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Healthcare, Volume 9, Issue 4 (April 2021) – 122 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The goal was to systematically review and meta-analyze randomized controlled trials assessing the effects of strength training (ST) and stretching on range-of-motion (ROM). Eleven articles (n = 452 participants) were included. Pooled data showed no differences between ST and stretching on ROM (ES = −0.22; 95% CI = −0.55 to 0.12; p = 0.206). Sub-group analyses based on risk of bias, active vs. passive ROM, and movement-per-joint analyses showed no between-protocol differences in ROM gains. Conclusions: ST and stretching were not different in their effects on ROM, but the studies were highly heterogeneous in terms of design, protocols and populations; therefore, further research is warranted. The qualitative effects of all the studies, however, were quite homogeneous. View this paper.
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Open AccessArticle
Predicting Hospital Overall Quality Star Ratings in the USA
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 486; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040486 - 20 Apr 2021
Viewed by 347
Abstract
The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) assigns quality star ratings to hospitals upon assessing their performance across 57 measures. Ratings can be used by healthcare consumers for hospital selection and hospitals for quality improvement. We provide a simpler, more intuitive [...] Read more.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) assigns quality star ratings to hospitals upon assessing their performance across 57 measures. Ratings can be used by healthcare consumers for hospital selection and hospitals for quality improvement. We provide a simpler, more intuitive modeling approach, aligned with recent criticism by stakeholders. An ordered logistic regression approach is proposed to assess associations between performance measures and ratings across eligible (n = 4519) U.S. hospitals. Covariate selection reduces the double counting of information from highly correlated measures. Multiple imputation allows for inference of star ratings when information on all measures is not available. Twenty performance measures were found to contain all the relevant information to formulate star rating predictions upon accounting for performance measure correlation. Hospitals can focus their efforts on a subset of model-identified measures, while healthcare consumers can predict quality star ratings for hospitals ineligible under CMS criteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decision Modelling for Healthcare Evaluation)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Different Assistive Seats on Ability of Elderly in Sit-To-Stand and Back-To-Sit Movements
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040485 - 20 Apr 2021
Viewed by 261
Abstract
The ability to perform sit-to-stand (STS) and back-to-sit (BTS) movements is important for the elderly to live independently and maintain a reasonable quality of life. Accordingly, this study investigated the STS and BTS motions of 28 healthy older adults (16 male and 12 [...] Read more.
The ability to perform sit-to-stand (STS) and back-to-sit (BTS) movements is important for the elderly to live independently and maintain a reasonable quality of life. Accordingly, this study investigated the STS and BTS motions of 28 healthy older adults (16 male and 12 female) under three different seat conditions, namely nonassisted, self-designed lifting seat, and UpLift seat. The biomechanical data were acquired using a three-dimensional (3D) motion analysis system and force plates, and were examined by one-way repeated-measures ANOVA to investigate the effects of the different seat conditions on the joint angle, joint moments, and movement duration time (α = 0.05). No significant difference was observed in the STS duration among the three test conditions. However, the BTS duration was significantly increased in the UpLift seat condition. Moreover, the peak flexion angle of the hip during STS motion was also significantly higher in the UpLift condition. For both motions (STS and BTS), the lifting seats significantly decreased the knee and hip joint moments, but significantly increased the ankle joint moment. Moreover, compared to the nonassistive seat, both assistive lifting seats required a greater ankle joint strength to complete the STS and BTS motions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ergonomics Study in Healthcare Assistive Tools and Services)
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Open AccessArticle
Psychometric Properties of the Self-Healing Assessment Scale for Community-Dwelling Older Adults
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 484; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040484 - 20 Apr 2021
Viewed by 250
Abstract
Self-healing, an intrinsic healing capacity, helps individuals’ bodies and minds to regain wholeness and is significant in the pursuit of one’s own healthy ageing and independence. This study was intended to develop and preliminarily test the reliability and validity of the self-healing assessment [...] Read more.
Self-healing, an intrinsic healing capacity, helps individuals’ bodies and minds to regain wholeness and is significant in the pursuit of one’s own healthy ageing and independence. This study was intended to develop and preliminarily test the reliability and validity of the self-healing assessment scale (SHAS) for community-dwelling older adults, and was conducted in three phases. Phase 1: The definitions of self-healing were synthesized from our knowledge of the literature regarding the ontology of self-healing and panels of 25 experts. The initial version of the 12-item questionnaire was developed by the in-depth interviews of focus groups and panels, and the content was validated by six experts. Phase 2: A cross-sectional survey, including a total of 500 community-dwelling older adults with a mean age of 71.76, was then conducted for the preliminary reliability and validity test. The content validity indices were satisfied. Twelve items were retained, and three factors were identified, namely, physical and mental state, socioeconomic and environmental status, and independent lifestyle, which explained 65.8% of the variance under explorative approval. Phase 3: the standardized factor above 60 obtained by confirmatory factorial analysis indicated good convergent validity. The relationship between self-healing and health-related quality of life was confirmed via concurrent validity testing. The SHAS can facilitate the evaluation of factors associated with community-dwelling older adults’ self-healing capacity. Programs tailored to enhance self-healing capacity should be designed, implemented, and inspected regarding their effectiveness in older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthcare Strategy and Community Care)
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Open AccessArticle
Knowledge of Antiretroviral Treatment and Associated Factors in HIV-Infected Patients
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040483 - 20 Apr 2021
Viewed by 247
Abstract
This study aimed to assess the knowledge of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment and the associated factors in HIV-infected patients in Vietnam. We conducted a cross-sectional descriptive study of 350 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients being treated with ARV at outpatient clinics [...] Read more.
