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1.
European Geriatric Medicine ; 13(Supplement 1):S100, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2175525

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Although vaccines represent a primary public health achievement of the last century, vaccine awareness and uptake still face significant challenges, as evidenced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccine Literacy (VL) is the ability to find, understand, judge immunisation-related information to make appropriate immunisation decisions. Method(s): In 2021, participating to the WHO M-POHL (Measuring Population and Organizational Health Literacy) network, a crosssectional study was conducted on a sample of 3,500 participants, representative of the Italian general population aged 18 + years. A validated questionnaire on Health Literacy, sociodemographic characteristics, risk factors, lifestyles was used. VL was measured by four items using a 4-point Likert scale based on very easy, easy, difficult, very difficult categories, and categorised in 'good' (very easy + easy = 100.0% of the 4 items), 'sufficient' (very easy + easy = 75.0%), 'limited' (very easy + easy<75%). An ordinal logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the association of sociodemographic factors with VL. Result(s): Prevalence of limited VL was lower in elderly than in adults (28.6% vs. 33.8%, p-value = 0.0037);the opposite for both sufficient (21.4% vs. 19.6%) and good (50.0% vs. 46.5%) levels, even though not statistically significant. The odds of a low VL (sufficient/limited) decreased by 14% in the elderly and increased by 41%, 90%, and more than triple in persons with a low, considerable, and severe financial deprivation level, respectively. Key conclusions: Improving VL in Italy should be a top priority in the health political agenda as shown during the last crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Special attention should be paid to socioeconomic disadvantaged communities.

2.
European journal of public health ; 32(Suppl 3), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2102417

ABSTRACT

Background The COVID-19 pandemic caused an overabundance of valid and invalid information rapidly spread via traditional media, by internet and digital communication. Health Literacy (HL), as the ability to access, understand, appraise, apply health information, is fundamental for finding, interpreting, correctly using COVID-19 information. Methods In 2021, in the framework of the participation to the WHO M-POHL (Measuring Population and Organizational Health Literacy) network, a survey was conducted in a representative sample of the Italian general population aged 18+ years (N = 3,500). The validated HL questionnaire included coronavirus-related HL (HL-COVID, 16-items), general HL, sociodemographic characteristics, risk factors, lifestyles sections. For the HL-items, a 4-point Likert scale was applied: very easy, easy, difficult, very difficult. HL-COVID levels were defined as Good: very easy+easy>81.3% (more than 12 of 16 answers);Sufficient: 50.0%<very easy+easy < =81.3% (9-12 of 16 answers);Limited: very easy+easy < =50.0% (fewer than 9 of 16 answers). Elderly were responders aged 65+ years, the remaining ones were defined as adults. Ordinal Logistic Regression analysis was performed to assess the association of HL-COVID with sociodemographic characteristics (sex, age-group, educational level, financial deprivation). Results Good HL-COVID prevalence was lower in elderly than in adults (44.8% vs. 51.0%, p-value=0.001);the opposite for both sufficient (22.8% vs. 19.9%) and limited (32.5% vs. 29.1%) levels, but not statistically significant. The odds of a low HL-COVID (sufficient/limited) increased by 31% in the elderly and by 50%, 92%, and almost triple in persons with a low, considerable, and severe financial deprivation level, respectively. Conclusions The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to improve HL and to prepare the general population for future emergency and non-emergency situations, confirming that HL can be considered a social vaccine. Key messages Low coronavirus-related HL level is mostly associated to elderly and to increasing deprivation level. The COVID-19 pandemic confirmed that Health Literacy can be considered a social vaccine.

3.
European journal of public health ; 32(Suppl 3), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2101820

ABSTRACT

Background Personal protection equipment (PPE) use in hospitals has consistently increased due to the Sars-Cov-2 outbreak, in wards repurposed for Covid-19 patients and wards that kept their usual activity. This increase influenced an environmental emergency in terms of health waste (HW) disposal. This study aims to assess the economic and environmental impact of the increase in HW generated before and during the pandemic in an Italian Hospital. Methods Data from 2016 to 2019 and 2020 to 2021 was retrieved from Risk Management department. Per capita and per days-of-stay waste quantity were calculated for the hospital inpatient wards and medical service areas (anatomical pathology, laboratories, radiology, nuclear medicine). Linear regression models assessed the epidemiological impact of COVID, and LOESS analysis modeled the relationship between infectious HW generation and the percentage of COVID-related inpatient days. Average weight of HW per patient was used to estimate the monetary value of CO2 produced. Results Preliminary results show that the inpatient days related to COVID nonlinearly influenced the infectious HW generated by wards. PPE usage increased in every context, and the proportion of COVID-related bed-days ranged from 2% to 12% in low-incidence months to 17% to 31% during acute phases. Pre-COVID CO2 production weighted 487 kg per patient and cost 1705€ per-capita, whereas during the pandemic it amounted to 768 kg per patient and cost 2688€ per capita which resulted in a significant increase of 983€ per patient. Conclusions In light of the results, HW disposal is an urgent issue that should be addressed by policy makers when implementing new monitoring systems for hospitals. A more adequate disposal of HW could substantially contribute in reducing air pollution and concurrently reduce the economic impact health systems due to the coronavirus pandemic. Key messages The COVID-19 pandemic has brought an increase in hospital waste generation. The improvement of HW disposal monitoring system should be considered to avoid reaching critical levels in the near future.

