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1.
Front Public Health ; 10: 831087, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1952770

ABSTRACT

Background: Restrictions to contain the COVID-19 pandemic affect the social participation of people worldwide. Especially those at high risk for a severe disease tend to abstain from social gatherings. While there are a few questionnaires to measure social participation in elderly or chronic patients, a valid survey instrument that includes pandemic-related social participation is needed. Methods: We developed a social participation questionnaire that aims to assess pandemic-related restrictions in social participation. Items were developed using a theory and literature-based approach and then compiled in a discursive process involving experts and lay people. This was followed by the validation of the questionnaire through a cross-sectional survey on 431 individuals. Items with low item-total correlations and low factor loadings using exploratory factor analysis [EFA] were excluded. Using EFA on the remaining items, the factor structure was retrieved and tested with a confirmatory factor analysis [CFA]. Internal consistency was assessed with Chronbachs α. Results: Initially, 27 items were developed which were used for validation. 13 items were excluded due to low item-total correlations and factors loadings. EFA of the remaining 14 items revealed three factors which were identified as domains "active social participation," "wellbeing," and "restrictions". CFA showed an acceptable model fit using the three-dimensional structure. Chronbachs α of 0.81 and McDonalds Ω of 0.87 indicate good internal consistency. Correlation analysis showed an association between the developed questionnaire and previously-established participation and mental health scales. Conclusion: This study suggests that our 14 item questionnaire is of high reliability and validity and can be used to measure social participation during a pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Psychometrics/methods , Reproducibility of Results , Social Participation , Surveys and Questionnaires
2.
Front Public Health ; 10: 877623, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911117

ABSTRACT

Immunocompromised persons are at an increased risk for a severe SARS-CoV-2 infection and their safety behaviors may influence their social participation. Vaccinated persons have a lower incidence of infection and severe disease when infected compared to non-vaccinated persons. Therefore, their behavior may change and their social participation may increase after a complete vaccination. The aim of this study was to explore social participation of immunocompromised persons before and after complete COVID-19 vaccination. Between March and September 2021, 274 immunocompromised participants were recruited. Survey data were collected at baseline and follow-up from 194 participants including the Index for the Assessment of Health Impairments [IMET], Patient Health Questionnaire-4 [PHQ-4], subjective health status and quality of life. At baseline, participants were not yet completely vaccinated. Complete vaccination was achieved prior to the follow-up questionnaire. IMET scores decreased significantly at follow-up, indicating a higher social participation after complete vaccination. PHQ-4, subjective health status and quality of life did not differ between baseline and follow-up. There were no significant differences across sociodemographic factors. Significant PHQ-4 differences were observed regarding the population size of the participants' home community. Social participation of immunocompromised persons in our study increased after COVID-19 vaccination. Therefore, social participation should be explored further, especially with regards to the impact of vaccination on groups with a high health risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Participation , Vaccination
3.
Z Rheumatol ; 2022 May 06.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1826449

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Immunocompromised people are less likely to be vaccinated, despite an increased benefit of many vaccinations in terms of benefit-risk assessment, including the vaccines against SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19). Attitudes, expectations, and experiences with previous vaccinations influence the decision to get vaccinated. OBJECTIVE: To explore the attitudes of immunocompromised people towards vaccinations in general and COVID-19 vaccination in particular and their experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations. MATERIAL AND METHODS: As part of the CoCo Immune study, immunocompromised participants were surveyed in the spring and summer of 2021 (1 November 2021-7 September 2021) using questionnaires. Initially, they were asked about their expectations concerning a COVID-19 vaccination and followed up about their experience after COVID-19 vaccination. In addition, sociodemographic data, general attitudes toward vaccinations and experiences with previous vaccinations were collected. Analysis was performed using descriptive and bivariate statistics. RESULTS: The 243 participants mostly approved vaccinations and expected the COVID-19 vaccination to be effective and well-tolerated. Women were more concerned about the safety of vaccinations and were more often worried about side effects. Older persons felt better informed than younger persons. Participants who reported subjective side effects of previous vaccinations were more skeptical about vaccinations as well as the government institutions that recommend vaccinations. They less often agreed with the statement "in retrospect, the COVID-19 vaccination has been harmless for me so far". DISCUSSION: The participants mostly expressed a positive attitude and anticipation towards COVID-19 vaccinations; however, the age and sex differences found suggest that there are different information needs which should be addressed when educating individuals about vaccinations or designing vaccination campaigns.

4.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 403, 2022 Apr 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1808345

