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  • De Vriendt, T., et al. (författare)
  • Reliability and validity of the Adolescent Stress Questionnaire in a sample of European adolescents--the HELENA study
  • 2011
  • Ingår i: BMC Public Health. - 1471-2458 .- 1471-2458. - 1471-2458 (Electronic) 1471-2458 (Linking) ; 11, s. 717-
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • BACKGROUND: Since stress is hypothesized to play a role in the etiology of obesity during adolescence, research on associations between adolescent stress and obesity-related parameters and behaviours is essential. Due to lack of a well-established recent stress checklist for use in European adolescents, the study investigated the reliability and validity of the Adolescent Stress Questionnaire (ASQ) for assessing perceived stress in European adolescents. METHODS: The ASQ was translated into the languages of the participating cities (Ghent, Stockholm, Vienna, Zaragoza, Pecs and Athens) and was implemented within the HELENA cross-sectional study. A total of 1140 European adolescents provided a valid ASQ, comprising 10 component scales, used for internal reliability (Cronbach alpha) and construct validity (confirmatory factor analysis or CFA). Contributions of socio-demographic (gender, age, pubertal stage, socio-economic status) characteristics to the ASQ score variances were investigated. Two-hundred adolescents also provided valid saliva samples for cortisol analysis to compare with the ASQ scores (criterion validity). Test-retest reliability was investigated using two ASQ assessments from 37 adolescents. RESULTS: Cronbach alpha-values of the ASQ scales (0.57 to 0.88) demonstrated a moderate internal reliability of the ASQ, and intraclass correlation coefficients (0.45 to 0.84) established an insufficient test-retest reliability of the ASQ. The adolescents' gender (girls had higher stress scores than boys) and pubertal stage (those in a post-pubertal development had higher stress scores than others) significantly contributed to the variance in ASQ scores, while their age and socio-economic status did not. CFA results showed that the original scale construct fitted moderately with the data in our European adolescent population. Only in boys, four out of 10 ASQ scale scores were a significant positive predictor for baseline wake-up salivary cortisol, suggesting a rather poor criterion validity of the ASQ, especially in girls. CONCLUSIONS: In our European adolescent sample, the ASQ had an acceptable internal reliability and construct validity and the adolescents' gender and pubertal stage systematically contributed to the ASQ variance, but its test-retest reliability and criterion validity were rather poor. Overall, the utility of the ASQ for assessing perceived stress in adolescents across Europe is uncertain and some aspects require further examination.
  • Kristjansson, Alfgeir L, et al. (författare)
  • Social correlates of cigarette smoking among Icelandic adolescents : a population-based cross-sectional study
  • 2008
  • Ingår i: BMC Public Health. - Stockholm : Karolinska Institutet, Dept of Public Health Sciences. - 1471-2458.
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • BACKGROUND: Previous research has shown that between 80 and 90 percent of adult smokers report having started smoking before 18 years of age. Several studies have revealed that multiple social factors influence the likelihood of smoking during adolescence, the period during which the onset of smoking usually occurs. To better understand the social mechanisms that influence adolescent smoking, we analyzed the relationship and relative importance of a broad spectrum of social variables in adolescent smoking in Iceland, a Nordic country with high per-capita income. METHODS: We used cross-sectional data from 7,430 14- to 16 year-old students (approximately 81% of all Icelanders in these age cohorts) in the 2006 Youth in Iceland study. The Youth in Iceland studies are designed to investigate the role of several cognitive, behavioral, and social factors in the lives of adolescents, and the data collected are used to inform the design, implementation, and evaluation of substance use prevention programs that are being developed by Icelandic social scientists, policy makers, and practitioners. RESULTS: Our analysis revealed that friends' smoking behavior and attitude toward smoking were strongly associated with adolescent smoking and other tobacco use, as well as alcohol consumption during the previous 30 days. Main protective factors were parent's perceived attitude toward smoking, the quantity of time spent with parents, absence of serious verbal conflict between parents and adolescents, and participation in physical activity. Family structure was related to adolescent smoking to a small extent, but other background factors were not. CONCLUSION: We conclude that multiple social factors are related to adolescent smoking. Parents and other primary preventive agents need to be informed about the complicated nature of the adolescent social world in order to maximize their impact.
  • Nohlert, Eva, et al. (författare)
  • Comparison of a high and a low intensity smoking cessation intervention in a dentistry setting in Sweden : a randomized trial
  • 2009
  • Ingår i: BMC Public Health. - Stockholm : Karolinska Institutet, Dept of Public Health Sciences. - 1471-2458.
