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Healthcare, Volume 12, Issue 9 (May-1 2024) – 86 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic debilitating disease, leading to a wide range of physical and cognitive impairments. Usual treatment protocols primarily focus on medication to manage symptoms and slow disease progression. However, the complexity of MS symptoms, which can vary dramatically among individuals, demands more personalized and comprehensive management strategies. This paper introduces a pioneering rehabilitation program tailored for individuals with MS, aimed at enhancing their quality of life. This comprehensive program combines exercise training, nutritional guidance, psychological support, and an innovative component of cooling therapy to create a holistic care strategy that extends far beyond usual pharmaceutical treatments. This paper represents a significant advancement in the treatment and management of MS. View this paper
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8 pages, 243 KiB  
Brief Report
Implementation of the Recovery Model and Its Outcomes in Patients with Severe Mental Disorder
by Antonio José Sánchez-Guarnido, María Isabel Ruiz-Granados, José Antonio Garrido-Cervera, Javier Herruzo and Carlos Herruzo
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 952; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090952 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 589
Abstract
Background: The recovery model assumes that the patient can experience personal growth even while maintaining symptoms of a mental disorder. In order to achieve this recovery, the practices of professionals must also change. However, in our setting, there are limited data on the [...] Read more.
Background: The recovery model assumes that the patient can experience personal growth even while maintaining symptoms of a mental disorder. In order to achieve this recovery, the practices of professionals must also change. However, in our setting, there are limited data on the implementation of practices based on the recovery model and their effect on personal recovery. Objective: To describe the association between professionals’ practices and patients’ personal recovery. Methods: An observational and cross-sectional study in which the Recovery Self-Assessment (RSA) was used to assess the degree of implementation of the different practices and the Recovery Assessment Scale (RAS) was used to assess the personal recovery of 307 patients with severe mental disorders. Results: Patients attended by professionals who followed the recovery model obtained a greater personal recovery (p < 0.001, d = 1.10). The dimension associated with greater recovery was that of working toward life goals. The least implemented dimensions had to do with offering treatment options and patient participation in decision-making. This study was conducted in accordance with STROBE (STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology). Conclusions: Although this is a cross-sectional study that does not allow us to establish causal relationships, it shows that the model with which mental health professionals work is associated with patients’ chances of recovery. We therefore consider that it is important to foster the implementation of practices based on the recovery model within mental health care. Full article
11 pages, 836 KiB  
Article
Clustering of Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Heart Failure in Older Adults from the Brazilian Far North
by Guilherme José Silva Ribeiro, Emilio Hideyuki Moriguchi and André Araújo Pinto
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 951; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090951 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 642
Abstract
Given the aging global population, identifying heart failure (HF) phenotypes has become crucial, as distinct disease characteristics can influence treatment and prognosis in older adults. This study aimed to analyze the association between clustering of cardiovascular risk factors and HF in older adults. [...] Read more.
Given the aging global population, identifying heart failure (HF) phenotypes has become crucial, as distinct disease characteristics can influence treatment and prognosis in older adults. This study aimed to analyze the association between clustering of cardiovascular risk factors and HF in older adults. A cross-sectional epidemiological study was conducted with 1322 older adults (55% women, mean age 70.4) seen in primary health care. Diagnosis of HF was performed by a cardiologist based on diagnostic tests and medical history. Cardiovascular risk factors included hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and smoking. Using logistic regression, potential associations were tested. Individual risk factor analysis showed that older adults with hypertension, diabetes, or hypercholesterolemia had up to 7.6 times higher odds to have HF. The cluster where older adults had only one risk factor instead of none increased the odds of HF by 53.0%. Additionally, the odds of older patients having HF ranged from 3.59 times for the two-risk factor cluster to 20.61 times for the simultaneous presence of all four factors. The analysis of clusters substantially increasing HF risk in older adults revealed the importance of individualizing subgroups with distinct HF pathophysiologies. The clinical significance of these clusters can be beneficial in guiding a more personalized therapeutic approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preventive Potential of Modifiable Risk Factors)
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14 pages, 1611 KiB  
Article
Interprofessional Curriculum Delivery: Experience of a Primary Care Education Program
by Jessica A. Davila, Nancy D. Harada, Kathryn Wirtz Rugen, Stuart C. Gilman and Shubhada Sansgiry
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 950; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090950 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 531
Abstract
Few post-graduate training programs offer a comprehensive curriculum that includes structured clinical experiences to teach interprofessional care. To address this need, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Academic Affiliations funded the Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education (CoEPCE) from [...] Read more.
Few post-graduate training programs offer a comprehensive curriculum that includes structured clinical experiences to teach interprofessional care. To address this need, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Academic Affiliations funded the Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education (CoEPCE) from 2011–2019 to provide interprofessional curricula for health profession trainees (HPTs), including physician residents, nurse practitioner residents, pharmacy residents, and psychology residents. We examined changes over time in curricular domains, system impacts, and program practices based on HPT survey data and the qualitative evaluation of narrative feedback. An annual survey was administered to participants. Indirect standardized ratios were calculated for interprofessional professional education (IPE) program domains, system impacts, and program practices. Qualitative responses were coded based on curricular domains and key program components. The study cohort included 369 HPTs. Site and profession standardized indirect ratios across all professions indicated improvements in curricular domains, system impacts, and program practices, with significant differences observed for associated health HPTs as compared to other HPTs for performance improvement. Qualitative data indicated that profession was associated with differences in perceptions of the curriculum. Although improvements occurred over time, our findings support the need for the thoughtful consideration of profession-specific identity characteristics when designing interprofessional curricula. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Professional Education and Primary Health Care)
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12 pages, 1430 KiB  
Article
Trends in Shoulder Arthroplasty in Germany: A 10-Year Epidemiological Analysis of Patients with Primary Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder
by Felix Hochberger, Philipp Herrmann, Maximilian Rudert, Kilian List and Ioannis Stratos
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 949; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090949 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 701
Abstract
Shoulder arthroplasty has significantly gained popularity in orthopedic surgery, driven by progress in prosthesis design and surgical techniques. This study explored the epidemiology of shoulder arthroplasty, analyzing healthcare data from 2012 to 2022 for primary osteoarthritis of the shoulder. The data included patient [...] Read more.
Shoulder arthroplasty has significantly gained popularity in orthopedic surgery, driven by progress in prosthesis design and surgical techniques. This study explored the epidemiology of shoulder arthroplasty, analyzing healthcare data from 2012 to 2022 for primary osteoarthritis of the shoulder. The data included patient demographics and types of surgical procedures. Data analysis indicates a higher utilization rate of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA; n = 41,251) over total- (TSA; n = 18,679) and hemiarthroplasty (HSA; n = 12,827) for primary shoulder osteoarthritis. Overall, a significant increase in RTSA procedures from n = 2237 (2012) to n = 5415 (2022) was observed, representing more than a two-fold increase of 121.1%. The relative proportion of RTSA among all types of shoulder arthroplasty increased from 39% (2012) to 68.6% (2022), while HSA decreased and TSA essentially remained constant. Age analysis identified the following peaks: RTSA, 77 ± 7 y; HSA, 68 ± 12 y; and TSA, 67 ± 10 y. Among the over 60s, significantly more women were treated with any type of prosthesis, whereas in young patients (45 to 59 y), more men received HSA or TSA. Our study confirms that RTSA has become the preferred choice for elderly patients in Germany, reflecting the prevailing preference despite varying patient ages and conditions, with a noted difference in sex in treatment prevalence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Service Interventions in Musculoskeletal Disorders)
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11 pages, 442 KiB  
Article
Nine-Month Trend of IgG Antibody Persistence and Associated Symptoms Post-SARS-CoV-2 Infection
by Angel Lugo-Trampe, Daniel López-Cifuentes, Paúl Mendoza-Pérez, Yaliana Tafurt-Cardona, Alejandra de Jesús Joo-Domínguez, Clara Patricia Rios-Ibarra, Marisol Espinoza-Ruiz, Consuelo Chang-Rueda, Iram Pablo Rodriguez-Sanchez, Margarita L. Martinez-Fierro, Iván Delgado-Enciso and Karina del Carmen Trujillo-Murillo
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 948; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090948 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 846
Abstract
Between 2 and 8.5% of patients who recover from COVID-19 do not develop antibodies, and the durability of IgG antibodies is under scrutiny. Therefore, the presence and persistence of IgM and IgG antibodies were evaluated in a group of patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 [...] Read more.
