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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 19, Issue 15 (August-1 2022) – 890 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): There is limited evidence regarding which specific interventions are effective in reducing pesticide exposure and associated risks to human health and ecology. To better understand ongoing research and public health activities, a systematic review of the corresponding scientific literature was conducted, followed by a qualitative survey among stakeholders involved in pesticide research or management in the African region an international workshop. To learn about barriers to and promoters of successful interventions, a broad range of occupational and environmental health risk topics were discussed. Several key areas of improvement were identified in relation to acute poisoning, street pesticides, switching to alternatives, or disposal of empty pesticide containers. View this paper
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Article
The Influence of Maturity Status on Dynamic Balance Following 6 Weeks of Eccentric Hamstring Training in Youth Male Handball Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9775; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159775 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 443
Abstract
Information about when to apply an appropriate eccentric hamstring strength training stimulus during long-term athlete development is essential for effective programming and improving balance performance. This study examined the effects of six-week eccentric hamstring training on dynamic balance performance in youth handball players [...] Read more.
Information about when to apply an appropriate eccentric hamstring strength training stimulus during long-term athlete development is essential for effective programming and improving balance performance. This study examined the effects of six-week eccentric hamstring training on dynamic balance performance in youth handball players of different maturity statuses (pre- or post-peak height velocity (PHV)). A randomized controlled design with 45 young male handball players (14.6 ± 0.3 years) from a local national handball club were randomly allocated to a 6 week, twice weekly eccentric hamstring training in two experimental groups: a pre-PHV (maturation offset: −2.13 ± 0.63, n = 10) and post-PHV (maturation offset: 0.79 ± 0.34, n = 12) group and two control groups: maturation offset: −2.09 ± 0.61, n = 10 and maturation offset: 0.55 ± 0.67, n = 13. Dynamic balance performance was evaluated by using the composite score during the lower quarter Y-balance test from pre- and post-intervention. A significant effect on balance scores was found from pre to post (F = 11.4; p = 0.002; η2p = 0.22), intervention (F = 5.4; p = 0.025; η2p = 0.12), and maturation (F = 369; p < 0.001; η2p = 0.9), but no significant interaction effects were found (F ≥ 3.3; p ≥ 0.077; η2p ≤ 0.07). Post hoc analysis revealed that the post-PHV group had a higher score than the pre-PHV group. Furthermore, that dynamic balance increased in the post-PHV group after intervention much more in the control post-PHV group. It was concluded that somatic maturation influences dynamic balance performance and that eccentric hamstring training results in greater improvement in balance performance in young male handball players for the post-pubertal group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Handball: Sport and Health)
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Article
Why Is Health Care for Children with Down Syndrome So Crucial from the First Days of Life? A Retrospective Cohort Study Emphasized Transient Abnormal Myelopoiesis (TAM) Syndrome at Three Centers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9774; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159774 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 408
Abstract
Down syndrome (DS) is a common genetic disorder and is associated with an increased likelihood of many diseases, including defects of the heart, genitourinary system, gastrointestinal tract, and oncological diseases. The aim of this study was to analyze medical problems occurring in newborns [...] Read more.
Down syndrome (DS) is a common genetic disorder and is associated with an increased likelihood of many diseases, including defects of the heart, genitourinary system, gastrointestinal tract, and oncological diseases. The aim of this study was to analyze medical problems occurring in newborns with DS and to create a basic diagnostic and therapeutic algorithm intended primarily for neonatologists, pediatricians, family physicians, and physicians of other specialties caring for children with DS. Over a 5-year period, the medical records of 161 neonates with Down syndrome from four neonatology departments in Poznan, Poland, were examined. After applying exclusion criteria, 111 patients were analyzed. Data obtained from medical history included sex, week of gestation, birth weight, APGAR score, clinical symptoms, peripheral blood count with smear, and clinical features such as jaundice, hemorrhagic diathesis, ascites, hepato- or splenomegaly, pericardial or pleural effusion, respiratory failure, and other rare transient signs of abnormal myelopoiesis: fetal edema, hepatic fibrosis, renal failure, and rush. In the study group, 8% of children with Down syndrome were diagnosed with a heart and 1.8% with a genitourinary defect. Transient abnormal myelopoiesis syndrome (Transient abnormal myelopoiesis (TAM)) was found in 10% of newborns with DS. A blood count with blood smear, cardiology consultation with echocardiography, and an abdominal ultrasound should be performed in the first few days after birth in all newborns with Down syndrome. If this is not possible and the child’s condition is stable, these tests can be performed within 2–3 months after birth. Full article
Article
Psychological Burdens among Teachers in Germany during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic—Subgroup Analysis from a Nationwide Cross-Sectional Online Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9773; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159773 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 398
Abstract
Background: Schools underwent massive changes during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic worldwide. Besides existing occupational health challenges, teachers had to deal with biological and psychological burdens that had the potential to impact their psychological well-being. The aim of the present study was to (i) assess [...] Read more.
Background: Schools underwent massive changes during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic worldwide. Besides existing occupational health challenges, teachers had to deal with biological and psychological burdens that had the potential to impact their psychological well-being. The aim of the present study was to (i) assess the current state of psychological burdens in German teachers and (ii) identify highly burdened subgroups to derive and address interventions. Methods: A nationwide cross-sectional online survey was conducted among teachers at all school types in Germany in March 2021. Data on psychological strains were assessed using established (e.g., PHQ-4) and new—pandemic-specific—(e.g., COVID-19-associated anxieties) instruments. ANOVAs and Tukey’s post hoc tests were used to identify highly burdened subgroups (e.g., gender, age, and number of risk factors for severe courses of COVID-19) of teachers. Results: Psychological burdens in German teachers (N = 31.089) exceeded the level of the general population, for example, regarding symptoms of depression (PHQ-2, M = 1.93 vs. 1.24) or generalized anxiety (GAD-2, M = 1.72 vs. 1.03). Subgroup analysis revealed that psychological burdens were unevenly distributed among different groups of teachers; for example, younger teachers (18–30 years) showed more depression symptoms compared with their older colleagues (56–67 years) (PHQ-2, M = 2.01 vs. 1.78). Conclusions: The online survey was conducted during the “third wave” of SARS-CoV-2 in Germany, which might have influenced risk perception and psychological strains. Future studies at different times, ideally longitudinal monitoring of the mental health of teachers, are recommended. Based on our results, evidence-based subgroup-specific interventions should be implemented to sustain teachers’ mental health; for example, younger teachers or teachers with risk factors for a severe course of COVID-19 should receive special attention and support. Teachers from special needs schools whose mental health is, on average, good could also be a starting point for identifying the health promotion structural elements of this school type (e.g., fewer students per teacher). However, beyond the specific pandemic-related psychological burdens, the classic occupational health challenges of physical, biological, and chemical stress and their resulting strains should not be disregarded. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 and Mental Health in the Educational Field)
Article
Impact of the HOPE Intervention on Mental Health Literacy, Psychological Well-Being and Stress Levels amongst University Undergraduates: A Randomised Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9772; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159772 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 379
Abstract
Mental health literacy (MHL) promotes mental health among youths. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the newly developed HOPE intervention in improving depression literacy, anxiety literacy, psychological well-being, and reducing personal stigma and stress levels amongst young adults at a university in [...] Read more.
