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Healthcare, Volume 11, Issue 15 (August-1 2023) – 114 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a severe chronic illness, and patients are medically underserved. Health professionals have limited opportunities for Continuing Medical Education (CME) about the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of ME/CFS. We evaluated the effectiveness of a webinar on ME/CFS. In two studies (total N = 378), participants in the intervention condition completed a knowledge test before and after watching the webinar. Study 2 included a waiting list control condition without intermittent webinar participation. Most participants had observed patients with ME/CFS, but confidence in diagnosing and treating ME/CFS was moderate-to-low. Participants’ knowledge of ME/CFS increased under the intervention condition, but did not increase under the control condition. Webinars can be an efficient and effective means of delivering CME about ME/CFS. View this paper
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19 pages, 5352 KiB  
Article
Classification of Color Fundus Photographs Using Fusion Extracted Features and Customized CNN Models
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2228; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152228 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 731
Abstract
This study focuses on overcoming challenges in classifying eye diseases using color fundus photographs by leveraging deep learning techniques, aiming to enhance early detection and diagnosis accuracy. We utilized a dataset of 6392 color fundus photographs across eight disease categories, which was later [...] Read more.
This study focuses on overcoming challenges in classifying eye diseases using color fundus photographs by leveraging deep learning techniques, aiming to enhance early detection and diagnosis accuracy. We utilized a dataset of 6392 color fundus photographs across eight disease categories, which was later augmented to 17,766 images. Five well-known convolutional neural networks (CNNs)—efficientnetb0, mobilenetv2, shufflenet, resnet50, and resnet101—and a custom-built CNN were integrated and trained on this dataset. Image sizes were standardized, and model performance was evaluated via accuracy, Kappa coefficient, and precision metrics. Shufflenet and efficientnetb0demonstrated strong performances, while our custom 17-layer CNN outperformed all with an accuracy of 0.930 and a Kappa coefficient of 0.920. Furthermore, we found that the fusion of image features with classical machine learning classifiers increased the performance, with Logistic Regression showcasing the best results. Our study highlights the potential of AI and deep learning models in accurately classifying eye diseases and demonstrates the efficacy of custom-built models and the fusion of deep learning and classical methods. Future work should focus on validating these methods across larger datasets and assessing their real-world applicability. Full article
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10 pages, 1562 KiB  
Article
Ultrasound Imaging of Subtalar Joint Instability for Chronic Ankle Instability
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2227; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152227 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1032
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to develop the assessment of subtalar joint instability with chronic ankle instability (CAI) using ultrasonography. Forty-six patients with anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) abnormalities and a history of ankle sprain were divided into CAI (21.2 ± 5.9 y/o, [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to develop the assessment of subtalar joint instability with chronic ankle instability (CAI) using ultrasonography. Forty-six patients with anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) abnormalities and a history of ankle sprain were divided into CAI (21.2 ± 5.9 y/o, 7 males and 17 females) and asymptomatic groups (21.0 ± 7.4 y/o, 9 males and 12 females) on the basis of subjective ankle instability assessed using the CAIT and the Ankle Instability Instrument Tool (AIIT). Twenty-six age-matched feet participated in a control group (18.9 ± 7.0 y/o, 9 males and 17 females). Ultrasound measurements of the width of the posterior subtalar joint facet were obtained at rest and maximum ankle inversion (subtalar joint excursion; STJE). The differences in STJE among the three groups were assessed by one-way ANOVA. The relationship between STJE and subjective ankle instability was assessed using Spearman’s correlation tests. The STJE value was significantly greater in the CAI group (2.3 ± 0.8 mm) than in the asymptomatic (1.0 ±0.4 mm) and control groups (0.8 ±0.2 mm) (p < 0.001, effect size: 0.64). STJE had significant negative correlations with CAIT (r = −0.71, p < 0.01), and significant positive correlations with AIIT (r = 0.74, p < 0.01). The cut-off value to distinguish between the CAI and asymptomatic groups was 1.7 mm using the ROC curve. Full article
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12 pages, 1586 KiB  
Article
Clinical Efficiency and Acceptability of EMDR and MOSAIC Therapy for PTSD
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2226; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152226 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1829
Abstract
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is one of the therapies recommended by the World Health Organization (2013) to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although efficient, repeated exposure to the traumatic memory may reduce its acceptability to patients. The therapy “eye movement [...] Read more.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is one of the therapies recommended by the World Health Organization (2013) to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although efficient, repeated exposure to the traumatic memory may reduce its acceptability to patients. The therapy “eye movement and alternate stimulation for brain integration” (MOSAIC in French) was developed to improve acceptability and reduce pain by drawing on the patient’s internal resources. MOSAIC therapy focuses on the body sensations that the patient wants to experience and avoids having to relive the traumatic memories. This observational study aimed to compare the clinical efficiency of EMDR and MOSAIC therapy for PTSD and to measure the well-being generated by both therapies. Twenty-six PTSD patients (17 females and 9 males, mean age 37.01 years, SD = 13.06) received treatment by psychiatrists and/or psychologists trained with EMDR or MOSAIC therapy. Both patient groups achieved a significant decrease in PTSD symptoms as measured with the PCL-5. However, fewer sessions were required with the MOSAIC therapy than with EMDR therapy. As expected, the level of well-being experienced by the patient during the therapy, assessed using the Lickert scale, was higher with MOSAIC than with EMDR therapy from the first session. These findings provide the first evidence of the efficacy of MOSAIC therapy treatment, which now needs to be corroborated in a larger randomized clinical trial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Treatments for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD))
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17 pages, 1433 KiB  
Systematic Review
Assistive Technology Involving Postural Control and Gait Performance for Adults with Stroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2225; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152225 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1017
Abstract
This study aimed to comprehensively summarize assistive technology devices for postural control and gait performance in stroke patients. In the study, we searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published until 31 December 2022 in four electrical databases. The most frequently applied assistive technology [...] Read more.
