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Healthcare, Volume 8, Issue 4 (December 2020) – 226 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Orthostatic intolerance complaints are present in most ME/CFS patients. We previously demonstrated in ME/CFS patients that cerebral blood flow is significantly reduced while standing during a tilt test compared to supine measurements, being the underlying cause of orthostatic intolerance complaints. As tilt testing may be too taxing in severe patients and to demonstrate that sitting is also an orthostatic stressor, we tested the hypothesis that sitting also provokes an abnormal cerebral blood flow reduction in these patients. Results showed that 90% of severe patients had an abnormal cerebral blood flow reduction while sitting. The magnitude of these flow reductions is similar to the results in less severely affected ME/CFS patients during tilt testing, suggesting that a sitting test is adequate for the diagnosis of orthostatic intolerance in severely affected patients. View this paper.
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Article
Epidemiologic Analysis of Taiwanese Patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040580 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 753
Abstract
Several databases of epidemiologic studies in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) have been analyzed in the Western community. However, few studies have been reported in Asia. The objective of this study was to investigate the epidemiology of IPF in Taiwan. We collected [...] Read more.
Several databases of epidemiologic studies in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) have been analyzed in the Western community. However, few studies have been reported in Asia. The objective of this study was to investigate the epidemiology of IPF in Taiwan. We collected and analyzed patients with IPF from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database from 2001 to 2011. We estimated the annual incidence and cumulative prevalence of IPF and mean survival time of patients and determined the causes of death. The annual incidence rates of IPF remained stable after 2005, ranging from 0.7 to 1.3 cases per 100,000 people per year, whereas the cumulative prevalence rates increased steadily from 3.1 to 6.4 cases per 100,000 people per year during 2006–2011 based on a narrow case definition. Men older than 75 years had higher incidence compared with other age groups. The mean survival after diagnosis was 6.9 years. Old age, male sex, and respiratory hospitalization were associated with shorter survival time after diagnosis. Both the incidence and prevalence rates of IPF were lower in Taiwanese patients than Western ones. Moreover, the survival time was higher in the Asian population compared with the Western population. These results may suggest the heterogeneity of the IPF definition in different study populations and geographic locations. Full article
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Review
Nutritional Intake and Meal Composition of Patients Consuming Texture Modified Diets and Thickened Fluids: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040579 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1770
Abstract
Texture-modified diets (TMDs) play an important role in ensuring safety for those with dysphagia but come with risks to nutrition and quality of life. The use of TMDs has been addressed with the increasing prevalence of dysphagia in previous decades. However, there is [...] Read more.
Texture-modified diets (TMDs) play an important role in ensuring safety for those with dysphagia but come with risks to nutrition and quality of life. The use of TMDs has been addressed with the increasing prevalence of dysphagia in previous decades. However, there is limited literature that investigates the nutrition perspectives of TMD consumers. This review summarises the nutrition outcomes of adults consuming TMDs and thickened fluids (TFs) and identifies the limitations of TMD and TF productions. A systematic database search following PICO criteria was conducted using Cochrane Central (via Ovid), MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, and Scopus databases. Nutrition intake, meal consumption, adequacy, and meal composition were identified as relevant outcomes. 35 studies were included for analysis. Consumption of TMDs demonstrated a poorer intake compared to regular diets, in particular significant in energy and calcium. Meta-analysis of mean differences showed favourable effects of shaped TMDs on both energy (−273.8 kJ/d; 95%CI: −419.1 to −128.6, p = 0.0002) and protein (−12.4 g/d; 95%CI: −17.9 to −6.8, p < 0.0001) intake compared to traditional cook-fresh TMDs. Nutrition intake was compromised in TMD consumers. Optimisation of nutrition intake was achievable through enrichment and adjusting meal texture and consistency. However, the heterogeneity of studies and the missing verification of the consistencies lead to difficulty in drawing conclusions regarding particular texture or intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Disorders in Older Adults)
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Review
Nursing Interventions to Prevent Delirium in Critically Ill Patients in the Intensive Care Unit during the COVID19 Pandemic—Narrative Overview
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040578 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1785
Abstract
It has become a standard measure in recent years to utilise evidence-based practice, which is associated with a greater need to implement and use advanced, reliable methods of summarising the achievements of various scientific disciplines, including such highly specialised approaches as personalised medicine. [...] Read more.
It has become a standard measure in recent years to utilise evidence-based practice, which is associated with a greater need to implement and use advanced, reliable methods of summarising the achievements of various scientific disciplines, including such highly specialised approaches as personalised medicine. The aim of this paper was to discuss the current state of knowledge related to improvements in “nursing” involving management of delirium in intensive care units during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. This narrative review summarises the current knowledge concerning the challenges associated with assessment of delirium in patients with COVID-19 by ICU nurses, and the role and tasks in the personalised approach to patients with COVID-19. Full article
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Article
Managing Procrastination on Social Networking Sites: The D-Crastinate Method
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040577 - 18 Dec 2020
Viewed by 1716
Abstract
Procrastination refers to the voluntary avoidance or postponement of action that needs to be taken, that results in negative consequences such as low academic performance, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Previous work has demonstrated the role of social networking site (SNS) design in users’ [...] Read more.