Mental health literacy (MHL) promotes mental health among youths. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the newly developed HOPE intervention in improving depression literacy, anxiety literacy, psychological well-being, and reducing personal stigma and stress levels amongst young adults at a university in Singapore. After two pilot studies, we conducted a randomised controlled trial (RCT) and recruited 174 participants aged 18–24 years old through social media platforms. The HOPE intervention group received four online sessions over two weeks and the control group received online inspirational quotes. Study outcomes were measured with self-reported questionnaires and they were assessed at baseline, post-intervention, and two-month follow-up (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04266119). Compared with the control arm, the intervention group was associated with increased depression and anxiety literacy levels at post-intervention and two-month follow-up. In addition, personal stigma for depression was reduced at the post-intervention juncture. However, there were no statistically significant changes in the ratings of psychological well-being and stress levels between the two groups. Longitudinal studies with larger sample sizes are warranted to replicate and extend the extant findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
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Article
DLKN-MLC: A Disease Prediction Model via Multi-Label Learning
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9771; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159771 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 301
Abstract
With the increasingly available electronic health records (EHR), disease prediction has recently gained immense research attention, where an accurate classifier needs to be trained to map the input prediction signals (e.g., symptoms, auxiliary examination results, etc.) to the estimated diseases for each patient. [...] Read more.
With the increasingly available electronic health records (EHR), disease prediction has recently gained immense research attention, where an accurate classifier needs to be trained to map the input prediction signals (e.g., symptoms, auxiliary examination results, etc.) to the estimated diseases for each patient. However, most of the current disease prediction models focus on the prediction of a single disease; in the medical field, a patient often suffers from multiple diseases (especially multiple chronic diseases) at the same time. Therefore, multi-disease prediction is of greater significance for patients’ early intervention and treatment, but there is no doubt that multi-disease prediction has higher requirements for data extraction ability and greater complexity of classification. In this paper, we propose a novel disease prediction model DLKN-MLC. The model extracts the information in EHR through deep learning combined with a disease knowledge network, quantifies the correlation between diseases through NodeRank, and completes multi-disease prediction. in addition, we distinguished the importance of common disease symptoms, occasional disease symptoms and auxiliary examination results in the process of disease diagnosis. In empirical and comparative experiments on real EHR datasets, the Hamming loss, one-error rate, ranking loss, average precision, and micro-F1 values of the DLKN-MLC model were 0.2624, 0.2136, 0.2190, 88.21%, and 87.86%, respectively, which were better compared with those from previous methods. Extensive experiments on a real-world EHR dataset have demonstrated the state-of-the-art performance of our proposed model. Full article
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Study Protocol
A Randomized Clinical Trial to Assess the Efficacy of a Psychological Treatment to Quit Smoking Assisted with an App: Study Protocol
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9770; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159770 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 345
Abstract
Numerous studies have shown the efficacy of smoking cessation interventions. However, some challenges, such as relapse rates, remain. The availability of information technologies (ICTs) offers promising opportunities to address such challenges. The aim of this paper is to describe the protocol followed to [...] Read more.
Numerous studies have shown the efficacy of smoking cessation interventions. However, some challenges, such as relapse rates, remain. The availability of information technologies (ICTs) offers promising opportunities to address such challenges. The aim of this paper is to describe the protocol followed to assess the efficacy of a face-to-face cognitive–behavioral intervention for smoking cessation using a smartphone application as a complement, compared with a control group. A single blind, two-arm, randomized controlled trial is proposed (NCT04765813). The participants will be smokers over 18 years old, who smoke at least eight cigarettes per day. Participants will be randomized to one of two conditions, using a 1:1 allocation ratio: (1) cognitive–behavioral smoking cessation treatment along with an App with active therapeutic components (SinHumo App); or (2) cognitive–behavioral treatment along with the use of a control App (without active components). The experimental App will be used during the eight treatment sessions and for 12 months after the end of treatment. The primary outcome measures will be 7-days point-prevalence abstinence at 12-months follow-up. We expect the experimental App to obtain higher abstinence rates at the end of treatment and at one-year post-treatment follow-ups and lower relapse rates, compared to the control App. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
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Article
Impact of Education for Sustainable Development on Cognition, Emotion, and Behavior in Protected Areas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9769; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159769 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 382
Abstract
Education for sustainable development (ESD) of protected areas is proposed to deal with global climate change and biodiversity conversation. It focuses on the “quality education” and “protection” of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (UN SDGs), not only taking protected areas as the [...] Read more.