This study aimed to comprehensively summarize assistive technology devices for postural control and gait performance in stroke patients. In the study, we searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published until 31 December 2022 in four electrical databases. The most frequently applied assistive technology devices involving postural stability and gait function for stroke patients were robot-assistive technology devices. Out of 1065 initially retrieved citations that met the inclusion criteria, 30 RCTs (12 studies for subacute patients and 18 studies for chronic patients) were included in this review based on eligibility criteria. The meta-analysis included ten RCTs (five studies for subacute patients and five for chronic patients) based on the inclusion criteria of the data analysis. After analyzing, the variables, only two parameters, the Berg balance scale (BBS) and the functional ambulation category (FAC), which had relevant data from at least three studies measuring postural control and gait function, were selected for the meta-analysis. The meta-analysis revealed significant differences in the experimental group compared to the control group for BBS in both subacute and chronic stroke patients and for the FAC in chronic stroke patients. Robot-assistive training was found to be superior to regular therapy in improving postural stability for subacute and chronic stroke patients but not gait function. This review suggests that robot-assistive technology devices should be considered in rehabilitative approaches for postural stability and gait function for subacute and chronic stroke patients. Full article
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16 pages, 290 KiB  
Article
Characterizing Social Determinants of Maternal and Child Health: A Qualitative Community Health Needs Assessment in Underserved Areas
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2224; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152224 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1674
Abstract
This study aimed to identify social determinants of maternal and child health (SDoH) in Pakistan. Using a qualitative study design, data were collected from community members in seven underserved areas of Lahore City, Pakistan. A total of 22 qualitative in-depth interviews and 10 [...] Read more.
This study aimed to identify social determinants of maternal and child health (SDoH) in Pakistan. Using a qualitative study design, data were collected from community members in seven underserved areas of Lahore City, Pakistan. A total of 22 qualitative in-depth interviews and 10 focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted. The participants included basic health unit healthcare staff, women of reproductive ages, male family members, mothers-in-law, and religious leaders. We found that maternal and child health is adversely affected by the following socioeconomic and environmental barriers: (i) poor housing quality and sanitation; (ii) inadequate food supply and safety; (iii) unsatisfactory public sector school services; (iv) a lack of safety and security; (v) scarce poverty alleviation efforts and loan schemes; (vi) unsatisfactory transport and internet services; and (vii) inadequate health services. The targets for maternal and child health in Pakistan cannot be met without close coordination between the primary health sector, local governance, and macro state structures, which collectively must monitor and improve housing adequacy, food security, public sector services (primary healthcare services, public schooling, public transport, and public internet access), overall safety, and poverty emergence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child Health and Healthcare)
12 pages, 1433 KiB  
Article
Quality Assessment and Modulating Factors on Self-Regulatory Behavior in Peer-Assisted Medical Learning
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2223; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152223 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 581
Abstract
Objectives: Standardized extracurricular skills labs courses have been developed in recent decades and are important approaches in peer-assisted medical learning (PAL). To provide high quality training and achieve effective learning strategies, continuous evaluations and quality assessments are essential. This research aims to evaluate [...] Read more.
Objectives: Standardized extracurricular skills labs courses have been developed in recent decades and are important approaches in peer-assisted medical learning (PAL). To provide high quality training and achieve effective learning strategies, continuous evaluations and quality assessments are essential. This research aims to evaluate quality data from medical students participating in extracurricular skills labs courses at Ruhr-University Bochum to prospectively optimize concepts and didactical training and standardize processes. Additionally, we set out to assess and quantify drivers that are influencing factors of the self-reflection of competencies. Methods: The analysis was based on a routine assessment of n = 503 attendees of the PAL courses in the skills labs in three consecutive semesters, who voluntarily participated in the evaluation. We analyzed the effects of age, semester and their interaction on the self-reflection of competencies in technical skills courses using moderated regression and simple slope analyses, as previously published. A univariate analysis of variance (ANOVA) with post hoc Tukey HSD testing was used to analyze group means in estimated competencies using IBM SPSS Statistics V.28. Results: An analysis of variance revealed a significant increase in self-assessed competencies when comparing pre- vs. post-course evaluation data in all 35 depicted items (all p < 0.001). A total of 65.5% of the items were adjusted significantly differently, revealing modified self-reflected pre-course levels compared to those stated before. A moderated regression analysis revealed that age (R2 = 0.001, F(1;2347) = 1.88, p < 0.665), semester of study (∆R2 = 0.001, ∆F (1;2346) = 0.012, p < 0.912) and their interaction (∆R2 = 0.001, ∆F (1;2345) = 10.72, p < 0.227) did not explain a significant amount of the variance in self-reflection variance. A simple slope analysis of earlier (b = 0.07, t = 0.29, p < 0.773) and later semesters of study (b = 0.06, t = 0.07, p < 0.941) did not differentiate from zero. Conclusions: The presented evaluation paradigm proved to be a useful tool to encourage students to initiate self-regulatory and self-reflective behavior. The cohesive evaluation of the large cohort of attendees in extracurricular, facultative skills labs courses was helpful in terms of quality assessments and future adaptations. Further evaluation paradigms should be implemented to assess other influencing factors, such as gender, on self-reflection, since age and semester did not explain significant differences in the model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feedback in Medical Education and Clinical Practice: What’s Next?)
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12 pages, 301 KiB  
Article
Clinicians’ and Advanced Cancer Patients’ Estimates of Treatment Efficacy and Toxicity in Oncologic Treatment
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2222; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152222 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 808
Abstract
The purpose of the study was to compare curability expectations between clinicians and patients and examine the influence of sociodemographic and clinical variables on these expectations and satisfaction within the clinician-patient relationship. This prospective study, conducted from February 2020 to May 2023, involved [...] Read more.
The purpose of the study was to compare curability expectations between clinicians and patients and examine the influence of sociodemographic and clinical variables on these expectations and satisfaction within the clinician-patient relationship. This prospective study, conducted from February 2020 to May 2023, involved 986 advanced cancer patients. The patients completed questionnaires assessing treatment efficacy and toxicity predictions and the Scale to Assess the Therapeutic Relationship (STAR). Seventy-four percent of advanced cancer patients had an inaccurate perception of treatment curability. Clinicians perceived male patients with lung or digestive cancer without adenocarcinoma at locally advanced stages, with fewer comorbidities and better functional status (ECOG), as having higher curability expectations. Clinicians tended to have more realistic expectations than patients, since they had to consider the presence of treatment’s side effects, while patients underestimated the possibility of experiencing these adverse effects. Patients who had more favorable expectations regarding survival and quality of life were found to be more satisfied with the care provided by their oncologists. It is crucial for patients to understand the treatment goals and establish realistic expectations in order to actively participate in decision-making and achieve a better quality of life at the end of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Patient Safety in Palliative Care)
12 pages, 627 KiB  
Article
Can High-Fidelity Patient Simulation Be Used for Skill Development in Junior Undergraduate Students: A Quasi-Experimental Study
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2221; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152221 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 875
Abstract
High-fidelity patient simulation (HFPS) is widely used in professional training to enhance students’ competence in clinical management. A guideline for HFPS provides a systematic approach to direct students to learning during the simulation process. Problem-solving (PS) and clinical reasoning (CR) skills are essential [...] Read more.
