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Special Issue "New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health"

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Fabrizio Bert
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Public Health, University of Turin, Via Santena 5 bis, Turin 10126, Italy
Interests: public health; epidemiology; e-health; mental health; minority health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) welcomes submissions for a Special Issue focusing on “New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health”.

IJERPH is a peer-reviewed scientific journal with a current impact factor (2018) of 2.468 (5-year impact factor of 2.948) that publishes research articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. More details about the journal can be found at https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

The Special Issue on “New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health” is meant to show the current and future challenges that global health and national health services have to face in the next 10 years. In 2015, United Nations defined the Sustainable Development Goals, pledging to “leave no one behind” and including a focus on “ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages”. With the main aim of reaching universal health coverage and sustainable financing for health, it is essential to realize joint actions in order to deal with the increasing burden of noncommunicable diseases, with particular attention to mental health, and with growing public health priorities, like antimicrobial resistance and health determinants such as air pollution and inadequate water and sanitation, and in order to address potentialities and critical issues of digital health and communication through social media and other new opportunities that are expanding today. Above all, specific strategies are needed to support and improve the health of high-risk groups, such as migrants, women, LGBT+ people, minorities, and other frail or vulnerable populations.
Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) identified and prioritized ten threats to global health in 2019, starting a strategic plan to tackle them. These ten main issues that will require efforts and a firm commitment from WHO and public health professionals throughout the world are: air pollution and climate change, noncommunicable diseases, global influenza pandemic, fragile and vulnerable settings, antimicrobial resistance, Ebola and other high-threat pathogens, weak primary health care, vaccine hesitancy, dengue, and HIV.

We are interested in original and new perspectives related (though not limited) to the following topics:

  • Migration and migrant health;
  • Minority health, women’s health, and LGBT+ population health;
  • Global health and global challenges;
  • New challenges in preventive medicine and health promotion;
  • Digital health and social media;
  • Health policies and health economics;
  • Innovation in healthcare services;
  • New risk factors;
  • Climate change and sustainable development goals.

Innovative contributions and proposals are welcomed to be considered for publication in this Special Issue. Researchers are invited to submit original articles, brief reports, systematic reviews or meta-analyses. Papers on the abovementioned key topics or works that are connected to them are encouraged, especially articles that concentrate on vulnerable and high-risk populations.

Dr. Fabrizio Bert
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. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2300 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

  • Migration and migrant health
  • Minorities health
  • Women’s health
  • LGBT+ population health
  • Vulnerable populations
  • Global health
  • Preventive medicine
  • Health promotion
  • Digital health
  • eHealth
  • Social media
  • Health policies
  • Health economics
  • Innovation in healthcare services
  • New risk factors
  • Sustainable development goals
  • Climate change and sustainable development goals

Published Papers (27 papers)

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Research

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Article
Effects of Using the Surgical Mask and FFP2 during the 6-Min Walking Test. A Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(23), 12420; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182312420 - 25 Nov 2021
Viewed by 319
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of masks has been recommended as a containment measure. The mask is a hindrance to normal breathing that causes discomfort. This could put more work on the respiratory accessory muscles, and, consequently, these muscles could see their [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of masks has been recommended as a containment measure. The mask is a hindrance to normal breathing that causes discomfort. This could put more work on the respiratory accessory muscles, and, consequently, these muscles could see their tone increase. For this reason, during this clinical trial (registered in clincaltrials.gov, number: NCT04789603), it was observed whether the use of the mask produced changes in the distance traveled, in the heart rate, in the oxygenometry, in the self-perceived dyspnea and in the tone of accessory respiratory muscles during a 6-min walk test (6MWT). Fifty healthy volunteers were recruited and carried out the 6MWT on three occasions. They carried out the 6MWT in various situations: using an FFP2/N95 mask, using a surgical mask, and without using a mask. The distance walked, the heart rate, the oxygen therapy, the tone of the accessory respiratory muscles, and the self-perceived dyspnea were recorded in each situation. Significant differences were found between the three situations in terms of self-perceived dyspnea FFP2/N95 > surgical mask > no mask. However, there are no differences between the experimental situations during the 6MWT in terms of distance travelled, heart rate, oxygenometry or respiratory muscle tone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
Article
External Communication Barriers among Elderly Deaf and Hard of Hearing People in China during the COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency Isolation: A Qualitative Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11519; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111519 - 02 Nov 2021
Viewed by 533
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic poses a great risk to older people with hearing impairment, who face a higher threshold of external communication after the implementation of the emergency isolation policy. As part of a study on the optimization of external communication among the deaf [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic poses a great risk to older people with hearing impairment, who face a higher threshold of external communication after the implementation of the emergency isolation policy. As part of a study on the optimization of external communication among the deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) population in central China, this study employed a qualitative research method based on in-depth interviews to explore the needs and difficulties faced by the older DHH group in external communication during public health emergencies in Wuhan, China, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results showed that older DHH people had weak reception of critical information about the epidemic, and had suboptimal access to medical care during emergency quarantine, which increased interpersonal communication barriers to this group. The current findings highlight the urgent need for targeted strengthening of the original emergency communication and coordination mechanisms in public health emergencies, and for improving policy inclusiveness for older DHH individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic and emergencies alike. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
Article
Self-Rated Health and Pain Problems in Mothers of Healthy Children or Children Requiring Outpatient Observation or Hospitalisation: A Pilot Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9543; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189543 - 10 Sep 2021
Viewed by 492
Abstract
A child’s illness or disability is a considerable stressor for the mother and a risk factor for many psychological problems and somatic diseases. The purpose of the study was to (1) assess the prevalence of poor SRH and pain, (2) compare self-rated health [...] Read more.
