CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0432.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: parasitological diseases; Oman; appendicitis; Enterobius vermicularis; case report; helminths; appendix; pinworms
Online: 6 June 2023 (09:50:22 CEST)
While the debate on the association between Enterobius vermicularis (E. vermicularis) and acute appendicitis has not been settled, a few case reports of this very rare encounter are beginning to come to light. While E. vermicularis is one of the most common parasitic infestations around the world, acute appendicitis, on the other hand, is also a commonly encountered condition in general surgery. However, the association between the two remains controversial. Here we present a case report of a young woman with appendicitis associated with (E. vermicularis).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0384.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID19; Laboratory diagnostics; Cycle threshold; PCR platforms; median Ct; moving average; variants; continuous quality monitoring
Online: 6 June 2023 (05:35:27 CEST)
The high demand for SARS-CoV-2 tests but limited supply to South African laboratories early in the COVID19 pandemic, resulted in a heterogenous diagnostic footprint of open and closed molecular testing platforms. Novel approaches were required to monitor test quality especially during the introduction of newly circulating variants. The National Health Laboratory Service centrally collected cycle threshold (Ct) values from 1,497,669 test results reported from six commonly used PCR assays in 36 months, and visually monitored changes in their median Ct within a 28-day centered moving average for each assays’ gene targets. This continuous quality monitoring rapidly identified delayed hybridization of RdRp in the Allplex™ SARS-CoV-2 assay due to the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant; S-gene target failure in the TaqPath™ COVID-19 assay due to B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and the B.1.1.529 (Omicron); and recently E-gene delayed hybridization in the Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2 due to XBB.1.5. This near “real-time” monitoring helped inform the need for sequencing and the importance of multiplex molecular nucleic acid amplification technology designs used in diagnostics for patient care. This continuous quality monitoring approach at the granularity of Ct values should be included in ongoing surveillance and with application to other disease use cases that rely on molecular diagnostics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0346.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: HPV vaccine; Vaccine awareness; Vaccine hesitancy
Online: 5 June 2023 (16:12:21 CEST)
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a widespread sexually transmitted infection linked to various types of cancers. Although vaccination against HPV is available, global HPV vaccination rates remain low. This study aimed to evaluate the awareness and knowledge of the HPV vaccine and to identify predictors associated with vaccine hesitancy among health college students in Saudi Arabia. A cross-sectional survey was distributed to students enrolled in health colleges. The association of vaccine hesitancy with sociodemographic characteristics was examined using logistic regression analysis. The study found that approximately half of the students (49.9%) were aware of the HPV vaccine. Students from the College of Medicine showed the highest level of knowledge. Only a small proportion (5.2%) reported receiving the vaccine. The overall HPV vaccine hesitancy was 59.1% (43.9% for women and 75.9% for men). The most common reasons for vaccine hesitancy was not knowing enough about it. Men were twice as likely as women to believe that they did not need the HPV vaccine. The odds for HPV vaccine hesitancy were greater among men and younger age group compared to women and older age group. In conclusion, the study underscores the importance of awareness campaigns on HPV vaccination, targeting primarily male students.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0326.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Dominicans; Hypertensive; Salt intake; Sodium and potassium excretion; Sodium-to-potassium ratio
Online: 5 June 2023 (13:29:58 CEST)
Higher salt (sodium) intake has been associated with a higher blood pressure (BP). The association degree may be influenced by factors such as age, origin and dietary components. This study aimed to evaluate the 24-hours urinary sodium (Na) and potassium (K) excretion in normotensive and hypertensive Dominicans adults and estimate their salt intake. 163 volunteers (18-45, 46-80 years) participated in a cross-sectional study. 24-hours Na and K urinary excretion were measured using an ion selective electrode technique. Na and K urinary excretion (99.4±46.5 and 35.0±17.5 mmol/24h) did not correlated with BP, except in the normotensive group in which K correlated with SBP (0.249, p=0.019). Na and K excretion were similar for normo- and hypertensive subjects. Na-to-K molar ratio (3.1±1.3) was higher in younger subjects (p=0.040). Na-to-K ratio was associated with DBP in the total group (r=0.153, p=0.052), in the hypertensive group (r=0.395, p<0.001) and in the older group with SBP (0.350, p=0.002) and DBP (0.373, p<0.001). In the older group, Na-to-K ratio and DBP correlated after controlling for subjects with hypertension controlled by treatment (r=0.236, p=0.041). The Na-to-K ratio correlated, when salt intake was over 5g/d (52.2%), with SBP (rho=0.219, p=0.044) and DBP (rho=0.259, p=0.017). Determinants of BP were age-dependent and in younger subjects were: sex (SBP, beta: 14.02±2.87, p<0.001) and body mass index (BMI) (beta:-12.07±3.72, p=0.001, beta:9.44±2.87, p=0.001, for SBP and DBP, respectively) and, in the olders, the Na-to-K ratio, for SBP (beta:6.7±2.4, p=0.005) and DBP (beta:3.8±1.1, p<0.001). The mean Na and salt intakes (2.3 and 5.8 g/d) were slightly higher and K intake lower (1.4 g/d) than WHO recommendations.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0238.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Quality-of-Life; children; asthma
Online: 5 June 2023 (05:00:52 CEST)
Asthma, like other chronic diseases, affects children prone to transitions of various aspects of their lives. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the level quality of life of children with bronchial asthma and to what extent the disease affects them their everyday life. The literature search was conducted a review of the articles was done in Greek and English, through electronic databases PubMed, Google Scholar and Scopus. The terms and conditions their combinations used for the search were: “kids”, “children”, "pediatric asthma", "quality of life (QOL)", "health", "adolescents". The search was limited to the last five years (2015 – 2020) and finally 12 were selected articles. The most important areas negatively affected by quality of life of children with asthma are physical activity, their emotional state, school performance and sleep quality when it is connected to other factors. Important role in quality of life of these children has asthma management, disease severity and other environmental factors. Medical and nursing staff need to guide them asthmatic children and their families to have a good everyday life. Having the necessary knowledge needed for the quality-of-life health professionals should include in their medical nursing caring methods of achieving and maintaining a lifestyle that is no different than that of healthy children.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0165.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Egocentric neglect; Allocentric neglect; Digital therapeutics; Apple cancellation test; Broken hearts test
Online: 2 June 2023 (09:01:01 CEST)
Various therapeutic approaches have been developed for neglect. Many studies have demonstrated the effect of Digital therapeutics(DTx) on neglect. By contrast, only a few studies have reported on the effects of DTx on egocentric and allocentric neglect. In this article, seven studies on DTx of egocentric and allocentric neglect were reviewed. DTx, which was employed in these studies, could be classified as follows: 1) software adaptation in traditional treatment, 2) VR game using the head-mount display as treatment, and 3) development of new digital program like ReMoVES. In addition, more studies and effective results were reported on egocentric neglect than allocentric neglect. In future studies, each effect on egocentric and allocentric neglect should be identified in detail through the appropriate use of differential evaluation and long-term application of independent digital therapeutics.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0162.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Viral Encephalitis; Transmission Dynamics; Epidemiology; One Health
Online: 2 June 2023 (08:57:30 CEST)
Viral Encephalitis is a significant public health concern globally, especially west Africa. There are more than 500 known arboviruses with over 100 of them identified to cause encephalitic diseases in humans and animals, giving rise to a tremendous burden of the diseases, and socioeconomic strains in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. Despite their importance, few effective preventive and control measures in form of vaccines and therapeutics are available and where they are, usage is limited. These limitations are largely hinged on the paucity of information about the molecular epidemiology and transmission patterns of VE in west Africa. Here, we reviewed the transmission dynamics, ecological drivers, and molecular epidemiology of VE in the region. Collectively, timely and accurate interventions are essential for encephalitic viral disease control. Moreover, the integrated health system approach, combining surveillance, vaccination, vector control, and community engagement could be effective in preventing viral encephalitis globally.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0114.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Climate change; vulnerability; adaptation; health vulnerability index, Mozambique
Online: 2 June 2023 (02:55:34 CEST)
Climate change (CC) poses severe consequences, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where poverty rates may escalate by 2050 without significant climate and development action. The health impacts are diverse, encompassing communicable and non-communicable diseases. Mozambique, a climate-vulnerable nation, has experienced significant natural disasters in the past 42 years, impacting its health system. This study aims to assess Mozambique’s health sector vulnerability and adaptation needs to climate change. Following a methodology proposed by the World Health Organization and Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, a six-step vulnerability and adaptation assessment was conducted. The Health Vulnerability Index (HVI), integrating historical climate, epidemiological, and socio-economic data at the district level (n=162), was computed using exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity dimensions. The Results revealed spatial patterns in exposure to climate variables, extreme weather events, and variations in sensitivity and adaptive capacity across the country. The HVI mirrored the exposure findings. Notably, high vulnerability was observed in several districts, while major urban centers displayed lower vulnerability. These findings highlight the country’s vulnerability to climate change and underscore the potential for adverse impacts on livelihoods, the economy, and human health. The study provides a foundation for developing strategies and adaptation actions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0023.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Trans Fatty Acids; edible oils; cardiovascular health; fried foods; nutritional labeling; public health; fatty acid profile; Recommended limits.
Online: 1 June 2023 (04:14:19 CEST)
Trans fatty acids (TFA) are a concern for public health due to their negative impact on cardiovascular health. This study aimed to assess the levels of TFA and other fatty acids in popular edible oils and fried foods commonly consumed in Tanzania. A total of 57 samples from 38 brands of edible oils and 20 samples of fried street foods and fast foods were collected in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Capillary gas chromatography was used to determine TFA levels, while nutritional labeling and other fatty acid classes were also evaluated. Among the analyzed edible oils, 21% exceeded the recommended TFA levels, primarily found in popular brands of margarine, industrially refined sunflower oils, animal butter, and peanut butter. Only two food items surpassed the 2% TFA limit, but a majority of the foods had high levels of saturated fatty acids and a fatty acid profile similar to palm oil. Additionally, only 22% of the edible oils provided TFA content information. These findings indicate the persistence of TFA levels beyond recommended limits and inadequate TFA nutritional labeling in Tanzanian food products. Urgent interventions are necessary to reduce TFA levels and improve nutritional labeling practices to safeguard public health.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0003.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: diabetes mellitus; lower extremity artery disease; red blood cell aggregation, transcutaneous partial tissue oxygen pressure
Online: 1 June 2023 (02:41:38 CEST)
Background: Intermittent claudication is a frequent complaint in lower extremity artery disease, but approximately two thirds of patients are asymptomatic, mostly in diabetic population. Non-invasive angiological and microrheological tests among diabetic patients with and without intermittent claudication were studied. Methods: 98 diabetic patients were included and divided into two groups: 20 patients (63.5±8.8 yrs, 55% men, 45% women) had intermittent claudication, 78 patients (65.5±9.3 yrs, 61.5% men, 38.5% women) were asymptomatic. Hand-held Doppler, transcutaneous tissue partial oxygen pressure (tcpO2) measurement, tuning fork test and 6-minute walk test were performed and erythrocyte aggregation was investigated. Results: Ankle/brachial index (p<0.02), and tcpO2 measured during provocational tests (p<0.003), 6-minute walk test (p<0.0001) were significantly deteriorated in the symptomatic group. Higher erythrocyte aggregation index and faster aggregate formation could be observed among claudicant patients (p<0.02). In spite of the statistically better results of the asymptomatic group, 13% of these patients had severe limb ischemia based on the result of tcpO2 measurement. Conclusion: Claudication could be associated with worse hemodynamical and hemorheological status in diabetics; nevertheless, severe ischemia can develop even in asymptomatic subjects which can be revealed by noninvasive vascular tests, which highlights the importance of the early instrumental screening of the lower limbs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2260.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: neutrophil-to-lymphocyte rati; feline infectious peritonitis; white blood cells; biomarker; FIP
Online: 31 May 2023 (14:21:33 CEST)
Abstract: Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) is a clinical diagnosis based on abnormalities in patients' vital signs and white blood cell count. Neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is used as an easily accessible parameter to assess the patient's inflammatory status and stress. There are some studies showing that NLR affected by the inflammatory response is a criterion to support the diagnosis of SIRS. In this study, it was aimed to compare the interrelation between SIRS (+) and SIRS (-) groups in patients with high positive feline coronavirus (FCoV) in the light of NLR. Based on the anamneses, physical examination findings, laboratory findings, enzyme immunoassay antibody test kit titer were included in the sick groups. These patients were further categorized based on the presence of SIRS symptoms, vital signs and laboratory findings. The NLR as diagnostic marker demonstrated to differ between high antibody titer FCoV positive and healthy cats. However the diagnostic significance of NLR remains questionable between the high antibody titer FCoV positive cats with SIRS (+) and SIRS (-). As a result of our study NLR can be used as a blood parameter like albumin/globulin ratio and elevated total bilirubin in cats with high FCoV antibody titer and high probability of developing FIP.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2238.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: reinfection; COVID-19; vaccination; Omicron
Online: 31 May 2023 (11:38:23 CEST)
Reinfection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants due to immune escape challenges the global response to the pandemic. We estimated the Omicron reinfection prevalence among people who had previous SARS-CoV-2 infections in Shanghai, China. We conducted a telephone survey in December 2022 for those who were previously infected with Omicron between March and May 2022. Information on demographics, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing, and vaccination history was collected. The overall and subgroup reinfection rates were estimated and compared. Among the 1981 respondents who were infected between March and May 2022, 260 had positive nucleic acid or rapid antigen tests in December 2022, with an estimated reinfection rate of 13.1% (95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 11.6-14.6). The reinfection rate for those who had a booster vaccination was 11.4% (95% CI: 9.2-13.7), which was significantly lower than that for those with an incomplete vaccination series (15.2%, 95% CI: 12.3-18.1) (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 0.579; 95% CI: 0.412–0.813). Reinfection with the Omicron variant was lower among individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and had completed a booster vaccination, suggesting that hybrid immunity can offer better protection against reinfection with Omicron sublineages.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2073.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: COVID-19; cancer; thrombotic complications; oncologic therapy
Online: 30 May 2023 (07:54:41 CEST)
Patients diagnosed with cancer are less frequently covered by preventive measures for cardiovascular diseases. The frequent co-occurrence of these diseases makes it necessary to apply parallel diagnostics and cardiological treatment with anti-cancer therapy. Case report: We present a case of a 73-year-old former smoker with hyperlipidemia, type 2 diabetes, and arterial hypertension, after a partial right nephrectomy in 2005 due to kidney cancer, diagnosed with SARS-COV-2 infection in April 2022. Follow-up chest imaging showed a 20 mm focal lesion in the left lung further classified as a small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma. Unexpectedly the patient was hospitalized for ST-segment elevation inferior left ventricular (LV) myocardial infarction treated successfully with coronary angioplasty, however heart failure (HF) with reduced left ventricle ejection fraction was diagnosed. One month later patient required another hospitalization due to the HF decompensation and cardiological treatment was optimized with flozin addition to the standard HF therapy. After cardiological approval chemotherapy was initiated with the cisplatinum-etoposide regimen and continued for 6 months without HF decompensation and significant deterioration of renal function. After that, the patient underwent radical radiotherapy. Follow-up chest computed tomography scans showed regression of the neoplastic lesion. Conclusions: Coincidence of newly recognized cancer and infection might contribute and provoke serious cardiological events . To reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications, early periodic cardiological surveillance and optimal pharmacotherapy are required.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2034.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: iodine deficiency; glucose challenge test; large for gestational age; thyroglobulin; io-dine-containing supplements; maternal dysglycemia
Online: 30 May 2023 (04:08:48 CEST)
It is unclear how maternal glycemic status and maternal iodine status influence birth weight in mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency (ID). We studied the association between birth weight and both maternal glucose levels and iodine intake in pregnant women with mild-to-moderate ID. Glucose values were assessed using a glucose challenge test (GCT), non-fasting glucose before delivery; iodine status was assessed using an iodine food frequency questionnaire, serum thyroglobulin (Tg) and urinary iodine concentrations (UIC). Thyroid antibodies and free thyroxine (FT4) were measured. Obstetric and an-thropometric data were also collected. Large for gestational age (LGA) was predicted using a Cox proportional hazards model with multiple confounders. Tg>13g/L was in-dependently associated with LGA (adjusted hazard ratio = 3.4, 95% CI: 1.4–10.2, p=0.001). Estimated iodine intake correlated with FT4 among participants reporting io-dine-containing supplements (ICS) after adjusting for confounders (β = 0.4 95 %CI: 0.0002-0.0008, p=0.001). Newborn weight percentiles were inversely correlated with maternal FT4 values (β=-0.2 95 %CI:-0.08 - -56.49, p=0.049). We conclude that in mild-to-moderate ID regions, maternal insufficient iodine status may increase LGA risk. Iodine status and ICS intake may modify the effect maternal dysglycemia has on offspring weight.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1965.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: elderly medication reminder application; Kano model; AHP; QFD; PUGH decision matrix
Online: 29 May 2023 (04:42:27 CEST)
