Special Issue "Behavior Change in Health Promotion and Prevention of Chronic Diseases"

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Sara Rubinelli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Health Sciences and Medicine, University of Lucerne, Frohburgstrasse 3, 6002 Lucerne, Switzerland
2. Swiss Paraplegic Research, Guido A. Zäch Strasse 4, 6207 Nottwil, Switzerland
Interests: health communication; social marketing; health campaign; health literacy; self-management; behavior change; disinformation, persuasion and manipulation
Dr. Nicola Diviani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Health Sciences and Medicine, University of Lucerne, Frohburgstrasse 3, 6002 Lucerne, Switzerland
2. Swiss Paraplegic Research, Guido A. Zäch Strasse 4, 6207 Nottwil, Switzerland
Interests: health communication; health behavior; health literacy; self-management
Dr. Claudia Zanini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Health Sciences and Medicine, University of Lucerne, Frohburgstrasse 3, 6002 Lucerne, Switzerland
2. Swiss Paraplegic Research, Guido A. Zäch Strasse 4, 6207 Nottwil, Switzerland
Interests: health communication; self-management; health behavior; qualitative research

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last century, the life expectancy throughout the world has almost doubled. The reasons for this are diverse, but can mainly be traced back to advances in medical technology. Several deadly diseases have been completely eradicated, and several others have transformed from deadly to chronic. This phenomenon is known as the “epidemiological transition” of the 20th century. A longer life expectancy, however, is not the only distinctive phenomenon of the current healthcare landscape; the decrease in mortality, combined with other demographic changes, such as a decrease in natality rates, has created an aging population. In turn, this longer life expectancy and thus aging population mean a higher prevalence of chronic conditions.

Several policy actions are currently being implemented to reduce the health and economic burden of chronic disease, such as epidemiology and surveillance (e.g., collecting data to understand who is most at risk), environmental approaches (e.g., introducing regulations and bans), and system-level interventions (e.g., improving access to health care for populations with little or no access). At an individual level, two main strategies can be put into place—health promotion and (self-) care. Health promotion programs have been shown to hold great potential for limiting the incidence of chronic conditions, especially those related to lifestyle factors. In many cases however, prevention is not possible, and health promotion does not in any way address those already living with one or more chronic conditions. This is where the importance of (self-) care comes into play.

Individual health behaviors play a central role in both health promotion and (self-) care, and it is therefore crucial to find ways to design effective behavior change interventions. For this Special Issue, we invite qualitative, quantitative, and review papers addressing behavior change in health promotion, as well as (self-) care behaviors, in the context of chronic conditions. Studies addressing determinants of behavior change in a socio-ecological perspective (at an individual, interpersonal, and societal level) and combining a high academic standard, coupled with concrete implications for the improvement of public health and clinical practice, will be prioritzed.

Prof. Dr. Sara Rubinelli
Dr. Nicola Diviani
Dr. Claudia Zanini
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

  • health behavior
  • chronic disease
  • self-care
  • self-management
  • socio-ecological model
  • health promotion
  • disease prevention
  • public health

