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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(7)2022 03 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1798900

ABSTRACT

Disasters disrupt communication channels, infrastructure, and overburden health systems. This creates unique challenges to the functionality of surveillance tools, data collection systems, and information sharing platforms. The WHO Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (Health-EDRM) framework highlights the need for appropriate data collection, data interpretation, and data use from individual, community, and global levels. The COVID-19 crisis has evolved the way hazards and risks are viewed. No longer as a linear event but as a protracted hazard, with cascading and compound risks that affect communities facing complex risks such as climate-related disasters or urban growth. The large-scale disruptions of COVID-19 show that disaster data must evolve beyond mortality and frequency of events, in order to encompass the impact on the livelihood of communities, differentiated between population groups. This includes relative economic losses and psychosocial damage. COVID-19 has created a global opportunity to review how the scientific community classifies data, and how comparable indicators are selected to inform evidence-based resilience building and emergency preparedness. A shift into microlevel data, and regional-level information sharing is necessary to tailor community-level interventions for risk mitigation and disaster preparedness. Real-time data sharing, open governance, cross-organisational, and inter-platform collaboration are necessary not just in Health-EDRM and control of biological hazards, but for all natural hazards and man-made disasters.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disaster Planning , Disasters , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergencies , Humans , Risk Management
2.
Nutr Diabetes ; 12(1): 16, 2022 04 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773955

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: There is increasing attention on association between eating patterns and diabetes control following global changes in eating patterns. There had been very limited research on the eating patterns of diabetic patients with employment, although working age population has seen the highest increase in diabetes incidence. This study aimed to identify workplace eating patterns in relation to glycaemic control among type 2 diabetic patients with employment. METHODS: This is a sequential mixed-methods study. The exploratory qualitative study involved focus group interviews with 31 type 2 diabetic patients with employment, which guided the design of a subsequent cross-sectional investigation involving 185 patients with employment. Thematic analysis was conducted on the qualitative data to identify workplace eating patterns most relevant to glycaemic control. Hierarchical multiple linear regression was performed to examine association between workplace eating pattern and glycaemic control, proxied by HbA1c. RESULTS: The focus group interviews identified frequency in the consumption of home-prepared meals (HPM) and meal hours as the major workplace eating patterns that affected glycaemic control. The cross-sectional study confirmed that regular consumption of HPM at workplace could explain variance of HbA1c, independent of socio-demographic factors, lifestyle factors and disease condition, with R2 = 0.146, F(14, 170) = 2.075, p = 0.015; adjusted R2 = 0.076. Patients who were female, in non-skilled occupation, on shift, with fixed work location and had break during work were more likely to consume HPM. CONCLUSIONS: Consumption of HPM at workplace should be promoted to facilitate better glycaemic control by type 2 diabetic patients with employment, possibly through more practical dietary advice, and workplace accommodation in terms of space and facilities. In the context of COVID-19 pandemic, consumption of HPM also meant additional protection for diabetic patients through reducing close contact exposures in restaurants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/epidemiology , Female , Glycated Hemoglobin A , Hong Kong , Humans , Meals , Pandemics , Workplace
3.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ; 19(7):3917, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1762172

ABSTRACT

Disasters disrupt communication channels, infrastructure, and overburden health systems. This creates unique challenges to the functionality of surveillance tools, data collection systems, and information sharing platforms. The WHO Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (Health-EDRM) framework highlights the need for appropriate data collection, data interpretation, and data use from individual, community, and global levels. The COVID-19 crisis has evolved the way hazards and risks are viewed. No longer as a linear event but as a protracted hazard, with cascading and compound risks that affect communities facing complex risks such as climate-related disasters or urban growth. The large-scale disruptions of COVID-19 show that disaster data must evolve beyond mortality and frequency of events, in order to encompass the impact on the livelihood of communities, differentiated between population groups. This includes relative economic losses and psychosocial damage. COVID-19 has created a global opportunity to review how the scientific community classifies data, and how comparable indicators are selected to inform evidence-based resilience building and emergency preparedness. A shift into microlevel data, and regional-level information sharing is necessary to tailor community-level interventions for risk mitigation and disaster preparedness. Real-time data sharing, open governance, cross-organisational, and inter-platform collaboration are necessary not just in Health-EDRM and control of biological hazards, but for all natural hazards and man-made disasters.

