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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 21, Issue 5 (May 2024) – 135 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This cross-sectional study investigates the impact of orthodontic status on oral health and quality of life (OHRQoL) among 16-year-old Norwegians with cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P). This research focused on dental deviations such as congenitally missing teeth, misaligned teeth, negative overjet, and poor intermaxillary sagittal relations. Many patients reported an impact on OHRQoL, particularly in psychological and articulation domains. The findings indicate that severe dental deviations, including dental agenesis, and unfavourable intermaxillary relationships are associated with lower OHRQoL. Moreover, this study highlights the importance of individualized orthodontic care to improve quality of life among young adults with orofacial cleft conditions. View this paper
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20 pages, 362 KiB  
Article
A ‘Cultural Models’ Approach to Psychotherapy for Refugees and Asylum Seekers: A Case Study from the UK
by Mohaddeseh Ziyachi and Brian Castellani
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 650; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050650 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 1139
Abstract
Despite the existence of significant research on the mental health care challenges of migrants, particularly refugees and asylum seekers, less attention has been paid to treatment approaches. We used a case study from the UK to look at the topic from a cultural [...] Read more.
Despite the existence of significant research on the mental health care challenges of migrants, particularly refugees and asylum seekers, less attention has been paid to treatment approaches. We used a case study from the UK to look at the topic from a cultural models approach (which comes from cognitive anthropology) to analyse migrants’ experiences with mental health care. Twenty-five refugees and asylum seekers living in North East England and Northern Ireland were interviewed who had used at least six sessions of talking therapy during the last three years. Our results suggested that adopting a ‘cultural models’ approach, which offers a new conceptual and methodological framework of migrants’ experiences and their underlying schemas and expectations, would significantly contribute to building therapeutic alliances and provide relevant and appropriate treatments for migrant clients, particularly for unrecognised pre- and post-migration traumatic experiences. Full article
30 pages, 1894 KiB  
Article
Health and Wellbeing of Regional and Rural Australian Healthcare Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Baseline Cross-Sectional Findings from the Loddon Mallee Healthcare Worker COVID-19 Study—A Prospective Cohort Study
by Mark McEvoy, Gabriel Caccaviello, Angela Crombie, Timothy Skinner, Stephen J. Begg, Peter Faulkner, Anne McEvoy, Kevin Masman, Laura Bamforth, Carol Parker, Evan Stanyer, Amanda Collings and Xia Li
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 649; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050649 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 949
Abstract
Background: Coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) has created complex pressures and challenges for healthcare systems worldwide; however, little is known about the impacts COVID-19 has had on regional/rural healthcare workers. The Loddon Mallee Healthcare Worker COVID-19 Study (LMHCWCS) cohort was established to explore and describe [...] Read more.
Background: Coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) has created complex pressures and challenges for healthcare systems worldwide; however, little is known about the impacts COVID-19 has had on regional/rural healthcare workers. The Loddon Mallee Healthcare Worker COVID-19 Study (LMHCWCS) cohort was established to explore and describe the immediate and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on regional and rural healthcare workers. Methods: Eligible healthcare workers employed within 23 different healthcare organisations located in the Loddon Mallee region of Victoria, Australia, were included. In this cohort study, a total of 1313 participants were recruited from November 2020–May 2021. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and burnout were measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), Generalised Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Impact of Events Scale-6 (IES-6), and Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI), respectively. Resilience and optimism were measured using the Brief Resilience Scale and Life Orientation Test—Revised (LOT-R), respectively. Subjective fear of COVID-19 was measured using the Fear of COVID-19 Scale. Results: These cross-sectional baseline findings demonstrate that regional/rural healthcare workers were experiencing moderate/severe depressive symptoms (n = 211, 16.1%), moderate to severe anxiety symptoms (n = 193, 14.7%), and high personal or patient/client burnout with median total scores of 46.4 (IQR = 28.6) and 25.0 (IQR = 29.2), respectively. There was a moderate degree of COVID-19-related fear. However, most participants demonstrated a normal/high degree of resilience (n = 854, 65.0%). Based on self-reporting, 15.4% had a BMI from 18.5 to 24.9 kgm2 and 37.0% have a BMI of 25 kgm2 or over. Overall, 7.3% of participants reported they were current smokers and 20.6% reported alcohol consumption that is considered moderate/high-risk drinking. Only 21.2% of the sample reported consuming four or more serves of vegetables daily and 37.8% reported consuming two or more serves of fruit daily. There were 48.0% the sample who reported having poor sleep quality measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Conclusion: Regional/rural healthcare workers in Victoria, Australia, were experiencing a moderate to high degree of psychological distress during the early stages of the pandemic. However, most participants demonstrated a normal/high degree of resilience. Findings will be used to inform policy options to support healthcare workers in responding to future pandemics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: Rural Health Services Research)
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12 pages, 3579 KiB  
Article
Environmental Determinants of Post-Discharge Acute Respiratory Illness among Preterm Infants with Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia
by Jonathan J. Szeto, Joshua K. Radack, Sara B. DeMauro, Erik A. Jensen, Kathleen Gibbs, Nicolas P. Novick, Kristan A. Scott, Daria C. Murosko, Heather H. Burris and Timothy D. Nelin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 648; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050648 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 936
Abstract
Objective: To analyze the association of components of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Environmental Justice Index (EJI) with respiratory health outcomes among infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) within one year after discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit. Methods: This [...] Read more.
Objective: To analyze the association of components of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Environmental Justice Index (EJI) with respiratory health outcomes among infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) within one year after discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of a cohort of preterm infants with BPD. Multivariable logistic regression models estimated associations of EJI and its components with medically attended acute respiratory illness, defined as an ED visit or inpatient readmission, within one year of discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit. A mediation analysis was conducted to evaluate how environmental injustice may contribute to racial disparities in acute respiratory illness. Results: Greater EJI was associated with an increased risk of medically attended respiratory illness (per EJI standard deviation increment, aOR 1.38, 95% CI: 1.12–1.69). Of the index’s components, the Environmental Burden Module’s Air pollution domain had the greatest association (aOR 1.44, 95% CI: 1.44–2.61). With respect to individual indicators within the EJI, Diesel Particulate Matter (DSLPM) and Air Toxic Cancer Risk (ATCR) demonstrated the strongest relationship (aOR 2.06, 95% CI: 1.57–2.71 and aOR 2.10, 95% CI: 1.59–2.78, respectively). Among non-Hispanic Black infants, 63% experienced a medically attended acute respiratory illness as compared to 18% of non-Hispanic White infants. DSLPM mediated 39% of the Black–White disparity in medically attended acute respiratory illness (p = 0.004). Conclusions: Environmental exposures, particularly air pollution, are associated with post-discharge respiratory health outcomes among preterm infants with BPD after adjusting for clinical, demographic, and social vulnerability risk factors. Certain types of air pollutants, namely, DSLPM, are more greatly associated with acute respiratory illness. Environmental exposures may contribute to racial disparities in medically attended acute respiratory illness among infants with BPD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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15 pages, 1435 KiB  
Article
Improving Accessibility to Patients with Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD): Barriers to Early Diagnosis and Timely Treatment in Latin America
by Ricardo G. Figueiredo, Nathalia Filgueiras Vilaça Duarte, Daniela Carla Barbosa Campos, Manuel de Jesus Diaz Verduzco, Ángel Alemán Márquez, Gabriela Tannus Branco de Araujo and Adalberto Sperb Rubin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 647; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050647 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 943
Abstract
Delayed initiation of effective antifibrotic therapy in patients with interstitial lung diseases (ILD) may influence the progression and outcome of the disease. This study analyzes the differences in the journey of patients with ILD in the Brazilian and Mexican health systems. An evaluative [...] Read more.