Education for sustainable development (ESD) of protected areas is proposed to deal with global climate change and biodiversity conversation. It focuses on the “quality education” and “protection” of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (UN SDGs), not only taking protected areas as the education place, but also as the theme and content of education. Based on cognitive-behavior theory and social emotional learning theory, this study constructs a “cognitive–emotion–behavior” dimension framework of ESD in protected areas, selecting Potatso National Park in Yunnan as a case study. Based on 529 valid visitor questionnaires, this study uses structural equation modeling to verify theoretical hypotheses, and analyzes the impact of ESD in protected areas on public cognition, emotion, and behavior. The results show that: (1) Cognitive and emotional factors jointly drive the behavioral intentions of ESD in protected areas, and social-emotional factors are slightly higher than cognitive factors; (2) Environmental knowledge, personal norms, nature connectedness, and places attachment positively affects behavioral intentions; (3) Indigenous knowledge has an impact on behavioral intentions through emotional mediation, and personal norms have an impact on behavioral intentions through direct effects; (4) Gender and visit frequency are important moderating variables in the ESD of protected areas. These conclusions provide the following suggestions for further development of ESD. First, by forming environment-friendly social norms and focusing on the mining and presentation of indigenous knowledge, the behavioral intention can also be enhanced to a certain extent; second, improving people’s emotion can also promote people’s behavioral intention, especially referring to optimizing nature connectedness, strengthening place attachment, and creating emotional connections; Third, specific groups of people should be taught specifically, and improve the supporting services of ESD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Article
Quality of Life and Mental Health Benefits of Public Participation in Forest Conservation Activities in Urban Areas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9768; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159768 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 371
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of forest conservation activities on the physical and psychological wellbeing of participants. The experiment was conducted in a forest near an urban area and involved 61 participants (average age: 22.5 ± 1.8). The [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of forest conservation activities on the physical and psychological wellbeing of participants. The experiment was conducted in a forest near an urban area and involved 61 participants (average age: 22.5 ± 1.8). The participants selected one of three activities (pruning, stacking cut branches, and removing vines) in the forest conservation program. The effects of these activities on the musculoskeletal system were assessed using the Ovako Working Posture Assessment System (OWAS); the physical intensity of the activities was evaluated using heart rate data. The psychological evaluation measurement indexes used the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale, World Health Organization Quality of Life assessment instrument, and the Perceived Restorativeness Scale. As a result of the OWAS assessment, forest conservation activities were found to be action categories 1 and 2, which were less burdensome to the musculoskeletal system. All forestry activities were found to be light levels of physical intensity. Psychological evaluation of the participants revealed that positive emotions such as self-esteem, quality of life, and perceived restorativeness increased significantly, whereas negative emotions decreased significantly. This forest conservation program, that involved low-intensity activities which were less burdensome to the musculoskeletal system, had positive physical and psychological effects on the local residents who participated. Full article
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Article
Effectiveness of Smoking Prevention Programs on the Knowledge, Attitudes, and Anti-Smoking Exposure Self-Efficacy among Non-Smoking Rural Seventh-Grade Students in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9767; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159767 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 382
Abstract
The disproportionate smoking prevalence among adolescents in rural Taiwan may be attributed to insufficient anti-smoking education. Increasing access to such education may help reduce initiation and promote smoking cessation in adolescents, particularly in rural areas. However, effects of these programs require verification. This [...] Read more.
The disproportionate smoking prevalence among adolescents in rural Taiwan may be attributed to insufficient anti-smoking education. Increasing access to such education may help reduce initiation and promote smoking cessation in adolescents, particularly in rural areas. However, effects of these programs require verification. This study determined the effectiveness of a school-based prevention program in enhancing knowledge, attitudes, and anti-smoking exposure self-efficacy among seventh-grade non-smoking students. A quasi-experimental design with convenience sampling was employed, where participants included seventh graders from two junior high schools who completed a questionnaire 1–2 weeks before and after the intervention. Furthermore, the intervention group received four smoking and secondhand smoke (SHS) prevention classes, whereas the control group engaged in scheduled school activities. Knowledge on smoking (B = 4.38, p < 0.001) and SHS (B = 2.35, p < 0.001) were significantly greater in the intervention group. Moreover, the groups differed significantly in avoiding SHS exposure (B = 3.03, p = 0.031). Intervention modifications may be necessary to enhance the program’s effect on smoking exposure-related attitudes and self-efficacy. Additionally, cultural and other aspects (or “urban-rural gap”) might influence these results. Future randomized controlled trials should compare urban to rural adolescents, use longitudinal designs, and assess smoking initiation or cessation. Full article
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Systematic Review
The Social, Behavioral, and Ethical Modalities of COVID-19 on HIV Care in South Africa: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9766; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159766 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 458
Abstract
The profound public health impact of the novel outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in 2019 has been unparalleled in the last century. Rapid spread of the disease and a high death toll fueled the development and global rollout of effective vaccines regardless of [...] Read more.
The profound public health impact of the novel outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in 2019 has been unparalleled in the last century. Rapid spread of the disease and a high death toll fueled the development and global rollout of effective vaccines regardless of the massive inequitable access. However, some public health measures intended to control COVID-19 have had collateral effects on the control of other infectious diseases. In this systematic review, we analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on efforts to control HIV in South Africa, emphasizing the social, ethical, and behavioral ramifications. The SCOPUS, PubMed, Ovid, PsychINFO, and Cochrane Library databases were searched for publications between March 2020 and January 2022. Of the 854 articles identified, 245 were found duplicated, and 609 were screened, 241 of which were potentially eligible, and 15 of which were ultimately included. Although no studies on the ethical implications were eligible for our study criteria due to insufficient primary data to perform an analysis on, we explored this topic in the Discussion section of this paper. We confirm declines in ART, PrEP, and HIV testing during the initial lockdown period, with slight variations across the South African provinces. Protecting routine services and reducing the disease burden on high-risk nations such as South Africa is imperative moving forward with the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Article
A Combination of Long-Duration Electrical Stimulation with External Shoulder Support during Routine Daily Activities in Patients with Post-Hemiplegic Shoulder Subluxation: A Randomized Controlled Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9765; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159765 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 345
Abstract
The study objective was to determine the effect of long-duration neuromuscular electric stimulation (NMES) on shoulder subluxation and upper-extremity function during the acute post-stroke stage. Twenty-eight subjects (mean age ± standard deviation −70.0 ± 14.0 years) were randomly assigned to an experimental or [...] Read more.
