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1.
BMJ Evidence - Based Medicine ; 27(Suppl 1):A19-A20, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1891807

ABSTRACT

ObjectivesTo explore how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted communication around Advanced Care Planning (ACP). We sought to identify the barriers and enablers of ACP communication given the global crisis involving a previously-unknown, serious infection potentially leading to a surge in overtreatment.MethodsWe adopted the WHO recommendation of using rapid reviews for the production of actionable evidence. We searched PUBMED database to April 2021 and included all studies that focussed on ACP during COVID-19. Non-English articles were excluded. Titles and s were screened independently by two team members and full-texts selected by one author and reviewed by another. Quality was not appraised and risk-of-bias not formally conducted due to the rapid nature of this review. Studies were categorised for design and common themes were identified.ResultsFrom an original 323 s screened, 74 articles were included in this rapid review. The majority were commentary articles (n=39) and the rest were a mix of primary research studies (n=21) and reviews/guidelines (n=14). Most of the articles derived from the USA (n=49), followed by the UK (n=10), with other countries including India (n=3), Taiwan (n=2), Australia (n=2). The population settings included hospitals, outpatient services, residential aged care and community, indicating the widespread interest in ACP across all aspects of society during COVID-19. The main enablers of ACP communication identified included online tools and availability of telehealth. The development of new online tools and workshops encouraged community engagement with ACP during the COVID-19 pandemic. The expansion of telehealth services facilitated communication between patients, their families and physicians, relating to clinical condition, goals of care and treatment options. This allowed them to share decision-making in the setting of social distancing and visitor restrictions during the pandemic.Barriers to ACP communication during COVID-19 were more commonly described. Communication was made difficult by the clinical uncertainty around COVID-19, rapid patient deterioration and varied patient responses to treatment, often resulting in delayed ACP discussions. Complex medical jargon and complicated ACP forms also hindered ACP discussions during the pandemic. ACP uptake was shown to be lower in ethnic minorities and groups with lower socioeconomic status, likely due to language barriers, reduced familiarity with the health system and cultural reluctance to discuss death. Clinicians also experienced difficulties communicating about ACP, stemming from low levels of medical education in palliative care/end-of-life planning. Clinicians were reluctant to initiate ACP conversations, fearing they would extinguish hope of recovery. Shortage of personal protective equipment, visitor restrictions, clinician fatigue and high workload were further barriers to effective ACP communication.ConclusionsEffective communication around ACP during the pandemic, despite the challenges discussed, was found to facilitate end-of-life care in accordance with patient’s wishes, reduce anxiety and depression of bereaved relatives, and potentially prevent unwanted aggressive treatments, unnecessary hospital admissions and long periods of self-isolation. Recommendations to standardise ACP tools, engage a multi-disciplinary team to conduct ACP and increase ACP education for the community and clinicians will serve to further drive ACP conversations at the individual, local and international levels.

2.
Public Health ; 207: 119-126, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1867698

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of access to telehealth as an alternative model of service during social restrictions and for urban and remote communities alike. This study aimed to elucidate whether First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) patients also benefited from the resource before or during the pandemic. STUDY DESIGN: This study was a scoping review. METHODS: A scoping review of MEDLINE, CINAHL and PsycINFO databases from 2000 to 2021 was performed. Paired authors independently screened titles, abstracts and full texts. A narrative synthesis was undertaken after data extraction using a standard template by a team including First Nations and CALD researchers. RESULTS: Seventeen studies (N = 4,960 participants) mostly qualitative, covering First Nations and CALD patient recipients of telehealth in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the Pacific Islands, met the inclusion criteria. Telehealth was perceived feasible, satisfactory, and acceptable for the delivery of health screening, education, and care in mental health, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic conditions for remote and linguistically isolated populations. The advantages of convenience, lower cost, and less travel promoted uptake and adherence to the service, but evidence was lacking on the wider availability of technology and engagement of target communities in informing priorities to address inequalities. CONCLUSIONS: Further studies with larger samples and higher level evidence methods involving First Nations and CALD people as co-designers will assist in filling the gap of safety and cultural competency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Cultural Diversity , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Pandemics , Personal Satisfaction
3.
JMIR Ment Health ; 9(3): e31780, 2022 Mar 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1770896

