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Healthcare, Volume 4, Issue 3 (September 2016) – 37 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Very Low Energy Diet Products Available in Australia and How to Tailor Them to Optimise Protein Content for Younger and Older Adult Men and Women
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030071 - 21 Sep 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3037
Abstract
Very low energy diets (VLED) are efficacious in inducing rapid weight loss but may not contain adequate macronutrients or micronutrients for individuals with varying nutritional requirements. Adequate protein intake during weight loss appears particularly important to help preserve fat free mass and control [...] Read more.
Very low energy diets (VLED) are efficacious in inducing rapid weight loss but may not contain adequate macronutrients or micronutrients for individuals with varying nutritional requirements. Adequate protein intake during weight loss appears particularly important to help preserve fat free mass and control appetite, and low energy and carbohydrate content also contributes to appetite control. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the nutritional content (with a focus on protein), nutritional adequacy and cost of all commercially-available VLED brands in Australia. Nutritional content and cost were extracted and compared between brands and to the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) or adequate intake (AI) of macronutrients and micronutrients for men and women aged 19–70 years or >70 years. There was wide variability in the nutritional content, nutritional adequacy and cost of VLED brands. Most notably, even brands with the highest daily protein content, based on consuming three products/day (KicStart™ and Optislim®, ~60 g/day), only met estimated protein requirements of the smallest and youngest women for whom a VLED would be indicated. Considering multiple options to optimise protein content, we propose that adding pure powdered protein is the most suitable option because it minimizes additional energy, carbohydrate and cost of VLEDs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet Quality)
Open AccessArticle
Associations between Trunk Extension Endurance and Isolated Lumbar Extension Strength in Both Asymptomatic Participants and Those with Chronic Low Back Pain
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030070 - 19 Sep 2016
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3872
Abstract
Background: Strength and endurance tests are important for both clinical practice and research due to the key role they play in musculoskeletal function. In particular, deconditioning of the lumbar extensor musculature has been associated with low back pain (LBP). Due to the relationship [...] Read more.
Background: Strength and endurance tests are important for both clinical practice and research due to the key role they play in musculoskeletal function. In particular, deconditioning of the lumbar extensor musculature has been associated with low back pain (LBP). Due to the relationship between strength and absolute endurance, it is possible that trunk extension (TEX) endurance tests could provide a proxy measure of isolated lumbar extension (ILEX) strength and thus represent a simple, practical alternative to ILEX measurements. Though, the comparability of TEX endurance and ILEX strength is presently unclear and so the aim of the present study was to examine this relationship. Methods: Thirty eight healthy participants and nineteen participants with non-specific chronic LBP and no previous lumbar surgery participated in this cross-sectional study design. TEX endurance was measured using the Biering–Sorensen test. A maximal ILEX strength test was performed on the MedX lumbar-extension machine. Results: A Pearson’s correlation revealed no relationship between TEX endurance and ILEX strength in the combined group (r = 0.035, p = 0.793), the chronic LBP group (r = 0.120, p = 0.623) or the asymptomatic group (r = −0.060, p = 0.720). Conclusions: The results suggest that TEX is not a good indicator of ILEX and cannot be used to infer results regarding ILEX strength. However, a combination of TEX and ILEX interpreted together likely offers the greatest and most comprehensive information regarding lumbo-pelvic function during extension. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Effect of Flavonoids on Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Adults at Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030069 - 14 Sep 2016
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3954
Abstract
Oxidative stress (OS) and inflammatory processes initiate the first stage of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Flavonoid consumption has been related to significantly improved flow-mediated dilation and blood pressure. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms are thought to be involved. The effect of flavonoids on markers of [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress (OS) and inflammatory processes initiate the first stage of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Flavonoid consumption has been related to significantly improved flow-mediated dilation and blood pressure. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms are thought to be involved. The effect of flavonoids on markers of oxidative stress and inflammation, in at risk individuals is yet to be reviewed. Systematic literature searches were conducted in MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, CINAHL and SCOPUS databases. Randomised controlled trials in a Western country providing a food-based flavonoid intervention to participants with one or two modifiable risk factors for CVD measuring a marker of OS and/or inflammation, were included. Reference lists were hand-searched. The Cochrane Collaboration Risk of Bias Tool was used to assess study quality. The search strategy retrieved 1248 articles. Nineteen articles meeting the inclusion criteria were reviewed. Eight studies were considered at low risk of bias. Cocoa flavonoids provided to Type 2 diabetics and olive oil flavonoids to mildly-hypertensive women reduced OS and inflammation. Other food sources had weaker effects. No consistent effect on OS and inflammation across patients with varied CVD risk factors was observed. Study heterogeneity posed a challenge for inter-study comparisons. Rigorously designed studies will assist in determining the effectiveness of flavonoid interventions for reducing OS and inflammation in patients at risk of CVD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Cardiovascular Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
Increasing Incidence Rate of Cervical Cerclage in Pregnancy in Australia: A Population-Based Study
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030068 - 12 Sep 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2467
Abstract
Objective: Data published from the United States have demonstrated that the use of cervical cerclage has fallen in the period 1998–2013. This is in contrast to recommendations in Australia. We examined this trend using data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [...] Read more.
