Special Issue "Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018"

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Sampath Parthasarathy

Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Central Florida, 8829 Kastler street, Orlando, FL 32727, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 407-747-0323
Interests: atherosclerosis; heart failure mechanisms; cardiovascular pharmacology; cardiovascular nutrition; fatty acids; lipids and lipoproteins; oxidative stress and antioxidants; endometriosis; macrophages

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In order to acknowledge of reviewers in /Healthcare/, we provide a waiver to every referee, who reviewed papers and provided valuable review reports for Healthcare. All those referees can publish a paper free of charge in 2018. This Special Issue includes submissions from all eligible referees. The scope of this Special Issue includes, but not limit to:

Chronic care   

  • Health assessment
  • Laboratory and diagnostic procedures
  • Medication management
  • Disease prevention
  • Early diagnosis
  • Treatment and comprehensive strategies
  • Morbidity and mortality
  • Long term outcomes
  • Scoring systems and outcome prediction
  • Socio-economic burden of chronic care

Critical care *

  • Emergency, perioperative and intensive care
  • Pediatric/neonates care
  • Medical imaging, monitoring, support

Advanced inpatients care

  • Advanced medical investigation and treatment
  • Experimental medicine
  • Uncommon diagnostic or surgical procedures

Health informatics (electronic and online based clinical studies and medical research)

Health care materials

Mental health

Nursing

* Treatment for a short period of time for a brief but serious illness, injury or other health condition.

Prof. Dr. Sampath Parthasarathy
Guest Editor

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 quarterly 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 550 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.

