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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 20, Issue 15 (August-1 2023) – 105 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The post-stroke needs of young adults with stroke are not being met, as most resources are tailored to older people with stroke. Technology-based applications are being used more frequently in stroke rehabilitation, and young stroke survivors use technology ubiquitously in their lives. There are limited data on technology usage to support the unique needs of young adults with stroke in Australia. This study aimed to explore the unmet needs of young adults aged 18–30 years with stroke and ascertain how technology can help meet those needs to improve quality of life and participation. Our findings revealed the unique needs of young adults who requested more targeted post-stroke support, age-specific resources, including improved awareness of stroke in the young, and how technology plays a pivotal role in all of these interventions. View this paper
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14 pages, 336 KiB  
Article
A Psychoanalytic Approach to Internet Gaming Disorder
by Georgios Floros and Ioanna Mylona
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6542; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156542 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1655
Abstract
Background: Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) is now an official diagnosis and significant public health challenges have been already identified regarding the provision of appropriate care to patients of all ages and the preparedness of mental health professionals to manage the disorder. Despite the [...] Read more.
Background: Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) is now an official diagnosis and significant public health challenges have been already identified regarding the provision of appropriate care to patients of all ages and the preparedness of mental health professionals to manage the disorder. Despite the existence of psychotherapeutic treatment modalities available for some time now, there is a paucity of any psychoanalytically driven treatments and the disorder is widely regarded and classified as being ‘behavioral’. This has profound implications for patients with long-standing character pathology and psychiatric comorbidities, who are underserved by the provision of health services that could efficiently address their issues. Methods: This study presents a psychoanalytic perspective on IGD, based on Kohut’s Self Psychology as applied in the treatment of other addictions. An outline of the theory, assessment and treatment modalities is presented with two case reports that illustrate its application. Results: The presentation outlines the challenges in treating IGD, expanding on the concept of guided imagery, resistance to treatment, selfobject transference and comorbidity with marijuana use and bipolar disorder. Conclusions: A psychoanalytically driven protocol can be effective in treating IGD, especially in cases with marked character pathology and low motive to engage in other treatment modalities. Full article
19 pages, 3424 KiB  
Article
How Do Young Adult Drinkers React to Varied Alcohol Warning Formats and Contents? An Exploratory Study in France
by Gloria Thomasia Dossou, Morgane Guillou-Landreat, Loic Lemain, Sophie Lacoste-Badie, Nathan Critchlow and Karine Gallopel-Morvan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6541; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156541 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1616
Abstract
Research on alcohol warnings has increased in the last decade, providing key evidence to governments on warning format and contents. The bulk of this research, however, has been conducted in Anglosphere countries, whereas fewer studies have focused on other countries which have high [...] Read more.
Research on alcohol warnings has increased in the last decade, providing key evidence to governments on warning format and contents. The bulk of this research, however, has been conducted in Anglosphere countries, whereas fewer studies have focused on other countries which have high per capita alcohol consumption, and where the high social acceptability of drinking is liable to affect how people accept and react to prevention measures. Since France has one of the highest per capita alcohol consumption rates in the world according to the World Health Organization (WHO), we therefore explore how young adults in France react to warnings on alcoholic beverage advertisements. We conducted 25 in-depth interviews, in 2017, with 18–25-year-old drinkers in France. Respondents were asked open-ended questions on the perceived impact of various warning contents (i.e., on health risk, social-cost risk, and on short- vs. long-term risk) and formats (text only vs. larger text combined with colored pictograms). Warnings that targeted youth-relevant risks (i.e., road accidents or sexual assault) were considered to be the most meaningful and credible, although warnings communicating longer term risks (i.e., brain, cancer) were also thought to be influential. Less familiar risks, such as marketing manipulation and calorie intake, elicited the most negative reactions. Larger text-and-pictogram warnings were considered to be the most effective format in capturing attention and increasing awareness. Regardless of format and content, however, these warnings were not perceived as effective for decreasing alcohol consumption. Full article
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21 pages, 447 KiB  
Review
The Risk for Schizophrenia–Bipolar Spectrum: Does the Apple Fall Close to the Tree? A Narrative Review
by Giulia Cattarinussi, Alessio A. Gugliotta and Fabio Sambataro
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6540; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156540 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1413
Abstract
Schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BD) are severe psychiatric disorders that share clinical features and several risk genes. Important information about their genetic underpinnings arises from intermediate phenotypes (IPs), quantifiable biological traits that are more prevalent in unaffected relatives (RELs) of patients compared [...] Read more.
Schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BD) are severe psychiatric disorders that share clinical features and several risk genes. Important information about their genetic underpinnings arises from intermediate phenotypes (IPs), quantifiable biological traits that are more prevalent in unaffected relatives (RELs) of patients compared to the general population and co-segregate with the disorders. Within IPs, neuropsychological functions and neuroimaging measures have the potential to provide useful insight into the pathophysiology of SCZ and BD. In this context, the present narrative review provides a comprehensive overview of the available evidence on deficits in neuropsychological functions and neuroimaging alterations in unaffected relatives of SCZ (SCZ-RELs) and BD (BD-RELs). Overall, deficits in cognitive functions including intelligence, memory, attention, executive functions, and social cognition could be considered IPs for SCZ. Although the picture for cognitive alterations in BD-RELs is less defined, BD-RELs seem to present worse performances compared to controls in executive functioning, including adaptable thinking, planning, self-monitoring, self-control, and working memory. Among neuroimaging markers, SCZ-RELs appear to be characterized by structural and functional alterations in the cortico–striatal–thalamic network, while BD risk seems to be associated with abnormalities in the prefrontal, temporal, thalamic, and limbic regions. In conclusion, SCZ-RELs and BD-RELs present a pattern of cognitive and neuroimaging alterations that lie between patients and healthy individuals. Similar abnormalities in SCZ-RELs and BD-RELs may be the phenotypic expression of the shared genetic mechanisms underlying both disorders, while the specificities in neuropsychological and neuroimaging profiles may be associated with the differential symptom expression in the two disorders. Full article
25 pages, 385 KiB  
Review
A Review of Privacy Enhancement Methods for Federated Learning in Healthcare Systems
by Xin Gu, Fariza Sabrina, Zongwen Fan and Shaleeza Sohail
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6539; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156539 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2323
Abstract
Federated learning (FL) provides a distributed machine learning system that enables participants to train using local data to create a shared model by eliminating the requirement of data sharing. In healthcare systems, FL allows Medical Internet of Things (MIoT) devices and electronic health [...] Read more.
