Veerle Buffel

Veerle Buffel
University of Antwerp | UA · Department of Sociology

Phd

About

70
Publications
13,620
Reads
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563
Citations
Additional affiliations
March 2019 - present
University of Antwerp
Position
  • PostDoc Position
April 2018 - February 2019
KU Leuven
Position
  • PostDoc Position
June 2016 - May 2018
Ghent University
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (70)
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: To assess the association between students’ financial loss and depressive symptoms during the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and whether this association varied by countries having different levels of lockdown measures. Methods: This cross-sectional survey, conducted in spring 2020, included 91,871 studen...
Article
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Background: Hypertension (HTN) is a leading cause of cardiovascular diseases and deaths globally. To respond to the high HTN prevalence (23.5% among adults aged 40-69 years in 2016) in Cambodia, the government (and donors) established innovative interventions to improve access to screening, care, and treatment at different public health system and...
Article
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Background Public health measures such as physical distancing and distance learning have been implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 related knowledge deficit can increase fear that leads to negative mental health and COVID-19, especially among adolescents. Therefore, our study aimed to assess COVID-19 related knowledge deficit and its...
Article
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Since the start of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, levels of loneliness have increased among the general population and especially among sexual minorities, such as gay men and other men who have sex with men, who already experienced more problems with social isolation before the pandemic. We analyzed how the disruption of the social network and social sup...
Article
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We examined PrEP awareness, willingness to take it and early PrEP use among men who have sex with men (MSM) at increased risk of HIV acquisition in Belgium. This analysis of the Belgian EMIS online data of 2017–2018 adopts a cascade approach, with the following steps quantified as conditional probabilities: being eligible for, aware of, willing to...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic most likely had a negative impact on mental health. Sexual minorities are at higher risk for adverse mental outcomes such as depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. Such mental health disparities may have exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to restricted real-life social contact. The study aim was to examine chang...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic prompted many countries to issue far-reaching policy measures that may have led to increased substance use. Higher education students may have been disproportionally affected due to the rearrangement of educational life and their susceptibility to psychosocial distress and substance use. The current study examined associations...
Article
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This study aims to examine (a) whether there are differences in general practitioners’ (GPs) attitudes towards native Belgian patients, patients of foreign descent and asylum seeking patients who all express symptoms of major depression, and (b) whether these differences depend on GPs’ experience with cultural competency training and interethnic co...
Article
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Introduction Tuberculosis (TB) has become an occupational health hazard in South African hospitals where healthcare workers (HCWs) are additionally confronted daily with HIV and its associated stigma, causing a syndemic . Early TB diagnosis and treatment are vital, but the uptake of these services through occupational healthcare units (OHUs) is low...
Article
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Background Coping with a chronic disease can be really challenging. Self-management represents a promising strategy to improve daily life experiences. The role of primary healthcare professionals cannot be underestimated in supporting self-management. Due to a shortage of theory, implementation of self-management support is hindered in primary care...
Article
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Background: Students are a vulnerable group for the indirect impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly their mental health. This paper examined the cross-national variation in students' depressive symtoms and whether this can be related to the various protective measures implemented in response to the initial stage of the COVID-19 outbreak. M...
Preprint
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Objective To assess utilization of public and private healthcare, related healthcare expenditure, and associated factors for people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and/or hypertension (HTN) and for people without those conditions in Cambodia. Methods A cross-sectional household survey. Settings Five operational districts in Cambodia. Participants Dat...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Cardiovascular diseases were accountable for 24% of the total deaths in Cambodia, one of the lower and middle-income countries, where primary health care settings generally do not perform well in early detection, diagnosis, and monitoring of leading risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, that is, type 2 diabetes (T2D) and hypertension...
Preprint
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Background. To assess the quality of integrated diabetes care, we should be able to follow the patient throughout the care path, monitor his/her care process and link them to his/her health outcomes, while simultaneously link this information to the primary care system and its performance on the structure and organization related quality indicators...