Objective: Data published from the United States have demonstrated that the use of cervical cerclage has fallen in the period 1998–2013. This is in contrast to recommendations in Australia. We examined this trend using data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Study design: Retrospective population-based study. Methods: Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare procedural database were used to determine the total number of cervical cerclage sutures inserted during the period 2004 to 2013. Population datasets were used to calculate age-stratified incidence rates of cerclage. Findings: There was a significant increase in the rate of cervical cerclage in women aged 25 to 34 years and in the 35 years and older age group. The incidence of preterm birth was stable for gestations of 32 to 36 weeks, but slightly increased in the 20 to 27 week and 28 to 31 week gestational age groups. Further research into cervical cerclage and the use of vaginal progesterone for the prevention of preterm birth would be valuable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Trials in Antenatal and Intrapartum Care)
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Open AccessReview
Revisiting the Corticomotor Plasticity in Low Back Pain: Challenges and Perspectives
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030067 - 08 Sep 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3181
Abstract
Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a recurrent debilitating condition that costs billions to society. Refractoriness to conventional treatment, lack of improvement, and associated movement disorders could be related to the extensive brain plasticity present in this condition, especially in the sensorimotor cortices. [...] Read more.
Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a recurrent debilitating condition that costs billions to society. Refractoriness to conventional treatment, lack of improvement, and associated movement disorders could be related to the extensive brain plasticity present in this condition, especially in the sensorimotor cortices. This narrative review on corticomotor plasticity in CLBP will try to delineate how interventions such as training and neuromodulation can improve the condition. The review recommends subgrouping classification in CLBP owing to brain plasticity markers with a view of better understanding and treating this complex condition. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Review of Positive Psychology Applications in Clinical Medical Populations
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030066 - 07 Sep 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3669
Abstract
This review examines the application of positive psychology concepts in physical health care contexts. Positive psychology aims to promote well-being in the general population. Studies identifying character strengths associated with well-being in healthy populations are numerous. Such strengths have been classified and Positive [...] Read more.
This review examines the application of positive psychology concepts in physical health care contexts. Positive psychology aims to promote well-being in the general population. Studies identifying character strengths associated with well-being in healthy populations are numerous. Such strengths have been classified and Positive Psychology Interventions (PPIs) have been created to further develop these strengths in individuals. Positive psychology research is increasingly being undertaken in health care contexts. The review identified that most of this research involves measuring character strengths and their association with health outcomes in patients with a range of different conditions, similar to the position in positive psychology research on non-clinical populations. More recently, PPIs are beginning to be applied to clinical populations with physical health problems and this research, although relatively scarce, is reviewed here for cancer, coronary heart disease, and diabetes. In common with PPIs being evaluated in the general population, high quality studies are scarce. Applying PPIs to patients with serious health conditions presents significant challenges to health psychologists. They must ensure that patients are dealt with appropriately and ethically, given that exaggerated claims for PPIs are made on the internet quite frequently. This is discussed along with the need for more high quality research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Psychology in Healthcare Settings)
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Open AccessArticle
Justice and Equity Implications of Climate Change Adaptation: A Theoretical Evaluation Framework
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030065 - 07 Sep 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3818
Abstract
Climate change affects human health, and climate change adaptation aims to reduce these risks through infrastructural, behavioral, and technological measures. However, attributing direct human health effects to climate change adaptation is difficult, causing an ethical dilemma between the need for evidence of strategies [...] Read more.
Climate change affects human health, and climate change adaptation aims to reduce these risks through infrastructural, behavioral, and technological measures. However, attributing direct human health effects to climate change adaptation is difficult, causing an ethical dilemma between the need for evidence of strategies and their precautionary implementation before such evidence has been generated. In the absence of conclusive evidence for individual adaptation strategies, alternative approaches to the measurement of adaptation effectiveness need to be developed. This article proposes a theoretical framework and a set of guiding questions to assess effects of adaptation strategies on seven domains of health determinants, including social, economic, infrastructure, institutional, community, environmental, and cultural determinants of health. Its focus on advancing gender equity and environmental justice concurrently with the implementation of health-related adaptation could serve as a template for policymakers and researchers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethics, Health, and Natural Resources)
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Open AccessArticle
Early Workplace Intervention to Improve the Work Ability of Employees with Musculoskeletal Disorders in a German University Hospital—Results of a Pilot Study
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030064 - 07 Sep 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2749
Abstract
Health promotion is becoming increasingly important in work life. Healthcare workers seem to be at special risk, experiencing musculoskeletal disorders (MSD); their situation is strongly influenced by demographic changes. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and outcome of a [...] Read more.