This study aimed to assess the knowledge of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment and the associated factors in HIV-infected patients in Vietnam. We conducted a cross-sectional descriptive study of 350 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients being treated with ARV at outpatient clinics at Soc Trang, Vietnam, from June 2019 to December 2019. Using an interview questionnaire, patients who answered at least eight out of nine questions correctly, including some required questions, were considered to have a general knowledge of ARV treatment. Using multivariate logistic regression to identify factors associated with knowledge of ARV treatment, we found that 62% of HIV-infected patients had a general knowledge of ARV treatment, with a mean score of 8.2 (SD 1.4) out of 9 correct. A higher education level (p < 0.001); working away from home (p = 0.013); getting HIV transmitted by injecting drugs or from mother-to-child contact (p = 0.023); the presence of tension, anxiety, or stress (p = 0.005); self-reminding to take medication (p = 0.024); and a high self-evaluated adherence (p < 0.001) were found to be significantly associated with an adequate knowledge of ARV treatment. In conclusion, education programs for patients, as well as the quality of medical services and support, should be strengthened. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Relationships among the Degree of Participation in Physical Activity, Self-Concept Clarity, and COVID-19 Stress in Adolescents
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040482 - 19 Apr 2021
Viewed by 294
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic situation threatens the health of people globally, especially adolescents facing mental problems such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder due to constant COVID-19 stress. The present study aimed to provide basic data highlighting the need to alleviate COVID-19 stress among [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic situation threatens the health of people globally, especially adolescents facing mental problems such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder due to constant COVID-19 stress. The present study aimed to provide basic data highlighting the need to alleviate COVID-19 stress among adolescents by promoting physical activity participation and strengthening self-concept clarity (SCC). To examine the relationships among participation in physical activity, SCC, and COVID-19 stress in pandemic-like conditions, the study was conducted on middle and high school students aged 14 to 19 and an online survey was conducted on 1046 Korean adolescents (521 male and 525 female students in the preliminary survey and main survey). Frequency, reliability, confirmatory factor, descriptive, and path analyses were performed using SPSS and AMOS 18.0. Participation in physical activity exerted a positive effect on SCC (p < 0.001) as well as a negative effect on COVID-19 stress (p = 0.031). Our findings also indicated that SCC exerted a negative effect on COVID-19 stress (p < 0.001). Regular participation in physical activity and strong SCC are also fundamental elements for alleviating COVID-19 stress. Given these results, state and local governments and educational institutions should encourage youth to participate in sports by suggesting policies, providing guidelines, and offering education. Such information may allow adolescents to endure and overcome COVID-19 stress during this critical period of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges Facing the Health System)
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Open AccessCase Report
Successful Treatment of Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome Temporally Associated with COVID-19 (PIMS-TS) with Split Doses of Immunoglobulin G and Estimation of PIMS-TS Incidence in a County District in Southern Germany
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 481; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040481 - 18 Apr 2021
Viewed by 406
Abstract
Pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with SARS Cov2 (PIMS-TS) is a newly encountered disease in children sharing clinical features with Kawasaki disease, toxic shock syndrome, or macrophage-activating syndrome. Pathogenically, it is associated with immune-mediated post-infectious hyperinflammation leading to short-term myocardial injury with [...] Read more.
Pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with SARS Cov2 (PIMS-TS) is a newly encountered disease in children sharing clinical features with Kawasaki disease, toxic shock syndrome, or macrophage-activating syndrome. Pathogenically, it is associated with immune-mediated post-infectious hyperinflammation leading to short-term myocardial injury with yet unknown long-term outcome. We herein present three cases of PIMS-TS treated in our institution with divided doses of immunoglobulins and high dose acetyl salicylic acid, according to existing Kawasaki disease guidelines. Due to greater weight in adolescents affected and concerns of rheological sequelae following possible hyperviscosity, doses of immunoglobulins were divided and given 24 h apart with good tolerability. All patients recovered rapidly with normalization of previously encountered cardiac manifestations. As diagnosis of PIMS-TS should be made promptly, timing of therapy is of paramount importance for a favorable outcome. To date, no randomized controlled trial data exist concerning treatment recommendations. 1.8% (95% CI: 1.7% to 2.0%) of all children and adolescents in the county district of Ostallgäu were tested positive for SARS CoV-2, incidence of PIMS-TS was 1.7% (95% CI: 0.9% to 3.1%) among SARS CoV-2 positive tested earlier. As the pandemic is still ongoing, rising numbers of PIMS-TS in children might be expected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Coronaviruses (CoV) and COVID-19 Pandemic)
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Open AccessArticle
COVID-19-Related Fear, Risk Perception, and Safety Behavior in Individuals with Diabetes
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040480 - 18 Apr 2021
Viewed by 366
Abstract
(1) The aim of the study is to assess the psychological burden of individuals with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic in comparison to matched controls. (2) Over the course of eight weeks, 9 April to 3 June 2020, 253 individuals with diabetes and [...] Read more.
(1) The aim of the study is to assess the psychological burden of individuals with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic in comparison to matched controls. (2) Over the course of eight weeks, 9 April to 3 June 2020, 253 individuals with diabetes and 253 matched controls, using Propensity Score Matching (PSM), participated in this cross-sectional study. Participants completed an anonymous survey including demographics, depressive symptoms (PHQ-2), generalized anxiety (GAD-7), COVID-19-related fear, risk perception, and safety behavior. (3) While patients with diabetes expected their risk of infection similar to controls, they reported a higher probability of the occurrence of symptoms, severe course, and dying of COVID-19. Patients with diabetes showed no elevated generalized anxiety or depressive symptoms. However, they reported higher COVID-19-related fear and more adherent and dysfunctional safety behavior compared to controls. (4) From a public health view, it seems encouraging that despite the somatic risk condition, generalized anxiety and depression are not higher in patients with diabetes than in controls. Patients with diabetes report higher COVID-19-related fear, increased risk perception, and behavioral changes. This suggests that individuals with diabetes, as a significant risk group of severe COVID-19, show an adequate perception and functional reaction to the current pandemic. Full article
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Open AccessSystematic Review
Pre-Procedural Lumbar Neuraxial Ultrasound—A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials and Meta-Analysis
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040479 - 17 Apr 2021
Viewed by 219
Abstract
A pre-procedural ultrasound of the lumbar spine is frequently used to facilitate neuraxial procedures. The aim of this review is to examine the evidence sustaining the utilization of pre-procedural neuraxial ultrasound compared to conventional methods. We perform a systematic review of randomized controlled [...] Read more.