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Knowledge, Beliefs, and Perceptions of TB and Its Treatment amongst TB Patients in the Limpopo Province, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10404; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph181910404 - 02 Oct 2021
Viewed by 422
Abstract
Despite the implementation of global plans to end tuberculosis (TB), this disease remains a major cause of ill-health and is the second leading cause of death. In 2019, globally, an estimated 10.0 million people fell ill and about 1.4 million died of TB. [...] Read more.
Despite the implementation of global plans to end tuberculosis (TB), this disease remains a major cause of ill-health and is the second leading cause of death. In 2019, globally, an estimated 10.0 million people fell ill and about 1.4 million died of TB. During the same year, South Africa was among the eight countries with the highest tuberculosis burden, contributing to two-thirds of the world’s total. Due to the high burden of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic, TB in South Africa is a major public health problem. Limpopo is amongst the provinces that are hardest hit by TB and HIV in South Africa. Therefore, using a quantitative descriptive design, this study assessed the knowledge, beliefs, and perceptions of TB and TB treatment amongst TB patients in the Limpopo Province. A systematic random sampling method was used to sample 207 TB patients who agreed in writing to be part of the study. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire, however, about 3.9% of participants who could not read were assisted by the main researcher and health professional. About 33% of the participants with primary education were also assisted to clarify any questions that were not clear to them. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences® version 26.0. Validity and reliability of the instrument was ensured, and ethical considerations were observed in this study. The research findings revealed that about 93.25% respondents only came to know they had TB after diagnosis. About 75% indicated that they had visited faith healers and only 2% acknowledged that they had visited traditional healers after diagnosis. A total of 76% of the respondents stated that they strongly believed in their culture and religion. These findings highlight the need for health education efforts to strengthen accurate information to improve TB knowledge and correct misconceptions about TB among patients within the community. Full article
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Article
Behavioral Factors Associated with Medication Nonadherence in Patients with Hypertension
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9614; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18189614 - 12 Sep 2021
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Abstract
Medication nonadherence is associated with an increased risk of complications in hypertensive patients. We investigated behavioral factors associated with medication nonadherence in hypertensive patients in southern Taiwan. Using questionnaires, we collected data regarding clinicodemographic characteristics and nonadherence behaviors from 238 hypertensive patients. We [...] Read more.
Medication nonadherence is associated with an increased risk of complications in hypertensive patients. We investigated behavioral factors associated with medication nonadherence in hypertensive patients in southern Taiwan. Using questionnaires, we collected data regarding clinicodemographic characteristics and nonadherence behaviors from 238 hypertensive patients. We assessed the self-reported prevalence of specific behaviors of medication nonadherence and investigated factors associated with each behavior using multivariable logistic regression analysis. The most common behavior of medication nonadherence was forgetting to take medication (28.6%), followed by discontinuing medication (9.2%) and reducing the medication dose (8.8%). Age ≥ 65 years (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.32, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.15–0.69) and male sex (aOR = 2.61, CI = 1.31–5.19) were associated with forgetting to take medication. The presence of comorbidities (diabetes, kidney disease, or both) and insomnia (aOR = 3.97, 95% CI = 1.30–12.1) was associated with reducing the medication dose. The use of diet supplements was associated with discontinuing the medication (aOR = 4.82, 95% CI = 1.50–15.5). Compliance with a low oil/sugar/sodium diet was a protective factor against discontinuing medication (aOR = 0.14; 95% CI = 0.03–0.75). The most pervasive behavior associated with medication nonadherence among hypertensive patients was forgetting to take medication. Age <65 years, male sex, comorbidities, insomnia, noncompliance with diet, and the use of dietary supplements were specifically associated with medication nonadherence. Full article
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Article
A Cluster-Randomised Crossover Pilot Feasibility Study of a Multicomponent Intervention to Reduce Occupational Sedentary Behaviour in Professional Male Employees
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9292; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18179292 - 02 Sep 2021
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Abstract
Professional male office employees have been identified as those most at risk of prolonged sedentary time, which is associated with many long-term adverse health conditions. The aim of the study was to assess the acceptability and feasibility of a gender-sensitive multicomponent intervention, guided [...] Read more.
Professional male office employees have been identified as those most at risk of prolonged sedentary time, which is associated with many long-term adverse health conditions. The aim of the study was to assess the acceptability and feasibility of a gender-sensitive multicomponent intervention, guided by the socio-ecological model, to reduce occupational sedentary behaviour by increasing physical activity in professional men. The main elements of the intervention comprised: a Garmin watch with associated web-based platform/smartphone application, an under-desk pedal machine, and management participation and support. A cluster-randomised crossover pilot feasibility trial recruiting professional males was conducted in two workplaces. Mixed methods were used to assess the primary outcomes of recruitment, retention, and acceptability and feasibility of the intervention. Secondary outcomes included objectively measured sedentary behaviour, standing and physical activity. Focus groups were used to explore the acceptability of the intervention in a real-world setting. Twenty-two participants were recruited (mean age 42.9 years (SD 11.0)). Recruitment and retention rates were 73.3% and 95%, respectively. Overall, participants found the intervention acceptable and feasible, and expressed enjoyment of the intervention, however desk set-up issues with the pedal devices were noted. The manual recording of the pedalling bouts was overly burdensome. Preliminary data indicate that the intervention may reduce occupational sedentary behaviour and increase physical activity. This intervention should be further tested in a definitive trial following consideration of the findings of this pilot feasibility trial. Full article
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Article
Community-Level Participation in Volunteer Groups and Individual Depressive Symptoms in Japanese Older People: A Three-Year Longitudinal Multilevel Analysis Using JAGES Data
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7502; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147502 - 14 Jul 2021
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Abstract
