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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 20, Issue 2 (January-2 2023) – 761 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The frequency of natural disasters is increasing due to climate change. While the literature regarding place and health is vast, there are few studies on displaced and disaster-exposed communities. Women are an important vulnerable population in this context as they are disproportionately impacted by natural disasters. This longitudinal study examines the association between neighborhood socioeconomic conditions and mental health among women survivors of Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 storm which resulted in severe displacement in the Gulf Coast region. This study, which leverages ten years of data from the Gulf Coast Child and Family Health Study, contributes novel findings and perspectives to the importance of displacement patterns and how changing neighborhood conditions may be important for mental health among survivors over time. View this paper
Neighborhood Effects on Mental Health among Women Survivors of Hurricane Katrina
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Article
How Does Agricultural Mechanization Service Affect Agricultural Green Transformation in China?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1655; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021655 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 757
Abstract
Agricultural mechanization service (AMS) is a critical path to achieving agricultural green transformation with smallholders as the mainstay of agricultural production. Based on the panel data of 30 Chinese provinces from 2011 to 2020, this paper measures the AGTFP using the Super-SBM model [...] Read more.
Agricultural mechanization service (AMS) is a critical path to achieving agricultural green transformation with smallholders as the mainstay of agricultural production. Based on the panel data of 30 Chinese provinces from 2011 to 2020, this paper measures the AGTFP using the Super-SBM model and examines the effects of different AMS supply agents on AGTFP and spatial spillover effects through the spatial Durbin model. The main conclusions are as follows: First, China’s AGTFP showed a stable growth trend, with the mean value increasing from 0.1990 in 2011 to 0.5590 in 2020. Second, the specialization (SPO) and large-scale (LSO) of AMS supply organizations have significantly positive effect on the AGTFP of the local province. However, SPO has a significantly positive effect on the AGTFP of the neighboring provinces, while LSO has the opposite effect. Third, the specialization of AMS supply individuals (SPI) has significantly negative effect on the AGTFP of the local province. In contrast, the large-scale AMS supply individuals (LSI) has the opposite effect. Furthermore, the spatial spillover effects of both are insignificant. Fourth, the spatial spillover effect of AGTFP shows asymmetry among different regions and indicates that AMS resources flow from non-main grain production and economically developed regions to main grain production and less developed regions. These findings provide helpful policy references for constructing and improving the agricultural mechanization service system and realizing the agricultural green transformation in economies as the mainstay of agricultural production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Green Transformation and Sustainable Development)
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Article
The Impact of a Six-Year Existing Screening Programme Using the Faecal Immunochemical Test in Flanders (Belgium) on Colorectal Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Survival: A Population-Based Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1654; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021654 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 510
Abstract
The faecal immunochemical test (FIT) has been increasingly used for organised colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. We assessed the impact of a six-year existing FIT screening programme in Flanders (Belgium) on CRC incidence, mortality and survival. The Flemish CRC screening programme started in 2013, [...] Read more.
The faecal immunochemical test (FIT) has been increasingly used for organised colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. We assessed the impact of a six-year existing FIT screening programme in Flanders (Belgium) on CRC incidence, mortality and survival. The Flemish CRC screening programme started in 2013, targeting individuals aged 50–74 years. Joinpoint regression was used to investigate trends of age-standardised CRC incidence and mortality among individuals aged 50–79 years (2004–2019). Their 5-year relative survival was calculated using the Ederer II method. We found that FIT screening significantly reduced CRC incidence, especially that of advanced-stage CRCs (69.8/100,000 in 2012 vs. 51.1/100,000 in 2019), with a greater impact in men. Mortality started to decline in men two years after organised screening implementation (annual reduction of 9.3% after 2015 vs. 2.2% before 2015). The 5-year relative survival was significantly higher in screen-detected (93.8%) and lower in FIT non-participant CRCs (61.9%) vs. FIT interval cancers and CRCs in never-invited cases (67.6% and 66.7%, respectively). Organised FIT screening in Flanders clearly reduced CRC incidence (especially advanced-stage) and mortality (in men, but not yet in women). Survival is significantly better in screen-detected cases vs. CRCs in unscreened people. Our findings support the implementation of FIT organised screening and the continued effort to increase uptake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preventive Medicine and Community Health)
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Review
Understanding Mental Health in Developmental Dyslexia: A Scoping Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1653; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021653 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 752
Abstract
Children with dyslexia are at elevated risk of internalising and externalising mental health concerns. Our aim was to scope the extent and nature of the literature investigating factors which may influence this association. We systematically searched the peer-reviewed and grey literature with no [...] Read more.
Children with dyslexia are at elevated risk of internalising and externalising mental health concerns. Our aim was to scope the extent and nature of the literature investigating factors which may influence this association. We systematically searched the peer-reviewed and grey literature with no restrictions on the date. We included both qualitative and quantitative studies. Inclusion criteria included: (1) a focus on childhood (≤18 years) reading/learning difficulties; (2) internalising and/or externalising symptoms; and (3) a potentially modifiable third factor (e.g., self-esteem). Ninety-eight studies met the inclusion criteria. We organised the studies according to individual, family, and community-level third factors. Whilst a range of third factors were identified, relatively few researchers tested associations between the third factor and mental health in the context of dyslexia. Furthermore, there was a focus on primary rather than secondary school experience and a reliance, in many cases, on teacher/parent perspectives on children’s mental health. Future researchers are encouraged to explore links between socio-emotional skills, coping strategies, school connectedness, and mental health in the context of dyslexia. Research of this nature is important to assist with the identification of children who are more (or less) at risk of mental health concerns and to inform tailored mental health programs for children with dyslexia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
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Article
Is There a Correlation between Dental Occlusion, Postural Stability and Selected Gait Parameters in Adults?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1652; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021652 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 504
Abstract
Background: There is still an ongoing debate about the role of the craniomandibular system, including occlusal conditions, on postural stability. This study aims to assess the role of antero-posterior malocclusion on postural control and plantar pressure distribution during standing and walking. Methods: 90 [...] Read more.
