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2.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 333, 2022 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690931

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Social restrictions due to COVID-19 might have had a significant impact on mental health. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of four emotional domains (nervousness, anger, numbness, physiological arousal) in a sample of citizens during the first pandemic wave in 2020, and their association with sociodemographic characteristics, housing conditions and lifestyle modifications. METHODS: A cross-sectional study based on a self-administered online questionnaire was set up to investigate emotions. Respondents were recruited through a non-probabilistic snowball sampling approach. The SPAN questionnaire was used to measure emotions in the interviewed population. The association between emotions and independent variables (gender, age, marital status, educational level, working condition, housing condition, COVID-19 positivity, sleep disturbance, increase in alcohol consumption and decrease in physical activity) was assessed through the multivariate Poisson regression. RESULTS: A total of 6,675 subjects were included in the analysis. Almost half of respondents (48.9%) experienced nervousness, 41.3% anger, 15.6% numbness and 18.8% physiological arousal. Females were more likely to face nervousness, anger and physiological arousal. For all the outcomes a decreasing trend was observed from younger to older. Singles were more likely to experience numbness compared to married people. Increase in alcohol consumption was associated with nervousness, anger and numbness. Decrease in physical activity was associated with nervousness, anger and physiological arousal. Restless sleep was the variable most associated with all emotional domains. CONCLUSIONS: The first COVID-19 pandemic wave had a significant emotional impact on this sample, especially among younger people, singles and females. Even without reaching clinical relevance, these emotions could represent a form of psychological distress, which requires the implementation of preventive strategies, in particular regarding lifestyle care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emotions , Female , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
Epidemiol Prev ; 45(6): 543-551, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1636524

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: to investigate the combinations of clinical features and symptoms that best predict the positive outcome of the SARS-CoV-2 swab in a primary care setting. DESIGN: prospective cohort study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: patients listed in the rosters of general practitioners volunteering for the study who reported flu-like symptoms and/or anosmia/ageusia between 01.03.2020 and 30.06.2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: positive molecular swab result. The predictive value of the reported symptoms and their association with this outcome were estimated using multivariable logistic regression models, adopting an inverse probability weighting approach. RESULTS: a swab was requested for 1,045 (77.2%) out of 1,354 patients included in the study: 79.6% of them were tested, with a positive result in 50.4% of cases. Patients aged 40 to 64 years (OR 1.59; 95%CI 1.09-2.33) and those older than 64 years (OR 2.64; 95%CI 1.66-4.19) showed a higher likelihood of a positive swab results, compared with younger subjects (<40 years). A positive association with a positive swab result was observed among patients reporting fever >37.5°C (OR 1.67; 95%CI: 1.18-2.36) and anosmia/ageusia (OR 1.44; 95%CI: 1.01-2.04). The predictive value of fever tended to increase with increasing age, while an opposite trend was observed for anosmia/ageusia. No difference by gender was observed. CONCLUSIONS: among patients reporting flu-like symptoms in a general practice setting, fever >37.5 and anosmia/ageusia were predictive of a positive SARS-CoV-2 swab test result and this association was modified by age. Although the generalizability of these findings might be limited, this study highlights the importance of the contribution of the research conducted in primary care settings to the definition of effective and sustainable strategies to contrast the pandemic emergency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Italy , Primary Health Care , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Epidemiol Prev ; 45(6): 552-558, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597567

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: to assess the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in a sample of Italian citizens during the first COVID-19 pandemic wave and its association with sociodemographic characteristics, housing conditions, and lifestyles modifications. DESIGN: cross-sectional survey. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: between 21st April and 7th June 2020, a self-administered online questionnaire aiming at investigating mental well-being and lifestyle habits during the lockdown period was disseminated online. Respondents were recruited through a snowball sampling. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: PTSD symptoms were assessed using a validated screening tool, the SPAN (Startle, Physiological arousal, Anger, Numbness) questionnaire. RESULTS: the study population is composed of 6,687 participants, of whom 71.5% were females. The mean age of the sample was 48.7 years. Globally, 43.8% of the participants reported symptoms of PTSD, especially females. PTSD prevalence showed a decreasing trend across age groups. The likelihood of PTSD symptoms was higher among those who increased alcohol consumption, decreased physical activity, and experienced restless sleep. CONCLUSIONS: a high prevalence of PTSD symptoms emerged from this survey, especially among women and younger subjects. Preventive strategies should be implemented to protect the mental health of the most vulnerable citizens in a period of emergency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology
5.
Prev Med ; 151: 106642, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294330