Federated learning (FL) provides a distributed machine learning system that enables participants to train using local data to create a shared model by eliminating the requirement of data sharing. In healthcare systems, FL allows Medical Internet of Things (MIoT) devices and electronic health records (EHRs) to be trained locally without sending patients data to the central server. This allows healthcare decisions and diagnoses based on datasets from all participants, as well as streamlining other healthcare processes. In terms of user data privacy, this technology allows collaborative training without the need of sharing the local data with the central server. However, there are privacy challenges in FL arising from the fact that the model updates are shared between the client and the server which can be used for re-generating the client’s data, breaching privacy requirements of applications in domains like healthcare. In this paper, we have conducted a review of the literature to analyse the existing privacy and security enhancement methods proposed for FL in healthcare systems. It has been identified that the research in the domain focuses on seven techniques: Differential Privacy, Homomorphic Encryption, Blockchain, Hierarchical Approaches, Peer to Peer Sharing, Intelligence on the Edge Device, and Mixed, Hybrid and Miscellaneous Approaches. The strengths, limitations, and trade-offs of each technique were discussed, and the possible future for these seven privacy enhancement techniques for healthcare FL systems was identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Emerging Technologies in Public Health: Blockchain and AI)
19 pages, 904 KiB  
Article
Impact of Parental Mental Health and Help-Seeking on Adolescents’ Suicidal Ideations and Help-Seeking Behaviors
by Jaehyun Han, Joung-Sook Ahn, Min-Hyuk Kim, Sei-Jin Chang, Jong-Koo Kim and Seongho Min
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6538; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156538 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1502
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the impact of parental mental health on adolescent offspring. Data regarding 6512 families from the 2010–2021 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were analyzed; among them, 428 were placed in the suicidal ideation (SI) group and 421 [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the impact of parental mental health on adolescent offspring. Data regarding 6512 families from the 2010–2021 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were analyzed; among them, 428 were placed in the suicidal ideation (SI) group and 421 were placed in the matched control (MC) group. This number was selected for the use of the propensity score matching method. The findings highlighted significant associations between parental mental health and adolescent suicidal ideation, with mothers in the SI group having higher odds of Diagnosed Depression (OR 2.109, 1.023–4.350 95% CI), Depressive Mood (OR 2.155, 1.224–3.793 95% CI), and Suicidal Ideation (OR 2.532, 1.322–4.851 95% CI) compared to the MC group. Regarding the fathers, paternal Suicidal Ideation (OR 4.295, 1.747–10.599 95% CI) was the only significant factor for adolescent suicidal ideation. In contrast, maternal depressive symptoms and help-seeking behavior significantly impacted adolescent help-seeking; Maternal Depressive Mood increased with adolescent Help-Seeking (OR 4.486, 1.312–15.340 95% CI) while Maternal Suicidal Ideation reduced the probability of Help-Seeking in the SI group (OR 0.15, 0.031–0.721, 95% CI). Chronic and severe depressive symptoms in mothers could make adolescents less likely to seek help for their suicidal ideations. Therefore, clinicians working with adolescents should prioritize a family-oriented approach. Full article
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19 pages, 2380 KiB  
Systematic Review
Effects of Exercise and Sports Intervention and the Involvement Level on the Mineral Health of Different Bone Sites in the Leg, Hip, and Spine: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Thiago P. Oliveira, Mário C. Espada, Danilo A. Massini, Ricardo A. M. Robalo, Tiago A. F. Almeida, Víctor Hernández-Beltrán, José M. Gamonales, Eliane A. Castro and Dalton M. Pessôa Filho
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6537; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156537 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1711
Abstract
The current study analysed whether the osteogenic stimuli of exercises and sports have an independent effect on bone mineral density (BMD). Studies with a design having two different cohorts were searched and selected to distinguish the effect due to long-term involvement (i.e., athletes [...] Read more.
The current study analysed whether the osteogenic stimuli of exercises and sports have an independent effect on bone mineral density (BMD). Studies with a design having two different cohorts were searched and selected to distinguish the effect due to long-term involvement (i.e., athletes vs. non-active young with good bone health) and due to the planning of intervention (i.e., pre- vs. post-training) with exercises and sports. Moreover, only studies investigating the bone sites with a body-weight support function (i.e., lower limb, hip, and spine regions) were reviewed, since the osteogenic effects have incongruous results. A meta-analysis was performed following the recommendations of PRISMA. Heterogeneity (I2) was determined by combining Cochran’s Q test with the Higgins test, with a significance level of α = 0.05. The studies reporting the effect of involvement in exercise and sports showed high heterogeneity for the lower limb, total hip, and spine (I2 = 90.200%, 93.334%, and 95.168%, respectively, with p < 0.01) and the effect size on sports modalities (Hedge’s g = 1.529, 1.652, and 0.417, respectively, with p < 0.05) ranging from moderate to high. In turn, the studies reporting the effect of the intervention planning showed that there was no heterogeneity for the lower limb (I2 = 0.000%, p = 0.999) and spine (I2 = 77.863%, p = 0.000); however, for the hip, it was moderate (I2 = 49.432%, p = 0.054), with a low effect between the pre- and post-training moments presented only for the hip and spine (Hedge’s g = 0.313 and 0.353, respectively, with p < 0.05). The current analysis supported the effect of involvement in exercise and sports by evidencing the effect of either weight-bearing or non-weight-bearing movements on BMD at the femoral, pelvic, and lumbar bones sites of the athletes when comparing to non-athletes or non-active peers with healthy bones. Moreover, the effect of different exercise and sports interventions highlighted the alterations in the BMD in the spine bone sites, mainly with long-term protocols (~12 months) planned with a stimulus with high muscle tension. Therefore, exercise and sport (mainly systematic long-term practice) have the potential to increase the BMD of bones with body-weight support beyond the healthy values reached during life phases of youth and adulthood. Full article
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20 pages, 429 KiB  
Article
Community Solutions to Increase the Healthfulness of Grocery Stores: Perspectives of Immigrant Parents
by Hadis Dastgerdizad, Rachael D. Dombrowski, Bree Bode, Kathryn A. G. Knoff, Noel Kulik, James Mallare, Ravneet Kaur and Heather Dillaway
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6536; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156536 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1454
Abstract
Grocery store environments are recognized as one of the most crucial community settings for developing and maintaining healthy nutritional behaviors in children. This is especially true for disadvantaged ethnic minority families, such as immigrants, who reside in the Detroit Metropolitan area and have [...] Read more.
