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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 21, Issue 6 (June 2024) – 146 articles

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16 pages, 511 KiB  
Review
A Scoping Review of Interventions Targeting the Mental Health of Australian Veterans
by Ben Wadham, Lisa Andrewartha, Sharon Lawn, Ilke Onur and Laura Catherine Edney
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 796; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060796 (registering DOI) - 18 Jun 2024
Abstract
Serving in the military can have significant impacts on the mental health of veterans and their families. Military personnel can be exposed to a range of physical stressors, psychological trauma, risky lifestyle factors, a regimented military culture, and inadequate support when transitioning out [...] Read more.
Serving in the military can have significant impacts on the mental health of veterans and their families. Military personnel can be exposed to a range of physical stressors, psychological trauma, risky lifestyle factors, a regimented military culture, and inadequate support when transitioning out of service. This article reviews research on interventions designed to improve the mental health of Australian military veterans in order to synthesise current knowledge and identify gaps in the literature. Our scoping review followed PRISMA recommendations and comprised peer-reviewed literature published since 2000. The review demonstrates a dominance of psychologically driven research paradigms and interventions and a neglect of the importance of social factors in shaping veteran mental health. There is a wide range of interventions available; however, the literature is narrow and limited. We found little evidence that the lived experience of veterans had been harnessed in program design or delivery. We argue the need for a holistic approach that moves beyond psychological and biological understandings of health and wellbeing to incorporate social and cultural determinants. Future research could adopt a stronger multidisciplinary approach, increased socio-cultural understanding, and greater consideration of the lived experience of veterans and their families. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Behavioral and Mental Health)
26 pages, 879 KiB  
Systematic Review
Practices Supporting Community Recovery and Healing from Climate-Related Disasters: A Systematic Review
by Lynne Keevers, Deborah Gough, Jacqui Cameron, Anthony McKnight, Saskia Ebejer, Susan Duchesne, Adam Gowen, Karen Fildes and Maria Mackay
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 795; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060795 (registering DOI) - 18 Jun 2024
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Abstract
This systematic review investigated the practices that support and hinder the recovery and healing of communities and the environments within which they live, following climate-related environmental disasters. Although the literature focused on recovery is dominated by interventions aimed at the individual and their [...] Read more.
This systematic review investigated the practices that support and hinder the recovery and healing of communities and the environments within which they live, following climate-related environmental disasters. Although the literature focused on recovery is dominated by interventions aimed at the individual and their mental health, a thematic analysis of thirty-six studies established a range of practices that enhance collective recovery and healing. Four narratives were identified from the findings highlighting key practices: (1) collective and community-led recovery; (2) recognising the criticality of context, place, and identity; (3) adopting a holistic conception of well-being and Country-centred practices; and (4) decolonising and Indigenising the literature. This study details recommendations for research and practice. First Nations’ knowledges and healing practices need to be recognised and harnessed in climate-related environmental disaster recovery. Community-led interventions harness local knowledge, networks, and expertise, which improves the dissemination of resources and enables recovery efforts to be tailored to the specific needs of communities. Full article
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33 pages, 848 KiB  
Review
The Impact of Nonpharmacological Interventions on Opioid Use for Chronic Noncancer Pain: A Scoping Review
by Zhanette Coffee, Kevin Cheng, Maribeth Slebodnik, Kimberly Mulligan, Chong Ho Yu, Todd W. Vanderah and Judith S. Gordon
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 794; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060794 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 85
Abstract
Despite the lack of evidence, opioids are still routinely used as a solution to long-term management for chronic noncancer pain (CNCP). Given the significant risks associated with long-term opioid use, including the increased number of unregulated opioid pills at large in the opioid [...] Read more.
Despite the lack of evidence, opioids are still routinely used as a solution to long-term management for chronic noncancer pain (CNCP). Given the significant risks associated with long-term opioid use, including the increased number of unregulated opioid pills at large in the opioid ecosystem, opioid cessation or reduction may be the desired goal of the patient and clinician. Viable nonpharmacological interventions (NPIs) to complement and/or replace opioids for CNCP are needed. Comprehensive reviews that address the impact of NPIs to help adults with CNCP reduce opioid use safely are lacking. We conducted a literature search in PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, PsycINFO, and Scopus for studies published in English. The initial search was conducted in April 2021, and updated in January 2024. The literature search yielded 19,190 relevant articles. Thirty-nine studies met the eligibility criteria and underwent data extraction. Of these, nineteen (49%) were randomized controlled trials, eighteen (46%) were observational studies, and two (5%) were secondary analyses. Among adults with CNCP who use opioids for pain management, studies on mindfulness, yoga, educational programs, certain devices or digital technology, chiropractic, and combination NPIs suggest that they might be an effective approach for reducing both pain intensity and opioid use, but other NPIs did not show a significant effect (e.g., hypnosis, virtual reality). This review revealed there is a small to moderate body of literature demonstrating that some NPIs might be an effective and safe approach for reducing pain and opioid use, concurrently. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Opioid Use, Pain Management, and Public Health)
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15 pages, 333 KiB  
Article
Parental Migration and the Social and Mental Well-Being Challenges among Indonesian Left-Behind Children: A Qualitative Study
by Nelsensius Klau Fauk, Alfonsa Liquory Seran, Paul Aylward, Lillian Mwanri and Paul Russell Ward
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 793; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060793 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 85
Abstract
Parental labour migration, of either one or both parents, has been associated with various challenges among left-behind children (LBC). However, there is a limited understanding of the LBC’s own views and experiences of social and mental well-being and how the new daily life [...] Read more.