Poor medication adherence among older adults is a widespread problem worldwide. As the population ages, the design of smartphone medication management apps is critical to improving medication adherence among older adults. Taking the design of an elderly medication reminder APP as an example, this study proposes a sustainable design research method that integrates the KANO model, Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), Quality Function Deployment (QFD), and PUGH decision matrix. The method collects user demands through in-depth interviews, and applies the KANO model to classify these demands. The hierarchical structure of user needs is established by using AHP, and the priority is sorted according to the weight and importance determined by the judgment matrix. QFD is used to translate user needs into design requirements, and the house of quality matrix identifies key design requirements. Finally, design alternatives are evaluated using Pugh's concept selection method. The results of this study demonstrate that the integration of KANO-AHP-QFD-PUGH can be effective as a sustainable optimal design approach for the user experience of a medication reminder application for the elderly. This integrated method not only facilitates innovative optimization and sustainability of application design methods but also provides valuable theoretical and practical insights for future drug-assisted design for elderly users.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1958.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Gestational diabetes; health promotion; behavior change; process evaluation; diabetes prevention; diet; physical activity; intervention; couple interviews
Online: 29 May 2023 (04:12:43 CEST)
Promoting diet and physical activity is important for women with recent gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and their partners to reduce the risk of future type 2 diabetes (T2D). The study aimed to understand how motivation for changing diet and physical activity behaviors among women with recent GDM and their partners was experienced after participation in the Danish Face-it intervention. Fourteen couple interviews were conducted. Data analysis followed reflexive thematic analysis. Guided by self-determination theory and interdependence theory, we identified four themes affecting couples’ motivation for health behavior change: 1) The need for relatedness after delivery, 2) Promoting competence and autonomy for health behavior change, 3) Individual and mutual preferences for health behaviors, and 4) The health threat of future T2D as a cue to action. We found that the couples in general perceived the Face-it intervention as useful and motivating. Using couple interviews increased our understanding of how the women and partners influenced each other’s perspectives after a GDM-affected pregnancy and thus how targeting couples as opposed to women alone may motivate health behavior change.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1948.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Kyrgyz Republic; drug-sensitive pulmonary TB; electronic register system; paper-based records; completeness; concordance; treatment initiation; treatment outcomes; SORT IT; operational research
Online: 29 May 2023 (02:49:28 CEST)
This study evaluated the effectiveness of an electronic system for managing drug-sensitive pulmonary tuberculosis patients in the Kyrgyz Republic. This was a cohort study using programmatic data. The study included patients registered on the paper-based system in 2019 and the electronic system between June 2021 and May 2022. Data was taken from 302 individuals from the electronic system for completeness and concordance in comparison with the paper-based system. The study showed that for most variables the completeness and concordance was 85.3%-93.0% and was lowest for non-mandatory fields such as medication side effects (26.8% vs 13.6%). No significant difference was observed in time taken from symptom onset to diagnosis and treatment initiation between the two systems. However, the electronic system had a significantly higher percentage of patients who initiated treatment on the same day of diagnosis (80.3% vs. 57.1%). The proportion with successful outcomes was similar in both groups, but the electronic system had a significantly lower proportion of patients with outcomes that were not evaluated or recorded (4.8% vs. 14.3%, p < 0.001). The study highlights the potential advantages of implementing an electronic TB register system for improving records. We advocate for similar studies in other regions in Kyrgyz Republic.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1943.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: COVID-19 victims; family members; friends; psychosocial impacts; emotional health; Informal caregiving
Online: 29 May 2023 (02:08:03 CEST)
There exists a plethora of studies examining the psychological and physical impacts of COVID-19 on infected victims. Fewer studies have been published assessing the different types of impacts that an individual’s COVID-19 infection has on close friends and family members. This is the first scoping review to gauge the reported psychosocial issues and daily hassles that impact the relatives and friends of infected individuals. This study was conducted by inputting key terms/MeSH terms into selected internet databases to locate prospective studies. The frameworks of scoping reviews by Arksey et al. and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) were utilized in the methodology for identifying and selecting the studies. After data extraction, 37 studies were deemed suitable for analysis. The findings generated from each study was placed into combined categories. A total of 16 combined categories were generated from the amalgamation of the findings. The results show that psychosocial feelings (e.g., anxiety, stress, depression) was the category with the highest prevalence of grouped findings. The results from this study may serve as the impetus for future interventions targeting the alleviation of psychosocial feelings or day to day hassles associated with having a loved one inflicted with a severe illness.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1935.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Simple One-Step (SOS) stool processing method stool; Xpert MTB/RIF (Ultra) assay and children
Online: 26 May 2023 (13:38:35 CEST)
The introduction of stool as a readily obtainable sample and the recently developed simple-one-step (SOS) stool processing method offer an opportunity for TB diagnosis in children. We conducted this study at secondary health facilities in Ethiopia which are the first level referral facilities for childhood TB diagnosis and treatment with the aim to determine if stool-based TB diagnosis can be performed with reasonable level of concordance with sputum tests in using Xpert MTB/RIF Ultra. Eligible children 0-14 years with presumptive pulmonary TB were asked to provide stools in addition to routinely requested sputum samples. We computed Cohen’s kappa statistic in SPSS to determine the level of agreement between stool and sputum test results. Of the 373 children included in the study, 61% were <5 years of age and 56% were male. Thirty-six children (9.7%) were diagnosed with TB and all started treatment. The rate of concordance between stool and sputum was high with kappa value of 0.83 (P<0.001). There were more Xpert ultra positive test results on stool (n=27 (7.2%)) than on sputum/NGA (n=23 (6.2%)). Laboratories in secondary hospitals can perform stool-based TB diagnosis in children with high concordance between stool and sputum test results reaffirming the applicability of the SOS method.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1904.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: internet-delivered therapy; depression; anxiety; cultural adaptation; patient-oriented research; digital health
Online: 26 May 2023 (09:46:55 CEST)
There has been limited research on improving Internet-delivered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (ICBT) in routine online therapy clinics that serve people from diverse ethnocultural groups (PDEGs). This article describes a patient-oriented adaptation approach used to address this gap in research. A working group consisting of people with lived experience, community stakeholders, ICBT clinicians, managers, and researchers, was formed. The working group examined archival feedback on ICBT from past clients who self-identified as being from diverse ethnocultural back-grounds (N=278) and results of interviews with current patients (N=16), community stakeholders (N=6), and clinicians (N=3). The archival data and interviews revealed the majority of the pa-tients reported being satisfied with and benefitting from ICBT. Suggestions for improvement were not related to the cognitive-behavioural model and techniques, but rather to making treatment materials more inclusive. Consequently, the ICBT adaptation focused on adding content related to cultural influences on mental health, addressing stigma, diversifying case stories, examples and imagery, adding audiovisual introductions, and replacing English idioms with more descriptive language. Moreover, further training was offered to clinicians and efforts were made to improve community outreach. This study demonstrates a process for using patient-oriented research to improve ICBT within routine care serving patients of diverse backgrounds.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1856.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: COVID-19; suicide; accident; pandemic; impact
Online: 26 May 2023 (05:07:16 CEST)
Globally 703 000 people commit suicide (4th leading cause of mortality among 15-29 year-olds, 1.4% of all deaths globally) every year, which have a negative effect on families, colleagues, and societies. India accounts for 36.6 percent of global suicide in women and 24.3 percent among men, while having only 17.8 percent of the global population, also remarkable fact is that the suicide ratio for female is 14.7 per 100,000 compared to 21.2 per 100,000 of male which is 2.1 times the global average in female, while 1.4 times higher for men. COVID-19 (coronavirus disease-2019) pandemic has certainly affected the physical, mental, economical and social well being of global population directly or indirectly in different ways. Deteriorating physical, mental, economical and social health of an individual could increase the suicidal tendency, leading to accidents and suicide. This study tried to find out the COVID-19 pandemic situation impact on accidental death as well as suicide rates in India. The study period is from 1st January 1967 to 31st December 2021, to assess the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic situation on suicide and accidental death rates. This study revealed that the suicide deaths percentage among males increased significantly in comparison to females in COVID-19 era and actual count and incidence also increased. This study revealed that the mean accidental death and suicide both increased during COVID period of study as compared to pre-pandemic whole period from 1967 by 25.47 % and 30.61% respectively. Alternatively we can say that the accidental death and suicides increased significantly in India, which is largely preventable.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1832.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Breast cancer; convolution neural networks; computer-aided diagnosis systems; segmentation; classification
Online: 26 May 2023 (03:50:59 CEST)
Early detection of breast cancer, one of the most common cancers in women worldwide, raises survival rates and lowers the cost of treatment. Although breast cancer detection and classification (CAD) tools have improved, some issues and restrictions still require further research. The creation of breast cancer CAD systems, particularly with deep learning models, was significantly impacted by recent advancements in machine learning and image processing techniques. The current deep learning-based CAD system to identify and categorize masses in mammography is presented in a structured manner in this survey. The survey provides the most popular breast cancer CAD system evaluation metrics, publicly available mammographic datasets, and current image modalities. The survey examines the available literature, emphasizing its strengths and limitations. The survey also emphasizes the difficulties and drawbacks of the current methods for classifying and detecting breast cancer. We point out research gaps and make suggestions for further study. This systematic review may be beneficial for clinicians using CAD systems to diagnose breast cancer early on and for researchers looking for knowledge gaps and making more contributions to the field.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1793.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: COVID-19; Clusters; Multivariate geospatial model; Minas Gerais state
Online: 25 May 2023 (10:12:34 CEST)
Abstract. Background: COVID-19's first victim was announced by Chinese health authorities on the 11th of January 2020. On January 13, the first official case was reported outside China, in Thailand. On January 25, the same occurred in São Paulo and on March 8, the first case was recorded in Minas Gerais. From that point onwards until the 3rd of October 2020, a total of 370,911 cases and 9,204 deaths were recorded in the state. This study aims to investigate spatiotemporal patterns of COVID-19 with incidence from March 22 to October 3 of 2020. Methods: The database itself was obtained from Health Division of Minas Gerais state. The vulnerability index was calculated using a principal component analysis. Moran's I autocorrelation was tested, z-score and P-value < 0.05. Results: From March 22 to October 3 of 2020 the incidence level varied from 45.680/100,000 to 312.130/100,000. The most influential variables were: illiteracy, gross domestic product and breath apparel per municipality. The clusters were concentrated in the metropolitan area of Belo Horizonte, Zona da Mata and Triangulo Mineiro. Conclusion: The spatial distribution of COVID-19 from week 13 until week 40 showed that different levels of endemicity and mesoregional vulnerabilities were represented in these maps.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1734.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Enterococcus faecalis; Enterococcus faecium; vancomycin; prevalence; resistance; antibiotics; oral cavity; screening
Online: 25 May 2023 (04:29:13 CEST)
Enterococci are commonly found in the environment and humans as a part of the normal micro-biota Among these, Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium can convert into opportunistic pathogens, making them a major cause of nosocomial infections. The rapid diffusion of vanco-mycin-resistant strains and their impact on nosocomial settings is of considerable concern. Ap-proximately one-third of the E. faecium infections in Italy are caused by vancomycin-resistant strains. This study explored the hypothesis that the oral cavity could represent a silent reservoir of virulent enterococci. A sample of 862 oral flora specimens collected from healthy human volun-teers in Central Italy was investigated by real-time PCR to detect E. faecalis and E. faecium, as well as the genetic elements that most frequently determine vancomycin resistance. The prevalence of E. faecalis was 19%, a value that was not associated with alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking, or age of the subjects. Less frequently detected, with an overall prevalence of 0.7%, the E. faecium was more common among people older than 49 years of age. The genes conferring vancomycin resistance were detected in only one sample. Results indicate that the oral cavity can be considered a reservoir of clinically relevant enterococci; however, our data suggest that healthy individuals rarely carry vancomycin-resistant strains.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1719.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: dog; domestic; leishmaniosis; Portugal; shelter
Online: 25 May 2023 (03:08:39 CEST)
Canine leishmaniosis (CanL) is a chronic, systemic and often severe disease. The main causative agent of CanL is a protozoan parasite, Leishmania infantum, with phlebotomine sand flies acting as vectors. In Europe and other continents, L. infantum is also responsible for leishmaniosis in other animals, such as cats, horses and humans. In Portugal, animal and human leishmanioses are endemic, and high prevalence levels of infection and disease have been reported in dogs. There is a prejudice against stray animals and also those housed in shelters, assuming they have higher levels of infection with vector-borne pathogens, including L. infantum, when compared to domestic animals. In north-eastern Portugal, serum samples were obtained from March to May 2022 in three shelters (n = 179) and 13 veterinary clinics (n = 164), resulting in 343 dogs being analysed for antibodies to Leishmania spp. by the direct agglutination test (DAT). The overall seroprevalence was 9.9%, with 15.2% seroprevalence in domestic dogs and 5.0% in the shelter ones (p = 0.003). The fact that shelter dogs had a lower seroprevalence could be explained by more regular veterinary care provided in shelters regarding preventive measures, including insecticides with an antifeeding effect, in comparison with domestic dogs.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1714.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: obsessive patient; suffering; cognitive patterns; phenomenology
Online: 24 May 2023 (14:36:24 CEST)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) remains, despite significant scientific progress, a pathological condition that is incomprehensible, due toits paradoxical psychological and behavioral symptoms. The presentwork aims at assessing current phenomenological understandings of this pathology. Among the cognitive models used today, post-rationalist cognitivism and cognitive neuropsychological psychotherapy, which both incorporate a phenomenological approach, seem most effective at grasping OCD patients’ experiences of the world, which are typically characterized by hyper-reflexivity, at the expense of "natural evidence." For OCD patients, the emotional sense of the world becomes a set of sterile rules that determine a suffering life.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1702.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: necrotizing fasciitis; soft tissue infections; mediastinitis; cervical necrotizing fasciitis; descending necrotizing mediastinitis
Online: 24 May 2023 (05:29:09 CEST)
Necrotizing fasciitis is a life-threatening soft-tissue infection affecting the deep fascia and subcutaneous tissue. It is characterized by a fulminant course and high mortality rates. NF of the head and neck is very rare, most cases being odontogenic in origin. Streptococcus spp. and Staphylococcus spp. are the most common isolated organisms. If the infection progresses to descending mediastinitis the prognosis becomes very poor. Since the initial clinical features can be similar to those of a non-necrotizing deep cervical infection, a high degree of suspicion is critical for an early diagnosis. Computed tomography scan can be useful in the diagnosis and to define the extent of the infection. Early and aggressive surgical debridement of all compromised tissue and antibiotic therapy and fluid resuscitation are essential and should not wait for bacterial culture results. Despite prompt and adequate treatment, mortality of CNF can be as high as 35%.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1632.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: asthma management behavior; pediatric asthma; childhood asthma management; caregivers; wheezing; asthma triggers; inhaler; rural communities; and Nigeria
Online: 23 May 2023 (09:43:56 CEST)
Background: Caregivers of asthmatic children have poor knowledge of proper asthma man-agement practices in Nigeria. The objective of this study was to examine the knowledge, attitudes, and practice behaviors of caregivers in the management of asthma in children under age 5 in Oyo State, Nigeria, using the Health Belief Model. Methods: While a mixed method was used in the original research, this brief describes the quantitative method used in this study to evaluate caregiver’s asthma management practices A 55-item questionnaire investigating childhood asthma knowledge, attitude, and practice was administered during child welfare clinic visits to 118 caregivers. To gain insights into caregivers’ beliefs about asthma management practice behavior, focus group discussions were conducted among two groups of 10 caregivers. Data were analyzed using the IBM SPSS Version 25.0. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05 and 95% CI. Result: More than 70% of caregivers knew that asthma is associated with airway inflammation and about 90% knew that Flu infections triggered asthma attacks in their children. Overall, 70% of caregivers from the focus group discussions found preventive measures including avoidance of common triggers like dust and smoke, wearing warm clothes in cold weather, environmental sanitation, regular visits to the clinic, and medication adherence helpful. Similarly, caregivers reported the use of quick-to-relieve OTC drugs rather than seeking medical attention. Caregivers with higher income (OR = 3.0; 95% CI = 1.558-5.778; P = 0.001) were 3.0 times more likely to practice proper asthma behavior than those with a lesser income. Conclusion: Despite having moderate knowledge of asthma, caregivers of asthmatic children had wrong perceptions and inadequate knowledge about preventive and treatment options. An optimal public health approach is needed to identify and target underserved communities that suffer poorer asthma outcomes and improve caregivers’ knowledge and skills in asthma management practices. The need to pay more attention to the proper management of childhood asthma among caregivers in underserved populations cannot be overemphasized.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1538.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Industrialized Foods; Epidemiologic Factors; Adolescent; Brazil; Review.
