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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 19, Issue 13 (July-1 2022) – 457 articles

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Article
How Stable, Really? Traditional and Nonlinear Dynamics Approaches to Studying Temporal fluctuations in Personality and Affect
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8008; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138008 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
A pair of quantitative case studies is presented to demonstrate how different approaches to quantifying temporal variability in ratings of traits and affect can provide rich information for personality researchers. Data are presented and analyzed from two college students who completed an Ecological [...] Read more.
A pair of quantitative case studies is presented to demonstrate how different approaches to quantifying temporal variability in ratings of traits and affect can provide rich information for personality researchers. Data are presented and analyzed from two college students who completed an Ecological Momentary Assessment protocol sampling ratings of affect and traits up to 24 times daily for one week. Both classical and nonlinear data analytic techniques were applied to the data to summarize and examine the temporal dynamics of both traits and affect. For the purposes of exposition, one Big Five trait rating, extraversion, and the PANAS positive and negative affects, are discussed. The results support previous research demonstrating a high degree of variability in ratings of both traits and affect over time. Analyses using nonlinear and complexity expand on these findings and suggest temporal patterning as well as disorder; implications of phase portraits for understanding variability are discussed. The findings are discussed in light of a processing dynamics approach to resolving the role of variability in understanding personality. Full article
Article
Resilience and Regulation of Emotions in Adolescents: Serial Mediation Analysis through Self-Esteem and the Perceived Social Support
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8007; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138007 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
The aim of this study was to test a model that takes into account self-esteem and perceived social support as potential mediators of the relationship between resilience and emotional regulation. The study involved 251 adolescents aged between 14 and 19 years (M = [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to test a model that takes into account self-esteem and perceived social support as potential mediators of the relationship between resilience and emotional regulation. The study involved 251 adolescents aged between 14 and 19 years (M = 16.85). The study procedure consisted of completing paper-and-pencil questionnaires to measure resilience, self-esteem, and answer questions about perceived social support and emotional regulation. Bootstrap sampling analysis showed statistically significant serial mediation (B = 0.030; p < 0.001). As a result of the analysis, a positive direct relationship between resilience and emotional regulation was observed (B = 0.061; p < 0.001). Our results suggest that self-esteem and perception of social support may mediate the relationship between resilience and emotional regulation. The findings have an applicable value. They can be used to develop preventive and educational programs, as well as therapeutic interventions. The obtained results show that interventions aimed at resilience can improve self-assessment and perceived social support and thus favor the high level of emotional regulation skills in the adolescent group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
Article
Managing Minds at Work: Development of a Digital Line Manager Training Program
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8006; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138006 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
Mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence, creating a high economic burden. Workplace interventions aimed at supporting employers in the prevention of mental ill-health in the workforce are urgently required. Managing Minds at Work is a digital intervention aimed at supporting [...] Read more.
Mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence, creating a high economic burden. Workplace interventions aimed at supporting employers in the prevention of mental ill-health in the workforce are urgently required. Managing Minds at Work is a digital intervention aimed at supporting line managers in promoting better mental health at work through a preventative approach. This intervention was developed as part of the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot, a wider initiative aimed at supporting employers across the Midlands region of the United Kingdom to improve the future of workplace mental health and wellbeing. The aim of the study is to describe the design and development of the Managing Minds at Work digital training program, prior to feasibility testing. We adopted a collaborative participatory design involving co-design (users as partners) and principles of user-centred design (pilot and usability testing). An agile methodology was used to co-create intervention content with a stakeholder virtual community of practice. Development processes were mapped to core elements of the Medical Research Council (MRC) framework for developing and evaluating complex interventions. The program covers five broad areas: (i) promoting self-care techniques among line managers; (ii) designing work to prevent work-related stress; (iii) management competencies to prevent and reduce stress; (iv) having conversations with employees about mental health; (v) building a psychologically safe work environment. It was considered by stakeholders to be appropriate for any type of organization, irrespective of their size or resources. Pilot and usability testing (n = 37 surveys) aligned with the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) demonstrated that the program was perceived to be useful, relevant, and easy to use by managers across sectors, organization types, and sizes. We identified positive impacts on manager attitudes and behavioral intentions related to preventing mental ill-health and promoting good mental wellbeing at work. The next step is to explore the feasibility and acceptability of Managing Minds at Work with line managers in diverse employment settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
Article
High-Resolution Urban Air Quality Mapping for Multiple Pollutants based on Dense Monitoring Data and Machine Learning
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8005; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138005 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
Spatially explicit urban air quality information is important for urban fine-management and public life. However, existing air quality measurement methods still have some limitations on spatial coverage and system stability. A micro station is an emerging monitoring system with multiple sensors, which can [...] Read more.
Spatially explicit urban air quality information is important for urban fine-management and public life. However, existing air quality measurement methods still have some limitations on spatial coverage and system stability. A micro station is an emerging monitoring system with multiple sensors, which can be deployed to provide dense air quality monitoring data. Here, we proposed a method for urban air quality mapping at high-resolution for multiple pollutants. By using the dense air quality monitoring data from 448 micro stations in Lanzhou city, we developed a decision tree model to infer the distribution of citywide air quality at a 500 m × 500 m × 1 h resolution, with a coefficient of determination (R2) value of 0.740 for PM2.5, 0.754 for CO and 0.716 for SO2. Meanwhile, we also show that the deployment density of the monitoring stations can have a significant impact on the air quality inference results. Our method is able to show both short-term and long-term distribution of multiple important pollutants in the city, which demonstrates the potential and feasibility of dense monitoring data combined with advanced data science methods to support urban atmospheric environment fine-management, policy making, and public health studies. Full article
Article
Factors Influencing Dechlorane Plus Distributions in Various Sheep Tissues
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8004; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138004 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
Dechlorane plus (DP) is a potential persistent organic pollutant and its distribution in various tissues and organs of terrestrial organisms is currently unknown. DP concentrations in sheep tissues were determined in this study. The DP concentrations in the tissues decreased in the following [...] Read more.
