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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 20, Issue 20 (October-2 2023) – 61 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Mental health workers (MHWs) have been experiencing increasing stress levels and burnout due to the increasing demand for mental health services, salary concerns, and little time for self-care activities outside of work. This study explores how MHWs’ workplace environment impacts their social, emotional, and professional well-being. MHWs completed a survey where they described their current psychological health, support systems, what they enjoy or find challenging about their work, and any barriers to engaging in self-care activities. The results indicated that MHWs are indeed experiencing symptoms of burnout, and institutions can help support their workers by creating outlets to teach their staff self-care strategies and practice them at work. View this paper
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12 pages, 361 KiB  
Protocol
Measuring Nurses’ Knowledge and Awareness of Climate Change and Climate-Associated Diseases: Protocol for a Systematic Review of Existing Instruments
by Omar Portela Dos Santos, Pauline Melly, Stéphane Joost and Henk Verloo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6963; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206963 - 23 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1857
Abstract
Background: Climate change is a health emergency. Each year, it is estimated to cost more than 230 million years of life expectancy, with 4–9 million premature deaths associated with air pollution, and 9 million excess deaths due to non-optimal temperatures, representing 7% more [...] Read more.
Background: Climate change is a health emergency. Each year, it is estimated to cost more than 230 million years of life expectancy, with 4–9 million premature deaths associated with air pollution, and 9 million excess deaths due to non-optimal temperatures, representing 7% more temperature-related deaths since 2015 and 66% more since 2000. Objective: Identify and evaluate the reliability, fidelity, and validity of instruments measuring nurses’ knowledge and awareness of climate change and climate-associated diseases. Methods: A systematic literature review will retrieve and assess studies examining instruments measuring nurses’ knowledge and awareness of climate change and climate-associated diseases. Using predefined search terms for nurses, climate change, literacy and scales or tools, we will search for published articles recorded in the following electronic databases, with no language or date restrictions, from their inception until 31 October 2023: Medline Ovid SP (from 1946), PubMed (NOT Medline[sb], from 1996), Embase.com (from 1947), CINAHL Ebesco (from 1937), the Cochrane Library Wiley (from 1992), Web of Science Core Collection (from 1900), the Trip Database (from 1997), JBI OVID SP (from 1998), and the GreenFILE EBSCO. We will also hand-search relevant articles’ bibliographies and search for unpublished studies using Google Scholar, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global, and DART-EUrope.eu. This will be completed by exploring the gray literature in OpenGrey and the Grey Literature Report, from inception until 31 October 2023, in collaboration with a librarian. Twelve bibliographic databases will be searched for publications up to 31 October 2023. The papers selected will be assessed for their quality. Results: The electronic database searches were completed in May 2023. Retrieved articles are being screened, and the study will be completed by October 2023. After removing duplicates, our search strategy has retrieved 3449 references. Conclusions: This systematic review will provide specific knowledge about instruments to measure nurses’ knowledge, awareness, motivation, attitudes, behaviors, beliefs, skills, and competencies regarding climate change and climate-associated diseases. Full article
31 pages, 534 KiB  
Review
Digital Health for Migrants, Ethnic and Cultural Minorities and the Role of Participatory Development: A Scoping Review
by Irina Radu, Mandy Scheermesser, Martina Rebekka Spiess, Christina Schulze, Daniela Händler-Schuster and Jessica Pehlke-Milde
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6962; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206962 - 23 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1718
Abstract
Digital health interventions (DHIs) are increasingly used to address the health of migrants and ethnic minorities, some of whom have reduced access to health services and worse health outcomes than majority populations. This study aims to give an overview of digital health interventions [...] Read more.
Digital health interventions (DHIs) are increasingly used to address the health of migrants and ethnic minorities, some of whom have reduced access to health services and worse health outcomes than majority populations. This study aims to give an overview of digital health interventions developed for ethnic or cultural minority and migrant populations, the health problems they address, their effectiveness at the individual level and the degree of participation of target populations during development. We used the methodological approach of the scoping review outlined by Tricco. We found a total of 2248 studies, of which 57 were included, mostly using mobile health technologies, followed by websites, informational videos, text messages and telehealth. Most interventions focused on illness self-management, mental health and wellbeing, followed by pregnancy and overall lifestyle habits. About half did not involve the target population in development and only a minority involved them consistently. The studies we found indicate that the increased involvement of the target population in the development of digital health tools leads to a greater acceptance of their use. Full article
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13 pages, 797 KiB  
Article
Knowledge, Perception and Consumption of Indigenous Foods in Gauteng Region, South Africa
by Hema Kesa, Alex D. Tchuenchieu Kamgain, Mthokozisi Kwazi Zuma and Xikombiso Mbhenyane
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6961; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206961 - 23 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1479
Abstract
Urbanisation in South Africa has led to a nutritional transition from traditional diets (mainly based on indigenous foods) to a Western diet. Currently, the country is one of the most concerned about the prevalence of associated malnutrition and non-communicable diseases. One should, therefore, [...] Read more.
Urbanisation in South Africa has led to a nutritional transition from traditional diets (mainly based on indigenous foods) to a Western diet. Currently, the country is one of the most concerned about the prevalence of associated malnutrition and non-communicable diseases. One should, therefore, question the position of indigenous foods (IFs) in the population’s eating habits since their nutritional and health value is known. This study aimed to collect updated data on South Africans’ true awareness and consumption of indigenous foods, especially in the Gauteng region (the most urbanised province of the country). A quantitative cross-sectional research survey was conducted (n = 746). Among a list of 18 IFs, grain sorghum 32.4% (n = 242), marula 32% (n = 239), pearl millet 21.7% (n = 162), amadumbe 19.3% (n = 144) and cowpea 18.6% (n = 139) were the best known. However, the study noticed a maximum consumption of 19.3% (grain sorghum). Overall, this consumption was seasonal, and its level was significantly defined by race (p < 0.05). Black people consume more IFs compared to coloured people, Indian people and white people. Participants mostly consumed these foods for nutritional and health reasons and pointed out the problem of availability. “Poor image” was rated the lowest by all races (black 5.8%, coloured 4.2%, Indian 7.0% and white 4.1%) regarding the reasons for no or low consumption of IFs. Whatever the race, the desire to increase IF consumption was positive. The promotion of their integration into South African diets should, therefore, be considered as an intervention strategy. Full article
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10 pages, 308 KiB  
Article
Adding Behaviour-Change Counselling to an Exercise Program for Adults Preparing for Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Improves Psychological and Physical Wellness: Focus Group Reflections
by Marie-Louise Bird, Jonathan Mulford, Andrew Daffyd Williams, Michael Cheney and Jane O’Brien
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6960; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206960 - 23 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1787
Abstract
Purpose: To explore participant experiences for people on an arthroplasty waitlist, randomised to an exercise and behaviour-change counselling program (ENHANCE). The ENHANCE program for arthroplasty patients was led by an accredited exercise physiologist who delivered an individually tailored and structured exercise program. Included [...] Read more.