Background: There is still an ongoing debate about the role of the craniomandibular system, including occlusal conditions, on postural stability. This study aims to assess the role of antero-posterior malocclusion on postural control and plantar pressure distribution during standing and walking. Methods: 90 healthy volunteers (aged 19 to 35) were qualified for the study. The subjects were assigned to three groups, depending on the occlusion type. Each group (Angle Class I, II and III) consisted of 30 people. The research procedure included a clinical occlusal assessment performed by a dentist. Postural control measurements were carried out using a force platform by measuring plantar pressure distribution during standing (six trials with and without visual control) and walking test conditions. Results: The tendency to shift the CoP forward is demonstrated by Angle Class II subjects and backwards by Class I and III subjects (p < 0.001). Individuals with a malocclusion demonstrated significantly higher selected stabilographic parameters while standing on both feet (with eyes open and closed) and during the single-leg test with eyes open (p < 0.05). The analysis of the dynamic test results showed no significant correlations between Angle Classes and the selected gait parameters. Conclusions: Analyses conducted among individuals with malocclusions showed the impact of occlusion on static postural stability. In order to diagnose and effectively treat malocclusion, a multidisciplinary approach with the participation of dentists and physiotherapy specialists is necessary, with the use of stabilometric and kinematic posture assessments. Full article
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Article
Adverse Childhood Experiences and Chronic Diseases: Identifying a Cut-Point for ACE Scores
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1651; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021651 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 682
Abstract
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) contribute to many negative physiological, psychological, and behavioral health consequences. However, a cut-point for adverse childhood experience (ACE) scores, as it pertains to health outcomes, has not been clearly identified. This ambiguity has led to the use of different [...] Read more.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) contribute to many negative physiological, psychological, and behavioral health consequences. However, a cut-point for adverse childhood experience (ACE) scores, as it pertains to health outcomes, has not been clearly identified. This ambiguity has led to the use of different cut-points to define high scores. The aim of this study is to clarify a cut-point at which ACEs are significantly associated with negative chronic health outcomes. To accomplish this aim, a secondary analysis using data from a cross-sectional study was conducted. The Adverse Childhood Experiences-International Questionnaire (ACE-IQ) was used for data collection. Descriptive statistics, nonparametric regression, and logistic regression analyses were performed on a sample of 10,047 adults. Data from demographic and self-report health measures were included. The results showed that a cut-point of four or more ACEs was significantly associated with increased rates of chronic disease. Participants with at least one chronic disease were almost 3 times more likely (OR = 2.8) to be in the high ACE group. A standardized cut-point for ACE scores will assist in future research examining the impact of high ACEs across cultures to study the effect of childhood experiences on health. Full article
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Article
The Effectiveness of Whole-Body Vibration and Heat Therapy on the Muscle Strength, Flexibility, and Balance Abilities of Elderly Groups
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1650; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021650 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 459
Abstract
Whole-body vibration (WBV) is a novel exercise training measure that promotes the muscle strength, flexibility, and balance abilities of elderly groups. The feasibility and applicability of 20–30 min (lowering a heat pack at 73 °C by wrapping it in multiple layers of towels [...] Read more.
Whole-body vibration (WBV) is a novel exercise training measure that promotes the muscle strength, flexibility, and balance abilities of elderly groups. The feasibility and applicability of 20–30 min (lowering a heat pack at 73 °C by wrapping it in multiple layers of towels to 40–43 °C before it touched the skin) thermotherapy are increasingly being demonstrated by applications and clinical trials. Studies show that it increases the flexibility of macules and ligament. However, no studies have examined the interactions between the pre-exercise and post-exercise application of heat therapy (duration a training course). Therefore, this study investigates the effects of WBV and heat therapy on the muscle strength, flexibility, and balance abilities of elderly groups. Eighty middle-age and elderly participants with no regular exercise habits were enrolled in this study. They were randomly assigned to a WBV group, a WBV plus heat therapy group, a heat therapy alone group, and a control group. The WBV groups underwent 5-min, fixed-amplitude (4 mm), thrice-weekly WBV training sessions for 3 consecutive months on a WBV training machine. Participants’ balance was measured using the limits of stability (LOS) test on a balance system. The pretest and posttest knee extensor and flexor strength were tested using an isokinetic lower extremity dynamometer. Pretest and posttest flexibility changes were measured using the sit-and-reach test. Significantly larger pretest and posttest differences in flexibility and muscle strength were observed in the WBV and WBV plus heat therapy groups. The addition of heat therapy to WBV resulted in the largest flexibility improvements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Active Ageing as a Way of Life)
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Article
Impact of Plastic-Wrap Properties and Cleaning Intervals on the Disinfection of Elevator Buttons
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1649; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021649 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 412
Abstract
Fomite transmission is a possible route by which different pathogens spread within facilities. In hospital settings, elevator buttons are widely observed to be covered with various types of plastic wraps; however, limited information is available concerning the impact of different plastic materials on [...] Read more.
Fomite transmission is a possible route by which different pathogens spread within facilities. In hospital settings, elevator buttons are widely observed to be covered with various types of plastic wraps; however, limited information is available concerning the impact of different plastic materials on cleaning. Our study aimed to identify which plastic material is suitable for the coverage of elevator buttons and the optimal intervals for their cleaning. We tested six plastic covers, including polyethylene (PE), polymethylpentene (PMP), polyvinyl chloride (PVD), and polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) plastic wraps; a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) keyboard cover; and a polyethylene terephthalate-ethylene vinyl acetate (PET-EVA) laminating film, which are plastic films. The bioburden on the elevator buttons at different time intervals was measured using an adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence assay. Our results show that wraps made of PVDC had superior durability compared with those of PMP, PVC, and PVDC, in addition to the lowest detectable ATP levels among the six tested materials. Regarding different button locations, the highest ATP values were found in door-close buttons followed by door-open, and first-floor buttons after one- and three-hour intervals (p = 0.024 and p < 0.001, respectively). After routine disinfection, the ATP levels of buttons rapidly increased after touching and became more prominent after three hours (p < 0.05). Our results indicate that PVDC plastic wraps have adequate durability and the lowest residual bioburden when applied as covers for elevator buttons. Door-close and -open buttons were the most frequently touched sites, requiring more accurate and precise disinfection; therefore, cleaning intervals of no longer than three hours may be warranted. Full article
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Article
I Don’t Believe a Person Has to Die When Trying to Get High: Overdose Prevention and Response Strategies in Rural Illinois
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1648; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021648 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 570
Abstract
Background: Overdose is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among people who inject drugs. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl is now a major driver of opioid overdose deaths. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 participants (19 persons who inject drugs and 4 service [...] Read more.