Between 2 and 8.5% of patients who recover from COVID-19 do not develop antibodies, and the durability of IgG antibodies is under scrutiny. Therefore, the presence and persistence of IgM and IgG antibodies were evaluated in a group of patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 from May to August 2020. Out of 2199 suspected COVID-19 cases, 1264 were confirmed for SARS-CoV-2 by rRT-PCR; 328 consented to participate in the study, with 220 participants followed for 9 months, including 124 men (56%) and 96 women (44%). The primary symptoms were headache, dry cough, and fever. IgG antibodies developed in 95% of patients within 4 weeks post-diagnosis, and a second evaluation at 9 months showed that 72.7% still had detectable IgG antibodies. The presence of IgM in one individual (0.45%) suggested the possibility of reinfection. Full article
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12 pages, 422 KiB  
Article
An Online-Based Survey to Assess Knowledge, Attitudes, and Barriers to Perform First Aid after Road Accidents Conducted among Adult Jordanians
by Walid Al-Qerem, Anan Jarab, Abdel Qader Al Bawab, Alaa Hammad, Judith Eberhardt, Fawaz Alasmari, Haneen Kalloush, Lujain Al-Sa’di and Raghd Obidat
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 947; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090947 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 646
Abstract
(1) Background: First aid administered during road accidents can save millions of lives. However, the knowledge and attitudes of the Jordanian population towards first aid are lacking. This study aimed to examine the knowledge, attitudes, and barriers to performing first aid among the [...] Read more.
(1) Background: First aid administered during road accidents can save millions of lives. However, the knowledge and attitudes of the Jordanian population towards first aid are lacking. This study aimed to examine the knowledge, attitudes, and barriers to performing first aid among the Jordanian population during road accidents. (2) Methods: An online questionnaire was developed and distributed using various Jordanian social media platforms. The questionnaire collected the participants’ sociodemographic details and assessed their first aid knowledge, attitudes toward first aid, and barriers preventing the participants from performing first aid in emergencies. (3) Results: 732 participants participated in this study. The median knowledge score regarding first aid items was 9 (7–10) out of the maximum possible score of 15. The median first aid attitude score was 24 (22–27) out of a maximum possible score of 30. The most commonly reported barrier to performing first aid among the participants was “lack of first aid training” (76.78%), followed by “lack of knowledge about first aid” (75.81%) and “fear of performing first aid” (57.51%). The participants with lower income levels exhibited more negative attitudes towards first aid (4). Conclusions: This study underscores the urgent need for enhanced first aid training and awareness in Jordan. The participants’ first-aid knowledge overall was limited, although positive attitudes toward first-aid delivery were observed. The findings emphasize the need for regular and structured first-aid training courses, addressing barriers such as fear and misinformation and ensuring accessibility across all socioeconomic levels to improve preparedness for road traffic accidents and other emergencies. This comprehensive approach can better equip the Jordanian population to effectively manage emergencies and improve public health outcomes. Full article
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14 pages, 871 KiB  
Article
Identifying Features of a System of Practice to Inform a Contemporary Competency Framework for Paramedics in Canada
by Alan M. Batt, Meghan Lysko, Jennifer L. Bolster, Pierre Poirier, Derek Cassista, Michael Austin, Cheryl Cameron, Elizabeth A. Donnelly, Becky Donelon, Noël Dunn, William Johnston, Chelsea Lanos, Tyne M. Lunn, Paige Mason, Sean Teed, Charlene Vacon and Walter Tavares
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 946; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090946 - 5 May 2024
Viewed by 1257
Abstract
Introduction: Paramedic practice is highly variable, occurs in diverse contexts, and involves the assessment and management of a range of presentations of varying acuity across the lifespan. As a result, attempts to define paramedic practice have been challenging and incomplete. This has led [...] Read more.
Introduction: Paramedic practice is highly variable, occurs in diverse contexts, and involves the assessment and management of a range of presentations of varying acuity across the lifespan. As a result, attempts to define paramedic practice have been challenging and incomplete. This has led to inaccurate or under-representations of practice that can ultimately affect education, assessment, and the delivery of care. In this study, we outline our efforts to better identify, explore, and represent professional practice when developing a national competency framework for paramedics in Canada. Methods: We used a systems-thinking approach to identify the settings, contexts, features, and influences on paramedic practice in Canada. This approach makes use of the role and influence of system features at the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, supra-macrosystem, and chronosystem levels in ways that can provide new insights. We used methods such as rich pictures, diagramming, and systems mapping to explore relationships between these contexts and features. Findings: When we examine the system of practice in paramedicine, multiple layers become evident and within them we start to see details of features that ought to be considered in any future competency development work. Our exploration of the system highlights that paramedic practice considers the person receiving care, caregivers, and paramedics. It involves collaboration within co-located and dispersed teams that are composed of other health and social care professionals, public safety personnel, and others. Practice is enacted across varying geographical, cultural, social, and technical contexts and is subject to multiple levels of policy, regulatory, and legislative influence. Conclusion: Using a systems-thinking approach, we developed a detailed systems map of paramedic practice in Canada. This map can be used to inform the initial stages of a more representative, comprehensive, and contemporary national competency framework for paramedics in Canada. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Prehospital Care)
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13 pages, 2839 KiB  
Article
The Psychological Impact on Romanian Women Infected with SARS-CoV-2 during Pregnancy
by Ruxandra-Gabriela Cigăran, Gheorghe Peltecu, Laura-Mihaela Mustață and Radu Botezatu
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 945; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090945 - 4 May 2024
Viewed by 524
Abstract
Background: It is well-known that the uncertainty about the COVID-19 pandemic has an indirect negative impact on pregnant women’s mental health, given the fact that pregnant women are more vulnerable emotionally and psychologically than non-pregnant women. The aim of this study was to [...] Read more.
