International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

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ISSN / EISSN : 1661-7827 / 1660-4601
Published by: MDPI (10.3390)
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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031167

Abstract:
A third version of the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ III) was developed internationally aiming to respond to new trends in working conditions, theoretical concepts, and international experience. This article aims to present the preliminary validation studies for the Portuguese middle version of COPSOQ III. This is an exploratory cross-sectional study viewing the cross-cultural adaption of COPSOQ III to Portugal, ensuring the contents and face validity and performing field-testing in order to reduce the number of items and to obtain insight into the data structure, through classic test theory and item response theory approaches. The qualitative study encompassed 29 participants and the quantitative one 659 participants from municipalities and healthcare settings. Content analysis suggested that minor re-wording could improve the face validity of items, while a reduced version, with 85 items, shows psychometric stability, achieving good internal consistency in all subscales. The COPSOQ III Portuguese middle version proved to be a valid preliminary version for future validation studies with various populations, able to be used in correlational studies with other dimensions.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031191

Abstract:
Background. Inadequate physical activity participation is a risk factor for secondary stroke. Before implementing appropriate management strategies, we need to accurately measure the physical activity of stroke survivors. We aimed to determine the duration of physical activity monitoring post-stroke that constitutes a valid day. Methods. We sampled stroke survivors’ physical activity for one week following discharge from inpatient rehabilitation using the Sensewear Armband (Bodymedia, Pittsburgh, PA, USA). To determine the impact of total daily wear time on activity estimate (sedentary, light, and moderate to vigorous physical activity) accuracy, we performed simulations, removing one, two, three, or four hours from a 14-h reference day, and analysed them with linear mixed models. Results. Sixty-nine participants (46 male, 65 ± 15 years) with 271 days of physical activity data were included. All physical activity variables were significantly underestimated for all data sets (10, 11, 12, or 13 h) compared to the 14-h reference data set. The number of days classified as not meeting physical activity recommendations increased as daily monitoring duration decreased: 13% misclassification with 10-h compared to 14-h dataset (p = 0.011). Conclusions. The accuracy of physical activity estimates increases with longer daily monitoring periods following stroke, and researchers should aim to monitor post-stroke physical activity for 14 daytime hours.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031200

Abstract:
Several studies have confirmed the efficacy of flywheel training, mainly in the bilateral half-squat exercise. The aim of the present study was to analyze the effects of single-leg Romanian deadlift flywheel training on speed, jumping and change of direction performance. Seventeen young healthy males underwent two periods of 3-week training based on two weekly sessions of 3 sets × 7 repetitions or 4 sets × 7 repetitions of single-leg Romanian deadlifts (0.037 kg/m² moment inertia) with their dominant and non-dominant leg. After the first three weeks of the program, the CMJ, the 10 m, 30 m and total sprint times, as well as the COD-90 test, presented likely substantial beneficial effects and a small decrease in the relationship between the sprint and COD-90 test performance. After the second period of the three-week training, likely detrimental effects were observed in some of the change of direction conditions and an increase in the relationship between the sprint and the COD-180 performance. It could be hypothesized that most of the flywheel training effects reported in the traditional protocols lasting a minimum of 5–6 weeks would occur in the first weeks of training.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031185

Abstract:
American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) and Hispanic Americans (HA) have higher kidney cancer incidence and mortality rates compared to non-Hispanic Whites (NHW). Herein, we describe the disparity in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) surgical treatment for AI/AN and HA and the potential association with mortality in Arizona. A total of 5111 stage I RCC cases diagnosed between 2007 and 2016 from the Arizona Cancer Registry were included. Statistical analyses were performed to test the association of race/ethnicity with surgical treatment pattern and overall mortality, adjusting for patients’ demographic, healthcare access, and socioeconomic factors. AI/AN were diagnosed 6 years younger than NHW and were more likely to receive radical rather than partial nephrectomy (OR 1.49 95% CI: 1.07–2.07) compared to NHW. Mexican Americans had increased odds of not undergoing surgical treatment (OR 1.66, 95% CI: 1.08–2.53). Analysis showed that not undergoing surgical treatment and undergoing radical nephrectomy were statistically significantly associated with higher overall mortality (HR 1.82 95% CI: 1.21–2.76 and HR 1.59 95% CI: 1.30–1.95 respectively). Mexican Americans, particularly U.S.-born Mexican Americans, had an increased risk for overall mortality and RCC-specific mortality even after adjusting for neighborhood socioeconomic factors and surgical treatment patterns. Although statistically not significant after adjusting for neighborhood-level socioeconomic factors and surgical treatment patterns, AI/AN had an elevated risk of mortality.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031187

