International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

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ISSN / EISSN : 1661-7827 / 1660-4601
Published by: MDPI AG (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 31,342
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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18158155

Parents, health professionals, and communities are integral in the development of nutrition behaviors that reduce children’s risk for high body mass index (BMI) and chronic disease. The aim of this study was to conduct formative evaluations with key health informants and parents to understand the specific strategies that families use at mealtimes to promote their family’s health, along with the barriers they face in attending current nutrition education programming. Focus groups (in English and Spanish) were conducted with parents (n = 22; 63.64% Black/African American, 13.64% Black but not African American, 18.18% Hispanic/Latinx) whose household was located in a community where 50% of residents’ gross income was ≤185% of the federal poverty level. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six key informants with expertise in family health and nutrition. Inductive thematic analysis was used to identify themes across interviews. Six general themes emerged from the interviews including perceptions of health, relationships, health behaviors, facilitators, barriers, and desired changes. Across the six themes, participants responded with suggestions for community-based health promotion programs such as incorporating a broader definition of health to better address the individual and systemic barriers that perpetuate health inequities and make healthy eating difficult. Participants identified stress reduction, health literacy, and cooking knowledge as areas of interest for future programming.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18158158

Flourishing, an indicator which reflects one’s emotional status and ability to function, is an important antecedent for adolescents’ later psychological and physical development. This study aimed to shift the research focus on rural adolescents from a deficit-based orientation to a strength-based orientation by integrating the effects of individual and social factors. Altogether, 995 Chinese rural adolescents (569 boys and 426 girls, Mage = 12.56 years) completed a self-report questionnaire which included the Ego Identity Scale, Intrinsic Motivation Scale, Social Capital Scale and Flourishing Scale. The results indicate that: (1) ego identity exploration has a positive effect on rural adolescents’ flourishing; (2) intrinsic motivation has an indirect effect on the relationship between ego identity exploration and flourishing; and (3) social capital may moderate the indirect effect by attenuating the relationship between ego identity exploration and intrinsic motivation. The findings highlight the importance of constructing a more comprehensive framework by integrating individual and social perspectives to understand and foster the flourishing of rural adolescents. Meanwhile, it is necessary to incorporate the strengths of family, school and social organizations in order to enhance rural adolescents’ flourishing.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18158150

Allergies are among the most common chronic diseases in Europe. The most serious complication is anaphylactic shock. Most cases occur outside the hospital; thus, knowledge of symptoms and first aid is crucial. This study aimed to evaluate the awareness of anaphylaxis and the ability to use adrenaline auto-injectors among medical students, and to determine an improvement after training based on non-formal education. The research was conducted among 364 medicine students (years 1–5) from the Medical University of Gdańsk, with year-specific curriculum-based general medical knowledge. Training consisted of pre-test, practical training and post-test. Descriptive statistics were used to reveal the characteristics of students from different grades. A Mann–Whitney U test was used for statistical analysis. The tested students did not have sufficient knowledge to provide first aid in cases of anaphylaxis before training. There was an increase in knowledge (on average, 28.6%, p = 0.005) after training. Almost all (99.4%) of the respondents believed that they would be able to use an adrenaline auto-injector in case of emergency after the training. The training based on non-formal education was effective. The use of the subject-performed task method helped students to remember the stages of action in stressful situations.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18158151

Many athletes living with and beyond cancer can continue to train and, in some cases, compete during treatment. Following cancer treatment, athletes can return to competitive sport but need to learn to adapt their physical strength and training to the lingering effects of cancer. It is critical for oncology healthcare providers to use the principles of assess, refer and advise to exercise oncology programs that are appropriate for the individual. Managing side effects of treatment is key to being able to train during and immediately following cancer treatment. Keen attention to fatigue is important at any point in the cancer spectrum to avoid overtraining and optimize the effects of training. Resources are introduced for providers to reference and direct patients to information for psychosocial support and instruction. The purpose of this paper is to present exercise considerations during and after cancer treatment for athletic cancer survivors.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18158148

The new coronavirus has been affecting health worldwide and essential service workers are continually exposed to this infectious agent, increasing the chance of infection and the development of the disease. Thus, this study aimed to estimate the frequency of infection and seroprevalence for SARS-CoV-2 in military firefighters in a city in Northeastern Brazil in January 2021. An observational cross-sectional study was carried out with 123 firefighters who answered a brief questionnaire to collect socio-epidemiological data and underwent RT-PCR and immunofluorescence test (IgM and IgG). The results found reveal a positive seroprevalence, with a high rate of infection in this class of workers, since they are essential service professionals who are exposed to risk due to their working hours, in addition to sharing some spaces and work materials. Besides, there were significant associations between positivity for IgG and IgM, as well as for positive RT-PCR prior to the study and the presence of IgG, with odd ratios of 3.04 and 4.9, respectively. These findings reinforce the need for immunization in this category, whose line of service hinders the adoption of distancing measures, since in many situations physical contact is inevitable.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18158154

