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1.
BMC Res Notes ; 16(1): 74, 2023 May 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2312712

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To examine the use of two coding systems used in the THIN UK primary care research database for the coding of telephone encounters between patient and healthcare professional in primary care. This is relevant to other research databases built on GP clinical systems. Consideration of telephone consultations was particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic as remote interactions between patient and GP are more numerous than before and are likely to remain at a higher frequency. RESULTS: Telephone encounters could either be indicated by a consultation-type code or by a Read code. All three possible combinations (coded by one method, the other method and both) were in use. In 2014, 30% were coded by the consultation-type, 55% by Read codes and 15% by both. In contrast, in 2000, 77% were coded by the consultation-type, 21% by Read codes and 2% by both. This has important implications because national and regional consultation rates by GPs are often estimated from these research databases by looking only at the consultation-type codes and consequently many encounters will not be detected.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Referral and Consultation , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Telephone , Primary Health Care , United Kingdom
2.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 932, 2022 Dec 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2162304

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccine hesitancy amongst pregnant women has been found to be a concern during past epidemics. This study aimed to (1) estimate COVID-19 vaccination rates among pregnant women in Wales and their association with age, ethnicity, and area of deprivation, using electronic health record (EHR) data linkage, and (2) explore pregnant women's views on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy using data from a survey recruiting via social media (Facebook, Twitter), through midwives, and posters in hospitals (Born-In-Wales Cohort). METHODS: This was a mixed-methods study utilising routinely collected linked data from the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank (Objective 1) and the Born-In-Wales Birth Cohort participants (Objective 2). Pregnant women were identified from 13th April 2021 to 31st December 2021. Survival analysis was utilised to examine and compare the length of time to vaccination uptake in pregnancy, and variation in uptake by; age, ethnic group, and deprivation area was examined using hazard ratios (HR) from Cox regression. Survey respondents were women who had a baby during the COVID-19 pandemic or were pregnant between 1st November 2021 and 24th March 2022 and participating in Born-In-Wales. Codebook thematic analysis was used to generate themes from an open-ended question on the survey. RESULTS: Population-level data linkage (objective 1): Within the population cohort, 8203 (32.7%) received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy, 8572 (34.1%) remained unvaccinated throughout the follow-up period, and 8336 (33.2%) received the vaccine postpartum. Younger women (< 30 years) were less likely to have the vaccine, and those living in areas of high deprivation were also less likely to have the vaccine (HR = 0.88, 95% CI 0.82 to 0.95). Asian and Other ethnic groups were 1.12 and 1.18 times more likely to have the vaccine in pregnancy compared with White women (HR = 1.12, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.25) and (HR = 1.18, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.37) respectively. Survey responses (objective 2): 207 (69%) of participants stated that they would be happy to have the vaccine during pregnancy. The remaining 94 (31%) indicated they would not have the vaccine during pregnancy. Reasons for having the vaccine included protecting self and baby, perceived risk level, and receipt of sufficient evidence and advice. Reasons for vaccine refusal included lack of research about long-term outcomes for the baby, anxiety about vaccines, inconsistent advice/information, and preference to wait until after the pregnancy. CONCLUSION: Potentially only 1 in 3 pregnant women would have the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy, even though 2 in 3 reported they would have the vaccination, thus it is critical to develop tailored strategies to increase its acceptance rate and decrease vaccine hesitancy. A targeted approach to vaccinations may be required for groups such as younger people and those living in higher deprivation areas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Pregnancy , Infant , Female , Humans , Male , Birth Cohort , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination
3.
BMJ Open ; 12(11): e063271, 2022 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2117872