Parental labour migration, of either one or both parents, has been associated with various challenges among left-behind children (LBC). However, there is a limited understanding of the LBC’s own views and experiences of social and mental well-being and how the new daily life circumstances they encounter following their parents’ migration impact them. This study aimed to understand the influence of parental migration and its aftermath on the social and mental well-being of adolescents (referred to as LBC) in two rural districts in Indonesia. Employing a qualitative design, data were collected through individual in-depth interviews with LBC (n = 24) aged 14 to 18 years, recruited using the snowball sampling technique. Data were thematically analysed, guided by a qualitative data analysis framework. The findings showed that parental migration negatively impacted the social well-being of LBC. This impact was reflected in negative labelling from friends and changes in familial roles which influenced their social interactions and activities with peers. Parental migration was also associated with challenges to the mental well-being of LBC. These manifested in the LBC experiencing fractured emotional bonds, leading to negative emotions, including stress, anxiety, sadness, depression, frustration, loss of motivation, and self-imposed isolation, which were associated with their parents’ migration and abrupt disruptions in parent–child communication. The transition to new life situations with caregivers after parental migration and the dynamics within the caregivers’ households were additional factors that detrimentally affected their mental well-being. Unmet basic needs and educational needs due to financial hardships faced by mothers and caregivers further exacerbated mental health challenges for the children. The findings indicate the importance and improvement of policies and interventions in Indonesia (e.g., counselling services, non-cash food assistance, family hope program, direct cash assistance) that cover and address the diverse needs of mothers or caregivers and the LBC. Full article
20 pages, 3190 KiB  
Article
Removal of Bisphenol S (BPS) by Adsorption on Activated Carbons Commercialized in Brazil
by Nayara dos Santos Oliveira, Yovanka Perez Ginoris and Harsha Ratnaweera
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 792; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060792 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 108
Abstract
This study assessed three powdered activated carbons (BETM, COCO, and SIAL) commercialized in Brazil at the bench scale in agitated reactors, analyzing their kinetic behavior and adsorptive capacity for BPS and BPA in ultrapure water. BETM exhibited the highest adsorption capacities (Q0 [...] Read more.
This study assessed three powdered activated carbons (BETM, COCO, and SIAL) commercialized in Brazil at the bench scale in agitated reactors, analyzing their kinetic behavior and adsorptive capacity for BPS and BPA in ultrapure water. BETM exhibited the highest adsorption capacities (Q0max) for BPS and BPA at 260.62 and 264.64 mg/g, respectively, followed by SIAL, with a Q0max of 248.25 mg/g for BPS and for 231.20 mg/g BPA, and COCO, with a Q0max of 136.51 mg/g for BPS and 150.03 mg/g for BPA. The Langmuir isotherm model can describe the processes well. A pseudo-second-order model can describe the adsorption kinetics, and SIAL carbon had the highest rate constants (7.45 × 10−3 mg/g/min for BPS and 2.84 × 10−3 mg/g/min for BPA). The Weber–Morris intraparticle diffusion model suggests intraparticle diffusion as the rate-limiting step of all adsorption processes. Boyd’s model confirmed more than the mechanism actuating in the bisphenol adsorption. The results suggest that adsorbents with basic surfaces, high specific surface areas, and high mesopore volumes tend to remove BPS and BPA efficiently. Therefore, activated carbons can effectively complement the existing treatment in Brazilian water treatment plants (WTPs). Full article
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16 pages, 523 KiB  
Article
An Evidence-Based Guide for Delivering Mental Healthcare Services in Farming Communities: A Qualitative Study of Providers’ Perspectives
by Rebecca Purc-Stephenson, Nicole Roy, Adachukwu Chimaobi and Deanna Hood
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060791 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 178
Abstract
Individuals living in rural areas often face challenges in accessing healthcare, increasing their risk of poor health outcomes. Farmers, a sub-population in rural areas, are particularly vulnerable to mental health issues and suicide, yet they exhibit low rates of help-seeking behavior. The aim [...] Read more.
Individuals living in rural areas often face challenges in accessing healthcare, increasing their risk of poor health outcomes. Farmers, a sub-population in rural areas, are particularly vulnerable to mental health issues and suicide, yet they exhibit low rates of help-seeking behavior. The aim of our study was to develop an in-depth understanding of the issues influencing mental help-seeking among farmers living in rural areas from the perspectives of healthcare providers, as well as to explore the strategies providers use to navigate through these issues to effectively engage with this vulnerable population. Methods: We used a descriptive phenomenological approach to understand healthcare providers’ perspectives, experiences, and approaches to providing mental healthcare to farmer clients in rural areas. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 participants practicing in Canada between March and May 2023. Results: Our analysis yielded five thematic areas: (1) ensuring accessibility, (2) establishing relatability, (3) addressing stoicism and stigma, (4) navigating dual roles, and (5) understanding community trauma. Conclusions: Healthcare service delivery for farmers is multifaceted. This study fills a gap in knowledge by translating these data to inform an evidence-based model and a list of recommendations for implementing agriculturally informed practices in rural areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: Rural Health Services Research)
17 pages, 458 KiB  
Article
Rehabilitation Services for Young-Onset Dementia: Examples from High- and Low–Middle-Income Countries
by Aida Suárez-González, Sharon A Savage, Suvarna Alladi, Viviane Amaral-Carvalho, Faheem Arshad, Julieta Camino, Paulo Caramelli, Adelina Comas-Herrera, Julia Cook, Claudia Cooper, Laura García Díaz, Stephanie M. Grasso, Regina Jokel, Monica Lavoie, Tomás León, Thomas Priya, Teresita Ramos Franco, Cathleen Taylor-Rubin, Rosemary Townsend, Angelika Thöne-Otto, Andrea Slachevsky, Anna Volkmer, Wendy Weidner and Claire MC O’Connoradd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 790; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060790 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 213
Abstract
Abstract: The WHO Dementia Global Action Plan states that rehabilitation services for dementia are required to promote health, reduce disability, and maintain quality of life for those living with dementia. Current services, however, are scarce, particularly for people with young-onset dementia (YOD). This [...] Read more.
Abstract: The WHO Dementia Global Action Plan states that rehabilitation services for dementia are required to promote health, reduce disability, and maintain quality of life for those living with dementia. Current services, however, are scarce, particularly for people with young-onset dementia (YOD). This article, written by an international group of multidisciplinary dementia specialists, offers a three-part overview to promote the development of rehabilitation services for YOD. Firstly, we provide a synthesis of knowledge on current evidence-based rehabilitative therapies for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (EOAD), behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), primary progressive aphasia (PPA), and posterior cortical atrophy (PCA). Secondly, we discuss the characteristics of rehabilitation services for YOD, providing examples across three continents for how these services can be embedded in existing settings and the different roles of the rehabilitation multidisciplinary team. Lastly, we conclude by highlighting the potential of telehealth in making rehabilitation services more accessible for people with YOD. Overall, with this paper, we aim to encourage clinical leads to begin introducing at least some rehabilitation into their services, leveraging existing resources and finding support in the collective expertise of the broader multidisciplinary dementia professional community. Full article
15 pages, 1464 KiB  
Article
Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Regarding Air Pollution among Medical Students
by Santiago Rendon-Marin, Luis Felipe Higuita-Gutiérrez and Diana Maryory Gomez-Gallego
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 789; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060789 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 273
Abstract
Background: Air pollution has emerged as a global public health concern. Specifically, in Medellín, Colombia, episodes of elevated air pollution have been documented. Medical students’ knowledge of air pollution is paramount for implementing future interventions directed toward patients. The aim of this research [...] Read more.
