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Healthcare, Volume 6, Issue 2 (June 2018)

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Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Healthfulness of Entrées and Students’ Purchases in a University Campus Dining Environment
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this study is to determine the availability of “more healthful” (MH) versus “less healthful” (LH) entrée items in the campus dining and if students’ purchases are reflective of what is offered. This is an observational study in which purchases of
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The purpose of this study is to determine the availability of “more healthful” (MH) versus “less healthful” (LH) entrée items in the campus dining and if students’ purchases are reflective of what is offered. This is an observational study in which purchases of the available entrée items in the campus dining at South Dakota State University in one academic year were collected and categorized as either MH or LH according to the American Heart Association guidelines. Chi-square tests were used to determine the differences between the proportion of purchased MH and LH versus those available. Odds ratio estimates with 95% confidence limits were used to determine the associations between the demographics and MH and LH purchases. Of the total entrée items available, 15.0% were MH and 85.0% were LH. In the fall, 8.0% of purchases were MH and 92.0% purchases were LH as compared to 8.9% MH and 91.1% LH in the spring. Whites were less likely than non-whites to purchase a MH entrée. Females were two times more likely to choose MH entrées than males. The campus dining offerings and students’ purchases of entrees were primarily LH. Work with campus dining providers to create profitable, yet healthful, dining entrees is needed to improve the healthfulness of offerings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Management of Obesity)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Racial, Ethnic, and Nativity Differences in Mental Health Visits to Primary Care and Specialty Mental Health Providers: Analysis of the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey, 2010–2015
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 10 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
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Abstract
Background. Black and Latino minorities have traditionally had poorer access to primary care than non-Latino Whites, but these patterns could change with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). To guide post-ACA efforts to address mental health service disparities, we used a nationally representative sample
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Background. Black and Latino minorities have traditionally had poorer access to primary care than non-Latino Whites, but these patterns could change with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). To guide post-ACA efforts to address mental health service disparities, we used a nationally representative sample to characterize baseline race-, ethnicity-, and nativity-associated differences in mental health services in the context of primary care. Methods. Data were obtained from the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey (MEPS), a two-year panel study of healthcare use, satisfaction with care, and costs of services in the United States (US). We pooled data from six waves (14–19) of participants with serious psychological distress to examine racial, ethnic, and nativity disparities in medical and mental health visits to primary care (PC) and specialty mental health (SMH) providers around the time of ACA reforms, 2010–2015. Results. Of the 2747 respondents with serious psychological distress, 1316 were non-Latino White, 632 non-Latino Black, 532 identified as Latino with Mexican, Central American, or South American (MCS) origins, and 267 as Latino with Caribbean island origins; 525 were foreign/island born. All racial/ethnic groups were less likely than non-Latino Whites to have any PC visit. Of those who used PC, non-Latino Blacks were less likely than Whites to have a PC mental health visit, while foreign born MCS Latinos were less likely to visit an SMH provider. Conditional on any mental health visit, Latinos from the Caribbean were more likely than non-Latino Whites to visit SMH providers versus PC providers only, while non-Latino Blacks and US born MCS Latinos received fewer PC mental health visits than non-Latino Whites. Conclusion. Racial-, ethnic-, and nativity-associated disparities persist in PC provided mental health services. Full article
Open AccessArticle Associations between Parents’ Health Literacy and Sleeping Hours in Children: A Cross-Sectional Study
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 28 March 2018 / Accepted: 30 March 2018 / Published: 2 April 2018
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Abstract