Background: Overdose is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among people who inject drugs. Illicitly manufactured fentanyl is now a major driver of opioid overdose deaths. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 participants (19 persons who inject drugs and 4 service providers) from rural southern Illinois. Data were analyzed using constant comparison and theoretical sampling methods. Results: Participants were concerned about the growing presence of fentanyl in both opioids and stimulants, and many disclosed overdose experiences. Strategies participants reported using to lower overdose risk included purchasing drugs from trusted sellers and modifying drug use practices by partially injecting and/or changing the route of transmission. Approximately half of persons who inject drugs sampled had heard of fentanyl test strips, however fentanyl test strip use was low. To reverse overdoses, participants reported using cold water baths. Use of naloxone to reverse overdose was low. Barriers to naloxone access and use included fear of arrest and opioid withdrawal. Conclusions: People who inject drugs understood fentanyl to be a potential contaminant in their drug supply and actively engaged in harm reduction techniques to try to prevent overdose. Interventions to increase harm reduction education and information about and access to fentanyl test strips and naloxone would be beneficial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving the Health of Individuals Who Inject Drugs)
Article
Effectiveness of Booster Vaccinations on the Control of COVID-19 during the Spread of Omicron Variant in Malaysia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1647; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021647 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 769
Abstract
(1) Background: The assessment of vaccine effectiveness against the Omicron variant is vital in the fight against COVID-19, but research on booster vaccine efficacy using nationwide data was lacking at the time of writing. This study investigates the effectiveness of booster doses on [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The assessment of vaccine effectiveness against the Omicron variant is vital in the fight against COVID-19, but research on booster vaccine efficacy using nationwide data was lacking at the time of writing. This study investigates the effectiveness of booster doses on the Omicron wave in Malaysia against COVID-19 infections and deaths; (2) Methods: This study uses nationally representative data on COVID-19 from 1 January to 31 March 2022, when the Omicron variant was predominant in Malaysia. Daily new infections, deaths, ICU utilization and Rt values were compared. A screening method was used to predict the vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infections, whereas logistic regression was used to estimate vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19-related deaths, with efficacy comparison between AZD1222, BNT162b2 and CoronaVac; (3) Results: Malaysia’s Omicron wave started at the end of January 2022, peaking on 5 March 2022. At the time of writing, statistics for daily new deaths, ICU utilization, and effective reproductive values (Rt) were showing a downtrend. Boosted vaccination is 95.4% (95% CI: 95.4, 95.4) effective in curbing COVID-19 infection, compared to non-boosted vaccination, which is 87.2% (95% CI: 87.2, 87.2). For symptomatic infection, boosted vaccination is 97.4% (95% CI: 97.4, 97.4) effective, and a non-boosted vaccination is 90.9% (95% CI: 90.9, 90.9). Against COVID-19-related death, boosted vaccination yields a vaccine effectiveness (VE) of 91.7 (95% CI: 90.6, 92.7) and full vaccination yields a VE of 65.7% (95% CI: 61.9, 69.1). Looking into the different vaccines as boosters, AZD1222 is 95.2% (CI 95%: 92.7, 96.8) effective, BNT162b2 is 91.8% (CI 95%: 90.7, 92.8) effective and CoronaVac is 88.8% (CI 95%: 84.9, 91.7) effective against COVID-19 deaths. (4) Conclusions: Boosters are effective in increasing protection against COVID-19, including the Omicron variant. Given that the VE observed was lower, CoronaVac recipients are encouraged to take boosters due to its lower VE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease Epidemiology)
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Article
Exploring the Relationship between Urban Street Spatial Patterns and Street Vitality: A Case Study of Guiyang, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1646; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021646 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 465
Abstract
Understanding how street spatial patterns are related to street vitality is conducive to enhancing effective urban and street design. Such analysis is facilitated by big data technology as it enables more accurate methods. This study cites data from street view imagery (SVI) and [...] Read more.
Understanding how street spatial patterns are related to street vitality is conducive to enhancing effective urban and street design. Such analysis is facilitated by big data technology as it enables more accurate methods. This study cites data from street view imagery (SVI) and points of interest (POI) to assess street vitality strength after the classification of street spatial and vitality types to explore the relationship between street spatial patterns and street vitality with a further discussion on the layout features of street vitality and its strength in various street spatial patterns. First, street spatial patterns are quantified based on SVI, which are further classified using principal component analysis and cluster analysis; POI data are then introduced to identify street vitality patterns and layout, and the strength of street vitality is evaluated using spatial overlay analysis. Finally, relevance analysis is explored to cast light on the relationship between street vitality layout and street spatial patterns by overlaying street spatial pattern, street vitality types, and street vitality strength in the grid cells. This paper takes the urban area of Guiyang, China, as an example and the analysis shows that a pattern is discovered in Guiyang regarding the layout of street vitality types and vitality strengths across different street spatial patterns; compact street spaces should be prioritized in designing street space renovation; and cultural leisure vitality is most adaptive to street spatial patterns. Based on big data and using grids to understand the intrinsic relationship between street spatial patterns and the type and strength of street vitality, this paper brings more options to urban street studies in terms of perspective and methodology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Greening Urban Spaces: A Healthy Community Design)
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Review
Opportunities and Obstacles to the Development of Health Data Warehouses in Hospitals in France: The Recent Experience of Comprehensive Cancer Centers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1645; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021645 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 398
Abstract
Big Data and Artificial Intelligence can profoundly transform medical practices, particularly in oncology. Comprehensive Cancer Centers have a major role to play in this revolution. With the purpose of advancing our knowledge and accelerating cancer research, it is urgent to make this pool [...] Read more.
Big Data and Artificial Intelligence can profoundly transform medical practices, particularly in oncology. Comprehensive Cancer Centers have a major role to play in this revolution. With the purpose of advancing our knowledge and accelerating cancer research, it is urgent to make this pool of data usable through the development of robust and effective data warehouses. Through the recent experience of Comprehensive Cancer Centers in France, this article shows that, while the use of hospital data warehouses can be a source of progress by taking into account multisource, multidomain and multiscale data for the benefit of knowledge and patients, it nevertheless raises technical, organizational and legal issues that still need to be addressed. The objectives of this article are threefold: 1. to provide insight on public health stakes of development in Comprehensive Cancer Centers to manage cancer patients comprehensively; 2. to set out a challenge of structuring the data from within them; 3. to outline the legal issues of implementation to carry out real-world evidence studies. To meet objective 1, this article firstly proposed a discussion on the relevance of an integrated approach to manage cancer and the formidable tool that data warehouses represent to achieve this. To address objective 2, we carried out a literature review to screen the articles published in PubMed and Google Scholar through the end of 2022 on the use of data warehouses in French Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Seven publications dealing specifically with the issue of data structuring were selected. To achieve objective 3, we presented and commented on the main aspects of French and European legislation and regulations in the field of health data, hospital data warehouses and real-world evidence. Full article
Review
What Are the Determinants of the Quality of Systematic Reviews in the International Journals of Occupational Medicine? A Methodological Study Review of Published Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1644; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021644 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 439
Abstract
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the methodological quality of systematic reviews published in occupational medicine journals from 2014 to 2021. Methods: Papers edited between 2014 and 2021 in the 14 open access journals with the highest impact were assessed [...] Read more.
