Special Issue "Towards a Public Health Wellness: Psychosocial & Physical Health in Community"

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Won Ju Hwang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Nursing Science, Kyung Hee University, 26 Kyunghee-daero, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02447, Korea
Interests: occupational health; health promotion; job stress; cardiovascular disease; global health
Prof. Dr. Mi Jeong Kim
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is interested in how wellness can be achieved in terms of public health environment and community care in the workplace and in information technology. Psychological health is often used interchangeably with mental health care and is mainly considered for stress management.

However, this Special Issue considers smart care for public wellness because our nursing and public health are integrated with information technologies to support public health, and such integration can support public health promotion. Information technology could improve overall quality of life by promoting workers’ wellness and satisfaction. This Special Issue welcomes research contributions on wellness care in public health and community care. The aim is to highlight issues on wellness in public health and community care by emphasizing psychological and physical health promotion perspectives.

Dr. Won Ju Hwang
Prof. Dr. Mi Jeong Kim
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • psychological health
  • physical health
  • wellness
  • job stress
  • emotional labor
  • public health promotion
  • occupational health
  • action research
  • community life

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Article
Patient Clothing as a Healing Environment: A Qualitative Interview Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5357; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18105357 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 424
Abstract
Patients’ emotional responses to the hospital environment can be considered as important as medical technology and equipment. Therefore, this study investigated their experiences to determine whether the pattern using hospital identity (HI) elements, a widely used design method for patient clothing in university [...] Read more.
Patients’ emotional responses to the hospital environment can be considered as important as medical technology and equipment. Therefore, this study investigated their experiences to determine whether the pattern using hospital identity (HI) elements, a widely used design method for patient clothing in university hospitals, can affect their emotional response and contribute to healing. It aimed to identify whether controlling the motif characteristics, arrangement, and spacing in this pattern design, and the direction between motifs, could be a method to design patient clothing for healing. To investigate patients’ emotional response and suggestions for patient clothing design, an interview-based qualitative approach was used. In-depth interviews were conducted with 12 patients discharged from Kyung Hee University Hospital Medical Center (KHUMC), Seoul. The interview questions consisted of two parts. One part featured questions about participants’ emotional responses to the medical environment and their latest patient clothing experience, and the other featured questions about their emotional response to, and suggestions for, the healing expression of pattern design using HI. The results confirmed that the motif characteristics, arrangement, and spacing, and the direction between motifs, influenced patients’ positive emotions and contributed to the healing effect. Therefore, when the HI elements of a medical institution are applied in the design of patient clothing with the characteristics of a healing design, patients perceive this as providing stability and comfort. The design of patient clothing becomes a medium that not only builds the brand image of medical institutions, but also enhances the quality of medical services centered on patient healing. Full article
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Article
Problems and Implications of Shelter Planning Focusing on Habitability: A Case Study of a Temporary Disaster Shelter after the Pohang Earthquake in South Korea
by , and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 2868; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18062868 - 11 Mar 2021
Viewed by 659
Abstract
Habitability is an essential concept for shelter planning in terms of supporting victims’ right to life with dignity and recovering from what they suffered. The study aimed to identify problems and needs in shelter spaces and suggest measures to improve shelter space plans [...] Read more.
Habitability is an essential concept for shelter planning in terms of supporting victims’ right to life with dignity and recovering from what they suffered. The study aimed to identify problems and needs in shelter spaces and suggest measures to improve shelter space plans by conducting a case study in South Korea. The temporary disaster shelter in Pohang built right after the earthquake (2018) was selected as a case subject. From the literature review, a framework consisting of four concepts of habitability (safety, health, sociality, comfort) and four shelter zones (entry, residential, service, special needs zone) was developed for the in-depth interviews and analysis. The field study and in-depth interviews with victims, staff, and volunteers were conducted to collect problems and needs regarding shelter space planning. The results showed that the entry zone needed improvements in ‘protection’, ‘prevention’, ‘sanitation’, ‘accessibility’, ‘area’, and ‘privacy’. The residential zone lacked ‘area’, ‘privacy’, and ‘indoor environmental quality’. The service zone problems were mainly seen in the categories of ‘area’ and ‘privacy’. The special needs zone was less habitable in the categories of ‘protection’ and ‘area’. To appropriately respond to victims’ urgent needs, the temporary shelter planning should secure enough space beyond the legal minimum standards, provide sanitation and indoor environmental quality management, and separate spaces by function and user type. Full article
Article
Factors Affecting the Initial Engagement of Older Adults in the Use of Interactive Technology
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 2847; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18062847 - 11 Mar 2021
Viewed by 575
Abstract
Smart environments and the use of interactive technology has the potential to improve the quality of life for the senior community as well as to support the connections among the senior community and the world outside their community. In addition to the increasing [...] Read more.