Article
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Background The surge of COVID-19 infections has prompted many countries to take unprecedented policy measures. In Belgium, the authorities implemented a nation-wide stay-at-home order for several months. Evidence of the mental health effect of such measures is scarce. A recent review by Brooks et al. has compiled a defined list of stressors affecti...
Article
Full-text available
Higher-education students face substantial risks for developing depressive symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic or experiencing exacerbated pre-existing depressive symptoms. This study uses data from the COVID-19 International Student Well-Being Study, which collected data through a non-representative convenience sample in 125 higher-education ins...
Article
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Introduction This study produces an estimate of the proportion of eligible PrEP users among people of Sub-Saharan African background based on the Belgian PrEP eligibility criteria and examines associations with socio-economic and demographic characteristics. Methods We performed logistic regression analysis on data of a representative community-ba...
Article
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Introduction Cambodia has achieved significant progress in maternal health, yet remains in the group of countries with the highest maternal mortality ratio in South-East Asia. Extra efforts are needed to improve maternal health through assessing the coverage of maternal health services as a continuum of care (CoC) and identifying the gaps. Our stud...
Article
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This study aimed to determine the changes in health behaviors among students of a French university during the COVID-19 lockdown. An online retrospective survey was distributed to Rouen-Normandy University students at the end of the COVID-19 lockdown (13th March–11th May 2020). Voluntary university students were included. Data collected were on soc...
Article
Full-text available
De mentale impact van de coronacrisis op jongeren werd onderschat door velen. Onderzoeksgroepen van de Universiteit van Antwerpen stellen een sterke associa-tie vast tussen depressieve symptomen en lockdowngerelateerde factoren bij Belgische studenten. Het aantal jongeren met stressgerelateerde klachten was ook beduidend hoger in vergelijking met d...
Preprint
Full-text available
Introduction: Cambodia has achieved significant progress in maternal health, yet remains in the group of countries with the highest maternal mortality ratio in South-East Asia. Extra efforts are needed to improve maternal health through assessing the coverage of maternal health services as a continuum of care (CoC) and identifying the gaps. Our stu...
Article
As a large international consortium of 26 countries and 110 higher-education institutions (HEIs), we successfully developed and executed an online student survey during or directly after the initial peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 International Student Well-being Study (C19 ISWS) is a cross-sectional multicountry study that collected da...
Article
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Background The COVID-19 pandemic affects the processes of routine care for chronic patients. A better understanding helps to increase resilience of the health system and prepare adequately for next waves of the pandemic. Methods A qualitative study was conducted in 16 primary care practices: 6 solo working, 4 monodisciplinary and 7 multidisciplina...
Article
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This study examines how European variation in breastfeeding initiation and duration rates is related to the presence of baby-friendly hospitals, the international code of marketing of breast-milk substitutes, and different constellations of maternal, paternal, and parental leave. We use Eurobarometer data (2005) to compare initiation and duration l...
Article
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Objectives To examine changes in the occurrence of physical sex with non-steady partners among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Belgium during the first weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown and associations with sociodemographic factors, sexual practices, drug, alcohol and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use. A secondary objective was to explore change...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The surge of COVID-19 infections has prompted many countries to take unprecedented policy measures. In Belgium, the authorities implemented a nation-wide stay-at-home order for several months. Evidence of the mental health effect of such measures is scarce. A recent review by Brooks et al. has compiled a defined list of stressors affecti...
Article
Full-text available
Although the prevalence of common mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, is higher among people with a migration background, these groups are generally underrepresented in all forms of institutionalized mental health care. At the root of this striking discrepancy might be unequal referral by health care practitioners. In this arti...
Article
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Health systems worldwide struggle to manage the growing burden of type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Many patients receive suboptimal care, especially those most vulnerable. An evidence-based Integrated Care Package (ICP) with primary care-based diagnosis, treatment, education and self-management support and collaboration, leads to better health out...
