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1.
BMJ Open ; 11(12): e054666, 2021 Dec 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594963

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To describe the distribution of consultations at the practice level and examine whether increases are uniform or driven by people who consult more frequently. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: UK general practice data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) GOLD database. PARTICIPANTS: 1 699 709 314 consultation events from 12 330 545 patients, in 845 general practices (1 April 2000 to 31 March 2019). METHODS: Consultation information was aggregated by financial year into: all consultations/all staff; all consultations/general practitioners (GPs); face-to-face consultations/all staff; face-to-face consultations/GPs. Patients with a number of consultations above the 90th centile, within each year, were classified as frequent attenders. Negative binomial regressions examined the association between available practice characteristics and consultation distribution. RESULTS: Among frequent attenders, all consultations by GPs increased from a median (25th and 75th centile) of 13 (10 and 16) to 21 (18 and 25) and all consultations by all staff increased from 27 (23-30) to 60 (51-69) over the study period. Approximately four out of ten consultations of any type concerned frequent attenders and the proportion of consultations attributed to them increased over time, particularly for face-to-face consultations with GPs, from a median of 38.0% (35.9%-40.3%) in 2000-2001 to 43.0% (40.6%-46.4%) in 2018-2019. Regression analyses indicated decreasing trends over time for face-to-face consultations and increasing trends for all consultation types, for both GPs and all staff. Frequent attenders consulted approximately five times more than the rest of the practice population, on average, with adjusted incidence rate ratios ranging between 4.992 (95% CI 4.917 to 5.068) for face-to-face consultations with all staff and 5.603 (95% CI 5.560 to 5.647) for all consultations with GPs. CONCLUSIONS: Frequent attenders progressively contributed to increased workload in general practices across the UK from 2000 to 2019. Important knowledge gaps remain in terms of the demographic, social and health characteristics of frequent attenders and how UK general practices can be prepared to meet the needs of these patients.

2.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(11): e2134803, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1516698

ABSTRACT

Importance: Infection with SARS-CoV-2 is associated with fatigue and sleep problems long after the acute phase of COVID-19. In addition, there are concerns of SARS-CoV-2 infection causing psychiatric illness; however, evidence of a direct effect is inconclusive. Objective: To assess risk of risk of incident or repeat psychiatric illness, fatigue, or sleep problems following SARS-CoV-2 infection and to analyze changes according to demographic subgroups. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study assembled matched cohorts using the Clinical Practice Research Datalink Aurum, a UK primary care registry of 11 923 499 individuals aged 16 years or older. Patients were followed-up for up to 10 months, from February 1 to December 9, 2020. Individuals with less than 2 years of historical data or less than 1 week follow-up were excluded. Individuals with positive results on a SARS-CoV-2 test without prior mental illness or with anxiety or depression, psychosis, fatigue, or sleep problems were matched with up to 4 controls based on sex, general practice, and year of birth. Controls were individuals who had negative SARS-CoV-2 test results. Data were analyzed from January to July 2021. Exposure: SARS-CoV-2 infection, determined via polymerase chain reaction testing. Main Outcomes and Measures: Cox proportional hazard models estimated the association between a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result and subsequent psychiatric morbidity (depression, anxiety, psychosis, or self-harm), sleep problems, fatigue, or psychotropic prescribing. Models adjusted for comorbidities, ethnicity, smoking, and body mass index. Results: Of 11 923 105 eligible individuals (6 011 020 [50.4%] women and 5 912 085 [49.6%] men; median [IQR] age, 44 [30-61] years), 232 780 individuals (2.0%) had positive result on a SARS-CoV-2 test. After applying selection criteria, 86 922 individuals were in the matched cohort without prior mental illness, 19 020 individuals had prior anxiety or depression, 1036 individuals had psychosis, 4152 individuals had fatigue, and 4539 individuals had sleep problems. After adjusting for observed confounders, there was an association between positive SARS-CoV-2 test results and psychiatric morbidity (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.83; 95% CI, 1.66-2.02), fatigue (aHR, 5.98; 95% CI, 5.33-6.71), and sleep problems (aHR, 3.16; 95% CI, 2.64-3.78). However, there was a similar risk of incident psychiatric morbidity for those with a negative SARS-CoV-2 test results (aHR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.65-1.77) and a larger increase associated with influenza (aHR, 2.98; 95% CI, 1.55-5.75). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study of individuals registered at an English primary care practice during the pandemic, there was consistent evidence that SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with increased risk of fatigue and sleep problems. However, the results from the negative control analysis suggest that unobserved confounding may be responsible for at least some of the positive association between COVID-19 and psychiatric morbidity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Fatigue/etiology , Pandemics , Psychological Distress , Psychotropic Drugs/therapeutic use , Sleep Wake Disorders/etiology , Sleep , Adult , Anxiety/drug therapy , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/etiology , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Depression/drug therapy , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/etiology , England/epidemiology , Fatigue/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Primary Health Care , Psychotic Disorders/drug therapy , Psychotic Disorders/epidemiology , Psychotic Disorders/etiology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Sleep Wake Disorders/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/etiology
3.
EClinicalMedicine ; 41: 101175, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487700

