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Temporal evolution of SARS-CoV-2 cases and accumulated incidence, main events and strategies. Catalonia, May-December 2020. *Red events more related with the contact tracing program
Number and percentage of confirmed COVID-19 cases with identified close contacts (KPI1). Catalonia, May-December 2020. The total COVID-19 cases reported is indicated under brackets in the lower side of the figure
Number of close contacts per informed COVID-19 case (KPI2). Catalonia, May-December 2020. The monthly average number of contacts per informed COVID-19 case is incorporated inside the box
Flow chart elucidating the close contact verification process by tracers in Catalonia
Range of close contacts per informed COVID-19 case. Catalonia, May-December 2020
Article
Background Guidance on SARS-CoV-2 contact tracing indicators have been recently revised by international public health agencies. The aim of the study is to describe and analyse contact tracing indicators based on Catalonia’s (Spain) real data and proposing to update them according to recommendations. Methods Retrospective cohort analysis including Catalonia’s contact tracing dataset from 20 May until 31 December 2020. Descriptive statistics are performed including sociodemographic stratification by age, and differences are assessed over the study period. Results We analysed 923,072 contacts from 301,522 SARS-CoV-2 cases with identified contacts (67.1% contact tracing coverage). The average number of contacts per case was 4.6 (median 3, range 1–243). A total of 403,377 contacts accepted follow-up through three phone calls over a 14-day quarantine period (84.5% of contacts requiring follow-up). The percentage of new cases declared as contacts 14 days prior to diagnosis evolved from 33.9% in May to 57.9% in November. All indicators significantly improved towards the target over time ( p < 0.05 for all four indicators). Conclusions Catalonia’s SARS-CoV-2 contact tracing indicators improved over time despite challenging context. The critical revision of the indicator’s framework aims to provide essential information in control policies, new indicators proposed will improve system delay’s follow-up . The study provides information on COVID-19 indicators framework experience from country’s real data, allowing to improve monitoring tools in 2021–2022. With the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic being so harmful to health systems and globally, is important to analyse and share contact tracing data with the scientific community.
 
Countries included in the LiverScreen project
Study flowchart. LSM, liver stiffness measurement; ULN, upper limit of normal
Article
Background The development of liver cirrhosis is usually an asymptomatic process until late stages when complications occur. The potential reversibility of the disease is dependent on early diagnosis of liver fibrosis and timely targeted treatment. Recently, the use of non-invasive tools has been suggested for screening of liver fibrosis, especially in subjects with risk factors for chronic liver disease. Nevertheless, large population-based studies with cost-effectiveness analyses are still lacking to support the widespread use of such tools. The aim of this study is to investigate whether non-invasive liver stiffness measurement in the general population is useful to identify subjects with asymptomatic, advanced chronic liver disease. Methods This study aims to include 30,000 subjects from eight European countries. Subjects from the general population aged ≥ 40 years without known liver disease will be invited to participate in the study either through phone calls/letters or through their primary care center. In the first study visit, subjects will undergo bloodwork as well as hepatic fat quantification and liver stiffness measurement (LSM) by vibration-controlled transient elastography. If LSM is ≥ 8 kPa and/or if ALT levels are ≥1.5 x upper limit of normal, subjects will be referred to hospital for further evaluation and consideration of liver biopsy. The primary outcome is the percentage of subjects with LSM ≥ 8kPa. In addition, a health economic evaluation will be performed to assess the cost-effectiveness and budget impact of such an intervention. The project is funded by the European Commission H2020 program. Discussion This study comes at an especially important time, as the burden of chronic liver diseases is expected to increase in the coming years. There is consequently an urgent need to change our current approach, from diagnosing the disease late when the impact of interventions may be limited to diagnosing the disease earlier, when the patient is asymptomatic and free of complications, and the disease potentially reversible. Ultimately, the LiverScreen study will serve as a basis from which diagnostic pathways can be developed and adapted to the specific socio-economic and healthcare conditions in each country. Trial registration This study is registered on Clinicaltrials.gov ( NCT03789825 ).
 
Study profile among the mother-child pairs examined for eligibility in the EARTH cohort until May 1st, 2020. Percentages are calculated over the previous parent box. ART = antiretroviral treatment
Classification of infants into high or low risk of HIV vertical transmission according to the WHO algorithm and WHO modified algorithm. The additional question was added at the last step for mothers on ART ≥4 weeks before delivery with no VL test result (in red). The WHO algorithm is described in green as well as the final classification of high-risk infants. The additional risk factor included in the modified WHO algorithm is depicted in red as well as the final classification of high-risk infants. Percentages were calculated using as denominator the number of mothers from the preceding classification step. ART = Antiretroviral treatment; VL = Viral Load
Article
Background The World Health Organization (WHO) risk assessment algorithm for vertical transmission of HIV (VT) assumes the availability of maternal viral load (VL) result at delivery and early viral control 4 weeks after initiating antiretroviral treatment (ART). However, in many low-and-middle-income countries, VL is often unavailable and mothers’ ART adherence may be suboptimal. We evaluate the inclusion of the mothers’ self-reported adherence into the established WHO-algorithm to identify infants eligible for enhanced post-natal prophylaxis when mothers’ VL result is not available at delivery. Methods We used data from infants with perinatal HIV infection and their mothers enrolled from May-2018 to May-2020 in Mozambique, South Africa, and Mali. We retrospectively compared the performance of the WHO-algorithm with a modified algorithm which included mothers’ adherence as an additional factor. Infants were considered at high risk if born from mothers without a VL result in the 4 weeks before delivery and with adherence <90%. Results At delivery, 143/184(78%) women with HIV knew their status and were on ART. Only 17(12%) obtained a VL result within 4 weeks before delivery, and 13/17(76%) of them had VL ≥1000 copies/ml. From 126 women on ART without a recent VL result, 99(79%) had been on ART for over 4 weeks. 45/99(45%) women reported suboptimal (< 90%) adherence. A total of 81/184(44%) infants were classified as high risk of VT as per the WHO-algorithm. The modified algorithm including self-adherence disclosure identified 126/184(68%) high risk infants. Conclusions In the absence of a VL result, mothers’ self-reported adherence at delivery increases the number of identified infants eligible to receive enhanced post-natal prophylaxis.
 
Article
Background: Soil-transmitted helminths caused millions of morbidity of preschool age children in sub-Saharan Africa with low socio-economic status and lack of clean water and sanitation. In Ethiopia, nearly half of children are affected by intestinal parasites. Despite this prevalence, deworming medication utilization among preschool age children is low. Hence, this study aimed to assess the community and individual level determinants and spatial distributions of deworming among preschool age children in Ethiopia. Methods: Crossectional collected 2016 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey datasets with a total weighted 8146 children 12-59 months old were used for this study. The data were cleaned, extracted, and analyzed using STAT Version 16 software and exported to MS excel for spatial analysis. In addition, ArcGIS and SaTScan software were used to detect the geographic distribution of deworming utilization among preschool age children. Results: The magnitude of deworming among preschool age children in Ethiopia was 13.32% (95% CI: 12.60, 14.08) and ranges from the lowest 3.34% (95% CI: 1.01, 10.45) Afar region to the highest 28.66% (95% CI:24.95, 32.69) Tigray region. In multilevel multivariable logistics regression analysis; variables such as secondary and above women education [AOR = 1.89; 95%CI; 1.32, 2.73], women who have occupation [AOR = 1.47; 95%CI; 1.23, 1.76], child with 12-23 months old [AOR = 2.00; 95%CI; 1.62, 2.46], having ANC visit [AOR = 1.68; 95%CI; 1.35, 2.08], households that have media exposure [AOR = 1.50; 95%CI; 1.22, 1.85] were significantly associated with deworming among preschool age children. Afar, Eastern Amhara, Dire Dewa, Harari, Somalia, and Eastern SNNPE regions were cold spot regions with Global Moran's I value 0.268 (p < 0.0001) for deworming of preschool age children. Conclusions: The prevalence of deworming among preschool age children in Ethiopia is relatively low. Individual-level factors such as; maternal education and occupation, having ANC visit, child age, household media exposure, and community-level variables such as; community media usage had a significant association with deworming among preschool age children in Ethiopia. These findings highlight that, the Ministry of Health (MOH) Ethiopia should prepare a regular campaign for deworming programs for preschool age children. Mass media promotion of deworming should be strengthened. The Ministry of Education should work to strengthen women's education, household and community media exposure. Prior attention should be given to low deworming regions such as Afar, Somalia, Diredewa, and Harari regions.
 
Article
Background Rural and remote communities faced unique access challenges to essential services such as healthcare and highspeed infrastructure pre-COVID, which have been amplified by the pandemic. This study examined patterns of COVID-related challenges and the use of technology among rural-living individuals during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods A sample of 279 rural residents completed an online survey about the impact of COVID-related challenges and the role of technology use. Latent class analysis was used to generate subgroups reflecting the patterns of COVID-related challenges. Differences in group membership were examined based on age, gender, education, race/ethnicity, and living situation. Finally, thematic analysis of open-ended qualitative responses was conducted to further contextualize the challenges experienced by rural-living residents. Results Four distinct COVID challenge impact subgroups were identified: 1) Social challenges (35%), 2) Social and Health challenges (31%), 3) Social and Financial challenges (14%), and 4) Social, Health, Financial, and Daily Living challenges (19%). Older adults were more likely to be in the Social challenges or Social and Health challenges groups as compared to young adults who were more likely to be in the Social, Health, Financial, and Daily Living challenges group. Additionally, although participants were using technology more frequently during the COVID-19 pandemic to address challenges, they were also reporting issues with quality and connectivity as a significant barrier. Conclusions These analyses found four different patterns of impact related to social, health, financial, and daily living challenges in the context of COVID. Social needs were evident across the four groups; however, we also found nearly 1 in 5 rural-living individuals were impacted by an array of challenges. Access to reliable internet and devices has the potential to support individuals to manage these challenges.
 
Article
Background Time spent outdoors (outdoor time) has been suggested to be beneficial for physical activity (PA) and healthy development among preschool-aged children. The aim of this study was to quantify PA level and gross motor competency associated with light sensor-measured daily outdoor time in a representative sample of U.S. children aged 3 to 5 years. Methods The study sample included 301 participants (149 girls) aged 3 to 5 years from the 2012 U.S. National Health and Examination Survey National Youth Fitness Survey. ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometers with a built-in ambient light sensor were used to measure PA (expressed in monitor-independent movement summary [MIMS]) and outdoor time. The Test of Gross Motor Development-Second Edition (TGMD-2) was used to assess gross motor skills. Multivariable linear regression models were fit to predict daily and gross motor scores by daily outdoor time. Results Average daily outdoor time was 95 min (median of 84 min; interquartile range of 52 to 123 min). Means of daily outdoor time and daily MIMS were not significantly different between boys and girls. Among girls, every additional 10 min of daily outdoor time was associated with an additional 540 daily total MIMS (95% CI = 372, 708). Among boys, every additional 10 min of daily outdoor time was associated with an additional 296 daily total MIMS (95% CI = 131, 460). Every additional 10 min of daily outdoor time was associated with a 0.1-point (95% CI = 0.001, 0.130) higher object control standard score. Daily outdoor time was not associated with a locomotor standard score. Conclusions In a representative sample of U.S. preschool-aged children, daily outdoor time was positively associated with daily PA. The contribution of outdoor time to PA was greater among girls than boys, suggesting that providing outdoor opportunities is critical for promoting PA, particularly among girls.
 
