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J Gen Intern Med ; 37(5): 1169-1176, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611490


BACKGROUND: There is a paucity of data on the mental health impact of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on United States (US) healthcare workers (HCWs) after the first surge in the spring of 2020. OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of the pandemic on HCWs, and the relationship between HCW mental health and demographics, occupational factors, and COVID-19 concerns. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey in an urban medical center (September-November 2020) in Baltimore, MD, in the United States. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 605 HCWs (physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, physician assistants, patient care technicians, respiratory therapists, social workers, mental health therapists, and case managers). MAIN MEASURES: Measures of mental health (Patient Health Questionnaire-2, Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, PROMIS Sleep Disturbance 4a, Impact of Event Scale-Revised, Maslach Burnout Inventory-2 item, Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale-2 item), demographics, occupational factors, and COVID-19 related concerns. KEY RESULTS: Fifty-two percent of 1198 HCWs responded to the survey and 14.2% reported depression, 43.1% mild or higher anxiety, 31.6% sleep disturbance, 22.3% posttraumatic stress symptoms, 21.6% depersonalization, 46.0% emotional exhaustion, and 23.1% lower resilience. Relative to HCWs providing in-person care to COVID-19 infected patients none of their working days, those doing so all or most days were more likely to experience worse depression (adjusted odds ratio, 3.9; 95% CI, 1.3-11.7), anxiety (aOR, 3.0; 95% CI, 1.4-6.3), possible PTSD symptoms (aOR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.1-5.8), and higher burnout (aOR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.1-6.0). Worse mental health in several domains was associated with higher health fear (aORs ranged from 2.2 to 5.0), job stressors (aORs ranged from 1.9 to 4.0), perceived social stigma/avoidance (aORs ranged from 1.8 to 2.9), and workplace safety concerns (aORs ranged from 1.8 to 2.8). CONCLUSIONS: US HCWs experienced significant mental health symptoms eight months into the pandemic. More time spent providing in-person care to COVID-19-infected patients and greater COVID-19-related concerns were consistently associated with worse mental health.

COVID-19 , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
BMJ ; 375: e066588, 2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560914


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of remote proactive management of toxicities during chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer. DESIGN: Pragmatic, cluster randomised trial. SETTING: 20 cancer centres in Ontario, Canada, allocated by covariate constrained randomisation to remote management of toxicities or routine care. PARTICIPANTS: All patients starting adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy for early stage breast cancer at each centre. 25 patients from each centre completed patient reported outcome questionnaires. INTERVENTIONS: Proactive, standardised, nurse led telephone management of common toxicities at two time points after each chemotherapy cycle. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome, cluster level mean number of visits to the emergency department or admissions to hospital per patient during the whole course of chemotherapy treatment, was evaluated with routinely available administrative healthcare data. Secondary patient reported outcomes included toxicity, self-efficacy, and quality of life. RESULTS: Baseline characteristics of participants were similar in the intervention (n=944) and control arms (n=1214); 22% were older than 65 years. Penetration (that is, the percentage of patients who received the intervention at each centre) was 50-86%. Mean number of visits to the emergency department or admissions to hospital per patient was 0.91 (standard deviation 0.28) in the intervention arm and 0.94 (0.40) in the control arm (P=0.94); 47% (1014 of 2158 patients) had at least one visit to the emergency department or a hospital admission during chemotherapy. Among 580 participants who completed the patient reported outcome questionnaires, at least one grade 3 toxicity was reported by 48% (134 of 278 patients) in the intervention arm and by 58% (163 of 283) in the control arm. No differences in self-efficacy, anxiety, or depression were found. Compared with baseline, the functional assessment of cancer therapy trial outcome index decreased by 6.1 and 9.0 points in the intervention and control participants, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Proactive, telephone based management of toxicities during chemotherapy did not result in fewer visits to the emergency department or hospital admissions. With the rapid rise in remote care because of the covid-19 pandemic, identifying scalable strategies for remote management of patients during cancer treatment is particularly relevant. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT02485678.

Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/administration & dosage , Breast Neoplasms/drug therapy , Monitoring, Ambulatory/methods , Outpatients , Telemedicine , Telephone , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/adverse effects , Breast Neoplasms/psychology , COVID-19 , Chemotherapy, Adjuvant/adverse effects , Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Ontario , Pandemics , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Treatment Outcome