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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 20, Issue 3 (February-1 2023) – 1108 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Children’s perspectives are often unacknowledged in playground provision, design and evaluation. In this scoping review of interdisciplinary peer-reviewed studies, 2905 studies were screened; 51 studies were charted, and a qualitative content analysis was performed. The findings provided synthesised evidence for how play experiences relate to the combination of physical and social environmental qualities. Children reported their multi-faceted play experiences, including desire for fun, challenging, and intense motor and sensory play; the wish to self-direct their play; opportunities to play alone and with relatable social partners; and a desire for welcoming, safe, and aesthetically pleasing playgrounds. This review provides evidence that children, regardless of abilities, are knowledgeable about how environments effectively enhance play value in playgrounds. View this paper
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Article
Predictors of Overweight and Obesity in Early Care and Education Teachers during COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2763; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032763 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 388
Abstract
The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to determine individual, sociocultural, policy, and economic predictors of overweight/obesity in early care and education (ECE) teachers to identify modifiable opportunities to enhance the health of this critical workforce. ECE teachers (n = 1434) in the [...] Read more.
The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to determine individual, sociocultural, policy, and economic predictors of overweight/obesity in early care and education (ECE) teachers to identify modifiable opportunities to enhance the health of this critical workforce. ECE teachers (n = 1434) in the U.S. completed an online survey in late spring to mid-summer 2020. Teachers self-reported height and weight; body mass index (BMI) and weight status were calculated. Teachers reported micro-environment variables including age, race, gender, obesogenic lifestyle behaviors, well-being, food security, personal health, stress, job stress, type of ECE, COVID-19 teaching modality, and age of children in the classroom. Logistic regression predicting overweight/obesity and linear regression predicting BMI were conducted. Teachers with more years of teaching experience (OR: 1.022: 95% CI 1.005, 1.039) and higher consumption of fast food (2.038: 1.310, 3.169) had higher odds of overweight/obesity. Teachers with higher levels of education (0.58: 0.407, 0.828) and higher physical health (0.836: 0.775, 0.902) had lower odds of overweight/obesity. Other variables were not associated with overweight/obesity. Variables significant in logistic regression were also associated with higher BMI. Additionally, Native American race (β = 2.467 SE = 1.206) and sedentary hours/day (β = 0.152 SE = 0.075) were associated with higher BMI. Implications for enhancing workplace health for these ECE teachers are emerging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Systematic Review
The Effectiveness of Workplace Musculoskeletal Injury Risk Factor Screening Tools for Reducing Injury: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2762; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032762 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 298
Abstract
Introduction: Musculoskeletal injury (MSI) contributes to global health burdens. Effective MSI prevention is necessary. MSI risk factor screening tools can be used by employers to identify and mitigate occupational hazards. Rigorous synthesis of the effectiveness of these tools has not taken place. We [...] Read more.
Introduction: Musculoskeletal injury (MSI) contributes to global health burdens. Effective MSI prevention is necessary. MSI risk factor screening tools can be used by employers to identify and mitigate occupational hazards. Rigorous synthesis of the effectiveness of these tools has not taken place. We synthesized literature on effectiveness of MSI risk factor screening tools for reducing injury through informing prevention interventions. Materials and Methods: A literature search of Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library (Trials), CINAHL, Scopus and PsycINFO databases was performed. Included studies required an analytic design, used an MSI risk factor screening tool to inform an intervention in a working-age population and reported an outcome of MSI development, injury or compensation/work absence. Data extraction and study quality rating (Downs and Black criteria) were completed. Studies were sub-categorized as having used a single MSI screening tool (single-tool) to inform an injury prevention intervention or involving multiple simultaneous screening tools (multiple-tool). Study outcomes were synthesized when possible. Results: Eighteen articles representing fourteen studies met our inclusion criteria. No high-quality studies were identified (maximum Downs and Black score of 19). Studies did not employ previously validated tools but instead, typically, those purpose-built for a single use. The results were inconsistent both when using tools alone and in combination with other tools. Outcome measure heterogeneity precluded meaningful meta-analysis. Conclusions: There is limited evidence regarding use of MSI risk factor screening tools for preventing injury. Rigorous studies that utilize previously validated tools are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Factors and Management of Musculoskeletal Conditions)
Article
Research on Embodied Carbon Transfer Measurement and Carbon Compensation among Regions in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2761; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032761 (registering DOI) - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 303
Abstract
The existence of interprovincial embodied carbon transfer not only makes it difficult to achieve carbon emission reductions but also exacerbates the inequity, inefficiency, and high costs of interprovincial carbon emission reduction rights and responsibilities. This paper uses multi-regional input–output analysis (MRIOA) to measure [...] Read more.
The existence of interprovincial embodied carbon transfer not only makes it difficult to achieve carbon emission reductions but also exacerbates the inequity, inefficiency, and high costs of interprovincial carbon emission reduction rights and responsibilities. This paper uses multi-regional input–output analysis (MRIOA) to measure the interprovincial embodied carbon transfer in 2017, obtains the net carbon transfer between 30 provinces (municipalities and autonomous regions) and eight regions in 2017, and accounts for the interprovincial carbon compensation amount based on the carbon price in the national carbon market. This study finds that carbon transfer from economically developed provinces to less developed provinces still exists in China, and the overall distribution shows a spatial transfer pattern from south to north and from east to west, with the northwestern region bearing most of the carbon emission pressure for which it should receive corresponding financial compensation. As part of the process to achieve the “dual carbon” target, appropriate emission reduction policies should be formulated according to the characteristics of provincial carbon transfer and the principle of “who benefits, who compensates”, and economically developed regions should give corresponding financial or technical compensation to less developed regions based on net carbon transfer. Compensation and support should be given to less developed regions based on net carbon transfer to prevent further regional development imbalances. Full article
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Article
Contributing Factors to the Burden on Primary Family Caregivers of Stroke Survivors in South Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2760; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032760 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 257
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to identify the factors associated with the burden on primary family caregivers of stroke patients at home without care services. For this study, the Korean Stroke Cohort for Functioning and Rehabilitation (KOSCO) data were used. Of the [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to identify the factors associated with the burden on primary family caregivers of stroke patients at home without care services. For this study, the Korean Stroke Cohort for Functioning and Rehabilitation (KOSCO) data were used. Of the total 8010 caregivers, 1133 family caregiver burden was assessed with the shortened Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI) 3 months after stroke. Patient and caregiver-related factors affecting the heavier burden of caregivers were identified by comparing the heavier caregiver burden group and the lighter caregiver burden group, which divided according to the CBI scores. The 719 (63.5%) family caregiver cared for patients at home without care services. Logistic regression analysis showed that four or more comorbidities (p = 0.002), neurological impairment at early onset (p < 0.001), dependence on daily life (p < 0.001), aphasia (p = 0.024), and depression(p < 0.001) were associated with a heavier burden of care. According to the shortened CBI, caregivers tended to be concerned more about psychological stress than physical strain. The findings suggest the importance of proactively guiding the emotional support services to caregivers who are at high risk of the heavier burden of patient care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being)
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Article
The Efficacy and Safety of the GATT Procedure in Open-Angle Glaucoma—6-Month Results
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2759; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032759 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 257
Abstract
AIM. The aim of the study was to retrospectively evaluate the efficacy and safety of GATT during a 6-month observation period. MATERIAL AND METHODS. The studied group consisted of 69 open-angle glaucoma patients treated with GATT as the only procedure or in combination [...] Read more.