Delayed initiation of effective antifibrotic therapy in patients with interstitial lung diseases (ILD) may influence the progression and outcome of the disease. This study analyzes the differences in the journey of patients with ILD in the Brazilian and Mexican health systems. An evaluative study was conducted in reference centers for interstitial lung diseases in Brazil and Mexico with a panel of four specialists. The patient’s journey in both countries begins when the patient seeks medical care after observing a chronic respiratory symptom. In both countries, due to diagnostic complexity, these patients arrive at ILD referral centers at an advanced stage of the disease. Once diagnosis is established, the treatment onset differs between Mexico and Brazil. In Brazil, access to antifibrotic drugs through the public health system has been a significant challenge, and their cost makes them unaffordable for most people. This situation forces medical specialists to provide only supportive care to patients until these drugs can be accessed. In Mexico, antifibrotics have been available in health sectors since 2018. Brazil and Mexico have several similarities regarding the initial journey of the patient due to diagnosis difficulties. Still, the outcome tends to be different due to a difference in access to treatment with antifibrotics. For this reason, advancing health policies that ensure proper treatment for patients with ILD is crucial for the sustainability and reliability of the health system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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13 pages, 352 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Relationship of Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms and Impulsiveness with the Quality of Life of Older Patients with Cardiovascular Disease: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Giada Pietrabissa, Gloria Marchesi, Luca Alessandro Gondoni and Gianluca Castelnuovo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 646; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050646 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 749
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to evaluate the relationship of selected clinical (i.e., body mass index, BMI) and psychological factors (i.e., anxiety, depression, and impulsiveness) with the quality of life (QoL) of elderly patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a single clinical center in [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to evaluate the relationship of selected clinical (i.e., body mass index, BMI) and psychological factors (i.e., anxiety, depression, and impulsiveness) with the quality of life (QoL) of elderly patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a single clinical center in Italy. Methods: A total of 238 patients of older age (≥65 years) with CVD who voluntarily attended a single clinical center for weight loss and cardiac rehabilitation were sequentially recruited and tested upon admission to the hospital based on pre-established inclusion criteria. Results: The findings indicated that anxiety and depressive symptoms were moderately associated with lower QoL. Additionally, there were noteworthy but minor negative connections between impulsivity and QoL. Furthermore, BMI was inversely associated with the perceived QoL of the participants, and when incorporated into the regression analysis, BMI alone significantly accounted for 11.8% of the variability in QoL. This percentage increased to 18.4% with the inclusion of impulsiveness in the model and further to 34.3% with the addition of anxiety and depressive symptoms. However, after introducing anxiety and depression, the association between impulsivity and QoL ceased to be statistically significant. Conclusions: Integrating the routine assessment and treatment of psychological factors into the care of older patients with CVD is important for optimizing their overall health outcomes and improving their QoL. Full article
12 pages, 493 KiB  
Article
The Intersection of a Child’s Demographics and Household Socioeconomic Status in the Multimorbidity of Malaria, Anaemia, and Malnutrition among Children Aged 6–59 Months in Nigeria
by Phillips Edomwonyi Obasohan, Stephen J. Walters, Richard M. Jacques and Khaled Khatab
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 645; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050645 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 987
Abstract
Multimorbidity of malaria, anemia, and malnutrition (MAMM) is a condition in which an individual has two or more of these health conditions, and is becoming an emergent public health concern in sub-Saharan African countries. The independent associations of a child’s demographic variables and [...] Read more.
Multimorbidity of malaria, anemia, and malnutrition (MAMM) is a condition in which an individual has two or more of these health conditions, and is becoming an emergent public health concern in sub-Saharan African countries. The independent associations of a child’s demographic variables and household socioeconomic (HSE) disparities with a child’s health outcomes have been established in the literature. However, the effects of the intersection of these factors on MAMM, while accounting for other covariates, have not been studied. Therefore, this study aimed to determine how children’s sex, age, and household socioeconomic status interact to explain the variations in MAMM among children aged 6–59 months in Nigeria. Data from the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey and the 2018 National Human Development Report (NHDR) were used. This study included weighted samples of 10,184 children aged 6–59 months in Nigeria. A three-level multilevel mixed effect ordinal logistic regression model was used, such that individual characteristics at level 1 were nested in communities at level 2 and nested in states at level 3. Subsequently, predictive probability charts and average adjusted probability tables were used to interpret the intersectional effects. Five models were created in this scenario. Model 1 is the interaction between the child’s sex and household wealth status; model 2 is the interaction between the child’s sex and age; model 3 is the interaction between the child’s age and household wealth status; model 4 has the three two-way interactions of the child’s sex, age, and household wealth status; and model 5 includes model 4 and the three-way interactions between a child’s sex, age, and household wealth quintiles; while accounting for other covariates in each of the models. The prevalence of children with a ‘none of the three diseases’ outcome was 17.3% (1767/10,184), while 34.4% (3499/10,184) had ‘only one of the diseases’, and 48.3% (4918/10,184) had ‘two or more’ MAMMs. However, in the multivariate analyses, model 3 was the best fit compared with other models, so the two-way interaction effects of a child’s age and household wealth status are significant predictors in the model. Children aged 36–47 months living in the poorest households had a probability of 0.11, 0.18, and 0.32 of existing with MAMM above the probability of children of the same age who live in the middle class, more prosperous, and richest households, respectively, while all other covariates were held constant. Thus, the variation in the prevalence of MAMM in children of different ages differs depending on the household wealth quintile. In other words, in older children, the variations in MAMM become more evident between the richer and the poorer household quintiles. Therefore, it is recommended that policies that are geared toward economic redistribution will help bridge the disparities observed in the prevalence of multiple diseases among children aged 6–59 months in Nigeria. Full article
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15 pages, 621 KiB  
Article
The Performance of Environmental and Health Impact Assessment Implementation: A Case Study in Eastern Thailand
by Pattajaree Krasaesen, Vilas Nitivattananon, Malay Pramanik and Joyee Shairee Chatterjee
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 644; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050644 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 968
Abstract
Environmental impact assessment (EIA) performance has remained of interest, and over the past ten years, the evaluation technique has evolved. Thailand implemented an EIA with a health impact assessment (HIA) as an environmental health impact assessment (EHIA), which necessitated investigating and developing these [...] Read more.