Article
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In the present study, the authors examine the extent to which depressive feelings vary across religious denominations and how this relates to the religious context. We apply a multilevel model using data from the sixth (2012) and seventh (2014) wave of the European Social Surveys, comparing 268 regions within 28 European countries. We find that rel...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: This study estimates the proportion of eligible PrEP users among people of Sub-Saharan African background based on the Belgian PrEP eligibility criteria and examines associations with socio-economic and demographic characteristics. Methods: We performed logistic regression analysis on data of a representative community-based survey cond...
Article
The SCUBY project aims to (1) change the organization of primary health care for diabetes and hypertension in order to (2) improve the outcome of chronic care in three countries (Belgium-Slovenia-Cambodia). These two aims require two types of data, namely data on the organization of care and data on the chronic illness outcomes. It can however be c...
Article
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Despite engagement with the construct of power relations, research on the political economy of health has largely overlooked organized labor as a determinant of well-being. Grounded in the theory of power resources, our study aims to fill this gap by investigating the link between country-level union density and mental health while accounting for t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background. The COVID-19 pandemic affects the processes of routine care for chronic patients. A better understanding helps to increase resilience of the health system and prepare adequately for a second wave or flare-ups of the pandemic. Methods. A qualitative study was conducted in 16 primary care practices: 6 solo working, 4 monodisciplinary and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background. The COVID-19 pandemic affects the processes of routine care for chronic patients. A better understanding helps to increase resilience of the health system and prepare adequately for next waves of the pandemic. Methods. A qualitative study was conducted in 16 primary care practices: 6 solo working, 4 monodisciplinary and 7 multidisciplin...
Article
Today, female genital cutting is increasingly practised by trained healthcare providers. While opposition to medicalised female genital cutting (FGC) is strong, little is known about the underlying motivation for this medicalisation trend in practising communities. We formulated three hypotheses based on medicalisation theories. The medicalisation...
Article
Objectives Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of acute and chronic liver disease (e.g. cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma). In Belgium, screening recommendations focus on risk groups. However, it is estimated that 50% of the infected patients are undiagnosed. This study assessed the prevalence of HCV in patients visiting two general pract...
Article
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Since March 2019, students around the world have taken to the streets to express their anger at the lack of effective actions against the threat of climate change, essentially accusing governments, and adults in general of “fiddling while Rome burns.” This paper puts forward the hypothesis that the ecological state moderates the positive associatio...
Article
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Higher employment rates among vulnerable groups is an important policy goal; it is therefore vital to examine which social policies, or mix of policies, are best able to incorporate vulnerable groups-such as people with ill health-into the labor market. We examine whether 2 "flexicurity" countries, Denmark and the Netherlands, have less labor marke...
Article
The ecological State puts environmental considerations at the centre of its actions. To explores its role in the association between air pollution and mental wellbeing, this work employs a hierarchical three-level analysis on the third wave (2011-2012) of the European Quality of Life Survey (N ⁠ citizens = 25007, N ⁠ regions = 216, N ⁠ countries =...
Article
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Recent studies have indicated that the relationship between education and health differs between men and women. In line with the resource substitution theory, these studies demonstrate that women receive greater health returns to an additional year of schooling than men do. In this article, we argue that this female advantage in the effect of educa...
Article
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https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?advSearchKey=ESPNhc_2018&mode=advancedSubmit&catId=22&policyArea=0&policyAreaSub=0&country=0&year=0
Article
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We explore how negative attitudes toward the unemployed are related to countries’ overall and long-term unemployment rate. Insights from the risk attribution and position theory are combined with the in-outgroup conflict model, derived from migration literature. Multilevel analyses are performed on two waves (2008 and 2016) of the European Social S...
Article
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Previous research has found that religiosity is positively related to mental well-being. This study assesses whether the religious context moderates the relationship between individual levels of religiosity and depression in the religiously diverse European context. We apply multilevel models, examining 68,874 individuals in 29 European countries s...
Article
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In this study, we question whether the relationship between unemployment and mental health care use, controlling for mental health status, varies across European countries. And whether these differences are patterned by a combination of unemployment and health care generosity. We hypothesize that medicalization of unemployment is stronger in countr...
