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Public Health Research Methodology

Nina Holland
Environmental research and public health in the 21st century face serious challenges such as increased air pollution and global warming, widespread use of potentially harmful chemicals including pesticides, plasticizers, and other endocrine disruptors, and radical changes in nutrition and lifestyle typical of modern societies. In particular, exposure to environmental and occupational toxicants may contribute to the occurrence of adverse birth outcomes, neurodevelopmental deficits, and increased risk of cancer and other multifactorial diseases such as diabetes and asthma...
October 21, 2016: Reviews on Environmental Health
Ahmed Al-Imam, Rita Santacroce, Andres Roman-Urrestarazu, Robert Chilcott, Giuseppe Bersani, Giovanni Martinotti, Ornella Corazza
BACKGROUND: Fenetheylline, a psychostimulant drug, often branded as Captagon, is a combination of amphetamine and theophylline. Since the cessation of its legal production in 1986, counterfeited products have been produced illicitly in south-east Europe and far-east Asia. Its profitable trade has been linked to terrorist organizations, including Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. This study aims to reach up-to-date data, concerning the Captagon e-commerce and use in the Middle East...
October 21, 2016: Human Psychopharmacology
M Bryant Howren, Jeffrey S Gonzalez
The current issue is devoted broadly to research on treatment adherence and chronic illness self-management behavior. As the prevalence of chronic illness increases, the pervasive problem of treatment nonadherence is increasingly viewed as having a major impact on treatment outcomes, public health and healthcare costs, making this issue particularly timely. Sixteen articles spanning an array of topics are presented; articles include empirical studies, statistical simulations, systematic reviews, and theoretical commentaries...
October 20, 2016: Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Matthias Willmann, Silke Peter
The increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance poses one of the greatest challenges to modern medicine. The collection of all antimicrobial resistance genes carried by various microorganisms in the human body is called the human resistome and represents the source of resistance in pathogens that can eventually cause life-threatening and untreatable infections. A deep understanding of the human resistome and its multilateral interaction with various environments is necessary for developing proper measures that can efficiently reduce the spread of resistance...
October 20, 2016: Journal of Molecular Medicine: Official Organ of the "Gesellschaft Deutscher Naturforscher und Ärzte"
J Augustin, J Austermann, S Erasmi
Background: One of the overall objectives of the legislator is to ensure an overall "homogeneous", and easily accessible medical care for the population. The physician-patient ratio can be used to describe the regional health care situation. But this method does not provide information concerning the availability of, for instance, the nearest doctor. Therefore, further parameters such as accessibility must be taken into consideration. For this purpose, network analyses are an appropriate method. The objective of this study is to present methodological tools to evaluate the healthcare situation in the metropolitan region of Hamburg, primarily focusing on accessibility using dermatologists as an example...
October 18, 2016: Das Gesundheitswesen
Paula Schaiquevich, Paula Taich, Natalia Riva, Francisco Leone, Nora Paternoster, Gabriel Mato, Paulo Cáceres Guido
Objective Determine the status of analytical laboratories that quantify immunosuppressants in transplant patients who are under therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) for these drugs in Argentina in order to identify potential perfectible areas for action. Methods A survey of the clinical and analytical TDM centers in Argentina was conducted between September 2013 and November 2014 under the direction of the Garrahan Hospital Clinical Pharmacokinetics Unit and the National Unified Central Institute for Ablation and Implant Coordination...
March 2016: Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública, Pan American Journal of Public Health
Francesco Cappuccio
The evidence. Salt (i.e. sodium chloride) is causally related to blood pressure (BP). The higher the salt intake, the higher the BP, an effect seen since birth. A small and sustained reduction in salt intake causes a fall in BP. The evidence from controlled studies, small and large, short and long, all agree on the following: (1) salt intake is one of the major determinants of BP in populations and individuals; (2) a reduction in salt intake causes a dose-dependent reduction in BP - the lower the salt the lower the BP; (3) the effect is seen in both sexes, in people of all ages and ethnic groups, and with all starting BPs...
September 2016: Journal of Hypertension
Osvaldo Marrero, Eric Y Hung, Manfred Hauben
BACKGROUND: Many illnesses demonstrate seasonal and geographic variations. Pharmacovigilance is unique among public health surveillance systems in terms of the clinical diversity of the events under surveillance. Since many pharmacovigilance signal detection methodologies are geared towards looking for increased frequency of spontaneous adverse drug event (ADE) reporting over variable time frames, seasonality of ADEs may have implications for signal detection. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate whether a set of illnesses that might be expected to display seasonality in general, did so when spontaneously reported as ADEs...
September 2016: Drugs—Real World Outcomes
Olalekan Lee Aiyegbusi, Derek Kyte, Paul Cockwell, Tom Marshall, Thomas Keeley, Adrian Gheorghe, Melanie Calvert
INTRODUCTION: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with symptoms that can significantly reduce the quality of life (QoL) of patients. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) may facilitate the assessment of the impact of disease and treatment on the QoL, from a patient perspective. PROMs can be used in research and routine clinical practice. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A systematic review of studies evaluating the measurement properties of PROMs in adults with CKD will be conducted...
October 12, 2016: BMJ Open
Rebecca Ling, Joon Lee
BACKGROUND: Infodemiology can offer practical and feasible health research applications through the practice of studying information available on the Web. Google Trends provides publicly accessible information regarding search behaviors in a population, which may be studied and used for health campaign evaluation and disease monitoring. Additional studies examining the use and effectiveness of Google Trends for these purposes remain warranted. OBJECTIVE: The objective of our study was to explore the use of infodemiology in the context of health campaign evaluation and chronic disease monitoring...
