Special Issue "Advances in Population-Based Healthcare Research: From Measures to Evidence"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Care Sciences & Services".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Pietro Ferrara
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center for Public Health Research, University of Milan-Bicocca, Via Pergolesi 33, 20900 Monza, Italy
Interests: epidemiology; public health; population-based healthcare; health policy; preventive medicine
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Luciana Albano
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, 5, Via Luciano Armanni, 80138 Naples, Italy
Interests: public health; epidemiology; health systems; health policy; preventive medicine
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are arranging a Special Issue on “Advances in Population-Based Healthcare Research: From Measures to Evidence” in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IF 2.849). 

Although a universal consensus on the definition of “Population Health” is far from being reached, it is commonly designated as the distribution health outcomes among groups of individuals. On a broader point of view, this definition focuses on measurement, highlighting the importance of measures of health outcomes as actionable metrics that lead to community health improvement. Indeed, research on population health includes specific topics that concern health and health outcomes, which may serve as relevant health policy intervention.

By focusing more on groups rather than on individual patients, population health aims to promote improvements to the quality of healthcare supply through evidence-based decisions, the correction of social and economic determinants of health, and health expenditure revision.

Thus, we would like to invite you to contribute to this Special Issue with qualitative or quantitative research that explores particular topics of population health, aiming to promote a discussion on:

  • Health determinants;
  • Health factors;
  • Health outcomes;
  • Health measures and data;
  • Health service research;
  • Healthcare management;
  • Policies and programs;
  • Value-based healthcare.

Dr. Pietro Ferrara
Dr. Luciana Albano
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 outcomes
  • Health policies
  • Health service research
  • Healthcare management
  • Population health
  • Public health
  • Determinants of health

