ResearchPad - educational-attainment https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Are personality traits associated with smoking and alcohol use prior to and during pregnancy?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15743 Cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption during pregnancy can have detrimental effects on the developing fetus, including fetal alcohol syndrome and low birth weight. Surprisingly little is known about the association of personality traits with smoking and alcohol consumption in the specific subpopulation of pregnant women. This study analyzed data from a geographically diverse sample of 603 pregnant women, aged 18 years and older, who provided information regarding their smoking and drinking habits before and during pregnancy. We compared women who consumed alcohol or smoked cigarettes before pregnancy with women who quit or continued smoking or drinking during pregnancy. Associations between personality and maladaptive behaviors prior to and during pregnancy were modeled using logistic regression. The study revealed that women who scored high on openness to experience were significantly more likely to continue alcohol consumption during pregnancy (OR = 1.07, 95% CI 1.01, 1.14, p = .02). This association was maintained after adjusting for potential confounds. This study demonstrated a significant relationship between personality traits and women’s likelihood of continued alcohol consumption prior to and during pregnancy. Understanding personality-based determinants of health-detrimental behavior is important in order to design interventions that aim at decreasing rates of maladaptive health behaviors among pregnant women.

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<![CDATA[Cessation of breastfeeding in mothers of preterm infants—A mixed method study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14739 Many women cease breastfeeding earlier than desired. This study examined the cessation of breastfeeding among mothers of preterm infants. Thus, the aim was to describe the cessation of breastfeeding in mothers of preterm infants up to 12 months after birth.MethodThis mixed methods study used a convergent design with both qualitative data, consisting of written comments, and quantitative data, on breastfeeding status and breastfeeding satisfaction. The data were collected from questionnaires sent to the mothers at three points during the first year after birth. In total, 270 mothers of preterm infants who breastfed at the time of discharge from the neonatal unit provided data for the study. The quantitative and qualitative data were analysed separately with statistical tests and hermeneutical analysis, respectively and then together according to the convergent mixed methods design.ResultsFour themes of the meanings of the cessation of breastfeeding were identified in the qualitative analysis: “Desire to regain the mother’s and the infant’s well-being”, “The mothers interpretation that the infants actively ceased breastfeeding”, “The mother’s body and/or the infants’ signals showing the way” and “The mother's own will and perceived external obstacles”. Mothers who did not breastfeed as long as they wanted were more likely to report less satisfaction with breastfeeding, a shorter breastfeeding period, and less activity when ceasing breastfeeding. In comparison, mothers who breastfed as long as they wanted were more satisfied with breastfeeding, breastfed for a longer period of time and were more active in decision making in breastfeeding cessation.ConclusionMaternal passivity or activity influenced the cessation of breastfeeding in mothers of preterm infants who breastfed at the time of discharge from the neonatal unit. Passive behaviour related to breastfeeding may result in early cessation of breastfeeding, and low breastfeeding satisfaction while active behaviour may increase breastfeeding length and satisfaction. ]]> <![CDATA[Fruit and vegetable consumption in Europe according to gender, educational attainment and regional affiliation—A cross-sectional study in 21 European countries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13846 The purpose of the present study was to examine fruit and vegetable consumption according to gender, educational attainment and regional affiliation in Europe.DesignCross-sectional study.Setting21 European countries.Participants37 672 adults participating in the 7th round of the European Social Survey.Main outcome measuresFruit and vegetable consumption was measured using two single frequency questions. Responses were dichotomized into low (<once a day) and high (≥once a day) consumption. The association between consumption of fruit and vegetables and gender, educational level, regional affiliation was examined using logistic regression analyses.ResultsOverall, females showed increased odds of consuming fruit (OR 1.71 (95%CI:1.62, 1.79) and vegetable (1.59 (1.51, 1.67)) compared to males and high educated participants showed increased odds of consuming fruit (1.53 (1.43, 1.63)) and vegetables (1.86 (1.74, 2.00)) compared to low educated participants. Our results also showed that participants living in Eastern Europe had the lowest odds of consuming fruit and vegetables, whereas participants from Southern- and Northern Europe had the highest odds of consuming fruit and vegetables, respectively. Results from interaction analyses confirmed the positive association between fruit and vegetable consumption and