Online: 23 May 2023 (03:02:36 CEST)
Background: Considering its deleterious effects on health, as well as the importance of information to support actions, strategies and public policies, this study was aimed to identify and classify the risk factors for consumption of ultra-processed foods among Brazilian adolescents. Data sources: targeting observational studies involving samples of Brazilian adolescents (11 to 19 years old), which evaluated possible associations between the consumption of ultra-processed foods and individual, interpersonal, environmental and public policies variables, in October 2022, a systematic review was conducted, consulting electronic databases (Lilacs, Pubmed, Scielo, Scopus and Web of Science), Google Scholar and the reference lists of included articles. Data synthesis: The descriptive synthesis consisted of 11 papers, representing nine original studies. In general, the consumption of ultra-processed foods was associated with different individual, interpersonal and environmental variables. More specifically, the following variables can be highlighted: sedentary behavior (specially screen time), studying at a private school, having a higher Body Mass Index and being female. Conclusions: Based on this evidence, it is important to direct actions, strategies and public policies aimed at confronting the consumption of ultra-processed foods for these groups.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1535.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: IBD; GERD; Mental-health; POST-SARS-CoV2-symdromes
Online: 23 May 2023 (02:37:42 CEST)
Abstract: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and mental health issues are significant public health concerns in globally. Although rising peaks observed post-COVID-19, there is a sever paucity in high quality data. Using descriptive analysis, we identified the frequency and associations of age- and gender, sport, genetic, and psychiatric consequences in the coexistence of GERD and IBD in 2067 participants 18 to >60 years with mean age of 26.8 ± 12.9 years. Most were 18 -29 years old (66%, n=1364) of which majority were young Saudi females (72.4%, n=1496). Estimated 1099 (53.2%) were students, 428 (20.7%) were unemployed, and 540 (26.1%) were. The majority were Saudis (94.7%, n= 1957). Psychological syndromes anxiety (60.7%), stress (60.7%), and depression (60.6%) were most frequent; whereas, IBD (48.7%) and GERD (36.3%), respectively were the second and third. In 51 % respondents depression, anxiety, and stress occurred first while in 33.9%, and 24.3% IBD and GERD, respectively, were the first signs. In most respondents (59.2%, n=1178), these signs first appeared recently and 33.6% (n=669) reported occurrence during adult life, and only in 7.2% (n=144) the signs noticed during childhood (7.2%, n=144)). Aggravating factors were 32.9% (n=681) genetic and other factors of which 476 (69.9%) inherited IBD while 215(31.6%) and 175 ((25.7), respectively, inherited psychological (depression, anxiety, and stress) and GERD. However, only 18.3% sought treatment (n=378) and only 66 (3.2%) had colectomy or a colostomy bag. Little over half of the studied population (58.1%, n=1201) were active in outdoor. GERD or IBS and psychological factors (anxiety, depression, and stress), were significantly associated with age (P value =.001).; GERD with old age, IBD with mid-age 40-49 years, and psychological disorders among younger ages. Thus, while mental health issues predispose young millennial women to neurogastroenterological disorders, the IBD and GERD initiate psychological problems in old and mid-ages, respectively. Intriguingly, despite the significantly mosaic global genetic population structures, their lifestyles, and nutritional habits, the pattern of these disorders remains similar. Thus, this is potentially consistent with notion that the gut nerve cells are conserved and that the changes in gut dysbiosis of gut microbiome signatures are responsible. These findings have significant clinical implications in the patient treatment strategies and tailored educational and awareness programs in lifestyle medicine. Future microbiome studies would reveal more insight into the mechanisms of disorders.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1504.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Diabetes; pre-diabetes; early childhood dental caries; refined sugar; dietary counseling; Sri Lanka
Online: 22 May 2023 (10:42:40 CEST)
Diabetes mellitus and dental caries (tooth decay) are not only common Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) contributing to high burden of diseases but costly diseases to manage. Diabetes mellitus is a leading cause of mortality and reduced life expectancy across the globe. Early child hood dental caries (ECC) denotes a common chronic childhood disease and cariogenic dietary patterns dominated by refined sugar is one of the main causative factors. Thus, high burden of ECC could be a proxy indicator of excessive refined sugar consumption of a child. If such unhealthy dietary patterns are continued through to adolescent to adulthood, there is a high probability of an individual becoming a diabetic. Therefore, it is rational to argue high ECC burden in a country could be an indicator of future burden of diabetes. Moreover, ECC provides a critical period and a window of opportunity across life-course perspective, to intervene with cariogenic dietary patterns underpinned by common risk factor approach. This could be achieved by tailored dietary counseling for parental care givers of children with ECC. A healthy dietary pattern fostered in the childhood, most probably would continue to adulthood which may become beneficial in reducing the incidence of diabetes. Against this backdrop, we provide a perspective from Sri Lanka: a lower-middle-income country (LMIC) which records the highest prevalence of diabetes and pre-diabetes in south Asia. Our perspective will provide novel insights and innovative ideas into prevention and control of diabetes burden in LMICs, harnessing the potential of preventive dentistry.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1474.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Functional foods; healthy diet; diseases; micronutrient
Online: 22 May 2023 (08:35:57 CEST)
Bioactive compounds are the food constituents, providing beneficial health effects to functional foods and nutraceuticals. These compounds have antioxidants activity including anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and have additional preventative actions. Since these compounds are important constituents enhancing function of the foods, therefore, these constituents are necessary to be incorporated under the umbrella of functional foods. Functional foods provides health benefits though bioactive compounds, as these compounds target mechanisms that manage, prevent, and/or treat chronic or acute diseases. The bioactive compounds are quite essential for functional foods that are crucial for optimal health, thereby leading to the inclusion of these compounds in the most recent definition of functional foods. Some experts have defined that bioactive compounds are the chemical components that contributes and regulates in biological mechanisms. These bioactive compounds are more accurately defined by Dr. Martirosyan and Pisarski as the “primary and secondary metabolites of nutritive and non-nutritive natural components generating health benefits by preventing or managing chronic disease or its symptoms”. These compounds have potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, which provide benefits to health. Although they are a small proportion of a food source, these compounds can also trigger the mechanisms that will alter and can improve human health. Certain bioactive compounds present in foods are extremely beneficial, but if consumed in excess, they can cause toxicity. Therefore, each bioactive compound must be fully evaluated in order to establish a beneficial and a toxic threshold amount.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1469.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Prostate cancer; Radical prostatectomy; Venous thromboembolism,; Mechanical prophylaxis; Pharmacological prophylaxis
Online: 22 May 2023 (07:12:49 CEST)
Radical prostatectomy (RP) is one of the recommended treatments to achieve oncological outcomes in localized prostate cancer. However, radical prostatectomy is a major abdominopelvic surgery. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a well-known complication associated with surgical procedures including RP. There is a lack of consensus regarding VTE prophylaxis in urological procedures. The aim of this systematic review was to investigate different aspects of VTE in post-Radical Prostatectomy patients. A comprehensive literature search was performed, and relevant data were extracted. The primary aim was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis (wherever possible) of VTE occurrence in post-RP patients in relation to surgical approach, pelvic lymph node dissection, and type of prophylaxis (mechanical or combined prophylaxis). The secondary aim was to investigate- the incidence and other risk factors of VTE in post-RP patients. A total of 16 studies were included for quantitative analysis. Statistical methods for analysis included the DerSimonian-Laird random effects. We were able to conclude that the overall incidence of VTE in post-radical prostatectomy is 1% and minimally invasive procedures (MIS), including laparoscopic as well as robotic procedures for radical prostatectomy and RP without pelvic lymph node dissection (PLND) are associated with less risk of developing VTE. Additional pharmacological prophylaxis to mechanical methods may not be necessary in all cases and should be considered in high-risk patients only.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1425.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Haemoglobin; Anaemia; Dietary, Diversity; Random-effect
Online: 19 May 2023 (10:06:34 CEST)
Anaemia is the most prevalent nutritional deficiency in the World and is associated with long-lasting developmental effects in children. Anaemia weakens the immune system and im-pairs cognitive development of children. Anaemia is multifactorial; therefore, anaemia’s pre-ventive/control measures should be evidence-based. This paper aimed to investigate the preva-lence and correlates of anaemia in preschool aged children at individual, maternal/household and community level in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Retrospective, nationally representative cross-sectional data, the 2013-2014 DRC Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) was used. Three -levels random intercept logistics regression models were fitted to the data using the outcome anaemia in children, defined as a haemoglobin concentration below 11dl with potential risk factors grouped at individual, maternal/household and community levels. Anaemia in children is a severe public health issue in the DRC, 63% of school-aged children are anaemic. Anaemia is highly prevalent amongst males, children with infections (fever/malaria and intestinal parasites), whose mothers are anaemic, from the poorest household, and whose drinking source of water is unclean, and who reside in provinces with recent/previous armed forces attacks. Results from this paper highlight the need for a clean and safe environment for children’s growth.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1397.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: high dose rate brachytherapy; vaginal cuff brachytherapy; single channel cylinder; multiple channel cylinder, endometrial cancer.
Online: 19 May 2023 (07:42:29 CEST)
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the dosimetric impact of multiple channels compared to a single channel in high dose rate (HDR) vaginal cuff brachytherapy (VCBT). Methods and materials: Sample plans of HDR VCBT from both single and multiple channel cylinders at 2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 cm in diameter were created and analyzed. The doses were prescribed either at the 0.5 cm depth with 5.5 Gy for 4 fractions or at the cylinder surface with 8.8 Gy for 4 frac¬tions, in various treatment lengths ranging from 3 to 8 cm. A 0.5 cm ring target volume called PTV_Eval was contoured for each plan and served as the target volume for dosimetric evaluation. Mean doses and the doses covering 90% (D90), 10% (D10), and 5% (D5) of PTV_Eval were calculated and compared. The same treatment lengths, same prescription regimens, same target volume contouring and same plan evaluation methods were repeated for the similar size single channel and multiple channel cylinders. Results: The mean doses of both regimens with the multi-channel cases (6.3 to 7.1 Gy) were comparable to single channel ones (6.4 and 7.5 Gy). The ranges of D90, D10 and D5 were from 3.654 to 5.04 Gy, 8.44 to 10.08 Gy and 8.84 to 10.86 Gy in the multi-channel cases, but from 5.36 to 5.76 Gy, 7.40 to 9.97 Gy and 8.16 to 11.93 Gy in the single channel cases, respectively. Conclusion: The single channel and multiple-channel cylinder deliver a similar mean dose, but with marked heterogeneity in D90, D5 and D10 for the same prescription dose and target volume. Multi-channel cylinders adequately cover the target volume, but given the heterogeneity, increased treatment time and cost are best suited for asymmetric target volumes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1394.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Rural; well-being; infant welfare; risk factors
Online: 19 May 2023 (07:35:31 CEST)
Children from rural areas face numerous possibilities for neurodevelopmental conditions that may compromise their well-being and optimal development. Neuropsychology and electroencephalography (EEG) have shown strong agreement in detecting correlations between these two variables and suggest an association with specific environmental and social risk factors. The present meta-analysis aims to integrate the qualitative and quantitative EEG findings, their relationship with cognitive impairment in children living in vulnerable or rural environments, and the main risk factors influencing EEG abnormalities. The method for this purpose was based on a systematic string-based review from Ebscohost and Web of Science, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA). Qualitative and quantitative analyses were conducted from the outcomes that complied with the selected criteria. A total of 92 records were identified; however, only 20 were eligible, considering 11 for qualitative and 9 for quantitative analysis. The findings highlight a significant amount of literature on EEG and its relation with cognitive impairment from studies in children with epilepsy and malnutrition. In general, there is evidence about the advantages of implementing EEG diagnosis and research techniques in children living under risk conditions. Further research is needed to better describe and integrate the state of the art regarding EEG features extraction.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1381.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: chronic viral hepatitis; socio-economic status; children
Online: 19 May 2023 (05:07:14 CEST)
In the present research, chronic viral hepatitis in children is approached from a multidisciplinary point of view, considering social status, economic and medical aspects. We conducted a 4-year observational prospective study. A questionnaire regarding the socio-economic status of pediatric patients diagnosed with chronic viral hepatitis B or C was applied. In total, 159 patients were included, 52 % from urban areas, 2.5 % coming from centres for abandoned children. Among 119 school-aged children, 66% were attending classes. All patients are registered with a general practitioner. Regarding the monthly income per family, 49% had less than 1000 RON (5 RON = 1$), of which 17% had no income, 28% had an income ranging between 1000 and 2000 RON and in only 23% of cases the income exceeded 2000 RON (5% had more than 4000 RON). There were between 3 and 12 members per family. Concerning parents` educational level, the average years of study for mothers was 7.8, while for fathers, it was 8.2. For 17 % of children, at least one of the parents was illiterate, and for 5.6 %, both parents were illiterate. For a third of patients, both parents were unemployed. Regarding social living conditions, 38.4% did not have water facilities or sewerage, and 32 % used personal objects (scissors, nail clippers) in common. The socio-economic level can have a significant impact on disease epidemiology (infectiousness) and access to treatment, and it is tightly related to educational level and access to information, which are critical factors in disease prevention through general and specific measures and in disease management (treating infected patients and limiting the transmission).