Background: Air pollution has emerged as a global public health concern. Specifically, in Medellín, Colombia, episodes of elevated air pollution have been documented. Medical students’ knowledge of air pollution is paramount for implementing future interventions directed toward patients. The aim of this research was to delineate the knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding air pollution among medical students at a private university in Medellín. Methods: A cross-sectional study involving 352 medical students was conducted. A questionnaire was administered, generating scores ranging from 0 to 100, where a higher score signified better knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Data were analyzed using frequencies, summary measures, non-parametric tests, and linear regression. Results: In total, 31% rated the education received at the university on the relationship between health and air quality as fair to poor, and 81% perceived the air quality in the city as poor. The knowledge score was 77.8 (IQR 71.1–85.6), with 90% acknowledging that exposure to air pollution increases the risk of various diseases. The attitudes score was 82.1 (IQR 71.8–87.2), and 25.9% believed that air pollution is a multifactorial problem, rendering their actions ineffective. In terms of practices, the score was 50 (IQR 42.9–57.1), indicating that students either did not employ protective measures against pollution or used inappropriate practices such as masks or air purifiers. Regression analysis revealed no association between knowledge and practices. Conclusion: The findings of this study underscore that medical students possess commendable knowledge regarding the health effects of air pollution. However, their adoption of inappropriate practices for self-protection is evident. The lack of correlation between knowledge and practices highlights the necessity of educational initiatives to be complemented by regulatory and cultural interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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12 pages, 317 KiB  
Article
Changes to Secondary School Physical Activity Programs and Policy after Emerging from COVID-19 Lockdowns
by Hussain Chattha, Markus J. Duncan, Negin A. Riazi, Scott T. Leatherdale and Karen A. Patte
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 788; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060788 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 197
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore the adaptations that schools made to physical activity programs and facilities, and disparities by area urbanicity and income, during the first school year after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a convenience sample of [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to explore the adaptations that schools made to physical activity programs and facilities, and disparities by area urbanicity and income, during the first school year after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a convenience sample of 132 secondary schools in Canada, school contacts responded to an annual survey in the 2020–2021 school year on changes to physical activity programs and facilities, and related staff training. Content analysis categorized open-ended text responses, and schools were compared based on area urbanicity and median income. Most schools canceled all interschool sports (88.9%) and intramurals (65.9%). New programs were added by 12.6% of schools, and about half (49%) of schools reported some continuing programs, most of which were sports programs, followed by facility and equipment access. Physical activity facilities were closed in 18.1% of schools, while 15.7% had new facilities added, and 11% temporarily converted facilities into learning spaces. Large/medium urban schools were at greater odds of having made any change to their facilities compared to schools in rural/small urban areas (odds ratio (95% confidence interval): 2.3 (1.1, 4.8)). The results demonstrate the considerable scale and nature of the restrictions in school provisions of physical activity opportunities during this period, as well as the resourcefulness of some schools in adding new programs and facilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Exercise and Health-Related Quality of Life)
10 pages, 642 KiB  
Commentary
COVID-19 Policy Response Analysis: A Canadian Perspective
by Andrew Klein and Mehmet A. Begen
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 787; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060787 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 200
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the challenges that go into effective policymaking. Facing a public health crisis of epic proportion, government bodies across the world sought to manage the spread of infectious disease and healthcare-system overwhelm in the face of historic economic instability and [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the challenges that go into effective policymaking. Facing a public health crisis of epic proportion, government bodies across the world sought to manage the spread of infectious disease and healthcare-system overwhelm in the face of historic economic instability and social unrest. Recognizing that COVID-19 debates and research are still actively ongoing, this paper aims to objectively compare COVID-19 responses from countries across the world that exhibit similar economic and political models to Canada, identify notable failures, successes, and key takeaways to inform future-state pandemic preparedness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The 20th Anniversary of IJERPH)
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13 pages, 580 KiB  
Article
The Role of Social Support and Sleep Quality in the Psychological Well-Being of Nurses and Doctors
by Marta Frazão Pinheiro, Inês Carvalho Relva, Mónica Costa and Catarina Pinheiro Mota
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 786; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060786 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 192
Abstract
Social support enhances the development of adaptive strategies to cope with difficulties, which may affect psychological well-being. Sleep quality has been highlighted as having a relevant role in psychological well-being. The present study aimed to analyse the role of social support and sleep [...] Read more.
Social support enhances the development of adaptive strategies to cope with difficulties, which may affect psychological well-being. Sleep quality has been highlighted as having a relevant role in psychological well-being. The present study aimed to analyse the role of social support and sleep quality in the psychological well-being of health professionals (nurses and doctors) compared to the general population. The sample comprised 466 adults aged between 18 and 75 (M = 43.4; SD = 10.8), of which 272 were the general population and 194 nurses and doctors. Data were collected through a Sociodemographic Questionnaire, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and the Psychological Well-Being Manifestation Measure Scale. Nurses presented less balance (also doctors), sociability and happiness than other professionals. Less significant sociability was observed in nurses compared with doctors. The results also allowed us to observe the positive role of social support from significant others on social involvement and sociability and the positive role of the family in self-esteem. Social support from friends played a positive role in all dimensions of psychological well-being. Males had a higher prevalence of psychological well-being. Other professionals and sleep quality show high levels of psychological well-being in all dimensions. Data discussion highlights the role of social support, sleep, and sex and the implications of health professions (nurses and doctors) on psychological well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Behavioral and Mental Health)
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8 pages, 307 KiB  
Editorial
Types of Racism and Health Disparities and Inequalities among Cancer Patients: An Editorial Reflection of Articles in This Special Issue of IJERPH
by Shaila M. Strayhorn-Carter, Ken Batai and Francine C. Gachupin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 785; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060785 - 17 Jun 2024
Viewed by 249
Abstract
Racism has been a long-standing influential factor that has negatively impacted both past and current health disparities within the United Sates population. Existing problems of racism and its impact on both health disparities and health inequalities were only amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic. [...] Read more.
