Open AccessArticle
Lateral Violence in Nursing Survey: Instrument Development and Validation
Healthcare 2017, 5(3), 33; doi:10.3390/healthcare5030033 -
Abstract
An examination of the psychometric properties of the Lateral Violence in Nursing Survey (LVNS), an instrument previously developed to measure the perceived incidence and severity of lateral violence (LV) in the nursing workplace, was carried out. Conceptual clustering and principal components analysis were
[...] Read more.
An examination of the psychometric properties of the Lateral Violence in Nursing Survey (LVNS), an instrument previously developed to measure the perceived incidence and severity of lateral violence (LV) in the nursing workplace, was carried out. Conceptual clustering and principal components analysis were used with survey responses from 663 registered nurses and ancillary nursing staff in a southeastern tertiary care medical center. Where appropriate, Cronbach’s alpha (α) evaluated internal consistency. The prevalence/severity of lateral violence items constitute two distinct subscales (LV by self and others) with Cronbach’s alpha of 0.74 and 0.86, respectively. The items asking about potential causes of LV are unidimensional and internally consistent (alpha = 0.77) but there is no conceptually coherent theme underlying the various causes. Respondents rating a potential LV cause as “major” scored higher on both prevalence/severity subscales than those rating it a “minor” cause or not a cause. Subsets of items on the LVNS are internally reliable, supporting construct validity. Revisions of the original LVNS instrument will improve its use in future work. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Integrating Mental and Physical Health Care for Low-Income Americans: Assessing a Federal Program’s Initial Impact on Access and Cost
Healthcare 2017, 5(3), 32; doi:10.3390/healthcare5030032 -
Abstract
Individuals with mental health disorders often die decades earlier than the average person, and low-income individuals disproportionately experience limited access to necessary services. In 2014, the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) leveraged Affordable Care Act funds to address these challenges through
[...] Read more.
Individuals with mental health disorders often die decades earlier than the average person, and low-income individuals disproportionately experience limited access to necessary services. In 2014, the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) leveraged Affordable Care Act funds to address these challenges through behavioral health integration. The objective of this study is to assess the US$55 million program’s first-year impact on access and cost. This analysis uses multivariable difference-in-difference regression models to estimate changes in outcomes between the original 219 Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Behavioral Health Integration grantees and two comparison groups. The primary outcome variables are annual depression screening rate, percentage of mental health and substance use patients served, and per capita cost. The results change when comparing the Behavioral Health Integration (BHI) grantees to a propensity score-matched comparison group versus comparing the grantees to the full population of health centers. After one year of implementation, the grant program appeared ineffective as measured by this study’s outcomes, though costs did not significantly rise because of the program. This study has limitations that must be discussed, including non-randomized study design, FQHC data measurement, and BHI program design consequences. Time will tell if FQHC-based behavioral–physical health care integration will improve access among low-income, medically-underserved populations. Full article
Open AccessPerspective
End Stage Renal Disease—A Nephrologist’s Perspective of Two Different Circumstances as Typified by Kidney Transplantation Experience in a Nigerian Hospital Versus a Large US Medical School
Healthcare 2017, 5(3), 31; doi:10.3390/healthcare5030031 -
Abstract
Renal transplantation is the sine qua non consummate form of renal replacement therapy (RRT) for end stage renal disease (ESRD). Despite the increasing ESRD burden worldwide, developing countries continue to experience a gross lack of RRT options for its teeming citizens with ESRD.
[...] Read more.
Renal transplantation is the sine qua non consummate form of renal replacement therapy (RRT) for end stage renal disease (ESRD). Despite the increasing ESRD burden worldwide, developing countries continue to experience a gross lack of RRT options for its teeming citizens with ESRD. This report is a demonstration of a nephrologist’s experience and dilemma trying to make sense of the yawning disparity between RRT options, especially renal transplantation, as it applies to the citizens of the USA versus the citizens of Nigeria. The limited three-year experience of renal transplantation at Garki Hospital, located in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, which is one of the very few centers carrying out renal transplantation in Nigeria, was starkly contrasted with this author’s first-hand experience at the University of Maryland Medical School, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, as a Nephrology Fellow between 2000 and 2002. The potential role of public-private partnership (PPP) ventures in developing countries is considered as a way to help bridge this gap. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication
Progestin Intrauterine Devices and Metformin: Endometrial Hyperplasia and Early Stage Endometrial Cancer Medical Management
Healthcare 2017, 5(3), 30; doi:10.3390/healthcare5030030 -
Abstract
Globally, endometrial cancer is the sixth leading cause of female cancer-related deaths. Non-atypical endometrial hyperplasia (EH), has a lifetime progression rate to endometrial cancer ranging from less than 5%, if simple without atypia, to 40%, if complex with atypia. Site specific, long-acting intrauterine
[...] Read more.