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1334.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: victimizing and perpetrating violence; interpersonal and intimate violence; harmful alcohol and drug use; mental health symptoms; paths of violence; gender
Online: 18 May 2023 (10:46:13 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic may have increased interpersonal and intimate violence, harmful use of alcohol and other drugs (AOD), and mental health problems. The present study uses a valid path model to describe relationships between these conditions of young Mexicans during the second year of the pandemic. A sample of 7,420 young Mexicans ages 18 to 24—two-thirds of whom were women—completed the Life Events Checklist, the Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test, the Major-Depressive-Episode Checklist, the Generalized Anxiety Scale, and the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist. Young Mexicans reported higher rates of victimization and perpetration of interpersonal and intimate violence and mental health symptomatology than those noted pre-pandemic and in the first year of the pandemic. Harmful use of AOD rates were like those reported by adolescents before. Findings suggested asymmetric victimization and perpetration of intimate violence by gender (with women being at a higher risk than men, p≤.05). More men than women engaged in the harmful use of AOD (except for sedatives, which more women abuse). In contrast, more women than men were at risk of all mental health conditions. The path model indicates that being a victim of intimate violence predicts harmful use of tobacco, alcohol, cocaine, and sedatives, depression, anxiety, and specific PTSD symptoms (such as re-experimentation and avoidance symptoms). Being a victim of interpersonal violence resulted in severe PTSD symptoms (including avoidance, negative alterations in cognition-mood, and hyperarousal signs). Harmful use of sedatives predicted depressive symptoms. Men´s victimizing intimate violence model contrasted with that of women, which also included being the victim of interpersonal violence and severe PTSD symptoms. The high school youth model had three paths -victimizing-intimate violence, victimizing-interpersonal abuse, and sedative use, which predicted depression. The findings of this study could serve as the basis for future studies exploring mechanisms that predict violence patterns to develop the most cost-effective preventive programs and public policies and to address mental health conditions during community emergencies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1292.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Carotid atherosclerosis [C10,228,140,300,200]; cardiovascular risk factors [E05,318,740,600,800,725,500,500]; carotid intima-media thickness [E01,370,350,850,150]
Online: 18 May 2023 (07:52:00 CEST)
Introdução: Os fatores de risco vasculares são decisivos na evolução da doença aterosclerótica e a ecografia Doppler carotídea e vertebral permite acompanhar o seu aparecimento e evolução. A medida do espessamento da parede arterial permite o diagnóstico precoce da doença potencializando seu tratamento e controle dos fatores de risco vasculares. Objetivo: Analisar a presença de doença ateromatosa em indivíduos com idade > 65 anos e compreender sua transformação com fatores de risco vascular. Materiais e Métodos: Estudo observacional transversal, em indivíduos com idade > 65 anos manifestados ao ecoDoppler carotídeo entre 1º de janeiro de 2012 e 31 de dezembro de 2021. Foi calculado o índice médio-intimal, a presença de placas ateromatosas, sua repercussão hemodinâmica e fatores de risco vascular foram registrados. Resultados: Obteve-se uma amostra de 5885 indivíduos, sendo 41,8% do sexo feminino e 58,2% do sexo masculino. A média de idade foi de 76,59 anos, variando entre 65 e 98 anos (+6,69). A hipertensão arterial foi a mais prevalente 81,3%. Houve relação positiva significativa entre índice médio-intimal, idade e história pessoal de doenças cardiovasculares e cerebrovasculares (p=0,001). Na presença de placas, sexo masculino, hipertensão arterial, diabetes, dislipidemia, tabagismo e história pessoal de doenças cardiovasculares e cerebrovasculares apresentadas de forma positiva. Conclusões: Nesta amostra, fatores de risco vascular não modificáveis parecem ser determinantes na presença de aumento da espessura da parede arterial. Na presença de sinais de um estágio mais avançado da doença aterosclerótica, os fatores de risco vascular modificáveis são decisivos,
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1270.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Obesity; overweight; prevention; lifestyle; diet; physical activity
Online: 18 May 2023 (05:08:25 CEST)
In this particular historical moment, the increase in mortality for cardiovascular disease in adults, the increase of metabolic diseases linked to overweight and obesity, it is necessary to focus the attention of medical doctors, researchers and policy makers on the promotion of correct lifestyles and prevention. The "prevention" and "cure or treatment" have long been considered distinct strategies, the almost exclusive prerogative of the public health authorities for the preventive aspects and of the clinician for the treatments. This approach has led, and still leads, to very high healthcare costs, without having a significant impact on obesity incidence. The promotion of correct lifestyles in the population and in subjects at risk in the fight against obesity/overweight, to contrast the reduction of physical activity and sedentary lifestyle, to promote the consumption of fruit and vegetables, to the reduction of the excessive consumption of salt as "Strategic lines of intervention" need to be pursued in all western countries. Actually, the preventive actions undertaken were not very effective, especially for the individuals in pediatric age. In this narrative review, based on published data, the critical points for obesity prevention will be discussed focusing on action needed during life from pre-conception to childhood, adulthood and in geriatric age to contrast obesity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1265.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: active and healthy ageing; intrinsic capacity; user-centered design; eHealth literacy; technology-based interventions
Online: 18 May 2023 (04:48:50 CEST)
The worldwide population is undergoing a fundamental change in its age structure, which challenges the health and social services system. The need to migrate towards a more person-centered and coordinated model of care that supports the optimization of abilities and capacities for older people has to be matched. In this sense, eHealth technologies can play a fundamental role. In this paper, through a questionnaire-based data collection on 30 primary (older people) and 32 secondary (informal caregivers) end-users, we share the sustainable way to develop a product optimizing the user experience and ensuring adoption. Both older adults and caregivers consider the use of smartphone and smartwatch to be very important, but also the use of digital devices for healthcare can be helpful. Seniors care about self-monitoring of health parameters using wearable devices, regardless of their health status, and would like to be included in the process of making good health decisions, because they need to feel in control of their healthcare process. Digital solutions in health and care can support the wellbeing of older adults in many areas of their daily lives at home and in their communities, but only if such innovation is designed around the natural voice of the intended target.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1206.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Pandemics; Immunization Programs; Poliovirus; Pakistan; World Health Organization
Online: 17 May 2023 (07:58:04 CEST)
Poliomyelitis, commonly known as “polio” is a paralytic and perilous disease caused by the poliovirus. Due to its highly contagious nature, the virus was a challenge to the world in the late 1980s. . Since 1988 the collective work of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and World Health Organization (WHO) through immunizations, communication awareness, and monitoring have helped the world exonerate polio. The mission of polio-free Pakistan was herculean and had confronted enormous challenges in different ways but came out with positive results. In 2019, with only two remaining polio-endemic countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, GPEI launched an “Endgame strategy 2019-2023” which aims to eradicate polio globally, with a targeted focus, especially on polio-endemic countries, the plan emphasizes the early detection of polio cases for complete eradication and to restrict the spread of polio. Pakistan has achieved a milestone in combating polio despite having a web of factors that have thwarted Pakistan’s polio eradication efforts, but this is not the end, the struggle continues until we really get an internationally verified certification of Polio free nation, for this WHO has designed a multidisciplinary strategy 2022-2026 to really end this polio for once and for all.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0688.v2
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: hypertonic salt solution; impregnation; filtering face piece; human monoclonal antibody; dry blood spot
Online: 17 May 2023 (04:33:54 CEST)
There is little doubt that final victories over pandemics, such as COVID-19, are attributed to herd immunity, either through post-disease convalescence or active immunization of a high percentage of the world's population with vaccines, demonstrating protection from infection and transmission, being available in large quantities and at reasonable prices. However, it is assumable that humans with immune defects or immune suppression, e.g., as a consequence of allograft transplantation, cannot be immunized actively nor produce sufficient immune responses to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections. These subjects desperately need other strategies, such as sophisticated protection measures and active immunization. Hypertonic salt solutions attack vulnerable core areas of viruses, i.e., salt denatures surface proteins and thus prohibits virus penetration of somatic cells. It has to be ensured that somatic proteins are not affected by denaturation regarding this unspecific virus protection. Impregnating filtering facepieces with hypertonic salt solutions is a straightforward way to inactivate viruses and other potential pathogens. As a result of the contact of salt crystals on the filtering facepiece, these pathogens become denatured and inactivated almost quantitatively. Such a strategy could be easily applied to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and other ones that may occur in the future. Another possible tool to fight the COVID-19 pandemic is passive immunization with antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, preferably from human origin. Such antibodies can be harvested from patients´ human sera, which have successfully survived their SARS-CoV-2 infection. The disadvantage of a rapid decrease of the immunoglobulin titer after infection ends can be overcome by immortalizing antibody-producing B-cells via fusion with, e.g., mouse myeloma cells. The resulting monoclonal antibodies are then of human origin and available in, at least theoretically, unlimited amounts. Finally, dry blood spots are a valuable tool for surveilling the population´s immunity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1181.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: influenza vaccination; health personnel; health care worker; surveillance system; epidemiology; prevention; public health
Online: 17 May 2023 (04:27:18 CEST)
(1) Influenza causes a significant health and socio-economic burden every year, and health personnel (HP) are at higher risk of exposure to respiratory pathogens than general population. (2) The study purpose was to describe and compare influenza vaccine uptake and its prognostic factors among Medical Doctors (MDs) and Non-Medical Health Personnel (NMHP) vs Non-HP (NHP). We analysed 2014-2018 data (N=105,608) from the Italian Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System PASSI that, since 2008, has been collecting health-related information continuously in sampled adults. (3) MDs and NMHP represented, respectively, 1.1% and 4.6% of the sample. Among HP, 22.8% (CI 19.8% - 26.1%) of MDs and 8.5% (CI 7.5% - 9.5%) of NMHP reported to have been vaccinated vs 6.3% (CI 6.1% - 6.5%) in NHP. This difference is confirmed in the three categories (MDs, NMHP, NHP), even more across age groups: in 18-34yy, respectively, 9.9%, 4.4%, 3.4% vs 28.4%, 13.9%, 10.6% in 50-64yy. PASSI surveillance shows an increasing influenza vaccination uptake over time, especially among MDs (22.2% in 2014 vs 30.5% in 2018). (4) Despite such increase, especially among younger HP, influenza vaccination uptake is low. Even more under pandemic scenarios, these figures represent key information to address effective strategies for disease prevention and health promotion.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1109.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: actor-partner interdependence model; depression; couple; dyadic analysis; infertility; mental health
Online: 16 May 2023 (05:45:35 CEST)
Background: Infertility can affect a couple's mental health, marital and social relationships. The study aimed to investigate the prevalence of depression among infertile couples and the relationships with other factors. Methods: This study employed a cross-sectional survey. Validated tools were used to assess anxiety and depression, marital satisfaction, personality traits and sufficiency economy. The Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) was used for dyadic analysis. Results: The prevalence of depression in infertile couples was 6.7%. Aggression, extraversion, and neuroticism were significantly correlated with depression, whereas the expectation of having children, marital satisfaction, and sufficiency economy were negatively correlated with depression. The APIM model suggested that neuroticism and marital satisfaction were significant predictors of depression. Partner effect between the expectation of having children and depression was observed (p = .039). Conclusions: Like other populations, depression in infertile couples seems to be associated with aggression, extraversion, and neuroticism. However, there are specific variables related to infertility that impact the depression levels of these couples. For instance, the expectation of having children can affect the partners of infertile couples, while the role of sufficiency economy is a new factor that has been examined for depression in this sample and requires further exploration.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0874.v2
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: online frailty check application; older adults; co-design; co-development; reliability; participatory action research
Online: 16 May 2023 (05:25:59 CEST)
Frailty, an age-related decline in homeostatic reserves, markedly proceeded during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. To continuously assess frailty status, a remote system is urgently required. We aimed to co-design/co-develop an online frailty check (FC) application alongside FC supporters who were facilitators in a pre-existing onsite FC program. The online FC included a screening measurement for sarcopenia and an 11-item questionnaire covering dietary, physical, and social behaviors. Using prototype applications, 55 opinions obtained from 32 FC supporters (median 74.0 years) were categorized and reflected refinement. Regarding the self-efficacy of FC supporters, a significant increase in social positioning was seen after the mock test (P=.031). For FC supporters and participants, the average system usability scale (SUS) score was 70.2±10.3 points, which was “marginally high” for acceptability and “good” for the adjective range. Multiple regression analysis showed that the SUS score was significantly correlated with online-onsite reliability but not online communication, even after adjusting by age, sex, education level, and ICT proficiency (b=0.400, 95% CI: 0.243-1.951, P=.013). Additionally, a significant association between onsite and online FC scores was observed (R=0.670, P=.001). Our online FC application was evaluated to be a valuable tool to practically assess frailty status remotely.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1061.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Artificial Intelligence; A.I Cardiology; A.I in Cardiovascular Medicine; Machine Learning in Cardiology
Online: 15 May 2023 (16:03:01 CEST)
In this review we look at the developments in the field of artificial intelligence (A.I) and their current impact as well as future implications in the field of cardiology, we as physicians and cardiologists have tried to put our perspective on the rapidly evolving field, In light of the fact that many of the healthcare workers and professionals across the world still find the concept of A.I quite complicated, elusive and somewhat paradoxical, we have tried to simplify the concept of artificial intelligence and make it easy for everyone to understand from all walks of life. The Databases utilized for our review are PubMed, PubMed Central, Google Scholar. The Keywords used for our Data Search are “Artificial Intelligence”, “A.I Cardiology”, “A.I in Cardiovascular Medicine”, “Machine Learning in Cardiology”. We screened all relevant since inception till March 25th and included 44 relevant articles after careful consideration into our paper. We have discussed the implementation of and scope of artificial intelligence across a broad spectrum of applications including cardiovascular imaging and diagnostics like electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, cardiac CT/MRIs to novel cardiac monitoring devices, CRISPR gene editing in cardiology and implementation of artificial intelligence in the field of Cardiovascular Bioprinting. This is the initial review in a series of reviews regarding A.I in Cardiology.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1052.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: personalized medicine; biologically-driven trial; sorafenib; randomised discontinuation design
Online: 15 May 2023 (14:22:29 CEST)
Background: MOST-plus is a multicenter, randomized, open-label, adaptive Phase II trial evaluating the clinical benefit of targeted treatments matched to molecular alteration in advanced/metastatic solid tumors. Sorafenib was tested on patients with tumors harboring sorafenib-targeted genes Methods: The MOST-plus trial used a randomized discontinuation design. After 12 weeks of sorafenib (400 mg, po BID), patients with progressive disease dis-continued study, patients with objective response were proposed to continue sorafenib, whereas patients with stable disease (SD) were randomly assigned (1:1) to maintenance or interruption of treatment. Primary endpoint was RE-CIST version 1.1 progression-free rate at 16 weeks after randomization (PFR-16w). Secondary endpoints included progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and toxicity. Statistical analyses used a sequential Bayes-ian approach with interim efficacy analyses. The enrolment could be stopped in the case of a 95% probability for the estimated PFR-16w to be higher in the maintenance than in the interruption arm (NCT02029001). Results: 151 patients were included, of whom 35 had SD at 12 weeks of Soraf-enib. For the 35 patients with SD on sorafenib, the PFR-16w was 65% [95% credibility interval 43.4–83.7] in the continuation arm and 25% [7.8–48.1] in the interruption arm. Median PFS and OS were improved in maintenance versus interruption arm (mPFS: 5.6 [95%CI 1.97–6.77] months versus 2.0 [95%CI 1.61–3.91] months (p =0.0231) and mOS : 14.3 [95%CI 8.9–23.8] versus 8.0 months [95%CI 3.5–15.2] (p =0.0857)). Conclusion: Sorafenib showed activity in progressive patients with solid tu-mors harboring somatic genomic alterations in sorafenib-targeted genes. Con-tinuing sorafenib when SD is achieved improves PFR compared to interruption
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1050.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Kyrgyz Republic; TB presumptive; failure; operational research; SORT IT; key population; private sector
Online: 15 May 2023 (14:09:10 CEST)
Until 2021, in the Kyrgyz Republic, tuberculosis(TB) was diagnosed and treated only in the public sector. With funding support of the STOP-TB partnership, the private providers in four regions of the country and Bishkek city were mapped, trained and incentivized to screen for, identify presumptive TB patients, and refer them to the public facilities for diagnosis and treatment. In this study, we describe the cascade of care of such patients. This was a cohort study involving secondary analysis of routine data. Of 79,352 patients screened during February 2021-March 2022, 2,511(3%) had presumptive TB, of whom, 903(36%) were not tested for TB [pre-diagnostic loss-to-follow-up]. A total of 323(13%) patients were diagnosed as TB, of whom, 42(13%) were not started on treatment [pre-treatment loss-to-follow-up]. Among 257 patients eligible for outcome assessment, 197(77%) had treatment success, 29(11%) were lost-to-follow-up, 13(5%) died, 4(2%) had treatment failure and 14(5%) were not evaluated. While this donor-funded, pioneering initiative was successful in engaging the private sector, we recommend the national TB programme to scale-up the initiative nationally with dedicated budgets, activities and plans to monitor the progress. Qualitative research is urgently needed to understand the reasons for the gaps in the care cascade.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1023.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Atypical anorexia nervosa; anorexia nervosa; Asian adolescents; eating disorders