Smart environments and the use of interactive technology has the potential to improve the quality of life for the senior community as well as to support the connections among the senior community and the world outside their community. In addition to the increasing number of studies in the field of aging and technologies, research is needed to understand the practical issues of user focus, adoption, and engagement for older adults to accept interactive technologies in their lives. In this study, we use two commercial technological interventions (uDraw and GrandPad) to understand technology-related perceptions and behaviors of older adults. We present five case studies that emerge from empirical observations of initial engagement with technology through research methods such as focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, observations, and diary studies. The contributions of this study are identification of the key factors that influence the initial engagement with interactive technology for older adults. Full article
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Article
Toward the Biophilic Residential Regeneration for the Green New Deal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2523; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18052523 - 04 Mar 2021
Viewed by 792
Abstract
As climate changes and species extinction accelerate, the global community focuses on Green New Deal plans to promote economic development based on environmental sustainability. The Green New Deal should encourage sustainable resilience in the environment and strengthen the community’s innate ties with natural [...] Read more.
As climate changes and species extinction accelerate, the global community focuses on Green New Deal plans to promote economic development based on environmental sustainability. The Green New Deal should encourage sustainable resilience in the environment and strengthen the community’s innate ties with natural resources and biodiversity. This study describes biophilic design for sustainable and resilient residential regeneration from the perspective of the Green New Deal, and suggests potential possibilities for these approaches on a residential regeneration scale. A case study clarifies the applicable features of biophilic design in various fields, such as architectural planning and design, technology, and services, and is subdivided according to the scale of residential regeneration (unit, building, and complex). The results of this study suggest new values for existing Green New Deal policies and contribute to the segmentation of residential regeneration projects and the expansion of related industries. Full article
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Article
Factors Influencing the Preventive Practice of International Students in South Korea against COVID-19 during the Pandemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2259; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18052259 - 25 Feb 2021
Viewed by 705
Abstract
As the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spreads worldwide, quarantine guidelines are being constantly updating to prevent the transmission of this virus. Regardless of which country international students live in, they might receive limited crucial quarantine guidelines from that country’s government. The purpose of [...] Read more.
As the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spreads worldwide, quarantine guidelines are being constantly updating to prevent the transmission of this virus. Regardless of which country international students live in, they might receive limited crucial quarantine guidelines from that country’s government. The purpose of this study was to identify factors influencing the preventive practice of international students in South Korea during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a cross-sectional descriptive study. Data were collected from international students in three universities from July 10 to July 31 in 2020. A total of 261 international students participated in the survey, using an online questionnaire. Data were analyzed by independent t-test, one-way ANOVA, Pearson correlation coefficients, and multiple regression analysis. Preventive practice during the COVID-19 pandemic was affected by duration of stay in Korea (β = −0.21, p < 0.001), attitudes (β = 0.22, p = 0.001), and trust in Korea’s quarantine system (β = 0.33, p < 0.001). This study showed that attitudes and trust in the quarantine system could affect personal preventive practice during the outbreak of a highly contagious disease such as COVID-19. Full article
Article
Food Insecurity Is Associated with Depression among a Vulnerable Workforce: Early Care and Education Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 170; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18010170 - 29 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 887
Abstract
Objective: We aimed to explore the association between food insecurity and depression among early care and education (ECE) workers, a vulnerable population often working in precarious conditions. Design: We utilized cross-sectional data from a study exploring the effects of wage on ECE centers. [...] Read more.