The study objective was to determine the effect of long-duration neuromuscular electric stimulation (NMES) on shoulder subluxation and upper-extremity function during the acute post-stroke stage. Twenty-eight subjects (mean age ± standard deviation −70.0 ± 14.0 years) were randomly assigned to an experimental or to a control group receiving NMES to the supraspinatus and posterior deltoid muscles or sham treatment for 6 weeks. All the subjects continued standard rehabilitation and external shoulder support (EST). Assessments were conducted pre- and post-intervention and at a 2 week follow-up session by an assessor blind to group allocation. Outcome measures included the degree of shoulder subluxation, Fugl–Meyer assessment-upper extremity (FMA-UE) test, FMA—hand and finger subscales, Functional Independence Measure (FIM), and shoulder pain (using the Numeric Pain Rate Scale). Shoulder subluxation was significantly lower, while the FMA-UE and FMA—hand and finger subscales were significantly improved in the experimental group post-intervention and at follow-up compared to the control group. FIM at follow-up improved more in the experimental group. No change was observed in pain level in both groups. Supplementing NMES to standard rehabilitation and EST is beneficial in reducing shoulder subluxation and improving upper-extremity function. Further research is necessary to determine effect of longer treatment duration and longer follow-up periods. Full article
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Article
Tempo-Spatial Modelling of the Spread of COVID-19 in Urban Spaces
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9764; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159764 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 261
Abstract
The relationship between the social structure of urban spaces and the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming increasingly evident. Analyzing the socio-spatial structure in relation to cases may be one of the keys to explaining the ways in which this contagious disease [...] Read more.
The relationship between the social structure of urban spaces and the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming increasingly evident. Analyzing the socio-spatial structure in relation to cases may be one of the keys to explaining the ways in which this contagious disease and its variants spread. The aim of this study is to propose a set of variables selected from the social context and the spatial structure and to evaluate the temporal spread of infections and their different degrees of intensity according to social areas. We define a model to represent the relationship between the socio-spatial structure of the urban space and the spatial distribution of pandemic cases. We draw on the theory of social area analysis and apply multivariate analysis techniques to check the results in the urban space of the city of Malaga (Spain). The proposed model should be considered capable of explaining the functioning of the relationships between societal structure, socio-spatial segregation, and the spread of the pandemic. In this paper, the study of the origins and consequences of COVID-19 from different scientific perspectives is considered a necessary approach to understanding this phenomenon. The personal and social consequences of the pandemic have been exceptional and have changed many aspects of social life in urban spaces, where it has also had a greater impact. We propose a geostatistical analysis model that can explain the functioning of the relationships between societal structure, socio-spatial segregation, and the temporal evolution of the pandemic. Rather than an aprioristic theory, this paper is a study by the authors to interpret the disparity in the spread of the pandemic as shown by the infection data. Full article
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Article
Problematic Social Media Use and Cyber Aggression in Italian Adolescents: The Remarkable Role of Social Support
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9763; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159763 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 308
Abstract
The recent increase in electronic and social media use among young people has highlighted the importance of focusing on problematic social media use (PSMU) and the concurrent phenomenon of cyber aggression, as well as the role of social support. As part of the [...] Read more.
The recent increase in electronic and social media use among young people has highlighted the importance of focusing on problematic social media use (PSMU) and the concurrent phenomenon of cyber aggression, as well as the role of social support. As part of the 2018 Health Behavior in School-aged Children study in Italy, this study aims to explore the role of family, peer, and teacher support in the association between cyberbullying and PSMU. Methods: Data were collected from 4183 school classes in Italy for a total of 58,976 adolescents aged 11, 13, and 15 years. The prevalence of cyber aggression (both cybervictimization and perpetration) and PSMU was estimated across subgroups of different age, gender, and geographical residence. A set of multivariable logistic regressions was then used to investigate the association between cyberbullying and PSMU, considering the effect of social support. Results: Cybervictimization was more frequent among girls than in boys. PSMU was higher in 11-year-old boys and 13-year-old girls; 8.3% and 12.7%, respectively. Social support was highest in 11-year-olds, for both sexes, and then decreased with increasing age. The risk of cyberbullying, both suffered and perpetrated, was higher in girls and in the presence of PSMU. Social support showed to be highly protective against PSMU and cyberbullying in all ages and both genders. Conclusion: Although cyber aggression is less represented in Italy than in other European countries, it is likely to increase. PSMU appears to be an important contributor to the risk of cyber aggression; however, social support has been shown to be capable of reducing the risk of both phenomena. Public health policies fostering familiar and school support can help protect adolescents’ mental health, reducing the risk of problematic media use and cyberbullying. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behaviour and Health Promotion in School-Aged Children)
Article
Functioning of Children and Adolescents with Cancer
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9762; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159762 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 267
Abstract
The aim of the current study was to evaluate the functioning of children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer. This was a cross-sectional, observational study, with children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer, from 2 to 18 years of age, of both sexes, invited to [...] Read more.
The aim of the current study was to evaluate the functioning of children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer. This was a cross-sectional, observational study, with children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer, from 2 to 18 years of age, of both sexes, invited to participate in the city of Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory-Computer Adaptive Test (PEDI-CAT) questionnaire was applied to the caregivers to assess the functioning of the participants, in four domains: daily activities, mobility, social/cognitive, and responsibility. In total, 33 children and adolescents participated, of both sexes, with a mean age of 9.23 years. The results showed that in the mobility category, participants older than 8 years presented worse functioning (OR = 22.000, 95% CI = 3.415–141.733, p = 0.0001). Children older than 8 years of age and adolescents with different types of cancer showed a higher chance of presenting lower mobility than their normal peers of the same age and compared with children under 8 years of age. Understanding the impact of childhood cancer is important for the physiotherapist to determine treatment strategies for this population who live with dysfunctions left by the cancer treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Children's Health)
Review
Gaps and Directions in Addressing Non-Communicable and Chronic Diseases in China: A Policy Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9761; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159761 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 339
Abstract
Objective: Non-communicable and chronic diseases (NCDs) have become a public health problem that seriously threatens the population’s health, especially in rapidly industrialized countries. Given the complexity of managing NCDs, there is growing evidence that interventions embedding or incorporating health promotion strategies can help [...] Read more.
