Publications by authors named "Ho Ting Wong"

21 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The effects of weather on daily emergency ambulance service demand in Taipei: a comparison with Hong Kong.

Theor Appl Climatol 2020 Apr 21:1-10. Epub 2020 Apr 21.

2Department of Geography, National Taiwan University, Taipei City, Taiwan.

Numerous studies have examined the effects of weather on emergency ambulance service (EAS) demand. Given Taipei's unique physical and social environments, empirical evidence collected from other regions may not be applicable. Collecting more information about the characteristics of vulnerable groups and the effects of weather could help the EAS managing authority in formulating cost-effective EAS policies. This study aims to look at the effects of weather on EAS demand in Taipei and to make a comparison with Hong Kong, which is also an Asian city and has a similar cultural context. The study analyzed over 370,000 EAS usage records from the Taipei City Fire Department. These records were aggregated into time series data according to patients' characteristics and then regressed on meteorological data via multivariate forward regression. The effect size differences of the variance explained by different groups of EAS users' regression models were compared. Afterward, the results of the regression analysis from Taipei were compared with those from a Hong Kong study. Elderly and critical patients in both cities showed significantly more sensitivity to weather than other patients. Further analysis showed that non-trauma cases were related to weather in Taipei. Although both cities had similar results, the Taipei study clearly showed that elderly and critical patients were more sensitive to weather than other patient subgroups. Health education programs should focus on the vulnerable groups identified in this study in order to increase their awareness and help them protect themselves before the onset of adverse weather conditions. By generating results that are directly applicable to Taipei, the formulation of inappropriate EAS policies can be prevented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00704-020-03213-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7223070PMC
April 2020

Distress Due to Urinary Problems and Psychosocial Correlates among Retired Men in Hong Kong.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 04 7;17(7). Epub 2020 Apr 7.

JC School of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong, China.

Urinary problems are common among aging men, but there is a paucity of research efforts to understand the psychosocial aspects of the illness. This study aims to understand how common and distressing urinary problems are for newly retired men in Hong Kong and to test the associations between mental health, self-stigma of seeking help, fatigue, self-efficacy, self-esteem, and distress due to urinary problems. To assess this, 139 out of 200 members of a retired men's social club (mean age 63.5) were successfully interviewed. Two-fifths of the participants felt distressed due to their urinary problems and one-third of the participants had been troubled by urinary incontinence or nocturia in the past six months. Yet the majority of the participants (55%) did not seek help from any medical profession. The group who were distressed by urinary problems showed significantly poorer mental health, reported more fatigue symptoms, were less satisfied with their sexual relationships and overall self-esteem, and were less able to stop unpleasant thoughts or to get social support than the non-distressed group. Cultural perceptions of masculinity and decreased sexual vigor might have affected participants' willingness to seek help at an early stage. Targeted health education, mutual support groups, and sensitively designed services at the community level are suggested to address these physical and mental health issues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072533DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7177229PMC
April 2020

The Impact of Dengue on Economic Growth: The Case of Southern Taiwan.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 01 24;17(3). Epub 2020 Jan 24.

Department of Business Management, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan.

Dengue has long been a public health problem in tropical and subtropical countries. In 2015, a dengue outbreak occurred in Taiwan, where 43,784 cases were reported. This study aims to assess the impact of dengue on Southern Taiwan's economic growth according to the economic growth model-based regression approach recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Herein, annual data from Southern Taiwan on the number of dengue cases, income growth, and demographics from 2010-2015 were analyzed. The percentage of reduction of the average income per capita in 2015 due to the dengue outbreak was estimated. Dengue was determined to have a negative linear economic impact on Southern Taiwan's economic growth. In particular, a reduction of 0.26% in the average income per capita was estimated in Southern Taiwan due to the 2015 outbreak. If the model is applied alongside other dengue outbreak forecast models, then the forecast for economic reduction due to a future dengue outbreak may also be estimated. Prevention and recovery policies may subsequently be decided upon based on not only the number of dengue cases but also the degree of economic burden resulting from an outbreak.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030750DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7037327PMC
January 2020

Identifying rural-urban differences in the predictors of emergency ambulance service demand and misuse.

J Formos Med Assoc 2019 Jan 13;118(1 Pt 2):324-331. Epub 2018 Jun 13.

Department of Geography, National Taiwan University, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Objective: This study aims to assess rural-urban differences in the predictors of emergency ambulance service (EAS) demand and misuse in New Taipei City. Identifying the predictors of EAS demand will help the EAS service managing authority in formulating focused policies to maintain service quality.

