Special Issue "Risk Assessment for COVID-19"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2023.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Jimmy T. Efird
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Cooperative Studies Program Epidemiology Center, Health Services Research and Development (DVAHCS/Duke Affiliated Center), Durham, NC 28211, USA
Interests: statistical methods; epidemiological study design; risk modeling; cardiovascular disease; cancer
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The great coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has overwhelmed the world in 2020–2021 and will continue to have residual effects. Better understanding the public health, medical, psychological, social, and infrastructure aspects of this pandemic will help to plan for future crises and risk prevention. For this Special Issue, we seek thoughtful and well-written manuscripts that address COVID-19 from historic, current, and future perspectives, emphasizing its local and global implications. Systematic overviews, meta-analysis, retrospective and prospective risk assessments, as well as articles on both quantitative and qualitative models from diverse fields including epidemiology, public health, medicine, genetics, systems biology, informatics, data science, engineering, sociology, anthropology, nursing, environmental studies, statistics, and psychology are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Jimmy T. Efird
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 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

  • COVID-19
  • risk assessment
  • prevention
  • quantitative and qualitative models

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Article
Influence of Face Masks on the Use of Contact Lenses
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7407; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147407 - 11 Jul 2021
Viewed by 434
Abstract
Background: The COVID-19 epidemic is largely controlled by the use of face masks. The use of a face mask has been indicated as a strong cause of dry eye, although it is not yet described in the literature. This study aims to compare [...] Read more.
Background: The COVID-19 epidemic is largely controlled by the use of face masks. The use of a face mask has been indicated as a strong cause of dry eye, although it is not yet described in the literature. This study aims to compare the impact of the use of masks on the visual quality of patients. The symptoms in the human eye intensified during the pandemic versus the symptoms before the pandemic, in a Portuguese population. Methods: A fifteen-question questionnaire was conducted to find out what changes occurred in the use of soft contact lenses during the pandemic in relation to the use of masks. Statistical analysis was performed with SPSS 27.0 software (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Results: The use of contact lenses decreased compared with before the pandemic (p < 0.001). The number of hours of wear decreased significantly compared with before the pandemic (p < 0.001). The sensation of dry eyes was found to be worse in those using monthly replacement contact lenses (p = 0.034), and the need to remove contact lenses was more frequent in women (p = 0.026) after using a mask. Conclusions: Mask use increases dry eye symptoms in contact lens wearers, negatively impacting visual quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment for COVID-19)
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Article
Mental Health Crisis and Stress Coping among Healthcare College Students Momentarily Displaced from Their Campus Community Because of COVID-19 Restrictions in Japan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7245; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147245 - 06 Jul 2021
Viewed by 469
Abstract
College students are one of the most affected groups by self-quarantine due to COVID-19, as they may live in loneliness and anxiety, increasing their risk of mental health crisis. This study aimed to identify risk factors for poor mental health and stress coping [...] Read more.
College students are one of the most affected groups by self-quarantine due to COVID-19, as they may live in loneliness and anxiety, increasing their risk of mental health crisis. This study aimed to identify risk factors for poor mental health and stress coping strategies among healthcare college students during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. A cross-sectional survey was conducted over 7 consecutive days starting on 28 April 2020 using a web-based questionnaire. The survey assessed socioeconomic characteristics and the General Health Questionnaire-12 score, self-reported health status, anxiety, and satisfaction with daily life, work, leisure, and new activities. Approximately 70% of 223 respondents had poor mental health. Less communication with friends was the main risk factor for mental health problems. Good health status and satisfaction with leisure and new activities were associated with reduced risk of mental health problems. Students with poor mental health tended to seek social support as a stress coping strategy. This study showed that the mental health of students declined during self-quarantine, and loneliness could be the major reason. There is a need for a new form of communication and learning that deals with the isolation and loneliness of students, especially for students living alone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment for COVID-19)
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Article
Differences in the Protection Motivation Theory Constructs between People with Various Latent Classes of Motivation for Vaccination and Preventive Behaviors against COVID-19 in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 7042; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18137042 - 01 Jul 2021
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Abstract
The present study aimed to identify the distinct classes of motivations to get vaccinated and to adopt preventive behaviors against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among people in Taiwan and to examine the roles of Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) cognitive constructs in these [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to identify the distinct classes of motivations to get vaccinated and to adopt preventive behaviors against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among people in Taiwan and to examine the roles of Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) cognitive constructs in these unique classes of motivations to get vaccinated and to adopt preventive behaviors. We recruited 1047 participants by using a Facebook advertisement. Participants’ motivations to get vaccinated and to adopt preventive behaviors against COVID-19, PMT constructs of threat appraisal (perceived severity and perceived vulnerability), and PMT constructs of coping appraisal (self-efficacy, response efficacy, response cost, knowledge, and previous vaccination for seasonal influenza) were determined. We analyzed participants’ motivations to get vaccinated and to adopt preventive behaviors against COVID-19 by using latent profile analysis. The present study identified three latent classes, including the participants with high motivation for vaccination and preventive behaviors (the class of Both High), those with low motivation for vaccination and preventive behaviors (the class of Both Low), and those with high motivation for vaccination but low motivation for preventive behaviors (the class of High Vaccination but Low Preventive Behaviors). Compared with the participants in the class of Both High, participants in the class of Both Low had lower levels of perceived vulnerability, perceived severity, self-efficacy to have vaccination, response efficacy of vaccination, knowledge about vaccination, and previous vaccination for seasonal influenza; participants in the class of High Vaccination but Low Preventive Behaviors had lower levels of perceived vulnerability and perceived severity but higher levels of response cost of vaccination. We concluded that varieties of motivations, threat, and coping appraisals should be considered in intervention programs aiming to increase motivation to adopt recommended protective behaviors against COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment for COVID-19)
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Brief Report
Relationship of Test Positivity Rates with COVID-19 Epidemic Dynamics
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4655; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18094655 - 27 Apr 2021
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Abstract
Detection and isolation of infected people are believed to play an important role in the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some countries conduct large-scale screenings for testing, whereas others test mainly people with high prior probability of infection such as showing severe symptoms [...] Read more.
Detection and isolation of infected people are believed to play an important role in the control of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some countries conduct large-scale screenings for testing, whereas others test mainly people with high prior probability of infection such as showing severe symptoms and/or having an epidemiological link with a known or suspected case or cluster of cases. However, what a good testing strategy is and whether the difference in testing strategy shows a meaningful, measurable impact on the COVID-19 epidemic remain unknown. Here, we showed that patterns of association between effective reproduction number (Rt) and test positivity rate can illuminate differences in testing situation among different areas, using global and local data from Japan. This association can also evaluate the adequacy of current testing systems and what information is captured in COVID-19 surveillance. The differences in testing systems alone cannot predict the results of epidemic containment efforts. Furthermore, monitoring test positivity rates and severe case proportions among the nonelderly can predict imminent case count increases. Monitoring test positivity rates in conjunction with the concurrent Rt could be useful to assess and strengthen public health management and testing systems and deepen understanding of COVID-19 epidemic dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment for COVID-19)
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