Background characteristics of respondents
Awareness and screening profile for hypertension and diabetes
Hypertension and diabetes related risk and prevention practices
Article
Background: Behaviour change communication is a proven health communication strategy among used in promoting changes in knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours', especially for communicable diseases. Few studies have been conducted on its effectiveness for non-communicable diseases prevention and control. This study was conducted as an evaluation assessment for a non-communicable disease focused intervention implemented in Imo and Kaduna States, Nigeria. Methods: A twelve-month long strategic behaviour change communication intervention on hypertension and diabetes was implemented in selected communities across Imo and Kaduna States, Nigeria. This study adopted a quasi-experimental design approach among adult residents aged at least 35 years to assess the effectiveness of the intervention. Data was collected at baseline (prior to implementation of the interventions) and at the endline; among study and control groups. A uniform study tool was used to collect information on awareness & lifestyle related factors for Hypertension & Diabetes. Results: The awareness of hypertension was 98.9% among the respondents in the study group compared to 94.4% among the baseline respondents (χ2 = 20.276, p < 0.001). The history of blood pressure check was recorded among 86.8% of the study group compared to 79.0% of the baseline group (χ2 = 20.27, p < 0.001). In the last 6 months prior to the study, 71.9% of the study group compared to 30.6% of the baseline group (χ2 = 243.34, p = 0.002) had blood glucose check at least once. Daily alcohol consumers make up 36.8% of the baseline respondents, compared to 22.6% in the study group (χ2 = 33.84, p < 0.001) and 30.6% of those in the control group compared to the 22.6% of the study group (χ2 = 9.23, p = 0.002). The mean (± SD) knowledge score on hypertension and diabetes was 18.12 (± 8.36) among the study group compared to 11.84 (± 6.90) among the baseline group (t = 15.29, p < 0.001), and compared to 10.97 (± 8.79) among the control group (t = 13.08, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Significant changes in lifestyle practices, knowledge of hypertension and diabetes and risk perception was observed following the implementation of community-based behaviour change communication interventions. There is a need to increased access to health education and promotion interventions for non-communicable diseases.
 
Proportion of respondents agreeing that certain people need to eat more than others, pre and post intervention
Feasibility and acceptability
Article
Background In a setting such as Nepal with malnutrition and persistent poor maternal and infant health outcomes, developing interventions to improve the nutrition of preconception and pregnant women is essential. Objective The objectives of this paper are to describe the full design process of an intervention for newly married women, their husbands, and mothers-in-law to improve maternal nutrition and gender norms, and findings from the feasibility and acceptability pilot. Methods In this paper we describe the three phases of the design of an intervention in rural Nepal. We first conducted a mixed methods formative phase which included in depth interviews with newly married women, their husbands and mothers-in-law ( N =60) and a longitudinal study for 18 months with 200 newly married women. We then designed of a household level, group, intervention, in close partnership with community members. Finally, we conducted a pilot intervention with 90 participants and collected both pre/post survey data and in-depth qualitative interviews with a subset ( N = 30). All participants from all phases of the study lived in Nawalparasi district of Nepal. Qualitative data was analyzed using a thematic analysis, with inductive and deductive themes and quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results Our formative work highlighted lack of awareness about nutrition, and how women eating last, limited mobility, household and community inequitable gender norms and poor household-level communication contributed to low quality diets. Thus we designed Sumadhur, an intervention that brought groups of households (newly married wife, husband, and mother-in-law) together weekly for four months to strengthen relationships and gain knowledge through interactive content. We found Sumadhur to be highly feasible and acceptable by all respondents, with most (83%) attending 80% of sessions or more and 99% reporting that they would like it to continue. Pre/post surveys showed a decrease in the proportion of women eating last and increase in knowledge about nutrition in preconception and pregnancy. Qualitative interviews suggested that respondents felt it made large impacts on their lives, in terms of strengthening relationships and trust, understanding each other, and changing behaviors. Conclusions We show how a designing an intervention in close partnership with the target recipients and local stakeholders can lead to an intervention that is able to target complicated and culturally held practices and beliefs, positively benefit health and wellbeing, and that is very well received. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04383847 , registered 05/12/2020
 
Flow chart for sample size selection
Article
Background Stigmatization attitudes among youths toward people living with HIV (PLWH) is still an issue and concern in Indonesia. The purpose of this study was to determine the regional disparities, levels of HIV-related knowledge, information, and contributions related to stigmatization attitudes among females aged 15–24 years in Indonesia. Methods A cross-sectional study with The 2017 Indonesian Demographic Health Survey (IDHS) was used. A total of 12,691individual records of females aged 15–24 years were recruited through two-stage stratified cluster sampling. The endpoint was stigmatization attitude. Then, bivariate and multivariate binary logistics were performed. Results The findings showed that female youths who have no HIV-related knowledge (62.15%) and some source of information (52.39%). The highest prevalence of stigmatizing attitude was 59.82%, on Java Island. Multivariate analysis showed that females living in Sulawesi and Kalimantan; those living in a rural area; and those with more HIV-related knowledge were less likely to have a stigmatizing attitude. Conversely, females with the middle- to richest-wealth index and had some HIV-related information were more likely to have a stigmatizing attitude. Conclusion An understanding of stigmatizing attitudes should be considered through demographic factors, knowledge, and source of HIV-related information. The Indonesian government should pay more attention to indicators of HIV-related knowledge and information. Moreover, we suggest that the government collaborates with youths to disseminate information and restructure and reanalyze policies about HIV.
 
Article
Food insecurity is associated with increased risk of chronic disease and poor dietary intake. The United States charitable food system, a complex network of food banks, pantries and congregate meal sites, provides food for millions of low-income households each year. Food banks and pantries play a critical role in supporting food security and are an important contributor to dietary intake for its clients. In recent years, there has been an increased focus on sourcing and supplying more nutritious foods within the charitable food system. Despite this, there is a lack of alignment in how the charitable food system defines and tracks the nutritional quality of food. In 2019, Healthy Eating Research convened a panel of nutrition, charitable food system and food policy experts to create a set of evidence-based nutrition standards. Standards were developed based on a review of the literature and existing nutrition ranking systems, while also considering the operational needs and capacity of the charitable food system. The panel provided recommendations for eleven distinct food categories: fruits and vegetables, grains, protein, dairy, non-dairy alternatives, beverages, mixed dishes, processed and packaged snacks, desserts, condiments and cooking staples, and other miscellaneous items. Products are ranked into three tiers, choose often (green), choose sometimes (yellow) or choose rarely (red), based on designated saturated fat, sodium, and added sugar thresholds. This paper outlines the expert panel’s approach and summarizes the barriers and opportunities for implementing these standards across the charitable food system.
 
Participative Process Improvement Model for District and Provicincial Teams [21]. This figure depicts the annual PPI cycle, starting with an initial workshop consisting of the 'system in the room' at the top, where problems are identified and a situational assessment is conducted. Participants include representatives from national and provincial malaria and health leadership, district workers from cadres involved in delivering malaria activities and community representatives including local politicians, traditional healers etc. that should receive them. A prioritized list of problems are then transformed into a work plan with associated metrics by a self-selected multidisciplinary Task Team of 8-10 people. The Task Team implements the work plan, devising solutions to each challenge, gathers data, and analyzes results in a Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle, while also receiving continuous mentoring and coaching. At the same time, local facilitators are trained in how to lead the workshops and Task Team meetings. A follow-up workshop closes the loop, during which progress on problem-solving is fed back to the group, and the cycle begins again with the resolution of some problems and the addition of new problems
Article
Although it is widely recognized that strong program management is essential to achieving better health outcomes, this priority is not recognized in malaria programmatic practices. Increased management precision offers the opportunity to improve the effectiveness of malaria interventions, overcoming operational barriers to intervention coverage and accelerating the path to elimination. Here we propose a combined approach involving quality improvement, quality management, and participative process improvement, which we refer to as Combined Quality and Process Improvement (CQPI), to improve upon malaria program management. We draw on evidence from other areas of public health, as well as pilot implementation studies in Eswatini, Namibia and Zimbabwe to support the proposal. Summaries of the methodological approaches employed in the pilot studies, overview of activities and an outline of lessons learned from the implementation of CQPI are provided. Our findings suggest that a malaria management strategy that prioritizes quality and participative process improvements at the district-level can strengthen teamwork and communication while enabling the empowerment of subnational staff to solve service delivery challenges. Despite the promise of CQPI, however, policy makers and donors are not aware of its potential. Investments are therefore needed to allow CQPI to come to fruition.
 
Article
  • Jieru WangJieru Wang
  • Jinfeng ZhaoJinfeng Zhao
  • Tingting TianTingting Tian
  • [...]
  • Fanlei KongFanlei Kong
Background With the accelerated urbanization and aging population in China, more and more migrant older with children (MOC) moved to new cities. Previous studies mainly explored the acculturation of MOC, yet few focused on the health conditions of this vulnerable group. This study aimed to investigate the effects of oral health and social support on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of MOC in Weifang, China. Method This study was a cross-sectional study and participants were selected by multi-stage cluster random sampling in Weifang, China. The HRQOL was assessed via the 12-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12) which included the mental component summary (MCS) and the physical component summary (PCS). The oral health was evaluated by the Geriatric Oral Health Assessment Index (GOHAI). The social support was administered using the Social Support Rating Scale (SSRS). Descriptive analysis was used to describe participants’ sociodemographic variables, oral health and social support. Univariate analysis and binary logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the association between the social support, oral health and HRQOL. Results and discussion It was found that 25.0% of MOC were defined as MCS poor and PCS poor, respectively. Those participants with average and low monthly household income compared to those around them, average and poor oral health, and low levels of social support were more likely to have poor PCS. Those with temporary residence permits, fair and poor oral health, and medium and low levels of social support were more likely to report poor MCS. Conclusion Results indicated that better social support and oral health led to higher HRQOL of MOC. Implications for the government, communities and families of MOC were given to improve their HRQOL.
 
