International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

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ISSN / EISSN : 1661-7827 / 1660-4601
Current Publisher: MDPI (10.3390)
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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18084216

Abstract:
This paper explores technostress and its dimensions, assessing the relationship with possible negative effects in the individual, social and professional sphere. The study uses a self-reported approach of undergraduate students in Spain (n = 337), forced to follow their academic life by using technology comprehensively because of social distancing, as a public health action necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The analysis, based on the exploration of a system of archetypes of the use of social networks, presents insights into contemporary technostress management as a new approach that can suppose opportunities for the optimization of prevention plans. Pearson’s correlation coefficients and structural equation modeling based on partial least squares (SEM-PLS) were the methods used for achieving the goals. The results reveal valid and reliable measures where technostress has a high impact on the individual sphere of students and there is a significant relationship between the type of user and techno-anxiety. The conclusions point to the imperative for developing a deeper understanding of technostress by archetypes, in both a higher education context (as antecedent) and the world of work, in an irreversible move towards a digital economy.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18084220

Abstract:
Queensland’s B.strong brief intervention training program was a complex intervention developed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers to assist clients address multiple health risks of smoking, poor nutrition and physical inactivity. This study evaluates program effectiveness by applying the Kirkpatrick four-level evaluation model: (1) Reaction, participants’ satisfaction; (2) Learning, changes in participants’ knowledge, confidence, attitudes, skills and usual practice; (3) Behaviour, application of learning to practice; and (4) Results, outcomes resulting from training. A retrospective analysis was conducted on data for respondents completing pre-training, post-workshop and follow-up surveys. Changes in domains such as training participant knowledge, confidence, attitudes, and practices between survey times were assessed using paired-samples t-tests. From 2017–2019, B.strong trained 1150 health professionals, reaching targets for workshop and online training. Findings showed statistically significant improvements from baseline to follow-up in: participants’ knowledge, confidence, and some attitudes to conducting brief interventions in each domain of smoking cessation, nutrition and physical activity; and in the frequency of participants providing client brief interventions in each of the three domains. There was a statistically significant improvement in frequency of participants providing brief interventions for multiple health behaviours at the same time from pre-workshop to follow-up. Indigenous Queenslander telephone counselling referrals for smoking cessation increased during the program period. B.strong improved practitioners’ capacity to deliver brief interventions addressing multiple health risks with Indigenous clients.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18084213

Abstract:
Soil pollution from heavy metals, especially mercury, is an environmental problem for human health. Biological approaches offer interesting tools, which necessarily involve the selection of organisms capable of transforming the environment via bioremediation. To evaluate the potential use of microorganisms in phytorhizoremediation, bacterial strains were isolated from rhizospheric and bulk soil under conditions of chronic natural mercury, which were identified and characterized by studying the following: (i) their plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) activities; and (ii) their maximum bactericide concentration of mercury. Information regarding auxin production, phosphate solubilization, siderophore synthesis and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase (ACCd) capacity of the isolates was compiled in order to select the strains that fit potential biotechnological use. To achieve this objective, the present work proposes the Bio-Mercury Remediation Suitability Index (BMR-SI), which reflects the integral behavior of the strains for heavy metal polluted soil bioremediation. Only those strains that rigorously fulfilled all of the established criteria were selected for further assays.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18084218

Abstract:
Childhood stunting can have negative long-term consequences on cognitive development, academic achievement, and economic productivity later in life. We determined the prevalence of stunting and examined whether stunting and associated risk factors (low dietary diversity, insufficient hemoglobin, food insecurity, and soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections) are associated with academic achievement and cognitive function among South African children living in marginalized communities. A cross-sectional sample of 1277 children (aged 5–12 years) was analyzed. Stunting was defined according to 2007 WHO growth references. Cognitive functioning was measured with the computerized Flanker task and academic performance via school grades. Blood and stool samples were collected to obtain hemoglobin level and STH infection. Dietary diversity was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire. Associations were examined via mixed linear regression (with school class as a random intercept). Nine percent of the children were stunted (95% CI: 7.6–10.8%). Low dietary diversity (β = 0.13, p = 0.004), food insecurity (β = −0.12, p = 0.034), and stunting (β = −0.13, p = 0.031) were associated with poorer end of the year results among girls. No such associations were found among boys. No significant associations were found for socioeconomic status and hemoglobin levels. The prevalence of stunting and STH infections were low in the present sample. Risk factors seem differently associated with girls’ and boys’ academic achievement. Promoting nutrition may help to promote academic achievement among girls living in low- and middle-income countries.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18084212