4.
Transl Psychiatry ; 12(1): 49, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692636

ABSTRACT

In recent decades, respiratory infections, including SARS, HINI and the currently spreading COVID-19, caused by various viruses such as influenza and coronavirus have seriously threatened human health. It has generated inconsistent recommendations on the mandatory use of facemasks across countries on a population level due to insufficient evidence on the efficacy of facemask use among the general population. This meta-analysis aimed to explore (1) the efficacy of facemask use on preventing respiratory infections, and (2) the perceptions, intentions, and practice about facemask use among the general population worldwide. We searched PubMed, MEDLINE, Web of Science, Cochrane, bioRxiv, and medRxiv databases since inception to August 17, 2020. From 21,341 records identified, eight RCTs on facemask in preventing infections and 78 studies on perception, intention, and practice of facemask use among the general population were included in the analysis. The meta-analysis of RCTs found a significant protective effect of facemask intervention (OR = 0.84; 95% CI = 0.71-0.99; I2 = 0%). This protective effect was even more pronounced when the intervention duration was more than two weeks (OR = 0.76; 95% CI = 0.66-0.88; I2 = 0%). The meta-analysis of observational studies on perception, intention, and practice on facemask use showed that 71% of respondents perceived facemasks to be effective for infection prevention, 68% of respondents would wear facemasks, and 54% of respondents wore facemasks for preventing respiratory infections. Differences in perception, intention, and practice behavior of facemask use in different regions may be related to the impact of respiratory infections, regional culture, and policies. The governments and relevant organizations should make effort to reduce the barriers in the use of facemasks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Tract Infections , Humans , Masks , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-323618

ABSTRACT

Background: The evolving pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a severe threat to public health, and the workplace presents high risks in terms of spreading the disease. Few studies have focused on the impact of workplace policy on individual behaviours. This study aimed to examine the relationship of workplace guidelines and measures with employees’ behaviours regarding COVID-19 prevention. Methods: : A cross-sectional survey using an online questionnaire was conducted to gather employees’ access to workplace guidelines and measures as well as their personal protection behaviours. Statistical associations between these two factors in different occupations were examined using multiple ordinal logistic regressions. Results: : A total of 1048 valid questionnaires across five occupational groups were analysed. Manual labourers reported lower availability of workplace guidelines and measures (76.9% vs. 89.9% for all, P = 0.003). Employees with available workplace guidelines and measures performed personal protection behaviours with higher frequency, and this association was more significant among managers/administrators and manual labourers. Conclusions: : Awareness about the disease and pandemic among employers and administrators should be promoted, and resources should be allocated to publish guidelines and implement measures in the workplace. Manual labourers may require specific attention regarding accessibility of relevant information, given their poorer experience of workplace policy and their work nature. Governments should guide the establishment of appropriate policies and responses at the workplace level. Further studies are needed to test the effectiveness of specific workplace policies on COVID-19 prevention.