A child’s illness or disability is a considerable stressor for the mother and a risk factor for many psychological problems and somatic diseases. The purpose of the study was to (1) assess the prevalence of poor SRH and pain, (2) compare self-rated health and pain, (3) and identify the determinants of SRH and pain in mothers of healthy children and children requiring ambulatory observation or hospitalization. The study covered 234 mothers of both healthy and unhealthy children who required outpatient observation or treatment at an intensive care unit, neonatal intensive care unit, or oncology department. To analyse the variables obtained, the following tools were used: Self-Rated Health, Numerical Rating, Interpersonal Support Evaluation List, Peritraumatic Distress Inventory, Modified Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and Impact of Effects Scale—Revised. The self-assessment of health in mothers of healthy children and those in need of outpatient observation or hospitalization at units with various specialities differed in a statistically significant way. The severity of the average and maximum pain among mothers of healthy children and those with a history of disease differed statistically significantly. Poor SRH co-occurred with severe maximum pain in all of the examined groups. Both in the control group and the group of mothers of children requiring outpatient observation, poor SRH co-occurred with a high level of anxiety. Only in the control group was a correlation found between the severity of the average and maximum pain and the severity of anxiety and depression symptoms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
Article
Effects of Diacutaneous Fibrolysis on Passive Neuromuscular Response and Mechanosensitivity in Athletes with Hamstring Shortening: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6554; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126554 - 18 Jun 2021
Viewed by 711
Abstract
Introduction. Diacutaneous Fibrolysis is defined as specific instrumental intervention to normalize function in the musculoskeletal system. It is considered a treatment method for the mechanical alterations of the locomotor system, and it is widely used in sports for therapeutic and preventive purposes. Despite [...] Read more.
Introduction. Diacutaneous Fibrolysis is defined as specific instrumental intervention to normalize function in the musculoskeletal system. It is considered a treatment method for the mechanical alterations of the locomotor system, and it is widely used in sports for therapeutic and preventive purposes. Despite the clinical benefits observed in different musculoskeletal conditions, the action mechanism of diacutaneous fibrolysis remains uncertain. There are no studies evaluating the neuromuscular response on the posterior muscular chain of the lower extremity in athletes, where overload, stiffness, and injury incidence are high. Objective. To evaluate the immediate, and 30 min post treatment effects of a single diacutaneous fibrolysis session on passive neuromuscular response and mechanosensitibity on hamstring and gluteus in athletes with shortening. Design. A randomized within participant clinical trial. Methods. Sixty-six athletes with hamstring shortening were included (PKE < 160). The lower limbs were randomized between the experimental limb and control limb, regardless of dominance. A single session of diacutaneous fibrolysis was applied to the posterior gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, and semitendinosus of the experimental lower limb whereas the control limb was not treated. Viscoelastic muscle properties (myotonometry), contractile muscle properties (tensomiography), and mechanosensitivity (algometry) were tested before treatment (T0), after treatment (T1), and 30 min post treatment (T2). Results. Regarding viscoelastic properties, in the intra-group analysis we found statistically significant differences in the experimental limb at T1, decreasing muscle stiffness in gluteus maximus (p < 0.042), in biceps femoris (p < 0.001) and in semitendinosus (p < 0.032). We also observed statistically significant differences in Tone decrease (p < 0.011) and relaxation increase (p < 0.001) in biceps femoris. At T2, the decrease in stiffness in all tested muscles was maintained (p < 0.05). There were statistically significant inter-groups differences in stiffness on gluteus (p < 0.048) and biceps femoris (p < 0.019) and in tone on biceps femoris (p < 0.009) compared to the control limb. For contractile properties, we only found statistically significant differences on maximal radial displacement (Dm) in gluteus, both control and experimental at T2 (p < 0.05) and in biceps femoris control (p < 0.030). No changes were found in the mechanosensitivity. Conclusions. A single session of diacutaneous fibrolysis produces changes in some parameters related to viscoelasticity properties of the biceps femoris and gluteus. There were no changes on contractile properties on semitendinosus. Only small changes on the contractile properties on the gluteus maximus and biceps femoris were found. No effect was found on the mechanosensitivity of the posterior chain muscles in athletes with hamstring shortening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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Article
Exploring the Occupational Balance of Young Adults during Social Distancing Measures in the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5809; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115809 - 28 May 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1526
Abstract
(1) Background: A balanced life is related to good health in young people, one of the groups most affected by confinement and social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to explore the occupational balance of young adults during home confinement [...] Read more.
(1) Background: A balanced life is related to good health in young people, one of the groups most affected by confinement and social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to explore the occupational balance of young adults during home confinement and its association with different sociodemographic factors. (2) Methods: A cross-sectional study was designed, and an online survey was disseminated to collect sociodemographic and occupational balance data, using the Occupational Balance Questionnaire (OBQ). The statistical analysis was performed using the SPSS statistical software package version 24.0. (3) Results: 965 young adults between 18 and 30 years old participated in the study. A predictive model showed that the main predictors of a lower occupational balance were a negative self-perception (β= 0.377; p = <0.0001), student status (β = 0.521; p = 0.001), not receiving enough information (β = 0.951; p = 0.001) and long periods of quarantine (β = 0.036; p = 0.007). (4) Conclusions: Considering people’s occupational health and related factors could lessen many of the psychosocial consequences of isolation and contribute to the well-being of young people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
Article
The Moderating Effects of Perceived Severity on the Generational Gap in Preventive Behaviors during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the U.S.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 2011; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042011 - 19 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2307
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults appear to be more susceptible to the coronavirus disease. Although the health stakes are higher for older adults, individuals of all ages should adopt preventive measures to contain the human-to-human transmission of the virus. This study conducted [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults appear to be more susceptible to the coronavirus disease. Although the health stakes are higher for older adults, individuals of all ages should adopt preventive measures to contain the human-to-human transmission of the virus. This study conducted a national online survey of 1843 adults at the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. to examine age disparities in preventive behaviors against the virus. The results show that older generations, motivated by a higher perceived severity of the disease, were more likely to take the precautionary actions recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) than younger generations. This thus suggests that persuasive health messages addressing the severity of COVID-19 might reduce the generational gap and promote preventive behaviors among young people, to protect themselves and the elderly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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Article
Searching for General Model of Conspiracy Theories and Its Implication for Public Health Policy: Analysis of the Impacts of Political, Psychological, Structural Factors on Conspiracy Beliefs about the COVID-19 Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010266 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3755
Abstract
Along with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, beliefs in conspiracy theories are spreading within and across countries. This study aims to analyze predictors of beliefs in conspiracy theories. Because previous studies have emphasized only specific political, psychological, or structural factors or variables, [...] Read more.
