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2.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(9)2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504162

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Understanding barriers to childhood vaccination is crucial to inform effective interventions for maximising uptake. Published systematic reviews include different primary studies, producing varying lists of barriers. To make sense of this diverse body of literature, a comprehensive level of summary and synthesis is necessary. This overview of systematic reviews maps all potential parent-level barriers to childhood vaccination identified in systematic reviews. It synthesises these into a conceptual framework to inform development of a vaccine barriers assessment tool. METHODS: We applied Joanna Briggs methodology, searching the Epistemonikos review database and reference lists of included reviews to June 2020. Systematic reviews of qualitative or quantitative data on parent-level barriers to routine vaccination in preschool-aged children were included. Reviews addressing influenza, reporting non-modifiable determinants or reporting barriers not relevant to parents were excluded. Where possible, we extracted review details, barrier descriptions and the number, setting and design of primary studies. Two authors independently screened search results and inductively coded barrier descriptions. RESULTS: We screened 464 papers, identifying 30 relevant reviews with minimal overlap. Fourteen reviews included qualitative and quantitative primary studies, seven included quantitative and seven included qualitative studies only. Two did not report included study designs. Two-thirds of reviews (n=20; 67%) only included primary studies from high-income countries. We extracted 573 barrier descriptions and inductively coded these into 64 unique barriers in six overarching categories: (1) Access, (2) Clinic or Health System Barriers, (3) Concerns and Beliefs, (4) Health Perceptions and Experiences, (5) Knowledge and Information and (6) Social or Family Influence. CONCLUSIONS: A global overview of systematic reviews of parent-level barriers to childhood vaccine uptake identified 64 barriers to inform development of a new comprehensive survey instrument. This instrument will assess both access and acceptance barriers to more accurately diagnose the reasons for under-vaccination in children in different settings.


Subject(s)
Parents , Vaccination , Child , Child, Preschool , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Qualitative Research , Systematic Reviews as Topic
3.
Aust J Prim Health ; 27(5): 357-363, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442865

ABSTRACT

Limited studies at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic found GPs have been negatively affected by increased workload, reduced income and major concerns about staff and patient safety. This study aimed to investigate the challenges of COVID-19 in general practice 1 year since it was declared a pandemic. A national cross-sectional online survey was conducted in March 2021 of a convenience sample of 295 Australian GPs attending an online educational webcast. Twenty-five multipart and free-text questions collected information regarding GPs' main COVID-19-related issues and concerns, including COVID-19 vaccines, useful sources of information, information needs and their perceived role as GPs in COVID-19 management. Descriptive statistics were calculated for all quantitative variables. Content analysis was used to analyse text data from open-ended questions. Of the 596 eligible attendees of the online educational webcast, 295 completed the survey (49.5% response rate). One year since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, GPs still have concerns regarding patients ignoring prescreening and presenting with flu-like symptoms, the safety of their colleagues and family and catching COVID-19 themselves, as well as concerns about the effect of the pandemic on their patients and patients delaying essential care for non-COVID-19 conditions. More education and resources about vaccines was identified as the top information need, which will assist with what GPs' perceived to be their key roles in managing the COVID-19 pandemic, namely educating the public, correcting misunderstandings and providing the COVID-19 vaccine. These findings highlight gaps in communication and information, particularly regarding COVID-19 vaccines. GPs need high-quality information and resources to support them in undertaking complex risk communication with their patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practitioners , Australia , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Vaccine ; 40(17): 2484-2490, 2022 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340877

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccination rollout against COVID-19 is underway across multiple countries worldwide. Although the vaccine is free, rollout might still be compromised by hesitancy or concerns about COVID-19 vaccines. METHODS: We conducted two online surveys of Australian adults in April (during national lockdown; convenience cross-sectional sample) and November (very few cases of COVID-19; nationally representative sample) 2020, prior to vaccine rollout. We asked about intentions to have a potential COVID-19 vaccine (If a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, I will get it) and free-text responses (November only). RESULTS: After adjustment for differences in sample demographics, the estimated proportion agreeing to a COVID-19 vaccine if it became available in April (n = 1146) was 76.3%. In November (n = 1941) this was estimated at 71.5% of the sample; additional analyses identified that the variation was driven by differences in perceived public health threat between April and November. Across both surveys, female gender, being younger, having inadequate health literacy and lower education were associated with reluctance to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Lower perceived susceptibility to COVID-19, belief that data on the efficacy of vaccines is 'largely made up', having lower confidence in government, and lower perception of COVID-19 as a public health threat, were also associated with reluctance to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The top three reasons for agreeing to vaccinate (November only) were to protect myself and others, moral responsibility, and having no reason not to get it. For those who were indifferent or disagreeing to vaccinate, safety concerns were the top reason, followed by indecision and lack of trust in the vaccine respectively. CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight some factors related to willingness to accept a COVID-19 vaccine prior to one being available in Australia. Now that the vaccine is being offered, this study identifies key issues that can inform public health messaging to address vaccine hesitancy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Adult , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
5.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0253930, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1286875

