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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 21, Issue 2 (February 2024) – 123 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Developing behavioral health services that deliver the outcomes most valued by families may increase engagement in services. Through a series of focus groups with caregivers from six regions of the United States, this study documents the behavioral health outcomes that the caregivers of children with mental health needs value the most. Caregivers prioritized access to high-quality, family-centered services delivered by well-trained providers. They hope to gain knowledge, resources, and tools to support the mental health needs of their children and to achieve personal fulfillment for themselves. They want to see improvement in their child’s functioning and communication skills and desire less mental health stigma. To help health systems become more patient-centered, mental health service planning, policy, and research should focus on these outcomes. View this paper
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17 pages, 1474 KiB  
Article
Safety and Efficacy of Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Long COVID Patients Experiencing Long-Lasting Symptoms
by Espérance Moine, Virginie Molinier, Adriana Castanyer, Amandine Calvat, Guillaume Coste, Antonin Vernet, Audrey Faugé, Perrine Magrina, Joan Lluis Aliaga-Parera, Nicolas Oliver, François Alexandre and Nelly Heraud
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 242; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020242 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1478
Abstract
Due to the high prevalence and persistence of long COVID, it is important to evaluate the safety and efficacy of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) for patients who experience long-lasting symptoms more than six months after initial COVID-19 onset. Enrolled patients were admitted for a [...] Read more.
Due to the high prevalence and persistence of long COVID, it is important to evaluate the safety and efficacy of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) for patients who experience long-lasting symptoms more than six months after initial COVID-19 onset. Enrolled patients were admitted for a four-week in-patient-PR due to long COVID symptoms (n = 47). The safety of PR was confirmed by the absence of adverse events. Symptom-related outcomes were evaluated pre- and post-PR with significant score changes for: 6 min walking distance (61 [28 to 103] m), quality of life (mental Short Form-12: 10 [6 to 13], and physical: 9 [6 to 12]), Montreal Cognitive Assessment (1 [0 to 3]), fatigue (MFI-20: −19 [−28 to −8]), dyspnea (DYSPNEA-12: −7 [−9 to −2] and mMRC; −1 [−1 to 0]), Nijmegen questionnaire (−8 [−11 to −5]), anxiety and depression (HADS:−4 [−5 to −2] and −2 [−4 to −1], respectively) and posttraumatic stress disorder checklist scale (−8 [−12 to −4]). At the individual level, the percentage of symptomatic patients for each outcome decreased, with a high response rate, and the number of persistent symptoms per patient was reduced from six at PR initiation to three at the end of the program. Our results show that in-PR is safe and efficient at decreasing long-lasting symptoms experienced by long COVID patients at more than six months after initial disease onset. Full article
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15 pages, 341 KiB  
Article
Gender Differences in Psychological Outcomes Following Surf versus Hike Therapy among U.S. Service Members
by Lisa H. Glassman, Nicholas P. Otis, Kim T. Kobayashi Elliott, Betty Michalewicz-Kragh and Kristen H. Walter
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020241 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1195
Abstract
Background: Surf and hike therapies have demonstrated effectiveness as adjunct interventions for service members with major depressive disorder (MDD). This study explores gender differences in intervention outcomes following a pragmatic, randomized controlled trial of Surf and Hike Therapy for service members with MDD [...] Read more.
Background: Surf and hike therapies have demonstrated effectiveness as adjunct interventions for service members with major depressive disorder (MDD). This study explores gender differences in intervention outcomes following a pragmatic, randomized controlled trial of Surf and Hike Therapy for service members with MDD (N = 96; men, n = 46; women, n = 50). Methods: Clinician-administered and self-report measures (depression, anxiety, positive affect, negative affect, resilience, and pain) were completed at preprogram, postprogram, and 3-month follow-up; brief measures (depression/anxiety and positive affect) were completed before and after each session. Results: Multilevel modeling results showed that anxiety decreased from pre- to postprogram and significantly differed by gender (B = −2.26, p = 0.029), with women reporting greater reductions. The remaining outcomes from pre- to postprogram demonstrated significant improvements that did not differ by gender (ps = 0.218–0.733). There were no gender differences through follow-up (ps = 0.119–0.780). However, within sessions, women reported greater improvements in depression/anxiety (B = −0.93, p = 0.005) and positive affect (B = 3.73, p = 0.001). The change in positive affect scores within sessions was greater for women in Hike Therapy compared to men (p = 0.016). Conclusions: Overall, results demonstrate that both genders benefit from adjunctive Surf and Hike Therapies, but women exhibit a better response in terms of longer-term anxiety and immediate psychological outcomes. Full article
14 pages, 723 KiB  
Editorial
An Introduction to Health Literacy and Social Contexts with Recommendations for Health Professionals and Researchers
by Joy Agner, Katharine Elizabeth Bau and Dirk Bruland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020240 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1565
Abstract
Rarely do individuals seek, obtain, and understand health information in a solitary void [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Literacy and Social Contexts)
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14 pages, 1336 KiB  
Article
Attention Deficits in Healthcare Workers with Non-Clinical Burnout: An Exploratory Investigation
by Sergio L. Schmidt, Bruno da Silva Cunha, Julio Cesar Tolentino, Marcela J. Schmidt, Guilherme J. Schmidt, Alice D. Marinho, Eelco van Duinkerken, Ana Lucia Taboada Gjorup, Jesus Landeira-Fernandez, Carolina Ribeiro Mello and Sarah Pini de Souza
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020239 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1444
Abstract
Burnout syndrome is characterized by exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced effectiveness. Workers with high burnout scores who continue their professional activities are identified as experiencing non-clinical burnout (NCB), which includes early stages where burnout symptoms (BNS) are present but not yet severe enough to [...] Read more.
Burnout syndrome is characterized by exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced effectiveness. Workers with high burnout scores who continue their professional activities are identified as experiencing non-clinical burnout (NCB), which includes early stages where burnout symptoms (BNS) are present but not yet severe enough to necessitate work leave. This study aimed to investigate the impact of BNS on attention performance among healthcare workers (HCWs) at a COVID-19 reference hospital during the pandemic. The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) was applied to assess the three burnout dimensions. The Continuous Visual Attention Test (CVAT) evaluated four different attention subdomains. Participants were divided into two groups based on their scores on the MBI: controls and NCB. Thirteen controls were matched with 13 NCB subjects based on age, sex, and HCW category. This sample (n = 26, 65% male) consisted of 11 physicians and 15 nursing professionals with a mean age of 35.3 years (standard deviation = 5.47). NCB subjects had higher impulsivity than controls. There were not any significant group differences in the other attention subdomains. We found significant correlations between impulsivity and all burnout dimensions: higher absolute scores in BNS are associated with higher impulsivity. We concluded that NCB leads to executive attention deficits Full article
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15 pages, 347 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Bachelor’s-Level Nursing Roles and Job Satisfaction in Nursing Homes: A Descriptive Study
by Marijke Mansier-Kelderman, Marleen Lovink and Anke Persoon
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020238 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1266
Abstract
The greatest shortages in the nursing discipline are expected in nursing homes. Although job satisfaction is an important factor in the retention of Bachelor’s-level nurses (BNs), little is known about the relationship between the BN roles that are performed on a daily basis [...] Read more.