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Health Insurance Coverage Better Protects Blacks than Whites against Incident Chronic Disease
Received: 23 December 2018 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 10 March 2019
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Abstract
Although the protective effect of health insurance on population health is well established, this effect may vary based on race/ethnicity. This study had two aims: (1) to test whether having health insurance at baseline protects individuals over a 10-year period against incident chronic [...] Read more.
Although the protective effect of health insurance on population health is well established, this effect may vary based on race/ethnicity. This study had two aims: (1) to test whether having health insurance at baseline protects individuals over a 10-year period against incident chronic medical conditions (CMC) and (2) to explore the race/ethnic variation in this effect. Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) is a national longitudinal study among 25–75 year-old American adults. The current study included 3572 Whites and 133 Blacks who were followed for 10 years from 1995 to 2004. Race, demographic characteristics (age and gender), socioeconomic status (educational attainment and personal income), and health insurance status were measured at baseline. Number of CMC was measured in 1995 and 2005. Linear regression models were used for data analysis. In the overall sample, having health insurance at baseline was inversely associated with an increase in CMC over the follow up period, net of covariates. Blacks and Whites differed in the magnitude of the effect of health insurance on CMC incidence, with a stronger protective effect for Blacks than Whites. In the U.S., health insurance protects individuals against incident CMC; however, the health return of health insurance may depend on race/ethnicity. This finding suggests that health insurance may better protect Blacks than Whites against developing more chronic diseases. Increasing Blacks’ access to health insurance may be a solution to eliminate health disparities, given they are at a relative advantage for gaining health from insurance. These findings are discussed in the context of Blacks’ diminished returns of socioeconomic resources. Future attempts should test replicability of these findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
Open AccessArticle
Integrating Local Knowledge into a National Programme: Evidence from a Community-Based Diabetes Prevention Education Programme
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 1 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 7 March 2019
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Abstract
Type 2 diabetes prevention is a major priority for healthcare services and public health. This study aimed to evaluate how a local authority in England piloted a diabetes prevention programme. The South Gloucestershire Diabetes Prevention (Pilot) Programme (SGDPP) comprised a group health education [...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes prevention is a major priority for healthcare services and public health. This study aimed to evaluate how a local authority in England piloted a diabetes prevention programme. The South Gloucestershire Diabetes Prevention (Pilot) Programme (SGDPP) comprised a group health education course over six weeks with subsequent support provision up to six months post-enrolment. Of the 300 patients invited onto the programme, 32% enrolled and 29% completed the full six-month programme. There was an attendance rate of 84% throughout group sessions and at a six-month follow-up. There were significant improvements across most measures at six months, including a 4 kg mean weight loss and a 3.45 mmol/mol mean HbA1c reduction. Clear goals, high quality organization and personal qualities of educators were identified as central for the programme’s success. The unit costs were similar to pilots of other healthy lifestyle programmes. The evaluation found evidence of reduced type 2 diabetes risk markers, positive impacts for dietary and physical activity, and potential cost-effectiveness for this format of group-based diabetes prevention intervention. Feedback from multiple stakeholders provided insight on how to successfully embed and scale-up delivery of diabetes prevention work. This evidence enables the integration of learning in local service delivery and provides a basis to support development of the national diabetes prevention programme. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of The Affordable Care Act’s Elimination of Cost-Sharing on the Guideline-Concordant Utilization of Cancer Preventive Screenings in the United States Using Medical Expenditure Panel Survey
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2019 / Accepted: 26 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
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Abstract
Currently available evidence regarding the association of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) elimination of cost-sharing and the utilization of cancer screenings is mixed. We determined whether the ACA’s zero cost-sharing policy affected the guideline-concordant utilization of cancer screenings, comparing adults (≥21 years) from [...] Read more.