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the methodological quality of systematic reviews published in occupational medicine journals from 2014 to 2021. Methods: Papers edited between 2014 and 2021 in the 14 open access journals with the highest impact were assessed for their quality. Studies were included if they were systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and if they were published in English. Results: The study included 335 studies. Among these, 149 were meta-analyses and 186 were systematic reviews. The values of the AMSTAR-2 score range between three and fourteen with a mean value of 9.85 (SD = 2.37). The factors that significantly and directly associate to a higher AMSTAR-2 score were impact factor (p = 0.003), number of consulted research databases (p = 0.011), declaration of PRISMA statement (p = 0.003), year of publication (p < 0.001) and performing a meta-analysis (p < 0.001).The R² values from the multivariate analysis showed that the AMSTAR-2 score could be predicted by the inclusion of these parameters by up to 23%. Conclusions: This study suggests a quality assessment methodology that could help readers in a fast identification of good systematic reviews or meta-analyses. Future studies should analyze more journals without applying language restrictions and consider a wider range of years of publication in order to give a more robust evidence for results. Full article
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Article
Carbon Reduction and Pollutant Abatement by a Bio–Ecological Combined Process for Rural Sewage
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1643; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021643 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 450
Abstract
In order to explore the treatment effect of a bio–ecological combined process on pollution reduction and carbon abatement of rural domestic wastewater under seasonal changes, the rural area of Lingui District, Guilin City, Guangxi Province, China was selected to construct a combined process [...] Read more.
In order to explore the treatment effect of a bio–ecological combined process on pollution reduction and carbon abatement of rural domestic wastewater under seasonal changes, the rural area of Lingui District, Guilin City, Guangxi Province, China was selected to construct a combined process of regulating a pond, biological filter, subsurface flow constructed wetland, and ecological purification pond. The influent water, effluent water, and the characteristics of pollutant treatment in each unit were investigated. The results showed that the average removal rates of COD, TN, and NH3–N in summer were 87.57, 72.18, and 80.98%, respectively, while they were 77.46, 57.52, and 64.48% in winter. There were significant seasonal differences in wastewater treatment results in Guilin. Meanwhile, in view of the low carbon:nitrogen ratio in the influent and the poor decontamination effect, the method of adding additional carbon sources such as sludge fermentation and rice straw is proposed to strengthen resource utilization and achieve carbon reduction and emission reduction. The treatment effect of ecological units, especially constructed wetland units, had a high contribution rate of TN treatment, but it was greatly impacted by seasons. The analysis of the relative abundance of the microbial community at the phylum level in constructed wetlands revealed that Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Planctomycetota, and Actinobacteria were the dominant phyla. The relative abundance of microbial communities of Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Acidobacteria decreased to a large extent from summer to winter, while Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Planctomycetota increased to varying degrees. These dominant bacteria played an important role in the degradation of pollutants such as COD, NH3–N, and TN in wetland systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Carbon Cycle in Eutrophic Water Body)
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Article
Nutritional Analysis of the Spanish Population: A New Approach Using Public Data on Consumption
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1642; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021642 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 575
Abstract
Official population consumption data are frequently used to characterize the diet of countries; however, this information may not always be representative of reality. This study analyses the food consumption of the Spanish population by reconstructing the whole food chain. The results have been [...] Read more.
Official population consumption data are frequently used to characterize the diet of countries; however, this information may not always be representative of reality. This study analyses the food consumption of the Spanish population by reconstructing the whole food chain. The results have been compared with the data provided by the National Consumption Panel to which the food losses/waste reported in the literature along the distribution chain have been added. The difference between them allowed a new calculation of the estimated food consumption that was subjected to a dietary-nutritional analysis. Most of the foods were consumed more than those officially reported (range of 5–50%). The unhealthy ratios of consumed foods and recommended servings were: meat products (Rcr = 3.6), fruits and legumes (Rcr = 0.5), and nuts (Rcr = 0.14). Caloric intake surpasses needs. The results were consistent with the data on the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Spain, as well as with the prevalence of associated diseases. To make a judgment about the quality of a country’s diet, it is necessary to have reliable data on food consumption, as well as energy and nutrient intake. This study encourages other authors to implement this method to verify and quantify the possible difference between official and real consumption data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Consumption and Human Health)
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Article
Impact of Long Working Hours on Mental Health: Evidence from China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1641; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021641 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 402
Abstract
Although previous studies have examined the impact of long working hours on mental health in China, they have not addressed the initial value and reverse causality issues. To bridge this gap in the literature, I conducted a dynamic longitudinal analysis to investigate the [...] Read more.
Although previous studies have examined the impact of long working hours on mental health in China, they have not addressed the initial value and reverse causality issues. To bridge this gap in the literature, I conducted a dynamic longitudinal analysis to investigate the association between long working hours and the risk of mental illness nationwide. Using three-wave longitudinal data from the China Family Panel Studies conducted in 2014, 2016, and 2018, I adopted dynamic regression models with lagged long working hours variables to examine their association with the risk of mental illness. The results indicate that long working hours have positive and significant (p < 0.01 or p < 0.05) associations with the risk of mental illness (OR: 1.12~1.22). The effect is more significant for women, white-collar workers, and employees in micro-firms, compared with their counterparts (i.e., men, pink- and blue-collar workers, employees of large firms, and self-employed individuals). The results provide empirical evidence of the effects of long working hours on mental health in China, confirming the need to enforce the regulations regarding standard working hours and monitor regulatory compliance by companies, as these factors are expected to improve mental health. Full article
Article
Risk Factors for Stunting among Children under Five Years in the Province of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), Indonesia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1640; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021640 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 512
Abstract
In East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia, 42.6% of children under five had stunted growth in 2018, which affects both individual and communal levels. The first step in creating effective interventions is identifying the risk factors for stunting. This study aims to pinpoint the [...] Read more.
