International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
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1660-4601
Updated Saturday, 23 October 2021

Author(s):  
Kristin A. Horan ◽  
Madeline Marks ◽  
Jessica Ruiz ◽  
Clint Bowers ◽  
Annelise Cunningham

Workplace interventions that leverage social tactics to improve health and well-being are becoming more common. As an example, peer mental health support interventions aim to reduce stigma and promote treatment seeking in first responder populations. Given the social nature of these interventions, it is important to consider how the preexisting social context influences intervention outcomes. A peer mental health support intervention was delivered among first responders, and self-efficacy and intention to have supportive peer conversations were measured pre-and post-intervention. Trust in peers was measured prior to the intervention. Results suggest a floor effect may exist for self-efficacy, in which a foundational level of trust and pre-intervention self-efficacy may be needed to maximize intervention effectiveness. As the future of work brings complex safety and health challenges, collaborative solutions that engage multiple stakeholders (employees, their peers, and their organization) will be needed. This study suggests that more frequent attention to pre-existing intervention context, particularly social context in peer-focused intervention, will enhance intervention outcomes.


Author(s):  
Zen Yang Ang ◽  
Kit Yee Cheah ◽  
Md. Sharif Shakirah ◽  
Weng Hong Fun ◽  
Jailani Anis-Syakira ◽  
...  

This study aimed to highlight the COVID-19 response by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Government of Malaysia in order to share Malaysia’s lessons and to improve future pandemic preparedness. The team conducted a rapid review using publicly available information from MOH, PubMed, and World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Research on Coronavirus Disease Database to compile Malaysia’s responses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Measures taken between 31 December 2019 and 3 June 2020 were classified into domains as well as the pillars described in the WHO COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (WHO SPRP). Malaysia’s response incorporated all pillars in the WHO SPRP and consisted of five domains, (i) whole-of-government, (ii) cordon sanitaire/lockdown, (iii) equity of access to services and supports, (iv) quarantine and isolation systems, and (v) legislation and enforcement. Some crucial measures taken were activation of a centralised multi-ministerial coordination council where MOH acted as an advisor, with collaboration from non-government organisations and private sectors which enabled an effective targeted screening approach, provision of subsidised COVID-19 treatment and screening, isolation or quarantine of all confirmed cases, close contacts and persons under investigation, with all strategies applied irrespective of citizenship. This was provided for by way of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988. A combination of these measures enabled the nation to contain the COVID-19 outbreak by the end of June 2020.


Author(s):  
Kyung-Ran Roh ◽  
Eun-Bee Kim

This study aims to determine how work the stress of female and male managers in Korean companies influences their capabilities and career development behavior and analyzes how it affects their turnover intention. According to the analysis results determined using the panel data from the Korean Women’s Development Institute, first, work stress experienced by managers increases their turnover intentions regardless of gender. Secondly, more work stress decreases the development behavior of male mangers but strengthens the career development behavior of female managers. Thirdly, greater work stress decreases manager capabilities but strengthens the capabilities of female managers. Fourthly, career development behavior and capabilities as a mediator variable act differently according to gender on the relationship between work stress and turnover intention. We discussed the results of this study while considering the peculiarities of Korea, which has strong male-centered corporate culture, and presented theoretical and practical implications of the results of this study.


Author(s):  
Bent E. Mikkelsen ◽  
Annette Q. Romani ◽  
Maria P. Brandão

In recent years, school-based interventions have increasingly been used as a strategy to promote good eating habits and physical activity among young people at school. However, little is known about the effect that this kind of public involvement has on the overall behavior of young people. Economists refer to the existence of a crowding-out effect when public sector engagement in influencing behavior is counteracted by behaviors at the individual level. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a health promotion intervention program among young people at a vocational school on the overall behavior of the students and consider whether a crowding-out effect existed when it came to health behavior. This study used data from the Gearing up the Body (GUB) intervention that was carried out at the vocational school of Uddannelsescenter Holstebro, Denmark. The study included 130 students from two vocational programs. Answers were collected from survey questions in three waves. Our results showed that intervening in the school setting had the intended impact on physical activity but an unintended impact on eating behavior. In the GUB study, we found signs of countervailing behaviors in and out of school that need to be further explored.


Author(s):  
Anna M. Morris ◽  
Stephen S. Leonard ◽  
Jefferson R. Fowles ◽  
Theresa E. Boots ◽  
Anna Mnatsakanova ◽  
...  

E-cigarettes utilize a wide range of flavoring chemicals with respiratory health effects that are not well understood. In this study, we used pulmonary-associated cell lines to assess the in vitro cytotoxic effects of 30 flavoring chemicals. Human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) and both naïve and activated macrophages (THP-1) were treated with 10, 100, and 1000 µM of flavoring chemicals and analyzed for changes in viability, cell membrane damage, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and inflammatory cytokine release. Viability was unaffected for all chemicals at the 10 and 100 µM concentrations. At 1000 µM, the greatest reductions in viability were seen with decanal, hexanal, nonanal, cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, vanillin, alpha-pinene, eugenol, and limonene. High amounts of ROS were elicited by vanillin, ethyl maltol, and the diketones (2,3-pentanedione, 2,3-heptanedione, and 2,3-hexanedione) from both cell lines. Naïve THP-1 cells produced significantly elevated levels of IL-1β, IL-8, and TNF-α when exposed to ethyl maltol and hexanal. Activated THP-1 cells released increased IL-1β and TNF-α when exposed to ethyl maltol, but many flavoring chemicals had an apparent suppressive effect on inflammatory cytokines released by activated macrophages, some with varying degrees of accompanying cytotoxicity. The diketones, L-carvone, and linalool suppressed cytokine release in the absence of cytotoxicity. These findings provide insight into lung cell cytotoxicity and inflammatory cytokine release in response to flavorings commonly used in e-cigarettes.