Article
Background: Ageing European populations put pressure on national blood supplies, increasing the need for blood and donor base rejuvenation. Therefore, we investigate how European countries' blood donor populations differ and how they have evolved over the last 2 decades. Previous comparative research, based on 1994 Eurobarometer data, indicate tha...
Article
Recent research has approached contraceptive use, or “fertility work”, as another household task that is primarily managed by women. Building on the theoretical frameworks of relative resource theory and gender perspectives, this study investigates the association between partners' power (measured as their relative education, division of housework...
Article
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Objective: The association between age and sleep problems is considered to be positive, and medication use is a common health care intervention among older individuals. Because daytime consequences are often stated as a reason to seek care, we study to what extent the medicalization of sleep problems is found in an aging European population, with...
Chapter
This chapter reports exploratory research work on the link between mental well-being and the ‘eco-state’ within the context of countries and regions of the European Union (EU). For the purpose of this chapter, the ‘eco-state’ is defined—paraphrasing Meadowcroft (2005: 3)—as “a state that places [climate change] considerations at the core of its act...
Article
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The relationships between unemployment, mental health (care) and medication use among 50–65 year-old men (N = 11,789) and women (N = 15,118) are studied in Europe. Inspired by the social norm theory of unemployment, the relevance of regional unemployment levels and workplace closure are explored, using multilevel analyses of data from the Survey of...
Article
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Introduction: Inspired by the 'Fundamental Cause Theory (FCT)' we explore social inequalities in preventable versus relatively less-preventable illnesses in Spain. The focus is on the education-health gradient, as education is one of the most important components of an individual's socioeconomic status (SES). Framed in the context of the recent ec...
Article
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Researchers have recently been investigating the temporal variation in the educational gradient in health. While there is abundant literature concerning age trajectories, theoretical knowledge about cohort differences is relatively limited. Therefore, in analogy with the life course perspective, we introduce two contrasting cohort-specific hypothes...
Article
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Applying a multi-level framework to the data from the European Social Survey’s Round 3 (2006) and Round 6 (2012), we assessed the crisis by increases in rates of unemployment, while also controlling for countries’ pre-crisis economic conditions. We found a positive relationship between depression and an increase in national unemployment rates. This...
Article
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Introduction: Framed within the recent economic crisis, in this study we investigate the medical mental health care use of the unemployed compared with that of the employed in Europe, and whether the relationship between employment status and mental health care use varies across macro-economic conditions. We examine whether the macro-economic cont...
Article
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In addition to concerns about the treatment gap in mental health (MH) care, an increasing number of researchers are paying attention to the medicalization of daily life. Framed in a context characterized by a growth in the use of antidepressants and at the same time economic instability, the aim of this study is to unravel the relations between emp...
Article
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This study compares the mental health care, psychotropic drugs and social service use of divorced people (re-partnered or single) with that of married people. This paper questions whether the availability of informal support facilitates or substitutes for formal care seeking. Data from the Divorce in Flanders survey of 2009-2010 is used. Logistic r...
Conference Paper
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INTRODUCTION: Inspired by a fundamental cause perspective (Link et al , 1998), we explore community level inequalities in highly and poorly preventable diseases in Spain. Some small area studies of the association between socioeconomic indices and preventable mortality found a gradient between most deprived and affluent areas. However, most small a...
Conference Paper
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Studies have examined the relationship between socioeconomic determinants and mental health care use. However, to date, little research has investigated whether these relations have changed over time and vary across socioeconomic structures and gender. Between 2005 and 2010, a global economic crisis changed Europe’s economic situation, with econo...
Article
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Deze studie vergelijkt het zorg- en psychofarmacagebruik omwille van psychische klachten van gescheiden personen (met een nieuwe partner of alleenstaand) met gehuwden. Binnen het theoretisch kader van de crowding-in/out hypothesen, stellen wij ons de vraag of de beschikbaarheid van informele steun professioneel zorggebruik aanmoedigt of substitueer...