Background: It is well-known that the uncertainty about the COVID-19 pandemic has an indirect negative impact on pregnant women’s mental health, given the fact that pregnant women are more vulnerable emotionally and psychologically than non-pregnant women. The aim of this study was to evaluate the maternal psychological impact on Romanian women who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy and their concerns and to determine which are the best measures to prevent negative outcomes. Methods: A 40-item questionnaire was created for data collection and was shared on social platforms (Facebook and Instagram) and also with obstetric communities between February 2021 and January 2023. Our cross-sectional survey recruited 317 Romanian pregnant women who suffered from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Among general questions about their life and pregnancy during the pandemic, the survey included questions about their SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy, their concerns and how they perceived this period in order to evaluate their emotional status. Results: Of 317 women recruited, 91% of them had a mild to moderate form of COVID-19, and 2% had serious symptoms. Only 9% of women were hospitalized, 4% of women considered that the SARS-CoV-2 infection affected their physical condition to a great extent, and 8% considered to be affected in terms of mental state to a great extent. The main negative feelings of pregnant women during the COVID-19 disease were the fear regarding the possibility of affecting the pregnancy and the concern for their life (51.4%). These increase the risk of developing anxiety or depression. Pregnant women who contracted SARS-CoV-2 infection faced negative feelings, especially those with a severe form of the disease or who recovered with difficulty after the disease. Patients who required hospitalization reported an impairment of the mental state to a great extent and to a very great extent with a frequency of approximately two times and four times higher than non-hospitalized patients, respectively (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, respectively). Also, giving birth during SARS-CoV-2 and the difficulty of accessing medical services represented a high level of stress. Also, 47% of patients who reported difficulty accessing medical services during the illness evaluated their mental state significantly less favorably. Conclusion: Preventive measures are essential to minimizing the negative psychological impact of COVID-19 disease during pregnancy among pregnant women. The medical treatment of COVID-19 disease during pregnancy should be prioritized, but emotional and mental health support must also be provided. Full article
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11 pages, 248 KiB  
Article
Perceptions of Tobacco Price Policy among Students from Sapienza University of Rome: Can This Policy Mitigate Smoking Addiction and Its Health Impacts?
by Martina Antinozzi, Susanna Caminada, Mariano Amendola, Vittoria Cammalleri, Barbara Dorelli, Monica Giffi, Felice Giordano, Alessandra Marani, Roberta Noemi Pocino, Davide Renzi, Alessandro Sindoni and Maria Sofia Cattaruzza
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 944; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090944 - 4 May 2024
Viewed by 558
Abstract
Tobacco use is one of the main risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Avoiding youth initiation and treating addiction are fundamental public health issues to ensure better health. Among tobacco control policies, increasing tobacco price is the single most effective intervention. It reduces tobacco [...] Read more.
Tobacco use is one of the main risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Avoiding youth initiation and treating addiction are fundamental public health issues to ensure better health. Among tobacco control policies, increasing tobacco price is the single most effective intervention. It reduces tobacco consumption, especially among youths, while representing a government financing source. This study aimed to assess the agreement with the proposal of a one-euro increase in tobacco price earmarked to health issues among students at Sapienza University. Two convenience samples were surveyed, five years apart, on World No Tobacco Days. Smoking habits, agreement with the proposal and reasons for it were collected. Results from the 208 questionnaires (107 in 2014, 101 in 2019) showed 46.6% of agreement with the proposal (53.3% in 2014, 39.2% in 2019, p = 0.044). Main predictive factor for agreement was being a non-smoker (OR = 6.33 p < 0.001), main reason (64.8%) was it could trigger smokers to quit or reduce consumption. Several factors might have influenced this finding, including the introduction of novel tobacco products and their increased advertisement on social media. In 2024, European Union is planning to update the Tobacco Taxation Directive which could greatly contribute to the reduction of non-communicable diseases and premature deaths. Full article
12 pages, 1741 KiB  
Article
Exploring End-of-Life Care for Patients with Breast Cancer, Dementia or Heart Failure: A Register-Based Study of Individual and Institutional Factors
by Terje P. Hagen and Erika Zelko
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090943 - 4 May 2024
Viewed by 541
Abstract
Objective: To examine variations in end-of-life care for breast cancer, heart failure, and dementia patients. Data and methods: Data from four Norwegian health registries were linked using a personal identification number. Longitudinal trends over 365 days and the type of care on the [...] Read more.
Objective: To examine variations in end-of-life care for breast cancer, heart failure, and dementia patients. Data and methods: Data from four Norwegian health registries were linked using a personal identification number. Longitudinal trends over 365 days and the type of care on the final day of life were analyzed using descriptive techniques and logistic regression analysis. Results: Patients with dementia were more commonly placed in nursing homes than patients in the two other groups, while patients with heart failure and breast cancer were more frequently hospitalized than the dementia patients. Breast cancer and heart failure patients had a higher likelihood of dying at home than dementia patients. The higher the number of general practitioners, the higher was the probability of home-based end-of-life care for cancer patients, while an increasing non-physician healthcare workers increased the likelihood of home-based care for the other patient groups. Conclusions: Diagnoses, individual characteristics, and service availability are all associated with the place of death in end-of-life care. The higher the availability of health care services, the higher also is the probability of ending the life at home. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Palliative Care)
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13 pages, 608 KiB  
Article
Risk Factors for Eating Disorders in University Students: The RUNEAT Study
by Imanol Eguren-García, Sandra Sumalla-Cano, Sandra Conde-González, Anna Vila-Martí, Mercedes Briones-Urbano, Raquel Martínez-Díaz and Iñaki Elío
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 942; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090942 - 4 May 2024
Viewed by 681
Abstract
The purpose of the study is to assess the risk of developing general eating disorders (ED), anorexia nervosa (AN), and bulimia nervosa (BN), as well as to examine the effects of gender, academic year, place of residence, faculty, and diet quality on that [...] Read more.
The purpose of the study is to assess the risk of developing general eating disorders (ED), anorexia nervosa (AN), and bulimia nervosa (BN), as well as to examine the effects of gender, academic year, place of residence, faculty, and diet quality on that risk. Over two academic years, 129 first- and fourth-year Uneatlántico students were included in an observational descriptive study. The self-administered tests SCOFF, EAT-26, and BITE were used to determine the participants’ risk of developing ED. The degree of adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) was used to evaluate the quality of the diet. Data were collected at the beginning (T1) and at the end (T2) of the academic year. The main results were that at T1, 34.9% of participants were at risk of developing general ED, AN 3.9%, and BN 16.3%. At T2, these percentages were 37.2%, 14.7%, and 8.5%, respectively. At T2, the frequency of general ED in the female group was 2.5 times higher (OR: 2.55, 95% CI: 1.22–5.32, p = 0.012). The low-moderate adherence to the MD students’ group was 0.92 times less frequent than general ED at T2 (OR: 0.921, 95%CI: 0.385–2.20, p < 0.001). The most significant risk factor for developing ED is being a female in the first year of university. Moreover, it appears that the likelihood of developing ED generally increases during the academic year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food, Health and Society: Determinants of Eating Behavior)
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11 pages, 238 KiB  
Article
Examining Communicative, Critical Health Literacy and eHealth Literacy among International University Students Residing in Japan
by Ishtiaq Ahmad, Hira Taimur, Sameera Shabbir, Chaudhry Ahmed Shabbir, Ali Ahsan, Hafiz Sultan Ahmad and Gaku Masuda
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 941; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090941 - 4 May 2024
Viewed by 641
Abstract
(1) Background: International students with sufficient health literacy are better equipped to respond to public health emergencies and reduce any unintentional harm that may occur during such events. This study aims to assess the current status of health literacy among international students and [...] Read more.
