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3.
Public Health Nutr ; 25(4): 819-828, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758097

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Food insecurity is associated with numerous adverse health outcomes. The US Veterans Health Administration (VHA) began universal food insecurity screening in 2017. This study examined prevalence and correlates of food insecurity among Veterans screened. DESIGN: Retrospective cross-sectional study using VHA administrative data. Multivariable logistic regression models were estimated to identify sociodemographic and medical characteristics associated with a positive food insecurity screen. SETTING: All US Veterans Administration (VA) medical centres (n 161). PARTICIPANTS: All Veterans were screened for food insecurity since screening initiation (July 2017-December 2018). RESULTS: Of 3 304 702 Veterans screened for food insecurity, 44 298 were positive on their initial screen (1·3 % of men; 2·0 % of women). Food insecurity was associated with identifying as non-Hispanic Black or Hispanic. Veterans who were non-married/partnered, low-income Veterans without VA disability-related compensation and those with housing instability had higher odds of food insecurity, as did Veterans with a BMI < 18·5, diabetes, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Prior military sexual trauma (MST) was associated with food insecurity among both men and women. Women screening positive, however, were eight times more likely than men to have experienced MST (48·9 % v. 5·9 %). CONCLUSIONS: Food insecurity was associated with medical and trauma-related comorbidities as well as unmet social needs including housing instability. Additionally, Veterans of colour and women were at higher risk for food insecurity. Findings can inform development of tailored interventions to address food insecurity such as more frequent screening among high-risk populations, onsite support applying for federal food assistance programs and formal partnerships with community-based resources.


Subject(s)
Veterans , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Food Insecurity , Humans , Male , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , United States , United States Department of Veterans Affairs
4.
J Immigr Minor Health ; 2022 Mar 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1750785

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic affected how adults with diabetes perform self-management, and impacts may be greater among vulnerable populations. We assessed the impact of the pandemic on diabetes self-management among adults with type 2 diabetes at a Federally Qualified Health Center. Participants were surveyed by phone in Spanish and English from July to October of 2020. Most respondents (74%) were Latino and preferred to speak Spanish, with mean age of 54 years and mean HbA1c of 9.2%. Fifty-three percent reported less physical activity during the pandemic. While 43% had more difficulty obtaining healthy food, 38% reported eating more healthfully. Sixty-one percent had increased difficulty accessing medical care. Many felt more socially isolated (49%) and stressed (51%). Changes in diabetes self-management were both positive and negative for majority Latino patients in this low-resource community, which may require tailored approaches to mitigate negative impacts of the pandemic on physical and mental health.

5.
Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved ; 32(4):1778-1797, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1543539

ABSTRACT

Objective. To examine clinicians' perspectives on changes in health and health care utilization of immigrant patients, the presence of immigration enforcement in health facilities, and institutional responses to these changes in the post-2016 period in the United States. Methods. From a survey of clinician members of the Physicians for Human Rights Asylum Network (March–June 2020), we described responses and identified key themes. Results. Post-2016 anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric negatively affected mental health, physical health, and health care-seeking behaviors among immigrant patients. Although most clinicians reported rarely witnessing immigration enforcement activities, nearly half reported persistent fear among their immigrant patients. A higher percentage of clinicians in U.S. border states reported increased fears associated with adverse physical and mental health effects among immigrant patients than those in non-border states. Conclusion. Clinicians' perspectives on the impact of immigration enforcement on patient health is critical to informing multi-level interventions to improve immigrant health.

6.
Prim Care Diabetes ; 16(1): 57-64, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487917

ABSTRACT

AIMS: The purpose of this study was to examine whether pandemic exposure impacted unmet social and diabetes needs, self-care behaviors, and diabetes outcomes in a sample with diabetes and poor glycemic control. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional analysis of participants with diabetes and poor glycemic control in an ongoing trial (n = 353). We compared the prevalence of unmet needs, self-care behaviors, and diabetes outcomes in successive cohorts of enrollees surveyed pre-pandemic (prior to March 11, 2020, n = 182), in the early stages of the pandemic (May-September, 2020, n = 75), and later (September 2020-January 2021, n = 96) stratified by income and gender. Adjusted multivariable regression models were used to examine trends. RESULTS: More participants with low income reported food insecurity (70% vs. 83%, p < 0.05) and needs related to access to blood glucose supplies (19% vs. 67%, p < 0.05) during the pandemic compared to pre-pandemic levels. In adjusted models among people with low incomes, the odds of housing insecurity increased among participants during the early pandemic months compared with participants pre-pandemic (OR 20.2 [95% CI 2.8-145.2], p < 0.01). A1c levels were better among participants later in the pandemic than those pre-pandemic (ß = -1.1 [95% CI -1.8 to -0.4], p < 0.01), but systolic blood pressure control was substantially worse (ß = 11.5 [95% CI 4.2-18.8, p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Adults with low-incomes and diabetes were most impacted by the pandemic. A1c may not fully capture challenges that people with diabetes are facing to manage their condition; systolic blood pressures may have worsened and problems with self-care may forebode longer-term challenges in diabetes control.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Diabetes Mellitus/diagnosis , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus/therapy , Glycemic Control , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Care
7.
Diabetes ; 70, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1362260