AIM. The aim of the study was to retrospectively evaluate the efficacy and safety of GATT during a 6-month observation period. MATERIAL AND METHODS. The studied group consisted of 69 open-angle glaucoma patients treated with GATT as the only procedure or in combination with cataract surgery. Patients were assessed 1 day, 10 days, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months after the surgery via standard ophthalmic examination including VF, IOP, and BCVA. The number of medications taken daily and possible complications were checked. Two criteria of success were established (S1: IOP decrease by 30% and S2: IOP lower than 18 mm Hg). RESULTS. Before the surgery, the mean IOP was 26.94 mmHg and significantly decreased after GATT to 15.59 mmHg at 6M. BCVA did not significantly differ between the visits. The mean MD did not change significantly within the 6-month observation period (−8.20 dB vs. −8.16 dB, p = 0.9824), similar to the mean VFI (64.31% vs. 63.05%, p = 0.8571). A 30% IOP decrease at 6M visit was obtained in 95.6% of patients, and 37.7% needed medications to stabilize IOP. An IOP lower than 18 mmHg at 6M was obtained in 91.3% of studied patients after the GATT procedure, and in 58.0% without additional medications. The mean number of medications received daily decreased significantly at 6M compared to preoperative results (2.59 at inclusion vs. 0.76 at 6M, p = 0.0004). The most frequent complication after surgery was hyphema, which resolved spontaneously within 10 days. CONCLUSION. The 6-month observation showed that GATT is a minimally invasive glaucoma-surgery technique that enables an effective and safe IOP decrease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cataracts and Glaucoma: Treatment, Symptoms, Causes and Surgery)
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Article
The Relationship between Job Insecurity and Psychological Well-Being among Malaysian Precarious Workers: Work–Life Balance as a Mediator
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2758; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032758 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 310
Abstract
The emergence of coronavirus disease has impacted human lives, one of which is economic disruption. Many Malaysian organisations have devised various crisis-response techniques, such as downsizing, laying off, retrenching, and combining. As a result, the number of Malaysians working in precarious jobs, which [...] Read more.
The emergence of coronavirus disease has impacted human lives, one of which is economic disruption. Many Malaysian organisations have devised various crisis-response techniques, such as downsizing, laying off, retrenching, and combining. As a result, the number of Malaysians working in precarious jobs, which are defined by unpredictable and uncertain situations, has indirectly increased, hence increasing job insecurity. Therefore, maintaining psychological health is essential to safeguarding the mental health of employees. In the current working landscape, job security and work–life balance have commonly been deemed necessary in contributing to well-being among employees. As a result, the purpose of this study was to examine how work–life balance influences the relationship between job insecurity and psychological well-being among Malaysian precarious workers. It also fills a gap in the research by explaining the causal association between job insecurity and psychological well-being among precarious workers, as previous well-being studies have largely focused on employees with secure jobs. There were 442 responders collected using purposive and snowball sampling methods, and they were requested to complete the Job Insecurity Scale (JIS), Work–Life Balance, and Well-Being Index Scale (WHO-5). Job instability was negatively connected with work–life balance and psychological well-being. On the other hand, work–life balance was found to be positively related to psychological well-being. This supports the notion that work–life balance is a significant mediator in the relationship between job insecurity and psychological well-being. These findings emphasise that Malaysian precarious workers with job security could enhance their psychological well-being by achieving work–life balance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being)
Review
Is It Time to Re-Shift the Research Agenda? A Scoping Review of Participation Rates in Workplace Health Promotion Programs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2757; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032757 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 279
Abstract
Workplace health promotion programmes (WHPPs) are among the most important measures to improve the health and motivation of the ageing workforce. However, they are accompanied with certain challenges, such as low participation rates and higher participation levels of the more health-conscious workers, often [...] Read more.
Workplace health promotion programmes (WHPPs) are among the most important measures to improve the health and motivation of the ageing workforce. However, they are accompanied with certain challenges, such as low participation rates and higher participation levels of the more health-conscious workers, often failing to engage those who need such interventions the most. Following the PRISMA guidelines, this scoping review examined participation rates reported in articles on WHPPs to identify potential knowledge gaps. The results are worrying: participation rates are not only infrequently reported, but also low. Of the 58 articles, 37 report participation rates, with the majority (20) reporting an average participation rate of less than 50%. Reported participation rates refer either to different target groups, the type of intervention, or to single points in time, which makes it difficult to establish consistent criteria for comparison. We argue that despite the importance of WHPP efficacy, research focus should shift to the determinants of participation, as well as the issue of standardising the reporting of participation rates, alongside the potential problem of reporting bias. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aged Society, Occupational Safety and Health, and Work Sustainability)
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Article
Acceptance of Smart Technologies in Blended Learning: Perspectives of Chinese Medical Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2756; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032756 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 425
Abstract
Smart technologies are essential in improving higher education teaching and learning. The present study explores the factors that influence students’ behavioural intentions to adopt and use smart technologies in blended learning. Based on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT2) [...] Read more.