In East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia, 42.6% of children under five had stunted growth in 2018, which affects both individual and communal levels. The first step in creating effective interventions is identifying the risk factors for stunting. This study aims to pinpoint the stunting risk factors in East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia, by incorporating secondary data from the 2018 Indonesia Basic Health Research (RISKESDAS). This study implemented a cross-sectional design by utilizing the data of individuals who were successfully visited during the survey. Initial data screening in East Nusa Tenggara Province based on the criteria for children aged 0–59 months and stunting showed as many as 1643. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the relationship between children’s characteristics and stunting. There was a significant relationship between age group variables for younger children (aged 12–23, 24–35, and 36–47 months), mothers with low education, and children living in rural areas with the incidence of stunting in children (p-value < 0.05). The dominant factors that caused stunting in this study were the children’s age of 24–35 months (OR = 2.08, 95% CI: 1.12–3.86), mothers with low education (OR = 1.57, 95% CI: 1.18–2.08), and children living in rural areas (OR = 1.39, 95% CI: 1.01–1.91). The highest prevalence of stunting was in the group of children aged 12–23 months (45.2%). To prevent child stunting, the government must intervene for mothers with low education and those living in rural areas. Intervention includes intensive socialization about improving nutritional status during pregnancy and practicing complementary feeding and breastfeeding habits until the child is 24 months old. Full article
Article
Study on the Evaluation and Assessment of Ecosystem Service Spatial Differentiation at Different Scales in Mountainous Areas around the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei Region, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1639; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021639 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 370
Abstract
Ecosystem services are closely related to human wellbeing—which refers to the basic material conditions required to maintain high standards of quality of life, of health, and of safety and security, as well as good social relationships, and freedom of choice and action—and have [...] Read more.
Ecosystem services are closely related to human wellbeing—which refers to the basic material conditions required to maintain high standards of quality of life, of health, and of safety and security, as well as good social relationships, and freedom of choice and action—and have a high potential value. The adequate valuation of ecosystem service values (ESV) is now an urgent need for the implementation of policy measures such as ecosystem asset management, ecological compensation and paid use of ecosystem services. Based on the method of ecosystem value equivalent factor per unit area, in this paper we investigated the variability of total ESV spatial distribution and regional differences in the value of 11 ecosystem service types provided by ecosystems in the mountainous areas of the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei (BTH) region at different spatial scales and discussed the relationship between ESV and land use land cover (LULC). The results show that the total ESVs in 2015 and 2020 in the mountainous areas of BTH region were 5671 × 108 CNY and 6381 × 108 CNY, respectively. The change trend of each ecosystem service value from 2015 to 2020 was dominated by an increase of water supply service, and the maintenance of soil and nutrient cycle services in the mountainous area of BTH and the Yanshan Mountain (YSM). The change patterns of the value of ecosystem service categories in the Taihang Moutain (THM) and Bashang region (BSR) are dominated by an increase in the value of maintained soil and water supply services and a decrease in the value of regulating services. The calculation of ESV can be made more accurate by considering climate and vegetation conditions at the region, ecosystem, county or township scales rather than at grid scale, as, for calculating the interannual variation of total ESV, the spatial scale variability is large. The assessment of ESVs is important from the point of view of planning the use of the environment, of spatial planning, and of nature conservation. The ecosystem service of woodland and water bodies are more prominent compared with other land-use types and construction land and bare land provide the lowest value of service. There is some similarity between the value changes of ecosystem service categories and the distribution of LULC types. This study strengthens the understanding of the spatial scales of different ESV in mountain areas, which is beneficial to ecosystem management policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Key Areas for Human Wellbeing)
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Article
Exploring U.S. Food System Workers’ Intentions to Work While Ill during the Early COVID-19 Pandemic: A National Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1638; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021638 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 856
Abstract
With “stay at home” orders in effect during early COVID-19, many United States (U.S.) food system workers attended in-person work to maintain national food supply chain operations. Anecdotally, many encountered barriers to staying home despite symptomatic COVID-19 illness. We conducted a national, cross-sectional, [...] Read more.
With “stay at home” orders in effect during early COVID-19, many United States (U.S.) food system workers attended in-person work to maintain national food supply chain operations. Anecdotally, many encountered barriers to staying home despite symptomatic COVID-19 illness. We conducted a national, cross-sectional, online survey between 31 July and 2 October 2020 among 2535 respondents. Using multivariable regression and free-text analyses, we investigated factors associated with workers’ intentions to attend work while ill (i.e., presenteeism intentions) during the early COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, 8.8% of respondents intended to attend work with COVID-19 disease symptoms. Almost half (41.1%) reported low or very low household food security. Workers reporting a higher workplace safety climate score were half as likely to report presenteeism intentions (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.52, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.37, 0.75) relative to those reporting lower scores. Workers reporting low (aOR 2.06, 95% CI 1.35, 3.13) or very low (aOR 2.31, 95% CI 1.50, 3.13) household food security levels had twice the odds of reporting presenteeism intentions relative to those reporting high/marginal food security. Workplace culture and safety climate could enable employees to feel like they can take leave when sick during a pandemic, which is critical to maintaining individual and workplace health. We stress the need for strategies which address vulnerabilities and empower food workers to make health-protective decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Workplace Health and Wellbeing during and beyond COVID-19)
Article
Poverty Alleviation Relocation, Fuelwood Consumption and Gender Differences in Human Capital Improvement
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1637; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021637 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 660
Abstract
The aim of poverty alleviation relocation is to break the vicious cycle of poverty and ecological degradation. The improvement of human capital, specifically women’s human capital, is important to realize the poverty alleviation and sustainable development of relocated peasant households. Based on the [...] Read more.
The aim of poverty alleviation relocation is to break the vicious cycle of poverty and ecological degradation. The improvement of human capital, specifically women’s human capital, is important to realize the poverty alleviation and sustainable development of relocated peasant households. Based on the survey data of 902 peasant households in southern Shaanxi in 2020, using the PSM model and the mediation effect test model, this paper explores the impact of participation in relocation on human capital from the perspective of gender differences, and the mediation effect of fuelwood consumption in the effect of participation in relocation on the human capital of peasants with different genders. The results show that firstly, in general, participation in relocation effectively improves the human capital of peasants. Secondly, there are gender differences in the improvement of the human capital of relocated peasants. Compared with male peasants, the health level of female peasants is significantly improved. Finally, fuelwood consumption plays an important mediation role in the impact of participation in relocation on human capital and the mediation role is more significant in improving the human capital of relocated female peasants. Full article
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Systematic Review
Improvement of In-School Physical Activity with Active School-Based Interventions to Interrupt Prolonged Sitting: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1636; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021636 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 531
Abstract
Background: Sedentary behaviors have increased in recent years and their consequences have led the World Health Organization to make recommendations for promoting a more active lifestyle. The school environment has been defined as a key place for achieving this objective for children and [...] Read more.
