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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(9)2022 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820260

ABSTRACT

There is little evidence on how different COVID-19 pandemic phases influence the alcohol use behaviour of adults. The objective of this study is to investigate alcohol use frequency over different COVID-19 pandemic phases and to identify vulnerable subgroups for risky use behaviour in the German adult population. Survey waves of 14/15 April 2020 (n = 1032), 23/24 June 2020 (n = 993), and 26/27 January 2021 (n = 1001) from the COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring (COSMO) were analysed. The mean age was 46 ± 15.3 years in April, 46 ± 15.5 years in June, and 45 ± 15.5 years in January. The gender ratio was mostly equal in each survey wave. Descriptive analyses and univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses for individuals with increased alcohol use frequency (AUF) were performed. 13.2% in April (lockdown), 11.3% in June (easement), and 8.6% in January (lockdown) of participants showed an increased AUF. Individuals with perceived burden, high frustration levels due to protective measures, and young to middle-aged adults were more likely to increase their AUF during different pandemic phases. In conclusion, unfavourable alcohol behaviour might occur as a potentially maladaptive coping strategy in pandemics. Because of potential negative long-term consequences of problematic alcohol use behaviour on health, public health strategies should consider mental health consequences and target addictive behaviour, while also guiding risk groups towards healthy coping strategies such as physical activities during pandemics/crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Mental Health , Middle Aged , Pandemics
2.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev ; 1: CD015029, 2022 01 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1802012

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), governments have implemented a variety of measures to control the spread of the virus and the associated disease. Among these, have been measures to control the pandemic in primary and secondary school settings. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness of measures implemented in the school setting to safely reopen schools, or keep schools open, or both, during the COVID-19 pandemic, with particular focus on the different types of measures implemented in school settings and the outcomes used to measure their impacts on transmission-related outcomes, healthcare utilisation outcomes, other health outcomes as well as societal, economic, and ecological outcomes.  SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, Embase, and the Educational Resources Information Center, as well as COVID-19-specific databases, including the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register and the WHO COVID-19 Global literature on coronavirus disease (indexing preprints) on 9 December 2020. We conducted backward-citation searches with existing reviews. SELECTION CRITERIA: We considered experimental (i.e. randomised controlled trials; RCTs), quasi-experimental, observational and modelling studies assessing the effects of measures implemented in the school setting to safely reopen schools, or keep schools open, or both, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Outcome categories were (i) transmission-related outcomes (e.g. number or proportion of cases); (ii) healthcare utilisation outcomes (e.g. number or proportion of hospitalisations); (iii) other health outcomes (e.g. physical, social and mental health); and (iv) societal, economic and ecological outcomes (e.g. costs, human resources and education). We considered studies that included any population at risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 and/or developing COVID-19 disease including students, teachers, other school staff, or members of the wider community.  DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently screened titles, abstracts and full texts. One review author extracted data and critically appraised each study. One additional review author validated the extracted data. To critically appraise included studies, we used the ROBINS-I tool for quasi-experimental and observational studies, the QUADAS-2 tool for observational screening studies, and a bespoke tool for modelling studies. We synthesised findings narratively. Three review authors made an initial assessment of the certainty of evidence with GRADE, and several review authors discussed and agreed on the ratings. MAIN RESULTS: We included 38 unique studies in the analysis, comprising 33 modelling studies, three observational studies, one quasi-experimental and one experimental study with modelling components. Measures fell into four broad categories: (i) measures reducing the opportunity for contacts; (ii) measures making contacts safer; (iii) surveillance and response measures; and (iv) multicomponent measures. As comparators, we encountered the operation of schools with no measures in place, less intense measures in place, single versus multicomponent measures in place, or closure of schools. Across all intervention categories and all study designs, very low- to low-certainty evidence ratings limit our confidence in the findings. Concerns with the quality of modelling studies related to potentially inappropriate assumptions about the model structure and input parameters, and an inadequate assessment of model uncertainty. Concerns with risk of bias in observational studies related to deviations from intended interventions or missing data. Across all categories, few studies reported on implementation or described how measures were implemented. Where we describe effects as 'positive', the direction of the point estimate of the effect favours the intervention(s); 'negative' effects do not favour the intervention.  We found 23 modelling studies assessing measures reducing the opportunity for contacts (i.e. alternating attendance, reduced class size). Most of these studies assessed transmission and healthcare utilisation outcomes, and all of these studies showed a reduction in transmission (e.g. a reduction in the number or proportion of cases, reproduction number) and healthcare utilisation (i.e. fewer hospitalisations) and mixed or negative effects on societal, economic and ecological outcomes (i.e. fewer number of days spent in school). We identified 11 modelling studies and two observational studies assessing measures making contacts safer (i.e. mask wearing, cleaning, handwashing, ventilation). Five studies assessed the impact of combined measures to make contacts safer. They assessed transmission-related, healthcare utilisation, other health, and societal, economic and ecological outcomes. Most of these studies showed a reduction in transmission, and a reduction in hospitalisations; however, studies showed mixed or negative effects on societal, economic and ecological outcomes (i.e. fewer number of days spent in school). We identified 13 modelling studies and one observational study assessing surveillance and response measures, including testing and isolation, and symptomatic screening and isolation. Twelve studies focused on mass testing and isolation measures, while two looked specifically at symptom-based screening and isolation. Outcomes included transmission, healthcare utilisation, other health, and societal, economic and ecological outcomes. Most of these studies showed effects in favour of the intervention in terms of reductions in transmission and hospitalisations, however some showed mixed or negative effects on societal, economic and ecological outcomes (e.g. fewer number of days spent in school). We found three studies that reported outcomes relating to multicomponent measures, where it was not possible to disaggregate the effects of each individual intervention, including one modelling, one observational and one quasi-experimental study. These studies employed interventions, such as physical distancing, modification of school activities, testing, and exemption of high-risk students, using measures such as hand hygiene and mask wearing. Most of these studies showed a reduction in transmission, however some showed mixed or no effects.   As the majority of studies included in the review were modelling studies, there was a lack of empirical, real-world data, which meant that there were very little data on the actual implementation of interventions. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Our review suggests that a broad range of measures implemented in the school setting can have positive impacts on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and on healthcare utilisation outcomes related to COVID-19. The certainty of the evidence for most intervention-outcome combinations is very low, and the true effects of these measures are likely to be substantially different from those reported here. Measures implemented in the school setting may limit the number or proportion of cases and deaths, and may delay the progression of the pandemic. However, they may also lead to negative unintended consequences, such as fewer days spent in school (beyond those intended by the intervention). Further, most studies assessed the effects of a combination of interventions, which could not be disentangled to estimate their specific effects. Studies assessing measures to reduce contacts and to make contacts safer consistently predicted positive effects on transmission and healthcare utilisation, but may reduce the number of days students spent at school. Studies assessing surveillance and response measures predicted reductions in hospitalisations and school days missed due to infection or quarantine, however, there was mixed evidence on resources needed for surveillance. Evidence on multicomponent measures was mixed, mostly due to comparators. The magnitude of effects depends on multiple factors. New studies published since the original search date might heavily influence the overall conclusions and interpretation of findings for this review.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools
3.
Front Public Health ; 9: 713159, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775828

