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Open access

Eugenija Žuškin, Josipa Kern, Jadranka Mustajbegović, Jasna Pucarincvetković, Jagoda Doko-Jelinić and Tihomir Bradić

Respiratory Symptoms in Fish Processing Workers on the Adriatic Coast of Croatia

This article describes respiratory symptoms and lung function in 98 fish processing female workers employed in a fish processing plant located on the Croatian Adriatic coast and 95 matching controls. The study included chronic and acute respiratory symptoms which developed during the shifts. Lung function measurements included forced vital capacity (FVC), one-second forced expiratory volume (FEV1) and maximal expiratory rates at 50 % and the last 25 % (FEF50, FEF25). Chronic respiratory symptoms were significantly dominant in fish processing workers compared to controls. The most common chronic symptoms were hoarseness (57.1 %), nasal catarrh (51.0 %), chronic cough (42.9 %), chronic phlegm (34.7 %), and frequent chest cold (35.7 %). Exposed smokers and nonsmokers had a similar prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms. Acute symptoms over the work shift were high, with headache in lead (smokers: 62.5 %; nonsmokers: 56.1 %). Most of the ventilatory capacity parameters were significantly lower than predicted, FEF25 in particular, indicating obstructive changes predominantly in the smaller airways. These findings suggest that fish processing workers are prone to developing acute and chronic respiratory symptoms as well as to lung function changes. This calls for medical and technical preventive measures to be introduced in the work environment of the fish processing plant.

Open access

Zlata Ožvačić Adžić, Milica Katić, Josipa Kern, Jean Karl Soler, Venija Cerovečki and Ozren Polašek

The impact of physician burnout on the quality of patient care is unclear. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the prevalence of burnout in family physicians in Croatia and its association with physician and practice characteristics, and patient enablement as a consultation outcome measure.

Hundred and twenty-five out of 350 family physicians responded to our invitation to participate in the study. They were asked to collect data from 50 consecutive consultations with their adult patients who had to provide information on patient enablement (Patient Enablement Instrument). Physicians themselves provided their demographic and professional data, including workload, job satisfaction, consultation length, and burnout [Maslach Burnout Inventory - Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS )]. MBI-HSS scores were analysed in three dimensions: emotional exhaustion (EE), depersonalisation (DP), and personal accomplishment (PA).

Of the responding physicians, 42.4 % scored high for EE burnout, 16.0 % for DP, and 15.2 % for PA. Multiple regression analysis showed that low job satisfaction and more patients per day predicted high EE scores. Low job satisfaction, working more years at a current workplace, and younger age predicted high DP scores. Lack of engagement in education and academic work, shorter consultations, and working more years at current workplace predicted low PA scores, respectively (P<0.05 for each).

Burnout is common among family physicians in Croatia yet burnout in our physicians was not associated with patient enablement, suggesting that it did not affect the quality of interpersonal care. Job satisfaction, participation in educational or academic activities and sufficient consultation time seem to reduce the likelihood of burnout.

Open access

Sanije Gashi, Merita Berisha, Naser Ramadani, Musli Gashi, Josipa Kern, Aleksandar Dzakula and Silvije Vuletic



Tobacco use continues to be the leading global cause of preventable death. Most of these deaths occur in low and middle-income countries, and this trend is expected to widen further over the next several decades. The overall objective of the study is to describe and analyse the smoking behaviours of adults in Kosova.


According to the STEPs methodology, 6,400 respondents, aged 15 - 64 years, are selected randomly within each sex and 10-year age-group. Out of 6,400 participants, 6,117 were selected, which is approximately 95.6%.


The prevalence of smoking was higher among males (37.4%) compared with females (19.7%). In all age groups, the prevalence of smoking was higher among males compared with females. Regarding the age group of 15 - 24 years, the prevalence of smoking was 16.0%, but in the age group of 25 - 34 years, it nearly doubled to the rate of 31.9%. We have a smaller increase in the age group of 35 - 44 years, and after the age of 45, it falls gradually.


The prevalence of smoking in Kosova is high compared with other countries in Eastern Europe. In future decades, Kosova will face a high probability of an increased burden of smoking-related diseases.