Globally, endometrial cancer is the sixth leading cause of female cancer-related deaths. Non-atypical endometrial hyperplasia (EH), has a lifetime progression rate to endometrial cancer ranging from less than 5%, if simple without atypia, to 40%, if complex with atypia. Site specific, long-acting intrauterine devices (IUDs) provide fertility sparing, progestin-based EH medical management. It is unclear which IUD is most beneficial, or if progesterone sensitizing metformin offers improved outcomes. For resolution, PubMed searches for “Mirena” or “Metformin,” “treatment,” “endometrial hyperplasia,” or “stage 1 endometrial cancer,” were performed, yielding 33 articles. Of these, 19 articles were included. The 60 mg high-dose frameless IUD/20 mcg levonorgestrel has achieved sustained regression of Grade 3 endometrial intraepithelial neoplasia for 14 years. Case series on early stage endometrial cancer (EC) treatment with IUDs have 75% or greater regression rates. For simple through complex EH with atypia, the 52 mg-IUD/10–20 mcg-LNG-14t has achieved 100% complete regression in 6-months. Clearly, IUDs have an outcome advantage over oral progestins. However, studies on metformin for EH, and of progestins or metformin for early stage EC management are underpowered, with inadequate dose ranges to achieve significant differences in, or optimal outcomes for, the treatment modalities. Therefore, outcomes from the feMMe trial for the 52 mg-IUD/10–20 mcg-LNG-14t and metformin will fill a gap in the literature. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Saturated Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease: Replacements for Saturated Fat to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk
Healthcare 2017, 5(2), 29; doi:10.3390/healthcare5020029 -
Abstract
Dietary recommendations to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) have focused on reducing intake of saturated fatty acids (SFA) for more than 50 years. While the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise substituting both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids for SFA, evidence
[...] Read more.
Dietary recommendations to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) have focused on reducing intake of saturated fatty acids (SFA) for more than 50 years. While the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise substituting both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids for SFA, evidence supports other nutrient substitutions that will also reduce CVD risk. For example, replacing SFA with whole grains, but not refined carbohydrates, reduces CVD risk. Replacing SFA with protein, especially plant protein, may also reduce CVD risk. While dairy fat (milk, cheese) is associated with a slightly lower CVD risk compared to meat, dairy fat results in a significantly greater CVD risk relative to unsaturated fatty acids. As research continues, we will refine our understanding of dietary patterns associated with lower CVD risk. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Population Characteristics in a Tertiary Pain Service Cohort Experiencing Chronic Non-Cancer Pain: Weight Status, Comorbidities, and Patient Goals
Healthcare 2017, 5(2), 28; doi:10.3390/healthcare5020028 -
Abstract
We describe the characteristics of patients attending an Australian tertiary multidisciplinary pain service and identify areas for nutrition interventions. This cross-sectional study targets patients experiencing chronic pain who attended the service between June–December 2014. Self-reported data was captured from: (1) an Electronic Persistent
[...] Read more.
We describe the characteristics of patients attending an Australian tertiary multidisciplinary pain service and identify areas for nutrition interventions. This cross-sectional study targets patients experiencing chronic pain who attended the service between June–December 2014. Self-reported data was captured from: (1) an Electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration (ePPOC) referral questionnaire, incorporating demographics, pain status, and mental health; (2) a Pain Assessment and Recovery Plan (PARP), which documents patients’ perceived problems associated with pain and personal treatment goals. The ePPOC referral questionnaire was completed by 166 patients and the PARP by 153. The mean (SD) patient age was 53 ± 13 years, with almost 60% experiencing pain for >5 years. Forty-five percent of patients were classified as obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2, mean (SD) BMI was 31 ± 7 kg/m2), with a mean waist circumference of 104 ± 19.4 cm (SD). The most frequent patient nominated treatment goals related to physical activity (39%), followed by nutritional goals (23%). Traditionally, pain management programs have included physical, psychosocial, and medical, but not nutritional, interventions. By contrast, patients identified and reported important nutrition-related treatment goals. There is a need to test nutrition treatment pathways, including an evaluation of dietary intake and nutrition support. This will help to optimize dietary behaviors and establish nutrition as an important component of multidisciplinary chronic pain management. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Role of Affect and Cognition in Processing Messages about Early Diagnosis for Alzheimer’s Disease by Older People
Healthcare 2017, 5(2), 27; doi:10.3390/healthcare5020027 -
Abstract
Through early diagnosis of symptoms, the Alzheimer’s disease process can be decelerated. The main concern is to encourage the population at risk to take responsible actions at the earliest stage of the onset of the disease. Persuasive communication is essential to achieve this.
