Table of Contents
Editorial in Academic Publishing
Inclusion of the Journal of Health and Social Sciences in Scopus: Great honour and satisfaction, but the most exciting part is still to come
Author: Francesco CHIRICO1,2
1 M.D., Contract Professor, Health Service Department, State Police, Ministry of Interior, Italy.
2 Post-Graduate Specialization School of Occupational Health, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma, Italy.
Academic publishing; DOAJ; editorial policies; indexes; medicine; psychology; open access publishing; peer review, research; public health; social development, Scopus.
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Viewpoint in Public Health and COVID-19
The second wave of COVID-19 in Africa: The need for enhanced preparedness
Authors: Olayinka S. ILESANMI1, Aanuoluwapo A. AFOLABI2, Olayide O. OLABUMUYI3
1 MBBS, MBA, MSc, MPH, PhD, FWACP, Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria; Department of Community Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
2 B. Tech, MPH (in view), Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
3 MBBS, MSc (in view), Department of Community Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
Provision of financial resources through government authorities, private individuals, non-governmental organizations, and civil-based organizations will result in a large pool of financial resources needed to procure material resources and supplies to tackle the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa. Adequate engagement of community leaders, civil-based organizations, opinion leaders, and community-based associations, as well as dissemination of COVID-19-related information, would enhance behavioral change communication in preparing for the second wave of COVID-19. Decentralization of COVID-19 testing centers to communities enhances proximity to residential areas, a factor likely to improve uptake of COVID-19 tests in Africa. Pooled testing could optimize available resources for ascertaining the true prevalence of COVID-19 from selected individuals in different geographical areas. Adequate nutrition should be emphasized upon in health facilities, schools, and on the media for all population groups. It is also required that the government in countries across the African countries invest largely in agriculture via the provision of agricultural subsidies and loans to farmers who intend practicing mechanized farming in ensuring adequate food supply. The efforts above should also be used in ensuring continued interest in the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as its availability and uptake.
Keywords: Africa; Coronavirus; COVID-19 pandemic; COVID-19 vaccines; preventive measures; public health.
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Viewpoint in Global Public Health and COVID-19
COVID-19 vaccination and global health equity: A decisive challenge for governments and policymakers
Authors: Mandira L. DHIMAL1, Ajnish GHIMIRE2, Bidushi POKHREL3, Meghnath DHIMAL1,2
1 Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (GIIS), Kathmandu, Nepal.
2 Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC), Kathmandu, Nepal.
3 Hospital for Advanced Medicine and Surgery (HAMS), Kathmandu, Nepal.
The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every country across the world. It is very unlikely to get back into track until the global vaccination starts to roll out. The production of vaccine is not just enough as there is a dire need of balanced scalability, affordability and to sum up, global health equity is needed. The COVID-19 vaccine initiative (COVAX) is an exemplary public-private partnership to alleviate the global health crisis. In this commentary, we discuss about the reasons why global health equity distribution of vaccines against COVID-19 is needed. It became quite apparent that to end the global crisis of COVID-19, the development of vaccines is not just enough and its equitable distribution and acceptance of vaccine by global population is needed. The trust towards the scientific community and governments is, therefore, decisive for the success of the mass vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 in developed as well as developing countries. Hence, an equitable allocation of COVID-19 vaccines across the world should follow principles of global health equity and social justice to minimize the exiting health and socio-economic inequalities between developed and developing countries.
Keywords: COVID-19; ethics; global health equity; preventive measures; COVID-19 vaccine; vaccination.
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Viewpoint in Infectious Diseases and Public Health
Discovery of the deadly New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1 superbug in the Arctic: The Indian context
Authors: Tanmayee JOSHI1, Isha PATEL2
1 M.S., CU Shah College of Pharmacy, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, India.
2 P.h.D. Department of Pharmacy Practice, Administration and Research, Marshall University School of Pharmacy (MUSOP), Marshall University, Huntington, United States.
