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1.
Age Ageing ; 2022 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1788478

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has particularly adversely affected older people with frailty and functional dependency. Essential regular contact with care staff has been evidenced as an important source of infection for this group. Vaccinating care staff can reduce the incidence, duration and severity of infection, preventing onward transmission to older people and minimising the harm associated with discontinuity caused by staff absence. Voluntary vaccination programmes for staff are more likely to be effective when associated with information and education, community engagement and financial incentives but programmes using all of these approaches have failed to establish consistently high vaccination rates in care staff during the pandemic. Mandatory vaccination, proposed as a solution in some countries, can increase vaccination rates. It is only ethical if a vaccine is effective and cost-effective, the risk associated with vaccinating care workers is proportionate to the risk reduction achieved through vaccination, and where all efforts to encourage voluntary vaccination have been exhausted. Even when these conditions have been met, careful attention is required to ensure that the penalties associated with conscientious objection are proportionate, and to ensure that implementation is equitable, in a way that does not disadvantage particular groups of staff.

2.
Eur Geriatr Med ; 2022 Mar 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1748360

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: We compared the prevalence of COVID-19 and related mortality in nursing homes (NHs) in 14 countries until October 2021. We explored the relationship between COVID-19 mortality in NHs with the average size of NHs and with the COVID-19 deaths at a population level. METHODS: The total number of COVID-19 cases and COVID-19-related deaths in all NHs as well as the total number of NHs and NH beds were provided by representatives of 14 countries. The population level respective figures in each country were provided up to October 2021. RESULTS: There was a wide variation in prevalence of COVID-19 cases and deaths between countries. We observed a significant correlation between COVID-19 deaths in NHs and that of the total population and between the mean size of NHs and COVID-19 deaths. CONCLUSION: Side-by-side comparisons between countries allow international sharing of good practice to better enable future pandemic preparedness.

3.
Age Ageing ; 51(3)2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692262

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in catastrophic levels of morbidity and mortality for care home residents. Despite this, research platforms for COVID-19 in care homes arrived late in the pandemic compared with other care settings. The Prophylactic Therapy in Care Homes Trial (PROTECT-CH) was established to provide a platform to deliver multi-centre cluster-randomized clinical trials of investigational medicinal products for COVID-19 prophylaxis in UK care homes. Commencing set-up in January 2021, this involved the design and development of novel infrastructure for contracting and recruitment, remote consent, staff training, research insurance, eligibility screening, prescribing, dispensing and adverse event reporting; such infrastructure being previously absent. By the time this infrastructure was in place, the widespread uptake of vaccination in care homes had changed the epidemiology of COVID-19 rendering the trial unfeasible. While some of the resources developed through PROTECT-CH will enable the future establishment of care home platform research, the near absence of care home trial infrastructure and nationally linked databases involving the care home sector will continue to significantly hamper progress. These issues are replicated in most other countries. Beyond COVID-19, there are many other research questions that require addressing to provide better care to people living in care homes. PROTECT-CH has exposed a clear need for research funders to invest in, and legislate for, an effective care home research infrastructure as part of national pandemic preparedness planning. Doing so would also invigorate care home research in the interim, leading to improved healthcare delivery specific to those living in this sector.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control
4.
Eur Geriatr Med ; 13(1): 291-304, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525643

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To describe a guidance on the management of post-acute COVID 19 patients in geriatric rehabilitation. METHODS: The guidance is based on guidelines for post-acute COVID-19 geriatric rehabilitation developed in the Netherlands, updated with recent insights from literature, related guidance from other countries and disciplines, and combined with experiences from experts in countries participating in the Geriatric Rehabilitation Special Interest Group of the European Geriatric Medicine Society. RESULTS: This guidance for post-acute COVID-19 rehabilitation is divided into a section addressing general recommendations for geriatric rehabilitation and a section addressing specific processes and procedures. The Sect. "General recommendations for geriatric rehabilitation" addresses: (1) general requirements for post-acute COVID-19 rehabilitation and (2) critical aspects for quality assurance during COVID-19 pandemic. The Sect. "Specific processes and procedures", addresses the following topics: (1) patient selection; (2) admission; (3) treatment; (4) discharge; and (5) follow-up and monitoring. CONCLUSION: Providing tailored geriatric rehabilitation treatment to post-acute COVID-19 patients is a challenge for which the guidance is designed to provide support. There is a strong need for additional evidence on COVID-19 geriatric rehabilitation including developing an understanding of risk profiles of older patients living with frailty to develop individualised treatment regimes. The present guidance will be regularly updated based on additional evidence from practice and research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Frailty , Geriatrics , Aged , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Journal of Patient Safety and Risk Management ; : 25160435211054207, 2021.
Article in English | Sage | ID: covidwho-1523271