[...] Read more.
Through early diagnosis of symptoms, the Alzheimer’s disease process can be decelerated. The main concern is to encourage the population at risk to take responsible actions at the earliest stage of the onset of the disease. Persuasive communication is essential to achieve this. In an experimental study, the evaluation of awareness messages for early diagnosis containing weak and strong arguments and negative and positive images was performed on a sample of older Belgians. The mediating role of affective responses and message thoughts was explored. Strong arguments led to a more positive evaluation of the message than weak arguments directly and indirectly via the positive effect they had on message affect and thoughts, which, in turn, positively affected message evaluation. A negative message image led to a more positive message evaluation than a positive one. This effect was not mediated by either message affect or message thoughts. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Breast Cancer: Exploring the Facts and Holistic Needs during and beyond Treatment
Healthcare 2017, 5(2), 26; doi:10.3390/healthcare5020026 -
Abstract
Breast cancer patients face challenges throughout the journey of diagnosis, treatment, post-treatment, and recovery. The breast cancer patient is exposed to a multidisciplinary team including doctors, nurses, therapists, counselors, and psychologists. While the team assembled together aims to address multiple facets in breast
[...] Read more.
Breast cancer patients face challenges throughout the journey of diagnosis, treatment, post-treatment, and recovery. The breast cancer patient is exposed to a multidisciplinary team including doctors, nurses, therapists, counselors, and psychologists. While the team assembled together aims to address multiple facets in breast cancer care, the sub-specialized nature of individual professional practices may constrain the overview of patients’ holistic needs and a comprehensive approach to cancer management. This paper aims to provide an overview of the holistic needs of breast cancer patients at each stage of their cancer journey, addressing their complex physical, psychological, and social needs. As every patient is different, cancer care has to be tailored to each patient based on a holistic needs assessment. This paper also explores how support can be provided from the perspectives of the healthcare providers, family members and caretakers. Examples of general practices at healthcare institutions worldwide as well as supportive care provided by support groups are discussed. The needs of breast cancer patients extend beyond the resolution of cancer as a disease, and the restoration of health as far as possible is a critical component of healing. Understanding the complex issues involved in the journey of breast cancer will aid healthcare providers to be better equipped to sensitively address their concerns and focus on healing the patient holistically. Methodology: This paper provides a literature review of validated practices in different countries and elaborates on the holistic needs of patients at various stages of recovery. This review is based on more than a decade of publications sourced from multiple resources including PubMed journal articles; books and official websites of breast cancer organizations. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Linoleic Acid: A Nutritional Quandary
Healthcare 2017, 5(2), 25; doi:10.3390/healthcare5020025 -
Abstract
Over the course of the twentieth century, there was a 20-fold increase in consumption of vegetable oils resulting both from their increased availability and from recommendations to consume these oils as an aid to lower blood cholesterol levels. This dietary change markedly increased
[...] Read more.