Currently available evidence regarding the association of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) elimination of cost-sharing and the utilization of cancer screenings is mixed. We determined whether the ACA’s zero cost-sharing policy affected the guideline-concordant utilization of cancer screenings, comparing adults (≥21 years) from 2009 with 2011–2014 data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Study participants were categorized as: 21–64 years with any private insurance, ≥65 years with Medicare only, and 21–64 years uninsured, with a separate sample for each type of screening test. Adjusted weighted prevalence and prevalence ratios (PR (95%CI)) were estimated. In 2014 (vs. 2009), privately-insured women reported 2% (0.98 (0.97–0.99)) and 4% (0.96 (0.93–0.99)) reduction in use of Pap tests and mammography, respectively. Privately-insured non-Hispanic Asian women had 16% (0.84 (0.74–0.97)) reduction in mammography in 2014 (vs. 2009). In 2011 (vs. 2009), privately-insured and Medicare-only men reported 9% (1.09 (1.03–1.16)) and 13% (1.13 (1.02–1.25)) increases in colorectal cancer (CRC) screenings, respectively. Privately-insured women reported a 6–7% rise in 2013–2014 (vs. 2009), and Hispanic Medicare beneficiaries also reported 40–44%, a significant rise in 2011–2014 (vs. 2009), in the utilization of CRC screenings. While the guideline-concordant utilization of Pap tests and mammography declined in the post-ACA period, the elimination of cost-sharing appeared to have positively affected CRC screenings of privately-insured males, females, and Hispanic Medicare-only beneficiaries. Greater awareness about the zero cost-sharing policy may help in increasing the uptake of cancer screenings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
Open AccessArticle
Comparing the Convergent and Concurrent Validity of the Dynamic Gait Index with the Berg Balance Scale in People with Multiple Sclerosis
Received: 19 October 2018 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 7 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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Abstract
Background: Recent clinical guidelines for adults with neurological disabilities suggest the need to assess measures of static and dynamic balance using the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and Dynamic Gait Index (DGI) as core outcome measures. Given that the BBS measures both static and [...] Read more.
Background: Recent clinical guidelines for adults with neurological disabilities suggest the need to assess measures of static and dynamic balance using the Berg Balance Scale (BBS) and Dynamic Gait Index (DGI) as core outcome measures. Given that the BBS measures both static and dynamic balance, it was unclear as to whether either of these instruments was superior in terms of its convergent and concurrent validity, and whether there was value in complementing the BBS with the DGI. Objective: The objective was to evaluate the concurrent and convergent validity of the BBS and DGI by comparing the performance of these two functional balance tests in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: Baseline cross-sectional data on 75 people with MS were collected for use in this study from 14 physical therapy clinics participating in a large pragmatic cluster-randomized trial. Convergent validity estimates between the DGI and BBS were examined by comparing the partial Spearman correlations of each test to objective lower extremity functional measures (Timed Up and Go (TUG), Six-Minute Walk Test (6MWT), Timed 25-Foot Walk (T25FW) test) and the self-reported outcomes of physical functioning and general health using the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). Concurrent validity was assessed by applying logistic regression with gait disability as the binary outcome (Patient Determined Disease Steps (PDDS) as the criterion measure). The predictive ability of two models, a reduced/parsimonious model including the BBS only and a second model including both the BBS and DGI, were compared using the adjusted coefficient of determinations. Results: Both the DGI and BBS were strongly correlated with lower extremity measures overall as well as across the two PDSS strata with correlations. In PDDS ≤ 2, the difference in the convergence of BBS with TUG and DGI with TUG was −0.123 (95% CI: −0.280, −0.012). While this finding was statistically significant at a type 1 error rate of 0.05, it was not significant (Hommel’s adjusted p-value = 0.465) after accounting for multiple testing corrections to control for the family-wise error rate. The BBS–SF-36 physical functioning correlation was at least moderate and significant overall and across both PDDS strata. However, the DGI–physical functioning score did not have a statistically significant correlation within PDDS ≤ 2. None of the differences in convergent and concurrent validity between the BBS and DGI were significant. The additional variation in 6MWT explained by the DGI when added to a model with the BBS was 7.78% (95% CI: 0.6%, 15%). Conclusions: These exploratory analyses on data collected in pragmatic real-world settings suggest that neither of these measures of balance is profoundly superior to the other in terms of its concurrent and convergent validity. The DGI may not have any utility for people with PDDS ≤ 2, especially if the focus is on mobility, but may be useful if the goal is to provide insight on lower extremity endurance. Further research leveraging longitudinal data from pragmatic trials and quasi-experimental designs may provide more information about the clinical usefulness of the DGI in terms of its predictive validity when compared to the BBS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of the Effects of Hand Reflexology versus Acupressure on Anxiety and Vital Signs in Female Patients with Coronary Artery Diseases
Received: 2 December 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2019 / Accepted: 2 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
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Abstract
Hospitalization in the cardiac care unit can increase anxiety in patients. This study aimed to compare hand reflexology versus acupressure on anxiety and vital signs in female patients with coronary artery diseases. This double-blinded randomized placebo-controlled trial with a pre- and post-intervention design [...] Read more.