Smart technologies are essential in improving higher education teaching and learning. The present study explores the factors that influence students’ behavioural intentions to adopt and use smart technologies in blended learning. Based on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT2) model, a survey of 305 students was conducted to collect data. A structural equation model was applied to analyse the data. The findings show that adopting smart technologies requires appropriate social context and organizational support. Moreover, the data indicated that performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, hedonic motivation, and habit are vital in determining students’ behavioural intention to use smart technologies. However, facilitating conditions and price value were found to have no significant impact on the students’ behavioural intention to use smart technologies. The study contributes to a better understanding of the nexus of blended learning and smart technologies, thus improving students’ experiences in blended learning settings. Full article
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Article
Multicomponent Training in Progressive Phases Improves Functional Capacity, Physical Capacity, Quality of Life, and Exercise Motivation in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Randomized Clinical Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2755; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032755 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 345
Abstract
Objective: To evaluate the effect of a multicomponent progressive training program (MPTP) on functionality, quality of life (QoL) and motivation to exercise (EM) in a group of older adults (OA) of a community. Methods: A total of 55 participants of 69.42 ± 6.01 [...] Read more.
Objective: To evaluate the effect of a multicomponent progressive training program (MPTP) on functionality, quality of life (QoL) and motivation to exercise (EM) in a group of older adults (OA) of a community. Methods: A total of 55 participants of 69.42 ± 6.01 years of age were randomized into two groups; experimental (EG:35) and control (CG:20), and subjected to 27 weeks of MPTP. Functionality (pre/post-intervention) was assessed using the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), Time Up and Go (TUG), Walking While Talking Test (WWT), Manual Dynamometry (MD), Forced Expiratory Volume in the first second (FEV1), Sit and Reach (SR), Back Scratch (BS), and walk for 2 min (2 mST). QoL was assessed using the SF-36 questionnaire and EM using the BREQ-3. The Kolmogorov–Smirnov and Levene tests were applied. A two-way repeated measures ANOVA was applied. A significance level of p < 0.05 was accepted for all comparisons. Results: The EG compared to the CG improved in SPPB (ΔEG/CG: 29.67%/p < 0.001), TUG (ΔEG/CG: 35.70%/p < 0.05), WWT (ΔEG/CG: 42.93%/p < 0.001), MD (ΔEG/CG: 20.40%/p < 0.05), FEV1 (ΔEG/CG: 21.37%/p < 0.05), BS (ΔEG/CG: 80.34%/p < 0.05), 2 mST (ΔEG/CG: 33.02%/p < 0.05), SF-36 (ΔEG/CG: 13.85%/p < 0.001), and Intrinsic Regulation (ΔEG/CG: 27.97%/p < 0.001); Identified by regulation (ΔEG/CG: 9.29%/p < 0.05). Conclusion: An MPTP improves functionality, QoL and EM, and is a safe and effective method for community OAs. Full article
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Review
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: What Are Pharmacists’ Roles and Associated Outcomes?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2754; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032754 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 278
Abstract
Globally, the prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is increasing. The treatment for ADHD is multifaceted and requires long-term care and support. Pharmacists are capable of assisting patients and their caretakers in achieving desired outcomes. This work discusses and summarizes pharmacists’ roles [...] Read more.
Globally, the prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is increasing. The treatment for ADHD is multifaceted and requires long-term care and support. Pharmacists are capable of assisting patients and their caretakers in achieving desired outcomes. This work discusses and summarizes pharmacists’ roles in ADHD care and their associated outcomes. Overall, pharmacists are positioned to educate on ADHD, optimize medications in a collaborative practice model, manage and monitor side effects, and provide remote and virtual pharmaceutical care. Pharmacists could directly contribute to ensuring medication safety and increasing awareness regarding the optimal use of ADHD medications. Patients with ADHD can benefit from pharmacist involvement in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to, initial screening and referral, the provision of clinical consultation and feedback, and the improvement of self-management and self-awareness of the illness. Pharmacists also play a significant role in therapeutic decision making regarding the initiation, intensification, and monitoring of ADHD treatment to ensure its effectiveness and quality of life improvement. Lastly, pharmacists could help identify more cost-effective treatment approaches for ADHD patients based on the clinical scenario that is encountered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition: Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD in Adolescents)
Article
Signal Acquisition-Independent Lossless Electrocardiogram Compression Using Adaptive Linear Prediction
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2753; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032753 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 235
Abstract
In this paper, we propose a lossless electrocardiogram (ECG) compression method using a prediction error-based adaptive linear prediction technique. This method combines the adaptive linear prediction, which minimizes the prediction error in the ECG signal prediction, and the modified Golomb–Rice coding, which encodes [...] Read more.
In this paper, we propose a lossless electrocardiogram (ECG) compression method using a prediction error-based adaptive linear prediction technique. This method combines the adaptive linear prediction, which minimizes the prediction error in the ECG signal prediction, and the modified Golomb–Rice coding, which encodes the prediction error to the binary code as the compressed data. We used the PTB Diagnostic ECG database, the European ST-T database, and the MIT-BIH Arrhythmia database for the evaluation and achieved the average compression ratios for single-lead ECG signals of 3.16, 3.75, and 3.52, respectively, despite different signal acquisition setup in each database. As the prediction order is very crucial for this particular problem, we also investigate the validity of the popular linear prediction coefficients that are generally used in ECG compression by determining the prediction coefficients from the three databases using the autocorrelation method. The findings are in agreement with the previous works in that the second-order linear prediction is suitable for the ECG compression application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disease Prediction, Machine Learning, and Healthcare)
Article
Internalizing and Externalizing Disorder Levels among Adolescents: Data from Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2752; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032752 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 261
Abstract
This article concerns internalizing and externalizing behaviors among Polish adolescents attending primary schools in a medium-sized city in Poland. The aim of the study was to examine the levels of select problem behaviors (i.e., depression, withdrawal, somatic complaints, aggressive behaviors, delinquent behaviors, thought [...] Read more.
