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1.
BMC Med Educ ; 22(1): 375, 2022 May 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1846830

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated rapid changes in medical education to protect students and patients from the risk of infection. Virtual Patient Simulators (VPS) provide a simulated clinical environment in which students can interview and examine a patient, order tests and exams, prioritize interventions, and observe response to therapy, all with minimal risk to themselves and their patients. Like high-fidelity simulators (HFS), VPS are a tool to improve curricular integration. Unlike HFS, VPS require limited infrastructure investment and can be used in low-resource settings. Few studies have examined the impact of VPS training on clinical education. This international, multicenter cohort study was designed to assess the impact of small-group VPS training on individual learning process and curricular integration from the perspective of nursing and medical students. METHODS: We conducted a multi-centre, international cohort study of nursing and medical students. Baseline perceptions of individual learning process and curricular integration were assessed using a 27-item pre-session questionnaire. Students subsequently participated in small-group VPS training sessions lead by a clinical tutor and then completed a 32-item post-session questionnaire, including 25 paired items. Pre- and post-session responses were compared to determine the impact of the small-group VPS experience. RESULTS: Participants included 617 nursing and medical students from 11 institutions in 8 countries. At baseline, nursing students reported greater curricular integration and more clinical and simulation experience than did medical students. After exposure to small-group VPS training, participants reported significant improvements in 5/6 items relating to individual learning process and 7/7 items relating to curricular integration. The impact of the VPS experience was similar amongst nursing and medical students. CONCLUSIONS: In this multi-centre study, perceptions of individual learning process and curricular integration improved after exposure to small-group VPS training. Nursing and medical students showed similar impact. Small-group VPS training is an accessible, low-risk educational strategy that can improve student perceptions of individual learning process and curricular integration.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Education, Medical/methods , Education, Nursing/methods , Patient Simulation , Students, Medical , Students, Nursing , Virtual Reality , Clinical Competence , Cohort Studies , Humans , Pandemics
2.
PLoS One ; 17(4): e0266770, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1817484

ABSTRACT

Only a small proportion of COVID-19 patients in Canada have been recruited into clinical research studies. One reason is that few community intensive care units (ICUs) in Canada participate in research. The objective of this study was to examine the motivating factors, barriers and facilitators to research participation amongst Canadian community ICU stakeholders. A cross-sectional online survey was distributed between May and November 2020. The survey focused on 6 domains: participant demographics, ICU characteristics, ICU research infrastructure, motivating factors, perceived barriers, and perceived facilitators. Responses were received from 73 community ICU stakeholders, representing 18 ICUs. 7/18 ICUs had a clinical research program. Participants rated their interest in pandemic research at a mean of 5.2 (Standard Deviation [SD] = 1.9) on a 7-point Likert scale from 'not interested' to 'very interested'. The strongest motivating factor for research participation was the belief that research improves clinical care and outcomes. The most significant facilitators of research involvement were the availability of an experienced research coordinator and dedicated external funding to cover start-up costs, while the most significant barriers to research involvement were a lack of start-up funding for a research coordinator and a lack of ICU research experience. Canadian Community ICU stakeholders are interested in participating in pandemic research but lack basic infrastructure, research personnel, research experience and start-up funding. Evolution of a research support model at community hospitals, where most patients receive acute care, may increase research participation and improve the generalizability of funded research in Canada.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Canada/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Surveys and Questionnaires
7.
CMAJ ; 194(7): E242-E251, 2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714791