educational level, although for some European regions, decreased odds of fruit and vegetables was observed among medium educated participants compared to those with low education.ConclusionsOverall, the present study showed that being female and having a high education were associated with increased consumption of fruit and vegetables. However, the direction and strength of these relationships depends on regional affiliations. ]]> <![CDATA[Determinants of HIV testing among Filipino women: Results from the 2013 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13810 The prevalence of having ever tested for HIV in the Philippines is very low and is far from the 90% target of the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) and UNAIDS, thus the need to identify the factors associated with ever testing for HIV among Filipino women.MethodsWe analysed the 2013 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). The NDHS is a nationally representative survey which utilized a two-stage stratified design to sample Filipino women aged 15–49. We considered the following exposures in our study: socio-demographic characteristics of respondent and her partner (i.e., age of respondent, age of partner, wealth index, etc.), sexual practices and contraception (i.e., age at first intercourse, condom use, etc.), media access, tobacco use, HIV knowledge, tolerance to domestic violence, and women’s empowerment. The outcome variable is HIV testing. We used logistic regression for survey data to study the said associations.ResultsOut of 16,155 respondents, only 372 (2.4%) have ever tested for HIV. After adjusting for confounders, having tertiary education (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.15; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.15–4.04), living with partner (aOR = 1.72; 95% CI: 1.19–2.48), tobacco use (aOR = 1.87; 95% CI: 1.13–3.11); belonging to the middle class (aOR = 2.72; 95% CI: 1.30–5.67), richer (aOR = 3.00; 95% CI: 1.37–5.68), and richest (aOR = 4.14; 95% CI: 1.80–5.91) populations, having weekly television access (aOR = 1.75; 95% CI: 1.04–2.94) or internet access (aOR = 2.01; 95% CI: 1.35–3.00), living in a rural area (aOR = 1.87; 95% CI: 1.34–2.61); and being a Muslim (aOR = 2.30; 95% CI: 1.15–4.57) were associated with ever testing for HIV.ConclusionsThe low percentage of respondents who test for HIV is a call to further strengthen efforts to promote HIV testing among Filipino women. Information on its determinants can be used to guide the crafting and implementation of interventions to promote HIV testing to meet DOH and UNAIDS targets. ]]> <![CDATA[Operational method of reliability and content-validity analysis: Taking “trait-symptoms” screening of individuals at high-risk for OCD as an example]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13806 A well-designed self-reported scale is highly applicable to current clinical and research practices. However, the problems with the scale method, such as quantitative analysis of content validity and test-retest reliability analysis of state-like variables are yet to be resolved. The main purpose of this paper is to propose an operational method for solving these problems. Additionally, it aims to enhance understanding of the research paradigm for the scale method (excluding criterion-related validity). This paper used a study that involved screening of high-risk groups for OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), conducted 5 rounds of tests, and developed scales, reliability, and validity analysis (using sample sizes of 496, 610, 600, 600 and 990). The operational method we propose is practical, feasible, and can be used to develop and validate a scale.

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<![CDATA[Characterization of e-Government adoption in Europe]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N2f6308d0-16b2-46c8-b471-69fa510f181d

The digital divide in Europe has not yet been bridged and thus more contributions towards understanding the factors affecting the different dimensions involved are required. This research offers some insights into the topic by analyzing the e-Government adoption or practical use of e-Government across Europe (26 EU countries). Based on the data provided by the statistical office of the European Union (Eurostat), we defined two indexes, the E-Government Use Index (EGUI) and an extreme version of it taking into account only null or complete use (EGUI+), and characterized the use/non use of e-Government tools using supervised learning procedures in a selection of countries with different e-Government adoption levels. These procedures achieved an average accuracy of 73% and determined the main factors related to the practical use of e-Government in each of the countries, e.g. the frequency of buying goods over the Internet or the education level. In addition, we compared the proposed indexes to other indexes measuring the level of e-readiness of a country such as the E-Government Development Index (EGDI) its Online Service Index (OSI) component, the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) and its Government usage component (GU). The ranking comparison found that EGUI+ is correlated with the four indexes mentioned at 0.05 significance level, as the majority of countries were ranked in similar positions. The outcomes contribute to gaining understanding about the factors influencing the use of e-Government in Europe and the different adoption levels.