Health promotion is becoming increasingly important in work life. Healthcare workers seem to be at special risk, experiencing musculoskeletal disorders (MSD); their situation is strongly influenced by demographic changes. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and outcome of a worksite intervention. In a one-group pretest-posttest design, 118 employees of a hospital were recruited from 2010 to 2011. The raised parameters were satisfaction with the program, work ability (Work Ability Index), and sickness absence (provided by human resource management). Patient-reported questionnaire data was raised at baseline (t1) and after three months (t2). Sickness leave was evaluated in the period six months prior to and six months after the intervention. Means, frequencies, standardized effect sizes (SES), analysis of variance, and regression analysis were carried out. Participants were found to be highly satisfied. Work ability increased with moderate effects (SES = 0.34; p < 0.001) and prognosis of gainful employment (SES = −0.19; p ≤ 0.047) with small effects. Days of MSD-related sickness absence were reduced by 38.5% after six months. The worksite intervention program is transferable to a hospital setting and integration in occupational health management is recommended. The use of a control group is necessary to demonstrate the effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health Issues in the New Millennium)
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Open AccessReview
Core Outcome Sets and Multidimensional Assessment Tools for Harmonizing Outcome Measure in Chronic Pain and Back Pain
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030063 - 29 Aug 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2845
Abstract
Core Outcome Sets (COSs) are a set of domains and measurement instruments recommended for application in any clinical trial to ensure comparable outcome assessment (both domains and instruments). COSs are not exclusively recommended for clinical trials, but also for daily record keeping in [...] Read more.
Core Outcome Sets (COSs) are a set of domains and measurement instruments recommended for application in any clinical trial to ensure comparable outcome assessment (both domains and instruments). COSs are not exclusively recommended for clinical trials, but also for daily record keeping in routine care. There are several COS recommendations considering clinical trials as well as multidimensional assessment tools to support daily record keeping in low back pain. In this article, relevant initiatives will be described, and implications for research in COS development in chronic pain and back pain will be discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Concerns about Breast Cancer, Pain, and Fatigue in Non-Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Primary Treatment
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030062 - 26 Aug 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2565
Abstract
Women diagnosed with breast cancer often endorse psychosocial concerns prior to treatment, which may influence symptom experiences. Among these, low perceived social support relates to elevated fatigue. Those with low social support perceptions may also experience a greater sense of rejection. We sought [...] Read more.
Women diagnosed with breast cancer often endorse psychosocial concerns prior to treatment, which may influence symptom experiences. Among these, low perceived social support relates to elevated fatigue. Those with low social support perceptions may also experience a greater sense of rejection. We sought to determine if social rejection concerns post-surgery predict fatigue interference 12 months later in women with non-metastatic breast cancer. Depressive symptoms and pain severity after completion of adjuvant therapy (six months post-surgery) were examined as potential mediators. Women (N = 240) with non-metastatic breast cancer were recruited 2–10 weeks post-surgery. Multiple regression analyses examined relationships among variables adjusting for relevant covariates. Greater rejection concerns at study entry predicted greater fatigue interference 12 months later (p < 0.01). Pain severity after adjuvant therapy partially mediated the relationship between social rejection concerns and fatigue interference, with significant indirect (β = 0.06, 95% CI (0.009, 0.176)) and direct effects (β = 0.18, SE = 0.07, t(146) = 2.78, p < 0.01, 95% CI (0.053, 0.311)). Therefore, pain levels post-treatment may affect how concerns of social rejection relate to subsequent fatigue interference. Interventions targeting fears of social rejection and interpersonal skills early in treatment may reduce physical symptom burden during treatment and into survivorship. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holistic Needs of Those Living with and beyond Breast Cancer)
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Open AccessConcept Paper
Finding Common Ground: Environmental Ethics, Social Justice, and a Sustainable Path for Nature-Based Health Promotion
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030061 - 25 Aug 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4733
Abstract
Decades of research have documented continuous tension between anthropocentric needs and the environment’s capacity to accommodate those needs and support basic human welfare. The way in which society perceives, manages, and ultimately utilizes natural resources can be influenced by underlying environmental ethics, or [...] Read more.
Decades of research have documented continuous tension between anthropocentric needs and the environment’s capacity to accommodate those needs and support basic human welfare. The way in which society perceives, manages, and ultimately utilizes natural resources can be influenced by underlying environmental ethics, or the moral relationship that humans share with the natural world. This discourse often centers on the complex interplay between the tangible and intangible benefits associated with nonhuman nature (e.g., green space), both of which are relevant to public health. When ecosystem degradation is coupled with socio-demographic transitions, additional concerns related to distributional equity and justice can arise. In this commentary, we explore how environmental ethics can inform the connection between the ecosystem services from green space and socially just strategies of health promotion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethics, Health, and Natural Resources)
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Open AccessReview
Suppression of NADPH Oxidase Activity May Slow the Expansion of Osteolytic Bone Metastases
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030060 - 25 Aug 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2327
Abstract
Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), generated in the microenvironment of cancer cells, can drive the proliferation, invasion, and migration of cancer cells by activating G protein-coupled LPA receptors. Moreover, in cancer cells that have metastasized to bone, LPA signaling can promote osteolysis by inducing cancer [...] Read more.
Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), generated in the microenvironment of cancer cells, can drive the proliferation, invasion, and migration of cancer cells by activating G protein-coupled LPA receptors. Moreover, in cancer cells that have metastasized to bone, LPA signaling can promote osteolysis by inducing cancer cell production of cytokines, such as IL-6 and IL-8, which can stimulate osteoblasts to secrete RANKL, a key promoter of osteoclastogenesis. Indeed, in cancers prone to metastasize to bone, LPA appears to be a major driver of the expansion of osteolytic bone metastases. Activation of NADPH oxidase has been shown to play a mediating role in the signaling pathways by which LPA, as well as RANKL, promote osteolysis. In addition, there is reason to suspect that Nox4 activation is a mediator of the feed-forward mechanism whereby release of TGF-beta from bone matrix by osteolysis promotes expression of PTHrP in cancer cells, and thereby induces further osteolysis. Hence, measures which can down-regulate NADPH oxidase activity may have potential for slowing the expansion of osteolytic bone metastases in cancer patients. Phycocyanin and high-dose statins may have utility in this regard, and could be contemplated as complements to bisphosphonates or denosumab for the prevention and control of osteolytic lesions. Ingestion of omega-3-rich flaxseed or fish oil may also have potential for controlling osteolysis in cancer patients. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Biopsychosocial Characteristics, Using a New Functional Measure of Balance, of an Elderly Population with CLBP
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030059 - 23 Aug 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2611
Abstract
This study examined the biopsychosocial characteristics of chronic low back pain (CLBP) in an understudied but increasingly larger part of the population: the elderly (i.e., 65 years and older). A new innovative physical functioning measure (postural control, which is a proxy for the [...] Read more.
This study examined the biopsychosocial characteristics of chronic low back pain (CLBP) in an understudied but increasingly larger part of the population: the elderly (i.e., 65 years and older). A new innovative physical functioning measure (postural control, which is a proxy for the common problem of slips and falls in the elderly) was part of this biopsychosocial evaluation. Also, the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-developed Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) was also part of this comprehensive evaluation. Two demographically-matched groups of elderly participants were evaluated: one with CLBP (n = 24); and the other without (NCLBP, n = 24). Results revealed significant differences in most of these measures between the two groups, further confirming the importance of using a biopsychosocial approach for future studies of pain and postural control in the elderly. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Relationship between Pain Beliefs and Physical and Mental Health Outcome Measures in Chronic Low Back Pain: Direct and Indirect Effects
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030058 - 19 Aug 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2886
Abstract
Low back pain remains a major health problem with huge societal cost. Biomedical models fail to explain the disability seen in response to reported back pain and therefore patients’ beliefs, cognitions and related behaviours have become a focus for both research and practice. [...] Read more.
Low back pain remains a major health problem with huge societal cost. Biomedical models fail to explain the disability seen in response to reported back pain and therefore patients’ beliefs, cognitions and related behaviours have become a focus for both research and practice. This study used the Pain Beliefs Questionnaire and had two aims: To examine the extent to which pain beliefs are related to disability, anxiety and depression; and to assess whether those relationships are mediated by pain self-efficacy and locus of control. In a sample of 341 chronic low back pain patients, organic and psychological pain beliefs were related to disability, anxiety and depression. However, organic pain beliefs were more strongly related to disability and depression than psychological pain beliefs. Regression analyses revealed that these relationships were in part independent of pain self-efficacy and locus of control. Further, mediation analyses revealed indirect pathways involving self-efficacy and, to a lesser extent chance locus of control, between organic pain beliefs, on the one hand, and disability, anxiety and depression, on the other. In contrast, psychological pain beliefs were only directly related to disability, anxiety and depression. Although longitudinal data are needed to corroborate our findings, this study illustrates the importance of beliefs about the nature of pain and beliefs in one’s ability to cope with pain in determining both physical and mental health outcomes in chronic low back pain patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Associations between Unhealthy Diet and Lifestyle Behaviours and Increased Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Young Overweight and Obese Women
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030057 - 19 Aug 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3133
Abstract
Unhealthy lifestyle behaviours are known modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This cross-sectional analysis aimed to describe lifestyle behaviours and CVD risk markers in young overweight and obese Australian women and explore associations between individual and combined lifestyle behaviours with CVD risk [...] Read more.
Unhealthy lifestyle behaviours are known modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This cross-sectional analysis aimed to describe lifestyle behaviours and CVD risk markers in young overweight and obese Australian women and explore associations between individual and combined lifestyle behaviours with CVD risk markers. Lifestyle behaviours assessed were diet quality, alcohol intake, physical activity, sitting time and smoking status, and were combined to generate a Healthy Lifestyle Score (HLS) (0–5). Objectively measured CVD risk markers were body mass index (BMI), %body fat, waist circumference, blood pressure, and plasma cholesterol and triglycerides. Analysis included 49 women aged 18–35 years, with BMI 25.0 to 34.9 kg/m2. The mean ± SD Australian Recommended Food Score was 33.5 ± 9.3 points, alcohol 3.3 ± 2.4 standard drinks/day, physical activity 207 ± 225 min/week and sitting time 578 ± 213 min/day. All participants were non-smokers. The proportion of participants outside normal reference ranges was 83.7% for waist circumference (n = 41), blood pressure 0% (n = 0), total cholesterol 26.2% (n = 11), HDL cholesterol 38.6% (n = 17), LDL cholesterol 22.7% (n = 10), and triglycerides 4.2% (n = 2). Physical activity was inversely associated with body fat (β = −0.011%, p = 0.005), diastolic blood pressure (β = −0.010 mmHg, p = 0.031) and waist circumference (β = −0.013 cm, p = 0.029). Most participants (59.2%, n = 29) had a HLS ≤ 2. No significant associations were found between HLS and CVD risk markers. Insufficient physical activity was the primary lifestyle factor associated with increased CVD risk markers, which suggests interventions targeting physical activity in young women may potentially improve cardiovascular health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Cardiovascular Disease)
Open AccessReview
Emotions and Emotion Regulation in Breast Cancer Survivorship
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030056 - 10 Aug 2016
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3280
Abstract
Emotional distress in cancer patients is an important outcome; however, emotional experience does not begin and end with emotion generation. Attempts to regulate emotions may lessen their potentially negative effects on physical and psychological well-being. Researchers have called for the study of emotion [...] Read more.
