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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(16)2022 08 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1987751

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients who are post-COVID-19 will require more treatment soon. Therefore, it is important to understand the root cause of their psychological and somatic conditions. Previous studies showed contradictory results on the influence of pre-existing mental conditions. The present study examines the influence of these pre-existing conditions and their pre-treatment on the severity of post-COVID-19 symptoms. METHODS: This analysis employs questionnaire data from a large study sample in Germany. Overall, 801 participants were included. All participants rated their health status on a scale from 0 to 100. Fatigue, depression, and anxiety were measured using the FAS, PHQ-9, and GAD-7 scales. RESULTS: All pre-pandemic values showed no significant differences between the groups. The current health status was rated similarly by the recovered patients (µ = 80.5 ± 17.0) and the control group (µ = 81.2 ± 18.0) but significantly worse by acutely infected (µ = 59.0 ± 21.5) and post-COVID-19 patients (µ = 54.2 ± 21.1). Fatigue, depression, and anxiety were similar for recovered patients and the control group. By contrast, there were significant differences between the control and the post-COVID-19 groups concerning fatigue (45.9% vs. 93.1%), depression (19.3% vs. 53.8%), and anxiety (19.3% vs. 22.3%). CONCLUSION: Fatigue and psychological conditions of post-COVID-19 patients are not associated with pre-existing conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Anxiety/diagnosis , Anxiety/epidemiology , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/etiology , Fatigue/epidemiology , Fatigue/etiology , Humans , Preexisting Condition Coverage , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Front Public Health ; 10: 898840, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1952860

ABSTRACT

Introduction: This study analyses how healthcare workers (HCWs) perceived risks, protection and preventive measures during the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to medically approved risks and organizational measures. The aim is to explore "blind spots" of pandemic protection and make mental health needs of HCWs visible. Methods: We have chosen an "optimal-case" scenario of a high-income country with a well-resourced hospital sector and low HCW infection rate at the organizational level to explore governance gaps in HCW protection. A German multi-method hospital study at Hannover Medical School served as empirical case; document analysis, expert information and survey data (n = 1,163) were collected as part of a clinical study into SARS-CoV-2 serology testing during the second wave of the pandemic (November 2020-February 2021). Selected survey items included perceptions of risks, protection and preventive measures. Descriptive statistical analysis and regression were undertaken for gender, profession and COVID-19 patient care. Results: The results reveal a low risk of 1% medically approved infections among participants, but a much higher mean personal risk estimate of 15%. The majority (68.4%) expressed "some" to "very strong" fear of acquiring infection at the workplace. Individual protective behavior and compliance with protective workplace measures were estimated as very high. Yet only about half of the respondents felt strongly protected by the employer; 12% even perceived "no" or "little" protection. Gender and contact with COVID-19 patients had no significant effect on the estimations of infection risks and protective workplace behavior, but nursing was correlated with higher levels of personal risk estimations and fear of infection. Conclusions: A strong mismatch between low medically approved risk and personal risk perceptions of HCWs brings stressors and threats into view, that may be preventable through better information, training/education and risk communication and through investment in mental health and inclusion in pandemic preparedness plans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/psychology , Hospitals , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-331537

ABSTRACT

Introduction: This study analyses how healthcare workers (HCWs) perceived risks, protection and preventive measures during the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to medically approved risks and organisational measures. The aim is to explore blind spots of pandemic protection and make mental health needs of HCWs visible. Methods. We have chosen an optimal-case scenario of a high-income country with a well-resourced hospital sector and low HCW infection rate at the organisational level to explore governance gaps in HCW protection. A German multi-method hospital study at Hannover Medical School served as empirical case;document analysis, expert information and survey data (n=1163) were collected as part of a clinical study into SARS-CoV-2 serology testing during the second wave of the pandemic (November 2020-February 2021). Selected survey items included perceptions of risks, protection and preventive measures. Descriptive statistical analysis and regression were undertaken for gender, profession and COVID-19 patient care. Results. The results reveal a low risk of 1% medically approved infections among participants, but a much higher mean personal risk estimate of 15%. The majority (68.4%) expressed some to very strong fear of acquiring infection at the workplace. Individual protective behaviour and compliance with protective workplace measures were estimated as very high. Yet only about half of the respondents felt strongly protected by the employer;12% even perceived no or little protection. Gender and contact with COVID-19 patients had no significant effect on the estimations of infection risks and protective workplace behaviour, but nursing was correlated with higher levels of personal risk estimations and fear of infection. Conclusions. A strong mismatch between low medically approved risk and personal risk perceptions of HCWs brings stressors and threats into view, that may be preventable through better information and risk communication and through investment in mental health and inclusion in pandemic preparedness plans.