Over the course of the twentieth century, there was a 20-fold increase in consumption of vegetable oils resulting both from their increased availability and from recommendations to consume these oils as an aid to lower blood cholesterol levels. This dietary change markedly increased the consumption of linoleic acid to current levels of approximately 6% of total dietary energy. While considerable research has focused on the effects of dietary linoleic acid on cardiovascular health, questions about optimum dietary levels remain. For example, meta-analyses disagree about the role of dietary linoleic acid in atherosclerosis, and recent publications indicate that linoleic acid’s reduction of blood cholesterol levels does not predict its effect on the development of atherosclerosis. Further, there are also detrimental effects of elevated dietary linoleic acid on human health related to its role in inflammation and its activity as a promoter of cancer in animals. Current data do not allow determination of the level of dietary linoleic acid needed for optimum health. Studies of the effects of a wide range of linoleic acid consumption may help determine dietary recommendations that are optimal for human health. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Microbiota and Particulate Matter Assessment in Portuguese Optical Shops Providing Contact Lens Services
Healthcare 2017, 5(2), 24; doi:10.3390/healthcare5020024 -
Abstract
The aim of this work was to assess the microbiota (fungi and bacteria) and particulate matter in optical shops, contributing to a specific protocol to ensure a proper assessment. Air samples were collected through an impaction method. Surface and equipment swab samples were
[...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to assess the microbiota (fungi and bacteria) and particulate matter in optical shops, contributing to a specific protocol to ensure a proper assessment. Air samples were collected through an impaction method. Surface and equipment swab samples were also collected side-by-side. Measurements of particulate matter were performed using portable direct-reading equipment. A walkthrough survey and checklist was also applied in each shop. Regarding air sampling, eight of the 13 shops analysed were above the legal requirement and 10 from the 26 surfaces samples were overloaded. In three out of the 13 shops fungal contamination in the analysed equipment was not detected. The bacteria air load was above the threshold in one of the 13 analysed shops. However, bacterial counts were detected in all sampled equipment. Fungi and bacteria air load suggested to be influencing all of the other surface and equipment samples. These results reinforce the need to improve air quality, not only to comply with the legal requirements, but also to ensure proper hygienic conditions. Public health intervention is needed to assure the quality and safety of the rooms and equipment in optical shops that perform health interventions in patients. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Inpatients with Psychosis (the REACH Study): Protocol for Treatment Development and Pilot Testing
Healthcare 2017, 5(2), 23; doi:10.3390/healthcare5020023 -
Abstract
Patients with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders frequently require treatment at inpatient hospitals during periods of acute illness for crisis management and stabilization. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a “third wave” cognitive-behavioral intervention that employs innovative mindfulness-based strategies, has shown initial efficacy in randomized controlled trials
[...] Read more.
Patients with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders frequently require treatment at inpatient hospitals during periods of acute illness for crisis management and stabilization. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a “third wave” cognitive-behavioral intervention that employs innovative mindfulness-based strategies, has shown initial efficacy in randomized controlled trials for improving acute and post-discharge outcomes in patients with psychosis when studied in acute-care psychiatric hospitals in the U.S. However, the intervention has not been widely adopted in its current form because of its use of an individual-only format and delivery by doctoral-level research therapists with extensive prior experience using ACT. The aim of the Researching the Effectiveness of Acceptance-based Coping during Hospitalization (REACH) Study is to adapt a promising acute-care psychosocial treatment for inpatients with psychosis, and to pilot test its effectiveness in a routine inpatient setting. More specifically, we describe our plans to: (a) further develop and refine the treatment and training protocols, (b) conduct an open trial and make further modifications based on the experience gained, and (c) conduct a pilot randomized controlled trial in preparation for a future fully-powered clinical trial testing the effectiveness of ACT. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Clinical Manifestations, Dietary Influences, and Management
Healthcare 2017, 5(2), 21; doi:10.3390/healthcare5020021 -
Abstract
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder that is characterized by symptoms of chronic abdominal pain and altered bowel habits in the absence of an overtly identifiable cause. It is the most commonly diagnosed functional gastrointestinal disorder, accounting for about one
[...] Read more.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder that is characterized by symptoms of chronic abdominal pain and altered bowel habits in the absence of an overtly identifiable cause. It is the most commonly diagnosed functional gastrointestinal disorder, accounting for about one third of gastroenterology visits. It generally presents as a complex of symptoms, including psychological dysfunction. Hypersensitivity to certain foods, especially foods that contain high amounts of fructose, plays a role in the pathophysiology of IBS. Elevated consumption of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been discussed in this aspect. The treatment options for IBS are challenging and varied. In addition to dietary restrictions for HFCS-induced IBS, such as low-FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharide, Monosaccharides, and Polyols) diets, existing drug therapies are administered based on the predominant symptoms and IBS-subtype. Patients with IBS are likely to suffer from issues, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic-stress disorder. Biopsychosocial factors particularly socioeconomic status, sex, and race should, thus, be considered for diagnostic evaluation of patients with IBS. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Reliability and Validity of the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-12 Version 2 (SF-12v2) in Adults with Non-Cancer Pain
Healthcare 2017, 5(2), 22; doi:10.3390/healthcare5020022 -
Abstract
Limited evidence exists on how non-cancer pain (NCP) affects an individual’s health-related quality of life (HRQoL). This study aimed to validate the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-12 Version 2 (SF-12v2), a generic measure of HRQoL, in a NCP cohort using the Medical Expenditure
[...] Read more.