Hospitalization in the cardiac care unit can increase anxiety in patients. This study aimed to compare hand reflexology versus acupressure on anxiety and vital signs in female patients with coronary artery diseases. This double-blinded randomized placebo-controlled trial with a pre- and post-intervention design was conducted on 135 female patients with coronary artery diseases. Female patients hospitalized in a cardiac care unit were randomly divided into three groups of hand reflexology, acupressure and placebo (n = 45 patients in each group) using blocking and a table of random numbers. Data was collected using the Spielberger anxiety inventory. Also, their vital signs were measured before, immediately after and half an hour after the intervention. Data analysis was performed using descriptive and analytical statistics. Before the intervention, there was no statistically significant difference in anxiety levels between the groups (p > 0.05). Also, the effects of hand reflexology and acupressure immediately and half an hour later on the reduction of anxiety and vital signs were equal (p < 0.05). Implementation of hand reflexology and acupressure can have positive effects on anxiety and vital signs in patients with coronary artery diseases. They can reduce patients’ anxiety with an equal effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Development and Psychometric Properties of The Delayed Childbearing Questionnaire (DCBQ-55)
Healthcare 2018, 6(4), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare6040120
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 18 September 2018 / Accepted: 21 September 2018 / Published: 23 September 2018
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Abstract
The comprehensive assessment of delayed childbearing needs a valid and reliable instrument. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to develop an instrument to evaluate factors influencing delayed childbearing among women and to assess its psychometric properties. The current methodological study was [...] Read more.
The comprehensive assessment of delayed childbearing needs a valid and reliable instrument. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to develop an instrument to evaluate factors influencing delayed childbearing among women and to assess its psychometric properties. The current methodological study was performed in two phases of (i) qualitative instrument development, and (ii) quantitative psychometric assessment of the developed instrument. Face and content validity of the instrument was assessed by eligible women and a panel of experts. Construct validity was assessed using the exploratory factor analysis (EFA). For reliability, internal consistency reliability and intra-rater reliability analysis were used. The initial instrument developed from the qualitative phase consisted of 60 items, which were reduced to 55 items after the face and content validity processes. EFA (n = 300) using the Kaiser criteria (Eigenvalues > 1) and the scree plot led to a six-factor solution accounting for 61.24% of the observed variance. The Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, Spearman’s correlation, test–retest and intra-class correlation coefficients for the whole instrument were reported as 0.83, 0.86 and 0.81, respectively. The final instrument entitled the delayed childbearing questionnaire (DCBQ-55) included 50 items with six domains of ‘readiness for childbearing’, ‘stability in the partner relationship’, ‘awareness about the adverse outcomes of pregnancy in advanced maternal age’, ‘attitude toward delayed childbearing’, ‘family support’, and ‘social support’ on a five-point Likert scale. The DCBQ-55 as a simple, valid and reliable instrument can assess factors influencing delayed childbearing. It can be used by reproductive healthcare providers and policy makers to understand factors influencing delayed childbearing and devise appropriate strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Physician and Parental Decision—Making Prior to Acute Medical Paediatric Admission
Healthcare 2018, 6(3), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare6030117
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 17 September 2018
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Abstract
Background: The number of acute medical paediatric emergency admissions is rising. We undertook qualitative interviews with parents and clinicians to better understand what factors, other than the health status of the child, may influence decision making leading to emergency admission. Methods: Semi-structured interviews [...] Read more.
Background: The number of acute medical paediatric emergency admissions is rising. We undertook qualitative interviews with parents and clinicians to better understand what factors, other than the health status of the child, may influence decision making leading to emergency admission. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents; clinicians working in general practice, out-of-hours or the emergency department (referring clinicians); and doctors working in acute medical paediatrics (receiving clinicians). Results: Ten parents, 7 referring clinicians and 10 receiving clinicians were interviewed. Parents described “erring on the side of caution” when seeking medical opinion and one mentioned anxiety. Among themes seen among referring clinicians, “erring on the side of caution” was also identified as was managing “parental anxiety” and acting on “gut instinct”. Among receiving clinicians, themes included managing parental anxiety and increasing parental expectations of the health service. Conclusions: The study of parent and referring clinician decision-making prior to a hospital admission can identify “teachable moments” where interventions might be delivered to slow or even arrest the rise in short-stay acute medical admissions in Britain and other countries. Interventions could assure parents or referring clinicians that hospital referral is not required and help clinicians understand what they perceive as “parental anxiety”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
Open AccessArticle
An Exploration of Parent-Youth Agreement on Functional Impairment in Adolescents Utilizing Outpatient Mental Health Services
Healthcare 2018, 6(3), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare6030106
Received: 16 July 2018 / Revised: 15 August 2018 / Accepted: 28 August 2018 / Published: 30 August 2018
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Abstract