Author(s):  
Camille Chambonnière ◽  
Nicole Fearnbach ◽  
Léna Pelissier ◽  
Pauline Genin ◽  
Alicia Fillon ◽  
...  

The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether the COVID-19-related confinement and social restrictions affected the levels of physical fitness and academic achievement in primary school French children. A total of 206 primary school children (106 before confinements and 100 after restrictions) completed a test battery evaluating their anthropometric characteristics, body compositions, activity preferences, cognitive performances and physical fitness. The performance of the Standing Long Jump was better at T0 (169.9 ± 142.5 cm) compared to T1 (135.2 ± 31.4 cm) (p = 0.0367), and the Medicine Ball Throw performance declined from T0 to T1 (297.3 ± 81.1 cm vs. 249 ± 52 cm; p < 0.0001). Motor skills (26.9 ± 6.2 s vs. 30.9 ± 5.4 s; p < 0.0001), the shuttle-run test (stages completed), Maximal Aerobic Speed, and the estimated VO2max were lower at T1 compared to T0 (p < 0.0001). Executive functioning was found to be greater at T0 compared to T1 (p < 0.0001). Explicit liking or wanting for sedentary or physical activities did not change between T0 and T1. Both overall physical fitness and cognitive performance drastically declined among primary school French children with the COVID-19-related public health restrictions, which reinforces the need to urgently develop preventive strategies in anticipation of further mitigation measures.


Author(s):  
Ning Qin ◽  
Ayibota Tuerxunbieke ◽  
Qin Wang ◽  
Xing Chen ◽  
Rong Hou ◽  
...  

Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) is a computational technique widely used in exposure and risk assessment. However, the result of traditional health risk assessment based on the MCS method has always been questioned due to the uncertainty introduced in parameter estimation and the difficulty in result validation. Herein, data from a large-scale investigation of individual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure was used to explore the key factors for improving the MCS method. Research participants were selected using a statistical sampling method in a typical PAH polluted city. Atmospheric PAH concentrations from 25 sampling sites in the area were detected by GC-MS and exposure parameters of participants were collected by field measurement. The incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) of participants was calculated based on the measured data and considered to be the actual carcinogenic risk of the population. Predicted risks were evaluated by traditional assessment method based on MCS and three improved models including concentration-adjusted, age-stratified, and correlated-parameter-adjusted Monte Carlo methods. The goodness of fit of the models was evaluated quantitatively by comparing with the actual risk. The results showed that the average risk derived by traditional and age-stratified Monte Carlo simulation was 2.6 times higher, and the standard deviation was 3.7 times higher than the actual values. In contrast, the predicted risks of concentration- and correlated-parameter-adjusted models were in good agreement with the actual ILCR. The results of the comparison suggested that accurate simulation of exposure concentration and adjustment of correlated parameters could greatly improve the MCS. The research also reveals that the social factors related to exposure and potential relationship between variables are important issues affecting risk assessment, which require full consideration in assessment and further study in future research.


Author(s):  
Kunal Desai ◽  
Pratibha Gupta ◽  
Priti Parikh ◽  
Alpa Desai

Stress and lack of quality sleep affect a large portion of the population around the globe, and the COVID-19 pandemic has genuinely brought attention to these problems. This study aimed to investigate whether using a virtual heart-based meditation program is associated with improved stress levels and quality of sleep among participants from the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic. We recruited 63 participants to receive an 8-week virtually conducted Heartfulness meditation program in a prospective pre–post single-arm intervention study from September 28 to November 22 2020. Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) scores were collected at baseline, at 4 weeks, and 8 weeks. Of the 63 participants enrolled in the study, 36 (57%) completed an 8-week Heartfulness meditation program. There was a significant decrease in PSS (mean difference of 6.68 with 95% C.I. 4.89–8.47, p < 0.0001) and in PSQI (mean difference of 2.05 with 95% C.I. 1.03–3.07, p < 0.0001) between week zero and week eight, regardless of Health Care Professional status. The qualitative thematic analysis strongly supported the survey results. A significant reduction in perceived stress score and improvement in sleep quality index was noted at the end of a virtual Heartfulness meditation program. Moreover, Heartfulness meditation practice may help cultivate the quality of empathy, acceptance, and individual peace. We conclude that the effects of virtually accessible Heartfulness meditation practice need to be explored further in larger studies.


Author(s):  
Helena C. Maltezou ◽  
Eleni Ioannidou ◽  
Koen De Schrijver ◽  
Guido François ◽  
Antoon De Schryver

Healthcare personnel (HCP) are a high priority group for influenza vaccination aiming to protect them but also to protect vulnerable patients and healthcare services from healthcare-associated influenza and HCP absenteeism. Multi-component influenza vaccination programs targeting behavioral, organizational, and administrative barriers are critical, if influenza vaccination rates among HCP are to be raised on a sustained basis. Mandatory influenza vaccination policy is the only single intervention that can achieve high and sustainable vaccination rates in HCP in short term. In this article, we provide an overview of issues pertaining to influenza vaccination of HCP, with an emphasis on organizational issues of influenza vaccination programs.


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