(1) Background: International students with sufficient health literacy are better equipped to respond to public health emergencies and reduce any unintentional harm that may occur during such events. This study aims to assess the current status of health literacy among international students and investigate the factors that influence health literacy. (2) Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Tokyo on international university students using a questionnaire consisting of the Communicative and Critical Health Literacy and eHealth Literacy Scales. The study analyzed 205 valid responses. Descriptive statistics were utilized to assess the level of health literacy, and linear regression was used to identify the association of socio-demographic characteristics and disease status with health and e-health literacy. (3) Results: Health literacy and e-health literacy were low in 48.29% and 47.29% of international students, respectively. The mean scores of CCHL items ranged from 3.13 to 3.26, while the mean scores of eHEALS items ranged from 3.33 to 3.49. Both health literacy and e-health literacy were better with unmarried status (p = 0.015), and e-health literacy was worse with higher age (p = 0.007). (4) Conclusions: Overall, international students’ health literacy and e-health literacy were at intermediate levels, with considerable room for improvement, and affected by certain student attributes. Full article
12 pages, 284 KiB  
Article
Hospital Environmental Factors That Influence Peripheral Oxygen Saturation Measurements: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Candelaria de la Merced Díaz-González, Cristina Pérez-Bello, Milagros De la Rosa-Hormiga, Juan José González-Henríquez and María de las Mercedes Reyes-Noha
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090940 - 3 May 2024
Viewed by 727
Abstract
Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive, cost-effective, and generally reliable instrument measuring pulse rate and peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2). However, these measurements can be affected by the patient’s internal or external factors, including the type of pulse oximeter device (POD). (1) This [...] Read more.
Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive, cost-effective, and generally reliable instrument measuring pulse rate and peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2). However, these measurements can be affected by the patient’s internal or external factors, including the type of pulse oximeter device (POD). (1) This study’s objective was to identify potential environmental factors that may impact the measurements taken by three PODs. (2) Methods: A descriptive–analytical cross-sectional study was designed. The patients’ SpO2 levels were measured using a standard monitor and two PODs owned by the professionals. The measurements were taken on the patients’ fingers. Concurrently, we evaluated the surrounding environmental conditions, encompassing temperature, humidity, illuminance, and noise. (3) Results: This study involved 288 adult participants in the sample. For each 20-decibel increment in noise, there was a reduction in SpO2 by an average of 1%, whereas for every additional degree of ambient temperature, SpO2 decreased by an average of 2% (4) Conclusions: Significant correlations between SpO2 and age, as well as with noise and ambient temperature, were observed. No significant differences between oxygen saturation and lighting or humidity were observed. This study was prospectively registered with the Clinical Research Ethics Committee of Gran Canaria at the Dr. Negrín University Hospital, with protocol code 2019-247-1, and approved on 24 May 2019. Full article
17 pages, 3203 KiB  
Article
Prioritizing Disease Diagnosis in Neonatal Cohorts through Multivariate Survival Analysis: A Nonparametric Bayesian Approach
by Jangwon Seo, Junhee Seok and Yoojoong Kim
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 939; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090939 - 2 May 2024
Viewed by 632
Abstract
Understanding the intricate relationships between diseases is critical for both prevention and recovery. However, there is a lack of suitable methodologies for exploring the precedence relationships within multiple censored time-to-event data, resulting in decreased analytical accuracy. This study introduces the Censored Event Precedence [...] Read more.
Understanding the intricate relationships between diseases is critical for both prevention and recovery. However, there is a lack of suitable methodologies for exploring the precedence relationships within multiple censored time-to-event data, resulting in decreased analytical accuracy. This study introduces the Censored Event Precedence Analysis (CEPA), which is a nonparametric Bayesian approach suitable for understanding the precedence relationships in censored multivariate events. CEPA aims to analyze the precedence relationships between events to predict subsequent occurrences effectively. We applied CEPA to neonatal data from the National Health Insurance Service, identifying the precedence relationships among the seven most commonly diagnosed diseases categorized by the International Classification of Diseases. This analysis revealed a typical diagnostic sequence, starting with respiratory diseases, followed by skin, infectious, digestive, ear, eye, and injury-related diseases. Furthermore, simulation studies were conducted to demonstrate CEPA suitability for censored multivariate datasets compared to traditional models. The performance accuracy reached 76% for uniform distribution and 65% for exponential distribution, showing superior performance in all four tested environments. Therefore, the statistical approach based on CEPA enhances our understanding of disease interrelationships beyond competitive methodologies. By identifying disease precedence with CEPA, we can preempt subsequent disease occurrences and propose a healthcare system based on these relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Statistics and Data Analysis in Healthcare)
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17 pages, 2537 KiB  
Article
Impact of Incorporating Future Mandatory Price Reductions with Generic Drug Entry on the Cost-Effectiveness of New Drugs: A Policy Simulation Study of Dupilumab in Atopic Dermatitis Treatment
by Maryanne Kim, Guiguan Quan, Youran Noh and Song Hee Hong
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 938; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090938 - 2 May 2024
Viewed by 727
Abstract
The introduction of high-cost medications often poses challenges in achieving cost-effectiveness for drug insurance coverage. Incorporating future price reductions for these medications may enhance their cost-effectiveness. We examined the influence of future cost reductions mandated by the national insurer’s equal pricing for equivalent [...] Read more.
The introduction of high-cost medications often poses challenges in achieving cost-effectiveness for drug insurance coverage. Incorporating future price reductions for these medications may enhance their cost-effectiveness. We examined the influence of future cost reductions mandated by the national insurer’s equal pricing for equivalent drugs (EPED) policy on the cost-effectiveness of dupilumab, a biologic drug for moderate to severe atopic dermatitis in the Korean healthcare system. We conducted a policy simulation study using semi-Markovian cost utility analysis of dupilumab in combination with supportive care (SC) versus SC alone, with and without the EPED policy adjustment. The EPED would lower dupilumab’s price to 70% following the entry of a biosimilar drug in 10.3 years. Scenario analyses quantified the impact of changing time to the EPED, chemical versus biological designation, response criteria, discount rates, and time horizons on the Incremental Cost-Effectiveness Ratio (ICER) and acceptability with and without EPED adjustment. The EPED adjustment of dupilumab’s future price significantly improved its cost-effectiveness, with a 9.7% decrease in ICER and a substantial 14.6% increase in acceptability. Assuming EPED in 5 years, the ICER fell below the predefined willingness-to-pay threshold. If dupilumab were a chemical drug, EPED adjustment demonstrated a 19.1% increase in acceptability. Incorporating future cost reductions via the EPED system in economic evaluations is crucial, especially for drugs facing imminent generic entry. This study underscores the importance of EPED adjustment in the cost-effectiveness analysis of innovative medications, especially for those nearing willingness-to-pay thresholds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Policy)
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18 pages, 500 KiB  
Article
Appraising the Physical Activity Levels of Saudis with Physical Disabilities: Effects of Disability Type, Mobility Assistive Devices, and Demographic Factors
by Mohamed A. Said and Majed M. Alhumaid
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 937; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090937 - 2 May 2024
Viewed by 763
Abstract
Physical activity (PA) has numerous health benefits for individuals with physical disabilities (IWPD). However, it is common for activity levels to fall below the suggested limits. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence, pattern, and levels of PA among IWPD in Saudi Arabia. [...] Read more.
