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Healthcare, Volume 11, Issue 3 (February-1 2023) – 167 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): There is an exponential increase in studies demonstrating the positive impact of a religious/spirituality (R/S) approach on physical and mental health. In mental health units, patients want professionals to be sensitive to their spiritual and/or religious needs, fundamental to a holistic approach. This qualitative research shows that, although there is no consensus on the definition of spirituality, professionals believe that it positively influences patients' health in coping with mental illness. They believe that their own R/S can influence the clinical relationship and their attention to the spiritual. Indeed, few attend to these needs, citing constraints such as lack of time and lack of specific training. More research on spiritual care is needed to define a specific training framework in mental health. View this paper
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18 pages, 13450 KiB  
Article
A Deep Learning Approach to Predict Chronological Age
by Husam Lahza, Ahmed A. Alsheikhy, Yahia Said and Tawfeeq Shawly
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030448 - 03 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1869
Abstract
Recently, researchers have turned their focus to predicting the age of people since numerous applications depend on facial recognition approaches. In the medical field, Alzheimer’s disease mainly depends on patients’ ages. Multiple methods have been implemented and developed to predict age. However, these [...] Read more.
Recently, researchers have turned their focus to predicting the age of people since numerous applications depend on facial recognition approaches. In the medical field, Alzheimer’s disease mainly depends on patients’ ages. Multiple methods have been implemented and developed to predict age. However, these approaches lack accuracy because every image has unique features, such as shape, pose, and scale. In Saudi Arabia, Vision 2030, concerning the quality of life, is one of the twelve initiatives that were launched recently. The health sector has gained increasing attention as the government has introduced age-based policies to improve the health of its elderly residents. These residents are urgently advised to vaccinate against COVID-19 based on their age. In this paper, proposing a practical, consistent, and trustworthy method to predict age is presented. This method uses the color intensity of eyes and a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) to predict age in real time based on the ensemble of CNN. A segmentation algorithm is engaged since the approach takes its input from a video stream or an image. This algorithm extracts data from one of the essential parts of the face: the eyes. This part is also informative. Several experiments have been conducted on MATLAB to verify and validate results and relative errors. A Kaggle website dataset is utilized for ages 4 to 59. This dataset includes over 270,000 images, and its size is roughly 2 GB. Consequently, the proposed approach produces ±8.69 years of Mean Square Error (MSE) for the predicted ages. Lastly, a comparative evaluation of relevant studies and the presented algorithm in terms of accuracy, MSE, and Mean Absolute Error (MAE) is also provided. This evaluation shows that the approach developed in the current study outperforms all considered performance metrics since its accuracy is 97.29%. This study found that the color intensity of eyes is highly effective in predicting age, given the high accuracy and acceptable MSE and MAE results. This indicates that it is helpful to utilize this methodology in real-life applications. Full article
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19 pages, 3188 KiB  
Article
Healthcare Systems across Europe and the US: The Managed Entry Agreements Experience
by Michele Ciulla, Lisa Marinelli, Giuseppe Di Biase, Ivana Cacciatore, Fiorenzo Santoleri, Alberto Costantini, Marilisa Pia Dimmito and Antonio Di Stefano
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030447 - 03 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3314
Abstract
This systematic study aims at analyzing the differences between the approach of the European healthcare systems to the pharmaceutical market and the American one. This paper highlights the opportunities and the limitations given by the application of managed entry agreements (MEAs) in European [...] Read more.
This systematic study aims at analyzing the differences between the approach of the European healthcare systems to the pharmaceutical market and the American one. This paper highlights the opportunities and the limitations given by the application of managed entry agreements (MEAs) in European countries as opposed to the American market, which does not regulate pharmaceutical prices. Data were collected from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the European Medicines Agency, and the national healthcare agencies of US and European countries. A literature review was undertaken in PubMed, Scopus, MEDLINE, and Google for a period ten years (2010–2019). The period 2020–2021 was considered to compare health expenditure before and after the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Scarce information from national agencies has been given in terms of MEAs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The comparison between the United States approach and the European one shows the importance of a market access regulation to reduce the cost of therapies, increasing the efficiency of national healthcare systems and the advantages in terms of quality and accessibility to the final users: patients. Nevertheless, it seems that the golden age of MEAs for Europe was during the examined period. Except for Italy, countries will move to other forms of reimbursements to obtain higher benefits, reducing the costs of an inefficient implementation and outcomes in the medium term. Full article
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23 pages, 746 KiB  
Review
Positioning Technostress in the JD-R Model Perspective: A Systematic Literature Review
by Martina Pansini, Ilaria Buonomo, Clara De Vincenzi, Bruna Ferrara and Paula Benevene
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030446 - 03 Feb 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3992
Abstract
This paper aims to describe the effects of Technostress on employees’ well-being and productivity. We adopted the Job Demands Resources Model as a theoretical framework to analyze the “Technostress” phenomenon in order to clarify whether and how technology can be considered a job [...] Read more.
This paper aims to describe the effects of Technostress on employees’ well-being and productivity. We adopted the Job Demands Resources Model as a theoretical framework to analyze the “Technostress” phenomenon in order to clarify whether and how technology can be considered a job demand, a job resource, or part of the effects of personal resources in the workplace. The sources search and selection process was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines and regarded papers published from 2010 to 2022. Overall, the findings show that most selected papers consider ICT a job demand negatively affecting human behavior, thoughts, and attitudes. In contrast, some report that ICT acts as a job resource, thus reducing the impact of job demands and their physiological and psychological costs. Finally, a third category of studies does not consider the effects of ICT itself but gives more space to the interaction among ICT, the organizational context in which it is used, and the personal characteristics of ICT users. More specifically, the findings show how individual features and organizational procedures can shape the interpretations employees make about their ICT-related experiences at work and, consequently, their performance or well-being. Findings suggest that when ICT tools are strategically planned and used within organizations, they can enrich the employee experience at work, positively affecting the individual and the organizational level. Full article
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10 pages, 835 KiB  
Article
An Examination of the Number of Adolescent Scoliotic Curves That Are Braceable at First Presentation to a Scoliosis Service
by Laura Hartley, Conor Jones, Darren Lui, Jason Bernard, Timothy Bishop, Jan Herzog, Daniel Chan, Oliver Stokes and Adrian Gardner
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030445 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1207
Abstract
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) affects between 0.5% and 5.2% of adolescents and is progressive in two-thirds of cases. Bracing is an effective non-operative treatment for AIS and has been shown to prevent up to 72% of curves from requiring surgery. This paper explores [...] Read more.
Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) affects between 0.5% and 5.2% of adolescents and is progressive in two-thirds of cases. Bracing is an effective non-operative treatment for AIS and has been shown to prevent up to 72% of curves from requiring surgery. This paper explores the presentation of AIS in the UK and identifies who would be suitable for bracing, as per guidelines published by the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) and British Scoliosis Society (BSS), through curve severity and skeletal maturity at presentation. There were 526 patients with AIS eligible for inclusion across three tertiary referral centres in the UK. The study period was individualised to each centre, between January 2012 and December 2021. Only 10% were appropriate for bracing via either SRS or BSS criteria. The rest were either too old, skeletally mature or had a curve size too large to benefit. By the end of data collection, 38% had undergone surgery for their scoliosis. In the UK, bracing for AIS is only suitable for a small number at presentation. Future efforts to minimise delays in specialist review and intervention will increase the number of those with AIS suitable for bracing and reduce the number and burden of operative interventions for AIS in the UK. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paediatric Spinal Deformity)
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15 pages, 494 KiB  
Article
Delivering Prognostic News to Older People with Chronic Disease: What Format Preference and Level of Involvement in Decision Making? A Hospital Survey
by Ebony T. Lewis, Kathrine Hammill, Rebekah Culbert, Madeleen van der Merwe, Ashlyn Sahay, Robin Turner and Magnolia Cardona
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030444 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1419
Abstract
Shared decision making near end of life is a balancing act of communicating prognosis to patients and their surrogates/families and engaging them in considering value-concordant management choices. This cross-sectional survey aimed to determine the format in which older patients with chronic illnesses would [...] Read more.
Shared decision making near end of life is a balancing act of communicating prognosis to patients and their surrogates/families and engaging them in considering value-concordant management choices. This cross-sectional survey aimed to determine the format in which older patients with chronic illnesses would prefer to receive prognostic information on their treatment options and disease progression, and their desired level of engagement in decision making. With a 60% participation rate, 139 inpatients in two hospitals and five surrogates were presented with six hypothetical scenarios with a randomly assigned sequence: verbal and written summary, graph, table, photo, video, and pamphlet. The majority (76%) of respondents chose the traditional verbal communication of prognosis by their doctor with a written summary as a reference and to share with family; the second choice was a condition-specific pamphlet (63%). Many found the graph and photo to be distressing (36% and 42%, respectively). Most (71%) wanted to know everything about their condition trajectory, and 63% chose shared decision making rather than completely autonomous or full delegation to clinicians or family. There were no gender differentials between wanting to know it all, supporting shared decision making or the preferred format for breaking news (p > 0.05). Older hospitalized patients with chronic conditions are willing to discuss end-of-life issues, learn about their prognosis, and be involved in shared decision making. Innovative formats such as graphs, videos, or photos were not welcome as part of the prognostic discussion. Full article
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13 pages, 1555 KiB  
Article
Computer-Based Cognitive Training vs. Paper-and-Pencil Training for Language and Cognitive Deficits in Greek Patients with Mild Alzheimer’s Disease: A Preliminary Study
by Eleni-Nefeli Georgopoulou, Anastasia Nousia, Vasileios Siokas, Maria Martzoukou, Elli Zoupa, Lambros Messinis, Efthimios Dardiotis and Grigorios Nasios
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030443 - 03 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1620
Abstract
The purpose of the present study was to explore whether Computer-Based Cognitive Training (C-BCT) versus Paper-Pencil Cognitive Training (P-PCT) is more beneficial in improving cognitive and language deficits in Greek patients living with Alzheimer’s disease (pwAD). Twenty pwAD were assigned to two groups: [...] Read more.
The purpose of the present study was to explore whether Computer-Based Cognitive Training (C-BCT) versus Paper-Pencil Cognitive Training (P-PCT) is more beneficial in improving cognitive and language deficits in Greek patients living with Alzheimer’s disease (pwAD). Twenty pwAD were assigned to two groups: (a) the C-BCT group, receiving a computer-based cognitive training program using the RehaCom software, and (b) the P-PCT group, which received cognitive training using paper and pencil. The cognitive training programs lasted 15 weeks and were administered twice a week for approximately one hour per session. The analyses of each group’s baseline versus endpoint performance demonstrated that the P-PCT group improved on delayed memory, verbal fluency, attention, processing speed, executive function, general cognitive ability, and activities of daily living. In contrast, the C-BCT group improved on memory (delayed and working), naming, and processing speed. Comparisons between the two groups (C-BCT vs. P-PCT) revealed that both methods had significant effects on patients’ cognition, with the P-PCT method transferring the primary cognitive benefits to real-life activities. Our findings indicate that both methods are beneficial in attenuating cognitive and language deficits in pwAD. The need for large-scale neurobehavioral interventions to further clarify this issue, however, remains a priority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition of Neurorehabilitation: Looking Back and Moving Forward)
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14 pages, 2038 KiB  
Article
The Associations between Erythropoietic Response with Inflammation Markers and Perfluorinated Chemicals in Hemodialysis Patients
by Wen-Sheng Liu, Chien-Hung Lin, Ann Charis Tan, Yen-Ting Lai, Tsung-Yun Liu, Hsiang-Lin Chan, Szu-Yuan Li, Chun-Fan Chen, Yung-Tai Chen, Tz-Heng Chen, Fan-Yu Chen, Yang Ho, Han-Hsing Tsou and Chih-Ching Lin
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030442 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1240
Abstract
Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESA) are used to treat anemia in hemodialysis (HD) patients. We investigated the role of inflammation and accumulation of environmental toxins (perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), such as perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate) in the erythropoietic response of HD patients who receive a [...] Read more.
Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESA) are used to treat anemia in hemodialysis (HD) patients. We investigated the role of inflammation and accumulation of environmental toxins (perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), such as perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate) in the erythropoietic response of HD patients who receive a fixed monthly continuous erythropoietin receptor activator (CERA) dosage. Forty-five patients underwent three successive phases of ESA treatment for two months each (phase one: 100 µg CERA once monthly; phase two: 50 µg CERA twice monthly; phase three: 100 µg CERA once monthly). Patient data were collected to determine the association of various factors with erythropoietic response (change in hematocrit). Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was used to analyze perfluorinated chemicals. Twenty-eight patients exhibited a poor erythropoietic response that was significantly associated with: age > 80 years, initial hematocrit > 36%, glucose > 200 mg/dL, alanine aminotransferase > 21 U/L, c-reactive protein > 1 mg/dL, interleukin−6 > 10 ng/mL, lactate dehydrogenase ≤ 190 U/L, and chloride ≤ 93 mEq/L. There was also a borderline significant association between inflammation and PFCs, although PFCs failed to show any impact on ESA response. Age, glucose, chloride, liver function, and inflammation may be associated with cost-effective fixed CERA dosage administered at an increased frequency. Full article
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15 pages, 2703 KiB  
Article
Lower Limb Muscles’ Activation during Ascending and Descending a Single Step-Up Movement: Comparison between In water and On land Exercise at Different Step Cadences in Young Injury-Free Adults
by Billy C. L. So, Manny M. Y. Kwok, Nakita W. L. Lee, Andy W. C. Lam, Anson L. M. Lau, Allen S. L. Lam, Phoebe W. Y. Chan and Shamay S. M. Ng
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030441 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1658
Abstract
(1) Background: Forward step-up (FSU) simulates the stance phase in stair ascension. With the benefits of physical properties of water, aquatic FSU exercise may be more suitable for patients with lower limb weakness or pain. The purpose of this study is to investigate [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Forward step-up (FSU) simulates the stance phase in stair ascension. With the benefits of physical properties of water, aquatic FSU exercise may be more suitable for patients with lower limb weakness or pain. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of progressive steps per min on the surface electromyography (sEMG) of gluteus maximus (GM), biceps femoris (BF), rectus femoris (RF), and gastrocnemius (GA), when performing FSU exercise with different steps per min in water and on land. (2) Methods: Participants (N = 20) were instructed to perform FSU exercises at different steps per min (35, 60, and 95 bpm) in water and on land. The sEMG of the tested muscles were collected. The percentage maximum voluntary isometric contraction (%MVIC) of GM, RF, GA and BF at different environments and steps per min was compared. (3) Result: There was a statistically significant difference of %MVIC of RF at all steps per min comparisons regardless of the movement phases and environments (p < 0.01, except for descending phases of 35 bpm vs. 60 bpm). All tested muscles showed a statistically significant lower muscle activation in water (p < 0.05) (4) Conclusion: This study found that the %MVIC of the tested muscle in both investigated environments increase as steps per minute increases. It is also found that the movement pattern of FSU exercise activates RF the most among all the tested muscles. Muscle activation of all tested muscles is also found to be smaller in water due to buoyancy property of water. Aquatic FSU exercise might be applicable to patients with lower limb weakness or knee osteoarthritis to improve their lower limb strength. Full article
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22 pages, 613 KiB  
Review
Intensity Differences of Resistance Training for Type 2 Diabetic Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Tenglong Fan, Man-Hsu Lin and Kijin Kim
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030440 - 03 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2532
Abstract
Resistance training is used as adjunctive therapy for type 2 diabetes (T2DM), and the aim of this study was to investigate the differences in the treatment effects of different intensities of resistance training in terms of glycemia, lipids, blood pressure, adaptations, and body [...] Read more.
Resistance training is used as adjunctive therapy for type 2 diabetes (T2DM), and the aim of this study was to investigate the differences in the treatment effects of different intensities of resistance training in terms of glycemia, lipids, blood pressure, adaptations, and body measurements. A comprehensive search was conducted in the PubMed, EMBASE (Excerpta Medica dataBASE), EBSCO (Elton B. Stephens Company) host, Cochrane Library, WOS (Web of Science), and Scopus databases with a cut-off date of April 2022, and reference lists of relevant reviews were also consulted. The literature screening and data extraction were performed independently by two researchers. RoB2 (Risk of bias 2) tools were used for the literature quality assessment, the exercise intensity was categorized as medium-low intensity and high intensity, and the meta subgroup analysis was performed using R Version. A fixed or random effects model was selected for within-group analysis based on the heterogeneity test, and a random effects model was used for the analysis of differences between subgroups. A total of 36 randomized controlled trials were included, with a total of 1491 participants. It was found that resistance training significantly improved HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin), fasting blood glucose, TG (triglycerides), TC (total cholesterol), and LDL (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol) levels in patients with T2DM and caused a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure, percent of fat mass, and HOMA-IR (homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance) indexes. The effects of high and medium-low intensity resistance training on T2DM patients were different in terms of HOMA-IR, maximal oxygen consumption, weight, waist-to-hip ratio, and body mass indexes. Only medium-low intensity resistance training resulted in a decrease in HOMA-IR. In addition to weight (MD = 4.25, 95% CI: [0.27, 8.22], I2 = 0%, p = 0.04; MD = −0.33, 95% CI: [−2.05, 1.39], I2 = 0%, p = 0.76; between groups p = 0.03) and HOMA-IR (MD = 0.11, 95% CI: [−0.40, −0.63], I2 = 0%, p = 0.85; MD = −1.09, 95% CI: [−1.83, −0.36], I2 = 87%, p = < 0.01; between groups p = 0.0085), other indicators did not reach statistical significance in the level of difference within the two subgroups of high intensity and medium-low intensity. The treatment effects (merger effect values) of high intensity resistance training were superior to those of medium-low intensity resistance training in terms of HbA1c, TG, TC, LDL levels and diastolic blood pressure, resting heart rate, waist circumference, fat mass, and percentage of fat mass. Therefore, high intensity resistance training can be considered to be a better option to assist in the treatment of T2DM and reduce the risk of diabetic complications compared to medium-low intensity resistance training. Only one study reported an adverse event (skeletal muscle injury) associated with resistance training. Although results reflecting the difference in treatment effect between intensity levels reached no statistical significance, the practical importance of the study cannot be ignored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition for Sport and Exercise)
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14 pages, 679 KiB  
Article
Early Surfactant Therapy for Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Very Preterm Infants
by Manuela Cucerea, Mihaela Moscalu, Elena Moldovan, Reka Santa, Zsuzsanna Gall, Laura Mihaela Suciu and Marta Simon
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030439 - 03 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2581
Abstract
Background: It is currently considered that early initiation of nasal continuous positive airway pressure, using a less invasive exogenous surfactant administration and avoiding mechanical ventilation as much as possible to minimize lung damage, may reduce mortality and/or the risk of morbidities in preterm [...] Read more.
Background: It is currently considered that early initiation of nasal continuous positive airway pressure, using a less invasive exogenous surfactant administration and avoiding mechanical ventilation as much as possible to minimize lung damage, may reduce mortality and/or the risk of morbidities in preterm infants. The aim of our study was to quantify our experience and compare different strategies of surfactant administration, to investigate which method is associated with less morbidity. Materials and Methods: A total of 135 preterm infants with early rescue surfactant administration for respiratory distress syndrome were included in the study. The infants were treated in an academic, Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit over a 3-year period between 1 December 2018 and 1 December 2021. Patients were separated into three groups: those with standard surfactant administration; those with Less Invasive Surfactant Administration—LISA; and those with Intubation Surfactant Administration Extubation—INSURE. As a primary outcome, we followed the need for intubation and mechanical ventilation within 72 h, while the secondary outcomes were major neonatal morbidities and death before discharge. Results: The surfactant administration method was significantly associated with the need for mechanical ventilation within 72 h after the procedure (p < 0.001). LISA group infants needed less MV (OR = 0.538, p = 0.019) than INSURE group infants. We found less morbidities (OR = 0.492, p = 0.015) and deaths before discharge (OR = 0.640, p = 0.035) in the LISA group compared with the INSURE group. The analysis of morbidities found in infants who were given the surfactant by the LISA method compared with the INSURE method showed lower incidence of pneumothorax (3.9% vs. 8.8%), intraventricular hemorrhage (17.3% vs. 23.5%), intraventricular hemorrhage grade 3 and 4 (3.9% vs. 5.9%), sepsis/probable sepsis (11.5% vs. 17.7%) retinopathy of prematurity (16.7% vs. 26.7%) and deaths (3.9% vs. 5.9%). There were no significant differences between groups in frequencies of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, necrotizing enterocolitis and patent ductus arteriosus. Conclusions: Less invasive surfactant administration methods seem to have advantages regarding early need for mechanical ventilation, decreasing morbidities and death rate. In our opinion, the LISA procedure may be a good choice in spontaneously breathing infants regardless of gestational age. Full article
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17 pages, 972 KiB  
Perspective
Listen to the Whispers before They Become Screams: Addressing Black Maternal Morbidity and Mortality in the United States
by Anuli Njoku, Marian Evans, Lillian Nimo-Sefah and Jonell Bailey
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030438 - 03 Feb 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 14317
Abstract
Black women in the United States (U.S.) disproportionately experience adverse pregnancy outcomes, including maternal mortality, compared to women of other racial and ethnic groups. Historical legacies of institutionalized racism and bias in medicine compound this problem. The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities [...] Read more.