Background: Sleep in preschool children is an important factor for their health and active lives. The lack of adequate sleep in preschool children is a serious public problem in Japan. The relationship between health literacy (HL) and health status is well recognized. The
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Background: Sleep in preschool children is an important factor for their health and active lives. The lack of adequate sleep in preschool children is a serious public problem in Japan. The relationship between health literacy (HL) and health status is well recognized. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between the sleep duration of preschool children and the HL of their parents. Methods: In the present study, participants were preschool children (3–6 years) and their parents. We assessed the HL of the parents with the 14-item Health Literacy Scale (HLS-14) questionnaire. Sleep duration of the children was reported by their parents. We divided parents into two groups according to HLS-14 score and analyzed children’s sleeping time separately. Results: Data from 279 parents and their children were ultimately analyzed. The high HL group comprised 210 families (75.3%) and the low HL group comprised 69 families (24.7%). Average children’s sleep duration was significantly longer in the high HL group (9.5 ± 0.9 h) than in the low HL group (9.1 ± 1.1 h) (p = 0.013). A positive correlation was found in the low HL group between parents’ HL and their children’s sleeping times (p < 0.01, r = 0.32) but the difference was not significant in the high HL group (p = 0.98, r = −0.0009). Conclusion: The HL of parents appears to affect their children’s sleep duration, suggesting that parental HL may be an appropriate target for interventions aiming to lengthen children’s sleeping time. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Persistent Borrelia Infection in Patients with Ongoing Symptoms of Lyme Disease
Received: 7 March 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 14 April 2018
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Abstract
Introduction: Lyme disease is a tickborne illness that generates controversy among medical providers and researchers. One of the key topics of debate is the existence of persistent infection with the Lyme spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in patients who have been treated with recommended
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Introduction: Lyme disease is a tickborne illness that generates controversy among medical providers and researchers. One of the key topics of debate is the existence of persistent infection with the Lyme spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, in patients who have been treated with recommended doses of antibiotics yet remain symptomatic. Persistent spirochetal infection despite antibiotic therapy has recently been demonstrated in non-human primates. We present evidence of persistent Borrelia infection despite antibiotic therapy in patients with ongoing Lyme disease symptoms. Methods: In this pilot study, culture of body fluids and tissues was performed in a randomly selected group of 12 patients with persistent Lyme disease symptoms who had been treated or who were being treated with antibiotics. Cultures were also performed on a group of ten control subjects without Lyme disease. The cultures were subjected to corroborative microscopic, histopathological and molecular testing for Borrelia organisms in four independent laboratories in a blinded manner. Results: Motile spirochetes identified histopathologically as Borrelia were detected in culture specimens, and these spirochetes were genetically identified as Borrelia burgdorferi by three distinct polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based approaches. Spirochetes identified as Borrelia burgdorferi were cultured from the blood of seven subjects, from the genital secretions of ten subjects, and from a skin lesion of one subject. Cultures from control subjects without Lyme disease were negative for Borrelia using these methods. Conclusions: Using multiple corroborative detection methods, we showed that patients with persistent Lyme disease symptoms may have ongoing spirochetal infection despite antibiotic treatment, similar to findings in non-human primates. The optimal treatment for persistent Borrelia infection remains to be determined. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Physical Activity on Prescription with Counsellor Support: A 4-Year Registry-Based Study in Routine Health Care in Sweden
Received: 12 March 2018 / Revised: 6 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 16 April 2018
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Abstract
Background: Public health gains from physical activity on prescription (PAP) depend on uptake in routine care. We performed an evaluation of the implementation, in a Swedish county council, of counsellors who give personalized support to PAP recipients aimed at facilitating PAP delivery.