Limited evidence exists on how non-cancer pain (NCP) affects an individual’s health-related quality of life (HRQoL). This study aimed to validate the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-12 Version 2 (SF-12v2), a generic measure of HRQoL, in a NCP cohort using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Longitudinal Files. The SF Mental Component Summary (MCS12) and SF Physical Component Summary (PCS12) were tested for reliability (internal consistency and test-retest reliability) and validity (construct: convergent and discriminant; criterion: concurrent and predictive). A total of 15,716 patients with NCP were included in the final analysis. The MCS12 and PCS12 demonstrated high internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha and Mosier’s alpha > 0.8), and moderate and high test-retest reliability, respectively (MCS12 intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC): 0.64; PCS12 ICC: 0.73). Both scales were significantly associated with a number of chronic conditions (p < 0.05). The PCS12 was strongly correlated with perceived health (r = 0.52) but weakly correlated with perceived mental health (r = 0.25). The MCS12 was moderately correlated with perceived mental health (r = 0.42) and perceived health (r = 0.33). Increasing PCS12 and MCS12 scores were significantly associated with lower odds of reporting future physical and cognitive limitations (PCS12: OR = 0.90 95%CI: 0.89–0.90, MCS12: OR = 0.94 95%CI: 0.93–0.94). In summary, the SF-12v2 is a reliable and valid measure of HRQoL for patients with NCP. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Hand Motion Detection in fNIRS Neuroimaging Data
Healthcare 2017, 5(2), 20; doi:10.3390/healthcare5020020 -
Abstract
As the number of people diagnosed with movement disorders is increasing, it becomes vital to design techniques that allow the better understanding of human brain in naturalistic settings. There are many brain imaging methods such as fMRI, SPECT, and MEG that provide the
[...] Read more.
As the number of people diagnosed with movement disorders is increasing, it becomes vital to design techniques that allow the better understanding of human brain in naturalistic settings. There are many brain imaging methods such as fMRI, SPECT, and MEG that provide the functional information of the brain. However, these techniques have some limitations including immobility, cost, and motion artifacts. One of the most emerging portable brain scanners available today is functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). In this study, we have conducted fNIRS neuroimaging of seven healthy subjects while they were performing wrist tasks such as flipping their hand with the periods of rest (no movement). Different models of support vector machine is applied to these fNIRS neuroimaging data and the results show that we could classify the action and rest periods with the accuracy of over 80% for the fNIRS data of individual participants. Our results are promising and suggest that the presented classification method for fNIRS could further be applied to real-time applications such as brain computer interfacing (BCI), and into the future steps of this research to record brain activity from fNIRS and EEG, and fuse them with the body motion sensors to correlate the activities. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Healthcare Engagement as a Potential Source of Psychological Distress among People without Religious Beliefs: A Systematic Review
Healthcare 2017, 5(2), 19; doi:10.3390/healthcare5020019 -
Abstract
Research into religion and mental health is increasing, but nonbelievers in terms of religion are often overlooked. Research has shown that nonbelievers experience various forms of psychological distress and that the negative perception of nonbelievers by others is a potential source of distress.
[...] Read more.
Research into religion and mental health is increasing, but nonbelievers in terms of religion are often overlooked. Research has shown that nonbelievers experience various forms of psychological distress and that the negative perception of nonbelievers by others is a potential source of distress. This review builds on that research by identifying another potential source of psychological distress for nonbelievers: engagement with the healthcare system. Poor understanding of nonbelievers by healthcare professionals may lead to impaired communication in the healthcare setting, resulting in distress. Attempts by nonbelievers to avoid distress may result in different patterns of healthcare utilization. Awareness of these concerns may help healthcare providers to minimize distress among their nonbelieving patients. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Disability and Psychiatric Symptoms in Men Referred for Treatment with Work-Related Problems to Primary Mental Health Care
Healthcare 2017, 5(2), 18; doi:10.3390/healthcare5020018 -
Abstract
The relationship between male sex and employment as barriers to accessing mental health care is unclear. The aim of this research was to examine (1) whether the clinical features of men referred to a shared mental health care (SMHC) service through primary care
[...] Read more.