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: SARS-CoV-2 infection rarely causes hospitalisation in children and young people (CYP), but mild or asymptomatic infections are common. Persistent symptoms following infection have been reported in CYP but subsequent healthcare use is unclear. We aim to describe healthcare use in CYP following community-acquired SARS-CoV-2 infection and identify those at risk of ongoing healthcare needs. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will use anonymised individual-level, population-scale national data linking demographics, comorbidities, primary and secondary care use and mortality between 1 January 2019 and 1 May 2022. SARS-CoV-2 test data will be linked from 1 January 2020 to 1 May 2022. Analyses will use Trusted Research Environments: OpenSAFELY in England, Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank in Wales and Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Surveillance of COVID-19 in Scotland (EAVE-II). CYP aged ≥4 and <18 years who underwent SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) testing between 1 January 2020 and 1 May 2021 and those untested CYP will be examined.The primary outcome measure is cumulative healthcare cost over 12 months following SARS-CoV-2 testing, stratified into primary or secondary care, and physical or mental healthcare. We will estimate the burden of healthcare use attributable to SARS-CoV-2 infections in the 12 months after testing using a matched cohort study of RT-PCR positive, negative or untested CYP matched on testing date, with adjustment for confounders. We will identify factors associated with higher healthcare needs in the 12 months following SARS-CoV-2 infection using an unmatched cohort of RT-PCR positive CYP. Multivariable logistic regression and machine learning approaches will identify risk factors for high healthcare use and characterise patterns of healthcare use post infection. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study was approved by the South-Central Oxford C Health Research Authority Ethics Committee (13/SC/0149). Findings will be preprinted and published in peer-reviewed journals. Analysis code and code lists will be available through public GitHub repositories and OpenCodelists with meta-data via HDR-UK Innovation Gateway.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child , Humans , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Cohort Studies , Wales/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Observational Studies as Topic
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Oct 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066034

ABSTRACT

Play is central to children's physical and social development. This study examines changes in children's response to questions on play opportunities between 2016 and 2021. Primary school children aged 8-11 in Wales participated in the HAPPEN survey between 2016 and 2021. The survey captures a range of information about children's health and wellbeing, including open-ended questions about what could make them happier. Text mining methods were used to examine how open-ended responses have changed over time in relation to play, before and, after the COVID enforced school closures. A total of 20,488 participant responses were analysed, 14,200 pre-school closures (2016 to pre-March 2020) and 6248 after initial school closures (September 2020-December 2021). Five themes were identified based on children's open-ended responses; (a) space to play (35%), (b) their recommendations on play (31%), (c) having permission to play (20%), (d) their feelings on health and wellbeing and play (10%) and (e) having time to play (4%). Despite differences due to mitigation measures, the predominant recommendation from children after COVID is that they would like more space to play (outside homes, including gardens), more time with friends and protected time to play with friends in school and at home.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Data Mining , Humans , Schools , Surveys and Questionnaires , Wales/epidemiology
5.
BMJ Open ; 12(9): e061344, 2022 Sep 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2053212

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Examine if pre-COVID-19 pandemic (prior March 2020) health-related behaviours during primary school are associated with (1) being tested for SARS-CoV-2 and (2) testing positive between 1 March 2020 and 31 August 2021. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study using an online cohort survey (January 2018 to February 2020) linked with routine PCR SARS-CoV-2 test results. SETTING: Children attending primary schools in Wales (2018-2020), UK, who were part of the Health and Attainment of Pupils in a Primary Education Network (HAPPEN)_school network. PARTICIPANTS: Complete linked records of eligible participants were obtained for n=7062 individuals. 39.1% (n=2764) were tested (age 10.6±0.9; 48.9% girls) and 8.1% (n=569) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (age 10.6±1.0; 54.5% girls). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Logistic regression of health-related behaviours and demographics were used to determine the ORs of factors associated with (1) being tested for SARS-CoV-2 and (2) testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: Consuming sugary snacks (1-2 days/week OR=1.24, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.49; 5-6 days/week OR=1.31, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.61; reference 0 days), can swim 25 m (OR=1.21, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.39) and age (OR=1.25, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.35) were associated with an increased likelihood of being tested for SARS-CoV-2. Eating breakfast (OR=1.52, 95% CI 1.01 to 2.27), weekly physical activity ≥60 min (1-2 days OR=1.69, 95% CI 1.04 to 2.74; 3-4 days OR=1.76, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.82; reference 0 days), out-of-school club participation (OR=1.06, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.10), can ride a bike (OR=1.39, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.93), age (OR=1.16, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.28) and girls (OR=1.21, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.46) were associated with an increased likelihood of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. Living in least deprived areas (quintile 4 OR=0.64, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.90; quintile 5 OR=0.64, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.89) compared with the most deprived (quintile 1) was associated with a decreased likelihood. CONCLUSIONS: Associations may be related to parental health literacy and monitoring behaviours. Physically active behaviours may include coparticipation with others and exposure to SARS-CoV-2. A risk-versus-benefit approach must be considered in relation to promoting these health behaviours, given the importance of health-related behaviours such as childhood physical activity for development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Female , Child , Humans , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Wales , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Health Behavior
6.
BMJ open ; 12(9), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2011945