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Background: Public health gains from physical activity on prescription (PAP) depend on uptake in routine care. We performed an evaluation of the implementation, in a Swedish county council, of counsellors who give personalized support to PAP recipients aimed at facilitating PAP delivery. The aim was to compare characteristics between PAP recipients and the health care population as well as between PAP recipients who used and did not use counsellor support. We also investigated professional belonging and health care setting of health care professionals who prescribed PAP. Methods: All patients’ ≥18 years who received PAP during 2009–2012 in primary and secondary care in the County Council of Kronoberg were included (n = 4879). Data were retrieved from electronic medical records. Main outcome measures were patient and professional characteristics. Results: A third of the PAP recipients had diseases in ≥5 diagnostic groups and more than half had ≥11 office visits the year before receiving PAP. Counsellor support was used by one-third and PAP recipients who used counsellor support had more multiple diagnoses and office visits compared with non-users. Physicians issued 44% of prescriptions and primary care was the predominant setting. The amount of PAP did not change over time, but the proportion of physicians’ prescriptions decreased while the proportion of nurses’ prescriptions increased. Conclusions: PAP recipients had high morbidity and were frequent health care attenders, indicating that PAP was predominantly used for secondary or tertiary prevention. PAP rates did not increase as intended after the implementation of counsellor support. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Depressive Symptoms Increase the Risk of Mortality for White but Not Black Older Adults
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
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Abstract
Introduction. Long-term studies have shown that depressive symptoms predict the risk of mortality. However, it is unknown if this effect is present in shorter time intervals. In addition, recent research suggests that the salience of the negative affect on the risk of mortality
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Introduction. Long-term studies have shown that depressive symptoms predict the risk of mortality. However, it is unknown if this effect is present in shorter time intervals. In addition, recent research suggests that the salience of the negative affect on the risk of mortality is not similar across racial groups. The current study uses data from a national study of Black and White older adults to examine racial differences in the effect of baseline depressive symptoms on mortality risk over three years in the United States. Methods. This study used a longitudinal prospective design and followed 1493 older adults who were either White (n = 759) or Black (n = 734) for three years from 2001 to 2004. Depressive symptoms measured at baseline was the independent variable. Demographic factors, socio-economic characteristics (education, income, marital status), health behaviors (smoking and drinking), and health (self-rated health) measured at baseline in 2001 were covariates. The dependent variable was all-cause mortality between 2001 and 2004. Race was the moderator. Logistic regressions were used for data analysis. Results. In the pooled sample, high depressive symptoms at baseline were not associated with the three-year risk of mortality. In the pooled sample, we found a significant interaction between race and depressive symptoms on mortality, suggesting a stronger effect for Whites in comparison to Blacks. In race stratified models, depressive symptoms at baseline were predictive of mortality risk for Whites, but not Blacks. Conclusions. In the United States, Black-White differences exist in the effects of depressive symptoms on mortality risk in older adults. White older adults may be more vulnerable to the effects of depressive symptoms on mortality risk. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle High Income Protects Whites but Not African Americans against Risk of Depression
Received: 18 March 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
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Abstract
Background: Built on the Blacks’ diminished return theory, defined as smaller effects of socioeconomic status (SES) on a wide range of health outcomes for African Americans compared to Whites, the current study compared African Americans and Whites for the association between household income
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Background: Built on the Blacks’ diminished return theory, defined as smaller effects of socioeconomic status (SES) on a wide range of health outcomes for African Americans compared to Whites, the current study compared African Americans and Whites for the association between household income and risk of lifetime, 12-month, and 30-day major depressive disorder (MDD). Methods: For the current cross-sectional study, we used data from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (CPES), 2001–2003. With a nationally representative sampling, CPES included 4746 non-Hispanic African Americans and 7587 non-Hispanic Whites. The dependent variables were lifetime, 12-month, and 30-day MDD, measured using Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). The independent variable was household income. Age, gender, education, chronic medical conditions, and obesity were covariates. Race was the focal moderator. Logistic regression models were used to test the protective effects of household income against MDD in the overall sample and also by race. Results: In the overall sample, household income was inversely associated with the risk of 12-month and 30-day MDD. We found a significant interaction between race and household income on 12-month and 30-day MDD, suggesting a smaller protective effect of household income against MDD for African Americans compared to Whites. Conclusion: In line with the Blacks’ diminished return theory, household income better protects Whites than African Americans against MDD. The contribution of diminished return of SES as an underlying mechanism behind racial disparities in health in the United States is often overlooked. Additional research is needed on why and how SES resources generate smaller health gain among minority groups. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Ethnic Variations in Psychosocial and Health Correlates of Eating Disorders