Parent-youth agreement on the youth’s functional impairment may have important implications for mental health service utilization, assessment, therapy goal development, and treatment engagement for adolescents. The present study examines parent-youth agreement on their perceptions of youth functional impairment in a predominantly racial/ethnic minority [...] Read more.
Parent-youth agreement on the youth’s functional impairment may have important implications for mental health service utilization, assessment, therapy goal development, and treatment engagement for adolescents. The present study examines parent-youth agreement on their perceptions of youth functional impairment in a predominantly racial/ethnic minority sample of adolescents utilizing outpatient mental health services. Parent and youth functional impairment ratings were compared, and agreement was estimated in multiple ways. On average, parents indicated higher levels of youth functional impairment compared to youth in their overall scores, and when differences existed between parents and youth at the functioning domain and item level. Although there was similarity in the proportion of parents and youth who reported total impairment above the clinical cut-off, actual agreement between parent-youth pairs was only slight. There appeared to be substantial variation in agreement levels when identifying problems in functional impairment at the domain and item levels, and some areas of strong consensus were identified. These findings highlight the need to consider parent-youth agreement in perceptions of functional impairment and the complexities that may underlie this agreement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
Open AccessArticle
Does Medical Students’ Personality Traits Influence Their Attitudes toward Medical Errors?
Healthcare 2018, 6(3), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare6030101
Received: 27 July 2018 / Revised: 12 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 August 2018 / Published: 17 August 2018
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Abstract
This study examined medical students’ perceptions towards medical errors and the policy of the hospital within the internship curriculum, and explored how aspects of personality traits of medical students relate to their attitude toward medical errors. Based on the theory of the Five-Factor-Model [...] Read more.
This study examined medical students’ perceptions towards medical errors and the policy of the hospital within the internship curriculum, and explored how aspects of personality traits of medical students relate to their attitude toward medical errors. Based on the theory of the Five-Factor-Model (FFM) and related literature review, this study adopted a self-devised structured questionnaire to distribute to 493 medical students in years five to seven in the top three medical schools, representing a 56.7% valid questionnaire response rate. Results showed that agreeableness is more important than other personality traits, and medical students with high agreeableness are good communicators and have a more positive attitude to avoid errors in the future. On the contrary, students with low neuroticism tended to be more relaxed and gentle. If medical educators can recruit new students with high agreeableness, these students will be more likely to effectively improve the quality of medical care and enhance patient safety. This study anticipates that this method could be easily translated to nearly every medical department entry examination, particularly with regards to a consciousness-based education of future physicians. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
Open AccessArticle
Lost in Translation: Transforming Behaviour Change Techniques into Engaging Digital Content and Design for the StopApp
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 28 June 2018 / Accepted: 29 June 2018 / Published: 6 July 2018
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Abstract
Frameworks to support the application of behaviour change theory to the choice of behaviour change techniques (BCTs) in designing digital behaviour change interventions (DBCIs) are becoming well established, and have been employed by the authors in the development of StopApp. However, guidance on [...] Read more.
Frameworks to support the application of behaviour change theory to the choice of behaviour change techniques (BCTs) in designing digital behaviour change interventions (DBCIs) are becoming well established, and have been employed by the authors in the development of StopApp. However, guidance on the next stage—effective operationalisation (translation) of these BCTs to a digital context, including the precise delivery and design of “behavioural intervention technology” (BIT) elements, is still in its infancy. This is despite growing recognition of the need to optimise engagement and usability, alongside a theoretical basis, for intervention effectiveness. The aim of this study was to explore methods to translate BCTs into digital content in an accurate and systematic manner. We describe the process of using co-creation (user-led) rather than expert-driven methods in the development of user-facing features and design in StopApp, including the iterative “bottom-up” and “top-down processes” necessary for accurate BCT translation. We found a small disparity between the intended and actual BCT content, reflecting the difficulties of translating BCTs into digital intervention content and the need for better guidance and methodical approaches to enhance this under-researched process. The involvement of our Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) group throughout these processes is described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Functionality in Middle-Aged and Older Overweight and Obese Individuals with Knee Osteoarthritis
Received: 18 May 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 30 June 2018 / Published: 4 July 2018
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Abstract
Patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) suffer from immobility and pain. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the relationship between pain and functionality in middle-aged and older overweight and obese individuals with mild-to-moderate knee OA. Overall pattern, physical activity, and total [...] Read more.
Patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) suffer from immobility and pain. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the relationship between pain and functionality in middle-aged and older overweight and obese individuals with mild-to-moderate knee OA. Overall pattern, physical activity, and total energy expenditure (TEE) were assessed in 83 participants. The Western Ontario McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) was used to assess lower extremity pain and function. The six-minute walk test (6-MWT) and range of motion (ROM) were also assessed. Results indicated that age was inversely associated with body mass index (BMI) (r = 0.349) and total WOMAC scores (r = 0.247). BMI was positively associated with TEE (r = 0.430) and WOMAC scores (r = 0.268), while ROM was positively associated with the 6-MWT (r = 0.561) and negatively associated with WOMAC (r = 0.338) and pain scores (r = 0.222). Furthermore, women had significantly greater WOMAC scores (p = 0.046) than men. Older participants (≥65 years old) had significantly lower BMI (p = 0.002), and distance traveled during the 6-MWT (p = 0.013). Our findings indicate that older individuals in this population with knee OA had lower BMI, greater ROM, and less pain and stiffness and walked slower than middle-aged individuals. Women reported greater pain, stiffness, and reduced functionality, indicating that the manifestation of OA may vary due to gender. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
The Delivery of Health Promotion and Environmental Health Services; Public Health or Primary Care Settings?
Received: 11 April 2018 / Revised: 4 May 2018 / Accepted: 4 May 2018 / Published: 7 May 2018
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Abstract
The WHO Regional Office for Europe developed a set of public health functions resulting in the ten Essential Public Health Operations (EPHO). Public health or primary care settings seem to be favorable to embrace all actions included into EPHOs. The presented paper aims [...] Read more.
The WHO Regional Office for Europe developed a set of public health functions resulting in the ten Essential Public Health Operations (EPHO). Public health or primary care settings seem to be favorable to embrace all actions included into EPHOs. The presented paper aims to guide readers on how to assign individual health promotion and environmental health services to public health or primary care settings. Survey tools were developed based on EPHO 2, 3 and 4; there were six key informant surveys out of 18 contacted completed via e-mails by informants working in Denmark on health promotion and five face-to-face interviews were conducted in Australia (Melbourne and Victoria state) with experts from environmental health, public health and a physician. Based on interviews, we developed a set of indicators to support the assignment process. Population or individual focus, a system approach or one-to-one approach, dealing with hazards or dealing with effects, being proactive or reactive were identified as main element of the decision tool. Assignment of public health services to one of two settings proved to be possible in some cases, whereas in many there is no clear distinction between the two settings. National context might be the one which guides delivery of public health services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
Open AccessArticle
Health Care Utilisation by Bullying Victims: A Cross-Sectional Study of A 9-Year-Old Cohort in Ireland
Received: 23 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 17 February 2018 / Published: 25 February 2018
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Abstract
Children frequently refrain from disclosing being bullied. Early identification of bullying by healthcare professionals in children may prevent adverse health consequences. The aim of our study was to determine whether Health Care Utilisation (HCU) is higher in 9-year-olds who report being bullied and [...] Read more.
Children frequently refrain from disclosing being bullied. Early identification of bullying by healthcare professionals in children may prevent adverse health consequences. The aim of our study was to determine whether Health Care Utilisation (HCU) is higher in 9-year-olds who report being bullied and factors influencing type of HCU. The study consists of cross-sectional surveys of Child Cohort of Irish National Longitudinal Study of Children (Wave 1), 8,568 9-year-olds, and their carers. Being bullied was assessed by a self-reported questionnaire completed by children at home. HCU outcomes consisted of the following: visits to GP, Mental Health Practitioner (MHP), Emergency Department (ED), and nights in hospital by parent interview. Bivariate logistic regression and gender-stratified Poisson models were used to determine association. Victimisation by bullying independently increased visits to GP (OR 1.13, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.03 to 1.25; p = 0.02), MHP (OR 1.31, 95% CI: 1.05 to 1.63; p = 0.02), though not ED visits (OR 0.99, 95% CI: 0.87 to 1.13; p = 0.8) or nights in hospital (OR 1.07 95% CI: 0.97 to 1.18; p = 0.2), adjusting for underlying chronic condition(s) and socio-demographic confounders. Victimised girls made higher GP visits (RR 1.14, 95% CI: 1.06 to 1.23; p < 0.001) and spent more nights in hospital (RR 1.10, 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.15; p < 0.001). Victimised boys were more likely to contact MHPs (RR 1.21, 95% CI: 1.02 to 1.44; p = 0.03). 9-year-old bullied subjects were more likely to utilise primary care services than non-bullied 9-year-olds. Different HCU patterns were observed according to gender and gender differences in the presentation of victimisation. Our findings may lead to the development of clinical practice guidelines for early detection and appropriate management of bullied children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)