Along with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, beliefs in conspiracy theories are spreading within and across countries. This study aims to analyze predictors of beliefs in conspiracy theories. Because previous studies have emphasized only specific political, psychological, or structural factors or variables, this study constructs an integrated analytical model that includes all three factors. We analyze data from a large-scale survey of Koreans (N = 1525) and find several results. First, political, psychological, and structural factors influence beliefs in conspiracy theories. Second, when we examine the specific influences of the variables, we find that authoritarianism, support for minority parties, religiosity, trust in SNS (social networking services), perceived risk, anxiety, negative emotions, blame attribution, the quantity of information, health status, and health after COVID-19, all positively influence beliefs in conspiracy theories. Conversely, support for President Moon Jae-In’s government, Christianity, trust in the government, perceived control, analytic thinking, knowledge, the quality of information, and gender, all negatively impact these beliefs. Among the predictors, the quality of information, health status, support for President Moon Jae-In’s government, perceived risk, and anxiety have the most decisive impacts on beliefs in conspiracy theories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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Article
Perception, Attitudes, and Experiences Regarding Mental Health Problems and Web Based Mental Health Information Amongst Young People with and without Migration Background in Germany. A Qualitative Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010081 - 24 Dec 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1357
Abstract
Mental illnesses in adolescence and young adulthood are steadily increasing. Thus, mental disorders represent an individual and societal challenge and an enormous health economic burden, creating an urgent need for research and action. Mental health problems are omnipresent in the life of young [...] Read more.
Mental illnesses in adolescence and young adulthood are steadily increasing. Thus, mental disorders represent an individual and societal challenge and an enormous health economic burden, creating an urgent need for research and action. Mental health problems are omnipresent in the life of young people and the internet is the first resource, which helps them to understand their situation. Young people with migration background often have more difficulties accessing health care services. Digital technologies offer an ideal opportunity for a low-threshold platform that addresses the needs of young people. The current project “GeKo:mental” aims to design a multilingual website for Cologne-based adolescents and young adults that will enable them to obtain comprehensive information about mental illness and health, treatment options and first contact points. To design this website, this study aims to find out what kind of health information is needed and how it should best be presented. Nine focus group discussions with adolescents and young adults with and without migration background (N = 68) were conducted; the focus group discussions took place at schools, in an association for social youth work and in an cultural association, which is linked to a mosque in Cologne, Germany. A qualitative content analysis was conducted on the gathered material. The participants reported concrete challenges and needs. The results will form the basis for the development and design of a website. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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Article
A Study on the Current Situation of Prearranged Shelter Management in Japan for Making a Standard Operation Procedure
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9545; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249545 - 20 Dec 2020
Viewed by 665
Abstract
To establish a standard operation procedure (SOP) for shelter management, this research analyzed current situations about shelter management in Japanese local governments, focusing on designation of shelters, operation manager and information sharing. The results indicate that some have non-designated shelters, which might lead [...] Read more.
To establish a standard operation procedure (SOP) for shelter management, this research analyzed current situations about shelter management in Japanese local governments, focusing on designation of shelters, operation manager and information sharing. The results indicate that some have non-designated shelters, which might lead to differences of support with designated shelters, local governments ask residents to operate shelters mainly, but this requirement is not shared among them, and system of information sharing is not developed primarily with the department of health and welfare. Besides, this research shows the importance of including the closing and after the closing of the shelters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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Article
Predicting Length of Stay and Discharge Destination for Surgical Patients: A Cohort Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9490; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249490 - 18 Dec 2020
Viewed by 627
Abstract
Discharge planning is important to prevent surgical site infections, reduce costs, and improve the hospitalization experience. The identification of early variables that can predict a longer-than-expected length of stay or the need for a discharge with additional needs can improve this process. A [...] Read more.