Grocery store environments are recognized as one of the most crucial community settings for developing and maintaining healthy nutritional behaviors in children. This is especially true for disadvantaged ethnic minority families, such as immigrants, who reside in the Detroit Metropolitan area and have historically experienced inequities that result in poor health outcomes. Rates of obesity and type II diabetes have affected Detroit 38% more than the rest of the state and nationwide. In 2019, almost 54% of children aged 0–17 in Metro Detroit lived in poverty, and 21.6% experienced food insecurity, compared with the state level of 14.2%. Moreover, nearly 50% of ethnic minority children in Metro Detroit consume sports drinks, and 70% consume soda or pop in an average week. The primary purpose of this study was to explore immigrant parents’ perspectives on (1) how in-store Sugar-Sweetened Beverage (SSB) marketing impacts the purchasing behaviors of parents and the eating behaviors of toddlers, and the secondary objective was to (2) determine strategies to reduce SSB purchases and consumption within grocery environments from the viewpoints of immigrant parents. A qualitative multiple-case study design was used to achieve the aims of this study. Semi-structured individual interviews were completed with 18 immigrant parents of children aged 2 to 5 years old who were consumers in 30 independently owned full-service grocery stores within the immigrant enclaves of Detroit, Dearborn, Hamtramck, and Warren, Michigan. Three key thematic categories emerged from the parents’ narratives. These themes were: (1) non-supportive grocery store environments; (2) acculturation to the American food environment; and (3) strategies to support reduced SSB consumption among young immigrant children. The findings of this study revealed widespread SSB marketing targeting toddlers within the participating independently owned grocery stores. Even if families with young children practiced healthy nutritional behaviors, the prices, placements, and promotion of SSBs were challenges to establishing and sustaining these healthy eating habits. The parents believed that planning and implementing retail-based strategies in collaboration with families and considering families’ actual demands would assist in managing children’s eating patterns and reducing early childhood obesity. Full article
12 pages, 328 KiB  
Article
Pregnant Women’s Views Regarding Maternity Facility-Based Delivery at Primary Health Care Facilities in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa
by Puseletso Ruth Mlotshwa and Maureen Nokuthula Sibiya
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6535; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156535 - 06 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1423
Abstract
For women giving birth, every moment of delay in receiving skilled care significantly increases the risks of stillbirth, neonatal and maternal death. More than half of all births in developing countries, including South Africa, take place outside a health facility and without skilled [...] Read more.
For women giving birth, every moment of delay in receiving skilled care significantly increases the risks of stillbirth, neonatal and maternal death. More than half of all births in developing countries, including South Africa, take place outside a health facility and without skilled birth attendants. Therefore, this has made it difficult to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of global reduction in maternal mortality, which is a key health challenge globally, especially in developing countries and sub-Saharan Africa in particular. The study aimed to explore and describe the views of pregnant women regarding facility-based delivery. Focus group discussions were used to gather information from pregnant women. Information was collected from six groups of pregnant women who had delivered babies at the primary health care facilities in the past 5 years. Results showed several factors associated with the failure to use institutional delivery services, such as the lengthy distance from the health care facility, lack of transport, lack of transport fare, shortages of skilled staff, failure to disclose pregnancy, cultural and religious beliefs, and staff attitudes. Full article
17 pages, 997 KiB  
Review
The Effects of Plant-Derived Phytochemical Compounds and Phytochemical-Rich Diets on Females with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A Scoping Review of Clinical Trials
by Guadalupe Nayeli Chavez, Kataryna Jaworsky and Arpita Basu
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6534; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156534 - 06 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2118
Abstract
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine condition that impacts nutritional status, metabolic, and hormonal function in females of reproductive age. This condition is associated with increased androgen production (hyperandrogenism) and decreased insulin sensitivity, which often leads to insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia. This [...] Read more.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine condition that impacts nutritional status, metabolic, and hormonal function in females of reproductive age. This condition is associated with increased androgen production (hyperandrogenism) and decreased insulin sensitivity, which often leads to insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia. This increase in androgen production and insulin resistance is strongly associated with a high incidence of obesity, type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and certain types of gonad-related cancers among females who suffer from this condition. As research continues to grow, it has been demonstrated that PCOS is a complex condition, and some of its characteristics vary among the females that have this disorder. However, it has been suggested that oxidative stress and low-grade chronic inflammation could play an important role in the development of PCOS. Current evidence suggest that phytochemicals could potentially help with weight-loss by reducing oxidative stress and low-grade inflammation, as well as aid in metabolic and hormonal regulation due to their antioxidant properties. Some of the bioactive compounds found in plants that have shown positive effects in the attenuation of PCOS include flavonoids, polyphenols, phytoestrogen, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Thus, a review of the current literature published on PCOS and phytochemicals was conducted in PubMed, Google Scholar, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics databases for articles published between 2013 and 2023 with a study duration of 1 to 3 months and adequate sample sizes. The main purpose of this review of literature was to investigate the metabolic effects of phytochemical compounds and phytochemical-rich diets on females with PCOS by comparing the results of several randomized clinical trials. Full article
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13 pages, 701 KiB  
Article
Effects of Locomotion Regulatory Mode on COVID-19 Anxiety: The Mediating Role of Resilience
by Calogero Lo Destro and Alberto Costa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6533; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156533 - 06 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1323
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has exerted a significant impact on mental health globally. The uncertainty, fear, and stress associated with this crisis have contributed to a heightened prevalence of anxiety, depression, and various other mental health disorders. In this scenario, the present study aimed [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exerted a significant impact on mental health globally. The uncertainty, fear, and stress associated with this crisis have contributed to a heightened prevalence of anxiety, depression, and various other mental health disorders. In this scenario, the present study aimed at investigating the relationship between locomotion regulatory mode, resilience, and COVID-19 anxiety. It is worth noting that previous extensive research has established a significant correlation between high levels of locomotion and diverse positive psychological conditions, such as optimism, reduced hopelessness, and a positive effect. A total of 243 participants completed measures of locomotion regulatory mode, resilience, and COVID-19 anxiety. In line with our hypotheses, individuals’ locomotion regulatory mode was negatively, although non-significatively, associated with COVID-19 anxiety. Furthermore, resilience was found to mediate the relationship between the locomotion regulatory mode and COVID-19 anxiety, indicating that individuals displaying high locomotion may be better equipped to cope with the stress and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic due to their greater levels of resilience. Taken together, these findings highlight the importance of considering both locomotion and resilience in managing anxiety related to COVID-19, and suggest that interventions aimed at enhancing resilience may be particularly beneficial for individuals with a low locomotion regulatory mode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological Distress, Fear and Coping during the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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25 pages, 986 KiB  
Article
Implementation of the World Health Organization Age-Friendly Principles: A Case Study from Portugal
by Jéssica Tavares, Gonçalo Santinha and Nelson Pacheco Rocha
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6532; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156532 - 05 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1503
Abstract
Demographic ageing has emphasized the need to adapt current healthcare systems to the comorbidity profile of older adults. In 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed the Age-Friendly Principles, but the approach to their implementation in the health systems still remains uncertain. This [...] Read more.