This article concerns internalizing and externalizing behaviors among Polish adolescents attending primary schools in a medium-sized city in Poland. The aim of the study was to examine the levels of select problem behaviors (i.e., depression, withdrawal, somatic complaints, aggressive behaviors, delinquent behaviors, thought problems, and internalizing and externalizing disorders) in early adolescence. Another important aim was to establish the ranges of the norm and deviation which would indicate the need for intervention aimed at internalizing and externalizing disorders in the sample. The relationships between variables such as age, gender, and school achievement (grade average) and the groups of problem behaviors and externalizing and internalizing disorders were also examined. To diagnose the occurrence of internalizing and externalizing behaviors, a sample of 550 students (55.3% girls, 46.7% boys) were measured using the Youth Self-Report (YSR) questionnaire. The results showed statistically significant differences in internalizing and externalizing behaviors between boys and girls. Girls achieved higher scores on most of the YSR scales, including internalizing and externalizing disorders, as well as on the total score. The student subgroup scores were also differentiated in terms of age and their average grades. The results also have practical implications; namely, the need for obligatory screening tests of students’ emotional states; encouraging preventive measures in schools, including diagnosis and psychological support in the context of depression; monitoring aggressive behaviors and social problems, both in boys and girls; and implementing universal, selective, and indicated prevention through complex, empirically validated educational-therapeutic programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Mental Health in a Modern World)
Article
Understanding Sexualized Drug Use: Substances, Reasons, Consequences, and Self-Perceptions among Men Who Have Sex with Other Men in Spain
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2751; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032751 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 289
Abstract
Sexualized drug use (SDU) has been identified as a health risk factor among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM). This study aimed to analyze the associations between SDU frequency and a broad set of substances, motives, consequences, and [...] Read more.
Sexualized drug use (SDU) has been identified as a health risk factor among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM). This study aimed to analyze the associations between SDU frequency and a broad set of substances, motives, consequences, and self-perceptions. Sampling was conducted through an online survey. The final sample consisted of 185 GBMSM aged between 18 and 78 years old (mean age = 38.38, SD = 11.52) who engaged in SDU. We analyzed the frequency of SDU in terms of practicing it “once,” “moderately” (“once a month or less” or “a few times a month”), or “frequently” (from “once a week” to “daily”) during the previous 18 months. A questionnaire was administered through which sociodemographic variables, substances, reasons, consequences, and self-perceptions of SDU practice were analyzed. Participants who did so frequently were significantly more likely to use mephedrone, methamphetamine, and GHB/GBL than those who performed SDU less often (large effect sizes). In addition, habitual SDU was associated with motivations to achieve pleasurable emotions and sensations and manage negative feelings. Health implications, such as blackout moments, were also significantly related to frequent SDUs. Finally, those who practiced frequent SDU perceived it as a severe problem and wanted to control it. These data indicate the importance of raising awareness of chemsex as a public health problem among GBMSM. Specific identification, education, and prevention programs need to be strengthened to reduce the incidence of the most undesirable implications of SDU among GBMSM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
Article
Mediating Effect of Heat Waves between Ecosystem Services and Heat-Related Mortality of Characteristic Populations: Evidence from Jiangsu Province, China
by
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2750; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032750 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 240
Abstract
In the context of climate change, heat waves are a serious hazard having significant impacts on human health, especially vulnerable populations. Many studies have researched the association between extreme heat and mortality. In the context of urban planning, many studies have explored the [...] Read more.
In the context of climate change, heat waves are a serious hazard having significant impacts on human health, especially vulnerable populations. Many studies have researched the association between extreme heat and mortality. In the context of urban planning, many studies have explored the cooling effect of green roofs, parks, urban forests and urban gardens. Nevertheless, few studies have analyzed the effect mechanism of specific ecosystem services (ESs) as mitigation measures to heat waves. This study aimed to determine the relationship among ESs, heat waves and the heat-related mortality risk of different groups by diseases, age and sex. The research was conducted in three cities in Jiangsu Province, including Nanjing, Suzhou and Yancheng. We quantified five ecosystem services, i.e., water supply service, carbon sequestration service, cooling service, biodiversity and cultural service. Based on the previous studies, we took the frequency of heat waves into account, extending the concept of the Heat Wave Magnitude Index (HWMI). A distributed lag nonlinear model (DLNM) was applied to estimate the effect of extreme heat on mortality. Then, the study used the process analysis method to explore the relationship among ESs, heat waves and heat-related mortality risks. The results indicated that (i) water supply service, carbon sequestration service, cooling service and biodiversity can reduce heat-related mortality while cultural service increases; (ii) the effects of carbon sequestration service and cultural service are stronger than other ESs; (iii) the effects of ESs on cardiorespiratory disease, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) mortality risks are higher than others; and (iv) women and elderly heat-related mortality risks are more affected by the ESs. This study can provide a theoretical support for policy makers to mitigate heatwave events, thus limiting heat-related mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Connection between Environmental Exposure and Health Effects)
Article
Removal of Heavy Metals from Mine Tailings in Central Chile Using Solidago chilensis Meyen, Haplopappus foliosus DC, and Lycium chilense Miers ex Bertero
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2749; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032749 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 284
Abstract
Mining activities have been a part of the history of Chile since time immemorial, generating pollution and environmental liabilities. Due to the lack of regulation, many tailings are deposited close to rivers or/and on unstable ground, near which towns have been built, generally [...] Read more.
Mining activities have been a part of the history of Chile since time immemorial, generating pollution and environmental liabilities. Due to the lack of regulation, many tailings are deposited close to rivers or/and on unstable ground, near which towns have been built, generally in locations with no budget for their treatment. This study tested three plant species from Northern and Central Chile to remove total chromium, nickel, and zinc from tailings: Solidago chilensis, Haplopappus foliosus, and Lycium chilense, which complements the few existing studies on heavy metals removal with native or endemic Chilean shrubs. The experiments were conducted ex situ, and the initial and final concentrations of metals were determined in tailings and plants to obtain the removal efficiency, translocation and bioconcentration factors. Among these species, the best performance was obtained using Solidago chilensis, achieving removal efficiencies of 24% for Cr, 19% for Ni, and 17% for Zn, showing the ability to phytostabilize chromium and the higher resistance concerning the toxicity threshold. Haplopappus foliosus and Lycium chilense presented a slight tendency to stabilize chromium. Only Solidago chilensis showed little ability to extract Zn. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remediation of Contaminated Environments and Pollution Control)
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Article
Factors Correlating with Functional Capacity in Older People with Chronic Pain
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2748; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032748 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 257
Abstract
Introduction: Chronic pain in older people is a global health problem not only in terms of a negative subjective feeling, but also as a social and economic factor. Deterioration of functional capacity is one of the main symptoms of chronic pain; therefore, it [...] Read more.
