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1.
Pirkis, Jane, Gunnell, David, Shin, Sangsoo, DelPozo-Banos, Marcos, Arya, Vikas, Analuisa Aguilar, Pablo, Appleby, Louis, Arafat, S. M. Yasir, Arensman, Ella, Ayuso-Mateos, Jose Luis, Balhara, Yatan Pal Singh, Bantjes, Jason, Baran, Anna, Behera, Chittaranjan, Bertolote, Jose, Borges, Guilherme, Bray, Michael, Brečić, Petrana, Caine, Eric D.; Calati, Raffaella, Carli, Vladimir, Castelpietra, Giulio, Chan, Lai Fong, Chang, Shu-Sen, Colchester, David, Coss-Guzmán, Maria, Crompton, David, Curkovic, Marko, Dandona, Rakhi, De Jaegere, Eva, De Leo, Diego, Deisenhammer, Eberhard, Dwyer, Jeremy, Erlangsen, Annette, Faust, Jeremy, Fornaro, Michele, Fortune, Sarah, Garrett, Andrew, Gentile, Guendalina, Gerstner, Rebekka, Gilissen, Renske, Gould, Madelyn, Gupta, Sudhir Kumar, Hawton, Keith, Holz, Franziska, Kamenshchikov, Iurii, Kapur, Navneet, Kasal, Alexandr, Khan, Murad, Kirtley, Olivia, Knipe, Duleeka, Kolves, Kairi, Kölzer, Sarah, Krivda, Hryhorii, Leske, Stuart, Madeddu, Fabio, Marshall, Andrew, Memon, Anjum, Mittendorfer-Rutz, Ellenor, Nestadt, Paul, Neznanov, Nikolay, Niederkrotenthaler, Thomas, Nielsen, Emma, Nordentoft, Merete, Oberlerchner, Herwig, O'Connor, Rory, Papsdorf, Rainer, Partonen, Timo, Michael, Phillips, Platt, Steve, Portzky, Gwendolyn, Psota, Georg, Qin, Ping, Radeloff, Daniel, Reif, Andreas, Reif-Leonhard, Christine, Rezaeian, Mohsen, Román-Vázquez, Nayda, Roskar, Saska, Rozanov, Vsevolod, Sara, Grant, Scavacini, Karen, Schneider, Barbara, Semenova, Natalia, Sinyor, Mark, Tambuzzi, Stefano, Townsend, Ellen, Ueda, Michiko, Wasserman, Danuta, Webb, Roger T.; Winkler, Petr, Yip, Paul S. F.; Zalsman, Gil, Zoja, Riccardo, John, Ann, Spittal, Matthew J..
SSRN; 2022.
Preprint in English | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-331684

ABSTRACT

Background When the COVID-19 pandemic began there were concerns that suicides might rise, but predicted increases were not generally observed in the pandemic’s early months. However, the picture may be changing and patterns may vary across demographic groups. We aimed to provide an up-to-date, granular picture of the impact of COVID-19 on suicides globally.Methods We identified suicide data from official public-sector sources for countries/areas-within-countries. We used interrupted time series (ITS) analyses to model the association between the pandemic’s emergence and total suicides and suicides by sex-, age- and sex-by-age in each country/area-within-country. We compared the observed number of suicides to the expected number in the pandemic’s first nine and first 10-15 months and used meta-regression to explore sources of variation.Findings We sourced data from 33 countries (24 high-income, six upper-middle-income, three lower-middle-income). There was no evidence of greater-than-expected numbers of suicides in the majority of countries/areas-within-countries in any analysis;more commonly, there was evidence of lower-than-expected numbers. Certain sex, age and sex-by-age groups stood out as potentially concerning, but these were not consistent across countries/areas-within-countries. In the meta-regression, different patterns were not explained by countries’ COVID-19 mortality rate, stringency of public health response, level of economic support, or presence of a national suicide prevention strategy. They were also not explained by countries’ income level, although the meta-regression only included data from high-income and upper-middle-income countries, and there were suggestions from the ITS analyses that lower-middle-income countries fared less well.Interpretation Although there are some countries/areas-within-countries where overall suicide numbers and numbers for certain sex- and age-based groups are greater-than-expected, these are in the minority. Any upward movement in suicide numbers in any place or group is concerning, and we need to remain alert to and respond to changes as the pandemic and its mental health and economic consequences continue.