High-fidelity patient simulation (HFPS) is widely used in professional training to enhance students’ competence in clinical management. A guideline for HFPS provides a systematic approach to direct students to learning during the simulation process. Problem-solving (PS) and clinical reasoning (CR) skills are essential to developing students’ professional competence in safe and effective care. These two skills should be initiated in the early training. A structured guideline was developed for HFPS. This study aimed to investigate the effects of the structured HFPS guideline on the development of PS and CR skills in junior nursing students. The students were required to go through four sessions, pre-briefing, simulation design, facilitation, and debriefing, for the HFPS; the study utilized the Problem-Solving Inventory (PSI) and the Nurses’ Clinical Reasoning Scale (NCRS) to measure PS and CR abilities before and after HFPS. Bivariate analysis, a one-sample t-test, and an independent t-test were performed to evaluate the performance of the PS and CR skills during the two study periods. A total of 189 students were recruited, with 92 in the intervention group and 97 in the control group. The research assistant was responsible for student recruitment through email invitations and allocating the students into the control group or the intervention group. A Wilcoxon analysis was performed and revealed significant differences in PS and CR between the two groups (p < 0.001). The analytic results showed that the PSI, particularly in domains of Problem-Solving Confidence (PSC) (p < 0.001) and overall PS (p < 0.001), and the CR (p < 0.001) had significant improvement after HFPS, particularly in the intervention group. The study concluded that the structured HFPS guideline significantly improved the students’ problem-solving and clinical reasoning abilities. Nurse educators play an important role in providing explicit learning instructions in a simulation guideline that directs and guides students to learn at each stage of HFPS. The students can be directed to be engaged in their learning through HFPS to enhance their competence in knowledge and skill development (PS and CR) for their personal and professional development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nursing Contributions to Improve Healthcare Outcomes)
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19 pages, 4075 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Global Prevalence and Associated Factors of Burnout among Emergency Department Healthcare Workers and the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2220; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152220 - 07 Aug 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2027
Abstract
Background/Aim: Emergency medicine (EM) settings are very stressful, given the high workload, intense working environment, and prolonged working time. In turn, the rate of burnout and its three domains have been increasingly reported among healthcare workers (HCWs). Therefore, we conducted this meta-analysis to [...] Read more.
Background/Aim: Emergency medicine (EM) settings are very stressful, given the high workload, intense working environment, and prolonged working time. In turn, the rate of burnout and its three domains have been increasingly reported among healthcare workers (HCWs). Therefore, we conducted this meta-analysis to determine the prevalence and risk factors of burnout among EM HCWs. Methods: Six databases were searched in February 2023, yielding 29 articles (16,619 EM HCWs) reporting burnout or its three domains (emotional exhaustion “EE”, depersonalization “DP”, and personal accomplishment “PA”). The primary outcome was the prevalence of burnout and its domains, while secondary outcomes included the risk factors of high burnout, EE, DP, or low PA. Burnout rates were pooled across studies using STATA software. The prevalence was measured using the pooled effect size (ES), and the random-effects model was used when heterogeneity was encountered; otherwise, the fixed-effects model was used. Results: The prevalence of overall burnout was high (43%), with 35% of EM HCWs having a high risk of burnout. Meanwhile, 39%, 43%, and 36% of EM workers reported having high levels of EE and DP and low levels of PA, respectively. Country-specific changes in the rate of burnout were observed. The rate of high burnout, high EE, high DP, and low PA was higher during the COVID-19 pandemic as compared to the pre-pandemic period. The type of profession (nurses, physicians, residents, etc.) played a significant role in modifying the rate of burnout and its domains. However, gender was not a significant determinant of high burnout or its domains among EM workers. Conclusions: Burnout is a prevalent problem in emergency medicine practice, affecting all workers. As residents progress through their training years, their likelihood of experiencing burnout intensifies. Nurses are most affected by this problem, followed by physicians. Country-associated differences in burnout and its domains are evident. Full article
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15 pages, 1253 KiB  
Article
Baseline Profiles of Drug Prescriptions Prior to Diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) Obtained by Latent Class Analysis (LCA), and Assessment of Their Association with Conversion to Dementia
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2219; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152219 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 828
Abstract
Polypharmacy has been linked to cognitive decline. However, interventions targeting modifiable risk factors, some of which are targets of the most commonly used drugs, could reduce the prevalence of dementia. Our aim was to determine the drug prescription regimen at baseline, prior to [...] Read more.
Polypharmacy has been linked to cognitive decline. However, interventions targeting modifiable risk factors, some of which are targets of the most commonly used drugs, could reduce the prevalence of dementia. Our aim was to determine the drug prescription regimen at baseline, prior to the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and its possible association with progression to dementia. Data were collected from the electronic medical records of 342 MCI outpatients diagnosed during 2006–2017 at their first neurology consultation. We followed the classical three-step method of statistical analysis, starting with a Latent Class Analysis (LCA) to discover subgroups of drug prescription probability. Half of the patients were under polypharmacy (≥5 drugs), 17.5% had no recorded medication, 33.3% progressed to dementia (94.7% in ≤5 years), and 84.1% of them to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). According to the LCA and based on 20 therapeutic indicators obtained from 240 substances and regrouped according the Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification, we identified a four-profile model: (1) low (35.7% of patients); (2) mixed (28.7%); (3) cardio-metabolic (19.3%); and (4) psychotropic (16.4%). The binomial regression logistic model showed that profiles 2 and 3 (and 4 for AD), with a higher drug prescription conditioned probability against classic risk factors, were protective than profile 1 (OR = 0.421, p = 0.004; OR = 0.278, p = 0.000; OR = 0.457, p = 0.040, respectively), despite polypharmacy being significant in profiles 2 and 3 (mean > 7 drugs) vs. profile 1 (1.4 ± 1.6) (p = 0.000). Patients in the latter group were not significantly older, although being aged 65–79 years old quadrupled (OR = 4.217, p = 000) and being >79 tripled (OR = 2.945, p = 0.010) the conversion risk compared to patients <65 years old. According to the proposed analytical model, profiling the heterogeneous association of risk factors, which were taken prior to diagnosis, could be explored as an indicator of prior care and a predictor of conversion to dementia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Chronic Care)
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15 pages, 1790 KiB  
Article
Effects of Social Networks on Job Performance of Individuals among the Hypertension Management Teams in Rural China
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2218; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152218 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 661
Abstract
Background: Limited studies have explored the relationship among cross-organizational and multidisciplinary medical staff. Aim: The present study conducted an in-depth examination and validation of the influence of complex cross-organization and multidisciplinary social networks on the job performance of team members. Method: Multi-level hierarchical [...] Read more.