The relationship between male sex and employment as barriers to accessing mental health care is unclear. The aim of this research was to examine (1) whether the clinical features of men referred to a shared mental health care (SMHC) service through primary care differed when symptoms were affecting them in the work domain; and (2) empirically re-evaluate the effectiveness of a SMHC model for work-related disability using a pre-post chart review of N = 3960 referrals to SMHC. ANOVA and logistic regression were performed to examine symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire, PHQ) and disability (World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule, WHODAS 2) at entry and discharge. Men were RR (relative risk) = 1.8 (95% C.I.: 1.60–2.05) times more likely to be referred to SMHC with work problems than women. Having greater disability and more severe somatic symptoms increased the likelihood of a work-related referral. There were no significant differences after treatment. Problems in the work domain may play an important role in men’s treatment seeking and clinicians’ recognition of a mental health care need. This study is relevant because men are underrepresented in mental health (MH) treatment and primary care is the main gateway to accessing MH care. Asking men about functioning in the work domain may increase access to helpful psychiatric services. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessEssay
Translating Developmental Origins: Improving the Health of Women and Their Children Using a Sustainable Approach to Behaviour Change
Healthcare 2017, 5(1), 17; doi:10.3390/healthcare5010017 -
Abstract
Theories of the developmental origins of health and disease imply that optimising the growth and development of babies is an essential route to improving the health of populations. A key factor in the growth of babies is the nutritional status of their mothers.
[...] Read more.
Theories of the developmental origins of health and disease imply that optimising the growth and development of babies is an essential route to improving the health of populations. A key factor in the growth of babies is the nutritional status of their mothers. Since women from more disadvantaged backgrounds have poorer quality diets and the worst pregnancy outcomes, they need to be a particular focus. The behavioural sciences have made a substantial contribution to the development of interventions to support dietary changes in disadvantaged women. Translation of such interventions into routine practice is an ideal that is rarely achieved, however. This paper illustrates how re-orientating health and social care services towards an empowerment approach to behaviour change might underpin a new developmental focus to improving long-term health, using learning from a community-based intervention to improve the diets and lifestyles of disadvantaged women. The Southampton Initiative for Health aimed to improve the diets and lifestyles of women of child-bearing age through training health and social care practitioners in skills to support behaviour change. Analysis illustrates the necessary steps in mounting such an intervention: building trust; matching agendas and changing culture. The Southampton Initiative for Health demonstrates that developing sustainable; workable interventions and effective community partnerships; requires commitment beginning long before intervention delivery but is key to the translation of developmental origins research into improvements in human health. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Mobile Phonocardiogram Diagnosis in Newborns Using Support Vector Machine
Healthcare 2017, 5(1), 16; doi:10.3390/healthcare5010016 -
Abstract
Phonocardiogram (PCG) monitoring on newborns is one of the most important and challenging tasks in the heart assessment in the early ages of life. In this paper, we present a novel approach for cardiac monitoring applied in PCG data. This basic system coupled
[...] Read more.
Phonocardiogram (PCG) monitoring on newborns is one of the most important and challenging tasks in the heart assessment in the early ages of life. In this paper, we present a novel approach for cardiac monitoring applied in PCG data. This basic system coupled with denoising, segmentation, cardiac cycle selection and classification of heart sound can be used widely for a large number of the data. This paper describes the problems and additional advantages of the PCG method including the possibility of recording heart sound at home, removing unwanted noises and data reduction on a mobile device, and an intelligent system to diagnose heart diseases on the cloud server. A wide range of physiological features from various analysis domains, including modeling, time/frequency domain analysis, an algorithm, etc., is proposed in order to extract features which will be considered as inputs for the classifier. In order to record the PCG data set from multiple subjects over one year, an electronic stethoscope was used for collecting data that was connected to a mobile device. In this study, we used different types of classifiers in order to distinguish between healthy and pathological heart sounds, and a comparison on the performances revealed that support vector machine (SVM) provides 92.2% accuracy and AUC = 0.98 in a time of 1.14 seconds for training, on a dataset of 116 samples. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessHypothesis
Supplementation with Phycocyanobilin, Citrulline, Taurine, and Supranutritional Doses of Folic Acid and Biotin—Potential for Preventing or Slowing the Progression of Diabetic Complications
Healthcare 2017, 5(1), 15; doi:10.3390/healthcare5010015 -
Abstract
Oxidative stress, the resulting uncoupling of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), and loss of nitric oxide (NO) bioactivity, are key mediators of the vascular and microvascular complications of diabetes. Much of this oxidative stress arises from up-regulated nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase
[...] Read more.