Demographic ageing has emphasized the need to adapt current healthcare systems to the comorbidity profile of older adults. In 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed the Age-Friendly Principles, but the approach to their implementation in the health systems still remains uncertain. This article intends to address this gap by assessing how the Principles are perceived and implemented in the Portuguese National Health Service (NHS), where this topic has recently been placed on the political agenda. A questionnaire survey was administered to primary care directors and hospital administrators, covering a total of 173 health units. Findings show that most respondents are unaware of the WHO Principles (71%) and do not identify the current organizational structure of care as a problem for the provision of care (80%). However, the implementation of the WHO Principles is lower than desired, especially regarding professional training and the management system (50% and 28% of the criteria are implemented, respectively). These criteria defined by the WHO are implemented in a reduced number of health units, as opposed to the physical environment where implementation is more widespread (64%). Accordingly, further dissemination and implementation support in the national territory are needed in order to improve the health outcomes of older adults and increase the performance of health units. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Age-Friendly Health System: Determinants, Needs and Services)
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17 pages, 6768 KiB  
Article
Broad Scale Spatial Modelling of Wet Bulb Globe Temperature to Investigate Impact of Shade and Airflow on Heat Injury Risk and Labour Capacity in Warm to Hot Climates
by Andrew Hall and Ana Horta
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6531; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156531 - 05 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1187
Abstract
While shade and air flow are recognised factors that reduce outdoor heat exposure, the level of reduction in terms of labour capacity at varying air temperature and humidity levels is poorly understood. This study investigated cooling effects on the commonly used heat index, [...] Read more.
While shade and air flow are recognised factors that reduce outdoor heat exposure, the level of reduction in terms of labour capacity at varying air temperature and humidity levels is poorly understood. This study investigated cooling effects on the commonly used heat index, wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT), and subsequent impact on labour capacity, for a range of air flow and shade conditions in warm to hot climates. We modelled heat exposure using a physics-based method to map WBGT for a case study region which experiences a range of heat categories with varying levels of health risks for outdoor workers. Continent-scale modelling confirmed significant spatial variability in the effect of various shade and wind speed scenarios across a range of real-world mid-summer daytime conditions. At high WBGTs, increasing shade or air flow for outdoor workers lowered heat exposure and increases labour capacity, with shade giving the greatest benefit, but cooling varied considerably depending upon underlying air temperature and humidity. Shade had the greater cooling effect; reducing incident radiation by 90% decreased WBGT by 2–6 °C depending on location. Wind had a lower cooling effect in the hottest regions, with a decreasing exponential relationship between wind speed and WBGT observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Health, Performance and Climate Change)
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12 pages, 717 KiB  
Article
Behavioral Self-Blame in PTSD—Etiology, Risk Factors, and Proposed Interventions
by Aviad Raz, Ravit Rubinstein, Eran Shadach, Gal Chaikin, Ariel Ben Yehuda, Lucian Tatsa-Laur, Ron Kedem and Leah Shelef
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6530; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156530 - 05 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1463
Abstract
Background: Feeling out of control during a traumatic event may evoke behavioral self-blame (BSB) to avoid feeling helpless following trauma by restoring one’s sense of control. BSB is a common, persistent, and treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress symptom. The present study investigates the etiology and [...] Read more.
Background: Feeling out of control during a traumatic event may evoke behavioral self-blame (BSB) to avoid feeling helpless following trauma by restoring one’s sense of control. BSB is a common, persistent, and treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress symptom. The present study investigates the etiology and risk factors of BSB following a traumatic event and the reasons for its persistence over time. Method: Subjects were a group of 546 Israeli ex-combat soldiers (M age = 24.93 ± 5.657) registered in an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) combat reaction clinic. All completed the Peritraumatic Dissociative Experiences Questionnaire (PDEQ), the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), and the PTSD Checklist for the DSM-5 (PCL-5). Item 10 of the PCL-5 served to measure BSB. The PDEQ and BSI measured distress and feeling out of control during the event. We used descriptive analyses of the data, t-test, and linear regression analysis to reveal the relationship between the research variables. Results: Feeling out of control during a traumatic event often increases BSB and post-traumatic stress symptoms. A significant correlation emerged between continuing distress characterizing individuals who experience a persistent lack of control and BSB. Female combat soldiers were at a higher risk of BSB than their male counterparts. Conclusion: Loss of control experienced during a traumatic event may result in persistent long-term feelings of lack of control over one’s behavior. Full article
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16 pages, 1832 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Role of Birth Environment on Italian Mothers’ Emotional Experience during Childbirth
by Laura Migliorini, Nicoletta Setola, Eletta Naldi, Maria Chiara Rompianesi, Laura Iannuzzi and Paola Cardinali
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6529; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156529 - 05 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1973
Abstract
The physical environment is one of the factors that affect mother’s experience of childbirth and psychological health. A woman’s childbirth experience has been found to influence not only the mother’s own health and future births but also the well-being of her child and [...] Read more.
The physical environment is one of the factors that affect mother’s experience of childbirth and psychological health. A woman’s childbirth experience has been found to influence not only the mother’s own health and future births but also the well-being of her child and family. The present study’s objective was to investigate mothers’ perceptions of spatial-physical humanization, affective quality of place, and emotions during childbirth. To achieve this goal, the first part of our work was dedicated to selecting two birth environments (hospital and birth center) with different degrees of humanization. The methods include observations and field survey which mainly concerned the environmental quality of the spaces and the layout of the birth unit, and self-report questionnaire about perceived environment, affective quality attributed to place, and delivery experience. Participants are 66 low-risk women, choosing hospital or birth center. The findings indicate an enhanced perception of both the spatial-physical aspects and the social and functional aspects of the care unit among mothers who give birth at the birth center. These same mothers also report a more positive perception of the childbirth experience. In conclusion, this study contributes to the understanding of the role of birth environments in shaping mothers’ emotional experiences during childbirth. Full article
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20 pages, 3078 KiB  
Article
The Status of Sanitation in Malawi: Is SDG6.2 Achievable?
by Rebekah G. K. Hinton, Christopher J. A. Macleod, Mads Troldborg, Modesta B. Kanjaye and Robert M. Kalin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6528; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156528 - 05 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1560
Abstract
Ensuring access to adequate and equitable sanitation and ending open defecation by 2030 is the focus of Sustainable Development Goal 6.2 (SDG6.2). We evaluated Malawi’s progress towards SDG 6.2 (specifically the goal to end open defecation), presenting the results of a national survey [...] Read more.