Background: Limited studies have explored the relationship among cross-organizational and multidisciplinary medical staff. Aim: The present study conducted an in-depth examination and validation of the influence of complex cross-organization and multidisciplinary social networks on the job performance of team members. Method: Multi-level hierarchical regression analysis was used to assess the impact of the centrality and the characteristics of structural holes in social networks (i.e., advice network, information network, friendship network, and trust network) on job performance. Results: The in-closeness centrality of the advice network (β = 0.176, p < 0.05) and the betweenness centrality of the trust network (β = 0.126, p < 0.05) had positive effects on task performance. The in-closeness centrality of the advice network (β = 0.226, p < 0.05; β = 0.213, p < 0.05) and the CI (1 − constraint index) of the friendship network (β = 0.130, p < 0.05; β = 0.132, p < 0.05) had positive effects on contextual performance and overall job performance. Meanwhile, the out-closeness centrality of the information network (β = −0.368, p < 0.01; β = −0.334, p < 0.05) had a negative effect on contextual performance and overall job performance. Conclusions: This study investigates the relationship between healthcare professionals’ job performance and their social networks, taking into account the perspectives of cross-organizational and multidisciplinary teams. The study contributes to the effort of breaking down barriers between different disciplines and organizations, and ultimately, improving the quality of healthcare delivery. Full article
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13 pages, 504 KiB  
Article
Towards Cultural Adequacy of Experience-Based Design: A Qualitative Evaluation of Community-Integrated Intermediary Care to Enhance the Family-Based Long-Term Care for Thai Older Adults
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2217; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152217 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1188
Abstract
In this qualitative study, we provided an in-depth understanding of how Community-Integrated Intermediary Care (CIIC), a new service model for family-based long-term care (LTC), was perceived by its users. The CIIC, established in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, consisted of three main interventions: (1) [...] Read more.
In this qualitative study, we provided an in-depth understanding of how Community-Integrated Intermediary Care (CIIC), a new service model for family-based long-term care (LTC), was perceived by its users. The CIIC, established in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, consisted of three main interventions: (1) A temporary respite care center; (2) A family-centered care capacity building; (3) Functional training delivered as community group exercise and home exercise to improve healthy ageing for independent older adults. Ten pairs of dependent Thai older adults, their primary family caregivers, and ten village health volunteers were recruited using the purposive sampling method. Data were collected via semistructured in-depth interviews. A thematic descriptive qualitative analysis was used for data analysis. The findings revealed that CIIC helped reduce the burden of family caregivers by providing respite, relief, and care coordination. The experiences of the CIIC users indicated possibilities for service redesign, development, and delivery strategies to better meet the LTC needs of older adults and family caregivers. Following the local stakeholders’ commitment and local community health volunteers’ network, a well-integrated formal and informal care CIIC model can be implied as an effective and sustainable ageing care service model in Thailand and other Asian countries in the future. Full article
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17 pages, 887 KiB  
Article
The Road to Developing Standard Time for Efficient Nursing Care: A Time and Motion Analysis
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2216; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152216 - 06 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1460
Abstract
(1) Background: The amount of time nurses spend with their patients is essential to improving the quality of patient care. Studies have shown that nurses spend a considerable amount of time on a variety of activities––which are often not taken into account while [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The amount of time nurses spend with their patients is essential to improving the quality of patient care. Studies have shown that nurses spend a considerable amount of time on a variety of activities––which are often not taken into account while estimating nurse-to-patient care time allocation––that could potentially be eliminated, combined or delegated with greater productivity. The current study aimed to calculate standard time for each activity category by quantifying the amount of time required by nurses to complete an activity category and determine the adjustment time that can be given during work, as well as determine factors that can be altered to improve the efficiency of nursing care on inpatient general wards of a governmental hospital. (2) Method: A time and motion study was conducted over two weeks using 1-to-1 continuous observations of nurses as they performed their duties on inpatient general wards, while observers recorded each single activity, and specifically the time and movements required to complete those activities. (3) Result: There was 5100 min of observations over 10 working days. Nurses spent 69% (330 min) of time during their 8 h morning shift on direct patient care, (19.4%) ward/room activities (18%), documentation (14%), indirect patient care (12%) and professional communication (5%). Around 94 min of activities seem to be wasted and can be potentially detrimental to nurses’ overall productivity and threaten patient care quality. The standard number of hours that represents the best estimate of a general ward nurse regarding the optimal speed at which the staff nurse can provide care related activities was computed and proposed. (4) Conclusions: The findings obtained from time–motion studies can help in developing more efficient and productive nursing work for more optimal care of patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety)
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31 pages, 1330 KiB  
Review
The Quiet Epidemic: An Overview of Emerging Qualitative Research Trends on Sedentary Behavior in Aging Populations
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2215; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152215 - 06 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1678
Abstract
Sedentary behavior poses a significant health risk to older adults. The purpose of this scoping review is to summarize key findings from qualitative research (since 2012), with a focus on explaining prevailing research trends and patterns within the field. This review included 25 [...] Read more.
Sedentary behavior poses a significant health risk to older adults. The purpose of this scoping review is to summarize key findings from qualitative research (since 2012), with a focus on explaining prevailing research trends and patterns within the field. This review included 25 studies that met the strict inclusion criteria. Five key research themes have emerged: (1) defining and shaping perspectives of sedentary behavior, (2) understanding the dynamics of daily routines and contexts, (3) raising awareness of older adults’ perceived advantages and disadvantages of sedentary behavior, (4) identifying its determinants and discouraging factors, and (5) exploring interventions to promote active behaviors and reduce sedentary behavior. These themes highlight the multifaceted nature of SB and underscore the importance of tailoring interventions to address individual, social, and environmental issues. A comprehensive understanding of SB is critical to developing effective strategies to promote active lifestyles and reduce SB in older adults. Further qualitative research is needed to deepen our understanding and develop targeted interventions and strategies. Full article
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13 pages, 331 KiB  
Article
Bullying and Self-Concept, Factors Affecting the Mental Health of School Adolescents
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2214; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152214 - 06 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1487
Abstract
Bullying is an aggressive and repetitive behavior, where one person or several people physically, socially, or emotionally harm a vulnerable person and provokean imbalance of power in a school setting. Several factors such as age, sex, school performance, psychological factors, and ethnicity have [...] Read more.