Racism has been a long-standing influential factor that has negatively impacted both past and current health disparities within the United Sates population. Existing problems of racism and its impact on both health disparities and health inequalities were only amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic allowed both clinicians and researchers to recognize a growing list of health concerns at the macro-, meso-, and micro-level among underserved racially minoritized patients with specific chronic illnesses such as cancer. Based on these concerns, this Special Issue was designed to highlight the challenges of cancer screening, cancer treatment, and cancer-centered educational outreach among racially minoritized communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Second Edition: Cancer Health Disparities and Public Health)
20 pages, 558 KiB  
Article
Facilitating Access to Mental Health Services: A Stakeholder-Driven Improvement of the Children and Young People (CYP) as One Referral Platform
by Kristof Santa, Chloe Dixon, Rafaela Neiva Ganga, Gemma Trainor, Grahame Smith, Victoria Furfie and Holly Brown
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060784 - 16 Jun 2024
Viewed by 346
Abstract
(1) Background: Pre-pandemic, child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) referrals were paper based in Liverpool and Sefton (England, United Kingdom), causing delays in waiting times. The “CYP as One” online mental health referral platform was co-created to overcome these challenges. (2) Methods: [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Pre-pandemic, child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) referrals were paper based in Liverpool and Sefton (England, United Kingdom), causing delays in waiting times. The “CYP as One” online mental health referral platform was co-created to overcome these challenges. (2) Methods: This study aims to improve “CYP as One” accessibility and usability and, subsequently, support CAMHS to improve waiting times. The current study utilised the Living Lab approach. We conducted content analysis on completed online referrals extracted from the “CYP as One” platform. These findings were supplemented by seven online focus groups, with 16–19-year-old young people, parents of children under 16, and health service providers. Thematic analysis was conducted on all data. (3) Results: The thematic analysis returned seven themes, namely (i) ”CYP as One” vs. Traditional Referrals, (ii) Gender and Language Dynamics, (iii) Digital Empathy in Action, (iv) the Influence of the Provider Perspective, (v) Age and Social Sensitivity, (vi) Enhancing Access to Information, and (vii) Boosting Admin and Clinical Efficiency. (4) Conclusions: Digital content that seeks to replace in-person referrals can provide adequate support to children and young people who have faced difficulties accessing mental health services. Full article
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18 pages, 3302 KiB  
Article
Sleep Disturbance Caused by Step Changes in Railway Noise Exposure and Earthquakes
by Takashi Morihara, Yasuhiro Murakami, Koji Shimoyama, Makoto Morinaga, Shigenori Yokoshima, Sohei Tsujimura, Yasuhiro Hiraguri and Takashi Yano
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060783 - 16 Jun 2024
Viewed by 250
Abstract
Kyushu Shinkansen and conventional railway lines run parallel in the areas 5 km north of Kumamoto Station (northern area) and 12 km south of the station (southern area). Following the operation of the Kyushu Shinkansen Line in 2011, the adjacent conventional railway line [...] Read more.
Kyushu Shinkansen and conventional railway lines run parallel in the areas 5 km north of Kumamoto Station (northern area) and 12 km south of the station (southern area). Following the operation of the Kyushu Shinkansen Line in 2011, the adjacent conventional railway line in the north was elevated, a new station was operated in the south, and large earthquakes struck the Kumamoto area from March to April 2016. Sleep disturbances were compared before and after the interventions and earthquakes based on noise source (Shinkansen and conventional railways), area (northern and southern), and house type (detached and apartment) through socio-acoustic surveys from 2011 to 2017. The Shinkansen railway caused significantly less sleep disturbances in detached houses in the north after compared to before the earthquakes, presumably due to more frequent closures of bedroom windows in northern detached houses following the earthquakes. The Shinkansen railway caused significantly more sleep disturbances in apartments in the south after compared to before the earthquakes, presumably because the Shinkansen slowed down immediately after the earthquakes and returned to normal speed during the survey, suddenly increasing the noise exposure. There was no significant difference in the other six cases investigated. Overall, the interventions may not have caused significant differences in sleep disturbances. This article expands on the congress paper by Morihara et al. presented in the “Community Response to Noise” session at the 52nd International Congress and Exhibition on Noise Control Engineering in Makuhari, Japan, organized by the International Institute of Noise Control Engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Community Response to Environmental Noise)
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16 pages, 344 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Stigma and Social Networks on Role Expectations among African Immigrants Living with HIV
by Emmanuel F. Koku
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 782; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060782 - 15 Jun 2024
Viewed by 394
Abstract
This paper examines how African immigrants living with HIV negotiate and reconstruct their productive (i.e., educational and career opportunities), sexual, and reproductive identities. We used data from a mixed-methods study to explore how stigma and social networks in which participants were embedded shaped [...] Read more.
This paper examines how African immigrants living with HIV negotiate and reconstruct their productive (i.e., educational and career opportunities), sexual, and reproductive identities. We used data from a mixed-methods study to explore how stigma and social networks in which participants were embedded shaped how they understood and negotiated their role expectations and responsibilities. Participants revealed how HIV not only changed their identities and limited their sex life, partner choices, and fundamental decisions about fertility and reproduction, but also presented them with the opportunity to reinvent/reshape their lives. Our analysis revealed that the cultural discourses about illness and HIV in participant’s countries of origin, the acculturative and migratory stressors, and the competing influences and expectations from family and friends in their home and host countries shape their illness experience, and how they adjust to life with HIV. This paper builds on sociological understanding of illness experience as a social construct that shapes the ill person’s identity, role, and function in society. Specifically, the paper contributes to discourses on how (i) participants’ social location and identity (as transnational migrants adjusting to acculturative stressors associated with resettlement into a new country), (ii) cultural discourses about illness and HIV in their countries of origin, and (iii) embeddedness in transnational social networks influence health outcomes, including lived experiences with chronic illnesses and stigmatized conditions such as HIV. Full article
13 pages, 1907 KiB  
Article
Identifying Populations at Risk for Lung Cancer Mortality from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2001–2018) Using the 2021 USPSTF Screening Guidelines
by Vivian Tieu, Samuel MacDowell, Sedra Tibi, Bradley Ventayen and Mukesh Agarwal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 781; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060781 - 15 Jun 2024
Viewed by 277
Abstract
Lung cancer (LC) is the leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States. To combat this predicament, early screening and critically assessing its risk factors remain crucial. The aim of this study was to identify the value of specific factors from the [...] Read more.