2.
Lancet Psychiatry ; 8(7): 579-588, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1683800

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is having profound mental health consequences for many people. Concerns have been expressed that, at their most extreme, these consequences could manifest as increased suicide rates. We aimed to assess the early effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates around the world. METHODS: We sourced real-time suicide data from countries or areas within countries through a systematic internet search and recourse to our networks and the published literature. Between Sept 1 and Nov 1, 2020, we searched the official websites of these countries' ministries of health, police agencies, and government-run statistics agencies or equivalents, using the translated search terms "suicide" and "cause of death", before broadening the search in an attempt to identify data through other public sources. Data were included from a given country or area if they came from an official government source and were available at a monthly level from at least Jan 1, 2019, to July 31, 2020. Our internet searches were restricted to countries with more than 3 million residents for pragmatic reasons, but we relaxed this rule for countries identified through the literature and our networks. Areas within countries could also be included with populations of less than 3 million. We used an interrupted time-series analysis to model the trend in monthly suicides before COVID-19 (from at least Jan 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020) in each country or area within a country, comparing the expected number of suicides derived from the model with the observed number of suicides in the early months of the pandemic (from April 1 to July 31, 2020, in the primary analysis). FINDINGS: We sourced data from 21 countries (16 high-income and five upper-middle-income countries), including whole-country data in ten countries and data for various areas in 11 countries). Rate ratios (RRs) and 95% CIs based on the observed versus expected numbers of suicides showed no evidence of a significant increase in risk of suicide since the pandemic began in any country or area. There was statistical evidence of a decrease in suicide compared with the expected number in 12 countries or areas: New South Wales, Australia (RR 0·81 [95% CI 0·72-0·91]); Alberta, Canada (0·80 [0·68-0·93]); British Columbia, Canada (0·76 [0·66-0·87]); Chile (0·85 [0·78-0·94]); Leipzig, Germany (0·49 [0·32-0·74]); Japan (0·94 [0·91-0·96]); New Zealand (0·79 [0·68-0·91]); South Korea (0·94 [0·92-0·97]); California, USA (0·90 [0·85-0·95]); Illinois (Cook County), USA (0·79 [0·67-0·93]); Texas (four counties), USA (0·82 [0·68-0·98]); and Ecuador (0·74 [0·67-0·82]). INTERPRETATION: This is the first study to examine suicides occurring in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple countries. In high-income and upper-middle-income countries, suicide numbers have remained largely unchanged or declined in the early months of the pandemic compared with the expected levels based on the pre-pandemic period. We need to remain vigilant and be poised to respond if the situation changes as the longer-term mental health and economic effects of the pandemic unfold. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Global Health , Models, Statistical , Suicide/statistics & numerical data , Developed Countries/statistics & numerical data , Humans
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(2)2022 01 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635981

ABSTRACT

Trust in healthcare systems and physicians is considered important for the delivery of good healthcare. A cross-sectional survey was conducted on a random three-stage sample of the general population of Croatia (N = 1230), stratified by regions. Of respondents, 58.7% displayed a high or very high level of trust in the healthcare system, 65.6% in physicians, and 78.3% in their family physician. Respondents' views regarding patients' roles in the discussion of treatment options, confidence in physicians' expertise, and underlying motives of physicians were mixed. Respondents with a lower level of education, those with low monthly incomes, and those from smaller settlements had lower levels of trust in physicians and the healthcare system. Trust in other institutions, religiosity and religious beliefs, tolerance of personal choice, and experience of caring for the seriously ill and dying were predictors of trust in healthcare and physicians. Our findings suggest that levels of healthcare-related trust in Croatia are increasing in comparison with previous research, but need improvement. Levels of trust are lowest in populations that are most vulnerable and most in need of care and protection.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care , Trust , Croatia , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Physician-Patient Relations , Physicians, Family , Surveys and Questionnaires
4.
Environ Res ; 204(Pt B): 112079, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433210