Flowchart for data collecting process
Stress and Sleep time associated with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among office workers
Article
Background Prolonged sitting at work should be avoided to reduce the risks of either noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) or musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among office workers. A short duration of breaks in sitting every hour can reduce cardiometabolic risk factors contributing to NCDs. However, the recommendation for a break from sitting at work to reduce the risks of MSDs has not been identified. Therefore, this study aimed to determine whether breaking by changing position at work, physical activity, physical fitness, stress and sleep were associated with MSDs among office workers. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted from 2017 to 2020. Participants aged 20–59 years and using a computer at work ≥ 4 days/week were recruited. Data were collected using an online self-reporting questionnaire for computer users and 5 domains of physical fitness tests. Odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) and multivariate logistic regression were used for statistical analysis. Results Prevalence of MSDs was 37.9% ( n = 207/545) and the most area of complaint were the neck, shoulders and back. A nonsignificant association between physical fitness and MSDs among office workers was obtained. After adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, and comorbidity, moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) ≥ 150 min/week and sitting at work ≥ 4 h/day were MSDs risk factors (OR = 1.57, 95%CI = 1.04–2.37). Frequently changing positions from sitting to standing or walking at work every hour could reduce the risks of MSDs by more than 30%. The risks of MSDs increased among office workers who commuted by staff shuttle bus and personal car and had high to severe stress and slept < 6 h/day (1.6 to 2.4 times). Conclusion Our findings indicated MVPA and prolonged sitting were MSD risk factors. We recommend office workers change position from sitting to standing or walking during work every hour and sleep ≥ 6 h/day to reduce risks of MSDs.
 
Consort flow diagram
Article
Background Prevention of musculoskeletal disorders as one of the most common occupational health problems among the working population in both developed and developing countries is an important necessity and priority. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational intervention program based on the Health Belief Model (HBM) to increase awareness, perceived sensitivity, perceived severity, perceived benefits, and self-efficacy in adopting neck health-promoting behaviors in school teachers . Methods The present study was a quasi-experimental of the randomized clinical trial that was conducted for 6 months (December 2020 to July 2021). Participants were 146 junior high school teachers were selected from 26 schools through random sampling and divided into two groups of intervention and control. The data collection instrument was the self-design questionnaire and was completed in three points of time (before, immediately, and 3 months after the intervention). The data were analyzed by software version 24 SPSS. Results The results showed that awareness, perceived sensitivity, perceived severity, perceived benefits and barriers, and self-efficacy in adopting neck health-promoting behaviors in the intervention group increased in two points of time (immediately after the intervention and 3 months of follow-up) ( P < 0.05). Conclusion Designing and implementing an educational intervention based on HBM could affect in adopting neck health-promoting behaviors among teachers. Trial registration IRCT20210301050542N1, 16/03/2021 first registration has been approved in Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials at (16/03/2021).
 
Article
Background Using cohort data from the Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS), we previously reported that the risk of sleep deprivation in 1-year-old children was reduced with a higher maternal intake of fermented foods, particularly miso. The present study, which evaluates children from the same cohort at 3 years of age, is a continuation of that work. Methods After applying exclusion criteria to 104,062 records in the JECS dataset, we evaluated 64,200 mother-child pairs in which the child was 3 years old. We examined the association of the dietary intake of fermented foods during pregnancy with child sleep duration < 10 h at the age of 3 years. Results Multivariable logistic regression analysis with the lowest quartile used as a reference revealed adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for the second through fourth quartiles of 0.98 (0.90–1.06), 0.93 (0.85–1.01), and 0.85 (0.78–0.94) for cheese intake. Conclusions The consumption of fermented foods during pregnancy is associated with reduced risk of sleep deprivation in 3-year-old children, albeit in a limited way.
 
The estimated immediate effect β for price discounting on the sales of five sugar-sweetened beverage categories. The value represents the percent increase of non-log sales upon 1 % discounting for each SSB category, as calculated by multiplying the posterior summary of β by 100
Posterior summary of the estimated lag coefficient, λ, for price discounting on the sales of five sugar-sweetened beverage categories. The variable λ represents a unitless quantity, whose value ranges from 0 to 1, with 0 representing the absence of lag
Impulse response function showing the lagged effect of price discounting on the sales of a) soda, b) fruit drinks, c) sports and energy drinks, d) sweetened coffees and teas, and e) sweetened drinkable yogurts, with 95% Credible Interval indicated by the gray shaded area. The value at x = 0 represents the immediate effect represented by the posterior median of β, the percent change of sales during the period of 1 % discounting
Article
Background Price discount is an unregulated obesogenic environmental risk factor for the purchasing of unhealthy food, including Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSB). Sales of price discounted food items are known to increase during the period of discounting. However, the presence and extent of the lagged effect of discounting, a sustained level of sales after discounting ends, is previously unaccounted for. We investigated the presence of the lagged effect of discounting on the sales of five SSB categories, which are soda, fruit juice, sport and energy drink, sugar-sweetened coffee and tea, and sugar-sweetened drinkable yogurt. Methods We fitted distributed lag models to weekly volume-standardized sales and percent discounting generated by a supermarket in Montreal, Canada between January 2008 and December 2013, inclusive ( n = 311 weeks). Results While the sales of SSB increased during the period of discounting, there was no evidence of a prominent lagged effect of discounting in four of the five SSB; the exception was sports and energy drinks, where a posterior mean of 28,459 servings (95% credible interval: 2661 to 67,253) of excess sales can be attributed to the lagged effect in the target store during the 6 years study period. Conclusion Our results indicate that studies that do not account for the lagged effect of promotions may not fully capture the effect of price discounting for some food categories.
 
Conceptual framework of factors of unsafe abortion using Anderson’s behavioural model [29, 30]
Article
Background: The prevalence of unsafe abortions significantly varies with geography; therefore, more research is needed to understand the rural-urban differences in unsafe abortion practices in India. The present study aims to explore the rural-urban differences in predisposing, enabling, and need factors of unsafe abortion in India. Methods: The present study used the fourth round of the National Family Health Survey (2015–16) and included the women aged 15–49 who terminated pregnancies by induced abortion during the 5 years prior to the survey(N = 9113) as the study sample. Descriptive statistics, bivariate chi-square significance test and multivariate logistic regression model were used to accomplish the study objectives. Results: The findings revealed that almost one-third of pregnancies were terminated through unsafe measures with sharp rural-urban contrast. The likelihood of unsafe abortions increases with decreasing women’s age and spousal level of education. Younger women in urban settings were more vulnerable to unsafe abortion practices. In rural settings, women with an uneducated spouse are more likely to have unsafe abortions (OR: 1.92). Poor households were more likely to undergo unsafe abortions, which were more common in rural settings (OR: 1.26). The unmet need for family planning was revealed to be a significant need factor for unsafe abortion, particularly in rural settings. Conclusion: Although abortion is legal, India’s high estimated frequency of unsafe abortions reveals a serious public health issue. Due to socio-economic vulnerability, unmet family planning needs, and a lack of awareness, significant numbers of women still practice unsafe abortions in India.
 
Article
Background The COVID-19 pandemic led to the UK government enforcing lockdown restrictions to control virus transmission. Such restrictions present opportunities and barriers for physical activity and healthy eating. Emerging research suggests that in the early stages of the pandemic, physical activity levels decreased, consumption of unhealthy foods increased, while levels of mental distress increased. Our aims were to understand patterns of diet, physical activity, and mental health during the first lockdown, how these had changed twelve-months later, and the factors associated with change. Methods An online survey was conducted with UK adults (N = 636; 78% female) during the first national lockdown (May–June 2020). The survey collected information on demographics, physical activity, diet, mental health, and how participants perceived lifestyle behaviours had changed from before the pandemic. Participants who provided contact details were invited to complete a twelve-month follow-up survey (May–June 2021), 160 adults completed the survey at both time-points. Descriptive statistics, T-tests and McNemar Chi Square statistics were used to assess patterns of diet, physical activity, and mental health at baseline and change in behaviours between baseline and follow-up. Linear regression models were conducted to explore prospective associations between demographic and psycho-social variables at baseline with change in healthy eating habit, anxiety, and wellbeing respectively. Results Between baseline and follow-up, healthy eating habit strength, and the importance of and confidence in eating healthily reduced. Self-rated health (positively) and confidence in eating healthily (negatively) were associated with change in healthy eating habit. There were no differences between baseline and follow-up for depression or physical activity. Mean anxiety score reduced, and wellbeing increased, from baseline to follow-up. Living with children aged 12–17 (compared to living alone) was associated with an increase in anxiety, while perceiving mental health to have worsened during the first lockdown (compared to staying the same) was associated with reduced anxiety and an increase in mental wellbeing. Conclusions While healthy eating habits worsened in the 12 months since the onset of the pandemic, anxiety and mental wellbeing improved. However, anxiety may have increased for parents of secondary school aged children.
 
Propensity Scores between matched treated and untreated
Article
Introduction In 2003, Ghana abolished direct out of pockets payments and implemented health financing reforms including the national health insurance scheme in 2004. Treatment of childhood infections is a key component of services covered under this scheme, yet, outcomes on incidence and treatment of these infections after introducing these reforms have not been covered in evaluation studies. This study fills this gap by assessing the impact on the reforms on the two most dominant childhood infections; fever (malaria) and diarrhoea. Methods Nigeria was used as the control country with pre-intervention period of 1990 and 2003 and 1993 and 1998 in Ghana. Post-intervention period was 2008 and 2014 in Ghana and 2008 and 2018 in Nigeria. Data was acquired from demographic health surveys in both countries and propensity score matching was calculated based on background socioeconomic covariates. Following matching, difference in difference analysis was conducted to estimate average treatment on the treated effects. All analysis were conducted in STATA (psmatch2, psgraph and pstest) and statistical significance was considered when p-value ≤ 0.05. Results After matching, it was determined that health reforms significantly increased general medical care for children with diarrhoea (25 percentage points) and fever (40 percentage points). Also for those receiving care specifically in government managed facilities for diarrhoea (14 percentage points) and fever (24 percentage points). Conclusions Introduction of health financing reforms in Ghana had positive effects on childhood infections (malaria and diarrhoea).
 
Flow chart of participant follow up rates of the entire cohort (N = 2019)
Paid work, full and modified duties, from baseline to 24-months for claimants of injury compensation
Paid work, full and modified duties, from baseline to 24-months for non-claimants of injury compensation
Article
Background Road traffic injuries (RTIs), primarily musculoskeletal in nature, are the leading cause of unintentional injury worldwide, incurring significant individual and societal burden. Investigation of a large representative cohort is needed to validate early identifiable predictors of long-term work incapacity post-RTI. Therefore, up until two years post-RTI we aimed to: evaluate absolute occurrence of return-to-work (RTW) and occurrence by injury compensation claimant status; evaluate early factors (e.g., biopsychosocial and injury-related) that influence RTW longitudinally; and identify factors potentially modifiable with intervention (e.g., psychological distress and pain). Methods Prospective cohort study of 2019 adult participants, recruited within 28 days of a non-catastrophic RTI, predominantly of mild-to-moderate severity, in New South Wales, Australia. Biopsychosocial, injury, and compensation data were collected via telephone interview within one-month of injury (baseline). Work status was self-reported at baseline, 6-, 12-, and 24-months. Analyses were restricted to participants who reported paid work pre-injury ( N = 1533). Type-3 global p -values were used to evaluate explanatory factors for returning to ‘any’ or ‘full duties’ paid work across factor subcategories. Modified Poisson regression modelling was used to evaluate factors associated with RTW with adjustment for potential covariates. Results Only ~ 30% of people with RTI returned to full work duties within one-month post-injury, but the majority (76.7%) resumed full duties by 6-months. A significant portion of participants were working with modified duties (~ 10%) or not working at all (~ 10%) at 6-, 12-, and 24-months. Female sex, low education, low income, physically demanding occupations, pre-injury comorbidities, and high injury severity were negatively associated with RTW. Claiming injury compensation in the fault-based scheme operating at the time, and early identified post-injury pain and psychological distress, were key factors negatively associated with RTW up until two years post-injury. Conclusions Long-term work incapacity was observed in 20% of people following RTI. Our findings have implications that suggest review of the design of injury compensation schemes and processes, early identification of those at risk of delayed RTW using validated pain and psychological health assessment tools, and improved interventions to address risks, may facilitate sustainable RTW. Trial registration This study was registered prospectively with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12613000889752).
 