Introduction: Chronic pain in older people is a global health problem not only in terms of a negative subjective feeling, but also as a social and economic factor. Deterioration of functional capacity is one of the main symptoms of chronic pain; therefore, it should be assessed as a basic parameter in the life of older people. The aim of the study was to analyze the factors which have an impact on the functional capacity of older people with chronic pain. Material and methods: The study was conducted among 181 people over 65 suffering from chronic pain lasting more than 6 months. The study used a questionnaire that included questions about demographic and social characteristics and the following scales: Abbreviated Mental Score (AMTS), Personal Activities of Daily Living (PADL) by Katz, Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) by Lawton, Geriatric Pain Measure-24 (GPM-24). Results: In the study group, a positive correlation was found between: coexisting diseases and withdrawal due to pain, pain intensity, pain resulting from walking or from the effort from other activities, and in terms of the total GPM-24 score. A positive correlation was also found between the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and withdrawal due to pain, pain intensity, pain resulting from walking or from the effort from other activities, and in terms of the total GPM-24 score. A significantly negative correlation was found between: AMTS, ADL, IADL performance and: withdrawal due to pain, pain intensity, pain resulting from walking or from the effort from other activities, and in terms of total GPM-24 score. Conclusions: Chronic pain is more common in people with disabilities in basic and complex activities of daily living, with limited efficiency in cognitive functions and an increased sense of depression. The standard in everyday practice and clinical trials should be taking a history of chronic pain in every older person, monitoring the pain’s intensity and accompanying characteristics by using a multidimensional scale for assessing pain in older people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
Article
Dynamic Nomogram for Predicting Long-Term Survival in Terms of Preoperative and Postoperative Radiotherapy Benefits for Advanced Gastric Cancer
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2747; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032747 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 268
Abstract
Studies on the prognostic significance of preoperative radiotherapy (PERT) and postoperative radiotherapy (PORT) in patients with advanced gastric cancer (GC) remain elusive. The aim of the study was to evaluate the survival advantage of preoperative and postoperative radiotherapy and construct a dynamic nomogram [...] Read more.
Studies on the prognostic significance of preoperative radiotherapy (PERT) and postoperative radiotherapy (PORT) in patients with advanced gastric cancer (GC) remain elusive. The aim of the study was to evaluate the survival advantage of preoperative and postoperative radiotherapy and construct a dynamic nomogram model to provide customized prediction of the probability of prognostic events for advanced GC patients. We collected clinical records from 2010 to 2015 from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database with a specific target for stage II-IV GC patients treated with PERT or PORT. We used the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression model to identify factors that contribute to the overall survival (OS) of GC patients. The dynamic nomogram infographic was constructed based on the prognostic factors of tumor-specific survival. Out of the 3215 total patients (2271 [70.6%] male; median age, 61 [SD = 12] years), 1204 were in the PERT group and 2011 in the PORT group. Receiving PORT was associated with a survival advantage over PERT for stage II GC patients (HR = 0.791, 95% CI= 0.712–0.879, p < 0.001). The 1-, 3-, and 5-year OS rates were 89.9%, 63.8%, and 53.8% in the PORT group, whereas the corresponding rates were significantly lower in the PERT group (86.4%, 57.1%, and 44.3%, respectively, all p < 0.05). The survival prediction model demonstrated that patients aged > 65 years, with an advanced cancer development stage and tumor size >3 were independent risk factors for poor prognosis (all HR > 1, p < 0.05). In this study, a dynamic nomogram was established based on the LASSO model to provide a statistical basis for the clinical characteristics and predictive factors of advanced GC in a large population. PORT demonstrated significantly better treatment advantages than PERT for stage II GC patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Article
Economic Burden of Cervical Cancer in Bulgaria
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2746; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032746 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 194
Abstract
Bulgaria is among the European Union (EU) countries with the highest burden of cervical cancers and life expectancy below the EU average. The majority of cervical cancer cases (more than 95%) are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). The aim of this retrospective, [...] Read more.
Bulgaria is among the European Union (EU) countries with the highest burden of cervical cancers and life expectancy below the EU average. The majority of cervical cancer cases (more than 95%) are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). The aim of this retrospective, cost of illness study is to identify direct healthcare costs of cervical cancer in Bulgaria from the payer perspective and to calculate indirect costs and the associated years of life lost. Costs data were sourced from the National Health Insurance Fund from January 2018 to December 2020. Years of life lost were calculated based on the country and gender-specific life expectancy. Indirect costs due to productivity loss were calculated using the human capital approach. The total treatment costs for 3540 patients with cervical cancer are EUR 5,743,657 (2018), EUR 6,377,508 (2019), and EUR 6,751,182 (2020). The costs associated with drug acquisition and administration accounted for the majority (63%) of total healthcare costs followed by hospital management costs (14%). An estimated total of 20,446 years of life were lost due to cervical cancer for the period 2018–2020. The costs of productivity losses are estimated at EUR 7,578,014. Our study showed that the economic burden of cervical cancer in Bulgaria is substantial. Focus on cervical cancer prevention via vaccination against the human papillomavirus, timely screening, early diagnosis, and higher vaccine coverage rates could reduce its economic burden in Bulgaria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Burden of Cancer Treatment)
Article
Coronary Artery Disease and Inflammatory Activation Interfere with Peripheral Tissue Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy Characteristics—Initial Report
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2745; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032745 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 226
Abstract
Background: The electrical properties of cells and tissues in relation to energy exposure have been investigated, presenting their resistance and capacitance characteristics. The dielectric response to radiofrequency fields exhibits polarization heterogeneity under pathological conditions. The aim of the study was to analyze the [...] Read more.