Ensuring access to adequate and equitable sanitation and ending open defecation by 2030 is the focus of Sustainable Development Goal 6.2 (SDG6.2). We evaluated Malawi’s progress towards SDG 6.2 (specifically the goal to end open defecation), presenting the results of a national survey of over 200,000 sanitary facilities and evaluating their management. Based on non-linear population dynamics, we used a linear model to evaluate the reduction in open defecation between 1992–2018, and to project whether Malawi can meet the SDG target to end open defecation by 2030 under multiple scenarios of population growth. Whilst Malawi has made considerable progress in providing sanitary provision for the population, we estimate that, at the current rate of the provision of sanitary facilities, Malawi will not reach SDG 6.2 by 2030 under any of the modelled socioeconomic scenarios. Furthermore, we compare the estimates of the extent of sanitary provision classed as improved from multiple surveys, including the USAID Demographic and Health (DHS) Surveys and Government of Malawi Census data. We conclude that some of the surveys (particularly the 2015/16 DHS) may be overestimating the level of improved sanitary provision, and we hypothesize that this is due to how pit-latrines with earth/sand slabs are classed. Furthermore, we examine the long-term sustainability of pit-latrine use, investigating the challenge of pit-latrine abandonment and identifying pit-latrine filling as a cause of the abandonment in 30.2% of cases. We estimate that between 2020–2070, 31.8 (range 2.8 to 3320) million pit-latrines will be filled and abandoned, representing a major challenge for the safe management of abandoned latrines, a potential for long-term impacts on the groundwater quality, and a significant loss of investment in sanitary infrastructure. For Malawi to reach SDG 6.2, improvements are needed in both the quantity and quality of its sanitary facilities. Full article
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12 pages, 794 KiB  
Article
Italian Validation of the Delaying Gratification Inventory in Adolescents
by Ziqin Liang, Elisa Delvecchio, Adriana Lis and Claudia Mazzeschi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6527; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156527 - 05 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1377
Abstract
The delay of gratification (DoG) is defined as the willingness to forego immediate satisfaction to achieve greater long-term gratification. This ability is essential in adolescence, as its development is crucial against desirable versus undesirable behaviors. This study investigated the psychometric proprieties of the [...] Read more.
The delay of gratification (DoG) is defined as the willingness to forego immediate satisfaction to achieve greater long-term gratification. This ability is essential in adolescence, as its development is crucial against desirable versus undesirable behaviors. This study investigated the psychometric proprieties of the Delaying Gratification Inventory (DGI) in Italian adolescents. A total of 621 Italian adolescents, ranging from 14 to 17 years old (M = 15.92, SD = 1.05; 47.7% boys), participated in the study. Confirmatory factor analysis identified a four-factor structure (delay of gratification concerning Food, Social Interaction, Money, and Achievement). The reliability of the Italian DGI was acceptable. Measurement invariance across gender was supported. Boys reached a higher DoG score in the Food subscale and a lower score in the Social Interaction and Achievement subscales than girls. Moreover, the Italian DGI dimensions were all positively correlated with self-control and prosocial behavior. Except for the Social Interaction subscale, positive correlations were found between the Food, Money, and Achievement subscales and self-esteem. The present findings suggest that the Italian DGI could be used for assessing DoG ability, a key regulatory ability that promotes healthy behaviors in adolescence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Children's Health)
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13 pages, 372 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Socio-Demographic Factors, Preventive Health Behaviors and Acceptance of COVID-19 Vaccine among Israeli Pregnant Women during the Coronavirus Pandemic
by Shir Nahum and Talma Kushnir
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6526; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156526 - 04 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1398
Abstract
Background: The outbreak of the Coronavirus disease led the World Health Organization to publish recommendations regarding preventive health behaviors (PHB). Pregnant women are at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection and adherence to these recommendations is critical. There are little data regarding [...] Read more.
Background: The outbreak of the Coronavirus disease led the World Health Organization to publish recommendations regarding preventive health behaviors (PHB). Pregnant women are at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection and adherence to these recommendations is critical. There are little data regarding PHB among pregnant women. The current study aims to evaluate the contribution of socio-demographic factors and COVID-19 vaccinations in predicting PHB among pregnant women. Method: 202 pregnant Israeli women (mean age = 30.8 years) participated in an online survey in 2021. Results: 88% of the women were vaccinated and few had been infected. Of the women, 75.2% reported wearing face masks in closed spaces, while 12.4% reported wearing masks outdoors; 63.9% of the women did not travel abroad for fear of infection by the virus and 51% avoided crowded events. A simultaneous regression analysis to predict PHB indicated that pregnancy week and Coronavirus vaccination significantly and positively predicted PHB, but religious status was a negative predictor. Age, number of children, and level of education were not associated with PHB. Conclusions: These findings can be helpful as a preliminary evidence base for policy-making at present and for future epidemics regarding guidelines on PHB adjusted for pregnant women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Women's Reproductive and Maternal Health)
13 pages, 759 KiB  
Article
Differential Magnitude of Resilience between Emotional Intelligence and Life Satisfaction in Mountain Sports Athletes
by Guillermo Sanz-Junoy, Óscar Gavín-Chocano, José L. Ubago-Jiménez and David Molero
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6525; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156525 - 04 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1413
Abstract
The field of mountain sports has its own characteristics, different from other sports modalities. Emotional intelligence and resilience not only refer to the adaptive capacity that can be developed after an adverse experience, but can also be factors that positively affect sporting performance [...] Read more.
The field of mountain sports has its own characteristics, different from other sports modalities. Emotional intelligence and resilience not only refer to the adaptive capacity that can be developed after an adverse experience, but can also be factors that positively affect sporting performance in extreme conditions. In this study, 4818 athletes from the Spanish Federation of Mountain Sports and Climbing participated; 2696 were men (67.1%) and 1322 were women (32.9%), with a mean age of 49.42 years (±11.9). The Resilience Scale (RS-14), Wong Law Emotional Intelligence Scale (WLEIS-S) and Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) were used. The aim was to provide evidence for the potential for resilience (personal competence and acceptance of self and life) among EI and life satisfaction in mountain and climbing athletes. The results showed that the coefficients of determination of personal competence [(Q2 = 0.286); (R2 = 0.578)], acceptance of self [(Q2 = 0.310); (R2 = 0.554)] and life satisfaction [(Q2 = 0.299); (R2 = 0.421)] for the estimation of the measurement model indicated a good model fit. In the future, it would be necessary to carry out specific studies discriminating by sport modality and methods for this area, with a large number of athletes and disciplines, as well as evaluating its possible applications for the improvement of emotional factors. Full article
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14 pages, 9260 KiB  
Article
Presence of Perfluoroalkyl Substances in Landfill Adjacent Surface Waters in North Carolina
by Aleah Walsh and Courtney G. Woods
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6524; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156524 - 04 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1438
Abstract
Landfills pose an important public health risk, especially in historically disenfranchised communities that are disproportionately sited for landfills and in rural areas where private wells may be impacted. Landfills are major sources of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that migrate into the surrounding environment. This [...] Read more.