The overuse of antibiotics is the single most factor leading to antibiotic resistance worldwide. The antibiotic resistance crisis has been attributed to the overuse and misuse of these medicines. Antibiotic resistant-bacteria are found in people, animals, food, and the environment (water, soil and air). Resistant bacteria pass this resistant gene from one bacterium to another, thus making older antibiotics ineffective. A superbug gene blaNDM-1 (New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase), which was found in New Delhi in 2008, has now spread to the Arctic. NDM-1 is the enzyme encoded by blaNDM-1 gene, which renders the bacteria Klebsiella pneumoniae resistant to wide range of beta lactam antibiotics. In 2010, India was the number one consumer of antibiotics in the world for treating humans. On one hand, the unabated use of antibiotics in India has been fuelled by rapid economic growth and rising incomes, but has not comparatively translated into improvements in sanitation and public health. Poor public health infrastructure, a high disease burden, and unregulated sales of antibiotics, in unison, have created ideal conditions for rise in bacterial resistant infections in India. This viewpoint focuses on the Indian government’s actions and future measures needed to promote rationale use of antibiotics in humans and animals.
Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance; antibiotics; India; New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1 superbug; public health.
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Scoping Review in Bioethics and COVID-19
A scoping review of the ethical issues within telemedicine: Lessons from COVID-19 pandemic
Authors: Jun XU1, Abbygale WILLGING2, Katrina A. BRAMSTEDT3
1 MD, Department of Surgery, Division of Vascular Surgery, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, USA.
2 BS, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA.
3 PhD, MA, Bond University Medical Program, Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine, Gold Coast, QLD Australia.
Introduction: The use of telemedicine in medicine to reach remote patient populations, monitor chronic disease states, and prevent spread of the COVID-19 virus results in a needed pause for reflection on the ethical issues brought forth by e-health technology. The aim of this scoping review was to consolidate the main ethical concerns in telemedicine into a framework that can be used to guide training, policies, and further research as these platforms are implemented.
Methods: Two scoping searches were performed using Medline and Google Scholar for publications that address the ethical implications in telemedicine within the last 25 years. Protocol for Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) was followed.
Results: We compiled 20 articles published across the world in various contexts of telemedicine (i.e., pilot studies, literature review, chronic disease reports, etc.). Our literature review noted 4 areas of ethical concern: confidentiality, accessibility, effectiveness, and patient-physician relationship.
Conclusion: The success of telemedicine is dependent on patient selection and adaptability. The use of telemedicine must be accompanied by clinician competency training that addresses technology issues such as privacy and security, informed consent, observation using remote technology, and strategies to determine which patients are or are not suited for the platforms.
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; healthcare access; informed consent; medical ethics; patient physician relationship; remote consultation; telemedicine.
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Original Article in Health Psychology
Knowledge and attitudes among healthcare workers and patients with total knee and hip replacement towards the use of brief psychological techniques: A qualitative study in UK and Saudi hospitals
Authors: Tahani ALSANAANI¹, Alyson NORMAN¹, Ben WHALLEY¹
1 School of Psychology, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK.
Introduction: Brief psychological interventions, including guided imagery, relaxation, and distraction-based techniques, can be effective adjunctive techniques to manage acute surgical pain, but are not widely adopted in clinical practice. Furthermore, mixed adherence to conventional pain treatments sometimes limits the effectiveness of pain management. Patients’ perceptions of these techniques, and the attitudes of health professionals involved in managing acute pain, are not sufficiently well understood to inform research or policy.
Methods: Key informants such as 58 patients and 20 healthcare professionals in two Orthopedic departments in the UK and Saudi Arabia, were interviewed. Patient interviews were conducted at three distinct points in their care: before surgery (T1), on the ward (T2), and several weeks after surgery (T3). A thematic analysis explored participants’ perceptions, understanding and acceptance of brief psychological interventions (BPIs) for acute pain after surgery.