The greatest shortages in the nursing discipline are expected in nursing homes. Although job satisfaction is an important factor in the retention of Bachelor’s-level nurses (BNs), little is known about the relationship between the BN roles that are performed on a daily basis and job satisfaction. A cross-sectional, descriptive, questionnaire study was conducted which was based on a convenience sample. The extent of performing seven BN roles was assessed by a self-developed questionnaire. Satisfaction was investigated at three levels: satisfaction with the BN role performance, satisfaction with the work packet (the combination of all roles performed) and satisfaction with job function (all things considered). Respondents (N = 78) were satisfied with the performance of all BN roles (range 3.71–4.42), generally satisfied with the work packet (M = 3.96; SD = 0.96) and neutral about the job function (M = 3.15; SD = 1.12). Not one single BN role correlated with job satisfaction, and the work packet (as a combination of all roles) was significantly related to job satisfaction (r = 0.551; p = 0.000). Four BN roles correlated significantly with satisfaction with the work packet, of which one was meaningful, the role of reflective Evidence-Based Practice professional (r = 0.476; p = 0.000), and three roles related less strongly: the roles of Organiser (r = 0.364; p = 0.001), Communicator (r = 0.224; p = 0.049), and Professional and Quality Enhancer (r = 0.261; p = 0.021). It is important for nurses to create interesting packets of BN roles for themselves. For nurses and care managers, it is essential to create interesting BN descriptions, with highly recognisable BN roles in the work packet, and to stimulate a work environment in order to enhance job satisfaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nursing Care: Nurses’ Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors)
19 pages, 1065 KiB  
Review
The Association between Functional Dyspepsia and Metabolic Syndrome—The State of the Art
by Mile Volarić, Dunja Šojat, Ljiljana Trtica Majnarić and Domagoj Vučić
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020237 - 18 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1555
Abstract
Functional dyspepsia is a common functional disorder of the gastrointestinal tract that is responsible for many primary care visits. No organic changes have been found to explain its symptoms. We hypothesize that modern lifestyles and environmental factors, especially psychological stress, play a crucial [...] Read more.
Functional dyspepsia is a common functional disorder of the gastrointestinal tract that is responsible for many primary care visits. No organic changes have been found to explain its symptoms. We hypothesize that modern lifestyles and environmental factors, especially psychological stress, play a crucial role in the high prevalence of functional dyspepsia and metabolic syndrome. While gastrointestinal tract diseases are rarely linked to metabolic disorders, chronic stress, obesity-related metabolic syndrome, chronic inflammation, intestinal dysbiosis, and functional dyspepsia have significant pathophysiological associations. Functional dyspepsia, often associated with anxiety and chronic psychological stress, can activate the neuroendocrine stress axis and immune system, leading to unhealthy habits that contribute to obesity. Additionally, intestinal dysbiosis, which is commonly present in functional dyspepsia, can exacerbate systemic inflammation and obesity, further promoting metabolic syndrome-related disorders. It is worth noting that the reverse is also true: obesity-related metabolic syndrome can worsen functional dyspepsia and its associated symptoms by triggering systemic inflammation and intestinal dysbiosis, as well as negative emotions (depression) through the brain–gut axis. To understand the pathophysiology and deliver an effective treatment strategy for these two difficult-to-cure disorders, which are challenging for both caregivers and patients, a psychosocial paradigm is essential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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6 pages, 948 KiB  
Commentary
Are We the Problem? A Call to Action for Addressing Institutional Challenges to Engaging Community Partners in Research
by Neha Hippalgaonkar, Ryan Huu-Tuan Nguyen, Eliza Brumer Cohn, Joseph Horowitz, Ana Williams Waite, Tigist Mersha, Christen Sandoval, Sarah Khan, Kauthar Salum, Paris Thomas, Anne Marie Murphy, Beulah Brent, Lolita Coleman, Paramjeet Khosla, Kent F. Hoskins, Vida Henderson and Leslie R. Carnahan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020236 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1745
Abstract
Community-engaged research (CEnR) is a potent tool for addressing health inequities and fostering equitable relationships among communities, researchers, and institutions. CEnR involves collaboration throughout the research process, demonstrating improvements in study recruitment and retention, intervention efficacy, program sustainability, capacity building among partners, and [...] Read more.