Procrastination refers to the voluntary avoidance or postponement of action that needs to be taken, that results in negative consequences such as low academic performance, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Previous work has demonstrated the role of social networking site (SNS) design in users’ procrastination and revealed several types of procrastination on SNS. In this work, we propose a method to combat procrastination on SNS (D-Crastinate). We present the theories and approaches that informed the design of D-Crastinate method and its stages. The method is meant to help users to identify the type of procrastination they experience and the SNS features that contribute to that procrastination. Then, based on the results of this phase, a set of customised countermeasures are suggested for each user with guidelines on how to apply them. To evaluate our D-Crastinate method, we utilised a mixed-method approach that included a focus group, diary study and survey. We evaluate the method in terms of its clarity, coverage, efficiency, acceptance and whether it helps to increase users’ consciousness and management of their own procrastination. The evaluation study involved participants who self-declared that they frequently procrastinate on SNS. The results showed a positive impact of D-Crastinate in increasing participants’ awareness and control over their procrastination and, hence, enhancing their digital wellbeing. Full article
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Article
Prevalence and Associated Factors of Malnutrition and Sarcopenia in a Daycare Facility: A Cross-Sectional Study
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040576 - 18 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1358
Abstract
Malnutrition and sarcopenia are prevalent and growing health issues in older populations. Early detection is important to implement proper interventions. However, little is known about malnutrition and sarcopenia in daycare facilities, the most dominant long-term care service. In this study, the prevalence of [...] Read more.
Malnutrition and sarcopenia are prevalent and growing health issues in older populations. Early detection is important to implement proper interventions. However, little is known about malnutrition and sarcopenia in daycare facilities, the most dominant long-term care service. In this study, the prevalence of and factors associated with malnutrition and sarcopenia in older individuals who commute to community daycare facilities were evaluated. The cross-sectional study included 62 older individuals screened for malnutrition and sarcopenia on their first day in a daycare facility in Japan. Daily physical activity and basal diseases were also evaluated. According to Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition (GLIM) criteria, 40.3% (25/62) of patients were malnourished and 59.7% (37/62) were well nourished. The Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia 2019 evaluation found that 12.9% (8/62) of patients showed no sarcopenia, whereas 87.1% (54/62) had sarcopenia. The prevalence of well-nourished sarcopenic individuals was the highest (45.2% (28/62)), followed by malnourished sarcopenia individuals (40.3% (25/62)). All malnourished individuals were sarcopenic and 14.5% (9/62) were well nourished and nonsarcopenic. Daily physical activity was significantly lower among sarcopenic individuals. Subgroups showed no significant difference in comorbidities. The prevalence of malnutrition and sarcopenia was relatively high. Activity-related sarcopenia seemed to precede malnutrition. Early detection of malnutrition and sarcopenia in daycare facilities should be encouraged for early intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Disorders in Older Adults)
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Article
An Exercise Training and Healthy Eating Group Program (ATHENA) for Overweight and Obese Women with Urinary Incontinence: An Intervention Description
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 575; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040575 - 18 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 672
Abstract
Background: Despite strong evidence for supervised pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) for women with urinary incontinence (UI), and weight loss and exercise for overweight and obese women with UI, implementation literature on these combined interventions is limited. This paper aimed to describe the [...] Read more.
Background: Despite strong evidence for supervised pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) for women with urinary incontinence (UI), and weight loss and exercise for overweight and obese women with UI, implementation literature on these combined interventions is limited. This paper aimed to describe the rigorous and systematic processes involved in the collaborative development, implementation, refinement and evaluation of a novel, holistic 12 week exercise training and healthy eating group program (ATHENA) for overweight and obese women with UI. Methods/Design: This intervention description paper is part of a larger mixed-methods feasibility study of implementing the ATHENA intervention within a physiotherapy service at a public hospital in Australia. The collaborative intervention design had input from clinicians, researchers and a consumer representative. Results: The intervention involved four evidence-based components—(1) supervised PFMT; (2) general exercise training; (3) pelvic health education; and (4) healthy eating education—delivered face to face over a 12 week period. Supporting resources developed included a Facilitator’s Guide and Participant Workbook. Conclusion: ATHENA is an evidence-based, multifaceted, group-based intervention targeting exercise training and healthy eating for management of UI for overweight and obese women. The structured development process and transparency of intervention content and resources aims to enhance practical application and success in future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Reward and Obesity)
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Study Protocol
Evaluation Instruments for Assessing Back Pain in Athletes: A Systematic Review Protocol
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040574 - 18 Dec 2020
Viewed by 849
Abstract
Back pain is a public health problem that affects adolescents and adults worldwide. However, studies on back pain present inconsistent findings in part due to the use of different instruments, especially for athletes. Therefore, the objective of this systematic review protocol was to [...] Read more.
Back pain is a public health problem that affects adolescents and adults worldwide. However, studies on back pain present inconsistent findings in part due to the use of different instruments, especially for athletes. Therefore, the objective of this systematic review protocol was to map the existing evidence on such tools. The systematic review will be conducted according to PRISMA guidelines. Five electronic databases, Embase, MEDLINE, SPORTDiscus, CINAHL, and Scopus will be searched. This review includes studies that investigated prevalence, incidence, and other variables. Titles and abstracts will be selected. Two independent reviewers will read the articles carefully and discrepancies, if any, will be dealt with by a third reviewer. All steps will be completed with Rayyan for systematic reviews and the methodological quality will be analyzed with a COSMIN checklist. Discussion: This systematic review will gather evidence on tools that assess back pain in athletes. The findings may indicate the most appropriate tools for assessing back pain. They will contribute to better reliability, safe measurements, and help to standardize a comparison tool between different studies. They will also assist in the development of specific tools for athletes. Registration: This review was submitted and registered under CRD42020201299 in PROSPERO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Pain Care and Management)
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Article
An Ontological Clinical Decision Support System Based on Clinical Guidelines for Diabetes Patients in Sri Lanka
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040573 - 18 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 933
Abstract
Health professionals should follow the clinical guidelines to decrease healthcare costs to avoid unnecessary testing and to minimize the variations among healthcare providers. In addition, this will minimize the mistakes in diagnosis and treatment processes. To this end, it is possible to use [...] Read more.