Purpose: To explore participant experiences for people on an arthroplasty waitlist, randomised to an exercise and behaviour-change counselling program (ENHANCE). The ENHANCE program for arthroplasty patients was led by an accredited exercise physiologist who delivered an individually tailored and structured exercise program. Included in the exercise program were up to five in-person counselling sessions, based on the Health Action Process Approach (HAPA) applied specifically to people with osteoarthritis. Nine adults (mean 69.4 years) who were on the waiting list for a total hip or knee arthroplasty and who had completed a 12-week program (ENHANCE) as part of a randomised controlled trial were recruited for this study. Methods: Two focus groups were conducted to explore participant experiences of ENHANCE. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis with constructs of the HAPA (motivational and volitional factors) as a framework. Results: We identified three themes (1) ‘The structured program addressed inactivity and improved feelings of wellness and preparation for the operation’. The benefits were not only physical, but psychological and were contextualised in terms of preparation for the upcoming surgery. (2) ‘People as enablers of participation’: Participants identified that the attitude, and skill of the experienced instructor were supportive and motivating, especially in tailoring the intervention. Within the program, the support of the group was considered a positive attribute (3) ‘Improved awareness changed attitudes to self-efficacy and perceived self-control’. Participants described an increased awareness of their condition and a better understanding of health expectations. They felt more control and ownership over their health journey. Conclusion: Goal setting and social support were identified factors in a behaviour-change counselling program, delivered in conjunction with structured exercise that led to a positive experience. Improved psychological and physical health were described. Participants were better prepared for their upcoming surgery, with increased self efficacy and mastery to support long-term physical-activity engagement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition: Active Aging)
16 pages, 1139 KiB  
Study Protocol
Implementation of US Post-Acute Care Payment Reform and COVID-19 Policies: Examining Experiences of Health System Leaders, Staff, Patients, and Family Caregivers—A Protocol
by Natalie E. Leland, Stephanie A. Rouch, Rachel A. Prusynski, Amanda D. Shore, Hannah Kaufman, Lorelei P. Hoover, Tracy M. Mroz, Janet K. Freburger and Debra Saliba
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6959; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206959 - 23 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1630
Abstract
In fiscal year 2020, new national Medicare payment models were implemented in the two most common post-acute care settings (i.e., skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and home health agencies (HHAs)), which were followed by the emergence of COVID-19. Given concerns about the unintended consequence [...] Read more.
In fiscal year 2020, new national Medicare payment models were implemented in the two most common post-acute care settings (i.e., skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and home health agencies (HHAs)), which were followed by the emergence of COVID-19. Given concerns about the unintended consequence of these events, this study protocol will examine how organizations responded to these policies and whether there were changes in SNF and HHA access, care delivery, and outcomes from the perspectives of leadership, staff, patients, and families. We will conduct a two-phase multiple case study guided by the Institute of Medicine’s Model of Healthcare Systems. Phase I will include three cases for each setting and a maximum of fifty administrators per case. Phase II will include a subset of Phase I organizations, which are grouped into three setting-specific cases. Each Phase II case will include a maximum of four organizations. Semi-structured interviews will explore the perspectives of frontline staff, patients, and family caregivers (Phase II). Thematic analysis will be used to examine the impact of payment policy and COVID-19 on organizational operations, care delivery, and patient outcomes. The results of this study intend to develop evidence addressing concerns about the unintended consequences of the PAC payment policy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Care Sciences & Services)
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17 pages, 4108 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Lower Limb Combined Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation on Skeletal Muscle Signaling for Glucose Utilization, Myofiber Distribution, and Metabolic Function after Spinal Cord Injury
by Amal Alharbi, Jia Li, Erika Womack, Matthew Farrow and Ceren Yarar-Fisher
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6958; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206958 - 21 Oct 2023
Viewed by 2341
Abstract
Maintaining healthy myofiber type and metabolic function early after spinal cord injury (SCI) may prevent chronic metabolic disorders. This study compares the effects of a 2–5 week combined (aerobic + resistance) neuromuscular electrical stimulation (Comb-NMES) regimen versus a sham control treatment on muscle [...] Read more.
Maintaining healthy myofiber type and metabolic function early after spinal cord injury (SCI) may prevent chronic metabolic disorders. This study compares the effects of a 2–5 week combined (aerobic + resistance) neuromuscular electrical stimulation (Comb-NMES) regimen versus a sham control treatment on muscle protein signaling for glucose uptake, myofiber type distribution, and metabolic function. Twenty participants (31 ± 9 years of age) with an SCI (C4-L1, AIS level A–C) within 14 days of the SCI were randomly assigned to control (N = 8) or Comb-NMES (N = 12). Sessions were given three times per week. Fasting blood samples and vastus lateralis muscle biopsies were collected 24–48 h before or after the last session. Western blots were performed to quantify proteins, immunohistochemical analyses determined muscle myofiber distribution, and enzymatic assays were performed to measure serum glucose, insulin, and lipids. Our main findings include a decrease in fasting glucose (p < 0.05) and LDL-C (p < 0.05) levels, an upregulation of CamKII and Hexokinase (p < 0.05), and an increase in type I (+9%) and a decrease in type IIx (−36%) myofiber distribution in response to Comb-NMES. Our findings suggest that maintaining healthy myofiber type and metabolic function may be achieved via early utilization of Comb-NMES. Full article
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15 pages, 1074 KiB  
Article
Childbearing with Hypermobile Ehlers–Danlos Syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders: A Large International Survey of Outcomes and Complications
by Gemma Pearce, Lauren Bell, Sally Pezaro and Emma Reinhold
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6957; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206957 - 21 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 7727
Abstract
One in 20 births could be affected by hypermobile Ehlers–Danlos syndrome or Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (hEDS/HSD); however, these are under-diagnosed and lacking research. This study aimed to examine outcomes and complications in people childbearing with hEDS/HSD. A large online international survey was completed [...] Read more.
One in 20 births could be affected by hypermobile Ehlers–Danlos syndrome or Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (hEDS/HSD); however, these are under-diagnosed and lacking research. This study aimed to examine outcomes and complications in people childbearing with hEDS/HSD. A large online international survey was completed by women with experience in childbearing and a diagnosis of hEDS/HSD (N = 947, total pregnancies = 1338). Data were collected on demographics, pregnancy and birth outcomes and complications. Participants reported pregnancies in the UK (N = 771), USA (N = 364), Australia (N = 106), Canada (N = 60), New Zealand (N = 23) and Ireland (N = 14). Incidences were higher in people with hEDS/HSD than typically found in the general population for pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, pre-term rupture of membranes, pre-term birth, antepartum haemorrhage, postpartum haemorrhage, hyperemesis gravidarum, shoulder dystocia, caesarean wound infection, postpartum psychosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, precipitate labour and being born before arrival at place of birth. This potential for increased risk related to maternal and neonatal outcomes and complications highlights the importance of diagnosis and appropriate care considerations for childbearing people with hEDS/HSD. Recommendations include updating healthcare guidance to include awareness of these possible complications and outcomes and including hEDS/HSD in initial screening questionnaires of perinatal care to ensure appropriate consultation and monitoring can take place from the start. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Health, Pregnancy and Child Health)
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12 pages, 475 KiB  
Article
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Assessment of Healthcare and Anxiety Disorders in Patients with Chronic Diseases
by Edyta Cichocka, Anna Maj-Podsiadło and Janusz Gumprecht
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6956; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206956 - 21 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1395
Abstract
(1) Background: We compared the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the functioning and mental health of chronically ill patients, namely those with hemodialysis (HD) and diabetes (DM). (2) Methods: We used a questionnaire to collect the medical data and the Generalized Anxiety [...] Read more.