Flowchart for the enrolment and follow-up of subjects in this study¹. ¹The first sample (Mat 7-11, 2020 survey respondents) has been constituted using the quota method
Types of stressful traumatic events reported by participants during the lockdown and PTSD incidence in each group (COCONEL, N = 1046). Population: Respondents to the May and June COCONEL surveys who reported a traumatic event during the lockdown (N = 1046). Note: Among participants who reported a traumatic event, 14.9% related it to governmental announcements only. Among the latter, the incidence of PTSD was 16.2%. The sum of the categories displayed is 98.3%; the missing 1.7% are people who selected open-ended responses that were too heterogeneous for analysis. Among those reporting several types of events, 72.3% selected at least government announcements, 62.3% their work situation, 52.7% travel, 47.7% conflict with a household member, 32.6% a relative infected with COVID-19, and 27.9% at least the death of a relative not due to COVID-19
Article
Background In view of experts’ warnings about the potential negative mental health consequences of the sudden nationwide lockdowns implemented in many countries to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, we sought to study the incidence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after traumatic events related to this unprecedented lockdown in the French general population. Methods This longitudinal study among adults (aged =18) consisted of two surveys: the first during the last days of the lockdown and the second a month later. We estimated PTSD incidence with the PCL-5 and ran multiple Poisson regression models to identify factors associated with PTSD. Results Among the 1736 participants, 30.1% reported at least one traumatic event. PTSD incidence was 17.5% (95% confidence interval CI = 15.7–19.3). It was higher in participants who reported multiple traumatic events, who had high COVID-19-related media use, who had general anxiety disorder (GAD-7) during the lockdown, and who had GAD, depression (PHQ-9), or sleep problems 1 month later. In addition, 43.1% of people with PTSD reported suicidal thoughts. Conclusions These results should help clinicians to target people who are at high risk of developing PTSD after a pandemic-related lockdown and could benefit from preventive measures. Collaboration between the media and mental health professionals could be envisioned to inform the population about care resources. Follow-up recommendations should also be disseminated to general practitioners to facilitate PTSD screening and ensure that they are aware of the appropriate management.
 
Prevalence of poor SRH by age, SEI tertile and gender. SALURBAL Study (n = 71,541)
Prevalence of poor SRH by age, GDP tertiles and gender. SALURBAL Study (n = 71,541)
Article
Background: Understanding how urban environments influence people's health, especially as individuals age, can help identify ways to improve health in the rapidly urbanizing and rapidly aging populations. Objectives: To investigate the association between age and self-reported health (SRH) in adults living in Latin-American cities and whether gender and city-level socioeconomic characteristics modify this association. Methods: Cross-sectional analyses of 71,541 adults aged 25-97 years, from 114 cities in 6 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, El Salvador, and Guatemala), as part of the Salud Urbana en America Latina (SALURBAL) Project. We used individual-level age, gender, education, and self-reported health (SRH) data from harmonized health surveys. As proxies for socioeconomic environment we used a city-level socioeconomic index (SEI) calculated from census data, and gross domestic product (GDP) per-capita. Multilevel Poisson models with a robust variance were used to estimate relative risks (RR), with individuals nested in cities and binary SRH (poor SHR vs. good SRH) as the outcome. We examined effect modification by gender and city-level socioeconomic indicators. Results: Overall, 31.4% of the sample reported poor SRH. After adjusting for individual-level education, men had a lower risk of poor SRH (RR = 0.76; CI 0.73-0.78) compared to women, and gender modified the association between age and poor SRH (p-value of interaction < 0.001). In gender stratified models, the association between older age and poor SRH was more pronounced in men than in women, and in those aged 25-65 than among those 65+ (RR/10 years = 1.38 vs. 1.10 for men, and RR/10 years = 1.29 vs. 1.02 for women). Living in cities with higher SEI or higher GDP per-capita was associated with a lower risk of poor SRH. GDP per-capita modified the association between age (25-65) and SRH in men and women, with SEI the interaction was less clear. Conclusions: Across cities in Latin America, aging impact on health is significant among middle-aged adults, and among men. In both genders, cities with lower SEI or lower GDP per-capita were associated with poor SRH. More research is needed to better understand gender inequalities and how city socioeconomic environments, represented by different indicators, modify exposures and vulnerabilities associated with aging.
 
Implementation process of the study
Article
Background: With the acceleration of industrialization and population aging, low back pain (LBP) has become the leading cause of life loss years caused by disability. Thus, it places a huge economic burden on society and is a global public health problem that needs urgent solution. This study aimed to conduct an epidemiological investigation and research on a large sample of workers in key industries in different regions of China, determine the incidence and distribution characteristics of LBP, explore the epidemic law, and provide a reference basis for alleviating global public health problems caused by LBP. Methods: We adopted a modified epidemiological cross-sectional survey method and a stratified cluster sampling method. All on-duty workers who fulfill the inclusion criteria are taken as the research participants from the representative enterprises in key industries across seven regions: north, east, central, south, southwest, northwest, and northeast China. The Chinese version of the musculoskeletal disease questionnaire, modified by a standardized Nordic questionnaire, was used to collect information, and 57,501 valid questionnaires were received. Descriptive statistics were used, and multivariate logistic regression analysis (p < 0.05) was performed to explore the association between musculoskeletal disorders and potential risk factors. Results: LBP annual incidence among workers in China's key industries is 16.4%. There was a significant difference in LBP incidence among occupational groups across different industries (p < 0.05). The multivariate regression model showed the following as risk factors for LBP: frequent repetitive movements with the trunk, working in the same positions at a high pace, trunk position, frequently turning around with your trunk, often working overtime, lifting heavy loads (i.e., more than 20 kg), education level, staff shortage, working age (years), cigarette smoking, use of vibration tools at work, body mass index, lifting heavy loads (i.e., more than 5 kg), and age (years). Physical exercise, often standing at work, and absolute resting time were protective factors. Conclusion: LBP incidence among key industries and workers in China is high. Thus, it is urgent to take relevant measures according to the individual, occupational, and psychosocial factors of LBP to reduce the adverse impact of LBP on workers' health.
 
Research model
Result of Analysis Model
Article
Background A substantial proportion of the world’s population experienced social, economic, and mental health challenges, including considerable changes in everyday life, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, these challenges varied in intensity depending upon occupation type and working environment. In this context, this study helps shed light on the effects of occupation type on depression through the mediation of changes in daily life and anxiety as perceived by individual workers through their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods In total, 68,207 adults (aged 19–65 years) working in the “office” or “service” sectors were analyzed based on the raw data extracted from the 2020 National Community Health Survey conducted by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. Data analysis was performed using PROCESS Macro (Model 6) for SPSS 25 to examine how depression is affected by occupation type through a dual mediation of the changes in daily life and anxiety caused by COVID-19 as perceived by individual workers during the pandemic. Results First, service workers perceived COVID-19-related changes in daily life more acutely than the office workers. Second, service workers felt more COVID-19-related anxiety than office workers, whereby the higher the level of COVID-19-related changes in daily life perceived by the workers, the higher the level of their COVID-19-related anxiety. Finally, service workers’ perceived COVID-19-related changes in daily life more acutely than office workers, which had a positive effect on the level of COVID-19-related anxiety, ultimately increasing depression. Conclusions It was found that the impact of a special disaster situation, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, on the perceived changes in daily life and anxiety varies depending on occupation type, which suggests that different occupations have different effects on mental health outcomes. This highlights the need to develop various customized services and policies to promote mental health according to the type of occupation, considering the working environment and work characteristics of those vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.
 
Article
Background Cross-cultural studies studying work-family conflicts (W_F_Cs) are scarce. We compared the prevalence of W_F_Cs, factors correlated with them, and their association with self-rated health between Japan and Egypt. Methods Among 4862 Japanese and 3111 Egyptian civil workers recruited by a convenience sample in 2018/2019 and reported self-rated health status, we assessed the W_F_Cs by the Midlife Development in the US (MIDUS) and attributed them to sociodemographic, family, and work variables. We also evaluated the W_F_Cs’ gender- and country-specific associations with self-rated health by logistic regression analyses. Results W_F_Cs were more prevalent in Egyptian than in Japanese women (23.7% vs. 18.2%) and men (19.1% vs. 10.5%), while poor self-rated health was more prevalent in Japanese than Egyptians (19.3% and 17.3% vs. 16.9% and 5.5%). Longer working hours, shift work, and overtime work were positively associated with stronger work-to-family conflict (WFC). Whereas being single was inversely associated with stronger family-to-work conflict (FWC). Living with children, fathers, or alone in Japan while education in Egypt was associated with these conflicts. The OR (95% CI) for poor self-reported health among those with the strong, in reference to weak total W_F_Cs, was 4.28 (2.91–6.30) and 6.01 (4.50–8.01) in Japanese women and men and was 2.46 (1.75–3.47) and 3.11 (1.67–5.80) in Egyptian women and men. Conclusions Japanese and Egyptian civil workers have different prevalence and correlated factors of W_F_Cs and self-rated health. W_F_Cs were associated in a dose–response pattern with poor-self-rated health of civil workers in both countries.
 