Health professionals should follow the clinical guidelines to decrease healthcare costs to avoid unnecessary testing and to minimize the variations among healthcare providers. In addition, this will minimize the mistakes in diagnosis and treatment processes. To this end, it is possible to use Clinical Decision Support Systems that implement the clinical guidelines. Clinical guidelines published by international associations are not suitable for developing countries such as Sri Lanka, due to the economic background, lack of resources, and unavailability of some laboratory tests. Hence, a set of clinical guidelines has been formulated based on the various published international professional organizations from a Sri Lankan context. Furthermore, these guidelines are usually presented in non-computer-interpretable narrative text or non-executable flow chart formats. In order to fill this gap, this research study finds a suitable approach to represent/organize the clinical guidelines in a Sri Lankan context that is suitable to be used in a clinical decision support system. To this end, we introduced a novel approach which is an ontological model based on the clinical guidelines. As it is revealed that there are 4 million diabetes patients in Sri Lanka, which is approximately twenty percent of the total population, we used diabetes-related guidelines in this research. Firstly, conceptual models were designed to map the acquired diabetes-related clinical guidelines using Business Process Model and Notation 2.0. Two models were designed in mapping the diagnosis process of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, and Gestational diabetes. Furthermore, several conceptual models were designed to map the treatment plans in guidelines by using flowcharting. These designs were validated by domain experts by using questionnaires. Grüninger and Fox’s method was used to design and evaluate the ontology based on the designed conceptual models. Domain experts’ feedback and several real-life diabetic scenarios were used to validate and evaluate the developed ontology. The evaluation results show that all suggested answers based on the proposed ontological model are accurate and well addressed with respect to the real-world scenarios. A clinical decision support system was implemented based on the ontological knowledge base using the Jena Framework, and this system can be used to access the diabetic information and knowledge in the Sri Lankan context. However, this contribution is not limited to diabetes or a local context, and can be applied to any disease or any context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Artificial Intelligence in Medicine)
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Study Protocol
Long-Term Care Preferences and Sexual Orientation: Protocol for a Systematic Review
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 572; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040572 - 18 Dec 2020
Viewed by 680
Abstract
Background: With increasing age, the health status of older individuals commonly deteriorates and their care needs greatly increase. Therefore, many individuals are in need for formal or informal long-term care. In order to plan suitable long-term care settings, it is important to know [...] Read more.
Background: With increasing age, the health status of older individuals commonly deteriorates and their care needs greatly increase. Therefore, many individuals are in need for formal or informal long-term care. In order to plan suitable long-term care settings, it is important to know the long-term care preferences of an ageing population (both heterosexuals and sexual minorities). The aim of this study is to systematically review the literature for evidence on preferences regarding long-term care and the potential differences with regard to sexual orientation. Methods and analysis: This study protocol for a systematic review is reported according to the PRISMA-P guidelines. A comprehensive search of published studies will be conducted using PubMed, Web of Science and PsycINFO bibliographic databases. Following predefined inclusion criteria, two authors will screen the titles and abstracts of the studies independently. Afterwards, we will obtain and screen full-text articles of eligible studies using the predefined inclusion criteria. Discrepancies will be resolved by consensus or consultation with a third researcher. Data will be extracted and synthesised. Extracted data will be categorised based on study design, type of long-term care preferences and the group (sexual orientation) which is addressed. The quality of reporting of the studies included will be assessed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing in LGBT Populations)
Article
Knowing in Nurses’ Belief and Attitude about Patient Activation: A Validation of the Korean Clinician Support for Patient Activation Measure Using Rasch Analysis
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040571 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 691
Abstract
Background: Patient engagement is considered a critical factor in improving healthcare delivery. This study aimed to test the Korean version of the Clinician Support for Patient Activation Measure (CS-PAM) using Rasch analysis, and to explore nurses’ beliefs about patient self-management. Methods: A cross-sectional, [...] Read more.
Background: Patient engagement is considered a critical factor in improving healthcare delivery. This study aimed to test the Korean version of the Clinician Support for Patient Activation Measure (CS-PAM) using Rasch analysis, and to explore nurses’ beliefs about patient self-management. Methods: A cross-sectional, exploratory study design was employed. The staff nurses who were recruited from six hospitals were requested to complete the Korean CS-PAM. Their responses were subsequently subjected to Rasch analysis to validate the Korean CS-PAM. The CS-PAM was paraphrased into Korean using the standardized forward–backward translation method. Results: The internal consistency of the scale had good Cronbach’s alpha value. For all items, the infit and outfit statistics fell well within the acceptable range of 0.5–1.5. This measure formed a unidimensional Guttman-like scale that explained 54.7% of the variance. Conclusions: The Korean version of the CS-PAM showed good psychometric properties and appeared to be consistent with the meaning of the original CS-PAM. However, the items have a somewhat different ranking order when compared to the English and Dutch versions. The instrument might be useful for identifying the supportive beliefs and attitudes of nurses or healthcare providers in order to improve patient activation in healthcare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nursing)
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Article
The Relationship between Body Mass Index and Physical Fitness among Chinese University Students: Results of a Longitudinal Study
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 570; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040570 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 763
Abstract
Over the past few decades, a gradual increase in sedentary lifestyles along with the increased consumption of a modern, hypercaloric diet has resulted in a substantial increase in the number of those classified as overweight or obese in China. The prevalence of overweight [...] Read more.