(1) Background: We compared the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the functioning and mental health of chronically ill patients, namely those with hemodialysis (HD) and diabetes (DM). (2) Methods: We used a questionnaire to collect the medical data and the Generalized Anxiety Questionnaire (GAD-7) to measure the mood status. (3) Results: In both groups, a similar percentage of patients had a past COVID-19 infection and similar opinions about pandemic-related inconveniences. The most significant limitations of the study included mask wearing and the restriction of social contact. Mental disorders were significantly more frequently reported in the DM group. Sleep problems were found in approximately 30% of patients. Approximately 20% of patients in both groups declared that the pandemic had negatively affected the quality of their sleep. The mean score of the GAD-7 scale in the HD group did not differ according to gender. In the group of DM patients, a significant difference was observed between men and women, with women scoring higher compared to men. In both groups, the percentage of patients with GAD-7 scores > 5, > 10 and > 15 did not differ significantly. (4) Conclusions: In both groups, chronically ill patients reported anxiety disorders with similar frequency. In the DM group, more severe anxiety disorders were found in women. Mental disorders were significantly more prevalent in DM patients. It seems that HD patients coped better with the psychological aspects of pandemic-related stress and limitations. Full article
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16 pages, 861 KiB  
Article
Co-Created Solutions for Perinatal Professionals and Childbearing Needs for People with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders
by Gemma Pearce, Lauren Bell, Paul Magee and Sally Pezaro
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6955; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206955 - 21 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2208
Abstract
Individuals living with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD) have reported feeling discredited and unsupported by healthcare professionals. However, the level of knowledge about hEDS/HSD among maternity staff remains unknown. Informed by patient and public involvement, this research aimed to [...] Read more.
Individuals living with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD) have reported feeling discredited and unsupported by healthcare professionals. However, the level of knowledge about hEDS/HSD among maternity staff remains unknown. Informed by patient and public involvement, this research aimed to investigate maternity staff’s knowledge and confidence in supporting people with hEDS/HSD, examine people with hEDS/HSD’s experiences of perinatal care, and co-create tools to help maternity staff support people childbearing with hEDS/HSD. Two online mixed-methods international surveys were completed by childbearing people with hEDS/HSD (N = 955) and maternity staff (N = 307). This was followed by the co-creation of three tools with 17 co-creators and a design team. Two main qualitative themes were identified through thematic analysis: (1) a need for recognition of hEDS/HSD in perinatal care and (2) the delivery of appropriate individualised perinatal care. Quantitatively, people with hEDS/HSD perceived maternity professionals to have a low level of knowledge about the conditions. Respectively, maternity staff reported low levels of confidence in supporting people with hEDS/HSD. The co-created tools provide applicable outputs for both education and practice and include an i-learn module hosted by the Royal College of Midwives, a tool for perinatal records, and infomercials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women's Health, Pregnancy and Child Health)
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18 pages, 719 KiB  
Article
Effects of 12 Weeks of Family and Individual Multi-Disciplinary Intervention in Overweight and Obese Adolescents under Cardiometabolic Risk Parameters: A Clinical Trial
by Déborah Cristina de Souza Marques, Lilian Rosana dos Santos Moraes, Marilene Ghiraldi de Souza Marques, Joed Jacinto Ryal, Isabella Caroline Santos, Marielle Priscila De Paula Silva Lalucci, Jorge Mota, Pablo Valdés-Badilla, Greice Westphal Nardo and Braulio Henrique Magnani Branco
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6954; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206954 - 20 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1758
Abstract
Adolescence is a complex period of human development in which young people are susceptible to unhealthy behaviors, such as physical inactivity and an unbalanced diet. This study aimed to analyze the effects of 12 weeks of multi-disciplinary family and individual intervention on cardiometabolic [...] Read more.
Adolescence is a complex period of human development in which young people are susceptible to unhealthy behaviors, such as physical inactivity and an unbalanced diet. This study aimed to analyze the effects of 12 weeks of multi-disciplinary family and individual intervention on cardiometabolic risk parameters in overweight and obese adolescents and compare sub-groups, considering possible differences between sexes (males vs. females vs. intervention approach). Forty-three adolescents (13.73 ± 2.46 years old) of both sexes were divided into two groups: family group (FG) (n = 21; 14.24 ± 2.61 years old) and individual group (IG) (n = 22; 13.23 ± 2.27 years old). The following parameters were evaluated: anthropometry (body weight, height, waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC), abdominal circumference (AC), calculation of body mass index (BMI), and waist–hip ratio (WHR)), body composition (fat mass (FM), lean mass (LM), fat-free mass (FFM), skeletal muscle mass (SMM), body fat percentage (BF), and visceral fat), biochemical measures (fasting glucose, triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoproteins (LDL-c), and high-density lipoproteins (HDL-c)), and the measurement of systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP) before and after the interventions. The multi-disciplinary interventions occurred for 12 weeks (three days a week lasting 1 h and 30 min, in which 30 min were dedicated to theoretical interventions (nutrition: nutritional education and psychology: psychoeducation) and 1 h to physical exercises. A time effect was observed for LM, FFM, SMM, FM, and HDL-c, with higher values after intervention and a significant decrease for FM, BF, visceral fat, fasting glucose, TG, TC, LDL-c, and DBP (p < 0.05). However, no group, sub-group, or interaction effects were observed when comparing FG, IG, or sexes (p > 0.05). The responses of the present study show that both multi-disciplinary approaches (family and individual) promoted improvement in the body composition indicators, biochemical markers, and DBP of overweight and obese adolescents independently of the intervention group. Given this finding, health professionals, families, and adolescents could choose the type of intervention based on their preferences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention and Treatment of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome)
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20 pages, 1802 KiB  
Article
Effects of a Participation in a Structured Writing Retreat on Doctoral Mental Health: An Experimental and Comprehensive Study
by Cynthia Vincent, Émilie Tremblay-Wragg and Isabelle Plante
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6953; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206953 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1834
Abstract
Challenges faced by doctoral researchers led to a concerning “doctoral mental health crisis” within academia. Recognizing the pressing need to address mental health concerns, notably among doctoral students, the Quebec Ministry of Higher Education introduced the Higher Education Student Mental Health Action Plan [...] Read more.