ABSTRACT

Stay at home orders, changes in business and clinic operations, and financial concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected how adults with diabetes obtained food, medications, medical care, and performed diabetes self-management. These impacts may be most pronounced among people in low-resource urban communities. We assessed the experiences of adults with type 2 diabetes participating in a federally-qualified health center diabetes management program. Of 72 patients called, 61 completed telephone surveys from July to October 2020 in Spanish and English. 74% of respondents were Latino with Spanish as their preferred language. Respondents' mean age was 54 years, 62% were female, and 57% had less than a high school degree. Five patients reported testing positive for COVID-19, and 7 lived with someone who tested positive. Of 33 respondents who worked outside the home before COVID-19, 61% had lost their jobs or now worked fewer hours. When asked how diabetes management behaviors changed during the pandemic, 53% of respondents reported less physical activity, while 25% reported more. 18% reported eating less healthfully, while 38% reported eating more healthfully. 43% found it more difficult to obtain healthy food. 15% reported taking their medications more regularly, while 5% reported less. 61% reported increased difficulty accessing medical care. 41% felt more worried about being able to manage their diabetes during the pandemic and 49% felt more socially isolated. Changes in diabetes self-management behaviors related to COVID-19 were both positive and negative for patients in this low-resource urban setting. Programs supporting patients with diabetes could help patients adapt to pandemic changes by facilitating access to medications and health care, providing virtual support for self-management and other health habits, connecting patients with financial and food security concerns to community resources, and addressing stress and social isolation through virtual diabetes support groups.

8.
Health Equity ; 5(1): 169-180, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1180554

ABSTRACT

Purpose: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic presents health care challenges to asylum seekers living in congregate encampments, including those along the U.S.-Mexico border. It is necessary to understand the impact of the pandemic among this population to address health care needs, reduce transmission, and diminish COVID-19-related morbidity. Methods: Thirty interviews were conducted with asylum seekers and health care professionals in a temporary camp in Matamoros, Mexico to determine challenges, perceptions, and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Interviews were coded in NVivo12 by using a team-based approach. Results: The pandemic caused significant mental health burdens but no perceived adverse physical effects, with the U.S. border closure and health care access barriers as more pressing concerns. Participants reported access to information about COVID-19 but had varied levels of knowledge and adherence to disease reduction strategies due to camp conditions. Most participants believed that they had special protection from COVID-19, including strong immune systems or from God. The nongovernmental organizations providing health care and sanitation faced multiple challenges to implement new policies to manage COVID-19. The institution of required temperature checks and quarantine of COVID-19 positive patients led to distrust, decreased seeking of health care services among asylum seekers, and possible underreporting of COVID-19 cases. Conclusion: Our findings among asylum seekers in a Matamoros camp highlight the challenges to implementing disease reduction policies in low-resource congregate camps. Policies to address disease outbreaks focusing on the social determinants of health, health care access barriers, and community engagement may be more acceptable to asylum seekers, suggesting the need for effective strategies to provide prevention information that complements such measures.