Background: The electrical properties of cells and tissues in relation to energy exposure have been investigated, presenting their resistance and capacitance characteristics. The dielectric response to radiofrequency fields exhibits polarization heterogeneity under pathological conditions. The aim of the study was to analyze the differences in changes in resistance and capacitance measurements in the range from 1 kHz to 1 MHz, combined with an assessment of the correlation between the results of electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and inflammatory activation. Methods: In the prospective study, EIS was performed on the non-dominant arm in 29 male patients (median (Q1–Q3) age of 69 (65–72)) with complex coronary artery disease and 10 male patients (median (Q1–Q3) age of 66 (62–69)) of the control group. Blood samples were collected for inflammatory index analysis. Results: The logistic regression analysis revealed a negative correlation with inflammatory indexes, including neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR) in the CAD group in the frequency of 30 kHz (p = 0.038, r = −0.317) regarding EIS resistance measurements and a positive correlation in CAD group in the frequency of 10 kHz (p = 0.029, r = −0.354) regarding EIS capacitance. Conclusions: The bioelectric characteristics of peripheral tissues measured by resistance and capacitance in EIS differ in patients with coronary artery disease and in the control group. Electrical impedance spectroscopy reveals a statistically significant correlation with inflammatory markers in patients with CAD. Full article
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Review
Mapping Evidence Regarding Decision-Making on Contraceptive Use among Adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Scoping Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2744; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032744 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 248
Abstract
This scoping review mapped and synthesised existing evidence on the influence of individual, parental, peer, and societal-related factors on adolescents’ decisions to use contraception in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Peer-reviewed and review articles published before May 2022, targeting adolescents aged 10–19 years were searched [...] Read more.
This scoping review mapped and synthesised existing evidence on the influence of individual, parental, peer, and societal-related factors on adolescents’ decisions to use contraception in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Peer-reviewed and review articles published before May 2022, targeting adolescents aged 10–19 years were searched in PubMed, MEDLINE with Full Text via EBSCOhost, PsychINFO via EBSCOhost, CINAHL with Full Text via EBSCOhost, Google Scholar, Science Direct, and Scopus databases. Seven studies were included and analysed using thematic analysis based on the social-ecological model (SEM) and reported using the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA). Individual (fear of side effects, fear of infertility), parental (parental disappointment and disapproval), peer (social stigma), partner (association with promiscuity and multiple sexual partners), societal and community (contraceptive use disapproval and stigma), and institutional and environmental factors (lack of privacy and confidentiality) influence contraceptive decisions among adolescents. These also include a lack of accurate information, social exclusion, negative health provider attitudes, and a lack of infrastructure that provides privacy and safe spaces. Identifying and addressing core issues within the context of local cultural practices that restrict contraceptive use is important. Holistic, inclusive approaches that promote the well-being of adolescents must be utilised to provide a conducive environment that ensures privacy, confidentiality, safety, and easy access to contraceptive services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights)
Article
Added Inspiratory Resistance Does Not Impair Cognitive Function and Mood State
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2743; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032743 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 268
Abstract
This study evaluated cognitive function and mood state with inspiratory resistance before and after maximal exercise in hypoxia. Nine healthy men (age = 25 ± 2 years) performed the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics—4th Edition (ANAM4) of the Stroop color–word test (SCWT) and total [...] Read more.
This study evaluated cognitive function and mood state with inspiratory resistance before and after maximal exercise in hypoxia. Nine healthy men (age = 25 ± 2 years) performed the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics—4th Edition (ANAM4) of the Stroop color–word test (SCWT) and total mood disturbance (TMD) before and after an incremental cycling exercise until volitional fatigue with four different inspiratory resistances (0, 1.5, 4.5, 7.5 cm H2O·L−1·s−1). There was no significant difference in the interference score of SCWT and TMD at normobaric, hypoxic conditions at four different inspiratory resistances. However, the interference score of SCWT was improved following maximal cycling exercise, whereas TMD was not improved. Inspiratory resistance did not have a deleterious effect on cognitive function and mood state in normobaric hypoxia after maximal cycling exercise. However, following maximal cycling exercise, cognitive function was improved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interaction of Exercise and Cognitive Function)
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Article
Evaluation of the Impact of a Tourniquet Training Program: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2742; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032742 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 246
Abstract
Among the main preventable causes of death in the area of operations is external exsanguinating hemorrhage in the extremities, hence the importance of the tourniquet as a therapeutic tool in this type of injury and, therefore, of the training of personnel participating in [...] Read more.
Among the main preventable causes of death in the area of operations is external exsanguinating hemorrhage in the extremities, hence the importance of the tourniquet as a therapeutic tool in this type of injury and, therefore, of the training of personnel participating in international missions. The main objective of this study is to determine the impact of training in the application of this device. This is a quasi-experimental, prospective, cross-sectional study, carried out with 97 healthy volunteers, military personnel who perform their work in the Royal Guard barracks of El Pardo. The study was conducted between June 2019 and July 2021. The correct determination of the device placement site and the times of correct device placement were evaluated by determining whether there was blood flow using Doppler ultrasound measurements. Statistically significant results were obtained for application time (76.68 s to 58.06 s; p < 0.001), correct device placement (p < 0.001), and achievement of complete ischemia in the upper extremity (23.7% pretest vs. 24.7% post-test; p < 0.001). In the lower extremity, after training, longer application duration (43.33 s to 47.30 s) and lower ischemia achievement (59.8% pretest vs. 37.8% post-test) were obtained. Standardized and regulated training improves device application. More intensive training is necessary to obtain better results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancing Research on Emergency Care)
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Article
The Experience of Patient Safety Error for Nursing Students in COVID-19: Focusing on King’s Conceptual System Theory
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2741; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032741 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 268
Abstract
Some nursing students experience errors related to patient safety, such as falls, medication administration errors, and patient identification errors during clinical practice. However, only a few nursing students report errors during clinical practice. Accordingly, the present study aimed to investigate patient safety errors [...] Read more.
