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Volume 57(1); January 2024
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Systematic Reviews
Adjusting for Confounders in Outcome Studies Using the Korea National Health Insurance Claim Database: A Review of Methods and Applications
Seung Jin Han, Kyoung Hoon Kim
J Prev Med Public Health. 2024;57(1):1-7.   Published online November 16, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.23.250
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Objectives
Adjusting for potential confounders is crucial for producing valuable evidence in outcome studies. Although numerous studies have been published using the Korea National Health Insurance Claim Database, no study has critically reviewed the methods used to adjust for confounders. This study aimed to review these studies and suggest methods and applications to adjust for confounders.
Methods
We conducted a literature search of electronic databases, including PubMed and Embase, from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022. In total, 278 studies were retrieved. Eligibility criteria were published in English and outcome studies. A literature search and article screening were independently performed by 2 authors and finally, 173 of 278 studies were included.
Results
Thirty-nine studies used matching at the study design stage, and 171 adjusted for confounders using regression analysis or propensity scores at the analysis stage. Of these, 125 conducted regression analyses based on the study questions. Propensity score matching was the most common method involving propensity scores. A total of 171 studies included age and/or sex as confounders. Comorbidities and healthcare utilization, including medications and procedures, were used as confounders in 146 and 82 studies, respectively.
Conclusions
This is the first review to address the methods and applications used to adjust for confounders in recently published studies. Our results indicate that all studies adjusted for confounders with appropriate study designs and statistical methodologies; however, a thorough understanding and careful application of confounding variables are required to avoid erroneous results.
Summary
Korean summary
건강보험청구자료를 사용한 성과연구에서는 교란요인 통제가 중요하다. 최근 발표된 연구들은 연구설계와 통계 분석 과정에 적절하게 교란요인을 통제하였다. 연구의 질을 높이기 위해서는 건강보험청구자료에서 수집 가능한 교란 요인에 대한 이해와 방법론적 가이드라인이 요구된다.
Key Message
All recently published studies using Health Insurance Claims Database adjusted for confounders with appropriate study designs and statistical methodologies. The review suggests the need for careful application of confounding variables and the methodological guidance to improve the quality of outcome studies.
Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Adherence Among Men Who Have Sex With Men: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
Suchitra Hudrudchai, Charin Suwanwong, Pitchada Prasittichok, Kanu Priya Mohan, Nopphadol Janeaim
J Prev Med Public Health. 2024;57(1):8-17.   Published online December 12, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.23.345
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Objectives
The effectiveness and efficiency of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in reducing the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among men who have sex with men (MSM) relies on how widely it is adopted and adhered to, particularly among high-risk groups of MSM. The meta-analysis aimed to collect and analyze existing evidence on various factors related to PrEP adherence in MSM, including demographic characteristics, sexual behaviors, substance use, and psychosocial factors.
Methods
The meta-analysis followed the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. The search included articles published between January 2018 and December 2022, obtained from the PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Scopus databases. The studies that were included in the analysis reported the proportion of MSM who demonstrated adherence to PrEP and underwent quality appraisal using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.
Results
Of the 268 studies initially identified, only 12 met the inclusion criteria and were included in the final meta-analysis. The findings indicated that education (odds ratio [OR], 1.64; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12 to 2.40), number of sexual partners (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.31), engaging in sexual activities with an human immunodeficiency virus-positive partner (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.16 to 2.26), substance use (OR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.70 to 0.99), and lower levels of depression (OR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.37 to 0.82) were associated with higher rates of PrEP adherence among MSM.
Conclusions
Despite these findings, further research is necessary to investigate PrEP adherence more comprehensively. The findings of this meta-analysis can be utilized to inform interventions aimed at improving PrEP adherence among MSM and provide directions for future research in this area.
Summary
Key Message
This systematic review and meta-analysis confirmed that factors such as education, number of sexual partners, engagement in sexual activities with an HIV-positive partner, substance use, and lower levels of depression were associated with higher rates of PrEP adherence among MSM. Healthcare providers and interventions should take these aspects into consideration when developing strategies to promote optimal PrEP adherence and reduce the risk of HIV transmission.