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Digital technologies in public health are primarily used in medical settings and mostly on an individual and passive way of use. There are research gaps on digital media facilitating participation, empowerment, community engagement, and participatory research in community settings. This scoping review aims to map existing literature on digital formats that enable participation in the field of health promotion and prevention in community settings. Design: The databases Medline, EMBASE, and PsycINFO were used to identify studies published from 2010 up to date (date of literature search) onward that used digital formats in all or in the main sequences of the process to enable high levels of participation in health promotion and prevention activities in community settings. Results: This review identified nine out of 11 included studies relevant to the research question. We found five studies that applied qualitative participatory research, two studies on peer support and one study each on empowerment and crowdsourcing. The digital technologies used varied widely and included social media platforms, bulletin boards, online forum webpages, and customized web providers and programs. Most studies mentioned anonymity, flexibility, and convenience as benefits of digital interventions. Some papers reported limitations such as difficulties by interpreting written-only data or the possibility of selection bias due to the digital divide. Conclusion: This scoping review identified only few studies relevant to our objective, indicating an existing gap in research on this topic. Digital formats were found to be particularly suitable for purposes where anonymity and flexibility are beneficial, such as for online peer exchange and peer support programs.


Subject(s)
Community Participation , Health Promotion , Internet , Humans , Public Health
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(6)2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732060

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study is to evaluate factors associated with the subjective well-being (SWB) and suspected depression measured with WHO-5 among German adults during different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. Survey data were analyzed from the COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring (COSMO) study, which collected data from 972, 1013, and 973 participants in time point 1 (19-20 May 2020), time point 2 (15-16 September 2020), and time point 3 (21-22 December 2020), respectively. Descriptive analyses and logistic regression analyses to identify the factors associated with suspected depression (WHO-5 ≤ 50) were conducted. Data showed that the mean WHO-5 scores in three time points were 56.17, 57.27, and 53.93, respectively. The risk of suspected depression was increased by about 1.5 times for females, 2.5-3 times among 18-24 year-olds compared to ages above 65 years, 1.5 times for singles, 2 times for those with chronic illnesses, and 2-3 times for people living in poverty. The main study findings show that German adult SWB is lower than pre-pandemic reference values. Special focus should be placed on vulnerable groups, such as females, younger persons, and people living in poverty who are most prone to a reduction in SWB and therefore suspected depression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Poverty , Surveys and Questionnaires , World Health Organization
5.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(5)2022 02 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715338

