Special Issue "Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector"

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Factors and Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Alberto Modenese
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41125 Modena, Italy
Interests: occupational health and safety; epidemiology of occupational diseases; ionizing and non-ionizing radiation exposure; occupational medicine, workers' health; prevention at workplaces; exposure to occup
Prof. Dr. Fabriziomaria Gobba
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41125 Modena, Italy
Interests: occupational medicine; occupational diseases; non-ionizing radiations (NIR): occupational exposure evaluation, adverse health effects in workers, and prevention; occupational skin cancer: epidemiology and prevention; visual function in workers: occupational risks to the eye, prevention
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Healthcare workers are exposed to several different occupational risk factors, and they pay an important tribute in terms of occupational diseases and work-related injuries. Currently the COVID-19 pandemic has focused the attention on the problem of the infectious risk, which is certainly among the risks typically expected and specifically recognized for the health personnel, but also other occupational risks should not be overlooked, as e.g. the risks associated to work-organization factors and to the exposure to chemical and physical agents. The health consequences associated with the exposure to all these factors have relevant impacts in terms of induced diseases, DALYs, sickness absence from work and costs for the health systems.

According to these premises, this Special Issue is soliciting manuscripts addressing topics related to the prevention of the occupational risks in the healthcare sector. Original articles and reviews on the prevention of work-related illnesses and injuries of the health personnel, as well as on the evaluation of the risks in the healthcare workplaces, and on the topics of risk perception and of the knowledge and attitudes of the workers towards the preventive procedures and the use of protections will be considered. Papers dealing with the themes of the prevention of infectious risk, chemical hazard, biomechanical overload of the musculoskeletal system, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation exposure and work-related psychosocial factors are particularly welcome.

The aim of the Special Issue is to provide an updated panorama of the current occupational risks for the health personnel, focusing on new and emerging topics, and on prevention to be developed and implemented to promote safety and health of healthcare workers.

Dr. Alberto Modenese
Prof. Dr. Fabriziomaria Gobba
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Healthcare is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Health personnel
  • Occupational injury
  • Occupational disease
  • Infectious risk
  • Chemical safety
  • Musculoskeletal disease
  • Occupational stress
  • Burnout
  • Radiation exposure
  • Personal protective equipment