Dechlorane plus (DP) is a potential persistent organic pollutant and its distribution in various tissues and organs of terrestrial organisms is currently unknown. DP concentrations in sheep tissues were determined in this study. The DP concentrations in the tissues decreased in the following order: abdominal fat > liver > stomach > heart > outer tenderloin > lung > hind leg meat > kidney > small intestine > tail fat > spleen > brain. Apart from brain and fat, anti-DP is enriched more readily than syn-DP in sheep tissues, but syn-DP is more readily enriched in brain and abdominal fat. The factors influencing DP distributions in sheep tissues were assessed by determining the DP to sheep serum albumin binding forces, binding types, and binding sites by fluorescence spectroscopy. The results indicated that anti-DP more readily binds to sheep serum albumin than does syn-DP. Therefore, sheep serum albumin will more readily transport anti-DP than syn-DP to sheep tissues, and anti-DP will be enriched more than syn-DP in the tissues. The molecular diameter of DP is the main factor affecting DP concentrations in sheep brain and fat because of the blood–brain barrier and because the main source of DP to abdominal fat is dermal contact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Persistent Toxic Substances and Public Health)
Article
Prevalence of HIV and Selected Disease Burden in Outpatients of Primary Health Care (PHC) Facilities in Rural Districts of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8003; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138003 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
Assessing underlying illnesses can inform health stakeholders about chronic conditions for targeted enhanced prevention and treatment strategies. Since the Eastern Cape Province has a high disease burden, this study aimed to assess the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and selected disease [...] Read more.
Assessing underlying illnesses can inform health stakeholders about chronic conditions for targeted enhanced prevention and treatment strategies. Since the Eastern Cape Province has a high disease burden, this study aimed to assess the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and selected disease burden of outpatients from primary health care (PHC) facilities in the districts. From February 2019 to February 2021, a cross-sectional study was conducted. Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap)-enabled tablets were used to collect data from consenting outpatients over the age of 18 years using an interviewer-administered WHO core and expanded stepwise questionnaire. The statistical analysis was mainly descriptive with the use of counts, frequencies, and summary measures. The study population was predominantly female (86.5%). Prevalent diseases included HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, and cardiometabolic diseases. HIV prevalence was 52% and highest in the age group of 30–59 years. In people living with HIV, the nonsuppressed viral load (VL 1000 copies/mL) was highest in the age group of 40–49 years (34.6%). Prevalence of diabetes was highest at the Mhlontlo subdistrict (42.3%), while the King Sabata Dalindyebo (KSD) subdistrict had the highest prevalence of HBV infections (39.1%). Based on the findings, we advocate for intermittent assessments of disease burden in certain settings, such as rural areas, to improve PHC practice and outcomes, especially in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Full article
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Article
Is Female a More Pro-Environmental Gender? Evidence from China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8002; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138002 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to determine whether there are gender differences in people’s pro-environmental psychology and behaviors in China. An online survey was conducted with the snowball sampling technique, and a sample of 532 Chinese respondents was obtained for the research. [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to determine whether there are gender differences in people’s pro-environmental psychology and behaviors in China. An online survey was conducted with the snowball sampling technique, and a sample of 532 Chinese respondents was obtained for the research. This study finds that gender does affect green psychology and behaviors, with females reporting a higher level of environmentalism in China. Specifically, females are more concerned with environmental problems, more supportive of plastic ban policies, more positive towards reducing plastics (reduce), and have stronger intention to bring a reusable bag for shopping (reuse and recycle). Moreover, females use fewer disposable toiletries when checking in a hotel and require less disposable tableware when ordering takeout. This study contributes to the current literature by identifying the relationship between gender and environmentalism in China. Implications for anti-plastic policy design and environmental management are also presented. Full article
Article
Temporal and Spatial Evolution of the African Swine Fever Epidemic in Vietnam
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8001; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138001 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
African swine fever (ASF) is a severe infectious disease affecting domestic and wild suids. Spatiotemporal dynamics analysis of the ASF is crucial to understanding its transmission. The ASF broke out in Vietnam in February 2019. The research on the spatiotemporal evolution characteristics of [...] Read more.