Landfills pose an important public health risk, especially in historically disenfranchised communities that are disproportionately sited for landfills and in rural areas where private wells may be impacted. Landfills are major sources of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that migrate into the surrounding environment. This study characterized PFAS in surface waters adjacent to two landfills, one in Sampson County (SC) and one in Orange County (OC) in North Carolina. In addition to municipal solid waste and construction and demolition waste, the landfill in SC accepts industrial sludge from a chemical plant that produces proprietary PFAS. Over four months, 35 surface water samples were collected at upstream, landfill-adjacent, and downstream/downgradient sites. Thirty-four PFAS were analyzed using liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectroscopy. Of those, six novel and six legacy PFAS were detected. Legacy PFAS were detected in surface water near both landfills, with the highest concentrations adjacent to the landfill. Novel PFAS were only detected in surface water near the SC landfill and showed the highest concentrations adjacent to the landfill, indicating offsite migration of PFAS. These findings support the need for more comprehensive and frequent monitoring of groundwater and surface water wells near landfills and stricter regulation regarding the landfilling of industrial materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Contaminants of Emerging Public Health Concern: PFAS)
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11 pages, 990 KiB  
Article
Best Practices to Support the Self-Determination of Indigenous Communities, Collectives, and Organizations in Health Research through a Provincial Health Research Network Environment in British Columbia, Canada
by Tara Erb and Krista Stelkia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6523; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156523 - 04 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2087
Abstract
In Canada, the health research funding landscape limits the self-determination of Indigenous peoples in multiple ways, including institutional eligibility, priority setting, and institutional structures that deprioritize Indigenous knowledges. However, Indigenous-led research networks represent a promising approach to transforming the funding landscape to better [...] Read more.
In Canada, the health research funding landscape limits the self-determination of Indigenous peoples in multiple ways, including institutional eligibility, priority setting, and institutional structures that deprioritize Indigenous knowledges. However, Indigenous-led research networks represent a promising approach to transforming the funding landscape to better support the self-determination of Indigenous peoples in health research. The British Columbia Network Environment for Indigenous Health Research (BC NEIHR) is one of nine Indigenous-led networks across Canada that supports research leadership among Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) communities, collectives, and organizations (ICCOs). In this paper, we share three best practices to support the self-determination of ICCOs in health research based on three years of operating the BC NEIHR: (1) creating capacity-bridging initiatives to overcome funding barriers; (2) building relational research relationships with ICCOs (“people on the ground”); and (3) establishing a network of partnerships and collaborations to support ICCO self-determination. Supporting the self-determination of ICCOs and enabling them to lead their own health research is a critical pathway toward transforming the way Indigenous health research is funded and conducted in Canada. Full article
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20 pages, 6457 KiB  
Article
Drinking Water Quality Assessment Using a Fuzzy Inference System Method: A Case Study of Rome (Italy)
by Yas Barzegar, Irina Gorelova, Francesco Bellini and Fabrizio D’Ascenzo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6522; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156522 - 04 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1616
Abstract
Drinking water quality assessment is a major issue today, as it is crucial to supply safe drinking water to ensure the well-being of society. Predicting drinking water quality helps strengthen water management and fight water pollution; technologies and practices for drinking water quality [...] Read more.
Drinking water quality assessment is a major issue today, as it is crucial to supply safe drinking water to ensure the well-being of society. Predicting drinking water quality helps strengthen water management and fight water pollution; technologies and practices for drinking water quality assessment are continuously improving; artificial intelligence methods prove their efficiency in this domain. This research effort seeks a hierarchical fuzzy model for predicting drinking water quality in Rome (Italy). The Mamdani fuzzy inference system is applied with different defuzzification methods. The proposed model includes three fuzzy intermediate models and one fuzzy final model. Each model consists of three input parameters and 27 fuzzy rules. A water quality assessment model is developed with a dataset that considers nine parameters (alkalinity, hardness, pH, Ca, Mg, fluoride, sulphate, nitrates, and iron). These nine parameters of drinking water are anticipated to be within the acceptable limits set to protect human health. Fuzzy-logic-based methods have been demonstrated to be appropriate to address uncertainty and subjectivity in drinking water quality assessment; they are an effective method for managing complicated, uncertain water systems and predicting drinking water quality. The proposed method can provide an effective solution for complex systems; this method can be modified easily to improve performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Water Science and Technology)
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15 pages, 665 KiB  
Article
Socio-Economic Factors Associated with Ethnic Disparities in SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Hospitalization
by Alessio Gili, Marta Caminiti, Chiara Lupi, Salvatore Zichichi, Ilaria Minicucci, Patrizio Pezzotti, Chiara Primieri, Carla Bietta and Fabrizio Stracci
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6521; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156521 - 04 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1410
Abstract
Background: There is evidence that non-Italians presented higher incidence of infection and worse health outcomes if compared to native populations in the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the study was to compare Italian- and non-Italian-born health outcomes, accounting for socio-economic levels. Methods: We [...] Read more.
Background: There is evidence that non-Italians presented higher incidence of infection and worse health outcomes if compared to native populations in the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the study was to compare Italian- and non-Italian-born health outcomes, accounting for socio-economic levels. Methods: We analyzed data relative to 906,463 people in Umbria (Italy) from 21 February 2020 to 31 May 2021. We considered the National Deprivation Index, the Urban–Rural Municipalities Index and the Human Development Index (HDI) of the country of birth. We used a multilevel logistic regression model to explore the influence of these factors on SARS-CoV-2 infection and hospitalization rates. Diagnosis in the 48 h preceding admission was an indicator of late diagnosis among hospitalized cases. Results: Overall, 54,448 persons tested positive (6%), and 9.7% of them were hospitalized. The risk of hospital admission was higher among non-Italians and was inversely related to the HDI of the country of birth. A diagnosis within 48 h before hospitalization was more frequent among non-Italians and correlated to the HDI level. Conclusions: COVID-19 had unequal health outcomes among the population in Umbria. Reduced access to primary care services in the non-Italian group could explain our findings. Policies on immigrants' access to primary healthcare need to be improved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Health Inequalities)
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15 pages, 716 KiB  
Opinion
Healthcare Professionals and Noise-Generating Tools: Challenging Assumptions about Hearing Loss Risk
by Giuseppe Alberti, Daniele Portelli and Cosimo Galletti
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6520; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156520 - 04 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1407
Abstract
Hearing loss is a significant global health concern, affecting billions of people and leading to various physical, mental, and social consequences. This paper focuses on the risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among specific healthcare professionals, especially ear surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, dentists, and [...] Read more.