Objective: Non-communicable and chronic diseases (NCDs) have become a public health problem that seriously threatens the population’s health, especially in rapidly industrialized countries. Given the complexity of managing NCDs, there is growing evidence that interventions embedding or incorporating health promotion strategies can help reduce the disease burden of NCDs. This review aims to identify and map existing control and prevention policies for NCDs in China and identify gaps or opportunities for policy modifications and development, to transfer evidence-based guidelines into empirical public health intervention practices and research. Design: A review was conducted to evaluate the policy documents to manage NCDs in China. Keywords “chronic disease”, “health”, and “policy” were used to search documents published on the Chinese official national websites. Nvivo 12.0 was used to conduct a content analysis of the policy documents. Results: Fifty-six NCD prevention policies were retrieved from the search, and ten documents that incorporated the health promotion component were analyzed. The Healthy China 2030 Plan and Recommendations on Implementing the Healthy China Action are the core health policies of China’s Central Government. These, coupled with three nationwide community-based projects, have provided a foundational transformation platform for health promotion implementation. Conclusion: This review revealed the Chinese Government’s determination and commitment toward the prevention and control of NCDs and the promotion public health. Additional efforts and a focus on accelerating policy transformation and strengthening policy evaluation are required to achieve this commitment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Article
The Association of Attending Physicians’ Publications and Patients’ Readmission Rates: Evidence from Tertiary Hospitals in China Using a Retrospective Data Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9760; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159760 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 299
Abstract
Background: Physicians play a unique role in scientific and clinical research, which is the cornerstone of evidence-based medical practice. In China, tertiary public hospitals link promotions and bonuses with publications. However, the weight placed on research in the clinician’s evaluation process and its [...] Read more.
Background: Physicians play a unique role in scientific and clinical research, which is the cornerstone of evidence-based medical practice. In China, tertiary public hospitals link promotions and bonuses with publications. However, the weight placed on research in the clinician’s evaluation process and its potential impact on clinical practice have come under controversy. Despite the heated debate about physicians’ role in research, there is little empirical evidence about the relationship between physicians’ publications and their clinical outcomes. Method: This paper examines the association of the quantity and quality of tertiary hospitals’ attending physicians’ publications and inpatient readmission rates in China. We analyzed a 20% random sample of inpatient data from the Urban Employee Basic Medical Health Insurance scheme in one of the largest cities in China from January 2018 through October 2019. We assessed the relationship between the quantity and impact factor of physicians’ publications and 30-day inpatient readmission rates using logistic regression. There were 111,965 hospitalizations treated by 5794 physicians in our sample. Results: Having any first-author publications was not associated with the rate of readmission. Among internists, having clinical studies published in journals with an average impact factor of 3 or above was associated with lower readmission rates (OR = 0.849; 95% CI (0.740, 0.975)), but having basic science studies published in journals with an average impact factor of 3 or above was not associated with the rate of readmission. Among surgeons, having clinical studies published in journals with an average impact factor of 3 or above was likewise associated with lower readmission rates (OR = 0.708 (0.531, 0.946)), but having basic science studies published in journals with an average impact factor of 3 or above was associated with higher readmission rates (OR = 1.230 (1.051, 1.439)). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Economics)
Article
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Wildfires: A Fifth-Year Postdisaster Evaluation among Residents of Fort McMurray
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9759; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159759 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 347
Abstract
Background: Over 90,000 residents had to be evacuated from Fort McMurray (FMM), Alberta, Canada due to the wildfire that engulfed the city in May 2016. Overall, about 2400 homes or 10% of the housing stock in Fort McMurray were destroyed. The fire consumed [...] Read more.
Background: Over 90,000 residents had to be evacuated from Fort McMurray (FMM), Alberta, Canada due to the wildfire that engulfed the city in May 2016. Overall, about 2400 homes or 10% of the housing stock in Fort McMurray were destroyed. The fire consumed about 200,000 hectors of forest, reaching into Saskatchewan. During major disasters, communities’ infrastructure is disrupted, and psychological, economic, and environmental effects are felt for years afterwards. Objective: Five years after the wildfire disaster, this study assessed the prevalence rate of major depressive disorder (MDD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Fort McMurray residents and determined the demographic, clinical, and other risk factors of probable MDD and PTSD. Methodology: A quantitative cross-sectional survey was conducted to collect data through an online questionnaire administered via REDCap between 24 April and 2 June 2021. The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) was used to assess the presence of MDD symptoms in respondents. The PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-C) was used to assess likely PTSD in respondents. Descriptive, univariate, and multivariate regression analyses were employed. Results: 186 out of 249 individuals who accessed the survey link completed it (74.7% response rate). The median age of the subscribers was 42. The sample included a majority of 159 (85.5%) females; 98 (52.7%) > 40 years of age; 175 (94.1%) employed; and 132 (71%) in a relationship. The overall prevalence of MDD symptoms in our study sample was 45.0% (76). Four variables independently predicted MDD symptoms in the multivariate logistic regression model, including: unemployed (OR = 12.39; 95% CI: 1.21–126.37), have received a mental diagnosis of MDD (OR = 4.50; 95% CI: 1.57−12.92), taking sedative-hypnotics (OR = 5.27; 95% CI: 1.01−27.39), and willingness to receive mental health counseling (OR = 4.90; 95% CI: 1.95–12.31). The prevalence of likely PTSD among our respondents was 39.6% (65). Three independent variables: received a mental health depression diagnosis from a health professional (OR = 4.49; 95% CI: 1.40–14.44), would like to receive mental health counseling (OR = 4.36, 95% CI: 1.54–12.34), and have only limited or no support from family (OR = 11.01, 95% CI: 1.92–63.20) contributed significantly to the model for predicting likely PTSD among respondents while controlling the other factors in the regression model. Conclusions: According to this study, unemployment, taking sleeping pills, having a prior depression diagnosis, and the willingness to receive mental health counseling significantly increase the odds of having MDD and PTSD following wildfires. Family support may protect against the development of these conditions. Full article
Communication
Regional Research-Practice-Policy Partnerships in Response to Climate-Related Disparities: Promoting Health Equity in the Pacific
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9758; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159758 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 418
Abstract
Although climate change poses a threat to health and well-being globally, a regional approach to addressing climate-related health equity may be more suitable, appropriate, and appealing to under-resourced communities and countries. In support of this argument, this commentary describes an approach by a [...] Read more.
Although climate change poses a threat to health and well-being globally, a regional approach to addressing climate-related health equity may be more suitable, appropriate, and appealing to under-resourced communities and countries. In support of this argument, this commentary describes an approach by a network of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers dedicated to promoting climate-related health equity in Small Island Developing States and low- and middle-income countries in the Pacific. We identify three primary sets of needs related to developing a regional capacity to address physical and mental health disparities through research, training, and assistance in policy and practice implementation: (1) limited healthcare facilities and qualified medical and mental health providers; (2) addressing the social impacts related to the cooccurrence of natural hazards, disease outbreaks, and complex emergencies; and (3) building the response capacity and resilience to climate-related extreme weather events and natural hazards. Full article
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Article
Does Clean Energy Use Have Threshold Effects on Economic Development? A Case of Theoretical and Empirical Analyses from China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9757; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159757 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 322
Abstract
Increasingly serious energy security and environmental problems have become the main constraints to China’s economic development. Therefore, it is critical to explore the threshold effect of clean energy use on China’s economic growth. Based on the panel data of 30 Chinese provinces from [...] Read more.
