Special Issue "Health Education and COVID-19 Pandemic: Towards a Holistic Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Education and Approaches".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. José Gómez-Galán
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Education Sciences, University of Extremadura. Av. de Elvas, s/n, 06006 Badajoz, Spain
2. College of Education, Ana G. Méndez University, Cupey Campus, San Juan, PR 00926, USA
Interests: health education; sustainability; health literacy; environmental education; media education; theory of education; holistic education
Prof. Dr. Jose Ángel Martínez-López
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Social Work and Social Services, University of Murcia, Avda. Teniente Flomesta, 30003 Murcia, Spain
Interests: health education; life-long education; social work; social services; long-term care; sustainable development
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Cristina Lázaro-Pérez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sociology, University of Murcia, Campus Universitario, 11, 30100 Murcia, Spain
Interests: health education; clinical psychology; social welfare; psychological care; healthy aging
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last decades, health education has been gaining importance within the different training plans of different academic degrees (education, teacher training, medicine, environmental studies, etc.). However, it is in the COVID-19 pandemic when it is acquiring all its true value, which is the training of citizens in all aspects related to health and healthcare. But it is not an isolated issue, in any way. It is a holistic problem that must effectively integrate economic, environmental, and social considerations. We must not forget that sustainability encompasses our physical well-being through a healthy environment, as well as its social and economic dimensions.

When we talk about health education, we refer to a process of interpersonal communication aimed at providing the necessary training to carry out a critical and preventive analysis of health problems. It seeks to make individuals and social groups responsible for behavioral decisions that have direct or indirect effects on physical and mental health, both individually and collectively. As presented by the World Health Organization (WHO), it must understand consciously created learning opportunities that involve a form of communication aimed at improving health literacy, including improving knowledge and developing personal skills that lead to individual and community health.

Health education, in short, through rigorous information, promotes the motivation of personal skills and self-esteem and allows the effective implementation of current health recommendations. It is one of the fundamental pillars for the implementation of social, economic, and environmental changes that favor health. Also, its generalization in educational systems allows new generations to adopt healthy lifestyles that allow and benefit social and sustainable development and progress. It is essential for public health.

In the scenario of the pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which produces COVID-19 disease, the value of health education is undeniable. It is a valuable means and instrument to deal not only with this plague but with others that may arise in the future. It sensitizes and raises awareness among citizens, from the grassroots, in all actions necessary to stop the spread of a pathogen. It involves decision making in all three spheres of ecological, social, and economic sustainability.

This Special Issue welcomes research papers and reviews of research studies focused on health education, particularly to help address the COVID-19 pandemic and other future health emergencies. For its multidisciplinary nature, research on health promotion, hygiene, control of unhealthy behavioral factors or lifestyles, prevention of prevalent diseases, health equity, actions for environmental sanitation, etc. may also be presented. These lines of action will allow us to prevent future scenarios such as that produced by the most important pandemic of the 21st century. This Special Issue covers but is not limited to the following topics:

- Health education

- Holistic sustainability

- COVID-19 pandemic

- Public health

- Health equity.

- Environmental sanitation

- Health literacy

- Disease prevention

- Healthy lifestyles

- Health promotion

Prof. Dr. José Gómez-Galán
Prof. Dr. Jose Ángel Martínez-López
Dr. Cristina Lázaro-Pérez
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. Sustainability 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 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • health education
  • holistic sustainability
  • COVID-19
  • pandemic
  • public health
  • environmental sanitation
  • health literacy
  • prevention
  • healthy lifestyles
  • health promotion
  • diseases
  • health equity