Background: Sedentary behaviors have increased in recent years and their consequences have led the World Health Organization to make recommendations for promoting a more active lifestyle. The school environment has been defined as a key place for achieving this objective for children and adolescents. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to analyze the effect of active-break interventions for interrupting prolonged sitting times during school-time on physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB), at school, in childhood and youth. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis were carried out, including clinical trials aimed at assessing the effects of interrupting prolonged sitting at school with active breaks on in-school PA and/or SB. Multimodal and static interventions were excluded. Six databases were analyzed: Medline, WOS, Cochrane Library, SPORT Discus, CINAHL and EMBASE. PA, SB; moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) were the variables considered. Results: Nine studies were included, with a total of 2145 children between 6 and 12 years old. The heterogeneity in the duration (five–sixty min), the frequency (one–three times per-day up to three times per week), and duration (five days to three years) of the interventions was detected. The meta-analyses for in-school PA, MVPA, and SB were performed, showing a significant improvement in both PA and MVPA. Conclusions: Interrupting prolonged sitting with active-based school interventions could improve PA and MVPA levels during school time. (PROSPERO: CRD42022358933). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evidence-Based Physiotherapy Practice in Public Healthcare)
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Article
Assessment of Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of the Hospital and Community Pharmacists in Saudi Arabia (Jeddah) towards Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1635; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021635 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 487
Abstract
In Saudi Arabia, the older adult population is growing and is projected to increase three-fold by 2030. Potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) are harmful to older adults’ and have a direct impact on clinical, health and economic outcomes. Pharmacists have a vital role in [...] Read more.
In Saudi Arabia, the older adult population is growing and is projected to increase three-fold by 2030. Potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) are harmful to older adults’ and have a direct impact on clinical, health and economic outcomes. Pharmacists have a vital role in medication tailoring for older adults as multidisciplinary team members. However, there is also a paucity of research regarding pharmacists’ participation in detecting and avoiding PIMs use among older adults in Saudi Arabia. A cross-sectional, self-administered survey was conducted to assess the knowledge, practices, and attitude of pharmacists from seven hospitals and ten community pharmacies in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The survey comprised three sections; (i) identifying participants’ general characteristics, (ii) assessing their knowledge of PIMs use in older adults and (iii) examining the pharmacist’s attitude towards the procedures followed in dispensing for older adults. Inferential and descriptive statistics were used to analyse the survey data. A total of 157 community and hospital pharmacists participated in this study. Most of them dispensed medication weekly to older adults (85.4%), and 43.3% had relevant work experience of six to ten years. Though 44.6% of the participants were aware of PIMs that older adults should avoid, only 10.8% claimed adequate knowledge about PIMs. From the given three clinical case scenarios, a minority of pharmacists (21.7%) chose the correct answers, with a mean score of 2.38 ± 2.91 (95% CI 2.35–3.15). Participants who claimed to have knowledge of PIMs had a significantly higher mean score than those who did not, 4.59 ± 2.81 25 (95% CI 2.35–2.61). A minority of the pharmacists (14.7%) used screening tools such as STOPP, Beers criteria, or Medication Appropriateness Index (MAI) to detect PIMs in older adults. No statistically significant differences were detected when comparing the levels of knowledge of pharmacists with 1 to 5 years of practice to pharmacists with 6 to 15 and more years of experience (p = 0.431). Pharmacists’ knowledge, attitude and practices toward PIMs use in older adults in Saudi Arabia should be improved. The application of PIMs detection tools such as STOPP/START or Beers criteria currently has no place in day-to-day pharmacists’ roles in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, concerned stakeholders should develop educational programs to improve pharmacists’ knowledge of PIMs and promote the effective use of PIM screening tools such as Beers and STOPP criteria in their practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Health Behaviors, Risk Factors, NCDs and Health Promotion)
Review
Physiotherapists Using the Biopsychosocial Model for Chronic Pain: Barriers and Facilitators—A Scoping Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1634; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021634 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 713
Abstract
The use of the biopsychosocial model in primary care physiotherapy for chronic pain is far from the recommendations given in research and current guidelines. To understand why physiotherapists have difficulty implementing a biopsychosocial approach, more insight is needed on the barriers and facilitators. [...] Read more.
The use of the biopsychosocial model in primary care physiotherapy for chronic pain is far from the recommendations given in research and current guidelines. To understand why physiotherapists have difficulty implementing a biopsychosocial approach, more insight is needed on the barriers and facilitators. This scoping review aimed to investigate and map these barriers and facilitators that physiotherapists working in primary care reportedly face when treating patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain from a biopsychosocial perspective. Four electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, CINAHL and ERIC) and the grey literature were searched. Studies were included if they investigated the experiences of physiotherapists in the treatment of chronic pain from a biopsychosocial perspective in primary care. Extracted data were discussed and sub grouped in themes following a qualitative content analysis approach. To align with current use of theories on behavior change, the resulting themes were compared to the Theoretical Domains Framework. After screening, twenty-four studies were included. Eight groups of barriers and facilitators were identified, thematically clustered in six themes: knowledge, skills, and attitudes; environmental context and resources; role clarity; confidence; therapeutic alliance; and patient expectations. The results of this review can be used to inform the development of implementation programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pain Rehabilitation in Primary Care)
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Article
Heartbreak and Loneliness Due to Family Separations and Limited Visiting during COVID-19: A Qualitative Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1633; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021633 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 391
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the healthcare system. In the pediatric unit, stress, uncertainty, and many unexpected challenges for many parents were frequently reported. Research has shown that parents had less contact with their children during the pandemic due to hospital restrictions. [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the healthcare system. In the pediatric unit, stress, uncertainty, and many unexpected challenges for many parents were frequently reported. Research has shown that parents had less contact with their children during the pandemic due to hospital restrictions. However, it is unknown how parents perceived their experiences in a pediatric unit. This study aimed to describe the lived experiences of parents who had a child in the pediatric unit during the pandemic. A qualitative descriptive approach was used to investigate parents’ experiences of having children admitted to the pediatric unit during the pandemic in Hong Kong. Eight Chinese parents participated in the interview. Three major themes emerged: (1) parents’ pediatric ward experiences during COVID-19 were emotionally isolating and overwhelming, (2) the family and family-centered care were disrupted, and (3) interactions with pediatric providers intensified or alleviated emotional distress. Integrating the above themes of experiences of emotional distress was the main characteristic of the parents’ experiences during the pandemic. Therefore, policymakers should understand the lived experiences of parents of children diagnosed with COVID-19 and should make prompt decisions to deal with both parental concerns and safety issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Latest Research on Maternal and Child Health)
Article
Impact of Implementing New ICF-Based Practices on Staff Valence of Disability Practitioners: An Experience in Hong Kong
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1632; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021632 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 422
Abstract
The International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) was endorsed by The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2001. However, Hong Kong is at the beginning stage of implementing and testing ICF-based practices. This study examines any changes in the valences of disability [...] Read more.