Increasingly serious energy security and environmental problems have become the main constraints to China’s economic development. Therefore, it is critical to explore the threshold effect of clean energy use on China’s economic growth. Based on the panel data of 30 Chinese provinces from 2000 to 2019 and using energy intensity (EI) as the threshold variable, this study adopts a panel threshold model to explore the threshold effect of clean energy development on the economy. Empirical results indicate that clean energy has a significant threshold effect on economic development, with the threshold value of EI being 0.7655. When EI is less than 0.7655, clean energy development has a more positive effect on economic growth. When the EI exceeds 0.7655, the impact is significantly positive but with a smaller coefficient. EI weakens the role of clean energy development in promoting economic growth. After 2015, the EI of most provinces in the sample was below the threshold value, which indicates that in recent years, with the economic cost of developing clean energy decreasing, the role of clean energy development in promoting the economy has become more significant. Therefore, we propose policy implications to better promote the effect of clean energy development in promoting economic growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Recent Development of Environmental Management in Asia)
Article
An Integrated Machine Learning Scheme for Predicting Mammographic Anomalies in High-Risk Individuals Using Questionnaire-Based Predictors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9756; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159756 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 306
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the important predictors related to predicting positive mammographic findings based on questionnaire-based demographic and obstetric/gynecological parameters using the proposed integrated machine learning (ML) scheme. The scheme combines the benefits of two well-known ML algorithms, namely, least absolute shrinkage [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the important predictors related to predicting positive mammographic findings based on questionnaire-based demographic and obstetric/gynecological parameters using the proposed integrated machine learning (ML) scheme. The scheme combines the benefits of two well-known ML algorithms, namely, least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (Lasso) logistic regression and extreme gradient boosting (XGB), to provide adequate prediction for mammographic anomalies in high-risk individuals and the identification of significant risk factors. We collected questionnaire data on 18 breast-cancer-related risk factors from women who participated in a national mammographic screening program between January 2017 and December 2020 at a single tertiary referral hospital to correlate with their mammographic findings. The acquired data were retrospectively analyzed using the proposed integrated ML scheme. Based on the data from 21,107 valid questionnaires, the results showed that the Lasso logistic regression models with variable combinations generated by XGB could provide more effective prediction results. The top five significant predictors for positive mammography results were younger age, breast self-examination, older age at first childbirth, nulliparity, and history of mammography within 2 years, suggesting a need for timely mammographic screening for women with these risk factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Breast Cancer Research and Health Promotion)
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Article
Shallow Failure of Weak Slopes in Bayan Obo West Mine
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9755; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159755 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 237
Abstract
The slope stability of large open-pit mines has always been a concern and the analysis of large-scale slope landslides is a focus. However, shallow failure in soft rock slopes also has a serious impact on safe production. The northern slope of Baiyunebo West [...] Read more.
The slope stability of large open-pit mines has always been a concern and the analysis of large-scale slope landslides is a focus. However, shallow failure in soft rock slopes also has a serious impact on safe production. The northern slope of Baiyunebo West Mine has many shallow landslides in the final slope, resulting in damage of the maintenance channel of the belt transportation system, which has a serious impact on the safety of production. In order to reduce the shallow failure in weak rock slope, it is necessary to analyze the behavior and characteristics of shallow failure in weak rock. Firstly, the mechanical parameters of the intact rock were obtained by using the exploration data; secondly, through the analysis of blasting-damage range, the distribution characteristics of fractures after the failure of weak rock were obtained. Finally, through theoretical analysis, numerical simulation, surface displacement monitoring and on-site shallow-failure case analysis, the deformation and characteristics of shallow failure of weak rock slope in West Mine were obtained. It was found that the mechanical parameters of rock mass strength on the surface of weak rock slope and the original rock were quite different after mining disturbance. The mode of failure of shallow weak rock slope in the West Mine was creep-cracking; the numerical modelling analysis was carried out by using the assignment method of shallow lithology weakening and gradual change, which is more in line with the deformation characteristics of weak rock slope in West Mine. The lower deformation of the soft rock slope in West Mine is 3–5 times that of the upper deformation. The research results are helpful to understand the influence of blasting on the stability of soft rock slope. At present, West Mine has started to adjust blasting parameters according to the research results, so as to reduce the excessive damage of blasting to rock mass, so the stability of the slope is improved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Full Life-Cycle Safety Management of Coal and Rock Dynamic Disasters)
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Article
Estimation of Functional Fitness of Korean Older Adults Using Machine Learning Techniques: The National Fitness Award 2015–2019
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9754; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159754 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 279
Abstract
Measuring functional fitness (FF) to track the decline in physical abilities is important in order to maintain a healthy life in old age. This paper aims to develop an estimation model of FF variables, which represents strength, flexibility, and aerobic endurance, using easy-to-measure [...] Read more.
Measuring functional fitness (FF) to track the decline in physical abilities is important in order to maintain a healthy life in old age. This paper aims to develop an estimation model of FF variables, which represents strength, flexibility, and aerobic endurance, using easy-to-measure physical parameters for Korean older adults aged over 65 years old. The estimation models were developed using various machine learning techniques and were trained with the National Fitness Award datasets from 2015 to 2019 compiled by the Korea Sports Promotion Foundation. The machine-learning-based nonlinear regression models were employed to improve the performance of the previous linear regression models. To derive the optimal estimation model that showed the best estimation accuracy, we developed five different machine-learning-based estimation models and compares the estimation accuracy not only among the machine learning models, but also with the previous linear regression model. The coefficient of determination of the FF variables was used to compare the performance of each model; the mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) and standard error of estimation (SEE) were used to evaluate the model performance. The deep neural network (DNN) model presented the best performance among the regression models for the estimation of all of the FF variables. The coefficient of determination in the HGS test was 0.784, while those of the others were less than 0.5 meaning that the HGS of older adults can be reliably estimated using easy-to-measure independent variables. Full article
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Article
Hymenolepis diminuta Infection Affects Apoptosis in the Small and Large Intestine
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9753; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159753 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 303
Abstract
The rat tapeworm Hymenolepis diminuta has been shown to cause alterations in gastrointestinal tissues. Since hymenolepiasis induces a number of reactions in the host, it is reasonable to assume that it may also be involved in the mechanisms of apoptosis in the intestines. [...] Read more.