Black women in the United States (U.S.) disproportionately experience adverse pregnancy outcomes, including maternal mortality, compared to women of other racial and ethnic groups. Historical legacies of institutionalized racism and bias in medicine compound this problem. The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color may further worsen existing racial disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality. This paper discusses structural and social determinants of racial disparities with a focus on the Black maternal mortality crisis in the United States. We explore how structural racism contributes to a greater risk of adverse obstetric outcomes among Black women in the U.S. We also propose public health, healthcare systems, and community-engaged approaches to decrease racial disparities in maternal morbidity and mortality. Full article
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16 pages, 1222 KiB  
Article
Evaluating State-Level Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) and Pill Mill Effects on Opioid Consumption in Pharmaceutical Supply Chain
by Amirreza Sahebi-Fakhrabad, Amir Hossein Sadeghi and Robert Handfield
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030437 - 03 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3156
Abstract
The opioid crisis in the United States has had devastating effects on communities across the country, leading many states to pass legislation that limits the prescription of opioid medications in an effort to reduce the number of overdose deaths. This study evaluates the [...] Read more.
The opioid crisis in the United States has had devastating effects on communities across the country, leading many states to pass legislation that limits the prescription of opioid medications in an effort to reduce the number of overdose deaths. This study evaluates the impact of two categories of PDMP and Pill Mill regulations on the supply of opioid prescriptions at the level of dispensers and distributors (excluding manufacturers) using ARCOS data. The study uses a difference-in-difference method with a two-way fixed design to analyze the data. The study finds that both of the regulations are associated with reductions in the volume of opioid distribution. However, the study reveals that these regulations may have unintended consequences, such as shifting the distribution of controlled substances to neighboring states. For example, in Tennessee, the implementation of Operational PDMP regulations reduces the in-state distribution of opioid drugs by 3.36% (95% CI, 2.37 to 4.3), while the out-of-state distribution to Georgia, which did not have effective PDMP regulations in place, increases by 16.93% (95% CI, 16.42 to 17.44). Our studies emphasize that policymakers should consider the potential for unintended distribution shifts of opioid drugs to neighboring states with laxer regulations as well as varying impacts on different dispenser types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Medical Policy in the Era of Big Data Analytics)
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13 pages, 609 KiB  
Article
Knowledge, Attitude, and Behaviour with Regard to Medication Errors in Intravenous Therapy: A Cross-Cultural Pilot Study
by Noemi Giannetta, Meysam Rahmani Katigri, Tahere Talebi Azadboni, Rosario Caruso, Gloria Liquori, Sara Dionisi, Aurora De Leo, Emanuele Di Simone, Gennaro Rocco, Alessandro Stievano, Giovanni Battista Orsi, Christian Napoli and Marco Di Muzio
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030436 - 03 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2141
Abstract
Background: Literature on the prevention of medication errors is growing, highlighting that knowledge, attitude and behavior with regard to medication errors are strategic to planning of educational activities and evaluating their impact on professional practice. In this context, the present pilot study aims [...] Read more.
Background: Literature on the prevention of medication errors is growing, highlighting that knowledge, attitude and behavior with regard to medication errors are strategic to planning of educational activities and evaluating their impact on professional practice. In this context, the present pilot study aims to translate and validate nursing professionals’ knowledge, attitudes and behavior (KAB theory) concerning medication administration errors in ICU from English into Persian. Furthermore, two main objectives of the project were: performing a pilot study among Iranian nurses using the translated questionnaire and carrying out a cultural measurement of the KAB theory concerning medication administration errors in an ICU questionnaire across two groups of Italian and Iranian populations. Methods: A cross-cultural adaptation of an instrument, according to the Checklist for reporting of survey studies (CROSS), was performed. The convenience sample was made up of 529 Iranian and Italian registered nurses working in ICU. An exploratory factor analysis was performed and reliability was assessed. A multi-group confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to test the measurement invariance. Ethical approval was obtained. Results: There was an excellent internal consistency for the 19-item scale. Results regarding factorial invariance showed that the nursing population from Italy and Iran used the same cognitive framework to conceptualize the prevention of medication errors. Conclusions: Findings from this preliminary translation and cross-cultural validation confirm that the questionnaire is a reliable and valid instrument within Persian healthcare settings. Moreover, these findings suggest that Italian and Persian nurses used an identical cognitive framework or mental model when thinking about medication errors prevention. The paper not only provides, for the first time, a validated instrument to evaluate the KAB theory in Iran, but it should promote other researchers in extending this kind of research, supporting those countries where attention to medical error is still increasing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Family Medicine)
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11 pages, 550 KiB  
Review
Barbed Pharyngoplasty for Snoring: Does It Meet the Expectations? A Systematic Review
by Antonio Moffa, Lucrezia Giorgi, Luca Carnuccio, Michele Cassano, Rodolfo Lugo, Peter Baptista and Manuele Casale
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030435 - 03 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2071
Abstract
To date, the use of barbed sutures for the surgical management of patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea and snoring with retropalatal collapse and vibration has significantly increased. A systematic review was carried out, which included clinical studies that used barbed sutures for [...] Read more.
To date, the use of barbed sutures for the surgical management of patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea and snoring with retropalatal collapse and vibration has significantly increased. A systematic review was carried out, which included clinical studies that used barbed sutures for the treatment of snoring. A qualitative analysis, including six clinical studies, was conducted. Of these, five were studies on barbed pharyngoplasties, and one study involved a minimally invasive surgical procedure. The population consisted of 176 patients, aged 26 to 58 years old. Overall, the included studies showed a mean gain in the snoring Visual Analog Scale of 5.67 ± 1.88, with a mean preoperative value of 8.35 ± 1.17 and a postoperative value of 2.68 ± 1.27. No major complications were described. Given the lack and heterogeneity of this evidence, the conclusion calls for being cautious. In carefully selected snorers and obstructive sleep apnea patients, the use of barbed sutures could represent a valid therapeutic strategy for snoring, ensuring a statistically significant improvement in the subjective parameters. Further studies on a larger scale that assess the role of barbed pharyngoplasties in snoring surgery and more extended follow-up studies are needed in order to confirm these promising results. Full article
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15 pages, 309 KiB  
Article
E-Cigarette Users’ Profiles and Their Association with Identified Impacts of COVID-19 on Vaping among Young Adults in Malaysia
by Rawaida Mat Salleh, Nizam Baharom, Ching Sin Siau, Caryn Mei Hsien Chan, Noh Amit, Pei Yin Sia and Lei Hum Wee
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030434 - 03 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2064
Abstract
Electronic cigarettes (ECs) users’ profiles and behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic remain unclear. This cross-sectional study aimed to explore Malaysian EC users’ profiles and their associations with related behaviors during the pandemic. The EC users (N = 351) were recruited from an [...] Read more.