A pre-procedural ultrasound of the lumbar spine is frequently used to facilitate neuraxial procedures. The aim of this review is to examine the evidence sustaining the utilization of pre-procedural neuraxial ultrasound compared to conventional methods. We perform a systematic review of randomized controlled trials with meta-analyses. We search the electronic databases Medline, Cochrane Central, Science Direct and Scopus up to 1 June 2019. We include trials comparing a pre-procedural lumbar spine ultrasound to a non-ultrasound-assisted method. The primary endpoints are technical failure rate, first-attempt success rate, number of needle redirections and procedure time. We retrieve 32 trials (3439 patients) comparing pre-procedural lumbar ultrasounds to palpations for neuraxial procedures in various clinical settings. Pre-procedural ultrasounds decrease the overall risk of technical failure (Risk Ratio (RR) 0.69 (99% CI, 0.43 to 1.10), p = 0.04) but not in obese and difficult spinal patients (RR 0.53, p = 0.06) and increase the first-attempt success rate (RR 1.5 (99% CI, 1.22 to 1.86), p < 0.0001, NNT = 5). In difficult spines and obese patients, the RR is 1.84 (99% CI, 1.44 to 2.3; p < 0.0001, NNT = 3). The number of needle redirections is lower with pre-procedural ultrasounds (SMD = −0.55 (99% CI, −0.81 to −0.29), p < 0.0001), as is the case in difficult spines and obese patients (SMD = −0.85 (99% CI, −1.08 to −0.61), p < 0.0001). No differences are observed in procedural times. Ιn conclusion, a pre-procedural ultrasound provides significant benefit in terms of technical failure, number of needle redirections and first attempt-success rate. Τhe effect of pre-procedural ultrasound scanning of the lumbar spine is more significant in a subgroup analysis of difficult spines and obese patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Perioperative Care)
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Open AccessArticle
Psychopathology and Somatic Complaints: A Cross-Sectional Study with Portuguese Adults
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040478 - 17 Apr 2021
Viewed by 312
Abstract
(1) Background: Functional somatic symptoms (FSS) are physical symptoms that cannot be fully explained by medical diagnosis, injuries, and medication intake. More than the presence of unexplained symptoms, this condition is associated with functional disabilities, psychological distress, increased use of health services, and [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Functional somatic symptoms (FSS) are physical symptoms that cannot be fully explained by medical diagnosis, injuries, and medication intake. More than the presence of unexplained symptoms, this condition is associated with functional disabilities, psychological distress, increased use of health services, and it has been linked to depressive and anxiety disorders. Recognizing the difficulty of diagnosing individuals with FSS and the impact on public health systems, this study aimed to verify the concomitant incidence of psychopathological symptoms and FSS in Portugal. (2) Methods: For this purpose, 93 psychosomatic outpatients (91.4% women with a mean age of 53.9 years old) and 101 subjects from the general population (74.3% women with 37.8 years old) were evaluated. The survey questionnaire included the 15-item Patient Health Questionnaire, the 20-Item Short Form Survey, the Brief Symptom Inventory, the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale, and questions on sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. (3) Results: Increases in FSS severity were correlated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms. The findings also suggest that increased rates of FSS are associated with lower educational level and female gender. (4) Conclusion: Being aware of the relationship between FSS and psychopathological symptoms and the need to explore psychosocial issues during clinical interviews may favor early detection of these cases. The early detection of mental disorders is essential for individuals’ adherence to treatments, reflecting on healthcare costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Somatopsychology: When Madness Arises from the Body)
Open AccessArticle
Harnessing Stakeholder Perspectives and Experience to Address Nutrition Risk in Community-Dwelling Older Adults
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040477 - 16 Apr 2021
Viewed by 250
Abstract
Community-dwelling, older adults have a high prevalence of nutrition risk but strategies to mitigate this risk are not routinely implemented. Our objective was to identify opportunities for the healthcare system and community organizations to combat nutrition risk in this population in the jurisdiction [...] Read more.
Community-dwelling, older adults have a high prevalence of nutrition risk but strategies to mitigate this risk are not routinely implemented. Our objective was to identify opportunities for the healthcare system and community organizations to combat nutrition risk in this population in the jurisdiction of Alberta, Canada. An intersectoral stakeholder group that included patient representatives was convened to share perspectives and experiences and to identify problems in need of solutions using a design thinking approach. Results: Two main themes emerged from the workshop: (1) lack of awareness and poor communication of the importance of nutrition risk between healthcare providers and from healthcare providers to patients and (2) the necessity to work in partnerships comprised of patients, community organizations, healthcare providers and the health system. Conclusion: Improving awareness, prevention and treatment of malnutrition in community-dwelling older adults requires intersectoral cooperation between patients, healthcare providers and community-based organizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Disorders in Older Adults)
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Open AccessArticle
Low Grip Strength and Muscle Mass Increase the Prevalence of Osteopenia and Osteoporosis in Elderly Women
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040476 - 16 Apr 2021
Viewed by 296
Abstract
The risk of developing low muscle strength and muscle mass is affected by aging, osteopenia, and osteoporosis and increases with age. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence and cutoff values for osteoporosis and osteopenia according to the level of [...] Read more.
