Special Issue "Healthcare Services and Epidemiology for Chronic Disease Management and Prevention"

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ramune Jacobsen
Website
Guest Editor
Research group for Social and Clinical Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Interests: health care services; general practice; medicines use; intervention design; patient outcome measures; questionnaires; disease prevention; epidemiology; respiratory diseases; diabetes; chronic pain; vitamin D deficiency
Dr. Mina Nicole Händel
Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Research unit for dietary studies, The Parker Institute, Frederiksberg Hospital, Capital Region of Denmark
Interests: disease prevention; epidemiology; register data; cohort studies; randomized controlled trials; bone health; obesity; cardiovascular diseases; children; nutrition; systematic reviews; meta-analyses and meta-regression analyses; GRADE

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on healthcare service research for chronic disease management, and on epidemiology for chronic disease prevention in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The venue 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 about the journal, we refer you to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph.

While the situation we are facing today with the emergence and rapid spread of COVID-19 virus has led to an increase in interest in health concerns related to global pandemics, concerns related to the worldwide rise of chronic diseases, alongside aging population and steady changes in lifestyle, have been well known for quite a while. Chronic diseases are common, cause long-term health problems, require lifelong healthcare, and bear tremendous costs. To address growing healthcare demands, new healthcare delivery models, often driven by developments in technology, are emerging, promising optimization of healthcare and minimization of healthcare costs. Simultaneously, public health efforts allocated to health promotion and disease prevention also lessen chronic disease burden. Continuous and diverse research in chronic disease management and prevention is paramount to support further improvements in healthcare, advance our knowledge of disease prevention, and thus tackle chronic disease burden. This Special Issue aims to highlight problems and solutions of chronic disease management and prevention addressed and exemplified utilizing various quantitative research methods. 

This Special Issue is open to any subject area related to healthcare service research for chronic disease management and epidemiology for chronic disease prevention. The listed keywords suggest just a few of the many possibilities.

Dr. Ramune Jacobsen
Dr. Mina Nicole Händel
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

  • healthcare services
  • primary healthcare
  • disease management
  • health technologies
  • medicines use
  • rehabilitation
  • patient outcome measures
  • disease prevention
  • epidemiology
  • systematic reviews
  • meta-analyses
  • vitamin D deficiency
  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • respiratory diseases
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • bone health
  • mental health