Discharge planning is important to prevent surgical site infections, reduce costs, and improve the hospitalization experience. The identification of early variables that can predict a longer-than-expected length of stay or the need for a discharge with additional needs can improve this process. A cohort study was conducted in the largest hospital of Northern Italy, collecting discharge records from January 2017 to January 2020 and pre-admission visits in the last three months. Socio-demographic and clinical data were collected. Linear and logistic regression models were fitted. The main outcomes were the length of stay (LOS) and discharge destination. The main predictors of a longer LOS were the need for additional care at discharge (+10.76 days), hospitalization from the emergency department (ED) (+5.21 days), and age (+0.04 days per year), accounting for clinical variables (p < 0.001 for all variables). Each year of age and hospitalization from the ED were associated with a higher probability of needing additional care at discharge (OR 1.02 and 1.77, respectively, p < 0.001). No additional findings came from pre-admission forms. Discharge difficulties seem to be related mainly to age and hospitalization procedures: those factors are probably masking underlying social risk factors that do not show up in patients with planned admissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
Article
Sustainable Development Goals and 2030 Agenda: Awareness, Knowledge and Attitudes in Nine Italian Universities, 2019
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8968; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238968 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1706
Abstract
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 2030 Agenda represent global development programs. Education can widen the acknowledgement of their relevance and their applications. This survey aims to assess awareness, knowledge and attitudes towards SDGs and sustainability among first-year students in nine Italian Universities. A [...] Read more.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 2030 Agenda represent global development programs. Education can widen the acknowledgement of their relevance and their applications. This survey aims to assess awareness, knowledge and attitudes towards SDGs and sustainability among first-year students in nine Italian Universities. A Likert scale-based online questionnaire of 70 items was compiled by students from March to July 2019. It examined knowledge and expectations referred to sustainable development concepts, indicators and documents/models accounting for sociodemographic variables. Statistical analyses performed were Chi-square test, Fisher’s Exact test, Kendall’s W correlation coefficient, univariate and multivariate analysis. The questionnaire was completed by 1676 students. A low percentage referred a good knowledge of SDGs and 2030 Agenda, most of them had never attended related educational activities previously. Better knowledge of SDGs and 2030 Agenda was observed in case of previous specific educational activities (p < 0.001). The expectation towards university guaranteeing an education on SDGs was high, both for personal wisdom and for usefulness in future professional context. A significant difference (p < 0.001) in such expectations was found, as healthcare students were less interested than colleagues of other areas. The results showed low knowledge but interest towards sustainable development. A scheduled implementation of academic initiatives should be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
Communication
Assessment of Human Health Risks Posed by Nano-and Microplastics Is Currently Not Feasible
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8832; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238832 - 27 Nov 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1962
Abstract
The exposure of humans to nano-and microplastic particles (NMPs) is an issue recognized as a potential health hazard by scientists, authorities, politics, non-governmental organizations and the general public. The concentration of NMPs in the environment is increasing concomitantly with global plastic production and [...] Read more.
The exposure of humans to nano-and microplastic particles (NMPs) is an issue recognized as a potential health hazard by scientists, authorities, politics, non-governmental organizations and the general public. The concentration of NMPs in the environment is increasing concomitantly with global plastic production and the usage of plastic materials. NMPs are detectable in numerous aquatic organisms and also in human samples, therefore necessitating a risk assessment of NMPs for human health. So far, a comprehensive risk assessment of NMPs is hampered by limited availability of appropriate reference materials, analytical obstacles and a lack of definitions and standardized study designs. Most studies conducted so far used polystyrene (PS) spheres as a matter of availability, although this polymer type accounts for only about 7% of total plastic production. Differently sized particles, different concentration and incubation times, and various biological models have been used, yielding hardly comparable data sets. Crucial physico-chemical properties of NMPs such as surface (charge, polarity, chemical reactivity), supplemented additives and adsorbed chemicals have been widely excluded from studies, although in particular the surface of NMPs determines the interaction with cellular membranes. In this manuscript we give an overview about the critical parameters which should be considered when performing risk assessments of NMPs, including novel reference materials, taking into account surface modifications (e.g., reflecting weathering processes), and the possible role of NMPs as a substrate and/or carrier for (pathogenic) microbes. Moreover, we make suggestions for biological model systems to evaluate immediate toxicity, long-term effects and the potential of NMPs to cross biological barriers. We are convinced that standardized reference materials and experimental parameters along with technical innovations in (nano)-particle sampling and analytics are a prerequisite for the successful realization of conclusive human health risk assessments of NMPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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Article
Projection of the Number of Elderly in Different Health States in Thailand in the Next Ten Years, 2020–2030
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8703; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17228703 - 23 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 881
Abstract
The objective of this study is to predict the volume of the elderly in different health status categories in Thailand in the next ten years (2020–2030). Multistate modelling was performed. We defined four states of elderly patients (aged ≥ 60 years) according to [...] Read more.
The objective of this study is to predict the volume of the elderly in different health status categories in Thailand in the next ten years (2020–2030). Multistate modelling was performed. We defined four states of elderly patients (aged ≥ 60 years) according to four different levels of Activities of Daily Living (ADL): social group; home group; bedridden group; and dead group. The volume of newcomers was projected by trend extrapolation methods with exponential growth. The transition probabilities from one state to another was obtained by literature review and model optimization. The mortality rate was obtained by literature review. Sensitivity analysis was conducted. By 2030, the number of social, home, and bedridden groups was 15,593,054, 321,511, and 152,749, respectively. The model prediction error was 1.75%. Sensitivity analysis with the change of transition probabilities by 20% caused the number of bedridden patients to vary from between 150,249 and 155,596. In conclusion, the number of bedridden elders will reach 153,000 in the next decade (3 times larger than the status quo). Policy makers may consider using this finding as an input for future resource planning and allocation. Further studies should be conducted to identify the parameters that better reflect the transition of people from one health state to another. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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Article
Strengths and Weaknesses in the Risk Management of Blood-Borne Infections: Qualitative Research in Public Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6650; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186650 - 12 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1155
Abstract
This article presents the research from the first phase of our study on blood-borne risk management, wherein we solicited epidemiologists’ and healthcare practitioners’ expert opinions on a blood-borne infection risk assessment in Poland. Forty-two experts were recommended by epidemiology consultants and recruited from [...] Read more.