Some nursing students experience errors related to patient safety, such as falls, medication administration errors, and patient identification errors during clinical practice. However, only a few nursing students report errors during clinical practice. Accordingly, the present study aimed to investigate patient safety errors that nursing students experience during clinical practice in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study conducted in-depth interviews with 14 candidates for graduation from the Department of Nursing at a university in South Korea. In addition, after transcribing the collected data, a directed content analysis for the data based on King’s interacting system theory was performed. As a result, four core categories were identified: (i) nursing students’ perception of patient safety error occurrence, (ii) interaction between nursing students and others, (iii) interaction between nursing students and organizations, and (iv) nursing students’ training needs related to patient safety errors. Consequently, this study identified the patient safety error-related experiences of nursing students during clinical practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results suggest that in the future, nursing education institutions must establish a system for nursing students to report patient safety errors during clinical practice for patient safety education and develop practical and targeted education strategies in cooperation with practice training hospitals. Full article
Article
Factors Associated with Aging in Place among Community-Dwelling Older Adults in Korea: Findings from a National Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2740; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032740 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 227
Abstract
Ever since baby boomers started turning 65 years old in 2020, Korea is set to become a super-aged society by 2025. This makes it the world’s fastest-aging society. Aging in place (AIP) has become a policy direction to prepare for an aging society [...] Read more.
Ever since baby boomers started turning 65 years old in 2020, Korea is set to become a super-aged society by 2025. This makes it the world’s fastest-aging society. Aging in place (AIP) has become a policy direction to prepare for an aging society and improve older adults’ quality of life. It refers to the ability of older adults to remain in their homes and communities as they age, allowing them to reside in their place of preference and access the services they require to promote their quality of life. A cross-sectional study design was employed using data sampled from the 2020 National Survey of Older Koreans. In total, 9930 older adults (aged between 65 and 99 years old) participated. The results confirmed that the intention to pursue AIP is related to personal factors (education, income, house ownership, smoking, exercise, depression), interpersonal and communal factors (unmet healthcare needs, need for home care services, family contact), and policy level factors (basic pension beneficiary, long-term care services) using an ecological model. The findings may promote individual health behaviors and help fill the gap between unmet healthcare needs and community care services that positively influence older adults’ AIP. Full article
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Concept Paper
Te Maramataka—An Indigenous System of Attuning with the Environment, and Its Role in Modern Health and Well-Being
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2739; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032739 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 353
Abstract
The connection between the natural environment and human health is well documented in Indigenous narratives. The maramataka—a Māori system of observing the relationships between signs, rhythms, and cycles in the environment—is underpinned by generations of Indigenous knowledge, observation, and experimentation. The maramataka enabled [...] Read more.
The connection between the natural environment and human health is well documented in Indigenous narratives. The maramataka—a Māori system of observing the relationships between signs, rhythms, and cycles in the environment—is underpinned by generations of Indigenous knowledge, observation, and experimentation. The maramataka enabled Māori and our Pacific relatives to attune with the movements of the environment and ensure activities essential for survival and well-being were conducted at the optimal times. A recent revival of the maramataka in various communities in New Zealand is providing uniquely Indigenous ways to ‘reconnect’ people, and their health, with the natural environment. In a world where people have become increasingly disconnected from the natural environment, the maramataka offers an alternative to dominant perspectives of health. It also provides a mechanism to enhance the many facets of health through an understanding of the human–ecosystem relationship in a uniquely Indigenous way. This conceptual paper (i) highlights a uniquely Indigenous way of understanding the environment (the maramataka) and its connection to health, (ii) discusses the connections between the maramataka and scientific research on health and the environment, and (iii) introduces current and potential applications of the maramataka in improving health and well-being. Full article
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Article
Environmental, Human and Ecotoxicological Impacts of Different Rice Cultivation Systems in Northern Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2738; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032738 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 340
Abstract
Sustainable practices in rice cultivation require effective farming management concerning environmental and human health impacts. In this study, three rice cultivation systems, namely low-land, upland, and terraced rice in the Mae Chaem District, Chiang Mai Province, were assessed and the carbon footprint (CF), [...] Read more.
Sustainable practices in rice cultivation require effective farming management concerning environmental and human health impacts. In this study, three rice cultivation systems, namely low-land, upland, and terraced rice in the Mae Chaem District, Chiang Mai Province, were assessed and the carbon footprint (CF), water footprint (WF), and human and ecotoxicological impacts were compared from pesticide application. The results showed that the highest CF intensity was observed in terraced rice with 1.15 kg CO2eq kg−1 rice yield, followed by lowland rice (1.02 kg CO2eq kg−1 rice yield) and upland rice (0.17 kg CO2eq kg−1 rice yield) fields. Moreover, lowland rice cultivation generated the highest total WF with 1701.6 m3 ton−1, followed by terraced rice (1422.1 m3 ton−1) and upland rice (1283.2 m3 ton−1). The lowland rice fields had the most impact on human health and freshwater ecotoxicity, followed by the terraced and upland rice cultivation systems. The results also showed that most of the pesticides remaining in soils were chlorpyrifos (98.88%), butachlor (96.94%), and fipronil (95.33%), respectively. The substances with the greatest distributions in freshwater were acephate (56.74%), glyphosate (50.90%), and metaldehyde (45.65%), respectively. This study indicated that, with more agricultural inputs, higher CF, WF, human health impacts, and freshwater ecotoxicity were generated. Although the use of pesticides in the study areas did not exceed the recommendations on the packaging, glyphosate and chlorpyrifos are restricted in Thailand, so it is necessary to monitor their use due to their long-term health effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water, Health, and Environment)
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Article
Environmental Adaptation in the Process of Human-Land Relationship in Southeast China’s Ethnic Minority Areas and Its Significance on Sustainable Development
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2737; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032737 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 423
Abstract
The relationship between regional human development and geographic environment is the basis for dynamic social change, and studying the evolution of human-land relations in typical regions can provide background knowledge for global change studies. This study is based on GIS and spatio-temporal statistical [...] Read more.