Methods: Over 160,000 electronic EAS usage records were used with a negative binomial regression model to assess rural-urban differences in the predictors of EAS demand and misuse.

Results: The factors of 1) ln-transformed population density, 2) percentage of residents who completed up to junior high school education, 3) accessibility of hospitals without an emergency room, and 4) accessibility of EAS were found to be predictors of EAS demand in rural areas, whereas only the factor of percentage of people aged above 65 was found to predict EAS demand in urban areas. For EAS misuse, only the factor of percentage of low-income households was found to be a predictor in rural areas, whereas no predictor was found in the urban areas.

Conclusion: Results showed that the factors predicting EAS demand and misuse in rural areas were more complicated compared to urban areas and, therefore, formulating EAS policies for rural areas based on the results of urban studies may not be appropriate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jfma.2018.05.013DOI Listing
January 2019

The potential benefits of location-specific biometeorological indexes.

Int J Biometeorol 2017 Sep 3;61(9):1695-1698. Epub 2017 Apr 3.

Department of Geography, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

It is becoming popular to use biometeorological indexes to study the effects of weather on human health. Most of the biometeorological indexes were developed decades ago and only applicable to certain locations because of different climate types. Merely using standard biometeorological indexes to replace typical weather factors in biometeorological studies of different locations may not be an ideal research direction. This research is aimed at assessing the difference of statistical power between using standard biometeorological indexes and typical weather factors on describing the effects of extreme weather conditions on daily ambulance demands in Hong Kong. Results showed that net effective temperature and apparent temperature did not perform better than typical weather factors in describing daily ambulance demands in this study. The maximum adj-R improvement was only 0.08, whereas the maximum adj-R deterioration was 0.07. In this study, biometeorological indexes did not perform better than typical weather factors, possibly due to the differences of built environments and lifestyles in different locations and eras. Regarding built environments, the original parameters for calculating the index values may not be applicable to Hong Kong as buildings in Hong Kong are extremely dense and most are equipped with air conditioners. Regarding lifestyles, the parameters, which were set decades ago, may be outdated and not suitable to modern lifestyles as using hand-held electrical fans on the street to help reduce heat stress are popular. Hence, it is ideal to have tailor-made updated location-specific biometeorological indexes to study the effects of weather on human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00484-017-1343-zDOI Listing
September 2017

The Need for a Definition of Big Data for Nursing Science: A Case Study of Disaster Preparedness.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2016 10 17;13(10). Epub 2016 Oct 17.

Disaster Nursing Task Force, School of Nursing, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China.

The rapid development of technology has made enormous volumes of data available and achievable anytime and anywhere around the world. Data scientists call this change a data era and have introduced the term "Big Data", which has drawn the attention of nursing scholars. Nevertheless, the concept of Big Data is quite fuzzy and there is no agreement on its definition among researchers of different disciplines. Without a clear consensus on this issue, nursing scholars who are relatively new to the concept may consider Big Data to be merely a dataset of a bigger size. Having a suitable definition for nurse researchers in their context of research and practice is essential for the advancement of nursing research. In view of the need for a better understanding on what Big Data is, the aim in this paper is to explore and discuss the concept. Furthermore, an example of a Big Data research study on disaster nursing preparedness involving six million patient records is used for discussion. The example demonstrates that a Big Data analysis can be conducted from many more perspectives than would be possible in traditional sampling, and is superior to traditional sampling. Experience gained from the process of using Big Data in this study will shed light on future opportunities for conducting evidence-based nursing research to achieve competence in disaster nursing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13101015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5086754PMC
October 2016

A Brief Cognitive-Behavioral Psycho-Education (B-CBE) Program for Managing Stress and Anxiety of Main Family Caregivers of Patients in the Intensive Care Unit.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2016 Sep 28;13(10). Epub 2016 Sep 28.

Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Having a loved one in the intensive care unit (ICU) is a stressful event, which may cause a high level of anxiety to the family members. This could threaten their wellbeing and ability to support the patients in, or after discharge from, the ICU. To investigate the outcomes of a brief cognitive-behavioral psycho-education program (B-CBE) to manage stress and anxiety of the main family caregivers (MFCs), a pragmatic quasi-experimental study involving 45 participants (treatment group: 24; control group: 21) was conducted in an ICU. The Depression and Anxiety Stress Scale and the Critical Care Family Need Inventory were used to evaluate the primary outcomes on stress and anxiety, and satisfaction with family needs. The treatment group reported significantly better improvement in the information satisfaction score compared to the control group ( < 0.05; ² = 0.09). Overall main effects were observed on the stress ( < 0.01; ² = 0.20), anxiety ( < 0.01; ² = 0.18), depression ( < 0.05; ² = 0.13), support satisfaction ( < 0.05; ² = 0.13), and comfort satisfaction ( < 0.05; ² = 0.11) scores. The experience of this study suggest that MFCs are in great need of additional support like B-CBE to manage their stress and anxiety. Given the brevity of B-CBE, it is practical for critical care nurses to deliver and MFCs to take within the industrious context of an ICU. More studies are needed to investigate these types of brief psychological interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13100962DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5086701PMC
September 2016

Parenting approaches, family functionality, and internet addiction among Hong Kong adolescents.

BMC Pediatr 2016 08 18;16:130. Epub 2016 Aug 18.

GH506, School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Background: Internet addiction (IA) among adolescents has become a global health problem, and public awareness of it is increasing. Many IA risk factors relate to parents and the family environment. This study examined the relationship between IA and parenting approaches and family functionality.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 2021 secondary students to identify the prevalence of IA and to explore the association between adolescent IA and familial variables, including parents' marital status, family income, family conflict, family functionality, and parenting approaches.

Results: The results revealed that 25.3 % of the adolescent respondents exhibited IA, and logistic regression positively predicted the IA of adolescents from divorced families, low-income families, families in which family conflict existed, and severely dysfunctional families. Interestingly, adolescents with restricted Internet use were almost 1.9 times more likely to have IA than those whose use was not restricted.

Conclusions: Internet addiction is common among Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong, and family-based prevention strategies should be aligned with the risk factors of IA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12887-016-0666-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4991114PMC
August 2016

Attitude, Acceptability and Knowledge of HPV Vaccination among Local University Students in Hong Kong.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2016 05 11;13(5). Epub 2016 May 11.

School of Nursing, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China.

The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has the great potential to prevent HPV-related infections for millions of women and men worldwide. However, the success of the vaccine is highly dependent on the vaccination rate. Factors influencing the attitudes of undergraduate students towards HPV vaccination should be studied. This is a cross-sectional survey that was conducted to estimate the HPV vaccination rate among undergraduate students in Hong Kong, and to identify the predictors of their attitude towards HPV vaccination. The results showed that the HPV vaccination rate was 13.3%. Factors related to knowledge of vaccination were the main predictors of the students' attitude towards vaccination (there were seven predictors, with B = 1.36 to 2.30; p < 0.05), followed by gender (B = -1.40; p < 0.05), acceptable maximum price (B = 0.35; p < 0.05), and willingness to receive the HPV vaccine if it can protect against cervical/anal cancer and genital warts (B = -1.90; p < 0.001). The regression model that was developed based on the predictors had a moderate effect size (adj-R² = 0.33). To conclude, the HPV vaccination rate among undergraduate students in Hong Kong was low. They should be provided with more active education and activities to promote HPV vaccination to improve their knowledge on the subject.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13050486DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4881111PMC
May 2016

Spatial illustration of health-care workforce accessibility index in China: How far has our 2009 health-care reform brought us?

Aust J Rural Health 2016 Feb 15;24(1):54-60. Epub 2015 May 15.

Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health and Management, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People's Republic of China.

Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of China's health-care reform from 2009 to 2011 by examining China's annual health-care workforce statistics of 2008 and 2011.

Design: The design of the study was a secondary data analysis.

Main Outcome Measure: The main outcome measure used was the Primary Health Care Worker Accessibility Index (PHCWA).

Results: The statistics illustrated the impact health-care reform had on the provision of primary health care in rural areas. The results showed that the health-care reform of 2009 generally improved access to the primary health-care workforce in all 28 areas (range of increase: 13.18-324.0%). However, an increasing disparity in regional health care based on the increase of the standard deviations of PHCWA (range of increase: 36.44-77.10%) may be an issue that policy-makers and analysts will have to face.

Conclusions: Concerted policy efforts from both the provincial and central governments are needed to narrow the gaps. Regional development should not only focus on the economic aspect, but also account for the fact that the adequate provision of primary health care is part of the infrastructure that makes development possible and sustainable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajr.12198DOI Listing
February 2016

The mediating effect of affective stigma between face concern and general mental health - The case of Chinese caregivers of children with intellectual disability.