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Immunocompromised people (ICP) and elderly individuals (older than 80 years) are at increased risk for severe coronavirus infections. To protect against serious infection with SARS-CoV-2, ICP are taking precautions that may include a reduction of social contacts and participation in activities which they normally enjoy. Furthermore, for these people, there is an uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of the vaccination. The COVID-19 Contact (CoCo) Immune study strives to characterize the immune response to COVID-19 vaccination in immunocompromised, elderly people, and patients with hematological or oncological diseases. The study uses blood-based screenings to monitor the humoral and cellular immune response in these groups after vaccination. Questionnaires and qualitative interviews are used to describe the level of social participation. METHODS: The CoCo Immune Study is a mixed methods prospective, longitudinal, observational study at two large university hospitals in Northern Germany. Starting in March 2021, it monitors anti-SARS-CoV-2 immune responses and collects information on social participation in more than 600 participants, at least 18 years old. Inclusion criteria and subcohorts: Participants with (1) regularly intake of immunosuppressive medication (ICP-cohort) or (2) age ≥ 80 years (80 + -cohort). Additionally, patients with current or former (3) myeloid, (4) lymphatic disease or (5) solid tumor under checkpoint inhibition (3-5: HO-cohort). EXCLUSION CRITERIA: (1) refusal to give informed consent, (2) contraindication to blood testing, (3) inability to declare consent. Participants complete a questionnaire at four different time points: prior to full vaccination, and 1, 6 and 12 months after completed vaccination. In addition, participants draw blood samples themselves or through a local health care provider and send them with their questionnaires per post at the respective time points after vaccination. Patients of the HO cohort dispense additional blood samples at week 3 to 12 and at month 6 to 9 after 2nd vaccination to gain additional knowledge in B and T cell responses. Selected participants are invited to qualitative interviews about social participation. DISCUSSION: This observational study is designed to gain insight into the immune response of people with weakened immune systems and to find out how social participation is affected after COVID-19 vaccination. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study was registered with German Clinical Trial Registry (registration number: DRKS00023972) on 30th December 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hematologic Diseases , Neoplasms , Adolescent , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cocos , Humans , Immunity , Observational Studies as Topic , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
5.
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
6.
Notf Rett Med ; 25(5): 341-347, 2022.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1202769

ABSTRACT

Background: As a response to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, extensive contact restrictions were imposed by law in Germany as in other European countries. The present study intends to clarify the effect of these restrictions on emergency medical service (EMS) operations. Materials and methods: Retrospective chart review of EMS operation protocols over the first 6 months of 2020 (n = 6668 rescue missions) in four rescue stations in eastern Lower Saxony (Germany). Description and statistical comparison of operations 6 weeks before the restrictions with an equally long period after the order of the restrictions ("lockdown"). Results: During the 6 weeks after the lockdown the frequency of rescue operations decreased by 17.7%. In particular, there was a 40.6% (n = 91) decrease of emergency cases with respiratory diseases, mainly due to a decline of pneumonia and exacerbated chronic-obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). At the same time, patients' mean age increased with fewer patients under 65 years. There were no changes in the frequency of psychiatric disorders, deceased or injured patients, or refusal of treatment and transport. A total of 67 patients with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV­2 infection (1.0%) were observed during this period. Discussion: EMS experienced a reduction of operations as a result of contact restrictions, although not as pronounced as was recently described for emergency rooms. This supports the hypothesis that the reduction is particularly evident in less severe cases and in younger patients. The reduction in pneumonia and COPD cases is striking. On the one hand, this could indicate that contact restrictions reduce the incidence of other respiratory infections and their impact on chronic respiratory disorders, but it could also mean that patients try to avoid hospital treatment.

7.
Eur J Gen Pract ; 26(1): 182-188, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-990368

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 outbreak has significantly changed all aspects of general practice in Europe. This article focuses on the academic challenges for the discipline, mainly in the field of education, research, and quality assurance. The efforts of the European Region of the World Organisation of National Colleges, Academies, and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians (WONCA Europe) to support academic sustainability of the discipline in the time of pandemic are presented. Medical education was affected by the pandemic, threatening both its productivity and quality. Emerging new educational methods might be promising, but the results of their rapid implementation remain uncertain. A relatively small number of publications related to COVID-19 and general practice is available in the medical literature. There is a shortage of original data from general practice settings. This contrasts with the crucial role of GPs in fighting a pandemic. COVID-19 outbreak has opened widely new research areas, which should be explored by GPs. Maintaining the quality of care and safety of all patients during the COVID-19 pandemic is the utmost priority. Many of them suffer from poor access or inadequate management of their problems. Rapid implementation of telemedicine brought both threats and opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic also challenged doctors' safety and well-being. These aspects will require discussion and remedy to prevent deterioration of the quality of primary care. WONCA Europe is making a multi-faceted effort to support GPs in difficult times of the pandemic. It is ready to support future efforts to uphold the integrity of family medicine as an academic discipline.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research , COVID-19 , Education, Medical , Family Practice/methods , Education, Distance , Europe , Family Practice/education , Family Practice/standards , General Practice/education , General Practice/methods , General Practice/standards , Humans , Quality of Health Care , Telemedicine
8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(18)2020 09 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-789450

ABSTRACT

Background: Infections are a leading cause of refugee morbidity. Recent data on the rate of airway infections and factors influencing their spread in refugee reception centers is scarce. Methods: A retrospective, cross-sectional study of de-identified medical records with a focus on respiratory infections in underage refugees was conducted at two large German refugee reception centers. Results: In total, medical data from n = 10,431 refugees over an observational period of n = 819 days was analyzed. Among pediatric patients (n = 4289), 55.3% presented at least once to the on-site medical ward with an acute respiratory infection or signs thereof. In 38.4% of pediatric consultations, acute airway infections or signs thereof were present. Airway infections spiked during colder months and were significantly more prevalent amongst preschool and resettled children. Their frequency displayed a positive correlation with the number of refugees housed at the reception centers. Conclusions: We show that respiratory infections are a leading cause for morbidity in young refugees and that their rate is influenced age, season, status, and residential density. This illustrates the need to protect refugee children from contracting airway infections which may also reduce the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during the current pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Refugees/statistics & numerical data , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Transients and Migrants/statistics & numerical data , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Public Housing , Residence Characteristics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
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