6.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(21)2021 10 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480776

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although COVID-19 has affected over 220 countries by October 2021, there is limited research examining the patterns and determinants of adherence to infection control measures over time. AIMS: Our study examines the sociodemographic factors associated with changes in the frequency of adherence to personal hygiene and social distancing behaviors in Hong Kong. METHODS: A serial cross-sectional telephone survey in the general population was conducted during the first (March 2020) (n = 765) and third wave (December 2020) (n = 651) of the local outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents were asked about their level of compliance with various personal hygiene and social distancing recommendations. RESULTS: By the third wave, mask use increased to 100%, and throughout the study periods, >90% practiced frequent hand hygiene. However, adherence to social distancing measures significantly waned over time: avoidance of social gatherings (80.5% to 72.0%), avoidance of public places/public transport (53.3% to 26.0%), avoidance of international travel (85.8% to 76.6%) (p < 0.05). The practice of ordering food takeout/home delivery, however, increased, particularly among high-income respondents. Higher education, female gender and employment status were the most consistently associated factors with adherence to COVID-19 preventive practices in the multivariable models. CONCLUSIONS: In urban areas of this region, interventions to improve personal hygiene in a prolonged pandemic should target males and those with low education. In addition to these groups, the working population needs to be targeted in order to improve adherence to social distancing guidelines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Infection Control , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
7.
Int J Equity Health ; 20(1): 200, 2021 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398861

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The evolving pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a severe threat to public health, and the workplace presents high risks in terms of spreading the disease. Few studies have focused on the relationship between workplace policy and individual behaviours. This study aimed to identify inequalities of workplace policy across occupation groups, examine the relationship of workplace guidelines and measures with employees' behaviours regarding COVID-19 prevention. METHODS: A cross-sectional online survey using a structured questionnaire was conducted to gather employees' access to workplace guidelines and measures as well as their personal protection behaviours. Statistical associations between these two factors in different occupations were examined using multiple ordinal logistic regressions. RESULTS: A total of 1048 valid responses across five occupational groups were analysed. Manual labourers reported lower availability of workplace guidelines and measures (76.9% vs. 89.9% for all, P = 0.003). Employees with available workplace guidelines and measures had higher compliance of hand hygiene, wearing masks, and social distancing, and this association was more significant among managers/administrators and manual labourers. CONCLUSIONS: Protection of the quantity and quality of employment is important. Awareness about the disease and its prevention among employers and administrators should be promoted, and resources should be allocated to publish guidelines and implement measures in the workplace during the pandemic. Both work-from-home arrangement and other policies and responses for those who cannot work from home including guidelines encouraging the health behaviours, information transparency, and provision of infection control materials by employers should be established to reduce inequality. Manual labourers may require specific attention regarding accessibility of relevant information and availability of medical benefits and compensation for income loss due to the sickness, given their poorer experience of workplace policy and the nature of their work. Further studies are needed to test the effectiveness of specific workplace policies on COVID-19 prevention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Occupations , Policy , Workplace , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Occupations/statistics & numerical data , Risk Reduction Behavior
8.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(7): 1802-1810, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278360

ABSTRACT

To access temporal changes in psychobehavioral responses to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, we conducted a 5-round (R1-R5) longitudinal population-based online survey in Hong Kong during January-September 2020. Most respondents reported wearing masks (R1 99.0% to R5 99.8%) and performing hand hygiene (R1 95.8% to R5 97.7%). Perceived COVID-19 severity decreased significantly, from 97.4% (R1) to 77.2% (R5), but perceived self-susceptibility remained high (87.2%-92.8%). Female sex and anxiety were associated with greater adoption of social distancing. Intention to receive COVID-19 vaccines decreased significantly (R4 48.7% to R5 37.6%). Greater anxiety, confidence in vaccine, and collective responsibility and weaker complacency were associated with higher tendency to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Although its generalizability should be assumed with caution, this study helps to formulate health communication strategies and foretells the initial low uptake rate of COVID-19 vaccines, suggesting that social distancing should be maintained in the medium term.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , COVID-19 Vaccines , Female , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(9)2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219282