Lung cancer (LC) is the leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States. To combat this predicament, early screening and critically assessing its risk factors remain crucial. The aim of this study was to identify the value of specific factors from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2001–2018, as they relate to lung cancer mortality in the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)-eligible population. A total of 3545 adults who met USPSTF criteria were extracted from 81,595 NHANES participants. The LC Death Risk Assessment Tool was used to calculate the number of deaths per 1000 individuals. The Mann–Whitney U test and one-way ANOVA determined the statistical significance of the factors involved in LC mortality. Male sex, African and Hispanic ethnicity, lower education attainment, and secondhand exposure to cigarette smoke correlated with an increased risk of LC mortality. Additionally, the factor of emotional support from NHANES data was analyzed and did not show any benefit to reducing risk. By identifying individuals at high-risk, preventative measures can be maximized to produce the best possible outcome Full article
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12 pages, 894 KiB  
Communication
An Assessment of the Ocular Toxicity of Two Major Sources of Environmental Exposure
by Steven H. Rauchman, Lora J. Kasselman, Ankita Srivastava, Joshua De Leon and Allison B. Reiss
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 780; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060780 - 15 Jun 2024
Viewed by 308
Abstract
The effect of airborne exposure on the eye surface is an area in need of exploration, particularly in light of the increasing number of incidents occurring in both civilian and military settings. In this study, in silico methods based on a platform comprising [...] Read more.
The effect of airborne exposure on the eye surface is an area in need of exploration, particularly in light of the increasing number of incidents occurring in both civilian and military settings. In this study, in silico methods based on a platform comprising a portfolio of software applications and a technology ecosystem are used to test potential surface ocular toxicity in data presented from Iraqi burn pits and the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment. The purpose of this analysis is to gain a better understanding of the long-term impact of such an exposure to the ocular surface and the manifestation of surface irritation, including dry eye disease. In silico methods were used to determine ocular irritation to chemical compounds. A list of such chemicals was introduced from a number of publicly available sources for burn pits and train derailment. The results demonstrated high ocular irritation scores for some chemicals present in these exposure events. Such an analysis is designed to provide guidance related to the needed ophthalmologic care and follow-up in individuals who have been in proximity to burn pits or the train derailment and those who will experience future toxic exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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10 pages, 340 KiB  
Article
Dimensions of Parenting and Children’s Conduct Problems: The Importance of Considering Children’s Callous–Unemotional Traits
by Carolina Facci, Andrea Baroncelli, Paul J. Frick and Enrica Ciucci
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 779; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060779 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 247
Abstract
Research has clearly indicated that the development of serious behavioral problems in children and adolescents is influenced by parenting. However, recent research has refined the role of parenting by showing the importance of distinguishing between different types of parenting and in considering the [...] Read more.
Research has clearly indicated that the development of serious behavioral problems in children and adolescents is influenced by parenting. However, recent research has refined the role of parenting by showing the importance of distinguishing between different types of parenting and in considering the role of callous–unemotional traits (CU traits) and conduct problems (CP) of the children. In the current study, we advance this research by distinguishing between emotional (e.g., parental warmth; parental hostility) and behavioral (e.g., use of positive reinforcement; inconsistent discipline/harsh discipline) aspects of parenting and by considering the way parents respond to children’s emotions (i.e., coaching and dismissing). The sample consisted of 136 mothers (M = 38.09 years, SD = 4.51 years, 45.41% high school degree) with a child (age range 3–5 years) enrolled in kindergarten in central Italy. Multiple regression analyses indicated that, after controlling for level of CP, use of positive reinforcement (β = −0.31, p < 0.001) and warm feelings (β = −0.22, p < 0.05), remained associated with CU traits and punitive parenting was no longer significant. Consistent with predictions, use of positive reinforcement was no longer associated with conduct problems when controlling for CU traits and the positive associations with punitive parenting (β = 0.24, p < 0.05) and negativity (β = 0.36, p < 0.001) remained significant. These findings support the need for continued research that considers both the emotional and behavioral aspects of parenting and disentangles their associations with conduct problems and CU traits. Such research could not only advance causal theories for children with conduct problems but also help to guide more effective treatments, especially for those with elevated CU traits who often leave treatment with significant conduct problems remaining. Full article
19 pages, 2720 KiB  
Article
Smart Speakers as an Environmental Control Unit for Severe Motor Dependence: The Case of a Young Adult with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
by Rafael Tavares, Andreia Inácio, Helena Sousa and Jaime Ribeiro
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 778; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060778 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 434
Abstract
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a disease that primarily affects males and causes a gradual loss of muscle strength. This results in a deterioration of motor skills and functional mobility, which can impact the performance of various occupations. Individuals with DMD often rely [...] Read more.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a disease that primarily affects males and causes a gradual loss of muscle strength. This results in a deterioration of motor skills and functional mobility, which can impact the performance of various occupations. Individuals with DMD often rely heavily on caregivers to assist with daily activities, which can lead to caregiver burden. A case study was conducted to explore and describe potential variations in the performance of a young adult diagnosed with DMD and his caregivers resulting from the integration of smart speakers (SS)-controlled Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the home environment. The study also examined the potential of SS as an environment control unit (ECU) and analysed variations in caregiver burden. Smart devices and SS were installed in the most frequently used spaces, namely, the bedroom and living room. The study employed WebQDA software to perform content analysis and Microsoft Excel to calculate the scores of the structured instruments. The implementation of the IoT-assisted environment compensated for previously physical tasks, resulting in a slight increase in independent performance and reduced demands on caregivers. Full article
10 pages, 541 KiB  
Article
The Cumulative Effect of Expanding the Breadth and Scope of Coverage for Substance Use Disorder Treatment on Behavioral Health Acute Inpatient Admissions: Evidence from Virginia Medicaid
by Shiva Salehian, Peter Cunningham, Andrew Barnes and Shoou-Yih Daniel Lee
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 777; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060777 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 283
Abstract
We evaluated the impact of Medicaid policies in Virginia (VA), namely the Addiction and Recovery Treatment Services (ARTS) program and Medicaid expansion, on the number of behavioral health acute inpatient admissions from 2016 to 2019. We used Poisson fixed-effect event study regression and [...] Read more.