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Management of Primary Dysmenorrhea among University Students in the South of Spain and Family Influence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5570; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155570 - 01 Aug 2020
Abstract
The present study analyses the management of primary dysmenorrhea by university students in the south of Spain. In this cross-sectional observational study, 224 women participated, using an ad hoc self-report questionnaire about menstrual pain and self-care and including sociodemographic and gynecological variables. Some [...] Read more.
The present study analyses the management of primary dysmenorrhea by university students in the south of Spain. In this cross-sectional observational study, 224 women participated, using an ad hoc self-report questionnaire about menstrual pain and self-care and including sociodemographic and gynecological variables. Some 76.8% of participants consumed analgesics and the majority self-medicated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) without consulting a health professional, with a correlation between pain intensity and the number of pills ingested during menstruation (r = 0.151, p < 0.05). The higher proportion of women who found their analgesia effective were those who took medication after being prescribed by a health care provider (60.8%) compared to those who self-medicated (40%; p < 0.01). Only 43.8% employed non-pharmaceutical methods, most commonly antalgic positions, massages and local heat. These choices were not related to the intensity of menstrual pain nor with the severity of the dysmenorrhea, nor did these most common methods prove to be the most effective. However, a higher percentage of women using non-pharmacological methods was identified in women with family members suffering from dysmenorrhea (73.2%) compared to those without (60%; p = 0.040), which may indicate that the choice of remedies is more related to learning self-care in the family context. This study identifies the need for education on self-care and management of menstrual pain. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Relationship between Lipid Profiles and Glycemic Control Among Patients with Type 2 Diabetes in Qingdao, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5317; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155317 - 23 Jul 2020
Abstract
Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) was the best indicator of glycemic control, which did not show the dynamic relationship between glycemic control and lipid profiles. In order to guide the health management of Type 2 diabetes (T2D), we assessed the levels of lipid profiles and [...] Read more.
Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) was the best indicator of glycemic control, which did not show the dynamic relationship between glycemic control and lipid profiles. In order to guide the health management of Type 2 diabetes (T2D), we assessed the levels of lipid profiles and fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and displayed the relationship between FPG control and lipid profiles. We conducted a cross-sectional study that included 5822 participants. Descriptive statistics were conducted according to gender and glycemic status respectively. Comparisons for the control of lipid profiles were conducted according to glycemic control. Four logistic regression models were generated to analyze the relationship between lipid profiles and glycemic control according to different confounding factors. The metabolic control percentage of FPG, triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TC), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) was 27.50%, 73.10%, 28.10%, 64.20% and 44.80% respectively. In the fourth model with the most confounding factors, the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of TG, TC, LDL-C and HDL-C were 0.989 (0.935, 1.046), 0.862 (0.823, 0.903), 0.987 (0.920, 1.060) and 2.173 (1.761, 2.683). TC and HDL-C were statistically significant, and TG and LDL-C were not statistically significant with adjustment for different confounding factors. In conclusion, FPG was significantly associated with HDL and TC and was not associated with LDL and TG. Our findings suggested that TC and HDL should be focused on in the process of T2D health management. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Colonoscopy Screening Behaviour and Associated Factors Amongst First-Degree Relatives of People with Colorectal Cancer in China: Testing the Health Belief Model Using a Cross-Sectional Design
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 4927; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17144927 - 08 Jul 2020
Abstract
Colonoscopy is the best screening choice for at-risk persons, because it offers prevention through the removal of preneoplastic lesions in addition to early detection. This study aims to report the participation rate of colonoscopy screening and examine its associated factors amongst Chinese first-degree [...] Read more.
Colonoscopy is the best screening choice for at-risk persons, because it offers prevention through the removal of preneoplastic lesions in addition to early detection. This study aims to report the participation rate of colonoscopy screening and examine its associated factors amongst Chinese first-degree relatives of people with colorectal cancer based on the health belief model (HBM). A cross-sectional study was conducted in Shenzhen, China from March to May 2019. Demographic characteristics, family history, variables derived from the HBM and colonoscopy screening behaviours were measured through online surveys as the independent variables of interest. A total of 186 online surveys were returned, with a final response rate of 57.0%. The participation rate of colonoscopy was 15.6%. Univariate analysis (independent t-test/chi-square test/Fisher test) was applied first to identify the candidate independent variables. Then, multivariate logistic regression was used to examine the association between independent variables and uptake of colonoscopy. Perceived barriers and cues to action were identified as factors associated with undergoing colonoscopy. The participation rate of colonoscopy in the study population was low. Health communication to promote colonoscopy screening for the Chinese at-risk population should include components in reducing barriers to colonoscopy tests, family history information and health professional recommendations on screening. Future studies with large sample size are suggested to examine perceived susceptibility, fatalism and other characteristics considering family history (treatment and outcome of patients) and their potential impacts on cancer screening behaviours for Chinese at-risk populations due to family history. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Cost of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Management Matches with Clinical Course: A Single Outpatient Centre Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4549; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124549 - 24 Jun 2020
Abstract
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) have a large economic burden on health systems. Our single-centre observational retrospective study aimed to assess an economic evaluation in two IBD outpatient cohorts (biological and conventional therapy) in relation to disease activity within a three-year follow-up. Four hundred [...] Read more.