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mental disorders are a leading cause of distress and disability worldwide. To meet patient demand, there is a need for increased access to high-quality, evidence-based mental health care. Telehealth has become well established in the treatment of illnesses, including mental health conditions. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to conduct a robust evidence synthesis to assess whether there is evidence of differences between telehealth and face-to-face care for the management of less common mental and physical health conditions requiring psychotherapy. METHODS: In this systematic review, we included randomized controlled trials comparing telehealth (telephone, video, or both) versus the face-to-face delivery of psychotherapy for less common mental health conditions and physical health conditions requiring psychotherapy. The psychotherapy delivered had to be comparable between the telehealth and face-to-face groups, and it had to be delivered by general practitioners, primary care nurses, or allied health staff (such as psychologists and counselors). Patient (symptom severity, overall improvement in psychological symptoms, and function), process (working alliance and client satisfaction), and financial (cost) outcomes were included. RESULTS: A total of 12 randomized controlled trials were included, with 931 patients in aggregate; therapies included cognitive behavioral and family therapies delivered in populations encompassing addiction disorders, eating disorders, childhood mental health problems, and chronic conditions. Telehealth was delivered by video in 7 trials, by telephone in 3 trials, and by both in 1 trial, and the delivery mode was unclear in 1 trial. The risk of bias for the 12 trials was low or unclear for most domains, except for the lack of the blinding of participants, owing to the nature of the comparison. There were no significant differences in symptom severity between telehealth and face-to-face therapy immediately after treatment (standardized mean difference [SMD] 0.05, 95% CI -0.17 to 0.27) or at any other follow-up time point. Similarly, there were no significant differences immediately after treatment between telehealth and face-to-face care delivery on any of the other outcomes meta-analyzed, including overall improvement (SMD 0.00, 95% CI -0.40 to 0.39), function (SMD 0.13, 95% CI -0.16 to 0.42), working alliance client (SMD 0.11, 95% CI -0.34 to 0.57), working alliance therapist (SMD -0.16, 95% CI -0.91 to 0.59), and client satisfaction (SMD 0.12, 95% CI -0.30 to 0.53), or at any other time point (3, 6, and 12 months). CONCLUSIONS: With regard to effectively treating less common mental health conditions and physical conditions requiring psychological support, there is insufficient evidence of a difference between psychotherapy delivered via telehealth and the same therapy delivered face-to-face. However, there was no includable evidence in this review for some serious mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, and further high-quality research is needed to determine whether telehealth is a viable, equivalent treatment option for these conditions.

4.
J Telemed Telecare ; : 1357633X211053738, 2021 Dec 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551117

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Worldwide, it is estimated that 264 million people meet the diagnostic criteria for anxiety conditions. Effective treatment regimens consist of cognitive and behavioural therapies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, treatment delivery relied heavily on telemedicine technologies which enabled remote consultation with patients via phone or video platforms. We aim to identify, appraise and synthesise randomised controlled trials comparing telehealth to face-to-face delivery of care to individuals of any age or gender, diagnosed with anxiety disorders, and disorders with anxiety features. METHODS: To conduct this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched three electronic databases, clinical trial registries and citing-cited references of included studies. RESULTS: A total of five small randomised controlled trials were includable; telehealth was conducted by video in three studies, and by telephone in two. The risk of bias for the 5 studies was low to moderate for most domains. Outcomes related to anxiety, depression symptom severity, obsessive-compulsive disorder, function, working alliance, and satisfaction were comparable between the two modes of delivery at each follow-up time point (immediately post-intervention, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months), with no significant differences reported (p > 0.05). None of the trials reported on the costs of telehealth compared to face-to-face care. DISCUSSION: For effectively treating anxiety and related conditions, interventions delivered by telehealth appear to be as effective as the same therapy delivered in-person. However, further high-quality trials are warranted to determine the effectiveness, acceptability, feasibility, and cost-effectiveness of telehealth interventions for the management of a wider range of anxiety disorders and treatments.