Res Dev Disabil 2015 01 11;36C:437-446. Epub 2014 Nov 11.

Department of Civic Management, Jianghan University, PR China.

An earlier study revealed that the mental health of caregivers of children with intellectual disability is related to the affective dimension of affiliated stigma, loss of face and anxiety level. However, how cultural values such as face concern interplay with stigma remains largely unknown. This extended study goes further to test the mediating role of affective stigma on two slightly different pathway models between the face concern and the mental health outcome of 211 caregivers in two Chinese cities, against the required standards and procedure of being a mediator. The mediating effect of affective stigma is confirmed by meeting Baron and Kenny's required standards. Two viable path models are worked out: one model with anxiety as a co-mediating variable successfully accounts for 17% more of the variance on the outcome than another model without anxiety, explaining a total of 56% of the variance. This provides empirical evidence for the first time that cultural values such as face value do not influence directly one's mental health; but works through the experience of real stigma or anticipated stigma situations, to induce anxiety and worsen mental health. Practitioners may need to employ anti-stigma and anxiety reduction strategy in promoting better mental health and to explore cultural elements that can be tapped on for better coping.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2014.10.024DOI Listing
January 2015

Association between screen viewing duration and sleep duration, sleep quality, and excessive daytime sleepiness among adolescents in Hong Kong.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2014 Oct 28;11(11):11201-19. Epub 2014 Oct 28.

School of Nursing, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR, China.

Screen viewing is considered to have adverse impacts on the sleep of adolescents. Although there has been a considerable amount of research on the association between screen viewing and sleep, most studies have focused on specific types of screen viewing devices such as televisions and computers. The present study investigated the duration with which currently prevalent screen viewing devices (including televisions, personal computers, mobile phones, and portable video devices) are viewed in relation to sleep duration, sleep quality, and daytime sleepiness among Hong Kong adolescents (N = 762). Television and computer viewing remain prevalent, but were not correlated with sleep variables. Mobile phone viewing was correlated with all sleep variables, while portable video device viewing was shown to be correlated only with daytime sleepiness. The results demonstrated a trend of increase in the prevalence and types of screen viewing and their effects on the sleep patterns of adolescents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111111201DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4245609PMC
October 2014

Multi-dimensional self-esteem and substance use among Chinese adolescents.

Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 2014 Oct 1;9:42. Epub 2014 Oct 1.

School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, China.

Background: Substance use among adolescents has caused worldwide public health concern in recent years. Overseas studies have demonstrated an association between adolescent self-esteem and substance use, but studies within a Chinese context are limited. A study was therefore initiated to: (1) explore the 30 days prevalence of substance use (smoking, drinking, and drugs) among male and female adolescents in Hong Kong; (2) identify the significant associations between multidimensional self-esteem and gender; and (3) examine the relationship between multi-dimensional self-esteem and substance use.

Methods: A self-esteem scale and the Chinese version of the global school-based student health survey were adopted. A total of 1,223 students were recruited from two mixed-gender schools and one boys' school.

Results: Among females, there was a lower 30-day prevalence of cigarette, alcohol, and drug use. They also had significantly higher peer and family self-esteem but lower sport-related self-esteem. Body image self-esteem was a predictor of alcohol use among females, while peer and school self-esteem were predictors of drug use among males.

Conclusions: In summary, the findings demonstrated the influence of self-esteem to the overall well-being of adolescents. Schools could play a role in promoting physical fitness and positive relationships between adolescents and their peers, family, and schools to fulfill their physical and psychological self-esteem needs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1747-597X-9-42DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4195998PMC
October 2014

Population factors affecting initial diffusion patterns of H1N1.

Popul Health Manag 2014 Dec;17(6):390-1

1 Department of Geography, The University of Hong Kong , Hong Kong SAR, China .

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/pop.2014.0080DOI Listing
December 2014

Parenting approaches and digital technology use of preschool age children in a Chinese community.

Ital J Pediatr 2014 May 7;40:44. Epub 2014 May 7.

GH506, School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.

Background: Young children are using digital technology (DT) devices anytime and anywhere, especially with the invention of smart phones and the replacement of desktop computers with digital tablets. Although research has shown that parents play an important role in fostering and supporting preschoolers' developing maturity and decisions about DT use, and in protecting them from potential risk due to excessive DT exposure, there have been limited studies conducted in Hong Kong focusing on parent-child DT use. This study had three objectives: 1) to explore parental use of DTs with their preschool children; 2) to identify the DT content that associated with child behavioral problems; and 3) to investigate the relationships between approaches adopted by parents to control children's DT use and related preschooler behavioral problems.