Community-engaged research (CEnR) is a potent tool for addressing health inequities and fostering equitable relationships among communities, researchers, and institutions. CEnR involves collaboration throughout the research process, demonstrating improvements in study recruitment and retention, intervention efficacy, program sustainability, capacity building among partners, and enhanced cultural relevance. Despite the increasing demand for CEnR, institutional policies, particularly human participation protection training (HPP), lag behind, creating institutional barriers to community partnerships. Here, we highlight challenges encountered in our ongoing study, Fostering Opportunities in Research through Messaging and Education (FOR ME), focused on promoting shared decision-making around clinical trial participation among Black women diagnosed with breast cancer. Grounded in CEnR methods, FOR ME has a partnership with a community-based organization (CBO) that addresses the needs of Black women with breast cancer. Our CBO partner attempted to obtain HPP training, which was administratively burdensome and time-consuming. As CEnR becomes more prevalent, academic and research institutions, along with researchers, are faced with a call to action to become more responsive to community partner needs. Accordingly, we present a guide to HPP training for community partners, addressing institutional barriers to community partner participation in research. This guide outlines multiple HPP training pathways for community partners, aiming to minimize institutional barriers and enhance their engagement in research with academic partners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Second Edition: Cancer Health Disparities and Public Health)
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17 pages, 1451 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Quality of Life after COVID-19 Infection: Cross-Sectional Study of Health Care Workers
by Moussa Antar, Hansjoerg Ullerich, Andreas Zaruchas, Torsten Meier, Ricarda Diller, Ulrich Pannewick and Sameer A. Dhayat
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020235 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1330
Abstract
(1) Background: Post-COVID syndrome is defined as symptoms that occur simultaneously with or after a COVID-19 infection, last for 12 weeks, and are not due to another diagnosis. Limited data are available on people’s long-term quality of life following a COVID-19 infection. The [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Post-COVID syndrome is defined as symptoms that occur simultaneously with or after a COVID-19 infection, last for 12 weeks, and are not due to another diagnosis. Limited data are available on people’s long-term quality of life following a COVID-19 infection. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the long-term quality of life after COVID-19 among employees of a hospital in Germany and to identify risk factors. (2) Methods: A monocentric, cross-sectional study was conducted using the validated and digitized WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire via Netigate® between 10/2022 and 02/2023. Data on the quality of life and global health status were collected in the following four domains: physical health, mental health, social relationships, and the environment. (3) Results: The response rate was 73.8 % (923/1250). Furthermore, 63.4 % of the hospital staff respondents reported at least one persistent symptom after a COVID-19 infection, leading to significant differences in quality of life. Pre-existing conditions, persistent symptoms, and disabilities after a COVID-19 infection as well as a high BMI, no partnership, and a low educational level were found to significantly contribute to a low long-term quality of life. (4) Conclusions: Obesity, a lack of partnership, and a low level of education were independent risk factors for a lower quality of life post-COVID-19 infection in this cohort of hospital staff. Further multicenter studies are required to validate the incidence and their suitability as independent risk factors for post-COVID syndrome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nursing Home Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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15 pages, 368 KiB  
Article
Profiles of Emergency Department Users with Psychiatric Disorders Related to Barriers to Outpatient Care
by Tiffany Chen, Zhirong Cao, Francine Ferland, Lambert Farand and Marie-Josée Fleury
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020234 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1212
Abstract
Emergency department (ED) overcrowding is a growing problem worldwide. High ED users have been historically targeted to reduce ED overcrowding and associated high costs. Patients with psychiatric disorders, including substance-related disorders (SRDs), are among the largest contributors to high ED use. Since EDs [...] Read more.
Emergency department (ED) overcrowding is a growing problem worldwide. High ED users have been historically targeted to reduce ED overcrowding and associated high costs. Patients with psychiatric disorders, including substance-related disorders (SRDs), are among the largest contributors to high ED use. Since EDs are meant for urgent cases, they are not an appropriate setting for treating recurrent patients or replacing outpatient care. Identifying ED user profiles in terms of perceived barriers to care, service use, and sociodemographic and clinical characteristics is crucial to reduce ED use and unmet needs. Data were extracted from medical records and a survey was conducted among 299 ED patients from 2021 to 2022 in large Quebec networks. Cluster algorithms and comparison tests identified three profiles. Profile 1 had the most patients without barriers to care, with case managers, and received the best primary care. Profile 2 reported moderate barriers to care and low primary care use, best quality of life, and more serious psychiatric disorders. Profile 3 had the most barriers to care, high ED users, and lower service satisfaction and perceived mental/health conditions. Our findings and recommendations inform decision-makers on evidence-based strategies to address the unmet needs of these vulnerable populations. Full article
15 pages, 1020 KiB  
Review
Enhancing Behavioural Changes: A Narrative Review on the Effectiveness of a Multifactorial APP-Based Intervention Integrating Physical Activity
by Giulia Di Martino, Carlo della Valle, Marco Centorbi, Andrea Buonsenso, Giovanni Fiorilli, Giuseppe Calcagno, Enzo Iuliano and Alessandra di Cagno
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020233 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1348
Abstract
The rapid evolution of technologies is a key innovation in the organisation and management of physical activities (PA) and sports. The increase in benefits and opportunities related to the adoption of technologies for both the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and the management [...] Read more.
The rapid evolution of technologies is a key innovation in the organisation and management of physical activities (PA) and sports. The increase in benefits and opportunities related to the adoption of technologies for both the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and the management of chronic diseases is evident. In the field of telehealth, these devices provide personalised recommendations, workout monitoring and injury prevention. The study aimed to provide an overview of the landscape of technology application to PA organised to promote active lifestyles and improve chronic disease management. This review identified specific areas of focus for the selection of articles: the utilisation of mobile APPs and technological devices for enhancing weight loss, improving cardiovascular health, managing diabetes and cancer and preventing osteoporosis and cognitive decline. A multifactorial intervention delivered via mobile APPs, which integrates PA while managing diet or promoting social interaction, is unquestionably more effective than a singular intervention. The main finding related to promoting PA and a healthy lifestyle through app usage is associated with “behaviour change techniques”. Even when individuals stop using the APP, they often maintain the structured or suggested lifestyle habits initially provided by the APP. Various concerns regarding the excessive use of APPs need to be addressed. Full article
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25 pages, 723 KiB  
Article
U.S. Physicians’ Training and Experience in Providing Trauma-Informed Care in Clinical Settings
by M. Lelinneth B. Novilla, Kaitlyn Tan Bird, Carl L. Hanson, AliceAnn Crandall, Ella Gaskin Cook, Oluwadamilola Obalana, Lexi Athena Brady and Hunter Frierichs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020232 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1365
Abstract
Trauma-informed care (TIC) is a comprehensive approach that focuses on the whole individual. It acknowledges the experiences and symptoms of trauma and their impact on health. TIC prioritizes physical and emotional safety through a relationship of trust that supports patient choice and empowerment. [...] Read more.
Trauma-informed care (TIC) is a comprehensive approach that focuses on the whole individual. It acknowledges the experiences and symptoms of trauma and their impact on health. TIC prioritizes physical and emotional safety through a relationship of trust that supports patient choice and empowerment. It provides a safe and respectful healing environment that considers specific needs while promoting a greater sense of well-being, patient engagement, and partnership in the treatment process. Given the prevalence of trauma, this descriptive cross-sectional study examined the attitudes and perspectives of U.S. physicians (N = 179; 67% males; 84% White; 43% aged 56–65) in providing trauma-informed care using an anonymous 29-item online survey administered by Reaction Data. Findings showed that 16% (n = 18) of physicians estimated that >50% of their patients have a history of trauma. Commonly perceived barriers to providing TIC were resource/time/administrative constraints, provider stress, limited awareness of the right provider to refer patients who experienced trauma, and inadequate TIC emphasis in medical education/training. Expanding physicians’ knowledge base of trauma through training and organizational policy/support is crucial in enhancing their TIC competence, particularly in caring for patients with complex care needs whose social determinants increase their risk of exposure to adverse experiences that carry lasting physical and psychological effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Understudied Phenomena in Healthcare)
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28 pages, 369 KiB  
Article
The Diagnostic Pathway Experiences of People Living with Rare Dementia and Their Family Caregivers: A Cross-Sectional Mixed Methods Study Using Qualitative and Economic Analyses
by Ian Davies-Abbott, Bethany F. Anthony, Kiara Jackson, Gill Windle and Rhiannon Tudor Edwards
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020231 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1629
Abstract
The pathways for receiving a diagnosis of a rare type of dementia are poorly understood. Diagnostic challenges decrease access to relevant health promotion activities and post-diagnostic support. This study was focused on pathways experienced by people affected by rare dementia in Wales, United [...] Read more.