The risk of developing low muscle strength and muscle mass is affected by aging, osteopenia, and osteoporosis and increases with age. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence and cutoff values for osteoporosis and osteopenia according to the level of grip strength and muscle mass associated with sarcopenia. A cross-sectional study was conducted, and data from 734 women aged from 60 to 79 years old who visited the healthcare center from 2016 to 2019 were analyzed. Bone mineral density was measured on the lumbar spine from 1–4 using dual X-ray absorptiometry. Osteopenia and osteoporosis were classified on the basis of a T-score ranging from −1.0 to −2.4 and under −2.5, respectively. The diagnostic criteria for sarcopenia were a grip strength of <18 kg and muscle mass of <5.7 kg/m2 according to the Asian Working Group of Sarcopenia. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the odds ratio, and the receiver operating characteristic curve was applied for the cutoff values. There were 351 (47.8%) patients with osteopenia and 152 (20.7%) patients with osteoporosis. The prevalence of osteopenia increased 1.593 times in the lowest grip strength group and 1.810 times in the lowest muscle mass group (p < 0.05). For osteoporosis, the lowest grip strength increased 2.512 times and the lowest muscle mass increased 2.875 times, compared to the highest grip strength group. In the sarcopenia group, osteopenia increased 2.451 times and osteoporosis increased 3.137 times, compared to the non-sarcopenia group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the prevalence of osteoporosis and osteopenia was increased in elderly women with low grip strength and muscle mass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Health Care and Services for Elderly Population)
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Associated with Frailty According to Gender of Older Adults Living Alone
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040475 - 16 Apr 2021
Viewed by 271
Abstract
This study was conducted to identify the factors associated with frailty according to gender of older adults living alone in Korea. Data from the National Survey of the Living Conditions of Korean Elderly in 2017 were used. Participants were 2340 older adults who [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to identify the factors associated with frailty according to gender of older adults living alone in Korea. Data from the National Survey of the Living Conditions of Korean Elderly in 2017 were used. Participants were 2340 older adults who live alone. Frailty was determined based on the frailty criteria developed by van Kan et al. that consist of fatigue, resistance, ambulation, and illness. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-squared test, t-test, Jonckheere–Terpstra test and multinomial logistic regression. Among the older men living alone, 47.7% were in the pre-frail and 5.1% were in the frail. On the other hand, 51.8% were in the pre-frail and 12.2% were in the frail among the older women living alone. The factors associated with frailty according to gender are as follows. In males, depressive symptoms, limitation in IADL, and number of medications in pre-frail; BMI, limitation in IADL, and number of chronic diseases in frail. In females, depressive symptoms, number of chronic diseases, age, and nutritional status in pre-frail; limitation in IADL, depressive symptoms, age, number of chronic diseases, number of medications, nutritional status in frail. Based on the findings of this study, it is considered necessary to approach frailty management considering gender as well as the classification of frailty. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Health Care and Services for Elderly Population)
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Open AccessArticle
Safety of Renal Biopsy by Physicians with Short Nephrology Experience
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040474 - 16 Apr 2021
Viewed by 275
Abstract
Percutaneous renal biopsy is an essential tool for diagnosing various renal diseases; however, little is known about whether renal biopsy performed by physicians with short nephrology experience is safe in Japan. This study included 238 patients who underwent percutaneous renal biopsy between April [...] Read more.
Percutaneous renal biopsy is an essential tool for diagnosing various renal diseases; however, little is known about whether renal biopsy performed by physicians with short nephrology experience is safe in Japan. This study included 238 patients who underwent percutaneous renal biopsy between April 2017 and September 2020. We retrospectively analyzed the frequency of post-renal biopsy complications (hemoglobin decrease of ≥10%, hypotension, blood transfusion, renal artery embolization, nephrectomy and death) and compared their incidence among physicians with varied experience in nephrology. After renal biopsy, a hemoglobin decrease of ≥10%, hypotension and transfusion occurred in 13.1%, 3.8% and 0.8% of patients, respectively. There were no cases of post-biopsy renal artery embolism, nephrectomy, or death. The composite complication rate was 16.0%. The incidence of post-biopsy complications was similar between physicians with ≥3 years and <3 years of clinical nephrology experience (12.5% vs. 16.8%, p = 0.64). Furthermore, the post-biopsy composite complication rates were similar between physicians with ≥6 months and <6 months of clinical nephrology experience (16.3% vs. 15.6%, p > 0.99). Under attending nephrologist supervision, a physician with short clinical nephrology experience can safely perform renal biopsy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety)
Open AccessArticle
Women’s Perception of Male Involvement in Antenatal, Childbirth and Postnatal Care in Urban Slum Areas in Bangladesh: A Community-Based Cross-Sectional Study
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040473 - 16 Apr 2021
Viewed by 229
Abstract
Male participation in reproductive health issues has been considered to be an effective and promising strategy to address the women’s reproductive health problems since the 1990s. Under this background, we aim to explore the women’s perception of men’s involvement in antenatal care (ANC), [...] Read more.
Male participation in reproductive health issues has been considered to be an effective and promising strategy to address the women’s reproductive health problems since the 1990s. Under this background, we aim to explore the women’s perception of men’s involvement in antenatal care (ANC), delivery and postnatal care (PNC) in the slum community of Bangladesh where various sexual and reproductive health problems exist. A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among women and their husbands living in 12 slums of Chattogram city. Cross-tabulation with chi-square tests and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the predictors of husbands’ support in wives’ antenatal, delivery and postnatal care. The study demonstrates that the education and economic level of most women and their husbands were very low although husbands seemed to have a better status than wives in these aspects. Almost all men (~90%) had never accessed services related to reproductive and maternal health. Only 10% of respondents gave birth to their last baby in government hospitals or private clinics. In addition, 60% of the husbands took care of their wives during pregnancy with 44% during childbirth and about 30% providing help in receiving postpartum care. Moreover, husbands’ discussions with a health worker regarding maternal and reproductive health were the most important predictors for support of their wives during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care (p < 0.05). Study participants’ perception of a satisfying spousal relationship also appeared to be a significant factor for husbands’ responsible role regarding wives’ antenatal care, delivery and postnatal care (p < 0.05). This study found that pregnant women living in slums received poorer health-related services when there was a low involvement of men; specifically, the husbands of pregnant women. In addition, men’s involvement was influenced by many aspects, particularly awareness-related factors (e.g., knowledge, communication and access to reproductive health services). Therefore, awareness creation is important for active involvement in antenatal, delivery and postnatal care. Strategies should be designed to provide men living in the slums with adequate information, education and communication to gain their interest and support about reproductive and maternal health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Women Health)
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Open AccessReview
Telehealth Interventions to Support Self-Management in Stroke Survivors: A Systematic Review
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040472 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 382
Abstract
Telehealth (TH) intervention is a method to optimize self-management (SM) support in stroke survivors. Objectives of this study included identifying the TH-SM intervention’s focus and SM support components, the TH delivery type, and the TH-SM support effects on stroke survivors. Five databases were [...] Read more.