Electronic cigarettes (ECs) users’ profiles and behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic remain unclear. This cross-sectional study aimed to explore Malaysian EC users’ profiles and their associations with related behaviors during the pandemic. The EC users (N = 351) were recruited from an official national vape entity. Respondents were predominantly of Malay ethnicity (90.6%), aged 31 to 35 years (27.6%), males (97.7%), married (68.7%), from Malaysia’s west region states (63.5%) and tertiary educated (69.2%). The majority (80.3%) were non-dual users, and most purchased their vaping products online (77.2%), liked that they can vape while working at home (83.8%) and vaped more because of boredom (55.3%), had low and moderate nicotine addiction levels (94.9%), had low motivation level to quit EC use (92.6%) and were more likely to perceive that vaping did not increase the chances of complications from COVID-19. Respondents with moderate to high addiction levels had twice the odds of checking on their current EC supplies, whilst respondents with low motivation to quit had higher odds of using their tank/pod until the last drop and distancing from others when vaping. EC users should be encouraged to quit EC use, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Present and Future Challenges in Tobacco Control)
32 pages, 881 KiB  
Review
Pharmacological Support for the Treatment of Obesity—Present and Future
by Marcin Kosmalski, Kacper Deska, Bartłomiej Bąk, Monika Różycka-Kosmalska and Tadeusz Pietras
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030433 - 02 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5824
Abstract
Obesity is a growing civilization problem, associated with a number of negative health consequences affecting almost all tissues and organs. Currently, obesity treatment includes lifestyle modifications (including diet and exercise), pharmacologic therapies, and in some clinical situations, bariatric surgery. These treatments seem to [...] Read more.
Obesity is a growing civilization problem, associated with a number of negative health consequences affecting almost all tissues and organs. Currently, obesity treatment includes lifestyle modifications (including diet and exercise), pharmacologic therapies, and in some clinical situations, bariatric surgery. These treatments seem to be the most effective method supporting the treatment of obesity. However, they are many limitations to the options, both for the practitioners and patients. Often the comorbidities, cost, age of the patient, and even geographic locations may influence the choices. The pharmacotherapy of obesity is a fast-growing market. Currently, we have at our disposal drugs with various mechanisms of action (directly reducing the absorption of calories—orlistat, acting centrally—bupropion with naltrexone, phentermine with topiramate, or multidirectional—liraglutide, dulaglutide, semaglutide). The drugs whose weight-reducing effect is used in the course of the pharmacotherapy of other diseases (e.g., glucose-sodium cotransporter inhibitors, exenatide) are also worth mentioning. The obesity pharmacotherapy is focusing on novel therapeutic agents with improved safety and efficacy profiles. These trends also include an assessment of the usefulness of the weight-reducing properties of the drugs previously used for other diseases. The presented paper is an overview of the studies related to both drugs currently used in the pharmacotherapy of obesity and those undergoing clinical trials, taking into account the individual approach to the patient. Full article
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14 pages, 497 KiB  
Review
Telephone-Delivered Interventions for Suicide Prevention in Schizophrenia and Related Disorders: A Systematic Review
by Laura Comendador, Ana Isabel Cebrià, Antoni Sanz, Víctor Pérez and Diego Palao
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030432 - 02 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1576
Abstract
Background: Suicide is a health problem among patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. Telehealth technology has become an emerging intervention that may offer opportunities to reach this at-risk group. However, to consider the implementation of telehealth systems in the prevention of suicidal behaviors in patients [...] Read more.
Background: Suicide is a health problem among patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. Telehealth technology has become an emerging intervention that may offer opportunities to reach this at-risk group. However, to consider the implementation of telehealth systems in the prevention of suicidal behaviors in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, a review of the evidence is required. The present aim was to explore the effectiveness of telephone-based suicide prevention programs among patients with schizophrenia and related disorders. Methods: A bibliographic search was carried out in the PubMed, PsycInfo, Scopus and Web of Science electronic databases following PRISMA guidelines. Two reviewers performed the selection, data extraction and methodological quality assessment. A total of 352 articles were retrieved, of which five studies met the eligibility criteria. Results: Globally, an adherence was observed ranging from 78 to 100%. Three studies reported a reduction in suicidal ideation and two studies showed a reduction in the risk of relapse observed in the intervention group compared to a control group. Conclusions: In accordance with the limited data available, the use of a telephone contact approach appears to be feasible and effective in schizophrenia patients with suicidal behaviors. The preliminary evidence also suggests that this system appears to reduce suicidal ideation. Further research is required to design evidence-based future interventions and to determine whether this approach can improve patient outcomes. Full article
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33 pages, 2455 KiB  
Article
Framework for Adoption of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Globally in the Oncology Area
by Denis Horgan, Yosr Hamdi, Jonathan A. Lal, Teresia Nyawira, Salomé Meyer, Dominique Kondji, Ngiambudulu M. Francisco, Roselle De Guzman, Anupriya Paul, Branka Bernard, Krishna Reddy Nallamalla, Woong-Yang Park, Vijay Triapthi, Ravikant Tripathi, Amber Johns, Mohan P. Singh, Maude E. Phipps, France Dube, Hadi Mohamad Abu Rasheed, Marta Kozaric, Joseph A. Pinto, Stephen Doral Stefani, Maria Eugenia Aponte Rueda, Ricardo Fujita Alarcon and Hugo A. Barrera-Saldanaadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030431 - 02 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4016
Abstract
Radical new possibilities of improved treatment of cancer are on offer from an advanced medical technology already demonstrating its significance: next-generation sequencing (NGS). This refined testing provides unprecedentedly precise diagnoses and permits the use of focused and highly personalized treatments. However, across regions [...] Read more.