ABSTRACT

This paper is an analysis of complex crisis management and the importance of resilience on the example of co-occurring disasters. A resilience framework model was analyzed based on epidemiologic data and the interplay of several disasters; the COVID-19 pandemic and two 2020 Zagreb, Croatia earthquakes. A dose-response principle may be applied to a complex crisis scenario, within a resilience-vulnerability framework. The available data present the concept of balance between vulnerability and resilience of the population affected by complex crises as well as possible adaptation mechanisms. Multiple disasters that last for a prolonged period reduce the populations' resilience and increase the risk of the next crisis becoming a disaster as well. Such complex disasters should not be approached by multiple risk management protocols, but rather by a single, multilayered protocol. Health policies that predict the possible effects of complex disasters on health risk management need to provide measures to maintain and promote resilience instead of collapse. These is a clear need to adopt green environmental policies, reduce socioeconomic inequality, train volunteer managers during crises, introduce timely evidence-informed policies and transfer new research and innovations in society rapidly.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disaster Planning , Disasters , Earthquakes , Croatia/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
J Bioeth Inq ; 18(4): 629-643, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1432614

ABSTRACT

Healthcare professionals working in intensive care units (ICUs) are often involved in end-of-life decision-making. No research has been done so far about these processes taking place in Croatian ICUs. The aim of this study was to investigate the perceptions, experiences, and challenges healthcare professionals face when dealing with end-of-life decisions in ICUs in Croatia. A qualitative study was performed using professionally homogenous focus groups of ICU nurses and physicians (45 in total) of diverse professional and clinical backgrounds at three research sites (Zagreb, Rijeka, Split). In total, six institutions at the tertiary level of healthcare were included. The constant comparative analysis method was used in the analysis of the data. Differences were found between the perceptions and experiences of nurses and physicians in relation to end-of-life decisions. Nurses' perceptions were more focused on the context and features of immediate care, while physicians' perceptions also included the wider sociocultural context. However, the critical issues these specific professional groups face when dealing with end-of-life decisions seem to overlap. A high variability of practices, both between individual practitioners and between different organizational units, was omnipresent. The lack of adequate legal, professional, and clinical guidelines was commonly expressed as one of the most critical source of difficulties.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Physicians , Terminal Care , Croatia , Death , Decision Making , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Lancet Psychiatry ; 8(7): 579-588, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284642