Original Articles
Changes in Adolescent Health Behavior and the Exacerbation of Economic Hardship During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-sectional Study From the Korea Youth Risk Behavior Survey
Chaeeun Kim, Haeun Lee, Kyunghee Jung-Choi, Hyesook Park
J Prev Med Public Health. 2024;57(1):18-27.   Published online November 11, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.23.306
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Objectives
This study investigated the association between exacerbated economic hardship during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and changes in the health behaviors of Korean adolescents.
Methods
We analyzed data from the 2021 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Survey and included 44 908 students (22 823 boys and 22 085 girls) as study subjects. The dependent variables included changes in health behaviors (breakfast habits, physical activity, and alcohol use) that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aggravation of economic hardship by COVID-19 and the subjective economic status of the family were used as exposure variables. Multiple logistic regression analysis was utilized to calculate the prevalence odds ratios (PORs).
Results
Severe exacerbation of a family’s economic hardship due to COVID-19 was negatively associated with the health behaviors of adolescents, including increased breakfast skipping (POR, 1.85; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.55 to 2.21 for boys and POR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.27 to 1.92 for girls) and decreased physical activity (POR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.19 to 1.57 for boys and POR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.19 to 1.60 for girls). These negative changes in health behaviors were further amplified when combined with a low subjective family economic status.
Conclusions
The experience of worsening household hardship can lead to negative changes in health behavior among adolescents. It is crucial to implement measures that address the economic challenges that arise from stressful events such as COVID-19 and to strive to improve the lifestyles of adolescents under such circumstances.
Summary
Korean summary
이 연구는 코로나바이러스감염증-19 (COVID-19) 대유행 기간 악화된 가구의 경제적 상황과 청소년의 건강 행태 변화의 관련성을 청소년건강행태조사를 이용하여 분석하였다. 가구의 경제적 상황이 COVID-19로 인해 심각하게 악화된 경우, 청소년 건강 행태의 부정적인 변화와 연관성이 관찰되었다. 가구의 경제적 상황이 악화되는 경험은 청소년들의 건강 행태에 부정적인 변화를 초래할 수 있다. COVID-19와 같은 사회적 사건으로 인해 발생하는 경제적 어려움에 대응하는 조치를 마련하고, 이러한 상황에서 청소년들의 건강 행태를 개선하기 위한 개입이 필요하다.
Key Message
This study investigated the association between exacerbated economic hardship during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and changes in the health behaviors of Korean adolescents using the 2021 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Severe exacerbation of a family’s economic hardship due to COVID-19 was negatively associated with the health behaviors of adolescents. The experience of worsening household hardship can lead to negative changes in health behavior among adolescents. It is crucial to implement measures that address the economic challenges that arise from stressful events such as COVID-19 and to strive to improve the lifestyles of adolescents under such circumstances.
Behavioral Predictors Associated With COVID-19 Vaccination and Infection Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in Korea
Minsoo Jung
J Prev Med Public Health. 2024;57(1):28-36.   Published online November 27, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.23.381
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Objectives
This study investigated the impact of socioeconomic factors and sexual orientation-related attributes on the rates of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination and infection among men who have sex with men (MSM).
Methods
A web-based survey, supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea, was conducted among paying members of the leading online portal for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer and questioning (LGBTQ+) community in Korea. The study participants were MSM living in Korea (n=942). COVID-19 vaccination and infection were considered dependent variables, while sexual orientation-related characteristics and adherence to non-pharmacological intervention (NPI) practices served as primary independent variables. To ensure analytical precision, nested logistic regression analyses were employed. These were further refined by dividing respondents into 4 categories based on sexual orientation and disclosure (or “coming-out”) status.
Results
Among MSM, no definitive association was found between COVID-19 vaccination status and factors such as socioeconomic or sexual orientation-related attributes (with the latter including human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] status, sexual orientation, and disclosure experience). However, key determinants influencing COVID-19 infection were identified. Notably, people living with HIV (PLWH) exhibited a statistically significant predisposition towards COVID-19 infection. Furthermore, greater adherence to NPI practices among MSM corresponded to a lower likelihood of COVID-19 infection.