PRISMA 2020 flow diagram for new systematic reviews which included searches of databases, registers and other sources
Article
Background Leave events are a public health concern resulting in poorer health outcomes. In Australia, leave events disproportionally impact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. A systematic review was conducted to explore the causes of leave events among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and strategies to reduce them. Methods A systematic review was conducted using Medline, Web of Science, Embase and Informit, a database with a strong focus on relevant Australian content. Additionally, we examined the references of the records included, and performed a manual search using Google, Google scholar and the Australia’s National Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research. Two independent reviewers screened the records. One author extracted the data and a second author reviewed it. To appraise the quality of the studies the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool was used as well as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Quality Appraisal Tool. A narrative synthesis was used to report quantitative findings and an inductive thematic analysis for qualitative studies and reports. Results We located 421 records. Ten records met eligibility criteria and were included in the systematic review. From those, four were quantitative studies, three were qualitative studies and three reports. Five records studied data from the Northern Territory, two from Western Australia, two from New South Whales and one from Queensland. The quantitative studies focused on the characteristics of the patients and found associations between leave events and male gender, age younger than 45 years and town camp residency. Qualitative findings yielded more in depth causes of leave events evidencing that they are associated with health care quality gaps. There were multiple strategies suggested to reduce leave events through adapting health care service delivery. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation is needed in a variety of roles within health care provision and during decision-making. Conclusion This systematic review found that multiple gaps within Australian health care delivery are associated with leave events among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The findings suggest that reducing leave events requires better representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the health workforce. In addition, partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is needed during the decision-making process in providing health services that meet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural needs.
 
a Regression tree model predicting BMI with the five health pillars. b Regression tree model predicting depressive symptoms (PHQ-2 score) with the five health pillars. The numbers in the node represent the average BMI/PHQ-2 score among the corresponding subgroup of participants. The percentages in the node represent the proportion of participants in the corresponding subgroup
Average difference in BMI across individuals meeting different number of health pillars (top panel) and average within-pair difference in BMI between twin pairs meeting different number of health pillars by zygosity (bottom panel). Error bars denote standard errors
Average difference in BMI across individuals meeting different number of health pillars (MVPA and sedentary time only) (top panel) and average within-pair difference in BMI between twin pairs meeting different number of health pillars by zygosity (MVPA and sedentary time only) (bottom panel). Error bars denote standard errors
Average difference in PHQ-2 score across individuals meeting different number of health pillars (top panel) and average within-pair difference in PHQ-2 score between twin pairs meeting different number of health pillars by zygosity (bottom panel). Error bars denote standard errors
Average difference in PHQ-2 score across individuals meeting different number of health pillars (sedentary time and non-smoking only) (top panel) and average within-pair difference in PHQ-2 score between twin pairs meeting different number of health pillars by zygosity (sedentary time and non-smoking only) (bottom panel). Error bars denote standard errors
Article
Background Guidelines promoting healthy lifestyles are cornerstones of chronic disease prevention and treatment. The purpose of this study is to investigate independent and joint associations of five key health behaviors with health outcomes (body mass index (BMI kg/m²) and depressive symptoms) in adult twins. Methods We included 6,048 twin pairs from a community-based registry. Five key health behaviors were: (1) ≥ 8 h of sleep per night, (2) ≥ 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, (3) ≤ 2 h sedentary time per day, (4) ≥ 150 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per week, and (5) no smoking. We analyzed phenotypic associations between behaviors and outcomes; whether phenotypic associations were confounded by additive genetic and shared environmental factors within twin pairs (“quasi-causal” associations); and which behaviors, considered simultaneously, had the largest associations with outcomes. Results We found negative phenotypic associations between number of behaviors achieved with BMI and depressive symptoms score (ps < 0.05). Associations remained significant, though attenuated, when controlling for genetic and shared environmental factors, and demographics, for depressive symptoms score but not BMI (p < 0.05). Quantitative variable importance measures derived from regression tree models showed sedentary time and MVPA were the most important variables in partitioning twins with different BMI, and smoking and sedentary time for partitioning twins with different depressive symptoms score. Conclusions Achievement of commonly endorsed health behaviors is associated with lower BMI (especially sedentary and MVPA targets) and depressive symptoms score (especially sedentary and smoking targets). This provides further support of health behavior promotion to improve health outcomes.
 
(continued)
Conceptual framework of unintended pregnancy and sexual violence by husband or partner
Socio-economic and demographic characteristics of women
Socio-economic and demographic characteristics of women experiencing unintended pregnancies
Article
Background One of the outcomes of sexual violence is unintended pregnancy. In Zambia, 15% of married women age 15—49 years had experienced sexual violence from their husband or partner. The prevalence of unintended pregnancies among women age 15—49 years has risen from 33% in 1992 to 38% in 2018. The link between sexual violence and unintended pregnancy in Zambia was investigated in this study. Methods This study used the women's dataset from the 2018 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey, a cross-sectional survey. The study looked at a weighted sample size of 4,465 women age 15 – 49 years. Unintended pregnancy was measured by combining response categories of mistimed and unwanted pregnancy. Multivariate binary logistic regression was performed to establish the net effects of sexual violence and each explanatory variable on unintended pregnancy. Results The findings suggest that sexual violence does have a role in unintended pregnancies (AOR 1.74; CI 1.38—2.19). Ever use of contraception is also a significant predictor of unintended pregnancy (AOR 1.48; CI 1.16—1.88), even when other characteristics are taken into account. Results have shown that a woman who had ever used contraception and had experienced sexual violence was more likely to have an unintended pregnancy. Conclusion Spousal sexual violence is highly associated with unintended pregnancies in Zambia. Addressing intimate partner sexual violence is among the ways to prevent unintended pregnancies. It is also important to sensitize women on reporting acts of sexual violence to relevant authorities as this will not only prevent reoccurrence of sexual violence but also reduce unintended pregnancies and associated long-term effects.
 
Program theory explaining the pathway of transportation interventions and policies and its outcomes
Document flow diagram. *Adapted from: [29]
Mechanisms that influenced transportation interventions and policies
Article
Transportation is among the key aspects that influence active ageing. This realist review intends to understand the mechanisms of urban mobility infrastructure interventions and policies in low- and middle-income countries for older adults and to identify factors, which influenced the success or failure of interventions. We followed the steps suggested by Pawson and colleagues for a realist review. Electronic databases were searched from inception until August 2020. Studies were screened based on titles, abstracts and full text. The quality of included studies was assessed based on rigour and relevance. The evidence was obtained from 36 articles with diverse study designs conducted in 36 low- and middle-income countries. Findings were validated through stakeholder consultations from three low- and middle-income countries. Of the various individual factors identified, behaviour change communication interventions were low-cost, had a long-term impact and were efficient in increasing awareness among users to improve safety, social inclusion and about transport schemes for older adults. Improved transport infrastructure resulted in a shift from private to public transportation. For a sustainable urban transport infrastructure, good governance and involvement of stakeholders for planning and implementing transport interventions were considered necessary. Lack of evaluation, experience of transport planners, and inter-sectoral coordination were key challenges to successful interventions. The review highlighted a lack of older adult-specific transportation policies, and gender-targeted interventions for older women, suggesting a need for interventions and policies based on the contextual factors existing in a region.
 
Article
Background Physical activity (PA) was significantly associated with cognition and mental health in children and adolescent. However, there were few studies examining the associations of PA with academic achievement (AA) and academic burden (AB) by gender and school grade. Hence, this study aimed to 1) investigate the associations of moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) with AA and AB in Chinese children and adolescents, and 2) assess whether these associations vary by gender and school grade. Methods Using a multi-stage stratified cluster sampling design (at four different regions in Southern east China), 2653 children and adolescents (8–19 years old, 51.2% girls) were included. A self-reported questionnaire was used to collect data on study participants’ gender, school grade, family social economic status (SES), parental education level, MVPA, AA and AB. Binary logistic regression was applied to examine the associations of MVPA with AA (groups: above-average AA, average and below-average AA) and AB (groups: reporting AB, reporting no AB) with odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). After testing gender*grade interaction, those associations were explored by gender and school grade separately. Results In the overall sample, compared with children and adolescents who did not meet the PA guidelines (at least 60 min MVPA daily), children and adolescents who met the PA guidelines were more likely to have above-average (OR = 1.61, 95% CI: 1.21–2.11) AA, and report no AB (OR = 1.61, 95% CI: 1.13–2.30). In both genders, meeting the PA guidelines was positively associated with above-average AA (OR = 1.43, 95% CI: 1.01–2.03 for boys; OR = 2.22, 95% CI: 1.43–3.44 for girls). However, the significant relationship between meeting the PA guidelines and AB was observed only in girls (OR = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.17–3.39). Meeting the PA guidelines was positively associated with above-average AA (OR = 1.68, 95% CI: 1.18–2.40), and reporting no AB (OR = 1.77, 95% CI: 1.08–2.91) only in middle school students. Conclusions This study suggested that sufficient PA may be a contributary factor of improved AA and lower level of AB in Chinese children and adolescents. However, associations of PA with AA and AB may be different across gender or school grade. Promoting PA among girls or middle school students may be a good approach to improve AA and reduce AB.
 
The incidence of enterovirus infection with severe complications and mortality in children under six-year-old, 1998–2020. The incidence of enterovirus infection with severe complications (EVSC) and mortality rate decreased significantly from 1998 to 2020. The average annual percentage change (AAPC) for the incidence of EVSC was −9.19% (95%CI −3.40, −14.64, P = 0.0022). The AAPC for mortality in children younger than six years of age was −12.81% (95%CI −7.73, −17.63, P < 0.0001)
Proportion of weekly emergency visits for hand, foot and mouth disease and herpangina, 2007–2020. The peak proportion of weekly emergency visits for HFMD and herpangina occurred between week 20 and week 40 each year. The number of individuals with herpangina was higher than the number of individuals with HFMD every year. The peak annual proportion of emergency visits for enterovirus infection was less than 10% after 2017
Number of weekly outpatient and emergency visits for enterovirus infection in Taiwan, 2007–2020. The number of outpatient and emergency visits for enterovirus infection showed a seasonal distribution. The peak occurred between week 20 and week 40 annually. The number of outpatient and emergency visits for enterovirus infection reached the lowest point in 2020
Number of severe or fatal enterovirus infection and the implementation of surveillance and preventive measures, 1998–2020. The numbers of enterovirus infection with severe complications (EVSC) cases and fatality showed a downward trend within the past 20 years. When EV A71 accounted for more than 10% of the annually predominant serotypes (marked with *), both the annual number of EVSC cases and the annual number of fatalities were significantly higher than those in the years when EV A71 accounted for less than 10%
Enterovirus virus isolates according to contracted virology laboratories, 2006–2020. The Taiwan CDC integrated viral contract laboratories for enterovirus isolation since March 1999, and data integration was completed in 2006. The number of EV A71 isolates decreased progressively, and few A71 enteroviruses were isolated after 2012. The average annual positive rate of enterovirus detection was 12%. The mean percentage of EV A71 was 9.1% annually
Article
Background Enterovirus A71 (EV A71) is one of the most important enteroviruses related to morbidity and mortality in children worldwide. This study aimed to analyse the secular trend of EV A71 in Taiwan from 1998 to 2020 and to evaluate the effectiveness of infection control measures. Methods We collected the epidemiological data of EV A71 from disease surveillance systems in Taiwan. We analysed the association between the secular trend of EV A71 and preventive measures such as hand washing, case isolation, and suspension of classes. Results The incidence of enterovirus infections with severe complications (EVSC) decreased from 16.25 per 100,000 children under six in 1998 to less than 9.73 per 100,000 children under six after 2012 (P = 0.0022). The mortality rate also decreased significantly, from 3.52 per 100,000 children under six in 1998 to 0 per 100,000 children under six in 2020 (P < 0.0001). The numbers of EVSC and fatalities were significantly higher in the years when EV A71 accounted for more than 10% of the annual predominant serotypes (p < 0.05). After the implementation of many non-pharmaceutical interventions in 2012, the incidence of EVSC and mortality rate decreased significantly (p < 0.001). Conclusions After implementing active enterovirus surveillance and preventive measures, we found that the incidence of EVSC and fatalities due to EV A71 in Taiwan decreased significantly from 1998 to 2020. Continuous surveillance and strengthened infection control policies are still needed in the future.
 