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In Australia in March 2020 a national public health directive required that non-essential workers stay at home, except for essential activities. These restrictions began easing in May 2020 as community transmission slowed. OBJECTIVES: This study investigated changes in COVID prevention behaviours from April-July 2020, and psychosocial predictors of these behaviours. METHODS: An Australia-wide (national) survey was conducted in April, with monthly follow-up over four months. Participants who were adults (18+ years), currently residing in Australia and who could read and understand English were eligible. Recruitment was via online social media. Analysis sample included those who provided responses to the baseline survey (April) and at least one subsequent follow-up survey (N = 1834 out of a possible 3216 who completed the April survey). 71.7% of the sample was female (n = 1,322). Principal components analysis (PCA) combined self-reported adherence across seven prevention behaviours. PCA identified two behaviour types: 'distancing' (e.g. staying 1.5m away) and 'hygiene' (e.g. washing hands), explaining 28.3% and 24.2% of variance, respectively. Distancing and hygiene behaviours were analysed individually using multivariable regression models. RESULTS: On average, participants agreed with statements of adherence for all behaviours (means all above 4 out of 7). Distancing behaviours declined each month (p's < .001), whereas hygiene behaviours remained relatively stable. For distancing, stronger perceptions of societal risk, self-efficacy to maintain distancing, and greater perceived social obligation at baseline were associated with adherence in June and July (p's<0.05). For hygiene, the only significant correlate of adherence in June and July was belief that one's actions could prevent infection of family members (p < .001). CONCLUSION: High adherence to COVID prevention behaviours were reported in this social media sample; however, distancing behaviours tended to decrease over time. Belief in social responsibility may be an important aspect to consider in encouraging distancing behaviours. These findings have implications for managing a shift from government-imposed restrictions to individual responsibility.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Behavior , Social Media , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Hygiene , Male , Middle Aged , Physical Distancing , Principal Component Analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Efficacy , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
6.
JMIRx Med ; 2(1): e25610, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256247

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: It is unclear how people with hypertension are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic given their increased risk, and whether targeted public health strategies are needed. OBJECTIVE: This retrospective case-control study compared people with hypertension to matched healthy controls during the COVID-19 lockdown to determine whether they have higher risk perceptions, anxiety, and vaccination intentions. METHODS: Baseline data from a national survey were collected in April 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown in Australia. People who reported hypertension with no other chronic conditions were randomly matched to healthy controls of similar age, gender, education, and health literacy level. A subset including participants with hypertension was followed up at 2 months after restrictions were eased. Risk perceptions, anxiety, and vaccination intentions were measured in April and June. RESULTS: Of the 4362 baseline participants, 466 (10.7%) reported hypertension with no other chronic conditions. A subset of 1369 people were followed up at 2 months, which included 147 (10.7%) participants with hypertension. At baseline, perceived seriousness was high for both hypertension and control groups. The hypertension group reported greater anxiety compared to the controls and were more willing to vaccinate against influenza, but COVID-19 vaccination intentions were similar. At follow-up, these differences were no longer present in the longitudinal subsample. Perceived seriousness and anxiety had decreased, but vaccination intentions for both influenza and COVID-19 remained high across groups (>80%). CONCLUSIONS: Anxiety was above normal levels during the COVID-19 lockdown. It was higher in the hypertension group, which also had higher vaccination intentions. Groups that are more vulnerable to COVID-19 may require targeted mental health screening during periods of greater risk. Despite a decrease in perceived risk and anxiety after 2 months of lockdown restrictions, vaccination intentions remained high, which is encouraging for the future prevention of COVID-19.