Received: 25 February 2018 / Revised: 23 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this study is to explore ethnic variations in psychosocial and health correlates of eating disorders in the United States, Specifically, we compared associations between gender, socioeconomic status (SES), body mass index (BMI), physical and mental self-rated health (SRH), and major
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The aim of this study is to explore ethnic variations in psychosocial and health correlates of eating disorders in the United States, Specifically, we compared associations between gender, socioeconomic status (SES), body mass index (BMI), physical and mental self-rated health (SRH), and major depressive disorder (MDD) with eating disorders (EDs) across 10 different ethnic groups in the United States. Data was obtained from the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (CPES), a national household probability sample collected in 2001–2003. Data for this study included a sample of 17,729 individuals with the following ethnic profile: 520 Vietnamese, 508 Filipino, 600 Chinese, 656 Other Asian, 577 Cuban, 495 Puerto Rican, 1442 Mexican, 1106 Other Hispanic, 4746 African American, and 7587 Non-Latino Whites. Gender, SES (education and income), BMI, SRH, MDD, and presence of EDs were measured across different ethnic groups. Logistic regression analysis was conducted for each ethnic group with lifetime EDs as the main outcome. Ethnic group varied in psychosocial and health correlates of EDs. In most ethnic groups, gender and SES were not associated with EDs. In almost all ethnic groups, EDs were associated with MDD and BMI. EDs were found to be associated with SRH in half of the ethnic groups studied. The associations between gender, SES, BMI, SRH, MDD, and EDs vary across different ethnic groups. These differences must be considered in further studies and in clinical practice in order to improve our approach towards diagnosis and treatment of EDs. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Targeted and Tailored eHealth Weight Loss Program for Young Women: The Be Positive Be Healthe Randomized Controlled Trial
Received: 4 April 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 2 May 2018
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Abstract
Young women are gaining weight rapidly. Evidence for effective weight loss interventions targeting young women is lacking. This randomized controlled trial assessed the efficacy and acceptability of a six-month targeted and tailored eHealth weight loss program for young women (Be Positive Be Health
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Young women are gaining weight rapidly. Evidence for effective weight loss interventions targeting young women is lacking. This randomized controlled trial assessed the efficacy and acceptability of a six-month targeted and tailored eHealth weight loss program for young women (Be Positive Be Healthe (BPBH)). Women aged 18–35 years were randomized to BPBH (n = 29) or control (n = 28). BPBH supported participants to modify diet and physical activity behaviours using evidenced-based strategies (e.g., self-monitoring) tailored for young women and delivered using e-health (website, social media, smartphone application, email, text messages). The primary outcome was a change in weight (kg) at six months. Acceptability was assessed via a process evaluation survey and usage of intervention components. No significant between-group differences were observed for weight, with significant mean differences favouring the intervention group observed for body fat (kg) (−3.10 (−5.69, 0.52), p = 0.019) and intakes of alcohol (g) (−0.69 (−1.33, 0.04), p = 0.037), vegetables (% energy/day) (4.71 (−2.20, 7.22), p < 0.001) and energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods (% energy/day) (−9.23 (−16.94, 1.52), p = 0.018). Retention, intervention usage and satisfaction were moderate. BPBH facilitated positive improvements in body fat and dietary intake, but not weight. Intervention acceptability findings support the use of some intervention components (e.g., Facebook, Smartphone app) with young women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Management of Obesity)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Effectiveness of the Aging Mastery Program
Received: 18 March 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 7 May 2018
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Abstract
Background: Successful aging is best determined by active management and self-determination of one’s aging roadmap. Some individuals are ready to respond to these challenges, others may benefit from assistance that might be offered through an evidence-based intervention. The Aging Mastery Program®
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Background: Successful aging is best determined by active management and self-determination of one’s aging roadmap. Some individuals are ready to respond to these challenges, others may benefit from assistance that might be offered through an evidence-based intervention. The Aging Mastery Program® (AMP) has been developed to meet these needs. Method: In a cross over design the intervention was tested in ten senior centers and aging network agencies looking at impacts upon general health and quality of life, patient activation, physical activity and advanced care planning. Results: There was a statistically significant (tested at a 0.05 level) level of improvement found in physical activity and advanced care planning. Conclusion: Findings support the program’s effectiveness and its value as an evidence-based intervention for older adult programming. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Delivery of Health Promotion and Environmental Health Services; Public Health or Primary Care Settings?