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic led to numerous restrictions in daily life that had a significant impact on the well-being and mental health of the population. Among others, children and adolescents were particularly affected, being a vulnerable group at risk. The aim of this study was to assess the emotional situation of children and adolescents during different phases of the pandemic and to identify modifying factors. Data from the serial cross-sectional COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring (COSMO) survey in Germany were used for this study. The survey waves 12 (19th/20th May 2020) and 21 (15th/16th September 2020) were investigated as examples of two different pandemic phases. The psychosocial and emotional situation and well-being of children were measured with the emotional subscale of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) assessed by parents. Descriptive analyses and logistic regressions were calculated. In total, a third of the participating parents in wave 12 and in wave 21 reported having children and adolescents with emotional symptoms. Especially children with younger parents seemed to be more affected by emotional symptoms. Sociodemographic aspects, such as household language, showed a significant association with reported emotional symptoms in children (Wave 12: OR = 2.22; 95% CI: 1.20-4.09). Reported prevalences of emotional symptoms in children did not differ between the pandemic phases. In conclusion, the pandemic had negative influences on the emotional symptoms of children and adolescents in COVID-19 pandemic waves in 2020, indicating a forecasted reoccurrence and need for preventive measures for upcoming waves and other pandemics in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Pandemics , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emotions , Germany/epidemiology , Health Surveys , Humans , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Prevalence , Quarantine/psychology , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev ; 12: CD013812, 2020 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1557400

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the impact of COVID-19, national and subnational governments implemented a variety of measures in order to control the spread of the virus and the associated disease. While these measures were imposed with the intention of controlling the pandemic, they were also associated with severe psychosocial, societal, and economic implications on a societal level. One setting affected heavily by these measures is the school setting. By mid-April 2020, 192 countries had closed schools, affecting more than 90% of the world's student population. In consideration of the adverse consequences of school closures, many countries around the world reopened their schools in the months after the initial closures. To safely reopen schools and keep them open, governments implemented a broad range of measures. The evidence with regards to these measures, however, is heterogeneous, with a multitude of study designs, populations, settings, interventions and outcomes being assessed. To make sense of this heterogeneity, we conducted a rapid scoping review (8 October to 5 November 2020). This rapid scoping review is intended to serve as a precursor to a systematic review of effectiveness, which will inform guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). This review is reported in line with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) checklist and was registered with the Open Science Framework. OBJECTIVES: To identify and comprehensively map the evidence assessing the impacts of measures implemented in the school setting to reopen schools, or keep schools open, or both, during the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic, with particular focus on the types of measures implemented in different school settings, the outcomes used to measure their impacts and the study types used to assess these. SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register, MEDLINE, Embase, the CDC COVID-19 Research Articles Downloadable Database for preprints, and the WHO COVID-19 Global literature on coronavirus disease on 8 October 2020. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included studies that assessed the impact of measures implemented in the school setting. Eligible populations were populations at risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2, or developing COVID-19 disease, or both, and included people both directly and indirectly impacted by interventions, including students, teachers, other school staff, and contacts of these groups, as well as the broader community. We considered all types of empirical studies, which quantitatively assessed impact including epidemiological studies, modelling studies, mixed-methods studies, and diagnostic studies that assessed the impact of relevant interventions beyond diagnostic test accuracy. Broad outcome categories of interest included infectious disease transmission-related outcomes, other harmful or beneficial health-related outcomes, and societal, economic, and ecological implications. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We extracted data from included studies in a standardized manner, and mapped them to categories within our a priori logic model where possible. Where not possible, we inductively developed new categories. In line with standard expectations for scoping reviews, the review provides an overview of the existing evidence regardless of methodological quality or risk of bias, and was not designed to synthesize effectiveness data, assess risk of bias, or characterize strength of evidence (GRADE). MAIN RESULTS: We included 42 studies that assessed measures implemented in the school setting. The majority of studies used mathematical modelling designs (n = 31), while nine studies used observational designs, and two studies used experimental or quasi-experimental designs. Studies conducted in real-world contexts or using real data focused on the WHO European region (EUR; n = 20), the WHO region of the Americas (AMR; n = 13), the West Pacific region (WPR; n = 6), and the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR; n = 1). One study conducted a global assessment and one did not report on data from, or that were applicable to, a specific country. Three broad intervention categories emerged from the included studies: organizational measures to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (n = 36), structural/environmental measures to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (n = 11), and surveillance and response measures to detect SARS-CoV-2 infections (n = 19). Most studies assessed SARS-CoV-2 transmission-related outcomes (n = 29), while others assessed healthcare utilization (n = 8), other health outcomes (n = 3), and societal, economic, and ecological outcomes (n = 5). Studies assessed both harmful and beneficial outcomes across all outcome categories. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: We identified a heterogeneous and complex evidence base of measures implemented in the school setting. This review is an important first step in understanding the available evidence and will inform the development of rapid reviews on this topic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools/organization & administration , Administrative Personnel , Humans , School Teachers , Students
7.
Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz ; 64(12): 1500-1511, 2021 Dec.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1540204