The pathways for receiving a diagnosis of a rare type of dementia are poorly understood. Diagnostic challenges decrease access to relevant health promotion activities and post-diagnostic support. This study was focused on pathways experienced by people affected by rare dementia in Wales, United Kingdom (UK), considering the practical, emotional, and economic consequences. Semi-structured interviews were completed with 10 people affected by rare dementia across Wales, UK (nine family caregivers and one person living with rare dementia). The interview data were subject to a thematic analysis and a bottom-up costing approach was used to cost the pathway journeys. Five transitional points occurred across the diagnostic pathway (initial contact, initial referral, further referrals—provider, further referrals—private, and diagnosis) alongside two further themes (i.e., involved in the diagnostic process and disputes between stakeholders). The timeliness of the diagnosis was perceived to often be subject to ‘luck’, with access to private healthcare a personal finance option to expedite the process. Higher economic costs were observed when, in retrospect, inappropriate referrals were made, or multiple referrals were required. The confusion and disputes relating to individual diagnostic pathways led to further emotional burdens, suggesting that higher economic costs and emotional consequences are interlinked. Clearer diagnostic pathways for rare dementia may prevent unnecessary service contacts, waiting times, and associated distress. Prioritising appropriate and timely service contacts leads to diagnosis and support to families and enables people to increase control over their health. Appropriate diagnostic pathways may be less costly and reduce costs for families. Full article
9 pages, 293 KiB  
Communication
Reflections about Blockchain in Health Data Sharing: Navigating a Disruptive Technology
by Ana Corte-Real, Tiago Nunes and Paulo Rupino da Cunha
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020230 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1262
Abstract
A comprehensive analysis was performed, considering blockchain technology (BT) properties in digital health, addressing medicolegal, privacy, and regulatory considerations. Adherence to personal data protection and healthcare regulatory guidelines were analyzed and compared for GDPR (Europe), HIPAA (United States), CCPA (California), PIPEDA (Canada), the [...] Read more.
A comprehensive analysis was performed, considering blockchain technology (BT) properties in digital health, addressing medicolegal, privacy, and regulatory considerations. Adherence to personal data protection and healthcare regulatory guidelines were analyzed and compared for GDPR (Europe), HIPAA (United States), CCPA (California), PIPEDA (Canada), the Privacy Act of 1988 (Australia), APPI (Japan), and LGPD (Brazil). Issues such as health systems, strengthening and aligning policy orientations and initiatives, and emphasizing the role of data analysis in shaping health policies were explored. The study addressed conflicts between the legal frameworks and blockchain, comparing and suggesting solutions like the revision of laws and the integration of compliance mechanisms. Additionally, it sought to enhance IT-health literacy by integrating the healthcare and legal domains. Ongoing collaboration between legal, health, and IT experts is essential for designing systems that effectively balance privacy rights and data protection while maximizing the benefits of disruptive technologies like blockchain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchain in Health Systems)
10 pages, 308 KiB  
Article
Ubuntu Is a Critical Component in the Fight against Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Tuberculosis Stigma: Nursing Students’ Perceptions
by Melitah Molatelo Rasweswe, Nancy Mamoeng Kgatla, Irene Thifhelimbilu Ramavhoya and Fhumulani Mavis Mulaudzi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020229 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1302
Abstract
Stigma is one of the documented barriers to achieving universal access to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis (TB) prevention, treatment, care, and support programs. The lack of African social theories to emphasize these issues may be the cause of the continent’s failure [...] Read more.
Stigma is one of the documented barriers to achieving universal access to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis (TB) prevention, treatment, care, and support programs. The lack of African social theories to emphasize these issues may be the cause of the continent’s failure to reduce stigma. We can use Ubuntu, an African philosophy that emphasizes sociability and ethics, to deepen our understanding of how to reduce HIV- and TB-related stigma in South Africa. In many African regions, Ubuntu values and principles were found to assist in reducing problems related to HIV. Ubuntu is a comprehensive phrase used by Africans to signify the characteristics that incorporate the core human virtues of compassion and humanity. We explored the perceptions of nursing students regarding the use of Ubuntu in the fight against HIV and TB stigma. Qualitative participatory research was used to engage all first- and second-level nursing students enrolled for the 2023 academic year at the selected university in South Africa. Purposive sampling was used to recruit the participants. An interactive workshop was used to gather data. The data from the recordings and flip charts were analysed together. Throughout the study, trustworthiness and ethical principles were upheld. Two primary themes emerged as expressions of Ubuntu in relation to a reduction in HIV and TB stigma and recognition of Ubuntu as a tool to combat stigma associated with HIV and TB. This confirms that within Ubuntu, there are elements that might be applied to reduce stigma attached to HIV and TB. Full article
12 pages, 5698 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Performance of Rapid Diagnostic Tests for Malaria Diagnosis and Mapping of Different Plasmodium Species in Mali
by Pascal Dembélé, Mady Cissoko, Adama Zan Diarra, Lassana Doumbia, Aïssata Koné, Mahamadou H. Magassa, Maissane Mehadji, Mahamadou A. Thera and Stéphane Ranque
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020228 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1500
Abstract
Background: The first-line diagnosis of malaria in Mali is based on the use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) that detect the Histidin Rich Protein 2 (HRP2) antigen specific to Plasmodium falciparum. Our study, based on a real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) gold [...] Read more.
