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PLoS One ; 18(2): e0280723, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2241492


BACKGROUND: Internet penetration worldwide has increased rapidly over the recent years. With this growth, modern information and communication technologies (ICT) have become increasingly important. They do not only change daily life but also patient-physician interaction and health related information search, which can be summarized as electronic Health (eHealth). eHealth was already known before the emergence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but this pandemic substantially challenged health systems, physicians and hospitals so profoundly that new services and methods of patient-physician interaction had to be implemented rapidly. This study investigates the attitude of cancer patients towards eHealth and the potential impact of COVID-19 on its use. METHODS AND FINDINGS: The study was a multicentered study carried out at the university hospitals Bonn and Aachen. Patients were asked to answer a structured questionnaire in the time span between September 2019 and February 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no patients were addressed between March 2020 and July 2020. The questionnaire focused on socio-demographic data, the dissemination of internet-enabled devices, the patients' attitude towards eHealth and the use of modern ICT in daily life and for health-related information search. In total, 280 patients have filled the questionnaire of which 48% were female and 52% were male. Men have a slightly more positive attitude towards the overall potential of eHealth than women which was shown by a significant influence for receiving medical information via e-mail. Hematological-oncological patients with a higher education level reported a significantly higher willingness to send personal health information to their physician and health insurance. A frequency of medical consultation of more than 5 times during the previous year has a significantly positive impact regarding the use of online communication, online video consultation and treatment quality. Younger patients have more concerns about data security than older patients. The study shows a different attitude towards the influence of eHealth on the patient-physician relationship in different therapy situations. While there were no significant changes in patients' attitude towards eHealth after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a trend towards an increasingly embracing attitude in patients, who answered the questionnaire during COVID-19 pandemic situation. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, cancer patients had a positive attitude towards eHealth and the dissemination of internet-enabled devices was high. The study shows that the potential of eHealth is high among hematological-oncological patients. Further eHealth technologies and especially telemedically supported care processes should be implemented to improve patient-physician interaction and cross-sectoral care. COVID-19 pandemic led to a fast initiation and acceleration of new structures and routines for physicians, hospitals and patients. These new processes should be used to promote digitalization in hematological and oncological telemedicine. To successfully implement new eHealth technologies, future research should focus on patients' concerns about data privacy and data availability especially in the context of exchange of medical information in cross sectoral and interdisciplinary care processes.

COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Telemedicine , Humans , Male , Female , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/therapy , Telemedicine/methods , Hospitals, University , Surveys and Questionnaires , Internet
Viruses ; 15(1)2022 Dec 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2216913


As the Corona Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 persists, vaccination is one of the key measures to contain the spread. Side effects (SE) from vaccination are one of the reasons for reluctance to vaccinate. We systematically investigated self-reported SE after the first, second, and booster vaccinations. The data were collected during the TüSeRe: exact study (Tübinger Monitoring Studie zur exakten Analyse der Immunantwort nach Vakzinierung). Employees of health and research institutions were invited to participate. Study participants were asked to fill out an online questionnaire and report their SE after each dose of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. A total of 1046 participants (mean age: 44 ± 12.9 years; female, n = 815 (78%); male, n = 231 (22%)) were included in the analysis. Local and systemic SE were more frequent after receiving the vector-based vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in the first vaccination. However, local and systemic SE were more common after receiving mRNA vaccines (BNT162b2, mRNA-1273) in the second vaccination. Compared to the BNT162b2 vaccine, more SE have been observed after receiving the mRNA-1273 vaccine in the booster vaccination. In multivariate analysis, local and systemic side effects were associated with vaccine type, age and gender. Local and systemic SE are common after SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. The frequency of self-reported local and systemic SE differ significantly between mRNA and vector-based vaccines.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions , Vaccines , Adult , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273 , BNT162 Vaccine , ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Health Personnel , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination/adverse effects
Front Public Health ; 8: 594117, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1058473


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused strains on health systems worldwide disrupting routine hospital services for all non-COVID patients. Within this retrospective study, we analyzed inpatient hospital admissions across 18 German university hospitals during the 2020 lockdown period compared to 2018. Patients admitted to hospital between January 1 and May 31, 2020 and the corresponding periods in 2018 and 2019 were included in this study. Data derived from electronic health records were collected and analyzed using the data integration center infrastructure implemented in the university hospitals that are part of the four consortia funded by the German Medical Informatics Initiative. Admissions were grouped and counted by ICD 10 chapters and specific reasons for treatment at each site. Pooled aggregated data were centrally analyzed with descriptive statistics to compare absolute and relative differences between time periods of different years. The results illustrate how care process adoptions depended on the COVID-19 epidemiological situation and the criticality of the disease. Overall inpatient hospital admissions decreased by 35% in weeks 1 to 4 and by 30.3% in weeks 5 to 8 after the lockdown announcement compared to 2018. Even hospital admissions for critical care conditions such as malignant cancer treatments were reduced. We also noted a high reduction of emergency admissions such as myocardial infarction (38.7%), whereas the reduction in stroke admissions was smaller (19.6%). In contrast, we observed a considerable reduction in admissions for non-critical clinical situations, such as hysterectomies for benign tumors (78.8%) and hip replacements due to arthrosis (82.4%). In summary, our study shows that the university hospital admission rates in Germany were substantially reduced following the national COVID-19 lockdown. These included critical care or emergency conditions in which deferral is expected to impair clinical outcomes. Future studies are needed to delineate how appropriate medical care of critically ill patients can be maintained during a pandemic.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals, University/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital/trends , Forecasting , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitalization/trends , Hospitals, University/trends , Humans , Patient Admission/trends , Quarantine/trends , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2