Abstract:
This path analysis of mothers of children with autism aimed to investigate the relationship between maternal burnout and the mother’s subjective reporting of difficulty in childcare, family function, and personality traits. A total of 410 mothers of children with autism (mean age 39.03, SD 7.42) completed four questionnaires: Parental Burnout Measure (PBM-12), International Personality Item Pool—Big Five Markers (IPIP-BFM-20), Flexibility and Cohesion Evaluation Scales (FACES-IV), and a survey on childcare difficulties. Path analysis using two predetermined models was used to examine the interrelations. Both models fit the empirical data equally with a Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) index of 0.000 and a 90% confidence interval (model 1: 0.000–0.052; model 2: 0.000–0.059). Path analysis revealed similar fit indexes for both models: (a) burnout is a mediator between exogenous variables and family functioning, and (b) family functioning is an indirect mediator between exogenous variables and burnout. These findings suggest that increased maternal emotional instability (neuroticism) and conscientiousness can lead to increased family communication problems, which may further lead to a breakdown of the equilibrium in the family system, resulting in the mother’s dissatisfaction with family life and a consequent increased risk of maternal burnout.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031196

Abstract:
Understanding the prevalence of signs of severity identified in the Thai population with malaria could aid clinical management and disease control efforts, decrease mortality, and promote malaria elimination in Thailand. This systematic review aimed to collate the evidence regarding signs of severity identified in the Thai population with malaria. MEDLINE, Web of Science, and Scopus were searched for potentially relevant studies. The quality of the included studies was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal tools. The pooled prevalence of signs of severity among patients with severe malaria and the pooled proportion of each sign of severity among all signs of severity were estimated using random-effects models. Heterogeneity among included studies was assessed using Cochran’s Q test. A subgroup analysis was performed to evaluate whether differences in pooled estimates between different study sites. Publication bias was assessed by visualizing funnel plot asymmetry and using Egger’s test. Among 741 studies identified by literature searching, 12 studies of a total of 2900 patients with severe malaria, in 7 Thai hospitals, met the eligibility criteria. Results of meta-analyses showed that the signs of the severity of malaria with the highest prevalence in Thailand were jaundice (54%), hyperparasitemia (47%), impaired consciousness/coma (21%), acidosis (18%), renal impairment (13%), shock (10%), convulsions (9%), severe anemia (8%), pulmonary edema/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) (8%), hypoglycemia (4%), and bleeding/disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) (2%). The signs of the severity of malaria that made up the highest proportion of all signs of severity identified in the Thai population with malaria were hyperparasitemia (33%), jaundice (33%), impaired consciousness/coma (12%), acidosis (9%), renal impairment (7%), severe anemia (6%), convulsions (5%), shock (5%), pulmonary edema/ARDS (3%), bleeding/DIC (1%), and hypoglycemia (1%). The present study revealed the prevalence of signs of severity identified in the Thai population with malaria. Jaundice, hyperparasitemia, and impaired consciousness/coma were the most common signs of severity identified. These results may inform the management of patients with severe malaria and promote malaria-elimination efforts in Thailand.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031208