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Factors Affecting Physical and Mental Fatigue among Female Hospital Nurses: The Korea Nurses’ Health Study
Healthcare 2021, 9(2), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020201 - 13 Feb 2021
Abstract
Nurses often experience work-related physical and mental fatigue. This study sought to identify the levels of physical and mental fatigue present among Korean female nurses and discern factors influencing their onset. This cross-sectional study analyzed data from the Korea Nurses’ Health Study (KNHS). [...] Read more.
Nurses often experience work-related physical and mental fatigue. This study sought to identify the levels of physical and mental fatigue present among Korean female nurses and discern factors influencing their onset. This cross-sectional study analyzed data from the Korea Nurses’ Health Study (KNHS). A total of 14,839 hospital nurses were assessed by hierarchical regression analysis. The mean scores of physical and mental fatigue were 12.57 and 5.79 points, respectively. After adjusting for confounding variables, the work department had a significant influence on both physical and mental fatigue, that is, nurses working in special care units experienced greater degrees of both physical and mental fatigue than those working in general units. Nurse fatigue is an important consideration to monitor to ensure nurses’ continued wellbeing as well as good patient safety levels. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a strategy to mitigate nursing fatigue while considering the characteristics of specific departments. In nursing practice, the introduction of a counseling program and guarantee of rest time that can alleviate the mental and physical fatigue of nurses working in special care units should be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
Open AccessArticle
Palliative Care Professionals’ Inner Lives: Cross-Cultural Application of the Awareness Model of Self-Care
Healthcare 2021, 9(1), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010081 - 15 Jan 2021
Abstract
Compassionate professional qualities traditionally have not received the most attention in either critical or end of life care. Constant exposure to death, time pressure and workload, inadequate coping with personal emotions, grieving, and depression urge the development of an inner curricula of competences [...] Read more.
Compassionate professional qualities traditionally have not received the most attention in either critical or end of life care. Constant exposure to death, time pressure and workload, inadequate coping with personal emotions, grieving, and depression urge the development of an inner curricula of competences to promote professional quality of life and compassionate care. The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the universality of these problems and the need to equip ourselves with rigorously validated measurement and monitoring approaches that allow for unbiased comparisons. The main objective of this study was to offer evidence on the generalizability of the awareness model of self-care across three care systems under particular idiosyncrasy. Regarding the sample, 817 palliative care professionals from Spain, Argentina, and Brazil participated in this cross-sectional study using a multigroup structural equation modeling strategy. The measures showed good reliability in the three countries. When testing the multigroup model against the configural and constrained models, the assumptions were fulfilled, and only two relationships of the model revealed differences among contexts. The hypotheses posited by the awareness model of self-care were supported and a similar predictive power on the professional quality of life dimensions was found. Self-care, awareness, and coping with death were competences that remained outstanding no matter the country, resulting in optimism about the possibility of acting with more integrative approaches and campaigns by international policy-makers with the consensus of world healthcare organizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
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Open AccessArticle
The Managerial Implications of the Key Performance Indicators in Healthcare Sector: A Cluster Analysis
Healthcare 2021, 9(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010019 - 25 Dec 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The aim of the paper is to identify a set of the key performance indicators (KPIs) in order to provide managers and employees from the healthcare system with recommendations for evaluating, monitoring, and controlling the critical factors that influence the performance of the [...] Read more.
The aim of the paper is to identify a set of the key performance indicators (KPIs) in order to provide managers and employees from the healthcare system with recommendations for evaluating, monitoring, and controlling the critical factors that influence the performance of the healthcare sector in Algeria during a pandemic crisis. During February–August 2020, a cross-sectional survey design was administrated to medical employees from hospitals situated in the northeastern part of Algeria. Our findings proved that the four groups of KPIs correlate to each other, and during this period, the triple relationship among human factor-technology-medication plays a decisive role in reducing the pressure on the medical system and overcoming the crisis. In order to increase the efficiency of the decision-making process, a hierarchy of KPIs is recommended in terms of their impact on the performance of medical staff. The practical importance of our research consists in ranking KPIs on four clusters that support managers to focus on both the human factor (clinical errors, infection rate, and medication errors) and the technical elements of maximum importance (laboratory test time, location of the facility, and sufficient air). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
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Open AccessArticle
Predictors of Health-Related Quality of Life among Healthcare Workers in the Context of Health System Strengthening in Kenya
Healthcare 2021, 9(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010018 - 25 Dec 2020
Abstract
Kenya is among the countries with an acute shortage of skilled health workers. There have been recurrent health worker strikes in Kenya due to several issues, some of which directly or indirectly affect their health. The purpose of this study was to investigate [...] Read more.
Kenya is among the countries with an acute shortage of skilled health workers. There have been recurrent health worker strikes in Kenya due to several issues, some of which directly or indirectly affect their health. The purpose of this study was to investigate the predictors of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among healthcare workers in public and mission hospitals in Meru County, Kenya. A cross-sectional study design was undertaken among 553 healthcare workers across 24 hospitals in Meru County. The participants completed the EuroQol-five dimension-five level (EQ-5D-5L) instrument, which measures health status across five dimensions and the overall self-assessment of health status on a visual analogue scale (EQ-VAS). Approximately 66.55% of the healthcare workers reported no problems (i.e., 11,111) across the five dimensions. The six predictors of HRQOL among the healthcare workers were hospital ownership (p < 0.05), age (p < 0.05), income (p < 0.01), availability of water for handwashing (p < 0.05), presence of risk in using a toilet facility (p < 0.05), and overall safety of hospital work environment (p < 0.05). Personal, job-related attributes and work environment characteristics are significant predictors of healthcare workers HRQOL. Thus, these factors ought to be considered by health policymakers and managers when developing and implementing policies and programs aimed at promoting HRQOL among healthcare workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