Challenges faced by doctoral researchers led to a concerning “doctoral mental health crisis” within academia. Recognizing the pressing need to address mental health concerns, notably among doctoral students, the Quebec Ministry of Higher Education introduced the Higher Education Student Mental Health Action Plan 2021–2026. One potentially relevant intervention approach is the implementation of tailored structured writing retreats for graduate students. Aiming to measure and explain the effects of participating to a three-day writing retreat on doctoral mental health, this study followed an explanatory sequential mixed method, including an experimental design. One hundred doctoral researchers were randomly assigned to either the experimental group (n = 50) or the waitlist control trial group (n = 50). Both groups answered a questionnaire comprising validated scales and open-ended questions at different timepoints, separated by a two-week gap. Results reveal that writing retreats reduced doctoral researchers’ psychological distress and improved their psychological, emotional, and social wellbeing. Among the multiple writing retreat aspects evaluated, only productivity experienced, as well as socialization/networking opportunities, acted as predictors for all doctoral mental health measures. Qualitative findings further supported the importance of perceived productivity and socialization/networking in promoting doctoral mental health. Recommendations are provided for fostering a supportive research work environment for doctoral researchers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wellbeing and Mental Health among Students)
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29 pages, 9051 KiB  
Systematic Review
A Systematic Review of Wheelchair and Mobility Scooter Containment Systems Used Internationally on Public Transit Buses
by Carolyn A. Unsworth and Amanda J. Timmer
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6952; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206952 - 20 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1270
Abstract
Despite the daily need for people to travel on public transit buses using their wheeled mobility devices, relatively little information is available regarding the most efficacious, affordable, and independent approaches to assist passengers with keeping their mobility devices in the designated wheelchair access [...] Read more.
Despite the daily need for people to travel on public transit buses using their wheeled mobility devices, relatively little information is available regarding the most efficacious, affordable, and independent approaches to assist passengers with keeping their mobility devices in the designated wheelchair access space. A systematic review was undertaken to summarize this literature, place it within a geographical and temporal context, appraise its quality, and establish common themes. Key academic and grey literature transportation databases and government websites searched from 1990 to May 2022 identified 33 documents, which were appraised using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT) or the Authority, Accuracy, Coverage, Objectivity, Date, Significance (AACODS) tool. Overall, the documents included were of good quality. The literature retrieved focused on the development and testing of the active containment systems favored for use in North America with a contrastingly small examination of the effectiveness of passive or semi-passive containment systems. Almost no literature was retrieved in English from European researchers documenting the use or effectiveness of rearward-facing passive systems. While tip or slide events are relatively rare among mobility device users, the effective use of containment systems is vital to minimize these. Further research is required to support transport policy makers, operators, and bus drivers to identify and correctly implement optimal containment systems to promote safety for all passengers on public buses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Disabilities)
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18 pages, 3071 KiB  
Article
The Intersection of Health Literacy and Public Health: A Machine Learning-Enhanced Bibliometric Investigation
by Benjamin Miranda Tabak, Matheus B. Froner, Rafael Corrêa and Thiago C. Silva
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6951; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206951 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 2088
Abstract
In recent decades, health literacy has garnered increasing attention alongside a variety of public health topics. This study aims to explore trends in this area through a bibliometric analysis. A Random Forest Model was utilized to identify keywords and other metadata that predict [...] Read more.
In recent decades, health literacy has garnered increasing attention alongside a variety of public health topics. This study aims to explore trends in this area through a bibliometric analysis. A Random Forest Model was utilized to identify keywords and other metadata that predict average citations in the field. To supplement this machine learning analysis, we have also implemented a bibliometric review of the corpus. Our findings reveal significant positive coefficients for the keywords “COVID-19” and “Male”, underscoring the influence of the pandemic and potential gender-related factors in the literature. On the other hand, the keyword “Female” showed a negative coefficient, hinting at possible disparities that warrant further investigation. Additionally, evolving themes such as COVID-19, mental health, and social media were discovered. A significant change was observed in the main publishing journals, while the major contributing authors remained the same. The results hint at the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic and a significant association between gender-related keywords on citation likelihood, as well as changing publication strategies, despite the fact that the main researchers remain those who have been studying health literacy since its creation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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19 pages, 1961 KiB  
Article
A Diagram of the Social-Ecological Conditions of Opioid Misuse and Overdose
by Benjamin R. Brady, Ehmer A. Taj, Elena Cameron, Aaron M. Yoder and Jennifer S. De La Rosa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6950; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206950 - 20 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2287
Abstract
The United States is experiencing a crisis of opioid misuse and overdose. To understand the underlying factors, researchers have begun looking upstream to identify social and structural determinants. However, no study has yet aggregated these into a comprehensive ecology of opioid overdose. We [...] Read more.
The United States is experiencing a crisis of opioid misuse and overdose. To understand the underlying factors, researchers have begun looking upstream to identify social and structural determinants. However, no study has yet aggregated these into a comprehensive ecology of opioid overdose. We scoped 68 literature sources and compiled a master list of opioid misuse and overdose conditions. We grouped the conditions and used the Social Ecological Model to organize them into a diagram. We reviewed the diagram with nine subject matter experts (SMEs) who provided feedback on its content, design, and usefulness. From a literature search and SME interviews, we identified 80 unique conditions of opioid overdose and grouped them into 16 categories. In the final diagram, we incorporated 40 SME-recommended changes. In commenting on the diagram’s usefulness, SMEs explained that the diagram could improve intervention planning by demonstrating the complexity of opioid overdose and highlighting structural factors. However, care is required to strike a balance between comprehensiveness and legibility. Multiple design formats may be useful, depending on the communication purpose and audience. This ecological diagram offers a visual perspective of the conditions of opioid overdose. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Opioids: A Challenge to Public Health)
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16 pages, 405 KiB  
Review
A Review of Patient Experiences and Provider Education to Improve Transgender Health Inequities in the USA
by Gabriel J. Tanenbaum and LaTasha R. Holden
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6949; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206949 - 20 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1819
Abstract
Transgender individuals are an underserved, vulnerable population. They face many inequities including barriers in both accessing and receiving adequate healthcare. These inequities are proposed here to be rooted in a lack of education about transgender people and their experiences. We begin by exploring [...] Read more.
Transgender individuals are an underserved, vulnerable population. They face many inequities including barriers in both accessing and receiving adequate healthcare. These inequities are proposed here to be rooted in a lack of education about transgender people and their experiences. We begin by exploring the existing transgender healthcare research carried out in the USA, examining client experiences, provider education and attitudes, and the barriers transgender people face to obtaining proper healthcare. Secondly, we look at the previous research on educational interventions implemented with medical students and practitioners in the USA to enhance knowledge about transgender people, and increase sensitivity and awareness, while also increasing the level of comfort in working with these clients. The limitations in these fields of study are discussed in order to understand how to better serve transgender clients in the USA. We will do this through a narrative review to determine evidence-based best practices for educational intervention, uncovering gaps in the literature and highlighting where to focus in future work for researchers and practitioners. Full article
15 pages, 372 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Rural Health Disparities in Colombia: Identifying Barriers and Strategies to Advancing Refugee Health
by John Diaz, Isabel Taboada, Adriana Abreu, Lara Vargas, Ysabel Polanco, Alex Zorrilla and Norman Beatty
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6948; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206948 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1746
Abstract
Health disparities within rural communities, notably those affecting migrant and refugee populations, are well-documented. Refugees often grapple with high disease burdens and mortality rates due to limited access to primary healthcare and their vulnerable socio-economic and political situations. This issue is particularly acute [...] Read more.