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<![CDATA[Do open educational resources improve student learning? Implications of the access hypothesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89776cd5eed0c4847d2c7e

Open Educational Resources (OER) have been lauded for their ability to reduce student costs and improve equity in higher education. Research examining whether OER provides learning benefits have produced mixed results, with most studies showing null effects. We argue that the common methods used to examine OER efficacy are unlikely to detect positive effects based on predictions of the access hypothesis. The access hypothesis states that OER benefits learning by providing access to critical course materials, and therefore predicts that OER should only benefit students who would not otherwise have access to the materials. Through the use of simulation analysis, we demonstrate that even if there is a learning benefit of OER, standard research methods are unlikely to detect it.

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<![CDATA[Just how miserable is work? A meta-analysis comparing work and non-work affect]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823b0d5eed0c484638e4a

Although we spend much of our waking hours working, the emotional experience of work, versus non-work, remains unclear. While the large literature on work stress suggests that work generally is aversive, some seminal theory and findings portray working as salubrious and perhaps as an escape from home life. Here, we examine the subjective experience of work (versus non-work) by conducting a quantitative review of 59 primary studies that assessed affect on working days. Meta-analyses of within-day studies indicated that there was no difference in positive affect (PA) between work versus non-work domains. Negative affect (NA) was higher for work than non-work, although the magnitude of difference was small (i.e., .22 SD, an effect size comparable to that of the difference in NA between different leisure activities like watching TV versus playing board games). Moderator analyses revealed that PA was relatively higher at work and NA relatively lower when affect was measured using “real-time” measurement (e.g., Experience Sampling Methodology) versus measured using the Day Reconstruction Method (i.e., real-time reports reveal a more favorable view of work as compared to recall/DRM reports). Additional findings from moderator analyses included significant differences in main effect sizes as a function of the specific affect, and, for PA, as a function of the age of the sample and the time of day when the non-work measurements were taken. Results for the other possible moderators including job complexity and affect intensity were not statistically significant.

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<![CDATA[Issue framing in online voting advice applications: The effect of left-wing and right-wing headers on reported attitudes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c785013d5eed0c484007c38

Voting Advice Applications (VAAs) provide voting recommendations to millions of people. As these voting recommendations are based on users’ answers to attitude questions, the framing of these questions can have far-reaching consequences. The current study reports on a field experiment in which the framing of the header above VAA statements (N = 17) was manipulated (condition 1: no header; condition 2: a right-wing header, e.g., finance; condition 3: a left-wing header, e.g., nature and environment). Visitors of a VAA developed for Utrecht, the fourth largest municipality in the Netherlands, were randomly guided to one of the versions of the tool in which the header type was varied. Results (based on Nrespondents = 27,404) show that providing a header (left-wing or right-wing) leads to more left-wing answers as compared a condition where there is no header above the attitude statement. This effect, however, is only observed for respondents with lower levels of political sophistication.

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<![CDATA[White noise speech illusions in the general population: The association with psychosis expression and risk factors for psychosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe35d5eed0c484e5b70f

Introduction

Positive psychotic experiences are associated with increased rate of white noise speech illusions in patients and their relatives. However, findings have been conflicting to what degree speech illusions are associated with subclinical expression of psychosis in the general population. The aim of this study was to investigate the link between speech illusions and positive psychotic experiences in a general population sample. In addition, the hypothesis that speech illusions are on the pathway from known risk factors for psychosis (childhood adversity and recent life events) to subthreshold expression of psychosis, was examined.

Methods

In a follow-up design (baseline and 6 months) the association between the number of white noise speech illusions and self-reported psychotic experiences, assessed with the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE), was investigated in a general population sample (n = 112). In addition, associations between speech illusions and childhood adversity and life events, using the Childhood Experiences of Care and Abuse questionnaire and the Social Readjustment Rating Scale, were investigated.

