Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(12), 12261-12282; doi:10.3390/ijerph111212261 (registering DOI) - published 26 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Ensuring that a mental health system provides ‘value for money’ requires policy makers to allocate resources to the most cost-effective interventions. Organizing cost-effective interventions into a service delivery framework will require a concept that can guide the mapping of evidence regarding disorder-level interventions to aggregations of services that are meaningful for policy makers. The ‘service platform’ is an emerging concept that could be used to this end, however no explicit definition currently exists in the literature. The aim of this study was to develop a service platform definition that is consistent with how policy makers conceptualize the major elements of the mental health service system and to test the validity and utility of this definition through consultation with mental health policy makers. We derived a provisional definition informed by existing literature and consultation with experienced mental health researchers. Using a modified Delphi method, we obtained feedback from nine Australian policy makers. Respondents provided written answers to a questionnaire eliciting their views on the acceptability, comprehensibility and usefulness of a service platform definition which was subject to qualitative analysis. Overall, respondents understood the definition and found it both acceptable and useful, subject to certain conditions. They also provided suggestions for its improvement. Our findings suggest that the service platform concept could be a useful way of aggregating mental health services as a means for presenting priority setting evidence to policy makers in mental health. However, further development and testing of the concept is required.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(12), 12247-12260; doi:10.3390/ijerph111212247 (registering DOI) - published 26 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Poor oral health is still a major burden for populations throughout the world, particularly in developing countries. The aim of this study was investigate oral health behaviour (tooth brushing and dental attendance) and associated factors in low, middle and high income countries. Using anonymous questionnaires, data were collected from 19,560 undergraduate university students (mean age 20.8, SD = 2.8) from 27 universities in 26 countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas. Results indicate that 67.2% of students reported to brush their teeth twice or more times a day, 28.8% about once a day and 4.0% never. Regarding dental check-up visit, 16.3% reported twice a year, 25.6% once a year, 33.9% rarely and 24.3% never. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, being a male, coming from a wealthy or quite well off family background, living in low income or lower middle income, weak beliefs in the importance of regular tooth brushing, depression and PTSD symptoms, tobacco use and frequent gambling, low physical activity, and low daily meal and snacks frequency were associated with inadequate tooth brushing (<twice daily). Further, being a male, older age, coming from a not well off or poor family background, living in low income or lower middle income, weak beliefs in the importance of regular tooth brushing, PTSD symptoms, illicit drug use, low physical activity, and low daily snacks frequency, skipping breakfast and inadequate fruit and vegetables consumption were associated with less than one annual dental care visit. Oral health behaviour among the students was found to be low. Various risk factors identified can be used to guide interventions to improve oral health behaviour among university students.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(12), 12223-12246; doi:10.3390/ijerph111212223 (registering DOI) - published 26 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Diabetes is one of the chronic diseases that constitute the greatest disease burden in the world. The Swedish National Diabetes Register is an essential part of the diabetes care system. Currently it mainly records clinical outcomes, but here we describe how it has started to collect patient-reported outcome measures, complementing the standard registry data on clinical outcomes as a basis for evaluating diabetes care. Our aims were to develop a questionnaire to measure patient abilities and judgments of their experience of diabetes care, to describe a Swedish diabetes patient sample in terms of their abilities, judgments, and risk factors, and to characterize groups of patients with a need for improvement. Patient abilities and judgments were estimated using item response theory. Analyzing them together with standard risk factors for diabetes comorbidities showed that the different types of data describe different aspects of a patient’s situation. These aspects occasionally overlap, but not in any particularly useful way. They both provide important information to decision makers, and neither is necessarily more relevant than the other. Both should therefore be considered, to achieve a more complete evaluation of diabetes care and to promote person-centered care.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(12), 12204-12222; doi:10.3390/ijerph111212204 (registering DOI) - published 26 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper discusses the first phase of a longitudinal study underway in Australia to ascertain the broad health benefits of specific types of biophilic design for workers in a building site office. A bespoke site design was formulated to include open plan workspace, natural lighting, ventilation, significant plants, prospect and views, recycled materials and use of non-synthetic materials. Initial data in the first three months was gathered from a series of demographic questions and from interviews and observations of site workers. Preliminary data indicates a strong positive effect from incorporating aspects of biophilic design to boost productivity, ameliorate stress, enhance well-being, foster a collaborative work environment and promote workplace satisfaction, thus contributing towards a high performance workspace. The longitudinal study spanning over two years will track human-plant interactions in a biophilic influenced space, whilst also assessing the concomitant cognitive, social, psychological and physical health benefits for workers.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(12), 12190-12203; doi:10.3390/ijerph111212190 - published 25 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This pilot study evaluated the potential effect of household environmental factors such as income, maternal characteristics, and indoor air pollution on children’s respiratory status in an Eastern Indonesian community. Household data were collected from cross-sectional (n = 461 participants) and preliminary childhood case-control surveys (pneumonia cases = 31 diagnosed within three months at a local health clinic; controls = 30). Particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) was measured in living rooms, kitchens, children’s bedrooms, and outside areas in close proximity once during the case-control household interviews (55 homes) and once per hour from 6 a.m. to midnight in 11 homes. The household survey showed that children were 1.98 times (p = 0.02) more likely to have coughing symptoms indicating respiratory infection, if mothers were not the primary caregivers. More children exhibited coughing if they were not exclusively breastfed (OR = 2.18; p = 0.06) or there was a possibility that their mothers were exposed to environmental tobacco smoke during pregnancy (OR = 2.05; p = 0.08). This study suggests that household incomes and mother’s education have an indirect effect on childhood pneumonia and respiratory illness. The concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 ranged from 0.5 to 35.7 µg/m3 and 7.7 to 575.7 µg/m3, respectively, based on grab samples. PM was significantly different between the case and control groups (p < 0.01). The study also suggests that ambient air may dilute indoor pollution, but also introduces pollution into the home from the community environment. Effective intervention programs need to be developed that consider multiple direct and indirect risk factors to protect children.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health2014, 11(12), 12174-12189; doi:10.3390/ijerph111212174 - published 25 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Objectives: Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use is increasing in the U.S. Although marketed as a safer alternative for cigarettes, initial evidence suggests that e-cigarettes may pose a secondhand exposure risk. The current study explored the prevalence and correlates of support for e-cigarette bans. Methods: A sample of 265 current/former smokers completed a cross-sectional telephone survey from June–September 2014; 45% Black, 31% White, 21% Hispanic. Items assessed support for home and workplace bans for cigarettes and e-cigarettes and associated risk perceptions. Results: Most participants were aware of e-cigarettes (99%). Results demonstrated less support for complete e-cigarette bans in homes and workplaces compared to cigarettes. Support for complete e-cigarette bans was strongest among older, higher income, married respondents, and former smokers. Complete e-cigarette bans were most strongly endorsed when perceptions of addictiveness and health risks were high. While both e-cigarette lifetime and never-users strongly supported cigarette smoking bans, endorsement for e-cigarette bans varied by lifetime use and intentions to use e-cigarettes. Conclusions: Support for indoor e-cigarette bans is relatively low among individuals with a smoking history. Support for e-cigarette bans may change as evidence regarding their use emerges. These findings have implications for public health policy.