Health disparities within rural communities, notably those affecting migrant and refugee populations, are well-documented. Refugees often grapple with high disease burdens and mortality rates due to limited access to primary healthcare and their vulnerable socio-economic and political situations. This issue is particularly acute in the rural areas around Medellin, Colombia, where the refugee influx exacerbates the existing public health challenges. Studies highlight a substantial gap between community needs and public health policies, resulting in inadequate healthcare access. Our study, utilizing the Delphi technique, aimed to identify common barriers and strategies to enhance rural healthcare for refugees. Through consensus-building with community leaders, we identified six primary barriers to healthcare access and five barriers to healthcare quality. Community leaders endorsed five strategies to address the access barriers and eight strategies to improve healthcare quality. This research provides valuable insights for optimizing resource allocation and designing effective support programs for these vulnerable populations. Full article
17 pages, 574 KiB  
Article
Are Sexual Assaults Related to Functional Somatic Disorders? A Cross-Sectional Study
by Sofie Abildgaard Jacobsen, Lisbeth Frostholm, Cæcilie Böck Buhmann, Marie Weinreich Petersen, Eva Ørnbøl, Thomas Meinertz Dantoft, Anne Ahrendt Bjerregaard, Lene Falgaard Eplov and Tina Birgitte Wisbech Carstensen
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6947; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206947 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1616
Abstract
An increasing number of sexual assaults (SAs) are being reported. This study investigated associations between SA and FSD, conceptualized as bodily distress syndrome (BDS), and five functional somatic syndromes (FSSs): chronic widespread pain (CWP), irritable bowel (IB), chronic fatigue (CF), multiple chemical sensitivity [...] Read more.
An increasing number of sexual assaults (SAs) are being reported. This study investigated associations between SA and FSD, conceptualized as bodily distress syndrome (BDS), and five functional somatic syndromes (FSSs): chronic widespread pain (CWP), irritable bowel (IB), chronic fatigue (CF), multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), and whiplash-associated disorder (WAD). Participants (n = 7493) from the population-based cohort Danish Study of Functional Disorders (DanFunD) completed questionnaires on FSD, emotional distress, SA, and sociodemographics. Risk ratios (RRs) for each FSD and emotional distress were calculated in nine models with SA as the primary exposure using generalized linear models with binomial family and log link and were adjusted for other potential risk factors. The results showed that SA was associated with single-organ FSD (RR = 1.51; 95% CI = 1.22–1.87), multi-organ FSD (RR = 3.51; 95% CI = 1.89–6.49), CWP (RR = 1.28; 95% CI = 0.83–1.98), IB (RR = 2.00; 95% CI = 1.30–3.07), CF (RR = 1.81; 95% CI = 1.42–2.32), WAD (RR = 2.62; 95% CI = 1.37–5.03), MCS (RR = 3.04; 95% CI = 1.79–5.17), emotional distress (RR = 1.75; 95% CI = 1.21–2.54), and health anxiety (RR = 1.65; 95% CI = 1.10–2.46). Overall, SA victims experienced significantly more somatic symptoms than individuals not exposed to SA. Adjusting for physical and emotional abuse did not change the observed associations. Our results suggest a large impact of SA on the overall somatic and mental health of SA victims. Due to the cross-sectional study design, further studies are required. Full article
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14 pages, 318 KiB  
Article
Orofacial Migraine and Other Idiopathic Non-Dental Facial Pain Syndromes: A Clinical Survey of a Social Orofacial Patient Group
by Federica Reina, Giuseppe Salemi, Mariarita Capizzi, Salvatore Lo Cascio, Antonio Marino, Giuseppe Santangelo, Andrea Santangelo, Mirko Mineri, Filippo Brighina, Vincenzo Raieli and Carmelo Attilio Costa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6946; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206946 - 20 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1472
Abstract
Background: Orofacial pain syndromes (OFPs) are a heterogeneous group of syndromes mainly characterized by painful attacks localized in facial and oral structures. According to the International Classification of Orofacial Pain (ICOP), the last three groups (non-dental facial pain, NDFP) are cranial neuralgias, [...] Read more.
Background: Orofacial pain syndromes (OFPs) are a heterogeneous group of syndromes mainly characterized by painful attacks localized in facial and oral structures. According to the International Classification of Orofacial Pain (ICOP), the last three groups (non-dental facial pain, NDFP) are cranial neuralgias, facial pain syndromes resembling primary headache syndromes, and idiopathic orofacial pain. These are often clinical challenges because the symptoms may be similar or common among different disorders. The diagnostic efforts often induce a complex diagnostic algorithm and lead to several imaging studies or specialized tests, which are not always necessary. The aim of this study was to describe the encountered difficulties by these patients during the diagnostic–therapeutic course. Methods: This study was based on the responses to a survey questionnaire, administered to an Italian Facebook Orofacial Patient Group, searching for pain characteristics and diagnostic–therapeutic care courses. The questionnaire was filled out by patients affected by orofacial pain, who were 18 years and older, using a free online tool available on tablets, smartphones, and computers. Results: The sample was composed of 320 subjects (244F/76M), subdivided by age range (18–35 ys: 17.2%; 36–55 ys: 55.0%; >55 ys 27.8%). Most of the patients were affected by OFP for more than 3 years The sample presented one OFP diagnosis in 60% of cases, more than one in 36.2% of cases, and 3.8% not classified. Trigeminal neuralgia is more represented, followed by cluster headaches and migraines. About 70% had no pain remission, showing persisting background pain (VAS median = 7); autonomic cranial signs during a pain attack ranged between 45 and 65%. About 70% of the subjects consulted at least two different specialists. Almost all received drug treatment, about 25% received four to nine drug treatments, 40% remained unsatisfied, and almost 50% received no pharmacological treatment, together with drug therapy. Conclusion: To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study on an OFP population not selected by a third-level specialized center. The authors believe this represents a realistic perspective of what orofacial pain subjects suffer during their diagnostic–therapeutic course and the medical approach often results in unsatisfactory outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migraine: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment)
16 pages, 1011 KiB  
Article
Precursors of Prenatal Attachment and Anxiety during Pregnancy in Women Who Procreate Naturally and Pregnant Women following Assisted Reproduction Technology
by Monica Pellerone, Juan Martinez-Torvisco, Stesy Giuseppa Razza, Elena Commodari and Sandra Miccichè
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6945; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206945 - 19 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1475
Abstract
The process of adaptation of the woman to pregnancy seems to be influenced by many factors, such as the type of conception, the mother’s age, the possible presence of other children, and socio-cultural factors. Women who conceived with an assisted reproductive technique are [...] Read more.
