to be disproportionately affected by inappropriate payment models and limited resources, but may benefit from closer doctor-patient relationships and better care integration and collaboration relative to urban GPs. Systematic collection of empirical data on GP management at end-of-life is required to build on these strengths and address the challenges.
Project description:Despite increasing work detailing the presence of foraging specializations across a range of taxa, limited attention so far has been given to the role of spatiotemporal variation in food predictability in shaping individual resource selection. Here, we studied the exploitation of human-provided carrion resources differing in predictability by Canarian Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus majorensis). We focussed specifically on the role of individual characteristics and spatial constraints in shaping patterns of resource use. Using high-resolution GPS data obtained from 45 vultures tracked for 1 year, we show that individual vultures were repeatable in both their monthly use of predictable and semi-predicable resources (feeding station vs. farms) and monthly levels of mobility (home range size and flight activity). However, individual foraging activities were simultaneously characterized by a high degree of (temporal) plasticity in the use of the feeding station in specific months. Individual rank within dominance hierarchy revealed sex-dependent effects of social status on resource preference in breeding adults, illustrating the potential complex social mechanisms underpinning status-dependent resource use patterns. Our results show that predictable food at feeding stations may lead to broad-scale patterns of resource partitioning and affect both the foraging and social dynamics within local vulture populations.