October 12, 2016: JMIR Public Health and Surveillance
Julian Barling, Anika Cloutier
While employees' mental health is the focus of considerable attention from researchers, the public, and policymakers, leaders' mental health has almost escaped attention. We start by considering several reasons for this, followed by discussions of the effects of leaders' mental health on their own leadership behaviors, the emotional toll of high-quality leadership, and interventions to enhance leaders' mental health. We offer 8 possible directions for future research on leaders' mental health. Finally, we discuss methodological obstacles encountered when investigating leaders' mental health, and policy dilemmas raised by leaders' mental health...
October 10, 2016: Journal of Occupational Health Psychology
Mervi Flinkman, Helena Leino-Kilpi, Olivia Numminen, Yunsuk Jeon, Liisa Kuokkanen, Riitta Meretoja
AIM: To report a systematic and psychometric review. BACKGROUND: The Nurse Competence Scale is currently the most widely used generic instrument to measure registered nurses' competence in different phases of their careers. Based on a decade of research, this review provides a summary of the existing evidence. DESIGN: A systematic literature review of research evidence and psychometric properties. DATA SOURCES: Nine databases from 2004 - October 2015...
October 12, 2016: Journal of Advanced Nursing
Nunzia Linzalone, Alessio Coi, Paolo Lauriola, Daniela Luise, Alessandra Pedone, Roberto Romizi, Domenico Sallese, Fabrizio Bianchi
The lack of participatory tools in Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to support decision-makers is a critical factor that negatively affects the impacts of waste policies. This study describes the participatory HIA used in deciding on the possible doubling of the municipal solid waste incinerating plant located near the city of Arezzo, Italy. Within the framework of the new waste management plan, a methodology for the democratic participation of stakeholders was designed adopting the Local Agenda 21 methodology...
October 8, 2016: Waste Management
Lewis O J Killin, John M Starr, Ivy J Shiue, Tom C Russ
BACKGROUND: Dementia risk reduction is a major and growing public health priority. While certain modifiable risk factors for dementia have been identified, there remains a substantial proportion of unexplained risk. There is evidence that environmental risk factors may explain some of this risk. Thus, we present the first comprehensive systematic review of environmental risk factors for dementia. METHODS: We searched the PubMed and Web of Science databases from their inception to January 2016, bibliographies of review articles, and articles related to publically available environmental data...
October 12, 2016: BMC Geriatrics
Thomas Harder, Cornelius Remschmidt, Sebastian Haller, Tim Eckmanns, Ole Wichmann
BACKGROUND: Given limited resources and time constraints, the use of existing systematic reviews (SR) for the development of evidence-based public health recommendations has become increasingly important. Recently, a five-step approach for identifying, analyzing, appraising and using existing SRs based on recent guidance by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) was proposed within the Project on a Framework for Rating Evidence in Public Health (PRECEPT). However, case studies are needed to test whether this approach is useful, what challenges arise and how problems can be solved...
October 11, 2016: Systematic Reviews
Esther K Choo, Sherry L Emery
As states increasingly liberalize marijuana laws, high-quality research is needed that will inform the public and policymakers about the health and societal impact of these laws. However, there are many challenges to studying marijuana policy, including the heterogeneity of the drug and its use, the variability in the laws and their implementation from state to state, the need to capture a wide variety of relevant outcomes, and the poorly understood influence of marijuana commercialization. Furthermore, current instruments generally fail to distinguish between types of users and lack accurate and detailed measures of use...
October 10, 2016: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Lee W Cohnstaedt, Darren Snyder, Elin Maki, Shawn Schafer
Crowdsourcing is obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people. This new method of acquiring data works well for single reports, but fails when long-term data collection is needed, mainly due to reporting fatigue or failure of repeated sampling by individuals. To establish a crowdsourced collections network researchers must recruit, reward, and retain contributors to the project. These 3 components of crowdsourcing are discussed using the United States Department of Agriculture social networks, the Cervid Disease Network, and the North American Mosquito Project...
June 30, 2016: Veterinaria Italiana
Mark Tambe Keboa, Natalie Hiles, Mary Ellen Macdonald
INTRODUCTION: Improving the oral health of refugees and asylum seekers is a global priority, yet little is known about the overall burden of oral diseases and their causes for this population. OBJECTIVE: To synthesize available evidence on the oral health of, and access to oral health care by this population. METHODS: Using a scoping review methodology, we retrieved 3321 records from eight databases and grey literature; 44 publications met the following inclusion criteria: empirical research focused on refugees and/or asylum seekers' oral health, published between 1990 and 2014 in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish...
October 7, 2016: Globalization and Health
Nandita Bhan, Krishna Dipankar Rao, Shivani Kachwaha
BACKGROUND: Research on health inequalities can be instrumental in drawing attention to the health of socioeconomically vulnerable groups in India in the context of rapid economic growth. It can shape the dialogue for public health action, emphasizing the need for greater investments in health, and monitor effectiveness of health programs. Our objective was to examine trends in studies on health inequalities in the last 25 years. METHODS: We conducted a systematic literature review of studies on health inequalities published from 1990...
October 6, 2016: International Journal for Equity in Health
Mary E Northridge, Sara S Metcalf
BACKGROUND: Implementation science holds promise for better ensuring that research is translated into evidence-based policy and practice, but interventions often fail or even worsen the problems they are intended to solve due to a lack of understanding of real world structures and dynamic complexity. While systems science alone cannot possibly solve the major challenges in public health, systems-based approaches may contribute to changing the language and methods for conceptualising and acting within complex systems...
October 4, 2016: Health Research Policy and Systems
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