Results

No association was found between the CAPE positive scale and the number of white noise speech illusions. The CAPE positive scale was significantly associated with childhood adversity between 12 and 16 years (B = 0.980 p = 0.001) and life events (B = 0.488 p = 0.044). The number of speech illusions showed no association with either life events or childhood adversity.

Conclusion

In the nonclinical population, the pathway from risk factors to expression of subclinical psychotic experiences does not involve white noise speech illusions as an intermediate outcome.

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<![CDATA[Transition to middle school: Self-concept changes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fde7d5eed0c484e5b037

Self-concept influences identity and the way that people behave, and it fluctuates over time. The main purpose of this study was to analyze fluctuations in the dimensions of self-concept as a function of gender, educational level, grade, age, physical activity, and weight. In total, 712 Spanish adolescents who were in the 5th and 8th grades (354 boys and 358 girls) and 10 to 14 years old (M = 11.9; SD = 1.3) participated in this study. The Self-Concept Questionnaire, Form 5 was used to analyze several dimensions of self-concept (academic, social, emotional, family, and physical), using the average scores in each dimension. The data showed strong differences in the dimensions of self-concept during the school transition. Middle-school students, compared to elementary-school students, showed significantly lower levels in almost all dimensions (academic, social, family, and physical). Furthermore, student age was a negative predictor of the social and academic dimensions, explaining 33% and 37% of the variance, respectively. Educational level and grade were smaller factors influencing the academic dimension (explaining 29% and 25% of the variance, respectively). The main findings revealed that the school transition and, specifically, increased age were associated with a lower self-concept. These results help us understand the need to strengthen psychological and educational self-concept at school.

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<![CDATA[The association of CHA2DS2-VASc score and carotid plaque in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c673079d5eed0c484f37bb6

Objective

The aim of this study was to assess the association between CHA2DS2-VASc score and carotid plaques in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF).

Methods

We conducted a retrospective study including 3,435 NVAF patients who underwent carotid ultrasound examinations from January 2015 to December 2017.We collected the clinical data on the medical records system. Chi-square trend test was used to analyze trends between the prevalence of carotid plaques with an increasing CHA2DS2-VASc score. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression was also used to assess the association between carotid plaques and CHA2DS2-VASc scores. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) was used to determine the optimal cutoff points of different CHA2DS2-VASc scores in NVAF patients.

Results

NVAF patients with carotid plaques had higher CHA2DS2-VASc scores compared with patients who did not have carotid plaques (3.01±1.36 vs. 2.55±1.28, P < 0.05). In all participants, male participants and female participants, the prevalence of carotid plaques increased significantly as the CHA2DS2-VASc score increased (P for trend < 0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that for each 1-point increase in the CHA2DS2-VASc score, there was an associated 37% increase in the prevalence of carotid plaques. ROC curve analysis revealed that a CHA2DS2-VASc score ≥ 2 in male patients (sensitivity, 44.67%; specificity, 75.64%; AUC, 0.639) or ≥ 3 in female patients (sensitivity, 47.24%; specificity, 72.40%; AUC, 0.634) were associated with carotid plaques.

Conclusion

The prevalence of carotid plaques in patients with NVAF was associated with the CHA2DS2-VASc score.

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<![CDATA[Consideration of substance use in compensation and pension examinations of veterans filing PTSD claims]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648ce9d5eed0c484c81a8d

Veterans filing claims that service-induced PTSD impairs them worry that claims examiners may attribute their difficulties to conditions other than PTSD, such as substance use. Substance use commonly co-occurs with PTSD and complicates establishing a PTSD diagnosis because symptoms may be explained by PTSD alone, PTSD-induced substance use, or by a substance use condition independent of PTSD. These alternative explanations of symptoms lead to different conclusions about whether a PTSD diagnosis can be made. How substance use impacts an examiner’s diagnosis of PTSD in a Veteran’s service-connection claim has not been previously studied. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that mention of risky substance use in the Compensation & Pension (C&P) examination would result in a lower likelihood of service-connection award, presumably because substance use reflected an alternative explanation for symptoms. Data were analyzed from 208 Veterans’ C&P examinations, medical records, and confidentially-collected research assessments. In this sample, 165/208 (79%) Veterans’ claims were approved for a mental health condition; 70/83 (84%) with risky substance use mentioned and 95/125 (76%) without risky use mentioned (p = .02). Contrary to the a priori hypothesis, Veterans with risky substance use were more likely to get a service-connection award, even after controlling for baseline PTSD severity and other potential confounds. They had almost twice the odds of receiving any mental health award and 2.4 times greater odds of receiving an award for PTSD specifically. These data contradict assertions of bias against Veterans with risky substance use when their claims are reviewed. The data are more consistent with substance use often being judged as a symptom of PTSD. The more liberal granting of awards is consistent with literature concerning comorbid PTSD and substance use, and with claims procedures that make it more likely that substance use will be attributed to trauma exposure than to other causes.

