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Fam Med ; 55(1): 38-44, 2023 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2205127


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic severely threatened all aspects of academic family medicine, constituting a crisis. Multiple publications have identified recommendations and documented the creative responses of primary care and academic organizations to address these challenges, but there is little research on how decisions came about. Our objective was to gain insight into the context, process, and nature of family medicine leaders' discussions in pivoting to address a crisis. METHODS: We used a qualitative descriptive design to explore new dimensions of existing concepts. The setting was the academic family medicine department at the University of Toronto. To identify leadership themes, we used the constant comparative method to analyze transcripts of monthly meetings of the departmental executive: three meetings immediately before and three following the declaration of a state emergency in Ontario. RESULTS: Six themes were evident before and after the onset of the pandemic: building capacity in academic family medicine; developing leadership; advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion; learner safety and wellness; striving for excellence; and promoting a supportive and collegial environment. Five themes emerged as specific responses to the crisis: situational awareness; increased multidirectional communication; emotional awareness; innovation in education and patient care; and proactive planning for extended adaptation to the pandemic. CONCLUSION: Existing cultural and organizational approaches formed the foundation for the crisis response, while crisis-specific themes reflected skills and attitudes that are essential in clinical family medicine, including adapting to community needs, communication, and emotional awareness.

COVID-19 , Physicians, Family , Humans , Pandemics , Family Practice , Leadership
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
J Clin Epidemiol ; 134: 160-166, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1118537


COVID-19 has disproportionately placed women in academic science on the frontlines of domestic and clinical care compared to men. As a result, women in science are publishing less and potentially acquiring less funding during COVID-19 than compared to before. This widens the pre-existing gap between men and women in prevailing, publication-based measures of productivity used to determine academic career progression. Early career women and those with intersectional identities associated with greater inequities, are facing unique challenges during this time. We argue that women will fall further behind unless academic reward systems adjust how and what they evaluate. We propose several strategies that academic institutions, funders, journals, and men in academic science can take.

Biomedical Research/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Career Mobility , Efficiency , Publishing/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Female , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors