3 Ways Your Health Insurance Company Is Scamming You

The growing number of consumers taking up health insurance plans has led to the mushrooming of scam health insurance providers. These providers often target new retirees and the elderly individuals and small-business owners, who can't negotiate better rates with legitimate insurers. Be very cautious before you invest in any health policy. Read on to get an idea about 3 ways in which your health insurance company can scam you.

1.    Failure to pay claims

Usually fraud health insurance agents sign up a huge number of people quickly by offering them lucrative deals. These insurance providers keep paying small premium amounts and medical claims, but if there is a substantial claim amount or regulators catch them, these illegal companies vanish as if they never existed.

So, just beware if you are getting delayed payments or your service provider is offering fake excuses for the failure to make the payments. If you have signed up for these illegal plans, you may be liable for the medical bills of your employees as well.

2.    Non-licensed health plans

If the company from which you have bought your health care policy is not licensed by State Insurance Commissioner, you can be in trouble. If all the protections of insurance regulation do not apply on your service provider, then the company may be phony. In this case your service provider is scamming you by selling non-licensed health plans.

Insurance agents are not allowed to sell any legitimate ERISA or union plan as federal law governs them. So, if your insurance agent tries to dupe you by selling an “ERISA” or “union” plan, report them to your state insurance department.

3.    Unusual coverage offered at lower rates

If you are offered an unusual coverage irrespective of your health condition and that too at lower rate and much more benefits in comparison to other insurers, its time for you too hit the panic button. Do not get fooled by the lucrative offer, else you can be taken for a ride. The ‘scamsters’ aim to collect huge amounts as early as possible so, they try to sell maximum number of policies at attractive prices.

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A Brief Review on Study in Canada and the Future Prospects

Acquiring a degree from abroad is like having an opportunity to discover new avenues of facing challenges in our life. Everyone dreams to have good exposure in their life for career advancement. And your every dream comes true here with Canada universities. Around 1,30,000 students from all parts of the world enroll every year in some of the best universities in this country for higher studies.
Although Canada is located in the north part of USA, people from most of the countries possess a little knowledge about the Canadian universities and colleges. But we can not discard some of the world leading universities of Canada which contribute to the best teaching and learning process, research and cultural development. There are 92 universities and 175 Community colleges in the country such as University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, McGill University and University of British Columbia. These Canada universities have raised the standard of higher education by creating a sense of competitiveness among the higher educational institutes.
Higher study in Canada is considered comparatively peaceful, orderly and secure. Here crime activities and other firearms are strictly controlled and primarily prohibited by the authority.
One of the specialties of Canadian universities and institutions is that the entire diploma and degree certificates are equivalent to the certificates of USA, UK and also recognized all over the world. The employment opportunity in Canada is also good. A foreign student can be able to find a part-time job in the Canadian job market while studying. The work experience at the time of study has become an essential part of the curriculum in all Canadian universities.
The cost of living and tuition fees are less than the American colleges and universities. The average cost charged by the Canadian universities for a foreign student in an undergraduate program is C$12,000-15,000 per one school year that is 8 months. For foreign students the tution fee is higher than the residents of Canada. But if a student has dual citizenship of the USA and France, he can get a bargain. He could be able to study in a premier institution like McGill University at the same tuition fee level as Quebec residents at only C$4,000 per year excluding living expenses.
It is fact that an international student needs student visa for study abroad. For a student visa Canada, the embassy requires related documents like the country of your origin, the type and length of your course etc. To continue your study in Canada, you need a temporary student visa and study permit. Those who are Quebec-bound students, they need to produce a CAQ or Quebec Application Certificate. For any course which is six months or less, study permit is not necessary. But if you have opted for a 6-month or less duration course and want to continue with another program, you have to apply for a study permit. After getting a valid study permit, you can continue your study or have to leave Canada.
A student scholarship abroad can immensely reduce the cost of tution fee and the Canadian universities are not an exception. A student can get academic scholarship if he has scored around 90% to 95% marks. Based on some criteria such as community involvement, leadership qualities, and innovative skills, a student can also get merit scholarship. In addition, students get an exciting experience at Canadian universities that they can never forget in their life.

Our Small Group Study Guide

Our small group or what we call "Koinonia" is blessed to have studied three of Bill Hybels' Bible Study Series. We are truly amazed on how God has used these studies to edify us. During each phase of our study, our group progressively understood that the Christian Community is not just a mere group who study God's word, but rather it exists to cater to the deeper needs of each members. We are constantly challenged to be confident to share and open up with our brethren in this small group regarding our spiritual experiences and God's personal dealings in our lives. Our relationship deepened as we learn to love and accept each one's shortcomings as we walk closely with God.
These Bible Study Series focus on the foundations of the Christians' relationship with God in the context of community. The lessons move around the roles and disciplines of the Christian Community towards God and men. You will be given guided questions which can stimulate group discussions throughout the lessons and through these, individual life examples can be easily merged to a common conclusion. We are not only motivated to share our own thoughts and convictions on the topic but, are also blessed to hear each other's own shares of life experiences with God. Illustrations are also available and are easy to relate to practical applications. Furthermore, guide answers for each questions are available at the back of the books for additional insights from the author.
Here is an overview of what each lessons offer:
Making the connection This portion will give the group a slight preview of the topic to be discussed. It will give everyone a feel of what to expect when the lesson ends. It also serves as an icebreaker to create a more ease atmosphere.
Known and Being Known This makes up most of the discussion. This is where the guided questions together with the text references are outlined.
Celebrating and Being Celebrated This will encourage everyone to share life stories of triumphs and victories that are related to the topic.
Serving and Being Served A portion where you remember and pray for those people who have encouraged and touched you in a specific aspect of your life.
Loving and Being Loved A constant reminder after each topic of the love we give and we received from the Father and the people He has been using in our lives.

Effective Study Skills Tips

All of us urge students to work hard and succeed in their exams. We frequently remind them that this is their opportunity to succeed in their lives since education empowers people to be useful members of the community. The ability for students to understand what they are studying is of quite importance.
It is important for us to know the obstacles to academic success. The following list highlights some of the obstacles:
  • Lack of a study schedule
  • Lack of clear priorities in terms of what to study
  • When sitting down to study, usually too tired or restless to study
  • Daydreaming
  • When one cannot resume to study after a break
  • Spending too much time socializing and playing games
  • Inability to say 'no' to invitations and requests
  • Making unrealistic time estimates and attempting to do too much at once
  • Studying on a cluttered desk and in areas facing a window, TV and other forms of distractions
  • Frequent disruptions from outside and perennial procrastination
For effective learning to take place, there is need of learners to acquire good study skills which will enable them to approach learning in a more pragmatic and independent way.
In a bid to learning to learn, learners are expected to adjust to their unique learning skills depending on the task at hand. Learners are equally expected to be responsible for what they are learning by spending sufficient time on the task at hand. They ought to approach each task with the most appropriate approach and select the relevant materials for specific tasks.
The following 8 tips will give learners a brace in their study skills:
1. Get to know who you are
Learners ought to evaluate themselves by figuring out their strengths and weaknesses. In so doing, learners have to consider skills for instance; writing, reading, listening and numeric. They have to leverage on the strengths they have in these skills and bridge their weaknesses or the skills they have problems in by giving them the necessary attention.
In this regard, learners need to work on habits such as organization, time management, concentration, listening and note taking. The skills the learner frequently uses are inevitable, or rather, the learners' preference should inevitably be considered; this includes the preferred learning styles. Learners should also consider whether they learn effectively by reading, watching or listening. Other factors to be considered when evaluating one's self is whether you prefer waking up in the morning or working late in the night; that is, the time you think your concentration is at its maximum.
2. Be a boss for your time and life
For learners to effectively manage their lives they've got to have a goal driven life; it is therefore the first step not only in managing one's time but also one's life!
After a learner has identified his/her goals, they are in a better position to figure out whether they are using enough time to work towards their goals. This evaluation of the time spent provides the learner with sufficient information to enable them to allocate more time for their goal focused subjects and less time for subjects subordinate to their goals.
3. Figure out the essentials of studying: What entails studying? How do we go about it?
The learner is tasked to be aware that studying is more than going to class and doing home work. Some students are known to do homework just to please their teachers or rather, to avoid conflict with their teachers.
Study entails; preview of the session or content to be learnt, attending the session in the class, classroom review and activities and individual studying.
4. Concentration is key in studying
A good student does not necessarily study more than a poor student. The difference comes in on how the former uses his/her time more efficiently. In this regard, it is paramount for student to learn to focus on the task at hand, i.e. concentrate; this should be both in class and when one is doing individual study. It is important to note that, it is easier for a student to remember a concept well understood and very easy for a student to forget a concept vaguely understood.
5. Active readers enjoy their studying
Most students fall asleep when they are doing their studying; this is can be confirmed by the number of students found asleep during prep time- they are quite a number! Has any one seen some one dosing on the football pitch? Certainly not! The reason is that people on the football pitch are active. For students to remain interested in what they are studying, they must remain active participants in the content they are interacting with. It is therefore important for the students to preview the readings they do and have clear-cut objectives for the tasks at hand. This can be done by consistently providing themselves with prompt queries or tests about what they have learnt.
6. Unlock the vocabularies
English language is nutritious in its vocabulary. When reading, it is common to come across words you have never met. It is important as a learner to develop skills that will enable you to get the meaning of the words without interfering with the flow of information. The learner's ability to understand language gives them a leverage to learn more efficiently.
7. Develop a practice of writing
Developing and practice of writing skills enable learners to express their ideas. Writing while studying enables the learner to pay attention, develop critical thinking and be active. Writing should have a controlled idea, have a purpose and be logical.
8. Developing of listening and note-taking skills
Active listening to instructors coupled with smart choice of what to take down as important notes and what to leave out as illustrations of the main content is a skill that ought to be mastered. Note taking demands that the learner be an active listener, be able to distinguish main and minor points, and participate in class.

Study Habits

In college in any class, you will find widely different types of people, not only in personality but also in scholastic attitude. This same range from one extreme to the other can also be observed in their study habits. In fact, students can be divided into distinct groups based on their study habits. There are basically three categories: the perpetual studier, the average studier, and the crammer.
The perpetual studier is a rare breed indeed. But they exist and they aren't very hard to spot. They usually sit in the front of the class and write about three pages of notes a day regardless of how much material the instructor covers. They don't talk to anyone except to answer questions, and that only at the end of class when the lecture is over. When a perpetual studier goes home, before he does anything else, he takes out all his books and begins studying for the classes that he has the next day. He studies until really late at night, stopping only once or twice for a quick snack. When he is informed that he has a test, he will begin preparing for it at least five days in advance unless, of course, he is told less than five days previous to the test, in which case he will study until he has covered all the notes he has at least ten times or until he knows the material backwards and forwards. Although the perpetual studier does well in school, he usually misses out on social life. There are a select few who maintain something of a social life, but this is rare. Most of them never meet new people except in situations where they are forced to, such as meeting their roommates at the start of school. However, they will graduate with a 4.0 grade point average and be successful in life - as long as they don't choose careers that require many social skills.
The majority of students fall into a category that I refer to as the average studier. This person studies sufficiently but doesn't work more than necessary. When he studies for a test, he will look over the notes taken, reread appropriate pages in the textbook, and study with a friend sometimes. Overall, he may put in anywhere from two to six hours a day studying during the week leaving Friday and Saturday for his social life and then spend from four to eight hours studying on Sunday. The average studier takes his education seriously and will study with friends much more often than will the perpetual studier. He will have a good time getting an education. For him the line between education and having a good time is a lot thinner than with the perpetual studier. The average studier will leave college with at least a solid education and will be much more socially adept than the perpetual studier.
The third type of studier is the crammer. This type of person studies only when the threat of taking that class over is very great. When he studies for a test, he doesn't begin until the night before or the morning of the test. He spends most of his time doing anything that doesn't have to do with school. It amazes me how people like this manage to get by with the extremely small amount of studying they do, but somehow they do. Their homework is last on their list of things to do. If they are bored and they are on a borderline D, they might do some homework. But before they do such a deed, they will rack their brains trying to think of something else to do. It is amazing to watch a crammer trying to avoid doing homework. Cleaning the room even takes precedence over homework-not to mention sleep.
The crammers are easily recognized in any classroom. They sit in the place farthest from the teacher, and they usually group together. They seem to have the attitude that they are in class to do nothing but have a good time and attract attention. They enjoy disrupting class, and if left alone they will infect a classroom much like cancer infects a body. They are the teachers' nightmares, and there is always at least one in every class. But at the very last minute-before the axe falls, so to speak-they will hit the books. Although some of the crammers won't last for four years, most of them will graduate. They will leave college, though, with little education and few social skills.
It can be argued, of course, that there should be a fourth category-the never studier, one who quite literally never studies not even at the very last minute. But then, this person doesn't remain classified as a student for very long.


Almost anybody needs or wants added money advancing in, and with this admiration a lot of would like to alpha some array of added income producing project. The agitation is, not abounding of these humans seem able to fit "a additional job" into their time schedules.

It's accurate that a lot of humans are busy, but added time for some sortof h ome-based added assets earing activity can about consistently be found. It may beggarly giving up or alteration a few of your favorite pastimes--such as accepting a brace of beers with the guys or watching TV--but if you account big with your added assets project, you will accept all the time you wish for accomplishing whatever you whatto do.

Efficient time administration boils down to planning what you're going to do, and again accomplishing it after backtracking. Alpha by making a account of the things you wish to do tomorrow, anniversary evening before you go to bed. Agenda your trips to the abundance or wherever to accompany with the added things you accept to do, and with your trips to or from work. Organize your trips to yield care of as abounding things as accessible while you're out of the house. take banal of the time you absorb on the telephone---and eliminate
all that isn't necessary.

Whatever affairs you accept to do at home, set abreast a specific time to do them, and a specific bulk of time to allot to them. For instances, just one hour a day adherent to backyard plan would probably achieve your acreage the backbiting of all your neighbors. Don't try to do a week's plan in one big flurry. Whether it's painting your house, acclimation adulterated faucets, or mowing your backyard and trimming your shrubs, do a allotment of it, or one accurate job each day, and you'll be afraid at your progress.

Take affliction of all your mail the day, you accept it. Don't let those bills and belletrist accumulation up on you. If you're clumsy to pay a bill immediately, book it in a appropriate abode that's visible, and note on the envelope the date you intend to pay it. Answer your letters the aforementioned day you get them.

Once you alpha advertisement and planning what to do, and again carry out your plans, you'll acquisition affluence of "extra time" for handling virtually any affectionate of home-based assets bearing project.
People in accepted may not like routines or schedules, but after some sort of plan as to what is declared to be done, the apple would be mired in accumulation confusion. Laws, ordinances and regulations are for the purpose of allegorical people. We reside according to an accepted plan or way of life, and the bigger we can organize
ourselves, the added advantageous and blessed we become.

The abstruse of all financially acknowledged humans is artlessly that they are organized and do not decay time. Think about it. Review your own activities, and again see if you can't acquisition a brace of extra hours in anniversary day for added effective accomplishments. When you activate planning, and again if you absolutely become involved in an added assets bearing endeavor, you should plan it exactly as you accept organized your approved circadian activities---on a time basis. Do what has to be done immediately. Don't try to get done in a hour something that's realistically traveling to yield a week. Plan out on cardboard what you accept to do--what you wish to do--and if you are traveling to do it. Again get appropriate on each
project after procrastination.

Finally, and aloft all else, if you're acclimation your time and your business, be abiding to set abreast some time for relaxation. Be sure to agenda time if you and your apron can be together. You have to not absorb yourself to an admeasurement that you exclude other people--particularly your admired ones--from your life.

Taking banal of the time you decay anniversary day, and from there, reorganizing your activities is what it's all about. It's a matter of acceptable added able in the use of your time. It's really simple to do, and you will not alone achieve a lot more, you will aswell acquisition greater accomplishment in your life.

How to Get the Most Out of Bible Study, Part 1

In my spare time, I love teaching adult Sunday school. One of my favorite subjects or topics to teach is "How to Study Your Bible." Whether you're a new Christian or you've been keeping the pew warm for more than a few years, there's always something new to glean, something new that God wants to teach you.
A favorite quote of mine is from J. Vernon McGee, now at home with his Lord, a radio preacher for many years, teaching the Bible in his series "Through the Bible." Dr. McGee takes those of us who will listen, 5 years to go from Genesis 1:1 all the way to Revelation 22:21. McGee says, "all Scripture is for us, but not all Scripture is to us." What does that mean? I take it to mean that ALL of God's Word is meant for every man, woman and child to read and learn and absorb. The second part takes a little more to grasp, but makes sense: not all Scripture is "necessarily" to us, as an individual at a particular time. We may read a section many times and scratch our head afterward; that's okay! But one day, you're reading that particular passage again and the Holy Spirit just opens your eyes and heart. You have an "aha!" moment! God has spoken to you!
But back to the question at hand. How do we get the most out of our Bible study? Individual Bible study requires time and patience. Finding time is not easy in our busy lives, but if we just commit to small steps, we will gain a hunger and thirst for His Word that will consume us. Start with about 15 minutes whenever you can; when you wake, at lunch, or maybe at bedtime (great way to put good thoughts into your subconscious before sleeping). In short time, we'll want to be in God's Word rather than watch TV or chat online. The best part is that God will richly bless you.
Let's get started and get practical. The information that I am presenting to you is not original. These are tips that I gleaned from a book and study entitled "Living by the Book" by Dr. Howard G. Hendricks of Dallas Theological Seminary. This is a great study that I recommend to everyone who wants to walk deeper with God.
Before we get to the first 3 of 10 Steps of learning to observe what you're reading, you need to choose something in the Bible to read. What do you like to read? Something historical: how about the books of Genesis or Kings. Something about the life of Jesus: the Gospel of Mark (easy to read). Do you enjoy poetry? If so, the book of Psalms has some of the most beautiful poetry ever written. Do you like love stories? If that's your genre, then the book of Ruth is for you. The Bible has something for each of us. If you've never read the Bible, choose a book and genre and get going.
A couple of extra tips: keep a pad of paper and pen handy for notes and questions. Questions for you to ask your pastor or priest. Questions to ask God. He will answer you. Use a highlighter as you read. Remember that your Bible is your handbook for life. Mark it up! Take notes in it. Make little markings. Break that binding, then buy another one. Your Bible is NOT a book to keep on the shelf looking pretty just because it's God's Word. It IS a special book, but it's your personal reference for living. USE IT!
Let's get to those 10 Steps. These 10 Steps or Strategies will help you gain a better understanding and as well as an advantage to WHAT you are reading. Here are the first 3. The remaining 7 Steps are in Part 2.
Step 1. Read THOUGHTFULLY. Think about what you are reading. Proverbs chapter 2 verses 4 and 5 tell us "and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God." Do NOT empty your mind as you read the Bible; fill your mind with what God wants you to learn. Engage your mind. This is important stuff.
Step 2. Read REPEATEDLY. If possible, read the entire book that you want to read in one sitting. Many books of the Bible can be read in under an hour. Why not "sacrifice" some television or internet time and get to know your Heavenly Father? He's waiting for you. While you're reading repeatedly, remember to start at the beginning of the Book. That helps you get the entire context of what you're reading. Keep in mind that although you may have read a particular book maybe dozens of times, it wasn't the "right" time for God to reveal something special to you. God speaks to us at various times and in various ways.
Step 3. Read PATIENTLY. We must have patience when we read. Wherever you are reading, even if it's the 22nd time, read it as if this were the first time. All relationships take time and effort to build; even with God. He knows you (even the hairs on your head), but how well do you know Him? Every word of the Bible tells something more of Him. The Bible is God's "love letter" written specifically for you. Stuck on an idea or meaning? That's okay. Have patience with yourself as well as with the text, it will all come together. Scripture is its own best commentary. Give it time. Knowing God takes an eternity. One last thing with Step 3, the old adage that "familiarity breeds contempt" is true.
Step 4 - Read SELECTIVELY. What I mean by Selectively, is to read and observe the 6 W's of all reading. The WHO - the characters or people mentioned in the text. Who is the author talking to or about? The WHAT - what is the action or purpose of the text. In other words, what's going on? The WHERE - the location or situation that frames the people and action. The way that the apostle Paul would share the Gospel to Jews in Jerusalem would be significantly different than philosophers in Athens. The WHEN - the time or timing of the events. Watch how Biblical characters change over time: Moses, Jacob, Joseph, David. Look how God takes them through various events and trials. When can also put the context of the passage into better perspective. The next W is WHY - what is the meaning of the passage? What is the important take-away? Finally, the WHEREFORE - sometimes I like to think of this as the "so what" or "what's in it for me" W. How is God speaking to you. What's the lesson to learned or the idea to be gleaned.
Step 5 - Read PRAYERFULLY. There are 3 parts to this step. Before you even open to the passage to be read or studied, PRAY! Pray that the Holy Spirit is working with your spirit and mind to illuminate the text. Get that holy light right in there. The second part could be, "HELP! I don't understand what I'm reading." God will help you understand. The third part is Dialoguing. Pray back to God what He has shown you. It's kind of like when you're having a discussion with someone and you repeat back to them what they said so that you are clear with their words; "Lord, did I understand you to mean..."
Step 6 - Read IMAGINATIVELY. This is my favorite step! Bible study need not be boring. Make it exciting even if the excitement is in your own mind. Imaginatively also means to "mix it up." Put yourself into the action: "how would I have reacted when Jesus said..." or "what would it have been like when God parted the Red Sea and the Israelites passed through?" How about reading the text in a different version of the Bible? There are many and they all read a little bit differently. The ultimate meaning is the same, but the words or grammar may differ slightly. If you speak a second or multiple languages, you know that most of the time you can't exactly translate a sentence or thought from one tongue to another. You try to convey the meaning or the idea of the thought or intention. So if you do speak another language, get a Bible in that language too. God's Word is an amazing thing! That's why Scripture is said to be "alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword," (Hebrews 4:12).
Step 7 - Read MEDITATIVELY. Think about what you have just read. Pray about it. Let the Bible saturate your mind. Think about it over the course of the day. Apply it to your life. In your reading, have you come across a verse or short passage that you should memorize? Memorizing Scripture is like putting arrows in your quiver or bullets in your belt. There are always times when that verse may be exactly the encouragement you need to get you through a situation or to comfort someone else.
Step 8 - Read PURPOSEFULLY. 2 Timothy 3:16 states "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful in teaching, rebuking, correcting and training." Not some of Scripture, but all of Scripture. Remember what we said in Part 1? God has a purpose for your life and He wants to show it you piece by piece. Our "job" as believers in Christ is to become more Christ-like.
Step 9 - Read ACQUISITIVELY. In other words, make God's Word yours. Claim it for your life. Consider using a Bible dictionary or atlas as tools to help you better understand the people, places and contexts of the stories presented in the Bible. If there's a passage that you're working through, how about "re-writing" it in your own words and apply it to your life?
Step 10 - Read TELESCOPICALLY. Reading Telescopically means that the Whole of the Bible is more than the sum of its parts. Often times we get so into taking verses apart and picking them to pieces that we forget to put them back together! What would you rather drive: a garage full of car parts or an assemble car?
There they are, the 10 Steps or Strategies to Observing Scripture to help you get the most out of your Bible study. Answer God's call and open His Word. God is waiting and misses His time with you.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. If I can't help, I'll do my best to put you into contact with someone who can. As God blesses you in His word, He wants you to be a blessing to someone else.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. Teaching is nothing more than serving.

Important Reasons Why Studying Smarter Makes Sense

Why would you want to study smarter and what does that mean to you?
Studying is not just for school. Most people realize that the more you know about something, the more fulfilling your life is, and the more you can potentially earn. This is true in school by way of good grades leading to a better paying job. This is more true in life, where being well versed in something makes you more confident in that subject and affects your confidence overall. As well as the fact that you will be looked upon as someone who does not speak "off the cuff", but does know what they are talking about.
It is fact that the more you know about something, your job, a hobby, etc., the more you can enjoy it, i.e. the more you know about football, cooking, money, etc., the more enjoyable it is. Not to mention the potential to make more money at your job or hobby.
Everyone has a system of studying, a system they came up with themselves or something that they learned. Some work better than others. The thing to do is figure out what works for you. What works for one person may not work for another, but if you were to analyze what works you most probably will find a few commonalities. They do not include spending twice as long looking at the material, staying up all night, or giving up your life so you can just study.
You can find many different "tricks" on the internet, they may or may not work for you, but there are a few things that apply to pretty much everyone.
The most important thing is to figure out what kind of learner you are, auditory, visual, or kinesthetic. Do you learn by watching, listening or touching. Figuring this out is a big step in helping you study smarter. A few other things that contribute directly to your learning is being in the correct frame of mind to learn, deciding what it is you are going to study at that time, making a learning environment that is good for you, and focus
The hardest yet most important part is the focus. The other things are easily observed and figured out but if you do not or cannot focus then you will have a much harder time in your studying.
Sit down and decide to focus and your success in studying smarter is almost guaranteed. Spend a little time investing in yourself by understanding how you learn and you will not be disappointed.
Make studying a part of your life and you will not regret the positive results in all aspects of your life.

Affordable search engine marketing explained

How do you define reasonably priced search engine optimization ?

Search engine marketing that is low cost can certainly not be outlined as affordable seo as such low value providers that are offered are both not one hundred% efficient or do not cover all the points of SEO.

Based on me an inexpensive web optimization service is one which not solely matches your price range but additionally covers all of the points of web optimization which might be required to be performed in your website to improve its search engine ranking.

So how do you resolve which search engine optimization service is finest for you.

I. Go for an organization that has been there for a long time. Go for a corporation that is reliable. You are able to do this by checking the Company particulars :

a) How long their area has been registered - The older the better.
b) Does the company present e-mail id and phone numbers - An organization that just gives you a contact/feedback kind will not be good enough. Electronic mail will be hidden for spam purposes but some details need to be provided.
c) Examine historical past - Has the corporate ever indulged itself into BlackHat Seo - Keep away from such companies.

II. Test to see what all things are coated in your package.

a) See completely what all is roofed in your Seo package. Shortlist sites and do a comparison.
b) Time interval - How much time will it take for the SEO to be done. 
c) Testimonials - It's best to read and test what other individuals are telling about the Search engine optimisation firm moderately than reading the claims and guarantee webpage of the search engine optimization company. Moreover if there's any firm that boasts itself by saying they will present a top ranking then avoid it , no company can guarantee you rankings. Read 'beware of faux web optimization' article here.

III. Verify to see what all areas are covered.

a) Is it just for Google ? - Go for a company that does overall Seo for all search engines.
b) Ensure that the techniques adopted are in response to Webmaster guidelines supplied by major search engines.
c) Latest traits and areas need to be coated - Instance at the moment the areas are running a blog, article writing, social bookmarking etc.

9 Reasons For Studying Smarter

There are many reasons for studying smarter. Here are some of the most important ones.
1. To maximize your potential. Most people can see the positives in making the most of life. Our brains are made to learn. Most people can understand that by maximizing potential they will live a richer, fuller life.
2. Have improved concentration. When you learn how to study smarter one of the byproducts is you are learning to concentrate. This helps in all aspects of life. By learning to concentrate on what you are doing you will get more done in general. A definite positive in all you do.
3. Make the most of your time. If you are going to study, it only makes sense to get as much as possible from your time studying. If you can learn more in a shorter period,you are giving yourself choices. Choices like learning more about the subject you are studying in the same amount of time. Being able to do other things you want, study more, go out with friends, play sports, or anything else you can think of.
4. Master new skills quickly. The power of mastering new skills quickly cannot be underestimated in all parts of your life. In school, at work, or in any situation, it helps you stay ahead of the pack. You will be able to decide what it is you want or need to learn, get it done quickly, and not have to wonder if what you are doing makes any sense. At work this can translate to a higher position, usually equaling more money.
5. Be less stressed out. Knowing that you know what you are talking about means not having to wonder if what you say makes sense. You can think about the task at hand instead of worrying if you will remember what to do. Less stress equals peace of mind equals a better quality of life.
6. No need for tutors or extra classes. You know what to do to learn what you need to learn, how to do it, and then you do it. Extra classes or tutors will just waste your time and your money. You could even help other people showing them what you know.
7. Become know as the "go to " person at school or work. When you study smarter you retain what you learn. You are not afraid to talk about that subject. People notice. They will start asking you questions instead of some else who likes to talk but does not know all the facts. You then earn their respect and become the "go to" person. In school or at work this can only increase your reputation.
8. Build confidence in all areas of your life. By knowing that you can recall what you have learned you build up your confidence in that subject. Little by little you start to build up your confidence in whatever you do because you know that people can see that you know what you are talking about.
9. Keep your mind active. When you know you can learn things easily you tend to keep learning. Learning becomes fun as opposed to a chore so you do it on a regular basis. This will usually last forever. Studies show that an active mind keeps you alive longer, keeps you more healthy, and slows down or prevents some diseases later in life with concern to your mind. Plus having an active mind results in a lot less boredom.
I hope this reinforces in your mind why studying smarter is a very good thing.


An accountant is a person who manages financial issues, including the preparation of financial plans and budgets, as well as the management of accounts and staff welfare.

In most countries, officially licensed accountants are recognized by titles. In the UK, they are termed as “chartered accountants.” In the U.S., accountants are commonly known as “certified public accountants,” whereas in Canada, they are either known as “certified management accountants” or “certified general accountants.” Although most of the accountants in Canada also function as chartered accountants, certified general accountants are also authorized to practice public accounting and auditing in the country. 

The main responsibilities of accountants are to create financial reports and to undertake day-to-day bookkeeping for managers, regulators, and shareholders. Accountants manage a double-entry bookkeeping system wherein there are two entries for every transaction are made, one to a debit account and one to a corresponding credit account. As per accounting rules, the sum of the debit and credit figures should be equal and any discrepancy in the total means that there has been an error. An accountant also audits and inspects the financial records of individuals or businesses, along with preparing financial and tax reports.

In the United States, accountants can obtain specialized certificates in varied fields where they can hold titles like “certified public accountant,” “certified internal auditor,” “certified management accountant,” and “accredited business accountants.” In the U.S., the governmental accounting standard board prepares accounting rules for making financial statements for publicly traded companies and private companies. Further, some of the accounting organizations that influence developing standard rules for accountants in the U.S. are the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

Some major firms recognized globally are PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ernst & Young, and KPMG. Most accountants perform different kinds of accounting like cost accounting, financial accountancy, and management accountancy.  Accountants are skilled professionals and are an integral part of the modern economy.

Culture Shock May Be A Normal Thing To Experience While Studying Abroad

Studying abroad during college is an experience recommended for every college student. Spending a semester or a year in another country may be the best education you've ever received, and no matter where you travel, you'll likely return home an altered, more mature individual with enlightened views about the world. Why is a study abroad experience so life-changing for college students? The answer actually has a lot to do with getting over culture shock for the first time in your life.

If you have never spent longer than a few weeks in another country, it is likely that you have never truly experienced culture shock. Culture shock is what comes after the excited, elevated feelings of being a tourist in a new place have worn off. You won't truly experience the shock of being in a country very different from your own unless you are staying in one place long-term. A semester or year studying abroad provides the perfect context for experiencing and, most importantly, letting go of culture shock.

What exactly is culture shock? The set of emotions experienced during culture shock can run the gamut from pleasant curiosity to irritation and even anger. After all, you will be living in a country that has different laws, social norms, gender roles, manners, and customs from the place where you grew up. You will experience a language barrier and even a body language barrier. You will make blunders and feel ill-equipped to digest what you are experiencing, at times. In other words, your cultural perceptions and the rules by which you have thus far lived your life will be challenged.

The good news is that culture shock goes away and is replaced with adjustment and feelings of acceptance for your host country's culture, beliefs, and values. It is the period of adjustment that provides the most educational moments, as you slowly begin to understand and embrace your host culture.

Of course, it is up to you to ease your transition into a new culture. Many students subconsciously critique their host country according to the standards of their own country. By adopting a tolerant attitude, you will soon begin to accept your host culture as an equally valid way of life.

It is helpful to arrive at your study-abroad destination with an open mind and the intent to meet the locals, see the world through their eyes, and experience their daily life. It will be much more difficult to adjust to your host country if you study abroad with the intent to carry on your same activities and ways of life. In order to expand your world view, you must try new things.

Homesickness for your own country is perfectly normal and to be expected. If you experience homesickness, don't fight it. It is your way of coming to terms with separation from your home and family, as well as the drastic cultural changes you may be experiencing.

Effective Study Strategies Make The Uphill Climb An Easier Hike

As a student, you know how much of your time is spent studying. No one wants to spend more time than they need to on school work, especially when you are young and trying to enjoy what you feel are the best years of your life. If you could apply effective study strategies, you could reduce the time spent in your books, while raising your grades at the same time.

Unfortunately, most teachers are only trained in imparting the knowledge concerning their own particular field of study, which is fine. Not too many teachers are going to take the time to help individual students develop study skills necessary to absorb the information during hours spent in private study at home. The reason for this is because study skills are a separate subject altogether which can be applied to Math, English, Social Studies, or whatever. So the student's lack of study skills is not the fault of the teacher, but rather on the system itself which has failed to provide the tools necessary for success.

The schools, teachers, and even parents usually expect the student to simply "do whatever it takes" to pass their courses. This is because if they were to share in the responsibility, they themselves would have to become teachers of how to improve study skills. For teachers, this is not really a part of their job description. It is extra work for them. Likewise, parents have jobs and busy schedules, and most of them have never been properly trained in good study skills themselves either.

What's Missing From Our Primary Education?

Study Skills and Strategies, Among Many Other Things

Our school systems have failed us in many ways. We should have mandated certain subjects in the lower grades so that our students could excel when they finally arrived to the higher grades. Among some of the "missing" fundamentals in our elementary education are:

  • Personal finance
  • Cooking
  • Personal hygiene
  • Nutrition and health
  • Study skills and strategies
  • Choosing a career
  • Gardening and planting
  • Elementary economic principles

Many of these things are taught in school, but very rarely or never at the elementary level where they would be mandatory rather than elective. So we end up with college graduates who cannot balance a checkbook or cook for themselves when they go out on their own. Most do not even understand the importance of practicing basic health principles which would save them and others from diseases and numerous miseries later in life. These are basic life skills which can be considered elementary "survival skills" in a world where you are expected to fend for yourself.

Effective study skills and strategies are among the most important of these "missing" academia subjects, because they are the hub by which other skills and talents are developed. Like the spokes of a wheel, differing fields of knowledge project in a radial manner from the hub of effective study habits producing a strong and well supported wheel of life skills.

What Is Religion? Dig Into the Study of Religion

In his commencement address to the 1980 graduating class of Eastern College, the very talented and renowned actor and writer Alan Alda challenged the graduates to "Dig Into The World." He said that "Life is absurd and meaningless - unless you make something of it... You can use the skills of your profession [to] dig into the world and push it into better shape."

Those words are the essence of what I believe is sound advice for students of religious studies: Dig into the study of religion! Dig beneath the use of terms of the trade such as epistemology, rectification, symbol, ritual, totem, ontology. Delve into the human encounter with ultimate reality that engendered such words as observers attempted to express the inexpressible. Recognize that such encounters have greater significance than subject matter for scholarly writings - they often signal the intersection of two worlds and present a rare occasion for humans to transcend their finite embodied selves. Do not desecrate these epochal events by sacrificing them on the altars of academic achievement. Realize that we live in a religiously diverse world in which all of the religious traditions claim some measure of truth. A few of them go further and claim the full measure of truth. Our task as seekers is to understand those claims without judging for always the fruit of our lives are the best judges of the truth of our convictions.

Dig into the study of religion. Don't study in a vacuum - relate your studies to the world around you. The real stuff of religion are the problems of human existence. Both the Christ and the Buddha had little to say about the world beyond the door we call death. What concerned them was the articulation of principles by which people could discover their authentic selves and live out their lives with meaning and purpose. As you read the texts of those who studied religion and religions of times past and extant, bear in mind that the lessons recounted there are still being learned and lost on the stages of life. Your neighbors, relatives, and friends are busy at work providing the substance of future texts. By taking note of their encounters, you can come to a better understanding of this enterprise we call the study of religion. More importantly, though, you just might help some lost soul escape the dark woods that form the outer limits of enlightenment.