Conclusions
This study underscores the high susceptibility to COVID-19 among PLWH within the LGBTQ+ community relative to their healthy MSM counterparts. Consequently, it is crucial to advocate for tailored preventive strategies, including robust NPIs, to protect these at-risk groups. Such measures are essential in reducing the disparities that may emerge in a post–COVID-19 environment.
Summary
Korean summary
한국에서 남성 동성애자의 코로나-19 예방접종과 그들의 사회경제적 지위 또는 성적 지향과 관련된 요인 사이에는 명확한 연관성이 없었지만, HIV에 감염된 남성 동성애자는 코로나-19의 감염 위험이 유의미하게 높았다. 또한, 남성 동성애자의 비약물적 중재 실천율이 높을수록 그들의 코로나-19 감염 가능성은 감소하는 경향이 있었다. 이 연구는 LGBTQ+ 커뮤니티 내의 HIV 양성 동성애자와 같은 취약한 집단을 보호하고 포스트 코로나-19 환경에서 성 소수자 간의 건강 격차를 줄이기 위한 강력한 맞춤형 예방 전략의 필요성을 강조한다.
Key Message
While there were no clear associations between COVID-19 vaccination and socioeconomic or sexual orientation-related factors among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Korea, individuals living with HIV (PLWH) had a significantly higher risk of COVID-19 infection. Additionally, greater adherence to non-pharmacological intervention (NPI) practices was linked to a reduced likelihood of COVID-19 infection among MSM. This study emphasizes the need for tailored preventive strategies, including robust NPIs, to protect at-risk groups like PLWH within the LGBTQ+ community and reduce health disparities in a post-COVID-19 environment.
Mental Health Among Healthcare Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Vietnam
Nhan Phuc Thanh Nguyen, Ha Phan Ai Nguyen, Cao Khoa Dang, Minh Tri Phan, Huynh Ho Ngoc Quynh, Van Tuan Le, Chinh Van Dang, Tinh Huu Ho, Van Trong Phan, Thang Van Dinh, Thang Phan, Thi Anh Thu Dang
J Prev Med Public Health. 2024;57(1):37-46.   Published online December 11, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.23.327
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Objectives
The objective of this study was to characterize mental health issues among Vietnamese healthcare workers (HCWs) and to identify related factors.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted with 990 HCWs in 2021. Their mental health status was measured using the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale.
Results
In total, 49.9%, 52.3%, and 29.8% of respondents were found to have depression, anxiety, and stress, respectively. The multivariable linear regression model revealed that factors associated with increased anxiety scores included depression scores (β, 0.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.39 to 0.51) and stress scores (β, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.52). Factors associated with increased depression scores included being frontline HCWs (β, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.10 to 1.10), stress scores (β, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.45 to 0.56), and anxiety scores (β, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.36 to 0.47), while working experience was associated with reduced depression scores (β, -0.08; 95% CI, -0.16 to -0.01). Factors associated with increased stress scores included working experience (β, 0.08; 95% CI, 0.00 to 0.16), personal protective equipment interference with daily activities (β, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.07 to 1.00), depression scores (β, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.48 to 0.59), and anxiety scores (β, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.39 to 0.50), while age was associated with reduced stress scores (β, -0.12; 95% CI, -0.20 to -0.05).
Conclusions
Specific interventions are necessary to enhance and promote the mental health of HCWs so they can successfully cope with the circumstances of the pandemic.
Summary
Key Message
A cross-sectional study of 990 Vietnamese healthcare workers in Vietnam, 2021 revealed significant mental health issues: 49.9 % suffered from depression, 52.3 % from anxiety, and 29.8 % from stress. The study found a correlation between these conditions, with frontline workers being particularly vulnerable to depression. These findings highlight the critical need for targeted mental health interventions for healthcare workers, particularly those new to the field and working on the front lines, in order to better manage pandemic-related stressors.
Trends in Research on Patients With COVID-19 in Korean Medical Journals
Heejeong Choi, Seunggwan Song, Heesang Ahn, Hyobean Yang, Hyeonseong Lim, Yohan Park, Juhyun Kim, Hongju Yong, Minseok Yoon, Mi Ah Han
J Prev Med Public Health. 2024;57(1):47-54.   Published online January 17, 2024
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.23.254
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Objectives
This study was conducted to systematically summarize trends in research concerning patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as reported in Korean medical journals.