Over the past few decades, a gradual increase in sedentary lifestyles along with the increased consumption of a modern, hypercaloric diet has resulted in a substantial increase in the number of those classified as overweight or obese in China. The prevalence of overweight and obesity has become a key public health issue. However, it is important to be cautious when interpreting the literature as the majority of studies apply cross-sectional data to assess and subjectively compare the relationship between physical fitness and being overweight and obese. In the present study, longitudinal data were collected from 3066 students (enrolled in 2014) at a university in China at the beginning of each academic year throughout their four-year university program. The aim of this study was to analyze the various associations between BMI, explosive power, flexibility, and cardiorespiratory endurance, and a random-intercept panel model (RIPM) was separately employed on male and female participants to identify between- and within-person variations. In this way, the associations for between-person physical fitness and normal/overweight/obese weight ranges, and for within-person physical fitness and normal/overweight/obese weight ranges could be observed. The results of this study revealed that every physical fitness test chosen for evaluation (such as the standing long jump for explosive power or the distance run for cardiorespiratory endurance) was negatively related to the BMI results, irrespective of sex, with the notable exception of the flexibility results. In addition, this study showed that both males and females exhibited positively correlated results in both between-person BMI and flexibility as well as within-person BMI and flexibility. Furthermore, the relationships between and within persons of cardiorespiratory endurance, explosive power, and flexibility all showed positive correlations across both sexes. The dynamics between physical fitness and BMI identified in this study could prove useful to practitioners and researchers investigating such relationships in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition for Sport and Exercise)
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Article
Psychometric Validation of the Brazilian Portuguese Version of the Derriford Appearance Scale-24 (DAS-24) for People Living with HIV/AIDS
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 569; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040569 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 651
Abstract
The changes in appearance of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) interferes with how people around them react to their body, how social interactions take place, and how each person perceives and accepts their body. The definition of itself can be severely challenged when [...] Read more.
The changes in appearance of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) interferes with how people around them react to their body, how social interactions take place, and how each person perceives and accepts their body. The definition of itself can be severely challenged when the body changes as a result of illness and the person does not look healthier anymore. People living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) are an especially vulnerable group when it comes to “distress” and the psychosocial impact of appearance, yet the assessment of body image changes in these people was subjective in Brazil. The aim of this paper was to assess the psychometric properties of the Brazilian version of Derriford Appearance Scale 24 (DAS-24) for a sample of Brazilians living with HIV/AIDS. A sample of 400 patients were recruited from an HIV/AIDS ambulatory, aged between 18 and 78 years, of both sexes. The psychometric properties of DAS-24 were investigated while using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), with unweighted least square estimation and listwise deletion for missing data. The adjustment of three structural models previously established for DAS-24 (single-factor, two-factor, and three-factor) was investigated. Evidences of construct validity—convergent and discriminant—and internal consistency—Cronbach’s alpha and construct reliability—were also generated for the measure model. The results showed that the one-factor model had the best adjustment, after eliminating items 8, 17, and 20, and accepting the covariance of errors between items 4 and 10; 9 and 23; 11 and 14; and, 14 and 22. Additionally, validity and reliability evidence were satisfactory for the model. The Brazilian Portuguese version of DAS-24 seems to be a psychometrically sound scale for measuring body image distress for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA). Full article
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Article
Severity, Progress, and Related Factors of Mood Disorders in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease: A Retrospective Study
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040568 - 16 Dec 2020
Viewed by 761
Abstract
Patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, which, in turn, are risk factors for CAD. The Beck depression inventory (BDI) and Beck anxiety inventory (BAI) were applied for mood evaluation during hospitalization and again 3 months [...] Read more.
Patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, which, in turn, are risk factors for CAD. The Beck depression inventory (BDI) and Beck anxiety inventory (BAI) were applied for mood evaluation during hospitalization and again 3 months after discharge in 118 patients with CAD, and cardiopulmonary exercise tests were conducted in the outpatient department. Of the patients diagnosed with CAD, 40 (33.9%) had depressive moods, and 51 (43.2%) had anxious moods. A family history of CAD, low Korean activity scale index (KASI), and use of beta-blockers were independent factors causing depressive mood, while lower left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and low KASI score were independent factors causing anxious mood. A considerable number of patients (35.7% with depressive mood and 25.0% with anxious mood) still had emotional problems after 3 months of discharge. The change values of BDI were associated with lower LVEF and longer hospital stay, while those of BAI was associated with a longer hospital stay. Since some patients had depressive and anxious moods after three months of discharge, evaluating and treating them are essential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comprehensive Clinical Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation)
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Article
The Relationship between Subjective Cognitive Decline and Health Literacy in Healthy Community-Dwelling Older Adults
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040567 - 16 Dec 2020
Viewed by 944
Abstract
Few studies have examined the effects of health literacy on people at risk of developing dementia; its effects on the pathogenesis of subjective cognitive decline (SCD) are particularly unclear. This study aimed to clarify the relationship between health literacy and SCD in a [...] Read more.
Few studies have examined the effects of health literacy on people at risk of developing dementia; its effects on the pathogenesis of subjective cognitive decline (SCD) are particularly unclear. This study aimed to clarify the relationship between health literacy and SCD in a population of healthy community-dwelling older adults. SCD status was assessed using the Cognitive Function domain of the Kihon Checklist (KCL-CF). Health literacy, in turn, was evaluated using the Communicative and Critical Health Literacy (CCHL) scale. Global cognitive function and depressive symptoms were evaluated using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and a five-item version of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-5), respectively. Participants who were suspected of having SCD were significantly older than their non-SCD peers, and scored significantly worse on the CCHL, MMSE, and GDS-5. In addition, SCD status was found to be associated with CCHL and GDS-5 scores, as well as age, according to a logistic regression analysis. These findings suggest that low health literacy is linked to SCD morbidity in healthy community-dwelling older adults and should prove useful in the planning of dementia prevention and intervention programs for this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Health Care and Services for Elderly Population)
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Article
Novel Prefrontal Synthesis Intervention Improves Language in Children with Autism
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040566 - 16 Dec 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4562
Abstract
Prefrontal synthesis (PFS) is defined as the ability to juxtapose mental visuospatial objects at will. Paralysis of PFS may be responsible for the lack of comprehension of spatial prepositions, semantically-reversible sentences, and recursive sentences observed in 30 to 40% of individuals with autism [...] Read more.