ABSTRACT

Nearly a year after the classification of the COVID-19 outbreak as a global pandemic, it is clear that different factors have contributed to an increase in psychological disorders, including public health measures that infringe on personal freedoms, growing financial losses, and conflicting messages. This study examined the evolution of psychosocial impacts with the progression of the pandemic in adult populations from different countries and continents, and identified, among a wide range of individual and country-level factors, which ones are contributing to this evolving psychological response. An online survey was conducted in May/June 2020 and in November 2020, among a sample of 17,833 adults (Phase 1: 8806; Phase 2: 9027) from eight countries/regions (Canada, the United States, England, Switzerland, Belgium, Hong Kong, the Philippines, New Zealand). Probable generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive episode (MDE) were assessed. The independent role of potential factors was examined using multilevel logistic regression. Probable GAD or MDE was indicated by 30.1% and 32.5% of the respondents during phases 1 and 2, respectively (a 7.9% increase over time), with an important variation according to countries/regions (range from 22.3% in Switzerland to 38.8% in the Philippines). This proportion exceeded 50% among young adults (18-24 years old) in all countries except for Switzerland. Beyond young age, several factors negatively influenced mental health in times of pandemic; important factors were found, including weak sense of coherence (adjusted odds ratio aOR = 3.89), false beliefs (aOR = 2.33), and self-isolation/quarantine (aOR = 2.01). The world has entered a new era dominated by psychological suffering and rising demand for mental health interventions, along a continuum from health promotion to specialized healthcare. More than ever, we need to innovate and build interventions aimed at strengthening key protective factors, such as sense of coherence, in the fight against the adversity caused by the concurrent pandemic and infodemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Depressive Disorder, Major , Adolescent , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety Disorders/epidemiology , Belgium , Canada , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Depressive Disorder, Major/epidemiology , England , Hong Kong , Humans , New Zealand/epidemiology , Pandemics , Philippines , SARS-CoV-2 , Switzerland , Young Adult
11.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(4): e26645, 2021 04 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1192182

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has plagued the globe, with multiple SARS-CoV-2 clusters hinting at its evolving epidemiology. Since the disease course is governed by important epidemiological parameters, including containment delays (time between symptom onset and mandatory isolation) and serial intervals (time between symptom onsets of infector-infectee pairs), understanding their temporal changes helps to guide interventions. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to characterize the epidemiology of the first two epidemic waves of COVID-19 in Hong Kong by doing the following: (1) estimating the containment delays, serial intervals, effective reproductive number (Rt), and proportion of asymptomatic cases; (2) identifying factors associated with the temporal changes of the containment delays and serial intervals; and (3) depicting COVID-19 transmission by age assortativity and types of social settings. METHODS: We retrieved the official case series and the Apple mobility data of Hong Kong from January-August 2020. The empirical containment delays and serial intervals were fitted to theoretical distributions, and factors associated with their temporal changes were quantified in terms of percentage contribution (the percentage change in the predicted outcome from multivariable regression models relative to a predefined comparator). Rt was estimated with the best fitted distribution for serial intervals. RESULTS: The two epidemic waves were characterized by imported cases and clusters of local cases, respectively. Rt peaked at 2.39 (wave 1) and 3.04 (wave 2). The proportion of asymptomatic cases decreased from 34.9% (0-9 years) to 12.9% (≥80 years). Log-normal distribution best fitted the 1574 containment delays (mean 5.18 [SD 3.04] days) and the 558 serial intervals (17 negative; mean 4.74 [SD 4.24] days). Containment delays decreased with involvement in a cluster (percentage contribution: 10.08%-20.73%) and case detection in the public health care sector (percentage contribution: 27.56%, 95% CI 22.52%-32.33%). Serial intervals decreased over time (6.70 days in wave 1 versus 4.35 days in wave 2) and with tertiary transmission or beyond (percentage contribution: -50.75% to -17.31%), but were lengthened by mobility (percentage contribution: 0.83%). Transmission within the same age band was high (18.1%). Households (69.9%) and social settings (20.3%) were where transmission commonly occurred. CONCLUSIONS: First, the factors associated with reduced containment delays suggested government-enacted interventions were useful for achieving outbreak control and should be further encouraged. Second, the shorter serial intervals associated with the composite mobility index calls for empirical surveys to disentangle the role of different contact dimensions in disease transmission. Third, the presymptomatic transmission and asymptomatic cases underscore the importance of remaining vigilant about COVID-19. Fourth, the time-varying epidemiological parameters suggest the need to incorporate their temporal variations when depicting the epidemic trajectory. Fifth, the high proportion of transmission events occurring within the same age group supports the ban on gatherings outside of households, and underscores the need for residence-centered preventive measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Adult , Disease Progression , Female , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seasons
12.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(7)2021 03 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154403