4.
Z Rheumatol ; 81(2): 157-163, 2022 Mar.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1748494

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Telemedicine was implemented in outpatient care during the lockdown between March and May 2020. The aim of the study was to assess patients from a private practice and the university outpatient department with respect to patient satisfaction with telemedicine, COVID-19 worries and vaccination behavior and to compare the teleconsultation by a medical assistant for rheumatology (RFA) and a physician. METHODS: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatric arthropathy or spondylarthritis without treatment modifications since the previous presentation were offered a telemedical replacement appointment within the framework of this study in the case of appointment cancellation by the treating center. Participants were randomized to a telemedicine appointment by a physician or an RFA (RFA university only). The patient history was carried out by telephone and standardized using a questionnaire. The disease activity was determined using the modified clinical disease activity score (CDAI) and the BASDAI. Subsequently, all patients received a pseudonymized evaluation questionnaire. RESULTS: In total 112/116 (96%) patients participated. Of these 88/112 (79%) returned the questionnaire. The RFAs conducted 19/112 (17%) of the telephone calls. The treatment was modified in 19/112 (17%) patients. Concerns about contracting COVID-19 correlated with high disease activity (p = 0.031) including the presence of painful joints (p = 0.001) and high pain levels (VAS ≥7, p = 0.009). These patients would have also cancelled their appointment themselves (p = 0.015). Patient satisfaction with the consultation was good (mean 4.3/5.0 modified FAPI) independent of the institution, the duration of the consultation and the consultation partner. Patients with a high pain intensity were the least satisfied (p = 0.036). Only 42/100 (38.2%) of the patients had been vaccinated against pneumococci and 59/100 (53.6%) against influenza. CONCLUSION: Telemedical care within the framework of a telephone consultation is well-suited for selected patients. With respect to patient satisfaction the delegation of a telemedical consultation to an RFA is possible. There is a need for improvement with respect to the vaccination behavior.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Remote Consultation , Rheumatology , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Patient Satisfaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/methods , Telephone , Vaccination
5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-311986

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted healthcare systems worldwide. Besides the direct impact of the virus on morbidity and mortality of patients, the effect of lockdown strategies on health and healthcare utilization become more and more apparent. Little is known on the effect of the pandemic on pediatric healthcare utilization. We examined the impact of the pandemic on pediatric emergency healthcare. Methods: : We conducted a monocentric, retrospective analysis of n=5.424 pediatric emergency visits between January 1 st and April 19 th of 2019 and 2020, and compared healthcare utilization in the month post lockdown 2020 to the same period in 2019. Results: : In the four weeks after lockdown in Germany began, we observed a massive drop of 63.8% in pediatric emergency healthcare utilization (mean daily visits 26.8 ±SEM 1.5 in 2019 vs. 9.7 ±SEM 1 in 2020, p<0.005). This drop in cases occurred for both communicable and non-communicable diseases. A larger proportion of patients under one year old (daily mean of 16.6% ±SEM 1.4 in 2019 vs 23.1% ±SEM 1.7, p<0.01 in 2020) and of cases requiring hospitalisation (mean of 13.9% ±SEM 1.6 in 2019 vs. 26.6% ±SEM 3.3 in 2020, p<0.001) occurred during the pandemic. During the analysed time periods, few intensive care admissions and no fatalities occurred. Conclusion: Our data illustrate a significant decrease in pediatric emergency room visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public outreach is needed to encourage parents to seek medical attention for pediatric emergencies in spite of the pandemic.

6.
NPJ Prim Care Respir Med ; 31(1): 50, 2021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621243

ABSTRACT

The presence of acute infectious respiratory diseases (ARD) is one of the main reasons why recently arrived refugees seek medical help. This paper investigates the incidence rates of acute respiratory diseases in an adult refugee population as well as associated sociodemographic factors and drug treatments. We conducted a retrospective observational study of deidentified medical records. The data were collected between 2015 and 2019 in the health care centers of two large German initial reception centers for refugees. Multivariable analyses controlling for sociodemographics were carried out using generalized estimating equations. Out of 10,431 eligible residents, 6965 medical encounters of 2840 adult patients were recorded over 30 months. Of all the adult patients, 34.4% sought medical help for a respiratory symptom or diagnosis at least once. Older patients and patients from Sub-Saharan Africa sought help less often. The occurrence of ARD showed a typical distribution over the course of the year. Facility occupancy was not associated with ARD occurrence. Acute respiratory symptoms are a leading cause for adult refugee patients to seek medical care. The doctor contact rates due to ARD were consistently two to three times higher among refugees than among German residents.