ABSTRACT

Background: Surveillance of temporal trends in clinically treated self-harm is an important component of suicide prevention in the dynamic context of COVID-19. There is little evidence beyond the initial months following the onset of the pandemic, despite national and regional restrictions persisting to mid-2021. Methods: Descriptive time series analysis utilizing de-identified, primary care health records of 2.8 million patients from the Greater Manchester Care Record. Frequencies of self-harm episodes between 1st January 2019 and 31st May 2021 were examined, including stratification by sex, age group, ethnicity, and index of multiple deprivation quintile. Findings: There were 33,444 episodes of self-harm by 13,148 individuals recorded during the study period. Frequency ratios of incident and all episodes of self-harm were 0.59 (95% CI 0.51 to 0.69) and 0.69 (CI 0.63 to 0.75) respectively in April 2020 compared to February 2020. Between August 2020 and May 2021 frequency ratios were 0.92 (CI 0.88 to 0.96) for incident episodes and 0.86 (CI 0.84 to 0.88) for all episodes compared to the same months in 2019. Reductions were largest among men and people living in the most deprived neighbourhoods, while an increase in all-episode self-harm was observed for adolescents aged 10-17. Interpretation: Reductions in primary care-recorded self-harm persisted to May 2021, though they were less marked than in April 2020 during the first national lockdown. The observed reductions could represent longer term reluctance to seek help from health services. Our findings have implications for the ability for services to offer recommended care for patients who have harmed themselves.

4.
BMJ Qual Saf ; 2021 Oct 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467705

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To compare rates of performing National Institute for Health and Care Excellence-recommended health checks and prescribing in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D), before and after the first COVID-19 peak in March 2020, and to assess whether trends varied by age, sex, ethnicity and deprivation. METHODS: We studied 618 161 people with T2D followed between March and December 2020 from 1744 UK general practices registered with the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. We focused on six health checks: haemoglobin A1c, serum creatinine, cholesterol, urinary albumin excretion, blood pressure and body mass index assessment. Regression models compared observed rates in April 2020 and between March and December 2020 with trend-adjusted expected rates derived from 10-year historical data. RESULTS: In April 2020, in English practices, rates of performing health checks were reduced by 76%-88% when compared with 10-year historical trends, with older people from deprived areas experiencing the greatest reductions. Between May and December 2020, the reduced rates recovered gradually but overall remained 28%-47% lower, with similar findings in other UK nations. Extrapolated to the UK population, there were ~7.4 million fewer care processes undertaken March-December 2020. In England, rates for new medication fell during April with reductions varying from 10% (95% CI: 4% to 16%) for antiplatelet agents to 60% (95% CI: 58% to 62%) for antidiabetic medications. Overall, between March and December 2020, the rate of prescribing new diabetes medications fell by 19% (95% CI: 15% to 22%) and new antihypertensive medication prescribing fell by 22% (95% CI: 18% to 26%), but prescribing of new lipid-lowering or antiplatelet therapy was unchanged. Similar trends were observed across the UK, except for a reduction in new lipid-lowering therapy prescribing in the other UK nations (reduction: 16% (95% CI: 10% to 21%)). Extrapolated to the UK population, between March and December 2020, there were ~31 800 fewer people with T2D prescribed a new type of diabetes medication and ~14 600 fewer prescribed a new type of antihypertensive medication. CONCLUSIONS: Over the coming months, healthcare services will need to manage this backlog of testing and prescribing. We recommend effective communications to ensure patient engagement with diabetes services, monitoring and opportunities for prescribing, and when appropriate use of home monitoring, remote consultations and other innovations in care.

6.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 7: 100144, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260817

ABSTRACT

Background: Excess deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with those expected from historical trends have been unequally distributed, both geographically and socioeconomically. Not all excess deaths have been directly related to COVID-19 infection. We investigated geographical and socioeconomic patterns in excess deaths for major groups of underlying causes during the pandemic. Methods: Weekly mortality data from 27/12/2014 to 2/10/2020 for England and Wales were obtained from the Office of National Statistics. Negative binomial regressions were used to model death counts based on pre-pandemic trends for deaths caused directly by COVID-19 (and other respiratory causes) and those caused indirectly by it (cardiovascular disease or diabetes, cancers, and all other indirect causes) over the first 30 weeks of the pandemic (7/3/2020-2/10/2020). Findings: There were 62,321 (95% CI: 58,849 to 65,793) excess deaths in England and Wales in the first 30 weeks of the pandemic. Of these, 46,221 (95% CI: 45,439 to 47,003) were attributable to respiratory causes, including COVID-19, and 16,100 (95% CI: 13,410 to 18,790) to other causes. Rates of all-cause excess mortality ranged from 78 per 100,000 in the South West of England and in Wales to 130 per 100,000 in the West Midlands; and from 93 per 100,000 in the most affluent fifth of areas to 124 per 100,000 in the most deprived. The most deprived areas had the highest rates of death attributable to COVID-19 and other indirect deaths, but there was no socioeconomic gradient for excess deaths from cardiovascular disease/diabetes and cancer. Interpretation: During the first 30 weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic there was significant geographic and socioeconomic variation in excess deaths for respiratory causes, but not for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Pandemic recovery plans, including vaccination programmes, should take account of individual characteristics including health, socioeconomic status and place of residence. Funding: None.