Methods
We performed a literature search of KoreaMed from January 2020 to September 2022. We included only primary studies of patients with COVID-19. Two reviewers screened titles and abstracts, then performed full-text screening, both independently and in duplicate. We first identified the 5 journals with the greatest numbers of eligible publications, then extracted data pertaining to the general characteristics, study population attributes, and research features of papers published in these journals.
Results
Our analysis encompassed 142 primary studies. Of these, approximately 41.0% reported a funding source, while 3.5% disclosed a conflict of interest. In 2020, 42.9% of studies included fewer than 10 participants; however, by 2022, the proportion of studies with over 200 participants had increased to 40.6%. The most common design was the cohort study (48.6%), followed by case reports/series (35.2%). Only 3 randomized controlled trials were identified. Studies most frequently focused on prognosis (58.5%), followed by therapy/intervention (20.4%). Regarding the type of intervention/exposure, therapeutic clinical interventions comprised 26.1%, while studies of morbidity accounted for 13.4%. As for the outcomes measured, 50.7% of studies assessed symptoms/clinical status/improvement, and 14.1% evaluated mortality.
Conclusions
Employing a systematic approach, we examined the characteristics of research involving patients with COVID-19 that was published in Korean medical journals from 2020 onward. Subsequent research should assess not only publication trends over a longer timeframe but also the quality of evidence provided.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 2020년 이후 국내 의학저널에 보고된 코로나19 환자를 대상으로 진행된 연구의 특성을 체계적 방법론을 통해 살펴보았다. 142개 연구 중 5개는 국제 연구자들과 협력했으며 약 50%가 자금 지원에 관해 보고하였으며, 2022년에는 2020년에 비해 대규모 환자 코호트를 포함하는 연구 수가 증가하였다. 연구의 약 20%는 약물 치료와 같은 개입의 영향을 평가하였으며, 향후 연구에서는 장기간에 걸친 연구 경향 뿐만 아니라 연구의 질도 평가해야 할 것이다.
Key Message
This study employed a systematic approach to examine the characteristics of research conducted among patients with COVID-19, as reported in Korean medical journals from 2020 onward. Of 142 studies, 5 involved collaborations with international researchers, and approximately 50% made any declaration regarding funding, and By 2022, an increase was evident in the number of studies that included a large patient cohort relative to the year 2020. Roughly 20% of the studies assessed the impact of interventions, such as pharmaceutical treatments, and further research should assess not only publication trends over a longer timeframe but also the quality of evidence provided.
Comorbid Conditions in Persons Exposed to Ionizing Radiation and Veterans of the Soviet–Afghan War: A Cohort Study in Kazakhstan
Saule Sarkulova, Roza Tatayeva, Dinara Urazalina, Ekaterina Ossadchaya, Venera Rakhmetova
J Prev Med Public Health. 2024;57(1):55-64.   Published online November 1, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.23.333
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Objectives
This study investigated the prevalence and characteristics of comorbid conditions in patients exposed to ionizing radiation and those who were involved in the Soviet–Afghan war.
Methods
This study analyzed the frequency and spectrum of morbidity and comorbidity in patients over a long-term period (30-35 years) following exposure to ionizing radiation at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site or the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, and among participants of the Soviet–Afghan war. A cohort study, both prospective and retrospective, was conducted on 675 patients who underwent comprehensive examinations.
Results
Numerical data were analyzed using the Statistica 6 program. The results are presented as the mean±standard deviation, median, and interquartile range (25-75th percentiles). The statistical significance of between-group differences was assessed using the Student t-test and Pearson chi-square test. A p-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. We found a high prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension (55.0%) and cardiac ischemia (32.9%); these rates exceeded the average for this age group in the general population.
Conclusions
The cumulative impact of causal occupational, environmental, and ultra-high stress factors in the combat zone in participants of the Soviet–Afghan war, along with common conventional factors, contributed to the formation of a specific comorbidity structure. This necessitates a rational approach to identifying early predictors of cardiovascular events and central nervous system disorders, as well as pathognomonic clinical symptoms in this patient cohort. It also underscores the importance of selecting suitable methods and strategies for implementing treatment and prevention measures.