Online: 15 May 2023 (10:33:45 CEST)
Atypical Anorexia Nervosa (AAN) had been found to have significant physical and psychological complications at presentation but has not been described in a multi-ethnic Asian population. This retrospective cohort analysis aimed to characterize the baseline presentation of adolescents with Anorexia nervosa (AN) (N=317) and AAN (N=141) in an Asian cohort that presented to a specialist paediatric eating disorder program between January 2010 to October 2020 for assessment. In patients with AAN, there were increased proportions of males (16% vs 7%) and of Malay ethnicity (11% vs 4%) compared to AN. Adolescents with AAN had lower admission rates (61% vs 81%) as well as lower rates of bradycardia (45% vs 75%) and hypotension (7% vs 21%) but higher rate of syncope (13% vs 7%) compared to adolescents with AN. However, adolescents with AAN had higher frequency of psychological complications including self-harm and drug overdose (14% vs 1.5%) requiring admission as well as higher rates of purging (45.1% vs 14.8%) and for Eating Disorder Questionnaire score in the shape domain was more severe. Asian adolescents with AAN manifest with physical complications of malnutrition and had worse eating disorder psychopathology with higher frequency of other psychological co-morbidities underlining the severity of the illness.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1011.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Vitamin B12 deficiency; Folate deficiency; School-age children; Adolescents; CNNS
Online: 15 May 2023 (09:45:12 CEST)
Deficiencies of vitamin B12 (B12) and folate (FA) are of particular interest due to their pleiotropic role in 1-carbon metabolism. In addition to adverse birth outcomes, deficiencies of B12 and FA, or an imbalance in FA/B12 status, are linked to metabolic disorders. Indian diets that are predominantly plant food-based could be deficient in these vitamins, but there are no national estimates of the prevalence of B12 and FA deficiency in Indian children and adolescents, nor of their associations with age, sex, and growth indicators. The recent Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS-2016-18) provided estimates of the prevalence of B12 and FA deficiency at the national and state level among preschool (1-4y: 9,976 and 11,004 children respectively), school-age children (5-9y: 12,156 and 14,125) and adolescents (10-19y: 11,748 and 13,621). Serum B12 and erythrocyte FA were measured by the direct chemiluminescence method and their deficiency was defined using WHO cut-offs. The prevalence of B12 and FA deficiency was high among adolescents (31.0%, CI: 28.7-33.5 and 35.6%, CI: 33.1-8.2), compared to school-age (17.3%, CI: 15.4-19.3 and 27.6%, CI: 25.5-29.9) and preschool children (13.8%, CI: 11.7-16.2 and 22.8%, CI: 20.5-25.2, respectively). The prevalence of both B12 and FA deficiency was significantly higher by 8 and 5% points respectively, in adolescent boys compared to girls. The prevalence of B12 deficiency was higher in moderately stunted school children (by 18.9% points) than in normal children, but no such difference was observed for FA deficiency. There was wide regional variation in the prevalence of B12 and FA deficiency, but no rural-urban differences were observed across all age groups. The national prevalence of B12 deficiency among preschool or school-age children was <20% (the cut-off that indicates a public health problem). However, FA deficiency in these age groups and both FA and B12 deficiencies in adolescents were >20%, which warrants further investigation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0855.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Amphetamine; Methylphenidate; Suicide attempt; Intentional misuse; Older adults
Online: 11 May 2023 (13:23:41 CEST)
Introduction: Given increasing adult use of amphetamine and methylphenidate and their high misuse potential, we examined suspected suicide attempts and other intentional misuse and medical outcomes and their associations with co-used other substances among amphetamine and methylphenidate exposure cases age 50+.Methods: Using the 2015-2021 U.S. National Poison Data System (N=7,701 amphetamine and/or methylphenidate cases), we fit two generalized linear models for a Poisson distribution with log link function, with suspected suicide attempt versus intentional misuse and major medical effect/death versus other outcomes as the dependent variables. Results: Of all amphetamine/methylphenidate exposure cases, suspected suicide attempts and intentional misuse were 28.4% and 13.2%, respectively. Benzodiazepine use was associated with a higher likelihood but any illicit drug use was associated with a lower likelihood of suspected suicide attempts compared to intentional misuse. Type of stimulant involved (amphetamine or methylphenidate) was not significant. Co-use of antidepressants (IRR=1.43, 95% CI=1.16-1.76), prescription opioids (IRR=1.48, 95% CI=1.21-1.81), drugs for cardiovascular disease (IRR=1.51 95% CI=1.20-1.90), antipsychotics (IRR=1.26, 95% CI=1.02-1.55), or illicit drugs (IRR=2.40, 95% CI=1.82-3.15) was associated with a higher likelihood of major effect/death.Conclusions: Suspected suicide attempts or intentional misuse accounted for more than 40% of amphetamine or methylphenidate exposure cases age 50+. The higher likelihood of major effect/death in cases involving antidepressants, antipsychotics, and cardiovascular disease drugs also suggests confounding effects of comorbid mental and physical health problems. Careful monitoring of those who were prescribed amphetamine or methylphenidate and use other substances are needed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0779.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: COVID-19 Pandemic; Emotions; Iran; National Survey; Online Study; Psychological Impact
Online: 11 May 2023 (04:17:09 CEST)
Identifying the psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the general population can help with planning and preparing for future pandemics. The main objective of the current study was to examine the psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic among Iranian citizens in 2021. The current study used an online cross-sectional survey via web-based questionnaires among Iranian citizens. Perceived feelings during the COVID-19 pandemic were measured by the validated self-reported inventory by Reynolds et al, 2007. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, including percent, mean, and standard deviation, as well as inferential statistics, including, correlation, chi-square, independent t-test, and analysis of variances (ANOVA) by SPSS.22. The average age of the respondents was 34.62 (±11.86). The most frequent feelings experienced by Iranian citizens were boredom (44.0%), nostalgia (40.6%), anxiety (35.3%), and nervousness (34.1%). Female participants, younger respondents, unemployed, single individuals, and those living in the urban areas experienced significantly higher levels of the negative feelings. The results of the study showed the high prevalence of the psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Iranian citizens, particularly among women, single, and unemployed people. Therefore, we need to develop more supportive and consultative packages for future pandemics as well as implement psychological rehabilitation after the crises.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0757.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Covid-19; Vaccine; Medical Science Students; Mandatory Policy
Online: 10 May 2023 (14:01:57 CEST)
Introduction. Covid-19 faced the world with serious health and socioeconomic issues. At the very beginning of the pandemics, the vaccine was considered by health authorities and the medical community the only way to curb the spread of the virus. One of the measures that have been proposed to increase vaccinations was the mandatory policy. The purpose of this study was to compare determinants of voluntary and mandatory vaccination among students of Albanian University. Methodology: This cross-sectional study by means of an online survey, was conducted among students enrolled in the private University “Albanian University”, Tirana, Albania during the last week of winter semester 7-14 Feb 2022. Results: 878 students participated in this study, among them 612 (69.7%) were females, 266 (30%) were males. 506 (57%) of the participants were enrolled in Medical Sciences (MS), 372(42.3%) were Non-Medical Science (Non-MS) group. 773 (88%) was vaccinated against Covid-19, 105 (11.8%) were not vaccinated. 466 (53%) reported voluntary vaccination, 412 (46.9%) reported mandatory vaccination. Among students that vaccinated voluntary 266 (57%) were from MS group, 200(42.9%) from Non-MS group. 237(57.5%) of students in mandatory vaccination group were from MS group, 175 (42.4%) from Non-MS. Conlusion. Vaccine safety and efficacy were hindering factors of vaccination. Also, based on the results of this study, the students felt encouraged to vaccinate by the academic staff. This clearly demonstrates that the staff does not lack the skills to enhance stu-dents' knowledge about the risk of infectious diseases and the importance of vaccination. Therefore, to influence as much as possible students’ attitude toward vaccination, comprehensive educational programs including modification of existing curricula should be considered.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0679.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: clinical pathways; lower limbs; quality of life; non-union fractures
Online: 10 May 2023 (04:00:12 CEST)
Patients with non-union fractures spend extended periods in the hospital following poor healing. Patients have to make several follow-up visits for medical and rehabilitation purposes. However, the clinical pathways and quality of life of these patients are unknown. This prospective study aimed to identify the clinical pathways (CPs) of 22 patients with lower limb non-union fractures whilst determining their quality of life. Data were collected from hospital records on admission through discharge, utilising a CP questionnaire. We used the same questionnaire to track patients' follow-up frequency, involvement in activities of daily living, and outcomes at six months. We used the short form-36 questionnaire to assess patients’ initial quality of life. The Kruskal-Wallis test compared the quality of life domains across different fracture sites. We examined CPs using medians and inter-quantile ranges. During the six-month follow-up period, 12 patients with lower limb non-union fractures were readmitted. All of the patients had impairments, limited activity, and participation restrictions. Lower limb fractures can have a substantial impact on emotional and physical health, and lower limb non-union fractures may have an even greater effect on the emotional and physical health of patients, necessitating a more holistic approach to patient care.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0555.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Antibiotics; Antimicrobial resistance; Mechanisms of resistance; Drivers of resistance; Measures to combat resistance
Online: 9 May 2023 (03:50:03 CEST)
Antibiotics are the most magnificent discovery of 20th century that have saved millions of lives from infectious diseases. Microbes have developed acquired antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to many drugs due to high selection pressure from increasing use and misuse of antibiotics over the years. The transmission and acquisition of AMR occur primarily via human–human interface both within and outside of the healthcare facilities. A huge number of interdependent factors related to healthcare and agriculture govern the development of AMR through various drug resistance mechanisms. The emergence and spread of AMR from the unrestricted use of antimicrobials in livestock feed has been a major contributing factor. The prevalence of AMR bacteria has attained its incongruous level worldwide and threatening global public health as silent pandemic, necessitating urgent intervention. Therapeutic options of AMR bacterial infections are limited resulting in significant morbidity and mortality with high financial impact. The paucity in discovery and supply of new novel antimicrobials to treat life-threatening AMR infections stands in sharp contrast to demand. Immediate interventions to contain AMR include surveillance and monitoring, minimizing over the counter antibiotics and antibiotics in food animals, access to quality and affordable medicines, vaccines and diagnostics, and enforcement of legislation. An orchestral collaborative action within and between multiple national and international organizations are required urgently, otherwise, a post-antibiotic era can be a real possibility than an apocalyptic fantasy for the 21st century. This narrative review highlights on the basis, mechanisms and factors in microbial resistance and key strategies to combat antimicrobial resistance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0493.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: treatment outcomes; DR-TB; MDR-TB; TB-HIV co-infection; treatment success rate
Online: 8 May 2023 (09:36:25 CEST)
An essential metric for determining the efficacy of tuberculosis (TB) control programs is the evaluation of TB treatment outcomes. Assessing treatment outcomes is fundamental to facilitating the End TB Strategy set target. Clinic records from 457 patients with DR-TB were examined for data collection while 101 patients were followed up prospectively. Data were analyzed using Stata version 17.0. The odds ratio and 95% confidence interval were calculated to check the association between variables. P ≤ 0.05 was con-sidered statistically significant. Of the 427 participants, 65.8% had successful treatment whilst 34.2% had unsuccessful TB treatment. A total of 61.2% and 39% of the HIV-positive and HIV-negative participants had a successful TB treatment whilst 66% and 34% of both HIV-negative and positive participants had unsuccessful TB treatment. From 101 patients that were followed up, smokers had longer treatment outcomes compared to non-smokers. In the study with HIV/TB co-infection, men predominated. HIV and tuberculosis co-infection made therapy difficult with unfavorable effects on TB management. The treatment success rate (65.8%) is lower than the WHO threshold standard with a high proportion of patients lost to follow-up. The co-infection of tuberculosis and HIV resulted in undesirable treatment outcomes. Strengthening TB surveillance and control is recommended.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0494.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Radicalisation; Social Media; Public Mental Health; Online Radicalisation
Online: 8 May 2023 (09:36:22 CEST)
This systematic review seeks to position online radicalisation within whole system frameworks incorporating individual, family, community and wider structural influences, whilst reporting evidence of public mental health approaches for individuals engaging in radical online content. Methods: Authors searched Medline (via Ovid), PsycInfo (via Ebscohost) and Web of Science (Core Collection), with the use of Boolean operators across ‘extremism’, ‘online content’, and ‘intervention’. Results: Following assessment of full text, all retrieved papers had to be excluded. Results from six excluded articles which did not fit inclusion criteria but identified theoretical relationships between all three elements of online extremism, psychological outcomes, and intervention strategy, were discussed. Authors found no articles outlining public mental health approaches to specifically online radicalisation. Conclusions: There is an immediate need for further research in this field given the increase in different factions of radicalised beliefs resulting from online, particularly social media, usage.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0376.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: monkeypox; One Health; Big Data analytics; deep learning; blockchain; cybersecurity; vaccine; sexually transmitted diseases; HIV
Online: 6 May 2023 (04:50:56 CEST)
World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the monkeypox (MPX) epidemic a global public health emergency due to its re-emergence, remarkable increase in the number of MPX cases worldwide, and its potential spread. This paper introduces the symptoms, complications, and features of MPX; its transmission, diagnosis and testing, vaccines and treatment; MPX and sexually transmitted diseases, especially the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); possible natural hosts or reservoirs of the monkeypox virus (MPXV). A useful tool for MPX and surgical safety recommendations are presented. The challenges in fighting the MPX epidemic, One Health strategy, and future research are discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0366.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: medical tests, accuracy, cost-effectiveness analysis, matching intervention, lower bound
Online: 5 May 2023 (11:48:27 CEST)
Medical tests' cost-effectiveness analysis reveals a strong correlation between their accuracy and analysis results. Theoretically, we provide two lower bounds that medical tests' accuracy must exceed to be considered cost-effective. Theoretically, we provide two lower bounds that the accuracy of medical tests meeting cost-effectiveness must exceed. First, medical tests' accuracy should surpass the lower bound of matching requirements for each patient to receive the most appropriate intervention based on their test results. Second, the overall lower limit should be exceeded for the medical testing to be cost-effective for the patients as a whole. Furthermore, the conclusions from this model also provide an economic explanation for the under-diagnosis of rare diseases and the challenges faced in implementing precision medicine for minority patients. A numerical simulation example validates the conclusions of this paper.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0363.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: young caregivers; pandemic; service providers; qualitative; social determinants of health
Online: 5 May 2023 (11:37:18 CEST)
This empirical research is part of a larger project beginning in 2020 and ongoing until 2023 exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young caregivers aged 5-25 years and their families in Canada. Utilizing the social determinants of health as a conceptual framework, this case study emphasizes the voices of professionals offering services to young caregiver clients during the pandemic, and explores their perspectives on the impact of the pandemic on young caregivers and their families. Across three (3) different organizations offering programs and services to young caregiver clients in Ontario, six (6) individual interviews were conducted with directors/program managers and four (4) group interviews were conducted with thirteen (13) staff members who worked directly with young caregivers and their families. Nineteen (19) service providers participated in total. The results of this study highlight five (5) primary themes that emerged through data analysis: i) the role of service providers, ii) the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on organizations and service providers supporting young caregivers and their families, iii) barriers for service users, iv) helpful resources for service providers and organizations, and v) resources needed/preferred by service providers and organization. The pandemic significantly impacted young caregivers and their families, as reported by professionals, and organizations working with young caregivers and their families were tasked with addressing increased service demands and adapting service delivery to follow public health guidelines.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0353.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: quality of life; COVID-19; pandemic; rectal cancer; radiochemotherapy; age; sex; stage
Online: 5 May 2023 (10:39:38 CEST)
Colorectal cancer remains one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers. Advanced rectal cancer patients receive neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy as well as surgery and suffer under reduced health-related quality of life due to various side effects. We were interested in the role of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affected those patients’ quality of life. A total of 489 advanced rectal cancer patients from the University Hospital Erlangen in Germany were surveyed between May 2010 and March 2022 and asked to fill out the EORTC QLQ-C30 and QLQ-CR38 questionnaire over eight different time points: in the beginning, during and after radiochemotherapy, right before surgery and in yearly intervals after surgery for up to four years. Answers were converted to scores to compare the COVID-19 period to the time before March 2020 focusing on the follow-ups, the developments over time – including by sex and age - and the influence of the TNM cT-stage. Overall, a trend of impaired functional and symptom scores was found across all surveys with few significances (body image -10.6 percentage points (pp) after one year; defecation problems +13.5 pp, insomnia +10.2 pp and weight loss +9.8 pp after three years; defecation problems +11.3 pp after four years). cT4-stage patients lost significantly more weight than their cT1-3-stage counterparts (+10.7 to 13.7 pp). Further studies should be conducted to find possible causes and develop countermeasures for future major infectious diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0083.v2