Background: The current study aimed to investigate the contextual effect of volunteer group participation on subsequent depressive symptoms in older people. Methods: We analyzed the longitudinal data of 37,552 people aged 65 years and older in 24 municipalities surveyed in the Japan Gerontological [...] Read more.
Background: The current study aimed to investigate the contextual effect of volunteer group participation on subsequent depressive symptoms in older people. Methods: We analyzed the longitudinal data of 37,552 people aged 65 years and older in 24 municipalities surveyed in the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study. Volunteer group participation of older people was assessed in 2013 by one question and depressive symptoms were assessed by the Geriatric Depression Scale 15 in 2016. To investigate a contextual effect, we aggregated individual-level volunteer group participation by each residence area as a community-level independent variable. We conducted a two-level multilevel Poisson regression analysis using the Random Intercepts and Fixed Slopes Model. Results: The average proportion of community-level volunteer group participation was 10.6%. The results of the Poisson regression analysis showed that community-level volunteer group participation reduced the risk for the onset of depressive symptoms by 13% with a 10 percentage point increase in participation, after adjusting for sex, age, population density, total annual sunshine hours and annual rainfall (incident rate ratio, 0.87; 95% confidence interval, 0.78–0.98). Conclusions: Older people living in areas with higher volunteer group participation had a lower risk of developing depressive symptoms regardless of whether or not they participated in a volunteer group. Full article
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Article
The Effects of Empowerment Education on Daily Dairy Intake in Community-Dwelling of Older Asian Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4659; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18094659 - 27 Apr 2021
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Abstract
A scarcity in the intake of dairy products in older women begets a wide range of musculoskeletal problems, especially osteoporosis. However, dairy products are often not consumed in sufficient quantities in Eastern societies. This study used empowerment education to improve daily dairy intake [...] Read more.
A scarcity in the intake of dairy products in older women begets a wide range of musculoskeletal problems, especially osteoporosis. However, dairy products are often not consumed in sufficient quantities in Eastern societies. This study used empowerment education to improve daily dairy intake in 68 older Asian women in the community through a quasi-experimental study design. The 34 participants in the experimental group took part in empowerment education programs that included lectures, sharing sessions, situation dramas, and cooking activities, for two hours per week for 6 weeks. The 34 participants in the control group had no interventions. The generalized estimating equation was used to evaluate the intervention’s effectiveness. The test was conducted for the two groups at 1 and 12 weeks after the completion of the lessons. We used daily dairy intake self-efficacy, intention, and behavior scale to measure the outcome. The change in the experimental group’s daily dairy intake self-efficacy and intention score at post-1 week and post-12 weeks was higher compared to the control group, but the dairy intake behavior was only changed at post-12 weeks. The empowerment education was effective in encouraging older women to change their dairy intake behavior and improved their dairy intake self-efficacy and intentions. Full article
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Article
Back School Postural Education Program: Comparison of Two Types of Interventions in Improving Ergonomic Knowledge about Postures and Reducing Low Back Pain in Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4434; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18094434 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 841
Abstract
This study aimed to compare the impact of two Back School Postural Education Programs on improving ergonomic knowledge of postures adopted at school and home, as well as on reducing low back pain (LPB) in adolescents. The sample was constituted by 153 students, [...] Read more.
This study aimed to compare the impact of two Back School Postural Education Programs on improving ergonomic knowledge of postures adopted at school and home, as well as on reducing low back pain (LPB) in adolescents. The sample was constituted by 153 students, aged 10–16 years, with 96 (62.7%) girls, divided into 2 intervention groups (GA, GB). Two tests (theoretical and practical) and LBP questionnaire were applied 1 week before and 1 year after the end of the program. In GA, three sessions were performed for each class separately, on theoretical and practical issues, lasting 45 min and at intervals of 1 week, and in GB, only one theoretical session (90 min) was given to all students. Statistically differences on GA were obtained between the values 1 week before and after 1 year of evaluation in both theoretical and practical tests (p ≤ 0.001). In GB, only the values of the practical test present a statistical difference (p ≤ 0.001). GA obtained higher values on both tests after 1 year of follow-up compared with GB (p ≤ 0.001). The number of students with LBP decreased on GA (p ≤ 0.001). The program with longer duration, higher weekly frequency, and more practical and individualized character promotes better effects. Full article
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Study Protocol
Self-Management in Stroke Survivors: Development and Implementation of the Look after Yourself (LAY) Intervention
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5925; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18115925 - 31 May 2021
Viewed by 1141
Abstract
Objective: Self-management is recommended in stroke rehabilitation. This report aims to describe timing, contents, and setting of delivery of a patient-centered, self-management program for stroke survivors in their early hospital rehabilitation phase: the Look After Yourself (LAY) intervention. Methods: After extensive literature search, [...] Read more.
Objective: Self-management is recommended in stroke rehabilitation. This report aims to describe timing, contents, and setting of delivery of a patient-centered, self-management program for stroke survivors in their early hospital rehabilitation phase: the Look After Yourself (LAY) intervention. Methods: After extensive literature search, the LAY intervention was developed by integrating the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, based on the self-efficacy construct of social cognitive theory, with evidence-based key elements and input from stroke survivors. Results: the LAY intervention aims to implement self-management skills in stroke survivors, enabling them to be active in goal setting and problem solving using action plans and to facilitate the critical transition from hospital to community. It includes both group sessions to facilitate sharing of experiences, social comparison, vicarious learning, and increase motivation and one-to-one sessions focused on setting feasible action plans and on teaching personalized strategies to prevent falls. Standardization is ensured by manuals for facilitators and patients. Conclusion: The LAY intervention is the first Italian program to support early self-management in stroke rehabilitation; it has been experimented and its efficacy proven in improving self-efficacy, mental health, and activities of daily living, and detailed results have been published. The LAY intervention is described according to the TIDieR checklist. Full article
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