Summary
Key Message
This study investigated the long-term health effects on 675 individuals exposed to ionizing radiation at Semipalatinsk and Chornobyl, and those involved in the Soviet–Afghan war. Results showed a higher prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, notably hypertension (55%) and cardiac ischemia (32.9%), compared to the general population. The findings highlight the need for early detection of cardiovascular and central nervous system disorders in these groups, emphasizing tailored treatment and prevention strategies.
Prevalence and Determinants of Catastrophic Healthcare Expenditures in Iran From 2013 to 2019
Abdoreza mousavi, Farhad lotfi, Samira Alipour, Aliakbar Fazaeli, Mohsen Bayati
J Prev Med Public Health. 2024;57(1):65-72.   Published online November 25, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.23.291
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Objectives
Protecting people against financial hardship caused by illness stands as a fundamental obligation within healthcare systems and constitutes a pivotal component in achieving universal health coverage. The objective of this study was to analyze the prevalence and determinants of catastrophic health expenditures (CHE) in Iran, over the period of 2013 to 2019.
Methods
Data were obtained from 7 annual national surveys conducted between 2013 and 2019 on the income and expenditures of Iranian households. The prevalence of CHE was determined using a threshold of 40% of household capacity to pay for healthcare. A binary logistic regression model was used to identify the determinants influencing CHE.
Results
The prevalence of CHE increased from 3.60% in 2013 to 3.95% in 2019. In all the years analyzed, the extent of CHE occurrence among rural populations exceeded that of urban populations. Living in an urban area, having a higher wealth index, possessing health insurance coverage, and having employed family members, an employed household head, and a literate household head are all associated with a reduced likelihood of CHE (p<0.05). Conversely, the use of dental, outpatient, and inpatient care, and the presence of elderly members in the household, are associated with an increased probability of facing CHE (p<0.05).
Conclusions
Throughout the study period, CHE consistently exceeded the 1% threshold designated in the national development plan. Continuous monitoring of CHE and its determinants at both household and health system levels is essential for the implementation of effective strategies aimed at enhancing financial protection.
Summary
Key Message
• The aim of this study was to analyze the prevalence and determinants of catastrophic health expenditures (CHE) in Iran. • Catastrophic health expenditures (CHE) are used for monitoring financial protection within health systems. • The World Health Organization defines CHE as out-of-pocket payments for healthcare that exceed 40% of a household’s capacity to pay. • In Iran, the prevalence of CHE increased from 3.60% in 2013 to 3.95% in 2019. • Continuous monitoring of CHE and its determinants is essential for implementing effective strategies aimed at enhancing financial protection.
Relationship Between Pesticide Exposure Factors and Health Symptoms Among Chili Farmers in Northeast Thailand
Ratchadaporn Pengpan, Kulthida Y. Kopolrat, Sribud Srichaijaroonpong, Nutta Taneepanichskul, Patiwat Yasaka, Ratanee Kammoolkon
J Prev Med Public Health. 2024;57(1):73-82.   Published online December 20, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.23.353
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Objectives
The unsafe use of pesticides in agriculture represents a major hazard to human health. This study was conducted to investigate the association between pesticide exposure and health symptoms among chili farmers in northeast Thailand.
Methods
This cross-sectional analytic study included 141 chili farmers in Sakon Nakhon Province, in northeast Thailand. Data regarding health symptoms were gathered using a self-report questionnaire. A medical technician tested blood cholinesterase activity using an erythrocyte method, and an occupational medicine specialist at Ramathibodi Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand reviewed the results. Associations between personal characteristics, pesticide exposure factors, and health symptoms were analyzed using multiple logistic regression.
Results
Of the 141 chili farmers studied, 66.7% experienced pesticide poisoning, as indicated by below-normal cholinesterase levels. Fatigue was the most frequently reported symptom associated with pesticide exposure, affecting 37.6% of participants. This was followed by nausea and vomiting (31.9%), dizziness (14.9%), and dry throat (14.9%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that several factors were significantly associated with adverse symptoms: amount of work experience, volume of pesticides used, use of chemical pesticides, use of leaking containers during spraying, direct pesticide exposure while working, contact with pesticide-soaked clothing, consumption of food and drinks in the fields, and blood cholinesterase level indicating risk.