The rat tapeworm Hymenolepis diminuta has been shown to cause alterations in gastrointestinal tissues. Since hymenolepiasis induces a number of reactions in the host, it is reasonable to assume that it may also be involved in the mechanisms of apoptosis in the intestines. Individual research tasks included an examination of the effect of H. diminuta infection on; (i) the cellular localization of the expression of pro-apoptotic protein Bax and anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2, as well as caspase-3 and caspase-9, and (ii) the effects of the infection on the expression of Bcl-2, Bax, Cas-3 and Cas-9, at the mRNA and protein levels. Molecular tests (including mRNA (qRT PCR) and the protein (Western blot) expression of Bax, Bcl-2, and caspases-3, -9) and immunohistochemical tests were performed during the experiment. They showed that H. diminuta infection activates the intrinsic apoptosis pathway in the small and large intestine of the host. H. diminuta infection triggered the apoptosis via the activation of the caspase cascade, including Cas-3 and Cas-9. Hymenolepiasis enhanced apoptosis in the small and large intestine of the host by increasing the expression of the pro-apoptotic gene and protein Bax and by decreasing the expression of the anti-apoptotic gene and protein Bcl-2. Full article
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Article
An Improved Genetic Algorithm for Location Allocation Problem with Grey Theory in Public Health Emergencies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9752; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159752 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 295
Abstract
The demand for emergency medical facilities (EMFs) has witnessed an explosive growth recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the rapid spread of the virus. To expedite the location of EMFs and the allocation of patients to these facilities at times of disaster, [...] Read more.
The demand for emergency medical facilities (EMFs) has witnessed an explosive growth recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the rapid spread of the virus. To expedite the location of EMFs and the allocation of patients to these facilities at times of disaster, a location-allocation problem (LAP) model that can help EMFs cope with major public health emergencies was proposed in this study. Given the influence of the number of COVID-19-infected persons on the demand for EMFs, a grey forecasting model was also utilized to predict the accumulative COVID-19 cases during the pandemic and to calculate the demand for EMFs. A serial-number-coded genetic algorithm (SNCGA) was proposed, and dynamic variation was used to accelerate the convergence. This algorithm was programmed using MATLAB, and the emergency medical facility LAP (EMFLAP) model was solved using the simple (standard) genetic algorithm (SGA) and SNCGA. Results show that the EMFLAP plan based on SNCGA consumes 8.34% less time than that based on SGA, and the calculation time of SNCGA is 20.25% shorter than that of SGA. Therefore, SNCGA is proven convenient for processing the model constraint conditions, for naturally describing the available solutions to a problem, for improving the complexity of algorithms, and for reducing the total time consumed by EMFLAP plans. The proposed method can guide emergency management personnel in designing an EMFLAP decision scheme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decision Making in Public Health)
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Article
A Qualitative Exploration of the Functional, Social, and Emotional Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on People Who Use Drugs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9751; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159751 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 320
Abstract
Since 2020, people who use drugs (PWUD) experienced heightened risks related to drug supply disruptions, contamination, overdose, social isolation, and increased stress. This study explored how the lives of PWUD changed in Philadelphia over a one-year period. Using semi-structured interviews with 20 participants [...] Read more.
Since 2020, people who use drugs (PWUD) experienced heightened risks related to drug supply disruptions, contamination, overdose, social isolation, and increased stress. This study explored how the lives of PWUD changed in Philadelphia over a one-year period. Using semi-structured interviews with 20 participants in a Housing First, low-barrier medication for opioid use (MOUD) program in Philadelphia, the effects of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic on the daily lives, resources, functioning, substance use, and treatment of PWUD were explored. Interviews were analyzed using a combination of directed and conventional content analysis. Six overarching themes emerged during data analysis: (1) response to the pandemic; (2) access to MOUD and support services; (3) substance use; (4) impacts on mental health, physical health, and daily functioning; (5) social network impacts; and (6) fulfillment of basic needs. Participants reported disruptions in every domain of life, challenges meeting their basic needs, and elevated risk for adverse events. MOUD service providers offset some risks and provided material supports, treatment, social interaction, and emotional support. These results highlight how there were significant disruptions to the lives of PWUD during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and identified critical areas for future intervention and policies. Full article
Article
Evaluation of Remote Sensing Ecological Index Based on Soil and Water Conservation on the Effectiveness of Management of Abandoned Mine Landscaping Transformation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9750; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159750 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 288
Abstract
Abandoned mines are typical areas of soil erosion. Landscape transformation of abandoned mines is an important means to balance the dual objectives of regional ecological restoration and industrial heritage protection, but the secondary development and construction process of mining relics require long-term monitoring [...] Read more.
Abandoned mines are typical areas of soil erosion. Landscape transformation of abandoned mines is an important means to balance the dual objectives of regional ecological restoration and industrial heritage protection, but the secondary development and construction process of mining relics require long-term monitoring with objective scientific indicators and effective assessment of their management effectiveness. This paper takes Tongluo Mountain Mining Park in Chongqing as an example and uses a remote sensing ecological index (RSEI) based on Landsat-8 image data to assess the spatial and temporal differences in the dynamic changes in the ecological and environmental quality of tertiary relic reserves with different degrees of development and protection in the park. Results showed that: ① The effect of vegetation cover, which can significantly improve soil and water conservation capacity. ② The RSEI is applicable to the evaluation of the effectiveness of ecological management of mines with a large amount of bare soil areas. ③ The mean value of the RSEI in the region as a whole increased by 0.090, and the mean values of the RSEI in the primary, secondary and tertiary relic reserves increased by 0.121, 0.112 and 0.006, respectively. ④ The increase in the RSEI in the study area is mainly related to the significant decrease in the dryness index (NDBSI) and the increase in the humidity index (WET). The remote sensing ecological index can objectively reflect the difference in the spatial and temporal dynamics of the ecological environment in tertiary relic protection, and this study provides a theoretical reference for the ecological assessment of secondary development-based management under difficult site conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil–Water Conservation and Desertification Control)
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Review
Wastewater Sequencing—An Innovative Method for Variant Monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 in Populations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9749; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159749 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 306
Abstract
The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has already affected more than 555 million people, and 6.3 million people have died. Due to its high infectivity, it is crucial to track SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks early to prevent the spread of infection. Wastewater monitoring appears to be a powerful [...] Read more.