Dig into yourselves and unearth that which is uniquely you. Whoever or whatever is the "author and finisher of our lives," has given us a small speck of creative power that enables us to do extraordinary things with our ordinary lives. You and I and all of us have a purpose for being here. We have come here with a mission that only we can do. Mine within your own heart and reveal your innermost treasures before you dig into the lives of others. When you have discovered who you are, you will discover greater ease in uncovering the true nature of others.

And however you choose to punctuate your life, avoid being a period person. A period person is one who reads or hears an authority and then places a period at the end of the disclosure as if that expression was the final word. Such persons are responsible for the dark ages that too often overshadow us and keep us from reaching our full potential as possessors of creative power. It was period people who beheaded teachers and burned bearers of the light at the stake. Try to be a person of the question mark - always questioning, always striving, always becoming. By raising questions, you will avoid judging. And if you do not judge, you will not condemn.

Therefore, dig into the study of religion and be yourself - whatever you perceive yourself to be becoming. As Alan Alda proclaimed, "Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative is the place where no one has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort, and go into the wilderness of your intuition." Grades, honors, awards, are soon evaporated into the clouds of absurdity by the blazing sun of the universe of human intercourse. The only lasting things are the contributions we make to bringing the kingdom of light to earth and helping people to discover the creative power within themselves that will enable them to make sense out of the vicissitudes of life. Dig into the study of religion and unearth the treasures that lie deep within you. One of those treasures will be the knowledge that when you discover who you truly are, you will make the world a better place.

Smart Study

Smart Study means learning to put in the least amount of time and effort for the best marks or grades.

Such a goal and definition make sense.

Near exams, even the smartest of students often struggle to complete their work; they never feel quite ready - there is simply too much to do and too little time.

Anything that saves time has clear value.

There are many tools that can be used to help you to study smart and they vary from general advice, to specific devices that assist memory in particular, and understanding in general.

Here are some thoughts and ideas on how you can study smart.

  • To help improve understanding it is important that you take a holistic approach to all your learning.

This simply means that you try to retain what you read and understand, bring it to life through discussion and debate, and represent it in different formats; interlinking ideas which you think are connected.

It is important to remain playful and creative in all learning.

Use colors and give vivid expression to your thoughts and understanding. Your imagination needs an outlet; occasionally let it run riot!

Simply because you are hardwired in a particular way does not mean you cannot experiment with a little 'out of the box' lateral craziness!

Greatness is often born of trying something different, something unique, and not sticking to the same old boring ways of doing things.

Indeed there are people who, because they are wired differently, see numbers and letters as colors. This condition is known as Grapheme-color synaesthesia.

Some, in recalling their experiences, talk about converting Ps to Rs by changing yellow to orange.

Now there is some food for the creative imagination!

  • One way of taking control of large quantities of seemingly disconnected information is through the use of 'chunking'.

Chunking simply means lumping several ideas together because you see some common pattern between them...

For example, the letters u, r, e, n, b and m may appear to be disconnected and difficult to remember as individual letters.

However, when written as 'number', or lumped together, you can see that they have meaning and are much easier to recall.

Organizing information is much easier if you can spot patterns, especially across seemingly unrelated topics.

Why not think of atomic representations as merely your private solar system? There is a difference of scale, yes, but the macro and micro models are clearly similar.

  • Similes and metaphors are another device that can be used tocompare different ideas.

Adopting these different approaches will re-enforce understanding from different vantage points and strengthen memory and recollection.

  • Drawing analogies is another way to compare and remember different thoughts.

If you don't fully understand at the start, don't let this stop you from trying!

We all fumble and get things wrong at first, but with practice you will improve.

Often because there is a lot of information to take in, it is important that you highlight what is relevant and limit your main efforts of study to what you believe will be on that exam paper.

Knowing what to study is just as important as knowing what to leave out...

  • Learning powerful memory techniques is also beneficial since a lot of exams are more a test of recollection than understanding.

There are many powerful memory techniques that are available from association and hooks, to taking journeys around your home or some other destination with an attached story line.

Again do not hesitate to test and practice these techniques till your memory becomes a potent tool for study and precise recollection.

Who knows, you might already possess photographic memory?!

  • Managing your study time and avoiding distractions is also very important.

This is best done through devising a study plan that is simple and feasible.

Change and adapt it according to how well you succeed in your study goals.

Inflexibility limits your ability to adapt to new challenges.

Of course,the last thing you want is to leave exam revision till the last minute thereby causing exam anxiety.

However, even with the best of intentions, these things can happen and having coping strategies in place is also necessary.

This can be done in a number of ways that include maintaining perspective of the broader situation.

In other words, whatever the outcome of your study efforts, for better or for worse, it is not the end of the world and what really matters is that you keep going and trying your best.

An alternative is to do some exercise or simply go for regular walks.

What you will lose in time, you will gain in the quality of your application to your study.

Remember Smart Study is more about The Quality of Work, and less the quantity.

Never give up hope -as long as there is hope, you can still succeed.

Loss of hope can lead to inertia and procrastination where we are constantly finding ways not to do things.

Procrastination takes many forms and can range from 'beating about the bush' and wasting time, to downright paralysis because of fear.

It is not a healthy state and sometime external, professional help may be needed.

Smart students avoid such states of mind!

  • One way to gain that edge over other students is to ask lots of questions, both in and out of class hours, and build up some idea of what you are likely to be tested on...

Teachers are often only too happy to clarify things you don't understand and showing enthusiasm for their subject will put you in their 'good books'.

As they say, better to test the teacher before they test you!

No teacher wants to expend effort if students aren't listening or bothered.

Teaching and learning is a two-way street with the teacher becoming inspired and delivering better content if the students get him/her fired up!

A good, enthusiastic attitude soon rubs off on others so show interest and keenness in your learning.

In class, unless the seats are taken, sit at the front. If you have to sit further back, don't slouch but lean forward and show interest!

You would be surprised how much your focus and listening improve.

However, it should not be all study and no play.

Long study periods without a break are never a good idea.

Pay attention to what your body is telling you, your bio clock, and aim to use all your senses in learning if the material and time allow you to.

This is especially true when studying abstract ideas, which often need concrete representations for retention.

Keep a balance in your various activities and life in general.

Take part in some sport and maintain your hobbies.

There should be time for reflection, and time for action.

Don't let one encroach on the other.

Get regular exercise and avoid late nights by sticking to routine and ritual through the use of a thoughtful timetable.

Don't let the timetable become a decoration on the wall. Adjust and change it as needed but never ignore it!

Of course you can't live your life on an empty tank so that means eating a variety of foods at regular times but in small amounts is also very important.

They say you are what you eat so whatever you do - don't become a couch potato!

And if you still have time and energy left, get out those text books and

  • Try teaching what you are learning to others.

Learning should not be just about going over your class notes every hour, but also fun and play.

What better way to learn than to offer your learning to others, either through explanation, or some concrete model.

You often learn best when you give others access to both

  • How You Think


  • What You Think

- Ready to be challenged.

Maximizing a Student's Understanding of Biostatistics Through the Review of Medical Research Studies


In order to maximize understanding of biostatistics and its applications, a great practice for students is to review medical research studies. When reviewing medical research studies, it is important for students to recognize the type of study (randomized clinical trial, case control study, cohort study, or longitudinal study) employed and whether the study is retrospective or prospective. Understanding the type of research used and whether it is retrospective or prospective will aid a student in determining a study's validity in an objective manner. This paper will briefly describe the preceding terms and then go on to applying these terms to five medical research study abstracts that I will describe in detail while pointing out each study's potential strengths and weaknesses.

