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JAMA Netw Open ; 4(6): e2117621, 2021 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1286095
Womens Health Rep (New Rochelle) ; 2(1): 149-153, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258747


Introduction: Women have historically been under-represented in medical literature, particularly prominent in authorship of invited commentaries. With the instantaneous change in work environment forcing Americans to adapt to working at home, many theorize that women will be more adversely affected due to traditional concepts of women being more responsible for the home in addition to work responsibilities. Objective: Understand how women contributed to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) literature early in the pandemic. Methods: Cross-sectional analysis of manuscripts published in three high-impact U.S. medical journals from February to May 2020 was performed. We used log-binomial regression to examine for an association between COVID-19 status and likelihood of having at least one female first author, and evaluated for effect modification according to whether the manuscript was invited. Results: Among 980 manuscripts, 313 (31.9%) listed at least one female first author, 203 were written on COVID-19 (20.7%), and 144 (14.7%) were invited. There was no association between COVID-19 status and having at least one female first author overall (adjusted risk ratio [RR] 0.93, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.72-1.19). The relationship between COVID-19 status and first-author sex was 0.23 (95% CI 0.06-0.92) for invited manuscripts and 1.04 (95% CI 0.81-1.35) for noninvited manuscripts (p for interaction 0.02). Discussion: We demonstrate that women were not less likely to be first authors on COVID-19 manuscripts but were less likely to be first authors on invited COVID-19 manuscripts. Early career female researchers are the most vulnerable for inability to meet metrics for promotion, accounting for the continued under-representation of women in senior academic roles. COVID-19 has the potential to exacerbate this disparity.

JAMA Psychiatry ; 78(6): 616-622, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1095220


Importance: Loneliness is a risk factor for many clinical conditions, but there are few effective interventions deployable at scale. Objective: To determine whether a layperson-delivered, empathy-focused program of telephone calls could rapidly improve loneliness, depression, and anxiety in at-risk adults. Design, Setting, and Participants: From July 6 to September 24, 2020, we recruited and followed up 240 adults who were assigned to receive calls (intervention group) or no calls (control group) via block randomization. Loneliness, depression, and anxiety were measured using validated scales at enrollment and after 4 weeks. Intention-to-treat analyses were conducted. Meals on Wheels Central Texas (MOWCTX) clients received calls in their homes or wherever they might have been when the call was received. The study included MOWCTX clients who fit their service criteria, including being homebound and expressing a need for food. A total of 296 participants were screened, of whom 240 were randomized to intervention or control. Interventions: Sixteen callers, aged 17 to 23 years, were briefly trained in empathetic conversational techniques. Each called 6 to 9 participants over 4 weeks daily for the first 5 days, after which clients could choose to drop down to fewer calls but no less than 2 calls a week. Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcome was loneliness (3-item UCLA Loneliness Scale, range 3-9; and 6-item De Jong Giervald Loneliness [De Jong] Scale, range 0-6). Secondary outcomes were depression (Personal Health Questionnaire for Depression), anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale), and self-rated health (Short Form Health Survey Questionnaire). Results: The 240 participants were aged 27 to 101 years, with 63% aged at least 65 years (n = 149 of 232), 56% living alone (n = 135 of 240), 79% women (n = 190 of 240), 39% Black or African American (n = 94 of 240), and 22% Hispanic or Latino (n = 52 of 240), and all reported at least 1 chronic condition. Of 240 participants enrolled, 13 were lost to follow-up in the intervention arm and 1 in the control arm. Postassessment differences between intervention and control after 4 weeks showed an improvement of 1.1 on the UCLA Loneliness Scale (95% CI, 0.5-1.7; P < .001; Cohen d of 0.48), and improvement of 0.32 on De Jong (95% CI, -0.20 to 0.81; P = .06; Cohen d, 0.17) for loneliness; an improvement of 1.5 on the Personal Health Questionnaire for Depression (95% CI, 0.22-2.7; P < .001; Cohen d, 0.31) for depression; and an improvement of 1.8 on the Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (95% CI, 0.44 to 3.2; P < .001; Cohen d, 0.35) for anxiety. General physical health on the Short Form Health Questionnaire Survey showed no change, but mental health improved by 2.6 (95% CI, 0.81 to 4.4; P = .003; Cohen d of 0.46). Conclusions and Relevance: A layperson-delivered, empathy-oriented telephone call program reduced loneliness, depression, and anxiety compared with the control group and improved the general mental health of participants within 4 weeks. Future research can determine whether effects on depression and anxiety can be extended to maximize clinical relevance. Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT04595708.

Anxiety/therapy , COVID-19 , Community Health Workers , Depression/therapy , Empathy , Loneliness , Mental Health , Social Work , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Chronic Disease , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Program Development , Telemedicine , Telephone , Texas , Young Adult