ABSTRACT

IntroductionSuccessful adoption of POCTs (Point-of-Care tests) for COVID-19 in care homes requires the identification of ideal use cases and a full understanding of the contextual and usability factors that affect test results and minimise biosafety risks. This paper presents a scoping-usability and test performance study of a microfluidic immunofluorescence assay for COVID-19 in care homes.MethodsA mixed-methods evaluation was conducted in four UK care homes to scope usability and to assess the agreement with qRT-PCR. A dry run with luminescent dye was conducted to explore biosafety issues.ResultsThe agreement analysis was conducted on 227 asymptomatic participants (159 staff and 68 residents) and 14 symptomatic participants (5 staff and 9 residents). Asymptomatic specimens showed 50% (95% CI:1.3%?98.7%) positive agreement and 96% (95% CI: 92.5%?98.1%) negative agreement with overall prevalence and bias-adjusted Kappa (PABAK) of 0.911 (95% CI: 0.857?0.965). Symptomatic specimens showed 83.3% (95% CI: 35.9%?99.6%) positive agreement and 100% (95% CI: 63.1%?100%) negative agreement with overall prevalence and bias-adjusted Kappa (PABAK) of 0.857 (95% CI: 0.549?1). The dry run highlighted four main sources of contamination that led to the modification of the standard operating procedures. Simulation post-modification showed no further evidence of contamination.ConclusionCareful consideration of biosafety issues and contextual factors associated with care home are mandatory for safe use the POCT. Whilst POCT may have some utility for ruling out COVID-19, further diagnostic accuracy evaluations are needed to promote effective adoption.

6.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 21(1): 1153, 2021 Oct 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484313

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Antigen-based lateral flow devices (LFDs) offer the potential of widespread rapid testing. The scientific literature has primarily focused on mathematical modelling of their use and test performance characteristics. For these tests to be implemented successfully, an understanding of the real-world contextual factors that allow them to be integrated into the workplace is vital. To address this gap in knowledge, we aimed to explore staff's experiences of integrating LFDs into routine practice for visitors and staff testing with a view to understand implementation facilitators and barriers. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis. RESULTS: We identified two main themes and five subthemes. The main themes included: visitor-related testing factors and staff-related testing factors. Subthemes included: restoring a sense of normality, visitor-related testing challenges, staff-related testing challenges, and pre-pilot antecedent factors. CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrates that the real-world implementation of LFDs to test visitors and staff faces significant challenges as a result of several contextual factors negatively affecting the work practice and environment. More comprehensive studies are needed to identify and inform effective implementation strategies to ensure that LFDs can be adopted in an agile way that better supports an already exhausted and morally depleted workforce.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Long-Term Care , Humans , Nursing Homes , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Age Ageing ; 51(1)2022 01 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475765

ABSTRACT

Care homes enable people with advanced physical and cognitive impairment to live well with 24-h support from staff. They are a feature of care systems in most countries. They have proved pivotal to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response. We searched Age and Ageing for care-home articles published since 2015. From these we collated 42 into the Age and Ageing care-home collection. This collection draws together important papers that show how Age and Ageing is helping to shape and grow care-home research. The  collection outlines the technical issues that researchers face by grouping together important feasibility trials conducted in the sector. It looks at the challenges of measuring quality of life and working with routine data in care homes. It brings together observational studies considering loneliness, functional dependency, stroke outcomes, prescribing and acute deterioration. Health services research in care homes is represented by two studies that demonstrate realist evaluation as a way to make sense of service innovations. Papers are included that consider: non-pharmacological strategies for residents with dementia, end-of-life care, sexuality and intimacy and the care-home workforce. Given the importance of the COVID-19 pandemic in care homes, all of the care home COVID-19 papers published in Age and Ageing to date are included. Finally, a group of papers that present innovative approaches to research in care homes, each of which give voice to residents and/or staff, are collated and presented as a way of moving towards a more resident and care home centred research agenda.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Quality of Life , Aging , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Age Ageing ; 50(6): 1868-1875, 2021 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1316792