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<![CDATA[Individual and area-level determinants associated with C-reactive protein as a marker of cardiometabolic risk among adults: Results from the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 2008-2011]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730d2d5eed0c484f381b9

Background

High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) is a sensitive biomarker of systemic inflammation and is related to the development and progression of cardiometabolic diseases. Beyond individual-level determinants, characteristics of the residential physical and social environment are increasingly recognized as contextual determinants of systemic inflammation and cardiometabolic risks. Based on a large nationwide sample of adults in Germany, we analyzed the cross-sectional association of hsCRP with residential environment characteristics. We specifically asked whether these associations are observed independent of determinants at the individual level.

Methods

Data on serum hsCRP levels and individual sociodemographic, behavioral, and anthropometric characteristics were available from the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults (2008–2011). Area-level variables included, firstly, the predefined German Index of Socioeconomic Deprivation (GISD) derived from the INKAR (indicators and maps on spatial and urban development in Germany and Europe) database and, secondly, population-weighted annual average concentration of particulate matter (PM10) in ambient air provided by the German Environment Agency. Associations with log-transformed hsCRP levels were analyzed using random-intercept multi-level linear regression models including 6,768 participants aged 18–79 years nested in 162 municipalities.

Results

No statistically significant association of PM10 exposure with hsCRP was observed. However, adults residing in municipalities with high compared to those with low social deprivation showed significantly elevated hsCRP levels (change in geometric mean 13.5%, 95%CI 3.2%-24.7%) after adjusting for age and sex. The observed relationship was independent of individual-level educational status. Further adjustment for smoking, sports activity, and abdominal obesity appeared to markedly reduce the association between area-level social deprivation and hsCRP, whereas all individual-level variables contributed significantly to the model.

Conclusions

Area-level social deprivation is associated with higher systemic inflammation and the potentially mediating role of modifiable risk factors needs further elucidation. Identifying and assessing the source-specific harmful components of ambient air pollution in population-based studies remains challenging.

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<![CDATA[Factors influencing nutritional practices among mothers in Dakar, Senegal]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b26a8d5eed0c484289e14

Background

Maternal undernutrition is a leading cause of maternal mortality. Furthermore, health statuses and habits of mothers influence health statuses of newborns as well as healthy habits and mortality of children. The Senegal government is aware of the severity of these issues and has devised a national policy goal of reducing maternal, infant, and adolescent mortality rates by the end of 2018. This study aimed to identify nutritional knowledge, attitudes, and practices of lactating women in Senegal, and determine factors related to nutritional practices to obtain basic data for developing a maternal and child nutrition project.

Method

This study used a mixed–method approach, collecting data via structured questionnaires administered to lactating women in Senegal and semistructured interviews with seven stake–holders. Questions for stuctured questionnaires were about nutritional knowledge, attitudes, and practices. For the quantitative analysis of the structured questionnaires, data from 171 participants analyzed using independent t-tests, Pearson’s correlation coefficients, and multiple linear regression analysis. Interview data were analyzed using an inductive thematic analysis approach. The questions for the interviews concerned maternal and child nutritional status, causes of undernutrition, and restrictions.

Results

Factors significantly related to healthy nutritional practices(explaining 27.1% of variance) included having a household (B = 1.03, p = .015) and a mother (B = 0.96, p = .017) with an above primary school education, and being in the 5th quintile of income level (B = 1.24, p = .014). The interviews with seven stakeholders revealed obstructive factors of nutritional management were insufficient nutritional programs within health centers, incomplete national policy on nutrition, lack of general interest in undernutrition-related topics, inadequate economic environment, and the absence of partnerships to produce sustainable solutions.