African swine fever (ASF) is a severe infectious disease affecting domestic and wild suids. Spatiotemporal dynamics analysis of the ASF is crucial to understanding its transmission. The ASF broke out in Vietnam in February 2019. The research on the spatiotemporal evolution characteristics of ASF in Vietnam is lacking. Spatiotemporal statistical methods, including direction analysis, spatial autocorrelation analysis, and spatiotemporal scan statistics were used to reveal the dynamics of the spatial diffusion direction and spatiotemporal aggregation characteristics of ASF in Vietnam. According to the cessation of the epidemic, it was divided into three phases: February to August 2019 (phase 1), April to December 2020 (phase 2), and January 2021 to March 2022 (phase 3). The ASF showed a significant spread trend from north to south in phase 1. The occurrence rate of the ASF aggregated spatially in phase 1 and became random in phases 2 and 3. The high−high ASF clusters (the province was a high cluster and both it and its neighbors had a high ASF occurrence rate) were concentrated in the north in phases 1 and 2. Four spatiotemporal high-risk ASF clusters were identified with a mean radius of 121.88 km. In general, there were significant concentrated outbreak areas and directional spread in the early stage and small-scale, high-frequency, and randomly scattered outbreaks in the later stage. The findings could contribute to a deeper understanding of the spatiotemporal spread of the ASF in Vietnam. Full article
Article
Gamification in Initial Teacher Training to Promote Inclusive Practices: A Qualitative Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8000; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138000 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
Gamification consists of the use of ludic elements in non-ludic contexts. It is becoming an educational trend, due to its ability to work on curriculum skills in a fun and motivating way. This article exposes a program of gamified university practices, “Super-Profes”, for [...] Read more.
Gamification consists of the use of ludic elements in non-ludic contexts. It is becoming an educational trend, due to its ability to work on curriculum skills in a fun and motivating way. This article exposes a program of gamified university practices, “Super-Profes”, for the subject of Developmental Disorders. To gain an understanding of student impressions about this methodology, a qualitative study was carried out, based on a survey with open questions, and, subsequently, analyzed with the Atlas.ti 8.4 program. In total, 63 s-year students taking the Early Childhood Education degree participated. Two main categories emerged from the study: gamification as a fun and motivating educational experience, and knowledge and skills acquired after studying a gamified subject. The research concluded with an assessment of educational gamification as a motivating and effective methodology for the acquisition of content and skills necessary for future teaching. Full article
Article
The Effects of Neighborhood Physical and Social Environment on Physical Function among Japanese Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A One-Year Longitudinal Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7999; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137999 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
Previous studies have shown a relationship between physical and social aspects of the neighborhood environment (e.g., built environment, safety) and physical function in older adults. However, these associations are unclear in older Asian adults because longitudinal studies are lacking. This study examined the [...] Read more.
Previous studies have shown a relationship between physical and social aspects of the neighborhood environment (e.g., built environment, safety) and physical function in older adults. However, these associations are unclear in older Asian adults because longitudinal studies are lacking. This study examined the effects of neighborhood physical and social environment on longitudinal changes in physical function among Japanese older adults. We analyzed 299 Japanese community-dwelling adults aged ≥65 years. Neighborhood environment was assessed using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire Environment Module. Physical function was assessed using handgrip strength, knee extension muscle strength, 5-m walking time, and a timed up-and-go test (TUG) in baseline and follow-up surveys. Changes in physical function over one year were calculated and classified into decline or maintenance groups based on minimal detectable changes. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that even after adjusting for confounding factors, good access to recreational facilities affected the maintenance of 5-m walking time (odds ratio [OR] = 2.31, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.02–5.21) and good crime safety affected the maintenance of TUG (OR = 1.87, 95%CI: 1.06–3.33). Therefore, it is important to assess both physical and social environmental neighborhood resources in predicting decline in physical function among Japanese older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
Review
Green Jobs—A Literature Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7998; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137998 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
In the past two decades the topic of “green jobs” has drawn particular attention, resulting in a widely diverse and relatively large number of published papers. Although a determinant for the increase of knowledge, the heterogeneity of these studies may raise the issue [...] Read more.
In the past two decades the topic of “green jobs” has drawn particular attention, resulting in a widely diverse and relatively large number of published papers. Although a determinant for the increase of knowledge, the heterogeneity of these studies may raise the issue of a systematic documentation of the key contributions in this field. In this context, the present research focuses on analyzing the scientific literature published in the last five years on the topic of “green jobs” with the aim to identify definitions and meanings associated with the concept of “green jobs”, the connected terms, areas of research interest and the main theoretical and practical results. The results reveal that although there is no uniformity in the definition of the concept, there is still a convergence towards the initial meaning offered by the UNEP/ILO/IOE/ITUC Report of 2008. Moreover, using scientific software VOSViewer our research shows that the concept of “green jobs” is most linked with the following terms: sustainable development, the green economy, the circular economy, the welfare economy, the European Green Pact, energy, renewable energy, economic development, and employment. Furthermore, our analysis reveals that the studies focused on “green jobs” are mainly concerned with the following issues: green jobs creation, work-life balance, correlations between green business and green jobs and the role of local government in supporting green jobs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Environment and Sustainable Development)
Article
The Impact of Rationalization and Upgrading of Industrial Structure on Carbon Emissions in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Urban Agglomeration
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7997; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137997 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
Carbon dioxide mainly comes from industrial economic activities. Industrial structure optimization is an effective way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This paper uses the panel data of 13 cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration from 2006 to 2019, uses the Theil index to [...] Read more.