This article presents the research from the first phase of our study on blood-borne risk management, wherein we solicited epidemiologists’ and healthcare practitioners’ expert opinions on a blood-borne infection risk assessment in Poland. Forty-two experts were recommended by epidemiology consultants and recruited from all districts in Poland. We used the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) method in the evaluation. Experts’ opinions showed that there is room for improvement in the prevention of blood-borne infections. Commonly reported weaknesses in the risk assessment included gaps in knowledge and inappropriate procedures, which are largely caused by financial constraints and practitioners’ lack of awareness of developments in their trade. Strengths included legal regulations for medical services and procedures, surveillance, and increasing awareness on the part of medical staff. When paired with the existing statistical data, these results provide a comprehensive view of the problem of blood-borne infections in Poland. The analysis supported the development of a strategy proposal to prevent blood-borne infections and enhance existing risk assessment procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
Article
Acceptability and Feasibility of HPV Self-Sampling as an Alternative Primary Cervical Cancer Screening in Under-Screened Population Groups: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6245; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176245 - 27 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1113
Abstract
Background: Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women and about 90% of cervical cancer can be reduced by regular screening. The Pap smear has been well in place as a primary cervical screening method since 1950s; however, coverage is [...] Read more.
Background: Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers in women and about 90% of cervical cancer can be reduced by regular screening. The Pap smear has been well in place as a primary cervical screening method since 1950s; however, coverage is still not optimal. This study explored the feasibility of HPV self-sampling in two under-screened population groups in Hong Kong (HK): never screened and not regularly screened females, to estimate the uptake rate and preference rate in the future. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study to explore the acceptability and feasibility of HPV self-sampling in two age groups: aged 25–35 and aged ≥45, which were reported as the highest proportion of the under-screened population in HK between 2017 and 2018. The study invited eligible women from an HPV study cohort to perform HPV self-sampling at home by themselves. The number of specimens returned from participants was recorded and used to determine the feasibility of HPV self-sampling in the community. The participants were asked to fill in the questionnaires before and after HPV self-sampling to indicate their attitudes, acceptability, and future preference for HPV self-sampling as an acceptable alternative primary cervical cancer screening method. Results: A total of 177 subjects participated in the present study and have achieved a good overall uptake rate of 73% (129/177) who returned the self-collected cervicovaginal sample for HPV testing. Among the under-screened population, there was a higher response rate in aged ≥45 than those aged 25–35. The findings also revealed that women who were under-screened, including those who have never been screened, were more likely to prefer HPV self-sampling than those who had regular screening. This study found that the acceptability of HPV self-sampling was fairly positive among the respondents. The findings also indicated that HPV self-sampling was not only beneficial to enhance their health awareness but also to promote the cervical cancer screening uptake rate, especially among the under-screened or never screened populations. Conclusions: HPV self-sampling would be a solution to overcome the perceived barriers in clinician-based screening. The findings also indicated that it could be feasible to use as an alternative primary cervical cancer screening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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Article
Lung Function and Respiratory Health of Populations Living Close to Quarry Sites in Palestine: A Cross-Sectional Study
by , and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6068; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176068 - 20 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1451
Abstract
Environmental exposure to dust from quarrying activities could pose health dangers to the population living nearby. This study aimed to investigate the health effects of dust exposure on people living close to quarry sites and compared them with those who live far from [...] Read more.
Environmental exposure to dust from quarrying activities could pose health dangers to the population living nearby. This study aimed to investigate the health effects of dust exposure on people living close to quarry sites and compared them with those who live far from the quarry sites. A cross-sectional comparative study was conducted among 79 exposed participants, who lived less than 500 m away from the quarry sites, and 79 control participants who lived more than 500 m away. All participants answered a questionnaire on dust exposure at home and health effects, as well as performed a lung function test in which both reported and measured health effects were investigated. People who live in close proximity to the quarry sites reported exposure to dust at home (98%), land destruction (85%), plant leaves covered with dust (97%), and an inability to grow crops (92%). The exposed group reported significantly higher eye and nasal allergy (22% vs. 3%), eye soreness (18% vs. 1%), and dryness (17% vs. 3%), chest tightness (9% vs. 1%), and chronic cough (11% vs. 0%) compared to the control group. Lung function parameters were significantly lower among the exposed group compared to the control group; mean forced vital capacity (FVC) was 3.35 L vs. 3.71 L (p = 0.001), mean forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) was 2.78 L vs. 3.17 L (p = 0.001). Higher levels of airway restriction were found among the exposed group. Among the exposed group, lung function parameters worsened with the increasing closeness of home to the quarry site. This study demonstrates the negative health effects of environmental dust exposure among two communities living near quarry sites in Palestine. The results highlight the importance of developing and strictly enforcing rules and regulations in Palestine to protect population health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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Article
Active Breaks: A Pilot and Feasibility Study to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Physical Activity Levels in a School Based Intervention in an Italian Primary School
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4351; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124351 - 17 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1381
Abstract
Background: The school gives access to children, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender and socio-economic class and can be identified as the key environment in which to promote children’s physical activity (PA). The guidelines of the European Union recommend accumulating at least 10-min bouts [...] Read more.