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Drug-resistant TB; heteroresistance; mutations; spoligotyping
Online: 5 May 2023 (07:26:31 CEST)
In South Africa, drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) continues to be a serious public health issue. Gene mutations and the genotyping of DR-TB in a rural Eastern Cape Province have not previously been studied. We detected prevalent mutations of DR-TB, identified genetic diversity, and assigned lineages. Sputum specimens obtained from 1157 patients suspected with tuberculosis were assayed for rifam-pin-resistance using Xpert® MTB/RIF.and detection of mutations conferring resistance to anti-TB drugs was carried out using GenoType MTBDRplus VER 2.0. Thereafter, 441 isolates were spoligotyped. The most prevalent rifampin resistance-conferring mutations were in rpoB codon S531L. The INH resistant strains, 54.5% had mutations in katG gene at codon S315TB and 24.7% with mutations in inhA gene at codon C-15TB. Furthermore 69.9% strains displayed mutations involving both rpoB and katG genes, while 24.6% strains displayed mutations involving both rpoB and inhA genes. Overall prevalence of hetero-resistance was 17.9%. Beijing family was predominant from Spoligotyping analysis. The diversity of mutations in the study provides information for investigating the evolutional lineages of M. tuberculosis isolates. The recognition frequency of rpoB, katG and inhA mutations in different study areas may help to guide decision‑making about standardization of treatment regimens or individualized treatment in areas where these mutations have been found.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0261.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Immune; Metabolic; Inflammation; Kidney Disease
Online: 4 May 2023 (10:47:27 CEST)
Kidney disease is a significant health problem worldwide, affecting an estimated 10% of the global population. Kidney disease encompasses a diverse group of disorders that vary in their underlying pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and outcomes. These disorders include acute kidney injury (AKI), chronic kidney disease (CKD), glomerulonephritis, nephrotic syndrome, polycystic kidney disease, diabetic kidney disease, and many others. Despite their distinct etiologies, these disorders share a common feature of immune system dysregulation and metabolic disturbances. The immune system and metabolic pathways are intimately connected and interact to modulate the pathogenesis of kidney diseases. The dysregulation of immune responses in kidney diseases includes a complex interplay between various immune cell types, including resident and infiltrating immune cells, cytokines, chemokines, and complement factors. These immune factors can trigger and perpetuate kidney inflammation, causing renal tissue injury and progressive fibrosis. In addition, metabolic pathways play critical roles in the pathogenesis of kidney diseases, including glucose and lipid metabolism, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and altered nutrient sensing. Dysregulation of these metabolic pathways contributes to the progression of kidney disease by inducing renal tubular injury, apoptosis, and fibrosis. Recent studies have provided insights into the intricate interplay between immune and metabolic pathways in kidney diseases, revealing novel therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of kidney diseases. Potential therapeutic strategies include modulating immune responses through targeting key immune factors or inhibiting pro-inflammatory signaling pathways, improving mitochondrial function, and targeting nutrient-sensing pathways such as mTOR, AMPK, and SIRT1. This review highlights the importance of the interplay between immune and metabolic pathways in kidney diseases and the potential therapeutic implications of targeting these pathways.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0190.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: obesity; risk assessment; metabolic syndrome; AIP; HOMA-IR; risk stratification
Online: 4 May 2023 (04:32:38 CEST)
The pandemic of obesity worldwide has been recognized as a very important challenge. Within its complexity the identification of higher risk patients becomes essential since it seems unsustainable trying to offer access to treatment to all people with obesity. Several new approaches have recently been presented as important tools for risk stratification. This research applied some of these tools in a cross-sectional study involving adults with obesity classes I, II, III and super obesity. The participants had their cardiometabolic risk profile assessed. The study included adults with obesity, aged 18 to 50 years (n=404) who were evaluated for anthropometric, body composition, hemodynamic, physical fitness and biochemical assessments. These variables were used to identify the prevalence of risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases according to the classes of obesity, by gender and age group. The results showed a high prevalence of risk factors, especially among the upper classes of obesity (BMI > 35 kg/m2) using single parameters as the waist circumference with almost 90% above the cut-off point. But there were also smaller numbers as the Glycated Hemoglobin whose prevalence was around 30%. Indexes like the atherogenic index of plasma (AIP) had the highest prevalence, with 100% of the male participants identified with increased risk for cardiovascular diseases.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0149.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Acute liver failure; viral hepatitis; sub-Saharan Africa
Online: 3 May 2023 (12:40:38 CEST)
Though there has been a decline in the number of new cases of viral hepatitis-induced acute liver failure in Europe and the United States of America, viral hepatitis still remains the leading cause of acute liver failure in Asia-Pacific and South America. However, the epidemiology of viral-hepatitis-induced acute liver failure in sub-Saharan Africa-the world epicenter of viral hepatitis-is unclear. The aim of this review was to collate data on the incidence, prevalence, specific etiologic agents, features/diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of viral-induced acute liver failure in sub-Saharan Africa. One hundred and forty-seven cases of viral-induced acute liver failure were recorded in 11 studies conducted in six countries between 1981-2020. Etiological agents were: Hepatitis viruses A, B, C, and E, as well as Adenovirus, Enterovirus, Parvovirus, Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) and EBV. HAV was the most frequent in paediatric subjects: (11/16) 69% and (19/30) 63%. HBV was the only etiological agent in the study that only included adults. HEV (genotype 2 in one study) contracted amidst hepatitis E outbreaks was the most commonly reported cause of ALF in pregnant women. Treatment was mainly supportive, and liver transplantation reported only in South Africa. Where reported, case fatality rates were high. In conclusion, viral-hepatitis induced acute liver failure is largely understudied in sub-Saharan Africa. The few available data are consistent with literature from the other parts of the world regarding aetiologic agents. Liver transplantation is not available in most sub-Saharan African countries, and short-term case fatality rates of individuals with acute liver failure could outstrip current rates from the other world regions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0115.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: blockchain; federated learning; pandemic prevention and control; privacy-preserving
Online: 3 May 2023 (08:16:57 CEST)
A pandemic can have a huge impact on normal human life and the economy, taking COVID-19 as an example. While the population flow between countries and regions is the main factor affecting the change of a pandemic, exactly as the airline network. Therefore, realizing the overall control of airports is an effective way to control a pandemic. However, restricted to the differences in prevention and control policies in different areas and privacy issues, the patients’ personal data of the medical center cannot be effectively combined with the passengers’ personal data. This prevents more precise airport control decisions from being made. To the end, this paper designs a novel data sharing framework (i.e., PPChain) based on blockchain and federated learning. The experiment shows that the relationship between the epidemic and aircraft transport can be effectively explored by PPChain, without sharing raw data. This approach does not require centralized trust and improves the security of the shareing process.The scheme can help formulate more scientific and rational prevention and control policies on airports’ control. And it can use aerial data to predict pandemics more accurately.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0089.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Acceptance; COVID-19; Cross-sectional study; Federal University of Health Sciences Otukpo; Vaccine hesitancy; Nigeria
Online: 3 May 2023 (02:51:50 CEST)
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has had devastating impacts on the global economy and public health. This study aimed to assess the level of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance, hesitancy, and associated factors among staff and students of the Federal University of Health Sciences Otukpo, Benue State, Nigeria. A web-based cross-sectional survey was conducted between November 2021 and April 2022, and data were collected and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Of the 150 completed and analyzed questionnaires, the majority of respondents (80.0%) were between 16 and 45 years old. The study found that 58.4% of participants indicated vaccine hesitancy, with skepticism about the vaccine's fast production/rollout and fear of vaccine side effects being the most common reasons for hesitation. Respondents' age, religion, and category were significant factors influencing vaccine acceptance and hesitancy (P < 0.05). The university community has a high level of awareness of COVID-19 but low vaccine acceptance, resulting in high levels of vaccine hesitancy. The study recommends that policymakers and public health officials should prioritize testing and vaccination for job categories with higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. They should provide accurate information about COVID-19 testing and vaccination and implement workplace-based testing and vaccination programs. These interventions can help to increase COVID-19 testing and vaccination uptake among the university community and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0061.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Social engagement; social rehabilitation; community-based; financial analysis; Momentum Center
Online: 2 May 2023 (05:28:57 CEST)
Cost-effective community engagement is needed to address causes of mental illness related to social issues (i.e. isolation, stigma and lack of purpose) that are typically outside the scope of healthcare. This pilot study evaluated the relationship between clinical healthcare resources and a community-based social engagement organization in a medium-sized community in the midwestern US. Analyses were based on a retrospective longitudinal comparison of clinical visit frequency from two cohorts that joined the Momentum Center for Social Engagement (MC) and either frequently participated (Engaged; n = 9) or had extenuating circumstances limiting participation (Non-engaged; n = 3). The frequency of >1800 visits to the member’s primary mental healthcare provider were compared during the period from November 2016 - May 2021. Engaged MC members reduced frequency of regular visits to their primary mental healthcare provider by 50%, while Non-engaged MC members maintained clinical visit frequency. The financial value of reduced healthcare visits and associated wellbeing improvements was estimated to be $1.0 million, 95% CI: [$0.6-1.4 million], or roughly four times the budget received by the MC from the healthcare provider. Thus, the MC appears to be a valuable approach to improving mental health in conjunction with existing community healthcare services. Clinical implications include considering the unique MC-style community-based support as a component of practice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0054.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: college students; oral health education experience; oral health knowledge; oral health practice behaviors; oral health care self-efficacy
Online: 2 May 2023 (04:32:07 CEST)
Since the college years represent an important period for forming oral health behaviors during adulthood, it is important that college students establish proper oral health-promoting behaviors. Therefore, this study aims to identify the effects of oral health education experience, knowledge, and practice behaviors on oral health care self-efficacy among college students, as studies related to this topic are scarce. A total of 236 college students participated in a questionnaire survey comprising 21 questions. The collected data were analyzed through a chi-square test, independent-samples t-test, and logistic regression analysis using SPSS version 22.0. Participants with oral health education experience showed higher levels of oral health knowledge and practice behaviors than those who did not, and the odds of them having oral health care self-efficacy was 3.743 higher. Moreover, a one-unit increase in oral health knowledge and practice behaviors was associated with a 1.199 and 1.351 increase in oral health care self-efficacy, respectively. For oral health promotion among college students, oral health care self-efficacy reinforcement programs tailored to college students should be developed. These should focus on expanding oral health education opportunities to promote improvement in oral health care self-efficacy by strengthening oral health knowledge and the motivation to practice oral health behaviors.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.1273.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Diabetes; parents; children; adolescents; quality of life; stress; family burden
Online: 30 April 2023 (10:11:40 CEST)
Chronic diseases such as childhood DM are a complex and continuous struggle as well as a great challenge both for the children who face the disease and for their parents. Type 1 DM is characterized by the complex management of the therapeutic treatment thus causing physical and psychological complications in family members. There are many families who, upon hearing the diagnosis of their child with DM, stand still in front of these new facts as their lives change. All these unprecedented conditions cause parents intense stress, discomfort and mental burden as the only thing that concerns them now is how the family will survive in the face of the current conditions they are experiencing as well as the future of the sick child. The purpose of this brief literature review is to present the research findings which are related to the quality of life among parents of children and adolescents with diabetes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.1223.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Hydrogen; cardiovascular; metabolic diseases; diet; oxidative stress; inflammation
Online: 29 April 2023 (07:44:53 CEST)
The sustainable development goals(SDG) of the UNO would be difficult to achieve without prevention of metabolic diseases and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Western diet and lifestyle, which are major risk factors of NCDs, are known to cause oxidative stress and decrease in production of molecular hydrogen in the intestines which leads to a decline in endogenous antioxidant status in the body, leading to increase in systemic inflammation. Many experts consider molecular hydrogen as a potential nutrient, which may be administered as gas in the body. There are gaps in the knowledge about the role molecular hydrogen plays, in the treatment of metabolic diseases and other NCDs This review aims to discuss the role of hydrogen in the pathogenesis and prevention of NCDs. Molecular hydrogen (H2) has been studied extensively as a therapeutic gas, with an estimated 2000 publications to date, exploring its potential therapeutic use in 170 disease models across every organ in the mammalian body. Hydrogen therapy can be administered through several methods, such as H2 inhalation, dissolving H2 gas in water to make hydrogen-rich water (HRW) for oral consumption or topical application, or hydrogen-rich saline. The exact mechanism of action of molecular hydrogen is not known but it is in itself a potential antioxidant that can also inhibit hydroxyl and nitrosyl radicals in the cells and tissues. Hydrogen is known to cause a marked decline in oxidative stress, and inflammation that are crucial in the pathogenesis of NCDs. Hydrogen therapy has been found protective against NCDs, including, metabolic diseases, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), neurodegenerative diseases, chronic kidney disease, cancer and chronic lung diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.1202.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: young caregiver; baseline interviews; pandemic; qualitative; COVID-19; longitudinal; social determinants of health
Online: 29 April 2023 (04:09:48 CEST)
This qualitative research study is a part of a larger research project exploring the experiences of young caregivers aged 5-26 years and their families navigating the COVID-19 pandemic between 2020 to 2023. Data was collected from 14 young caregivers who participated in baseline interviews. The central research question guiding this study: What was, is, and will be the impact of changing public health restrictions on young caregivers and their families during the pandemic and pandemic recovery? Seven themes emerged through analysis: 1) Navigating Care During the Height of Public Health Restrictions, 2) Neighbourhood and Built Environment During the Pandemic, 3) Perceptions Towards COVID and Public Health Restrictions/Efforts, 4) The Impact of Public Health Restrictions on Relationships, 5) Mental Health Challenges of Being a Young Caregiver During a Pandemic, 6) Navigating Formal Services and Supports and 7) Recommendations from Young Caregivers. The findings from this empirical research suggest that young caregivers found it easier to navigate their caregiving responsibilities when public health restrictions and work-from-home mandates were initially implemented, however, this later changed due to challenges in finding respite from caregiving, maintaining social connections with friends, creating personal space at home, and finding adequate replacements of programs once offered in-person.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.1171.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Tricellular tight junction protein; LSR; RAGE; Bronchial asthma; Titanium dioxide
Online: 28 April 2023 (11:07:00 CEST)
The tricellular tight junction protein angulin-1/lipolysis-stimulated lipoprotein receptor (LSR) is associated with numerous signal transduction pathways that regulate gene expression, epithelial cell function, and morphogenesis. The impacts of particulate matter on LSR and asthma are not known. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess the impacts of air pollution on LSR expression in asthma. To this end, we investigated the involvement of LSR in the pathogenesis of bronchial asthma in an ovalbumin (OVA) mouse model of asthma exposed to titanium dioxide (TiO2), and examined plasma LSR levels and their relationship with clinical variables in asthma patients and healthy controls. Plasma LSR levels were lower in asthma patients than in healthy controls. Although plasma levels of receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) were lower in asthma patients than in healthy controls, high mobility group box protein 1 (HMGB1) levels did not differ between these groups. In asthma patients, LSR levels were correlated with the forced vital capacity percentage, ratio of forced expiration (first second)-to-forced vital capacity, white blood cell count, and blood lymphocyte proportion. In mice, LSR expression was significantly decreased in OVA mice compared with control mice, and changed in OVA mice exposed to TiO2. Transforming growth factor beta levels were increased in OVA mice compared with control mice, and changed in OVA mice exposed to TiO2. Overall, plasma LSR levels were decreased in asthma patients, and were influenced by exposure to air pollution. These findings suggest the involvement of LSR in the pathogenesis of asthma.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.1164.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: COVID-19; rapid diagnostic tests; refugees; prevention; Ag-RDTs; PCR
Online: 28 April 2023 (10:33:29 CEST)