Bullying is an aggressive and repetitive behavior, where one person or several people physically, socially, or emotionally harm a vulnerable person and provokean imbalance of power in a school setting. Several factors such as age, sex, school performance, psychological factors, and ethnicity have been associated with bullying and more are being sought. Thus, the objectives of this study were as follows: (1) analyze the differences in bullying (victimization and aggression) and self-concept (academic, social, emotional, family, and physical) with respect to sex, school location, and educational level among Spanish adolescents; (2) explore the associations of bullying and self-concept with these sociodemographic dimensions. A cross-sectional study was designed with a total of 1155 participants (between 12 and 18 years old); there were 48.8% boys and 51.2% girls, where 75.9% studied compulsory secondary education (CSE) and 24.1% Baccalaureate, and 31.9% were students from rural schools and 68.1% were from urban schools. Medium and inverse correlations were shown between victimization and self-concept at the general level, for both sexes, both types of school, and both educational stages. For the aggression dimension, the correlations with self-concept were inverse at the general level (low), in girls (low), in rural students (medium), and in compulsory secondary education students (medium). For academic self-concept and family self-concept, the associations were medium and inverse with bullying in all variables. For emotional self-concept the correlation with bullying was direct and medium in all variables; in physical self-concept, the correlations with bullying were inverse in almost all variables except in boys. Self-concept may be a protective factor for bullying and interventions should aim at adolescents building a positive multidimensional self-concept that prevents and protects them from bullying either as aggressor or victim. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section School Health)
20 pages, 623 KiB  
Systematic Review
Treatment and Improvement of Healing after Surgical Intervention
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2213; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152213 - 06 Aug 2023
Viewed by 830
Abstract
The development of abnormal scars has a great impact on people’s well-being, and improving scarring outcomes after surgery is a field that currently lacks consensus. This review aims to identify newly researched approaches to improving the quality of surgical scars. A systematic search [...] Read more.
The development of abnormal scars has a great impact on people’s well-being, and improving scarring outcomes after surgery is a field that currently lacks consensus. This review aims to identify newly researched approaches to improving the quality of surgical scars. A systematic search of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and ScienceDirect was conducted between 13 May 2023 and 17 May 2023, in accordance with the recommendations of the PRISMA Statement. Study selection and analysis of methodological quality were performed in parts, independently and blindly, based on eligibility criteria. The 21 prospective, comparative, and randomized studies reviewed included 1057 subjects and studied approaches such as topical applications of creams with herbal extracts and silicone gels, growth factors, negative pressure dressings, oligonucleotides, intralesional injection of compounds such as botulinum toxin, skin closure techniques such as suturing and tissue adhesive, and laser treatments. There are recent research techniques that generate good results and are really promising to improve the results of surgical scars; however, the available evidence is extremely limited in some cases, and it is necessary to deepen its analysis to obtain reliable action protocols in each type of surgery. Full article
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16 pages, 282 KiB  
Project Report
“I See a lot of Crazy Things and I Don’t Know What to Believe”: Lessons Learned about Health Literacy and Strategies for Communicating with Vaccine-Hesitant College Students
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2212; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152212 - 06 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1149
Abstract
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the American College Health Association (ACHA) has partnered with CommunicateHealth (CH) to develop COVID-19 mitigation resources for colleges and universities. In 2021, the CH team conducted a series of applied research activities to gain a nuanced understanding of factors [...] Read more.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the American College Health Association (ACHA) has partnered with CommunicateHealth (CH) to develop COVID-19 mitigation resources for colleges and universities. In 2021, the CH team conducted a series of applied research activities to gain a nuanced understanding of factors that shape perceptions of risk and drive vaccine hesitancy among campus audiences—especially college students who are emerging adults (approximately ages 18 to 22). Based on our findings, CH and ACHA identified key traits of vaccine-hesitant college students and implications for future vaccine communication campaigns. First, vaccine-hesitant students are more likely to ask “why” and “how” questions such as “Why do I need to get vaccinated?” and “How was the vaccine developed and tested?”. Secondly, these students want to have open, authentic dialogue rather than simply accepting health recommendations from a trusted source. Finally, the CH team noted that vaccine-hesitant students were not highly motivated by their own personal risk of getting sick from COVID-19; concern about spreading COVID-19 to others was a much stronger motivating factor. Leveraging these insights, CH and ACHA developed strategies to apply health literacy principles to reach vaccine-hesitant college students with the right information at the right time—and to leverage relevant motivators and overcome barriers to vaccination. By implementing these strategies, CH and ACHA developed clear and empowering educational materials about COVID-19 vaccination tailored to the unique information needs of vaccine-hesitant students. Full article
11 pages, 269 KiB  
Article
Subjective Well-Being and Related Factors among Independent, Healthy, Community-Dwelling Older Adults in Japan
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2211; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152211 - 06 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1220
Abstract
(1) Background: Subjective well-being (SWB) is internationally recognized as an important health-related factor for most age groups and is particularly influential for life quality and expectancy in independent, healthy, community-dwelling older adults. However, the physical function and community participation correlates of SWB in [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Subjective well-being (SWB) is internationally recognized as an important health-related factor for most age groups and is particularly influential for life quality and expectancy in independent, healthy, community-dwelling older adults. However, the physical function and community participation correlates of SWB in independent living older adults in super-aging societies and other influencing factors remain underexplored. (2) Methods: A total of 926 independent, healthy, community-dwelling older adults aged 65 years and above registered in Yokohama, Japan, were included. Respondents’ mean age was 78.1 years (standard deviation = 6.7), and 74.0% were women. The dependent variable was SWB. The independent variables were respondents’ demographic characteristics, physical factors (visual, hearing, and cognitive functions, and mobility), and community and social factors (participation in community groups, social networks, and community commitment. (3) Results: The mean (standard deviation) WHO-5 score was 16.3 (5.1). Significant factors associated with WHO-5 score were visual function (odds ratio [OR]: 0.708; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.352–0.690), hearing function (OR: 0.615; CI: 0.431–0.878), community groups (OR: 1.310; CI: 1.003–1.059), community commitments (OR: 1.180; CI: 1.132–1.231), and social networks (OR: 1.525; CI: 1.142–2.037) adjusted for the effects of demographic factors. (4) Conclusions: These findings are important because factors associated with SWB are likely to contribute to individual well-being and longevity and to developing a healthy super-aged society. Full article
11 pages, 275 KiB  
Article
Frequency of Autoantibodies on Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2210; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152210 - 06 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 940
Abstract
(1) Background: Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is a neoplasm that can significantly compromise the immune system, but timely assessment can change the patient outcome. In cancer, the activation of the immune system could lead to the secretion of autoantibodies. (2) Methods: A retrospective cohort study [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is a neoplasm that can significantly compromise the immune system, but timely assessment can change the patient outcome. In cancer, the activation of the immune system could lead to the secretion of autoantibodies. (2) Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed from 2017 to 2019 in patients with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma diagnosed with a biopsy. (3) Results: We included 39 patients who were newly diagnosed, untreated, and without any autoimmune disease previously reported. Thirty patients had the presence of autoantibodies (antiphospholipid antibodies, anti-cytoplasmic neutrophils antibodies, antinuclear antibodies), and nine were without autoantibodies. There were no statistical differences among groups regarding clinical, demographic, staging, and prognosis characteristics. Also, there were no differences in the outcomes of the patients after finishing chemotherapy and one year after initiating treatment. (4) Conclusions: Further investigations must be conducted regarding an extended panel of autoantibodies because the panel of autoantibodies in this study did not show a relationship between the presence and the clinical outcome of the patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Allergy and Immunology in Healthcare)
9 pages, 535 KiB  
Brief Report
Factor Structure of the GHQ-12 and Their Applicability to Epilepsy Patients for Screening Mental Health Problems
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2209; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152209 - 05 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 712
Abstract
Epilepsy, a severe neurological disorder impacting approximately 50 million individuals worldwide, is associated with a high prevalence of mental health issues. However, existing research has predominantly examined the relationship between epilepsy and depression or anxiety, neglecting other dimensions of mental health as assessed [...] Read more.