The International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) was endorsed by The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2001. However, Hong Kong is at the beginning stage of implementing and testing ICF-based practices. This study examines any changes in the valences of disability practitioners in an organization under the newly introduced ICF-based practices. It was hypothesized that the involved staff members’ self-perceived valences in relation to the ICF would be enhanced. A pretest-posttest design was adopted. The 27-item Scale on Staff Valence under ICF-based practice (SSV-ICF) was used to measure the impact on staff valence of a pilot scheme in which ICF-based practice was implemented. Self-report questionnaires were completed by the involved staff members at the beginning of the pilot scheme and 12 months later. Analyses used paired samples t-tests and one-way repeated measures ANOVAs, performed by SPSS software, version 25. In total, 91 participants took part in the study. Results showed that participants achieved positive changes in all domains of valences, while participants’ level of involvement in the new ICF-based intervention had significant effects on their score differences in the “Competence” domain (r = 0.262, p < 0.05), “Intrapersonal” domain (r = 0.242, p < 0.05), and “Total Score” of SSV-ICF (r = 0.210, p < 0.05). The study demonstrated that disability practitioners who implemented ICF-based practices developed higher staff valences, which, in turn, benefited service users. Implementation of ICF-based practices also contributed to a more positive organizational culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being)
Article
Pediatric Functional Neurological Symptoms Disorder: Walking Ability and Perceived Exertion Post-Pediatric Rehabilitation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1631; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021631 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 429
Abstract
Background: Adolescents with functional neurological symptoms disorder (FNSD) commonly present walking abnormalities. Walking is influenced by ‘objective’ (e.g., fitness) and ‘subjective’ (e.g., fear) components. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) reflects the interaction between these two components. This study compared the walking ability and [...] Read more.
Background: Adolescents with functional neurological symptoms disorder (FNSD) commonly present walking abnormalities. Walking is influenced by ‘objective’ (e.g., fitness) and ‘subjective’ (e.g., fear) components. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) reflects the interaction between these two components. This study compared the walking ability and RPE before and after rehabilitation of adolescents with FNSD to adolescents with moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Factors predicting walking and RPE were also examined. Methods: Adolescents with FNSD (n = 31) and adolescents with moderate-to-severe TBI (n = 28) aged 6 to 18 years participated in the study. Participants received a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program. Six-minute walk test (6MWT) and RPE were assessed before and after rehabilitation. Results: At pre-test, the TBI group presented lower RPE than the FNSD group (3.38 ± 2.49 and 6.25 ± 2.71, respectively). In the FNSD group, pre-test 6MWT was a significant predictor of post-test 6MWT (adjusted R2 = 0.17; p = 0.01). In the TBI group, post-test 6MWT was significantly predicted by both the pre-test 6MWT and age (adjusted R2 = 0.16; p = 0.04). Conclusions: Prior to the intervention, adolescents with FNSD perceived walking as a more difficult activity than adolescents with TBI. Post-intervention, although the intervention was effective in terms of changes in 6MWT and RPE, the ‘subjective’ component still contributed to the elevated RPE of the FNSD group. Full article
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Article
Environmental Pollution Liability Insurance Pricing and the Solvency of Insurance Companies in China: Based on the Black–Scholes Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1630; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021630 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 428
Abstract
Environmental pollution liability insurance is becoming increasingly important for China to achieve its emission reduction targets. Insurance pricing is a crucial factor restricting the market share of environment pollution liability insurance, from the perspective of the Black–Scholes pricing model, which in turn has [...] Read more.
Environmental pollution liability insurance is becoming increasingly important for China to achieve its emission reduction targets. Insurance pricing is a crucial factor restricting the market share of environment pollution liability insurance, from the perspective of the Black–Scholes pricing model, which in turn has influenced the solvency of insurance companies in China. Firstly, this study analyzes the problems existing in compulsory liability insurance for environmental pollution in China. It proceeds with analyzing the price of compulsory environmental pollution liability insurance using the Black–Scholes pricing model, and derives a high premium insurance rate of 2.44%. Moreover, it performs a multivariate regression analysis using the asset and liability data, taken from the annual report, to identify three key factors affecting the solvency adequacy ratio, namely, capital debt ratio, reflecting the company asset structure; net interest rate on assets, reflecting the asset scale with actual solvency; and claim ratio, reflecting the business quality. Based on the results of regression analysis and robustness test for the China Insurance Clauses (CIC) company, People’s Insurance Company of China (PICC), and Asia-Pacific Property & Casualty Insurance (API) company, it is shown that the effect of total asset, total debt, capital debt ratio, claim ratio, and net interest rate on assets on the solvency adequacy ratio is significant, with respect to the size of the coefficients. Based on the Black–Scholes pricing model found in the previous cycle of liability insurance, and keeping in view the existing problems of environmental pollution liability insurance expenditure, this paper presents suggestions that are conducive to improving the solvency of insurance companies in China. Full article
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Article
Spatiotemporal Changes of Cultivated Land System Health Based on PSR-VOR Model—A Case Study of the Two Lake Plains, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1629; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021629 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 379
Abstract
Cultivated land resources are the material basis of sustainable agricultural development. Climate change, food security, land pollution, and other issues highlight the value of sustainable agricultural development, and the health of the cultivated land system has attracted much attention. By constructing “PSR-VOR” cultivated [...] Read more.
