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1.
BMJ Open ; 12(2), 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1848367

ABSTRACT

ObjectivesAdverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can affect life-course health and well-being, including risk-taking behaviour and trust. This study explored associations between ACEs and trust in health information on COVID-19, attitudes towards and compliance with COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine hesitancy.DesignNational cross-sectional telephone survey using a sample of landline and mobile numbers stratified by Health Board, deprivation quintile and age group.SettingHouseholds in Wales during national COVID-19 restrictions (December 2020 to March 2021).Participants2285 Welsh residents aged ≥18 years.MeasuresNine ACEs;low trust in National Health Service (NHS) COVID-19 information;supporting removal of social distancing and mandatory face coverings;breaking COVID-19 restrictions;and vaccine hesitancy (rejection or uncertainty of vaccination).ResultsIncreasing ACE counts were independently related to low trust in NHS COVID-19 information, feeling unfairly restricted by government and ending mandatory face coverings. High ACE counts (4+ vs 0 ACEs) were also associated with supporting removal of social distancing. Breaking COVID-19 restrictions increased with ACE count with likelihood doubling from no ACEs to 4+ ACEs. Vaccine hesitancy was threefold higher with 4+ ACEs (vs 0 ACEs) and higher in younger age groups. Thus, modelled estimates of vaccine hesitancy ranged from 3.42% with no ACEs, aged ≥70 years, to 38.06% with 4+ ACEs, aged 18–29 years.ConclusionsACEs are common across populations of many countries. Understanding how they impact trust in health advice and uptake of medical interventions could play a critical role in the continuing response to COVID-19 and controlling future pandemics. Individuals with ACEs suffer greater health risks throughout life and may also be excluded from interventions that reduce infection risks. While pandemic responses should consider how best to reach those suffering from ACEs, longer term, better compliance with public health advice is another reason to invest in safe and secure childhoods for all children.

2.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 583, 2022 03 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759729

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to successive COVID-19 restrictions in Wales, the Welsh ACE Support Hub launched the #TimeToBeKind campaign in March 2021. The campaign used a short film broadcast on national television and promoted on social media to encourage behaviour change for kindness. We evaluated the #TimeToBeKind campaign film to identify whether watching the film would result in increased intention to act in ways that promote kindness to others and if intentions were associated with being emotionally affected by the film. METHODS: A mixed methods evaluation was employed, using a short online survey and interaction with the film on the Twitter social media platform. The online survey measured public (n = 390) attitudes towards the film including feelings invoked, and behavioural intentions for acts of kindness as a result of viewing the film. Tweets which interacted with the film (n = 59; likes, re-tweets or comments), and tweet sentiment (positive, negative, or neutral) towards the film were also explored. RESULTS: The majority of participants reported positive attitudes to the film and agreed that they understood the campaign message (91.8%). 67.9% reported that the film made them feel upset or sad and for 22.6% the film resonated with their lockdown experience. As a result of seeing the film, 63.6% reported intentions to be kinder to others, 65.6% intended to try and help other members of their community, and 70.5% were more likely to check in on friends, family and neighbours. A higher proportion of individuals who were emotionally affected by the film (e.g. upset or sad, hopeful or encouraged, gained something positive) and those for whom the film resonated with their lockdown experience reported increased kindness behavioural intentions as a result of seeing the film. CONCLUSIONS: Film can be an effective tool to promote behaviour change for kindness. Films that provoke strong emotional reactions can still be perceived positively and lead to behaviour change. With the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating a move online for many, the findings of the present evaluation are relevant to how public health messaging can adapt and utilise this space to target individuals and promote behaviour change.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Mass Media , Pandemics , Wales
3.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 288, 2022 02 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1741938