We evaluated the impact of Medicaid policies in Virginia (VA), namely the Addiction and Recovery Treatment Services (ARTS) program and Medicaid expansion, on the number of behavioral health acute inpatient admissions from 2016 to 2019. We used Poisson fixed-effect event study regression and compared average proportional differences in admissions over three time periods: (1) prior to ARTS; (2) following ARTS but before Medicaid expansion; (3) post-Medicaid expansion. The number of behavioral health acute inpatient admissions decreased by 2.6% (95% CI [−5.1, −0.2]) in the first quarter of 2018 and this decrease gradually intensified by 4.9% (95% CI [−7.5, −2.4]) in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the second quarter of 2017 (beginning of ARTS) in VA relative to North Carolina (NC). Following the first quarter of 2019 (beginning of Medicaid expansion), decreases in VA admissions became larger relative to NC. The average proportional difference in admissions estimated a decrease of 2.7% (95% CI, [−4.1, −0.8]) after ARTS but before Medicaid expansion and a decrease of 2.9% (95% CI, [−6.1, 0.4]) post-Medicaid expansion compared to pre-ARTS in VA compared to NC. Behavioral health acute inpatient admissions in VA decreased following ARTS implementation, and the decrease became larger after Medicaid expansion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Public Policies on Health)
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11 pages, 876 KiB  
Article
Childhood Adversities and the ATTACHTM Program’s Influence on Immune Cell Gene Expression
by Zhiyuan Yu, Steve Cole, Kharah Ross, Martha Hart, Lubna Anis and Nicole Letourneau
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 776; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060776 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 331
Abstract
Objective: To determine whether maternal Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are (a) associated with increased inflammatory gene expression in mother–child dyads and (b) whether a parenting intervention (ATTACH™) moderates the association between maternal ACEs and mother and/or child inflammatory gene expression. Methods: Twenty mother–child [...] Read more.
Objective: To determine whether maternal Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are (a) associated with increased inflammatory gene expression in mother–child dyads and (b) whether a parenting intervention (ATTACH™) moderates the association between maternal ACEs and mother and/or child inflammatory gene expression. Methods: Twenty mother–child dyads, recruited from a domestic violence shelter in Calgary, AB, Canada, were randomized into an ATTACH™ parenting intervention group (n = 9) or a wait-list control group (n = 11). Maternal ACEs were assessed. The mothers and children each provided one non-fasting blood sample after the intervention group completed the ATTACH™ program, which was assayed to quantify the Conserved Transcriptional Response to Adversity (CTRA) score, indicating inflammatory gene expression profile. Mixed-effect linear models were used, separately in mothers and children, to examine the associations between CTRA score, maternal ACEs, and the ACEs-by-intervention group interaction term. The covariates were age, sex, ethnicity, and maternal medication use. Results: Higher maternal ACEs were associated with higher child CTRA scores (b = 0.123 ± SE 0.044, p = 0.005), indicating an increased pro-inflammatory gene expression profile. The ATTACH™ parenting intervention moderated this association between maternal ACEs and child CTRA scores (b = 0.328 ± SE 0.133, p = 0.014). In mothers, the ACEs-by-intervention interaction terms were insignificant (p = 0.305). Conclusions: Maternal ACEs could exert an intergenerational impact on child inflammatory activity, and this association could be moderated by participating in the ATTACH™ parenting intervention. Full article
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15 pages, 2745 KiB  
Article
The Risk of the Aggravation of Diabetic Foot According to Air Quality Factors in the Republic of Korea: A Nationwide Population-Based Study
by Saintpee Kim, Sungho Won and Young Yi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 775; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060775 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 326
Abstract
This study aims to examine the association between the occurrence of diabetic foot and air quality (SO2, CO, NO2, O3). Open data were collected to conduct a big data study. Patient information was gathered from the National [...] Read more.
This study aims to examine the association between the occurrence of diabetic foot and air quality (SO2, CO, NO2, O3). Open data were collected to conduct a big data study. Patient information was gathered from the National Health Insurance Service, and the National Institute of Environmental Science’s air quality data were used. A total study population of 347,543 cases were reviewed (case = 13,353, control = 334,190). The lag period from air quality changes to the actual amputation operation was calculated for each factor. The frequency of diabetic foot amputation in each region was identified and analyzed using a distributed lag non-linear model. Gangwon-do showed the highest relative risks (RRs) for SO2 and CO, while Chungcheongnam-do exhibited the highest RR for NO2. Jeju had the highest RR for O3. Regions like Incheon, Busan, and the capital region also showed significant risk increases. These findings emphasize the importance of tailored air quality management to address diabetic foot complications effectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiological Research on Air Pollution Exposure)
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13 pages, 674 KiB  
Article
Adaptation and Validation of the Turkish Version of the Brain Fog Scale
by Murat Bas, Meryem Kahriman, Cansu Gencalp, Selen Koksal Koseoglu and Ladan Hajhamidiasl
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 774; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060774 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 248
Abstract
Brain fog is a condition that is characterized by poor concentration, memory loss, decreased cognitive function, and mental fatigue. Although it is generally known as a long-term COVID-19 symptom, brain fog has also been reported to be caused by many other diseases. Thus, [...] Read more.