Environmental impact assessment (EIA) performance has remained of interest, and over the past ten years, the evaluation technique has evolved. Thailand implemented an EIA with a health impact assessment (HIA) as an environmental health impact assessment (EHIA), which necessitated investigating and developing these instruments; however, its implementation performance has been questioned. The main goal of this study is to comparatively assess how well EIAs and EHIAs are performed in projects in an area in Thailand. Six projects in various sectors that were implemented in Eastern Thailand were studied. The 162 residents (nine local authorities and 153 villagers) closest to the project completed a survey and evaluated the performance according to three aspects (i.e., substantive, procedural, and transactive), using a rating scale and evaluation checklists. The results were presented as a percentage of the total scores and interpreted according to the five scales. The overall performance reached a satisfactory level, albeit not significantly different between cases; however, it was pointed out that the shortcomings of EHIAs and EIAs, particularly their dependability, lack of public involvement, and the need for more transparency, could be addressed through the establishment of an open access database, which would help to simplify the assessment of all stages of EIAs and EHIAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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19 pages, 4999 KiB  
Article
Spatial Interaction Analysis of Infectious Disease Import and Export between Regions
by Mingdong Lyu, Kuofu Liu and Randolph W. Hall
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 643; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050643 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 774
Abstract
Human travel plays a crucial role in the spread of infectious disease between regions. Travel of infected individuals from one region to another can transport a virus to places that were previously unaffected or may accelerate the spread of disease in places where [...] Read more.
Human travel plays a crucial role in the spread of infectious disease between regions. Travel of infected individuals from one region to another can transport a virus to places that were previously unaffected or may accelerate the spread of disease in places where the disease is not yet well established. We develop and apply models and metrics to analyze the role of inter-regional travel relative to the spread of disease, drawing from data on COVID-19 in the United States. To better understand how transportation affects disease transmission, we established a multi-regional time-varying compartmental disease model with spatial interaction. The compartmental model was integrated with statistical estimates of travel between regions. From the integrated model, we derived a transmission import index to assess the risk of COVID-19 transmission between states. Based on the index, we determined states with high risk for disease spreading to other states at the scale of months, and we analyzed how the index changed over time during 2020. Our model provides a tool for policymakers to evaluate the influence of travel between regions on disease transmission in support of strategies for epidemic control. Full article
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12 pages, 842 KiB  
Article
Parental Perceptions of the Impact of a Child’s Complex Chronic Condition: A Validation Study of the Impact on Family Scale
by Sandra Portela Alves, Ana Carolina Braz, Luís Graça and Anne Marie Fontaine
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 642; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050642 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 1297
Abstract
The diagnosis of a child’s complex chronic illness may impact family relationships and cohesion. The Impact on Family Scale (IFS) is an instrument used to assess the parental perception of the effects of children’s chronic illness on family life. With a sample of [...] Read more.
The diagnosis of a child’s complex chronic illness may impact family relationships and cohesion. The Impact on Family Scale (IFS) is an instrument used to assess the parental perception of the effects of children’s chronic illness on family life. With a sample of 110 mothers and fathers between the ages of 29 and 50 who have a child with a complex chronic illness, we examine evidence of the validity of the IFS for use in Portugal within this specific family configuration, (1) comparing its factor structure with the original one; (2) assessing its reliability; and (3) evaluating its relationship with life satisfaction and family cohesion/acceptance. As expected, CFA analysis showed that IFS is a one-factor reliable instrument with 12 items (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.910), which are negatively correlated with satisfaction with life (r = −0.229, p = 0.016) and positively correlated with family acceptance and cohesion (r = 0.363; p < 0.001). The results support the validity of the IFS in families with children and adolescents with a complex chronic illness. The implications of the use of this instrument for research and professional practice is analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Health Promotion in Children and Adolescents)
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15 pages, 308 KiB  
Article
Influencing Factors of Delayed Diagnosis of COVID-19 in Gangwon, South Korea
by Minhye Park, Seungmin Jeong, Yangjun Park, Saerom Kim, Yeojin Kim, Eunmi Kim and So Yeon Kong
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 641; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050641 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 681
Abstract
This study aimed to identify the time to diagnosis among COVID-19 patients and factors associated with delayed diagnosis (DD). Data from COVID-19 patients in Gangwon, South Korea, diagnosed between 22 February 2020 and 29 January 2022, were analyzed, excluding asymptomatic cases and those [...] Read more.
This study aimed to identify the time to diagnosis among COVID-19 patients and factors associated with delayed diagnosis (DD). Data from COVID-19 patients in Gangwon, South Korea, diagnosed between 22 February 2020 and 29 January 2022, were analyzed, excluding asymptomatic cases and those who underwent mandatory testing. DD was defined as a period exceeding 2 or more days from symptom recognition to COVID-19 diagnosis. Univariate analysis was performed to investigate the demographic characteristics, COVID-19 symptoms, and underlying medical conditions associated with DD, followed by multivariate logistic regression analysis for significant variables. Among 2683 patients, 584 (21.8%) were diagnosed within a day of symptom onset. DD rates were lower in patients with febrile symptoms but higher among those with cough, myalgia, or anosmia/ageusia. High-risk underlying medical conditions were not significantly associated with DD. Older age groups, the Wonju medical service area, time of diagnosis between November 2020 and July 2021, symptom onset on nonworkdays, and individuals in nonwhite collar sectors were significantly associated with increased DD risks. These findings were consistent in the sensitivity analysis. This study underscores the need for enhanced promotion and system adjustments to ensure prompt testing upon symptom recognition. Full article
20 pages, 573 KiB  
Article
The Integrated Family Approach in Mental Health Care Services: A Study of Risk Factors
by Hanna Stolper, Marjolein van der Vegt, Karin van Doesum and Majone Steketee
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 640; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050640 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 1022
Abstract
Background: Parental mental disorders in families are frequently accompanied with other problems. These include family life, the development of children, and the social and economic environment. Mental health services often focus treatments on the individual being referred, with little attention to parenting, the [...] Read more.