The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has already affected more than 555 million people, and 6.3 million people have died. Due to its high infectivity, it is crucial to track SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks early to prevent the spread of infection. Wastewater monitoring appears to be a powerful and effective tool for managing epidemiological situations. Due to emerging mutations of SARS-CoV-2, there is a need to monitor mutations in order to control the pandemic. Since the sequencing of randomly chosen individuals is time-consuming and expensive, sequencing of wastewater plays an important role in revealing the dynamics of infection in a population. The sampling method used is a crucial factor and significantly impacts the results. Wastewater can be collected as a grab sample or as a 24 h composite sample. Another essential factor is the sample volume, as is the method of transport used. This review discusses different pretreatment procedures and RNA extraction, which may be performed using various methods, such as column-based extraction, TRIzol, or magnetic extraction. Each of the methods has its advantages and disadvantages, which are described accordingly. RT-qPCR is a procedure that confirms the presence of SARS-CoV-2 genes before sequencing. This review provides an overview of currently used methods for preparing wastewater samples, from sampling to sequencing. Full article
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Article
Different Exercise Types Produce the Same Acute Inhibitory Control Improvements When the Subjective Intensity Is Equal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9748; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159748 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 328
Abstract
Twenty-eight active older people (67.19 ± 4.91 years) who engaged in physical exercise activity twice a week were recruited to participate in a counterbalanced experimental protocol. The participants performed three different exercise sessions on three different days, one based on aerobic activities, one [...] Read more.
Twenty-eight active older people (67.19 ± 4.91 years) who engaged in physical exercise activity twice a week were recruited to participate in a counterbalanced experimental protocol. The participants performed three different exercise sessions on three different days, one based on aerobic activities, one based on strength exercises with elastic bands, and one based on stationary balance games. During all three sessions, they were encouraged to maintain a moderate subjective intensity (5–6 on the RPE10 scale), and their heart rate was recorded. In addition, all of the participants took a digital version of the Stroop test before and after each session. The study aimed to compare the acute cognitive impacts of different types of exercise sessions in older adults. The participants’ heart rate differed between the exercise sessions, but they maintained the RPE intensity. There was a significant improvement in inhibitory control (Stroop test) after all sessions, with no differences between exercise sessions. Moreover, some participants agreed to be genotyped to record the single nucleotide polymorphism of BDNF rs6265. There were no differences between Val/Val and Met carriers at the beginning or end of the exercise sessions. The present study showed similar cognitive improvements with different exercise type sessions when the subjective intensity was maintained. Full article
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Article
Influences of Land Policy on Urban Ecological Corridors Governance: A Case Study from Shanghai
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9747; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159747 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 364
Abstract
The analysis of land use change (LUC) characteristics and the impact of policies related to urban ecological space is required to improve spatial planning and to support decision making regarding green infrastructure (GI) investment. This study employed Geo-informatic Tupu analysis and Fluctuation Potential [...] Read more.
The analysis of land use change (LUC) characteristics and the impact of policies related to urban ecological space is required to improve spatial planning and to support decision making regarding green infrastructure (GI) investment. This study employed Geo-informatic Tupu analysis and Fluctuation Potential Tupu analysis methods to analyze the characteristics of LUC in an urban ecological corridor (EC). To help understand the influence of land use policy on GI governance and support the optimization of spatial planning, we proposed a situation–structure–implementation–outcome (SSIO) policy cascade analysis framework. SSIO takes “place” as its starting point, then couples the local policy with the governance structure to promote the sustainability of urban commons governance. The results show that the land use type within an EC in the city is mainly cultivated land. However, between 2009 and 2019, cultivated land, construction land, and facility agricultural land all showed a decreasing trend, while forest land and garden land types underwent increasing trends. The LUC Tupu unit highlights the transition from cultivated land to forest land. Forest land has the greatest increase in area and accounts for 52.34% of the area of increasing land use. Cultivated land shows the greatest decrease in area and accounts for 70.30% of the area of decreasing trends. Based on the local policy situation of the metropolis, a land policy governance mechanism can be constructed by the establishment of a governance structure with local government as the core, using land consolidation as the platform, taking ecological spatial planning and inefficient construction land reduction as typical policy tools, and experimentally integrating the concept of Nature-based Solutions (NbS). In general, these findings may be applicable to other rapidly urbanizing cities around the world that are developing complex land use policies for ecological space governance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Territorial Spatial Planning and Governance)
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Article
Air Quality Assessment by the Determination of Trace Elements in Lichens (Xanthoria calcicola) in an Industrial Area (Sicily, Italy)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9746; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159746 - 08 Aug 2022
Viewed by 368
Abstract
This study provides data on variation in the content of metals and metalloids measured in the lichens (Xanthoria calcicola Oxner) collected in the Syracusan petrochemical complex (Sicily, Italy) which is considered one of the largest in Europe. Concentrations of eighteen trace elements [...] Read more.
This study provides data on variation in the content of metals and metalloids measured in the lichens (Xanthoria calcicola Oxner) collected in the Syracusan petrochemical complex (Sicily, Italy) which is considered one of the largest in Europe. Concentrations of eighteen trace elements measured in the lichens that were collected from 49 different points were analyzed using an inductively coupled plasma (ICP-MS) device. The concentrations of the typical elements of industrial emissions (As, Cr, Ni, and V) highlight the environmental criticality that exists in the study area. The interpretation of the data in terms of multi-element statistical analysis (FA) and enrichment factor (EFs) proved to be particularly useful in identifying several sources that contribute to the presence of trace elements in the atmospheric particulate between anthropogenic emissions and geogenic emissions. The results of this study reveal the versatility of the lichen species Xanthoria calcicola Oxner in the search for trace elements in highly anthropized environments, so the approach followed in this study can also be applied to other industrial contexts. Full article
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