5.
European Journal of Public Health ; 31:2, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1609829
6.
European Journal of Public Health ; 31:76-76, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1609828
7.
European Journal of Public Health ; 31, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1515070

ABSTRACT

Background Vaccine hesitancy is the reluctance or refusal to be vaccinated. While it has been widely studied for various contagious diseases, there is still a lack of knowledge about this phenomenon for COVID-19, especially if health workers' hesitancy is considered. Methods An extensive review of the literature was conducted to identify the main determinants of vaccine hesitancy in health workers, as well as to find already validated surveys to evaluate the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors (KAB) of health workers towards vaccination, both in general and with specific regard to COVID-19. Building on the available information, a new survey was developed to assess the KAB of Italian health care workers towards COVID-19 vaccination after validation with a pilot study in a diverse sample of 30 Italian health workers. Results A new survey was validated to assess the KAB of health workers towards COVID-19 vaccination in Italian health workers. The survey requires about 6 minutes to complete and is composed of 30 questions, investigating different domains: socio-demographic and professional characteristics (6);health status (2);attitudes (11);behaviors (6);knowledge (4). The survey will be administered to a representative sample of at least 385 Italian health workers through the web platform SurveyMonkey in the period June-September 2021. Preliminary results will be available by the end of October 2021. Conclusions By analyzing KAB towards COVID-19 vaccination with a new tool, the magnitude and determinants of health worker's COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy will be evaluated to understand how to improve health workers' perception towards COVID-19 vaccination and, consequently, foster their positive influence on the general population. Key messages We explore the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors towards COVID-19 vaccination in all categories of health workers operating on the Italian territory to understand the reasons of vaccine hesitancy. Understanding the determinants of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Italian health workers is necessary given their influence on the perception of the general population in Italy.

8.
European Journal of Public Health ; 31, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1515032

ABSTRACT

Background The COVID-19 pandemic definitely changed the approach to technologies evaluation, firstly in terms of timeliness. In order to answer to this need, a new methodology was proposed, joining the elements of horizon scanning with the Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA). In this work we describe the results of 2 case studies of application. Methods By means of an assessment matrix, a multidisciplinary expert panel gave a score based on a Likert scale and related to potential value and perceived risk for each technology. Economic, clinical and ethical criteria were considered as a summary of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) main domains. The final scores were then weighted by the MCDA and a scatter plot defined 4 positioning scenarios according to the balance of values and risks resulted, each conducting to an appropriate recommendation (full HTA report or reject). A Monte Carlo simulation was also carried out for the assessment of variability of results. Results An individual protection device for COVID-19 and a contact tracing app were assessed. The first technology was placed in the “Danger Zone” of the graph, because of its high costs and organizational complexity. The second one was placed in the “Comfort Zone” of the graph, due to low costs and easiness of implementation and management. For this innovation a recommendation for a full HTA and a pilot testing was given. In both cases, the Monte Carlo simulation confirmed the results of previous analyses. Conclusions The implementation of this new tool presented for the large amount of innovations created in response to COVID-19 could be supportive for decision makers, especially in pandemic times when a rapid answer is necessary. Improvements in the subjective judgement process, by introducing an objective approach, is now ongoing as it could enhance the strength of the final decision. Key messages In a pandemic time as the current, HTA should be as rapid as possible without losing scientific robustness. The methodology described could be an answer in support to the decision-making process, allowing an adequate and quick priority setting.

9.
European Journal of Public Health ; 31, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1514603

ABSTRACT

Issue/problem Italy was one of the four European countries that started to join forces to accelerate access and distribution of a much-needed vaccine against COVID-19. When the first vaccine was approved, a National Strategic Plan for COVID-19 vaccination, examining the most relevant domains for Health Technology Assessment (HTA), has just been issued in Italy. Description of the problem Considering the possible provision of COVID-19 vaccines in the short time, in Autumn 2020 the necessity for a comprehensive assessment came up. In Italy HTA has been identified as the method for assessing the broad value of existing and new vaccines by the last two National Immunization Plans. However, the pandemic highlighted the need for a quick introduction and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. A multidisciplinary Steering Group was therefore appointed by the Ministry of Health, in order to define vaccination strategies, organizational models, economic aspects, communication and social issues. Results Taking into account plans already released by other countries, a National Strategic Plan for COVID-19 vaccination was issued in December 2020. Main topics covered were: epidemiology and priority groups to be immunized, logistic and organization, efficacy and safety monitoring, economic and burden of disease assessments, communication. The application of these recommendations has finally proven to be difficult, because of vaccines procurement delays, suspected adverse events, inequalities in the different Regional settings. Lessons Given the concerns and difficulties faced by Italy and other European countries in the appraisal and management of COVID-19 vaccines, a HTA adapted framework could be an option for guiding the definition of National Strategic Plans. This could offer a common structured approach, make decision-making process more transparent, and be significant for a timely, convenient, and affordable access to new vaccines against SARS-CoV-2.

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