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1.
Implement Sci Commun ; 2(1): 139, 2021 Dec 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581964

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study is to develop a theory-driven understanding of the barriers and facilitators underpinning physicians' attitudes and capabilities to implementing SARS-CoV-2 point-of-care (POC) testing into primary care practices. METHODS: We used a secondary qualitative analysis approach to re-analyse data from a qualitative, interview study of 22 primary care physicians from 21 primary care practices across three regions in England. We followed the three-step method based on the Behaviour Change Wheel to identify the barriers to implementing SARS-CoV-2 POC testing and identified strategies to address these challenges. RESULTS: Several factors underpinned primary care physicians' attitudes and capabilities to implement SARS-CoV-2 POC testing into practice. First, limited knowledge of the SARS-CoV-2 POC testing landscape and a demanding workload affected physicians' willingness to use the tests. Second, there was scepticism about the insufficient evidence pertaining to the clinical efficacy and utility of POC tests, which affected physicians' confidence in the accuracy of tests. Third, physicians would adopt POC tests if they were prescribed and recommended by authorities. Fourth, physicians required professional education and training to increase their confidence in using POC tests but also suggested that healthcare assistants should administer the tests. Fifth, physicians expressed concerns about their limited workload capacity and that extra resources are needed to accommodate any anticipated changes. Sixth, information sharing across practices shaped perceptions of POC tests and the quality of information influenced physician perceptions. Seventh, financial incentives could motivate physicians and were also needed to cover the associated costs of testing. Eighth, physicians were worried that society will view primary care as an alternative to community testing centres, which would change perceptions around their professional identity. Ninth, physicians' perception of assurance/risk influenced their willingness to use POC testing if it could help identify infectious individuals, but they were also concerned about the risk of occupational exposure and potentially losing staff members who would need to self-isolate. CONCLUSIONS: Improving primary care physicians' knowledgebase of SARS-CoV-2 POC tests, introducing policies to embed testing into practice, and providing resources to meet the anticipated demands of testing are critical to implementing testing into practice.

2.
Journal of Patient Safety and Risk Management ; : 25160435211054207, 2021.
Article in English | Sage | ID: covidwho-1523271

ABSTRACT

IntroductionSuccessful adoption of POCTs (Point-of-Care tests) for COVID-19 in care homes requires the identification of ideal use cases and a full understanding of the contextual and usability factors that affect test results and minimise biosafety risks. This paper presents a scoping-usability and test performance study of a microfluidic immunofluorescence assay for COVID-19 in care homes.MethodsA mixed-methods evaluation was conducted in four UK care homes to scope usability and to assess the agreement with qRT-PCR. A dry run with luminescent dye was conducted to explore biosafety issues.ResultsThe agreement analysis was conducted on 227 asymptomatic participants (159 staff and 68 residents) and 14 symptomatic participants (5 staff and 9 residents). Asymptomatic specimens showed 50% (95% CI:1.3%?98.7%) positive agreement and 96% (95% CI: 92.5%?98.1%) negative agreement with overall prevalence and bias-adjusted Kappa (PABAK) of 0.911 (95% CI: 0.857?0.965). Symptomatic specimens showed 83.3% (95% CI: 35.9%?99.6%) positive agreement and 100% (95% CI: 63.1%?100%) negative agreement with overall prevalence and bias-adjusted Kappa (PABAK) of 0.857 (95% CI: 0.549?1). The dry run highlighted four main sources of contamination that led to the modification of the standard operating procedures. Simulation post-modification showed no further evidence of contamination.ConclusionCareful consideration of biosafety issues and contextual factors associated with care home are mandatory for safe use the POCT. Whilst POCT may have some utility for ruling out COVID-19, further diagnostic accuracy evaluations are needed to promote effective adoption.

3.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 21(1): 532, 2021 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249555