Prefrontal synthesis (PFS) is defined as the ability to juxtapose mental visuospatial objects at will. Paralysis of PFS may be responsible for the lack of comprehension of spatial prepositions, semantically-reversible sentences, and recursive sentences observed in 30 to 40% of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In this report we present data from a three-year-long clinical trial of 6454 ASD children age 2 to 12 years, which were administered a PFS-targeting intervention. Tablet-based verbal and nonverbal exercises emphasizing mental-juxtaposition-of-objects were organized into an application called Mental Imagery Therapy for Autism (MITA). The test group included participants who completed more than one thousand exercises and made no more than one error per exercise. The control group was selected from the rest of participants by a matching procedure. Each test group participant was matched to the control group participant by age, gender, expressive language, receptive language, sociability, cognitive awareness, and health score at first evaluation using propensity score analysis. The test group showed a 2.2-fold improvement in receptive language score vs. control group (p < 0.0001) and a 1.4-fold improvement in expressive language (p = 0.0144). No statistically significant change was detected in other subscales not targeted by the exercises. These findings show that language acquisition improves after training PFS and that a further investigation of the PFS-targeting intervention in a randomized controlled study is warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Imagination in Autism)
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Article
The Relationship between Locomotive Syndrome Risk, Gait Pattern, and Standing Posture in Young Japanese Women: A Cross-Sectional Study
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040565 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 680
Abstract
Young people are also at risk of developing locomotive syndrome for unclear reasons. Therefore, we sought to evaluate the locomotive syndrome risk in young Japanese women and the relationship between standing posture and gait patterns. We used survey materials for physical measurements, locomotive [...] Read more.
Young people are also at risk of developing locomotive syndrome for unclear reasons. Therefore, we sought to evaluate the locomotive syndrome risk in young Japanese women and the relationship between standing posture and gait patterns. We used survey materials for physical measurements, locomotive syndrome risk tests, normal and maximum walking test, a standing posture test, and physical activity measures. A questionnaire-based cross-sectional survey was conducted with 100 Japanese female university students. The participants were divided into two groups (high-risk and low-risk groups) based on locomotive syndrome risk tests. The high-risk group accounted for 65.0% of the total participants. The high-risk group had a significantly slower walking speed and lower walking stride length than the low-risk group during maximum walking. Additionally, this high-risk group had a more prone posture than the low-risk group. Furthermore, the low-risk group included more individuals who belonged to middle and high school athletic clubs than the high-risk group. The locomotive syndrome risk was related to the walking pattern, standing posture, and past exercise habits. Therefore, long stride length, correct standing posture, and exercise habits acquired from a young age are important measures for preventing locomotive syndrome in young adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Women Health)
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Review
Barriers to and Facilitators of Adherence to Clinical Practice Guidelines in the Middle East and North Africa Region: A Systematic Review
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040564 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 689
Abstract
The current review aims to investigate the barriers to and facilitators of the adherence to clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. English language studies published between January 2010 and May 2019 were searched on PubMed, Embase, [...] Read more.
The current review aims to investigate the barriers to and facilitators of the adherence to clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. English language studies published between January 2010 and May 2019 were searched on PubMed, Embase, and EBSCO. The barriers were categorized as clinician-related factors, such as lack of awareness of familiarity with the CPGs, and external factors, such as patients, guidelines, and environmental factors. The search identified 295 titles, out of which 15 were included. Environmental factors, specifically lack of time, resources, incentives, availability, and costs of treatment or diagnostic tests, training, and dissemination plans were the most commonly identified barriers. The familiarity with or awareness of healthcare professionals about the guideline, guideline characteristics, lack of agreement with the guidelines and preference in clinical judgment, physician self-efficacy, and motivation were reported to a lesser extent. Few studies reported on the compliance of facilitators with the guidelines including disseminating and advertising guideline materials, education and training on the guidelines, regulatory and financial incentives, and support from institutions. The review highlights that the studies on barriers to and facilitators of compliance with CPGs in the MENA region are limited in number and quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety)
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Article
Doctors’ Perceptions of E-Prescribing upon Its Mandatory Adoption in Poland, Using the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology Method
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040563 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 838
Abstract
Background: E-prescribing is the most important achievement in the automation of the healthcare sector in Poland. Obligatory electronic prescribing came into force on 8 January 2020. This innovation significantly changes the work of doctors. Therefore, it is useful to identify the factors that [...] Read more.
Background: E-prescribing is the most important achievement in the automation of the healthcare sector in Poland. Obligatory electronic prescribing came into force on 8 January 2020. This innovation significantly changes the work of doctors. Therefore, it is useful to identify the factors that have an impact on doctors’ acceptance levels for the new technology. Methods: This study employs a survey based on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) method. Our questionnaire was completed by 144 family doctors in Poland during the technology implementation phase and the initial period of obligatory e-prescribing, between 1 December 2019 and 1 March 2020. Results: The results of the survey indicate that doctors do not believe that e-prescribing improves the effectiveness of their work. In addition, this attitude does not depend on the age of the respondent. We also found, regarding the influence of societal attitudes, that doctors only rarely consider the opinions of others in relation to their job. Conclusions: The implementation of new technologies in the healthcare system must be accompanied by consideration of how user-friendly the technologies are, and whether the users will have appropriate technical and financial support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section TeleHealth and Digital Healthcare)
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Article
Identifying High-Risk Factors of Depression in Middle-Aged Persons with a Novel Sons and Spouses Bayesian Network Model
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040562 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 749
Abstract
It has been reported repeatedly that depression in middle-aged people may cause serious ramifications in public health. However, previous studies on this important research topic have focused on utilizing either traditional statistical methods (i.e., logistic regressions) or black-or-gray artificial intelligence (AI) methods (i.e., [...] Read more.