Received: 11 April 2018 / Revised: 4 May 2018 / Accepted: 4 May 2018 / Published: 7 May 2018
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Abstract
The WHO Regional Office for Europe developed a set of public health functions resulting in the ten Essential Public Health Operations (EPHO). Public health or primary care settings seem to be favorable to embrace all actions included into EPHOs. The presented paper aims
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The WHO Regional Office for Europe developed a set of public health functions resulting in the ten Essential Public Health Operations (EPHO). Public health or primary care settings seem to be favorable to embrace all actions included into EPHOs. The presented paper aims to guide readers on how to assign individual health promotion and environmental health services to public health or primary care settings. Survey tools were developed based on EPHO 2, 3 and 4; there were six key informant surveys out of 18 contacted completed via e-mails by informants working in Denmark on health promotion and five face-to-face interviews were conducted in Australia (Melbourne and Victoria state) with experts from environmental health, public health and a physician. Based on interviews, we developed a set of indicators to support the assignment process. Population or individual focus, a system approach or one-to-one approach, dealing with hazards or dealing with effects, being proactive or reactive were identified as main element of the decision tool. Assignment of public health services to one of two settings proved to be possible in some cases, whereas in many there is no clear distinction between the two settings. National context might be the one which guides delivery of public health services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
Open AccessArticle The Association between Quality Improvement Initiatives in Dementia Care and Supportive Psychosocial Work Environments in Nursing Homes
Received: 10 April 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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Abstract
Background: Quality improvement initiatives can help nursing homes strengthen psychosocial work environments. The aim of the present study was to examine the association between supportive psychosocial work environment, and professional and organizational characteristics regarding quality improvement initiatives in dementia care. Methods:
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Background: Quality improvement initiatives can help nursing homes strengthen psychosocial work environments. The aim of the present study was to examine the association between supportive psychosocial work environment, and professional and organizational characteristics regarding quality improvement initiatives in dementia care. Methods: A paper questionnaire survey was administered to a convenience sample of 365 professional caregivers in 12 special nursing homes in Japan. Psychosocial work environment was assessed using the Social Capital and Ethical Climate at the Workplace Scale to calculate a score of social capital in the workplace, ethical leadership, and exclusive workplace climate. Variables for quality improvement initiatives included type of home (unit-type or traditional), presence of additional benefit for dementia care, and professionalism in dementia care among caregivers evaluated using the Japanese version of the Sense of Competence in Dementia Care Staff Scale. Results: Elevated professionalism and unit-type home were significantly associated with high social capital, strong ethical leadership, and low exclusive workplace climate. The presence of dementia care benefit was not associated with any subscale of psychosocial work environment. Conclusions: Quality improvement initiatives to foster supportive psychosocial work environment should enhance professionalism in dementia care with unit-based team building of professional caregivers in special nursing homes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Care of People Living with Dementia)
Open AccessArticle Striking a Balance: A Qualitative Study of Next of Kin Participation in the Care of Older Persons in Nursing Homes in Sweden
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
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Abstract
Most of the care in nursing homes is palliative in nature, as it is the oldest and the frailest people who live in nursing homes. The aim of this study was to explore next of kin’s experiences of participating in the care of
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Most of the care in nursing homes is palliative in nature, as it is the oldest and the frailest people who live in nursing homes. The aim of this study was to explore next of kin’s experiences of participating in the care of older persons at nursing homes. A qualitative design was used, based on semi-structured interviews with 40 next of kin, and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. An overarching theme emerged, a balancing act consisting of three categories: (1) visiting the nursing home; (2) building and maintaining relationships; and (3) gathering and conveying information. The next of kin have to balance their own responsibility for the older person’s wellbeing by taking part in their care and their need to leave the responsibility to the staff due to critical health conditions. The next of kin wanted to participate in care meetings and conversations, not only in practical issues. The findings indicate the need to improve the next of kin’s participation in the care as an equal partner. Increased knowledge about palliative care and decision-making of limiting life-prolonging treatment may lead to a higher quality of care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Palliative Care)