7.
Trials ; 22(1): 311, 2021 Apr 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216927

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Uptake of vaccination against COVID-19 is key to controlling the pandemic. However, a significant proportion of people report that they do not intend to have a vaccine, often because of concerns they have about vaccine side effects or safety. This study will assess the impact of theory-based messages on COVID-19 vaccination intention, drawing on the Necessity-Concerns framework to address previously reported beliefs and concerns about COVID-19 vaccination, and assess whether hypothesised variables (illness coherence, perceived necessity and concerns) mediate change in vaccination intention. TRIAL DESIGN: Prospective, parallel two-arm, individually randomised (1:1) trial. PARTICIPANTS: Adults aged over 18 years, living in Scotland and not vaccinated for COVID-19. A quota sampling approach will be used with the aim of achieving a nationally representative sample on gender, region and ethnic group, with oversampling of individuals with no educational qualifications or with only school-level qualifications. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR: Intervention: Brief exposure to online text and image-based messages addressing necessity beliefs and concerns about COVID-19 vaccination. Comparator: Brief exposure to online text and image-based messages containing general information about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccination. MAIN OUTCOMES: Primary outcome: Self-reported intention to receive a vaccine for COVID-19 if invited, immediately post-intervention. SECONDARY OUTCOMES: Self-reported COVID-19 illness coherence, perceived necessity of a COVID-19 vaccine and concerns about a COVID-19 vaccine, immediately post-intervention. RANDOMISATION: Quasi-randomisation performed automatically by online survey software, by creating a variable derived from the number of seconds in the minute that the participant initiates the survey. Participants starting the survey at 0-14 or 30-44 seconds in the minute are allocated to the intervention and 15-29 or 45-59 seconds to the comparator. BLINDING (MASKING): Participants will not be blinded to group assignment but will not be informed of the purpose of the study until they have completed the follow-up survey. Investigators will be blinded to allocation as all procedures will be undertaken digitally and remotely without any investigator contact with participants. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): A total of 1,094 will be randomised 1:1 into two groups with 547 individuals in each. TRIAL STATUS: Protocol version number 1.0, 26th February 2021. Recruitment status: Not yet recruiting, set to start April 2021 and end April 2021. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04813770 , 24th March 2021. FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Intention , Vaccination/psychology , Adult , Humans , Prospective Studies , Psychological Theory , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Scotland , Treatment Outcome
8.
Health Promot J Austr ; 33(2): 311-319, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1187989

ABSTRACT

ISSUE ADDRESSED: To investigate whether Australians have experienced any positive effects during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: National online longitudinal survey. As part of a June 2020 survey, participants (n = 1370) were asked 'In your life, have you experienced any positive effects from the COVID-19 pandemic' (yes/no) and also completed the World Health Organisation-Five well-being index. Differences were explored by demographic variables. Free-text responses were thematically coded. RESULTS: Nine hundred sixty participants (70%) reported experiencing at least one positive effect during the COVID-19 pandemic. Living with others (P = .045) and employment situation (P < .001) at baseline (April) were associated with experiencing positive effects. Individuals working for pay from home were more likely to experience positive effects compared to those who were not working for pay (aOR = 0.45, 95% CI: 0.32, 0.63, P < .001) or who were working for pay outside the home (aOR = 0.40, 95% CI: 0.28, 0.58, P < .001). 54.2% of participants reported a sufficient level of well-being, 23.2% low well-being and a further 22.6% very low well-being. Of those experiencing positive effects, 945/960 (98%) provided an explanation. The three most common themes were 'Family time' (33%), 'Work flexibility' (29%) and 'Calmer life' (19%). CONCLUSIONS: A large proportion of participants reported positive effects resulting from changes to daily life due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. SO WHAT: The needs of people living alone, and of those having to work outside the home or who are unemployed, should be considered by health policymakers and employers in future pandemic preparedness efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Employment , Humans , Longitudinal Studies
12.
Public Health Res Pract ; 30(4)2020 Dec 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1016462