Background: The school gives access to children, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender and socio-economic class and can be identified as the key environment in which to promote children’s physical activity (PA). The guidelines of the European Union recommend accumulating at least 10-min bouts of PA to reach the daily 60 min. Active breaks (ABs) led by teachers inside the classroom represent a good strategy to promote PA. The aim of this pilot and feasibility study was to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness in terms of PA level of an AB programme in children aged 8–9 years attending primary school. Methods: A pre-post quasi-experimental pilot and feasibility study was performed in two primary school classes, one of which was assigned to a 14-week AB intervention (AB group) and the other to the control group (CG). At baseline and at follow-up, children were monitored for sedentary and motor activity during an entire week using ActiGraph Accelerometer (ActiLife6 wGT3X-BT). The satisfaction of children and teachers was assessed by self-administered questionnaires. Results: In the pre-post comparison, AB group (n = 16) showed a reduction in the minutes spent in weekly sedentary activity (−168.7 min, p > 0.05), an increase in the number of step counts (+14,026.9, p < 0.05) and in time spent in moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA): weekly MVPA: +64.4 min, daily MVPA: +8.05 min, percentage of MVPA: +0.70%. On the contrary, CG showed a worsening in all variables. ANCOVA analysis, after adjusting for baseline values, showed significant differences between the AB group and CG for time spent in MVPA, percentage of MVPA and step counts. The satisfaction of children and teachers was good. Teachers were able to adapt the AB protocol to the needs of the school curriculum, thus confirming the feasibility of the AB programme. Conclusions: This pilot and feasibility study showed the feasibility and effectiveness of the AB protocol and represented the basis for a future controlled trial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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Article
Correlation between Preventive Health Behaviors and Psycho-Social Health Based on the Leisure Activities of South Koreans in the COVID-19 Crisis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4066; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114066 - 07 Jun 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2366
Abstract
COVID-19 has caused unprecedented damage worldwide, and quarantine and lockdown measures have been undertaken globally. This study focused on the differences in preventive behaviors and psycho-social health of South Koreans, as people continue engaging in leisure activities under self-regulation without a lockdown measure [...] Read more.
COVID-19 has caused unprecedented damage worldwide, and quarantine and lockdown measures have been undertaken globally. This study focused on the differences in preventive behaviors and psycho-social health of South Koreans, as people continue engaging in leisure activities under self-regulation without a lockdown measure imposed by the government. For the sample, the frame of the “2018 Population and Housing Census” in South Korea was applied, and data from 1770 people were analyzed. The results showed that the groups participating in culture and arts and social activities displayed characteristics with high prevention. Additionally, the groups that continued leisure activities for more than five years and with family showed high preventive behaviors. Meanwhile, participation in leisure activities with friends of the opposite sex lowered preventive behavior. In terms of psycho-social health, all groups were affiliated to the potential stress group and there were no differences in the period and participation time for leisure activities. Furthermore, the group participating in leisure activities with their school and group experienced psychological stability. When lockdown measures are eased, the aforementioned characteristics should be considered to design government policy; they can also be used as a reference for public health in case of a future outbreak of an epidemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
Article
Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs Regarding Drug Abuse and Misuse among Community Pharmacists in Saudi Arabia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1334; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041334 - 19 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1178
Abstract
Background and Objective: Several over-the-counter drugs have been documented as an essential issue in the community pharmacy setting owing to their liability to abuse. Pharmacists act as a critical monitor for these concerns and evaluate the seriousness of the patients’ condition. Therefore, this [...] Read more.
Background and Objective: Several over-the-counter drugs have been documented as an essential issue in the community pharmacy setting owing to their liability to abuse. Pharmacists act as a critical monitor for these concerns and evaluate the seriousness of the patients’ condition. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding drug abuse and misuse among pharmacists at a community pharmacy in Riyadh city, Saudi Arabia. Methods: A cross-sectional study using a validated self-administered questionnaire was carried out among community pharmacists over three months April to June 2019. The survey had 25 items on the experience, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, strategies, and opinions of participants toward drug abuse and misuse. Results: A total of 239 community pharmacists responded to the survey. About 84% of them had received training on drug misuse or abuse. The majority of community pharmacists (85.8%) would like to be provided educational programs on drug abuse in the future. Nearly all the pharmacists (94.9%) reported providing suitable advice to suspected drug misusers either in written or oral form at their pharmacies. Approximately 31% agreed or strongly agreed to dispense controlled drugs through a pharmacy. Regarding the ethical matter of selling misusers controlled drugs, 93.7% of the respondents believed that it is deceptive to offer misusers controlled medications. A comparison of knowledge and beliefs (univariate analysis) showed that the results were significant only for respondents who had graduated from Yemen (p = 0.007) and respondents who had an experience of four to six years or more (p < 0.01). Conclusion: The findings revealed that the majority of community pharmacists had been trained in recognizing drug abuse or dependence during their pharmacy college education. In addition, majority of them reported that they warned or counseled patients about the occurrence of adverse drug reactions to specific medications. However, majority of them agreed that selling controlled drugs is unethical in a community pharmacy. Thus, effective implementation of pharmaceutical rules and laws is a fundamental need in the Saudi Arabian health care system and we suggest stringent execution of the regulations by the Saudi health care authorities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Review
Can Social Prescribing Foster Individual and Community Well-Being? A Systematic Review of the Evidence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5276; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105276 - 15 May 2021
Viewed by 1484
Abstract
Social prescribing programmes (SP) are person-centred coaching schemes meant to help participants improve individual circumstances, thereby to reduce demand on health and social care. SP could be an innovative means to improve preventive and public health in the pursuit of universal financially sustainable [...] Read more.
Social prescribing programmes (SP) are person-centred coaching schemes meant to help participants improve individual circumstances, thereby to reduce demand on health and social care. SP could be an innovative means to improve preventive and public health in the pursuit of universal financially sustainable healthcare. Given its potential, our systematic review assesses type, content, and quality of evidence available regarding SP effectiveness at the individual, system, and community levels. We examine the impact of SP on addressing loneliness, social isolation, well-being, and connectedness, as well as related concepts, which are not yet considered jointly in one study. Following PRISMA, we search: EBSCOHost (CINAHL Complete; eBook Collection; E-Journals; MEDLINE Full Text; Open Dissertations; PsycARTICLES; PsycINFO); Web of Science Core Collection; and UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Excluding systematic reviews and articles without impact evaluations, we review 51 studies. Several studies do not distinguish between core concepts and/or provide information on the measures used to assess outcomes; exactly one peer-reviewed study presents a randomised controlled trial. If we wish to know the potential of social prescribing to lead to universal financially sustainable healthcare, we urge researchers and practitioners to standardise definitions and metrics, and to explore conceptual linkages between social prescribing and system/community outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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Review
The Economic Costs of Childhood Disability: A Literature Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3531; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073531 - 29 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 966
Abstract
Background: This literature review investigates the economic costs of childhood disability analysing methodologies used and summarizing the burden worldwide comparing developed and developing countries. Methods: Four electronic databases were searched. Studies were categorised according to country, perspective, methods of costing, disability category, and [...] Read more.