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is now established, occurring at a time of winter pressure on acute care in the NHS. This is likely to be more challenging then the first wave for the diagnosis of COVID-19 because of the similar symptomology with other respiratory conditions highly prevalent in winter. This study sought to understand the care pathways in place in UK NHS hospitals during the first wave (March-July 2020) for identification of patients with COVID-19 and to learn lessons to inform optimal testing strategies within the COVID-19 National Diagnostic Research and Evaluation Platform (CONDOR). DESIGN, SETTING & PARTICIPANTS: Sixteen hospital-based clinicians from 12 UK NHS Trusts covering 10 different specialties were interviewed following a semi-structured topic guide. Data were coded soon after the interviews and analysed thematically. RESULTS: We developed a diagrammatic, high-level visualisation of the care pathway describing the main clinical decisions associated with the diagnosis and management of patients with suspected COVID-19. COVID-19 testing influenced infection control considerations more so than treatment decisions. Two main features of service provision influenced the patient management significantly: access to rapid laboratory testing and the number of single occupancy rooms. If time to return of result was greater than 24 h, patients with a presumptive diagnosis would often be cohorted based on clinical suspicion alone. Undetected COVID-19 during this time could therefore lead to an increased risk of viral transmission. CONCLUSIONS: During the winter months, priority for provision of rapid testing at admission should be given to hospitals with limited access to laboratory services and single room availability. Access to rapid testing is essential for urgent decisions related to emergency surgery, maternity services and organ transplant. The pathway and prioritization of need will inform the economic modelling, clinical evaluations, and implementation of new clinical tests in UK.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
4.
Age Ageing ; 50(5): 1442-1444, 2021 09 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1226520

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has devastated care homes. Point-of-care tests (POCTs), mainly using lateral flow devices (LFDs), have been deployed hurriedly without much consideration of their usability or impact on care workflow. Even after the pandemic, POCTs, particularly multiplex tests, may be an important control against spread of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory infections in care homes by enabling identification of cases. They should not, however, replace other infection control measures such as barrier methods and quarantine. Adherence to LFDs as implemented among care home staff is suboptimal. Other tests-such as point-of-care polymerase chain reaction and automated antigen tests-would also need to be accommodated into care home workflows to improve adherence. The up-front costs of POCTs are straightforward but additional costs, including staffing preparation and reporting processes and the impacts of false positive and negative tests on absence rates and infection days, are more complex and as yet unquantified. A detailed appraisal is needed as the future of testing in care homes is considered.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , Point-of-Care Testing , Policy , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Viruses ; 13(5)2021 04 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217118

ABSTRACT

No routine laboratory biomarkers perform well enough in diagnosing COVID-19 in isolation for them to be used as a standalone diagnostic test or to help clinicians prioritize patients for treatment. Instead, other diagnostic tests are needed. The aim of this work was to statistically summarise routine laboratory biomarker measurements in COVID-19-positive and -negative patients to inform future work. A systematic literature review and meta-analysis were performed. The search included names of commonly used, routine laboratory tests in the UK NHS, and focused on research papers reporting laboratory results of patients diagnosed with COVID-19. A random effects meta-analysis of the standardized mean difference between COVID-19-positive and -negative groups was conducted for each biomarker. When comparing reported laboratory biomarker results, we identified decreased white blood cell, neutrophil, lymphocyte, eosinophil, and platelet counts; while lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase were elevated in COVID-19-positive compared to COVID-19-negative patients. Differences were identified across a number of routine laboratory biomarkers between COVID-19-positive and -negative patients. Further research is required to identify whether routine laboratory biomarkers can be used in the development of a clinical scoring system to aid with triage of patients.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/analysis , COVID-19/diagnosis , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , United Kingdom/epidemiology
6.
Age Ageing ; 50(5): 1464-1472, 2021 09 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196971

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Reliable rapid testing for COVID-19 is needed in care homes to reduce the risk of outbreaks and enable timely care. This study aimed to examine the usability and test performance of a point of care polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for detection of SARS-CoV-2 (POCKITTM Central) in care homes. METHODS: POCKITTM Central was evaluated in a purposeful sample of four UK care homes. Test agreement with laboratory real-time PCR and usability and used errors were assessed. RESULTS: No significant usability-related hazards emerged, and the sources of error identified were found to be amendable with minor changes in training or test workflow. POCKITTM Central has acceptable sensitivity and specificity based on RT-PCR as the reference standard, especially for symptomatic cases.Asymptomatic specimens showed 83.3% (95% confidence interval (CI): 35.9-99.6%) positive agreement and 98.7% negative agreement (95% CI: 96.2-99.7%), with overall prevalence and bias-adjusted kappa (PABAK) of 0.965 (95% CI: 0.932- 0.999). Symptomatic specimens showed 100% (95% CI: 2.5-100%) positive agreement and 100% negative agreement (95% CI: 85.8-100%), with overall PABAK of 1.Recommendations are provided to mitigate the frequency of occurrence of the residual use errors observed. Integration pathways were discussed to identify opportunities and limitations of adopting POCKIT™ Central for screening and diagnostic testing purposes. CONCLUSIONS: Point-of-care PCR testing in care homes can be considered with appropriate preparatory steps and safeguards. Further diagnostic accuracy evaluations and in-service evaluation studies should be conducted, if the test is to be implemented more widely, to build greater certainty on this initial exploratory analysis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Point-of-Care Systems , Point-of-Care Testing , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Sensitivity and Specificity
7.
Age Ageing ; 50(3): 668-672, 2021 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1043239