Background: The first-line diagnosis of malaria in Mali is based on the use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) that detect the Histidin Rich Protein 2 (HRP2) antigen specific to Plasmodium falciparum. Our study, based on a real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) gold standard, aimed to describe the distribution of the Plasmodium species in each administrative region of Mali and to assess the performance of RDTs. Methods: We randomly selected 150 malaria-negative and up to 30 malaria-positive RDTs in 41 sites distributed in 9 regions of Mali. DNA extracted from the RDT nitrocellulose strip was assayed with a pan-Plasmodium qPCR. Positive samples were then analyzed with P. falciparum-, P. malariae-, P. vivax-, or P. ovale-specific qPCRs. Results: Of the 1496 RDTs, 258 (18.6%) were positive for Plasmodium spp., of which 96.9% were P. falciparum. The P. vivax prevalence reached 21.1% in the north. RDT displayed acceptable diagnostic indices; the lower CI95% bounds of Youden indices were all ≥0.50, except in the north (Youden index 0.66 (95% CI [0.44–0.82]) and 0.63 (95% CI [0.33–0.83]. Conclusions: Overall, RDT diagnostic indices are adequate for the biological diagnosis of malaria in Mali. We recommend the use of RDTs detecting P. vivax-specific antigens in the north. Full article
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18 pages, 1292 KiB  
Article
Sibling Violence and Bullying Behaviors in Peers: The Mediational Role of Self-Esteem
by Catarina Pinheiro Mota, Joana Rita Sousa and Inês Carvalho Relva
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020227 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1189
Abstract
In the context of the existing research on families, sibling violence is a less explored area. However, it has seemingly received more attention recently, and it can assume a relevant role in understanding the maladaptive behavior of youngsters and bullying. Additionally, adolescents involved [...] Read more.
In the context of the existing research on families, sibling violence is a less explored area. However, it has seemingly received more attention recently, and it can assume a relevant role in understanding the maladaptive behavior of youngsters and bullying. Additionally, adolescents involved in bullying and self-esteem are associated with disruptive violence inside the family context. This study’s sample consisted of 286 students, aged between 12 and 17 years, from both sexes. This study intends to explore the association between sibling violence and bullying behavior in peers and the mediator effect of self-esteem. The measures for data collection were a demographic questionnaire, the Social Exclusion and School Violence Questionnaire, The Revised Conflict Tactics Scales (Portuguese version for siblings), and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. The results show a negative effect between negotiation in the sibling relationship (victimization) and social exclusion and verbal aggression related to bullying behavior. Self-esteem represents a total and negative mediator in this connection. Our results also show a variety of indirect outcomes amongst the negotiation dimension, psychological aggression and injury between siblings, and the social exclusion and verbal aggression dimensions (on the aggression and victimization scales). The results will be discussed according to the attachment theory but considering the importance of affective bonds with siblings as a predisposing factor to an adaptive development course. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Adolescents)
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14 pages, 3654 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Link between Altitude of Residence and Smoking Patterns in the United States
by Danielle Jeanne-Marie Boxer, Young-Hoon Sung, Nicolas A. Nunez, Colleen Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Perry Franklin Renshaw and Douglas Gavin Kondo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020226 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1421
Abstract
Introduction: Smoking-related diseases affect 16 million Americans, causing approximately 480,000 deaths annually. The prevalence of cigarette smoking varies regionally across the United States, and previous research indicates that regional rates of smoking-related diseases demonstrate a negative association with altitude. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
Introduction: Smoking-related diseases affect 16 million Americans, causing approximately 480,000 deaths annually. The prevalence of cigarette smoking varies regionally across the United States, and previous research indicates that regional rates of smoking-related diseases demonstrate a negative association with altitude. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between altitude and the prevalence of cigarette smoking by county (N = 3106) in the United States. We hypothesized that smoking prevalence among adults would be negatively associated with mean county altitude. Methods: A multivariate linear regression was performed to examine the relationship between county-level mean altitude and county smoking rate. Covariates were individually correlated with 2020 smoking data, and significant associations were included in the final model. Results: The multivariate linear regression indicated that the county-level smoking rates are significantly reduced at high altitudes (p < 0.001). The model accounted for 89.5% of the variance in smoking prevalence, and for each 1000-foot increase in altitude above sea level, smoking rates decreased by 0.143%. Based on multivariate linear regression, the following variables remained independently and significantly associated: race, sex, educational attainment, socioeconomic status, unemployment, physical inactivity, drinking behavior, mental distress, and tobacco taxation. Conclusions: Our results indicate that smoking rates are negatively associated with altitude, which may suggest that altitude affects the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and mechanistic pathways involved in cigarette use. Further research is needed to explore the relationship between altitude and smoking and how altitude may serve as a protective factor in the acquisition and maintenance of tobacco use disorders. Full article
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19 pages, 844 KiB  
Review
Physical Activity, Sedentary Time, and Psychosocial Functioning among Adults with Cancer: A Scoping Review
by Arianne Côté, Paule Miquelon and Claudia Trudel-Fitzgerald
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020225 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 2339
Abstract
The post-treatment period (after the completion of primary cancer treatment) is a phase during which adults with cancer are particularly vulnerable to the physical and psychological side effects of treatment. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits during this time is essential to mitigate these effects. [...] Read more.
The post-treatment period (after the completion of primary cancer treatment) is a phase during which adults with cancer are particularly vulnerable to the physical and psychological side effects of treatment. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits during this time is essential to mitigate these effects. This scoping review investigated the associations of physical activity (PA) and sedentary time (ST) with two post-treatment psychosocial indicators among adults with cancer: psychological functioning and quality of life (QoL). An exhaustive search was performed in January 2023 across five databases, namely APA PsycInfo, MedLine, SPORTDiscuss, SCOPUS, and CINAHL, adhering to PRISMA guidelines for scoping reviews. Twenty articles met the inclusion criteria; 16 used a cross-sectional design, while 4 used a longitudinal one. PA and ST were assessed mainly with accelerometers (n = 17), and psychosocial indicators with self-reported questionnaires (n = 20). Most studies linked higher PA levels to reduced anxiety (n = 3) and depression (n = 4) symptoms, and elevated ST to higher psychological symptoms (n = 3). Opposite associations were observed for QoL (n = 5). Altogether, PA appeared to be more strongly related to psychological functioning and QoL than ST. This scoping review highlights associations of PA and ST with psychological functioning and QoL among adults with cancer in the post-treatment period. However, future studies must prioritize longitudinal designs to establish directionality. Full article
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11 pages, 515 KiB  
Article
Fall Risk Prediction for Community-Dwelling Older Adults: Analysis of Assessment Scale and Evaluation Items without Actual Measurement
by Akihiko Murayama, Daisuke Higuchi, Kosuke Saida, Shigeya Tanaka and Tomoyuki Shinohara
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020224 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1236
Abstract
The frequency of falls increases with age. In Japan, the population is aging rapidly, and fall prevention measures are an urgent issue. However, assessing fall risk during the coronavirus disease pandemic was complicated by the social distancing measures implemented to prevent the disease, [...] Read more.