Background: Parental mental disorders in families are frequently accompanied with other problems. These include family life, the development of children, and the social and economic environment. Mental health services often focus treatments on the individual being referred, with little attention to parenting, the family, child development, and environmental factors. This is despite the fact that there is substantial evidence to suggest that the children of these parents are at increased risk of developing a mental disorder throughout the course of their lives. Young children are particularly vulnerable to environmental influences given the level of dependency in this stage of development. Objective: The main objective of this study was to identify whether there were a complexity of problems and risks in a clinical sample of patients and their young children (0–6) in mental health care, and, if so, whether this complexity was reflected in the integrated treatment given. Methods: The data were collected for 26 risk factors, based on the literature, and then subdivided into the parental, child, family, and environmental domains. The data were obtained from the electronic case files of 100 patients at an adult mental health service and the corresponding 100 electronic case files of their infants at a child mental health service. Results: The findings evidenced a notable accumulation of risk factors within families, with a mean number of 8.43 (SD 3.2) risk factors. Almost all of the families had at least four risk factors, more than half of them had between six and ten risk factors, and a quarter of them had between eleven and sixteen risk factors. Furthermore, two-thirds of the families had at least one risk factor in each of the four domains. More than half of the families received support from at least two organizations in addition to the involvement of adult and child mental health services, which is also an indication of the presence of cumulative problems. Conclusion: This study of a clinical sample shows clearly that the mental disorder among most of the patients, who were all parents of young children, was only one of the problems they had to deal with. The cumulation of risk factors—especially in the family domain—increased the risk of the intergenerational transmission of mental disorders. To prevent these parents and their young children being caught up in this intergenerational cycle, a broad assessment is needed. In addition, malleable risk factors should be addressed in treatment and in close collaboration with other services. Full article
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13 pages, 910 KiB  
Article
Polysubstance Use among Maryland High School Students: Variations across County-Level School Districts
by Lindsey Webb, Kechna Cadet, Rashelle Musci, Shaheen Kurani, Laura K. Clary, Danielle German and Renee M. Johnson
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 639; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050639 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 837
Abstract
Background: Polysubstance use is a highly prevalent public health issue, particularly among adolescents, and decisions on prevention programming and policies are often made at the local level. While there is a growing literature examining patterns of polysubstance use among adolescents, little is known [...] Read more.
Background: Polysubstance use is a highly prevalent public health issue, particularly among adolescents, and decisions on prevention programming and policies are often made at the local level. While there is a growing literature examining patterns of polysubstance use among adolescents, little is known about differences in those patterns across geographic regions. Methods: Using a large, representative sample of high school students from the state of Maryland (n = 41,091) from the 2018 Maryland Youth Risk Behavior Survey, we conducted a latent class analysis (LCA) of adolescent substance use along nine binary indicators, including past 30-day combustible tobacco, e-cigarette, alcohol, and cannabis use, as well as lifetime use of prescription opioids, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and injection drug use. Measurement invariance across counties was examined using the Multiple Indicators and Multiple Causes (MIMIC) procedure. Results: The results of the LCA show three classes of adolescent substance use for the total sample: (1) low substance use, (2) commonly used substances (i.e., e-cigarette, alcohol, and cannabis use), and (3) polysubstance use. The results from the MIMIC procedure demonstrated geographic differences in students’ endorsement of specific indicators and their class membership. Conclusions: These differences demonstrate the need for an examination of local trends in adolescent polysubstance use to inform multi-tiered prevention programming and policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention of High-Risk Behaviors in Adolescence)
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9 pages, 690 KiB  
Review
Changes in Foot Biomechanics during Pregnancy and Postpartum: Scoping Review
by Maria Otília Brites Zangão, Ana Filipa Poeira, Marco Branco and Rita Santos-Rocha
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 638; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050638 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 829
Abstract
(1) Background: During pregnancy, changes in foot biomechanics affect structural stability and gait. (2) Objective: To map the available evidence for changes in foot biomechanics during pregnancy and the postpartum period. (3) Methods: Scoping review according to the methodology of the Joanna Briggs [...] Read more.
(1) Background: During pregnancy, changes in foot biomechanics affect structural stability and gait. (2) Objective: To map the available evidence for changes in foot biomechanics during pregnancy and the postpartum period. (3) Methods: Scoping review according to the methodology of the Joanna Briggs Institute through the relevant databases via EBSCO, MEDLINE with full text, BioOne Complete, CINAHL Plus with full text, Academic Search Complete, and SPORT Discus with full text. The search was conducted in SCOPUS and PubMed. (4) Results: Eight studies were included in the scoping review. Two independent reviewers performed data extraction and synthesized data in narrative form. We found that changes in the length and volume of the foot occur during pregnancy and remain in the postpartum period. (5) Conclusions: During pregnancy, anatomical and biomechanical changes occur in the pregnant woman’s foot, potentially contributing to the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. However, more research is needed to determine whether these biomechanical changes can lead to the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. Full article
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13 pages, 2865 KiB  
Systematic Review
Effectiveness of an Evidence-Based Practice Education Program for Undergraduate Nursing Students: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Dain Jeong, Chang Park, Keiko Sugimoto, Miyang Jeon, Dooyoung Kim and Young Eun
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 637; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050637 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 1146
Abstract
This systematic review and meta-analysis examined the impact of evidence-based practice (EBP) education programs on undergraduate nursing students, focusing on enhancing EBP competency, critical thinking, and problem-solving ability. Methods: The search, conducted through PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Web of Science up [...] Read more.
This systematic review and meta-analysis examined the impact of evidence-based practice (EBP) education programs on undergraduate nursing students, focusing on enhancing EBP competency, critical thinking, and problem-solving ability. Methods: The search, conducted through PubMed, Cochrane Library, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Web of Science up to December 2023, included studies published in English and Korean and adhered to PRISMA guidelines. Qualitative appraisal of the studies was conducted using the revised ROB II for randomized trials and the ROBINS-I for non-randomized trials. For the meta-analysis, the effect size of the intervention was calculated as a standardized mean difference. Results: In our study, 11 studies met our inclusion criteria, and 8 studies of those were included in the meta-analysis. The effect sizes for EBP competency, critical thinking, and problem-solving ability were 1.55, 1.29, and 0.65, respectively. The meta-regression analysis indicated that tailored education programs of 4–7 weeks and being in the 4th grade significantly enhanced EBP competency. Conclusion: These findings support the development of a customizable and applied EBP education actively for students, preparing nursing students to effectively implement EBP in clinical settings after graduation. Despite the significant effect size of the outcome variables, the high heterogeneity suggests the need for further investigation to validate the EBP educational outcomes for nursing students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing)
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26 pages, 7262 KiB  
Article
Change, Adversity, and Adaptation: Young People’s Experience of the COVID-19 Pandemic Expressed through Artwork and Semi-Structured Interviews
by Rhiannon Thompson, Lucy Brown, Rakhi Biswas Evans, Rayhan Mahbub, Amelia Rees, Molly Wilson, Lindsay H. Dewa, Helen Ward and Mireille B. Toledano
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 636; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050636 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 868
Abstract
This study explores how young people’s mental health was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic using artwork and semi-structured interviews. The mental health impacts of the pandemic are important to understand so that policy and practice professionals can support those affected, prepare and respond [...] Read more.