Abstract:
The consumer awareness towards healthier diets and the impact of nutrition on health has triggered an increase in the production and commercialization of foods with health claims. The scientific literature classifies these food products as functional foods, with a role in promoting health and preventing diseases, and they had a market share of almost 200 million EUR in 2019. Prebiotics are considered functional foods, referring to substrates that are selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit, as defined by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics. Several health benefits are associated with the consumption of prebiotics; however, specific requirements must demonstrate the causality between the specific ingredient and the claimed effect. Health claims associated with food products are assessed in the European Union and need to be supported by rigorous scientific evidence before being authorized and permitted on the market. Consumers’ perception of this topic is influenced by the various stakeholders involved. The current work aimed to study the consumers’ perception and interest and to assess the knowledge on the prebiotic concept in Romania. The consumer interest level was quantified by using the web-based data tool Google Trends, and a questionnaire-based investigation was designed. The collected data were analyzed with the help of the SPSS program, and crosstabulation was used to identify the influence of socio-demographic characteristics on diet choice and awareness of prebiotics. A total of 303 persons answered the online applied questionnaire, grouped as young consumers (15–24 years old) and adults (25–64 years old). Even if most responders were familiar with the term of prebiotics (74% of total responders), some results were contradictory regarding their knowledge. The work emphasized the need to carry out educational campaigns and inform consumers on the relationship between certain food ingredients and health outcomes in a clear way and based on a rigorous assessment of the scientific evidence.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031175

Abstract:
Physical activity (PA) is a major health factor and studies suggest workplaces could promote PA by modifying office design, motivational strategies and technology. The present study aims to evaluate the efficiency of UP150, a multifactorial workplace intervention for the improvement and maintenance of the level of physical fitness (PF) and wellbeing. Forty-five employees were randomly divided into the experimental (EG) and control (CG) groups. The PF was assessed pre-post intervention using the cubo fitness test (CFT), the amount of PA was evaluated using the IPAQ questionnaire and accelerometers while the workload was assessed using the NASA-TLX questionnaire and psycho-physical health by using the SF-12 questionnaire. The EG worked in UP150 offices while the CG worked in their usual offices for 8 weeks. The EG and CG came back 4 weeks after the intervention for CFT retention. The EG improved CFT motor efficiency and the amount of moderate PA, while it reduced mental load. The EG retained reached motor efficiency levels 4 weeks after the intervention. No differences were found in IPAQ. The UP150 demonstrated to be a proactive environment and to be efficient in the promotion of PA, improving PF and mental health while decreasing mental load.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031188

Abstract:
Japan experienced natural hazards during the COVID-19 pandemic as some other countries did. Kumamoto and Kagoshima prefectures, including many other parts of southern Japan, experienced record-breaking heavy rain on 4th July 2020. While many countries were affected by compound hazards, some cases such as the Kumamoto flood did not cause a spike of the COVID-19 cases even after going through massive evacuation actions. This study aims to understand how COVID-19 made an impact on people’s response actions, learn the challenges and problems during the response and recovery phases, and identify any innovative actions and efforts to overcome various restrictions and challenges through a questionnaire survey and interviews with the affected people. With an increase in the risk of compound hazards, it has become important to take a new, innovative, and non-traditional approach. Proper understanding and application of adaptive governance can make it possible to come up with a solution that can work directly on the complex challenges during disasters. This study identified that a spike of COVID-19 cases after the disaster could be avoided due to various preventive measures taken at the evacuation centers. It shows that it is possible to manage compound hazard risks with effective preparedness. Furthermore, during emergencies, public-private-partnership as well as collaboration among private organizations and local business networks are extremely important. These collaborations generate a new approach, mechanism and platform to tackle unprecedented challenges.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031193

Abstract:
Background. Attitudes towards conventional and complementary medicine among future healthcare professionals can impact their future pharmacotherapy practice. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and predisposing factors related to self-medication among medical and pharmacy students. Methods. This cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was performed at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Novi Sad, Serbia, on first- and final-year students of medicine and pharmacy. The multivariate Poisson regression model with robust variance was used to identify the main predictors of self-medication. Results. The overall self-medication prevalence in the past year was 81.3%. Independent risk factors for self-medication identified in the regression analysis were the final study year, housing condition, i.e., living in a leased apartment or in a student dormitory in comparison to living with parents, and cigarette consumption. The conventional drugs were the most frequently used, mostly for the symptoms of cold and pain. Final-year students had more confidence in conventional medicines than in herbal drugs and were more aware of the risks of their concomitant use. Conclusion. Self-medication is highly prevalent among students of medical sciences, especially among final-year students. Increased medical knowledge led to the higher awareness of the drug interaction risks.
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