Open AccessArticle Modeling the Population Health Impact of Introducing a Modified Risk Tobacco Product into the U.S. Market
Received: 4 April 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 26 April 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
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Abstract
Philip Morris International (PMI) has developed the Population Health Impact Model (PHIM) to quantify, in the absence of epidemiological data, the effects of marketing a candidate modified risk tobacco product (cMRTP) on the public health of a whole population. Various simulations were performed
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Philip Morris International (PMI) has developed the Population Health Impact Model (PHIM) to quantify, in the absence of epidemiological data, the effects of marketing a candidate modified risk tobacco product (cMRTP) on the public health of a whole population. Various simulations were performed to understand the harm reduction impact on the U.S. population over a 20-year period under various scenarios. The overall reduction in smoking attributable deaths (SAD) over the 20-year period was estimated as 934,947 if smoking completely went away and between 516,944 and 780,433 if cMRTP use completely replaces smoking. The reduction in SADs was estimated as 172,458 for the World Health Organization (WHO) 2025 Target and between 70,274 and 90,155 for the gradual cMRTP uptake. Combining the scenarios (WHO 2025 Target and cMRTP uptake), the reductions were between 256,453 and 268,796, depending on the cMRTP relative exposure. These results show how a cMRTP can reduce overall population harm additionally to existing tobacco control efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Population Health Management)
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Open AccessArticle Transitioning from Acute to Chronic Pain: An Examination of Different Trajectories of Low-Back Pain
Received: 18 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
Traditionally, there has been a widely accepted notion that the transition from acute to chronic pain follows a linear trajectory, where an injury leads to acute episodes, subacute stages, and progresses to a chronic pain condition. However, it appears that pain progression is
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Traditionally, there has been a widely accepted notion that the transition from acute to chronic pain follows a linear trajectory, where an injury leads to acute episodes, subacute stages, and progresses to a chronic pain condition. However, it appears that pain progression is much more complicated and individualized than this original unsupported assumption. It is now becoming apparent that, while this linear progression may occur, it is not the only path that pain, specifically low-back pain, follows. It is clear there is a definite need to evaluate how low-back pain trajectories are classified and, subsequently, how we can more effectively intervene during these progression stages. In order to better understand and manage pain conditions, we must examine the different pain trajectories, and develop a standard by which to use these classifications, so that clinicians can better identify and predict patient-needs and customize treatments for maximum efficacy. The present article examines the most recent trajectory research, and highlights the importance of developing a broader model for patient evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Pain and the Aging Population)
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Open AccessArticle Human Babesiosis Caused by Babesia duncani Has Widespread Distribution across Canada
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
Human babesiosis caused by Babesia duncani is an emerging infectious disease in Canada. This malaria-like illness is brought about by a protozoan parasite infecting red blood cells. Currently, controversy surrounds which tick species are vectors of B. duncani. Since the availability of a
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Human babesiosis caused by Babesia duncani is an emerging infectious disease in Canada. This malaria-like illness is brought about by a protozoan parasite infecting red blood cells. Currently, controversy surrounds which tick species are vectors of B. duncani. Since the availability of a serological or molecular test in Canada for B. duncani has been limited, we conducted a seven-year surveillance study (2011–2017) to ascertain the occurrence and geographic distribution of B. duncani infection country-wide. Surveillance case data for human B. duncani infections were collected by contacting physicians and naturopathic physicians in the United States and Canada who specialize in tick-borne diseases. During the seven-year period, 1119 cases were identified. The presence of B. duncani infections was widespread across Canada, with the highest occurrence in the Pacific coast region. Patients with human babesiosis may be asymptomatic, but as this parasitemia progresses, symptoms range from mild to fatal. Donors of blood, plasma, living tissues, and organs may unknowingly be infected with this piroplasm and are contributing to the spread of this zoonosis. Our data show that greater awareness of human babesiosis is needed in Canada, and the imminent threat to the security of the Canadian blood supply warrants further investigation. Based on our epidemiological findings, human babesiosis should be a nationally notifiable disease in Canada. Whenever a patient has a tick bite, health practitioners must watch for B. duncani infections, and include human babesiosis in their differential diagnosis. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Importance of Patient–Provider Communication to Adherence in Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