Brain fog is a condition that is characterized by poor concentration, memory loss, decreased cognitive function, and mental fatigue. Although it is generally known as a long-term COVID-19 symptom, brain fog has also been reported to be caused by many other diseases. Thus, it is necessary to assess this condition in certain populations. This study aimed to evaluate the reliability and validity of the Brain Fog Scale in a Turkish population. We conducted the study in two phases. In a pilot study including 125 participants, we confirmed the suitability of the scale for validity analyses and then conducted exploratory (n = 230) and confirmatory factor analyses (n = 343). The Cronbach’s alpha value of the 23-item Brain Fog Scale was 0.966. In addition, the 23-item and three-factor structure was confirmed as a result of the analyses. These three factors are mental fatigue, impaired cognitive acuity, and confusion. We also found that participants previously diagnosed with COVID-19 had higher brain fog scores. This finding indicates that brain fog is an important condition that can accompany COVID-19. Furthermore, this validated construct has an acceptable fit and is a valid and useful tool for the Turkish population. Full article
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21 pages, 406 KiB  
Article
Perceptions of Adulthood and Mental Health
by Mediss Tavakkoli, Erick Valarezo and Luis F. García
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 773; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060773 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 388
Abstract
Background: In contrast to conventional definitions, the contemporary conceptualization of adulthood emphasizes psychological characteristics over sociodemographic milestones. At the same time, an increasing number of theorists propose that the way individuals view adulthood may have a significant impact on the mental health of [...] Read more.
Background: In contrast to conventional definitions, the contemporary conceptualization of adulthood emphasizes psychological characteristics over sociodemographic milestones. At the same time, an increasing number of theorists propose that the way individuals view adulthood may have a significant impact on the mental health of both adolescents and adults. However, empirical examination of this hypothesis has been notably limited to date. The aim of this study is to explore the association between individuals’ perceptions of adulthood and multiple dimensions of mental health. Method: This study applied some adulthood markers and multiple mental health indexes (including well-being, optimism, Alexithymia, satisfaction with life, Goldberg’s index of mental health, the dark triad, and dimensional personality disorders) to a community sample comprising 1772 individuals in Spain, spanning ages from 16 to 93 years. Results: The findings support the overarching hypothesis, as perceptions of adulthood display strong correlations with nearly every assessed index of mental health, particularly those that comprise a dimension of negative emotions. These associations persist even after accounting for age and socio-economic status, and in alignment with the psychological paradigm of adulthood, they show a notable consistency across various age groups. Conclusions: This study establishes that such perceptions of adulthood represent a modifiable factor contributing to positive mental health. The implications of these findings for the formulation of public policies aimed at promoting mental health in the context of adulthood, as well as a number of future studies, are deliberated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Behavioral and Mental Health)
10 pages, 1310 KiB  
Article
“Back Health 24/7/365”—A Novel, Comprehensive “One Size Fits All” Workplace Health Promotion Intervention for Occupational Back Health among Hospital Employees
by Timothy Hasenoehrl, Margarete Steiner, Felix Ebenberger, Philipp Kull, Julia Sternik, Lukas Reissig, Galateja Jordakieva and Richard Crevenna
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 772; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060772 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 336
Abstract
Background: Projects for workplace health promotion (WHP) for back pain traditionally focus exclusively on work-related but not on leisure-time stress on the spine. We developed a comprehensive WHP project on the back health of hospital workers regardless of the physical characteristics of their [...] Read more.
Background: Projects for workplace health promotion (WHP) for back pain traditionally focus exclusively on work-related but not on leisure-time stress on the spine. We developed a comprehensive WHP project on the back health of hospital workers regardless of the physical characteristics of their work and compared its effects on sedentary and physically active hospital workers. Methods: Study assessments were carried out before and six months after participation in the WHP intervention. The primary outcome parameter was back pain (Oswestry Disability Index, ODI). Anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7), work ability (Work Ability Index), depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9), stress (Perceived Stress Scale-10), and quality of life (Short Form-36) were assessed via questionnaires as secondary outcome parameters. Physical performance was measured via the 30 seconds Sit-to-Stand test (30secSTS). Results: Sixty-eight healthcare workers with non-specific back pain were included in the evaluation study of the WHP project “Back Health 24/7/365”. After six months, back pain, physical performance, and self-perceived physical functioning (SF-36 Physical Functioning subscale) improved significantly in both groups. Not a single parameter showed an interaction effect with the group allocation. Conclusions: A comprehensive WHP-intervention showed significant positive effects on hospital workers regardless of the physical characteristics of their work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Wellbeing for Healthcare Providers)
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17 pages, 3181 KiB  
Article
Disaggregation of Green Space Access, Walkability, and Behavioral Risk Factor Data for Precise Estimation of Local Population Characteristics
by Saurav Guha, Michael Alonzo, Pierre Goovaerts, LuAnn L. Brink, Meghana Ray, Todd Bear and Saumyadipta Pyne
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 771; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060771 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 318
Abstract
Background: Social and Environmental Determinants of Health (SEDH) provide us with a conceptual framework to gain insights into possible associations among different human behaviors and the corresponding health outcomes that take place often in and around complex built environments. Developing better built environments [...] Read more.
Background: Social and Environmental Determinants of Health (SEDH) provide us with a conceptual framework to gain insights into possible associations among different human behaviors and the corresponding health outcomes that take place often in and around complex built environments. Developing better built environments requires an understanding of those aspects of a community that are most likely to have a measurable impact on the target SEDH. Yet data on local characteristics at suitable spatial scales are often unavailable. We aim to address this issue by application of different data disaggregation methods. Methods: We applied different approaches to data disaggregation to obtain small area estimates of key behavioral risk factors, as well as geospatial measures of green space access and walkability for each zip code of Allegheny County in southwestern Pennsylvania. Results: Tables and maps of local characteristics revealed their overall spatial distribution along with disparities therein across the county. While the top ranked zip codes by behavioral estimates generally have higher than the county’s median individual income, this does not lead them to have higher than its median green space access or walkability. Conclusion: We demonstrated the utility of data disaggregation for addressing complex questions involving community-specific behavioral attributes and built environments with precision and rigor, which is especially useful for a diverse population. Thus, different types of data, when comparable at a common local scale, can provide key integrative insights for researchers and policymakers. Full article
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15 pages, 1081 KiB  
Article
Feeling Supported as a Remote Worker: The Role of Support from Leaders and Colleagues and Job Satisfaction in Promoting Employees’ Work–Life Balance
by Ilaria Buonomo, Clara De Vincenzi, Martina Pansini, Francesco D’Anna and Paula Benevene
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 770; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060770 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 396
Abstract
Due to the increasing use of remote work, understanding the dynamics of employee support and its implications for job satisfaction and work–life balance is crucial. Utilizing the Conservation of Resources (COR) theory as a theoretical framework, this research investigated how feeling supported by [...] Read more.