Carbon dioxide mainly comes from industrial economic activities. Industrial structure optimization is an effective way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This paper uses the panel data of 13 cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration from 2006 to 2019, uses the Theil index to calculate the industrial structure rationalization index, and uses the proportion of industrial added value to calculate the industrial structure upgrade index. By constructing the STIRPAT model, this paper quantitatively analyzes the impact of industrial structure rationalization and upgrade on carbon emissions. The results show that the rationalization and upgrading of industrial structure in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration significantly inhibit carbon emissions. Compared with the rationalization of the industrial structure, the upgrading of industrial structure in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration has a better effect on carbon emission reduction. For the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration, government expenditure on science and technology can promote the upgrading of industrial structure to a certain extent, thereby reducing carbon emissions. There is a big gap between the industrial structure development level of Hebei province and that of Beijing and Tianjin. Finally, based on the conclusion, this paper puts forward the policy enlightenment of promoting the optimization process of industrial structure and reducing carbon emissions of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Urban Spatial Planning and Carbon Emission)
Article
Evaluation of a Follow-Up Health Consultation Program for Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Korea: Using the Context–Input–Process–Product Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7996; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137996 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
Beyond physical pain, patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) experience psychological anxiety during and after quarantine, often facing negative perceptions when returning to their communities. This study evaluated a health consultation program in Korea for post-quarantine patients with COVID-19, designed to help them [...] Read more.
Beyond physical pain, patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) experience psychological anxiety during and after quarantine, often facing negative perceptions when returning to their communities. This study evaluated a health consultation program in Korea for post-quarantine patients with COVID-19, designed to help them return to their communities. The program was conducted from 9 March to 5 June 2020, in Daegu, Korea. In total, 20 doctors and 504 recovered patients were surveyed via questionnaire. The survey, comprising open-ended questions rated on a five-point Likert scale, was based on the Context–Input–Process–Product program evaluation model. Reliability was assessed, and descriptive statistics were obtained. A regression analysis was performed on factors affecting product (output) areas. As a main result, both doctors and recovered patients evaluated the program positively. The mean program effectiveness score was 4.00 in the doctors’ evaluations and 3.95 in the patients’ evaluations. Moreover, the input and process variables affected the product. This first-of-its-kind health consultation program proved to be an effective practical intervention for patients returning to the community after an infectious disease; it also highlights aspects that could increase satisfaction in systemized subsequent programs, with input and process areas for patients and doctors. Full article
Article
Influence of Walking as Physiological Training to Improve Respiratory Parameters in the Elderly Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7995; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137995 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
Walking as physiological training is reported to be an effective activity in order to beneficially influence and slow the onset of aging in healthy elderly people. However, insufficient evidence exists on how walking influences lung function in seniors. In our study, we aim [...] Read more.
Walking as physiological training is reported to be an effective activity in order to beneficially influence and slow the onset of aging in healthy elderly people. However, insufficient evidence exists on how walking influences lung function in seniors. In our study, we aim to evaluate the effect of different types of walking on lung function in healthy seniors. The PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus and EBSCO Essentials databases were searched, while the methodological quality was assessed by the RoB2 tool. A total of seven studies (RCTs) published between 2002–2022 that met the eligibility criteria were analysed in this review. All participants were older adults without any specific associated disease, aged 60 and above. The interventions included structured physical activity; a high/moderate exercise program; long-term regular walking; walking as a part of functional movement training; walking sideways, backward and forward as a part of aerobic training; fast walking; Stepper walking; walking on a treadmill combined with incentive spirometry; and Nordic walking. Overall, most of the mentioned types of walking led to improved lung function in healthy elderly subjects. However, the prescribed Stepper walking program did not improve lung function in healthy seniors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health-Related Physical Activity and Exercise)
Review
Implementation of Virtual Communities of Practice in Healthcare to Improve Capability and Capacity: A 10-Year Scoping Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7994; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137994 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
Virtual communities of practice consist of individuals who use a common online platform to share professional expertise and experiences. In healthcare settings a virtual community of practice (VCoP) can optimise knowledge, skills, and the implementation of evidence-based practice. To ensure effective knowledge synthesis [...] Read more.
Virtual communities of practice consist of individuals who use a common online platform to share professional expertise and experiences. In healthcare settings a virtual community of practice (VCoP) can optimise knowledge, skills, and the implementation of evidence-based practice. To ensure effective knowledge synthesis and translation into practice, it is essential to clarify the best methods for designing and implementing VCoPs within healthcare organisations. This scoping review aimed to identify the methods used to establish and facilitate online or digitally enabled communities of practice within healthcare organisations across the globe. Six online databases identified papers published from January 2010 to October 2020. Papers were independently screened by two reviewers using Covidence. Data were captured and analysed using a data extraction chart in Covidence. Twenty-four publications that detail methods for establishing a VCoP in healthcare were included. Few studies used a framework to establish a VCoP. It was difficult to identify details regarding methods of development and key elements such as roles, how they were coordinated, and types of technology used. Healthcare organisations can benefit from using a standardised framework for the establishment, implementation and evaluation of VCoPs to improve practice, staff engagement, and knowledge sharing. Full article
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Article
Food Acquisition during the COVID-19 Lockdown and Its Associations with the Physical–Digital Integrated Community Food Environment: A Case Study of Nanjing, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7993; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137993 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic and measures such as lockdowns affect food access, dietary choices, and food security. We conducted an online survey among 517 respondents during early 2020 in Nanjing, China to explore respondents’ food acquisition behaviors before and during the pandemic and associations [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic and measures such as lockdowns affect food access, dietary choices, and food security. We conducted an online survey among 517 respondents during early 2020 in Nanjing, China to explore respondents’ food acquisition behaviors before and during the pandemic and associations with the community food environment. Using geographic analysis and binary logistic models, we revealed that despite inconvenience regarding food acquisition, no food security issues occurred during lockdown in Nanjing. The pandemic changed the access and frequency of obtaining food; meanwhile, pre-pandemic habits had a strong impact on food acquisition behavior. Online and in-store food acquisition showed a substitution relationship, with online food access playing a crucial role in food acquisition. Physical and digit food outlets are highly integrated in Chinese urban communities, and both objectively measured and perceived accessibility of these food outlets had a significant association with the food acquisition methods and transportation mode chosen by people during this public health crisis. Full article
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Article
Effects of Four Weeks of Beta-Alanine Supplementation Combined with One Week of Creatine Loading on Physical and Cognitive Performance in Military Personnel
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7992; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137992 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
The purpose was to investigate the effects of a 7-day creatine (Cr) loading protocol at the end of four weeks of β-alanine supplementation (BA) on physical performance, blood lactate, cognitive performance, and resting hormonal concentrations compared to BA alone. Twenty male military personnel [...] Read more.