Subject(s)
Refugees , Respiratory Tract Infections , Adult , Humans , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies
7.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(11): 2000-2008, 2021 12 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559548

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies are key in combating the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. However, delays of boost immunization due to limited availability of vaccines may leave individuals vulnerable to infection and prolonged or severe disease courses. The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOC)-B.1.1.7 (United Kingdom), B.1.351 (South Africa), and P.1 (Brazil)-may exacerbate this issue, as the latter two are able to evade control by antibodies. METHODS: We assessed humoral and T-cell responses against SARS-CoV-2 wild-type (WT), VOC, and endemic human coronaviruses (hCoVs) that were induced after single and double vaccination with BNT162b2. RESULTS: Despite readily detectable immunoglobulin G (IgG) against the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein at day 14 after a single vaccination, inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 S-driven host cell entry was weak and particularly low for the B.1.351 variant. Frequencies of SARS-CoV-2 WT and VOC-specific T cells were low in many vaccinees after application of a single dose and influenced by immunity against endemic hCoV. The second vaccination significantly boosted T-cell frequencies reactive for WT and B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants. CONCLUSIONS: These results call into question whether neutralizing antibodies significantly contribute to protection against COVID-19 upon single vaccination and suggest that cellular immunity is central for the early defenses against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
/immunology , COVID-19 , Immunity, Cellular , Immunity, Humoral , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination
9.
BMC Pediatr ; 20(1): 427, 2020 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-745685

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted healthcare systems worldwide. In addition to the direct impact of the virus on patient morbidity and mortality, the effect of lockdown strategies on health and healthcare utilization have become apparent. Little is known on the effect of the pandemic on pediatric and adolescent medicine. We examined the impact of the pandemic on pediatric emergency healthcare utilization. METHODS: We conducted a monocentric, retrospective analysis of n = 5,424 pediatric emergency department visits between January 1st and April 19th of 2019 and 2020, and compared healthcare utilization during the pandemic in 2020 to the same period in 2019. RESULTS: In the four weeks after lockdown in Germany began, we observed a massive drop of 63.8% in pediatric emergency healthcare utilization (mean daily visits 26.8 ± SEM 1.5 in 2019 vs. 9.7 ± SEM 1 in 2020, p < 0.005). This drop in cases occurred for both communicable and non-communicable diseases. A larger proportion of patients under one year old (daily mean of 16.6% ±SEM 1.4 in 2019 vs. 23.1% ±SEM 1.7 in 2020, p < 0.01) and of cases requiring hospitalisation (mean of 13.9% ±SEM 1.6 in 2019 vs. 26.6% ±SEM 3.3 in 2020, p < 0.001) occurred during the pandemic. During the analysed time periods, few intensive care admissions and no fatalities occurred. CONCLUSIONS: Our data illustrate a significant decrease in pediatric emergency department visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public outreach is needed to encourage parents and guardians to seek medical attention for pediatric emergencies in spite of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Emergency Service, Hospital/trends , Facilities and Services Utilization/trends , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral , Adolescent , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Female , Germany , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Infect Dis Ther ; 9(4): 837-849, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-743789

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Serology testing is explored for epidemiological research and to inform individuals after suspected infection. During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, frontline healthcare professionals (HCP) may be at particular risk for infection. No longitudinal data on functional seroconversion in HCP in regions with low COVID-19 prevalence and low pre-test probability exist. METHODS: In a large German university hospital, we performed weekly questionnaire assessments and anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) immunoglobulin G (IgG) measurements with various commercial tests, a novel surrogate virus neutralisation test, and a neutralisation assay using live SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: From baseline to week 6, 1080 screening measurements for anti-SARS CoV-2 (S1) IgG from 217 frontline HCP (65% female) were performed. Overall, 75.6% of HCP reported at least one symptom of respiratory infection. Self-perceived infection probability declined over time (from mean 20.1% at baseline to 12.4% in week 6, p < 0.001). In sera of convalescent patients with PCR-confirmed COVID-19, we measured high anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG levels, obtained highly concordant results from enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) using e.g. the spike 1 (S1) protein domain and the nucleocapsid protein (NCP) as targets, and confirmed antiviral neutralisation. However, in HCP the cumulative incidence for anti-SARS-CoV-2 (S1) IgG was 1.86% for positive and 0.93% for equivocal positive results over the study period of 6 weeks. Except for one HCP, none of the eight initial positive results were confirmed by alternative serology tests or showed in vitro neutralisation against live SARS-CoV-2. The only true seroconversion occurred without symptoms and mounted strong functional humoral immunity. Thus, the confirmed cumulative incidence for neutralizing anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG was 0.47%. CONCLUSION: When assessing anti-SARS-CoV-2 immune status in individuals with low pre-test probability, we suggest confirming positive results from single measurements by alternative serology tests or functional assays. Our data highlight the need for a methodical serology screening approach in regions with low SARS-CoV-2 infection rates. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study is registered at DRKS00021152.

11.
Infection ; 48(4): 631-634, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-592158

ABSTRACT

There have been concerns about high rates of thus far undiagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infections in the health-care system. The COVID-19 Contact (CoCo) Study follows 217 frontline health-care professionals at a university hospital with weekly SARS-CoV-2-specific serology (IgA/IgG). Study participants estimated their personal likelihood of having had a SARS-CoV-2 infection with a mean of 21% [median 15%, interquartile range (IQR) 5-30%]. In contrast, anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG prevalence was about 1-2% at baseline. Regular anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG testing of health-care professionals may aid in directing resources for protective measures and care of COVID-19 patients in the long run.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Health Personnel , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Female , Germany , Hospitals, University , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Serologic Tests , Young Adult
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