Results: Most patients expressed favorable opinions towards BPIs. These opinions were often linked to concerns about painkillers including side effects, tolerance, or dependence. Many patients reported the spontaneous practice of non-drug interventions to cope with their pain. Interviews also revealed numerous barriers to the delivery of BPIs in mainstream clinical practice including lack of knowledge and expertise among healthcare workers (HCWs), and prejudice associated with psychological treatments. HCWs were positive towards the use of BPIs in principle but highlighted a perceived lack of scientific evidence and lack of time and resources as the primary barriers to broader adoption.
Conclusion: Our findings provide insights into the perception of psychological interventions for acute pain among patients and healthcare professionals, and provide a foundation for the design, evaluation and dissemination of future BPIs for postoperative pain relief. A better understanding of perceived barriers to use will inform the structure and presentation of future BPI packages. Future evaluation studies using structured, well-documented interventions that are designed for ease of dissemination are required.
Keywords: Brief intervention; healthcare workers; healthcare knowledge; healthcare attitude; non-drug interventions; psychological intervention; patients’ perceptions.
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Original Article in Global Public Health
Barriers and facilitators to improving access to healthcare for recently resettled Afghan refugees: A transformative qualitative study
Authors: Amir R. REIHANI1, Heather G. ZIMMERMAN2, Nimasha FERNANDO3, Darlene R. SAUNDERS4, Mark EDBERG5, Ernest CARTER6
1 MD, MPH Primary Investigator, Griffin Hospital, Connecticut, United States, AReihani@griffinhealth.org
2 Ph.D., MAID, NIC, Methodologist, Gallaudet University, Department of Education, Washington, DC, United States, firstname.lastname@example.org
3 MPH, (University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States / Department of Epidemiology and Public Health), email@example.com
4 Ph.D., MPH, MCHES, Special Projects Manager, Prince George’s County Health Department, DRSaunders@co.pg.md.us
5 Ph.D., MA, Professor and Center Director Department of Prevention and Community Health Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, United States, firstname.lastname@example.org
6 MD, Ph.D., Health Officer, Prince George’s County Health Department, email@example.com
Introduction: Refugee communities in the United States require increased attention to reduce barriers to public health. The current dearth of research on Afghan refugees in the U.S. does not move beyond the binary identification system of ‘sick-immigrant’ versus ‘healthy immigrant’, fails to provide a platform for Afghan refugees to provide critical insight into systematic issues, and to articulate a path towards actionable change.
Methods: Researchers utilized a transformative qualitative approach to explore the health-related issues by identifying barriers and facilitators to accessing healthcare for Afghan refugees resettling in a county near the US capital. Twenty participants were recruited using purposive sampling. Data were collected using in-depth semi-structured interviews and were analyzed thematically.
Results: A range of barriers and facilitators were identified. Barriers included: trust, communication, mental health, and navigation. Facilitators included: Practical support (public assistance with finances and medical insurance, orientation class, and interpreting), provider rapport, and continuity of care. Qualitative research demonstrates the complex overlap between different issues that should be understood contextually. Implications from this study are discussed in a socio-ecological perspective (individual, relationships, organizations, community, and policy/systems).
Conclusion: A nuanced understanding of stakeholders’ experiences in healthcare is necessary to shape policy and improve the quality of services for this vulnerable community. To promote a more equitable health care system, more research must be done to understand refugee health conditions in post-resettled populations from a culturally responsive approach.
Keywords: Afghan; health equity; qualitative; refugees; resettlement; socio-ecological framework.
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Original Article in Global Health and COVID-19
Health-related quality of life during stay-at-home order and attitudes toward vaccination against COVID-19 in the District of Columbia, USA
Authors: Phronie JACKSON1, Collette BROWN2, Latoya CALLENDER1, 2
1 Ph.D. Assistant Professor, University of the District of Columbia, College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, Health Nursing, and Nutrition Department. Health Education/Public Health Program. Coordinator Washington, USA.