7.
Lancet Public Health ; 6(2): e124-e135, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1118741

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected population mental health. We aimed to assess temporal trends in primary care-recorded common mental illness, episodes of self-harm, psychotropic medication prescribing, and general practitioner (GP) referrals to mental health services during the COVID-19 emergency in the UK. METHODS: We did a population-based cohort study using primary care electronic health records from general practices registered on the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). We included patient records from Jan 1, 2010, to Sept 10, 2020, to establish long-term trends and patterns of seasonality, but focused primarily on the period January, 2019-September, 2020. We extracted data on clinical codes entered into patient records to estimate the incidence of depression and anxiety disorders, self-harm, prescriptions for antidepressants and benzodiazepines, and GP referrals to mental health services, and assessed event rates of all psychotropic prescriptions and self-harm. We used mean-dispersion negative binomial regression models to predict expected monthly incidence and overall event rates, which were then compared with observed rates to assess the percentage reduction in incidence and event rates after March, 2020. We also stratified analyses by sex, age group, and practice-level Index of Multiple Deprivation quintiles. FINDINGS: We identified 14 210 507 patients from 1697 UK general practices registered in the CPRD databases. In April, 2020, compared with expected rates, the incidence of primary care-recorded depression had reduced by 43·0% (95% CI 38·3-47·4), anxiety disorders by 47·8% (44·3-51·2), and first antidepressant prescribing by 36·4% (33·9-38·8) in English general practices. Reductions in first diagnoses of depression and anxiety disorders were largest for adults of working age (18-44 and 45-64 years) and for patients registered at practices in more deprived areas. The incidence of self-harm was 37·6% (34·8-40·3%) lower than expected in April, 2020, and the reduction was greatest for women and individuals aged younger than 45 years. By September, 2020, rates of incident depression, anxiety disorder, and self-harm were similar to expected levels. In Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, rates of incident depression and anxiety disorder remained around a third lower than expected to September, 2020. In April, 2020, the rate of referral to mental health services was less than a quarter of the expected rate for the time of year (75·3% reduction [74·0-76·4]). INTERPRETATION: Consequences of the considerable reductions in primary care-recorded mental illness and self-harm could include more patients subsequently presenting with greater severity of mental illness and increasing incidence of non-fatal self-harm and suicide. Addressing the effects of future lockdowns and longer-term impacts of economic instability on mental health should be prioritised. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research and Medical Research Council.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Mental Disorders/therapy , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Self-Injurious Behavior/therapy , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , Cohort Studies , Databases, Factual , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Self-Injurious Behavior/epidemiology , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult
8.
Lancet Public Health ; 5(10): e543-e550, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-803320

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To date, research on the indirect impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health of the population and the health-care system is scarce. We aimed to investigate the indirect effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on general practice health-care usage, and the subsequent diagnoses of common physical and mental health conditions in a deprived UK population. METHODS: We did a retrospective cohort study using routinely collected primary care data that was recorded in the Salford Integrated Record between Jan 1, 2010, and May 31, 2020. We extracted the weekly number of clinical codes entered into patient records overall, and for six high-level categories: symptoms and observations, diagnoses, prescriptions, operations and procedures, laboratory tests, and other diagnostic procedures. Negative binomial regression models were applied to monthly counts of first diagnoses of common conditions (common mental health problems, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer), and corresponding first prescriptions of medications indicative of these conditions. We used these models to predict the expected numbers of first diagnoses and first prescriptions between March 1 and May 31, 2020, which were then compared with the observed numbers for the same time period. FINDINGS: Between March 1 and May 31, 2020, 1073 first diagnoses of common mental health problems were reported compared with 2147 expected cases (95% CI 1821 to 2489) based on preceding years, representing a 50·0% reduction (95% CI 41·1 to 56·9). Compared with expected numbers, 456 fewer diagnoses of circulatory system diseases (43·3% reduction, 95% CI 29·6 to 53·5), and 135 fewer type 2 diabetes diagnoses (49·0% reduction, 23·8 to 63·1) were observed. The number of first prescriptions of associated medications was also lower than expected for the same time period. However, the gap between observed and expected cancer diagnoses (31 fewer; 16·0% reduction, -18·1 to 36·6) during this time period was not statistically significant. INTERPRETATION: In this deprived urban population, diagnoses of common conditions decreased substantially between March and May 2020, suggesting a large number of patients have undiagnosed conditions. A rebound in future workload could be imminent as COVID-19 restrictions ease and patients with undiagnosed conditions or delayed diagnosis present to primary and secondary health-care services. Such services should prioritise the diagnosis and treatment of these patients to mitigate potential indirect harms to protect public health. FUNDING: National Institute of Health Research.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Diagnosis , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Diseases/diagnosis , Cerebrovascular Disorders/diagnosis , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/diagnosis , Female , General Practice/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Mental Disorders/diagnosis , Middle Aged , Models, Statistical , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Retrospective Studies , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult
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