ABSTRACT

Objectives Examine if pre-COVID-19 pandemic (prior March 2020) health-related behaviours during primary school are associated with (1) being tested for SARS-CoV-2 and (2) testing positive between 1 March 2020 and 31 August 2021. Design Retrospective cohort study using an online cohort survey (January 2018 to February 2020) linked with routine PCR SARS-CoV-2 test results. Setting Children attending primary schools in Wales (2018–2020), UK, who were part of the Health and Attainment of Pupils in a Primary Education Network (HAPPEN)_school network. Participants Complete linked records of eligible participants were obtained for n=7062 individuals. 39.1% (n=2764) were tested (age 10.6±0.9;48.9% girls) and 8.1% (n=569) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (age 10.6±1.0;54.5% girls). Main outcome measures Logistic regression of health-related behaviours and demographics were used to determine the ORs of factors associated with (1) being tested for SARS-CoV-2 and (2) testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. Results Consuming sugary snacks (1–2 days/week OR=1.24, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.49;5–6 days/week OR=1.31, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.61;reference 0 days), can swim 25 m (OR=1.21, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.39) and age (OR=1.25, 95% CI 1.16 to 1.35) were associated with an increased likelihood of being tested for SARS-CoV-2. Eating breakfast (OR=1.52, 95% CI 1.01 to 2.27), weekly physical activity ≥60 min (1–2 days OR=1.69, 95% CI 1.04 to 2.74;3–4 days OR=1.76, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.82;reference 0 days), out-of-school club participation (OR=1.06, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.10), can ride a bike (OR=1.39, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.93), age (OR=1.16, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.28) and girls (OR=1.21, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.46) were associated with an increased likelihood of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. Living in least deprived areas (quintile 4 OR=0.64, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.90;quintile 5 OR=0.64, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.89) compared with the most deprived (quintile 1) was associated with a decreased likelihood. Conclusions Associations may be related to parental health literacy and monitoring behaviours. Physically active behaviours may include coparticipation with others and exposure to SARS-CoV-2. A risk-versus-benefit approach must be considered in relation to promoting these health behaviours, given the importance of health-related behaviours such as childhood physical activity for development.

7.
PLoS One ; 17(5): e0267176, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1862263

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pregnancy can be a stressful time and the COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of life. This study aims to investigate the pandemic impact on pregnancy experience, rates of primary childhood immunisations and the differences in birth outcomes in during 2020 to those of previous years. METHODS: Self-reported pregnancy experience: 215 expectant mothers (aged 16+) in Wales completed an online survey about their experiences of pregnancy during the pandemic. The qualitative survey data was analysed using codebook thematic analysis. Population-level birth outcomes in Wales: Stillbirths, prematurity, birth weight and Caesarean section births before (2016-2019) and during (2020) the pandemic were compared using anonymised individual-level, population-scale routine data held in the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank. Uptake of the first three scheduled primary childhood immunisations were compared between 2019 and 2020. FINDINGS: The pandemic had a negative impact on the mental health of 71% of survey respondents, who reported anxiety, stress and loneliness; this was associated with attending scans without their partner, giving birth alone, and minimal contact with midwives. There was no significant difference in annual outcomes including gestation and birth weight, stillbirths, and Caesarean sections for infants born in 2020 compared to 2016-2019. There was an increase in late term births (≥42 weeks gestation) during the first lockdown (OR: 1.28, p = 0.019) and a decrease in moderate to late preterm births (32-36 weeks gestation) during the second lockdown (OR: 0.74, p = 0.001). Fewer babies were born in 2020 (N = 29,031) compared to 2016-2019 (average N = 32,582). All babies received their immunisations in 2020, but there were minor delays in the timings of immunisations. Those due at 8-weeks were 8% less likely to be on time (within 28-days) and at 16-weeks, they were 19% less likely to be on time. INTERPRETATION: Whilst the pandemic had a negative impact on mothers' experiences of pregnancy. Population-level data suggests that this did not translate to adverse birth outcomes for babies born during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Premature Birth , Birth Weight , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cesarean Section , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Mothers , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Premature Birth/epidemiology , Stillbirth/epidemiology , Wales/epidemiology
8.
EClinicalMedicine ; 49: 101462, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1850967

