Upcoming Events

The 13th international conference on Public Health among Greater Mekong Sub-Regional countries on "Enhancing transdisciplinary collaborations on Education and Research to tackle priority public health issues in the new Era" has following objectives:

  • To strengthen the relationship of Faculties of Public Health among the Southeast Asian countries and in the world;
  • To share research results in the field of Public Health as well as priority public health issues among greater Mekong Sub-Regional countries;
  • To search for feasible solutions to enhance international collaboration among Public Health Faculties in Mekong Sub-Region and a wider area of the Southeast Asian countries about training and research in Public Health.

An abstract should be in one paragraph with no more 350 words, describing the major aspects of the entire paper in a prescribed sequence that includes: 1) Introduction: The overall purpose of the study and the research problem(s) you investigated; 2) Objective(s): The outcomes that you aim to achieve by conducting research; 3) Method: The basic design of the study; 4) Results: Major findings or trends found as a result of your analysis; and, 5) Conclusions: a brief summary of your interpretations and conclusions.

Thua Thien Hue provincial Association of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in collaboration with the Faculty of Public Health and the Institute for Community Health Research of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hue University, will host a scientific conference on Public Health.  (updating...)

Emerging infectious diseases are, more than ever, at the center of the world’s attention. Join a diverse group of colleagues from around the world as they present new knowledge and breakthroughs about how to discover, detect, understand, prevent and respond to outbreaks of emerging disease threats.

Rescheduled Date: October 3-5th, 2021

Venue: Kaohsiung Marriott Hotel (Kaohsiung, Taiwan)

Length: 2.5 days (+1 day Pre-Event Meeting)

Program: Interest Group Seminars, Summit Programming (Workshops, Oral/Poster Presentations, Symposiums, Alternative Sessions, Plenary Speakers), Welcome Reception, Banquet, Master Classes, Cultural Tours

Recent works

ICHR publication on "Health behavior"
Health behaviors are actions individuals take that affect their health. They include actions that lead to improved...
ICHR publication on "Environmental Health"
Environmental health is the branch of public health that: focuses on the relationships between people and their...
ICHR publication on "Infectious and Tropical diseases"
Vietnam faces infectious diseases, tropical diseases related to the climate characteristics of the region. Research in...
ICHR publication on "Mental health and NCDs"
ICHR Institute has leading experts in these fields in the Central - Central Highlands region, participating in research...
ICHR publication on "Maternal & Child Health and Reproductive Health"
Maternal & Child Health and Reproductive Health is a strong research area of ICHR with the participation of many...

ICHR publication on "Health behavior"


Health behaviors


Health behaviors are actions individuals take that affect their health. Research on health behavior to contribute to finding risk factors, assessing the impact of these factors on human health is the work that ICHR researchers have done over the years.



1. Digital health literacy about COVID-19 as a factor mediating the association between the importance of online information search and psychological well-being among Vietnamese university students

Linh Hoang Thuy Nguyen, Man Thi Hue Vo, Lien Thi Mai Tran, Kevin Dadaczynski4, Orkan Okan, Linda Murray and Thang Van Vo

Introduction: Digital health literacy (DHL) has recently been proposed as a means of enabling healthy decisions for protective behavior, preventive measures, and adherence with COVID-19 policies and recommendations especially in the era of the “infodemic”. This study aimed to (1) identify COVID-19 related DHL and its association with online information seeking; (2) to elucidate COVID-19 related DHL as a mediator predictor between the importance of online information search and its association with subjective well-being among Vietnamese university students.

Methods: A cross-sectional web-based survey was used to elicit the responses of Vietnamese students over 2 consecutive weeks (from April 25 to May 9, 2020, n = 1,003, 70.1% female students, mean age 21.4 ± 3.1). The online survey questionnaire collected data on the sociodemographic characteristics of participants, DHL about COVID-19, information seeking behavior, and subjective well-being. Mediation analysis was conducted using the importance of searching COVID-19 related information as independent variables, subjective well-being as a dependent variable, and DHL as a mediator variable.