Radical new possibilities of improved treatment of cancer are on offer from an advanced medical technology already demonstrating its significance: next-generation sequencing (NGS). This refined testing provides unprecedentedly precise diagnoses and permits the use of focused and highly personalized treatments. However, across regions globally, many cancer patients will continue to be denied the benefits of NGS as long as some of the yawning gaps in its implementation remain unattended. The challenges at the regional and national levels are linked because putting the solutions into effect is highly dependent on cooperation between regional- and national-level cooperation, which could be hindered by shortfalls in interpretation or understanding. The aim of the paper was to define and explore the necessary conditions for NGS and make recommendations for effective implementation based on extensive exchanges with policy makers and stakeholders. As a result, the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM) developed a maturity framework structured around demand-side and supply-side issues to enable interested stakeholders in different countries to self-evaluate according to a common matrix. A questionnaire was designed to identify the current status of NGS implementation, and it was submitted to different experts in different institutions globally. This revealed significant variability in the different aspects of NGS uptake. Within different regions globally, to ensure those conditions are right, this can be improved by linking efforts made at the national level, where patients have needs and where care is delivered, and at the global level, where major policy initiatives in the health field are underway or in preparation, many of which offer direct or indirect pathways for building those conditions. In addition, in a period when consensus is still incomplete and catching up is needed at a political level to ensure rational allocation of resources—even within individual countries—to enable the best ways to make the necessary provisions for NGS, a key recommendation is to examine where closer links between national and regional actions could complement, support, and mutually reinforce efforts to improve the situation for patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Redefining the Unmet Needs in Healthcare and the Regulatory Challenge)
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12 pages, 281 KiB  
Article
Empowering Self-Efficacy by Using Patient Empowerment among Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Pre–Post-Test Study
by Rasha Elsayed Ahmed, Izzeddin A. Bdair, Khalid AL-Mugheed, Shadia Hamoud Alshahrani, Mesheil M. Alalyani, Ramasubbamma Ramaiah, Seham I. Abdelrahman, Sanaa Ahmed Mahmoud and Mervat Moustafa Arrab
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030430 - 02 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1971
Abstract
Patient empowerment is increasingly acknowledged as a milestone of high-quality patient-centered care. This study was conducted using COPD Self-Efficacy Scale to determine the effectiveness of the patient empowerment intervention program among chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients on self-efficacy. We employed an interventional design [...] Read more.
Patient empowerment is increasingly acknowledged as a milestone of high-quality patient-centered care. This study was conducted using COPD Self-Efficacy Scale to determine the effectiveness of the patient empowerment intervention program among chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients on self-efficacy. We employed an interventional design with a pre-test and post-test. Sixty COPD patients comprised the final sample of the study. The current study revealed significant improvement in overall self-efficacy factors among most participants. Statistically significant positive correlations were found between the total self-efficacy post-empower intervention model scores concerning age, sex, work, educational level, and marital status. The study’s findings revealed that the patient empowerment intervention program positively affected COPD patients’ self-efficacy. Full article
10 pages, 698 KiB  
Article
A Brief Assessment of Patient Safety Culture in Anesthesia and Intensive Care Departments
by Andrea Kazamer, Radu Ilinca, Anda Nitu, Ana-Maria Iuonuț, Serban-Ion Bubenek-Turconi, Gerald Sendlhofer, Maria Greabu, Iulia-Ioana Stanescu-Spinu, Daniela Miricescu, Ionela Ganea and Daniela Ionescu
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030429 - 02 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1937
Abstract
Due to the nature of their activity, anesthesia and critical care have generally well-developed patient safety cultures, which are linked to a greater level of incident awareness and reporting during clinical activity. In order to determine the status quo and identify and adopt, [...] Read more.
Due to the nature of their activity, anesthesia and critical care have generally well-developed patient safety cultures, which are linked to a greater level of incident awareness and reporting during clinical activity. In order to determine the status quo and identify and adopt, where appropriate, techniques and instruments for further improving patient safety, it is necessary to evaluate the culture and barriers in these departments. The main objective of our study was to assess patient safety culture in Romanian anesthesia and intensive care departments (AICDs), to pinpoint the areas that may need improvement, and to examine the correlation between the prevalence of adverse event reporting, as well as the level of self-reported patient safety culture. To determine how anesthesia and intensive care department staff perceived patient safety, the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture (HSOPSC) was used in a translated Romanian version. In total, 1200 employees from 36 anesthesiology and intensive care departments across 32 hospitals in Romania received the questionnaire, representing 42.66% of all anesthesia and intensive care departments in the country. In 7 of the 12 examined dimensions, significant differences between tertiary and secondary hospitals were observed. Among all dimensions, the highest positive score was for “organizational learning and continuous development”. In general, our study revealed a positive view on patient safety in anesthesia and intensive care departments. Further studies are required to determine a threshold of the level of culture development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety)
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18 pages, 384 KiB  
Article
Foreign Nationality, Family Psychiatry History and Pregestational Neoplastic Disease as Predictors of Perinatal Depression in a Cohort of Healthy Pregnant and Puerperal Women during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Laura Orsolini, Simone Pompili, Antonella Mauro and Umberto Volpe
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030428 - 02 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1473
Abstract
Background: Perinatal depression (PND) represents one of the most common mental disorders in the pregnancy and/or postpartum period, with a 5–25% prevalence rate. Our aim was to investigate predictors associated with PND in a cohort of pregnant and puerperal women based in an [...] Read more.
Background: Perinatal depression (PND) represents one of the most common mental disorders in the pregnancy and/or postpartum period, with a 5–25% prevalence rate. Our aim was to investigate predictors associated with PND in a cohort of pregnant and puerperal women based in an Italian setting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We retrospectively recruited 199 (55 pregnant and 144 puerperal) women, afferent to our Perinatal Mental Outpatient Service of Ancona (Italy). Participants were administered an ad hoc case-report form, Whooley Questions (WQ), the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12), the Stress Holmes-Rahe scale (HR) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Results: Around 10% of the sample had a confirmed PND. Being a foreigner woman (RR = 3.8), having a positive psychiatric family history (RR = 5.3), a pre-pregnancy medical comorbidity (RR = 1.85) and a comorbid medical illness occurring during the pregnancy (RR = 2) were much likely associated with PND. Multiple linear regression analysis demonstrated that GHQ, medium- and high-risk at the HR, foreign nationality, positive family psychiatric history, and neoplastic disease before conception significantly predicted EPDS [F(1, 197) = 10.086, R2 = 0.324, p < 0.001]. Limitations: The sample size, poor heterogeneity in terms of socio-demographic, clinical and gynecological-obstetric characteristics, the cross-sectional design of the study. Conclusions: Our study showed a set of predictors associated with a higher risk for the PND onset, including gestational and pregestational medical disease. Our findings outline the need to screen all fertile women, particularly in gynecological and medical settings, in order to identify at-risk women for PND and promptly suggest a psychiatric consultation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition: Pregnancy and Perinatal Health)
8 pages, 426 KiB  
Article
The Association of Smoking with Contact Dermatitis: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Ghadah F. Alotaibi, Hanan H. Alsalman, Rama A. Alhallaf, Rayan A. Ahmad, Hashem A. Alshareef, Jumanah Meshari Muammar, Fahad M. Alsaif, Felwah F. Alotaibi, Mohamed F. Balaha, Nehad J. Ahmed, El-Sayed Khafagy, Hadil F. Alotaibi, Rahaf Alshammari and Sarah Fatani
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030427 - 02 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1665
Abstract
Contact dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder with a highly variable prevalence worldwide. Smoking plays a crucial role in mediating inflammatory skin conditions such as contact dermatitis. The present study aimed to investigate the association between smoking status and contact dermatitis in [...] Read more.