Telehealth (TH) intervention is a method to optimize self-management (SM) support in stroke survivors. Objectives of this study included identifying the TH-SM intervention’s focus and SM support components, the TH delivery type, and the TH-SM support effects on stroke survivors. Five databases were searched for the years 2005–2020 to identify TH-SM support interventions for stroke survivors. Randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental, one-group re-post study designs were included. Ten studies were reviewed. TH-SM support focused on post-stroke depression, obesity management, participation, functional mobility, and activities of daily living. The TH delivery type most used in selected studies was messaging. Regarding the SM support components, the education component was used in all studies, and psychological support and lifestyle advice and support were used in 8 out of 10 studies. TH-SM intervention had positive effects in terms of goal achievement for SM behavior, emotional state, and mobility of clinical outcomes, and TH acceptance in stroke survivors. Although the TH-SM-supported intervention effects were not found consistently in all outcomes, this review discovered a positive effect on various SM-related outcomes. In addition, TH delivery types and SM support components showed the possibility of various options to be considered for intervention. Therefore, we suggest that TH-SM supported intervention is a positive alternative for SM support in stroke survivors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section TeleHealth and Digital Healthcare)
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Open AccessArticle
The Findings of SPECT/CT Concerning Bypass Lymph Circulation in Lymphedema Following Breast Cancer Surgery
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 471; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040471 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 227
Abstract
This study aimed to determine whether bypass circulation was present in lymphedema and its effect. This was a retrospective, cross-sectional study. Patients who underwent unilateral breast cancer surgery with axillary lymph node dissection were recruited and underwent single-photon emission tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT). SPECT/CT [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine whether bypass circulation was present in lymphedema and its effect. This was a retrospective, cross-sectional study. Patients who underwent unilateral breast cancer surgery with axillary lymph node dissection were recruited and underwent single-photon emission tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT). SPECT/CT was performed to detect the three-dimensional locations of radio-activated lymph nodes. Patients with radioactivity in anatomical locations other than axillary lymph nodes were classified into a positive group. All patients received complete decongestive therapy (CDT). Exclusion criteria were as follows: History of bilateral breast cancer surgery, cervical lymph node dissection history, and upper extremity amputation. The difference in the upper extremity circumference (cm) was measured at four points: Mid-point of the upper arm, elbow, and 10 and 15 cm below the elbow. Twenty-nine patients were included in this study. Fifteen patients (51.7%) had bypass lymphatic systems on the affected side, six (20.7%) had a bypass lymphatic system with axillary lymph nodes on the unaffected side, and 11 (37.9%) showed new lymphatic drainage. The positive group showed significantly less swelling than the negative group at the mid-arm, elbow, and 15 cm below the elbow. Bypass lymphatic circulation had two patterns: Infraclavicular lymph nodes and supraclavicular and/or cervical lymph nodes. Changes in lymph drainage caused by surgery triggered the activation of the superficial lymphatic drainage system to relieve lymphedema. Superficial lymphatic drainage has a connection through the deltopectoral groove. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Changes in Employment on Health of Work-Related Injured Workers: A Longitudinal Perspectives
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040470 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 254
Abstract
This longitudinal study attempted to identify changes in employment status and overall health status. The participants were workers who had experienced work-related injuries in the past. In this study, we used the Panel Study of Workers’ Compensation Insurance from 2013 to 2017. This [...] Read more.
This longitudinal study attempted to identify changes in employment status and overall health status. The participants were workers who had experienced work-related injuries in the past. In this study, we used the Panel Study of Workers’ Compensation Insurance from 2013 to 2017. This study utilized propensity score matching for a quasi-experimental design study of the first year to exclude the effects of the confounding variables and exclude the effect of employment status, which is the main independent variable. After applying propensity score matching the research subjects totaled 1070. Changes in employment status were found to have a negative effect on overall health status. This raises new implications for existing industrial accident-related support policies. Thus, it is considered that the scope should be expanded from policies related to re-employment of workers after an industrial accident to improving quality of life through maintaining employment from a long-term perspective. The notable point of this study was to apply the PSM methods. By applying PSM, we clearly identified the effect of changes in employment status on health status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Economics & Finance and Global Public Health)
Open AccessArticle
The Implementation of a Clinical Ladder in Rural Japanese Nursing Education: Effectiveness and Challenges
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040469 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 277
Abstract
The clinical ladder is an essential tool for nursing education, enabling nurses to ascend from novice to expert. The learning content for nurses can depend on their clinical situations. The aging of societies has changed the demand for nurses at community hospitals because [...] Read more.
The clinical ladder is an essential tool for nursing education, enabling nurses to ascend from novice to expert. The learning content for nurses can depend on their clinical situations. The aging of societies has changed the demand for nurses at community hospitals because of the multimorbidity of older patients. At the same time, the gap in nursing education between urban and rural hospitals is wide, as rural hospitals often lack the application of the clinical ladder. This study investigates the effectiveness of using the clinical ladder in a rural Japanese community hospital using the clinical ladder scale and interviews. Through its application, we found that both novice nurses and nursing educators came to recognize the effectiveness and importance of the ladder. However, unfamiliarity with assessments, working conditions, and Japanese culture inhibited the smooth application of the ladder. For the effective application of the clinical ladder, continual training on assessments and the ladder’s effectiveness in clinical situations, along with consideration of educational background, should be enhanced through the monitoring of the clinical ladder. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Health Care and Services for Elderly Population)
Open AccessArticle
A Comparative Analysis of Impact of Universal Two-Child Policy on Maternity Insurance Fund in Jiangsu Province and Guangxi Zhuang AR
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040468 - 15 Apr 2021
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Abstract
The maternity insurance fund in some provinces in China has accumulated unprecedented deficit levels. This imminent depletion can cause a catastrophic health crisis for maternal health. This study analyzed the post-policy impact of key factors on maternity insurance income inflow and outflow in [...] Read more.
The maternity insurance fund in some provinces in China has accumulated unprecedented deficit levels. This imminent depletion can cause a catastrophic health crisis for maternal health. This study analyzed the post-policy impact of key factors on maternity insurance income inflow and outflow in Jiangsu Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (AR). We applied Pasera’s ARLD model and VECM Granger Causality Test to establish long- and short-term impact of selected factors that determines the income and expenditure of the maternity insurance fund in the two regions based on data from 2011 to 2019. Our results show that the addition of new births due to the universal two-child policy has increased the per capita utilization of the maternity insurance fund in both areas. We further observed that the impact of the maternity insurance contribution rate to the maternity insurance fund decays with time giving a long-run limited impact in both provinces. Thus the positive impact is stronger in the short term, but in the long term, its influence or contribution to stability of the funds reduces. The positive impact of interest from investment in the maternity insurance fund is however insignificant in both provinces, giving a major cause for concern on its role in maternity insurance fund income generation. In the short term, the contribution rate of the maternity insurance fund must be adjusted upward or the payment base expanded to receive additional contribution from all employees to avoid complete depletion of the fund. In the long term, we recommend the need to replenish the maternity insurance funds through proper investment options for the funds. We further recommend the need to look for other sources of funding social interventions based on existing practices in other countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Women Health)
Open AccessReview
Management and Prevention of COVID-19 in Pregnancy and Pandemic Obstetric Care: A Review of Current Practices
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040467 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 392
Abstract
Constant accumulation of data results in continuous updates of guidelines and recommendations on the proper management of pregnant women with COVID-19. This study aims to summarize the up-to-date information about the prevention and management of suspected/confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in obstetric patients and obstetric [...] Read more.