Epilepsy, a severe neurological disorder impacting approximately 50 million individuals worldwide, is associated with a high prevalence of mental health issues. However, existing research has predominantly examined the relationship between epilepsy and depression or anxiety, neglecting other dimensions of mental health as assessed by factor scores from the general health survey (GHQ), such as the GHQ-12. This study aimed to explore how epilepsy affects both general mental health and specific dimensions of mental health. By employing a factor analysis and a predictive normative modeling approach, the study examined 426 epilepsy patients and 39,171 individuals without epilepsy. The findings revealed that epilepsy patients experienced poorer general mental health and specific aspects of mental health. Consequently, this study highlights the validity of GHQ-12 as a measure of mental health problems in epilepsy patients and emphasizes the importance of considering the impact of epilepsy on various dimensions of mental health, rather than focusing solely on depression or anxiety. Clinicians should incorporate these study results into the development of interventions aimed at enhancing mental well-being in epilepsy patients, ultimately leading to improved outcomes. Full article
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15 pages, 282 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of a Health Education Program in Hypertensive Patients with Dyslipidemia and/or Microalbuminuria: A Quasi-Experimental Study in Vinh Long Province, Vietnam
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2208; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152208 - 04 Aug 2023
Viewed by 930
Abstract
Introduction: Hypertension, a major health concern, is associated with significant mortality and disease burden worldwide, including Vietnam. Comprehensive interventions targeting medication, lifestyle modifications, dyslipidemia (DLP), and microalbuminuria (MAU) are vital for effective hypertension management and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease complications (CDV). [...] Read more.
Introduction: Hypertension, a major health concern, is associated with significant mortality and disease burden worldwide, including Vietnam. Comprehensive interventions targeting medication, lifestyle modifications, dyslipidemia (DLP), and microalbuminuria (MAU) are vital for effective hypertension management and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease complications (CDV). While medication interventions have proven efficacy, the evidence regarding the effectiveness of community-based health education interventions in managing DLP and MAU is limited. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of community health education interventions in reducing hypertension risk factors and achieving hypertension management objectives, as well as managing DLP and MAU among hypertension patients. Methods: A quasi-experimental study was conducted on 330 hypertensive patients with dyslipidemia (DLP) and/or microalbuminuria (MAU) who were divided into a control group (n = 164) and an intervention group (n = 166). The control group received standard national hypertension management, while the intervention group received additional intensive health education provided by trained volunteers. The effectiveness of the intervention was assessed by comparing outcomes such as lifestyle factors, BMI control, treatment adherence, hypertension control, and DLP and MAU status between the two groups before and after a two-year intervention period. Results: The health education intervention resulted in significant reductions in dietary risk factors, specifically in fruit and vegetable consumption (p < 0.001). There was a lower prevalence of high salt intake in the intervention group compared to the control group (p = 0.002), while no significant differences were observed in other dietary factors. Smoking habits and low physical activity significantly decreased in the intervention group, with a notable disparity in physical activity proportions (p < 0.001). Both groups showed significant improvements in achieving hypertension management targets, with the intervention group demonstrating superior outcomes. The intervention was effective in reducing the prevalence of risk factors, particularly treatment non-adherence, blood pressure control, and low physical activity. Additionally, the intervention group had a higher likelihood of achieving DLP and MAU control compared to the control group. Conclusions: This study underscored the additional positive impact of incorporating health education by non-professional educators in achieving favorable outcomes, including better control of BMI, blood pressure, medication adherence, and management of dyslipidemia (DLP) and microalbuminuria (MAU). Further research is warranted to fully explore the potential of health education in primary healthcare settings and maximize its effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Community Care)
12 pages, 577 KiB  
Systematic Review
Effectiveness of Exercise, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Pharmacotherapy on Improving Sleep in Adults with Chronic Insomnia: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2207; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152207 - 04 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1296
Abstract
Despite the well-established treatment effectiveness of exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), and pharmacotherapy on improving sleep, there have been no studies to compare their long-term effectiveness, which is of clinical importance for sustainable management of chronic insomnia. This study compared the [...] Read more.
Despite the well-established treatment effectiveness of exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), and pharmacotherapy on improving sleep, there have been no studies to compare their long-term effectiveness, which is of clinical importance for sustainable management of chronic insomnia. This study compared the long-term effectiveness of these three interventions on improving sleep in adults with chronic insomnia. MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Embase, and SPORTDiscus were searched for eligible reports. Trials that investigated the long-term effectiveness of these three interventions on improving sleep were included. The post-intervention follow-up of the trial had to be ≥6 months to be eligible. The primary outcome was the long-term effectiveness of the three interventions on improving sleep. Treatment effectiveness was the secondary outcome. A random-effects network meta-analysis was carried out using a frequentist approach. Thirteen trials were included in the study. After an average post-intervention follow-up period of 10.3 months, both exercise (SMD, −0.29; 95% CI, −0.57 to −0.01) and CBT-I (−0.48; −0.68 to −0.28) showed superior long-term effectiveness on improving sleep compared with control. Temazepam was the only included pharmacotherapy, which demonstrated superior treatment effectiveness (−0.80; −1.25 to −0.36) but not long-term effectiveness (0.19; −0.32 to 0.69) compared with control. The findings support the use of both exercise and CBT-I for long-term management of chronic insomnia, while temazepam may be used for short-term treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Determinants and Health Outcomes Associated with Sleep Disorders)
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10 pages, 281 KiB  
Article
The Lived Experiences of Female Immigrant Carers in Madrid, Spain: A Phenomenological Study
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2206; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152206 - 04 Aug 2023
Viewed by 606
Abstract
Background: Immigration and population ageing represent circumstances with important sociocultural and economic repercussions. Methods: A qualitative study using interpretative phenomenological analysis was conducted to understand the daily lives and the work of immigrant women dedicated to caring for older citizens. In-depth interviews and [...] Read more.