It has been reported repeatedly that depression in middle-aged people may cause serious ramifications in public health. However, previous studies on this important research topic have focused on utilizing either traditional statistical methods (i.e., logistic regressions) or black-or-gray artificial intelligence (AI) methods (i.e., neural network, Support Vector Machine (SVM), ensemble). Previous studies lack suggesting more decision-maker-friendly methods, which need to produce clear interpretable results with information on cause and effect. For the sake of improving the quality of decisions of healthcare decision-makers, public health issues require identification of cause and effect information for any type of strategic healthcare initiative. In this sense, this paper proposes a novel approach to identify the main causes of depression in middle-aged people in Korea. The proposed method is the Sons and Spouses Bayesian network model, which is an extended version of conventional TAN (Tree-Augmented Naive Bayesian Network). The target dataset is a longitudinal dataset employed from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) database with a sample size of 8580. After developing the proposed Sons and Spouses Bayesian network model, we found thirteen main causes leading to depression. Then, genetic optimization was executed to reveal the most probable cause of depression in middle-aged people that would provide practical implications to field practitioners. Therefore, our proposed method can help healthcare decision-makers comprehend changes in depression status by employing what-if queries towards a target individual. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Informatics and Big Data)
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Article
Sex Differences in the Influence of Sleep on Body Mass Index and Risk of Metabolic Syndrome in Middle-Aged Adults
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040561 - 14 Dec 2020
Viewed by 593
Abstract
Poor sleep and obesity are intimately related to cardiovascular diseases. We aimed to examine whether the influence of sleep and body mass index (BMI) on the risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) differed by sex in middle-aged people. It is a cross-sectional study of [...] Read more.
Poor sleep and obesity are intimately related to cardiovascular diseases. We aimed to examine whether the influence of sleep and body mass index (BMI) on the risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) differed by sex in middle-aged people. It is a cross-sectional study of 458 Korean participants who completed self-administered surveys; the data were analyzed using the PROCESS macro for SPSS. We found that both sleep and BMI were significant predictors of MetS risk in women, particularly by the role of BMI connecting the impact of sleep to MetS risk. However, the association was not found in men, showing that BMI, but not sleep, was a significant predictor of MetS. This sex-related difference was due to different relationships between sleep and BMI, indicating that BMI was more dependent on sleep quality for women than for men. Therefore, a sex-specific approach to decrease the risk of MetS is warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nursing)
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Article
Uptake of Health Care Services by Refugees: Modelling a Country Response to a Western Balkan Refugee Crisis
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040560 - 14 Dec 2020
Viewed by 739
Abstract
Planning and adjusting health capacities to meet the needs of refugees is a constant issue for transit and destination countries following the 2015/2016 Western Balkans refugee crisis. Understanding this crisis is important for taking the right steps in the future. The study informs [...] Read more.
Planning and adjusting health capacities to meet the needs of refugees is a constant issue for transit and destination countries following the 2015/2016 Western Balkans refugee crisis. Understanding this crisis is important for taking the right steps in the future. The study informs about the prediction of the refugees’ health needs and demands for services in correspondence to political decision-making during 2015/2016 Western Balkan Refugee Crisis. Time series analysis, linear regression, and correlation analyses modelled the weekly flux of arrivals of more than half a million refugees to Serbia and the European Union, changes in the utilization of health care services, and disease diagnoses. With strategic planning, in the event of a recurrence of the refugee crises, the demand for health care services in the transit country could increase by 63 (95% CI: 21–105) for every additional 1000 refugees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inequalities in Environmental Exposure and in Health Care)
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Review
Impact of Artificial Nutrition on Postoperative Complications
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040559 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 729
Abstract
Malnutrition is common in surgical cancer patients and it is widely accepted that it can adversely affect their postoperative outcome. Assessing the nutritional status of every patient, in particular care of elderly and cancer patients, is a crucial feature of the therapeutic pathway [...] Read more.
Malnutrition is common in surgical cancer patients and it is widely accepted that it can adversely affect their postoperative outcome. Assessing the nutritional status of every patient, in particular care of elderly and cancer patients, is a crucial feature of the therapeutic pathway in order to optimize every strategy. Evidence exists that the advantages of perioperative nutrition are more significant in malnourished patients submitted to major surgery. For patients recognized as malnourished, preoperative nutrition therapies are indicated; the choice between parenteral and enteral nutrition is still controversial in perioperative malnourished surgical cancer patients, although enteral nutrition seems to have the best risk–benefit ratio. Early oral nutrition after surgery is advisable, when feasible, and should be administered in all the patients undergoing elective major surgery, if compliant. In patients with high risk for postoperative infections, perioperative immunonutrition has been proved in some ways to be effective, even if operations including those for cancer have to be delayed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Nutrition in Cancer Patients)
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Article
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Manual Therapy Service Utilization within the Australian Private Healthcare Setting
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040558 - 13 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1579
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted a wide range of health services. This study aimed to quantify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on manual therapy service utilization within the Australian private healthcare setting during the first half of 2020. Quarterly data regarding the [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted a wide range of health services. This study aimed to quantify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on manual therapy service utilization within the Australian private healthcare setting during the first half of 2020. Quarterly data regarding the number and total cost of services provided were extracted for each manual therapy profession (i.e., chiropractic, osteopathy, and physiotherapy) for the period January 2015 to June 2020 from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Time series forecasting methods were used to estimate absolute and relative differences between the forecasted and observed values of service utilization. An estimated 1.3 million (13.2%) fewer manual therapy services, with a total cost of AUD 84 million, were provided within the Australian private healthcare setting during the first half of 2020. Reduction in service utilization was considerably larger in the second quarter (21.7%) than in the first quarter (5.7%), and was larger in physiotherapy (20.6%) and osteopathy (12.7%) than in chiropractic (5.2%). The impact varied across states and territories, with the largest reductions in service utilization observed in New South Wales (17.5%), Australian Capital Territory (16.3%), and Victoria (16.2%). The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on manual therapy service utilization in Australia. The magnitude of the decline in service utilization varied considerably across professions and locations. The long-term consequences of this decline in manual therapy utilization remain to be determined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare)
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Article
Psychological Distress and Somatization in Immigrants in Primary Health Care Practices
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040557 - 13 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 873
Abstract
The process of international migration causes a situation of vulnerability in people’s health and greater difficulty in coping with disease. Furthermore, the adversities suffered during migration can trigger reactive signs of stress and cause anxious, depressive, confusional and somatic symptoms. This article studies [...] Read more.