Constant accumulation of data results in continuous updates of guidelines and recommendations on the proper management of pregnant women with COVID-19. This study aims to summarize the up-to-date information about the prevention and management of suspected/confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in obstetric patients and obstetric care during prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum periods. We conducted a comprehensive literature search in PubMed for relevant English-written full-text reviews. We also included relevant guidelines and recommendations. In women with a low risk for infection and uncomplicated pregnancy, elective and non-urgent appointments should be postponed or completed through telehealth. Vaccination should be discussed and distance and personal hygiene preventive measures should be recommended. Routine ultrasound examinations should be adjusted in order to minimize exposure to the virus. Standardized criteria should evaluate the need for admission. Women with moderate/high-risk for infection should be isolated and tested with RT-PCR. The mode and timing of delivery should follow routine obstetric indications. In case of infection, glucocorticoids are recommended in critically ill pregnant women, after individualized evaluation. During labor and concomitant infection, the duration of the first two stages should be reduced as possible to decrease aerosolization, while minimization of hemorrhage is essential during the third stage. Close maternal monitoring and adequate oxygenation when necessary always remain a prerequisite. Discharge should be considered on the first or second day postpartum, also depending on delivery mode. Breastfeeding with protective equipment is recommended, as its benefits outweigh the risks of neonatal infection. Recommendations are currently based on limited available data. More original studies on infected pregnant women are needed to establish totally evidence-based protocols of care for these patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Anxiety, Difficulties, and Coping of Infertile Women
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040466 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 302
Abstract
The present study aims to highlight how women perceive and adapt to infertility difficulties. To better understand the difficulties that women diagnosed with infertility are experiencing, the study explores this concept in correlation with anxiety and coping. 240 women with fertility problems from [...] Read more.
The present study aims to highlight how women perceive and adapt to infertility difficulties. To better understand the difficulties that women diagnosed with infertility are experiencing, the study explores this concept in correlation with anxiety and coping. 240 women with fertility problems from various parts of Romania completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-Form Y), Brief COPE and the scale “Difficulties With Infertility and Its Treatment.” Statistical analyzes showed that women who were at the beginning of treatment obtained higher scores on the anxiety [F(2,237) = 4.76, p = 0.009] and on the difficulties scale [F(2,237) = 3.53, p = 0.031], compared to participants who resorted to repeated fertilization procedures. It is important to emphasize that there is a significant positive correlation between the perception of infertility difficulties and coping, and also between difficulties and state anxiety. Regarding the relationship between state anxiety and coping, there were significant positive associations between maladaptive coping strategies and state anxiety, while adaptive strategies were negatively associated with state anxiety. In addition, regarding coping strategies, venting and self-blame occurred predominantly in women who know that the cause of infertility is female-related. These findings draws attention to the fact that infertile women live this experience at very high levels of anxiety, using quite a few adaptive coping mechanisms. These results highlight the need to investigate ways to reduce anxiety and optimizing adaptive coping strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comprehensive Clinical Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation: Version II)
Open AccessArticle
Electromyographic Assessment of the Lower Leg Muscles during Concentric and Eccentric Phases of Standing Heel Raise
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040465 - 14 Apr 2021
Viewed by 234
Abstract
Only a small number of muscle activation patterns from lower limbs have been reported and simultaneous muscle activation from several lower limb muscles have not yet been investigated. The purpose of this study was to examine any gender differences in surface electromyography (EMG) [...] Read more.
Only a small number of muscle activation patterns from lower limbs have been reported and simultaneous muscle activation from several lower limb muscles have not yet been investigated. The purpose of this study was to examine any gender differences in surface electromyography (EMG) activity from six recorded lower limb muscles of the dominant limb at baseline (i.e., with the foot placed flat on the floor and in the neutral position), and during concentric and eccentric phases when performing a heel raise task. In total, 10 females and 10 males performed a standing heel raise task comprising of three continuous phases: baseline, unloading (concentric muscle action), and loading (eccentric muscle action) phases. Muscle activation from six muscles (gastrocnemius medialis, gastrocnemius lateralis, soleus, tibialis anterior, peroneus longus, and peroneus brevis) were measured using the Myon 320 EMG System. Root mean squared values of each muscle were calculated for each phase. Descriptive and inferential statistics were incorporated into the study. Statistically significant p values were set at 0.05. The results showed no significant differences between baseline, concentric, and eccentric phases with respect to each of the muscles investigated. Except for the gastrocnemius medialis at baseline and concentric phases, no significant differences were observed between genders or contractions. The data suggests that gender does not significantly influence the eccentric phase during the standing heel raise task. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle
Is Misoprostol Vaginal Insert Safe for the Induction of Labor in High-Risk Pregnancy Obese Women?
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040464 - 14 Apr 2021
Viewed by 264
Abstract
Induction of labor (IOL) is an event that occurs in up to 25% of pregnancies. In Europe, the misoprostol vaginal insert (MVI—Misodel®) was approved for labor induction in 2013. Studies on the outcomes and safety of IOL in obese pregnant women [...] Read more.
