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Special Issue "Disabilities, Health and Well-being"

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Tsan-Hon Liou

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
Website | E-Mail
Interests: rehabilitation; disability; ICF; physical activity; sarcopenia; public health; Implementation of the ICF

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on disability, health and well-being in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. IJERPH is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health. For detailed information on the journal, we refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) defines disability as an umbrella term for impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions. Disability is the interaction between individuals with a health condition (e.g. cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury and schizophrenia) and personal and environmental factors (e.g. negative attitudes, inaccessible transportation and public buildings, and limited social support). Over a billion people are estimated to live with some form of disability. This corresponds to about 15% of the world's population. Furthermore, the rates of disability are increasing in part due to ageing populations and an increase in chronic health conditions. Disability is a public health and social issue that has received relatively little attention for years. People with disabilities have the same general health care needs as everyone else. How to maintain their health and well-being is an important issue. Article 25 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) reinforces the right of persons with disabilities to attain the highest standard of health care, without discrimination. Research on how to promote health and well-being, decrease health disparity and eliminate discrimination for people with disability, can offer a critical guide for policy efforts and planning for public health.

This Special Issue is open to any subject area related to promotion of health and well-being among people with disability. The listed keywords suggest just a few of the many possibilities.

Prof. Dr. Tsan-Hon Liou
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 1800 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

  • Disability
  • International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)
  • Health promotion
  • Public health
  • Welfare
  • Special education
  • Quality of life
  • Physical activity
  • Work and employment
  • Social participation
  • Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Accessibility
  • Health disparities
  • Culture factors
  • Unmet needs for health care
  • Barriers
  • Discrimination