Conclusion

Education and income levels, rather than knowledge and attitudes, had a strong relationship with healthy nutritional practices. Therefore, economic factors and educational background must be considered to succeed in Senegalese nutrition projects.

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<![CDATA[Assessment of trachoma in suspected endemic areas within 16 provinces in mainland China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d64bd5eed0c484031ac3

Background

China used to be among the countries with a high prevalence of trachoma. At the launch of The Global Elimination of Trachoma (GET) 2020 campaign by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1996, China was placed on the list of countries endemic for trachoma based on historical data. However, empirical observation and routinely collected eye care data were suggesting that trachoma was no longer a public health problem. To determine whether the GET 2020 goals had been met in P. R. China, we conducted a targeted assessment with national scope.

Methodology/principal finding

Province assessment teams, trained in WHO Trachoma Rapid Assessment (TRA) methodology and in WHO simplified trachoma grading system, carried out assessments in 16 provinces (among them, 2 provinces conducted pilot assessment). Based on the published literature, including national and international reports, suspected trachoma-endemic areas within each province were identified. Within these areas, trachomatous inflammation- follicular (TF) assessments were carried out in at least 50 grade-one children in primary schools serving villages with the lowest socio-economic development. Trachomatous trichiasis (TT) and corneal opacity (CO) assessments were conducted among persons aged 15 and over in villages within the catchment area of the selected schools. Of 8,259 children examined in 128 primary schools in 97 suspected trachoma endemic areas, only 16 cases of conjunctivitis were graded as TF. 38 cases with TT were found among the 339,013 examined residents in villages surrounding the schools. Among these 97 suspected trachoma endemic areas in only three was the prevalence of TT more than 0.2%.

Conclusions/significance

This large study suggested that trachoma was not a public health problem in 16 provinces that had been previously suspected to be endemic. These findings will facilitate planning for elimination of trachoma from PR China.

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<![CDATA[Private and social time preference for health outcomes: A general population survey in Iran]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df32bd5eed0c484580e0a

Despite the recent increase in economic evaluations of health care programs in low and middle income countries, there is still a surprising gap in evidence on the appropriate discount rate and the discounting of health outcomes such as quality adjusted life years (QALYs). Our study aimed to calculate the implied time preference rate for health outcomes in Iran and its key determinants. Data were gathered from one family member from each of the 650 households randomly selected in Tehran. The respondents’ private and social preferences for health outcomes were calculated using the time trade-off (TTO) technique based on the discounted utility model. We investigated the main assumptions of the discounted utility model through equality of mean comparison, and the association between private time preference and key socio-economic determinants using multilevel regression analysis. The mean and median implied rates were 5.8% and 4.9% for private time preference and 25.6% and 20% for social time preference respectively. Our study confirmed that magnitude, framing and time effects have a significant impact on implied discount rates, which means that the conventional discounted utility model’s main assumptions are violated in the Iranian general population. Other models of discounting which apply lower rates for far health outcomes might provide a more sensible solution to discounting health interventions with long-term impacts.

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<![CDATA[Impact of severe polyhandicap on parents’ quality of life: A large French cross-sectional study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8dfd5eed0c48496f2bd

Background

Polyhandicap (PLH) is a condition of severe and complex disabilities and is defined by a combination of profound intellectual impairment and serious motor deficits. Parents of PLH individuals are chronically confronted with stressful situations. The aims of this study are i) to assess and compare the quality of life (QoL) of a large panel of parents of PLH individuals with age- and gender-matched controls and ii) to identify potential determinants of parents’ QoL.

Method

We conducted a cross-sectional study. Parents were recruited from 4 specialized rehabilitation centres, 9 residential facilities, and a specialized paediatric/neurological department. The selection criteria were age above 18 years and being the mother/father of a PLH individual. The data collected from the parents included sociodemographic, health status, and psycho-behavioural data (including QoL); additionally, the health status of the PLH individuals was collected.