Results: Among 1,003 students, the mean (SD) of DHL related to COVID-19 was 2.87 ± 0.32. In the survey, 87.2% of the students reported sufficient well-being, while almost 13% reported low or very low well-being. The findings also indicated that search engines were the most popular platform for information seeking by Vietnamese students (95.3%) and 92.8% of participants had searched for information related to the current spread of COVID-19. Not searching for hygiene regulation as part of infection control and an average level of information satisfaction were associated with limited DHL (p < 0.05). The importance of online information searching related to COVID-19 increased the subjective well-being of students significantly and limited DHL (p < 0.05). DHL was found to mediate the relationship between the importance of online information searching and the subjective well-being of students.

Conclusion: The finding provides insight into DHL about COVID-19 among university students, and their ability to find, understand, appraise, and use online health related information during lockdown throughout the first COVID-19 pandemic wave. DHL should be highlighted as a mediating factor that enhances the positive effect of the importance of information seeking on psychological well-being. However, further studies are needed to better define the mediating role of DHL across other factors.


ICHR's studies on people's compliance during the COVID-19 epidemic are topical and have high scientific value.


2. Preventive behavior of Vietnamese people in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Nhan Phuc Thanh Nguyen, Tuyen Dinh Hoang, Vi Thao Tran, Cuc Thi Vu, Joseph Nelson Siewe Fodjo, Robert Colebunders, Michael P. Dunne, Thang Van Vo.

We sought to evaluate the adherence of Vietnamese adults to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) preventive measures, and gain insight into the effects of the epidemic on the daily lives of Vietnamese people. An online questionnaire was administered from March 31 to April 6, 2020. The questionnaire assessed personal preventive behavior (such as physical distancing, wearing a face mask, cough etiquette, regular handwashing and using an alcohol hand sanitizer, body temperature check, and disinfecting mobile phones) and community preventive behavior (such as avoiding meetings, large gatherings, going to the market, avoiding travel in a vehicle/bus with more than 10 persons, and not traveling outside of the local area during the lockdown). A total adherence score was calculated by summing the scores of the 9 personal and the 11 community prevention questions. In total, 2175 respondents completed the questionnaire; mean age: 31.4 ± 10.7; (range: 18–69); 66.9% were women; 54.2% were health professionals and 22.8% were medical students. The mean adherence scores for personal and community preventive measures were 7.23 ± 1.63 (range 1–9) and 9.57 ± 1.12 (range 1–11), respectively. Perceived adaptation of the community to lockdown (Beta (β) = 2.64, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.25–4.03), fears/worries concerning one’s health (β = 2.87, 95% CI 0.04–5.70), residing in large cities (β = 19.40, 95% CI 13.78–25.03), access to official COVID-19 information sources (β = 16.45, 95% CI 6.82–26.08), and working in healthcare/medical students (β = 22.53, 95% CI 16.00–29.07) were associated with a higher adherence score to anti-COVID instructions. In conclusion, this study confirmed a high degree of adherence to personal and community preventive behavior among Vietnamese people. Our findings are consistent with the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Vietnam, where there have been few infections and no recorded deaths up to the first week of July 2020.


3. Alcohol consumption and attributable harm in middle-income South-East Asian countries: Epidemiology and policy options

Bundit Sornpaisarn, Kevin Shield, Jakob Manthey, YurikoLimmade, Wah Yun Low, Vo Van Thang, Jürgen Rehm

Background Factors and policies which potentially explain the changes in alcohol consumption and related harms from 2010 to 2017 in 11 middle-income countries in the South-East Asian region (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam) were examined.

Methods Using secondary data from UN agencies, we analyzed trends in alcohol consumption, alcohol-attributable deaths and the burden of disease.