5.
J Crit Care ; 66: 33-43, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370571

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: This scoping review sought to identify objective factors to assist clinicians and policy-makers in making consistent, objective and ethically sound decisions about resource allocation when healthcare rationing is inevitable. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Review of guidelines and tools used in ICUs, hospital wards and emergency departments on how to best allocate intensive care beds and ventilators either during routine care or developed during previous epidemics, and association with patient outcomes during and after hospitalisation. RESULTS: Eighty publications from 20 countries reporting accuracy or validity of prognostic tools/algorithms, or significant correlation between prognostic variables and clinical outcomes met our eligibility criteria: twelve pandemic guidelines/triage protocols/consensus statements, twenty-two pandemic algorithms, and 46 prognostic tools/variables from non-crisis situations. Prognostic indicators presented here can be combined to create locally-relevant triage algorithms for clinicians and policy makers deciding about allocation of ICU beds and ventilators during a pandemic. No consensus was found on the ethical issues to incorporate in the decision to admit or triage out of intensive care. CONCLUSIONS: This review provides a unique reference intended as a discussion starter for clinicians and policy makers to consider formalising an objective a locally-relevant triage consensus document that enhances confidence in decision-making during healthcare rationing of critical care and ventilator resources.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Critical Care , Health Care Rationing , Humans , Triage , Ventilators, Mechanical
7.
Gerontology ; 66(5): 427-430, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066968

ABSTRACT

The large scale and rapid spread of the current COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way hospitals and other health services operate. Opportunities for patient-centered decision-making at the end of life are being jeopardized by a scarcity of health system resources. In response, the traditional doctor-initiated advanced care planning (ACP) for critical illness may also need to be readjusted. We propose nurse-led and allied health-led ACP discussions to ensure patient and family inclusion and understanding of the disease prognosis, prevention of overtreatment, and potential outcomes in crisis times. We highlight known barriers and list enablers, long-term and short-term opportunities to assist in the culture change.


Subject(s)
Advance Care Planning , Betacoronavirus , Communication , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Medical Overuse/prevention & control , Nurse's Role , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Social Workers , COVID-19 , Decision Making , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Terminal Care
8.
Breathe (Sheff) ; 16(2): 200062, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-886500

ABSTRACT

The patient and family perspective on the appropriateness of intensive care unit (ICU) treatments involves preferences, values and social constructs beyond medical criteria. The clinician's perception of inappropriateness is more reliant on clinical judgment. Earlier consultation with families before ICU admission and patient education on the outcomes of life-sustaining therapies may help reconcile these provider-patient disagreements. However, global emergencies like COVID-19 change the usual paradigm of end-of-life care, as it is a new disease with only scarce predictive information about it. Pandemics can also bring about the burdensome predicament of doctors having to make unwanted choices of rationing access to the ICU when demand for otherwise life-saving resources exceeds supply. Evidence-based prognostic checklists may guide treatment triage but the principles of shared decision-making are unchanged. Yet, they need to be altered with respect to COVID-19, defining likely outcomes and likelihood of benefit for the patient, and clarifying their willingness to take on the risks inherent to being in an ICU for 2 weeks for those eligible. For patients who are admitted during the prodrome of COVID-19 disease, or those who deteriorate in the second week, clinicians have some lead time in hospital to have appropriate discussions about ceilings of treatments offered based on severity. KEY POINTS: The patient and family perspective on inappropriateness of intensive care at the end of life often differs from the clinician's opinion due to the nonmedical frame of mind.To improve satisfaction with communication on treatment goals, consultation on patient values and inclusion of social constructs in addition to clinical prediction is a good start to reconcile differences between physician and health service users' viewpoints.During pandemics, where health systems may collapse, different admission criteria driven by the need to ration services may be warranted. EDUCATIONAL AIMS: To explore the extent to which older patients and their families are involved in decisions about appropriateness of intensive care admission or treatmentsTo understand how patients or their families define inappropriate intensive care admission or treatmentsTo reflect on the implications of decision to admit or not to admit to the intensive care unit in the face of acute resource shortages during a pandemic.

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