The purpose was to investigate the effects of a 7-day creatine (Cr) loading protocol at the end of four weeks of β-alanine supplementation (BA) on physical performance, blood lactate, cognitive performance, and resting hormonal concentrations compared to BA alone. Twenty male military personnel (age: 21.5 ± 1.5 yrs; height: 1.78 ± 0.05 m; body mass: 78.5 ± 7.0 kg; BMI: 23.7 ± 1.64 kg/m2) were recruited and randomized into two groups: BA + Cr or BA + placebo (PL). Participants in each group (n = 10 per group) were supplemented with 6.4 g/day of BA for 28 days. After the third week, the BA + Cr group participants were also supplemented with Cr (0.3 g/kg/day), while the BA + PL group ingested an isocaloric placebo for 7 days. Before and after supplementation, each participant performed a battery of physical and cognitive tests and provided a venous blood sample to determine resting testosterone, cortisol, and IGF-1. Furthermore, immediately after the last physical test, blood lactate was assessed. There was a significant improvement in physical performance and mathematical processing in the BA + Cr group over time (p < 0.05), while there was no change in the BA + PL group. Vertical jump performance and testosterone were significantly higher in the BA + Cr group compared to BA + PL. These results indicate that Cr loading during the final week of BA supplementation (28 days) enhanced muscular power and appears to be superior for muscular strength and cognitive performance compared to BA supplementation alone. Full article
Article
The Effects of Receiving and Expressing Health Information on Social Media during the COVID-19 Infodemic: An Online Survey among Malaysians
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7991; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137991 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
Social media is used by the masses not only to seek health information but also to express feelings on an array of issues, including those related to health. However, there has been little investigation on the influence of expressing and receiving information in [...] Read more.
Social media is used by the masses not only to seek health information but also to express feelings on an array of issues, including those related to health. However, there has been little investigation on the influence of expressing and receiving information in terms of health-related engagement on social media. Moreover, little is known of the cognitive mechanisms underlying the expression and reception of health information on information overload (IO) during an infectious disease outbreak. Guided by the Cognitive Mediation Model (CMM), this study proposes a conceptual model to understand the effects of receiving and expressing COVID-19 information on social media on IO. Using an online survey conducted in Malaysia, our results indicated that risk perception positively predicted the reception and expression of information which, in turn, was positively associated with perceived stress and IO. Additionally, perceived stress triggered IO, indicating that the greater the perceived stress from health information engagement, the higher the likelihood of one experiencing IO during the pandemic. We conclude that the CMM can be extended to study IO as an outcome variable. More studies in diverse health contexts need to be conducted to enhance the conceptualization and operationalization of IO in health information processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Global Threat: Information or Panic)
Article
Conflict Identification and Zoning Optimization of “Production-Living-Ecological” Space
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7990; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137990 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
With the acceleration of economic and social development and the increasing competition between multi-functional spaces, the coordination and stability of land space have been seriously affected. In order to simulate the conflict pattern of “production, living ecological” space and analyze its evolution characteristics, [...] Read more.
With the acceleration of economic and social development and the increasing competition between multi-functional spaces, the coordination and stability of land space have been seriously affected. In order to simulate the conflict pattern of “production, living ecological” space and analyze its evolution characteristics, taking Qianjiang City as the research area and based on the current data of land use, the FLUS (Future Land Use Simulation) model and spatial conflict measurement model are used to calculate the change trend of “production, living ecological” spatial conflict in Qianjiang City in the past and in the future. The research results are of great significance for the scientific use of land space and the optimization of regional development patterns. The results show that: (1) From 2000 to 2020, the level of spatial conflict in Qianjiang City showed an upward trend, the proportion of medium and above conflict units gradually increased, and the conflict level in the study area gradually became dominated by strong conflict. (2) Due to the process of urbanization and the continuous growth of population and GDP (Gross Domestic Product), the construction land in Qianjiang City shows a rapid increase trend under three scenarios, and the cultivated land area shows a downward trend. (3) In 2035, under the three scenarios, the spatial conflict in Qianjiang City will be strengthened, mainly at the level of medium and above. (4) According to the change degree of conflict transformation, 15 change types are divided into five functional zones: ecological protection zone, ecological conservation zone, modern agriculture zone, urban­–rural development coordination zone and urban optimization zone. Full article
Article
Validation of a High Flow Rate Puff Topography System Designed for Measurement of Sub-Ohm, Third Generation Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7989; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137989 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
There are few known puff topography devices designed solely for gathering electronic cigarette puff topography information, and none made for high-powered sub-ohm devices. Ten replicate Bernoulli flow cells were designed and 3D printed. The relationship between square root of pressure difference and flow [...] Read more.