Study flow chart
Article
Abstract Background Truck drivers have difficulties participating in health education programs delivered at a fixed time and place due to the mobility of their workplace. Interventions conducted via social media can overcome these limitations of time and place. This study aimed to investigate the effect of a nutrition education intervention program delivered via a social media platform on the healthy eating behaviors of truck drivers. Methods This study adopted a quasi-experimental design. A 12-week intervention program was conducted for a social-media group (n = 125) and a conventional-teaching group (n = 117) from February to May 2020. The social-media group participated in a social-media-based health intervention on the LINE application. The intervention involved the provision of online messages, online instant responses, a picture-based food log, an audio e-book, and a loyalty e-card. The conventional-teaching group participated in a healthy diet course and a hygiene education manual. The generalized estimation equation (GEE) was applied to evaluate the intervention effects on the outcome measures derived from the Health Belief Model. Results The results of the GEE showed the social-media-based intervention strategies significantly decreased perceived barriers of consuming a healthy diet (p
 
A theoretical model of the relationship between variables. AL—authentic leadership, C/E—care/empathy, DMS—decision-making skills, SE—self-efficacy, F—fairness, H—hypothesis
The formal form of the structural equation model. AL—authentic leadership, C/E—care/empathy, DMS—decision-making skills, SE—self-efficacy, F—fairness, eLST—extra life skills training group, no eLST—no extra life skills training group, e – residual, γ – path coefficient, φ – correlation coefficient, Cov – covariant
A pathway diagram for the extra LST group (above) and the no extra LST group (below). Correlations between independent variables are indicated with double-sided arrows. Direct effects are indicated with one-sided arrows. The number above the arrow indicates the value of the standardized regression weights. The number next to the arrow shows residual variances. AL—authentic leadership, C/E—care/empathy, DMS—decision-making skills, SE—self-efficacy, F—fairness
Article
Background: Decision-making skills are considered crucial life skills that condition proper social functioning within groups (i.e., support authentic leadership skills and increasing one’s chances of success and wellbeing in life). Nonetheless, the number of scientific papers addressing the role of life skills in developing authentic leadership skills in public health students is limited. The aim of the present study was to develop a theoretical model to determine the role of selected life skills in developing authentic leadership skills in public health students. Methods: The study was conducted from January 16 through February 28, 2018. In total, 653 students undertaking in-service training in Master’s degree programs qualified for the study, and complete data sets were obtained from 329 students (response rate 50.38%). The data were collected by means of a paper questionnaire. Four research tools were used in the study: The Authentic Leadership Self-Assessment Questionnaire, The Moral Foundations Questionnaire, The General Self-Efficacy Scale, and The Youth Leadership Life Skills Development Scale. Results: Two subgroups were identified among the public health students in the study: 1) the extra life skills training group (N = 113) and 2) the no extra life skills training group (N = 216). Both groups of study participants did not differ significantly in terms of age (M (SD): 25.0 (3.89) vs. 25.0 (3.66); t = 0.068, P = 0.946). On the other hand, clear differences were observed in the case of the respondents’ participation in voluntary service. The respondents from the extra life skills training group declared participation in voluntary activities less frequently than the respondents from the second identified group (48.7 vs. 31.9%). Conclusions: A verified theoretical model showed that course aimed at strengthening authentic leadership competences should be modular, should focus on self-improvement and critical reflection, and should be spread over time to enable and encourage each participant to grow and flourish at their own pace.
 
Geographic regions, meteorological monitoring stations and air quality monitoring sites in Sichuan Province; the latter two sets of locations are presented on the division map
Time series of HFMD cases, four climatic factors, and levels of five air pollutants in Sichuan Province between 2015 and 2017. We calculated the province averages by pooling daily data from 21 cities
Overall relationship of HFMD risk with meteorological indicators and air pollution variables in Sichuan Province, with the median of each exposure serving as the reference value
Estimated exposure–response relationships with the significant effect modifiers at relatively low and high levels (i.e., 10th and 90th percentiles)
Article
Background Epidemiological studies have investigated the short-term effects of meteorological factors and air pollution on the incidence of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD). Several meteorological indicators, such as relative humidity and the diurnal temperature range (DTR), significantly modify the relationship between short-term exposure to temperature and HFMD incidence. However, it remains unclear whether (and how) long-term air pollution levels modify the short-term relationships of HFMD incidence with meteorological factors and air pollution. Methods We obtained daily data on meteorological factors, air pollutants, and HFMD counts in children from 21 prefecture-level cities in Sichuan Province in Southwest China from 2015 to 2017. First, we constructed a distributed lag nonlinear model (DLNM) at each prefecture-level site to evaluate the short-term impacts of meteorological variables and air pollutants on HFMD incidence. Then, we assessed the pooled effects of the exposures and incorporated long-term city-specific air pollutant indicators as meta-predictors to examine their potential modification effects by performing multivariate meta-regression models. Results We found that long-term SO 2 and CO concentrations significantly modified the short-term relationships between climatic variables and HFMD incidence. Specifically, high concentrations of CO ( P = 0.027) and SO 2 ( P = 0.039) reduced the risk of HFMD at low temperatures. The relationship between relative humidity and HFMD incidence was weakened at high SO 2 concentrations ( P = 0.024), especially when the relative humidity was below the median level. When the minimum relative humidity (32%) was compared to the median relative humidity (77%), the risk ratio (RR) was 0.77 (95% CI: 0.51–1.17) in the 90 th percentile of SO 2 (19.6 μg/m ³ ) and 0.41 (95% CI: 0.27–0.64) in the 10 th percentile of SO 2 (10.6 μg/m ³ ). Conclusion Our results indicated that long-term SO 2 and CO levels modified the short-term associations between HFMD incidence in children and meteorological variables. These findings may inform health authorities to optimize targeted public health policies including reducing ambient air pollution and reinforcing self-protective actions to weaken the adverse health impacts of environmental factors on HFMD incidence.
 
Article
Background This paper describes the protocol for a longitudinal cohort study, “Project SafeSchools” (PSS), which focuses on measuring the effects of COVID-19 and the return to in-person learning on Diné (Navajo) and White Mountain Apache (Apache) youth, parents, and educators. The early surges of the COVID-19 pandemic led to the closure of most reservation and border town schools serving Diné and Apache communities. This study aims to: (1) understand the barriers and facilitators to school re-opening and in-person school attendance from the perspective of multiple stakeholders in Diné and Apache communities; and (2) evaluate the educational, social, emotional, physical, and mental health impacts of returning to in-person learning for caregivers and youth ages 4–16 who reside or work on the Diné Nation and the White Mountain Apache Tribal lands. Methods We aim to recruit up to N = 200 primary caregivers of Diné and Apache youth ages 4–16 and up to N = 120 school personnel. In addition, up to n = 120 of these primary caregivers and their children, ages 11–16, will be selected to participate in qualitative interviews to learn more about the effects of the pandemic on their health and wellbeing. Data from caregiver and school personnel participants will be collected in three waves via self-report surveys that measure COVID-19 related behaviors and attitudes, mental health, educational attitudes, and cultural practices and beliefs for both themselves and their child (caregiver participants only). We hypothesize that an individual’s engagement with a variety of cultural activities during school closures and as school re-opened will have a protective effect on adult and youth mental health as they return to in-person learning. Discussion The results of this study will inform the development or implementation of preventative interventions that may help Diné and Apache youth and their families recover from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and positively impact their health and wellness.
 
Framework for building consensus on actions for sustainable healthy diets, as well as the interconnected components and their positive effects on outcomes and impacts. Adapted from HLPE (2017) [33]
Diagram of the number of participants in each phase
Needs, actions in the different policy domains, tools, strategic guidelines and pathways for sustainable healthy diets. The numbers in the figure represent the prioritisation in the nominal groups, ranging from a global legal structural level to less prioritised specific measures, such as food labelling, to a cross-cutting feature of evidence-based knowledge. The colour of each action corresponds to its position in the food value chain
Article
Background Healthy and sustainable diets need to be adopted to reduce the negative impact of food consumption on human and planetary health. Food systems account for a third of greenhouse gas emissions. “Dietary Patterns for Health and Sustainability” is a World Health Organization (WHO) project that aims to build consensus among international food, health, and sustainability experts and policymakers on how to conceptualise healthy and sustainable diets and on the actions and policies that could be implemented in the WHO European Region to promote these diets. Methods A qualitative study among European food, health, and sustainability experts and policymakers to elicit their views on multiple dimensions of food sustainability and health was carried out using a three-phase process, including semi-structured interviews, a Nominal Group Technique, and focus groups during a participatory WHO workshop held in Copenhagen. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the three data sources. Results The workshop resulted in a shared understanding of the interconnected components of sustainable healthy eating habits. As a result of this understanding, a variety of potential solutions were identified, including actions across different policy domains, tools, strategic guidelines, needs, and pathways for sustainable healthy diets. The pathways included the need for a multi-stakeholder approach, as well as the simultaneous execution of an aligned and coherent mix of policies at the local and national levels. Conclusions The prioritised actions should be aimed at helping government policymakers promote sustainable healthy diets and make decisions on improving dietary patterns for citizens’ health and wellbeing in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in the European Region.
 
Article
Abstract Objectives Homicide rate is associated with a large variety of factors and therefore unevenly distributed over time and space. This study aims to explore homicide patterns and their spatial associations with different socioeconomic and built-environment conditions in 140 neighbourhoods of the city of Toronto, Canada. Methods A homicide dataset covering the years 2012 to 2021 and neighbourhood-based indicators were analysed using spatial techniques such as Kernel Density Estimation, Global/Local Moran’s I and Kulldorff’s SatScan spatio-temporal methodology. Geographically weighted regression (GWR) and multi-scale GWR (MGWR) were used to analyse the spatially varying correlations between the homicide rate and independent variables. The latter was particularly suitable for manifested spatial variations between explanatory variables and the homicide rate and it also identified spatial non-stationarities in this connection. Results The adjusted R2 of the MGWR was 0.53, representing a 4.35 and 3.74% increase from that in the linear regression and GWR models, respectively. Spatial and spatio-temporal high-risk areas were found to be significantly clustered in downtown and the north-western parts of the city. Some variables (e.g., the population density, material deprivation, the density of commercial establishments and the density of large buildings) were significantly associated with the homicide rate in different spatial ways. Conclusion The findings of this study showed that homicide rates were clustered over time and space in certain areas of the city. Socioeconomic and the built environment characteristics of some neighbourhoods were found to be associated with high homicide rates but these factors were different for each neighbourhood.
 