This study explores how young people’s mental health was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic using artwork and semi-structured interviews. The mental health impacts of the pandemic are important to understand so that policy and practice professionals can support those affected, prepare and respond to future crises, and support young people who are isolated and restricted in other contexts. Co-designed participatory art workshops and interviews were conducted with 16–18-year-olds (n = 21, 62% female) from the London-based Longitudinal cohort Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones (SCAMP). Artworks and interview transcripts were qualitatively co-and analysed with young people. From interviews, six themes were identified: adaptation, restriction, change, challenges, overcoming adversity, and lockdown life. From the artwork, four themes were identified: trapped, negative mental wellbeing, positive emotions, and technology. Everyday factors such as home environment, social support, hobbies, habits, and online education were key determinants of how challenged and restricted participants felt, and their capacity to overcome this. This demonstrates the importance of wider (social and environmental) determinants and supports a systems-level public health approach to young people’s mental health. For example, young people’s mental health services should collaborate with other sectors to address such determinants in a holistic way. Clearer guidance and support with occupation, relationships, environment, routine and activities could mitigate the negative mental health impacts of major environmental changes on young people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Behavioral and Mental Health)
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13 pages, 720 KiB  
Review
Estimated Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Metabolic Risks
by Robert A. Sloan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 635; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050635 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 624
Abstract
This review focuses on the emerging evidence for the association between non-exercise fitness testing, estimated cardiorespiratory fitness (eCRF), and metabolic risk factors. Given the challenges associated with directly measuring cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in large populations, eCRF presents a practical alternative for predicting metabolic [...] Read more.
This review focuses on the emerging evidence for the association between non-exercise fitness testing, estimated cardiorespiratory fitness (eCRF), and metabolic risk factors. Given the challenges associated with directly measuring cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in large populations, eCRF presents a practical alternative for predicting metabolic health risks. A literature search identified seven relevant cohort studies from 2020 to 2024 that investigated the association of eCRF with hypertension, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and obesity. This review consistently demonstrates an inverse relationship between higher eCRF and a lower incidence of metabolic risks, which is in line with CRF cohort studies. It highlights the importance of low eCRF as a primordial indicator for metabolic risks and underscores the potential for broader application. Future research directions should include exploring eCRF’s predictive ability across diverse populations and health outcomes and testing its real-world applicability in healthcare and public health settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic Diseases and Their Prevention)
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25 pages, 1953 KiB  
Perspective
Strengthening the European Semester to Achieve Economies of Wellbeing
by Ingrid Stegeman, Vania Putatti, Alba Godfrey and Caroline Costongs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 634; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050634 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 667
Abstract
The environmental crisis, growing levels of social inequalities and rising levels of noncommunicable diseases are all symptoms of economic systems that are failing to generate wellbeing. There is increasing support for the notion that addressing these crises requires shifting the focus from economic [...] Read more.
The environmental crisis, growing levels of social inequalities and rising levels of noncommunicable diseases are all symptoms of economic systems that are failing to generate wellbeing. There is increasing support for the notion that addressing these crises requires shifting the focus from economic growth to a broader range of measures that reflect wellbeing, through more comprehensive, consistent and integrated policy approaches to deliver this. In 2019, the EU Finnish Council Presidency Council Conclusions called amongst other things for the development of a new long-term, post-2020 strategy to provide the framework for horizontal assessment and cross-sectoral collaboration, in particular through the European Semester process. This article contextualises this call and explores its follow-up. It draws from key policy documents to explore what Economies of Wellbeing are, why and how the concept has emerged and how they can be put in place. It then explores to what extent this concept is being applied at the EU level, by tracking changes in some of the EU’s key policies and strategies over the past 10 years and in the Semester process, as a mechanism to implement them. It concludes that while progress towards more comprehensive, consistent and integrated policy approaches has been made in the context of the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy, underpinning the Semester processes, it is limited by the continuing emphasis on economic, over other policy, areas. It also argues that the process needs to be broadened even further, to include other dimensions of wellbeing, which intersect with the economy and impact wellbeing. To strengthen the European Semester process to achieve Economies of Wellbeing, it should be put at the service of an even more consistent and comprehensive EU Strategy that enables policy sectors to deliver wellbeing objectives in a more integrated and coordinated manner. This paper ends with recommendations for action. Full article
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13 pages, 539 KiB  
Article
Distress as a Function of Social Exclusion and Assertiveness among Homosexual/Bisexual People
by Chau-kiu Cheung and Eileen Yuk-ha Tsang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 633; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050633 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 754
Abstract
Homosexual (lesbian or gay) and bisexual (i.e., LGB) people tend to suffer from social exclusion and thus distress. To prevent or relieve distress, the people’s assertiveness about justice and rights is an advocated means, but its effectiveness is uncertain, considering possible conflict with [...] Read more.
Homosexual (lesbian or gay) and bisexual (i.e., LGB) people tend to suffer from social exclusion and thus distress. To prevent or relieve distress, the people’s assertiveness about justice and rights is an advocated means, but its effectiveness is uncertain, considering possible conflict with social exclusion. To clarify the effectiveness, this study analyzed data collected from 189 Chinese LGB adults in Hong Kong, which is a special administrative region of China generally Westernized and liberal to sexual orientation. Controlling for prior distress reported, the analysis showed that distress was lower when assertiveness was higher or social exclusion experienced was lower. However, distress was higher when both assertiveness and social exclusion experienced were higher. The higher distress implies a conflict between assertiveness and social exclusion to raise distress. It also implies the need to avoid conflict when promoting assertiveness and eliminating social exclusion to prevent distress in LGB people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancing Health Equity for Sexual and Gender Minority Populations)
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14 pages, 1031 KiB  
Article
Territorial Disparities in Dental Care for Disabled Persons and Oral Health-Related Indicators: A Population-Level Approach in Brazil’s Public Healthcare System from 2014 to 2023
by Ricardo Barbosa Lima, Aluísio Eustáquio de Freitas Miranda-Filho, Ana Paula Gomes e Moura, Paulo Nelson-Filho, Léa Assed Bezerra da Silva and Raquel Assed Bezerra da Silva
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 632; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050632 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 847
Abstract
This study evaluated territorial disparities in dental care for disabled persons in Brazil’s public healthcare system from 2014 to 2023. The person-year incidence of outpatient dental procedures carried out by special care dentistry specialists and hospitalizations for dental procedures for disabled persons were [...] Read more.