Physical activity (PA) has numerous health benefits for individuals with physical disabilities (IWPD). However, it is common for activity levels to fall below the suggested limits. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence, pattern, and levels of PA among IWPD in Saudi Arabia. It also investigated the effects of individuals’ type of disability, mobility assistive devices, and demographic features on PA levels. Data were collected from 238 participants, mostly male (62.2%), aged 39.76 ± 12.19 years. Among them, 19.3% had spinal conditions, 14.7% had progressive muscular dystrophy, 15.1% had multiple sclerosis, 17.6% had cerebral palsy, 16.4% had poliomyelitis, and 16.8% had limb or foot amputations. The participants were assessed using the Arabic version of the Physical Activity Scale for Individuals with Physical Disabilities (PASIPD-AR). The results showed that 62.6% (64.9% of males and 58.9% of females) met the minimum PA guidelines specified by the WHO. The average PASIPD-AR score was 10.33 ± 10.67 MET-hours/day, indicating lower PA levels, and 8.4% of individuals did not participate in any form of PA. Significant discrepancies were detected in disability type and mobility assistive device use after age adjustment. Marital status, education, and occupation greatly affected PA components. Greater attention should be paid to promoting an active lifestyle among IWPD in Saudi Arabia. Full article
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11 pages, 869 KiB  
Article
Prevalence and Risk Factors of Deep Venous Thrombosis in Intensive Inpatient Neurorehabilitation Unit
by Maria Elena Pugliese, Riccardo Battaglia, Maria Ursino, Lucia Francesca Lucca, Maria Quintieri, Martina Vatrano, Paolo Tonin and Antonio Cerasa
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 936; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090936 - 1 May 2024
Viewed by 554
Abstract
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) (deep vein thrombosis and its complication, pulmonary embolism) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients and about 7% of these cases are due to immobility secondary to a neurological impairment. Acquired brain injury (ABI) has also [...] Read more.
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) (deep vein thrombosis and its complication, pulmonary embolism) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients and about 7% of these cases are due to immobility secondary to a neurological impairment. Acquired brain injury (ABI) has also been recognized as one of the main risk factors for VTE. Numerous epidemiological studies have been conducted to assess the risk factors for VTE in institutionalized polytrauma patients, although there is a lack of information about neurorehabilitation wards. Since VTE is often undiagnosed, this prospective study aimed to determine the prevalence and clinical characteristics of lower-limb deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in ABI patients at neurorehabilitation admission. Methods: ABI patients were screened for DVT on admission to the intensive rehabilitation unit (IRU) with compression ultrasonography and basal D-dimer assay and were daily clinically monitored until discharge. A total of 127 consecutive ABI patients (mean age: 60.1 ± 17.6 years; 63% male; time from event: 30.9 ± 22.1 days; rehabilitation time in IRU: 84.6 ± 58.4 days) were enrolled. Results: On admission to the IRU, the DVT prevalence was about 8.6%. The mean D-dimer level in patients with DVT was significantly higher than in patients without DVT (6 ± 0.9 vs. 1.97 ± 1.61, p-value = 0.0001). ABI patients with DVT did not show any significant clinical characteristics with respect to ABI without DVT, although a prevalence of hemorrhagic strokes and patients originating from the Intensive Care Unit and Neurosurgery ward was revealed. During the rehabilitation period, patients with DVT showed a significant difference in pharmacological DVT prophylaxis (high prevalence of nadroparin with 27.3% vs. 1.7%, p-value = 0.04) and a prevalence of transfers in critical awards (36% versus 9.5% of patients without DVT, p-value = 0.05). The mortality rate was similar in the two groups. Conclusions: Our research offers a more comprehensive view of the clinical development of DVT patients and confirms the prevalence rate of DVT in ABI patients as determined upon IRU admission. According to our findings, screening these individuals regularly at the time of rehabilitation admission may help identify asymptomatic DVT quickly and initiate the proper treatment to avoid potentially fatal consequences. However, to avoid time-consuming general ultrasonography observation, a more precise selection of patients entering the rehabilitation ward is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Outcome Measures and Innovative Approaches in Rehabilitation)
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12 pages, 296 KiB  
Review
Age Unplugged: A Brief Narrative Review on the Intersection of Digital Tools, Sedentary and Physical Activity Behaviors in Community-Dwelling Older Adults
by André Ramalho, Rui Paulo, Pedro Duarte-Mendes, João Serrano and João Petrica
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 935; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090935 - 1 May 2024
Viewed by 588
Abstract
This brief narrative review assesses how digital technologies—such as wearables, mobile health apps, and various digital tools such as computers, game consoles, tablets, smartphones, and extended reality systems—can influence sedentary and physical activity behaviors among community-dwelling older adults. Each section highlights the central [...] Read more.
This brief narrative review assesses how digital technologies—such as wearables, mobile health apps, and various digital tools such as computers, game consoles, tablets, smartphones, and extended reality systems—can influence sedentary and physical activity behaviors among community-dwelling older adults. Each section highlights the central role of these technologies in promoting active aging through increased motivation, engagement and customized experiences. It underlines the critical importance of functionality, usability and adaptability of devices and confirms the effectiveness of digital interventions in increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behavior. The sustainable impact of these technologies needs to be further investigated, with a focus on adapting digital health strategies to the specific needs of older people. The research advocates an interdisciplinary approach and points out that such collaborations are essential for the development of accessible, effective and ethical solutions. This perspective emphasizes the potential of digital tools to improve the health and well-being of the aging population and recommends their strategic integration into health promotion and policy making. Full article
32 pages, 58069 KiB  
Review
Exploring Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents with Disabilities: A Bibliometric Review of Current Status, Guidelines, Perceived Barriers, and Facilitators and Future Directions
by Ye Ma, Mengjiao Liu, Yuwei Liu, Dongwei Liu and Meijin Hou
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 934; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090934 - 1 May 2024
Viewed by 582
Abstract
Background: Physical activity contributes to both physiological and psychosocial benefits for children and adolescents with disabilities. However, the prevalence of physical inactivity is notably higher among disabled young people compared to their healthy peers. Despite this, there is a lack of constructed knowledge [...] Read more.