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Prevalence of Smoking, Determinants and Chance of Psychological Problems among Smokers in an Urban Community Housing Project in Malaysia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(10), 1762; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101762
Received: 4 April 2019 / Revised: 15 May 2019 / Accepted: 15 May 2019 / Published: 18 May 2019
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Abstract
Objective: This study was conducted to assess the prevalence, pattern of smoking and sociodemographic factors among Kerinchi residents in Kuala Lumpur, as well as to identify the association between smoking, stress, anxiety and depression. Methods: This study was carried out at four community [...] Read more.
Objective: This study was conducted to assess the prevalence, pattern of smoking and sociodemographic factors among Kerinchi residents in Kuala Lumpur, as well as to identify the association between smoking, stress, anxiety and depression. Methods: This study was carried out at four community housing projects in the Lembah Pantai area in Kuala Lumpur. Data was collected between 3 February 2012, and 29 November 2012. Data collectors made house visits and used interviewer administered questionnaires containing questions on demographic data and smoking patterns. Depression anxiety stress scale (DASS) was used to assess psychological symptoms. Alcohol smoking and substance involvement screening tool (ASSIST) scale was used to assess nicotine use. Results: Data from 1989 individuals (833 households) showed the age of respondents ranged from 18 to 89 years and the mean age was 39.12 years. There were 316 smokers indicating the prevalence of smoking was 15.85%, with 35.5% among males and 1.8% among females. Further, 86.6% of smokers were Malay and 87% were Muslims. Divorce was associated with smoking. Unemployment and housewives were less associated with smoking. Depression and anxiety were significantly associated with smoking (OR = 1.347. 95% CI: 1.042–1.741) and (OR = 1.401. 95% CI: 1.095–1.793) respectively. Conclusion: Screening for depression and anxiety should be routinely performed in the primary care setting and in population-based health screening to intervene early in patients who smoke. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disabilities, Health and Well-being)
Open AccessArticle
Physical Activity and Sedentary Time in Active and Non-Active Adults with Intellectual Disability: A Comparative Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(10), 1761; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101761
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 6 May 2019 / Accepted: 15 May 2019 / Published: 18 May 2019
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Abstract
This study describes and compares physical activity (PA) levels and sedentary time (ST) of active (AG) and a non-active (NAG) groups of adults with intellectual disability (ID) versus a group of adults without ID. Thirty-seven participants from the AG, 29 from the NAG, [...] Read more.
This study describes and compares physical activity (PA) levels and sedentary time (ST) of active (AG) and a non-active (NAG) groups of adults with intellectual disability (ID) versus a group of adults without ID. Thirty-seven participants from the AG, 29 from the NAG, and 31 adults without ID participated in this study. Height and weight were obtained to calculate body mass index (BMI). PA levels and ST were assessed with GT3X Actigraph accelerometers for 7 days. Results revealed that the AG engaged in higher values of moderate to vigorous PA compared with the NAG (all p < 0.05), but were similar to adults without ID. Adults without ID performed less ST and more light PA than the ID groups (all p < 0.05). The participants of the AG did not demonstrate less ST than the NAG. It is concerning that adults with ID (AG or NAG) are spending a higher time in ST and less time in light PA than adults without ID. Our results suggest that integrated, well-designed PA programmes into the ID population workdays can lead to increased PA levels. Nevertheless, these interventions and exercise programmes implemented for adults with ID should be tailored to also reduce ST. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disabilities, Health and Well-being)
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Open AccessArticle
Justice in Dementia Care Resource Allocation: How Should We Plan for Dementia Services?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(10), 1754; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16101754
Received: 21 April 2019 / Revised: 7 May 2019 / Accepted: 15 May 2019 / Published: 17 May 2019
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Abstract
Dementia care resources in Taiwan have not been allocated taking into account patients’ needs and the distance between service users and providers. The objective of this study was to use two newly developed indicators; profit willing distance (PWD) and tolerance limited distance (TLD), [...] Read more.
Dementia care resources in Taiwan have not been allocated taking into account patients’ needs and the distance between service users and providers. The objective of this study was to use two newly developed indicators; profit willing distance (PWD) and tolerance limited distance (TLD), to profile the service availability and accessibility of the 22 administrative areas in Taiwan and facilitate justice-based resource allocation by the central government. The study employed secondary data analysis by using a geographic information system (GIS) and geocoding to identify distances between service users and providers. The study samples were drawn from the databank of the National Disability Eligibility Determination System and grouped by the acuteness of registrants’ needs. Both the PWD and TLD were found in 15 of the administrative areas, and neither was found in three areas (Penghu, Kinmen, and Lienchiang County). Either the PWD or TLD (but not both) were found in four areas (only have PWD: Hsinchu and Chiayi City; only have TLD: Yunlin and Taitung County). How the priorities should be set for dementia service allocation based on these findings was also addressed. We conclude that the indicators of PWD and TLD can add value to the policy decision-making process, help set priorities, and facilitate efficient and fair resource allocation by defining specifics of the resources needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disabilities, Health and Well-being)
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Open AccessArticle
WHODAS 2.0 Can Predict Institutionalization among Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(9), 1484; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16091484
Received: 21 March 2019 / Revised: 24 April 2019 / Accepted: 26 April 2019 / Published: 26 April 2019
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Abstract
Patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) often present with disabilities associated with a high burden of care for caregivers or family members at home. When family members cannot afford to care for patients with TBI, they are often required to find them residence [...] Read more.
Patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) often present with disabilities associated with a high burden of care for caregivers or family members at home. When family members cannot afford to care for patients with TBI, they are often required to find them residence in long-term care institutions. To date, there are no quantitative assessment tools developed to predict institutionalization. Therefore, this study analyzed the accuracy of the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0) for predicting the institutionalization of patients with TBI. We designed a cross-sectional study using a nationwide disability database. We analyzed the data of 8630 patients with TBI with injury for more than six months from the Taiwan Data Bank of Persons with Disability during July 2012–October 2018. The demographic data and WHODAS 2.0 standardized scores of patients with TBI who resided in community and long-term care institutions were analyzed. Receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) analysis was performed to investigate the predictive accuracy of WHODAS 2.0 for being institutionalized, and the optimal cut-off point was determined using the Youden index. Binary logistic regression was employed to determine the predictors of the participants being institutionalized. The WHODAS 2.0 scores in each domain were lower in the community group than in the institutionalized group. ROC analysis revealed the highest accuracy for the summary scores of WHODAS 2.0 (area under the curve = 0.769). Binary logistic regression revealed that age, gender, work status, urbanization level, socioeconomic status, severity of impairment, and WHODAS 2.0 domain scores were factors associated with the institutionalization status of patients with TBI. Our results suggest that WHODAS 2.0 may be a feasible assessment tool for predicting the institutionalization of patients with TBI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disabilities, Health and Well-being)
Open AccessArticle
Cultural Adaptation and Validation of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Disability Index in a Spanish Population and Its Association with Sociodemographic and Clinical Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 635; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040635
Received: 25 January 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 21 February 2019
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Abstract
Inflammatory bowel diseases generate disability. We aimed to adapt and validate the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Disability Index in a Spanish population and to analyze the sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with disability in patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Cultural adaptation and [...] Read more.
Inflammatory bowel diseases generate disability. We aimed to adapt and validate the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Disability Index in a Spanish population and to analyze the sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with disability in patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Cultural adaptation and validation of psychometric properties in the index were done, along with an observational, cross-sectional, and analytical approach to determine associations with sociodemographic and clinical factors. Sociodemographic data, quality of life (using the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire-32), and indicators of disease activity were collected, among others. A total of 170 subjects participated. The index showed high internal consistency, with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.869 and concurrent validity with the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire-32 (r = 0.723, p < 0.001). The average score of the index was −3.91. Greater degrees of disability were found in women (mean = −6.77) than in men (mean = −1.25) (p = 0.018), in patients with Crohn’s disease (mean = −5.94) rather than those with ulcerative colitis (mean = −0.94) (p = 0.028), and in patients in the moderately active disease phase (mean = −20.94) rather than those in the mildly active disease phase (mean = −2.65) and/or those in remission (mean = −1.40) (p < 0.001). The Disability Index is a valid tool for the Spanish population and is associated with sex, type of illness, and disease activity. It is a useful index in evaluating and monitoring disability in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disabilities, Health and Well-being)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Successful Aging in Older People Who Participated in Computerized or Paper-and-Pencil Memory Training: The Memoria Mejor Program
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020191
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 26 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 11 January 2019
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Abstract
Background. The evaluation of successful aging includes objective criteria to measure cognitive function and psychological well-being and levels of functional capacity needed to perform daily activities related to the preservation of autonomy. In addition, the emergence of computerized cognitive training programs has allowed [...] Read more.
Background. The evaluation of successful aging includes objective criteria to measure cognitive function and psychological well-being and levels of functional capacity needed to perform daily activities related to the preservation of autonomy. In addition, the emergence of computerized cognitive training programs has allowed us to use a new class of tools to verify the theoretical postulates of neural plasticity in aging. Objective. The present study investigates subjective and objective criteria of successful aging in healthy older adults participating in a memory training program offered as two versions: computer and paper-and-pencil. Method. Fifty-four healthy older adult participants recruited for the study were organized into two training groups. Group 1 (G1) used the computer program and Group 2 (G2) used the paper-and-pencil program. Results. The analysis revealed no significant differences in psychological well-being between the two training groups. However, the groups did differ significantly in objective evaluations of successful aging, as measured by attention and everyday memory, and brain activity as measured by sLORETA, with G1 outperforming G2 on both measures. Conclusion. Computerized memory training programs show promise for restoring cognitive and cerebral functioning in older adults, and consequently, may be better suited to achieving the objective criteria of successful aging than paper-and-pencil memory training programs. However, this conclusion should be taken with caution since differences in age and educational level may have influenced the results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disabilities, Health and Well-being)
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Open AccessArticle
“Living an Obstacle Course”: A Qualitative Study Examining the Experiences of Caregivers of Children with Rett Syndrome
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010041
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 22 December 2018 / Accepted: 23 December 2018 / Published: 25 December 2018
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Abstract
Background: Rett syndrome has considerable effects on the quality of life of affected children, impairing everyday activities and potentially impacting the life of both the caregivers and the family. Our aim was to explore the experiences of a group of caregivers of [...] Read more.