Cultivated land resources are the material basis of sustainable agricultural development. Climate change, food security, land pollution, and other issues highlight the value of sustainable agricultural development, and the health of the cultivated land system has attracted much attention. By constructing “PSR-VOR” cultivated land system health evaluation framework under the 5 km grid scale and using GIS spatial analysis and mathematical statistics to comprehensively evaluate the health status of the cultivated land system in the two lake plains from 2000 to 2019. The major results have shown that: (1) Over the past 20 years, both the highest and average values of the health index of the cultivated land system have gone down, and the health status of the cultivated land system has changed and gotten worse over time. (2) The health status in the two lake plains has been generally good, mainly in Class I and Class II areas. However, the area of cultivated land with general and poor health status has increased rapidly. On the whole, the health level presents the characteristic of gradually decreasing from the northeast to the southwest and southeast. (3) During the study period, the global Moran’s I value of the cultivated land system health index in the two lake plains increased from 0.686 to 0.729, with significant spatial positive autocorrelation, and the spatial heterogeneity of the cultivated land system health index gradually increased. As shown by the spatial distribution characteristics of high in the north, low in the south, and decreasing from the middle to the outside, the distribution of the high-value cluster area and the low-value cluster area of the cultivated land system health index in the two lake plains has not changed significantly over the past 20 years. (4) The two lake plains are divided into five areas: a moderate optimization area, a collaborative optimization area, a potential improvement area, a key improvement area, and a priority improvement area. The urgency of regulating the health status from the moderate optimization area to the priority improvement area has gradually increased, and the differentiated utilization and management of cultivated land resources need to be carried out according to local conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use Change and Its Effects on Regional Sustainable Development)
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Article
Promoting Healthy Behaviors in Older Adults to Optimize Health-Promoting Lifestyle: An Intervention Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1628; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021628 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 533
Abstract
Introduction: Exercise intervention is the easiest and most effective way to promote human health. This study combined technology and exercise to improve the health behavior of the older adults through a physical activity intervention and to enhance a health-promoting lifestyle. Materials and methods: [...] Read more.
Introduction: Exercise intervention is the easiest and most effective way to promote human health. This study combined technology and exercise to improve the health behavior of the older adults through a physical activity intervention and to enhance a health-promoting lifestyle. Materials and methods: A quasi-experimental research method was used to openly recruit 120 healthy male and female older adults over 65 years old (average age of males: 71.6 ± 1.25 years; average age of females: 72.3 ± 1.28 years), all of whom wore smart bracelets. The participants were monitored by special personnel during the same period of walking every Monday to Friday. All participants recorded their daily steps, distance walked, and calorie consumption data for a period of 8 weeks. Results: After 8 weeks of walking, all participants showed a positive medium–high correlation of various factors between healthy behaviors and the health-promoting lifestyle scales. In the post-tests of each factor of two scales, males had the highest correlation between regular physical activity and physical activity, and females had the highest correlation between regular physical activity and social support. The variabilities in the explanatory power of the health behaviors of males and females on the health-promoting lifestyle were R2 = 70.9% (p < 0.01) and R2 = 74.1% (p < 0.01), indicating that the variables of healthy behaviors have a positive effect on health-promoting lifestyles in male and female older adults. Conclusions: Walking interventions positively affect the health behaviors of older adults and encourage health-promoting lifestyles. The value of this study is in its contribution to health promotion and public health recommendations for older adults. Full article
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Article
Analysis of Spatiotemporal Changes of Ecological Environment Quality and Its Coupling Coordination with Urbanization in the Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1627; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021627 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 525
Abstract
It is inevitable that urban agglomeration will have a coercive impact on the regional Ecological Environment Quality (EEQ) as a consequence of high-speed urbanization. Balancing the EEQ and urbanization development has become a problem worthy of attention. In order to objectively evaluate the [...] Read more.
It is inevitable that urban agglomeration will have a coercive impact on the regional Ecological Environment Quality (EEQ) as a consequence of high-speed urbanization. Balancing the EEQ and urbanization development has become a problem worthy of attention. In order to objectively evaluate the EEQ of the Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration (YRDUA) and explore the impact of the urbanization process on it, this paper is based on the Modified Remote Sensing Ecological Index (MRSEI) and the Comprehensive Night Light Index (CNLI), respectively, and conducts a quantitative assessment of the YRDUA in China from 2000 to 2020. The results show that: (1) From 2000 to 2020, the MRSEI of the YRDUA first decreased and then increased, and the ecological environment quality degraded first and then improved; however, there were significant differences between regions. The ecological environment quality in the south is obviously better than that in the north, and the ecological environment quality in the north changes more drastically, and the low value area of MRSEI will gradually move downstream as time changes; (2) During the study period, the YRDUA formed a hierarchical and progressive urbanization pattern. The inland urbanization process expanded from east to west along the Yangtze River, and the urbanization process of coastal cities expanded from Shanghai as the center to the north and south with high-intensity urbanization cities concentrated in Shanghai and its surrounding cities and low-intensity urbanization cities distributed in the western part of the urban agglomeration; (3) The Coupling Coordination Degree (CCD) between urbanization and EEQ in the YRDUA has continuously improved with an increase of 28.57% in the past 21 years, and the number of cities with high level coupling continues to rise, while the number of medium level coupling cities and low level coupling cities has declined. As a large-scale and long-term analysis of changes in the EEQ and the urbanization process, this study can provide theoretical support for policymakers to formulate mesoscale development planning, EEQ monitoring, and environmental protection policies. Full article
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Article
Analysis of Land Use Change Drivers and Simulation of Different Future Scenarios: Taking Shanxi Province of China as an Example
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(2), 1626; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20021626 - 16 Jan 2023
Viewed by 347
Abstract
This study analyzed change and spatial patterns of land use in Shanxi from 2000 to 2020. The drivers of land use and cover change (LUCC) in cultivated lands, forest lands, grasslands, and rural construction areas were explored from four dimensions, including population, natural [...] Read more.
This study analyzed change and spatial patterns of land use in Shanxi from 2000 to 2020. The drivers of land use and cover change (LUCC) in cultivated lands, forest lands, grasslands, and rural construction areas were explored from four dimensions, including population, natural environment, location traffic, and economic development. The CA-Markov model was used to simulate the scenarios of natural growth (NG), ecological protection (EP), economic development (ED), food security (FS), ecological protection–economic development (EP-ED), and ecological protection–food security (EP-FS) in 2030. The results indicated that: (1) The conversion to built-up areas primarily dominated the LUCC processes, and their expansion was mainly to the detriment of the cultivated lands and grasslands during 2000–2020. (2) From 2000 to 2020, population, economy, and land productivity were the main factors of LUCC; the interaction of drivers for the increase of cultivated lands, forest lands, grasslands, and rural construction areas showed enhancement. (3) Under the NG, ED, and EP-ED scenarios, the rural construction areas would have increased significantly, while under the FS and EP-FS scenarios, the cultivated lands would only just have increased. These future land use scenarios can inform decision-makers to make sound decisions that balance socio-economic, ecological, and food security benefits. Full article
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