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • BACKGROUND: Tobacco is still the number one life style risk factor for ill health and premature death and also one of the major contributors to oral problems and diseases. Dentistry may be a potential setting for several aspects of clinical public health interventions and there is a growing interest in several countries to develop tobacco cessation support in dentistry setting. The aim of the present study was to assess the relative effectiveness of a high intensity intervention compared with a low intensity intervention for smoking cessation support in a dental clinic setting. METHODS: 300 smokers attending dental or general health care were randomly assigned to two arms and referred to the local dental clinic for smoking cessation support. One arm received support with low intensity treatment (LIT), whereas the other group was assigned to high intensity treatment (HIT) support. The main outcome measures included self-reported point prevalence and continuous abstinence (> or = 183 days) at the 12-month follow-up. RESULTS: Follow-up questionnaires were returned from 86% of the participants. People in the HIT-arm were twice as likely to report continuous abstinence compared with the LIT-arm (18% vs. 9%, p = 0.02). There was a difference (not significant) between the arms in point prevalence abstinence in favour of the HIT-protocol (23% vs. 16%). However, point prevalence cessation rates in the LIT-arm reporting additional support were relatively high (23%) compared with available data assessing abstinence in smokers trying to quit without professional support. CONCLUSION: Screening for willingness to quit smoking within the health care system and offering smoking cessation support within dentistry may be an effective model for smoking cessation support in Sweden. The LIT approach is less expensive and time consuming and may be appropriate as a first treatment option, but should be integrated with other forms of available support in the community. The more extensive and expensive HIT-protocol should be offered to those who are unable to quit with the LIT approach in combination with other support. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Trial registration number: NCT00670514.
  • Skulason, Bragi, et al. (författare)
  • Assessing survival in widowers, and controls : a nationwide, six- to nine-year follow-up
  • 2012
  • Ingår i: BMC Public Health. - Stockholm : Karolinska Institutet, Dept of Public Health Sciences. - 1471-2458.
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Background: The aim of this study was to assess if widowers had an increased mortality rate during the first 6 to 9 years after the death of their wife, compared initially to an age-matched control group and also compared to the general population of Iceland. Methods: The study base was comprised of all 371 men born in 1924-1969 who were widowed in Iceland in 1999-2001 and 357 controls, married men, who were matched by age and residence. The widowers and controls were followed through the years 2002-2007 using information from Statistics Iceland. Mortality rates were compared between the groups and also with the general population. The mortality rate comparisons were: study group vs. control group, on the one hand, and study group vs. general population on the other. Causes of death were also compared between widowers and their wives. Results: A statistically significant increase in mortality in the widowers’ group, compared to controls, was observed. Lifestyle-related factors could not be excluded as contributing to cause of death in these cases. Conclusions: Being a widower was related to an increased risk of death for at least 9 years after the death of their wife
  • Tomson, Tanja, et al. (författare)
  • Are non-responders in a quitline evaluation more likely to be smokers?
  • 2005
  • Ingår i: BMC Public Health. - Stockholm : Karolinska Institutet, Dept of Public Health Sciences. - 1471-2458.
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • BACKGROUND: In evaluation of smoking cessation programs including surveys and clinical trials the tradition has been to treat non-responders as smokers. The aim of this paper is to assess smoking behaviour of non-responders in an evaluation of the Swedish national tobacco cessation quitline a nation-wide, free of charge service. METHODS: A telephone interview survey with a sample of people not participating in the original follow-up. The study population comprised callers to the Swedish quitline who had consented to participate in a 12 month follow-up but had failed to respond. A sample of 84 (18% of all non-responders) was included. The main outcome measures were self-reported smoking behaviour at the time of the interview and at the time of the routine follow-up. Also, reasons for not responding to the original follow-up questionnaire were assessed. For statistical comparison between groups we used Fischer's exact test, odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) on proportions and OR. RESULTS: Thirty-nine percent reported to have been smoke-free at the time they received the original questionnaire compared with 31% of responders in the original study population. The two most common reasons stated for not having returned the original questionnaire was claiming that they had returned it (35%) and that they had not received the questionnaire (20%). Non-responders were somewhat younger and were to a higher degree smoke-free when they first called the quitline. CONCLUSION: Treating non-responders as smokers in smoking cessation research may underestimate the true effect of cessation treatment.