ABSTRACT

Screening can decrease the burden of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers. The COVID-19 pandemic led many countries to suspend cancer screening services as part of their response to the pandemic. The International Cancer Screening Network (ICSN) carried out an online survey to assess the effects of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer screening. A 33-item survey was distributed to 834 email addresses to gather information about settings and assess decision-making processes that led to cancer screening suspension. Information about communication, impact on resources, and patient follow-up was collected. Quantitative data was analyzed as frequencies overall and by setting, while a comment section under each survey item captured nuanced details. Responses were recategorized into 66 settings, representing 35 countries. Most settings suspended cancer screening services (n = 60, 90.9%) in March 2020 (n = 45, 68.2%), guided by a government decision (n = 51, 77.3%). Few settings made the decision whether to suspend services based on a preparedness plan (n = 17, 25.8%). In most settings, professionals were reassigned (n = 41, 62.1%) and infrastructure repurposed (n = 35, 53.0%). The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has had profound effects on cancer screening worldwide, including the suspension of services in almost all settings. Most settings were unprepared to deal with the scale of the pandemic but demonstrated flexibility in the response. These results contribute to inform, through experiences and lessons learned, the next steps for the global cancer screening community to further evaluate the impact of COVID-19 and prepare for future disruptions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Early Detection of Cancer , Humans , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
6.
Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6 Suppl 2): 353-362, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068158

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: to study the impact of social isolation, related to the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, on lifestyles in Italy, with particular reference to physical activity, alcohol consumption, smoking, and eating habits. Moreover, to investigate the association between lifestyle changes during the pandemic and sociodemographic characteristics. DESIGN: epidemiological investigation based on a cross-sectional study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: between April 21st and June 7th 2020, an electronic questionnaire to collect information on physical activity, alcohol consumption, smoking, and eating habits during the period of home containment was made available on the web. Respondents were recruited through non-probabilistic snowball sampling. The link to the electronic questionnaire was disseminated through institutional websites, social networks (Facebook, Twitter), and messaging systems such as WhatsApp, Telegram, and SMS. A total of 10,758 interviews were collected, of which 7,847 (73%) were complete for a minimum set of indicators (age, gender, and area of residence). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: reduction of physical activity, increase in alcohol consumption, increase in cigarette smoking, increase in consumption of unhealthy foods (processed meat, red meat or desserts) without increasing healthy foods (vegetables, legumes or whole grains) and, vice versa, increase in consumption of healthy foods without increasing unhealthy foods. RESULTS: the population under study consists of 7,847 people with a mean age of 48.6 years (standard deviation: 13.9). Most of respondents are women (71.3%), 92.5% have a high school or university degree and 91% live in Northern Italy. During home containment, 56% of interviewees reported they had reduced the time devoted to physical activity. In particular, this happened among older people and those living in large cities. More than 17% of respondents increased their alcohol consumption, especially men, those highly educated and those living in large urban centres. Older age and residence in the Southern Italy represent, instead, protective factors for this outcome. Among smokers, 30% increased cigarette consumption during the period of home containment, on average of 5.6 cigarettes per day. A small proportion of former smokers (0.6%) resumed smoking. With regard to eating habits, 3 out of 10 respondents (29.9%) reported an inappropriate eating behaviour (increasing unhealthy food without increasing healthy ones). This behaviour was less frequent among men (adjusted Prevalence Ratio 0.80, p=0.005). A lower percentage of respondents (24.5%) increased the consumption of healthy foods without increasing the consumption of unhealthy ones. CONCLUSIONS: the results of this survey show that social isolation during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has had an impact on citizens' behaviours. In particular, it was found a noteworthy increase in sedentariness, alcohol consumption, and tobacco smoking. A meaningful proportion of respondents reported a worsening of eating habits, especially among women. However, for each of the behavioural risk factors investigated, small proportions of respondents with resilient attitudes were also found, namely, capable of taking advantage of social isolation for improving their daily habits. Studying changes in lifestyles during a pandemic, identifying population groups most at risk of adopting unfavourable behaviours, is a useful tool for policy makers to plan targeted and effective public health interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Life Style , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Diet, Healthy , Energy Intake , Exercise , Feeding Behavior , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Sedentary Behavior , Smoking/epidemiology , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , Vulnerable Populations , Young Adult
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