Contact dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder with a highly variable prevalence worldwide. Smoking plays a crucial role in mediating inflammatory skin conditions such as contact dermatitis. The present study aimed to investigate the association between smoking status and contact dermatitis in the Saudi population. The patients in the present study were individuals older than 18 years who were diagnosed with contact dermatitis and received a patch test at the Department of Dermatology of King Saud University Medical City from March 2003 through February 2019. All patients were interviewed by phone to complete a specific pre-designed questionnaire to assess tobacco use or exposure history. The total number of enrolled patients in the study was 308 (91 males and 217 females), all with contact dermatitis. Data from the present study suggest that the prevalence of allergic contact dermatitis in smokers may be less than that in non-smokers. Moreover, the prevalence of irritant contact dermatitis in smokers is more significant than in non-smokers. Finally, left-hand contact dermatitis is significantly associated with smoking. Therefore, there is a strong association between smoking and irritant contact dermatitis, especially in the Saudi population, regarding the left hand. Further epidemiologic studies are needed to further explore the role of smoking in the occurrence of contact dermatitis and to explore the possible mechanisms. Full article
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20 pages, 1219 KiB  
Article
Factors Affecting Preventive Behaviors for Safety and Health at Work during the COVID-19 Pandemic among Thai Construction Workers
by Samsiya Khaday, Kai-Way Li and Halimoh Dorloh
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030426 - 02 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1699
Abstract
Occupational health and safety risks are of major concerns in construction industry. The COVID-19 outbreak provides an additional risk that could drastically affect the safety risks and health of construction workers. Understanding the factors that affect the health and safety of construction workers [...] Read more.
Occupational health and safety risks are of major concerns in construction industry. The COVID-19 outbreak provides an additional risk that could drastically affect the safety risks and health of construction workers. Understanding the factors that affect the health and safety of construction workers is significant in reducing risky behaviors and enhancing worker preventive behaviors. Via integrating the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) and the extended Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), this study investigates the factors that affect preventive behaviors among construction workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangkok, Thailand. A total of 610 Thai construction workers participated in an online questionnaire survey, which consisted of nine factors with 43 questions. Structure equation modeling (SEM) was adopted to analyze the causal relationships among the latent variable. The SEM results indicated that organizational support and knowledge about COVID-19 had significant (p < 0.0001) direct influences on perceived vulnerability and perceived severity. In addition, perceived vulnerability and perceived severity had significant direct influences on perceived behavioral control. Perceived severity had significant (p < 0.0001) direct influence on attitude towards behavior. Moreover, perceived behavioral control and attitude towards behavior had significant (p < 0.0001) direct influence on intention to follow the preventive measure. Furthermore, the intention to follow the preventive measure had significant (p < 0.0001) direct influences on the COVID-19 preventive behavior. Of note, organizational support and knowledge about COVID-19 had significant (p < 0.0001) indirect influence on COVID-19 preventive behavior. The findings of this study may assist project managers/supervisors and authorities in the construction industry in understanding the challenge during COVID-19 and possible similar epidemics in the future. In addition, conducting effective strategies would improve construction industry safety and promote preventive behaviors among construction workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare)
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12 pages, 1230 KiB  
Review
Candida auris as an Emergent Public Health Problem: A Current Update on European Outbreaks and Cases
by Nicholas Geremia, Pierluigi Brugnaro, Maria Solinas, Claudio Scarparo and Sandro Panese
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030425 - 02 Feb 2023
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 4923
Abstract
Candida auris is considered to be an emerging fungal pathogen and is related to high mortality rates, persistent candidemia, inconsistencies in susceptibility testing results and misidentification by available commercial identification systems. Multidrug-resistant (MDR) and pandrug-resistant (PDR) strains are increasingly detected. In Europe, hospital outbreaks [...] Read more.
Candida auris is considered to be an emerging fungal pathogen and is related to high mortality rates, persistent candidemia, inconsistencies in susceptibility testing results and misidentification by available commercial identification systems. Multidrug-resistant (MDR) and pandrug-resistant (PDR) strains are increasingly detected. In Europe, hospital outbreaks caused by C. auris have been reported in the United Kingdom (UK), Italy and Spain; however, several cases have been sporadically detected in all European countries. C. auris is difficult to control despite enhanced control measures due to its ability to survive for a long time in environments and colonize patients for prolonged periods. An adequate laboratory diagnostic capacity and national surveillance are fundamental to rapidly detect new C. auris cases and to apply the correct measures to circumscribe them and prevent their spread. Our narrative review aims to highlight the primary C. auris outbreaks and case reports that have occurred in Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infectious Disease Prevention and Public Health Promotion)
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25 pages, 436 KiB  
Review
Epidemiology of Kidney Stones
by Kyriaki Stamatelou and David S. Goldfarb
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030424 - 02 Feb 2023
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 9952
Abstract
In the past two decades, major breakthroughs that improve our understanding of the pathophysiology and therapy of kidney stones (KS) have been lacking. The disease continues to be challenging for patients, physicians, and healthcare systems alike. In this context, epidemiological studies are striving [...] Read more.
In the past two decades, major breakthroughs that improve our understanding of the pathophysiology and therapy of kidney stones (KS) have been lacking. The disease continues to be challenging for patients, physicians, and healthcare systems alike. In this context, epidemiological studies are striving to elucidate the worldwide changes in the patterns and the burden of the disease and identify modifiable risk factors that contribute to the development of kidney stones. Our expanding knowledge of the epidemiology of kidney stones is of paramount importance and largely upgrades the modern management of the disease. In this paper, we review the variables affecting prevalence and incidence, including age, gender, race, ethnicity, occupation, climate, geography, systemic diseases, diabetes, vascular disease, chronic kidney disease, and dietary risk factors relevant to kidney stones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Bench to Bed: Kidney Stones Still Challenge Healthcare in 2022)
12 pages, 264 KiB  
Article
Identifying the Group Vulnerable to Unmet Medical Needs Due to Food Security: According to Children in the Household
by Min-Soo Kim, Hyeon-Ji Lee and Jae-Hyun Kim
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030423 - 02 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1153
Abstract
Objective: Adults may experience unmet medical needs for various reasons. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of food security on unmet medical needs according to the presence of children in the household of adults, as well as to identify [...] Read more.