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is having profound mental health consequences for many people. Concerns have been expressed that, at their most extreme, these consequences could manifest as increased suicide rates. We aimed to assess the early effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates around the world. METHODS: We sourced real-time suicide data from countries or areas within countries through a systematic internet search and recourse to our networks and the published literature. Between Sept 1 and Nov 1, 2020, we searched the official websites of these countries' ministries of health, police agencies, and government-run statistics agencies or equivalents, using the translated search terms "suicide" and "cause of death", before broadening the search in an attempt to identify data through other public sources. Data were included from a given country or area if they came from an official government source and were available at a monthly level from at least Jan 1, 2019, to July 31, 2020. Our internet searches were restricted to countries with more than 3 million residents for pragmatic reasons, but we relaxed this rule for countries identified through the literature and our networks. Areas within countries could also be included with populations of less than 3 million. We used an interrupted time-series analysis to model the trend in monthly suicides before COVID-19 (from at least Jan 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020) in each country or area within a country, comparing the expected number of suicides derived from the model with the observed number of suicides in the early months of the pandemic (from April 1 to July 31, 2020, in the primary analysis). FINDINGS: We sourced data from 21 countries (16 high-income and five upper-middle-income countries), including whole-country data in ten countries and data for various areas in 11 countries). Rate ratios (RRs) and 95% CIs based on the observed versus expected numbers of suicides showed no evidence of a significant increase in risk of suicide since the pandemic began in any country or area. There was statistical evidence of a decrease in suicide compared with the expected number in 12 countries or areas: New South Wales, Australia (RR 0·81 [95% CI 0·72-0·91]); Alberta, Canada (0·80 [0·68-0·93]); British Columbia, Canada (0·76 [0·66-0·87]); Chile (0·85 [0·78-0·94]); Leipzig, Germany (0·49 [0·32-0·74]); Japan (0·94 [0·91-0·96]); New Zealand (0·79 [0·68-0·91]); South Korea (0·94 [0·92-0·97]); California, USA (0·90 [0·85-0·95]); Illinois (Cook County), USA (0·79 [0·67-0·93]); Texas (four counties), USA (0·82 [0·68-0·98]); and Ecuador (0·74 [0·67-0·82]). INTERPRETATION: This is the first study to examine suicides occurring in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple countries. In high-income and upper-middle-income countries, suicide numbers have remained largely unchanged or declined in the early months of the pandemic compared with the expected levels based on the pre-pandemic period. We need to remain vigilant and be poised to respond if the situation changes as the longer-term mental health and economic effects of the pandemic unfold. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Global Health , Models, Statistical , Suicide/statistics & numerical data , Developed Countries/statistics & numerical data , Humans
7.
J Biomed Inform ; 115: 103709, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1071559

ABSTRACT

Digital technologies have a significant role in collecting, filtering and disseminating information, allowing for social, healthcare and economic activities even in the context of highly restrictive public health measures in the current COVID-19 pandemic. As personal contact is greatly reduced, they also create a shared informational landscape, allowing for a shared threat response. This is a difficult task, since truthfulness of content that leads to actionable knowledge is impossible to consistently validate. So, not only that curation of information is rarely congruent with pressing health issues, but digital spaces may also become fertile ground for misinformation and disinformation, contributing to the devastating effects of an infodemic. Digital intermediaries are useful exactly because their representation of reality is not a true construct, but a result of purposely curated information. However, they are active, dynamic epistemological agents with their own logic and aim. In dealing with a pandemic, we should reconsider the ways how our digital informational landscapes are created and sustained. This urges us to consider ethical governance of digital data curation and dissemination, alongside forms of control of the truthfulness and reach of its content. Some of the most fundamental issues in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, including the newly available vaccines are reliant on digital information and data sharing among experts, and the role of informing the general public. The need to create a reproducible, valid and truthful informational landscape is paramount, while allowing for free and rational, behavioral individual choices oriented toward preserving and promoting healthy behavior. These are issues at the heart of dealing with any pandemic, as well as a well-organized health care policy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Information Dissemination , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Social Determinants of Health
11.
Eur Psychiatry ; 63(1): e45, 2020 05 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-324379

ABSTRACT

We describe the basic principles of mental health care during the COVID-19 pandemic that should be endorsed by the mental health professional associations and incorporated in the health strategies for the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. The main principle is that there should be no substantial differences in the provision of health care for COVID-19 between persons with pre-existing mental health disorders and the ones without previous disorders. Subsequently, the organization of the health care should reflect that as well. These principles should (a) prevent the possible effects of stigmatizing attitudes toward mental health issues, possibly leading to potentially deleterious situations, such as psychiatric patients being treated (even temporarily) separately from other patients, in psychiatric facilities, where the staff is not equipped and trained adequately for the management of COVID-19; (b) highlight the fact that patients with mental health disorders are at greater risk for developing serious complications of COVID-19 infection due to other factors-they often smoke and have comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, all associated with higher morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 infection; (c) highlight that measures should be taken to minimize the risk of the spread of infection in psychiatric wards/institutions; (d) provide a general framework for the reorganization of mental health services toward the provision of services for persons in need, including frontline medical workers and patients with COVID-19 without previous mental health problems as well as for persons with pre-existing mental health problems under new circumstances of pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/therapy , Mental Health Services , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/psychology , Stereotyping
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