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Care homes have been severely affected by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Rapid antigen testing could identify most SARS-CoV-2 infected staff and visitors before they enter homes. We explored implementation of staff and visitor testing protocols using lateral flow devices (LFDs). METHODS: An evaluation of a SARS-CoV-2 LFD-based testing protocol in 11 care homes in Liverpool, UK, including staff and visitor testing, plus a qualitative exploratory study in nine of these homes. The proportion of pilot homes with outbreaks, and outbreak size, were compared to non-pilot homes in Liverpool. Adherence to testing protocols was evaluated. Fifteen staff were interviewed, and transcript data were thematically coded using an iterative analysis to identify and categorize factors influencing testing implementation. RESULTS: In total, 1,638 LFD rapid tests were performed on 407 staff. Protocol adherence was poor with 8.6% of staff achieving >75% protocol adherence, and 25.3% achieving $\ge$50%. Six care homes had outbreaks during the study. Compared to non-pilot care homes, there was no evidence of significant difference in the proportion of homes with outbreaks, or the size of outbreaks. Qualitative data showed difficulty implementing testing strategies due to excessive work burden. Factors influencing adherence related to test integration and procedural factors, socio-economic factors, cognitive overload and the emotional value of testing. CONCLUSION: Implementation of staff and visitor care home LFD testing protocols was poorly adhered to and consequently did not reduce the number or scale of COVID-19 outbreaks. More focus is needed on the contextual and behavioural factors that influence protocol adherence.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Eur Geriatr Med ; 12(6): 1181-1190, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1291681

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to describe communication experiences while wearing a mask during COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, to identify possible mask-related barriers to COVID-19-adapted communications and to investigate whether the ABC mnemonic (A: attend mindfully; B: behave calmly; C: communicate clearly) might address these. METHODS: This study was a cross-sectional, voluntary, web-based survey between January and February 2021. A 22-item survey was developed using the Surveymonkey platform and question styles were varied to include single choice and Likert scales. The respondents were also asked to view a short video presentation, which outlined the ABC mnemonic. CHERRIES (Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-Surveys) was used to ensure completeness of reporting. Diverging stacked bar charts were created to illustrate Likert scale responses. RESULTS: We received 226 responses. The respondents were mostly women (60.2%) and the majority worked in a teaching hospital (64.6%). The majority of the respondents indicated issues related to lack of time during clinical encounters, uncertainty about how to adapt communication, lack of personal protective equipment, lack of communication skills and lack of information about how to adapt their own communication skills. In addition, the participants indicated acknowledging emotions and providing information using clear, specific, unambiguous, and consistent lay language while wearing a mask were among the main communication challenges created during the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, the study showed significantly improved self-perceived competency regarding key communication after watching the short video presentation. CONCLUSION: Effective communication in medical encounters requires both verbal and nonverbal skills.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communication , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Age Ageing ; 50(5): 1442-1444, 2021 09 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1226520

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has devastated care homes. Point-of-care tests (POCTs), mainly using lateral flow devices (LFDs), have been deployed hurriedly without much consideration of their usability or impact on care workflow. Even after the pandemic, POCTs, particularly multiplex tests, may be an important control against spread of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory infections in care homes by enabling identification of cases. They should not, however, replace other infection control measures such as barrier methods and quarantine. Adherence to LFDs as implemented among care home staff is suboptimal. Other tests-such as point-of-care polymerase chain reaction and automated antigen tests-would also need to be accommodated into care home workflows to improve adherence. The up-front costs of POCTs are straightforward but additional costs, including staffing preparation and reporting processes and the impacts of false positive and negative tests on absence rates and infection days, are more complex and as yet unquantified. A detailed appraisal is needed as the future of testing in care homes is considered.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , Point-of-Care Testing , Policy , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Age Ageing ; 50(5): 1464-1472, 2021 09 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196971