Background: Immigration and population ageing represent circumstances with important sociocultural and economic repercussions. Methods: A qualitative study using interpretative phenomenological analysis was conducted to understand the daily lives and the work of immigrant women dedicated to caring for older citizens. In-depth interviews and discussion groups were carried out in a group of 40 immigrant carers. Data were analysed via the constant comparative method. Results: Three qualitative themes emerged from the data: ‘difficult lives’, ‘working in the home’, and ‘the vision of the other’. This study highlights the many difficulties encountered by this population. A sense of vulnerability was described while fulfilling their professional duties due to their migrant condition, experiences of gender inequality, and work status. An emotional connection is necessary to provide care, which is impossible in cases of discrimination. Discussion: Administrative regularisation is necessary to improve the quality of immigrant carers’ working conditions. Full article
11 pages, 374 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Early Intervention Physiotherapist Framework for Injured Workers in Victoria, Australia: Data Analysis Follow-Up
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2205; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152205 - 04 Aug 2023
Viewed by 608
Abstract
Purpose: This study evaluates the performance of the Early Intervention Physiotherapist Framework (EIPF) for injured workers. This study provides a proper follow-up period (3 years) to examine the impacts of the EIPF program on injury outcomes such as return to work (RTW) and [...] Read more.
Purpose: This study evaluates the performance of the Early Intervention Physiotherapist Framework (EIPF) for injured workers. This study provides a proper follow-up period (3 years) to examine the impacts of the EIPF program on injury outcomes such as return to work (RTW) and time to RTW. This study also identifies the factors influencing the outcomes. Methods: The study was conducted on data collected from compensation claims of people who were injured at work in Victoria, Australia. Injured workers who commenced their compensation claims after the first of January 2010 and had their initial physiotherapy consultation after the first of August 2014 are included. To conduct the comparison, we divided the injured workers into two groups: physiotherapy services provided by EIPF-trained physiotherapists (EP) and regular physiotherapists (RP) over the three-year intervention period. We used three different statistical analysis methods to evaluate the performance of the EIPF program. We used descriptive statistics to compare two groups based on physiotherapy services and injury outcomes. We also completed survival analysis using Kaplan–Meier curves in terms of time to RTW. We developed univariate and multivariate regression models to investigate whether the difference in outcomes was achieved after adjusting for significantly associated variables. Results: The results showed that physiotherapists in the EP group, on average, dealt with more claims (over twice as many) than those in the RP group. Time to RTW for the injured workers treated by the EP group was significantly lower than for those who were treated by the RP group, indicated by descriptive, survival, and regression analyses. Earlier intervention by physiotherapists led to earlier RTW. Conclusion: This evaluation showed that the EIPF program achieved successful injury outcomes three years after implementation. Motivating physiotherapists to intervene earlier in the recovery process of injured workers through initial consultation helps to improve injury outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Machine Learning and Modeling in Epidemiology and Health Policy)
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24 pages, 834 KiB  
Review
Physical Restraint Use in Nursing Homes—Regional Variances and Ethical Considerations: A Scoping Review of Empirical Studies
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2204; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152204 - 04 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1606
Abstract
Background: Physical restraints are known to violate human rights, yet their use persists in long-term care facilities. This study aimed to explore the prevalence, methods, and interventions related to physical restraint use among the elderly in nursing homes. Methods: The method described by [...] Read more.
Background: Physical restraints are known to violate human rights, yet their use persists in long-term care facilities. This study aimed to explore the prevalence, methods, and interventions related to physical restraint use among the elderly in nursing homes. Methods: The method described by Joanna Briggs was followed to conduct a scoping review without a quality assessment of the selected studies. An electronic search was conducted to find eligible empirical articles using MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar, CINAHL, and grey literature. The database search was performed using EndNote software (version X9, Clarivate Analytics), and the data were imported into Excel for analysis. Results: The prevalence of physical restraint use was found to be highest in Spain (84.9%) and lowest in the USA (1.9%). The most common device reported was bed rails, with the highest prevalence in Singapore (98%) and the lowest (4.7%) in Germany, followed by chair restraint (57%). The largest number of studies reported the prevention and/or risk of falls to be the main reason for using physical restraints, followed by behavioral problems such as wandering, verbal or physical agitation, and cognitive impairment. Most studies reported guideline- and/or theory-based multicomponent interventions consisting of the training and education of nursing home staff. Conclusions: This review provides valuable insights into the use of physical restraints among elderly residents in nursing homes. Despite efforts to minimize their use, physical restraints continue to be employed, particularly with elderly individuals who have cognitive impairments. Patient-related factors such as wandering, agitation, and cognitive impairment were identified as the second most common reasons for using physical restraints in this population. To address this issue, it is crucial to enhance the skills of nursing home staff, especially nurses, in providing safe and ethical care for elderly residents with cognitive and functional impairments, aggressive behaviors, and fall risks. Full article
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16 pages, 794 KiB  
Article
Self at Risk: Self-Esteem and Quality of Life in Cancer Patients Undergoing Surgical Treatment and Experiencing Bodily Deformities
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2203; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152203 - 04 Aug 2023
Viewed by 923
Abstract
Self-esteem is an important factor determining QoL after surgical procedures leading to bodily deformities associated with cancer treatment. However, there are few data on which components of self-esteem are most closely related to QoL. The article presents two studies that aim to fill [...] Read more.