  • Wallmann-Sperlich, B., et al. (författare)
  • Sitting time in Germany : An analysis of socio-demographic and environmental correlates
  • 2013
  • Ingår i: BMC Public Health. - 1471-2458 .- 1471-2458. ; 13:1, s. Art. no. 196-
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Background: Sedentary behaviour in general and sitting time in particular is an emerging global health concern. The aim of this study was to provide data on the prevalence of sitting time in German adults and to examine socio-demographic and environmental correlates of sitting time. Methods. A representative sample of German adults (n = 2000; 967 men, 1033 women; 49.3 ±17.6 years of age) filled in the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire, including one question on overall sitting time and answered questions about the neighbourhood environment, as well as concerning demographics. Daily sitting time was stratified by gender, age group, BMI, educational and income level, as well as physical activity (PA). To identify socio-demographic and environmental correlates of sitting time, we used a series of linear regressions. Results: The overall median was 5 hours (299 minutes) of sitting time/day and men sat longer than women (5 vs. 4 hours/day; p < 0.05). In both genders age and PA were negatively and the educational level positively associated with sitting time. The level of income was not a correlate of sitting time in multivariate analyses. Sitting time was significantly positively associated with higher neighbourhood safety for women. The variance of the multivariate model ranged from 16.5% for men to 8.9% for women. Conclusions: The overall sitting time was unequally distributed in the German adult population. Our findings suggest implementing specific interventions to reduce sitting time for subgroups such as men, younger aged adults and adults with a higher education and lower PA. Future studies should enhance our understanding of the specific correlates of different types and domains of sitting in order to guide the development of effective public health strategies.
  • Wahlgren, Lina, et al. (författare)
  • Exploring bikeability in a metropolitan setting : stimulating and hindering factors in commuting route environments
  • 2012
  • Ingår i: BMC Public Health. - : BioMed Central. - 1471-2458 .- 1471-2458. ; 12:168
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • BackgroundRoute environments may influence people’s active commuting positively and thereby contribute to public health. Assessments of route environments are, however, needed in order to better understand the possible relationship between active commuting and the route environment. The aim of this study was, therefore, to assess the potential associations between perceptions of whether the route environment on the whole hinders or stimulates bicycle commuting and perceptions of environmental factors.MethodsThe Active Commuting Route Environment Scale (ACRES) was used for the assessment of bicycle commuters’ perceptions of their route environments in the inner urban parts of Greater Stockholm, Sweden. Bicycle commuters (n = 827) were recruited by advertisements in newspapers. Simultaneous multiple regression analyses were used to assess the relation between predictor variables (such as levels of exhaust fumes, noise, traffic speed, traffic congestion and greenery) and the outcome variable (hindering – stimulating route environments). Two models were run, (Model 1) without and (Model 2) with the item traffic: unsafe or safe included as a predictor.ResultsOverall, about 40% of the variance of hindering – stimulating route environments was explained by the environmental predictors in our models (Model 1, R² = 0.415, and Model 2, R² = 0.435). The regression equation for Model 1 was: y = 8.53 + 0.33 ugly or beautiful + 0.14 greenery + (−0.14) course of the route + (−0.13) exhaust fumes + (−0.09) congestion: all types of vehicles (p ≤ 0.019). The regression equation for Model 2 was y = 6.55 + 0.31 ugly or beautiful + 0.16 traffic: unsafe or safe + (−0.13) exhaust fumes + 0.12 greenery + (−0.12) course of the route (p ≤ 0.001).ConclusionsThe main results indicate that beautiful, green and safe route environments seem to be, independently of each other, stimulating factors for bicycle commuting in inner urban areas. On the other hand, exhaust fumes, traffic congestion and low ‘directness’ of the route seem to be hindering factors. Furthermore, the overall results illustrate the complexity of a research area at the beginning of exploration.
  • Barclay, Kieron J., et al. (författare)
  • Peer clustering of exercise and eating behaviours among young adults in Sweden: a cross-sectional study of egocentric network data
  • 2013
  • Ingår i: BMC Public Health. - : BioMed Central (BMC). - 1471-2458. ; 13:794
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Background: Research suggests that the growing prevalence of obesity may be related to the influence of the health behaviours of peers. We look at clustering of exercise and eating behaviours amongst a previously unstudied group, young adults in Sweden. Previous research has mainly been conducted in the United States and Britain, countries that have relatively high rates of obesity. Methods: Using ego-alter dyads from the egocentric network data as the unit of analysis, we conduct logistic regressions to investigate the association between ego and alter exercise and eating behaviours. Results: Respondents have a significantly greater probability of engaging in regular exercise and eating healthily if a nominated peer also does so. Furthermore, the degree to which this behavior is shared is modulated by the strength of the relationship between the two individuals, with a greater probability of engaging in these behaviours observed when the relationship with the nominated peer is strong relative to when the relationship is weak. However, we find that ego-alter homogeneity in terms of gender and migration status was not associated with a significantly greater probability of behaving in a similar manner to a nominated peer. Furthermore, the status of the nominated peer as a relative or not did not impact the probability that the ego would engage in similar health behaviours to that alter. Conclusions: We observe strong associations between ego and alter health behaviours for young adults, consistent with previous research. Although we cannot draw causal inferences, these results suggest that the health behaviours of an individual's peers may play a role in shaping their own health behaviours.