Hearing loss is a significant global health concern, affecting billions of people and leading to various physical, mental, and social consequences. This paper focuses on the risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among specific healthcare professionals, especially ear surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, dentists, and dental hygienists, who frequently use noisy instruments in their professions. While studies on these professionals’ noise exposure levels are limited, certain conditions and factors could pose a risk to their hearing. Measures such as engineering and administrative controls, regular audiometric testing, and the use of hearing protection devices are crucial in preventing NIHL. Early detection and intervention are also vital to mitigate further damage. This paper proposes the results of a modified screening protocol, including questionnaires, audiometry, and additional diagnostic tests to identify and address potential hearing disorders. Specific healthcare professionals should remain aware of the risks, prioritize hearing protection, and undergo regular monitoring to safeguard their long-term auditory well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition: The Impact of ENT Diseases in Social Life)
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12 pages, 303 KiB  
Article
The Impact of COVID-19 on Infection Control Measures in Dental Settings: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Yasmeen Wahdan, Ghassan Habash, Elham Kateeb, Raed Junaidy and Soher Nagi Jayash
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6517; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156517 - 04 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1430
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on every aspect of life, especially for healthcare professionals. Dentists are the most at risk of infection due to close contact with patients. This study aimed to assess the level of awareness, perception, and attitude [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on every aspect of life, especially for healthcare professionals. Dentists are the most at risk of infection due to close contact with patients. This study aimed to assess the level of awareness, perception, and attitude of Palestinian dentists towards COVID-19 and infection control. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted from 17–30 July 2020, and 349 dentists from the West Bank participated. The survey assessed demographic variables, participation in infection control training, prevention methods used in dental clinics, patient preparation for dental work, cross-infection control and sterilization before and after the pandemic, and sources for guideline protocols for dental workers. The results of the study showed that 54 (14.4%) dentists had received training in infection control in dentistry and 121 (34.3%) had attended training specifically regarding COVID-19. During a partial lockdown, 60% of dentists treated only urgent cases. Overall, the dentists in the West Bank demonstrated good knowledge and a positive attitude towards COVID-19 and infection control measures in dental clinics, as there were significant differences between replacing a medical apron or mask and wearing a face shield, cover shoes, head cap, and goggles before and after COVID (p < 0.05). Moreover, there were significant differences between wrapping the chair and using purification devices to disinfect the clinic before and after COVID (p < 0.05). However, dentists’ knowledge could be improved by increasing their accessibility to materials and provided training. Dental associations should provide guidelines regularly to dentists during a crisis to inform them of best practices and disease management. In conclusion, dentists need to update their knowledge, continuing education and training to guarantee the proper handling of COVID-19. The study’s findings show the importance of updating infection control protocols and training programs that address the specific needs and challenges faced by dentists in the West Bank. Full article
14 pages, 1033 KiB  
Article
Telerehabilitation in the Finnish Outpatient Rehabilitation Setting from the Perspective of the Socio-Technical Systems Theory
by Tuija Partanen, Riitta Seppänen-Järvelä, Sinikka Hiekkala and Jari Lindh
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6519; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156519 - 03 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1401
Abstract
Background: In the development of effective telerehabilitation (TR) interventions, understanding the various characteristics affecting its practice is essential. Remote connection creates a new technically shaped environment for therapy and, therefore, previous therapy methods do not work the same way as before. Objective: The [...] Read more.
Background: In the development of effective telerehabilitation (TR) interventions, understanding the various characteristics affecting its practice is essential. Remote connection creates a new technically shaped environment for therapy and, therefore, previous therapy methods do not work the same way as before. Objective: The objective of this survey was to describe the practice of TR through the socio-technical theory approach. Methods: The 629 respondents to the online questionnaire included music therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, and neuropsychologists. The materials consisted of five open-ended questions. The analysis combined data-based and theory-based analysis. Results: In the data-based content analysis, we identified three main categories and eight generic categories, whereas in the theory-based, we categorised the main results according to the Fit Between Individuals, Tasks, Technology, and Environment (FITTE) framework dimensions. TR is everyday-life based, it requires shared participation, and the approach has to include coaching and collaboration with the client and their close associates. The everyday-life environment is one of the main dimensions that affect all the other dimensions. Conclusions: TR can be seen as technology-mediated home-based rehabilitation, as it can integrate rehabilitation into the client’s everyday life. In TR, therapy becomes multilateral and it creates a new kind of shared partnership into outpatient therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rehabilitation in the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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18 pages, 442 KiB  
Review
Bioactive Compounds for Customized Brain Health: What Are We and Where Should We Be Heading?
by Lina Begdache and Rani Marhaba
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6518; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156518 - 03 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1275
Abstract
Many strides have been made in the field of nutrition that are making it an attractive field not only to nutrition professionals but also to healthcare practitioners. Thanks to the emergence of molecular nutrition, there is a better appreciation of how the diet [...] Read more.
Many strides have been made in the field of nutrition that are making it an attractive field not only to nutrition professionals but also to healthcare practitioners. Thanks to the emergence of molecular nutrition, there is a better appreciation of how the diet modulates health at the cellular and molecular levels. More importantly, the advancements in brain imaging have produced a greater appreciation of the impact of diet on brain health. To date, our understanding of the effect of nutrients on brain health goes beyond the action of vitamins and minerals and dives into the intracellular, molecular, and epigenetic effects of nutrients. Bioactive compounds (BCs) in food are gaining a lot of attention due to their ability to modulate gene expression. In addition, bioactive compounds activate some nuclear receptors that are the target of many pharmaceuticals. With the emergence of personalized medicine, gaining an understanding of the biologically active compounds may help with the customization of therapies. This review explores the prominent BCs that can impact cognitive functions and mental health to deliver a potentially prophylactic framework for practitioners. Another purpose is to identify potential gaps in the literature to suggest new research agendas for scientists. Full article
13 pages, 1310 KiB  
Article
Does Decreased Diffusing Capacity of the Lungs for Carbon Monoxide Constitute a Risk of Decompression Sickness in Occupational Divers?
by Brice Loddé, Marie-Agnès Giroux-Metges, Hubert Galinat, Hèlène Kerspern, Richard Pougnet, Philippe Saliou, François Guerrero and Pierre Lafère
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6516; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156516 - 03 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1282
Abstract
Long-term alterations of pulmonary function (mainly decreased airway conductance and capacity of the lungs to diffuse carbon monoxide (DLCO)) have been described after hyperbaric exposures. However, whether these alterations convey a higher risk for divers’ safety has never been investigated before. The purpose [...] Read more.