Types of Studies

There are four types of studies that can be used in the design of a medical research study, those being a randomized clinical trial, case control study, cohort study, and longitudinal study. A randomized clinical trial study is "a clinical study where volunteer participants with comparable characteristics are randomly assigned to different test groups to compare the efficacy of therapies" (Randomized Clinical Trial, 2011, para.1). A case control study is epidemiological study used to identify factors that may contribute to a medical illness by comparing those who have the disease or condition of interest (the cases) with those who do not have the disease or condition of interest (the controls). A cohort study is "a study in which subjects who presently have a certain condition and/or receive a particular treatment are followed over time and compared with another group who are not affected by the condition under investigation" (What is Cohort Research?, 2011, para.1). A longitudinal study is a study that follows patients over a prolonged period of time. Some sources also describe a longitudinal study as one in which the same patients are examined on two or more occasions.

A study can either be retrospective or prospective. Retrospective studies look backwards in time and examines exposures to suspected risk or protection factors in relation to an outcome that is established at the start of the study. In contrast, a prospective study looks forward in time and watches for outcomes, such as the development of a disease, during the study period and relates this to other factors such as suspected risk or protection factor(s).

Research Study Abstract #1

The first medical research study abstract that will be described in detail is "A Large Study of Long-Term Daily Use of Adult-Strength Aspirin and Cancer Incidence" by Eric J. Jacobs, Michael J. Thun, Elizabeth B. Bain, Carmen Rodriguez, S. Jane Henley, and Eugenia E. Calle.

This study shows evidence that aspirin use correlates with lowered risks of colon cancer and possibly several other cancers, including prostate and breast cancer. The study method examined associations between long-term daily use of adult strength aspirin (325 mg/day) measuring overall cancer incidence and incidence of 10 types of cancer among 69810 men and 76303 women. These men and women, who were relatively elderly, took part in the Cancer Prevention Study.

Since aspirin use was reported at enrollment in 1992-1993 and updated in 1997, 1999, and 2001, this is a cohort study. Individuals were already classified as groups at the beginning of the study into those who were taking 325 mg/day of aspirin and those who were not. The study is also retrospective in nature because it looked at survey data that was already provided by the American Cancer Society.

Results of the experiment showed that during a follow up in 2003, that Long-term (5 years) daily use of adult-strength aspirin, in comparison with no aspirin use, was associated with lower overall cancer rate in men (multivariable-adjusted RR = 0.84, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.76 to 0.93). Since the confidence interval does not include 1 and RR (rate ratios) for men was < 1, results are deemed statistically significant. A non-statistically significantly lower overall cancer rate was reported in women (multivariable-adjusted RR = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.73 to 1.03). Although the RR (rate ratios) for women was < 1, the confidence interval includes 1; results a deemed to be non-significant because variation can account for the observed correlation. Results also show that long-term daily aspirin use correlated with lower incidence that was statistically significant of colorectal cancer (RR = 0.68, 95% CI =0.52 to 0.90 among men and women combined) and prostate cancer prostate cancer (RR =0.81, 95% CI = 0.70 to 0.94). Non-statistically significantly lower overall female breast cancer (RR = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.63 to 1.10) was shown by the results.

Since this study is a retrospective cohort study, it does have several specific strengths and weaknesses. Strengths are that it is good for displaying multiple outcomes and is relatively inexpensive. Major weaknesses include that the investigator has little or no control over exposure and outcome, the temporal relationship is often difficult to determine, it requires large samples for rare outcomes, and the comparability between exposed and unexposed is difficult to achieve.

Research Study Abstract #2

The second medical research study abstract that will be described in detail is "Effects of Immediate Versus Delayed Pushing during Second-Stage Labor on Fetal Well-Being: A Randomized clinical trial" by Kathleen Rice Simpson and Dotti C. James.

This study shows evidence that it is more favorable for the well-being (in terms of fetal oxygen desaturation/saturation and variable decelerations of the fetal heart rate) of an infant for mothers at 10-cm cervical dilation to delay pushing until the woman feels the urge to push versus being coached to immediately start pushing at 10-cm cervical dilation. The study also shows that women who pushed immediately had more perineal lacerations. No differences were shown in the results between pushing and delayed pushing in length of labor, method of birth, Apgar scores, or umbilical cord blood gases.

Since women were randomly allocated to receive one or other of the alternative treatments under study (to push or delay pushing) this is a randomized clinical trial. It is also prospective in nature because it looked forward in time and watched for outcomes.

Results of the experiment showed significant difference between groups in fetal oxygen desaturation during the 10-cm cervical dilation (immediate: M = 12.5; delayed: M = 4.6) F (1, 43) = 12.24, p =.001, and in the number of >=2-min epochs of fetal oxygen saturation <30% (immediate: M = 7.9; delayed: M = 2.7), F (1, 43) =6.23, p =.02. There were more variable decelerations of the fetal heart rate in the immediate pushing group (immediate: M = 22.4; delayed: M = 15.6) F (1, 43) = 5.92, p =.02. Women who immediately at pushed 10-cm cervical dilation had more perineal lacerations (immediate: n = 13; delayed: n = 5) [chi] 2 (1, N = 45) = 6.54, p =.01. Assuming that the alpha is.05; the p-values fall well below the threshold and are deemed to be statistically significant; in other words, the null hypothesis is rejected in variable decelerations of the fetal heart rate, fetal oxygen saturation, and perinatal lacerations.

Since this study is a prospective randomized clinical trial, it does have several specific strengths and weaknesses. Strengths include elimination of bias in treatment assignment, facilitation of blinding (masking) of the identity of treatments from investigators, participants, and assessors, and it permits the use of probability theory to express the likelihood that any difference in outcome between treatment groups merely indicates chance. Weaknesses include potential limitations of external validity on where the study was performed, on characteristics of the patients, on study procedures, on outcome measures, and in incomplete reporting of adverse effects of interventions. In addition, randomized clinical trials can be quite expensive to perform.

Research Study Abstract #3

The third medical research study abstract that will be described in detail is "An Intervention to Increase Safety Behaviors of Abused Women" by Judith McFarlane, Ann Malecha, Julia Gist, Kathy Watson, Elizabeth Batten, Iva Hall, and Sheila Smith.

This study shows evidence that telephone intervention is an effective way increase safety behaviors of abused women who are victims of intimate partner violence. Intervention is administered immediately after an abusive behavior and remains effective for 6 months after the treatment. A two-group trial randomized 75 abused women to receive six telephone intervention periods on safety behaviors. A control group of 75 women received standard care. Women in both groups were re-interviewed at 3 months and 6 months for post-initial measurement.

Since women were randomly selected to receive the alternative treatment or be part of the control group under the study (to receive intervention or not receive intervention) this is a randomized clinical trial. It is also prospective and longitudinal in nature because it followed subjects over a prolonged period of time through re-interviewing the women at both 3 months and 6 months.

Results of the experiment showed significant difference between groups who received intervention to those who did not. More adopted safety behaviors were reported by women in the intervention group [F (2,146) 5.11, p =.007] than women in the control group at both the 3-month [F (91, 74) = 19.70, p <.001] and 6-month [F (1, 74) = 15.90, p <.001] interviews. Assuming that the alpha is.05; the p-values fall well below the threshold and are deemed to be statistically significant; the null hypothesis is rejected in women who received intervention at both the 3-month and 6-month interviews.