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Globally, concerns have been raised that the priority implementation of public health measures in response to COVID-19 may have unintended negative impacts on a variety of other health and wellbeing factors, including violence. This study examined the impact of COVID-19 response measures on changes in violence against women and children (VAWC) service utilisation across European countries. METHODS: A rapid assessment design was used to compile data including a survey distributed across WHO Europe Healthy Cities Networks and Violence Injury Prevention Focal Points in WHO European Region member states, and a scoping review of media reports, journal articles, and reports. Searches were conducted in English and Russian and covered the period between 1 January 2020 and 17 September 2020. Data extracted included: country; violence type; service sector; and change in service utilisation during COVID-19. All data pertained to the period during which COVID-19 related public health measures were implemented compared to a period before restrictions were in place. RESULTS: Overall, findings suggested that there was a median reported increase in VAWC service utilisation of approximately 20% during the COVID-19 pandemic. Crucially, however, change in service utilisation differed across sectors. After categorising each estimate as reflecting an increase or decrease in VAWC service utilisation, there was a significant association between sector and change in service utilisation; the majority of NGO estimates (95.1%) showed an increase in utilisation, compared to 58.2% of law enforcement estimates and 42.9% of health and social care estimates. CONCLUSIONS: The variation across sectors in changes in VAWC service utilisation has important implications for policymakers in the event of ongoing and future restrictions related to COVID-19, and more generally during other times of prolonged presence in the home. The increased global attention on VAWC during the pandemic should be used to drive forward the agenda on prevention, increase access to services, and implement better data collection mechanisms to ensure the momentum and increased focus on VAWC during the pandemic is not wasted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Police , SARS-CoV-2 , Violence/prevention & control
4.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 2110, 2021 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523295

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted that individuals with behavioural risk factors commonly associated with non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as smoking, harmful alcohol use, obesity, and physical inactivity, are more likely to experience severe symptoms from COVID-19. These risk factors have been shown to increase the risk of NCDs, but less is known about their broader influence on communicable diseases. Taking a wide focus on a range of common communicable diseases, this review aimed to synthesise research examining the impact of behavioural risk factors commonly associated with NCDs on risks of contracting, or having more severe outcomes from, communicable diseases. METHODS: Literature searches identified systematic reviews and meta-analyses that examined the association between behavioural risk factors (alcohol, smoking, illicit drug use, physical inactivity, obesity and poor diet) and the contraction/severity of common communicable diseases, including infection or associated pathogens. An a priori, prospectively registered protocol was followed (PROSPERO; registration number CRD42020223890). RESULTS: Fifty-three systematic reviews were included, of which 36 were also meta-analyses. Reviews focused on: tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B virus, invasive bacterial diseases, pneumonia, influenza, and COVID-19. Twenty-one reviews examined the association between behavioural risk factors and communicable disease contraction and 35 examined their association with communicable disease outcomes (three examined their association with both contraction and outcomes). Fifty out of 53 reviews (94%) concluded that at least one of the behavioural risk factors studied increased the risk of contracting or experiencing worse health outcomes from a communicable disease. Across all reviews, effect sizes, where calculated, ranged from 0.83 to 8.22. CONCLUSIONS: Behavioural risk factors play a significant role in the risk of contracting and experiencing more severe outcomes from communicable diseases. Prevention of communicable diseases is likely to be most successful if it involves the prevention of behavioural risk factors commonly associated with NCDs. These findings are important for understanding risks associated with communicable disease, and timely, given the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for improvements in future pandemic preparedness. Addressing behavioural risk factors should be an important part of work to build resilience against any emerging and future epidemics and pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Lancet Public Health ; 6(11): e848-e857, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488025