9.
Int J Emerg Med ; 14(1): 18, 2021 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1150386

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has generated worldwide scarcity of critical resources to protect against and treat disease. Shortages of face masks and other protective equipment place health workers, already on the frontline of the disease, at higher risk. Moral distress from making difficult decisions about allocating scarce resources and care to patients ill with COVID-19 can further add to burdens health workers face. This study investigates clinical health workers' risk perceptions and concerns about the ethics of their clinical decision-making, the actions of their institutions to address resource scarcity concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic, and their ability to voice safety concerns, as well as their own views on how scarce resources should be allocated. METHODS: An online survey was open to health care workers who provide clinical care to patients, with no specialty training or geographic location requirements, from May 19 to June 30, 2020. Participants were recruited through purposive sampling using medical association and institutional email lists, and by snowball sampling. RESULTS: Of 839 participants, a majority were physicians (540, 69.4%) working in academic medical centers (270, 35.2%) or private health systems in the community (234, 30.5%) in the USA (760, 90.7%). Most reported being concerned about their own health (494, 73.6%) and about the possibility of spreading COVID-19 to family and friends (534, 85.9%) during the pandemic. All respondents reported shortages or rationing of at least one type of medical resource (e.g., sanitizing supplies and personal protective equipment). More than half of respondents (351, 53.9%) did not feel they received sufficient training in how to allocate scarce resources in the pandemic. Many felt moral distress related to conflicts between institutional constraints and what they believed was right (459, 66.5%). Though a majority (459, 67.7%) reported feeling "comfortable" internally communicating with their administration about safety issues, far fewer reported feeling "confident" speaking publicly about safety issues without retaliation from their institution (255, 37.3%). CONCLUSIONS: In the face of limited resources, surveyed health care workers reported concern about their own and their families' health from exposure. Securing adequate protective equipment must be a high priority for pandemic management. In addition, more governmental and facility-level ethical guidance is required for allocation of resources given ongoing scarcity, and facilities must create conditions so health care workers can speak openly about safety issues without fear of retaliation.

10.
Am J Obstet Gynecol ; 224(4): 384.e1-384.e11, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-926385

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Randomized controlled trials document the safety and efficacy of reduced frequency prenatal visit schedules and virtual visits, but real-world data are lacking. Our institution created a prenatal care delivery model incorporating these alternative approaches to continue safely providing prenatal care during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate institutional-level adoption and patient and provider experiences with the coronavirus disease 2019 prenatal care model. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a single-site evaluation of a coronavirus disease 2019 prenatal care model incorporating a reduced frequency visit schedule and virtual visits deployed at a suburban academic institution on March 20, 2020. We used electronic health record data to evaluate institution-level model adoption, defined as changes in overall visit frequency and proportion of virtual visits in the 3 months before and after implementation. To evaluate the patient and provider experience with the coronavirus disease 2019 model, we conducted an online survey of all pregnant patients (>20 weeks' gestation) and providers in May 2020. Of note, 3 domains of care experience were evaluated: (1) access, (2) quality and safety, and (3) satisfaction. Quantitative data were analyzed with basic descriptive statistics. Free-text responses coded by the 3 survey domains elucidated drivers of positive and negative care experiences. RESULTS: After the coronavirus disease 2019 model adoption, average weekly prenatal visit volume fell by 16.1%, from 898 to 761 weekly visits; the average weekly proportion of prenatal visits conducted virtually increased from 10.8% (97 of 898) to 43.3% (330 of 761); and the average visit no-show rate remained stable (preimplementation, 4.3%; postimplementation, 4.2%). Of those eligible, 74.8% of providers (77 of 103) and 15.0% of patients (253 of 1690) participated in the surveys. Patient respondents were largely white (180 of 253; 71.1%) and privately insured (199 of 253; 78.7%), reflecting the study site population. The rates of chronic conditions and pregnancy complications also differed from national prevalence. Provider respondents were predominantly white (44 of 66; 66.7%) and female (50 of 66; 75.8%). Most patients and almost all providers reported that virtual visits improved access to care (patients, 174 of 253 [68.8%]; providers, 74 of 77 [96.1%]). More than half of respondents (patients, 124 of 253 [53.3%]; providers, 41 of 77 [62.1%]) believed that virtual visits were safe. Nearly all believed that home blood pressure cuffs were important for virtual visits (patients, 213 of 231 [92.2%]; providers, 63 of 66 [95.5%]). Most reported satisfaction with the coronavirus disease 2019 model (patients, 196 of 253 [77.5%]; providers, 64 of 77 [83.1%]). In free-text responses, drivers of positive care experiences were similar for patients and providers and included perceived improved access to care through decreased barriers (eg, transportation, childcare), perceived high quality of virtual visits for low-risk patients and increased safety during the pandemic, and improved satisfaction through better patient counseling. Perceived drivers of negative care experience were also similar for patients and providers, but less common. These included concerns that unequal access to virtual visits could deepen existing maternity care inequities, concerns that the lack of home devices (eg, blood pressure cuffs) would affect care quality and safety, and dissatisfaction with poor patient-provider continuity and inadequate expectation setting for the virtual visit experience. CONCLUSION: Reduced visit schedules and virtual visits were rapidly integrated into real-world care, with positive experiences for many patients and providers. Future research is needed to understand the health outcomes and care experience associated with alternative approaches to prenatal care delivery across more diverse patient populations outside of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic to inform broader health policy decisions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Prenatal Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine , Adult , Delivery of Health Care , Female , Humans , Male , Physician-Patient Relations , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications/epidemiology , Quality of Health Care , Retrospective Studies
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