This study evaluated territorial disparities in dental care for disabled persons in Brazil’s public healthcare system from 2014 to 2023. The person-year incidence of outpatient dental procedures carried out by special care dentistry specialists and hospitalizations for dental procedures for disabled persons were compared across different regions and against the national estimate. In addition, productivity was correlated with oral health-related indicators. The significance level was set at 5%. The northern region exhibited the highest outpatient productivity, while the southern region showed lower productivity compared to the national estimate (both p-value < 0.05). This pattern was reversed in inpatient productivity (both p-value < 0.05), with the northeastern and central–western regions also below average (both p-value < 0.05). There were no significant correlations between the indicators and inpatient productivity, but outpatient productivity was positively correlated with the proportions of inhabitants who self-rated their general and oral health as “poor” or “very poor”, who have never visited a dentist, and who visited a dentist for tooth extraction (all p-values < 0.05). Territorial disparities in dental care for disabled persons were observed within Brazil’s public healthcare system, and they were correlated with unfavorable oral health-related indicators at the population level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multidimensional Aspects of Oral Health-Related Quality of Life)
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12 pages, 939 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Environmental Volunteering on Employees, Companies, and Local Communities: A Case Study on Romanian Companies
by Silvia Puiu and Mihaela Tinca Udriștioiu
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 631; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050631 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 791
Abstract
This paper addresses the importance of organizational environmental volunteering as part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies of organizations. If more organizations support their employees’ involvement in such projects, there can be hope for mitigating climate change and making the transition to [...] Read more.
This paper addresses the importance of organizational environmental volunteering as part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies of organizations. If more organizations support their employees’ involvement in such projects, there can be hope for mitigating climate change and making the transition to a more sustainable world. We used partial least squares structural equation modeling to analyze the impact of management support on organizational environmental volunteering and of the latter on the employees’ well-being and productivity. Making environmental volunteering part of an organization’s CSR strategy can help the environment, the employees, and the organization itself. The results show a direct and positive relationship between management support and organizational environmental volunteering and between the latter and both the well-being and productivity of employees. The findings will help managers in both public and private organizations to better shape their strategies and encourage their employees to get involved in projects meant to reduce pollution and the carbon footprint. Full article
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8 pages, 557 KiB  
Review
The Influence of Behavioral Sciences on Adherence to Physical Activity and Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese Patients: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
by Rafael Corrêa and Benjamin Miranda Tabak
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 630; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050630 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 1115
Abstract
In recent years, weight gain and reduced physical activity in the general population have contributed to the development of obesity and other health problems; on the other hand, studies in behavioral sciences have been used to modify behaviors for a healthier life, so [...] Read more.
In recent years, weight gain and reduced physical activity in the general population have contributed to the development of obesity and other health problems; on the other hand, studies in behavioral sciences have been used to modify behaviors for a healthier life, so the objective of this study was to identify the evidence of interventions in behavioral sciences on adherence to physical activity and weight loss in obese patients. This systematic review study is based on a search of the electronic databases PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Cochrane. Studies assessed the evidence from intervention studies that assessed the influence of intervention studies of behavioral sciences on public health. The articles were published between 2013 and 2023. The systematic search of the databases identified 2951 articles. The review analyzed 10 studies. Behavioral science interventions presented evidence through strategies such as multicomponent interventions, lottery and financial incentives, message framing, message framing with financial incentive and physical activity, and psychological satisfaction, demonstrating results in weight loss and maintenance and increased physical activity. This study presents scientific evidence through healthy behavior change methodologies, and future studies can explore these strategies in conjunction with public health technologies in the search for public–private partnerships to promote physical activity in adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Physical Activity in Health Promotion)
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12 pages, 801 KiB  
Article
Intrapartum Quality of Care among Healthy Women: A Population-Based Cohort Study in an Italian Region
by Simona Fumagalli, Antonella Nespoli, Maria Panzeri, Edda Pellegrini, Michele Ercolanoni, Paul Stefan Vrabie, Olivia Leoni and Anna Locatelli
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 629; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050629 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 775
Abstract
Although the quality of care during childbirth is a maternity service’s goal, less is known about the impact of the birth setting dimension on provision of care, defined as evidence-based intrapartum midwifery practices. This study’s aim was to investigate the impact of hospital [...] Read more.
Although the quality of care during childbirth is a maternity service’s goal, less is known about the impact of the birth setting dimension on provision of care, defined as evidence-based intrapartum midwifery practices. This study’s aim was to investigate the impact of hospital birth volume (≥1000 vs. <1000 births/year) on intrapartum midwifery care and perinatal outcomes. We conducted a population-based cohort study on healthy pregnant women who gave birth between 2018 and 2022 in Lombardy, Italy. A total of 145,224 (41.14%) women were selected from nationally linked databases. To achieve the primary aim, log-binomial regression models were constructed. More than 70% of healthy pregnant women gave birth in hospitals (≥1000 births/year) where there was lower use of nonpharmacological coping strategies, higher likelihood of epidural analgesia, episiotomy, birth companion’s presence at birth, skin-to-skin contact, and first breastfeeding within 1 h (p-value < 0.001). Midwives attended almost all the births regardless of birth volume (98.80%), while gynecologists and pediatricians were more frequently present in smaller hospitals. There were no significant differences in perinatal outcomes. Our findings highlighted the impact of the birth setting dimension on the provision of care to healthy pregnant women. Full article
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15 pages, 813 KiB  
Article
Attitudes towards Technology: Insights on Rarely Discussed Influences on Older Adults’ Willingness to Adopt Active Assisted Living (AAL)
by Ulrike Bechtold, Natalie Stauder and Martin Fieder
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 628; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050628 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 711
Abstract
Background: European research policy promotes active assisted living (AAL) to alleviate costs and reach new markets. The main argument for massive investments in AAL is its potential to raise older adults’ Quality of Life and enhance their freedom, autonomy, mobility, social integration, and [...] Read more.
Background: European research policy promotes active assisted living (AAL) to alleviate costs and reach new markets. The main argument for massive investments in AAL is its potential to raise older adults’ Quality of Life and enhance their freedom, autonomy, mobility, social integration, and communication. However, AAL is less widely spread in older adults’ households than expected. Research Aim: We investigate how the variable “technology acceptance” is connected to socio-economic-, social, health, “personal attitude towards ageing”, and “Quality of life” variables. Method: We conducted a study in Vienna between 2018 and 2020, questioning 245 older adults (M = 74, SD = 6.654) living in private homes. We calculated multivariate models regressing technology acceptance on the various exploratory and confounding variables. Results: Experiencing an event that made the person perceive their age differently changed the attitude towards using an assistive technological system. Participants perceived technology that is directly associated with another human being (e.g., the use of technology to communicate with a physician) more positively. Conclusion: Older adults’ attitudes towards technology may change throughout their lives. Using major events in life as potential entry points for technology requires awareness to avoid reducing the lives of older adults to these events. Secondly, a certain human preference for “human technology” may facilitate abuse if technology is given a white coat, two eyes, a nose, and a mouth that may falsely be associated with a natural person. This aspect raises the ethical issue of accurate information as a significant precondition for informed consent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Care and Services in Healthy Aging)
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16 pages, 1011 KiB  
Article
Resilience and Positive Wellbeing Experienced by 5–12-Year-Old Children with Refugee Backgrounds in Australia: The Childhood Resilience Study
by Elisha Riggs, Deirdre Gartland, Josef Szwarc, Mardi Stow, Georgia Paxton and Stephanie J. Brown
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 627; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050627 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 732
Abstract
Refugee research tends to be deficit based and focused on the risks threatening positive adaptation and wellbeing. High rates of mental (and physical) health issues have been reported for refugee adults and children, including intergenerational trauma. This study uses the new Child Resilience [...] Read more.