Long-term alterations of pulmonary function (mainly decreased airway conductance and capacity of the lungs to diffuse carbon monoxide (DLCO)) have been described after hyperbaric exposures. However, whether these alterations convey a higher risk for divers’ safety has never been investigated before. The purpose of the present pilot study was to assess whether decreased DLCO is associated with modifications of the physiological response to diving. In this case–control observational study, 15 “fit-to-dive” occupational divers were split into two groups according to their DLCO measurements compared to references values, either normal (control) or reduced (DLCO group). After a standardized 20 m/40 min dive in a sea water pool, the peak-flow, vascular gas emboli (VGE) grade, micro-circulatory reactivity, inflammatory biomarkers, thrombotic factors, and plasmatic aldosterone concentration were assessed at different times post-dive. Although VGE were recorded in all divers, no cases of decompression sickness (DCS) occurred. Compared to the control, the latency to VGE peak was increased in the DLCO group (60 vs. 30 min) along with a higher maximal VGE grade (p < 0.0001). P-selectin was higher in the DLCO group, both pre- and post-dive. The plasmatic aldosterone concentration was significantly decreased in the control group (−30.4 ± 24.6%) but not in the DLCO group. Apart from a state of hypocoagulability in all divers, other measured parameters remained unchanged. Our results suggest that divers with decreased DLCO might have a higher risk of DCS. Further studies are required to confirm these preliminary results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Accident Prevention and Occupational Risk Assessment)
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21 pages, 1150 KiB  
Article
Assessing Motor Function in Frail Older Adults in Their Home Settings: Challenges, Strategies and Recommendations
by Lijuan Yin, Maria Caceres, Jordan Skowronski and Naoko Muramatsu
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6515; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156515 - 03 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1289
Abstract
Assessing motor competence is essential for evaluating the effectiveness of physical activity interventions that aim to maintain or improve older adults’ function. However, assessing motor competence in older adults who have difficulties walking or standing is challenging, because few instruments or guidelines are [...] Read more.
Assessing motor competence is essential for evaluating the effectiveness of physical activity interventions that aim to maintain or improve older adults’ function. However, assessing motor competence in older adults who have difficulties walking or standing is challenging, because few instruments or guidelines are appropriate for these frail older adults. This article aims to describe challenges in evaluating motor function among frail older adults, discuss strategies for adapting motor function assessments to their home settings, and provide recommendations for future clinical trials so that older adults with ambulatory difficulties can benefit from motor function assessment and physical activity programs. Data came from the baseline assessment of 116 participants of an ongoing clinical trial, “Promoting Seniors’ Health with Home Care Aides (Pro-Home)”. Our results demonstrated that the Pro-Home study involved participants who would be typically excluded from clinical trials and that the two instruments selected or developed for Pro-Home (Short Physical Performance Battery, Pro-Home Ankle Range of Motion Measure) captured a wide range of lower extremity motor competence with no or few missing data. Recommendations for future studies include knowing the target population thoroughly, developing trust and rapport with all parties involved, and continuously collaborating with interviewers who conduct assessments. Full article
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11 pages, 317 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of a Primary E-Health Intervention for People with Alcohol Use Disorder: Clinical Characteristics of Users and Efficacy
by Nathalie Stüben, Andreas Guenter Franke and Michael Soyka
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6514; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156514 - 03 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2299
Abstract
In Germany, only about 10% of patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) are treated by the professional help system. “The First 30 Days without Alcohol”, an interactive e-health intervention, was developed to support people with “alcohol problems” to abstain from alcohol. The aim [...] Read more.
In Germany, only about 10% of patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) are treated by the professional help system. “The First 30 Days without Alcohol”, an interactive e-health intervention, was developed to support people with “alcohol problems” to abstain from alcohol. The aim of this study was to examine the feasibility of the approach, the program’s target group, if and why it is effective. In March 2022 an email was sent to all users who had completed the program. A link to a web-based survey regarding the target group’s characteristics, its alcohol-use patterns, former attempts to change the problematic drinking behavior and experience with the program was introduced. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) was used prior and post intervention. A total of 718 participants completed the questionnaire. Of these, 99.2% suffered from AUD; 81.6% of participants were females, and about one third reported some form of psychiatric comorbidity; 46.6% did not use any additional help or assistance apart from the program; 78.3% reported to be abstinent after participation in the 30-day program, and the data show a significant AUDIT score reduction. Primary e-health interventions may contribute to the established addiction-help system. The intervention seems to reach predominantly highly educated and high-functioning females because of their characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance Use Disorders: A Global Public Health Issue)
14 pages, 870 KiB  
Article
Physical Activity in Long COVID: A Comparative Study of Exercise Rehabilitation Benefits in Patients with Long COVID, Coronary Artery Disease and Fibromyalgia
by Claire Colas, Yann Le Berre, Marie Fanget, Angélique Savall, Martin Killian, Ivan Goujon, Pierre Labeix, Manon Bayle, Léonard Féasson, Frederic Roche and David Hupin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(15), 6513; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20156513 - 03 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2217
Abstract
Exercise in long COVID is poorly studied. Nevertheless, exerciserehabilitation could improve cardiorespiratory, muscular and autonomic functions. We aimed to investigate improvement in physical and autonomic performances of long COVID patients (n = 38) after a 4-week exercise rehabilitation program (3 sessions/week) compared [...] Read more.
Exercise in long COVID is poorly studied. Nevertheless, exerciserehabilitation could improve cardiorespiratory, muscular and autonomic functions. We aimed to investigate improvement in physical and autonomic performances of long COVID patients (n = 38) after a 4-week exercise rehabilitation program (3 sessions/week) compared to two control groups composed of coronary artery disease (n = 38) and fibromyalgia patients (n = 38), two populations for whom exercise benefits are well known. Efficacy of exercise training was assessed by a cardiopulmonary exercise test, a handgrip force test, and a supine heart rate variability recording at rest before and after the rehabilitation program. Cardiorespiratory and muscular parameters were enhanced after exercise rehabilitation in the three groups (p < 0.001). No significant difference was observed for the autonomic variables. Through this comparative study with control groups, we confirm and reinforce the interest of caring for long COVID patients without post-exertional symptom exacerbation by exercise rehabilitation of both strength and endurance training, by personalizing the program to the patient and symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Long COVID and Post-COVID-19 Syndromes)
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