Methods: This exploratory quantitative study was conducted in Hong Kong with 202 parents or guardians of preschool children between the ages of 3 and 6 attending kindergarten. The questionnaire was focused on four aspects, including 1) participants' demographics; 2) pattern of DT use; 3) parenting approach to manage the child's DT use; and 4) child behavioral and health problems related to DT use. Multiple regression analysis was adopted as the main data analysis method for identifying the DT or parental approach-related predictors of the preschooler behavioral problems.

Results: In the multiple linear regression model, the 'restrictive approach score' was the only predictor among the three parental approaches (B:1.66, 95% CI: [0.21, 3.11], p < 0.05). Moreover, the viewing of antisocial behavior cartoons by children also significantly increased the tendency of children to have behavioral problem (B:3.84, 95% CI: [1.66, 6.02], p < 0.01).

Conclusions: Since preschool children's cognitive and functional abilities are still in the developmental stage, parents play a crucial role in fostering appropriate and safe DT use. It is suggested that parents practice a combination of restrictive, instructive and co-using approaches, rather than a predominately restrictive approach, to facilitate their child's growth and development. Further studies are needed to explore the parent-child relationship and parents' self-efficacy when managing the parent-child DT use, to develop strategies to guide children in healthy DT use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1824-7288-40-44DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4046626PMC
May 2014

The influence of weather on health-related help-seeking behavior of senior citizens in Hong Kong.

Int J Biometeorol 2015 Mar 24;59(3):373-6. Epub 2014 Apr 24.

Department of Social Work, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, SAR, China,

It is believed that extreme hot and cold weather has a negative impact on general health conditions. Much research focuses on mortality, but there is relatively little community health research. This study is aimed at identifying high-risk groups who are sensitive to extreme weather conditions, in particular, very hot and cold days, through an analysis of the health-related help-seeking patterns of over 60,000 Personal Emergency Link (PE-link) users in Hong Kong relative to weather conditions. In the study, 1,659,716 PE-link calls to the help center were analyzed. Results showed that females, older elderly, people who did not live alone, non-subsidized (relatively high-income) users, and those without medical histories of heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and diabetes were more sensitive to extreme weather condition. The results suggest that using official government weather forecast reports to predict health-related help-seeking behavior is feasible. An evidence-based strategic plan could be formulated by using a method similar to that used in this study to identify high-risk groups. Preventive measures could be established for protecting the target groups when extreme weather conditions are forecasted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00484-014-0831-7DOI Listing
March 2015

Beliefs and knowledge about vaccination against AH1N1pdm09 infection and uptake factors among Chinese parents.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2014 Feb 14;11(2):1989-2002. Epub 2014 Feb 14.

School of Nursing, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, SAR, China.

Vaccination against AH1N1pdm09 infection (human swine infection, HSI) is an effective measure of preventing pandemic infection, especially for high-risk groups like children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years. This study used a cross-sectional correlation design and aimed to identify predicting factors of parental acceptance of the HSI vaccine (HSIV) and uptake of the vaccination by their preschool-aged children in Hong Kong. A total of 250 parents were recruited from four randomly selected kindergartens. A self-administered questionnaire based on the health belief framework was used for data collection. The results showed that a number of factors significantly affected the tendency toward new vaccination uptake; these factors included parental age, HSI vaccination history of the children in their family, preferable price of the vaccine, perceived severity, perceived benefits, perceived barriers, and motivating factors for taking new vaccines. Using these factors, a logistic regression model with a high Nagelkerke R2 of 0.63 was generated to explain vaccination acceptance. A strong correlation between parental acceptance of new vaccinations and the motivating factors of vaccination uptake was found, which indicates the importance of involving parents in policy implementation for any new vaccination schemes. Overall, in order to fight against pandemics and enhance vaccination acceptance, it is essential for the government to understand the above factors determining parental acceptance of new vaccinations for their preschool-aged children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110201989DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945580PMC
February 2014

Correlates of Protective Motivation Theory (PMT) to adolescents' drug use intention.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2014 Jan 3;11(1):671-84. Epub 2014 Jan 3.

School of Nursing, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China.

