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  • Open access
  • 104 Reads
Panic buying behavior analysis of COVID-19 related toilet paper hoarding content on Twitter

Background: In March 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak has led to unprecedented panic buying phenomena across the globe, where social media has played a significant role in the dissemination of observations.

Purpose: We used Twitter data to qualitatively analyse Tweets related to panic buying of toilet paper during the crisis.

Methods: A dataset of n=255,171 Tweets were collected between 29th February to 29thMarch 2020. The n=4,081 with 10 or more Retweets were selected and separated into batches of 100 Tweets for analysis by adopting a grounded theory approach until a saturation was met.

Results: Five key themes emerged from our analysis of the dataset: 1) humour or sarcasm, 2) marketing or profiteering, 3) opinion and emotions, 4) personal experience, and 5) support or information.

Discussion: About half of the Tweets carried negative sentiments, expressing anger or frustration towards the deficiency of toilet paper and the frantic situation of toilet paper hoarding, which were among the most influential Tweets. The spontaneous contagion of fear and panic through social media could fuel psychological reactions in midst of crises.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrated the application of social media data, a contemporary research method to provide rapid infodemiology of public psychology. In a pandemic or crisis situation, real-time data could be monitored and content-analysed for authorities to promptly address public concerns and sentiments. Findings have implications on how the government and related stakeholders could monitor and react to what social media information can reveal about public psychology during a crisis.

  • Open access
  • 69 Reads
Can specific pre-workout meals reduce bone resorption in young gymnasts?

The pre-adolescence in woman is a key stage to obtain adequate bone mineral content and to decrease the risk of osteoporosis in adulthood. Exercise and adequate nutrition can influence the bone growth process. The aim of this paper was to verify if a different pre-exercise meal can change exercise-induced bone resorption in female child artistic gymnasts. Twenty-eight preadolescent female were requited for this study. Training was preceded by high-carbohydrate meal (HCM; 300 kcal, 88% carbohydrates, 9% protein, 3% fat) or high protein meal (HPM; 300 kcal, 55% carbohydrates, 31% protein, 13% fat) ninety minutes before the start of the training session. Bone resorption biomarker, C-terminal telopeptide region of collagen type 1 (CTX), were analyzed from the urine sample collected pre and post meal and post- gymnastics workout. Pre-exercise eating habits were examined by a validated short food frequency question (FFQ) for children. The group with HCM significantly reduces bone resorption post-exercise by decreasing CTX levels more than HPM group. The FFQ shows that about 30% of the children, of both groups, do not have regularly pre-exercise eating habits. In conclusion, HCM prior to high intensity physical activity seems to reduce acute post-exercise bone resorption in pre-pubertal age gymnasts. The analysis of the pre-exercise eating habits indicate that there is variability in the frequency and timing of meal consumption before exercise.

  • Open access
  • 310 Reads
Clinical Consideration and Dental Management of post-Covid 19 patients with prolonged symptoms

Introduction: Currently, many researchers have confirmed multi-organ damage by the virus. The prolonged effect of the viral attack after the acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 depends on the severity and duration of the infection.

Objectives: This review provides information on the long term consequences faced by Covid-19 recovered patients and their implications in dentistry. The aim of this article was to an interdisciplinary comprehensive assessment and guidelines for their dental care, highlighting need for further studies to frame guidelines by dental organizations.

Study selection, data and sources: Literature reviews, systematic reviews and national guidelines were consulted where available, with search terms for each subject category entered into PubMed, Google Scholar and the Web of Science database.

Results The current state of dental literature is largely based on expert opinions and guidelines for re-opening dental clinics and performing dental procedures during the pandemic while lacking in empirical studies, particularly for patients who have persistent symptoms after recovering from Covid-19 and require necessary dental treatment.

Conclusion Further research is required on dental treatment considerations as well as advanced knowledge across a few areas like aerosol-generation risk, effects of the Covid-19 virus in the oral cavity and the upper digestive tract, which can be used as base to overcome the fear among dental professionals and patients as well as find an alternative to current dental practices among all demographics.