There are few known puff topography devices designed solely for gathering electronic cigarette puff topography information, and none made for high-powered sub-ohm devices. Ten replicate Bernoulli flow cells were designed and 3D printed. The relationship between square root of pressure difference and flow rate was determined across 0–70 L/min. One representative flow cell was used to estimate puff volume and flow rate under six simulated puffing regimes (0.710 L, 2.000 L and 3.000 L, at low and high flow rates) to determine the system’s accuracy and utility of using dual pressure sensors for flow measurement. The relationship between flow rate and square root of pressure differential for the ten replicate cells was best fit with a quadratic model (R2 = 0.9991, p < 0.0001). The higher-pressure sensor was accurate at both low and high flow rates for 0.71 L (102% and 111% respectively), 2.00 L (96% and 103% respectively), and 3.00 L (100.1% and 107% respectively) but the lower-pressure sensor provided no utility, underpredicting volume and flow. This puff topography system generates very little resistance to flow, easily fits between user’s atomizer and mouthpiece, and is calibrated to measure flows up to 70 L/min. Full article
Article
The Changing Patterns and Correlates of Adolescent Substance Use in China’s Special Administrative Region of Macau
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7988; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137988 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
Most of the research on adolescent substance use is from either the U.S, Europe, or other non-Eastern countries, but very little attention is paid to that in the Greater China Region. As a special administrative region of China, Macau is known for its [...] Read more.
Most of the research on adolescent substance use is from either the U.S, Europe, or other non-Eastern countries, but very little attention is paid to that in the Greater China Region. As a special administrative region of China, Macau is known for its gambling industry, its proximity to the Golden Triangle, and its lenient drug laws, all of which can be conducive to high-level drug use in the population, including its adolescents. Yet, the extent and patterns of adolescent substance use in Macau are not well understood. Using the data collected from two large representative samples of secondary school students in 2014 and 2018, this study provided population-based estimates of the prevalence rates of lifetime and past 30-day substance use among Macau adolescents in the two separate survey years. By comparing the two sets of estimates, it established the patterns of changes in cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and illicit drug use among adolescents in Macau during the period. Additionally, through the analysis of the data in the latest year, it identified risk factors for adolescent substance use in the special administrative region. Among the key results, the rates of cigarette smoking and illicit drug use were low to moderate while the rates of alcohol use were relatively high; cigarette smoking decreased during the period, but alcohol use and illicit drug use remained stable; Macau adolescents shared similar risk factors for substance use with adolescents elsewhere, but unique circumstances might exist to influence their alcohol consumption. Full article
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Article
Executive Functions in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Grade 1 and 2, vs. Neurotypical Development: A School View
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7987; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137987 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
Background: Autism spectrum disorders are neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by deficits in social and communication functioning. Previous studies suggest that people with autism spectrum disorders have deficits in executive functions, having found a relationship with cognitive flexibility, planning, working memory, inhibition or self-control, but [...] Read more.
Background: Autism spectrum disorders are neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by deficits in social and communication functioning. Previous studies suggest that people with autism spectrum disorders have deficits in executive functions, having found a relationship with cognitive flexibility, planning, working memory, inhibition or self-control, but it is especially with respect to cognitive flexibility where the greatest dysfunctions have been found. The objective of this research was to compare the executive functioning of a group of children and adolescents diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders with another with neurotypical development in an educational context. Methods: This was a cross-sectional, descriptive and multicenter confirmatory study in which 121 people who participated acted as informants, with 70 of them being education professionals who work with people with autism spectrum disorders grade 1 and 2 and 51 of them being teachers who work with people of neurotypical development; these individuals were selected through non-probabilistic sampling. Results: People diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders obtained significantly higher scores on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function-2 scale for the nine clinical scales and the four indexes that compose it compared to the group of people with neurotypical development; in addition, the average scores obtained are clinically significant, with them being elevated for the group with autism spectrum disorders. This study confirms that children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders experience greater difficulties with respect to their executive functions than children with neurotypical development. Full article
Article
Men and Women as Differential Social Barometers: Gender Effects of Perceived Friend Support on the Neuroticism-Loneliness-Well-Being Relationship in a Younger Adult Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7986; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137986 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
Loneliness and social isolation are well known to have detrimental effects on mental and physical health, and the perception of social support is frequently viewed as a protective factor. Yet, the beneficial effect varies when perceived support is considered with respect to gender [...] Read more.
Loneliness and social isolation are well known to have detrimental effects on mental and physical health, and the perception of social support is frequently viewed as a protective factor. Yet, the beneficial effect varies when perceived support is considered with respect to gender and personality. We examined the mechanism of loneliness as a mediator of personality on health and moderation of this relationship by perceived social support and gender. Five hundred and thirty young adults (325 women) aged 18–32 years (Mage = 25.42, SD = 4.13) provided self-report assessments of personality, loneliness, perceived social support, general health and psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on well-being. Using a series of regression-based mediation and moderated mediation models, we found higher scores on extraversion to be associated with lower loneliness and better general health and well-being; higher neuroticism with greater loneliness and poorer general health. Being male and perceiving greater friend support moderated the neuroticism–loneliness–well-being relationship. Men higher on neuroticism were less able to benefit from lower loneliness when the perception of support from friends was greater, yet were less sensitive to the negative impact on the well-being of perceiving low levels of friend support. Effects suggest important gender differences with the potential to inform health interventions. Full article
Article
Potential Common Mechanisms of Cytotoxicity Induced by Amide Herbicides via TRPA1 Channel Activation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7985; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137985 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
The “Multi-Threat Medical Countermeasure (MTMC)” strategy was proposed to develop a single drug with therapeutic efficacy against multiple pathologies or broad-spectrum protection against various toxins with common biochemical signals, molecular mediators, or cellular processes. This study demonstrated that cytotoxicity, expression of transient receptor [...] Read more.