ABSTRACT

Background: Uncontrolled infection and lockdown measures introduced in response have resulted in an unprecedented challenge for health systems internationally. Whether such unprecedented impact was due to lockdown itself and recedes when such measures are lifted is unclear. We assessed the short- and medium-term impacts of the first lockdown measures on hospital care for tracer non-COVID-19 conditions in England, Scotland and Wales across diseases, sexes, and socioeconomic and ethnic groups. Methods: We used OpenSAFELY (for England), EAVEII (Scotland), and SAIL Databank (Wales) to extract weekly hospital admission rates for cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory conditions (excluding COVID-19) from the pre-pandemic period until 25/10/2020 and conducted a controlled interrupted time series analysis. We undertook stratified analyses and assessed admission rates over seven months during which lockdown restrictions were gradually lifted. Findings: Our combined dataset included 32 million people who contributed over 74 million person-years. Admission rates for all three conditions fell by 34.2% (Confidence Interval (CI): -43.0, -25.3) in England, 20.9% (CI: -27.8, -14.1) in Scotland, and 24.7% (CI: -36.7, -12.7) in Wales, with falls across every stratum considered. In all three nations, cancer-related admissions fell the most while respiratory-related admissions fell the least (e.g., rates fell by 40.5% (CI: -47.4, -33.6), 21.9% (CI: -35.4, -8.4), and 19.0% (CI: -30.6, -7.4) in England for cancer, cardiovascular-related, and respiratory-related admissions respectively). Unscheduled admissions rates fell more in the most than the least deprived quintile across all three nations. Some ethnic minority groups experienced greater falls in admissions (e.g., in England, unscheduled admissions fell by 9.5% (CI: -20.2, 1.2) for Whites, but 44.3% (CI: -71.0, -17.6), 34.6% (CI: -63.8, -5.3), and 25.6% (CI: -45.0, -6.3) for Mixed, Other and Black ethnic groups respectively). Despite easing of restrictions, the overall admission rates remained lower in England, Scotland, and Wales by 20.8%, 21.6%, and 22.0%, respectively when compared to the same period (August-September) during the pre-pandemic years. This corresponds to a reduction of 26.2, 23.8 and 30.2 admissions per 100,000 people in England, Scotland, and Wales respectively. Interpretation: Hospital care for non-COVID diseases fell substantially across England, Scotland, and Wales during the first lockdown, with reductions persisting for at least six months. The most deprived and minority ethnic groups were impacted more severely. Funding: This work was funded by the Medical Research Council as part of the Lifelong Health and Wellbeing study as part of National Core Studies (MC_PC_20030). SVK acknowledges funding from the Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00022/2), and the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office (SPHSU17). EAVE II is funded by the Medical Research Council (MR/R008345/1) with the support of BREATHE - The Health Data Research Hub for Respiratory Health (MC_PC_19004), which is funded through the UK Research and Innovation Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and delivered through Health Data Research UK. BG has received research funding from the NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Wellcome Trust, Health Data Research UK, Asthma UK, the British Lung Foundation, and the Longitudinal Health and Wellbeing strand of the National Core Studies programme.

9.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0264023, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714774

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: School-based COVID-19 mitigation strategies have greatly impacted the primary school day (children aged 3-11) including: wearing face coverings, two metre distancing, no mixing of children, and no breakfast clubs or extra-curricular activities. This study examines these mitigation measures and association with COVID-19 infection, respiratory infection, and school staff wellbeing between October to December 2020 in Wales, UK. METHODS: A school staff survey captured self-reported COVID-19 mitigation measures in the school, participant anxiety and depression, and open-text responses regarding experiences of teaching and implementing measures. These survey responses were linked to national-scale COVID-19 test results data to examine association of measures in the school and the likelihood of a positive (staff or pupil) COVID-19 case in the school (clustered by school, adjusted for school size and free school meals using logistic regression). Linkage was conducted through the SAIL (Secure Anonymised Information Linkage) Databank. RESULTS: Responses were obtained from 353 participants from 59 primary schools within 15 of 22 local authorities. Having more direct non-household contacts was associated with a higher likelihood of COVID-19 positive case in the school (1-5 contacts compared to none, OR 2.89 (1.01, 8.31)) and a trend to more self-reported cold symptoms. Staff face covering was not associated with a lower odds of school COVID-19 cases (mask vs. no covering OR 2.82 (1.11, 7.14)) and was associated with higher self-reported cold symptoms. School staff reported the impacts of wearing face coverings on teaching, including having to stand closer to pupils and raise their voices to be heard. 67.1% were not able to implement two metre social distancing from pupils. We did not find evidence that maintaining a two metre distance was associated with lower rates of COVID-19 in the school. CONCLUSIONS: Implementing, adhering to and evaluating COVID-19 mitigation guidelines is challenging in primary school settings. Our findings suggest that reducing non-household direct contacts lowers infection rates. There was no evidence that face coverings, two metre social distancing or stopping children mixing was associated with lower odds of COVID-19 or cold infection rates in the school. Primary school staff found teaching challenging during COVID-19 restrictions, especially for younger learners and those with additional learning needs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , Students , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Wales/epidemiology
10.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260640, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581777