The frequency of falls increases with age. In Japan, the population is aging rapidly, and fall prevention measures are an urgent issue. However, assessing fall risk during the coronavirus disease pandemic was complicated by the social distancing measures implemented to prevent the disease, while traditional assessments that involve actual measurements are complicated. This prospective cohort study predicted the risk of falls in community-dwelling older adults using an assessment method that does not require actual measurements. A survey was conducted among 434 community-dwelling older adults to obtain data regarding baseline attributes (age, sex, living with family, use of long-term care insurance, and multimorbidity), Frailty Screening Index (FSI) score, and Questionnaire for Medical Checkup of Old-Old (QMCOO) score. The participants were categorized into fall (n = 78) and non-fall (n = 356) groups. The binomial logistic regression analysis showed that it is better to focus on the QMCOO sub-item score, which focuses on multiple factors. The items significantly associated with falls were Q5 (odds ratio [OR] 1.95), Q8 (OR 2.33), and Q10 (OR 3.68). Our results were similar to common risk factors for falls in normal times. During the pandemic, being able to gauge the risk factors for falls without actually measuring them was important. Full article
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22 pages, 4902 KiB  
Article
Integrating Mental Health Management into Empowerment Group Sessions for Out-of-School Adolescents in Kenyan Informal Settlements: A Process Paper
by Joan Mutahi, Beth Kangwana, Dorcas Khasowa, Irene Muthoni, Oliver Charo, Alfred Muli and Manasi Kumar
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020223 - 14 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1340
Abstract
This article presents processes for developing contextualized training procedures to better appreciate partnership, capacity-building experiences, and specific implementation challenges and opportunities for mental and public health teams. The program enrolled 469 out-of-school adolescents to participate in the integration of youth mental health into [...] Read more.
This article presents processes for developing contextualized training procedures to better appreciate partnership, capacity-building experiences, and specific implementation challenges and opportunities for mental and public health teams. The program enrolled 469 out-of-school adolescents to participate in the integration of youth mental health into health and life-skill safe spaces. The teams utilized various methods to achieve process outcomes of restructuring and adapting curricula, training youth mentors, and assessing their self-efficacy before integrating the intervention for 18 months. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic became an additional unique concern in the preliminary and the 18-month implementation period of the program. This necessitated innovation around hybrid training and asynchronous modalities as program teams navigated the two study locations for prompt training, supervision, evaluation, and feedback. In conclusion, out-of-school adolescents face a myriad of challenges, and a safe space program led by youth mentors can help promote mental health. Our study demonstrated how best this can be achieved. We point to lessons such as the importance of adapting the intervention and working cohesively in teams, building strong and trusting partnerships, learning how to carry out multidisciplinary dialogues, and continuous supervision and capacity building. This article aimed to document the processes around the design and implementation of this innovative intervention and present a summary of lessons learned. Full article
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12 pages, 874 KiB  
Article
Uterine Fibroid Prevalence in a Predominantly Black, Chicago-Based Cohort
by Sithembinkosi Ndebele, Tecora Turner, Chuanhong Liao, Briseis Aschebrook-Kilfoy, Nina Randorf, Habibul Ahsan, Kunle Odunsi and Obianuju Sandra Madueke-Laveaux
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020222 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1214
Abstract
(1) Objectives: To investigate the effect of individual-level, neighborhood, and environmental variables on uterine fibroid (UF) prevalence in a Chicago-based cohort. (2) Methods: Data from the Chicago Multiethnic Prevention and Surveillance Study (COMPASS) were analyzed. Individual-level variables were obtained from questionnaires, neighborhood variables [...] Read more.
(1) Objectives: To investigate the effect of individual-level, neighborhood, and environmental variables on uterine fibroid (UF) prevalence in a Chicago-based cohort. (2) Methods: Data from the Chicago Multiethnic Prevention and Surveillance Study (COMPASS) were analyzed. Individual-level variables were obtained from questionnaires, neighborhood variables from the Chicago Health Atlas, and environmental variables from NASA satellite ambient air exposure levels. The Shapiro–Wilk test, logistic regression models, and Spearman’s correlations were used to evaluate the association of variables to UF diagnosis. (3) Results: We analyzed 602 participants (mean age: 50.3 ± 12.3) who responded to a question about UF diagnosis. More Black than White participants had a UF diagnosis (OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 0.62–2.79). We observed non-significant trends between individual-level and neighborhood variables and UF diagnosis. Ambient air pollutants, PM2.5, and DSLPM were protective against UF diagnosis (OR 0.20, CI: 0.04–0.97: OR 0.33, CI: 0.13–0.87). (4) Conclusions: Associations observed within a sample in a specific geographic area may not be generalizable and must be interpreted cautiously. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Women's Health)
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11 pages, 303 KiB  
Article
Culture of Safety and Preparedness: Benefits of Applying a Daily Mitigation Mindset in the Hospital Setting
by Anne Reid Griffin, Aram Dobalian, Joanne C. Langan and Sallie J. Shipman
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020221 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1082
Abstract
Aim: Utilizing the subjective experience of nurse executives who have supervised nurses during a major disaster in a hospital setting, this study aims to describe the subjective experience of nurse executives (NE) who have supervised nurses’ responses to major disasters. This paper will [...] Read more.