Background: Physical activity contributes to both physiological and psychosocial benefits for children and adolescents with disabilities. However, the prevalence of physical inactivity is notably higher among disabled young people compared to their healthy peers. Despite this, there is a lack of constructed knowledge structure, evolutionary path, research hotspots, and frontiers in studies related to physical activity in young people with disabilities.Methods: The literature related to the research of physical activity in children and adolescents with disabilities was retrieved from the core collection of the Web of Science. The annual publication numbers and the timing, frequency, and centrality of the co-occurrence network with respect to journals, countries, institutions, authors, references, and keywords were analyzed. Additionally, clustering analysis and burst analysis were performed on the references and keywords. All analyses were conducted using CiteSpace. Results: A total of 1308 related articles were included. The knowledge structure of research on the physical activity of disabled children and adolescents, including annual publication numbers, influencing journals, countries, institutions, authors, references, and keywords along with their respective collaborative networks, has been constructed. Furthermore, the research foundation, current hot topics, and research frontiers have been identified by analyzing references and keywords. Conclusions: Current research hotspots include interventions, therapies, and programs aimed at enhancing specific skills, as well as addressing the satisfaction of competence to improve motivation and the effectiveness of physical activity. There is also a focus on the development of scales for quantitative studies. Future directions may be toward personalized interventions or programs to enhance physical activity levels among youth with disabilities. Full article
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12 pages, 655 KiB  
Article
Creating and Validating a Questionnaire for Assessing Dentists’ Self-Perception on Oral Healthcare Management—A Pilot Study
by Silviu Catalin Tibeica, Elena Raluca Baciu, Iulian Costin Lupu, Carina Balcos, Ionut Luchian, Dana Gabriela Budala, Andreea Tibeica, Zinovia Surlari and Elena Mihaela Carausu
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 933; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090933 - 1 May 2024
Viewed by 507
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Questionnaires designed to test knowledge and self-perception can be valuable tools for diagnosing a dentist’s understanding of the management and administration of a practice. The objective of this study was to create and authenticate a questionnaire for assessing dentists’ self-perception [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Questionnaires designed to test knowledge and self-perception can be valuable tools for diagnosing a dentist’s understanding of the management and administration of a practice. The objective of this study was to create and authenticate a questionnaire for assessing dentists’ self-perception on oral healthcare management developed from discussions with experts in this field. Material and Methods: In order to create and verify a questionnaire survey, a cross-sectional, descriptive, and analytical study was carried out. Participants’ personal information and 31 statements across four categories made up the final questionnaire form. The answers to the questionnaire were in the form of a Likert scale. After refining the initial version, a total of 36 interviews were conducted at dental offices to verify the validity. For the Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA), we used the Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin (KMO) index, the Bartlett sphericity test, and also Cronbach alpha coefficient for the validity of the questionnaire. Results: The accuracy of the instrument was measured by intrarater and interrater reliability. For the EFA, all the communalities exceeded the threshold of 0.05. With a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.898, the questionnaire has sufficient internal consistency. Conclusions: The questionnaire demonstrates robust reliability and validity, thereby affirming its suitability for its intended purpose. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Analysis of Healthcare Systems)
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12 pages, 1233 KiB  
Article
Functional and Combined Training Promote Body Recomposition and Lower Limb Strength in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Clinical Trial and a Time Course Analysis
by Marcos Raphael Pereira-Monteiro, José Carlos Aragão-Santos, Alan Bruno Silva Vasconcelos, Antônio Gomes de Resende-Neto, André Filipe Santos de Almeida, Luis Alberto Gobbo, Francisco Hermosilla-Perona, Juan Ramón Heredia-Elvar, Fabricio Boscolo Del Vecchio, Felipe J. Aidar and Marzo Edir Da Silva-Grigoletto
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 932; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090932 - 1 May 2024
Viewed by 579
Abstract
Encouraging healthy aging in postmenopausal women involves advocating for lifestyle modifications, including regular physical exercise like combined training (CT) and functional training (FT). Regarding this population, age-related alterations in body composition, such as decreased muscle mass and heightened adipose tissue, impact health. The [...] Read more.
Encouraging healthy aging in postmenopausal women involves advocating for lifestyle modifications, including regular physical exercise like combined training (CT) and functional training (FT). Regarding this population, age-related alterations in body composition, such as decreased muscle mass and heightened adipose tissue, impact health. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of FT and CT on body recomposition in postmenopausal women. About the methods, we randomly allocated 96 post-menopausal women to the FT, CT, or control group (CG). We measured body composition by bioimpedance and lower limb muscle strength by sit-to-stand test in five repetitions, respectively. The training protocol lasted 16 weeks, and we measured body composition and lower limb muscle strength every 4 weeks, totaling five assessments. Regarding results, we notice that both training groups increased lean mass from the 8th week of training. In addition, a reduction was observed in total fat percentage and an increase in appendicular lean mass from the 12th week of intervention. No differences were found for body mass. Furthermore, only the experimental groups increase muscle strength, starting from the 4th week of training. The conclusion was that FT and CT promote similar adaptations in body recomposition without affecting body mass in postmenopausal women. Full article
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12 pages, 2374 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Desk-Assisted Standing Techniques for Simulated Pregnant Conditions: An Experimental Study Using a Maternity-Simulation Jacket
by Kohei Uno, Kako Tsukioka, Hibiki Sakata, Tomoe Inoue-Hirakawa and Yusuke Matsui
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 931; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090931 - 1 May 2024
Viewed by 598
Abstract
Lower back pain, a common issue among pregnant women, often complicates daily activities like standing up from a chair. Therefore, research into the standing motion of pregnant women is important, and many research studies have already been conducted. However, many of these studies [...] Read more.
Lower back pain, a common issue among pregnant women, often complicates daily activities like standing up from a chair. Therefore, research into the standing motion of pregnant women is important, and many research studies have already been conducted. However, many of these studies were conducted in highly controlled environments, overlooking everyday scenarios such as using a desk for support when standing up, and their effects have not been adequately tested. To address this gap, we measured multimodal signals for a sit-to-stand (STS) movement with hand assistance and verified the changes using a t-test. To avoid imposing strain on pregnant women, we used 10 non-diseased young adults who wore jackets designed to simulate pregnancy conditions, thus allowing for more comprehensive and rigorous experimentation. We attached surface electromyography (sEMG) sensors to the erector spinae muscles of participants and measured changes in muscle activity, skeletal positioning, and center of pressure both before and after wearing a Maternity-Simulation Jacket. Our analysis showed that the jacket successfully mimicked key aspects of the movement patterns typical in pregnant women. These results highlight the possibility of developing practical strategies that more accurately mirror the real-life scenarios met by pregnant women, enriching the current research on their STS movement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Women's Health Care)
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10 pages, 537 KiB  
Article
Pilot Testing of Useful Tools’ Validity for Frailty Assessment in Greece: Translated PRISMA-7 Tool, Modified Fried Criteria and Clinical Frailty Scale
by George Soulis, Efstathia Kyriakopoulou, Aristea Leventouri, Eleni Zigkiri, Vasiliki Efthymiou, Zikos Kentros and Anastasia Koutsouri
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 930; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090930 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 489
Abstract
The importance of frailty in older people is getting constant recognition as an important aspect both in terms of public health, as well as at a personal level, for the appropriate management of an older person’s health condition. This is reflected by the [...] Read more.
The importance of frailty in older people is getting constant recognition as an important aspect both in terms of public health, as well as at a personal level, for the appropriate management of an older person’s health condition. This is reflected by the continuously increasing number of research studies carried out in several settings across different countries. Sometimes, this is very solid, but in other cases, there is a considerable gap in terms of accurate and well-grounded documentation of frailty status. This is the case in Greece, where we are missing clinically validated tools to approach frailty. We are missing frailty screening tools, such as, for instance, Program of Research on Integration of Services for the Maintenance of Autonomy 7 (PRISMA 7), the gold standard tool of Fried criteria, is somehow problematic since the question referring to physical activity originates from a questionnaire that has not been translated and validated, while Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) has been validated for translation but not for the capacity to detect frailty. The aim of this study is to validate these tools for their accuracy to detect frailty by using a measurable index of frailty, previously proposed for use in clinical studies: the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB). Seventy-four male and female participants (mean age 80.47 years SD = ±7.45 years, minimum–maximum age = 65–95) have been evaluated for their frailty status using different tools. We observed that the PRISMA 7 translation detects frailty only when one question is removed at a cut-off of ≥2 and indicates a sensitivity of 88.1% and specificity of 99.9% with a good correlation with SPPB measurements (r = −0.858; p < 0.001). When CFS was validated using SPPB, it demonstrated a very good correlation (r = −0.838; p < 0.001 respectively) as was the case for the modified Fried Criteria (r = −0.725; p < 0.001). All items demonstrated a good correlation between them. We here propose that we can accurately assess frailty status in the community setting by using a modified version of Fried criteria, Clinical Frailty Scale translation in Greek, and we can screen for frailty by using the Greek translation of PRISMA 7 only after removing item 6 of the questionnaire. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Community Care of Older People with Chronic Diseases)
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18 pages, 479 KiB  
Systematic Review
Digital Apps to Improve Mobility in Adults with Neurological Conditions: A Health App-Focused Systematic Review
by Reem Rendell, Marina Pinheiro, Belinda Wang, Fiona McKay, Ashleigh Ewen, Catherine Carnegie, Erin Tikomaidelana, Zino Fattah and Leanne Hassett
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 929; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090929 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 860
Abstract
The provision of mobility exercises through a smartphone application (app) for people undertaking neurological rehabilitation may improve mobility outcomes. However, it is difficult for clinicians and consumers to select high-quality, appropriate apps. This review aimed to identify (1) which mobile health (mHealth) apps [...] Read more.