Emotional distress in cancer patients is an important outcome; however, emotional experience does not begin and end with emotion generation. Attempts to regulate emotions may lessen their potentially negative effects on physical and psychological well-being. Researchers have called for the study of emotion regulation (ER) in health psychology and psycho-oncology. Thus, this review has three aims. First, we discuss current understandings of emotion and ER across the cancer trajectory, including the principles of ER and methods for its assessment. Second, we present a model for examining the mediating effects of ER on psychosocial outcomes. Third, we “round out” the discussion with an example: new data on the role of ER in recurrent breast cancer. Taken together, these aims illustrate the impact of affective regulatory processes on cancer patients’ long-term outcomes. As survival rates increase, long-term follow-up studies are needed to characterize the dynamic, reciprocal effects of emotion and ER for cancer survivors. Further research on ER may help women with breast cancer better manage the challenges associated with diagnosis and treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holistic Needs of Those Living with and beyond Breast Cancer)
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Open AccessArticle
Addressing Younger Workers’ Needs: The Promoting U through Safety and Health (PUSH) Trial Outcomes
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030055 - 10 Aug 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3421
Abstract
Most younger workers, less than 25 years old, receive no training in worker safety. We report the feasibility and outcomes of a randomized controlled trial of an electronically delivered safety and health curriculum for younger workers entitled, PUSH (Promoting U through Safety and [...] Read more.
Most younger workers, less than 25 years old, receive no training in worker safety. We report the feasibility and outcomes of a randomized controlled trial of an electronically delivered safety and health curriculum for younger workers entitled, PUSH (Promoting U through Safety and Health). All younger workers (14–24 years old) hired for summer work at a large parks and recreation organization were invited to participate in an evaluation of an online training and randomized into an intervention or control condition. Baseline and end-of-summer online instruments assessed acceptability, knowledge, and self-reported attitudes and behaviors. One-hundred and forty participants (mean age 17.9 years) completed the study. The innovative training was feasible and acceptable to participants and the organization. Durable increases in safety and health knowledge were achieved by intervention workers (p < 0.001, effect size (Cohen’s d) 0.4). However, self-reported safety and health attitudes did not improve with this one-time training. These results indicate the potential utility of online training for younger workers and underscore the limitations of a single training interaction to change behaviors. Interventions may need to be delivered over a longer period of time and/or include environmental components to effectively alter behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health Issues in the New Millennium)
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Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Brain Responses to Pain-Related Words in Chronic Back Pain Patients and Their Modulation by Current Pain
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030054 - 10 Aug 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2934
Abstract
Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies in healthy controls (HC) and pain-free migraine patients found activations to pain-related words in brain regions known to be activated while subjects experience pain. The aim of the present study was to identify neural activations induced [...] Read more.
Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies in healthy controls (HC) and pain-free migraine patients found activations to pain-related words in brain regions known to be activated while subjects experience pain. The aim of the present study was to identify neural activations induced by pain-related words in a sample of chronic back pain (CBP) patients experiencing current chronic pain compared to HC. In particular, we were interested in how current pain influences brain activations induced by pain-related adjectives. Subjects viewed pain-related, negative, positive, and neutral words; subjects were asked to generate mental images related to these words during fMRI scanning. Brain activation was compared between CBP patients and HC in response to the different word categories and examined in relation to current pain in CBP patients. Pain-related words vs. neutral words activated a network of brain regions including cingulate cortex and insula in subjects and patients. There was stronger activation in medial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and anterior midcingulate cortex in CPB patients than in HC. The magnitude of activation for pain-related vs. negative words showed a negative linear relationship to CBP patients’ current pain. Our findings confirm earlier observations showing that pain-related words activate brain networks similar to noxious stimulation. Importantly, CBP patients show even stronger activation of these structures while merely processing pain-related words. Current pain directly influences on this activation. Full article
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Open AccessCreative
The Development of a Mindfulness-Based Music Therapy (MBMT) Program for Women Receiving Adjuvant Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030053 - 09 Aug 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3141
Abstract
Problems with attention and symptom distress are common clinical features reported by women who receive adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. Mindfulness practice significantly improves attention and mindfulness programs significantly reduce symptom distress in patients with cancer, and, more specifically, in women with breast [...] Read more.