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Access to Healthcare Following Serious Injury: Perspectives of Allied Health Professionals in Urban and Regional Settings
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1230; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18031230 - 29 Jan 2021
Viewed by 974
Abstract
Barriers to accessing healthcare exist following serious injury. These issues are not well understood and may have dire consequences for healthcare utilisation and patients’ long-term recovery. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore factors perceived by allied health professionals to affect [...] Read more.
Barriers to accessing healthcare exist following serious injury. These issues are not well understood and may have dire consequences for healthcare utilisation and patients’ long-term recovery. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore factors perceived by allied health professionals to affect access to healthcare beyond hospital discharge for people with serious injuries in urban and regional Victoria, Australia. Twenty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted with community-based allied health professionals involved in post-discharge care for people following serious injury across different urban and regional areas. Interview transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. Many allied health professionals perceived that complex funding systems and health services restrict access in both urban and regional areas. Limited availability of necessary health professionals was consistently reported, which particularly restricted access to mental healthcare. Access to healthcare was also felt to be hindered by a reliance on others for transportation, costs, emotional stress and often lengthy time of travel. Across urban and regional areas, a number of factors limit access to healthcare. Better understanding of health service delivery models and areas for change, including the use of technology and telehealth, may improve equitable access to healthcare. Full article
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Article
LACE Score-Based Risk Management Tool for Long-Term Home Care Patients: A Proof-of-Concept Study in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1135; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18031135 - 28 Jan 2021
Viewed by 752
Abstract
Background: Effectively predicting and reducing readmission in long-term home care (LTHC) is challenging. We proposed, validated, and evaluated a risk management tool that stratifies LTHC patients by LACE predictive score for readmission risk, which can further help home care providers intervene with individualized [...] Read more.
Background: Effectively predicting and reducing readmission in long-term home care (LTHC) is challenging. We proposed, validated, and evaluated a risk management tool that stratifies LTHC patients by LACE predictive score for readmission risk, which can further help home care providers intervene with individualized preventive plans. Method: A before-and-after study was conducted by a LTHC unit in Taiwan. Patients with acute hospitalization within 30 days after discharge in the unit were enrolled as two cohorts (Pre-Implement cohort in 2017 and Post-Implement cohort in 2019). LACE score performance was evaluated by calibration and discrimination (AUC, area under receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve). The clinical utility was evaluated by negative predictive value (NPV). Results: There were 48 patients with 87 acute hospitalizations in Pre-Implement cohort, and 132 patients with 179 hospitalizations in Post-Implement cohort. These LTHC patients were of older age, mostly intubated, and had more comorbidities. There was a significant reduction in readmission rate by 44.7% (readmission rate 25.3% vs. 14.0% in both cohorts). Although LACE score predictive model still has room for improvement (AUC = 0.598), it showed the potential as a useful screening tool (NPV, 87.9%; 95% C.I., 74.2–94.8). The reduction effect is more pronounced in infection-related readmission. Conclusion: As real-world evidence, LACE score-based risk management tool significantly reduced readmission by 44.7% in this LTHC unit. Larger scale studies involving multiple homecare units are needed to assess the generalizability of this study. Full article
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Article
A Bi-Objective Home Health Care Routing and Scheduling Model with Considering Nurse Downgrading Costs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 900; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18030900 - 21 Jan 2021
Viewed by 980
Abstract
In recent years, the management of health systems is a main concern of governments and decision-makers. Home health care is one of the newest methods of providing services to patients in developed societies that can respond to the individual lifestyle of the modern [...] Read more.
In recent years, the management of health systems is a main concern of governments and decision-makers. Home health care is one of the newest methods of providing services to patients in developed societies that can respond to the individual lifestyle of the modern age and the increase of life expectancy. The home health care routing and scheduling problem is a generalized version of the vehicle routing problem, which is extended to a complex problem by adding special features and constraints of health care problems. In this problem, there are multiple stakeholders, such as nurses, for which an increase in their satisfaction level is very important. In this study, a mathematical model is developed to expand traditional home health care routing and scheduling models to downgrading cost aspects by adding the objective of minimizing the difference between the actual and potential skills of the nurses. Downgrading can lead to nurse dissatisfaction. In addition, skillful nurses have higher salaries, and high-level services increase equipment costs and need more expensive training and nursing certificates. Therefore, downgrading can enforce huge hidden costs to the managers of a company. To solve the bi-objective model, an ε-constraint-based approach is suggested, and the model applicability and its ability to solve the problem in various sizes are discussed. A sensitivity analysis on the Epsilon parameter is conducted to analyze the effect of this parameter on the problem. Finally, some managerial insights are presented to help the managers in this field, and some directions for future studies are mentioned as well. Full article
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Article
The Association of Post-Materialism with Health Care Use. Findings of a General Population Survey in Germany
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8869; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17238869 - 28 Nov 2020
Viewed by 581
Abstract
(1) The aim of this study was to identify the association between post-materialism and health care use (in terms of the frequency of doctor visits and the reason for doctor visits). (2) Data were taken from the German General Social Survey (a representative [...] Read more.
(1) The aim of this study was to identify the association between post-materialism and health care use (in terms of the frequency of doctor visits and the reason for doctor visits). (2) Data were taken from the German General Social Survey (a representative sample of individuals aged 18 years and over, n = 3338). The Inglehart’s post-materialist index was used to quantify post-materialism. The doctor visits (self-reported) in the past three months served as an outcome measure. The reasons for seeing a doctor served as an additional outcome measure (acute illness; chronic illness; feeling unwell; requesting advice; visit to the doctor’s office without consulting the doctor (e.g., need to get a prescription); preventive medical check-up/vaccination). (3) After adjusting for several covariates, negative binomial regressions revealed that compared with materialism, post-materialism was associated with decreased doctor visits (total sample; women). Moreover, the likelihood of visiting the doctor for reasons of chronic illnesses was lower in post-materialistic women, whereas the likelihood of visiting the doctor for reasons of preventive medical check-up/vaccination was higher in post-materialistic women. (4) Study findings identify an unexplored link between post-materialism and doctor visits in women. One may conclude that in the long-term, the increased likelihood of preventive medical check-ups in post-materialistic women will be beneficial in decreasing the need for doctor visits for reasons of chronic illnesses. However, future research is required to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. Full article
Article
Estimates of Cancer Mortality Attributable to Carcinogenic Infections in Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8723; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17238723 - 24 Nov 2020
Viewed by 687
Abstract
Several infectious agents are ascertained causes of cancer, but the burden of cancer mortality attributable to carcinogenic infections in Italy is still unknown. To tackle this issue, we calculated the rate and regional distribution of cancer deaths due to infections sustained by seven [...] Read more.
Several infectious agents are ascertained causes of cancer, but the burden of cancer mortality attributable to carcinogenic infections in Italy is still unknown. To tackle this issue, we calculated the rate and regional distribution of cancer deaths due to infections sustained by seven pathogens ranked as group 1 carcinogenic agents in humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Population attributable fractions related to these agents were applied to annual statistics of cancer deaths coded according to the 10th International Classification of Diseases. The estimated burden of cancer mortality attributable to carcinogenic infections in Italy during the period 2011–2015 was 8.7% of all cancer deaths registered yearly, on average. Approximately 60% of deaths occurred in men, and almost the whole burden was due to four infectious agents (Helicobacter pylori, hepatitis C virus, high-risk human papillomavirus, and hepatitis B virus). The analysis of regional distribution showed a higher number of infection-related cancer deaths in the northern regions, where the estimates reached 30 (Liguria) and 28 (Friuli Venezia Giulia) deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in 2015. Since one-twelfth of cancer deaths were attributable to these modifiable risk factors, the implementation of appropriate prevention and treatment interventions may help to reduce the impact of these infections on cancer mortality. Full article
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