Abstract:
Behavioral, nutritional, and local risk factors for oral health are frequent in people with anorexia nervosa. However no self-report questionnaire is available for screening in clinical practice or for research purposes. The objective of this study was to design a questionnaire to identify risk factors and symptoms of oral diseases and to test its reliability as a self-report form among people with anorexia nervosa. A 26-item questionnaire was designed based on a sound literature review performed by a group of dentists, psychiatrists, and epidemiologists specialized in the field of eating disorders. Sixty-nine anorexia nervosa inpatients (mean age 18.72 ± 5.1) were included from four specialized units. The questionnaire was first self-reported by the patients, then the same questionnaire was administrated by a dentist during a structured face-to-face interview as the gold standard. The concordance between the two forms was evaluated globally and item per item using Cohen’s kappa statistical tests. The overall concordance between the self-report questionnaire and the face-to-face structured interview was 55%. Of the 26 items, 19 showed significant concordance. Items relating to water intake, extracted teeth, gingival status, and oral hygiene had the best concordance (all kappa coefficients > 0.4). A questionnaire that identifies risk factors and symptoms of oral diseases in anorexia nervosa was developed and tested. The 26-item form of the questionnaire (long version) is moderately reliable as a self-reported form. A short version of the questionnaire, including the 10 most reliable items, is recommended for oral risk assessment in patients with anorexia nervosa. The clinical value of the self-administered questionnaire remains to be evaluated.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18084214

Abstract:
Cadmium is a hazardous heavy metal and causes contamination globally. Phytoremediation can potentially become a low-cost and eco-friendly technique for mitigating Cd contamination. Arabidopsis halleri ssp. gemmifera hyper-accumulates Cd and Zn, and may be used to remediate Cd-contaminated sites. However, few studies have focused on Cd accumulation by A. halleri ssp. gemmifera. Herein, we demonstrate the accumulation of Cd by A. halleri ssp. gemmifera. The biomass, Cd, and Zn concentration of the plant increased in the 103 days of experimentation. Cd concentration of soil significantly decreased compared to its initial concentration (≈10%). The material balance of Cd uptake by plant and Cd decrement from soil ranged from 63.3% to 83.7% in each growth stage. Analysis indicated that the water-eluted and exchangeable forms of Cd were stable during the experiment. However, Cd concentration extracted with 0.1 M HCl decreased (25% of initial), and this fraction was not bioavailable. The study exhibits the mass balance of Cd between plant uptake and decrement from the soil and the changes in the chemical form of Cd during stages of A. halleri ssp. gemmifera cultivation.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18084215

Abstract:
We read, with tremendous gratitude, Dr. Oleske and Dr. Bogden’s comment in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health titled, “Blood Lead Concentrations in Newark Children”
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18084219

Abstract:
Diagnosis of the cause of massive edema of the lower limbs in patients after spinal cord injury (SCI) can be difficult because of loss of pain sensation, commonly occurring in this group of patients. This paper reviews several different pathologies that can lead to lower-limb edema and the associated diagnostic difficulties. We present four cases of patients with massive edemas of lower limbs at different times after SCI undergoing treatment in the Department of Rehabilitation, University Hospital in Bydgoszcz, Poland. All patients had a lack of pain sensation in the lower limbs and significantly elevated levels of D-dimer. In two cases, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and intramuscular hematomas (IHs) were diagnosed. IHs were probably a consequence of antithrombotic treatments implemented due to the occurrence of DVT. Heterotopic ossification (HO) was diagnosed in a third case, and, in another patient, who was hospitalized for the longest period after injury, we found humeral bone fractures. Heterotopic ossification, intramuscular haematomas, and bone fractures of the lower limb can mimic DVT. Careful observation of the edema evolution is recommended, as the onset of new symptoms may indicate a different cause of edema from that initially established.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18084221