Problems with attention and symptom distress are common clinical features reported by women who receive adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. Mindfulness practice significantly improves attention and mindfulness programs significantly reduce symptom distress in patients with cancer, and, more specifically, in women with breast cancer. Recently, a pilot investigation of a music therapy program, built on core attitudes of mindfulness practice, reported significant benefits of enhanced attention and decreased negative mood and fatigue in women with breast cancer. This paper delineates the design and development of the mindfulness-based music therapy (MBMT) program implemented in that pilot study and includes clients’ narrative journal responses. Conclusions and recommendations, including recommendation for further exploration of the function of music in mindfulness practice are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holistic Needs of Those Living with and beyond Breast Cancer)
Open AccessCommentary
From Embryos to Adults: A DOHaD Perspective on In Vitro Fertilization and Other Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030051 - 09 Aug 2016
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2441
Abstract
Human in vitro fertilization (IVF) as a treatment for infertility is regarded as one of the most outstanding accomplishments of the 20th century, and its use has grown dramatically since the late 1970s. Although IVF is considered safe and the majority of children [...] Read more.
Human in vitro fertilization (IVF) as a treatment for infertility is regarded as one of the most outstanding accomplishments of the 20th century, and its use has grown dramatically since the late 1970s. Although IVF is considered safe and the majority of children appear healthy, reproductive technologies have been viewed with some skepticism since the in vitro environment deviates substantially from that in vivo. This is increasingly significant because the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis has illuminated the sensitivity of an organism to its environment at critical stages during development, including how suboptimal exposures restricted specifically to gamete maturation or the preimplantation period can affect postnatal growth, glucose metabolism, fat deposition, and vascular function. Today, some of the physiological metabolic phenotypes present in animal models of IVF have begun to emerge in human IVF children, but it remains unclear whether or not in vitro embryo manipulation will have lasting health consequences in the offspring. Our expanding knowledge of the DOHaD field is fueling a paradigm shift in how disease susceptibility is viewed across the life course, with particular emphasis on the importance of collecting detailed exposure information, identifying biomarkers of health, and performing longitudinal studies for any medical treatment occurring during a developmentally vulnerable period. As IVF use continues to rise, it will be highly valuable to incorporate DOHaD concepts into the clinical arena and future approaches to public health policy. Full article
Open AccessReview
Depressive Symptoms among Patients with Heart Failure in Korea: An Integrative Review
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030052 - 04 Aug 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2395
Abstract
This integrative review was conducted to examine studies reporting depressive symptoms among patients with heart failure (HF) in Korea. An extensive search with both English and Korean search terms was conducted using six electronic databases. Publications were screened by both authors independently, and [...] Read more.
This integrative review was conducted to examine studies reporting depressive symptoms among patients with heart failure (HF) in Korea. An extensive search with both English and Korean search terms was conducted using six electronic databases. Publications were screened by both authors independently, and 10 articles meeting the inclusion criteria were reviewed. All 10 studies were data-based, quantitative, and descriptive in nature. In all studies, depressive symptoms were measured at only one point in time. The prevalence of depression reported in these studies ranged from 24% to 68%. Heterogeneity in the study samples and measures of depression was noted. Depressive symptoms have received limited attention in research with HF patients in Korea. Additional studies, especially longitudinal studies and intervention studies, are needed to assess depressive symptoms and to test the effects of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions on depression among patients with HF in Korea. Clinicians need to screen patients with HF for depressive symptoms using validated measures and provide proper treatment for those who are depressed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Postpartum Bonding Disorder: Factor Structure, Validity, Reliability and a Model Comparison of the Postnatal Bonding Questionnaire in Japanese Mothers of Infants
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030050 - 02 Aug 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2610
Abstract
Negative attitudes of mothers towards their infant is conceptualized as postpartum bonding disorder, which leads to serious health problems in perinatal health care. However, its measurement still remains to be standardized. Our aim was to examine and confirm the psychometric properties of the [...] Read more.
Negative attitudes of mothers towards their infant is conceptualized as postpartum bonding disorder, which leads to serious health problems in perinatal health care. However, its measurement still remains to be standardized. Our aim was to examine and confirm the psychometric properties of the Postnatal Bonding Questionnaire (PBQ) in Japanese mothers. We distributed a set of questionnaires to community mothers and studied 392 mothers who returned the questionnaires at 1 month after childbirth. Our model was compared with three other models derived from previous studies. In a randomly halved sample, an exploratory factor analysis yielded a three-factor structure: Anger and Restrictedness, Lack of Affection, and Rejection and Fear. This factor structure was cross-validated by a confirmatory factor analysis using the other halved sample. The three subscales showed satisfactory internal consistency. The three PBQ subscale scores were correlated with depression and psychological abuse scores. Their test–retest reliability between day 5 and 1 month after childbirth was measured by intraclass correlation coefficients between 0.76 and 0.83. The Akaike Information Criteria of our model was better than the original four-factor model of Brockington. The present study indicates that the PBQ is a reliable and valid measure of bonding difficulties of Japanese mothers with neonates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Trials in Antenatal and Intrapartum Care)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of an Education and Training Program to Prevent and Manage Patients’ Violence in a Mental Health Setting: A Pretest-Posttest Intervention Study
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030049 - 01 Aug 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3778
Abstract
Workplace violence can lead to serious consequences for victims, organizations, and society. Most workplace violence prevention programs aim to train staff to better recognize and safely manage at-risk situations. The Omega education and training program was developed in Canada in 1999, and has [...] Read more.