  • Norström, Fredrik, 1974-, et al. (författare)
  • How does unemployment affect self-assessed health? : A systematic review focusing on subgroup effects
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: BMC Public Health. - : BioMed Central. - 1471-2458 .- 1471-2458. ; 14:1
  • Forskningsöversikt (refereegranskat)abstract
    • BACKGROUND: Almost all studies on the effect on health from unemployment have concluded that unemployment is bad for your health. However, only a few review articles have dealt with this relation in recent years, and none of them have focused on the analysis of subgroups such as age, gender, and marital status. The objective of our article is to review how unemployment relates to self-assessed health with a focus on its effect on subgroups.METHODS: A search was performed in Web of Science to find articles that measured the effect on health from unemployment. The selection of articles was limited to those written in English, consisting of original data, and published in 2003 or later. Our definition of health was restricted to self-assessed health. Mortality- and morbidity-related measurements were therefore not included in our analysis. For the 41 articles included, information about health measurements, employment status definitions, other factors included in the statistical analysis, study design (including study population), and statistical method were collected with the aim of analysing the results on both the population and factor level.RESULTS: Most of the studies in our review showed a negative effect on health from unemployment on a population basis. Results at the factor levels were most common for gender (25 articles), age (11 articles), geographic location (8 articles), and education level (5 articles). The analysis showed that there was a health effect for gender, age, education level, household income, and geographic location. However, this effect differed between studies and no clear pattern on who benefits or suffers more among these groups could be determined. The result instead seemed to depend on the study context. The only clear patterns of association found were for socioeconomic status (manual workers suffer more), reason for unemployment (being unemployed due to health reasons is worse), and social network (a strong network is beneficial).CONCLUSIONS: Unemployment affects groups of individuals differently. We believe that a greater effort should be spent on specific groups of individuals, such as men or women, instead of the population as a whole when analysing the effect of unemployment on health.
  • Strömbäck, Maria, et al. (författare)
  • 'Girls need to strengthen each other as a group' : experiences from a gender-sensitive stress management intervention by youth-friendly Swedish health services: a qualitative study
  • 2013
  • Ingår i: BMC Public Health. - : BioMed Central. - 1471-2458 .- 1471-2458. ; 13:907, s. 1-17
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Mental health problems among young people, and girls and young women in particular, are a well-known health problem. Such gendered mental health patterns are also seen in conjunction with stress-related problems, such as anxiety and depression and psychosomatic complaints. Thus, intervention models tailored to the health care situation experienced by young women within a gendered and sociocultural context are needed. This qualitative study aims to illuminate young women's experiences of participating in a body-based, gender-sensitive stress management group intervention by youth-friendly health services in northern Sweden.A physiotherapeutic body-based, health-promoting, gender-sensitive stress management intervention was created by youth-friendly Swedish health services. The stress management courses (n = 7) consisted of eight sessions, each lasting about two hours, and were led by the physiotherapist at the youth centre. The content in the intervention had a gender-sensitive approach, combining reflective discussions; short general lectures on, for example, stress and pressures related to body ideals; and physiotherapeutic methods, including body awareness and relaxation. Follow-up interviews were carried out with 32 young women (17--25 years of age) after they had completed the intervention. The data were analysed with qualitative content analysis.The overall results of our interview analysis suggest that the stress management course we evaluated facilitated 'a space for gendered and embodied empowerment in a hectic life', implying that it both contributed to a sense of individual growth and allowed participants to unburden themselves of stress problems within a trustful and supportive context. Participants' narrated experiences of 'finding a social oasis to challenge gendered expectations', 'being bodily empowered', and 'altering gendered positions and stance to life' point to empowering processes of change that allowed them to cope with distress, despite sometimes continuously stressful life situations. This intervention also decreased stress-related symptoms such as anxiousness, restlessness, muscle tension, aches and pains, fatigue, and impaired sleep.The participants' experiences of the intervention as a safe and exploratory space for gendered collective understanding and embodied empowerment further indicates the need to develop gender-sensitive interventions to reduce individualisation of health problems and instead encourage spaces for collective support, action, and change.
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