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The role of remdesivir in the treatment of patients in hospital with COVID-19 remains ill defined in a global context. The World Health Organization Solidarity randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluated remdesivir in patients across many countries, with Canada enrolling patients using an expanded data collection format in the Canadian Treatments for COVID-19 (CATCO) trial. We report on the Canadian findings, with additional demographics, characteristics and clinical outcomes, to explore the potential for differential effects across different health care systems. METHODS: We performed an open-label, pragmatic RCT in Canadian hospitals, in conjunction with the Solidarity trial. We randomized patients to 10 days of remdesivir (200 mg intravenously [IV] on day 0, followed by 100 mg IV daily), plus standard care, or standard care alone. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes included changes in clinical severity, oxygen- and ventilator-free days (at 28 d), incidence of new oxygen or mechanical ventilation use, duration of hospital stay, and adverse event rates. We performed a priori subgroup analyses according to duration of symptoms before enrolment, age, sex and severity of symptoms on presentation. RESULTS: Across 52 Canadian hospitals, we randomized 1282 patients between Aug. 14, 2020, and Apr. 1, 2021, to remdesivir (n = 634) or standard of care (n = 648). Of these, 15 withdrew consent or were still in hospital, for a total sample of 1267 patients. Among patients assigned to receive remdesivir, in-hospital mortality was 18.7%, compared with 22.6% in the standard-of-care arm (relative risk [RR] 0.83 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.67 to 1.03), and 60-day mortality was 24.8% and 28.2%, respectively (95% CI 0.72 to 1.07). For patients not mechanically ventilated at baseline, the need for mechanical ventilation was 8.0% in those assigned remdesivir, and 15.0% in those receiving standard of care (RR 0.53, 95% CI 0.38 to 0.75). Mean oxygen-free and ventilator-free days at day 28 were 15.9 (± standard deviation [SD] 10.5) and 21.4 (± SD 11.3) in those receiving remdesivir and 14.2 (± SD 11) and 19.5 (± SD 12.3) in those receiving standard of care (p = 0.006 and 0.007, respectively). There was no difference in safety events of new dialysis, change in creatinine, or new hepatic dysfunction between the 2 groups. INTERPRETATION: Remdesivir, when compared with standard of care, has a modest but significant effect on outcomes important to patients and health systems, such as the need for mechanical ventilation. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, no. NCT04330690.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , COVID-19/drug therapy , Hospital Mortality , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Adenosine Monophosphate/administration & dosage , Adenosine Monophosphate/adverse effects , Aged , Alanine/administration & dosage , Alanine/adverse effects , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Canada/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Can J Anaesth ; 69(3): 293-297, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1712366

Subject(s)
Pandemics , Canada , Humans
9.
BMJ Open ; 11(9): e052842, 2021 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1448019

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: There is considerable variability in symptoms and severity of COVID-19 among patients infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Linking host and virus genome sequence information to antibody response and biological information may identify patient or viral characteristics associated with poor and favourable outcomes. This study aims to (1) identify characteristics of the antibody response that result in maintained immune response and better outcomes, (2) determine the impact of genetic differences on infection severity and immune response, (3) determine the impact of viral lineage on antibody response and patient outcomes and (4) evaluate patient-reported outcomes of receiving host genome, antibody and viral lineage results. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A prospective, observational cohort study is being conducted among adult patients with COVID-19 in the Greater Toronto Area. Blood samples are collected at baseline (during infection) and 1, 6 and 12 months after diagnosis. Serial antibody titres, isotype, antigen target and viral neutralisation will be assessed. Clinical data will be collected from chart reviews and patient surveys. Host genomes and T-cell and B-cell receptors will be sequenced. Viral genomes will be sequenced to identify viral lineage. Regression models will be used to test associations between antibody response, physiological response, genetic markers and patient outcomes. Pathogenic genomic variants related to disease severity, or negative outcomes will be identified and genome wide association will be conducted. Immune repertoire diversity during infection will be correlated with severity of COVID-19 symptoms and human leucocyte antigen-type associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Participants can learn their genome sequencing, antibody and viral sequencing results; patient-reported outcomes of receiving this information will be assessed through surveys and qualitative interviews. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study was approved by Clinical Trials Ontario Streamlined Ethics Review System (CTO Project ID: 3302) and the research ethics boards at participating hospitals. Study findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations and end-users.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Genome-Wide Association Study , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
10.
Infection ; 49(3): 377-385, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384709

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: CRISPR gene-editing technology has the potential to transform the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases, but most clinicians are unaware of its broad applicability. Derived from an ancient microbial defence system, these so-called "molecular scissors" enable precise gene editing with a low error rate. However, CRISPR systems can also be targeted against pathogenic DNA or RNA sequences. This potential is being combined with innovative delivery systems to develop new therapeutic approaches to infectious diseases. METHODS: We searched Pubmed and Google Scholar for CRISPR-based strategies in the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. Reference lists were reviewed and synthesized for narrative review. RESULTS: CRISPR-based strategies represent a novel approach to many challenging infectious diseases. CRISPR technologies can be harnessed to create rapid, low-cost diagnostic systems, as well as to identify drug-resistance genes. Therapeutic strategies, such as CRISPR systems that cleave integrated viral genomes or that target resistant bacteria, are in development. CRISPR-based therapies for emerging viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, have also been proposed. Finally, CRISPR systems can be used to reprogram human B cells to produce neutralizing antibodies. The risks of CRISPR-based therapies include off-target and on-target modifications. Strategies to control these risks are being developed and a phase 1 clinical trials of CRISPR-based therapies for cancer and monogenic diseases are already underway. CONCLUSIONS: CRISPR systems have broad applicability in the field of infectious diseases and may offer solutions to many of the most challenging human infections.