Background: Rett syndrome has considerable effects on the quality of life of affected children, impairing everyday activities and potentially impacting the life of both the caregivers and the family. Our aim was to explore the experiences of a group of caregivers of children with Rett syndrome with regards to living and caring for their children. Methods: We conducted a qualitative case study to examine how 31 caregivers of children with Rett syndrome perceived living with their children. Data were collected through in-depth interviews, focus groups, researchers’ field notes and caregivers’ personal documents. A thematic analysis was performed following the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ) guideline. Results: The experience of being a caregiver of a child with Rett syndrome was expressed as being akin to an “obstacle course”, and was described via three main themes: (a) looking for answers, with two subthemes identified, namely ‘the first symptoms’, and ‘the need for a diagnosis’; (b) managing day to day life, with the subthemes ‘applying treatments’, and ‘learning to care’; and (c) money matters. Conclusions: Rett syndrome has a considerable impact on the lives of the caregivers involved. The health-care process and the management of economic resources are some of the aspects highlighted by caregivers. These findings have important implications for the planning of support services, health systems and health policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disabilities, Health and Well-being)
Open AccessArticle
A Comparison of Mercury Exposure from Seafood Consumption and Dental Amalgam Fillings in People with and without Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS): An International Online Case-Control Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2874; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122874
Received: 21 November 2018 / Revised: 7 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 December 2018 / Published: 14 December 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1479 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Exposures to toxic metals such as mercury have been suggested to be risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Human intake of mercury commonly occurs via consumption of seafood or from mercury-containing amalgam dental restorations (‘mercury fillings’). We therefore compared mercury exposures from [...] Read more.
Exposures to toxic metals such as mercury have been suggested to be risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Human intake of mercury commonly occurs via consumption of seafood or from mercury-containing amalgam dental restorations (‘mercury fillings’). We therefore compared mercury exposures from these sources in 401 ALS and 452 non-ALS respondents, using an internationally-available online questionnaire that asked respondents how often they ate seafood and what their favourite types of seafoods were. Respondents were also asked to record numbers of current or former mercury fillings. ALS and non-ALS respondents did not differ in their frequency of seafood consumption or in monthly mercury intake from favourite seafoods. Both groups had similar numbers of current, as well as former, mercury fillings. In conclusion, this study found no evidence that mercury exposure from eating seafood, or from mercury dental fillings, was associated with the risk of developing ALS. Therefore, if mercury does play a role in the pathogenesis of ALS, other sources of exposure to mercury in the environment or workplace need to be considered. Alternatively, a susceptibility to mercury toxicity in ALS, such as genetic or epigenetic variations, multiple toxic metal interactions, or selenium deficiency, may be present. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disabilities, Health and Well-being)
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Open AccessArticle
Large-Scale Assessment of Function and Disability in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease Using the Functioning Disability Evaluation Scale-Adult Version
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2788; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122788
Received: 31 October 2018 / Revised: 5 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 December 2018 / Published: 9 December 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (586 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study assesses the functioning and disability related to Parkinson’s disease using the Functioning Disability Evaluation Scale-Adult Version (FUNDES-Adult), based on the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0) in a large-scale database; this study describes, discusses and clarifies the predictive [...] Read more.
This study assesses the functioning and disability related to Parkinson’s disease using the Functioning Disability Evaluation Scale-Adult Version (FUNDES-Adult), based on the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0) in a large-scale database; this study describes, discusses and clarifies the predictive factor of not being in an ambulatory status. Of 7455 patients included in this study, 3561 were not ambulatory and 3894 were ambulatory or assisted ambulatory. Patients with poor walking status revealed higher FUNDES-Adult scores in all domains. Age, modified Hoehn–Yahr stage, living in an institution and the standardized score of FUNDES-Adult domains 1 and 2 were positive independent predictors of the not ambulatory status. The FUNDES-Adult could evaluate multifaceted disability and predict the walking status in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disabilities, Health and Well-being)
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Open AccessArticle
Association between Occupational Dysfunction and Metabolic Syndrome in Community-Dwelling Japanese Adults in a Cross-Sectional Study: Ibara Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2575; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112575
Received: 15 October 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 13 November 2018 / Published: 17 November 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between occupational dysfunction and metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its component factors in community-dwelling Japanese adults (N = 1,514). Self-reported lifestyle behaviors, Classification and Assessment of Occupational Dysfunction (CAOD) scores, and metabolic traits were [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between occupational dysfunction and metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its component factors in community-dwelling Japanese adults (N = 1,514). Self-reported lifestyle behaviors, Classification and Assessment of Occupational Dysfunction (CAOD) scores, and metabolic traits were measured. CAOD levels were divided into tertiles (low, moderate, and high), and their associations with MetS and its components were evaluated through logistic regression analysis. The association of MetS with CAOD was demonstrated in the total number of individuals [OR = 1.92 (95% CI 1.17–3.17)] and in older individuals [OR = 1.90 (95% CI 1.04–3.46)]. The association of dyslipidemia and CAOD was evident for overweight individuals [OR = 2.08 (95% CI 1.17–3.68)]. A higher association of high blood pressure with CAOD was evidenced in younger individuals [OR = 2.02 (95% CI 1.05–3.89)] who belonged to the highest-CAOD-score group in comparison to those who registered the lowest-CAOD-score group. The evaluation of MetS and interventions related to its prevention may be more effective if the viewpoint of occupational dysfunction is taken into account. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disabilities, Health and Well-being)
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