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) have a large economic burden on health systems. Our single-centre observational retrospective study aimed to assess an economic evaluation in two IBD outpatient cohorts (biological and conventional therapy) in relation to disease activity within a three-year follow-up. Four hundred and seventeen consecutive IBD patients referred to our tertiary gastroenterology unit (Bari-Puglia-Southern Italy) on January 2014–December 2016 were included. For each group (conventional/biological), we assessed direct/indirect costs and clinical/endoscopic activity within the first year and along the three-year follow-up. Statistical analyses: Wilcoxon signed-rank test (continuous variables), chi-square and Fisher’s test (categorical variables), Spearman ranks (single outcome) and ANOVA (detection time, clinical/endoscopic scores) were used. Continuous variables were expressed as mean ± standard deviation and range and/or median, interquartile range and range; categorical variables were expressed as proportions with 95% confidence interval. Direct and indirect cost items of 2014 and 2014–2016 were higher in patients treated with biological than conventional therapy. Subjects on biological therapy were younger and showed clinical and endoscopic moderate-to-severe disease activity. After three years, they reached a significant improvement from baseline. Conversely, disease activity was mild when conventional treatment had a beneficial effect. In conclusion, overall IBD management cost matches with clinical course and needs long-term evaluation in critical patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chronic Diseases and Associated Factors among Older Adults in Loja, Ecuador
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4009; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114009 - 04 Jun 2020
Abstract
(1) Background: This study aimed to explore the symptoms, functional status, and depression in patients with chronic diseases in Loja, Ecuador. (2) Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out with patients over 60 years old having at least one chronic disease and cared [...] Read more.
(1) Background: This study aimed to explore the symptoms, functional status, and depression in patients with chronic diseases in Loja, Ecuador. (2) Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out with patients over 60 years old having at least one chronic disease and cared for in healthcare centers of the Health Ministry of Ecuador or living in associated geriatric centers. (3) Results: The sample comprised 283 patients with a mean age of 76.56 (SD 7.76) years. The most prevalent chronic diseases were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, followed by arterial hypertension and diabetes. Patients with a joint disease had the worst scores for the majority of the symptoms assessed with the Edmonton Scale. Cancer, dementia, and arterial hypertension contributed the most to the dependence levels assessed with the Barthel Index. Dementia contributed the most to the poor performance status evaluated with the Karnofsky Performance Status. Cancer and diabetes contributed the most to depression. Patients with a higher number of chronic diseases reported worse functional status. (4) Conclusions: Targeted interventions to address symptoms, functional status, and depression in patients with chronic diseases are needed. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Clinical Usefulness of the Inhibitory Control Test (ICT) in the Diagnosis of Minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3645; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103645 - 22 May 2020
Abstract
Background: Minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) refers to a number of neuropsychiatric and neurophysiological disorders in patients with cirrhosis who do not show abnormalities on physical examination or in clinical tests. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, risk factors, [...] Read more.
Background: Minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) refers to a number of neuropsychiatric and neurophysiological disorders in patients with cirrhosis who do not show abnormalities on physical examination or in clinical tests. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, risk factors, and predictive value of minimal hepatic encephalopathy and the usefulness of the inhibitory control test (ICT) in the diagnosis. Methods: Seventy patients (mean age 53 years, range 24−77) with liver cirrhosis were enrolled in the study. MHE was diagnosed based on PHES (psychometric hepatic encephalopathy score) and ICT. PHES and ICT were validated in a group of 56 control subjects. Results: Minimal hepatic encephalopathy was diagnosed using PHES in 21 patients (30%). ICT diagnosed MHE in 30 patients (42%), and the test had a sensitivity of 65% and a specificity of 57% compared to PHES. The ICT score (lures/target accuracy rate) correlated with the age of subjects (R = 0.35, p = 0.002) and only slightly with education (education in years R = −0.22, p = 0.06). MHE diagnosed with PHES or ICT was associated with a significantly higher model of end-stage liver disease (MELD) score in the follow-up. MHE diagnosed with ICT was correlated with a significantly higher incidence of symptoms of decompensated cirrhosis (p = 0.02) in the follow-up. Conclusions: ICT had moderate sensitivity and specificity in diagnosing MHE compared to PHES. Importantly, MHE detected with PHES or ICT was associated with poorer survival and a more severe progression of the disease. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Insufficient Sun Exposure Has Become a Real Public Health Problem
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5014; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145014 - 13 Jul 2020
Abstract
This article aims to alert the medical community and public health authorities to accumulating evidence on health benefits from sun exposure, which suggests that insufficient sun exposure is a significant public health problem. Studies in the past decade indicate that insufficient sun exposure [...] Read more.
This article aims to alert the medical community and public health authorities to accumulating evidence on health benefits from sun exposure, which suggests that insufficient sun exposure is a significant public health problem. Studies in the past decade indicate that insufficient sun exposure may be responsible for 340,000 deaths in the United States and 480,000 deaths in Europe per year, and an increased incidence of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, asthma, type 1 diabetes and myopia. Vitamin D has long been considered the principal mediator of beneficial effects of sun exposure. However, oral vitamin D supplementation has not been convincingly shown to prevent the above conditions; thus, serum 25(OH)D as an indicator of vitamin D status may be a proxy for and not a mediator of beneficial effects of sun exposure. New candidate mechanisms include the release of nitric oxide from the skin and direct effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) on peripheral blood cells. Collectively, this evidence indicates it would be wise for people living outside the tropics to ensure they expose their skin sufficiently to the sun. To minimize the harms of excessive sun exposure, great care must be taken to avoid sunburn, and sun exposure during high ambient UVR seasons should be obtained incrementally at not more than 5–30 min a day (depending on skin type and UV index), in season-appropriate clothing and with eyes closed or protected by sunglasses that filter UVR. Full article
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