PRISMA flow chart
Rate and trends over time of all-age fatal drowning by country, Eastern Mediterranean Region. GBD Global Burden of Disease, N National, S Sub-national, U Unknown. U Unintentional, I Intentional, Unk Unknown
Article
Introduction Globally, drowning is a significant cause of preventable mortality and morbidity. The Eastern Mediterranean region (EMR) comprises 22 countries of extreme disparity in income and is a region impacted by conflict and migration. We systematically review literature published on drowning in the EMR. Methods Peer-reviewed literature (limited to original research) was identified using Embase, PubMed, Scopus, SportsDiscus, and Web of Science databases. Literature was independently dual screened at title/abstract and full text stages with dual data extraction (20% of included studies). Studies were included if they reported epidemiology, risk/protective factors and/or prevention strategies for drowning (unintentional and intentional; fatal and non-fatal) of residents, tourists or migrants in the EMR. Literature was assessed against the [Australian] National Health and Medical Research Council’s Levels of Evidence. Results Seventy-two studies were included in this review (epidemiology 68 studies; risk/protective factor 13 studies; prevention strategies 19 studies). Iran ( n = 27), Saudia Arabia ( n = 11) and Pakistan ( n = 10) recorded the largest number of dedicated studies. Studies predominately focused on unintentional drowning. Ninety-two percent of included studies ( n = 66) were ranked as being low evidence (level IV). The majority of studies explored drowning among children and adolescents (0–19 years). All-age fatal drowning rates varied from a low of 0.48 per 100,000 (United Arab Emirates; 2002; Ministry of Health death registry data) to a high of 18.5 per 100,000 (Egypt; 2014–15; WHO mortality database). Commonly identified risk factors included being male, young age, submersion time and resident status. Common prevention strategies public education, lifeguard supervision, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Discussion Gaps in understanding of drowning burden in some countries within the region, as well as region-wide risk factor identification for adult drowning, intentional and migration-related drowning, impair the ability of nations to advance drowning prevention. There is a need for investment in implementation and evaluation of drowning prevention interventions in the EMR. Conclusion Drowning is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in the EMR. The recent UN declaration on global drowning prevention may provide the impetus to invest in drowning prevention research, policy, and advocacy with the aim of reducing drowning-related harms in the EMR. Trial registration Registration number: # CRD42021271215 .
 
Article
The increasing complexity of academia, with its demanding working conditions and uncertain career opportunities, may affect the mental health of academics and potentially lead to mental health problems. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of depressive and anxiety symptoms in the academic population of the University of Udine and to compare symptoms in senior and younger academics and administrative staff. A cross-sectional survey was conducted between June and December 2020, involving academic and administrative staff in all departments. The prevalence of depressive and anxiety symptoms was assessed using the PHQ-9 and GAD-7 tools. The relationship between mental health outcomes and job role was analyzed using nonparametric tests and ordinal logistic regression. A total of 366 individuals participated: 109 junior academics, 146 senior and 111 administrative staff. The proportion of women was 55.7% and the mean age was 47.9 years. The prevalence of depressive and anxiety symptoms in the studied population was 25.7% (95% IC 21.5–30.4) and 22.7% (95% IC 18.7–27.2) respectively, with junior academics having the higher prevalence of both symptoms. Univariate models suggest a higher risk for anxiety symptoms OR 1.89 (1.13–3.17) for women. The prevalence of depressive symptoms is higher in our academic community than in the general population, especially among junior academics. These findings may reflect the impact of uncertain career and challenging environment on the mental health of young academics. Universities should provide more support to young academics so that they can contribute effectively and healthily to the advancement of research.
 
Prevalence of anemia among adolescent boys and girls. Wave-1:2015–16; Wave-2: 2018–19
Article
Background Anemia is a significant public health challenge that affects the population of all nations. Anemia among adolescents emerged as an alarming public health issue as it harms an individual’s physical capacity and cognitive and work performance. The study aims to determine the effect of changes in individual and household level factors on the prevalence of anemia among adolescent boys and girls. Method The study utilized data from two waves of the “Understanding the lives of adolescent and young adults” (UDAYA) survey, conducted in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh during 2015–16 (wave-1) and 2018–19 (wave-2). The sample size for the present study was 4216 and 5974 unmarried adolescent boys and girls aged 10–19 years in both waves. We performed descriptive analysis to observe the characteristics of adolescents during 2015–16. Further, changes in selected independent variables from wave-1 to wave-2 were examined using the proportion test. Moreover, random-effect regression models were employed to examine the association of changes in individual and household level factors with anemia prevalence among adolescents. Results The prevalence of anemia decreased over time among adolescent boys (33 to 30%), whereas it increased among adolescent girls (59 to 63%). The results from the random-effect model show that adolescent boys who used shared toilets were more anemic than those who used a private restroom [β:0.05, 95% CI:(0.01, 0.08)]. Moreover, underweight [β:0.05, CI:(0.01, 0.09)] and thin [β:0.04, CI:(0.00, 0.07)] adolescent boys were more likely to be anemic compared to their normal counterparts. Additionally, boys who belonged to the poorest [β:0.08, CI:(0.02, 0.14)] households had a higher risk of anemia than the richest household. Conclusion The anemia prevalence was higher among adolescents aged 10–19 years in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. This study has filled an information gap by providing state-level representative estimates indicating underweight status and thinness as the common factors behind the anemia prevalence among adolescent boys than in girls. Iron deficiency anemia is the most prevalent in certain age groups in India. Hence, Anemia prevention efforts and iron-folic acid (IFA) supplementation programs are currently being strengthened in India, targeting the high-risk population.
 
Article
Background Health literacy among Japanese is often low, making it difficult for them to evaluate health information and make informed decisions. However, the health literacy scales applied measure the perceived difficulty of health-related tasks; they do not directly assess the specific skills needed to perform the tasks: the skills to judge the reliability of diverse information using evaluation criteria and implement rational decision-making. Therefore, the study objectives were to investigate the following issues using a nationwide survey in Japan. (1) When obtaining information, to what extent do people apply criteria for evaluating information to confirm its reliability; when making decisions, to what extent do they seek out available options and compare pros and cons based on their own values? (2) How strongly are such skills associated with health literacy and demographic characteristics? (3) What opportunities are available to learn these skills? Methods We conducted an online questionnaire survey using a Japanese Internet research company; 3,914 valid responses were received. The measures comprised health literacy (European Health Literacy Survey Questionnaire), five items on information evaluation, four items on decision-making, and items on the availability and location of learning opportunities. We calculated Pearson correlations to explore the association of health literacy with information-evaluation and decision-making skills. Multivariate analyses were also conducted using these factors as dependent variables. Results Fewer than half (30%–50%) of respondents reported always or often evaluating information and engaging in decision-making. Health literacy was significantly and positively correlated with the specific skills of information evaluation and decision-making (r = .26 and .30, respectively) as were multivariate analyses (beta = .15 and .22, respectively). Over 40% of respondents had never learned those skills. The most common resources for learning the skills were the Internet and television; less-used resources were schools and workplaces. Conclusions Both information-evaluation and decision-making skills were associated with health literacy. However, these skills are not sufficiently widespread in Japan because there are few opportunities to acquire them. More research is needed to raise awareness of the importance of such skills for improving health literacy and providing learning opportunities.
 
Carrying ability for work and load levels of pre- and post-training bilateral carrying. Note: The numbers do not add up to 100% as some subjects did not complete some of the carrying or lifting tasks
Lifting ability for work and load levels of pre- and post-training bilateral lifting. Note: The numbers do not add up to 100% as some subjects did not complete some of the carrying or lifting tasks
Article
Background Occupational accidents may lead laborers to lose their working capacities, affecting their physical and mental health. Occupational rehabilitation helps improve the ability of patients with occupational accidents and suggests appropriate jobs to avoid second injuries. This study aimed to identify whether any of the functional capacity evaluation (FCE) strength subtests predicted successful return to work. Methods Data were collected of 84 patients receiving government-subsidized occupational rehabilitation between September 2016 and December 2018. A structured questionnaire was employed for pre- and post-training assessment, including basic information, information of the occupational accident, status of the laborer at the opening of the injury case, physical requirement for the job, and physical capacity. Eight subtests of strength were included in the physical capacity evaluation, i.e., carrying, lifting to several levels, power grip, and lateral pinch, to explore the association between the strength tests and return to work. Results The unadjusted model showed that for every additional kilogram in bilateral carrying strength before work hardening training, the odds of successful return to work increased (crude odds ratio [OR] = 1.12, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.01–1.24, p = 0.027). After adjustment for basic demographic information and pre-accident physical functional elements of work, the odds of successful return to work increased (adjusted OR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.04–1.54, p = 0.02) for every additional kilogram in the pre-training bilateral carrying strength. There were no statistically significant differences observed in the other seven subtests. Conclusion Through thorough evaluation and work hardening training provided in the occupational rehabilitation, patients’ physical capacity can be understood and improved. However, a full evaluation of functional capacities is prolonged and time-consuming. This study provides evidence that pre-work-hardening bilateral carrying strength may be a promising predictor of return to work and we recommend to consider it as a prioritized test to assist in determining appropriate advice regarding return to work.
 
Study workflow
Mortality distribution
Importance analysis results
Comparison of algorithm performance
Comparison of sample correction methods
Article
Background Injuries caused by RTA are classified under the International Classification of Diseases-10 as ‘S00-T99’ and represent imbalanced samples with a mortality rate of only 1.2% among all RTA victims. To predict the characteristics of external causes of road traffic accident (RTA) injuries and mortality, we compared performances based on differences in the correction and classification techniques for imbalanced samples. Methods The present study extracted and utilized data spanning over a 5-year period (2013–2017) from the Korean National Hospital Discharge In-depth Injury Survey (KNHDS), a national level survey conducted by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, A total of eight variables were used in the prediction, including patient, accident, and injury/disease characteristics. As the data was imbalanced, a sample consisting of only severe injuries was constructed and compared against the total sample. Considering the characteristics of the samples, preprocessing was performed in the study. The samples were standardized first, considering that they contained many variables with different units. Among the ensemble techniques for classification, the present study utilized Random Forest, Extra-Trees, and XGBoost. Four different over- and under-sampling techniques were used to compare the performance of algorithms using “accuracy”, “precision”, “recall”, “F1”, and “MCC”. Results The results showed that among the prediction techniques, XGBoost had the best performance. While the synthetic minority oversampling technique (SMOTE), a type of over-sampling, also demonstrated a certain level of performance, under-sampling was the most superior. Overall, prediction by the XGBoost model with samples using SMOTE produced the best results. Conclusion This study presented the results of an empirical comparison of the validity of sampling techniques and classification algorithms that affect the accuracy of imbalanced samples by combining two techniques. The findings could be used as reference data in classification analyses of imbalanced data in the medical field.
 