The process of international migration causes a situation of vulnerability in people’s health and greater difficulty in coping with disease. Furthermore, the adversities suffered during migration can trigger reactive signs of stress and cause anxious, depressive, confusional and somatic symptoms. This article studies the relationships between psychosocial risk, psychological distress and somatization in immigrants from four communities: Maghrebis, Sub-Saharans, South Americans and South Asian. A cross-sectional study was carried out with questionnaires on 602 immigrants who were surveyed in the primary care centers of an urban area of Catalonia. The instruments used were the Demographic Psychosocial Inventory (DPSI), the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and the Somatic Symptom Inventory (SSI). The average psychosocial risk obtained was 0.35, with the highest values in the Sub-Saharan community. Psychological distress showed a mean value of 0.66, with the Sub-Saharan community scoring the lowest in all dimensions except depression. The average somatization values were 1.65, with the Sub-Saharan community scoring the least. The female gender is a risk factor for somatization and psychological distress. Perceived psychosocial risk is a predictor of psychological distress, but not somatization, suggesting that the use of more adaptive coping strategies could minimize the effect of the migration process on somatizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inequalities in Environmental Exposure and in Health Care)
Article
Examining the Relationship between Cellphone Use Behavior, Perceived Exercise Benefit and Physical Exercise Level among University Students in Taiwan
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040556 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 917
Abstract
This study investigated how perceived exercise benefit affects the relationship between cellphone usage and physical activity level. This cross-sectional study performed a survey of Taiwanese university students selected using cluster sampling. A total of 975 students were recruited (male = 367, female = [...] Read more.
This study investigated how perceived exercise benefit affects the relationship between cellphone usage and physical activity level. This cross-sectional study performed a survey of Taiwanese university students selected using cluster sampling. A total of 975 students were recruited (male = 367, female = 608, average age = 20.10 ± 1.42). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, correlation analysis, and hierarchical regression. The results show that cellphone usage was negatively correlated with physical activity level, whereas perceived exercise benefit was negatively correlated with cellphone usage and positively correlated with physical activity level. In hierarchical regression, the main effects of cellphone usage and perceived exercise benefit explained 22% of the variance in physical activity level. After controlling for the main effect, the interaction term accounted for an additional 1% of the variance. Cellphone usage and perceived exercise benefit thus had significant power to explain physical activity level. The results of this study reveal a novel phenomenon—that students who perceived the benefits of exercise to be greater are more physically active. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Rehabilitation & Prevention in Sports Injuries)
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Article
M-Mode Ultrasound Examination of Soleus Muscle in Healthy Subjects: Intra- and Inter-Rater Reliability Study
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 555; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040555 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 925
Abstract
Objective: M-mode ultrasound imaging (US) reflects the motion of connective tissue within muscles. The objectives of this study were to evaluate inter-rater and intra-rater reliability of soleus muscle measurements between examiners with different levels of US experience in asymptomatic subjects and to investigate [...] Read more.
Objective: M-mode ultrasound imaging (US) reflects the motion of connective tissue within muscles. The objectives of this study were to evaluate inter-rater and intra-rater reliability of soleus muscle measurements between examiners with different levels of US experience in asymptomatic subjects and to investigate the level of soleus muscle isometric activity in two positions (knee extended and knee flexed at 30°). Methods: Thirty volunteers without a history of ankle pain were evaluated with US examinations of the soleus muscle. Each muscle was scanned independently by two evaluators. Muscle at rest thickness, maximal isometric contraction thickness, time and velocity measures were detailed and blinded to the other examiner. Results: Intra- and inter-rater reliability at rest, in maximal isometric contraction thickness, contraction time and contraction velocity measures for both positions (extended and flexed knee) were reported from good to excellent for all outcome measurements. The position with the knee extended reported a statistically significant increase in thickness after motion showing 1.33 ± 0.27 mm for measurements at rest thickness with knee extended versus 1.50 ± 0.29 mm for measurements at end thickness with the knee in flexed position (p = 0.001), as well as 1.31 ± 0.23 mm for rest thickness with the knee in flexed position measurements with respect to 1.34 ± 0.24 mm for maximal isometric contraction thickness with extended knee measurements (p = 0.058). Conclusions: This study found that intra- and inter-examiner reliability of M-mode ultrasound imaging of the soleus muscle was excellent in asymptomatic subjects and the soleus muscle activity was different between the position with the knee extended and the position with the knee flexed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasound Imaging Advances and Research in Healthcare)
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Article
Frontline Healthcare Workers’ Knowledge and Perception of COVID-19, and Willingness to Work during the Pandemic in Nepal
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 554; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040554 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2436
Abstract
This study investigated the contextual factors associated with the knowledge, perceptions, and the willingness of frontline healthcare workers (FHWs) to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal among a total of 1051 FHWs. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was applied to identify independent associations [...] Read more.