The provision of mobility exercises through a smartphone application (app) for people undertaking neurological rehabilitation may improve mobility outcomes. However, it is difficult for clinicians and consumers to select high-quality, appropriate apps. This review aimed to identify (1) which mobile health (mHealth) apps are suitable for prescribing mobility exercises for adults with neurological health conditions, (2) how well these apps incorporate telehealth strategies, and (3) how well these apps rate in terms of quality and capacity for behaviour change. The Australian Apple iTunes Store was systematically searched, by using a search code and manually, for apps suitable for training mobility in neurological rehabilitation. Additional searches were conducted in known app repositories and for web-based apps. Trained reviewers extracted data from the included apps, including population-specific characteristics; quality, by using the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS); and behaviour change potential, by using the App Behaviour Change Scale (ABACUS). The included apps (n = 18) provided <50 to >10,000 exercises, many incurred a subscription fee (n = 13), and half included telehealth features. App quality was moderate (mean MARS score of 3.2/5 and SD of 0.5), and potential for behaviour change was poor (mean ABACUS score of 5.7/21 and SD of 2.1). A limited number of high-quality apps are available for the prescription of mobility exercises in people with neurological conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Telerehabilitation for Optimising Recovery)
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21 pages, 977 KiB  
Article
Utilization of Health Care Services and Accessibility Challenges among Adults Aged 50+ before and after Austerity Measures across 27 European Countries: Secular Trends in the SHARE Study from 2004/05 to 2019/20
by Lena Borboudaki, Manolis Linardakis, Ioanna Tsiligianni and Anastas Philalithis
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 928; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090928 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 623
Abstract
This study aimed to assess and compare the utilization of preventive and other health services and the cost or availability in different regions of Europe, before and during the economic crisis. The data used in the study were obtained from Wave 8 of [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess and compare the utilization of preventive and other health services and the cost or availability in different regions of Europe, before and during the economic crisis. The data used in the study were obtained from Wave 8 of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (2019/2020) and Wave 1 data (2004/5), with a sample size of 46,106 individuals aged ≥50 across 27 countries, adjusted to represent a population of N = 180,886,962. Composite scores were derived for preventive health services utilization (PHSU), health care services utilization (HCSU), and lack of accessibility/availability in health care services (LAAHCS). Southern countries had lower utilization of preventive services and higher utilization of other health services compared to northern countries, with a significant lack of convergence. Moreover, the utilization of preventive health services decreased, whereas the utilization of secondary care services increased during the austerity period. Southern European countries had a significantly higher prevalence of lack of accessibility. An increase in the frequency of lack of accessibility/availability in health care services was observed from 2004/5 to 2019/20. In conclusion, our findings suggest that health inequalities increase during crisis periods. Therefore, policy interventions could prioritize accessibility and expand health coverage and prevention services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Service Improvement, Nursing Management and Simulation)
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10 pages, 239 KiB  
Communication
The Maternal Psychic Impact of Infection by SARS-CoV-2 during Pregnancy: Results from a Preliminary Prospective Study
by Lamyae Benzakour, Angèle Gayet-Ageron and Manuella Epiney
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 927; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090927 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 469
Abstract
Due to a higher risk of maternal complications during pregnancy, as well as pregnancy complications such as stillbirth, SARS-CoV-2 contamination during pregnancy is a putative stress factor that could increase the risk of perinatal maternal mental health issues. We included women older than [...] Read more.
Due to a higher risk of maternal complications during pregnancy, as well as pregnancy complications such as stillbirth, SARS-CoV-2 contamination during pregnancy is a putative stress factor that could increase the risk of perinatal maternal mental health issues. We included women older than 18 years, who delivered a living baby at the Geneva University Hospitals’ maternity wards after 29 weeks of amenorrhea (w.a.) and excluded women who did not read or speak fluent French. We compared women who declared having had COVID-19, confirmed by a positive PCR test for SARS-CoV-2, during pregnancy with women who did not, both at delivery and at one month postpartum. We collected clinical data by auto-questionnaires between time of childbirth and the third day postpartum regarding the occurrence of perinatal depression, peritraumatic dissociation, and peritraumatic distress during childbirth, measured, respectively, by the EPDS (depression is score > 11), PDI (peritraumatic distress is score > 15), and PDEQ (scales). At one month postpartum, we compared the proportion of women with a diagnosis of postpartum depression (PPD) and birth-related posttraumatic stress disorder (CB-PTSD), using PCL-5 for CB-PTSD and using diagnosis criteria according DSM-5 for both PPD and CB-PTSD, in the context of a semi-structured interview, conducted by a clinician psychologist. Off the 257 women included, who delivered at the University Hospitals of Geneva between 25 January 2021 and 10 March 2022, 41 (16.1%) declared they had a positive PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 during their pregnancy. Regarding mental outcomes, except birth-related PTSD, all scores provided higher mean values in the group of women who declared having been infected by SARS-CoV-2, at delivery and at one month postpartum, without reaching any statistical significance: respectively, 7.8 (±5.2, 8:4–10.5) versus 6.5 (±4.7, 6:3–9), p = 0.139 ***, for continuous EPDS scores; 10 (25.0) versus 45 (21.1), p = 0.586 *, for dichotomous EPDS scores (≥11); 118 (55.7) versus 26 (63.4), p = 0.359 *, for continuous PDI scores; 18.3 (±6.8, 16:14–21) versus 21.1 (±10.7, 17:15–22), 0.231 ***, for dichotomous PDI scores (≥15); 14.7 (±5.9, 13:10–16) versus 15.7 (±7.1, 14:10–18), p = 0.636 ***, for continuous PDEQ scores; 64 (30.0) versus 17 (41.5), p = 0.151 *, for dichotomous PDEQ scores (≥15); and 2 (8.0) versus 5 (3.6), p = 0.289 *, for postpartum depression diagnosis, according DSM-5. We performed Chi-squared or Fisher’s exact tests, depending on applicability for the comparison of categorical variables and Mann–Whitney nonparametric tests for continuous variables; p < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant. Surprisingly, we did not find more birth-related PTSD as noted by the PCL-5 score at one month postpartum in women who declared a positive PCR test for SARS-CoV-2:15 (10.6) versus no case of birth related PTSD in women who were infected during pregnancy (p = 0.131 *). Our study showed that mental outcomes were differently distributed between women who declared having been infected by SARS-CoV-2 compared to women who were not infected. However, our study was underpowered to explore all the factors associated with psychiatric issues during pregnancy, postpartum, depending on the exposure to SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy. Future longitudinal studies on bigger samples and more diverse populations over a longer period are needed to explore the long-term psychic impact on women who had COVID-19 during pregnancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Perinatal and Neonatal Medicine)
18 pages, 393 KiB  
Article
Chiropractors in Multidisciplinary Teams: Enablers of Colocation Integration in GP-Led Primary Healthcare
by Shauna Dawn Fjaagesund, Wayne Graham, Evan Jones, Andrew Ladhams, Mark Sayers, Gary Campbell, Xiang-Yu Hou, Marius-Ionut Ungureanu and Florin Oprescu
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 926; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090926 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 742
Abstract