TROLLEY Study Conceptual Model
LRT stations with recruitment catchment areas MTS LRT stations (red), census block groups within one mile with at least 25% area overlap with station areas (green), block groups between one and two miles (white), block groups greater than 2 miles (no-LRT-group) with at least 25% area overlap with two-mile catchment areas (beige). Figure created by authors
Article
Background The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted life in extraordinary ways impacting health and daily mobility. Public transit provides a strategy to improve individual and population health through increased active travel and reduced vehicle dependency, while ensuring equitable access to jobs, healthcare, education, and mitigating climate change. However, health safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic eroded ridership, which could have longstanding negative consequences. Research is needed to understand how mobility and health change as the pandemic recedes and how transit investments impact health and equity outcomes. Methods The TROLLEY (TRansit Opportunities for HeaLth, Livability, Exercise and EquitY) study will prospectively investigate a diverse cohort of university employees after the opening of a new light rail transit (LRT) line and the easing of campus COVID-19 restrictions. Participants are current staff who live either < 1 mile, 1–2 miles, or > 2 miles from LRT, with equal distribution across economic and racial/ethnic strata. The primary aim is to assess change in physical activity, travel mode, and vehicle miles travelled using accelerometer and GPS devices. Equity outcomes include household transportation and health-related expenditures. Change in health outcomes, including depressive symptoms, stress, quality of life, body mass index and behavior change constructs related to transit use will be assessed via self-report. Pre-pandemic variables will be retrospectively collected. Participants will be measured at 3 times over 2 years of follow up. Longitudinal changes in outcomes will be assessed using multilevel mixed effects models. Analyses will evaluate whether proximity to LRT, sociodemographic, and environmental factors modify change in outcomes over time. Discussion The TROLLEY study will utilize rigorous methods to advance our understanding of health, well-being, and equity-oriented outcomes of new LRT infrastructure through the COVID-19 recovery period, in a sample of demographically diverse adult workers whose employment location is accessed by new transit. Results will inform land use, transportation and health investments, and workplace interventions. Findings have the potential to elevate LRT as a public health priority and provide insight on how to ensure public transit meets the needs of vulnerable users and is more resilient in the face of future health pandemics. Trial registration The TROLLEY study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04940481) June 17, 2021, and OSF Registries (https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/PGEHU) June 24, 2021, prior to participant enrollment.
 
Article
Background Obesity, a complex public health problem, is generally associated with other chronic diseases. The association of obesity with health service utilization has been little investigated in low- and middle-income countries. This study aimed to analyze the association between obesity and health service utilization (considering those services related to hypertension and/or diabetes). Methods A cross-sectional, nationally-representative, study of Brazilians aged ≥18 years was conducted. Data from the National Health Survey (2013) for 59,402 individuals were analyzed, including measured weight and height. The association between body mass index (BMI) category (under/normal weight, overweight, and obesity) and health service utilization due to hypertension and/or diabetes was investigated using Poisson regression models (crude and adjusted). To analyze the health services utilization, the following variables were considered: 1) routine visits to a general doctor or health service; 2) referrals/consultations with a specialist; 3) prescribed exams done; and 4) hospital admission due to the disease or related complication. All analyses were stratified by sex. Results Compared with under/normal-weight individuals, subjects with obesity (both male and female) made roughly double the use of all health care services assessed. Men with hypertension that had obesity had a higher risk of hospital admission (adjusted PR = 2.55; 95%CI 1.81–3.61), than those with under/normal weight. Women with diabetes that had obesity had more referrals/consultations with specialists (adjusted PR = 2.56; 95%CI 1.94–3.38), than those with under/normal weight. Conclusions The presence of obesity was associated with increased use of health care services for hypertension and/or diabetes, indicating greater demand for human resources and materials, and a greater burden on the national health system.
 
Article
Background Gender equity involves fairness in all aspects of life for women and men and is usually determined by social, political, economic, and cultural contexts. The proportion of female leaders in healthcare within the health sector is low. The aim of this study was to explore and describe the experiences, opportunities, and challenges faced by women in their path towards becoming leaders within the health sector. Methods This study was conducted using the phenomenological method of qualitative inquiry. The approach was chosen for its merits to narratively explore and describe the lived stories and shared experiences of women leaders in the healthcare system. A purposive sampling technique was used to identify six women leaders. Semi-structured interviews were conducted through telephone by the investigators. The qualitative data analysis was conducted parallel with data collection, using steps of thematic analysis. Results This study identified individual, societal, and organizational level opportunities and challenges that had an influence on the career paths of female health leaders in Ethiopia. The leadership positions were an opportunity in the career development of women who had long-term goals, were known for their empathy, and exercised wise use of resources. In addition, women who had the support of close family members and their peers are more likely to compete and rise to leadership positions. Furthermore, women who received organizational support in the form of affirmative action, training, development, and recognition also tended to rise to leadership positions. However, women who assumed leadership positions but whose day-to-day decision-making was influenced by their supervisors, those who had experienced sexual harassment, and those under the influence of societal norms were less likely to attain leadership positions. Conclusion The opinions and experiences of female health leaders revealed that individual behaiour whileassumming a leadership positon, empathy, and wise resource management positivey influence their career development. In addition, female health workers who had support form close family members and peers strived for growth to leadership positions. Furthermore, the presence of organizational support, in the form of affirmative actions, and succession planning were another opportunity for females in their career paths. Conversely, some social norms were found to deter female health workers from advanicing to leadership positions. Therefore, enhancing the leadership capacity of women and improving social and organizational support is recommended. In addition, addressing the low level of self-image among women and patriarchal societal norms at the community level is recommended.
 
(continued)
Logic Model for Residence-Based SARS-CoV-2 Testing Participation Pilot
Process Evaluation Data Collection
(continued)
Framework for documenting RB-TPP programme implementation and data sources
Article
Background Regular testing for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an important strategy for controlling virus outbreaks on university campuses during the COVID-19 pandemic but testing participation rates can be low. The Residence-Based Testing Participation Pilot (RB-TPP) was a novel intervention implemented at two student residences on a large UK university campus over 4 weeks. The aim of the pilot was to increase the frequency of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 saliva testing onsite. This process evaluation aimed to determine whether RB-TPP was implemented as planned and identify implementation barriers and facilitators. Methods A mixed-methods process evaluation was conducted alongside the RB-TPP. Evaluation participants were students (opting in, or out of RB-TPP) and staff with a role in service provision or student support. Monitoring data were collected from the intervention delivery team and meeting records. Data were collected from students via online survey (n = 152) and seven focus groups (n = 30), and from staff via individual interviews (n = 13). Quantitative data were analysed descriptively and qualitative data thematically. Barriers and facilitators to implementation were mapped to the ‘Capability, Opportunity, Motivation–Behaviour’ (COM-B) behaviour change framework. Results Four hundred sixty-four students opted to participate in RB-TPP (98% of students living onsite). RB-TPP was implemented broadly as planned but relaxed social distancing was terminated early due to concerns relating to national escalation of the COVID-19 Delta variant, albeit testing continued. Most students (97.9%) perceived the period of relaxed social distancing within residences positively. The majority engaged in asymptomatic testing (88%); 46% (52% of testers) were fully compliant with pre-determined testing frequency. Implementation was facilitated by convenience and efficiency of testing, and reduction in the negative impacts of isolation through opportunities for students to socialise. Main barriers to implementation were perceived mixed-messages about the rules, ambivalent attitudes, and lack of adherence to COVID-19 protective measures in the minority. Conclusions This process evaluation identifies factors that help or hinder the success of university residence-based outbreak prevention and management strategies. RB-TPP led to increased rates of SARS-CoV-2 testing participation among students in university residences. Perceived normalisation of university life significantly enhanced student mental wellbeing. The complexity and challenge generated by multiple lines of communication and rapid adaptions to a changing pandemic context was evident. Trial registration number UKAS 307727–02-01; Pre-results. ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT05045989; post-results (first posted, 16/09/21). Ethical approval Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee, University of Nottingham (Ref: FMHS 96-0920)
 
Structural equation model results with standardized regression coefficients for the proposed model. Age was controlled in the model. Standardized regression coefficients presented for the overall sample/ male sample/ female sample. *p < 0.05; **p < 0.001
Article
Background The mediators of the association between familial attitudes toward sexual orientation and internalized homonegativity among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals have not been well examined. Methods A cross-sectional survey study was carried out to examine the (i) associations of familial sexual stigma and family support with internalized homonegativity among young adult LGB individuals in Taiwan, and (ii) mediating effect of self-identity disturbance and the moderating effect of gender. Self-identified LGB individuals (N = 1000; 50% males and 50% females; mean age = 24.6 years) participated in the study. Familial sexual stigma, family support, self-identity disturbance, and internalized homonegativity were assessed. Structural equation modeling was used to examine relationships between the variables. Results The results indicated that familial sexual stigma was directly associated with increased internalized homonegativity, and indirectly associated with increased internalized homonegativity via the mediation of self-identity disturbance among LGB individuals. Family support was indirectly associated with decreased internalized homonegativity via the mediation of low self-identity disturbance. The direct association between family support and internalized homonegativity was only found among lesbian and bisexual women but not among gay and bisexual men. Conclusions Program interventions for familial sexual stigma, family support, and self-identity disturbance are warranted to help reduce internalized homonegativity among LGB individuals.
 
Intersectional analysis of GBV experiences and supports
Article
Background Migrant and refugee women have faced a myriad of challenges during COVID-19, which are often exacerbated by the interaction between this population’s diverse identities and established systems in the local context. This qualitative study uses the lens of intersectionality to understand migrant and refugee women’s experiences of gender-based violence and access to and quality of support services in Italy during the first year of COVID-19. Methods Data were gathered from 51 key informant interviews and eight focus group discussions of 31 participants. Key informants included service providers across sectors, including gender-based violence and anti-violence organizations, government and law, health, psychology, social work, and anti-trafficking administration. Focus group participants were migrant and refugee women aged 18–65 from the following countries of origin: Bangladesh, Cameroon, Colombia, El Salvador, Gambia, Ghana, Honduras, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, and Syria. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and coded using a collaborative process with partners from UNICEF. Transcripts were then evaluated for arising themes using three methods of intersectionality analysis. Results Data analysis revealed how COVID-19 converged with sexism, racism, and xenophobia in Italy, leading to increased public and domestic violence against refugee and migrant women. Another prominent theme was the exacerbated vulnerability for refugee and migrant women in precarious socioeconomic situations, which prompted many service providers to recognize and address gaps in service offerings and coordination around basic needs. However, due to resource constraints and bias, providers did not systematically incorporate inclusive language and cultural mediation into remote and online services, creating a heightened barrier to access for non-Italian women despite their complex needs. As such, refugee and migrant women highlighted community-based solidarity and support as protective factors during lockdown periods. Conclusion Findings emphasize how overlapping dominant sociocultural and socioeconomic systems impacted refugee and migrant women’s experiences of violence during COVID-19 in Italy, and how some support services were unprepared to respond to the complex needs of diverse, newcomer populations. We discuss how policymakers and practitioners might consider intersectionality in their preparedness and response planning for gender-based violence services during health emergencies moving forward.
 
Top-cited authors
Kristine Sorensen
  • Global Health Literacy Academy
Jürgen M. Pelikan
  • Gesundheit Österreich GmbH
Stephan Van den Broucke
  • Université Catholique de Louvain - UCLouvain
Gerardine Doyle
  • University College Dublin
James Fullam
  • University College Dublin