Vol 3 (2020)

Published: 2020-12-30

Abstract views: 2520   PDF downloads: 1383  

Page 145-149

Information on congenital malformations obtained from hospital information flow data

blankpage Giuseppe Andrea De Biase, Alba Malara, Annamaria Ruberto

Congenital malformations represent a relevant cause of fetal, neonatal and infant mortality, and morbidity. In consideration of the few resources available, various studies have been conducted to evaluate the different methods of data collection using different information sources. This study aims to improve knowledge on congenital malformations in the Calabria Region in 2017 through the development of a formal procedure to connect and integrate the current SDO and CeDAP flows with the regional register of congenital malformations (RRMC) to enhance different sources information and create a single database. Hospitalization flow of the Calabria Regional Health System have been selected for all those born in the Region in 2017 and their hospitalizations within the first year of life. There were 1,307 cases with at least one ICD-9-CM code in the range 740-759. Cases deemed "minor" were excluded and the "potentially malformed" case search procedures were performed. Following the application of the assessment criteria, 449 cases were considered "validated", 81 cases with malformation in the birth flow and 215 in the Malformation registrer were detected. The various flows contributed to the construction of the integrated regional malformed registe, the integration of the RRMC flow with the hospital discharge cards (SDO) and with the Certificate of Childbirth Assistance (CedAP), has allowed to obtain complete coverage of the birth points of the Calabria Region, for a total of 16,282 births supervised. The birth rate recorded among the supervised births was 4.3 per 1,000. The separate use of information from the registers and from the different health flows, which normally do not communicate with each other, has however shown limits. The records contain detailed descriptions of the malformative condition, but often lack information on surgical interventions or further instrumental clinical investigations. Instead, this information is present in the other streams. On the other hand, the importance of diagnosis and coding of correct malformations, often deficient in SDO and CeDAP, have important implications for research and evaluation purposes.

Abstract views: 2998   PDF downloads: 1349  

Page 136-144

Life course immunization approach across Europe: Focus on Hungary, Poland and Spain

blankpage Daniela Quaggia, Mariano Votta, Giulia Decarolis

In April 2019, the Italian NGO Cittadinanzattiva, through its international branch Active Citizenship Network (ACN) launched, during the European immunization week, a new project called “European Active Citizens for Vaccination”. The aim was to improve the awareness on the importance of vaccination across Europe: the scientific evidence is clear, vaccination is an essential public health tool and helps to guarantee our fundamental rights as a European citizen. ACN realized a social media communication campaign supporting and spreading awareness on the topic of life-course vaccination: videos were made in all the national languages of the involved countries (Italy, Hungary, Poland, Ireland and Spain) and then produced, shared and customized for each country. Moreover, an informative leaflet in different languages has been produced. Civic consultations on the National Immunization Plan in the countries involved were held in: Hungary, Poland and Spain. The focus group meetings took place in Budapest, Warsaw and Madrid between November and December 2019. This article describes the main results of the three focus group on the topic of vaccination and its related policies. It also includes some advises, opinions, recommendations on how to remove those barriers to a life-long immunization approach in the national vaccination plans. These recommendations are offered to the policy makers and to the stakeholders as a contribution from the civil society engaged in the safeguard of health as a common good.

Abstract views: 3839   PDF downloads: 2639  

Page 125-135

Pathways to empathy in mental health care providers

blankpage Lindsay L. Benster, Neal R. Swerdlow

Stigmatization contributes to morbidity associated with mental illness, impeding treatment - from recognition and help-seeking, to recovery and resocialization.  In contrast, empathy in mental health clinical practice is associated with less stigmatization and better outcomes. Among providers, empathy may be under-utilized as a positive therapeutic tool, and levels of empathy may be diminished by heavy clinical workloads. Strategies for “teaching empathy” have been proposed, and different forms of empathy training for medical and mental health professionals have been evaluated. This review summarizes the effectiveness of the most studied forms of formal empathy training - communication skills, simulation, audiotape analyses, perspective-taking and mindfulness training - as well as informal empathy training achieved by increased exposure to relevant populations. Effectiveness, assessed by a variety of metrics, was detected for several training approaches, applied to different cohorts of clinical providers and trainees, with effect sizes ranging from smaller to large. Despite the substantial variations in designs and target cohorts, the evidence suggests that empathy can be taught effectively to mental health providers, in a manner that should enhance clinician awareness and utilization of empathy as a tool to reduce stigmatization and improve life quality among patients with mental illness.