Refugee research tends to be deficit based and focused on the risks threatening positive adaptation and wellbeing. High rates of mental (and physical) health issues have been reported for refugee adults and children, including intergenerational trauma. This study uses the new Child Resilience Questionnaire (CRQ), co-designed with refugee background communities, to describe resilience and positive wellbeing experienced by children of refugee-background. The Childhood Resilience Study (CRS) recruited 1132 families with children aged 5–12 years in Victoria and South Australia, Australia. This included the recruitment of 109 families from 4 refugee background communities: Assyrian Chaldean (Iraq, Syria), Hazara (Afghanistan), Karen (Burma, Thailand) and Sierra Leonean families. CRQ-parent/caregiver report (CRQ-P/C) scores were categorised into ‘low’, ‘moderate’ and ‘high’. The child’s emotional and behavioural wellbeing was assessed with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, with positive wellbeing defined as <17 on the total difficulties score. Tobit regression models adjusted for a child’s age. The CRQ-P/C scores were not different for boys and girls of refugee background. Children of refugee-background (n = 109) had higher average CRQ-P/C scores than other CRS children (n = 1023) in the personal, school and community domains, but were lower in the family domain. Most children with ‘high’ resilience scores had positive wellbeing for both children of refugee-background (94.6%) and other CRS children (96.5%). Contrary to common stereotypes, children of refugee-background show specific individual, family, school and cultural strengths that can help them navigate cumulative and complex risks to sustain or develop their positive wellbeing. A better understanding as to how to build strengths at personal, family, peer, school and community levels where children are vulnerable is an important next step. Working in close collaboration with refugee communities, schools, policy makers and key service providers will ensure the optimal translation of these findings into sustainable practice and impactful public policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Behavioral and Mental Health)
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12 pages, 566 KiB  
Article
Health-Related Lifestyles among University Students: Focusing on Eating Habits and Physical Activity
by Elena Lonati, Emanuela Cazzaniga, Roberta Adorni, Francesco Zanatta, Michael Belingheri, Matteo Colleoni, Michele Augusto Riva, Patrizia Steca and Paola Palestini
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 626; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050626 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 840
Abstract
The transition to higher education at University is a critical moment for young adults to acquire unhealthy habits regarding physical activity (PA) and adherence to a healthy diet. Negative behaviors might be maintained in the years to come with a major risk of [...] Read more.
The transition to higher education at University is a critical moment for young adults to acquire unhealthy habits regarding physical activity (PA) and adherence to a healthy diet. Negative behaviors might be maintained in the years to come with a major risk of suffering from a Non-Communicable Disease. This study aims to determine the relationship between diet and PA in the student community of University of Milano-Bicocca. Students between 18 and 30 years old completed an online survey (6949 students). Two analyses of covariance (ANCOVA), chi-square tests of independence, and a binomial logistic regression were performed to examine the relationship between adequacy of food consumption and PA, in association also with sociodemographic characteristics. Data show a strong correlation between behaviors analyzed, with a proportional positive association between PA and healthy diet. Nevertheless, a third of the sample students incur in incorrect habits for both diet and PA. Further, students performing intensive PA have the healthiest food consumption in general but the worst red meat and pork intake. Accordingly, men practice more PA but have a less adequate diet, exactly contrary to women. In conclusion, policies promoting consciousness of well-being would transform Universities into healthy hubs for virtuous habits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lifestyle Behaviors and Health Promotion in Young People)
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13 pages, 1076 KiB  
Article
A Workplace Health Promotion Program for a Predominantly Military Population: Associations with General Health, Mental Well-Being and Sustainable Employability
by Rebecca Bogaers, Diewertje Sluik, Pieter Helmhout and Fenna Leijten
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 625; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050625 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 960
Abstract
Due to the globally increasing life expectancies, many countries are raising their official retirement age to prevent labor shortages and sustain retirement systems. This trend emphasizes the need for sustainable employability. Unhealthy lifestyles pose a risk to sustainable employability as they contribute to [...] Read more.
Due to the globally increasing life expectancies, many countries are raising their official retirement age to prevent labor shortages and sustain retirement systems. This trend emphasizes the need for sustainable employability. Unhealthy lifestyles pose a risk to sustainable employability as they contribute to chronic diseases and decreased productivity. Workplace Health Promotion (WHP) programs have gained attention as a strategy to enhance employee health and well-being. The Netherlands Armed Forces, a unique employer with demanding psychological and physical requirements, was used as a case study to investigate the associations of a WHP Program with workers health and sustainable employability. The program offered tailor-made guidance to participants (N = 341) through individual coaching trajectories. The program’s impact was evaluated by measuring self-reported health, mental well-being, and sustainable employability over a 6-month period. Results indicated significant improvements across all these dimensions after participation in the program. This study provides valuable insights into the benefits of tailor-made WHP programs. While this was an observational study without a control group, this study supports the importance of incorporating individualized approaches in WHP initiatives to foster positive outcomes in health and sustainable employability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Physical Activity in Health Promotion)
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17 pages, 916 KiB  
Article
Linguistic, Content and Face Validity of the Swedish Version of a Quality-of-Life Assessment for Children, Teenagers and Adults with Spina Bifida
by Michaela Dellenmark-Blom, Marie Andersson, Konrad M. Szymanski, Charlotta Levén Andréasson, Magdalena Vu Minh Arnell, Sofia Sjöström and Kate Abrahamsson
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 624; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050624 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 760
Abstract
Spina bifida includes a spectrum of different neural tube defects. Myelomeningocele is the most serious type and is associated with a risk of paralysis and sensory dysfunction below the affected level, bladder/bowel dysfunction, brain dysmorphology, and impaired health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The [...] Read more.