2 Ph.D. Professor, Monroe College, School of Allied Health Professions, Bronx, NY, USA.
Introduction: A spike in the cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) across the District of Columbia (DC) area has caused the mayor to issue a stay-at-home order between April 1, 2020 – May 15, 2020 to mitigate its transmission. The purpose of this study was to examine health related quality of life (HRQoL) during the stay-at-home order resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and attitude towards vaccination against COVID-19 of residents living in Washington, DC’s Ward 5 neighborhood.
Methods: A cross-sectional design to collect electronic data on experiences and perceptions of 102 adults living in Ward 5 of DC was used. An ad hoc 28-question survey was developed. Descriptive analyses (frequency and percentages) were conducted. Data was collected using Qualtrics, then exported to Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 25.
Results: One hundred and two (N = 102) residents participated in the study. Most of the participants were female (79.4%), between 37 and 58 years old (47%), black (79%), had a graduate degree (38.24%), and earned over $75,000 (37.25%) annually. Results indicated that 20% of households received food from charitable organizations, while 27% worried that their food might run out. Approximately 19% were unable to receive dental services, 17.8% and 15.7% reported mental health and emotional impacts respectively, and 13.4% reported educational disruptions. Approximately 47% responded that they will take the COVID-19 vaccine. Most (77%) of the participants perceived that their overall health was good/very good.
Discussion and Conclusion: Based on continued increase in COVID-19 cases across the United States, residents might return to previous restrictions and negative impacts might be greater on residents. Lessons learned from this study can be used to create policies and programs that limit the negative impacts of
COVID-19 and increase attitudes toward vaccination uptake.
Keywords: Coronavirus; Washington, DC; Health-related Quality of Life; mental health; restrictions; survey; vaccine.
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Original Article in Global Health and COVID-19
Are we ready for COVID-19’s golden passport? Insights from a global physician survey
Authors: P. Murali DORAISWAMY1, Mohan M. CHILUKURI2, Alexandra R. LINARES3, Katrina A. BRAMSTEDT4
1 MBBS, FRCP, Duke University School of Medicine, USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 MD, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, USA. E-mail: email@example.com
3 BS, Duke University School of Medicine, USA. E-mail: Alexandra.firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Ph.D., Bond University Medical Program, Australia. E-mail: email@example.com
Introduction: COVID-19 immunity passports could protect the right to free movement, but critics worry about insufficient evidence, privacy, fraud, and discrimination. We aimed to characterize the global physician community’s opinion regarding immunity passports.
Methods: Cross-sectional, random stratified sample of physicians registered with Sermo, a global networking platform open to verified and licensed physicians. The survey aimed to sample 1,000 physicians divided among the USA, EU and rest of the world. The survey question on immunology asked physicians to offer their insights into whether we know enough about COVID-19 immunity and its duration to offer immunity passports at the present time.
Results: The survey was completed by 1004 physicians (67 specialties, 40 countries, 49% frontline specialties) with a mean (SD) age of 49.14 (12) years. Overall, 52% answered NO, 17% were UNCERTAIN, and 31% answered YES (P <0.05). EU physicians were more likely to say YES but even among them it did not exceed 35% approval. US physicians (60%) were more likely to say NO.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest a current lack of support among physicians for immunity passports. It is hoped that ongoing research and vaccine trials will provide further clarity.
Keywords: Ethics; fraud; immunity; privacy; surveillance.
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Original Article in Psychology and Gynecology
Emotional Intelligence (EI) and Quality of Life (QoL) in perimenopausal women: A cross-sectional, community-based study from Ghana
Authors: Esther ADDAE1, Joseph K. OFOSUHENE-MENSAH2
1 Postgraduate, Clinical Health Psychology, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
2 Lecturer, Department of Education and Psychology, University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
Introduction: The purpose of this study is to assess the influence of emotional intelligence (EI) on the quality of life (QoL) in menopausal women. The study further examines the moderating role of socio-demographic variables in the relationship between EI and QoL.