ABSTRACT

Background: Standard precautions prevent the spread of infections in healthcare settings. Incompliance with infection control guidelines of healthcare workers (HCWs) may increase their risk of exposure to infectious disease, especially under pandemics. The purpose of this study was to assess the level of compliance with the infection prevention and control practices among HCWs in different healthcare settings and its relationship with their views on workplace infection control measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Nurses in Hong Kong were invited to respond to a cross-sectional online survey, in which their views on workplace infection and prevention policy, compliance with standard precautions and self-reported health during pandemics were collected. Results: The respondents were dissatisfied with workplace infection and prevention policy in terms of comprehensiveness (62%), clarity (64%), timeliness (63%), and transparency (60%). For the protective behavior, the respondents did not fully comply with the standard precautions when they were involved in medical care. Their compliance was relatively low when having proper patient handling (54%) and performing invasive procedures (46%). A multivariate analysis model proved that the level of compliance of the standard precautions was positively associated with the satisfaction on infection control and prevention policy among high risk group (0.020; 95% CI: 0.005-0.036), while older respondents had higher level of compliance among the inpatient and outpatient groups (coefficient range: 0.065-0.076). The higher level of compliance was also significantly associated with working in designated team and having chronic condition of the respondents among high-risk and inpatient groups. Conclusions: Standard precautions are the most important elements to reduce cross-transmission among HCWs and patients while the satisfaction on infection control and prevention policy would increase the compliance among the high-risk group. An overall suboptimal compliance and poor views on the infection prevention and control guidelines is a warning signal to healthcare system especially during pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies , Guideline Adherence , Health Personnel , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Infection Control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Policy , Reference Standards , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(5)2021 03 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125098

ABSTRACT

Health-Emergency Disaster Risk Management (Health-EDRM) is one of the latest academic and global policy paradigms that capture knowledge, research and policy shift from response to preparedness and health risk management in non-emergency times [...].

14.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(4)2021 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069818

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has reinforced the need to revisit the integration of health within disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies for biological hazards in a system-wide approach. In November 2020, DRR experts attended the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Disaster Risk Reduction (APP-DRR) Forum to share progress and learnings in the areas of health system resilience, data management, residual risk management, risk communication, digital literacy, and knowledge product marketing. Advancements for health in DRR included the importance of multi-sectoral, multi-hazard action plans; adaptation to technological advancements in data collection, dissemination and protection; promoting the health and wellbeing of essential and nonprofessional workers; and improving inclusivity in digital literacy. COVID-19 has affected progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and created a unique opportunity within DRR to re-evaluate the adequacy of response mechanisms against concurrent, cascading or interacting risks of future biological hazards. Health emergency disaster risk management (Health-EDRM) is a new World Health Organization paradigm that includes DRR at intra-, inter- and multidisciplinary levels. Scientific advancement under Health-EDRM is necessary for health and non-health actors in DRR education and research. Continuous education on the multifaceted risk governance is a key to building awareness, capacity and accelerating towards achieving the international DRR and the SDG targets.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disaster Planning , Pandemics/prevention & control , Risk Reduction Behavior , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(22)2020 11 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-927553