The aim of this study was to explore and document the enablers and barriers of chiropractic care colocation in general practice at a large-scale private primary care centre in Australia. This study focused on the perceptions of healthcare professionals regarding this integration. The [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to explore and document the enablers and barriers of chiropractic care colocation in general practice at a large-scale private primary care centre in Australia. This study focused on the perceptions of healthcare professionals regarding this integration. The research setting was a large integrated primary care centre located in an outer metro, low-socioeconomic area in the City of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Participant inclusion criteria included general medical practitioners, practice nurses, and medical managers who self-reported interactions with the physically collocated and integrated chiropractic practice. Data was collected from 22 participants using face-to-face, qualitative, semi-structured interviews with an average duration of 32 min. The data collected included perceptions of chiropractic treatment, enablers to patient referral pathways, and views of the integrated chiropractic care model. A reflexive thematic analysis was conducted on the data set. All participants reported that this was their first exposure to the colocation of a chiropractor within a general medical practice. Four key enablers of chiropractic care integration were identified: (1) the practitioner [chiropractor], (2) the organisation [general practice], (3) consumer flow, and (4) the environment [shared spaces and tenant ecosystem]. The chiropractic integration enhanced knowledge sharing and interprofessional trust among healthcare providers. The formal reporting of patient outcomes and understanding of the chiropractor’s scope of practice further enabled referrals to the service. Shared administrative and business processes, including patient records, booking systems, and clinical meetings, facilitated relationship development between the chiropractor and referring health providers. Colocation as part of a larger primary care centre created proximity and convenience for health providers in terms of interprofessional communication, and for patients, in terms of access to chiropractic services. Existing governance structures supported communication, professional education, and shared values related to the delivery of patient-centred care. Identified barriers included limited public funding for chiropractic services resulting in reduced access for patients of low-socioeconomic status. Additionally, scepticism or negativity towards the discipline of chiropractic care was identified as an initial barrier to refer patients. In most cases, this view towards the chiropractor was overcome by regular patient reporting of positive treatment outcomes to their GP, the delivery of education sessions by the chiropractor for the health providers, and the development of interprofessional trust between the chiropractor and referring health providers. This study provides preliminary evidence and a conceptual framework of factors influencing the successful integration of chiropractic care within an Australian large primary care centre. The data collected indicated that integration of chiropractic care into a primary care centre serving a low-socioeconomic region can be achieved with a high degree of health provider satisfaction. Full article
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13 pages, 415 KiB  
Article
Unveiling Anxiety Factors in Orthorexia Nervosa: A Qualitative Exploration of Fears and Coping Strategies
by Panagiota Tragantzopoulou and Vaitsa Giannouli
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 925; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090925 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 513
Abstract
Orthorexia nervosa represents a controversial phenomenon in the realm of eating practices, characterized by an obsessive fixation on consuming only foods deemed ’healthy’, and a preoccupation with food purity. While the existing literature has identified the presence of stressful behaviors among individuals with [...] Read more.
Orthorexia nervosa represents a controversial phenomenon in the realm of eating practices, characterized by an obsessive fixation on consuming only foods deemed ’healthy’, and a preoccupation with food purity. While the existing literature has identified the presence of stressful behaviors among individuals with orthorexia, the precise factors and circumstances eliciting these stress-inducing emotions remain the subject of ongoing inquiry. This study aims to explore the triggers and situations that precipitate stressful beliefs and emotions among individuals who self-identify as preoccupied with healthy eating, as well as the coping mechanisms developed to manage these feelings. Through conducting one-to-one interviews with thirteen individuals, thematic analysis was employed to elucidate the nuances of their experiences. Participants articulated concerns regarding the contamination of foods available in supermarkets and restaurants, thereby prompting the meticulous selection of food sources and aversion to dining out. The prospect of trying new foods and engaging in social gatherings involving food emerged as anxiety-inducing scenarios, prompting individuals to adhere to monotonous dietary patterns and impose self-isolation. Additionally, medical appointments were perceived as stressful, driven by health concerns underpinning the adoption of stringent dietary practices. These findings underscore the spectrum of fears and coping mechanisms exhibited by individuals with orthorexia nervosa, which hold profound implications for their overall well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nursing)
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19 pages, 2086 KiB  
Article
Sexual Orientation, Health, and Well-Being in Spanish People
by Roberto Matías and M. Pilar Matud
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 924; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090924 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 528
Abstract
Although several studies have found disparities in health outcomes between heterosexual and lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB)-identifying individuals, few studies have focused on subjective well-being and protective factors for health and well-being. The purpose of this work is twofold: (1) to examine the [...] Read more.
Although several studies have found disparities in health outcomes between heterosexual and lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB)-identifying individuals, few studies have focused on subjective well-being and protective factors for health and well-being. The purpose of this work is twofold: (1) to examine the relevance of sexual orientation to health and well-being in women and men; (2) to identify protective and risk factors for psychological distress, self-rated health, and well-being for gay men, lesbian women, bisexual women and men, and heterosexual women and men. The sample consisted of 908 women and 586 men from the general Spanish population aged 16–64, half of whom identified themselves as LGB and half as heterosexual. All were assessed using eight questionnaires and inventories. The results showed that differences varied depending on the health indicator considered. In general, bisexuals had the poorest health, with lower self-rated health and lower self-esteem. In all groups, self-esteem was a protective factor against psychological distress and was associated with better health and well-being. To a lesser extent, social support served as a protective factor against psychological distress and was associated with greater well-being in all groups. It is concluded that although sexual orientation is relevant to the health and well-being of individuals, there are differences among sexual minorities, with bisexuals having lower self-esteem than homosexuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology in Sex and Gender)
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26 pages, 1180 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Experiences and Perspectives of Division III Athletes Regarding Personalized Nutrition Plans for Improved Performance—A Qualitative Investigation
by James Stavitz and Thomas Koc
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 923; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090923 - 30 Apr 2024
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Abstract
(1) Background: This qualitative study explores Division III college student-athletes’ experiences and perceptions of personalized nutrition plans in collegiate sports settings. (2) Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted using a general qualitative research design. Using a grounded theory approach, a thematic analysis was utilized [...] Read more.
(1) Background: This qualitative study explores Division III college student-athletes’ experiences and perceptions of personalized nutrition plans in collegiate sports settings. (2) Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted using a general qualitative research design. Using a grounded theory approach, a thematic analysis was utilized to analyze the interview transcripts, allowing for the identification of recurring themes and patterns. (3) Results: A total of 30 Division III college student-athletes, 16 males (53.3%) and 14 females (46.7%), representing a diverse range of sports disciplines, engaged in discussions about personalized nutrition plans. Analysis of the data revealed five main themes: (1) Nutritional Knowledge and Awareness, (2) Perceived Benefits of Personalized Nutrition Plans, (3) Challenges and Barriers to Implementation, (4) Influence of Team Culture and Environment, and (5) Suggestions for Improvement. (4) Conclusion: This study sheds light on the complexities of implementing personalized nutrition plans in collegiate sports settings and emphasizes the need for comprehensive, athlete-centered approaches to optimize performance and well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Supplementation for Human Performance)
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