Induction of labor (IOL) is an event that occurs in up to 25% of pregnancies. In Europe, the misoprostol vaginal insert (MVI—Misodel®) was approved for labor induction in 2013. Studies on the outcomes and safety of IOL in obese pregnant women are scarce; no data are available on MVI IOL in high-risk pregnancy obese women (HRPO—late-term, hypertension, diabetes). As the obesity rates are growing steadily in pregnant women, we aimed to evaluate the failure rate for induction and the safety of a 200 μg MVI in obese (body mass index (BMI) >30 kg/m2) HRPO compared to that for obese non-high-risk pregnancies (non-HRPO). For this purpose, we conducted a cross-sectional study in “Filantropia” Clinical Hospital, Bucharest, Romania, from June 2017—the date of the initiation of the MVI IOL protocol in our clinic—to September 2019. The primary outcomes were the failure rate, measured by cesarean section (CS) ratio, and secondarily, the safety profile of MVI, analyzed by one-way ANOVA. Out of a total of 11,096 registered live births, IOL was performed on 206 obese patients. Of these, 74 obese pregnant women had their labor induced with MVI (HRPO, n = 57, and non-HRPO, n = 17). The average maternal age was 29.9 ± 4.8 years (19–44 years). Across the groups, the rate of CS was 29.8% (n = 17) in the HRPO group compared to 23.5% (n = 4) in the non-HRPO group (p = non significant). In the vaginally birth subgroups, the median time from drug administration to delivery was shorter in the HRPO group compared to the non-HRPO group (16.9 ± 6.0 h 95% confidence interval (CI) 15.0–18.8 vs. 19.4 ± 9.2 h 95% CI 13.8–25.0, p = 0.03). No significant differences were found regarding the maternal outcomes among the studied groups; in terms of perinatal outcomes of safety, 5.4% (n = 4) of the cases of vaginal delivery for HRPO were associated with neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions. The MVI seems to be an efficient labor induction agent in high-risk pregnancy obese women with good maternal outcomes and low perinatologic complications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child Health: Advances in Translational Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Mobile Health to Improve Adherence and Patient Experience in Heart Transplantation Recipients: The mHeart Trial
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 463; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040463 - 14 Apr 2021
Viewed by 371
Abstract
Non-adherence after heart transplantation (HTx) is a significant problem. The main objective of this study was to evaluate if a mHealth strategy is more effective than standard care in improving adherence and patients’ experience in heart transplant recipients. Methods: This was a single-center, [...] Read more.
Non-adherence after heart transplantation (HTx) is a significant problem. The main objective of this study was to evaluate if a mHealth strategy is more effective than standard care in improving adherence and patients’ experience in heart transplant recipients. Methods: This was a single-center, randomized controlled trial (RCT) in adult recipients >1.5 years post-HTx. Participants were randomized to standard care (control group) or to the mHeart Strategy (intervention group). For patients randomized to the mHeart strategy, multifaceted theory-based interventions were provided during the study period to optimize therapy management using the mHeart mobile application. Patient experience regarding their medication regimens were evaluated in a face-to-face interview. Medication adherence was assessed by performing self-reported questionnaires. A composite adherence score that included the SMAQ questionnaire, the coefficient of variation of drug levels and missing visits was also reported. Results: A total of 134 HTx recipients were randomized (intervention N = 71; control N = 63). Mean follow-up was 1.6 (SD 0.6) years. Improvement in adherence from baseline was significantly higher in the intervention group versus the control group according to the SMAQ questionnaire (85% vs. 46%, OR = 6.7 (2.9; 15.8), p-value < 0.001) and the composite score (51% vs. 23%, OR = 0.3 (0.1; 0.6), p-value = 0.001). Patients’ experiences with their drug therapy including knowledge of their medication timing intakes (p-value = 0.019) and the drug indications or uses that they remembered (p-value = 0.003) significantly improved in the intervention versus the control group. Conclusions: In our study, the mHealth-based strategy significantly improved adherence and patient beliefs regarding their medication regimens among the HTx population. The mHeart mobile application was used as a feasible tool for providing long-term, tailor-made interventions to HTx recipients to improve the goals assessed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Adherence and Beliefs About Medication)
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Open AccessArticle
Sources of Care Stress of Nursing Staff for Patients with Infectious Diseases during the Prevalence of COVID-19: A Case Study of Some Regional Teaching Hospitals in Southern Taiwan
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 462; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040462 - 14 Apr 2021
Viewed by 213
Abstract
(1) Background: The COVID-19 epidemic had caused more than 100 million confirmed cases worldwide by the end of January 2021. The focus of this study was to explore which stress was felt the most by nursing staff in isolation wards in the face [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The COVID-19 epidemic had caused more than 100 million confirmed cases worldwide by the end of January 2021. The focus of this study was to explore which stress was felt the most by nursing staff in isolation wards in the face of dangerous infectious diseases. (2) Methods: Nursing staff in negative pressure isolation wards were taken as the research objects. The sources of stress were divided into 14 items in three categories, namely, patient care, infection protection, and support system, and the questionnaire results were ranked by a Gaussian curve. (3) Results: Even during the COVID-19 epidemic, nurses in isolation wards still consider that the clinical symptoms of patients in isolation wards cannot be closely tracked as the primary consideration. (4) Conclusions: During the epidemic period, the ability and confidence of nursing staff were strengthened through education and training, and their chances of infection were reduced through comprehensive vaccination and the improvement of protective equipment. In the face of the unstable mood of patients and their families due to isolation, more protective measures should be prepared for nursing staff. In order to relieve the stress, supervisors can adjust the nursing manpower timely according to the difficulty and risk of patient care to reduce the care stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Coronaviruses (CoV) and COVID-19 Pandemic)
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Open AccessArticle
Why Do Patients with Mental Disorders Default Treatment? A Qualitative Enquiry in Rural Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040461 - 14 Apr 2021
Viewed by 211
Abstract
Although treatment default by psychiatric patients or mental health care users is a global challenge, this behavior is reported to be higher in South Africa. The Manguzi District Hospital in rural Kwa-Zulu Natal Province, South Africa, experiences high rates of treatment default by [...] Read more.