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To explore the variation in understanding of, attitudes towards, and uptake of, health advice on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during the 2020 pandemic stage 3 restrictions ('lockdown') by health literacy in the Australian population. STUDY DESIGN: National cross-sectional community survey. SETTING: Australian general public. PARTICIPANTS: Adults aged over 18 years (N = 4362). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to COVID-19; health literacy and sociodemographic factors. RESULTS: People with inadequate health literacy had poorer understanding of COVID-19 symptoms (49% vs 68%; p < 0.001), were less able to identify behaviours to prevent infection (59%% vs 72% p < 0.001), and experienced more difficulty finding information and understanding government messaging about COVID-19 than people with adequate health literacy. People with inadequate health literacy were less likely to rate social distancing as important (6.1 vs 6.5; p < 0.001) and reported more difficulty with remembering and accessing medicines since lockdown (3.6 vs 2.7; p < 0.001). People with lower health literacy were also more likely to endorse misinformed beliefs about COVID-19 and vaccinations (in general) than those with adequate health literacy. The same pattern of results was observed among people who primarily speak a language other than English at home. CONCLUSION: Our findings show that there are important disparities in COVID-19-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviours according to people's health literacy and language. These have the potential to undermine efforts to reduce viral transmission and may lead to social inequalities in health outcomes in Australia. People with the greatest burden of chronic disease are most disadvantaged, and are also most likely to experience severe disease and die from COVID-19. Addressing the health literacy, language and cultural needs of the community in public health messaging about COVID-19 must now be a priority in Australia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Literacy/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Chronic Disease/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Behavior , Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Vulnerable Populations/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
13.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(1): e23805, 2021 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1013294

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Misinformation about COVID-19 is common and has been spreading rapidly across the globe through social media platforms and other information systems. Understanding what the public knows about COVID-19 and identifying beliefs based on misinformation can help shape effective public health communications to ensure efforts to reduce viral transmission are not undermined. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and factors associated with COVID-19 misinformation in Australia and their changes over time. METHODS: This prospective, longitudinal national survey was completed by adults (18 years and above) across April (n=4362), May (n=1882), and June (n=1369) 2020. RESULTS: Stronger agreement with misinformation was associated with younger age, male gender, lower education level, and language other than English spoken at home (P<.01 for all). After controlling for these variables, misinformation beliefs were significantly associated (P<.001) with lower levels of digital health literacy, perceived threat of COVID-19, confidence in government, and trust in scientific institutions. Analyses of specific government-identified misinformation revealed 3 clusters: prevention (associated with male gender and younger age), causation (associated with lower education level and greater social disadvantage), and cure (associated with younger age). Lower institutional trust and greater rejection of official government accounts were associated with stronger agreement with COVID-19 misinformation. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study highlight important gaps in communication effectiveness, which must be addressed to ensure effective COVID-19 prevention.


Subject(s)
Attitude to Health , COVID-19 , Communication , Consumer Health Information , Social Media , Adult , Attitude to Health/ethnology , Australia , COVID-19/psychology , Computer Literacy , Female , Health Literacy , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Multivariate Analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , Trust
14.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(12): e24531, 2020 12 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-967215

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has rapidly been adopted to deliver health care services around the world. To date, studies have not compared people's experiences with telehealth services during the pandemic in Australia to their experiences with traditional in-person visits. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to compare participants' perceptions of telehealth consults to their perceptions of traditional in-person visits and investigate whether people believe that telehealth services would be useful after the pandemic. METHODS: A national, cross-sectional, community survey was conducted between June 5 and June 12, 2020 in Australia. In total, 1369 participants who were aged ≥18 years and lived in Australia were recruited via targeted advertisements on social media (ie, Facebook and Instagram). Participants responded to survey questions about their telehealth experience, which included a free-text response option. A generalized linear model was used to estimate the adjusted relative risks of having a poorer telehealth experience than a traditional in-person visit experience. Content analysis was performed to determine the reasons why telehealth experiences were worse than traditional in-person visit experiences. RESULTS: Of the 596 telehealth users, the majority of respondents (n=369, 61.9%) stated that their telehealth experience was "just as good as" or "better than" their traditional in-person medical appointment experience. On average, respondents perceived that telehealth would be moderately useful to very useful for medical appointments after the COVID-19 pandemic ends (mean 3.67, SD 1.1). Being male (P=.007), having a history of both depression and anxiety (P=.016), and lower patient activation scores (ie, individuals' willingness to take on the role of managing their health/health care) (P=.036) were significantly associated with a poor telehealth experience. In total, 6 overarching themes were identified from free-text responses for why participants' telehealth experiences were poorer than their traditional in-person medical appointment experiences, as follows: communication is not as effective, limitations with technology, issues with obtaining prescriptions and pathology results, reduced confidence in their doctor, additional burden for complex care, and inability to be physically examined. CONCLUSIONS: Based on our sample's responses, telehealth appointment experiences were comparable to traditional in-person medical appointment experiences. Telehealth may be worthwhile as a mode of health care delivery while the pandemic continues, and it may continue to be worthwhile after the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Telemedicine/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Australia , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Personal Satisfaction , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
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