This study investigated the contextual factors associated with the knowledge, perceptions, and the willingness of frontline healthcare workers (FHWs) to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal among a total of 1051 FHWs. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was applied to identify independent associations between predictors and outcome variables. Of the total study subjects, 17.2% reported inadequate knowledge on COVID-19, 63.6% reported that they perceived the government response as unsatisfactory, and 35.9% showed an unwillingness to work during the pandemic. Our analyses demonstrated that FHWs at local public health facilities, pharmacists, Ayurvedic health workers (HWs), and those with chronic diseases were less likely, and male FHWs were more likely, to have adequate knowledge of COVID-19. Likewise, nurses/midwives, public health workers, FHWs from Karnali and Far-West provinces, and those who had adequate knowledge of COVID-19 were more likely to have satisfactory perceptions towards the government response. Further, FHWs—paramedics, nurse/midwives, public health workers, laboratory workers—FHWs from Karnali Province and Far-West Province, and those with satisfactory perceptions of government responses to COVID-19 were predictors of willingness to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. These results suggest that prompt actions are required to improve FHWs’ knowledge of COVID-19, address negative perceptions of government responses, and motivate them through specific measures to provide healthcare services during the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges Facing the Health System)
Review
Bolstering General Practitioner Palliative Care: A Critical Review of Support Provided by Australian Guidelines for Life-Limiting Chronic Conditions
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 553; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040553 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1168
Abstract
General practitioners (GPs) are increasingly expected to provide palliative care as ageing populations put pressure on specialist services. Some GPs, however, cite barriers to providing this care including prognostication challenges and lack of confidence. Palliative care content within clinical practice guidelines might serve [...] Read more.
General practitioners (GPs) are increasingly expected to provide palliative care as ageing populations put pressure on specialist services. Some GPs, however, cite barriers to providing this care including prognostication challenges and lack of confidence. Palliative care content within clinical practice guidelines might serve as an opportunistic source of informational support to GPs. This review analysed palliative care content within Australian guidelines for life-limiting conditions to determine the extent to which it might satisfy GPs’ stated information needs and support them to provide quality end-of-life care. Six databases and guideline repositories were searched (2011–2018). Eligible guidelines were those for a GP audience and explicitly based on an appraisal of all available evidence. Content was mapped against an established palliative care domain framework (PEPSI-COLA) and quality was assessed using AGREE-II. The nine guidelines meeting inclusion criteria were heterogenous in scope and depth of palliative care domain coverage. The ‘communication’ needs domain was best addressed while patient physical and emotional needs were variably covered. Spiritual, out-of-hours, terminal care and aftercare content was scant. Few guidelines addressed areas GPs are known to find challenging or acknowledged useful decision-support tools. A template covering important domains might reduce content variability across guidelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family Medicine: Opportunities and Challenges for Primary Healthcare)
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Review
Could Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Be an Effective Treatment for Long COVID and Post COVID-19 Fatigue Syndrome? Lessons from the Qure Study for Q-Fever Fatigue Syndrome
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040552 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 7484
Abstract
An increasing number of young and previously fit and healthy people who did not require hospitalisation continue to have symptoms months after mild cases of COVID-19. Rehabilitation clinics are already offering cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as an effective treatment for long COVID and [...] Read more.
An increasing number of young and previously fit and healthy people who did not require hospitalisation continue to have symptoms months after mild cases of COVID-19. Rehabilitation clinics are already offering cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as an effective treatment for long COVID and post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome based on the claims that it is effective for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)—the most common post-infectious syndrome—as no study into the efficacy of CBT for post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome has been published. Re-analyses of these studies, however, showed that CBT did not lead to objective improvements in heterogeneous groups of ME/CFS patients, nor did it restore the ability to work. The group of patients with long COVID and post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome, on the other hand, is homogeneous. We therefore analysed the Dutch Qure study, as it studied the efficacy of CBT in a homogeneous group of patients who developed Q-fever fatigue syndrome—which affects up to 30% of patients—after the largest reported outbreak of Q-fever, to see if CBT might potentially be an effective treatment for long-haulers after COVID-19 infection. Our reanalysis found that the Qure study suffered from many serious methodological problems, which included relying on one subjective primary outcome in a study without a control group for the non-blinded CBT treatment group, using a post hoc definition of improvement, waiting 2 years before publishing their objective actometer results and ignoring the null effect of said results. Moreover, only 10% of participants achieved a clinically meaningful subjective improvement in fatigue as a result of CBT according to the study’s own figures. Consequently, CBT has no subjective clinically meaningful effect in nine out of every ten patients that are treated with it. Additionally, the subjective improvement in fatigue was not matched by an improvement in disability, even though the disability was fatigue related according to the researchers. On top of this, CBT did not lead to an objective improvement in physical performance. Therefore, it cannot be said that CBT is an effective treatment for Q-fever fatigue syndrome either. It seems therefore unlikely that CBT will reduce disability or lead to objective improvement in long COVID or in post-COVID-19 fatigue syndrome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systematic Evaluation of Chronic Injury Caused by COVID-19)
Article
Trends and Characteristics of Emergency Medical Services in Italy: A 5-Years Population-Based Registry Analysis
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 551; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040551 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 865
Abstract
Background: Emergency Medical Services (EMS) plays a fundamental role in providing good quality healthcare services to citizens, as they are the first responders in distressing situations. Few studies have used available EMS data to investigate EMS call characteristics and subsequent responses. Methods: Data [...] Read more.
Background: Emergency Medical Services (EMS) plays a fundamental role in providing good quality healthcare services to citizens, as they are the first responders in distressing situations. Few studies have used available EMS data to investigate EMS call characteristics and subsequent responses. Methods: Data were extracted from the emergency registry for the period 2013–2017. This included call and rescue vehicle dispatch information. All relationships in analyses and differences in events proportion between 2013 and 2017 were tested against the Pearson’s Chi-Square with a 99% level of confidence. Results: Among the 2,120,838 emergency calls, operators dispatched at least one rescue vehicle for 1,494,855. There was an estimated overall incidence of 96 emergency calls and 75 rescue vehicles dispatched per 1000 inhabitants per year. Most calls were made by private citizens, during the daytime, and were made from home (63.8%); 31% of rescue vehicle dispatches were advanced emergency medical vehicles. The highest number of rescue vehicle dispatches ended at the emergency department (74.7%). Conclusions: Our data showed that, with some exception due to environmental differences, the highest proportion of incoming emergency calls is not acute or urgent and could be more effectively managed in other settings than in an Emergency Departments (ED). Better management of dispatch can reduce crowding and save hospital emergency departments time, personnel, and health system costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urgent and Acute Prehospital Care)
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