Self-esteem is an important factor determining QoL after surgical procedures leading to bodily deformities associated with cancer treatment. However, there are few data on which components of self-esteem are most closely related to QoL. The article presents two studies that aim to fill this gap. Study 1 concerns changes in global self-esteem and QoL in patients treated surgically for oral cancer (n = 35); Study 2 concerns changes in explicit and implicit self-esteem and QoL in women with breast cancer undergoing mastectomy (n = 96). The study was longitudinal with two measurements: before and after surgery. Both studies used the EORTC QLQ-C30 and Rosenberg’s SES questionnaires. In Study 2, the Implicit Association Test (IAT) was additionally performed. The patients’ global QoL and self-esteem deteriorated after surgery. In Study 1, patients with higher initial self-esteem showed a greater range of decreased self-esteem and QoL than patients with initially low self-esteem. In Study 2, the largest decreases in various dimensions of QoL and explicit self-esteem were observed in women with fragile self-esteem. A group of women with high explicit and implicit self-esteem showed the best QoL after mastectomy. Cancer patients with high, fragile self-esteem are at risk of the greatest deterioration in QoL and self-image after cancer surgery. These people should be given special psycho-oncological care. Full article
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11 pages, 770 KiB  
Article
Malocclusion Complexity in Patients with Disc Displacement Disorders: A Case–Control Study
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2202; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152202 - 04 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 616
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the possible association between disc displacement (DD) disorders and malocclusion complexity. This cross-sectional study was carried out using a case–control design. The Research Diagnosis Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders were used to identify cases and controls. The Index of [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the possible association between disc displacement (DD) disorders and malocclusion complexity. This cross-sectional study was carried out using a case–control design. The Research Diagnosis Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders were used to identify cases and controls. The Index of Complexity, Outcome, and Need (ICON) was used to quantify malocclusion complexity as easy, mild, moderate, difficult, or very difficult. A total of 310 subjects were included: 130 cases and 180 controls. A binary logistic regression (p < 0.05) was used to identify associations. The odds ratio (OR) was also calculated. DD was associated with sex, age, and malocclusion complexity (p < 0.05). The malocclusion complexity comparison showed that 89.3% of the controls fell within the easy–moderate levels of the ICON, whereas 85.4% of the cases were in the moderate–very difficult levels (p ≤ 0.001). Difficult and very difficult malocclusions had high ORs (9.801 and 9.689, respectively) compared to the easy cases. In conclusion, patients with malocclusion complexity levels classified as difficult or very difficult have greater odds of presenting DD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Healthcare: Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment)
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12 pages, 1456 KiB  
Article
The Influence of the Clinicians’ Experience on the Outcome of Dental Implants: A Clinical Audit
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2201; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152201 - 04 Aug 2023
Viewed by 634
Abstract
The purpose of this outcome audit is to evaluate the influence of the clinicians’ experience on the outcome of dental implants. In addition, it is to identify the associated risk factors that might influence the success and survival of these implants. Methodology: The [...] Read more.
The purpose of this outcome audit is to evaluate the influence of the clinicians’ experience on the outcome of dental implants. In addition, it is to identify the associated risk factors that might influence the success and survival of these implants. Methodology: The records of patients treated with SLA/SLActive Straumann implants were screened. This enabled us to have a minimum of 12 months of follow-up. Eligible patients, according to the inclusion criteria, were contacted and invited to undergo a follow-up assessment. Success was accounted for and defined in a comprehensive manner by considering four different categories: implant perspective, peri-implant soft tissue perspective, prosthetic perspective, and patient satisfaction. The patient investigations included a clinical examination of the implant mobility, suppuration, width of keratinized mucosa, probing depth, plaque accumulation, prosthetic complications, and patient satisfaction. In addition, a periapical radiograph was taken to evaluate bone loss and peri-implant radiolucency. The data were analysed using SPSS version 26. Results: Thirty-eight patients with 84 SLA/SLActive Straumann implants were available for the assessment. The mean age of the patients at implant surgery was 49.05 ± 13.19 years. Over the mean follow-up period of 26 months, no implant fractures were noted. Overall, eight implants were considered failures (9.5%). Two out of six patients with a history of periodontitis (HoP) and two out of five smokers exhibited failed implants. The patients’ satisfaction responses showed that all the responses were statistically higher than the test median value of three. The median value of general satisfaction using a visual analogue scale was 9 out of 10. Conclusions: The implants placed on partially and fully edentulous patients revealed high survival and success rates (100% and 90.5%, respectively) at a mean follow-up time of 26 months. It can be concluded that the implant practise among trainees in the programme is satisfactory. A history of periodontitis and a lack of patient compliance with supportive periodontal therapy in some cases have been shown to be risk factors associated with increased implant failure, mainly peri-implantitis. Full article
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13 pages, 542 KiB  
Article
Association of Sociodemographic Factors with Physical Activity and Sleep Quality in Arab and Non-Arab Individuals of Both Sexes during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2200; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152200 - 04 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 741
Abstract
We explored the association of sociodemographic and anthropometric factors with self-reported physical activity (PA) and sleep quality in Arab and non-Arab individuals of both sexes during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this cross-sectional study, 638 participants (those recovered from COVID-19 = 149, and non-infected [...] Read more.
We explored the association of sociodemographic and anthropometric factors with self-reported physical activity (PA) and sleep quality in Arab and non-Arab individuals of both sexes during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this cross-sectional study, 638 participants (those recovered from COVID-19 = 149, and non-infected = 489) of both sexes aged 18–55 years were recruited. Their sociodemographic and anthropometric information, PA (self-reported using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short-form [IPAQ-SF)]) and sleep quality (self-reported using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index [PSQI]) were documented. The association between participants’ characteristics, PA levels, and sleep quality were determined using the chi-squared test. Variables significantly associated with IPAQ and PSQI in bivariate analyses were included in a multivariate binary logistic regression model. Men were more active than women (odds ratio [OR] = 1.66, p = 0.010), and non-Arab participants were more active than Arab ones (OR = 1.49, p = 0.037). Participants ≥40 years, men, non-Arab participants, and those who were working were more likely to have a good sleep quality than those ≤40 years (OR 1.70, p = 0.048), women (OR 1.10, p = 0.725), Arab individuals (OR 1.95, p = 0.002), and unemployed people (OR 2.76, p = 0.007). Male and non-Arab participants seemed to have a better self-reported PA and sleep quality compared to female and Arab participants, during the pandemic. Full article
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16 pages, 716 KiB  
Article
CADUCEO: A Platform to Support Federated Healthcare Facilities through Artificial Intelligence
Healthcare 2023, 11(15), 2199; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11152199 - 04 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 925
Abstract
Data-driven algorithms have proven to be effective for a variety of medical tasks, including disease categorization and prediction, personalized medicine design, and imaging diagnostics. Although their performance is frequently on par with that of clinicians, their widespread use is constrained by a number [...] Read more.
Data-driven algorithms have proven to be effective for a variety of medical tasks, including disease categorization and prediction, personalized medicine design, and imaging diagnostics. Although their performance is frequently on par with that of clinicians, their widespread use is constrained by a number of obstacles, including the requirement for high-quality data that are typical of the population, the difficulty of explaining how they operate, and ethical and regulatory concerns. The use of data augmentation and synthetic data generation methodologies, such as federated learning and explainable artificial intelligence ones, could provide a viable solution to the current issues, facilitating the widespread application of artificial intelligence algorithms in the clinical application domain and reducing the time needed for prevention, diagnosis, and prognosis by up to 70%. To this end, a novel AI-based functional framework is conceived and presented in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence Applications in Medicine)
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