  • Open access
  • 56 Reads
COVID-19 pandemic is expected to cause a delayed impact on cancer rates due to its effect on lifestyles

It is thought that cancer is caused in large by environmental exposures, as well as poor lifestyle choices. Examples of proven risk factors for cancer include air pollution, occupational exposure, exposure to ionizing radiation, smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, alcohol intake, poor diet, excess body weight, insufficient physical activity, insufficient breastfeeding, postmenopausal hormone therapy and oral contraceptives. However, an alternative point of view emerged recently that DNA replication errors during stem cell divisions are the major cause of cancer. Hence, the relative contribution of environmental, lifestyle and cellular causes to carcinogenesis is still an open question that requires further investigation. We have recently developed a statistical methodology to estimate the number of events driving cancer progression from the age distribution of cancer incidence. It is important to understand how these predictions relate to established risk factors. We found that the predicted number of driver events per tumor strongly correlates with the proportion of cancer cases attributable to environmental and lifestyle risk factors for all cancers except those induced by infection or ultraviolet radiation. The correlation was confirmed for three countries, three corresponding incidence databases and risk estimation studies, as well as for both sexes: USA, males [r=0.80, P=0.002], females [r=0.81, P=0.0003]; England, males [r=0.90, P<0.0001], females [r=0.67, P=0.002]; Australia, males [r=0.90, P=0.0004], females [r=0.68, P=0.01]. This study suggests that the majority of driver events (60-80% in males, 50-70% in females) are induced by environmental carcinogens and poor lifestyle choices, and not by DNA replication errors or other internal processes. As COVID-19 pandemic has had and continues to have strong influence on people’s lifestyles, such as causing a sharp decrease in physical activity, it is expected to have a strong delayed impact on the rates of cancer in the future.

  • Open access
  • 200 Reads
Prevalence of Depression and its Associated Risk Factors among University Students in Malaysia: A Pilot Study

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders and being an increasing concern in university students who have an increased risk of psychiatric disorders during adulthood. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of depression and its associated risk factors among university students in Malaysia. A cross sectional pilot study was conducted between 9th and 28th September 2020 among 80 university students in Malaysia. Participants completed online survey questionnaires, including the validated Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Constitution in Chinese Medicine Questionnaire (CMCQ), Dysfunctional Attitude Scale (DAS), Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) that assess depression, body constitution, cognitive bias, stress, perceived stress and self-esteem respectively. Socio-demographic data and health status were also recorded. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to determine the associated risk factors for depression. The overall prevalence of depression among university students was 33.8%, with a greater prevalence among females (26.3%) than males (7.5%). The multiple regression analysis showed a significant positive relationship between depression and qi stagnation constitution (B = 0.089, p = 0.011). Additionally, significant negative relationships were found between depression with balanced constitution (B = -0.077, p = 0.049) and self-esteem (B = -0.325, p = 0.001) respectively. Our findings suggest that traditional Chinese medicine body constitution and self-esteem are significant risk factors affecting the depression among university students, although more studies with larger sample size are needed to confirm this. The identification of risk factors of depression is vital to aid in early detection of depression among university students.

  • Open access
  • 67 Reads
Towards Bayesian evaluation of seroprevalence studies

Bayes’ Theorem represents a mathematical formalization of the common sense. What we know about the world today is what we knew yesterday plus what the data told us. The lack of understanding of this concept is the source of many errors and wrong judgements in the current COVID-19 pandemic. In this contribution, we show how to use the framework of Bayesian inference to produce a reasonable estimate of seroprevalence from studies that use a single binary test. Bayes’ Theorem sometimes produces results that seem counter-intuitive at first sight. It is important to realize that the reality may be different from its image represented by test results. The extent to which these two worlds differ depends on the performance of the test (i.e. its sensitivity and specificity),and the prevalence of the tested condition.

  • Open access
  • 178 Reads
Impact of COVID-19 infodemics on knowledge, attitude and Social behavior in India: a mixed method survey.

In India, there is a growing base of internet and social media users, and poor regulation of these platforms, disproportionately bearing a high spread of misinformation.

Aim: To assess the impact of Covid-19 misinformation and rumor on knowledge, attitudes and social behavior in India


  • To assess the level of knowledge and attitude towards Covid-19 and its prevention among the Indian population .
  • To determine the impact of infodemics on Covid-19 knowledge, attitude and practices.
  • The impact of rumors related to Covid-19 on the individual and social behaviour.

Significance : Assessing the knowledge, attitudes and practices towards COVID-19 would be helpful to provide better insight to address poor knowledge about the disease and the development of preventive strategies and health promotion programs. Our survey will suggest an intervention strategy that will reflect regional and cultural factors that will be best suited to the Indian population.

Method: Data collection will be done in sequential mixed method survey. A cross-sectional quantitative survey in four different regional languages and English, followed by one-on-one qualitative interviews.

Data Analysis: Association between the knowledge attitude and preventive practices (KAP) will be done using Pearson's Chi Square, Chi Square test of independence or Fisher’s exact test. Binomial logistic regression model will also be fitted to identify the independent predictors of knowledge, attitude and practices of Covid-19 prevention by taking the level of KAP as an outcome. For the qualitative arm, content analysis will be done to categorize the transcripts into themes and subthemes.