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Open AccessArticle
Published Research on Burnout in Nursing in Spain in the Last Decade: Bibliometric Analysis
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040478 - 12 Nov 2020
Abstract
Scientific production in the last decades has evidenced an increase in burnout syndrome in healthcare professionals. The objective of this bibliometric study was to analyze scientific productions on burnout in nurses in 2009–2019. A search was made on the Web of Science database [...] Read more.
Scientific production in the last decades has evidenced an increase in burnout syndrome in healthcare professionals. The objective of this bibliometric study was to analyze scientific productions on burnout in nurses in 2009–2019. A search was made on the Web of Science database on burnout in nursing. The variables evaluated were number of publications per year, productivity based on the journal and relationships between authors. Data were analyzed using Bibexcel software, and Pajek was used to visualize the co-authorship network map. A total of 1528 publications related to burnout in nurses were identified. The years with the most productivity were 2016 to 2017, when the publication rate increased noticeably over previous years. The Spanish journal with the most production on the subject was Atención Primaria. The co-authorship network analyzed illustrated collaboration patterns among the researchers. Scientific publications on the subject have increased in recent years due to problems in the healthcare system, which is in need of prevention and intervention programs for healthcare professionals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
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Open AccessArticle
Work Potential and Work Performance during the First Try-Out of the Person-Centred Return to Work Rehabilitation Programme ReWork-Stroke: A Case Study
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040454 - 02 Nov 2020
Abstract
Background: This case study explores changes in work potential and work performance for ten people who worked before their stroke while participating in the ReWork-Stroke programme. It describes measures performed by the occupational therapists to enhance work potential and work performance and the [...] Read more.
Background: This case study explores changes in work potential and work performance for ten people who worked before their stroke while participating in the ReWork-Stroke programme. It describes measures performed by the occupational therapists to enhance work potential and work performance and the participants’ level of work re-entry nine months after the start of their work trial. Methods: Ten people who had experienced a mild or moderate stroke participated. Changes were assessed using the Worker Role Interview and the Assessment of Work Performance. Logbooks relating to work potential and work performance were analysed using content analysis. Results: The participants’ work potential was in general supportive to returning to work at baseline and remained so at the three-month follow-up. Most changes occurred in the environmental factors regarding the participants’ belief that adaptations at the workplace would make re-entry possible. Changes concerning work performance were predominately in a positive direction. Seven of the participants returned to paid work. Conclusion: The ReWork-Stroke programme seems promising for promoting changes in work potential, work performance, and return to paid work. However, further studies are needed to evaluate changes in work potential and work performance and the programme’s effectiveness for increasing work re-entry for people who have had stroke. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
Open AccessArticle
Emergency Healthcare Providers’ Perceptions of Preparedness and Willingness to Work during Disasters and Public Health Emergencies
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040442 - 29 Oct 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study evaluates the perceptions of preparedness and willingness to work during disasters and public health emergencies among 213 healthcare workers at hospitals in the southern region of Saudi Arabia by using a quantitative survey (Fight or Flight). The results showed that participants’ [...] Read more.
This study evaluates the perceptions of preparedness and willingness to work during disasters and public health emergencies among 213 healthcare workers at hospitals in the southern region of Saudi Arabia by using a quantitative survey (Fight or Flight). The results showed that participants’ willingness to work unconditionally during disasters and emergencies varied based on the type of condition: natural disasters (61.97%), seasonal influenza pandemic (52.58%), smallpox pandemic (47.89%), SARS/COVID-19 pandemic (43.56%), special flu pandemic (36.15%), mass shooting (37.56%), chemical incident and bombing threats (31.92%), biological events (28.17%), Ebola outbreaks (27.7%), and nuclear incident (24.88%). A lack of confidence and the absence of safety assurance for healthcare workers and their family members were the most important reasons cited. The co-variation between age and education versus risk and danger by Spearman’s rho confirmed a small negative correlation between education and danger at a 95% level of significance, meaning that educated healthcare workers have less fear to work under dangerous events. Although the causes of unsuccessful management of disasters and emergencies may vary, individuals’ characteristics, such as lack of confidence and emotional distractions because of uncertainty about the safety issues, may also play a significant role. Besides educational initiatives, other measures, which guarantee the safety of healthcare providers and their family members, should be established and implemented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
Open AccessArticle
Reasons for Turnover Intention among Direct Care Workers in Korea’s Long-Term Care Insurance
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040395 - 12 Oct 2020
Abstract
This study explored reasons for turnover intention among direct care workers under the Korean long-term care insurance (LTCI) system. The author conducted semi-structured interviews with 19 care workers. The study revealed four main themes underlying the intention of care workers to change or [...] Read more.
This study explored reasons for turnover intention among direct care workers under the Korean long-term care insurance (LTCI) system. The author conducted semi-structured interviews with 19 care workers. The study revealed four main themes underlying the intention of care workers to change or leave their jobs. Care workers struggled with demanding working conditions, and their salaries were low. Moreover, the relationships with their directors and supervisors was not good, since some care workers felt that their directors despised them or gave them inappropriate instructions, and their supervisors did not complete administrative work fairly. Lastly, some workers’ health conditions prevented them from carrying out their care work. The results have implications for working practices of care workers, prices of LTCI services, training of directors and supervisors, and coverage of occupational health and safety insurance for care workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health and Safety in the Healthcare Sector)
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