Aim: Utilizing the subjective experience of nurse executives who have supervised nurses during a major disaster in a hospital setting, this study aims to describe the subjective experience of nurse executives (NE) who have supervised nurses’ responses to major disasters. This paper will focus on strategies to support nursing response to disasters, specifically to strengthen resiliency and the ability to maintain function despite the shock of a disaster, including those caused by climate change. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 hospital-based nurse executives who supervised nurses during some of the worst natural and human-made disasters in different regions of the United States. A phenomenological approach was used to analyze and describe emerging themes from the qualitative data. Results: Three nurse executives demonstrated theme saturation for mitigation steps to augment traditional disaster readiness activities: (1) Assessment of human infrastructure: daily skills needed during disaster response; (2) Identification and study of failure points and metrics; (3) Strengthening human infrastructure: rectifying deficiencies; and (4) Monitoring metrics and making corrections during conventional periods. Conclusion: Mitigation steps may improve outcomes in hospital function during conventional times; therefore, these steps may improve resiliency and the ability to maintain functions during major disasters, including climate change. Full article
13 pages, 860 KiB  
Article
Fear of COVID-19 and PTSD: The Protective Function of Problem-Solving Appraisals in Mental Health
by Anita Padmanabhanunni and Tyrone Brian Pretorius
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020220 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1176
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic was experienced by many people as a major traumatic event, and it contributed to high levels of fear, anxiety, and PTSD. Negative cognitive appraisals have been consistently implicated in the onset and maintenance of psychological distress, but there is far [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic was experienced by many people as a major traumatic event, and it contributed to high levels of fear, anxiety, and PTSD. Negative cognitive appraisals have been consistently implicated in the onset and maintenance of psychological distress, but there is far less research on the protective role of adaptive appraisals in mental health outcomes. The current study aimed to address this gap by investigating the role of problem-solving appraisals in the relationship between fear of COVID-19 and PTSD. Participants were students (n = 322) who completed the Fear of COVID-19 Scale, the Problem-Solving Inventory, the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5, and the five-item short version of the trait scale of the State–Trait Anxiety Inventory. Participants had a mean age of 26 years (±10.2; range 17–63). The results revealed that problem-solving appraisal mediated the effects of fear of COVID-19 on all the dimensions of PTSD. However, moderated mediation analysis demonstrated that the mediation effect was moderated by anxiety. In this regard, the indirect effects of fear of COVID-19 on PTSD were only significant for respondents with low anxiety levels. Our findings suggest that intervention efforts need to focus on identifying and actively targeting maladaptive appraisals of the problem-solving ability as well as addressing anxiety-related symptoms that may impede coping. Full article
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19 pages, 835 KiB  
Article
Use of General Health Examination and Cancer Screening among People with Disability Who Need Support from Others: Analysis of the 2016 Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions in Japan
by Takashi Saito, Kumiko Imahashi and Chikako Yamaki
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020219 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1274
Abstract
Research on preventive healthcare services among people with disability in Japan is scarce. This study aimed to (1) examine the relationship between disability and the use of general health examination (GHE) and cancer screening (lung, gastric, colorectal, breast and cervical cancer) and (2) [...] Read more.
Research on preventive healthcare services among people with disability in Japan is scarce. This study aimed to (1) examine the relationship between disability and the use of general health examination (GHE) and cancer screening (lung, gastric, colorectal, breast and cervical cancer) and (2) explore the reasons for not using GHE. This cross-sectional study used secondary data from individuals aged 20–74 years (n = 15,294) from the Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions of 2016. Binomial logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine the relationship between disability and non-participation in preventive services. In addition, a descriptive analysis was conducted to explore the reasons for non-participation in GHE. Consequently, disability was identified as an independently associated factor for non-participation in GHE (odds ratios (OR): 1.73; 95% confidence interval (95%CI): 1.14–2.62) and screening for colorectal (OR: 1.78; 95%CI: 1.08–2.94), gastric (OR: 2.27; 95%CI: 1.27–4.05), cervical (OR: 2.12; 95%CI: 1.04–4.32) and breast cancer (OR: 2.22; 95%CI: 1.04–4.72), controlling for confounding factors. The most dominant reason for non-participation was “I can go to see the doctor anytime, if I am worried (25/54, 46.3%).” Our findings imply the existence of disability-based disparity in preventive healthcare service use in Japan. Full article
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14 pages, 1561 KiB  
Article
Keeping Sane in a Changing Climate: Assessing Psychologists’ Preparedness, Exposure to Climate-Health Impacts, Willingness to Act on Climate Change, and Barriers to Effective Action
by Gabriela Stilita and Fiona Charlson
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020218 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1442
Abstract
Evidence of the impact of climate change on mental health is growing rapidly, and healthcare professionals are being called to be active participants in protecting the population’s health. Yet, little is known about psychologists’ understanding of climate-health impacts and their role in mitigation [...] Read more.
Evidence of the impact of climate change on mental health is growing rapidly, and healthcare professionals are being called to be active participants in protecting the population’s health. Yet, little is known about psychologists’ understanding of climate-health impacts and their role in mitigation actions. We surveyed Australian psychologists (N = 59) to examine preparedness in identifying and managing the impact of climate change on mental health, exposure to climate-health impacts, willingness to act, and barriers to acting on climate change. Data was analysed through descriptive and associative methods. We found that participants are not prepared to identify and manage mental health presentations related to climate change, and they are not engaged in climate change mitigation. We identified that a lack of knowledge of climate-health impacts and tackling and mitigation strategies, in addition to ethical concerns, were the main barriers to engagement with communication and advocacy. With the impacts of climate change on mental health expected to soar, there is a clear and urgent need to prepare the psychological workforce to address this public health issue by establishing professional education programs and reframing climate change as a health crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climate Change)
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10 pages, 314 KiB  
Article
Impact of COVID-19 Infection on Health-Related Quality of Life in the Japanese Population: A Large Health-Insurance-Based Database Study
by Tomoko Kobayashi, Chikara Miyaji, Hiroshi Habu, Yoshiharu Horie and Soshi Takao
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020217 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1277
Abstract
Evidence for acute or long-term coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection is relatively limited. We aimed to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 infection on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in the Japanese population. Eligible study participants were 13,365 employees and their dependents who answered [...] Read more.
Evidence for acute or long-term coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection is relatively limited. We aimed to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 infection on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in the Japanese population. Eligible study participants were 13,365 employees and their dependents who answered questionnaires at baseline and 18 months later and who had at least 6 months of continuous enrolment before and after baseline. Of the 711 study participants who developed COVID-19 infection, 29.0% reported a decline in HRQoL, whereas 25.2% of uninfected participants reported a decline. The adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for the association between COVID-19 infection and declines in HRQoL in the age categories of less than 30 years, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60 years or higher were 0.54 (0.15–1.92), 1.70 (1.03–2.81), 1.14 (0.82–1.57), 1.05 (0.77–1.42), and 0.87 (0.46–1.64), respectively. This study demonstrates a differential association between COVID-19 infection and declines in HRQoL by age group. A 1.7-fold increase in the odds of negative changes in HRQoL was observed in only those in their 30s. Further studies are needed to elucidate differences in the impact of COVID-19 infection on HRQoL between younger people such as those in their 30s and the older population. Full article
27 pages, 1537 KiB  
Article
SARS-CoV-2 and Adolescent Psychiatric Emergencies at the Tübingen University Hospital: Analyzing Trends, Diagnoses, and Contributing Factors
by Priska S. Schneider, Michelle Pantis, Christine Preiser, Daniela Hagmann, Gottfried M. Barth, Tobias J. Renner and Katharina Allgaier
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020216 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1346
Abstract
Psychiatric emergencies have increased in recent decades, particularly with the onset of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and far too little is known about the backgrounds of these emergencies. In this study, we investigated the extent to which the number of psychiatric emergencies changed during [...] Read more.