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Reliable rapid testing for COVID-19 is needed in care homes to reduce the risk of outbreaks and enable timely care. This study aimed to examine the usability and test performance of a point of care polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for detection of SARS-CoV-2 (POCKITTM Central) in care homes. METHODS: POCKITTM Central was evaluated in a purposeful sample of four UK care homes. Test agreement with laboratory real-time PCR and usability and used errors were assessed. RESULTS: No significant usability-related hazards emerged, and the sources of error identified were found to be amendable with minor changes in training or test workflow. POCKITTM Central has acceptable sensitivity and specificity based on RT-PCR as the reference standard, especially for symptomatic cases.Asymptomatic specimens showed 83.3% (95% confidence interval (CI): 35.9-99.6%) positive agreement and 98.7% negative agreement (95% CI: 96.2-99.7%), with overall prevalence and bias-adjusted kappa (PABAK) of 0.965 (95% CI: 0.932- 0.999). Symptomatic specimens showed 100% (95% CI: 2.5-100%) positive agreement and 100% negative agreement (95% CI: 85.8-100%), with overall PABAK of 1.Recommendations are provided to mitigate the frequency of occurrence of the residual use errors observed. Integration pathways were discussed to identify opportunities and limitations of adopting POCKIT™ Central for screening and diagnostic testing purposes. CONCLUSIONS: Point-of-care PCR testing in care homes can be considered with appropriate preparatory steps and safeguards. Further diagnostic accuracy evaluations and in-service evaluation studies should be conducted, if the test is to be implemented more widely, to build greater certainty on this initial exploratory analysis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Point-of-Care Systems , Point-of-Care Testing , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Sensitivity and Specificity
14.
Age Ageing ; 50(3): 668-672, 2021 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1043239

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Care home residents are at high risk of dying from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Regular testing, producing rapid and reliable results is important in this population because infections spread quickly, and presentations are often atypical or asymptomatic. This study evaluated current testing pathways in care homes to explore the role of point-of-care tests (POCTs). METHODS: A total of 10 staff from eight care homes, purposively sampled to reflect care organisational attributes that influence outbreak severity, underwent a semi-structured remote videoconference interview. Transcripts were analysed using process mapping tools and framework analysis focussing on perceptions about, gaps within and needs arising from current pathways. RESULTS: Four main steps were identified in testing: infection prevention, preparatory steps, swabbing procedure and management of residents. Infection prevention was particularly challenging for mobile residents with cognitive impairment. Swabbing and preparatory steps were resource-intensive, requiring additional staff resource. Swabbing required flexibility and staff who were familiar to the resident. Frequent approaches to residents were needed to ensure they would participate at a suitable time. After-test management varied between sites. Several homes reported deviating from government guidance to take more cautious approaches, which they perceived to be more robust. CONCLUSION: Swab-based testing is organisationally complex and resource-intensive in care homes. It needs to be flexible to meet the needs of residents and provide care homes with rapid information to support care decisions. POCT could help address gaps but the complexity of the setting means that each technology must be evaluated in context before widespread adoption in care homes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Nursing Homes , Point-of-Care Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Age Ageing ; 50(3): 605-607, 2021 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1028708

ABSTRACT

Older multi-morbid persons often fall seriously ill due to COVID-19. To be able to participate in a social life again, they often need special rehabilitation measures. Geriatric rehabilitation is a multi-professional service geared to these needs. Paradoxically, however, capacities in geriatric rehabilitation are currently being reduced despite increasing demand. The reasons are manifold and are not only due to the current situation. This article highlights the current situation leading to the COVID rehabilitation paradox and shows ways to learn from it for the future.


