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The optimisation of underwater exploration strategies which are to be implemented for process development purposes

Abstract

This material is a continuation of the article published in the PHR no. 3(52)2015 concerning the methodology of selecting underwater exploration strategies for process development purposes. The article proposes to use one of the methods of decision optimization for the selection of the appropriate course of action in such cases.

Open access
The problem of experiencing anxiety among divers. Experiment in hyperbaric exposure conditions

Abstract

The aim of the article is a review of psychological literature relating to the problem of anxiety in divers, where an emphasis is placed on the degree of mental adaptation of the individual to the underwater environment, primarily highlighting the trait of anxiety and the neuroticism of a person involved in a specific type of diving. The article presents selected reports from all over the world regarding research on anxiety in divers. Treating a high level of the indicator of anxiety as a predictor of panic anxiety reveals the importance of this trait in predicting the risk of an occurrence of diving accidents during the operation under water. In the own research presented in the article, the results on the levels of anxiety as a trait and a state in divers taking part in hyperbaric exposures indicate the fact that the majority of the examined divers have low levels of anxiety both as a trait and a state, which most probably indicates the good psychological condition of the examined divers.

Open access
Acceptance of seasonal influenza vaccination among Slovenian physicians, 2016

Abstract

Introduction

Vaccination against seasonal influenza is recommended for all healthcare workers including physicians in Slovenia to protect vulnerable individuals and reduce transmission of influenza viruses. The aim of our study is to determine the uptake of seasonal influenza vaccination among Slovenian physicians, to identify factors associated with that vaccination and assess their attitudes and beliefs regarding vaccination and vaccine-preventable diseases.

Methods

A cross-sectional survey was performed among physician members of the Slovenian Medical Chamber. The link to the anonymous web-based questionnaire was sent to 8,297 physicians. We estimated the overall proportion of physicians who vaccinate against influenza, while the possible associations with collected explanatory variables were explored in univariate analyses.

Results

The response rate to the survey was 10.8%. 75.9% (95% CI: 73.1–78.7%) physicians vaccinate themselves against influenza (regularly or occasionally) and 24.1% (95% CI: 21.2–26.8%) do not vaccinate (not any more or never). In univariate analysis only, the area of work was statistically significant when associated with vaccinating against influenza (p=0.002). Among physicians who expressed some misconceptions regarding vaccination and vaccine-preventable diseases (it is better to overcome disease naturally as vaccines pose a higher risk than disease) the proportion of vaccinated against influenza was low (43.2%; 95% CI: 27.9–58.4%, 27.3%; 95% CI: 7.1–47.5%).

Conclusion

Not trusting in vaccination or professional recommendations regarding vaccination and some misconceptions regarding vaccination and vaccine-preventable diseases may influence the decision to be vaccinated against seasonal influenza among Slovenian physicians.

Open access
Measurement of health and social behaviors in schoolchildren: Randomized study comparing paper versus electronic mode

Abstract

Introduction

Electronic survey mode has become a more common tool of research than it used to be previously. This is strongly associated with the overall digitization of modern society. However, the evidence on the possible mode effect on study results has been scarce. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the comparability of findings on health and behaviours using a paper-versus-electronic mode of survey with randomization design among schoolchildren.

Methods

A randomized study was conducted using a mandatory questionnaire on international Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study in Lithuania, enrolling 531 schoolchildren aged 11–15 years. The questionnaire included health and social topics about physical activity, risk behaviours, self-reported health and symptoms, life satisfaction, bullying, fighting, family and school environment, peer relationships, electronic media communication, sociodemographic indicators, etc. The schoolchildren within classes were randomly selected for electronic or paper mode.

Results

It was found that by study mode differences are inconsistent and in the majority of cases do not exceed 5%-point difference between the modes. The only significant difference was that in the paper survey the participants reported more exercise than in the electronic survey (OR=8.08, P<.001). Other trends were nonsignificant and did not show a consistent pattern – in certain behaviours the paper mode was related to healthier choices, while in others - the electronic.

Conclusions

The use of electronic questionnaires in surveys of schoolchildren may provide findings that are comparable with concurrent or previously conducted paper surveys.

Open access
Perceptions towards healthy diet of the Portuguese according to area of work or studies

Abstract

Introduction

A healthy diet is crucial for the maintenance of health. Therefore, the aim of this work is to evaluate the perceptions towards a healthy diet among the participants with work or studies in areas related to diet and nutrition and those who did not.

Methods

Anonymous questionnaire data was collected in a cross-sectional study on a non-probabilistic sample of 902 participants living in Portugal.

Results

The results showed that the participants’ perceptions were, in general, compliant with a healthy diet. However, significant differences were found between gender (p=0.004), between the different civil state groups (p=0.016), between the participants who were responsible for buying their own food and those who were not and also regarding the living environment. The variable area of work or studies also showed significant differences (p=0.001), so that people who had work or studies related to agriculture obtained a higher score. Regarding this variable, the mean values of nutrition and agriculture areas were not statistically different between them, but were statistically different from the mean values of psychology and health areas. The participants who had work or studies in areas showing diet and nutrition-related issues achieved a higher mean score (0.72±0.35) when compared to the participants who did not (0.58±0.30).

Conclusion

However, despite the results, it is important to continue developing campaigns that better communicate nutritional aspects, so that people can increase their knowledge on this subject.