Spina bifida includes a spectrum of different neural tube defects. Myelomeningocele is the most serious type and is associated with a risk of paralysis and sensory dysfunction below the affected level, bladder/bowel dysfunction, brain dysmorphology, and impaired health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The aim of this study was to describe the establishment of linguistic, content and face validity of the Swedish version of a Quality-of-Life Assessment for children (QUALAS-C, n = 10 items), teenagers (QUALAS-T, n = 10 items) and adults with spina bifida (QUALAS-A, n = 15 items) based on the original US English versions. The process included close collaboration with the original instrument developer and complied with international standards on patient-reported outcome measurements. The procedure includes forward translation, expert and patient/parent review and reconciliation, back translation, back translation review and cognitive debriefing interviews with 16 people with spina bifida aged 8 to 33, providing them with the possibility of evaluating the clarity, adequacy, and comprehensiveness of QUALAS-C, QUALAS-T and QUALAS-A, respectively. The interviews lasted a median of 15 min (range 8–16) for QUALAS-C, 10 min (range 9–15) for QUALAS-T and 24 min (range 9–38) for QUALAS-A. Four main issues/topics needed attention and discussion after both the forward and back translation. Following the back translation review, all issues were resolved. The patient feedback revealed recognition of the HRQoL issues included in QUALAS, and also difficulties in understanding some questions. After the patients’ evaluation, four items were reworded for clarity. No study participant reported a wish to add to or remove questions from QUALAS. Hence, the Swedish versions of QUALAS became conceptually equivalent to the original US English versions and achieved linguistic, content and face validity. While empowering the voices of people with spina bifida, these results also enable their HRQoL to be properly assessed in research and clinical care in Sweden and in international studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Health-Related Quality of Life)
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14 pages, 6923 KiB  
Article
Air Quality Monitoring Using Low-Cost Sensors in Urban Areas of Jodhpur, Rajasthan
by Ramesh Kumar Huda, Pankaj Kumar, Rajnish Gupta, Arun Kumar Sharma, G. S. Toteja and Bontha V. Babu
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 623; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050623 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 838
Abstract
Air pollution poses a significant health hazard in urban areas across the globe, with India being one of the most affected countries. This paper presents environmental monitoring study conducted in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India, to assess air quality in diverse urban environments. The study [...] Read more.
Air pollution poses a significant health hazard in urban areas across the globe, with India being one of the most affected countries. This paper presents environmental monitoring study conducted in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India, to assess air quality in diverse urban environments. The study involved continuous indoor and outdoor air quality monitoring, focusing on particulate matter (PM2.5) levels, bioaerosols, and associated meteorological parameters. Laser sensor-based low-cost air quality monitors were utilized to monitor air quality and Anderson 6-stage Cascade Impactor & Petri Dish methods for bioaerosol monitoring. The study revealed that PM2.5 levels were consistently high throughout the year, highlighting the severity of air pollution in the region. Notably, indoor PM2.5 levels were often higher than outdoor levels, challenging the common notion of staying indoors during peak pollution. The study explored the spatial and temporal diversity of air pollution across various land-use patterns within the city, emphasizing the need for tailored interventions in different urban areas. Additionally, bioaerosol assessments unveiled the presence of pathogenic organisms in indoor and outdoor environments, posing health risks to residents. These findings underscore the importance of addressing particulate matter and bioaerosols in air quality management strategies. Despite the study’s valuable insights, limitations, such as using low-cost air quality sensors and the need for long-term data collection, are acknowledged. Nevertheless, this research contributes to a better understanding of urban air quality dynamics and the importance of public awareness in mitigating the adverse effects of air pollution. In conclusion, this study underscores the urgent need for effective air quality management strategies in urban areas. The findings provide valuable insights for policymakers and researchers striving to address air pollution in rapidly urbanizing regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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16 pages, 728 KiB  
Protocol
Mindfulness in Pregnancy and Postpartum: Protocol of a Pilot Randomized Trial of Virtually Delivered Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy to Promote Well-Being during the Perinatal Period
by Shannon D. Donofry, Dayna Winograd, Diva Kothari, Christine C. Call, Kelsey E. Magee, Riley J. Jouppi, Rachel P. Kolko Conlon and Michele D. Levine
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 622; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050622 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 796
Abstract
Background: During the period from pregnancy through the first year postpartum, vulnerable individuals are at elevated risk for the onset or worsening of psychological distress, and accessible (e.g., virtually delivered) mental health interventions are needed. Research suggests that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) can [...] Read more.
Background: During the period from pregnancy through the first year postpartum, vulnerable individuals are at elevated risk for the onset or worsening of psychological distress, and accessible (e.g., virtually delivered) mental health interventions are needed. Research suggests that Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) can effectively mitigate psychological distress, although few studies have evaluated MBCT in the perinatal period, and samples have been clinically homogenous. Thus, we have designed and are conducting a pilot trial of virtually delivered MBCT with pregnant individuals experiencing a range of psychological symptoms to assess its feasibility and preliminarily explore its effectiveness. Here, we present the study protocol. Methods: Eligible participants (target N = 70) are ≥18 years with pregnancies between 12 and 30 weeks of gestation. Participants complete a diagnostic interview, self-report symptom ratings, and a computerized cognitive battery assessing self-regulation at the baseline. Participants are then randomized to either MBCT or care as usual. The MBCT intervention involves eight weekly group sessions delivered virtually, with each session focusing on a mindfulness practice followed by group discussion and skill development. Participants in the intervention group are also encouraged to practice mindfulness skills between sessions. Participants in the control condition are provided with information about mindfulness and treatment resources. Baseline measures are repeated following the eight-week intervention period and at three months postpartum. Conclusions: This pilot study is designed to evaluate the feasibility of virtually delivered MBCT and explore group differences in psychological symptoms during the perinatal period, and will lay the foundation for a larger clinical trial focused on optimizing this intervention to improve psychological functioning among diverse pregnant individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychological Health and Benefits of Mindfulness-Based Interventions)
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10 pages, 1436 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Prevalence of Caregiving among Young People
by Lawrence T. Lam and Mary K. Lam
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(5), 621; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph21050621 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 542
Abstract
With the increasing number of people with chronic diseases and disabilities, the number of family members as caregivers have also been growing. Despite the attention paid to caregiving in recent years, little is known about caregiving among young people, particularly its global prevalence. [...] Read more.
With the increasing number of people with chronic diseases and disabilities, the number of family members as caregivers have also been growing. Despite the attention paid to caregiving in recent years, little is known about caregiving among young people, particularly its global prevalence. The lack of information has important implications for health policy and management, resulting in the inability to form appropriate evidence-based policies and managerial decision making. This study aims to derive an estimate of the prevalence of caregiving among young people through a systematic review of the current literature. The results of this study revealed a prevalence of caregiving among younger adolescents of between 1.1% (1.06–1.14%) and 12.0% (11.02–12.98%). However, the assessment of caregiving varies across studies, and all were conducted in developed countries. These results provide information on the burden of caregiving in young people and reveal the lack of global information, calling for more research on and attention to this specific population. Full article
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