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with increased health risks across the life course. We aimed to estimate the annual health and financial burden of ACEs for 28 European countries. METHODS: In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts, Criminal Justice Databases, and Education Resources Information Center for quantitative studies (published Jan 1, 1990, to Sept 8, 2020) that reported prevalence of ACEs and risks of health outcomes associated with ACEs. Pooled relative risks were calculated for associations between ACEs and harmful alcohol use, smoking, illicit drug use, high body-mass index, depression, anxiety, interpersonal violence, cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and respiratory disease. Country-level ACE prevalence was calculated using available data. Country-level population attributable fractions (PAFs) due to ACEs were generated and applied to 2019 estimates of disability-adjusted life-years. Financial costs (US$ in 2019) were estimated using an adapted human capital approach. FINDINGS: In most countries, interpersonal violence had the largest PAFs due to ACEs (range 14·7-53·5%), followed by harmful alcohol use (15·7-45·0%), illicit drug use (15·2-44·9%), and anxiety (13·9%-44·8%). Harmful alcohol use, smoking, and cancer had the highest ACE-attributable costs in many countries. Total ACE-attributable costs ranged from $0·1 billion (Montenegro) to $129·4 billion (Germany) and were equivalent to between 1·1% (Sweden and Turkey) and 6·0% (Ukraine) of nations' gross domestic products. INTERPRETATION: Availability of ACE data varies widely between countries and country-level estimates cannot be directly compared. However, findings suggest ACEs are associated with major health and financial costs across European countries. The cost of not investing to prevent ACEs must be recognised, particularly as countries look to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, which interrupted services and education, and potentially increased risk factors for ACEs. FUNDING: WHO Regional Office for Europe.


Subject(s)
Adverse Childhood Experiences/economics , Health Care Costs/statistics & numerical data , Europe , Humans
6.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(18)2021 09 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1409544

ABSTRACT

Policy in all sectors affects health, through multiple pathways and determinants. Health in all policies (HiAP) is an approach that seeks to identify and influence the health and equity impacts of policy decisions, to enhance health benefits and avoid harm. This usually involves the use of health impact assessment or health lens analysis. There is growing international experience in these approaches, and some countries have cross-sectoral governance structures that prioritize the assessment of the policies that are most likely to affect health. The fundamental elements of HiAP are inter-sectoral collaboration, policy influence, and holistic consideration of the range of health determinants affected by a policy area or proposal. HiAP requires public health professionals to invest time to build partnerships and engage meaningfully with the sectors affecting the social determinants of health and health equity. With commitment, political will and tools such as the health impact assessment, it provides a powerful approach to integrated policymaking that promotes health, well-being, and equity. The COVID-19 pandemic has raised the profile of public health and highlighted the links between health and other policy areas. This paper describes the rationale for, and principles underpinning, HiAP mechanisms, including HIA, experiences, challenges and opportunities for the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Health Policy , Humans , Policy Making , SARS-CoV-2
7.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1456, 2021 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1329111

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is promoted as a decision-informing tool by public health and governmental agencies. HIA is beneficial when carried out as part of policy development but is also valuable as a methodology when a policy is being implemented to identify and understand the wider health and well-being impacts of policy decisions, particularly when a decision needs to be taken rapidly to protect the population. This paper focusses on a HIA of the 'Staying at Home and Social Distancing Policy' or 'lockdown' in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Wales conducted by the Welsh national public health institute. It describes the process and findings, captures the learning and discusses how the process has been used to better understand the wider health and well-being impacts of policy decisions beyond direct health harm. It also examines the role of public health institutes in promoting and using HIA. METHODS: A HIA was conducted following a standard HIA five step process. A literature review was undertaken alongside 15 qualitative semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, and relevant health and demographic data were collated. The results were triangulated and analysed to form a holistic assessment of the policy decision and its impacts. RESULTS: A wide range of major health and well-being impacts of the lockdown in Wales were identified across the determinants of health, which included positive and negative social, economic, environmental and mental well-being impacts beyond the impact on direct health. Populations affected included children and young people, those on low incomes and women as well as those whose health has been directly impacted by COVID-19 such as older people. The work highlighted the benefit that HIA can bring in emphasizing impacts which can inform policy and shared learning with others. CONCLUSION: HIA is a largely underused tool to understand the impact of policy and political decisions, particularly when a decision has been taken at speed. This case study highlights how HIA provide evidence and information for advocacy and further work by public health institutes, health agencies and policy makers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Impact Assessment , Adolescent , Aged , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Health Policy , Humans , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Policy , SARS-CoV-2 , Wales
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