Subject(s)
CRISPR-Cas Systems , Communicable Diseases/diagnosis , Communicable Diseases/therapy , Animals , Bacteria/genetics , Bacteria/isolation & purification , Bacteria/pathogenicity , Gene Editing , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Molecular Targeted Therapy , Viruses/genetics , Viruses/isolation & purification , Viruses/pathogenicity
11.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0254708, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1354758

ABSTRACT

Intensive care unit healthcare workers (ICU HCW) are at risk of mental health issues during emerging disease outbreaks. A study of ICU HCW from France revealed symptoms of anxiety and depression in 50.4% and 30.4% of workers at the peak of the first wave of the pandemic. The level of COVID-19 exposure of these ICU HCW was very high. In Canada, ICU HCW experienced variable exposure to COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic, with some hospitals seeing large numbers of patients while others saw few or none. In this study we examined the relationship between COVID-19 exposure and mental health in Canadian ICU HCW. We conducted a cross-sectional cohort study of Canadian ICU HCW in April 2020, during the acceleration phase of the first wave of the pandemic. Psychosocial distress was assessed using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Participants were asked about sources of stress as well as about exposure to COVID-19 patients and availability of personal protective equipment (PPE). Factors associated with clinically-relevant psychosocial distress were identified. Responses were received from 310 Canadian ICU HCW affiliated with more than 30 institutions. Of these, 64.5% scored ≥ 3 points on the GHQ-12 questionnaire, indicating clinically-relevant psychosocial distress. The frequency of psychosocial distress was highest amongst registered nurses (75.7%) and lowest amongst physicians (49.4%). It was also higher amongst females (64.9%) than males (47.6%). Although PPE availability was good (> 80% of participants reported adequate availability), there was significant anxiety with respect to PPE availability, with respect to the risk of being infected with COVID-19, and with respect to the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to others. In multivariable regression analysis, Anxiety with respect to being infected with COVID-19 (OR 1.53, CI 1.31-1.81) was the strongest positive predictor of clinically-relevant psychosocial distress while the Number of shifts with COVID-19 exposure (OR 0.86, CI 0.75-0.95) was the strongest negative predictor. In summary, clinically-relevant psychosocial distress was identified amongst a majority of ICU HCW during the acceleration phase of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, including those with minimal or no exposure to COVID-19. Strategies to support mental health amongst ICU HCW are required across the entire healthcare system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Personnel/psychology , Intensive Care Units , Mental Health , Occupational Stress/psychology , Psychological Distress , Adult , Canada , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires
12.
Intensive Care Med ; 47(4): 470-472, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1107752
13.
Intensive Care Med ; 47(3): 282-291, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1092644

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) has posed unprecedented healthcare system challenges, some of which will lead to transformative change. It is obvious to healthcare workers and policymakers alike that an effective critical care surge response must be nested within the overall care delivery model. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted key elements of emergency preparedness. These include having national or regional strategic reserves of personal protective equipment, intensive care unit (ICU) devices, consumables and pharmaceuticals, as well as effective supply chains and efficient utilization protocols. ICUs must also be prepared to accommodate surges of patients and ICU staffing models should allow for fluctuations in demand. Pre-existing ICU triage and end-of-life care principles should be established, implemented and updated. Daily workflow processes should be restructured to include remote connection with multidisciplinary healthcare workers and frequent communication with relatives. The pandemic has also demonstrated the benefits of digital transformation and the value of remote monitoring technologies, such as wireless monitoring. Finally, the pandemic has highlighted the value of pre-existing epidemiological registries and agile randomized controlled platform trials in generating fast, reliable data. The COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder that besides our duty to care, we are committed to improve. By meeting these challenges today, we will be able to provide better care to future patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Critical Care/trends , Pandemics , Critical Care/organization & administration , Disaster Planning , Humans , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Monitoring, Physiologic/instrumentation , Monitoring, Physiologic/methods , Personal Protective Equipment , Surge Capacity , Telemedicine , Workflow
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