The “Multi-Threat Medical Countermeasure (MTMC)” strategy was proposed to develop a single drug with therapeutic efficacy against multiple pathologies or broad-spectrum protection against various toxins with common biochemical signals, molecular mediators, or cellular processes. This study demonstrated that cytotoxicity, expression of transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily A member 1 (TRPA1) mRNA, and intracellular calcium influx were increased in A549 cells exposed to amide herbicides (AHs), in which the order of cytotoxicity was metolachlor > acetochlor > propisochlor > alachlor > butachlor > propanil > pretilachlor, based on IC50 values of 430, 524, 564, 565, 619, 831, and 2333 μM, respectively. Inhibition/knockout of TRPA1 efficiently protected against cytotoxicity, decreased TRPA1 mRNA expression, and reduced calcium influx. The results suggested that the TRPA1 channel could be a key common target for AHs poisoning. The order of TRPA1 affinity for AHs was propanil > pretilachlor > metolachlor > (propiso/ala/aceto/butachlor), based on KD values of 16.2, 309, and 364 μM, respectively. The common molecular mechanisms of TRPA1-AHs interactions were clarified, including toxicity-effector groups (benzene ring, nitrogen/oxygen-containing functional groups, halogen) and residues involved in interactions (Lys787, Leu982). This work provides valuable information for the development of TRPA1 as a promising therapeutic target for broad-spectrum antitoxins. Full article
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Article
Progress of Local Health Department Planning Actions for Climate Change: Perspectives from California, USA
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7984; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137984 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
Public health departments are on the frontlines of protecting vulnerable groups and working to eliminate health disparities through prevention interventions, disease surveillance and community education. Exploration of the roles national, state and local health departments (LHDs) play in advancing climate change planning and [...] Read more.
Public health departments are on the frontlines of protecting vulnerable groups and working to eliminate health disparities through prevention interventions, disease surveillance and community education. Exploration of the roles national, state and local health departments (LHDs) play in advancing climate change planning and actions to protect public health is a developing arena of research. This paper presents insights from local public health departments in California, USA on how they addressed the barriers to climate adaptation planning with support from the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Health Equity Climate Change and Health Equity Section (OHE), which administers the California Building Resilience Against Climate Effects Project (CalBRACE). With support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Climate-Ready States and Cities Initiative (CRSCI), CalBRACE initiated an adaptation project to seed climate planning and actions in county health departments. In this study, we compared the barriers and strategies of twenty-two urban and rural LHDs and explored potential options for climate change adaptation in the public health framework. Using key informant interviews and document reviews, the results showed how engagement with CalBRACE’s Local Health Department Partnership on Climate Change influenced the county departments’ ability to overcome barriers to adaptation through the diversification of funding sources, the leveraging strategic collaborations, extensive public education and communication campaigns, and the development of political capital and champions. The lessons learned and recommendations from this research may provide pathways and practices for national, state and local level health departments to collaborate in developing protocols and integrating systems to respond to health-related climate change impacts, adaptation and implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climate Change)
Article
Biodecolorization and Ecotoxicity Abatement of Disperse Dye-Production Wastewater Treatment with Pycnoporus Laccase
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7983; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137983 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
The biological treatment efficiency of dye wastewater using activated sludge (AS) is largely limited to the chromaticity and ecotoxicity of dyestuff. To alleviate this limitation, eleven industrial-grade disperse dyes were obtained from a fiber-dyeing factory, and for the first time, we studied the [...] Read more.
The biological treatment efficiency of dye wastewater using activated sludge (AS) is largely limited to the chromaticity and ecotoxicity of dyestuff. To alleviate this limitation, eleven industrial-grade disperse dyes were obtained from a fiber-dyeing factory, and for the first time, we studied the decolorization and detoxification effects of using the Pycnoporus laccase enzyme. Efficient decolorization was achieved with the following conditions: dye concentration 50 mg/L, 1-hydroxybenzotriazole (HBT) 0.15 mM, temperature 65 °C, pH 4, and laccase 0.33 U/mL. The decolorization rate of disperse dyes, ranging from 51 to 96% in this investigation, was highly dependent on the dye type, concentration, laccase loading, and HBT. The ecotoxicity of dyes was evaluated by studying the germination/growth of wheat seed as well as the respiratory rate of aerobic AS. Laccase treatment mitigated the phytotoxicity of dyes because of the higher wheat germination (e.g., increase of 38% for Black ECT 200%) and growth rate (e.g., increase of 91% for Blue 2BLN 200%). The reduced ecotoxicity of decolorized dye solution towards microorganisms was also confirmed by the finding that the oxygen uptake by aerobic AS was increased relative to that of the untreated samples (e.g., increase of 14 folds for Blue HGL 200%). In addition, the chemical oxygen demand (COD) of decolorized dye solution was slightly lower than that without decolorization during the respiratory test. The experimental results suggest that enzymatic decolorization and detoxification can be potentially used as a pretreatment method for disperse dye wastewater followed by AS treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biodegradation of Pollutants)
Article
Cutaneous Adverse Drug Reactions (CADRs)—Statistical Analysis of the Causal Relationship between the Drug, Comorbidities, Cofactors, and the Cutaneous Reaction—A Single-Centered Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7982; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137982 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
Cutaneous adverse drug reactions (CADRs) are among the most common types of drug hypersensitivity reactions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical spectrum of CADRs and to determine the causal relationship between drugs, comorbidities, cofactors or concomitant symptoms, and cutaneous [...] Read more.