Conclusions
This study suggests potential health risks for chili farmers stemming from exposure to and contamination by pesticides used in agricultural practices. To mitigate these risks, it is essential to supply personal protective equipment and to implement educational programs aimed at improving protective behaviors among farmers.
Summary
Key Message
This study aimed to demonstrate the impact of pesticide exposure on health symptoms. In a cross-sectional study, the effects of pesticide exposure on acetylcholinesterase erythrocyte activity in blood during agricultural practices were examined as potential health risks for chili farmers. It is crucial to provide personal protective equipment and to implement educational initiatives targeted at encouraging farmers to adopt more protective behaviors to reduce these risks.
Sleep Quality and Associated Factors Among Firefighters in Bangkok, Thailand: A Cross-sectional Study
Nunnapat Piyachaiseth, Pornchai Sithisarankul, Jate Ratanachina
J Prev Med Public Health. 2024;57(1):83-90.   Published online December 9, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.23.305
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Objectives
Professional firefighters face various health hazards and are required to maintain both physical and mental fitness to effectively mitigate crises and respond to emergencies. Moreover, the long working hours and shift work of this profession impact sleep quality. This study investigated the quality of sleep and its associated factors among firefighters in Bangkok, Thailand.
Methods
This was a cross-sectional study of firefighters affiliated with the Bangkok Fire and Rescue Department, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, Thailand between January 2023 and March 2023. A cluster random sampling technique was utilized to distribute 600 questionnaires to firefighters in 15 fire stations. The questionnaire addressed demographic, work-related, and environmental factors. Sleep quality was assessed using the Thai version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Data analysis involved both descriptive and inferential statistics. Bivariate and multiple logistic regressions were performed.
Results
The response rate was 78.7% (n=472), and 44.1% of the firefighters reported poor sleep quality (PSQI score >5). Sleep quality was statistically associated with conflicting family relationships (odds ratio [OR], 1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1 to 2.9), additional part-time jobs (daytime, OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.3 to 4.4; or nighttime, OR, 4.3; 95% CI, 1.1 to 16.7), noisy sleeping areas (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.1 to 2.8), and the availability of adequate bedding (OR, 3.0; 95% CI, 1.8 to 4.9).
Conclusions
Poor sleep quality among firefighters was associated with various personal, work-related, and environmental factors. Organizations should promote policies that improve sleep quality through good sleep hygiene practices and facilities.
Summary
Key Message
This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate sleep quality among firefighters in Bangkok, Thailand its associated factors. 44.1% of the firefighters reported poor sleep quality (the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index: PSQI score >5). Sleep quality was statistically associated with conflicting family relationships, additional part-time jobs (daytime or nighttime), noisy sleeping areas, and the availability of adequate bedding.
Perspective
The Paradox of the Ugandan Health Insurance System: Challenges and Opportunities for Health Reform
Emmanuel Otieno, Josephine Namyalo
J Prev Med Public Health. 2024;57(1):91-94.   Published online December 30, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.23.110
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
For nearly four decades, Ugandans have experienced a period marked by hope, conflict, and resilience across various aspects of healthcare reform. The health insurance system in Uganda lacks a legal framework and does not extend benefits to the entire population. In Uganda, community-based health insurance is common among those in the informal sector, while private medical insurance is typically provided to employees by their workplaces and agencies. The National Health Insurance Scheme Bill, introduced in 2019, was passed in 2021. If the President of Uganda gives his assent to the National Health Insurance Bill, it will become a significant policy driving health and universal health coverage. However, this bill is not without its shortcomings. In this perspective, we aim to explore the complex interplay of challenges and opportunities facing Uganda’s health sector.
Summary
Key Message
For the Ugandans, nearly the last four decades have been years of hope, conflict, and resilience in a myriad of contexts for healthcare reform. Health insurance system has no legal framework and provides benefits not to the entire national population. The 2019 National Health Insurance scheme Bill was passed in 2021. If the President of Uganda assents to the National Health Insurance Bill, it will be a compelling policy in health and health for all policies. But this Bill has several drawbacks. In this perspective, we aimed to provide intricacies and mix of challenges and opportunities for the health sector.

JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health