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Soc Sci Med ; 274: 113779, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1176937


RATIONALE: Severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, and consequent social distancing directives have been observed to negatively impact social relationships but the impact of these changes on the quality of social relationships at a population level has not been explored. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate changes in social relationships in a U.S. population sample during a time of social distancing. METHODS: We deployed a matched, longitudinal survey design of the National Institutes of Health Adult Social Relationship Scales to assess the social aspects of emotional support, instrumental support, friendship, loneliness, perceived hostility, and perceived rejection from a time without social distancing (February 2018) to a time where social distancing directives were active (May 2020). Changes in social relationships were compared using paired t-tests, and generalized linear regression models were constructed to identify subpopulations experiencing differential changes in each subdomain of social relationships during social distancing. RESULTS: Within our sample population, individuals experienced an increased sense of emotional support, instrumental support, and loneliness, and decreased feelings of friendship and perceived hostility during a period of social distancing. Individuals with low self-rated health experienced a decreased sense of emotional support, and females experienced increased feelings of loneliness compared with males. CONCLUSIONS: Social distancing measurably impacts social relationships and may have a disproportionate impact on females and individuals with lower self-rated health. If novel emergent infectious diseases become more commonplace, social interventions may be needed to mitigate the potential adverse impact of social distancing on social relationships.

COVID-19/psychology , Interpersonal Relations , Pandemics/prevention & control , Quarantine/psychology , Adult , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States
J Telemed Telecare ; : 1357633X20980302, 2021 Jan 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1035192


INTRODUCTION: Telehealth service provision has accelerated during the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. As the pandemic continues, clinical practices have discovered ways to resume operations. Opportunities exist to understand patient preferences for telehealth clinical services and to tailor offerings to different demographic groups. METHODS: We conducted a survey of patients receiving telehealth services through our outpatient practice to understand the types of healthcare services for which patients report preferences for telehealth. RESULTS: We received 551 survey responses (response rate = 20.8%; 551/2650). More than half of patients indicated being 'very likely' to use telehealth services to refill medication(s) (67.3%), prepare for an upcoming visit (66.1%), review test results (60.3%), or receive education (54.2%). Males had lower odds of preferring telehealth services for reviewing test results (odds ratio (OR) = 0.57; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.34-0.94) or mental health issues (OR = 0.54; 95% CI: 0.38-0.77). Respondents who received a video visit were significantly more likely than those who received a telephone visit to report preferences for using telehealth for education, care plan discussions, long-term health issues, and mental health. DISCUSSION: Patient preferences for telehealth services vary by services provided and respondent demographics. Experience with telehealth increases the likelihood for future use of these services.

SAGE Open Med ; 8: 2050312120965321, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-885960


BACKGROUND: News articles, commentaries, and opinion articles have suggested that ongoing social distancing measures coupled with economic challenges during COVID-19 may worsen stress, affective state, and substance use across the globe. We sought to advance our understanding of the differences between individuals who change their substance use patterns during a public health crisis and those who do not. METHODS: Cross-sectional survey of young adults (18-25 years of age) assessing respondent characteristics and vaping, tobacco, alcohol, and/or marijuana use. We calculated prevalence estimates, prevalence changes, and prevalence ratios with associated 95% confidence intervals and looked for differences with the chi-square test. RESULTS: Of the total sample, 53.2% (n = 542/1018) young adults reported vaping or using tobacco, alcohol, and/or marijuana. Among the 542 respondents reporting use, 34.3% reported a change in their use patterns. Among respondents reporting changes in substance use patterns during the pandemic (n = 186), 68.8% reported an increase in alcohol use, 44.0% reported a decrease in vaping product use, and 47.3% reported a decrease in tobacco product use due to COVID-19. Substance use changed significantly for respondents with increasing degree of loneliness (continuous loneliness score: prevalence ratio = 1.12, 95% confidence interval = 1.01-1.25), anxiety (prevalence ratio = 1.45, 95% confidence interval = 1.14-1.85), and depression (prevalence ratio = 1.44, 95% confidence interval = 1.13-1.82). CONCLUSION: Self-reported substance use among young adults was observed to change during a pandemic, and the degree of loneliness appears to impact these changes. Innovative strategies are needed to address loneliness, anxiety, depression, and substance use during global health crises that impact social contact.