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Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6 Suppl 2): 216-225, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068142


OBJECTIVES: to explore clinical and epidemiological characteristics associated with an imaging feature of COVID-19 pneumonia at disease onset, in order to identify factors that may be evaluable by general practitioners at patient's home, and which may lead to identify a more severe disease, needing hospitalization. DESIGN: this is a retrospective/prospective observational hospital cohort. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: the study population includes all patients consecutively admitted to the emergency department of Città della salute e della scienza University Hospital from 01.03 to 31.05.2020 with a confirmed diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: patients were classified in two groups according to the findings of X-ray imaging, lung ultrasound and chest computer tomography, as pneumonia or not pneumonia patients. RESULTS: in multivariable analysis, factors most strongly associated with emergency department admission with pneumonia were age, oxygen saturation <90% (adj OR 4.16 ;95%CI 1.44-12.07), respiratory rate >24 breaths/min (adj OR 6.50; 95%CI 2.36-17.87), fever ≥38° (adj OR 3.05; 95%CI 1.53-6.08) and the presence of gastroenteric symptoms (vomiting and diarrhea). A delay (> 7 days) between the appearance of the initial lung symptoms (cough and dyspnea) and the admission to the emergency department was also related to a higher probability of receiving a positive imaging report (OR 4.99; 95%CI 2,02-12,34). CONCLUSIONS: in order to reorganize the management of COVID-19 patients in Italy, in view of the risk of a second wave of epidemic or of local outbreaks, it would be desirable to relocate the triage, and possibly the patient's care, from hospital to home. In this scenario it is important to identify all symptoms and signs associated with COVID-19 pneumonia that would facilitate the decision-making process of GPs leading to patients hospitalization.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/blood , Comorbidity , Diarrhea/epidemiology , Diarrhea/etiology , Dyspnea/epidemiology , Dyspnea/etiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Female , Hospitals, University/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Leukocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Nervous System Diseases/epidemiology , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Oxygen/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Rate , Retrospective Studies , Symptom Assessment , Time Factors , Vomiting/epidemiology , Vomiting/etiology
Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6 Suppl 2): 51-59, 2020.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068124


BACKGROUND: the Covid-19 pandemic has provoked a huge of clinical and epidemiological research initiatives, especially in the most involved countries. However, this very large effort was characterized by several methodological weaknesses, both in the field of discovering effective treatments (with too many small and uncontrolled trials) and in the field of identifying preventable risks and prognostic factors (with too few large, representative and well-designed cohorts or case-control studies). OBJECTIVES: in response to the fragmented and uncoordinated research production on Covid-19, the   italian Association of Epidemiology (AIE) stimulated the formation of a working group (WG) with the aims of identifying the most important gaps in knowledge and to propose a structured research agenda of clinical and epidemiological studies considered at high priority on Covid-19, including recommendations on the preferable methodology. METHODS: the WG was composed by 25 subjects, mainly epidemiologists, statisticians, and other experts in specific fields, who have voluntarily agreed to the proposal. The agreement on a list of main research questions and on the structure of the specific documents to be produced were defined through few meetings and cycles of document exchanges. RESULTS: twelve main research questions on Covid-19 were identified, covering aetiology, prognosis, interventions, follow-up and impact on general and specific populations (children, pregnant women). For each of them, a two-page form was developed, structured in: background, main topics, methods (with recommendations on preferred study design and warnings for bias prevention) and an essential bibliography. CONCLUSIONS: this research agenda represents an initial contribution to direct clinical and epidemiological research efforts on high priority topics with a focus on methodological aspects. Further development and refinements of this agenda by Public Health Authorities are encouraged.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemiologic Research Design , Pandemics , Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Epidemiology/organization & administration , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Prognosis , Societies, Scientific , Therapeutic Equipoise
Recenti Prog Med ; 111(9): 487-491, 2020 09.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-776172


CoViD-19 pandemic heavily impacted most on-going research activities, causing delays and need of re-programming. EASY-NET (NET-2016-02364191) is a network project, started in April 2019, co-funded by the Italian Ministry of Health and the participating regions. Within the general project, centred on the evaluation of Audit and Feedback (A&F) strategies in improving quality and equity in different health care contexts, the Piedmont region is responsible of the work package 3 (WP3) on specific oncology pathways and procedures. After a thorough evaluation of the impact of the CoViD-19 emergency on the WP3 activities, at the beginning of March 2020, the decision was to continue, with some adaptations, the audits already started, and to delay those in the early planning phase. The provisional availability of part of the time-persons involved in EASY-NET on one side, and the urgency of acquiring data on the management of the large number of CoViD-19 patients admitted to the study coordinator hospital on the other side, determined the personnel responsible of the WP3, in accordance with the hospital management, to invest these resources in monitoring the CoViD-19 hospitalized patients with both A&F activity and research objectives. Besides periodic reports, a web site, with restricted access to the involved health care personnel, was developed to allow a direct and timely consultation of graphics describing the flow of the patients, their management, and outcomes. This experience was made possible thanks to a favourable combination of different factors: the presence within the hospital of a group of experienced epidemiologists in A&F, the availability of extra resources, the strong support and collaboration by the hospital management and the readiness for authorisation by the Ethics Committee. We underline the need to provide a certain degree of flexibility in the long-term projects funded by the Ministry of Health, the extraordinary adaptability of the A&F approach also to emergency situations and the possibility of combining audit activities and research objectives in the same project.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Medical Audit/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Biomedical Research/organization & administration , COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , Quality of Health Care