Background: This literature review investigates the economic costs of childhood disability analysing methodologies used and summarizing the burden worldwide comparing developed and developing countries. Methods: Four electronic databases were searched. Studies were categorised according to country, perspective, methods of costing, disability category, and time horizon. Annual costs were converted to 2019 current US dollars then compared to the country’s per capita current health expenditure (CHE) and gross domestic product (GDP). Results: Of 2468 references identified, 20 were included in the review. Annual burden of childhood disability ranged ≈$450–69,500 worldwide. Childhood disability imposes a heavy economic burden on families, health systems, and societies. The reason for the wide range of costs is the variability in perspective, costs included, methods, and disability type. Conclusion: The annual societal costs for one disabled child could be up to the country’s GDP per capita. The burden is heavier on households in developing countries as most of the costs are paid out-of-pocket leading to impoverishment of the whole family. Efforts should be directed to avoid preventable childhood disabilities and to support disabled children and their households to make them more independent and increase their productivity. More studies from developing countries are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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Review
Reopening Schools during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Overview and Rapid Systematic Review of Guidelines and Recommendations on Preventive Measures and the Management of Cases
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8839; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238839 - 27 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3008
Abstract
Given the limited evidence of school closure effectiveness in containing the pandemic and the consequences for young people, reopening schools with appropriate measures is essential. This overview aimed to describe the main measures planned for the 2020–2021 academic year within the WHO European [...] Read more.
Given the limited evidence of school closure effectiveness in containing the pandemic and the consequences for young people, reopening schools with appropriate measures is essential. This overview aimed to describe the main measures planned for the 2020–2021 academic year within the WHO European Region. A rapid systematic review of scientific databases was also performed. The websites of the government, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Education of European Region countries were searched through 1 October for official documents about the prevention and management of suspected cases/confirmed cases in primary and secondary schools. To find further suggestions, a rapid systematic review was conducted through 20 October searching Pubmed, Scopus, and Embase. There were 23 official documents. France, Luxembourg, Malta, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, the UK, Spain, and San Marino were considered. Performing the rapid review, 855 records were identified and 7 papers were finally selected. The recommendations mostly agreed. However, there was no consensus on the criteria for the return to school of students that tested positive, and the flexibility between attendance at school and remote education for high-risk children often varied. School closure was commonly considered as the very last resort for COVID-19 control. Studies are required to evaluate the impact of different recommendations during this autumn term. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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Review
Fundamental Concepts of Human Thermoregulation and Adaptation to Heat: A Review in the Context of Global Warming
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7795; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217795 - 24 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1549
Abstract
The international community has recognized global warming as an impending catastrophe that poses significant threat to life on earth. In response, the signatories of the Paris Agreement (2015) have committed to limit the increase in global mean temperature to <1.5 °C from pre-industry [...] Read more.
The international community has recognized global warming as an impending catastrophe that poses significant threat to life on earth. In response, the signatories of the Paris Agreement (2015) have committed to limit the increase in global mean temperature to <1.5 °C from pre-industry period, which is defined as 1850–1890. Considering that the protection of human life is a central focus in the Paris Agreement, the naturally endowed properties of the human body to protect itself from environmental extremes should form the core of an integrated and multifaceted solution against global warming. Scholars believe that heat and thermoregulation played important roles in the evolution of life and continue to be a central mechanism that allows humans to explore, labor and live in extreme conditions. However, the international effort against global warming has focused primarily on protecting the environment and on the reduction of greenhouse gases by changing human behavior, industrial practices and government policies, with limited consideration given to the nature and design of the human thermoregulatory system. Global warming is projected to challenge the limits of human thermoregulation, which can be enhanced by complementing innate human thermo-plasticity with the appropriate behavioral changes and technological innovations. Therefore, the primary aim of this review is to discuss the fundamental concepts and physiology of human thermoregulation as the underlying bases for human adaptation to global warming. Potential strategies to extend human tolerance against environmental heat through behavioral adaptations and technological innovations will also be discussed. An important behavioral adaptation postulated by this review is that sleep/wake cycles would gravitate towards a sub-nocturnal pattern, especially for outdoor activities, to avoid the heat in the day. Technologically, the current concept of air conditioning the space in the room would likely steer towards the concept of targeted body surface cooling. The current review was conducted using materials that were derived from PubMed search engine and the personal library of the author. The PubMed search was conducted using combinations of keywords that are related to the theme and topics in the respective sections of the review. The final set of articles selected were considered “state of the art,” based on their contributions to the strength of scientific evidence and novelty in the domain knowledge on human thermoregulation and global warming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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Review
Clinical and Regulatory Concerns of Biosimilars: A Review of Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5800; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165800 - 11 Aug 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1162
Abstract
Although biosimilars have been part of clinical practice for more than a decade, healthcare professionals (HCPs) do not fully accept them. This is because of the perception that biosimilars may not be like their originators in terms of quality, safety, and efficacy. This [...] Read more.