Oxidative stress, the resulting uncoupling of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), and loss of nitric oxide (NO) bioactivity, are key mediators of the vascular and microvascular complications of diabetes. Much of this oxidative stress arises from up-regulated nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase activity. Phycocyanobilin (PhyCB), the light-harvesting chromophore in edible cyanobacteria such as spirulina, is a biliverdin derivative that shares the ability of free bilirubin to inhibit certain isoforms of NADPH oxidase. Epidemiological studies reveal that diabetics with relatively elevated serum bilirubin are less likely to develop coronary disease or microvascular complications; this may reflect the ability of bilirubin to ward off these complications via inhibition of NADPH oxidase. Oral PhyCB may likewise have potential in this regard, and has been shown to protect diabetic mice from glomerulosclerosis. With respect to oxidant-mediated uncoupling of eNOS, high-dose folate can help to reverse this by modulating the oxidation status of the eNOS cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4). Oxidation of BH4 yields dihydrobiopterin (BH2), which competes with BH4 for binding to eNOS and promotes its uncoupling. The reduced intracellular metabolites of folate have versatile oxidant-scavenging activity that can prevent oxidation of BH4; concurrently, these metabolites promote induction of dihydrofolate reductase, which functions to reconvert BH2 to BH4, and hence alleviate the uncoupling of eNOS. The arginine metabolite asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), typically elevated in diabetics, also uncouples eNOS by competitively inhibiting binding of arginine to eNOS; this effect is exacerbated by the increased expression of arginase that accompanies diabetes. These effects can be countered via supplementation with citrulline, which efficiently enhances tissue levels of arginine. With respect to the loss of NO bioactivity that contributes to diabetic complications, high dose biotin has the potential to “pinch hit” for diminished NO by direct activation of soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC). High-dose biotin also may aid glycemic control via modulatory effects on enzyme induction in hepatocytes and pancreatic beta cells. Taurine, which suppresses diabetic complications in rodents, has the potential to reverse the inactivating impact of oxidative stress on sGC by boosting synthesis of hydrogen sulfide. Hence, it is proposed that concurrent administration of PhyCB, citrulline, taurine, and supranutritional doses of folate and biotin may have considerable potential for prevention and control of diabetic complications. Such a regimen could also be complemented with antioxidants such as lipoic acid, N-acetylcysteine, and melatonin—that boost cellular expression of antioxidant enzymes and glutathione—as well as astaxanthin, zinc, and glycine. The development of appropriate functional foods might make it feasible for patients to use complex nutraceutical regimens of the sort suggested here. Full article
Open AccessReview
Developmental Origins of Health and Disease: A Lifecourse Approach to the Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases
Healthcare 2017, 5(1), 14; doi:10.3390/healthcare5010014 -
Abstract
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, affect individuals in all countries worldwide. Given the very high worldwide prevalence of NCDs across a range of human pathology, it is clear that traditional approaches targeting those at most risk in older adulthood
[...] Read more.
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, affect individuals in all countries worldwide. Given the very high worldwide prevalence of NCDs across a range of human pathology, it is clear that traditional approaches targeting those at most risk in older adulthood will not efficiently ameliorate this growing burden. It will thus be essential to robustly identify determinants of NCDs across the entire lifecourse and, subsequently, appropriate interventions at every stage to reduce an individual’s risk of developing these conditions. A lifecourse approach has the potential to prevent NCDs, from before conception through fetal life, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and into older age. In this paper, we describe the origins of the lifecourse concept, the importance of early life influences, for example during pregnancy, examine potential underlying mechanisms in both cell biology and behavior change, and finally describe current efforts to develop interventions that take a lifecourse approach to NCD prevention. Two principal approaches to improving women’s nutritional status are outlined: nutritional supplementation and behavior change. Full article
Figures

Figure 1