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic brought about several features that increased the sense of fear and confusion, such as quarantine and financial losses among other stressors, which may have led to adverse psychosocial outcomes. The influence of such stressors took place within a broader sociocultural context that needs to be considered. The objective was to examine how the psychological response to the pandemic varied across countries and identify which risk/protective factors contributed to this response. An online survey was conducted from 29 May 2020-12 June 2020, among a multinational sample of 8806 adults from eight countries/regions (Canada, United States, England, Switzerland, Belgium, Hong Kong, Philippines, New Zealand). Probable generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depression episode (MDE) were assessed. The independent role of a wide range of potential factors was examined using multilevel logistic regression. Probable GAD and MDE were indicated by 21.0% and 25.5% of the respondents, respectively, with an important variation according to countries/regions (GAD: 12.2-31.0%; MDE: 16.7-32.9%). When considered together, 30.2% of the participants indicated probable GAD or MDE. Several factors were positively associated with a probable GAD or MDE, including (in descending order of importance) weak sense of coherence (SOC), lower age, false beliefs, isolation, threat perceived for oneself/family, mistrust in authorities, stigma, threat perceived for country/world, financial losses, being a female, and having a high level of information about COVID-19. Having a weak SOC yielded the highest adjusted odds ratio for probable GAD or MDE (3.21; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.73-3.77). This pandemic is having an impact on psychological health. In some places and under certain circumstances, however, people seem to be better protected psychologically. This is a unique opportunity to evaluate the psychosocial impacts across various sociocultural backgrounds, providing important lessons that could inform all phases of disaster risk management.


Subject(s)
Anxiety Disorders/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Depressive Disorder, Major/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Belgium , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Canada , Cross-Sectional Studies , England , Female , Hong Kong , Humans , Male , Mental Healing , Middle Aged , New Zealand , Pandemics , Philippines , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological , Switzerland , United States , Young Adult
16.
Int J Health Policy Manag ; 11(4): 508-513, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-892567

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As health systems across the world respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), there is rising concern that patients without COVID-19 are not receiving timely emergency care, resulting in avoidable deaths. This study examined patterns of self-reported health service utilization, their socio-demographic determinants and association with avoidable deaths during the COVID-19 outbreak. METHODS: A cross-sectional telephone survey was conducted between March 22 and April 1, 2020, during the peak rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong. Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong residents over 18-years-old were recruited using a computerised random digital dialling (RDD) system. The RDD method used stratified random sampling to ensure a representative sample of the target population by age, gender, and residential district. A structured self-reported questionnaire was used. RESULTS: Out of 1738 placed calls, 765 subjects responded to the questionnaire (44.0% response rate). The factors associated with avoiding medical consultation included being female (37.2% vs. 22.5%, P<.001), married (32.8% vs. 27%, P=.044), completing tertiary education (35.3% vs. 27.7% (secondary) vs. 14.8% (primary), P=.005), and those who reported a "large/very large" impact of COVID-19 on their mental health (36.1% vs 30.5% (neutral) vs. 19.7% (very small/small), P=.047) using logistic regression analysis. CONCLUSION: Married females with both higher educational attainment and concern about COVID-19 were associated with avoiding healthcare services. Timely public communication to encourage and promote early health seeking treatment even during extreme events such as pandemics are needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Services , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Pandemics
17.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(5)2020 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-833169

ABSTRACT

Health-Emergency Disaster Risk Management (Health-EDRM) emerged as the latest knowledge, research and policy paradigm shift from response to preparedness and health risk management in non-emergency times [...].