The process of adaptation of the woman to pregnancy seems to be influenced by many factors, such as the type of conception, the mother’s age, the possible presence of other children, and socio-cultural factors. Women who conceived with an assisted reproductive technique are emotionally vulnerable; compared with pregnant women who procreated naturally, they manifest elevated anxiety, which seems to be correlated to the fright of being separated from their child. Objectives of the present research are as follows: (1) to analyze the relationship between age, gestational age, time expectancy, previous failed attempts, perception of a high-risk pregnancy, and presence of other children, with the level of maternal–fetal attachment (MFA); (2) explore the level of maternal–infant attachment and anxiety by comparing the control and experimental group; (3) to measure a possible relationship between anxiety levels and MFA in ART pregnant women; (4) to identify variables predictive of prenatal attachment. The study group is formed by ninety-five women aged between 18–42 years (M = 30.57; S.D. = 5.47), pregnant from the 23rd to the 37th week (M = 28.95; S.D. = 3.99); on which 50 women who procreate naturally and 45 pregnant women following assisted reproductive technology. They completed: Maternal–Fetal Attachment Scale (MFAS), State–Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and ad hoc questionnaire to collect anamnestic data. The results show the presence of a correlation between gestational age and waiting period, between the number of assisted fertilization attempts with the worry about their ability to become pregnant, but a negative correlation between pregnancy weeks and the level of maternal–fetal attachment. The study shows the predictive role of anxiety on the MFA. The applications and indications for future research are analyzed. Full article
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17 pages, 439 KiB  
Article
Investigating Ecological Momentary Assessed Physical Activity and Core Executive Functions in 18- to 24-Year-Old Undergraduate Students
by Ayva-Mae Gilmour, Mhairi J. MacDonald, Ashley Cox, Stuart J. Fairclough and Richard Tyler
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6944; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206944 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 4238
Abstract
Although evidence for young children (<10) and older adults (>64) highlights an association between physical activity (PA) and executive functions (EFs), there is a paucity of research on adolescents aged 18–24 years. Thus, this study examined the associations between PA and EF and [...] Read more.
Although evidence for young children (<10) and older adults (>64) highlights an association between physical activity (PA) and executive functions (EFs), there is a paucity of research on adolescents aged 18–24 years. Thus, this study examined the associations between PA and EF and the difference in EF between individuals who achieve the moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA) guidelines and those who do not. Forty-seven participants engaged in a Stroop task, a reverse Corsi-block test, and a task-switching test, to measure inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility, respectively. An ecological momentary assessment (EMA) was used to determine the participant’s MVPA and step count, through the “Pathverse” app. Multiple regressions were run to predict the task-switch cost, the Stroop effect, and the backward Corsi span from time spent in MVPA. A two-way ANCOVA examined the effects of achieving the MVPA guidelines on EF. MVPA and step count did not significantly predict EF. There were no significant differences in EF between participants achieving the MVPA guidelines and those that did not. Time spent in MVPA and step count were not significantly associated with working memory, cognitive flexibility, or inhibition in adolescents. Further research is warranted to understand other factors that may significantly affect EF, within and outside an individual’s control. Full article
26 pages, 2065 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Culture-, Health- and Nature-Based Engagement on Mitigating the Adverse Effects of Public Health Restrictions on Wellbeing, Social Connectedness and Loneliness during COVID-19: Quantitative Evidence from a Smaller- and Larger-Scale UK Survey
by Linda J. M. Thomson, Neta Spiro, Aaron Williamon and Helen J. Chatterjee
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6943; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206943 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1488
Abstract
Numerous UK surveys conducted during COVID-19 examined the pandemic’s detrimental effects on health, and the consequences of lockdown and other public health restrictions on mental health. Some surveys considered specific populations and social inequities exacerbated during COVID-19. Fewer surveys examined the ways in [...] Read more.
Numerous UK surveys conducted during COVID-19 examined the pandemic’s detrimental effects on health, and the consequences of lockdown and other public health restrictions on mental health. Some surveys considered specific populations and social inequities exacerbated during COVID-19. Fewer surveys examined the ways in which the adverse effects of public health restrictions, such as lockdown, shielding and social distancing, might be alleviated. Drawing upon self-determination theory, the purpose of the current study was to assess whether culture-, health- and nature-based engagement would mitigate the effects of these restrictions on psychological wellbeing, social connectedness and loneliness. Quantitative data from a smaller-scale survey (n = 312) and a subset of questions embedded in a larger-scale survey (n = 3647) were analyzed using univariate and multivariate methods. Frequency of engagement, whether participation was online or offline and with or without other people, and the extent to which type of participation was associated with psychological wellbeing, social connectedness and loneliness were examined. Sports and fitness, gardening and reading occurred frequently in both surveys. For the smaller-scale survey, increases in connectedness and frequency of participation and decreases in loneliness were significantly associated with improved wellbeing, whereas the type of participation and age range were not significant predictors. Outcomes from the smaller-scale survey approximated the larger-scale survey for measures of loneliness, type and frequency of participation and proportion of respondents in each age range. As the frequency of participation was a significant predictor of wellbeing, but the type of participation was not significant, the findings implied that any type of participation in a sufficient quantity would be likely to boost wellbeing. Full article
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11 pages, 674 KiB  
Article
Mortality in Germany during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Alois Pichler and Dana Uhlig
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6942; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206942 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1237
Abstract
Is there sufficient scientific evidence for excess mortality caused by COVID-19? The German population, similar to the population of many other countries, is subject to fluctuations caused by multiple factors, including migration and aging. COVID-19 is one additional factor, superposing natural or seasonal [...] Read more.
Is there sufficient scientific evidence for excess mortality caused by COVID-19? The German population, similar to the population of many other countries, is subject to fluctuations caused by multiple factors, including migration and aging. COVID-19 is one additional factor, superposing natural or seasonal mortality fluctuations. To give scientific evidence for excess mortality caused by COVID-19, it is essential to employ appropriate statistical tools. This study develops a score indicating excess mortality and studies its evolution over time. Applied to data provided by governmental authorities, the indicator discloses, without relating to causes of death explicitly, excess mortality at the end of 2020, in 2021, and in 2022. In addition, the indicator confirms that COVID-19 particularly impacted the elderly segment of the population. Full article
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15 pages, 938 KiB  
Article
The Impact of the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic on University Staff Dietary Behaviours, Sleeping Patterns, and Well-Being: An International Comparison Study
by Fatemeh Rabiee Khan, Maher Abdelraheim Titi, Natalia Frankowska, Katarzyna Kowalczyk, Rasmieh Alziedan, Christine Yin-Kei Lau, Karolina Biernat and Kyle Gavin Brown
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6941; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206941 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1451
Abstract
This study assessed the impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on well-being by measuring the changes to food security, dietary behaviour, and sleeping patterns of university staff in England, Poland, Saudi Arabia, and China. Using a cross-sectional study design, participants [...] Read more.