Workplace violence can lead to serious consequences for victims, organizations, and society. Most workplace violence prevention programs aim to train staff to better recognize and safely manage at-risk situations. The Omega education and training program was developed in Canada in 1999, and has since been used to teach healthcare and mental health workers the skills needed to effectively intervene in situations of aggression. The present study was designed to assess the impact of Omega on employee psychological distress, confidence in coping, and perceived exposure to violence. This program was offered to 105 employees in a psychiatric hospital in Montreal, Canada. Eighty-nine of them accepted to participate. Questionnaires were completed before the training, after a short period of time (M = 109 days) and at follow-up (M = 441 days). Repeated-measures ANOVAs and Cohen’s d effect sizes were calculated. Results demonstrated statistically significant improvements in short-term and follow-up posttest scores of psychological distress, confidence in coping, and in levels of exposure to violence. This study is one of very few to demonstrate the positive impact of this training program. Further research is needed to understand how to improve the effectiveness of the program, especially among participants resistant to change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health Issues in the New Millennium)
Open AccessArticle
Illustrating the Multi-Faceted Dimensions of Group Therapy and Support for Cancer Patients
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030048 - 01 Aug 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2621
Abstract
In cancer support groups, choice of therapy model, leadership style, and format can impact patients’ experiences and outcomes. Methodologies that illustrate the complexity of patients’ group experiences might aid in choosing group style, or testing therapeutic mechanisms. We used this naturalistic study as [...] Read more.
In cancer support groups, choice of therapy model, leadership style, and format can impact patients’ experiences and outcomes. Methodologies that illustrate the complexity of patients’ group experiences might aid in choosing group style, or testing therapeutic mechanisms. We used this naturalistic study as a beginning step to explore methods for comparing cancer group contexts by first modifying a group-experience survey to be cancer-specific (Group Experience Questionnaire (GEQ)). Hypothesizing that therapist-led (TL) would differ from non-therapist-led (NTL), we explored the GEQ’s multiple dimensions. A total of 292 patients attending three types of groups completed it: 2 TL groups differing in therapy style ((1) Supportive-Expressive (SET); (2) The Wellness Community (TWC/CSC)); (3) a NTL group. Participants rated the importance of “Expressing True Feelings” and “Discussing Sexual Concerns” higher in TL than NTL groups and “Discussing Sexual Concerns” higher in SET than other groups. They rated “Developing a New Attitude” higher in TWC/CSC compared to NTL. In addition, we depict the constellation of group qualities using radar-charts to assist visualization. These charts facilitate a quick look at a therapy model’s strengths and weaknesses. Using a measure like the GEQ and this visualization technique could enable health-service decision making about choice of therapy model to offer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holistic Needs of Those Living with and beyond Breast Cancer)
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Open AccessReview
Immunization of Health-Care Providers: Necessity and Public Health Policies
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030047 - 01 Aug 2016
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3519
Abstract
Health-care providers (HCPs) are at increased risk for exposure to vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) in the workplace. The rationale for immunization of HCPs relies on the need to protect them and, indirectly, their patients from health-care-associated VPDs. Published evidence indicates significant immunity gaps for [...] Read more.
Health-care providers (HCPs) are at increased risk for exposure to vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) in the workplace. The rationale for immunization of HCPs relies on the need to protect them and, indirectly, their patients from health-care-associated VPDs. Published evidence indicates significant immunity gaps for VPDs of HCPs globally. Deficits in knowledge and false perceptions about VPDs and vaccines are the most common barriers for vaccine uptake and may also influence communication about vaccines between HCPs and their patients. Most countries have immunization recommendations for HCPs; however, there are no universal policies and significant heterogeneity exists between countries in terms of vaccines, schedules, frame of implementation (recommendation or mandatory), and target categories of HCPs. Mandatory influenza immunization policies for HCPs have been implemented with high vaccine uptake rates. Stronger recommendations for HCP immunization and commitment at the level of the health-care facility are critical in order to achieve high vaccine coverage rates. Given the importance to health, mandatory immunization policies for VPDs that can cause serious morbidity and mortality to vulnerable patients should be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health Issues in the New Millennium)
Open AccessReview
Vocational Rehabilitation: Supporting Ill or Disabled Individuals in (to) Work: A UK Perspective
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030046 - 16 Jul 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3075
Abstract
Work is important for one’s self-esteem, social standing and ability to participate in the community as well as for the material advantages it brings to individuals and their families. The evidence suggests that the benefits of employment outweigh the risks of work and [...] Read more.
Work is important for one’s self-esteem, social standing and ability to participate in the community as well as for the material advantages it brings to individuals and their families. The evidence suggests that the benefits of employment outweigh the risks of work and are greater than the risks of long-term unemployment or sickness absence. Individuals may be born with physical or intellectual disadvantages (e.g., cerebral palsy), or they may be acquired during childhood or adult life. Some progressive conditions may present in childhood or adolescence (e.g., some muscular dystrophies) and these need to be distinguished from those presenting later in life (e.g., trauma, stroke). Vocational rehabilitation (VR) thus takes three forms: preparing those with a disability, health or mental health condition for the world of work, job retention for those in work and assisting those out of work into new work. Important components of VR consist of the attributes of the individual, the skills/knowledge of their health professionals, the knowledge and attitudes of actual or potential employers and the assistance that is provided by the state or other insurance facility. Charities are playing an increasing role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health Issues in the New Millennium)
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Open AccessArticle
Intersystem Implications of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease: Advancing Health Promotion in the 21st Century
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030045 - 15 Jul 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2298
Abstract
The developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) theory and life course theory (LCT) are emerging fields of research that have significant implications for the public health and health promotion professions. Using a DOHaD/LCT perspective, social determinants of health (SDH) take on new [...] Read more.
The developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) theory and life course theory (LCT) are emerging fields of research that have significant implications for the public health and health promotion professions. Using a DOHaD/LCT perspective, social determinants of health (SDH) take on new critical meaning by which health promotion professionals can implement DOHaD/LCT guided interventions, including recommended policies. Through these interventions, public health could further address the sources of worldwide chronic disease epidemics and reduce such disease rates substantially if related policy, programs, and interdisciplinary and multi-sector collaboration are emphasized. Additional characteristics of the most effective interventions involve context-specific adaptation and societal structures that impact upstream, early life environments on a broad scale, influencing multiple locations and/or diseases. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Treatment of Lower Back Pain—The Gap between Guideline-Based Treatment and Medical Care Reality
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030044 - 15 Jul 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3162
Abstract
Despite the fact that unspecific low back pain is of important impact in general health care, this pain condition is often treated insufficiently. Poor efficiency has led to the necessity of guidelines addressing evidence-based strategies for treatment of lower back pain (LBP). We [...] Read more.
Despite the fact that unspecific low back pain is of important impact in general health care, this pain condition is often treated insufficiently. Poor efficiency has led to the necessity of guidelines addressing evidence-based strategies for treatment of lower back pain (LBP). We present some statements of the German medical care reality. Self-responsible action of the patient should be supported while invasive methods in particular should be avoided due to lacking evidence in outcome efficiency. However, it has to be stated that no effective implementation strategy has been established yet. Especially, studies on the economic impact of different implementation strategies are lacking. A lack of awareness of common available guidelines and an uneven distribution of existing knowledge throughout the population can be stated: persons with higher risk suffering from LBP by higher professional demands and lower educational level are not skilled in advised management of LBP. Both diagnostic imaging and invasive treatment methods increased dramatically leading to increased costs and doctor workload without being associated with improved patient functioning, severity of pain or overall health status due to the absence of a functioning primary care gate keeping system for patient selection. Opioids are prescribed on a grand scale and over a long period. Moreover, opioid prescription is not indicated properly, when predominantly persons with psychological distress like somatoform disorders are treated with opioids. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
What Are the Ethical Issues Facing Global-Health Trainees Working Overseas? A Multi-Professional Qualitative Study
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030043 - 13 Jul 2016
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2844
Abstract
The aim of this study was to identify global health ethical issues that health professional trainees may encounter during electives or placements in resource-limited countries. We conducted a qualitative study involving focus groups and an interview at the University of California San Francisco. [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to identify global health ethical issues that health professional trainees may encounter during electives or placements in resource-limited countries. We conducted a qualitative study involving focus groups and an interview at the University of California San Francisco. Participants were multi-professional from the Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy and had experience working, or teaching, as providers in resource-limited countries. Eighteen participants provided examples of ethical dilemmas associated with global-health outreach work. Ethical dilemmas fell into four major themes relating to (1) cultural differences (informed consent, truth-telling, autonomy); (2) professional issues (power dynamics, training of local staff, corruption); (3) limited resources (scope of practice, material shortages); (4) personal moral development (dealing with moral distress, establishing a moral compass, humility and self awareness). Three themes (cultural differences, professional issues, limited resources) were grouped under the core category of “external environmental and/or situational issues” that trainees are confronted when overseas. The fourth theme, moral development, refers to the development of a moral compass and the exercise of humility and self-awareness. The study has identified case vignettes that can be used for curriculum content for global-health ethics training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ethics, Health, and Natural Resources)
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Open AccessReview
Association of Mid-Life Changes in Body Size, Body Composition and Obesity Status with the Menopausal Transition
Healthcare 2016, 4(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030042 - 13 Jul 2016
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 3031
Abstract
The mid-life period is a critical window for increases in body weight and changes in body composition. In this review, we summarize the clinical experience of the menopausal transition by obesity status, and examine the evidence regarding the menopausal transition and reproductive hormones [...] Read more.
The mid-life period is a critical window for increases in body weight and changes in body composition. In this review, we summarize the clinical experience of the menopausal transition by obesity status, and examine the evidence regarding the menopausal transition and reproductive hormones effects on body weight, body composition, or fat distribution. Mid-life obesity is associated with a different menopausal experience including associations with menstrual cycle length prior to the final menstrual period (FMP), age at the FMP, and higher prevalence of vasomotor symptoms. The menopausal transition is associated with weight gain and increased central body fat distribution; the majority of evidence suggests that changes in weight are due to chronological aging whereas changes in body composition and fat distribution are primarily due to ovarian aging. Continuous and regular physical activity during mid-life may be an efficacious strategy to counteract the age-related and menopause-related changes in resting energy expenditure and to prevent weight gain and abdominal adiposity deposition. Full article
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