The Internet has become one of the main means of communication used by people who search for health-related information. The quality of online health-related information affects the users’ knowledge, their attitude, and their risk or health behaviour in complex ways and influences a substantial number of users in their decisions regarding diagnostic and treatment procedures.
The aim of this review is to explore the benefits and risks associated with using the Internet as a source of health-related information; the relationship between the quality of the health-related information available on the Internet and the potential risks; the multiple conceptual components of the quality of health-related information; the evaluation criteria for quality health-related information; and the main approaches and initiatives that have been implemented worldwide to help improve users’ access to high-quality health-related information.
Nădăşan Valentin, Sîmpetrean Andreea, Tarcea Monica and Abram Zoltan
Objective: The purpose of the study was to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and behavior regarding dietary fats among mothers in Romania.
Material and methods: A sample of 305 mothers from Romania were included in a cross-sectional observational study. The online questionnaire addressed their knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding the dietary fats used in their children’s diet. The frequencies and proportions of the collected variables were calculated based on respondents’ answers.
Results: While almost all the respondents (94.8%) believed that mothers are supposed to know the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats, only less than half of them (39.7%) stated that they know the difference. As far as the types of margarine, although more than half of the respondents (64.7%) believed that mothers should be able to discriminate between the hydrogenated and interesterified margarine, only 11.5% claimed that they are able to discern between them. The actual ability to identify foods rich in saturated fats varied in a great degree from item to item. More common dietary fats such as sunflower oil, corn oil, and lard, were more frequently identified than less common dietary fats such as coconut oil and palm oil. Only 16.4% of the mothers were able to correctly differentiate hydrogenated from interesterified margarine. The most frequently used spreadable fat used in the children’s diet was butter and the most frequently used cooking fats were sunflower oil, olive oil, and butter.
Conclusion: The results of this study might be informative in the development of maternal nutrition education programs.
Valentin Nadasan, Gabriella Gabos, Monica Tarcea and Zoltan Abram
Objectives: To assess the prevalence of snacking and to explore the relationship between snacking and several demographic, anthropometric, functional and biochemical factors. Methods: The study included 756 individuals over 18 years of age from Medias, Romania. Demographics and data about snacking were collected by trained volunteers. Height, weight, waist circumference, blood pressure were measured with standard equipment according to accepted procedures. Blood glucose and cholesterol were measured by experienced nurses using portable devices. Associations between variables were checked with the Pearson Chi-square test. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated to measure the association between binary variables. Results: About half of the subjects in the studied sample reported snacking less than 2 times / week, 34.5% between 3-4 times / week and 14.8% more than 4 times / week. Statistical analysis found that snacking was associated with gender (males being less likely to snack than females), ethnicity (non-Romanians being less likely to snack than Romanian ethnics), marital status of the subjects (not married people being less likely to snack than married people ), systolic blood pressure (people consuming more often snacks being less likely to have high systolic blood pressure values), and blood sugar level (people eating more frequently between meals being more likely to have higher blood glucose levels). Conclusions: Snacking was a widespread eating habit among the study participants and was significantly associated with gender, ethnicity, marital status, systolic blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
Septimiu-Daniel Popescu, Mihaela Dănilă and Valentin Nădășan
Septimiu Daniel Popescu, Alex Otniel Popescu, Mihaela Dănilă, Mihaela Dobria, David Maior and Valentin Nădăşan
Background: The quality of online health-related information may affect users’ understanding and medical decision-making with dramatic impact, particularly in case of stroke. Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the quality of information about stroke on the Romanian and Hungarian websites in terms of completeness and accuracy. Methods: The research was designed as an observational cross-sectional study. The sample included 25 Romanian and 25 Hungarian websites presenting information about stroke for the general public. General characteristics such as website ownership, main goal, website genre and medical approach were identified by the evaluators using a predetermined set of common instructions. The completeness and accuracy of the information were assessed by two independent assessors against a quality benchmark. Results: Overall, most of the websites were owned by private commercial companies (42%), had educational goal (66%), were designed as medical web-portals (46%) and had a conventional medicine approach (72%). Mean completeness score was 5.6 points (SD± 1.9) for Romanian sites and 4.1 points (SD ± 2.4) for Hungarian sites (p = 0.017). Mean accuracy score was 6.2 points (SD ± 1.1) for Romanian sites and 7.0 points (SD ± 0.7) for Hungarian sites (p = 0.02). Conclusions: The information about stroke on the Romanian and Hungarian websites had poor quality. Although we found statistically significant differences between the quality scores of the two language sub-samples and two site characteristics associated with significantly higher quality, the practical relevance of these findings for online health information seekers should be interpreted with caution.
Ferencz Lorand, Finta Hajnal, Schmidt Lorand, Balint Iosif, Nadasan Valentin and Abram Zoltan
Background: Smoking is a problem of the modern world and annually produces more victims, and due to ignorance and lack of health education in our country the disease diagnosis is made at an advanced stage. Many studies show that, young people aged between 10 and 18 are smokers and start smoking at an increasingly early age.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the smoking habits of institutionalized children in family care homes from Harghita and Mures county.
Methods: The method chosen was a sociological survey based on questionnaires. Our study included 254 children institutionalized in family care homes in Mures county and 254 children from Harghita county. Statistical analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences.
Results: A statistically significant difference was obtained analyzing the number of smokers from the group of children under 12 years in Mures compared to the Harghita county. More than half of children smoked their first cigarette after they entered in family care homes in both counties and the most common setting in which the children were smoking was when being together with their friends.
Conclusions: In Mures county the number of smokers under the age of 12 was significantly higher than in Harghita county. Despite the educational classes and institutional regulations of smoking, more than half of children smoke. The decisive role in testing of smoking are the friends. Due to the very high number of underage smokers, the prevention and education hours have an unquestionable importance.
Márton István Dénes, Cristian Borz, Árpád Török, Tibor Kántor, Valentin Nădășan, Mónika Csibi and Zoltán Ábrám
Introduction. Smoking is an important public health issue nowadays. It causes a lot of diseases and represents also a source of carcinogenic substances. Recent studies showed an increased incidence of colorectal cancer in smokers. The aim of our study is to assess the association between smoking and colorectal cancer and to establish the prevalence of heavy smokers among the patients operated on for colorectal cancer.
Methodology. We run a retrospective study of the charts belonging to the patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer and operated on in our department between 2004 and 2013. The patients were classified in smokers, former smokers and nonsmokers. The amount of tobacco was evaluated according to the number of smoked cigarettes per day, the smoking period, respectively the pack-years. The data were corroborated with the location of the tumor and analyzed using the online version of Graphpad.
Results. From 982 patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer, we found 297 smokers (30.24%). Among these, 106 patients (35.69%) have smoked for over 30 years, at least 20 cigarettes per day, more than 30 pack-years. The number of heavy smokers was significantly greater (p=0.0001) in the group with rectal cancer compared to the group with colon cancer. The association of smoking with rectal cancer was also important (p=0.0015) among the former smokers.
Conclusions. Smoking is related to higher incidence of colorectal cancer. Our data sustain the hypothesis of increased risk of developing rectal cancer in heavy smokers. We recommend the screening for colorectal cancer among the heavy smoker population.