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Care home residents are at high risk of dying from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Regular testing, producing rapid and reliable results is important in this population because infections spread quickly, and presentations are often atypical or asymptomatic. This study evaluated current testing pathways in care homes to explore the role of point-of-care tests (POCTs). METHODS: A total of 10 staff from eight care homes, purposively sampled to reflect care organisational attributes that influence outbreak severity, underwent a semi-structured remote videoconference interview. Transcripts were analysed using process mapping tools and framework analysis focussing on perceptions about, gaps within and needs arising from current pathways. RESULTS: Four main steps were identified in testing: infection prevention, preparatory steps, swabbing procedure and management of residents. Infection prevention was particularly challenging for mobile residents with cognitive impairment. Swabbing and preparatory steps were resource-intensive, requiring additional staff resource. Swabbing required flexibility and staff who were familiar to the resident. Frequent approaches to residents were needed to ensure they would participate at a suitable time. After-test management varied between sites. Several homes reported deviating from government guidance to take more cautious approaches, which they perceived to be more robust. CONCLUSION: Swab-based testing is organisationally complex and resource-intensive in care homes. It needs to be flexible to meet the needs of residents and provide care homes with rapid information to support care decisions. POCT could help address gaps but the complexity of the setting means that each technology must be evaluated in context before widespread adoption in care homes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Nursing Homes , Point-of-Care Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
8.
PLoS One ; 15(11): e0242125, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-922707

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent requirement to identify which clinical settings are in most need of COVID-19 tests and the priority role(s) for tests in these settings to accelerate the development of tests fit for purpose in health and social care across the UK. This study sought to identify and prioritize unmet clinical needs for COVID-19 tests across different settings within the UK health and social care sector via an online survey of health and social care professionals and policymakers. Four hundred and forty-seven responses were received between 22nd May and 15th June 2020. Hospitals and care homes were recognized as the settings with the greatest unmet clinical need for COVID-19 diagnostics, despite reporting more access to laboratory molecular testing than other settings. Hospital staff identified a need for diagnostic tests for symptomatic workers and patients. In contrast, care home staff expressed an urgency for screening at the front door to protect high-risk residents and limit transmission. The length of time to test result was considered a widespread problem with current testing across all settings. Rapid tests for staff were regarded as an area of need across general practice and dental settings alongside tests to limit antibiotics use.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Health Services Needs and Demand , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Hospitals , Humans , Nursing Homes , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom
9.
BMC Med ; 18(1): 346, 2020 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-908264

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Tests for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) are pivotal to detecting current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and duration of detectable virus indicating potential for infectivity. METHODS: We conducted an individual participant data (IPD) systematic review of longitudinal studies of RT-PCR test results in symptomatic SARS-CoV-2. We searched PubMed, LitCOVID, medRxiv, and COVID-19 Living Evidence databases. We assessed risk of bias using a QUADAS-2 adaptation. Outcomes were the percentage of positive test results by time and the duration of detectable virus, by anatomical sampling sites. RESULTS: Of 5078 studies screened, we included 32 studies with 1023 SARS-CoV-2 infected participants and 1619 test results, from - 6 to 66 days post-symptom onset and hospitalisation. The highest percentage virus detection was from nasopharyngeal sampling between 0 and 4 days post-symptom onset at 89% (95% confidence interval (CI) 83 to 93) dropping to 54% (95% CI 47 to 61) after 10 to 14 days. On average, duration of detectable virus was longer with lower respiratory tract (LRT) sampling than upper respiratory tract (URT). Duration of faecal and respiratory tract virus detection varied greatly within individual participants. In some participants, virus was still detectable at 46 days post-symptom onset. CONCLUSIONS: RT-PCR misses detection of people with SARS-CoV-2 infection; early sampling minimises false negative diagnoses. Beyond 10 days post-symptom onset, lower RT or faecal testing may be preferred sampling sites. The included studies are open to substantial risk of bias, so the positivity rates are probably overestimated.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
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