Subject(s)
Aging , COVID-19/rehabilitation , Health Services for the Aged , Aged , Delivery of Health Care , Forecasting , Humans , Pandemics , Recovery of Function , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Eur Geriatr Med ; 11(6): 899-913, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-898206

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The European Geriatric Medicine Society (EuGMS) is launching a second interim guidance whose aim is to prevent the entrance and spread of COVID-19 into long-term care facilities (LTCFs). METHODS: The EuGMS gathered experts to propose a guide of measures to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks in LTCFs. It is based on the specific features of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in LTCFs, residents' needs, and on experiences conducted in the field. RESULTS: Asymptomatic COVID-19 residents and staff members contribute substantially to the dissemination of COVID-19 infection in LTCFs. An infection prevention and control focal point should be set up in every LTCF for (1) supervising infection prevention and control measures aimed at keeping COVID-19 out of LTCFs, (2) RT-PCR testing of residents, staff members, and visitors with COVID-19 symptoms, even atypical, and (3) isolating subjects either infected or in contact with infected subjects. When a first LCTF resident or staff member is infected, a facility-wide RT-PCR test-retest strategy should be implemented for detecting all SARS-CoV-2 carriers. Testing should continue until no new COVID-19 cases are identified. The isolation of residents should be limited as much as possible and associated with measures aiming at limiting its negative effects on their mental and somatic health status. CONCLUSIONS: An early recognition of symptoms compatible with COVID-19 may help to diagnose COVID-19 residents and staff more promptly. Subsequently, an earlier testing for SARS-CoV-2 symptomatic and asymptomatic LTCF staff and residents will enable the implementation of appropriate infection prevention and control. The negative effects of social isolation in residents should be limited as much as possible.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Geriatrics , Long-Term Care , Skilled Nursing Facilities , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/transmission , Europe , Geriatrics/methods , Geriatrics/organization & administration , Humans , Long-Term Care/classification , Long-Term Care/methods , Palliative Care , Pandemics , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation
19.
Age Ageing ; 49(6): 901-906, 2020 10 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-614480

ABSTRACT

Older people are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a profound impact on research as well as clinical service delivery. This commentary identifies key challenges and opportunities in continuing to conduct research with and for older people, both during and after the current pandemic. It shares opinions from responders to an international survey, a range of academic authors and opinions from specialist societies. Priorities in COVID-19 research include its specific presentation in older people, consequences for physical, cognitive and psychological health, treatments and vaccines, rehabilitation, supporting care homes more effectively, the impact of social distancing, lockdown policies and system reconfiguration to provide best health and social care for older people. COVID-19 research needs to be inclusive, particularly involving older people living with frailty, cognitive impairment or multimorbidity, and those living in care homes. Non-COVID-19 related research for older people remains of critical importance and must not be neglected in the rush to study the pandemic. Profound changes are required in the way that we design and deliver research for older people in a world where movement and face-to-face contact are restricted, but we also highlight new opportunities such as the ability to collaborate more widely and to design and deliver research efficiently at scale and speed.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Biomedical Research/methods , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Aged , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
20.
Eur Geriatr Med ; 11(4): 645-650, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-601643

ABSTRACT

The nursing home sector has seen a disproportionately high number of deaths as part of the COVID-19 pandemic. This reflects, in part, the frailty and vulnerability of older people living in care homes but has also, in part, been a consequence of the failure to include care homes in the systematic planning of a response to COVID, as well as a measure of neglect of standards and quality improvement in the sector. In response, the EUGMS published a set of medical standards of care developed in consultation with experts across its member national societies in 2015. The standards consisted of seven core principles of medical care for physicians working in nursing homes as a first step in developing a programme of clinical, academic and policy engagement in improving medical care for older people who are living and frequently also dying as residents in nursing homes. The gravity of the concerns arising for nursing home care from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as emerging insights on care improvement in nursing homes indicate that an update of these medical standards is timely. This was performed by the writing group from the original 2015 guidelines and is intended as an interim measure pending a more formal review incorporating a systematic review of emerging literature and a Delphi process.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Homes for the Aged/organization & administration , Nursing Homes/organization & administration , Physicians/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Cause of Death , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Delphi Technique , Europe , Female , Geriatric Assessment/methods , Health Services Needs and Demand , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Patient Care Team/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/standards , Survival Analysis
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