The relationship between regional human development and geographic environment is the basis for dynamic social change, and studying the evolution of human-land relations in typical regions can provide background knowledge for global change studies. This study is based on GIS and spatio-temporal statistical techniques, combined with the analysis of toponymic cultural landscapes, to study ethnic minority regions of southeastern China. The results show that: (1) The geographical environment of the region will affect the naming of villages, and the orientation and family name are the most common; the frequency of plants, pit (keng), animals, and flat (ping) is also very high. (2) Han settlements and She settlements have obvious spatial differentiation, and in general the Han distribution area is lower than that of the She. Han settlements are mainly distributed in plain areas along rivers with elevations less than 200 m; She settlements are mainly distributed in hilly areas (200~500 m) and low mountain areas (500~800 m). (3) The results of quadrat analysis and nearest neighbor index analysis show that both Han and She settlements are clustered in the spatial distribution pattern, and the distribution of She settlements is more clustered than that of Han, with more dense settlements at a certain spatial scale. The regional cultural landscape is the result of the development and evolution of human-land relationship, and the comprehensive analysis of cultural landscape can understand the process of human-land relationship in a small region. The settlements in the region are indicative of the geographic environment in terms of village naming, spatial pattern, elevation differentiation and relationship with rivers, which can reflect the environmental adaptation process of human activities. Full article
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Article
Health Risk Assessment of Informal Food Vendors: A Comparative Study in Johannesburg, South Africa
by and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2736; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032736 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 416
Abstract
According to the best of our knowledge, there are no critical studies to date about associations between the work environment and prevalence of respiratory diseases and their symptoms among urban informal vendors in South Africa. This study followed a risk assessment methodology to [...] Read more.
According to the best of our knowledge, there are no critical studies to date about associations between the work environment and prevalence of respiratory diseases and their symptoms among urban informal vendors in South Africa. This study followed a risk assessment methodology to assess the risks associated with the occurrence of respiratory health problems among 617 indoor and outdoor market vendors in the inner city of Johannesburg, South Africa. A walkthrough survey using a checklist was conducted in 16 Markets for identification of respiratory risk factors and description of sanitary conditions. Face-to-face interviews were conducted amongst informal food vendors using a previously validated questionnaire to collect information on demographics and occupational and respiratory health. In addition, a single day area air pollution monitoring of PM2.5, SO2, NO2, CO, and CO2 was conducted in two stalls (indoor and outdoor). The Chi-squared test of association and frequency distribution were used to analyse data. Female vendors aged between 30 to 39 years dominated the trade. The results revealed that a majority of the vendors’ work shifts are longer than the recommended eight hours per day (73%), six to seven days per week (90%), and most of them have been working for six to ten years (41%). Poor sanitary conditions were observed in 75% of the markets. The concentrations of air pollutants at the outdoor markets were much greater than those in the indoor markets. All air pollution concentrations were below the recommended national and international standards. The risk of outdoor vendors developing any symptoms were extremely greater than those of indoor vendors, especially cooking vendors. Upper respiratory symptoms were the highest amongst the vendors. The results demonstrated a significant association between work-related risk factors, such as type of work location, duration, type of cooking fuel or heat, vendor training, frequency of hand hygiene practice, and using of a mask, and the upper respiratory symptoms. Based on the findings, there is a need for formalization of the trade, improvement in infrastructure, respiratory health care assessments, and sustainable educational programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health Risk Assessment)
Article
Health Implications of Virtual Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of the Transferability of Findings from Neuroarchitecture
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2735; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032735 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 444
Abstract
Virtual architecture has been increasingly relied on to evaluate the health impacts of physical architecture. In this health research, exposure to virtual architecture has been used as a proxy for exposure to physical architecture. Despite the growing body of research on the health [...] Read more.
Virtual architecture has been increasingly relied on to evaluate the health impacts of physical architecture. In this health research, exposure to virtual architecture has been used as a proxy for exposure to physical architecture. Despite the growing body of research on the health implications of physical architecture, there is a paucity of research examining the long-term health impacts of prolonged exposure to virtual architecture. In response, this paper considers: what can proxy studies, which use virtual architecture to assess the physiological response to physical architecture, tell us about the impact of extended exposure to virtual architecture on human health? The paper goes on to suggest that the applicability of these findings to virtual architecture may be limited by certain confounding variables when virtual architecture is experienced for a prolonged period of time. This paper explores the potential impact of two of these confounding variables: multisensory integration and gravitational perception. This paper advises that these confounding variables are unique to extended virtual architecture exposure and may not be captured by proxy studies that aim to capture the impact of physical architecture on human health through acute exposure to virtual architecture. While proxy studies may be suitable for measuring some aspects of the impact of both physical and virtual architecture on human health, this paper argues that they may be insufficient to fully capture the unintended consequences of extended exposure to virtual architecture on human health. Therefore, in the face of the increasing use of virtual architectural environments, the author calls for the establishment of a subfield of neuroarchitectural health research that empirically examines the physiological impacts of extended exposure to virtual architecture in its own right. Full article
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Article
Validation of the Recovery Experience Questionnaire in a Lithuanian Healthcare Personnel
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2734; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032734 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 289
Abstract
Healthcare workers (HCWs) often experience high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression due to high workloads and responsibilities in their professional activities. Therefore, recovery from work-related stress is highly important in HCWs. The Recovery Experience Questionnaire (REQ) is a 16-item self-reported measure covering [...] Read more.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) often experience high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression due to high workloads and responsibilities in their professional activities. Therefore, recovery from work-related stress is highly important in HCWs. The Recovery Experience Questionnaire (REQ) is a 16-item self-reported measure covering four stress recovery domains: psychological detachment from work, relaxation, mastery, and control. The current study aimed to test the REQ’s psychometric properties in a sample of Lithuanian HCWs. In total, 471 HCWs from various healthcare institutions participated in this study. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to test the structure of the REQ. We also used the Brief Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-4) and the World Health Organization Psychological Well-Being Index (WHO-5) to assess the mental health of the study participants. The CFA analysis supported the correlated four-factor structure of the REQ. Furthermore, we found significant correlations between the levels of REQ and anxiety, depression, and well-being. We conclude that the REQ is a valid measure that could be a useful tool in research on HCWs’ mental health. It could also be used in healthcare settings for the evaluation of well-being among healthcare staff. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health and Quality of Life among Healthcare Professionals)
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