1) Background: Northwest Syria (NWS), is a conflict-affected and unstable area. Due to its limited health infrastructure, accessing advanced COVID-19 testing services is challenging. COVID-19 antigen rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) have the potential to overcome this barrier. Therefore, a pilot project was implemented to introduce Ag-RDTs in this setting aiming to a) describe the feasibility, uptake, and results of Ag-RDTs; and b) identify facilitators and barriers to Ag-RDTs testing. 2) Methods: A cross-sectional study design involving secondary analysis of data collected during the project’s monitoring was developed. A local NGO implemented 25,000 Ag-RDTs cross boarder through trained community health workers. 3) Results: A total of 27,888 persons were found eligible and enrolled, of which 24,956 (89.5%) consented to test and 121 (0.5%) were found positive. Highest positivity was observed among those with severe COVID-19 symptoms (12.7%), those with respiratory illnesses (2.5%), persons enrolled at Afrin Hospitals (2.5%), and healthcare workers (1.9%). A non-random sample of 236 people underwent confirmatory rt-PCR test. Accordingly, observed sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, were 80.0%, 96.1%, 91.4% and 90.3%, respectively. Key encountered challenges included obtaining informed consent and conducting confirmatory rt-PCR testing. 4) Conclusion: This project demonstrated great feasibility utilizing Ag-RDTs as a screening/diagnostic tool for COVID-19 infections with nearly 90% uptake. Considering the high specificity and negative predictive values and the higher positivity rates among severe COVID-19 symptomatic, embedding Ag-RDTs into COVID-19 testing strategies for ruling out and in COVID-19 infections would hold a great advantage.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.1149.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Primary cardiac sarcoma; SEER database; prognostic factors; clinical characteristics
Online: 28 April 2023 (08:42:14 CEST)
Background: Primary cardiac sarcomas (PCS) are extremely rare malignant tumors involving the heart. Only isolated case reports have been described. There is a paucity of data on the epidemiological characteristics of PCS. This study has the objective of investigating the epidemiologic characteristics, survival outcomes, and independent prognostic factors of PCS. Methods: We enrolled a total of 362 patients with PCS, between 2000 and 2017, by retrieving the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. We analyzed demographics, clinical characteristics, and overall mortality (OM) as well as cancer-specific mortality (CSM) of PCS. Variables with a p-value < 0.1 in the univariate Cox regression were incorporated into the multivariate Cox model to determine the independent prognostic factors, with a hazard ratio (HR) of greater than 1 representing adverse prognostic factors. Results: Crude analysis revealed a high OM in age 80+ (HR=5.958, 95% CI 3.357-10.575, p=0), followed by age 60-79 (HR=1.429, 95% CI 1.028-1.986, p=0.033); and PCS with distant metastases (HR=1.888, 95% CI 1.389-2.566, p=0). Patients that underwent surgical resection of the primary tumor and patients with malignant fibrous histiocytomas (HR=0.657, 95% CI 0.455-0.95, p=0.025) had a better OM (HR=0.606, 95% CI 0.465-0.791, p=0). The highest cancer-specific mortality was observed in age 80+ (HR=5.037, 95% CI 2.606-9.736, p=0) and patients with distant metastases (HR=1.953, 95% CI 1.396-2.733, p=0). Patients with malignant fibrous histiocytomas (HR=0.572, 95% CI 0.378-0.865, p=0.008) and those who underwent surgery (HR=0.581, 95% CI 0.436-0.774, p=0) had a lower CSM. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression analyses revealed higher OM in the age group 80+ (HR=13.261, 95% CI 5.839-30.119, p=0) and advanced disease with distant metastases (HR=2.013, 95% CI 1.355-2.99, p=0.001). Lower OM was found in patients with rhabdomyosarcoma (HR=0.364, 95% CI 0.154-0.86, p=0.021) and widowed patients (HR=0.506, 95% CI 0.263-0.977, p=0.042). Multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression analyses of CSM also revealed higher mortality in the same groups, and lower mortality in patients with Rhabdomyosarcoma. Conclusion: In this United States population-based retrospective cohort study using the SEER database, we found that cardiac rhabdomyosarcoma was associated with the lowest CSM and OM. Furthermore, as expected, age and advanced disease at diagnosis were independent factors predicting poor prognosis. Surgical resection of the primary tumor showed lower CSM and OM in the crude analysis but when adjusted for covariates in the multivariate analysis, it did not significantly impact the overall mortality or the cancer-specific mortality. These findings allow for treating clinicians to recognize patients that should be referred to palliative/hospice care at the time of diagnosis and avoid any surgical interventions as they did not show any differences in mortality. Surgical resection in patients with poor prognoses should be reserved as a palliative measure rather than an attempt to cure the disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.1047.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: zero-dose; childhood vaccination; missed communities; Cameroon
Online: 27 April 2023 (05:05:59 CEST)
Background: Manoka Health District (MHD), an enclaved archipelago district in Cameroon, is home to about 1,732 under-2 children. Over 90% of these children have not received a single dose of any vaccine. In this paper, we explored the reasons for the high proportion of zero-dose children in this district so as to generate information that policymakers can use to develop context-specific interventions to boast coverage for routine immunization (RI) in this remote fishing island Methodology: We collected qualitative data via key informant interviews (KII) and focused group discussions (FGD) and analyzed it using thematic analysis. Participants for KII were selected using purposive sampling, and a snowballing approach helped to recruit an intermixed population of locals and immigrants for FGDs. Results: MHD is a hard-to-reach zone with a lone health facility that lack a functional cold chain equipment to cover the 47 islets of the district. Diurnal floods, long distance, sea turbulence, infrastructural and resource constraints, and immigrant population without residence permits hinders optimal childhood vaccination. Insufficient community health workers and lack of proper community engagement with feedback loops hamper effective communication and vaccine uptake during campaigns and outreaches. The reasons for vaccination hesitancy included hospital-based vaccination preference over home-based vaccination, fear of post-vaccination fever, rumors, repeated postponement of the vaccination schedules, and refusal by some ethnic group leaders. Conclusion: This study revealed context-specific reasons for zero-dose childhood vaccination status in MHD. These findings should be leveraged to design tailored interventions to raise RI in MHD and similar under-vaccinated communities. Keywords: zero-dose, childhood vaccination, missed communities, Cameroon
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.1020.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Diabetes; Paediatric Psychology; Health And Well-Being; Health Care Service; Psychology Of Health; Health Professionals
Online: 27 April 2023 (03:51:24 CEST)
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) has shown an increase in the incidence rate of about 3% per year over the last two decades. Continuous Insulin Subcutaneous Therapy (CSII) is widely used in the paediatric population with diabetes; however, it requires more preparation by the treating team and careful selection of potential users. Prescriptive provisions vary from Region to Region and the perspective of health workers still remains an unexplored area. The aim of the research project is to explore the representations of a group of diabetologists and psychologists working in pediatric diabetology on the national territory, regarding roles, functions and activities as part of a multidisciplinary team; their views on the potential benefits of CSII and the types of individuals applying for the use of technology. A socio-anagraphic data sheet was administered and two homogeneous focus groups were conducted by profession; they were audio recorded. The transcripts produced were analysed using the Emotional Text Mining (ETM) methodology. Each of the two corpus generated three clusters and two factors: for diabetologists, a focus on the patient in different levels of care emerged, collaborating both with other health professionals and with the territory, through the proposal of an intervention where the medical aspect is often represented by technology; also for psychologists there was a representation of interdisciplinary networking, with a greater focus on the processes inherent the management of pathology, from acceptance to the elaboration and integration of diabetes in the family narrative. The understanding of the representations of health professionals working in pediatric diabetes about new technologies can contribute to the consolidation of a network of professionals through a targeted work on possible critical issues emerged.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0999.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Barrett’s esophagus; inflammatory signaling pathways; intestinal metaplasia; mutational load; p53; dysplasia; carcinogenesis; esophageal adenocarcinoma
Online: 26 April 2023 (15:01:48 CEST)
Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is a premalignant lesion for esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). Development of Barrett’s esophagus is caused by biliary reflux that provokes intensive mutagenesis in stem cells of epithelium in distal esophagus and gastro-esophageal junction. Other possible cell origins of Barrett’s esophagus include stem cells of mucosal esophageal glands and their ducts, of stomach, residual embryonic cells and circulating bone marrow stem cells. Classic conception of healing of caustic lesion was replaced by idea of cytokine storm that forms inflammatory microenvironment for phenotypic shift toward intestinal metaplasia of distal esophagus. The review summarizes contemporary concepts of BE and EAC pathogenesis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0997.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: bovine mastitis; milk pathogens; environmental agents; microbiological diagnosis; clinical severity scores; days in milk
Online: 26 April 2023 (14:22:53 CEST)
Bovine mastitis is the most impacting disease of dairy industry, and it is characterized by a complexity of causal agents, which have revealed a geographical variation among regions and countries. The mastitis-related pathogens have been traditionally classified as contagious or environmental, based on habits of the microorganisms and transmission routes. In addition, the severity of mammary infections has been associated with the virulence of the pathogens, and immune and nutritional status of the hosts. Considering this scenario, we investigated the etiological nature, clinical severity scores, and days in milk (DIM) data in 4,273 clinical cases of bovine mastitis among ten large-dairy farms located in the Southeast region of Brazil. Streptococcus dysgalactiae (283/4,273=6.6%), Escherichia coli (190/4,273=4.4%), Prototheca spp. (112/4,273=2.6%), and Streptococcus uberis (95/4,273=2.2%) were the predominant pathogens isolated, all from the environmental origin. Among 4,273 clinical cases, clinical gravity score was available in 43.8% (1,871/4,273) animals. From these, 69.8% (1,306/1,871), 27.3% (510/1,871) and 2.9% (55/1,871) were scored as mild, moderate, and severe, respectively. Most of isolation of pathogens were observed in the first 100 days in milk, and their clinical severity scored as mild (3,612/4,273=84.5%). Our results contribute to the etiological identification, clinical severity scoring, and milking aspects of bovine clinical mastitis in dairy farms with a history of clinical mammary infections.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0939.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: oral health care; older people; multimorbidity; polypharmacy; frailty; sarcopenia; disability; care dependency
Online: 26 April 2023 (03:23:46 CEST)
The oral health of older individuals can be negatively impacted by various systemic health factors, leading to rapid oral health deterioration. Older people are at risk of experiencing adverse reactions to medications due to multimorbidity, polypharmacy, and changes in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Hyposalivation, a significant side effect of some medications, can be induced by both the type and number of medications used. Frailty, disability, sarcopenia, care dependency, and limited access to professional oral healthcare can also compromise the oral health of older people. To prevent rapid oral health deterioration, a comprehensive approach is required that involves effective communication between oral healthcare providers, other healthcare providers, and informal carers. Regardless of their health status, it is crucial to prioritize the well-being of older people. Oral healthcare providers have a responsibility to advocate for the importance of maintaining adequate oral health and to raise awareness of the serious consequences of weakened oral health. By doing so, we can prevent weakened oral health from becoming a geriatric syndrome.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0900.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Lymphatic Filariasis; pre-TAS; Prevalence; Antigenaemia; Microfilariae; Zambia
Online: 25 April 2023 (08:30:08 CEST)
Lymphatic filariasis (LF), also commonly known as elephantiasis, is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) caused by filarial parasites. The disease is transmitted by a bite from infected mosquitoes. The bites of these infected mosquitoes deposit filarial parasites, Wuchereria or Brugia whose predilection site is the lymphatic system. The damage to the lymph system causes swelling in the legs, arms, and genitalia. A mapping survey conducted between 2003 and 2010 determined LF that LF was endemic in Zambia in 96 out of 116 districts. Elimination of LF is known to be possible by stopping the spread of the infection through large-scale preventive chemotherapy. Therefore, mass drug administration (MDA) with diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) (6 mg/kg) and Albendazole (400 mg) for Zambia has been conducted and implemented in all endemic districts with five effective rounds. Post-MDA pre-transmission assessment survey (pre-TAS) was conducted between 2021 and 2022 in 80 districts to determine the LF prevalence rate. We conducted a cross-sectional seroprevalence study involving 600 participants in each Evaluation Unit (EU) or each district. The study sites (sentinel and spot-check sites) were the districts that were the Implementation Unites (IUs) where MDA, preventive chemotherapy against LF was conducted. These included 80 districts from the 9 provinces. A total of 47,235 people from sentinel and spot-check locations were tested. Of these, valid tests were 47,052 of which 27,762 (59%) were females and 19,290 (41%) were males. The survey revealed in the 79/80 endemic district a prevalence of Wb anti-gens of 0.14% and 0.0% prevalence of microfilariae. All the surveyed districts had an optimum prevalence of less than 2 percent, except for Chibombo district. The majority of participants that tested positive for Wb Ag were those that had 2, 3, and 4 rounds of MDA. Surprisingly, individuals that had 1 round of MDA were not found to have circulating antigens of Wb. The study showed that all the surveyed districts except for Chibombo, passed Pre-TAS. This further implies that there is a need to conduct a TAS in these districts in order to decide whether to stop MDA or not. Keywords: Lymphatic Filariasis; pre-TAS; Prevalence; Antigenaemia; Microfilariae; Zambia
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0895.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Covid pandemic; Bed Management; system solidness.
Online: 25 April 2023 (07:13:13 CEST)
The last decade was characterized by the reduction of hospital beds throughout Europe. When facing Covid pandemic, this has been an issue of major importance as hospitals were seriously overloaded with an unexpected growth in demand. The dichotomy formed by the scarcity of beds and the need for acute care was handled by the Bed Management (BM) function. This study explores how BM was able to help the solidness of the healthcare system, managing hospital beds at best and recruiting others in different set-tings as intermediate care, in a large Local Health Authority (LHA) in central Italy. Ad-ministrative data show how the provision of appropriate care was achieved recruiting approximately 500 beds belonging to private healthcare facilities affiliated with the re-gional healthcare system and exercising at best the BM function. The ability of the system to absorb the extra demand caused by Covid was made possible using intermediate care beds, which allowed to stretch the logistic boundaries of the hospitals, and by the promptness of Bed Management in converting beds in Covid beds and reconverting them and timely managing internal patient logistic, thus creating space according to the healthcare demand.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0853.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: burnout; anxiety; depression; health professionals; medical staff; nursing staff
Online: 24 April 2023 (10:52:35 CEST)
The presence of burnout, anxiety and depression among health professionals is a crucial issue that must be carefully addressed. The aim of the present study is to investigate levels of burnout, anxiety and depression among health professionals (medical and nursing staff) during the pandemic crisis, the association of burnout with anxiety and depression as well as the impact of occupational and demographic factors. One hundred twenty-five health professionals (medical and nursing staff) participated who were working in a public hospital in the broader area of Athens (sample of convenience). Specifically, 41 males and 84 females with the majority of them being in the category of 36-45 years of age. For the data collection, the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and the HADS questionnaire were used. The results showed that there was a statistically significant and negative correlation of emotional exhaustion to HADS total (r= -0,377, p=0,000) as well as HADS anxiety (r= -0,417, p=0,000). Also, there was a statistically significant and negative correlation of depersonalization to HADS total (r= -0,370, p=0,000) as well as HADS anxiety (r= -0,431, p=0,000). Moreover, there was a statistically significant effect (p<0,05) of occupational and demographic characteristics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0810.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Covid; Psychological effect; Behavioral; Face mask; Care center
Online: 24 April 2023 (03:33:53 CEST)
The Covid 19 pandemic threaten the life of individuals and there was a lack of information in treatment, handling of patients and disposal of waste. The psychological and behavioral impact on Humans due to outbreak of Covid is studied and based on that a person-centered care center is suggested. The research methodology used are surveys, interviews among stake holders and design details of person-centered care center. Based on the surveys and interviews conducted during pandemic, it is found that 94% of the respondents prefer to use private vehicles with at least one member to ac-company them. People prefer to use 3 ply facemasks, followed by cotton masks and N95. Existing literature discusses the physical effects on the individual, but this paper focuses more on pros and cons on human life during the pandemic and lock down period. Based on the study, care center with facilities to treat patients with different levels of infections and counselling center for the persons suffered from Covid and other infectious diseases to overcome their psycho-logical and behavior changes are recommended.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0787.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: irregular migrant women,; metasynthesis; qualitative data; public health
Online: 23 April 2023 (07:41:00 CEST)
Migratory movements are a political, social and public health issue on a global scale. Access to sexual and reproductive health services for irregular migrant women (IMW) is a public health issue. The aim of this study is to identify qualitative evidence on IMW's experiences of sexual and reproductive health care in emergency and primary care settings. Methods: meta-synthesis of qualitative studies. Synthesis includes assembling and categorising findings based on the simili-arty in meaning. The search was conducted between January 2010 and June 2022 using PubMed, WOS and CINAHL databases. Results: of 131 articles found in the initial search, only 9 articles met the criteria and were included in the review. Four main themes were established: (1) The need to focus emergency care on sexual and reproductive health, (2) Unsatisfactory clinical experiences, (3) Forced reproduction, (4) Alternating between formal and informal healthcare services. Con-clusions: IMW’s attitudes towards sexual and reproductive health are influenced by culture, ed-ucational level, fear, barriers and the attitude of healthcare providers. Healthcare institutions need to be aware of the IMW’s experiences to understand the specific difficulties they face. IMW call for socially and culturally sensitive health care, cultural mediators, improved communication and safe environments that ensure confidentiality.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0780.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Infant mortality rate; Macroeconomic; Sociodemographic; Health status and resources; Oman; Partial least squares structural equation model.