Results

The QoL scores of all dimensions were significantly lower for parents than for controls. The main factors modulating parents’ QoL were financial issues, health status, and coping strategies. The PLH individuals’ health status was not associated with parents’ QoL.

Conclusions

Some QoL determinants might be amenable. These findings should help health care workers and health decision makers to implement specific and appropriate interventions.

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<![CDATA[Work stress among older employees in Germany: Effects on health and retirement age]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8c1d5eed0c48496f0cd

Background

Policy makers in aging societies aim for the extension of work lives by increasing the official retirement age. Despite these efforts, many people stop working before reaching this retirement age. The main reason for early retirement is poor health. Health in turn is influenced by exposure to the work environment. Furthermore, health and work stress are influenced by education, which may lead to different effects for the lowly and the highly educated.

Objective

This study examines the relationship between work stress and retirement age. It investigates whether this relationship is mediated by health and moderated by education. Three dimensions of health are taken into account: self-rated health (SRH), depressive symptoms, and high cardiovascular risk diseases (HCVR).

Methods

A German subsample of the longitudinal Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) was linked with register data of the German Public Pension Scheme (SHARE-RV). The sample followed 302 individuals aged 50 to 65 years at baseline from 2004 to 2014. The data contains information on work stress, measured by job control and effort–reward–imbalance (ERI), health, and age of retirement. Multi-group structural equation modeling was applied to analyze the direct and indirect effects of work stress on retirement age via health. Work stress was lagged so that it temporally preceded health and retirement age.

Results

Lower job control and poorer SRH lead to a lower retirement age. Health does not operate as a mediator in the relationship between work stress and retirement age. Education moderates the relationship between work stress and health: high ERI leads to better SRH and better physical health of higher educated persons. Low job control increases the risk of depressive symptoms for persons with less education.

Conclusions

Improving stressful working conditions, particularly improving job control, can prolong the working lives of employees and postpone retirement.

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<![CDATA[Targeted HIV testing for male partners of HIV-positive pregnant women in a high prevalence setting in Nigeria]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52a8d5eed0c4842bcdc0

Background

Partner HIV testing during pregnancy has remained abysmally low in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Nigeria. Males rarely attend antenatal clinics with their female partners, limiting the few opportunities available to offer them HIV testing. In this study, we evaluated the scale-up of the Healthy Beginning Initiative (HBI), a community-driven evidenced-based intervention to increase HIV testing among pregnant women and their male partners. Our objectives were to determine the: (1) male partner participation rate; (2) prevalence of HIV among male partners of pregnant women; (3) factors associated with HIV positivity among male partners of HIV-positive pregnant women.

Methods

We reviewed program data of expectant parents enrolled in HBI in Benue State, north-central Nigeria. During HBI, trained lay health workers provided educational and counseling sessions, and offered free onsite integrated testing for HIV, hepatitis B virus and sickle cell genotype to pregnant women and their male partners who participated in incentivized, church-organized baby showers. Each participant completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire on demographics, lifestyle habits, and HIV testing history. Chi-square test was used to compare the characteristics of HIV-positive and HIV-negative male partners. Simple and multivariable logistic regression models were used to determine the association between participants' characteristics and HIV positivity among male partners of HIV-positive women.

Results

Male partner participation rate was 57% (5264/9231). Overall HIV prevalence was 6.1% (891/14495) with significantly higher rates in women (7.4%, 681/9231) compared to men (4.0%, 210/5264). Among the 681 HIV-positive women, 289 male partners received HIV testing; 37.7% (109/289) were found to be HIV-positive. In multivariate analysis, older age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 2.45, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.27–4.72 for age 30–39 years vs. <30 years; aOR: 2.39, CI: 1.18–4.82 for age ≥40 years vs. <30 years) and self-reported daily alcohol intake (vs. never (aOR: 0.35, CI: 0.13–0.96)) were associated with HIV positivity in male partners of HIV-positive women.

Conclusion

The community-based congregational approach is a potential strategy to increase male partner HIV testing towards achieving the UNAIDS goal of 90% HIV screening. Targeting male partners of HIV-positive women for screening may provide a higher yield of HIV diagnosis and the opportunity to engage known positives in care in this population.

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