Early onset and increasing proliferation of illicit adolescent drug-use poses a global health concern. This study aimed to examine the correlation between Protective Motivation Theory (PMT) measures and the intention to use drugs among adolescents. An exploratory quantitative correlation design and convenience sampling were adopted. A total of 318 students completed a self-reported questionnaire that solicited information related to their demographics and activities, measures of threat appraisal and coping appraisal, and the intention to use drugs. Logistic regression analysis showed that intrinsic and extrinsic rewards were significant predictors of intention. The odds ratios were equal to 2.90 (p < 0.05) and 8.04 (p < 0.001), respectively. The logistic regression model analysis resulted in a high Nagelkerke R2 of 0.49, which suggests that PMT related measures could be used in predicting drug use intention among adolescents. Further research should be conducted with non-school adolescents to confirm the application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110100671DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3924467PMC
January 2014

Spatio-temporal and stochastic modelling of severe acute respiratory syndrome.

Geospat Health 2013 Nov;8(1):183-92

This study describes the development of a spatio-temporal disease model based on the episodes of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) that took place in Hong Kong in 2003. In contrast to conventional, deterministic modelling approaches, the model described here is predominantly spatial. It incorporates stochastic processing of environmental and social variables that interact in space and time to affect the patterns of disease transmission in a community. The model was validated through a comparative assessment between actual and modelled distribution of diseased locations. Our study shows that the inclusion of location-specific characteristics satisfactorily replicates the spatial dynamics of an infectious disease. The Pearson's correlation coefficients for five trials based on 3-day aggregation of disease counts for 1-3, 4-6 and 7-9 day forecasts were 0.57- 0.95, 0.54-0.86 and 0.57-0.82, respectively, while the correlation based on 5-day aggregation for the 1-5 day forecast was 0.55- 0.94 and 0.58-0.81 for the 6-10 day forecast. The significant and strong relationship between actual results and forecast is encouraging for the potential development of an early warning system for detecting this type of disease outbreaks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/gh.2013.65DOI Listing
November 2013

Weather factors in the short-term forecasting of daily ambulance calls.

Int J Biometeorol 2014 Jul 3;58(5):669-78. Epub 2013 Mar 3.

Department of Geography, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China.

The daily ambulance demand for Hong Kong is rising, and it has been shown that weather factors (temperature and humidity) play a role in the demand for ambulance services. This study aimed at developing short-term forecasting models of daily ambulance calls using the 7-day weather forecast data as predictors. We employed the autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) method to analyze over 1.3 million cases of emergency attendance in May 2006 through April 2009 and the 7-day weather forecast data for the same period. Our results showed that the ARIMA model could offer reasonably accurate forecasts of daily ambulance calls at 1-7 days ahead of time and with improved accuracy by including weather factors. Specifically, the inclusion of average temperature alone in our ARIMA model improved the predictability of the 1-day forecast when compared to that of a simple ARIMA model (8.8% decrease in the root mean square error, RMSE=53 vs 58). The improvement in the 7-day forecast with average temperature as a predictor was more pronounced, with a 10% drop in prediction error (RMSE=62 vs 69). These findings suggested that weather forecast data can improve the 1- to 7-day forecasts of daily ambulance demand. As weather forecast data are readily accessible from Hong Kong Observatory's official website, there is virtually no cost to including them in the ARIMA models, which yield better prediction for forward planning and deployment of ambulance manpower.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00484-013-0647-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7087605PMC
July 2014

Weather and age-gender effects on the projection of future emergency ambulance demand in Hong Kong.

Asia Pac J Public Health 2015 Mar 15;27(2):NP2542-54. Epub 2012 Oct 15.

The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, PR China Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, PR China.

An accurate projection for ambulance demand is essential to enable better resource planning for the future that strives to either maintain current levels of services or reconsider future standards and expectations. More than 2 million cases of emergency room attendance in 2008 were obtained from the Hong Kong Hospital Authority to project the demand for its ambulance services in 2036. The projection of ambulance demand in 2036 was computed in consideration of changes in the age-gender structure between 2008 and 2036. The quadratic relation between average daily temperature and daily ambulance demand in 2036 was further explored by including and excluding age-gender demographic changes. Without accounting for changes in the age-gender structure, the 2036 ambulance demand for age groups of 65 and above were consistently underestimated (by 38%-65%), whereas those of younger age groups were overestimated (by 6%-37%). Moreover, changes in the 2008 to 2036 age-gender structure also shift upward and emphasize relationships between average daily temperature and daily ambulance demand at both ends of the quadratic U-shaped curve. Our study reveals a potential societal implication of ageing population on the demand for ambulance services.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1010539512460570DOI Listing
March 2015