Results Starting from a level of consumption significantly below the global average—especially among the Muslim-majority countries (Maldives, Indonesia, and Malaysia)—the majority of the countries in this region had markedly increased their alcohol consumption along with the economic development they experienced between 2010 and 2017. In fact, five middle-income countries in this region (Vietnam, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Timor-Leste) were in the top 12 countries globally based on absolute increases in adult alcohol per capita consumption (APC). The Philippines and Malaysia were the exceptions, as they had reduced their APC over this period. The majority of South-East Asian countries had parallel increasing trends in the age-standardized alcohol-attributable deaths and DALYs since 2010, in contrast to global trends. While all countries put some alcohol control policies in place, there were differences in the number and strength of the policies applied, commensurate with trends in consumption. In particular, three of the countries which were most successful in reducing consumption and harm (Malaysia, Philippines, and Sri Lanka) applied more effective tax methods based on specific taxation alone or in combination with another taxation method, applying higher taxation rates and regularly increasing them over time.

Conclusion To achieve the global target and the Sustainable Development Goal in reducing alcohol consumption worldwide, middle-income countries, especially lower-middle-income countries, should employ stricter alcohol control policies, and apply an appropriate excise tax on alcohol products with regular increases to reflect inflation.


Dr. Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhan - from Nutrition Department, Faculty of Public Health, Hue UMP was doing anthropology measurement at Phu Tien village in "The project Scaling-up nutrition-sensitive agricultural initiatives in poor mountainous areas in Viet Nam and Lao PDR (NSA project) 2017 – 2020". (Photo source: Photo book of NSA project)


4. Relationships among cyberbullying, parental attitudes, self-harm and suicidal behavior among adolescents: results from a school-based survey in Vietnam

Hoang Thuy Linh Nguyen, Keiko Nakamura, Kaoruko Seino and Van Thang Vo

Background: The rapid and widespread development of social networking sites has created a venue for an increase in cyberbullying among adolescents. Protective mechanisms and actions must be considered, such as how proximal family factors can prevent self-harm and suicidal behaviors among adolescents exposed to cyberbullying. The present study examined the associations among cyberbullying, parental attitudes, self-harm, and suicidal behaviors after adjusting for confounding factors. Methods: Data were obtained from a school-based survey of randomly selected grade 6 students (11 years old) performed in Hue City, Vietnam, in 2018. A total of 648 students were interviewed face-to-face using a structured questionnaire based on the Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS). Univariate, multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed at 95% confidence level. Results: After adjusting for gender, perceived academic pressure, unhealthy behaviors, use of Internet devices, school bullying, and family living situation, a significantly higher risk of self-harm was detected among those who had experienced cyberbullying (adjusted odd ratio [AOR] = 2.97; 95% CI, 1.32–6.71). Parental acceptance retained a significant association with self-harm and suicidal behavior (P < 0.05) while parental concentration did not exhibit a significant association in a multivariable logistic regression model. In addition, suicidal ideation and suicidal planning were associated with an interaction effect between cyberbullying and parental concentration (AOR = 0.37; 95% CI, 0.15–0.94 and AOR = 0.23; 95% CI, 0.06–0.87, respectively). Conclusion: Cyberbullying has become an important phenomenon associated with self-harm among young adolescents in developing countries, and parental acceptance in proxy of parental attitude was positively related with severe mental health issues among adolescents. Thus, sufficient attention in efforts to promote adolescent health should be focused on family factors in the digital era of developing countries.


Field trip meeting in Phu Vang district health center with Dr. Kaoruko Seino (from Tokyo Medical and Dental University) before conducting collaborative study between Tokyo Medical Dental University and ICHR.


5. Association Between a Wider Availability of Health Information and Health Care Utilization in Vietnam: Cross-Sectional Study

Hoang Thuy Linh Nguyen, Keiko Nakamura, Kaoruko Seino, Van Thang Vo

Background: The rapid and widespread development of mass media sources including the Internet is occurring worldwide. Users are being confronted with a flood of health information through a wide availability of sources. Studies on how the availability of health information has triggered users' interest in utilizing health care services remain limited within the Vietnamese population.