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship between hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) via the national health insurance research database (NHIRD) of Taiwan. All patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes (n = 47,353) in the NHIRD (2000–2012) were enrolled in the study. The case group consists of participants with diabetic ophthalmic complications; 1:1 matching by age (±1 year old), sex, and diagnosis year of diabetes was used to provide an index date for the control group that corresponded to the case group (n = 5550). Chi-square test for categorical variables and Student’s t-test for continuous variables were used. Conditional logistic regression was performed to estimate the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of DR. The total number of HCQ user was 99 patients (1.8%) in the case group and 93 patients (1.7%) in the control group. Patients with hypertension (aOR = 1.21, 95% CI = 1.11–1.31) and hyperlipidemia (aOR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.52–1.79) significantly increased the risk of diabetic ophthalmic complications (p< 0.001). Conversely, the use of HCQ and the presence of rheumatoid diseases did not show any significance in increased risk of DR. HCQ prescription can improve systemic glycemic profile, but it does not decrease the risk of diabetic ophthalmic complications.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18158149

The suicide rate in the police force (Fuerzas y Cuerpos de Seguridad-FFCCSS) is estimated to be greater than that of the general population. The objectives of this paper are to detect mental health problems, in particular depression and anxiety, and to analyze the moderating effect of coping strategies on the relation between mental health and suicide ideation in police officers. The Suicidal Behavior Questionnaire (SBQ-R), Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI), the Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and the Brief Cope have all been used in the study. The sample consists of 98 Spanish police officers, of whom 91.8% were male. The results indicate that depression and anxiety can predict suicidal ideation. Nevertheless, it must be said that coping strategies do not have a moderating effect in the relation between mental health and suicidal ideation in this professional group.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18158153

Statistical analysis in infectious diseases is becoming more important, especially in prevention policy development. To achieve that, the epidemiology, a study of the relationship between the occurrence and who/when/where, is needed. In this paper, we develop the string grammar non-Euclidean relational fuzzy C-means (sgNERF-CM) algorithm to determine a relationship inside the data from the age, career, and month viewpoint for all provinces in Thailand for the dengue fever, influenza, and Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. The Dunn’s index is used to select the best models because of its ability to identify the compact and well-separated clusters. We compare the results of the sgNERF-CM algorithm with the string grammar relational hard C-means (sgRHCM) algorithm. In addition, their numerical counterparts, i.e., relational hard C-means (RHCM) and non-Euclidean relational fuzzy C-means (NERF-CM) algorithms are also applied in the comparison. We found that the sgNERF-CM algorithm is far better than the numerical counterparts and better than the sgRHCM algorithm in most cases. From the results, we found that the month-based dataset does not help in relationship-finding since the diseases tend to happen all year round. People from different age ranges in different regions in Thailand have different numbers of dengue fever infections. The occupations that have a higher chance to have dengue fever are student and teacher groups from the central, north-east, north, and south regions. Additionally, students in all regions, except the central region, have a high risk of dengue infection. For the influenza dataset, we found that a group of people with the age of more than 1 year to 64 years old has higher number of influenza infections in every province. Most occupations in all regions have a higher risk of infecting the influenza. For the HBV dataset, people in all regions with an age between 10 to 65 years old have a high risk in infecting the disease. In addition, only farmer and general contractor groups in all regions have high chance of infecting HBV as well.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18158156

Worldwide, previous studies have expressed concerns regarding the broad psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic among college students as they are considered an especially vulnerable group. However, few studies have examined the prevalence of, risk of, and protective factors associated with fear of COVID-19 among college students in Europe. We have sought to address gaps in the literature by conducting a cross-sectional survey among 517 college students (79.1% women and 20.9% men) from a public university in the southeast of Spain. Participants were asked to complete the Fear of COVID-19 scale (FCV-19S) questionnaire and answer questions related to resilience, social support, anxiety, and suicide risk levels using validated scales. The results of the analysis of the variables associated with fear of COVID-19 suggest that, in addition to gender, the factor of anxiety shows a robust positive association and effect with COVID-19 fear (p< 0.001). According to our results, university institutions must adopt support mechanisms to alleviate psychological impacts on students during this pandemic, treating it similarly to other disasters. Implications for social work to reduce COVID-19 fear are also discussed.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18158157

Filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) with anti-odor properties are used to reduce odor nuisance occurring both in everyday life and at workplaces. Unfortunately, there are no standardized methods to measure the efficiency of odor reduction of such personal protective devices. This paper aims to determine whether olfactometric-based methods, commonly used in environmental studies, can be employed for this purpose. The proposed procedure is based on the detection of n-butanol by study participants, and it consists of three subsequent stages: (i) defining the individual levels of odor sensitivity of each study participant; (ii) determining THE odor detection level while using FFRs with varying anti-odor properties; and (iii) completing a questionnaire concerning the subjective perceptions of study participants. As a measure of odor reduction efficiency, a coefficient W, defined as a quotient of the degree of odor reduction by the FFR, and the individual odor sensitivity of the subject, was proposed. The experimental results showed the ability of our measure to differentiate the effectiveness of odor reduction of tested FFRs. This indicates that it can be potentially employed as the assessment tool to confirm the effectiveness of such respiratory protective devices as a control measure mitigating the adverse effects of malodors on workers’ health, cognition, and behavior.
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