Objective: We aimed to explore the association between food insecurity and depression among early care and education (ECE) workers, a vulnerable population often working in precarious conditions. Design: We utilized cross-sectional data from a study exploring the effects of wage on ECE centers. Participants were enrolled between August 2017 and December 2018. Food insecurity was measured using the validated six-item U.S. Household Food Security Survey Module and participants were categorized as food secure (score = 0–1), low food security (score = 2–4), and very low food security (score = 5–6). Depression (defined as a score ≥ 16) was measured using the 20-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale-Revised. We employed a logistic regression model to examine the relationship between food insecurity and depression. All models controlled for marital status, nativity, race/ethnicity, number of children in the household, job title, weekly hours of work, education, income, and study site. Setting: Participants were from Seattle (40%) and South King County (26%), Washington, and Austin, Texas (34%). Participants: Participants included 313 ECE workers from 49 ECE centers. Results: A majority of participants were female, non-Hispanic White, born in the U.S., and did not have children. Compared to being food secure, very low and low food insecurities were associated with a 4.95 (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.29, 10.67) and 2.69 (95% CI: 1.29, 5.63) higher odds of depression, respectively. Conclusions: Policies and center-level interventions that address both food insecurity and depression may be warranted, in order to protect and improve the health of this valuable, yet vulnerable, segment of the U.S. workforce. Full article
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Article
The Association between Metabolic Syndrome and Related Factors among the Community-Dwelling Indigenous Population in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8958; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17238958 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 667
Abstract
The aim of this study was to conduct a community-based study with a view to construct a detailed analysis about metabolic syndrome and the related risk factors of the indigenous population. This was an observational, population-based and cross-sectional study that was conducted in [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to conduct a community-based study with a view to construct a detailed analysis about metabolic syndrome and the related risk factors of the indigenous population. This was an observational, population-based and cross-sectional study that was conducted in remote villages of an indigenous community in northern Taiwan between 2010 and 2013. A total of 586 participants, 275 men and 311 women, were eligible for analysis. The participants underwent a questionnaire survey that included demographic and health behavior issues. An anthropometric assessment and measurements of blood pressure were carried out including serum biochemical variables. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) was defined by following the criteria provided by the modified Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) criteria of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP). Univariate and multiple logistic regressions were used to identify the risk factors for metabolic syndrome. The standardized prevalence rates of substance use (cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking and betel nut chewing) were significantly higher than the general population regardless of whether it was northern, central or southern Taiwan and this was especially the case with betel nut chewing in women. The prevalence rate of metabolic syndrome was 42.9% in the indigenous population with 41.3% in men and 44.4% in women, which was higher than for urban Taiwanese. In the multiple logistic regression models, we found that the significant associated factors for metabolic syndrome were older age, lower education level, high levels of uric acid, alanine transaminase (ALT), gamma-glutamyl transferase (γ-GT) and creatinine. A higher prevalence rate of metabolic syndrome and substance use were observed in the indigenous population compared with urban Taiwanese, especially in women. Full article
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Article
The Association between Insulin Resistance and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: A Community-Based Cross-Sectional Study among Taiwanese People Aged over 50 Years
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7195; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17197195 - 01 Oct 2020
Viewed by 645
Abstract
Background and Aims: Previous studies have implied that insulin resistance (IR) could represent a major underlying abnormality leading to cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationships between IR (estimated by the homeostasis model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR) [...] Read more.
Background and Aims: Previous studies have implied that insulin resistance (IR) could represent a major underlying abnormality leading to cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationships between IR (estimated by the homeostasis model assessment of IR (HOMA-IR) index) and CVD risk among middle-aged and elderly Taiwanese individuals. Methods: In this cross-sectional, community-based study, a total of 320 participants were interviewed to collect demographical parameters and blood samples. The recruited participants were divided into tertiles according to their levels of HOMA-IR. The Framingham risk score (FRS) was calculated according to the 2008 general CVD risk model from the Framingham Heart Study. Results: The HOMA-IR index was significantly correlated with the FRS, with a Pearson’s coefficient of 0.22. In the multiple logistic regression model, a higher HOMA-IR level was significantly associated with a high FRS (FRS ≥ 20%) (highest tertile vs. lowest tertile of HOMA-IR, crude OR = 3.69; 95% CI = 1.79–7.62), even after adjusting for smoking, fasting plasma glucose (FPG), and systolic blood pressure (SBP) (highest tertile vs. lowest tertile of HOMA-IR, adjusted OR = 11.51; 95% CI = 2.55–51.94). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the HOMA-IR index as the predictor of high FRS was 0.627, and the optimal HOMA-IR cutoff value was 1.215 (sensitivity = 83.6%, specificity = 42.9%). Conclusions: We considered that HOMA-IR is an independent factor but that it cannot be used solely for evaluating the CVD risk due to the low AUC value. Further prospective cohort studies are warranted to better assess the relationship between CVD risk and insulin resistance. Full article
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Article
High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein Elevation Is Independently Associated with Subclinical Renal Impairment in the Middle-Aged and Elderly Population—A Community-Based Study in Northern Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5878; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17165878 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 705
Abstract
This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the associations between high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and renal impairment (RI) among middle-aged and elderly people. We collected and analyzed demographic, anthropometric, metabolic, and renal function data in a community-based population in Northern Taiwan. We excluded subjects [...] Read more.