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Parents face a variety of personal challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, while simultaneously being confronted with additional, school-related pandemic containment measures. OBJECTIVES: To investigate burden in parents of school-aged children across different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany and to identify particularly affected subgroups. METHODS: The COSMO project is a repetitive cross-sectional survey monitoring the psychosocial situation of the population in Germany during the pandemic with a sample size of approximately n = 1000 respondents per survey wave. A quantitative analysis of COSMO data was conducted using closed survey questions on the item "burden" as the main outcome, and, if applicable, on parenthood-associated burden from March 2020 until January 2021. RESULTS: During the first COVID-19 wave, parents of school-aged children were significantly more burdened compared to the general study population. However, burden decreased significantly from March/April to June 2020. During the second COVID-19 wave in January 2021, burden was homogeneously high across all groups. Single parenthood, a low household income, having a chronic health condition, a COVID-19 infection and a migration background were associated with higher burden, although none of these factors was consistently significant across the survey waves. Mothers reported to be more affected by parenthood-related burden than fathers. CONCLUSIONS: School measures for infection control have to be weighed carefully against the psychological impact on parental burden with subsequent negative impact on the family system. An English full-text version of this article is available at SpringerLink as Supplementary Information.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Parents , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools
8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(5)2021 02 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1121362

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to identify interventions targeting children and their caregivers to reduce psychosocial problems in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and comparable outbreaks. The review was performed using systematic literature searches in MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO and COVID-19-specific databases, including the CDC COVID-19 Research Database, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Database on COVID-19 Research and the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register, ClinicalTrials.gov, the EU Clinical Trials Register and the German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS) up to 25th September 2020. The search yielded 6657 unique citations. After title/abstract and full text screening, 11 study protocols reporting on trials planned in China, the US, Canada, the UK, and Hungary during the COVID-19 pandemic were included. Four interventions targeted children ≥10 years directly, seven system-based interventions targeted the parents and caregivers of younger children and adolescents. Outcome measures encompassed mainly anxiety and depressive symptoms, different dimensions of stress or psychosocial well-being, and quality of supportive relationships. In conclusion, this systematic review revealed a paucity of studies on psychosocial interventions for children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further research should be encouraged in light of the expected demand for child mental health management.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Mental Health , Pandemics , Adolescent , Anxiety , Canada , Caregivers , Child , China , Clinical Trials as Topic , Depression , Humans , Hungary , Parents , Social Support , Stress, Psychological , United Kingdom , United States
9.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(2)2021 01 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1016183

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the resulting outbreak response measures in Germany and worldwide led to severe limitations in everyday life. This affected all sorts of daily activities and the possibility for physical activity (PA), which represents a major coping strategy against stress. The objective of this study was to analyse PA in German adults during a total lockdown phase including school closures in April 2020 in certain subgroups and in relation to other coping strategies. Data from the COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring (COSMO) survey, an online cross-sectional study with 1034 participants between 18 and 74 years, were utilised (14/15 April 2020). In addition to descriptive analyses, the odds of performing PA according to the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for adults (at least 2.5 h/week of at least moderate intensity) were analysed by univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses. In total, 440 (42.6%) participants fulfilled this criterion. Participants with children <6 years were less likely to meet the WHO recommendation (OR = 0.51; 95% CI: 0.33-0.78), while those with a higher level of education, good coping behaviour, regular alcohol consumption, and being satisfied with life were more likely to meet the WHO recommendation. In conclusion, PA intervention strategies tailored to specific vulnerable subgroups such as individuals with low educational background and parents with young children are needed in future pandemic response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Exercise , Pandemics , Adult , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Germany , Humans
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