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
The Development and Validation of a Measure to Assess COVID-19 Stress among College Students for Sustainable Education
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9828; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179828 - 01 Sep 2021
Viewed by 405
Abstract
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ personal, academic, and social life has been quite stressful. The threat to life from the virus, social isolation, and the need to shift from face-to-face learning to online mode has been challenging. Thus, the purpose [...] Read more.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ personal, academic, and social life has been quite stressful. The threat to life from the virus, social isolation, and the need to shift from face-to-face learning to online mode has been challenging. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to develop and validate a self-administered tool to assess the source of COVID-19 pandemic stress among college students. The data was collected online using google forms in two phases. The data collected from 173 participants from phase one was analyzed using exploratory factor analysis (EFA). The second phase data of 216 participants were analyzed to validate the factor structure using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The standardized factor loadings, Composite Reliability (CR), and AVE of factors were assessed to determine the convergent validity of the scale. Similarly, discriminant validity and concurrent predictive validity were assessed through the HTMT ratio of correlations and ROC curves, respectively. A succession of Exploratory Factor Analysis yielded a five-factor solution, explaining 73.83 percent variance with 13 indices. CFA via maximum likelihood with bootstrapping indicated a good fit for the five-factor model (SRMR = 0.037, RMSEA = 0.049, CFI = 0.981). The standardized factor loadings, Composite Reliability (CR), and AVE of factors together suggest acceptable convergent validity. Further, the ROC curve results to assess stress indicated an acceptable AUC, with a magnitude of 0.79, p < 0.01, indicating concurrent predictive validity for the five-factor Student COVID-19 Stress Scale (SCSS). HTMT ratio of correlations <0.85 indicated discriminant validity for the factor structure. The CR > 0.70 for the dimensions indicated acceptable reliability. Thus, the SCSS can be an effective instrument to assess the source of pandemic stress among students so that tailor-made timely interventions can be provided to prevent long-term adverse effects. Full article
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Article
Adult Education: A Sustainable Model for the Reduction of Psychosocial and Educational Risks Caused by COVID-19
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5264; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095264 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 501
Abstract
Education for health and sustainability has to be understood from a new perspective beyond the traditional conceptual limits. Thus, following the lines of the 2030 sustainable development goals, we examine how permanent education and adult education can become a fundamental element for the [...] Read more.
Education for health and sustainability has to be understood from a new perspective beyond the traditional conceptual limits. Thus, following the lines of the 2030 sustainable development goals, we examine how permanent education and adult education can become a fundamental element for the achievement of said objectives, serving as a neutraliser of psychosocial risk factors. In other words, a quality education throughout life becomes a dynamic factor for the development of lifestyle habits and healthy aging, purposes that during the pandemic and the state of alarm have been altered by confinement, closure of educational centres, and methodological changes. The objective of the study is to analyse whether the maintenance of educational activity has influenced the psychological state of people, reducing, neutralising, or increasing the psychosocial risk factors linked to confinement and the evolution of COVID-19. For this, an observational study was developed, taking as a case the Universidad Popular Dos Hermanas (Seville, Spain), with a sample of 384 learners over the age of 16 years. The variables considered were sociodemographic means and technical tools, assessment of the institution, teacher assessment, and psychosocial variables related to possible effects caused by the context. The data were collected through a self-developed questionnaire. Descriptive analyses and bivariate correlations were carried out. Methodological diversity and positive correlations were shown in terms of the institution’s function, teaching assessment, maintenance of activity, and reduction of psychopathological risks. Full article
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Article
Burnout among Direct-Care Workers in Nursing Homes during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Spain: A Preventive and Educational Focus for Sustainable Workplaces
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2782; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052782 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1266
Abstract
Due to their continuous contact with pain and death, healthcare workers have one of the most stressful professions. Pain and death are more common in nursing homes. During the health crisis associated with COVID-19, these work centers have been characterized as spaces of [...] Read more.
Due to their continuous contact with pain and death, healthcare workers have one of the most stressful professions. Pain and death are more common in nursing homes. During the health crisis associated with COVID-19, these work centers have been characterized as spaces of high vulnerability to infection for the elderly, with a high mortality rate. This research aims to determine how the health crisis associated with COVID-19 has influenced healthcare professionals working in nursing homes for the elderly. Using a quantitative and cross-sectional method, the research was developed in residential centers in the Region of Murcia (Spain) during the second wave of the pandemic. A survey design based mainly on the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) was employed. MBI measures three subscales: emotional burnout, depersonalization, and self-fulfillment. The results show that 6.4% of the respondents were burned out, 53.8% of the participants were emotionally exhausted, 35.1% were found to suffer from depersonalization, and in the case of personal development, the respondents showed a low level of 15.6%. This study shows the need to consider the establishment, in the academic environment, of training programs for health professionals related to coping with, managing, and identifying stress, especially in adverse circumstances. Similarly, in the professional field, it is necessary to develop strategies to prevent stress and anxiety in the workplace. The development of training programs for this purpose is essential for achieving a sustainable work context. Full article
Article
The Formulation of Epidemic Prevention Work of COVID-19 for Colleges and Universities: Priorities and Recommendations
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2081; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042081 - 15 Feb 2021
Viewed by 722
Abstract
As the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic spreads all over the world, governments of various countries are actively adopting epidemic prevention measures to curb the spread of the disease. However, colleges and universities are one of the most likely places for cluster infections. [...] Read more.
As the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic spreads all over the world, governments of various countries are actively adopting epidemic prevention measures to curb the spread of the disease. However, colleges and universities are one of the most likely places for cluster infections. The main reason is that college students have frequent social activities, and many students come from different countries, which may very likely cause college campuses to be entry points of disease transmission. Therefore, this study proposes a framework of epidemic prevention work, and further explores the importance and priority of epidemic prevention works. First of all, 32 persons in charge of epidemic prevention from various universities in Taiwan were invited to jointly formulate a campus epidemic prevention framework and determined 5 dimensions and 36 epidemic prevention works/measures/criteria. Next, Bayesian best worst method (BWM) was used to generate a set of optimal group criteria weights. This method can not only integrate the opinions of multiple experts, but also effectively reduce the complexity of expert interviews to obtain more reliable results. The results show that the five most important measures for campus epidemic prevention are the establishment of a campus epidemic prevention organization, comprehensive disinfection of the campus environment, maintenance of indoor ventilation, proper isolation of contacts with confirmed cases, and management of immigration regulations for overseas students. This study provides colleges and universities around the world to formulate anti-epidemic measures to effectively reduce the probability of COVID-19 transmission on campuses to protect students’ right to education. Full article
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