Due to the increasing use of remote work, understanding the dynamics of employee support and its implications for job satisfaction and work–life balance is crucial. Utilizing the Conservation of Resources (COR) theory as a theoretical framework, this research investigated how feeling supported by leaders and colleagues at work fosters work–life balance and job satisfaction among remote employees. The study involved 635 remote workers (females = 61%, mean age, 46.7, SD = 11) from various service-based industries and public administration in Italy. Results from the structural equation model showed a total mediating effect of job satisfaction in the link between colleague support and work–life balance (χ2(22) = 68.923, p = 0.00, CFI = 0.973, TLI = 0.955, RMSEA = 0.059 (90% CI = 0.044–0.075, p = 0.158), SRMR = 0.030), emphasizing the role of interpersonal relationships within the workplace in enhancing remote workers’ job satisfaction and, consequently, their work–life balance. Contrary to expectations, the study found no significant direct or indirect link between leader support and work–life balance. This research highlights the significance of fostering strong social connections and ensuring employee satisfaction to promote well-being and work–life balance in remote work arrangements. Full article
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11 pages, 537 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Role of Rehabilitation Medicine within an Inclusion Health Context: Examining a Population at Risk from Homelessness and Brain Injury in Edinburgh
by Edwin Eshun, Orla Burke, Florence Do, Angus Maciver, Anushka Mathur, Cassie Mayne, Aashik Ahamed Mohamed Jemseed, Levente Novak, Anna Siddique, Eve Smith, David Tapia-Stocker and Alasdair FitzGerald
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 769; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060769 - 14 Jun 2024
Viewed by 427
Abstract
People experiencing homelessness are at risk from a number of comorbidities, including traumatic brain injury, mental health disorders, and various infections. Little is known about the rehabilitation needs of this population. This study took advantage of unique access to a specialist access GP [...] Read more.
People experiencing homelessness are at risk from a number of comorbidities, including traumatic brain injury, mental health disorders, and various infections. Little is known about the rehabilitation needs of this population. This study took advantage of unique access to a specialist access GP practice for people experiencing homelessness and a local inclusion health initiative to explore the five-year period prevalence of these conditions in a population of people experiencing homelessness through electronic case record searches and to identify barriers and facilitators to healthcare provision for this population in the context of an interdisciplinary and multispecialist inclusion health team through semi-structured interviews with staff working in primary and secondary care who interact with this population. The five-year period prevalence of TBI, infections, and mental health disorders was 9.5%, 4%, and 22.8%, respectively. Of those who had suffered a brain injury, only three had accessed rehabilitation services. Themes from thematic analysis of interviews included the impact of psychological trauma, under-recognition of the needs of people experiencing homelessness, resource scarcity, and the need for collaborative and adaptive approaches. The combination of quantitative and qualitative data suggests a potential role for rehabilitation medicine in inclusion health initiatives. Full article
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14 pages, 949 KiB  
Article
Source Apportionment of Particulate Matter in a Metal Workshop
by Antonella Buljat, Marija Čargonja and Darko Mekterović
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 768; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060768 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 204
Abstract
Metal workshops are workplaces with the substantial production of particulate matter (PM) with high metal content, which poses a significant health risk to workers. The PM produced by different metal processing techniques differs considerably in its elemental composition and size distribution and therefore [...] Read more.
Metal workshops are workplaces with the substantial production of particulate matter (PM) with high metal content, which poses a significant health risk to workers. The PM produced by different metal processing techniques differs considerably in its elemental composition and size distribution and therefore poses different health risks. In some previous studies, the pollution sources were isolated under controlled conditions, while, in this study, we present a valuable alternative to characterize the pollution sources that can be applied to real working environments. Fine PM was sampled in five units (partially specializing in different techniques) of the same workshop. A total of 53 samples were collected with a temporal resolution of 30 min and 1 h. The mass concentrations were determined gravimetrically, and the elemental analysis, in which the concentrations of 14 elements were determined, was carried out using the X-ray fluorescence technique. Five sources of pollution were identified: background, steel grinding, metal active gas welding, tungsten inert gas welding, and machining. The sources were identified by positive matrix factorization, a statistical method for source apportionment. The identified sources corresponded well with the work activities in the workshop and with the actual sources described in previous studies. It is shown that positive matrix factorization can be a valuable tool for the identification and characterization of indoor sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Environmental Risk Assessment)
21 pages, 724 KiB  
Article
Does School Health Promotion Have Additional Value for Educational Performance? A Repeated Cross-Sectional Multilevel Study
by Lisanne Vonk, Iris Eekhout, Tim Huijts, Mark Levels and Maria Jansen
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(6), 767; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21060767 - 13 Jun 2024
Viewed by 342
Abstract
Little information is available regarding the influence of the interplay between the school context and school health promotion on educational performance. Therefore, we examined whether the variation between primary and secondary schools regarding the educational performance of students could be explained by general [...] Read more.
Little information is available regarding the influence of the interplay between the school context and school health promotion on educational performance. Therefore, we examined whether the variation between primary and secondary schools regarding the educational performance of students could be explained by general school characteristics, school population characteristics, and school health promotion and to what extent these factors interact. We performed multilevel analyses using existing data on 7021 primary schools and 1315 secondary schools in the Netherlands from the school years 2010–2011 till 2018–2019. Our outcomes were the final test score from primary education and the average grade of standardized final exams from secondary education. School health promotion was operationalized as having obtained Healthy School (HS) certification. For the test score, 7.17% of the total variation was accounted for by differences at the school level and 4.02% for the average grade. For both outcomes, the percentage of disadvantaged students in a school explained most variation. HS certification did not explain variation, but moderated some associations. We found small to moderate differences between schools regarding educational performance. Compositional differences of school populations, especially socioeconomic status, seemed more important in explaining variation in educational performance than general school characteristics and HS certification. Some associations were moderated by HS certification, but differences remained small in most cases. Full article
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