Review

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Open AccessReview
The Interlinked Rising Epidemic of Insufficient Sleep and Diabetes Mellitus
Received: 2 January 2019 / Revised: 26 February 2019 / Accepted: 28 February 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
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Abstract
For healthy existence, humans need to spend one-third of their time sleeping. Any qualitative or quantitative disturbances in sleep would result in an increased prevalence of obesity, metabolic disorders, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and hypertension. The paper aims to highlight the growing global problem [...] Read more.
For healthy existence, humans need to spend one-third of their time sleeping. Any qualitative or quantitative disturbances in sleep would result in an increased prevalence of obesity, metabolic disorders, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and hypertension. The paper aims to highlight the growing global problem of insufficient sleep and its significant impact on the rising incidence of diabetes mellitus. An extensive literature search was done in all major databases for “insufficient sleep” and “Diabetes Mellitus” for this review. Shorter (<6 h) and longer (>9 h) durations of sleep have been adversely related to insulin resistance. Though the relation between insufficient sleep and diabetes mellitus is more or less understood, little is known about how oversleeping or hypersomnia (10–12 h) increases the risk of diabetes. The relationship between sleep disturbances and diabetes is dual-sided, as chronic sleep disturbances would elevate the risk of developing insulin resistance, while diabetes would worsen the quality of sleep. Both the qualitative and quantitative disturbances in sleep significantly increase the risk of developing diabetes, which is supported by numerous community-based and hospital-based epidemiological studies discussed in this review. Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders and is characterized by chronic intermittent hypoxia and increased sympathetic activity, thus leading to a higher prevalence of diabetes. Sleep therapy may serve as a low-cost method for fighting against the rising epidemic of diabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
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Open AccessReview
Acute Kidney Injury Pharmacokinetic Changes and Its Impact on Drug Prescription
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 6 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
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Abstract
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common problem in hospitalized patients that is associated with significant morbid-mortality. The impact of kidney disease on the excretion of drugs eliminated by glomerular filtration and tubular secretion is well established, as well as the requirement for [...] Read more.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common problem in hospitalized patients that is associated with significant morbid-mortality. The impact of kidney disease on the excretion of drugs eliminated by glomerular filtration and tubular secretion is well established, as well as the requirement for drug dosage adjustment in impaired kidney function patients. However, since impaired kidney function is associated with decreased activity of several hepatic and gastrointestinal drug-metabolizing enzymes and transporters, drugs doses adjustment only based on kidney alteration could be insufficient in AKI. In addition, there are significant pharmacokinetics changes in protein binding, serum amino acid levels, liver, kidney, and intestinal metabolism in AKI, thus the determination of plasma drug concentrations is a very useful tool for monitoring and dose adjustment in AKI patients. In conclusion, there are many pharmacokinetics changes that should be taken into account in order to perform appropriate drug prescriptions in AKI patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
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Open AccessReview
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: Biomechanical and Exercise Considerations
Received: 14 May 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract
Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) describes a group of disorders that are due to a dynamic compression of blood vessels or nerves, between the clavicle and first rib or cervical vertebral nerve roots. Individuals with TOS typically experience upper limb pain, numbness, tingling, or [...] Read more.
Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) describes a group of disorders that are due to a dynamic compression of blood vessels or nerves, between the clavicle and first rib or cervical vertebral nerve roots. Individuals with TOS typically experience upper limb pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness that is exacerbated by shoulder or neck movement. The causes of TOS vary, and can include abrupt movements, hypertrophy of the neck musculature, and anatomical variations in which the brachial plexus roots pass through this musculature, edema, pregnancy, repeated overhead motions, the blockage of an artery or vein, or abnormal posture. To understand the complexity of this condition, an analysis of shoulder anatomy and mechanics are needed to help describe limitations and the subsequent pathophysiology of TOS. Several treatment options are available, including surgery, medications, and exercise. A comprehensive study of shoulder anatomy and biomechanics, and knowledge of the benefits of exercise, may help clinicians and healthcare practitioners determine the most appropriate treatment plan for an individual with TOS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
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Open AccessReview
Importance of Patient–Provider Communication to Adherence in Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 26 March 2018 / Published: 28 March 2018
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Abstract
Effective communication between pediatric diabetes patients and their providers has the potential to enhance patient satisfaction and health outcomes, as well as improve diabetes-related self-management. In this review, we highlight the importance of communication between patients and providers, focusing on the effect of [...] Read more.
Effective communication between pediatric diabetes patients and their providers has the potential to enhance patient satisfaction and health outcomes, as well as improve diabetes-related self-management. In this review, we highlight the importance of communication between patients and providers, focusing on the effect of communication on adherence in the high-risk population of adolescents with type 1 diabetes. We synthesize the literature describing patient–provider communication in pediatric populations and provide implications for practice that focus on the most relevant, modifiable factors for improving self-management in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
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Open AccessConcept Paper
A Rationale for Music Training to Enhance Executive Functions in Parkinson’s Disease: An Overview of the Problem
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 22 April 2018
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Abstract
Music listening interventions such as Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation can improve mobility, balance, and gait in Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Yet, the impact of music training on executive functions is not yet known. Deficits in executive functions (e.g., attention, processing speed) in patients with PD [...] Read more.
Music listening interventions such as Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation can improve mobility, balance, and gait in Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Yet, the impact of music training on executive functions is not yet known. Deficits in executive functions (e.g., attention, processing speed) in patients with PD result in gait interference, deficits in emotional processing, loss of functional capacity (e.g., intellectual activity, social participation), and reduced quality of life. The model of temporal prediction and timing suggests two networks collectively contribute to movement generation and execution: the basal ganglia-thalamocortical network (BGTC) and the cerebellar-thalamocortical network (CTC). Due to decreases in dopamine responsible for the disruption of the BGTC network in adults with PD, it is hypothesized that rhythmic auditory cues assist patients through recruiting an alternate network, the CTC, which extends to the supplementary motor areas (SMA) and the frontal cortices. In piano training, fine motor finger movements activate the cerebellum and SMA, thereby exercising the CTC network. We hypothesize that exercising the CTC network through music training will contribute to enhanced executive functions. Previous research suggested that music training enhances cognitive performance (i.e., working memory and processing speed) in healthy adults and adults with cognitive impairments. This review and rationale provides support for the use of music training to enhance cognitive outcomes in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Healthcare in 2018)
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