  • Open access
  • 82 Reads

Objectives. The practice of physical activity (PA) and correct food choices since pre-school age can help in the obesity prevention and other chronic disorders. In this process, mothers have an important role, but the relationship with their children’s lifestyle is still unclear in disadvantaged areas. The aim of this study is to explain the extent to which maternal food habits and PA level predict food-related aspects and PA practice in preschoolers from disadvantaged urban areas.

Methods. It is a cross-sectional study. A total of 79 dyads of mothers and children were recruited from kindergartens. A questionnaire was compiled by mothers to collect data on: family socio-demographic aspects; mothers’ and children’s dietary intake frequencies, PA/sedentariness, weight and height; mothers’ perception on children’s food intake, children’s food literacy (FL) and Quotient of Gross Motor Development (QGMD).

Results. The following associations were found out: mothers’ and children’s food habits (beta=0.66, p<0.001); mothers’ and children’s fruit/vegetables consumption (OR 16.2, 95% CI 4.68 - 59.77), and intake of the other items (sugar and carbonated drinks, confectioned sweet and savory snacks, ready meals, breakfast); mothers’ education or PA level and children’s FL (beta -0.25, p<0.05; beta 0.25, p<0.05, respectively); mothers’ PA or sedentariness and children’s QGMD (beta 0.26, p<0.05; -0.21, p<0.1, respectively); mothers’ BMI and food habits (beta -0.19, p<0.05) and children’s BMI (beta 0.04, p<0.05); education and food habits (beta -0.34, p<0.05). Mothers did not correctly perceived children’s BMI, PA practicing and food intake (p<0.05).

Conclusions. To delineate the global path of the relationships between mothers’ and children’s lifestyles in disadvantaged urban areas can be currently useful to planning effective interventions aimed to help children and families in maintaining their healthy habits suddenly changed during COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Open access
  • 105 Reads
The impact of COVID-19 outbreak on the level of worries and its associate to modified active mobility behaviour among Australian children

Background: The impact of the COVID19 pandemic on children population is limited. However, the change of life behaviour placed to contain its spread may have prolonged lifelong impact on a vulnerable children population. Nevertheless, damages can be mitigated significantly if prompt detections are carried. This research aimed at capturing the disparity of COVID-19 impact on Australian parents and their primary-school-age children (grades 4-6) level of worry and its correlates with modifying children outdoor active mobility behaviour.

Method: We carried a national online survey sample of parents (339) from five states across Australia as well as their primary school-aged children in grades (4-6). Level of worry, amount and frequency of following the pandemic’s news and exposures to daily screen time before and during the COVID-19 outbreak, was captured online among parents as well by their children. Then, parents and children jointly reported about children active mobility behaviour covering two separate weeks, one during the COVD-19 outbreak, and another week on a typical week before then. Exploratory, spatial and statistical analysis are carried using Excel, ArcGIS, and open R statistical package.

Results: Initial findings showed disparity on the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemics on parents as well as their children, by ethnicity background, by type of school (private or public), and by the amount of exposure to the pandemic media and screen time.

Conclusion The in-progress findings of the current research analysis may aid to identify at-risk children population and inform intervention health strategies.

  • Open access
  • 75 Reads
Trace Elements levels in Rhodophyta algae from Tenerife, Canary Islands (North Atlantic Ocean region)

Canary Islands, located in the North Atlantic Ocean, stand out for its great algae diversity and its climatic conditions. However, anthropogenic activities could increase the marine pollution. Some trace elements could pose a risk to biodiversity. Asparagopsis spp and Liagora spp algae, both from Rhodophyta or red algae group, are frequent in the Canary Islands’ coasts. So, the trace elements determination in both algae genera is interesting because due to their abundance these algae could be effective bio-indicators of marine pollution. The content of trace elements (B, Ba, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Mo, Ni, Sr, V, Zn, Al, Cd, Pb) was determined in 30 samples of red algae (Asparagopsis spp and Liagora spp) from Porís de Abona (Arico, Tenerife, Spain) using inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Liagora spp recorded the highest mean concentrations of Fe (1190±1545 mg/kg dry weight) and B (80.2±34.2 mg/kg dw). Al (288±157 mg/kg dw) stands out in Asparagopsis spp. The high concentrations found indicate a high level of contamination of the collected area. Considering that this area is known by its ​​marine diversity, actions must be taken to reduce pollution in this area of ​ environmental interest.