Abstract:
Introduction: The basic determinant of healthy behaviour—among other human behaviours—is the fact that it consistently affects health. Nowadays, health behaviour studies are considered to be an important method of measuring the health of a population. Objective: To assess the health behaviours and value-based health analysis of people aged 50+ who were hospitalized due to cardiovascular disease, depending on the selected descriptive variables. Materials and methods: The study was conducted between April 2018 and December 2018 among 411 subjects aged 50+ who were hospitalized due to cardiovascular disease at the Independent Public Health Care Unit in Sanok (Podkarpackie voivodship in Poland). The method used in the study was a diagnostic survey. The study used the authors’ survey questionnaire and two standardized tests: Inventory of Health-Related Behaviour (IHB) and List of Health Criteria (LHC). A statistical analysis was carried out in the R program, version 3.5.1. The obtained results were subjected to thorough statistical analysis using the following tests: Student’s t, Mann–Whitney U, ANOVA, Kruskal–Wallis, Fisher’s Least Significant Difference (LSD), Pearson, and Spearman. Results: The strongest correlation between health status and health behaviours (according to the IHB questionnaire) was in the area of ‘health practices’, while the lowest correlation was found in the areas of ‘correct eating habits’ and ‘preventive behaviours’. Based on the LHC questionnaire, the most important health criteria according to the subjects were ‘not feeling any physical ailments’; ‘having all body parts functional’; ‘feeling well’; ‘eating properly’; and ‘infrequent need of going to the doctor’. A positive correlation was found in the group of respondents where the ‘preventive health behaviours’ were more intense; herein, the more important criterion for the respondents was ‘eating properly’. Conclusions: Respondents aged 50+ and hospitalized for cardiovascular diseases indicated (based on the IHB questionnaire) that health behaviours in the area of ‘health practices’ had the strongest correlation with their health, while the lowest correlation was found in the areas of ‘correct eating habits’ and ‘preventive behaviours’. According to the respondents, the most important criteria determining health (according to the LHC questionnaire) included ’not feeling any physical ailments’; ‘having all body parts functional’; ‘feeling well’; ‘eating properly’; and ‘infrequent need of going to the doctor’. Based on the information collected from the respondents, it was found that the most important criteria determining health depended on selected descriptive variables, such as age, gender, place of residence, education, and marital status.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 18; doi:10.3390/ijerph18084217

Abstract:
Background: Tibial nonunion is a common bone union disorder leading to abnormal gait, and thus reducing quality of life in the social dimension. Research question: The aim of our work was to comprehensively assess gait parameters of patients who had undergone Ilizarov treatment for tibial nonunion compared to a control group of healthy individuals. Methods: This study evaluated patients treated for aseptic tibial nonunion with the Ilizarov method. 24 patients with a mean age of 55.0 years were included in the study. The control group consisted of 32 healthy volunteers with no significant medical history who were selected to match the gender and age of patients in the study group so that the groups were homogeneous. A Zebris Medical GmbH pedobarographic platform was used to assess the gait parameters. Results: For all gait parameters examined, force forefoot max, force backfoot max, step length, stance phase, swing phase and step time, we observed statistically significant differences between the group that had undergone treatment and the control group. In the group of patients, statistically significant differences between the operated lower limb and the non-operated limb were only observed for the force forefoot max and step time parameters (p = 0.029 and p = 0.045, respectively). Patients presented a longer loading of the operated limb (0.720 s) than the non-operated limb (0.635 s). For the stride time, step cadence and gait velocity parameters, healthy subjects achieved much better results during locomotion, and these differences were statistically significant at p < 0.001. Significance: Treatment of tibial nonunion with the Ilizarov method did not restore normal gait parameters in our group of patients. In fact, the gait parameters of patients were significantly worse than the healthy individuals in the control group. Furthermore, gait parameters following treatment were not symmetrical, and the dynamics of the musculoskeletal system remained impaired.
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