Methods: This cross-sectional study, employed a multi-stage sampling technique to sample 260 perimenopausal women from the Kumasi Metropolis for the study. The Menopause-specific Quality of life Questionnaire and Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire were used to collect data after the validation of the instrument. The World Health Organization’s definition for menopause was used as the base for the classification of menopausal status. Menopausal women with chronic physical and mental health conditions were excluded. Analyses were done using multivariate regression and HAYES process.
Results: The mean age of participants was 48.9, SD of 3.9. Of the perimenopausal women 65.8% had a basic education and 38.5% of them were married. Our study found a significant relationship between EI and QoL (Wilks’ Lambda=.97, F (4, 249) =12.19, p = .007). Specifically, EI positively predicted the psychosocial dimension of QoL. Further analysis revealed that marital status (‘single’, ‘married’, ‘divorced’ and ‘deceased’) and educational level (‘basic’, ‘secondary’ and ‘tertiary level’) did not significantly moderate the relationship between EI and QoL. Age, however, significantly moderated the relationship between EI and the psychosocial dimension of QoL, (b = 0.92, CI95% 0.02 to 1.78).
Conclusion: EI positively predicts psychosocial aspect of QoL in Ghanaian women during menopause. Thus, menopausal women with high level of emotional intelligence (EI) are less likely to experience some psychosocial menopause-related issues. Strategies to improve emotional intelligence of women should be put in place in Ghana and other sub-Saharan countries to help women manage negative outcomes of the menopause transition for improving their QoL.
Keywords: Menopause; emotional intelligence; Ghana; Quality of Life; women.
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Original Article in Public Health
Association between Type 2 diabetes mellitus and health literacy, behavioral and environmental risk factors in Lebanon: A case-control study
Authors: Carine M. NASSAR1, Pascale SALAMEH2,3,4
1 Faculty of Public Health, Lebanese University, Fanar, Lebanon. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5204-9776.
2 Faculty of Public Health, Lebanese University, Fanar, Lebanon. Email : email@example.com. ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4780-0772.
3 INSPECT-LB, Institut National de Santé Publique, Epidémiologie Clinique et Toxicologie – LEBANON
4 School of Medicine, University of Nicosia, Cyprus.
Introduction: The prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in Lebanon is ranked twelfth in the MENA region. However, few studies have been conducted to determine its risk factors. These could include socio-demographic factors, environmental factors, behavioral factors, and health literacy. The objective of this study is to determine the different risk factors for T2DM and to study the association between health literacy and T2DM in Lebanon.
Methods: A case-control study was conducted in Lebanon. Subjects were contacted by phone on randomly selected numbers. The cases and the controls were reached by the same method due to COVID-19. ARABRISK, BRIEF, Lebanese Mediterranean Diet Scale, WHOQOL-BREF and the BDS22 were included in the questionnaire.
Results: 232 individuals were included in the analysis. Women versus men (adjusted OR = 0.31; 95% CI 0.127 to 0.763), age (adjusted OR = 1.06; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.10), BMI (adjusted OR = 1.16; 95% CI 1.045 to 1.291), individuals with a family history of T2DM versus individuals with no history of T2DM (adjusted OR = 2.40; 95% CI 1.051 to 5.495), and people with limited health literacy versus people with adequate health literacy (adjusted OR = 3.24; 95% CI 1.225-8.584) were associated with T2DM. Quality of life, psychological distress, and education were not significantly associated with T2DM.
Discussion or Conclusion: These results introduced a new factor that could play an important role in the development of T2DM, which is the health literacy. Therefore, it is necessary to pay particular attention to this factor and to conduct additional studies concerning its association with T2DM. The association between quality of life and T2DM and psychological distress and T2DM should also be studied.
Keywords: Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2; health literacy; Lebanon; population at risk; environmental impact.
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Book Review in COVID-19
Recentring our economy around wellbeing following the COVID-19 pandemic: A book review of The Case for Degrowth
Authors: Theo RASHID1, Toby PEPPERRELL2
1 M.Sci., School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, England.
2 B.Sc., School of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, England.
Keywords: Economics; environmental policy; global health; global warming; socioeconomic factors.
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