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 infection and the resultant restrictions has impacted all aspects of life across the world. This study explores factors that promote or support wellbeing for young people during the pandemic, how they differ by age, using a self-reported online survey with those aged 8-25 in Wales between September 2020 and February 2021. Open-ended responses were analysed via thematic analysis to provide further context. A total of 6,291 responses were obtained from 81 education settings across Wales (including primary and secondary schools as well as sixth form, colleges and universities). Wellbeing was highest in primary school children and boys and lowest in those who were at secondary school children, who were girls and, those who preferred not to give a gender. Among primary school children, higher wellbeing was seen for those who played with lots of others (rather than alone), were of Asian ethnicity (OR 2.17, 95% CI: 1.26 to 4.3), had a safe play area (OR: 2.4, 95% CI: 1.67 to 2.56) and had more sleep. To support their wellbeing young people reported they would like to be able to play with their friends more. Among secondary school children those who were of mixed ethnicity reported lower wellbeing (OR: 5.14, 95% CI: 1.68 to 15.79). To support their wellbeing they reported they would like more support with mental health (due to anxiety and pressure to achieve when learning online). This study found self-reported wellbeing differed by gender, ethnicity and deprivation and found younger children report the need for play and to see friends to support wellbeing but older children/young people wanted more support with anxiety and educational pressures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Anxiety Disorders , Child , Humans
11.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260396, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546954

ABSTRACT

School closures due to the COVID-19 global pandemic are likely to have a range of negative consequences spanning the domains of child development, education and health, in addition to the widening of inequalities and inequities. Research is required to improve understanding of the impact of school closures on the education, health and wellbeing of pupils and school staff, the challenges posed during face-to-face reopening and importantly to identify how the impacts of these challenges can be addressed going forward to inform emerging policy and practice. This qualitative study aimed to reflect on the perspectives and experiences of primary school staff (pupils aged 3-11) in Wales regarding school closures and the initial face-to-face reopening of schools and to identify recommendations for the future. A total of 208 school staff completed a national online survey through the HAPPEN primary school network, consisting of questions about school closures (March to June 2020), the phased face-to-face reopening of schools (June to July 2020) and a return to face-to-face education. Thematic analysis of survey responses highlighted that primary school staff perceive that gaps in learning, health and wellbeing have increased and inequalities have widened during school closures. Findings from this study identified five recommendations; (i) prioritise the health and wellbeing of pupils and staff; (ii) focus on enabling parental engagement and support; (iii) improve digital competence amongst pupils, teachers and parents; (iv) consider opportunities for smaller class sizes and additional staffing; and (v) improve the mechanism of communication between schools and families, and between government and schools.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , School Teachers/psychology , Schools , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control/trends , Communication , Education, Distance , Forecasting , Humans , Qualitative Research , School Teachers/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , Wales
12.
The Lancet ; 398, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1537161

ABSTRACT

Background Pregnancy can be a stressful time and the COVID-19 pandemic is thought to have heightened maternal stress. This study aimed to investigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on population birth outcomes, uptake of primary immunisations, and expectant mothers' experiences of pregnancy in Wales. Methods In this mixed methods study we analysed stillbirths, prematurity, birthweight and caesarean section births before (2016–19) and during (2020) the pandemic using national routine anonymised data held in the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage Databank. Uptake of the first three scheduled primary immunisations were compared between 2019 and 2020. Immunisations were extracted from the routinely collected data in the National Community Child Health Database. We compared percentages between years the ran χ2 with Yates correction for the three percentages given. Expectant mothers (aged ≥16 years) in Wales completed an online survey about their experiences of pregnancy during the pandemic. Inclusion criteria was being aged 16 years or older and living in Wales. The qualitative survey data was analysed using codebook thematic analysis. Ethical approval was granted by Swansea University Ethics Committee and each participant provided written consent before answering any survey questions. Findings There was no significant difference between annual outcomes including gestation and birthweight, stillbirths, and caesarean sections for infants born in 2020 compared with 2016–19. Difference in gestation (moderate to late preterm difference –0·26%, 95% CI –0·52% to –0·01%). Difference in low birthweight 0·13% (0·00% to 0·26%). Difference in stillbirths –0·01% (–0·02% to 0·00%). Difference in caesarean sections –0·42% (–1·13% to 0·29%). There was an increase in late-term births (≥42 weeks gestation) during the first lockdown (odds ratio [OR] 1·28, p=0·019) and a decrease in moderate to late preterm births (32–36 weeks gestation) during the second lockdown (OR 0·74, p=0·001). Fewer babies were born in 2020 (n=29 031) compared with 2016–19 (n=32 582;mean [SD 1561]). All babies received their immunisations in 2020, but there were minor delays in the timings of vaccines. Those vaccinations due at 8-weeks were 8% less likely to be on time (within 28 days) and, at 16-weeks, they were 19% less likely to be on time. The pandemic had a negative effect on the mental health of 151 (72%) of 211 survey respondents, who reported feeling anxious, nervous, or depressed;this finding was associated with attending scans without their partner, giving birth alone, and minimal contact with midwives. Interpretation The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative effect on mothers' experiences of pregnancy;however, population data suggests that this did not translate to adverse birth outcomes for babies born during the pandemic. Funding Health Care Research Wales