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Abstract
Effective communication between pediatric diabetes patients and their providers has the potential to enhance patient satisfaction and health outcomes, as well as improve diabetes-related self-management. In this review, we highlight the importance of communication between patients and providers, focusing on the effect of
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Effective communication between pediatric diabetes patients and their providers has the potential to enhance patient satisfaction and health outcomes, as well as improve diabetes-related self-management. In this review, we highlight the importance of communication between patients and providers, focusing on the effect of communication on adherence in the high-risk population of adolescents with type 1 diabetes. We synthesize the literature describing patient–provider communication in pediatric populations and provide implications for practice that focus on the most relevant, modifiable factors for improving self-management in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Home Hospitalization for Acute Decompensated Heart Failure: Opportunities and Strategies for Improved Health Outcomes
Received: 27 January 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
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Abstract
Importance: Heart failure (HF) is the leading cause of hospitalization among patients over the age of 65 in the United States and developed countries, posing a significant economic burden to the health care systems. More than half of the patients with HF will
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Importance: Heart failure (HF) is the leading cause of hospitalization among patients over the age of 65 in the United States and developed countries, posing a significant economic burden to the health care systems. More than half of the patients with HF will be readmitted to the hospital within 6 months from discharge, leading not only to increased health care related expenses but also functional decline, iatrogenic injuries and in-hospital infections. With the increasing prevalence of HF, there is a substantial need for innovative delivery care models that can provide hospital level of care at a patient’s home. Observations: Home hospitalization was originally used to safely manage chronically ill patients with general medical (stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, deep vein thrombosis, community acquired pneumonia) and surgical conditions and was associated with improved patient satisfaction and improvement in activity of daily living status. This had no clear effect on readmission or cost. When hospital at home care model was applied to HF patients it demonstrated increased time to readmission, reduced index costs and improved health related quality of life, with no significant differences in adverse events. Eligible patients should be selected based on multiple factors taking into consideration applicable limitations and comorbidities. Conclusions and Relevance: Providing in-hospital level care to the patient’s house presents a reliable alternative, yielding multiple benefits both for the patient, as well as the health care system. Formulating a well-defined model is necessary before wide implementation. Full article
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Open AccessReview The Role of Adult Day Services in Supporting the Occupational Participation of People with Dementia and Their Carers: An Integrative Review
Received: 4 April 2018 / Revised: 3 May 2018 / Accepted: 4 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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Abstract
The increasing numbers of people with dementia places considerable stress on health and aged care services and has resulted in the development of community adult day services. Aim: The aim of this integrative review is to determine the extent to which these
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The increasing numbers of people with dementia places considerable stress on health and aged care services and has resulted in the development of community adult day services. Aim: The aim of this integrative review is to determine the extent to which these services support the occupational participation of people with dementia, and how they impact their primary carers. Method: The mixed-methods appraisal tool (MMAT) was used to identify relevant studies in the period 2011–2016. Results: Nine databases were searched and yielded 16 articles with a variety of research designs for inclusion in the review. Conclusions: Findings indicate that adult day services use a range of approaches to support attendees and their carers. In spite of these efforts, there appears to be a lack of interest in utilizing these services while a person is in the early stages of dementia. This suggests that policies in aged care, such as aging-in-place, need to consider the pressure and stress they exert on carer’s quality of life. Another consideration is to better promote the benefits of participating in adult day services in the early stages of dementia for both the attendees and their carers, thereby delaying the tendency towards early institutionalization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing with Chronic Disease and Disability)
Open AccessReview Oral Health Care in Hong Kong
Received: 23 April 2018 / Revised: 9 May 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
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Abstract
Hong Kong, as a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China, is a metropolitan city in Asia with a population of approximately 7.4 million. This paper reflects the oral health care situation in Hong Kong. Water fluoridation was introduced in 1961