Cutaneous adverse drug reactions (CADRs) are among the most common types of drug hypersensitivity reactions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical spectrum of CADRs and to determine the causal relationship between drugs, comorbidities, cofactors or concomitant symptoms, and cutaneous reactions. A retrospective hospital-based study was carried out over a period of 10 years at the Department of Dermatology, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Clinical Immunology at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn to record various CADRs, comorbidities, cofactors, and the suspected drug in hospitalized patients. The data were subjected to statistical analysis. CADRs were diagnosed in a total of 140 patients, 32.14% of whom were men and 67.86% of whom were women. The mean age was 66.33 years. The most commonly suspected drugs were Allopurinol 12.86%, Amoxicillin with clavulanic acid 10%, Amoxicillin 9.29%, Paracetamol 6.43%, Metronidazole 5%, and Carbamazepine 5%. Attention should be paid to the possibility of using a substitute for a suspected drug if CADRs arise, or discontinuing a drug that is unjustifiably overused. The results of the present study should also prompt research into a potential treatment that could be implemented concurrently with a drug that has a high predisposition to cause CADRs. Full article
Article
The Role of Contact Care by Adult Children in Relieving Depression in Older Adult Individuals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7981; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137981 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to investigate how contact care by adult children influences the effect of caring for grandchildren on depression in older adult individuals. Studies have shown that caring for grandchildren either increases or decreases the symptoms of depression in [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to investigate how contact care by adult children influences the effect of caring for grandchildren on depression in older adult individuals. Studies have shown that caring for grandchildren either increases or decreases the symptoms of depression in older adult individuals, while other studies have shown no effect. The reason for these inconsistent results is that the key control variable, contact care by adult children, has been omitted from these previous studies. An analysis of panel data consisting of observations from 162 older adult respondents in the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging over the 2008–2016 period confirms that the positive effect of caring for grandchildren on depression in older adults increased as the number of adult children who visited their older adult parents after entrusting their children to them increased. As more of their adult children visited the older adult individuals, the latter were more likely to feel that caring for their grandchildren was healing rather than stressful. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Informal Caregivers)
Article
Knowledge of Predatory Practices within the Substance Use Disorder Treatment Industry: Development of a Measurement Instrument
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7980; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137980 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
The increase in predatory practices in the substance use disorder treatment industry calls for the development of measures to assess individuals’ knowledge about these practices. Methods: This study describes the development of the Knowledge of Predatory Practices Scale (KPPS), a newly developed measure [...] Read more.
The increase in predatory practices in the substance use disorder treatment industry calls for the development of measures to assess individuals’ knowledge about these practices. Methods: This study describes the development of the Knowledge of Predatory Practices Scale (KPPS), a newly developed measure designed to assess the knowledge of predatory practices within the substance use disorder treatment industry. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to determine the factor structure of this measure. Results: The final 11-item KPPS consisted of two factors—knowledge about general predatory practices (9 items) and knowledge about unethical practices (2 items). Overall, these factors explained 61.75% of the total variance. The Cronbach’s alpha for the KPPS was 0.81. Conclusions: The KPPS is a reliable measure of knowledge of predatory practices within the substance use disorder treatment industry and can be used as a measurement tool to educate individuals seeking help for their loved ones who are misusing substances. Full article
Article
Utilization of Random Forest Classifier and Artificial Neural Network for Predicting Factors Influencing the Perceived Usability of COVID-19 Contact Tracing “MorChana” in Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7979; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137979 (registering DOI) - 29 Jun 2022
Abstract
With the constant mutation of COVID-19 variants, the need to reduce the spread should be explored. MorChana is a mobile application utilized in Thailand to help mitigate the spread of the virus. This study aimed to explore factors affecting the actual use (AU) [...] Read more.
With the constant mutation of COVID-19 variants, the need to reduce the spread should be explored. MorChana is a mobile application utilized in Thailand to help mitigate the spread of the virus. This study aimed to explore factors affecting the actual use (AU) of the application through the use of machine learning algorithms (MLA) such as Random Forest Classifier (RFC) and Artificial Neural Network (ANN). An integrated Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) and the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) were considered. Using convenience sampling, a total of 907 valid responses from those who answered the online survey were voluntarily gathered. With 93.00% and 98.12% accuracy from RFC and ANN, it was seen that hedonic motivation and facilitating conditions were seen to be factors affecting very high AU; while habit and understanding led to high AU. It was seen that when people understand the impact and causes of the COVID-19 pandemic's aftermath, its severity, and also see a way to reduce it, it would lead to the actual usage of a system. The findings of this study could be used by developers, the government, and stakeholders to capitalize on using the health-related applications with the intention of increasing actual usage. The framework and methodology used presented a way to evaluate health-related technologies. Moreover, the developing trends of using MLA for evaluating human behavior-related studies were further justified in this study. It is suggested that MLA could be utilized to assess factors affecting human behavior and technology used worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Digital Health)
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