Although biosimilars have been part of clinical practice for more than a decade, healthcare professionals (HCPs) do not fully accept them. This is because of the perception that biosimilars may not be like their originators in terms of quality, safety, and efficacy. This study aims to evaluate the current knowledge and attitudes of healthcare professionals toward biosimilar prescription, and to elaborate on their concerns. We reviewed the literature using PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Science Direct electronic databases in the period from 2018 to 2020. The knowledge and confidence of healthcare professionals vary between countries, between clinical profiles and between studies. Although most of the healthcare professionals had a positive attitude to prescribing biosimilars, they would still prefer to prescribe them in initial treatment. Generally, HCPs were against multiple switches and substitution of biosimilars at the pharmacy level. HCP’s key concern was interchangeability, with eventual consequences on the clinical outcome of patients. HCPs still approach biosimilars with caution and stigma. HCPs need to have an unbiased coherent understanding of biosimilars at clinical, molecular and regulatory levels. It was also observed that most of their concerns are more theoretical than science-based. Physicians are in an excellent position to accept biosimilars, but they need the additional support of regulatory authorities to approve and take into consideration the available scientific data regarding biosimilars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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Review
Climate Change and Childhood Respiratory Health: A Call to Action for Paediatricians
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5344; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155344 - 24 Jul 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1863
Abstract
Climate change (CC) is one of the main contributors to health emergencies worldwide. CC appears to be closely interrelated with air pollution, as some pollutants like carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and black carbon are naturally occurring greenhouse gases. Air [...] Read more.
Climate change (CC) is one of the main contributors to health emergencies worldwide. CC appears to be closely interrelated with air pollution, as some pollutants like carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and black carbon are naturally occurring greenhouse gases. Air pollution may enhance the allergenicity of some plants and, also, has an adverse effect on respiratory health. Children are a uniquely vulnerable group that suffers disproportionately from CC burden. The increasing global warming related to CC has a big impact on plants’ lifecycles, with earlier and longer pollen seasons, as well as higher pollen production, putting children affected by asthma and allergic rhinitis at risk for exacerbations. Extreme weather events may play a role too, not only in the exacerbations of allergic respiratory diseases but, also, in favouring respiratory infections. Even though paediatricians are already seeing the impacts of CC on their patients, their knowledge about CC-related health outcomes with specific regards to children’s respiratory health is incomplete. This advocates for paediatricians’ increased awareness and a better understanding of the CC impact on children’s respiratory health. Having a special responsibility for children, paediatricians should actively be involved in policies aimed to protect the next generation from CC-related adverse health effects. Hence, there is an urgent need for them to take action and successfully educate families about CC issues. This paper aims at reviewing the evidence of CC-related environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, rainfall and extreme events on respiratory allergic diseases and respiratory infections in children and proposing specific actionable items for paediatricians to deal with CC-related health issues in their clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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Review
Smart Sanitation—Biosensors as a Public Health Tool in Sanitation Infrastructure
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5146; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145146 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1482
Abstract
The health of individuals and communities is more interconnected than ever, and emergent technologies have the potential to improve public health monitoring at both the community and individual level. A systematic literature review of peer-reviewed and gray literature from 2000-present was conducted on [...] Read more.
The health of individuals and communities is more interconnected than ever, and emergent technologies have the potential to improve public health monitoring at both the community and individual level. A systematic literature review of peer-reviewed and gray literature from 2000-present was conducted on the use of biosensors in sanitation infrastructure (such as toilets, sewage pipes and septic tanks) to assess individual and population health. 21 relevant papers were identified using PubMed, Embase, Global Health, CDC Stacks and NexisUni databases and a reflexive thematic analysis was conducted. Biosensors are being developed for a range of uses including monitoring illicit drug usage in communities, screening for viruses and diagnosing conditions such as diabetes. Most studies were nonrandomized, small-scale pilot or lab studies. Of the sanitation-related biosensors found in the literature, 11 gathered population-level data, seven provided real-time continuous data and 14 were noted to be more cost-effective than traditional surveillance methods. The most commonly discussed strength of these technologies was their ability to conduct rapid, on-site analysis. The findings demonstrate the potential of this emerging technology and the concept of Smart Sanitation to enhance health monitoring at the individual level (for diagnostics) as well as at the community level (for disease surveillance). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Concept Paper
Establishing a Theory-Based Multi-Level Approach for Primary Prevention of Mental Disorders in Young People
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9445; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249445 - 16 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1381
Abstract
The increasing prevalence of mental health disorders and psychosocial distress among young people exceeds the capacity of mental health services. Social and systemic factors determine mental health as much as individual factors. To determine how best to address multi-level risk factors, we must [...] Read more.
The increasing prevalence of mental health disorders and psychosocial distress among young people exceeds the capacity of mental health services. Social and systemic factors determine mental health as much as individual factors. To determine how best to address multi-level risk factors, we must first understand the distribution of risk. Previously, we have used psychometric methods applied to two epidemiologically-principled samples of people aged 14–24 to establish a robust, latent common mental distress (CMD) factor of depression and anxiety normally distributed across the population. This was linearly associated with suicidal thoughts and non-suicidal self-harm such that effective interventions to reduce CMD across the whole population could have a greater total benefit than those that focus on the minority with the most severe scores. In a randomised trial of mindfulness interventions in university students (the Mindful Student Study), we demonstrated a population-shift effect whereby the intervention group appeared resilient to a universal stressor. Given these findings, and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we argue that population-based interventions to reduce CMD are urgently required. To target all types of mental health determinants, these interventions must be multi-level. Careful design and evaluation, interdisciplinary work, and extensive local stakeholder involvement are crucial for these interventions to be effective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Challenges and Crucial Topics for 2030 Public Health)
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