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Hong Kong, as a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China, is a metropolitan city in Asia with a population of approximately 7.4 million. This paper reflects the oral health care situation in Hong Kong. Water fluoridation was introduced in 1961 as the primary strategy for the prevention of dental caries. The fluoride level is currently 0.5 parts per million. Dental care is mainly provided by private dentists. The government’s dentists primarily serve civil servants and their dependents, with limited emergency dental service for pain relief offered to the general public. Nevertheless, the government runs the school dental care service, which provides dental treatments to primary school children through dental therapists. They also set up an oral health education unit to promote oral health in the community. Hong Kong had 2280 registered dentists in 2017, and the dentist-to-population ratio was about 1:3200. The Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Hong Kong is the only institution to provide basic and advanced dentistry training programs in Hong Kong. Dental hygienists, dental surgery assistants, dental therapists, and dental technicians receive training as paradental staff through the university or the government. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dental Care)

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Open AccessConcept Paper A Rationale for Music Training to Enhance Executive Functions in Parkinson’s Disease: An Overview of the Problem
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 22 April 2018
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Abstract
Music listening interventions such as Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation can improve mobility, balance, and gait in Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Yet, the impact of music training on executive functions is not yet known. Deficits in executive functions (e.g., attention, processing speed) in patients with PD
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Music listening interventions such as Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation can improve mobility, balance, and gait in Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Yet, the impact of music training on executive functions is not yet known. Deficits in executive functions (e.g., attention, processing speed) in patients with PD result in gait interference, deficits in emotional processing, loss of functional capacity (e.g., intellectual activity, social participation), and reduced quality of life. The model of temporal prediction and timing suggests two networks collectively contribute to movement generation and execution: the basal ganglia-thalamocortical network (BGTC) and the cerebellar-thalamocortical network (CTC). Due to decreases in dopamine responsible for the disruption of the BGTC network in adults with PD, it is hypothesized that rhythmic auditory cues assist patients through recruiting an alternate network, the CTC, which extends to the supplementary motor areas (SMA) and the frontal cortices. In piano training, fine motor finger movements activate the cerebellum and SMA, thereby exercising the CTC network. We hypothesize that exercising the CTC network through music training will contribute to enhanced executive functions. Previous research suggested that music training enhances cognitive performance (i.e., working memory and processing speed) in healthy adults and adults with cognitive impairments. This review and rationale provides support for the use of music training to enhance cognitive outcomes in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
Open AccessCommentary Skin Protective Nutraceuticals: The Current Evidence in Brief
Received: 17 March 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 1 May 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
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Abstract
Nutraceuticals are important for healthy skin maintenance. Probiotics, phenolics, and vitamins are just a few of the nutraceuticals meant to potentially prevent and assist medical management of dermatologic conditions. Among these, probiotics, vitamin E, and green tea catechins may offer the broadest array
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Nutraceuticals are important for healthy skin maintenance. Probiotics, phenolics, and vitamins are just a few of the nutraceuticals meant to potentially prevent and assist medical management of dermatologic conditions. Among these, probiotics, vitamin E, and green tea catechins may offer the broadest array of skin protective mechanisms with probiotics having the greatest clinical range. Probiotics’ amelioration of atopic dermatitis and opportunistic infections of skin burns has been targeted in recent research efforts. This includes the improvement of Scoring Atopic Dermatitis index scores, p = 0.02, with intact Lactobacillus rhamnosus Goldin and Gorbach (LGG) in comparison to heat inactivated LGG or placebo. Lactobacillus reuteri used prior to or concurrently with Staphylococcus aureus infection can increase epidermal keratinocyte survival, p < 0.01. Phenolics may not have been extensively studied for atopic dermatitis or skin burns. However, phenolics do have a role in photoprotection. The phenolic rutin increases ultraviolet B radiation filter reactive oxygen species scavenging at 75%, p < 0.002, and peak wavelength absorption, p < 0.001. While oral and topical probiotics have untapped potential for atopic dermatitis amelioration and skin infection prevention, phenolics will be increasingly used for photoprotection. With optimized bioavailability, dosage, and formulation, nutraceuticals will become crucial for healthy skin maintenance. Full article
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