Open access
Semantic and cultural equivalence of the working alliance inventory short-revised scale for therapeutic alliance in family medicine: Lessons learned in Slovenia

Abstract

Introduction

Therapeutic alliance is a term most commonly associated with psychotherapeutic treatment, but recently its use has become increasingly significant in the other fields of medicine. An increasing amount of evidence implies that the quality of the therapeutic alliance between the doctor and patient substantially affects treatment outcomes. A European consensus chose the Working Alliance Inventory – Short Revised (WAI-SR) scale as the most efficient for European primary care. This paper presents the process of establishing the semantic and cultural equivalence of the two WAI-SR scales in Slovene.

Method

As a part of a larger international project, a group of four experts translated the two WAI SR scales (physician and patient versions) from English into Slovene. Twenty-six Slovenian family medicine doctors participated in the process of obtaining semantic, idiomatic, experiential and conceptual equivalence in translation using a Delphi consensus procedure. Afterward, a cultural equivalence was made to adapt the translations within the national context.

Results

Agreement on translation was achieved after two Delphi rounds. The back-translation and cultural equivalence were accomplished without major problems, with some minor additional linguistic corrections.

Conclusion

A Slovene version of the WAI-SR scale was successfully adapted and is available for further scale validation and research on therapeutic alliance.

Open access
Socio-demographic factors associated with smoking habits among university students in Belgrade, Serbia

Abstract

Background

Smoking rates in Serbian adults are among the highest in Europe. The objective of this study is to assess the prevalence of smoking and smoking-related behaviours of Belgrade University students depending on their sociodemographic characteristics and faculty group.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was carried out among 2,608 Belgrade University students (59.6% female) in 2015. A self-administered questionnaire was applied to the opportunity sample to collect the data describing students’ smoking habits and attitudes across all 30 faculties of the university.

Results

30.5% of students reported smoking: 26.4% of medical, and 31.1% of non-medical ones. Smoking rate among female students was 31.2% vs. 29.5% among males. Age (p=0.001), relationship (<0.001) and employment status (p=0.002) had statistically significant influence on smoking status, while the differences in smoking status between genders (p=0.141) and medical and non-medical group of students (p=0.066) were not statistically significant. The highest percentage of students started smoking during high school (66.2%). As the most common reason to start smoking, respondents cited peer influence (36.5%). 44.3% of students who smoked unsuccessfully tried to quit smoking.

Conclusion

To combat high smoking prevalence among a younger population, the formal education of students about the adverse impacts of smoking should be integrated in all active anti-smoking programs. Medical students, as future healthcare professionals, can play an important role in smoking rates reduction among both younger and general populations, if properly trained and educated about smoking prevention and cessation techniques.

Open access
Validation of the Slovenian version of short sense of coherence questionnaire (SOC-13) in multiple sclerosis patients

Abstract

Aim

To validate the Slovenian version (SOC-13-SVN) of Sense of Coherence 13-item instrument (SOC-13) in Slovenian multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

Methods

A consecutive 134 Slovenian MS patients were enrolled in a cross-sectional study in 2013. The reliability of the SOC-13-SVN was assessed for internal consistency by Cronbach’s alpha coefficient (α), dimensionality by the confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and criterion validity by Pearson correlation coefficient (r) between SOC-13-SVN global score and MSQOL-54 composite scores – Mental Health Composite score (MHC) and Physical Health Composite score (PHC).

Results

For the SOC-13-SVN instrument as a whole, internal consistency was high (αtotal=0.88) while it was low for three subscales (αcomprehensibility=0.79; αmanageability=0.66; αmeaningfulness=0.69). The results of the CFA confirmed a three-factor structure with good fit (RMSEA=0.059, CFI=0.953, SRMR=0.065), however, the correlations between the factors were very high (rcomprehensibility/manageability=0.938; rcomprehensibility/meaningfulness=0.811; rmanageability/meaningfulness=0.930). The criterion validity analysis showed a moderate positive strength of relationship between SOC-13-SVN global score and both MSQOL-54 composite scores (MHC: r=0.597, p<0.001; PHC: r=0.437, p<0.001).

Conclusion

Analysis of some psychometric properties confirmed that this instrument is a reliable and valid tool for use in Slovenian MS patients. Despite the three-dimensional structure of the instrument, the use of the global summary score is encouraged due to the low reliability of the subscale scores and high correlations between them.

Open access
Absenteeism metrics for risk assessment concerning illness and injury in the medical-social assistance units

Abstract

Objective. This study aimed to provide the true picture of a ten-year absenteeism survey with regard to work-related illnesses and injuries in medical-social workers, and to develop an analytical model for the occupational health practitioner to facilitate record linkage between health outcomes and occupational data.

Methods. Severity indicator and specific weight indicator were calculated on the basis of sick leaves evidence from seven care facilities, as well as the average lost days per year within the period 2008-2017. Four types of work-related illnesses, non-reported accidents and five occupational groups accounted for statistic modeling of data.

Results. According to the specific weight indicator for occupations, nurses ranked the first place for musculoskeletal disorders, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and traumatic injuries, followed by medical-social-educational staff. Severity indicator for musculoskeletal disorders was high correlated with the number of employees (r=0.66).

Conclusions: This analytical method is reliable to be applied in risk assessment procedures and occupational health expertise.

Open access