This study assessed the impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on well-being by measuring the changes to food security, dietary behaviour, and sleeping patterns of university staff in England, Poland, Saudi Arabia, and China. Using a cross-sectional study design, participants in four universities in the respective countries were surveyed between June and July 2020. The mean age of the 902 participants was 42 years old and 67% were female. The findings indicate a reduction in emotionally driven food behaviour [t (901.00) = −20.87, p <  0.001], food acquisition location [t (901.00) = −51.55, p < 0.001], skipping meals [t (901.00) = −24, p < 0.001], and consumption of canned fruit and vegetables [t (901.00) = −10.18, p < 0.001]. However, home cooking [t (901.00) = 36.61, p < 0.001] and the food shopping experience [t (901.00) = 4.53, p <  0.001] markedly increased during lockdown. The participants had higher levels of well-being during the pandemic and experienced a significant increase in sleeping hours (p < 0.001). Increased age and sleeping hours were positively associated with overall well-being. Conversely, emotionally driven food behaviour (i.e., buying and eating more food out of boredom/fear or anxiety) and skipping meals decreased the overall well-being. Lockdown had beneficial effects on dietary behaviours, sleeping patterns, and well-being, but there were variations between countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Eating Habits on Human Health)
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29 pages, 4629 KiB  
Systematic Review
Full-Day Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Levels of Typically Developing Children and Adolescents in the Middle East: A Systematic Review
by Esraa Burahmah, Sivaramkumar Shanmugam and Ben Stansfield
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6940; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206940 - 19 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1664
Abstract
Physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour (SB) are important components of physical behaviour associated with long-term health outcomes. Environmental and cultural factors may influence physical behaviour. To explore full day PA and SB in children and adolescents (2–18 years old) in the Middle [...] Read more.
Physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour (SB) are important components of physical behaviour associated with long-term health outcomes. Environmental and cultural factors may influence physical behaviour. To explore full day PA and SB in children and adolescents (2–18 years old) in the Middle East, a systematic literature review was performed including 183 journal articles. A wide range of PA and SB outcomes were reported, in some cases making synthesis of results difficult. As a consequence, results were generally reported narratively (MVPA time, total PA, SB time). Meta-regression of daily step count revealed females took 4600 fewer steps than males, with 3000 fewer steps on weekdays than weekends, and overweight individuals taking 2800 fewer steps/day. Steps decreased with age. Meta-regression for TV viewing time demonstrated an increase by 0.04 h per year of age. Even though environmental and cultural conditions may be different, PA and SB of children and adolescents in the Middle East were largely comparable to those of Europeans and North Americans. The wide range of data collection instruments used (both self-report questionnaire and body-worn devices) and heterogeneity of data made synthesis of reported data across studies very difficult, suggesting a need for greater standardisation of data collection methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity for Public Health)
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11 pages, 661 KiB  
Article
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Severity of Alcohol Use Disorder: Significance of Dual Disorders
by Janka Gajdics, Otília Bagi, Fanni Fruzsina Farkas, Bálint Andó, Ildikó Katalin Pribék and Bence András Lázár
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6939; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206939 - 19 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1462
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been assumed to impact patients diagnosed with alcohol use disorder (AUD). The severity of the influence that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the symptoms of AUD has not yet been revealed in detail. The aim of [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been assumed to impact patients diagnosed with alcohol use disorder (AUD). The severity of the influence that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the symptoms of AUD has not yet been revealed in detail. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients diagnosed with AUD. This retrospective study was conducted between 11 March 2017 and 31 May 2022 in Hungary. Medical charts (N = 1082) of inpatients with the diagnosis of AUD were reviewed. Based on the dates of admissions, two groups were created: the ‘before COVID-19’ group (11 March 2017–10 March 2020) and the ‘during COVID-19’ group (11 March 2020–31 May 2022). Chi-square tests, independent-sample t-tests, and multinomial logistic regressions were performed. The occurrence of delirium tremens (DT) and psychiatric co-morbidities was significantly higher during the pandemic. Our results showed that the occurrence of DT and psychiatric co-morbidities significantly increased during the pandemic. Our results revealed that the pandemic enhanced the severe consequences of AUD, and the development of AUD might have increased in frequency among individuals previously diagnosed with mental illness during the pandemic. These findings indicate the significance of dual disorders in the post-pandemic period. Full article
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24 pages, 776 KiB  
Article
Relationship between Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior, Spinal Curvatures, Endurance and Balance of the Trunk Muscles-Extended Physical Health Analysis in Young Adults
by Verner Marijančić, Tanja Grubić Kezele, Stanislav Peharec, Nataša Dragaš-Zubalj, Sandra Pavičić Žeželj and Gordana Starčević-Klasan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6938; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206938 - 18 Oct 2023
Viewed by 2171
Abstract
Background: Physical inactivity and sedentary behavior are associated with poor well-being in young people with adverse effects extending into adulthood. To date, there are many studies investigating the relationship between physical activity (PA) and posture, but there are no data on the relationship [...] Read more.
Background: Physical inactivity and sedentary behavior are associated with poor well-being in young people with adverse effects extending into adulthood. To date, there are many studies investigating the relationship between physical activity (PA) and posture, but there are no data on the relationship between the type and intensity of PA and sedentary behavior, their association with thoracic and lumbar spine angles, and with endurance and balance of the trunk muscles, especially in healthy young adults aged 18–25 years. Moreover, there are no data on the relationship between PA and sedentary behavior and musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary health, as well as quality of life (QoL) and sleep that would provide a more comprehensive picture of physical health status. Aim: Therefore, the aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the extent to which PA and sedentary behavior are associated with each other and with changes in spinal curvatures, endurance and balance of trunk muscles in an extended analysis of physical health status in young adults aged 18–25 years by additionally including measures of body composition, cardiorespiratory capacity, and QoL and sleep. Methods: A total of 82 students (58% female, 42% male) aged 18–25 years completed all required tests. Primary outcome measures included the following: PA and sedentary behavior calculated from the long form of International PA Questionnaire (IPAQ-LF), spinal curvatures measured by a Spinal Mouse® device, endurance and balance of the trunk muscles measured using trunk endurance tests and their ratio. Results: Overall, 50% of students were classified as minimally active and 50% as health-enhancing PA (HEPA) active. The angles of thoracic kyphosis and lumbar lordosis showed no correlation with PA or time spent sitting. However, students with the lowest PA had significantly higher scores on the trunk extensor endurance test and trunk extensor/flexor endurance test ratio, indicating imbalanced trunk muscles. Moreover, these students spent the most their time sitting. Only PA of vigorous intensity and PA during recreation, leisure, and sports significantly correlated with QoL related to physical health. QoL related to physical and psychosocial health had significantly higher scores when students spent less time sitting. In addition, we found significantly better respiratory performance and SQ at higher PA values, i.e., PA during recreation, leisure, and sport. Conclusions: Our results suggest that students with low PA levels and more time spent sitting have imbalanced trunk muscles, worse respiratory function, and poorer QoL and sleep. Moreover, these findings in college students may reflect their lifestyle and suggest that more PA needs to be promoted to prevent the development of chronic diseases including musculoskeletal disorders. Full article
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12 pages, 703 KiB  
Article
Knowledge Is Power: Utilizing Human-Centered Design Principles with People Living with Dementia to Co-Design a Resource and Share Knowledge with Peers
by Jennifer Rhiannon Roberts, Catrin Hedd Jones, Gill Windle and the Caban Group
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6937; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206937 - 18 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2824
Abstract
This paper describes the process used by a group of people living with young-onset dementia to inform the development and delivery of a post-diagnosis peer guide. It draws on the four stages of human-centered design and applies them in a new context of [...] Read more.