Psychiatric emergencies have increased in recent decades, particularly with the onset of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and far too little is known about the backgrounds of these emergencies. In this study, we investigated the extent to which the number of psychiatric emergencies changed during and in the aftermath of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP) Tübingen. We considered age and psychiatric diagnoses. Additionally, we evaluated the backgrounds of the emergencies. We applied a mixed- (quantitative and qualitative) methods approach to data on emergency presentations at the CAP Tübingen from the pre-SARS-CoV-2 pandemic period (October 2019–January 2020) to Restriction Phase 1 (October 2020–January 2021), Restriction Phase 2 (October 2021–January 2022), and endemic phase (October 2022–January 2023). The total number of emergencies and those with eating disorders and affective disorders increased, while obsessive–compulsive disorders, expansive disorders and anxiety disorders decreased. The patients presenting in the pre-SARS-CoV-2 pandemic period were younger than those in the subsequent periods. We content-coded the reasons behind the emergency presentations. We also identified four areas of stressors and personality characteristics associated with the emergency presentations. In light of the increasing number of psychiatric emergencies, the long-term aim should be to meet the growing demands and create options for prevention. Full article
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18 pages, 360 KiB  
Review
A Critical Overview of the Construct of Supportive Care Need in the Cancer Literature: Definitions, Measures, Interventions and Future Directions for Research
by Marco Miniotti, Rossana Botto, Giovanna Soro, Alberto Olivero and Paolo Leombruni
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020215 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1152
Abstract
The growing amount of evidence about the role of supportive care in enhancing cancer patients’ outcomes has made healthcare providers more sensitive to the need for support that they experience during cancer’s trajectory. However, the lack of a consensus in the definition of [...] Read more.
The growing amount of evidence about the role of supportive care in enhancing cancer patients’ outcomes has made healthcare providers more sensitive to the need for support that they experience during cancer’s trajectory. However, the lack of a consensus in the definition of supportive care and lack of uniformity in the theoretical paradigm and measurement tools for unmet needs does not allow for defined guidelines for evidence-based best practices that are universally accepted. Contemporary cancer literature confirms that patients continue to report high levels of unmet supportive care needs and documents the low effectiveness of most of the interventions proposed to date. The aim of this critical review is to consolidate the conceptual understanding of the need for supportive care, providing definitions, areas of expertise and a careful overview of the measurement tools and intervention proposals developed to date. The possible reasons why the currently developed interventions do not seem to be able to meet the needs, and the issues for future research were discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nursing)
12 pages, 684 KiB  
Article
Mental Health Professionals’ Perception of Respect for Human Rights and Organizational Well-Being in Three Countries of South America
by Cesar Ivan Aviles Gonzalez, Doris Marina Cerchiaro Fernandez, Martha Esther Guerra Munoz, Robert Romero Ramirez, Yessika Madelaine Abarca Arias, Maria Veronica Brasesco, Gian Mario Migliaccio, Ferdinando Romano, Giulia Cossu, Diego Primavera and Mauro Giovanni Carta
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020214 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1492
Abstract
The respect for human rights in mental health care services significantly contributes to organizational well-being and is evolving into an actual benchmark of quality standards. This study assesses the perception of the respect for human rights for users and staff, as well as [...] Read more.
The respect for human rights in mental health care services significantly contributes to organizational well-being and is evolving into an actual benchmark of quality standards. This study assesses the perception of the respect for human rights for users and staff, as well as organizational and job satisfaction among mental health professionals in three South American countries, through the well-being at work and respect for human rights (WWRR) questionnaire and assesses whether there are significant differences. Seven mental health facilities in Argentina, Colombia, and Peru were involved in this observational study. The sample comprised 310 mental health professionals. The three countries exhibited differences in WWRR, particularly in the staff’s satisfaction with resources for care (η2 = 0.166) and staff’s satisfaction with organizational aspects (η2 = 0.113). Colombia had the lowest scores in these factors but the highest in the perception of the respect for human rights for users and staff, although this difference did not reach a statistical significance. Despite the progress made in recent years towards coercion-free medical standards and an increased focus on mental health polices in Latin American countries, there is a need to enhance the quality standards of mental health services, recognizing the value that the respect for human rights holds for the organizational well-being of both mental health users and professionals. Full article
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18 pages, 1294 KiB  
Article
Equity in Cancer and Chronic Disease Prevention through a Multi-Pronged Network Intervention: Works-in-Progress
by Yamilé Molina, Edward Tsai, Yalemzewod Enqubahry, Eunhye Lee, Faria Siddiqi, Anna Gottesman, Emma Boylan, Kate Paz, Margaret E. Wright, Ekas Abrol, Saria Lofton, Sage J. Kim and Ajanta Patel
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020213 - 12 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1352
Abstract
The increasing rates of cancer incidence are disproportionately borne by populations that are ineligible for screening and historically marginalized populations. To address this need, our community-centered model seeks to catalyze the widespread diffusion of evidence-based information and resources (e.g., community-based organizations, federally qualified [...] Read more.
The increasing rates of cancer incidence are disproportionately borne by populations that are ineligible for screening and historically marginalized populations. To address this need, our community-centered model seeks to catalyze the widespread diffusion of evidence-based information and resources (e.g., community-based organizations, federally qualified health centers) to reduce the risks of cancer, chronic disease, and other conditions. In this study, we tested whether improving personal health literacy (i.e., confidence in seeking information) and enabling successful information transfer (i.e., intention to share the specific information learned through the program) among community residents could contribute to greater diffusion intention (i.e., number of network members with whom residents plan to share information and resources). The current study used post-intervention surveys, which were administered to Chicago residents who were 18 years or older and had participated in the program. Among the 1499 diverse Chicago residents, improved personal health literacy was associated with greater diffusion intention (ORs = 2.00–2.68, 95% CI [1.27–4.39], p ≤ 0.003). Successful information transfer was associated with greater diffusion, especially for cancer and other chronic disease risk reductions (ORs = 3.43–3.73, 95% CI [1.95–6.68], p < 0.001). The findings highlight the potential gains for health equity through sustainable, scalable, multi-sectoral partnerships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Second Edition: Cancer Health Disparities and Public Health)
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