13.
BMJ Open ; 11(10): e051574, 2021 10 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462965

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to explore the relationship between initial school closures and children's health by comparing health and well-being outcomes collected during school closures (April-June 2020) via HAPPEN (the Health and Attainment of Pupils in a Primary Education Network) with data from the same period in 2019 and 2018 via the HAPPEN Survey. SETTING: The study was conducted online with 161 primary schools across Wales involved in the 'HAPPEN At Home' Survey. PARTICIPANTS: Data were collected via the 'HAPPEN At Home' Survey capturing the typical health behaviours of children aged 8-11 years from 1333 participants across Wales. These data were compared with data in 2018 and 2019 also collected between April and June, from HAPPEN (2019 (n=1150) and 2018 (n=475)). PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcomes included validated measures of physical activity, screen time, diet and dental health, as well as well-being, competency and autonomy. Free school meal (FSM) status was used as a proxy for socioeconomic deprivation. Analyses were repeated stratifying by FSM. RESULTS: Comparing responses between April-June in 2020 (n=1068), 2019 (n=1150) and 2018 (n=475), there were improvements in physical activity levels, sleep time, happiness and general well-being for children during school closures compared with previous years. However, children on FSM ate fewer fruits and vegetables (21% less at five or more portions of fruits and vegetables (95% CI: 5.7% to 37%)) and had lower self-assessed school competence compared with 2019. Compared with those not on FSM, they also spent less time doing physical activity (13.03%, 95% CI: 3.3% to 21.7%) and consumed more takeaways (16.3%, 95% CI: 2% to 30%) during school closures. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that schools are important in reducing inequalities in physical health. The physical health (eg, physical activity and diet) of children eligible for FSM may be affected by prolonged school closures.


Subject(s)
Information Storage and Retrieval , Schools , Child , Educational Status , Humans , United Kingdom , Wales
14.
BMJ Open ; 10(10): e043010, 2020 10 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889902

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The emergence of the novel respiratory SARS-CoV-2 and subsequent COVID-19 pandemic have required rapid assimilation of population-level data to understand and control the spread of infection in the general and vulnerable populations. Rapid analyses are needed to inform policy development and target interventions to at-risk groups to prevent serious health outcomes. We aim to provide an accessible research platform to determine demographic, socioeconomic and clinical risk factors for infection, morbidity and mortality of COVID-19, to measure the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare utilisation and long-term health, and to enable the evaluation of natural experiments of policy interventions. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Two privacy-protecting population-level cohorts have been created and derived from multisourced demographic and healthcare data. The C20 cohort consists of 3.2 million people in Wales on the 1 January 2020 with follow-up until 31 May 2020. The complete cohort dataset will be updated monthly with some individual datasets available daily. The C16 cohort consists of 3 million people in Wales on the 1 January 2016 with follow-up to 31 December 2019. C16 is designed as a counterfactual cohort to provide contextual comparative population data on disease, health service utilisation and mortality. Study outcomes will: (a) characterise the epidemiology of COVID-19, (b) assess socioeconomic and demographic influences on infection and outcomes, (c) measure the impact of COVID-19 on short -term and longer-term population outcomes and (d) undertake studies on the transmission and spatial spread of infection. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The Secure Anonymised Information Linkage-independent Information Governance Review Panel has approved this study. The study findings will be presented to policy groups, public meetings, national and international conferences, and published in peer-reviewed journals.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Wales/epidemiology
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