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Public Health Rev ; 43: 1604583, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933950


Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted health care for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and necessitated strategies to minimize contact with facilities. We aimed to examine factors influencing implementation of remote (non-facility-based) delivery approaches for people with hypertension and/or diabetes in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), to inform NCD care delivery during health service disruption, including humanitarian crises. Methods: Our narrative review used a hermeneutic and purposive approach, including primary studies conducted in LMICs, which assessed implementation factors influencing remote NCD care delivery. Results were analyzed using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. Results: Twenty-eight included studies revealed the strong influence of both internal organizational and broader contextual factors, such as community health worker policies or technological environment. Addressing patients' specific characteristics, needs and resources was important for implementation success. Conclusion: This review highlighted the multiple, complex, interdependent factors influencing implementation of remote NCD care in LMICs. Our findings may inform actors designing NCD care delivery in contexts where facility-based access is challenging. Implementation research is needed to evaluate context-adapted e-Health, community-based, and simplified clinical management strategies to facilitate remote NCD care.

BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 750, 2022 04 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793963


BACKGROUND: Testing is a foundational component of any COVID-19 management strategy; however, emerging evidence suggests that barriers and hesitancy to COVID-19 testing may affect uptake or participation and often these are multiple and intersecting factors that may vary across population groups. To this end, Health Canada's COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel commissioned this rapid review in January 2021 to explore the available evidence in this area. The aim of this rapid review was to identify barriers to COVID-19 testing and strategies used to mitigate these barriers. METHODS: Searches (completed January 8, 2021) were conducted in MEDLINE, Scopus, medRxiv/bioRxiv, Cochrane and online grey literature sources to identify publications that described barriers and strategies related to COVID-19 testing. RESULTS: From 1294 academic and 97 grey literature search results, 31 academic and 31 grey literature sources were included. Data were extracted from the relevant papers. The most cited barriers were cost of testing; low health literacy; low trust in the healthcare system; availability and accessibility of testing sites; and stigma and consequences of testing positive. Strategies to mitigate barriers to COVID-19 testing included: free testing; promoting awareness of importance to testing; presenting various testing options and types of testing centres (i.e., drive-thru, walk-up, home testing); providing transportation to testing centres; and offering support for self-isolation (e.g., salary support or housing). CONCLUSION: Various barriers to COVID-19 testing and strategies for mitigating these barriers were identified. Further research to test the efficacy of these strategies is needed to better support testing for COVID-19 by addressing testing hesitancy as part of the broader COVID-19 public health response.

COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans
BMJ Open ; 12(4): e053122, 2022 04 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1794501


INTRODUCTION: There is an urgent need to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), particularly in low-and middle-income countries, where the greatest burden lies. Yet, there is little research concerning the specific issues involved in scaling up NCD interventions targeting low-resource settings. We propose to examine this gap in up to 27 collaborative projects, which were funded by the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) 2019 Scale Up Call, reflecting a total funding investment of approximately US$50 million. These projects represent diverse countries, contexts and adopt varied approaches and study designs to scale-up complex, evidence-based interventions to improve hypertension and diabetes outcomes. A systematic inquiry of these projects will provide necessary scientific insights into the enablers and challenges in the scale up of complex NCD interventions. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will apply systems thinking (a holistic approach to analyse the inter-relationship between constituent parts of scaleup interventions and the context in which the interventions are implemented) and adopt a longitudinal mixed-methods study design to explore the planning and early implementation phases of scale up projects. Data will be gathered at three time periods, namely, at planning (TP), initiation of implementation (T0) and 1-year postinitiation (T1). We will extract project-related data from secondary documents at TP and conduct multistakeholder qualitative interviews to gather data at T0 and T1. We will undertake descriptive statistical analysis of TP data and analyse T0 and T1 data using inductive thematic coding. The data extraction tool and interview guides were developed based on a literature review of scale-up frameworks. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The current protocol was approved by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC number 23482). Informed consent will be obtained from all participants. The study findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications and more broadly through the GACD network.

Diabetes Mellitus , Hypertension , Noncommunicable Diseases , Developing Countries , Diabetes Mellitus/therapy , Humans , Hypertension/diagnosis , Hypertension/therapy , Noncommunicable Diseases/therapy , Systems Analysis
Int J Health Serv ; 51(3): 337-349, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1166719


To promote postpandemic recovery, many countries have adopted economic packages that include fiscal, monetary, and financial policy measures; however, the effects of these policies may not be known for several years or more. There is an opportunity for decision makers to learn from past policies that facilitated recovery from other disease outbreaks, crises, and natural disasters that have had a devastating effect on economies around the world. To support the development of the United Nations Research Roadmap for COVID-19 Recovery, this review examined and synthesized peer-reviewed studies and gray literature that focused on macroeconomic policy responses and multilateral coalition strategies from past pandemics and crises to provide a map of the existing evidence. We conducted a systematic search of academic and gray literature databases. After screening, we found 22 records that were eligible for this review. The evidence found demonstrates that macroeconomic and multilateral coalition strategies have various impacts on a diverse set of countries and populations. Although the studies were heterogeneous in nature, most did find positive results for macroeconomic intervention policies that addressed investments to strengthen health and social protection systems, specifically cash and unconventional/nonstandard monetary measures, in-kind transfers, social security financing, and measures geared toward certain population groups.

COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Financing, Government/organization & administration , Global Health , International Cooperation , Cooperative Behavior , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United Nations
BMC Emerg Med ; 21(1): 39, 2021 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1158198


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is a major public health problem. Subsequently, emergency medical services (EMS) have anecdotally experienced fluctuations in demand, with reports across Canada of both increased and decreased demand. Our primary objective was to assess the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on call volumes for several determinants in Niagara Region EMS. Our secondary objective was to assess changes in paramedic-assigned patient acuity scores as determined using the Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS). METHODS: We analyzed data from a regional EMS database related to call type, volume, and patient acuity for January to May 2016-2020. We used statistical methods to assess differences in EMS calls between 2016 and 2019 and 2020. RESULTS: A total of 114,507 EMS calls were made for the period of January 1 to May 26 between 2016 and 2020, inclusive. Overall, the incidence rate of EMS calls significantly decreased in 2020 compared to the total EMS calls in 2016-2019. Motor vehicle collisions decreased in 2020 relative to 2016-2019 (17%), while overdoses relatively increased (70%) in 2020 compared to 2016-2019. Calls for patients assigned a higher acuity score increased (CTAS 1) (4.1% vs. 2.9%). CONCLUSION: We confirmed that overall, EMS calls have decreased since the emergence of COVID-19. However, this effect on call volume was not consistent across all call determinants, as some call types rose while others decreased. These findings indicate that COVID-19 may have led to actual changes in emergency medical service demand and will be of interest to other services planning for future pandemics or further waves of COVID-19.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Medical Services/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Responders/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Triage/statistics & numerical data , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emergency Medical Technicians/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Ontario , Patient Acuity , Urban Health Services/statistics & numerical data
Can J Public Health ; 112(1): 4-7, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1083408


Older adults in social housing have high rates of chronic diseases and live in clustered housing, creating the ideal situation for a tragic outbreak in this vulnerable population, which has been largely unrecognized in the public health discourse. It is estimated that two thirds of this population have cardiometabolic conditions that put them at higher risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19. In addition, their social isolation, low mobility, low health literacy, and limited internet access are barriers to accessing basic needs, health information, and health care in a Canadian context where many services have moved to virtual platforms. Since older adults in social housing tend to be clustered in apartment buildings with shared facilities, there is an increased risk of exposure through common spaces (e.g., elevator, laundry room) and high-touch surfaces. Compared to long-term care homes, there is substantial movement in and out of social housing buildings as residents are required to go out to meet their basic needs and individuals providing support enter the buildings without screening (e.g., personal support workers, volunteers delivering groceries). Without a targeted public health strategy to support this vulnerable population, we surmise that social housing will be the next COVID-19 hotspot.

RéSUMé: Les adultes âgés en logement social présentent des taux élevés de maladies chroniques et vivent dans des logements regroupés, une situation propice à une éclosion tragique dans cette population vulnérable largement laissée pour compte dans le discours de la santé publique. Il est estimé que les deux tiers de ces adultes ont des troubles cardiométaboliques qui les exposent davantage aux résultats défavorables de la COVID-19. En outre, leur isolement social, leur faible mobilité, leur faible littératie en santé et leur accès limité à l'Internet font obstacle à la satisfaction de leurs besoins fondamentaux et à leur accès aux renseignements médicaux et aux soins de santé dans un contexte canadien où de nombreux services ne sont maintenant offerts que sur des plateformes virtuelles. Comme les adultes âgés en logement social tendent à être regroupés dans des immeubles d'appartements avec des installations communes, les espaces communs (ascenseur, salle de lavage) et les surfaces souvent touchées leur font courir un risque d'exposition accru. Comparativement aux maisons de soins de longue durée, il y a de nombreux va-et-vient dans les immeubles de logements sociaux, car les résidents doivent sortir pour satisfaire leurs besoins fondamentaux, et les personnes qui les aident (préposés aux services de soutien à la personne, bénévoles qui livrent des produits d'épicerie) entrent dans l'immeuble sans être assujetties à un contrôle. En l'absence d'une stratégie de santé publique pour appuyer cette population vulnérable, nous présumons que les logements sociaux seront le prochain « point chaud ¼ de la COVID-19.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Hotspot , Housing for the Elderly , Aged , COVID-19/transmission , Canada/epidemiology , Humans