Objective: This study examined the associations between the wider availability of sources for health information and health care utilization in Vietnam after adjusting for potential confounding variables.

Methods: The data for this study were drawn from a cross-sectional study conducted over a 6-month period in Hue, a city in central Vietnam. The participants were 993 randomly selected adults aged between 18 and 60 years. Information was collected through face-to-face interviews on the types of information sources that were consulted, including traditional media (television), Internet, and health education courses, as well as the impact of such information on health care use (emergency department visits, hospitalizations, doctor visits). Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed at a 95% confidence level.

Results: The prevalence of watching television, using the Internet, and attending health education courses to obtain health information were 50.9% (505/993), 32.9% (327/993), and 8.7% (86/993), respectively. After further adjustments for self-reported health status, the presence of health insurance, and monthly income, respondents who watched television and used the Internet to obtain health information were 1.7 times more likely to visit a doctor (television: adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.69, 95% CI 1.30-2.19; Internet: AOR 1.64, 95% CI 1.23-2.19), and also significantly associated with inpatient hospitalization (P=.003).

Conclusions: The use of widely available mass media sources (eg, television and the Internet) to obtain health information was associated with higher health care utilization. How this interest in health-related information can be used so that it will have a beneficial effect on care-seeking behavior should be a topic of concern to further health promotion in developing countries.


6. Predictors of condom use behaviour among male street labourers in urban Vietnam using a modified Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills (IMB) model

Nguyen Van Huy, Michael P Dunne and Joseph Debattista

HIV risk in vulnerable groups such as itinerant male street labourers is often examined via a focus on individual determinants. This study provides a test of a modified Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills (IMB) model to predict condom use behaviour among male street workers in urban Vietnam. In a cross-sectional survey using a social mapping technique, 450 male street labourers from 13 districts of Hanoi, Vietnam were recruited and interviewed. Collected data were first examined for completeness; structural equation modelling was then employed to test the model fit. Condoms were used inconsistently by many of these men, and usage varied in relation to a number of factors. A modified IMB model had a better fit than the original IMB model in predicting condom use behaviour. This modified model accounted for 49% of the variance, versus 10% by the original version. In the modified model, the influence of psychosocial factors was moderately high, whilst the influence of HIV prevention information, motivation and perceived behavioural skills was moderately low, explaining in part the limited level of condom use behaviour. This study provides insights into social factors that should be taken into account in public health planning to promote safer sexual behaviour among Asian male street labourers.

Quynh Anh Tran - PhD student from QUT university, Australia. She conducted "Adverse childhood experiences and the health of university students in eight provinces of Vietnam" project with Prof. Michael Dunne, Prof. Vo Van Thang in the partnership between QUT and ICHR.


7. Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Health of University Students in Eight Provinces of Vietnam

Quynh Anh Tran, Michael P. Dunne, Thang Van Vo, Ngoc Hoat Luu 

Recent systematic reviews have emphasized the need for more research into the health and social impacts of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in the Asia-Pacific region. This cross-sectional study was conducted with 2099 young adult students in 8 medical universities throughout Vietnam. An anonymous, self-report questionnaire included the World Health Organization ACE-International Questionnaire and standardized measures of mental and physical health. Three quarters (76%) of the students reported at least one exposure to ACEs; 21% had 4 or more ACEs. The most commonly reported adversities were emotional abuse, physical abuse, and witnessing a household member being treated violently (42.3%, 39.9%, and 34.6%, respectively). Co-occurrence of ACEs had dose–response relationships with poor mental health, suicidal ideation, and low physical health–related quality of life. This first multisite study of ACEs among Vietnamese university students provided evidence that childhood adversity is common and is significantly linked with impaired health and well-being into the early adult years