This paper describes the process used by a group of people living with young-onset dementia to inform the development and delivery of a post-diagnosis peer guide. It draws on the four stages of human-centered design and applies them in a new context of supporting resilience for people following a diagnosis of dementia. (1) Discover: The group discussed in-depth their perspectives on what it takes to be resilient while living with dementia and how this can be maintained. (2) Define: The group decided to collate practical information and knowledge based on their personal experiences into a booklet to support the resilience of others following a diagnosis of dementia. (3) Develop: The booklet was designed and developed together with input from other people living with dementia, facilitated by the authors. (4) Deliver: The group guided the professional production of the booklet ‘Knowledge is Power’. Over 8000 copies have been distributed to memory clinics, post-diagnostic support organizations and people living with dementia across Wales. A bilingual English–Scottish Gaelic adaptation and an adaptation for people in England have since been developed. The success of ‘Knowledge is Power’ highlights the importance of working alongside people with dementia to share knowledge and support their resilience. Full article
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20 pages, 2335 KiB  
Systematic Review
Systematic Review and Critical Analysis of Longitudinal Studies Assessing Effect of E-Cigarettes on Cigarette Initiation among Adolescent Never-Smokers
by Bertrand Dautzenberg, Stéphane Legleye, Michel Underner, Philippe Arvers, Bhavish Pothegadoo and Abdelhalim Bensaidi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6936; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206936 - 18 Oct 2023
Viewed by 4633
Abstract
Prospective longitudinal studies mainly conclude on a causal role of e-cigarettes in the initiation of cigarettes in flagrant contradiction with conclusions drawn from epidemiology and other studies showing a sharp decline in cigarette use in parallel with the spread of e-cigarette use. This [...] Read more.
Prospective longitudinal studies mainly conclude on a causal role of e-cigarettes in the initiation of cigarettes in flagrant contradiction with conclusions drawn from epidemiology and other studies showing a sharp decline in cigarette use in parallel with the spread of e-cigarette use. This systematic review explores the reasons for this discrepancy. Methods. Among 84 publications on e-cigarette/cigarette association in adolescents identified in the Medline database from 2011 to 2022, 23 concern 22 never-smoker longitudinal sub-cohorts. Results. A link between e-cigarette experimentation at T1 and cigarette initiation at T2 is reported in sub-cohort analyses of never-smokers (AOR: 1.41 to 8.30). However, studies exclude 64.3% of T1 e-cigarette experimenters (because of dual-use) and 74.1% of T2 cigarette experimenters. With this study design, e-cigarettes contribute only to 5.3% of T2 cigarette experimentation, casting major doubt on the external validity of results and authors’ conclusions that e-cigarettes have a significant effect on the initiation of cigarettes (Gateway effect) at the population level. This sub-cohort design prohibits highlighting any Diversion effect, which is the most likely mechanism accounting for the competition between these two products. Conclusions. While nicotine abstinence remains the best medical option, over-regulation of e-cigarettes because of misinterpretation of longitudinal study results may be detrimental to public health and tobacco control. Full article
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10 pages, 591 KiB  
Article
Helping Frontline Workers in Texas—A Framework for Resource Development
by Karima Lalani, Meredith O’Neal, Simone Lee Joannou, Bhanumathi Gopal and Tiffany Champagne-Langabeer
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6935; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206935 - 17 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1383
Abstract
First responders disproportionately experience occupational stress when compared to the general population, and COVID-19 has exacerbated this stress. The nature of their duties as law enforcement officers, firefighters, and medics exposes them to repeated trauma, increasing their risk of developing a broad array [...] Read more.
First responders disproportionately experience occupational stress when compared to the general population, and COVID-19 has exacerbated this stress. The nature of their duties as law enforcement officers, firefighters, and medics exposes them to repeated trauma, increasing their risk of developing a broad array of mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance use disorder (SUD), and compassion fatigue. This paper describes the need for resources for frontline workers and provides a framework for creating and implementing resources. A team of interdisciplinary subject matter experts developed two major resources. The first resource was a 24/7 helpline to support first responders and healthcare workers experiencing substance use or mental health concerns. The second resource was the First Responders Educational Campaign, which developed and delivered focused training modules on useful topics covering substance use and mental health concerns as they pertain to this workforce. Utilizing core interprofessional principles, content was sourced from multiple disciplines and contrasting perspectives to provide a comprehensive understanding of mental health and substance use issues. The curriculum was designed so that the content was interdisciplinary, interprofessional, and accessible to audiences across disciplines and professions. After engaging more than 1500 individuals, resources developed here have augmented mental health and substance use support resources available to the target population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health Care during COVID-19 Pandemic)
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10 pages, 1458 KiB  
Article
Effects of Standing after a Meal on Glucose Metabolism and Energy Expenditure
by Hiroya Kono, Kento Furuta, Takumi Sakamoto and Shin-ya Ueda
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(20), 6934; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20206934 - 17 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1847
Abstract
In the past decade, university students have become more sedentary. A sedentary lifestyle is associated with an increased risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease. Methods that decrease sedentary lifestyles, such as the use of standing desks to increase physical activity, have been extensively [...] Read more.
In the past decade, university students have become more sedentary. A sedentary lifestyle is associated with an increased risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease. Methods that decrease sedentary lifestyles, such as the use of standing desks to increase physical activity, have been extensively examined. However, the effects of postprandial standing and sitting on energy metabolism have not yet been compared. Therefore, the present study investigated the effects of standing after a meal on energy expenditure and glucose metabolism. Ten males participated in the present study. The experiment was initiated with 300 g of rice ingested as a carbohydrate load. The subjects maintained a standing or sitting position for 120 min after the meal. Energy expenditure was calculated from VO2 and VCO2 using the indirect calorimetry method. Glucose metabolism was assessed by measuring blood glucose levels and the exogenous glucose metabolic rate. Energy expenditure through standing after eating was approximately 0.16 ± 0.08 kcal/min higher than that through sitting. Blood glucose dynamics did not significantly differ between the standing and sitting positions. Furthermore, no significant differences were observed in the dynamics of the exogenous glucose metabolic rate between the standing and sitting positions. Standing for 2 h after a meal increased energy expenditure by 10.7 ± 4.6% without affecting glucose metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Exercise and Health)
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