Although treatment default by psychiatric patients or mental health care users is a global challenge, this behavior is reported to be higher in South Africa. The Manguzi District Hospital in rural Kwa-Zulu Natal Province, South Africa, experiences high rates of treatment default by psychiatric patients. The objective of this study was to determine the reasons for treatment defaulting at Manguzi Hospital, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. An explorative qualitative design, using in-depth interviews, was conducted with mental health care users who had defaulted out-patient psychiatric treatment. Twenty-one mental health care users were interviewed before data saturation was reached. Nvivo version 11 was used to analyze the qualitative data. Major themes that emerged confirmed that social factors are key contributions to treatment defaulting, and these include denial of the mental disorders; belief that they are cured; lack of, or disintegration of social support; preference for traditional medicine; and flaws in the health care system. Social determinants of treatment outcomes for mental disorders require tailor-made support systems for patients in these rural communities, which include increase in health literacy and attention to the cultural understanding of mental disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety)
Open AccessArticle
Hospitalization for Short-Term Diabetes-Related Complications: Focus on Patients Aged over 85 Years
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040460 - 14 Apr 2021
Viewed by 240
Abstract
(1) Background: The prevalence of diabetes in elderly people is frequently high. When occurring in the elderly, diabetes is often accompanied by complications and comorbidities, at least one in 60% and four or more in 40% of older people with diabetes. As [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The prevalence of diabetes in elderly people is frequently high. When occurring in the elderly, diabetes is often accompanied by complications and comorbidities, at least one in 60% and four or more in 40% of older people with diabetes. As far as short-term complications among the elderly are concerned, hypoglycemia and hyperglycemic crises prove to be frequent. The aim of this study was to investigate the difference in hospitalization for short-term diabetes complications in patients below and over 85 years of age. (2) Methods: Data were collected from hospital discharge records (HDRs) of all hospital admissions that occurred in Abruzzo Region, Italy, from 2006 to 2015. Only diabetic patients aged over 65 years were included. Outcomes included were diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar coma, hypoglycemic shock, iatrogenic hypoglycemic coma, and other diabetic comas. (3) Results: During the study period, 144,376 admissions were collected, 116,305 (80.56%) of which referred to patients below 85 years. Those aged over 85 years were significantly associated to all short-term diabetes-related complications with the exception of ketoacidosis. (4) Conclusions: In older diabetic patients, the avoidance of short-term diabetes complications are a greater concern than in younger patients. Diabetes management among very elderly patients should be tailored accordingly to patient characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diabetes and Comorbidities)
Open AccessCase Report
Life-Threatening Malnutrition in Very Severe ME/CFS
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040459 - 14 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1390
Abstract
Very severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), (also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) can lead to problems with nutrition and hydration. The reasons can be an inability to swallow, severe gastrointestinal problems tolerating food or the patient being too debilitated to eat and drink. Some [...] Read more.
Very severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), (also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) can lead to problems with nutrition and hydration. The reasons can be an inability to swallow, severe gastrointestinal problems tolerating food or the patient being too debilitated to eat and drink. Some patients with very severe ME will require tube feeding, either enterally or parenterally. There can often be a significant delay in implementing this, due to professional opinion, allowing the patient to become severely malnourished. Healthcare professionals may fail to recognize that the problems are a direct consequence of very severe ME, preferring to postulate psychological theories rather than addressing the primary clinical need. We present five case reports in which delay in instigating tube feeding led to severe malnutrition of a life-threatening degree. This case study aims to alert healthcare professionals to these realities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue ME/CFS – the Severely and Very Severely Affected)
Open AccessReview
Otitis Media and Obesity—An Unusual Relationship in Children
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040458 - 14 Apr 2021
Viewed by 380
Abstract
Otitis media (OM) represents a public health matter, being the main cause of preventable hearing loss in pediatric patients. Besides well-established risk factors for developing OM, such as craniofacial abnormalities, prematurity, low birth weight, or tobacco exposure, there is evidence that obesity could [...] Read more.
Otitis media (OM) represents a public health matter, being the main cause of preventable hearing loss in pediatric patients. Besides well-established risk factors for developing OM, such as craniofacial abnormalities, prematurity, low birth weight, or tobacco exposure, there is evidence that obesity could be associated with a high incidence of OM. Our aim is to perform a literature review on the state of current published research on the relationship between OM and obesity and to discuss the interconnectivity between these two entities. We conducted an electronic search in PubMed and EMBASE databases. Out of 176 references, 15 articles were included in our study. Our findings suggest that obesity and overweight might be risk factors for developing OM, and vice versa. The main mechanisms for developing OM in obese patients include alteration in cytokine profile, increased gastroesophageal reflux, and/or fat accumulation. Conversely, ear infections exposure might increase the risk of obesity, mostly by taste changes through middle ear cavity inflammation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Otolaryngology from Diagnosis to Treatment)
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Open AccessReview
Effects of Recreational Small-Sided Soccer Games on Bone Mineral Density in Untrained Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Healthcare 2021, 9(4), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9040457 - 13 Apr 2021
Viewed by 333
Abstract
This systematic review with meta-analysis was conducted to assess the effects of small-sided games (SSG)-based training programs on bone mineral density (BMD) in untrained adults. The data sources utilized were Cochrane, Embase, Medline (PubMed), Scopus, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science. The study eligibility [...] Read more.
This systematic review with meta-analysis was conducted to assess the effects of small-sided games (SSG)-based training programs on bone mineral density (BMD) in untrained adults. The data sources utilized were Cochrane, Embase, Medline (PubMed), Scopus, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science. The study eligibility criteria were: (i) untrained adults (>18 years old) of any sex, with or without a noncommunicable disease; (ii) SSG-based programs with a minimum duration of four weeks and no restrictions regarding frequency (number of sessions per week); (iii) passive or active control groups; (iv) pre-post values of BMD; (v) only randomized controlled trials; and (vi) only original and full-text studies written in English. The database search initially yielded 374 titles. From those, nine articles were eligible for the systematic review and meta-analysis. The age of included population varied from a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 71 years old. Non-significant differences between SSG and passive and active control groups on total BMD (ES = 0.14; p = 0.405 and ES = 0.28; p = 0.05, respectively). Meanwhile, significant differences in favor of SSGs vs. passive and control groups were detected, evidencing an improvement of BMD in lower limbs of the adult population for both sexes (ES = 0.26; p = 0.05 and ES = 0.28; p = 0.156, respectively). As conclusions, SSGs can be used as a non-pharmacological alternative to increase the BMD in the lower limbs despite having no significant impact on total body BMD. Careful generalization should be done of the level of heterogeneity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport and Exercise Medicine)
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