Objective: Adults may experience unmet medical needs for various reasons. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of food security on unmet medical needs according to the presence of children in the household of adults, as well as to identify the medically vulnerable group considering individual and household characteristics. Methods: This study was conducted using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 2013–2015 and 2019–2020. The subjects of the study were 23,069 adults 19 years of age or older, and were divided into two groups according to whether or not children were included in the household. In order to observe the association between food security and unmet medical needs, multiple logistic regression analysis was performed. In addition, a subgroup analysis was performed in consideration of individual and household characteristics. Results: When food security was unstable for households with children, or without children, there was a high correlation with unmet medical needs. Considering individual and household characteristics, in groups with lower age and household income level, or higher number of members in household and subjective health status, food security was strongly correlated with unmet medical needs in households with children. Contrarily, households without children showed a high correlation in the opposite characteristics of households with children, excluding household income level. Conclusion: Food security was highly correlation with unmet medical needs regardless of whether or not children were included in the household. However, according to the individual and household characteristics of households with and without children, the relationship between food security and unmet medical needs was found to be different. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare a health policy that can increase access to medical services in consideration of food security and individual and household characteristics depending on whether or not children are included in the household. Full article
25 pages, 566 KiB  
Systematic Review
Prevalence of Potentially Inappropriate Prescriptions According to the New STOPP/START Criteria in Nursing Homes: A Systematic Review
by Isabel Díaz Planelles, Elisabet Navarro-Tapia, Óscar García-Algar and Vicente Andreu-Fernández
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030422 - 01 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2878
Abstract
The demand for long-term care is expected to increase due to the rising life expectancy and the increased prevalence of long-term illnesses. Nursing home residents are at an increased risk of suffering adverse drug events due to inadequate prescriptions. The main objective of [...] Read more.
The demand for long-term care is expected to increase due to the rising life expectancy and the increased prevalence of long-term illnesses. Nursing home residents are at an increased risk of suffering adverse drug events due to inadequate prescriptions. The main objective of this systematic review is to collect and analyze the prevalence of potentially inadequate prescriptions based on the new version of STOPP/START criteria in this specific population. Databases (PubMed, Web of Science and Cochrane) were searched for inappropriate prescription use in nursing homes according to the second version of STOPP/START criteria. The risk of bias was assessed with the STROBE checklist. A total of 35 articles were assessed for eligibility. One hundred and forty nursing homes and more than 6900 residents were evaluated through the analysis of 13 studies of the last eight years. The reviewed literature returned prevalence ranges between 67.8% and 87.7% according to the STOPP criteria, according to START criteria prevalence ranged from 39.5% to 99.7%. The main factors associated with the presence of inappropriate prescriptions were age, comorbidities, and polypharmacy. These data highlight that, although the STOPP/START criteria were initially developed for community-dwelling older adults, its use in nursing homes may be a starting point to help detect more efficiently inappropriate prescriptions in institutionalized patients. We hope that this review will help to draw attention to the need for medication monitoring systems in this vulnerable population. Full article
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16 pages, 534 KiB  
Article
Type of Family Support for Infant and Toddler Care That Relieves Parenting Stress: Does the Number of Children Matter?
by Xiumin Hong, Wenting Zhu and Sijie Zhao
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030421 - 01 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1375
Abstract
The present study aimed to investigate the status and relationships between family support for infant and toddler care and parenting stress, and to explore differences related to the number of children in the families. We conducted a survey among 13,390 Chinese parents who [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to investigate the status and relationships between family support for infant and toddler care and parenting stress, and to explore differences related to the number of children in the families. We conducted a survey among 13,390 Chinese parents who were randomly sampled from six provinces of China. Descriptive analysis, multivariate analysis of variance, and regression analysis indicated that (1) current family support for infant and toddler care in China is insufficient; (2) most Chinese parents reported moderate parenting stress, with the highest scores given for parental distress, followed by difficult child, and parent–child dysfunctional interaction; (3) the larger the number of children in the family, the less the family support for infant and toddler care, the greater the parenting stress; (4) there was a difference between the effects of family support for infant and toddler care on relieving parenting stress among families with different numbers of children. These findings indicate that different types of family support for infant and toddler care should be provided for families with different numbers of children, to ease parenting stress and promote the implementation of the government’s current fertility policy. Full article
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14 pages, 615 KiB  
Article
The Fully Mediating Role of Psychological Resilience between Self-Efficacy and Mental Health: Evidence from the Study of College Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Lu-Lu Qin, Jin Peng, Man-Ling Shu, Xin-Yi Liao, Hong-Jie Gong, Bang-An Luo and Yi-Wei Chen
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030420 - 01 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2552
Abstract
Student populations are susceptible to the COVID-19 pandemic and may easy develop mental health problems related to their immaturity of psychological development and fluctuation of mood. However, little has been known about the effects of the pandemic on college students and the associated [...] Read more.
Student populations are susceptible to the COVID-19 pandemic and may easy develop mental health problems related to their immaturity of psychological development and fluctuation of mood. However, little has been known about the effects of the pandemic on college students and the associated influencing factors. This study aimed to explore the role of psychological resilience as a mediator between general self-efficacy and mental health. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 480 Chinese college students from 12 universities in Hunan province of China. The participants responded anonymously to the Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale (GSES), the Chinese version of the Resilience Scale for College Students (RSCS), and the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Hierarchical linear regression and structural equation modeling were used in this study. The average of GSES and RSCS scores of college students were 25.00 ± 4.68 and 137.97 ± 15.50, which were at a medium level. The average score for the GHQ-12 was 1.59 ± 1.59, and 22.03% of the college students scored ≥ 3 on the GHQ-12, indicating that they were at risk of developing mental disorders. According to the analyses of mediation effect, psychological resilience played a fully mediating role in the relationship between general self-efficacy and mental health. In conclusion, Chinese college students were at high risk of developing mental disorders during the COVID-19 period. General self-efficacy was positively associated with psychological resilience, and psychological resilience played a fully mediating role in the relationship between general self-efficacy and mental health. Future studies and interventions should aim to promote psychological resilience and general self-efficacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section School Health)
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11 pages, 602 KiB  
Article
Violence against Women during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Mexico
by Leonor Rivera Rivera, Marina Séris Martínez, Luz Myriam Reynales Shigematsu, José Alberto Gómez García, Fernando Austria Corrales, Filiberto Toledano-Toledano, Alberto Jiménez Tapia, Diana Iris Tejadilla Orozco and Claudia I. Astudillo García
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030419 - 01 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1855
Abstract
This study measured the prevalence of cases of domestic violence against women and some associated factors during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico. Data were collected through a remote survey during 2020. The sample included 47,819 women aged 15 years and older. Jointpoint regression [...] Read more.
This study measured the prevalence of cases of domestic violence against women and some associated factors during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico. Data were collected through a remote survey during 2020. The sample included 47,819 women aged 15 years and older. Jointpoint regression and logistic regression models were used. The prevalence of violence was 11.5%, which decreased in July and subsequently increased. The associated factors were being unemployed (OR = 2.01; 95%CI 1.89–2.16); being partially and totally quarantined (OR = 1.58; 95%CI 1.43–1.75 and OR = 1.47; 95%CI 1.32–1.63); being a caregiver of children; being a caregiver of elderly and/or suffering from a chronic illness (OR = 1.27; 95%CI 1.19–1.36; OR = 1.42; 95%CI 1.33–1.53; OR = 1.59; 95%CI 1.47–1.73); losing a family member to COVID-19 (OR = 1.26; 95%CI 1.13–1.41); and binge drinking (OR = 1.94; 95%CI 1.78–2.12). The confinement measures increased gender inequalities, economic problems and workload which further evidenced violence against women. Full article
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