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Asian Journal of Social Health and Behavior ; 5(4):147-153, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2202120


Introduction: The nutrition status of older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic is an area of concern. Lower-income older population of Thailand in particular has been affected with regard to their employment, income, and health status. This study focused on the prevalence of nutrition statuses using body mass index (BMI) of this age group and their association with sociodemographic, health behavior, social connectedness, and economic change factors during the pandemic. Methods: Using the 2021 Survey on Housing and Support Services for Poor Older Adults, a sample of lower-income individuals aged 55 years and over was collected from the five regions of Thailand. The data were analyzed using multinomial logistic regression where being underweight and overweight were compared with normal weight as the reference. Relative risk ratios (RRR) were presented. Results: Living in regions other than Bangkok was found to be associated with a higher risk of underweight status and lower risk of being overweight. Having primary level (RRR = 0.600, P < 0.05) and above primary level of education (RRR = 0.952, P < 0.05) significantly related with lower risk of low BMI. Income inadequacy during the outbreak was found to be positively associated with both underweight (RRR = 1.514, P < 0.05) and overweight (RRR = 1.145, P < 0.05) statuses. Conclusion: The results show the need to understand the dynamics of social backgrounds, such as poverty experience, in order to address the needs and issues of vulnerable older people, particularly during pandemic times.

Neuro-Oncology ; 24:i166, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1956580


INTRODUCTION: Central nervous system (CNS) tumors account for 20 - 30% of all childhood cancers. The Philippines is a lower-middle income country, wherein brain centers are located mostly in urban areas. We aimed to identify challenges that pediatric patients with CNS tumors encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic, which aggravated delays in their diagnosis and treatment. METHODS: This is a retrospective review of all pediatric patients who underwent neurosurgery for CNS tumors at the Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center, a tertiary referral center, from January 2020 until December 2021. We summarized patients' demographic data, clinical course, and perioperative outcomes. RESULTS: A total of 38 pediatric patients underwent neuro-oncologic surgery in our center during the study period. There were 18 males and 20 females, with a mean age of 7.5 ± 4.9 years. Tumor was biopsied and/or resected in 35 cases (92%). The most common histologic diagnoses were medulloblastoma (n=8, 21%) and high-grade glioma/glioblastoma (n=5, 13%). Median preoperative length of stay and total length of stay were 10 (IQR: 17) and 28 (IQR 33.75), respectively. There was a high perioperative mortality rate in 2020 (71%), but this decreased to 20% in 2021. Six patients (16%) developed COVID-19 infection during the perioperative period. There were nine patients (24%) who had documented tumor progression because of delays in adjuvant therapy. DISCUSSION: Aside from geographic barriers and catastrophic health expenditure, the major challenges that disrupted the care of pediatric patients with CNS tumors in our center during the COVID-19 pandemic were delays in neuroimaging for diagnosis, unavailability of operating room slots, deficiency in critical care beds, and workforce shortage due to COVID-19 infection among health workers. Health care systems must adapt to the changes brought about by the pandemic, so that children with CNS tumors are not neglected.

Acta Medica Philippina ; 55(2):242-246, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1248622


Objectives. The ongoing Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted healthcare systems worldwide. This study aimed to document the effect of COVID-19 on osteosarcoma treatment pathways in the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) and determine if there were any delays. Method. A retrospective review of osteosarcoma patients treated at the PGH from January 1, 2019 – January 1, 2020 (pre-COVID-19) was compared to those treated during the COVID-19 pandemic from March 1, 2020 – September 1, 2020. Rates of diagnosed osteosarcoma, admission for chemotherapy, admission for surgery, treatment abandonment, metastatic disease on presentation, 1-year mortality, and amputation were calculated and compared between the two groups. Results. From March to September 2020, 11 newly diagnosed osteosarcoma patients sought consult at the PGH. Only one patient sought consult during the initial 3-4 months of the study, suggesting that patients delayed seeking healthcare during the period of enhanced community quarantine. Patients seen during the pandemic had a higher rate of metastatic disease on presentation, reflecting the delay in diagnosis. Due to COVID-19 restrictions early in the pandemic, osteosarcoma patients were coordinated and referred to outside hospitals for intravenous chemotherapy and surgery. Normalization of services (hospital admissions, limb salvage surgeries) were seen at the later stages of the study, corresponding to the loosening of the quarantine. Conclusions. Osteosarcoma patients experienced delays in seeking consult, diagnosis, and treatment at the PGH due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Early indicators suggest worse outcomes for these patients due to the delays. Strategies employed during the pandemic, such as networking of care and telemedicine, may help in future outbreaks. © 2021 University of the Philippines Manila. All rights reserved.