Online: 23 April 2023 (07:14:43 CEST)
Background: The infant mortality rate (IMR) is an important reflection of the well-being of infants and the overall health of the population. This study aims to examine the macroeconomic (ME), sociodemographic (SD), and health status and resources (HSR) effects on IMR, as well as how they may interact with each other. Methods: A retrospective time-series study using yearly data for Oman from 1980 to 2022. Partial Least Squares-Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) was utilized to develop the exploratory model of the determinants of IMR. Results: The model indicates that HSR determinants directly but negatively affect IMR (= -0.617, p<0.001). SD directly and positively affects IMR (= 0.447, p<0.001). ME only indirectly affects IMR (=-0.854, p<0.001). ME determinants also exert some direct influences on both HSR (= 0.722, p<0.001) and SD (= -0.916, p<0.001) determinants. Conclusions: These findings indicate that an integrated policy that addresses socioeconomic and health-related factors and the overall ME environment is necessary for the health and well-being of the children and the population overall in Oman.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0763.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Community-based medical education; primary healthcare physicians; Bisha; Saudi Arabia
Online: 23 April 2023 (04:17:14 CEST)
Background: Community-based medical education (CBME) is an essential component of medical education, where primary healthcare physicians (PHPs) play a crucial role. This study explores PHPs' awareness and engagement in CBME and investigates the factors influencing their participation. Methods: This mixed study was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, a qual-itative study was conducted using semi-structured interviews with PHPs, and thematic analysis related to their awareness and engagement in CBME. In the second phase, a quantitative survey was conducted among 72 PHPs pre- and post-training programs. Results: Primary healthcare physicians had a positive attitude toward community-based medical education. The participants have an acceptable level of awareness and engagement, which increased substantially (p-value = 0.03) and (p-value = 0.003), respectively. Logistic analysis indicated that non-Saudi physicians were likelier to participate in the CBME (p-value=0.001). Professions and academic experiences influence their willingness and engagement to participate in CBME (OR= 7.5, p-value=0.001) and (OR=0.21, p-value=0.001), respectively. Conclusion: The study findings highlighted the importance of increased awareness and the factors that enhance PHPs' engagement in CBME. This positive perspective of the PHPs helps build effective partnerships and facilitates the extension of the curriculum to apply CBME.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0680.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: cost-effectiveness analysis, global benefits, risk-adjusted ICER
Online: 21 April 2023 (08:06:58 CEST)
Dealing with randomness is a crucial aspect that cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) tools need to address, but existing stochastic CEA tools have rarely examined risk and return from the perspective of global benefits. This paper proposes a stochastic CEA tool that supports medical decision-making from the perspective of global benefits of risk and return, the risk-adjusted incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER). The tool has a traditional form of ICER but uses the risk-adjusted expected cost. Theoretically, we prove that the tool can provide marginal medical decisions that promote the risk-return level on global benefits within any intervention structure and can also serve as a discriminating condition for the optimal intervention structure. Numerical simulations within a framework of mean-variance support the conclusions in this paper.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0667.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Global health; human subjects research; international health; medical racism; research ethics; research neocolonialism; tropical medicine
Online: 21 April 2023 (03:40:31 CEST)
Best practices in global health training prioritize leadership and engagement from investigators from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), along with more conscientious community consultation and research that benefits local participants and autochthonous communities. However, well into the 20th century, international research and clinical care were rife with paternalism, extractive practices, and racist ideation, with race presumed to explain both vulnerability or protection from various diseases despite scientific evidence for more precise mechanisms for infectious disease. We highlight experiences in global research on health and illness among indigenous populations in LMICs, seeking to clarify what is both scientifically essential and ethically desirable in research with human subjects; we apply a critical view towards race and racism as historically distorting elements that must be acknowledged and overcome.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0558.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: access to healthcare; Albania; barriers; children; schoolchildren; sociodemographic factors
Online: 19 April 2023 (07:23:09 CEST)
Access to healthcare services is an essential component of promoting public health and sustainable development. Our aim was to assess socio-demographic correlates of barriers to access healthcare services among children in Albania, a post-communist country in Europe. An online survey was conducted in September 2022, including a nationwide representative sample of 7831 schoolchildren (≈54% girls) pertinent to grades 6-9 from all regions of Albania. A structured and anonymous questionnaire was administered to all children inquiring about a range of potential barriers to access healthcare services. Overall, about 42% of the children reported that they had barriers to access healthcare services. There were no gender differences, but significant: ethnic differences (51% among Roma/Egyptian children vs. 42% among the general sample of the children); urban/rural differences (46% rural vs. 39% urban); and socioeconomic differences (52% among children with a lower maternal education vs. 31% among children with a higher maternal education; 66% among children from poor families vs. 35% among children with a higher family income). In transitional Albania, children residing in rural areas, children from Roma and/or Egyptian communities and especially those pertinent to low socioeconomic families report considerably more barriers to access healthcare services, which is a cause of concern.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0465.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: abuse; community pharmacists; Jordan; Loperamide
Online: 18 April 2023 (03:16:16 CEST)
This study aimed to assess the ability of community pharmacists to recognize cases of Loperamide abuse at the point of sale, their perspective of and experience towards potential abuse cases. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Jordan, using a self-administered online questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of 3 main parts: demographics, the experience of pharmacists with abusers' behavior, as well as their perspectives towards Loperamide abuse. Results: A total of 250 community pharmacists completed the survey, 54% (135) of which were female. Almost one-third (33.2%; 83) of the participants reported exposure to suspected cases of Loperamide abuse during the last six months. Pharmacists declared that most of the suspected Loperamide abusers were male (60.2%), of middle-low socioeconomic status (69.9%), and between 20-30 years of age (57.8%). The largest quantity (packs) of Loperamide requested by a single patient was around 33.2±14.9 at once. As reported by pharmacists, the suspected reasons behind Loperamide abuse included 50% seeking euphoria, 17% relieving anxiety, and 33% controlling addiction (weaning off other opioids). The multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated a significant correlation between male gender (OR=1.2, 95% CI 0.12-1.59), pharmacy location in the center of Jordan (OR=21.2, 95%CI 2.45-183.59), late-night working shift (Shift C, OR=1.29, 95% CI 0.12-2.08) and abuse to Loperamide during the last six months. Conclusion: This study shed light on Loperamide abuse which is highly influenced by different sociodemographic characteristics. Accordingly, close monitoring and thorough tackling of the abuse practices are mandated through an increase in educational and awareness campaigns about proper medication use.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0451.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: VEGF; Aptasensor; Streptavidin magnetic bead; Plasma; Hybridization probe
Online: 17 April 2023 (10:43:37 CEST)
In this study, a simple, easy and convenient fluorescent sensing system for detection of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) based on VEGF aptamers, aptamer-complementary fluorescence-labeled probe and streptavidin magnetic beads was developed in only one single tube. The VEGF is the most important biomarker in cancer angiogenesis, and is investigated that serum VEGF level was various according to the different type and course of cancers. Hence, efficient quantification of VEGF is able to improve the accuracy of cancer diagnosis and precision of disease surveillance. In this research, the VEGF aptamer was designed to be able to bind with the VEGF by forming G-quadruplex secondary structures, and then the magnetic beads would capture the none-binding aptamers due to none steric interference, and finally, the fluorescence-labeled probes were hybridized with the aptamers captured by the magnetic beads. Therefore, the fluorescent intensity in the supernatant would specifically reflect the present of VEGF. After an overall optimization, the optimal conditions for detection of VEGF were as followed, KCl, 50 μM; pH 7.0; aptamer, 0.1 μM and magnetic beads, 10 μL (4 μg/μL). The VEGF could be well quantified within a range of 0.2-2.0 ng/ml in plasma, and the calibration curve possessed a good linearity (y = 1.0391x + 0.5471, r = 0.998). The detection limit (LOD) was calculated to be 0.0445 ng/mL according to the formula (LOD = 3.3×σ/S). The specificity of this method was also investigated under the appearance of many other serum proteins, and the data showed the good specificity in this aptasensor-based magnetic sensing system. This strategy provided a simple, sensitive and selective biosensing platform for detection of serum VEGF. Finally, it was expected that this detection technique can be promoted to more clinical applications.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0419.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Intimate partner violence; Domestic violence; Prevalence rates, forms of IPV (physical, sexual, emotional, economic); Risk factors; cultural attitudes towards violence and gender roles, GCC, Arab, Khaliji
Online: 17 April 2023 (07:22:16 CEST)
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), locally known as Khaliji, is a group of six Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant public health concern in the GCC region, but the research that synthesized the trend has received scant attention. The present narrative review examines existing research on the prevalence and frequency of IPV among Khaliji women in GCC nations. This review synthesized studies on physical violence, sexual violence, emotional abuse, and controlling behaviors perpetrated by an intimate partner. The prevalence rates of IPV among Khaliji women are observed to be high: women reported facing different types of abuse from their partners, namely physical (7% - 71%), sexual (3.7% - 81%), financial (21.3% - 26%) and psychological (7.5% - 89%), which is a culmination of controlling behavior (36.8%), emotional (22% - 69%) and social violence (34%). The extant studies in the GCC suggest that the most endorsed IPV was psychological abuse (89%) followed by sexual violence (81%). Qualitative content analysis of the associated factors resulted in four meaningful descriptors such as demographics of the victim, sociocultural factors, socioeconomic, and perpetrator-related issues. The study on IPV is still nascent and few. The way forward will require developing culturally appropriate interventions that address unique risk factors for IPV among Khaliji populations, strengthening institutional responses, and increasing awareness and social support for the victim of IPV.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0281.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Intermittent fasting; Caloric restriction; Time-restricted eating; Menopausal; Women’s health
Online: 13 April 2023 (02:59:21 CEST)
By shifting eating hours from daytime to nighttime, Ramadan intermittent fasting (RIF) illustrates how religious beliefs influence human dietary behavior and subsequent anthropometric and metabolic measures. This study aimed to investigate socioeconomic characteristics and examine how observing RIF affects dietary intake, anthropometric indices, and metabolic markers in healthy premenopausal (PRE-M) and post-menopausal (POST-M) Saudi women. Before starting the study, the authors hypothesized that the RIF improves some nutritional aspects and health in respondents, but not after breaking the fast.. The study includes 62 women (31 PRE-M, 21-43 years, and 31 POST-M, 44-68 years). A structured questionnaire was used to collect socioeconomic data. Physical activity, anthropometric, dietary, and biochemical assessments were undertaken before RIF and at the end of the third week of Ramadan fasting month. Socioeconomic data varied among respondents. Observing RIF was associated with significantly (at either p ≤ 0.01 or p ≤ 0.05) lower intake of calories, macronutrients, minerals (except for Na), and vitamins than before RIF for both groups. In terms of body mass index (BMI), and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) for PRE-M, the percentage of overweight decreased significantly (p≤0.01) while obesity remained unchanged. In contrast, for POST-M, the percentage of overweight increased significantly (p≤0.05), but obesity decreased after RIF. Both groups' waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), body fat (BF), and fat mass (FM) decreased after RIF. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), fasting blood glucose (FBG), triglycerides (TG), and blood pressure (SBP, DBP) were generally maintained at acceptable normal levels in most responders before and after RIF. However, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) was significantly decreased during RIF than before, especially for POST-M. Age, occupation, and monthly income were the most important factors influencing women’s nutritional status and body fat. In conclusion, observing RIF by PRE- and POST-M Saudi women was associated with significant improvements in variable health indicators, with a few exceptions, particularly POST-M, and may help lower risk factors for chronic diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0248.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: COVID–19; vaccination; all-cause mortality; age; gender; complex system; pathogen interference; seasonality; miRNAs; nonspecific vaccine effects
Online: 12 April 2023 (07:06:23 CEST)
All vaccines exhibit both specific and non-specific effects. The specific effects are measured by the efficacy against the target pathogen, while the non-specific effects can be detected by the change in all-cause mortality . All-cause mortality data (gender, age band, vaccination history, month of death) between January 2021 and May 2022 was compiled by the Office for National Statistics. COVID–19 vaccination gave good protection on many occasions but less so for younger ages. Each gender and age group shows its own unique vaccination benefit/disbenefit time profile. Individuals are free to make vaccination decisions. For example, women aged 18-39 show a cohort who do not progress beyond the first or second dose. The all-cause mortality outcomes for the Omicron variant showed a very poor response to vaccination with 70% of sex/age/vaccination stage/month combinations increasing all-cause mortality, probably due to unfavorable antigenic distance between the first-generation vaccines and this variant, and additional non-specific effects. The all-cause mortality outcomes of COVID–19 vaccination is far more nuanced than have been widely appreciated, and virus vector appear better than the mRNA vaccines in this specific respect. The latter are seemingly more likely to increase all-cause mortality especially in younger age groups. An extensive discussion/literature review is included to provide potential explanations for the observed unexpected vaccine effects.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0238.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Social support; older persons; smokers; NHMS 2018; community survey
Online: 12 April 2023 (04:17:11 CEST)
Background Globally the average age of the worlds’ population of older persons continues to upsurge and social support becomes increasingly relevant. Overall, in Malaysia, social support and networking prevalence was found to be lower among older persons at 30.76%. In view of the scarce data on social support and its association with smoking status and its associated factors among the older Malaysian population this study was conducted. Methods Data from the National Health and Morbidity (NHMS) 2018 survey on health of older Malaysian adults was analyzed. This was a cross sectional population-based study using a two-stage stratified random sampling design. Elderly population aged 60 years and above was selected. Data were collected were sociodemographic characteristics, smoking status, and social support. A validated Malay language, interviewer-administered questionnaire of 11-item Duke Social Support Index was applied for assessing social support among the elderly. A complex sampling design analysis was used for the descriptive statistics. The associated risk factors for social support were identified using Multiple Logistic Regression analysis. Results A total of 3923 elderly respondents participated in the study. The prevalence of good social support was significantly higher among the 60-69 years old respondents compared to the > 80 years old (73.1%, 95% CI :69.3% -76.5% vs 50.1 %, 95% CI:41.7 %- 58.6%).Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the odds of poor social support were 1.7 times (aOR: 1.72 % ,95%CI: 1.19 -2.48) higher for the respondents aged > 80 years old, than those aged 60-69 years. Respondents with no formal education were 1.93 higher odds of poor social support than the respondents with tertiary education (aOR: 1.93%, 95%CI: 1.13,3.30). Respondents with income < RM 1000 were 1.94 times more likely to have poor social support compared to respondents with income > RM 3000 (aOR: 1.94, 95% CI : 1.21 -3.13). Former smokers have good social support compared to current smokers (73.6% ,95% CI: 67.7-78.7 vs 65.1 %, 95%CI:58.4 -71.2). For current smokers, the odds of poor social support were 42.0% higher than for non-smokers (aOR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.05 -1.91. Conclusion There is poor social support among the older persons who are current smokers, advancing age, no formal education and low income However, further longitudinal studies are needed to determine the exact effects of the studied variables. These findings could assist the policymakers to develop strategies at the national level to enhance social support among the older smokers to ensure cessation of smoking.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0225.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Polio; polio immunization; knowledge and perceptions; Pakistan
Online: 12 April 2023 (02:25:39 CEST)
Pakistan is one of the few countries where poliovirus transmission still persists, despite intensive efforts to eradicate the disease. Adequate vaccination coverage is essential to achieve polio eradication, but misconceptions about polio vaccines have hindered vaccination efforts. To address this issue, we conducted a mixed-methods study to explore knowledge and perceptions regarding polio disease and immunization in high-risk areas of Pakistan. We collected quantitative data from 3780, 1258, and 2100 households in Karachi, Bajaur, and Pishin, respectively, and supplemented this with qualitative data from focus group discussions and in-depth interviews. Our findings reveal a high level of awareness about polio and its immunization; however, misperceptions about the polio vaccine persist, leading to vaccine refusal for both polio and routine immunization. Our study provides up-to-date data on knowledge and perceptions of polio and its immunization and identifies critical gaps. These findings can inform the development of future strategies and innovative approaches to improve the success of the polio program in Pakistan.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0200.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: hesitancy; Guatemala; agricultural worker; COVID-10; SARS-CoV-2; access
Online: 11 April 2023 (05:24:35 CEST)
Despite offering free-of-charge COVID-19 vaccines starting July 2021, Guatemala has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Latin America. During September 28, 2021 to April 11, 2022, we conducted a cross-sectional survey of community members adapting a CDC questionnaire to evaluate COVID-19 vaccine access and hesitancy. Of 233 participants ≥12 years, 127 (55%) received >1 dose of COVID-19 and 4 (2%) reported prior COVID-19 illness. Persons ≥12 years old unvaccinated (n=106) were more likely to be female (73% vs 41%, p<0.001) and homemakers (69% vs 24%, p<0.01) compared with vaccinated participants (n=127). Among those ≥18 years, the main reported motivation for vaccination among vaccinated participants was to protect the health of family/friends (101/117, 86%); 40 (55%) unvaccinated persons reported little/no confidence in public health institutions recommending COVID-19 vaccination. Community- and/or home-based vaccination programs, including vaccination of families through the workplace, may better reach female homemakers and reduce inequities and hesitancy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0177.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public Health And Health Services Keywords: Digital Health; Mobile; mobile-based applications; medical apps; Saudi Arabia
Online: 11 April 2023 (02:58:44 CEST)
This study aimed at assessing the extent to which the Saudi general population has embraced digital health medical applications to meet their health-related needs so that the Saudi Ministry of Health and government can appropriately be guided on scaling up of digital health across the country. As such, this study was guided by the question of to what extent do the Saudi people use digital health mobile-based applications?. This was a cross-sectional study utilizing snowballing sampling approach. Frequencies, Chi-square, and Spearman rank correlation statistics were used to offer descriptive and inferential analysis of the variables. The majority of the participants were economically able to afford smart devices that have medical apps, had at least an app on such devices, and highly regarded the benefits of the apps. Unfortunately, their understanding of how to use such apps was limited and this posed a barrier to embracing digital health alongside difficulty downloading apps, and medical ethical concerns. Although there is a willingness, extra effort is needed from the Saudi Ministry of Health and government to promote the uptake of digital health in Saudi Arabia.