This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the associations between high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and renal impairment (RI) among middle-aged and elderly people. We collected and analyzed demographic, anthropometric, metabolic, and renal function data in a community-based population in Northern Taiwan. We excluded subjects with acute inflammation from this study and defined RI as the presence of urinary albumin–creatinine ratio 30–300 mg/g or an estimated glomerular filtration rate of <60 mL/min/1.73 m2. There were 131, 125, and 125 participants in the low (≤0.80 mg/L), middle (0.81–1.76 mg/L), and high (>1.77 mg/L) hs-CRP tertiles, respectively. hs-CRP exhibited significantly positive correlations with body mass index, waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, triglyceride, and fasting plasma glucose, and a negative correlation with high-density lipoprotein. The prevalence and odds ratio of RI significantly increased across hs-CRP tertiles from low to high, and this trend remained significant after adjusting for the conventional cardiometabolic risk factors. hs-CRP ≥ 1.61 mg/L in the total group and ≥2.03 mg/L in the elderly group accurately predicted RI (p = 0.01 and 0.03, respectively). These findings suggest that we should carefully evaluate the renal function for at-risk individuals with hs-CRP elevation. Full article
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Review

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Review
Neurophysiological Approach by Self-Control of Your Stress-Related Autonomic Nervous System with Depression, Stress and Anxiety Patients
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3329; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18073329 - 24 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1038
Abstract
Background: Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback (HRVB) is a treatment in which patients learn self-regulation of a physiological dysregulated vagal nerve function. While the therapeutic approach of HRVB is promising for a variety of disorders, it has not yet been regularly offered in a [...] Read more.
Background: Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback (HRVB) is a treatment in which patients learn self-regulation of a physiological dysregulated vagal nerve function. While the therapeutic approach of HRVB is promising for a variety of disorders, it has not yet been regularly offered in a mental health treatment setting. Aim: To provide a systematic review about the efficacy of HRV-Biofeedback in treatment of anxiety, depression, and stress related disorders. Method: Systematic review in PubMed and Web of Science in 2020 with terms HRV, biofeedback, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, panic disorder, and anxiety disorder. Selection, critical appraisal, and description of the Random Controlled Trials (RCT) studies. Combined with recent meta-analyses. Results: The search resulted in a total of 881 studies. After critical appraisal, nine RCTs have been selected as well as two other relevant studies. The RCTs with control groups treatment as usual, muscle relaxation training and a “placebo“-biofeedback instrument revealed significant clinical efficacy and better results compared with control conditions, mostly significant. In the depression studies average reduction at the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scale was 64% (HRVB plus Treatment as Usual (TAU) versus 25% (control group with TAU) and 30% reduction (HRVB) at the PSQ scale versus 7% (control group with TAU). In the PTSD studies average reduction at the BDI-scale was 53% (HRV plus TAU) versus 24% (control group with TAU) and 22% (HRVB) versus 10% (TAU) with the PTSD Checklist (PCL). In other systematic reviews significant effects have been shown for HRV-Biofeedback in treatment of asthma, coronary artery disease, sleeping disorders, postpartum depression and stress and anxiety. Conclusion: This systematic review shows significant improvement of the non-invasive HRVB training in stress related disorders like PTSD, depression, and panic disorder, in particular when combined with cognitive behavioral therapy or different TAU. Effects were visible after four weeks of training, but clinical practice in a longer daily self-treatment of eight weeks is more promising. More research to integrate HRVB in treatment of stress related disorders in psychiatry is warranted, as well as research focused on the neurophysiological mechanisms. Full article
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Review
Research Trends on Mobile Mental Health Application for General Population: A Scoping Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2459; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18052459 - 02 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 923
Abstract
Background: Scoping reviews of the literature on the development and application of mental health apps based on theoretical suggestions are lacking. This study systematically examines studies on the effects and results of mental health mobile apps for the general adult population. Methods: Following [...] Read more.
Background: Scoping reviews of the literature on the development and application of mental health apps based on theoretical suggestions are lacking. This study systematically examines studies on the effects and results of mental health mobile apps for the general adult population. Methods: Following PICOs (population, intervention, comparison, outcome, study design), a general form of scoping review was adopted. From January 2010 to December 2019, we selected the effects of mental health-related apps and intervention programs provided by mobile to the general adult population over the age of 18. Additionally, evaluation of methodological quality was assessed using the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) checklist. Results: Fourteen studies were analyzed of 1205 that were identified; duplicate and matching studies were excluded. One was a descriptive study and 13 were experimental, of which randomized control trials (RCTs) accounted for 71.4%. Four of the mobile apps were developed based on cognitive behavior theory, one based on stress theory, and one on ecological instant intervention theory. These apps included breathing training, meditation, and music therapy. Stress, depression, and anxiety decreased using these apps, and some were effective for well-being. Conclusion: With the rapid development of technology related to mental health, many mobile apps are developed, but apps based on theoretical knowledge and well-designed research are lacking. Further research and practices should be conducted to develop, test, and disseminate evidence-based mHealth for mental health promotion. RCT studies are needed to expand the application to mental health services to various populations. Full article
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