Abstract views: 3153   PDF downloads: 1631  

Page 118-124

Will medical cannabis treatment reduce pharmaceutical residues in the aquatic environment? A case study from an elderly nursing home

blankpage Dror Avisar, Zach Klein, Gefen Ronen-Eliraz

High drug consumption and polypharmacy, especially in the elderly, is one of the 21st century phenomenon. It has different undesirable side effects, which may directly affect the environment. It is known that pharmaceutical residues are excreted via patients’ urine or feces to wastewater, which is then discharged to the environment. Therefore high drug consumption is contributing to the continual rise in pharmaceutical residues in the aquatic environment, and address a rising cause for concern. Alternative treatments that can relieve or improve the patient’s clinical condition, thereby reducing the consumption of pharmaceuticals, hold great potential for reducing drug residues in the environment. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the reduction in pharmaceutical consumption in a nursing home for the elderly, as a result of treatment with medical cannabis. With time, medical cannabis treatment dramatically improved patients’ symptoms and their medical indexes. As a result, the local physicians stopped prescribing drugs that were defined as unnecessary. Overall, 39 dosages of prescription drugs were canceled for the 19 elderly individuals included in this research, indicating that medical cannabis can be an effective treatment that also reduces the environmental drug load, thereby preventing water pollution

Abstract views: 3101   PDF downloads: 1903  

Page 112-117

Climate variability and seasonal weather related to COVID-19

blankpage V. Spiridonov, N. Sladic, O. Zafirovski

In view of the alarming situation related to coronavirus, of particular interest to the public, decision makers, health organizations, experts, professionals (epidemiologists, virologists, infectologists, psychologists, pulmonologists and others), it is also important to obtain seasonal weather outlook with general overview of the weather and climate conditions and how they would potentially affect the state of the COVID-19 transmission because a number of infectious diseases show seasonal features in their incidence. The analysis below represents an attempt to evaluate atmospheric processes that have a different spatiotemporal scale and depend on other modes of climate variability, and patterns of circulation and specific indices that affect seasonal variation and weather characteristics in a region. Based on seasonal outlook, the general impression is that sunny, warmer increase of (1.0 to 2.0°C) and frequently stormy weather conditions expected during May-June 2020 could likely give some optimistic scenario of slowing down the spreading of the virus further. This is confirmed with the further evaluation of the effective reproduction number, that is expected to decrease from 1.8 at middle of April to 1.2 at the end of June 2020. That is approximately 60-70 % reduction during this warmer period. However, the conclusions are still general and should be taken with caution as the situation is changing from day to day and many other factors including climate conditions, population density and medical care quality also play role in virus transmission.

Abstract views: 5285   PDF downloads: 2620  

Page 101-111

Social prescribing as an intervention for people with work-related injuries and psychosocial difficulties in Australia

blankpage Christina Aggar, Theresa Caruana, Tamsin Thomas, J. R. Baker

Psychosocial interventions that encourage optimism and connectedness can promote workplace injury recovery and improve wellbeing. A mixed-methods evaluation of a twelve-week program for injured workers in Sydney, Australia, explored three research questions: if a social prescribing approach contributed to (1) increased social and economic participation, (2) improved psychological functioning and quality of life, and (3) decreased health service utilisation. Retrospective analysis of pre- and post-intervention data was undertaken, involving quantitative indicators of social, economic, and health status using validated psychosocial assessment tools (n = 175). These findings were augmented with data from the insurance regulator (n = 177) and insights from link worker documentation of participant activity (n = 178), a program satisfaction survey (n = 167), and participant interviews (n = 44). The social prescribing program was associated with significant improvements in frequency and confidence in participating in social activities and returning to work, in all measures of biopsychosocial wellbeing, and in reducing health service use. Qualitative information identified a range of personal improvements, including greater self-awareness, social connections, and ability to cope with the effects of injury and employment loss. This is the first known Australian study to evaluate a social prescribing intervention for psychosocial rehabilitation for injured workers in Australia. These findings suggest that a social prescribing approach is effective, but further consideration of barriers, including workplace characteristics and procedural difficulties in accessing occupational rehabilitation services, is needed.