18.
Vaccine ; 38(45): 7049-7056, 2020 10 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-752762

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Maintaining health of healthcare workers with vaccination is a major component of pandemic preparedness and acceptance of vaccinations is essential to its success. This study aimed to examine impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on change of influenza vaccination acceptance and identify factors associated with acceptance of potential COVID-19 vaccination. METHOD: A cross-sectional self-administered anonymous questionnaire survey was conducted among nurses in Hong Kong, China during 26 February and 31 March 2020. Their previous acceptance of influenza vaccination and intentions to accept influenza and COVID-19 vaccination were collected. Their relationship with work-related and other factors were examined using multiple multinomial logistic regressions. RESULTS: Responses from 806 participants were retrieved. More nurses changed from vaccination refusal to hesitancy or acceptance than those changed from acceptance to vaccination hesitancy or refusal (15.5% vs 6.8% among all participants, P < 0.001). 40.0% participants intended to accept COVID-19 vaccination, and those in private sector (OR: 1.67, 95%CI: 1.11-2.51), with chronic conditions (OR: 1.83, 95%CI: 1.22-2.77), encountering with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients (OR: 1.63, 95%CI: 1.14-2.33), accepted influenza vaccination in 2019 (OR: 2.03, 95%CI: 1.47-2.81) had higher intentions to accept it. Reasons for refusal and hesitation for COVID-19 vaccination included "suspicion on efficacy, effectiveness and safety", "believing it unnecessary", and "no time to take it". CONCLUSION: With a low level of COVID-19 acceptance intentions and high proportion of hesitation in both influenza and COVID-19 vaccination, evidence-based planning are needed to improve the uptake of both vaccinations in advance of their implementation. Future studies are needed to explore reasons of change of influenza vaccination acceptance, look for actual behaviour patterns of COVID-19 vaccination acceptance and examine effectiveness of promotion strategies.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Influenza Vaccines/immunology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Influenza, Human/psychology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Vaccination/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Personnel , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/immunology , Intention , Male , Middle Aged , Orthomyxoviridae/pathogenicity , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , Patient Safety , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Viral Vaccines/immunology
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(17)2020 08 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-727422

ABSTRACT

Addressing the psychological mechanisms and structural inequalities that underpin mental health issues is critical to recovery following disasters and pandemics. The Asia Pacific Disaster Mental Health Network was established in June 2020 in response to the current disaster climate and to foster advancements in disaster-oriented mental health research, practice and policy across the region. Supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) Thematic Platform for Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (Health EDRM), the network brings together leading disaster psychiatry, psychology and public health experts. Our aim is to advance policy, research and targeted translation of the evidence so that communities are better informed in preparation and response to disasters, pandemics and mass trauma. The first meetings of the network resulted in the development of a regional disaster mental health agenda focused on the current context, with five priority areas: (1) Strengthening community engagement and the integration of diverse perspectives in planning, implementing and evaluating mental health and psychosocial response in disasters; (2) Supporting and assessing the capacity of mental health systems to respond to disasters; (3) Optimising emerging technologies in mental healthcare; (4) Understanding and responding appropriately to addressing the mental health impacts of climate change; (5) Prioritising mental health and psychosocial support for high-risk groups. Consideration of these priority areas in future research, practice and policy will support nuanced and effective psychosocial initiatives for disaster-affected populations within the Asia Pacific region.


Subject(s)
Disaster Planning , Disasters , Mental Health , Asia , Emergencies , Humans
20.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(15)2020 Aug 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-693456

ABSTRACT

People with existing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are particularly vulnerable to health risks brought upon by emergencies and disasters, yet limited research has been conducted on disease management and the implications of Health-EDRM policies that address health vulnerabilities of people with NCDs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper reports the baseline findings of an anonymous, random, population-based, 6-month cohort study that aimed to examine the experiences of people with NCDs and their relevant self-care patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 765 telephone interviews were completed from 22nd March to 1st April 2020 in Hong Kong, China. The dataset was representative of the population, with 18.4% of subjects reporting at least one NCD. Results showed that low household income and residence in government-subsidized housing were significant predictors for the subjects who experienced difficulty in managing during first 2 months of the pandemic (11% of the NCD patients). Of those on long-term NCD medication, 10% reported having less than one week's supply of medication. Targeted services for vulnerable groups during a pandemic should be explored to support NCD self-care.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Policy , Noncommunicable Diseases/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adult , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Hong Kong , Humans , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
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