As previously discussed, since this study is a prospective randomized clinical trial, it does have several specific strengths and weaknesses. Strengths include elimination of bias in treatment assignment, facilitation of blinding (masking) of the identity of treatments from investigators, participants, and assessors, and it permits the use of probability theory to express the likelihood that any difference in outcome between treatment groups merely indicates chance. Weaknesses include potential limitations of external validity on where the study was performed, on characteristics of the patients, on study procedures, on outcome measures, and in incomplete reporting of adverse effects of interventions. In addition, randomized clinical trials can be quite expensive to perform.

Research Study Abstract #4

The fourth medical research study abstract that will be described in detail is "Treatments of Coronary Artery Disease Improve Quality of Life in the Long Term" by Hannele Lukkarinen and Maija Hentinen.

This study shows evidence that long-term health-related quality of life (HRQoL) after 8 years is more favorable for patients receiving a bypass operation or angioplasty than the baseline of 1 year after surgery. Also, in patients taking medication, the study shows that there were no significant changes were reported in the HRQoL of the patients on medication when comparing the baseline to 8 years after treatment. It is important to note that a significant impairment on the response variable of sleep had taken place during the 8 years follow-up after angioplasty. The initial study was made up of 280 patients where 100 of those patients underwent a bypass operation, 100 had an angioplasty, and 80 were prescribed medication. After 1 year, 81 bypass operation patients, 74 angioplasty patients, and 64 patients in the medication group responded. In the final analysis after 8 years, 63 bypass operation patients, 57 angioplasty patients, and 34 patients in the medication group responded.

Since patients with coronary artery disease are compared by their method of treatment this is a case control study. It is also prospective and longitudinal in nature because it followed subjects over a prolonged period of time through interviewing patients after 1 and 8 years.

Results of the experiment showed patients had a statistically significantly better HRQoL 8 years after the operation than at baseline on the response variables of mobility (p <.001), energy (p =.003), and pain (p =.031). Angioplasty patients had a statistically significantly better HRQoL 8 years after the intervention on the response variables of emotional reactions (p =.002), pain (p =.003), mobility (p =.004), and energy (p =.005). A significant deficiency on the response variable of sleep had taken place after 8 years follow-up after angioplasty (p =.018), Assuming that the alpha is.05; the p-values fall well below the threshold and are deemed to be statistically significant; the null hypotheses after 8 years regarding HRQoL and sleep are rejected.

Since this study is a prospective case control study, it does have several specific strengths and weaknesses. Strengths include that it is good for rare diseases, requires little time to conduct, has the possibility of exploring multiple exposures and is relatively inexpensive. Weaknesses include the reliance on recall or historical data, that temporality can be difficult to establish, and the comparability of cases and controls.

Research Study Abstract #5

The fifth medical research study abstract that will be described in detail is "Caregiving Experiences After Stroke" by Cynthia S Teel, Pamela Duncan, and Sue Min Lai.

The purpose of this study was to examine correlation between patient characteristics, caregiver characteristics, and caregiver managing resources with caregiver physical and mental health results at 3 and 6 months after a dependent adult's stroke. Another objective was to compare family members' assessments of patient disability with assessment by doctors. The caregiver study was conducted in partnership with a study of patient effects after stroke. 83 Caregivers completed and mailed back questionnaires at 1, 3, and 6 months after the patient's stroke. The surveys asked questions on fatigue and energy, assessment of mood disturbance, stress, spirituality, and reactions to the caregiving situation. This data recorded by respondents provided a detailed assessment of caregiver characteristics, coping resources, and physical and mental health status.

Since Individuals were already classified as a group at the beginning of the study into caregivers and patients, this is a cohort study. It is also prospective and longitudinal in nature because it followed subjects over a prolonged period of time through interviewing caregivers at 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months.

Results of the experiment showed correlation between physical health and depressive symptoms are parallel at 3 and 6 months. Perceived stress was correlated to mental health at 3 and 6 months. Caregiver ratings of disability at 1 month matched doctor's assessments using the Orpington Prognostic scale. Results also show evidence of a caregiver's stable perceptions of fatigue, vigor, recurrent sorrow, perceived stress, finances, family support, physical health, and depression symptoms at 1, 3, and 6 months after a dependent adult's stroke. It was determined that a comprehensive approach to stroke rehabilitation should include comprehensive assessment of caregiver functioning soon after a dependent adult's stroke. Early assessment might identify persons at greater risk for physical and mental health problems in a continuing caregiving role.

Since this study is a prospective cohort study, it does have several specific strengths and weaknesses. Strengths are that there is the possibility to study multiple exposures and multiple outcomes in one cohort and rare exposures can be studied. Major weaknesses are that it is not possible to establish causal effects and it is easily susceptible to selection bias. Also, prospective cohort studies can be quite expensive to perform.

Research Study Abstract #6

The sixth medical research study abstract that will be described in detail is "Daily Stress and Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Women With Irritable Bowel Syndrome" by Vicky L. Hertig, Kevin C. Cain, Monica E Jarrett, Robert L. Burr, Margaret M. Heitkemper.

The purpose of this study was to examine the correlation of daily self-reported stress to gastrointestinal and psychological distress symptoms both across women and within woman in a comparison group of women without Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and among subgroups of women with IBS.

Since respondents are compared by daily self-reported stress to gastrointestinal and psychological distress symptoms both across women and within woman in a comparison group of women without IBS and among subgroups of women with IBS, this is a case control study. It is also prospective and longitudinal in nature because it followed subjects over a prolonged period of time through the testing of respondents daily for a month.

This study shows evidence that gastrointestinal symptom discomfort is associated with self-reported stress in women with IBS; stress has been associated to be a contributing factor to launching bowel and discomfort symptoms and making the problem worse in patients with IBS. Results of the experiment showed significant across-women correlations among mean daily stress, psychological distress, and GI symptoms in the total IBS group and the IBS bowel pattern subgroups. Across-women and within-woman analyses were used. Women with IBS (n = 181; age = 18-49 years) were divided into subgroups based on bowel pattern (constipation, n = 52; diarrhea, n = 67; alternating, n = 62) and were compared to a group of women without IBS (n = 48). Self-report stress measures were abdominal (abdominal pain, bloating, and intestinal gas), bowel pattern (constipation, diarrhea), and intestinal gas; and psychological (anxiety and depression) distress symptoms were obtained daily over 1 month. The across-women relationships between daily stress and gastrointestinal symptoms were less when anxiety and depression were controlled in the test. Although within-woman analyses showed little evidence of correlation between day-to-day variations in stress and day-to-day variations in GI symptoms, stress was strongly related to anxiety and depression.

As previously discussed, since this study is a prospective case control study, it does have several specific strengths and weaknesses. Strengths include that it is good for rare diseases, requires little time to conduct, has the possibility of exploring multiple exposures, and is relatively inexpensive. Weaknesses include the reliance on recall or historical data, that temporality can be difficult to establish, and the comparability of cases and controls.


In summary, reviewing medical research studies can help maximize a student's understanding of biostatistics and its applications. When reviewing these studies, it is important for students to comprehend the type of study used and the potential strengths and weaknesses associated with each study. After this understanding is achieved, a student will be able to question the validity of medical research that he or she is reading in an objective manner.


What is Cohort Research? (2011). Retrieved April 7, 2011, from Cha Cha: http://www.chacha.com/question/what-is-cohort-research

Randomized Clinical Trial . (2011). Retrieved April 7, 2011, from The Free Dictionary: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/randomized+clinical+trial