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1.
BMJ Open ; 11(9), 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1843018

ABSTRACT

IntroductionDecades of research demonstrate that First Nations, Metis and Inuit (FN/M/I) populations have differential access to diagnostic and therapeutic healthcare. Emerging evidence shows that this continues to be the case during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. In an effort to rectify these differences in access to care, our team, which is co-led by FN/M/I partners, will generate and distribute evidence on COVID-19 diagnostic testing and vaccination in high-priority FN/M/I populations in Manitoba, with the goal of identifying system-level and individual-level factors that act as barriers to equitable care and thereby informing Indigenous-led public health responses.Methods and analysisOur nations-based approach focuses on FN/M/I populations with separate study arms for each group. Linked administrative health data on COVID-19 diagnostic testing and vaccinations are available on a weekly basis. We will conduct surveillance to monitor trends in testing and vaccination among each FN/M/I population and all other Manitobans, map the geographic distribution of these outcomes by health region and tribal council, and identify barriers to testing and vaccination to inform public health strategies. We will follow the course of the pandemic starting from January 2020 and report findings quarterly.Ethics and disseminationEthics approvals have been granted by the University of Manitoba Research Ethics Board and from each of our FN/M/I partners’ organisations. Our team is committed to engaging in authentic relationship-based research that follows First Nations, Metis and Inuit research ethics principles. Our FN/M/I partners will direct the dissemination of new information to leadership in their communities (health directors, community health organisations) and to decision-makers in the provincial Ministry of Health. We will also publish in open-access journals. The study will create ongoing capacity to monitor Manitoba’s pandemic response and ensure potential health inequities are minimised, with learnings applicable to other jurisdictions where detailed administrative data may not be available.

2.
Int J Infect Dis ; 118: 73-82, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700024

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Many studies have examined the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) on SARS-CoV-2 transmission worldwide. However, less attention has been devoted to understanding the limits of NPIs across the course of the pandemic and along a continuum of their stringency. In this study, we explore the relationship between the growth of SARS-CoV-2 cases and an NPI stringency index across Canada before the accelerated vaccine roll-out. METHODS: We conducted an ecological time-series study of daily SARS-CoV-2 case growth in Canada from February 2020 to February 2021. Our outcome was a back-projected version of the daily growth ratio in a stringency period (i.e., a 10-point range of the stringency index) relative to the last day of the previous period. We examined the trends in case growth using a linear mixed-effects model accounting for stringency period, province, and mobility in public domains. RESULTS: Case growth declined rapidly by 20-60% and plateaued within the first month of the first wave, irrespective of the starting values of the stringency index. When stringency periods increased, changes in case growth were not immediate and were faster in the first wave than in the second. In the first wave, the largest decreasing trends from our mixed effects model occurred in both early and late stringency periods, depending on the province, at a geometric mean index value of 30⋅1 out of 100. When compared with the first wave, the stringency periods in the second wave possessed little association with case growth. CONCLUSIONS: The minimal association in the first wave, and the lack thereof in the second, is compatible with the hypothesis that NPIs do not, per se, lead to a decline in case growth. Instead, the correlations we observed might be better explained by a combination of underlying behaviors of the populations in each province and the natural dynamics of SARS-CoV-2. Although there exist alternative explanations for the equivocal relationship between NPIs and case growth, the onus of providing evidence shifts to demonstrating how NPIs can consistently have flat association, despite incrementally high stringency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Canada/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
3.
CMAJ ; 194(6): E195-E204, 2022 02 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686132

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding inequalities in SARS-CoV-2 transmission associated with the social determinants of health could help the development of effective mitigation strategies that are responsive to local transmission dynamics. This study aims to quantify social determinants of geographic concentration of SARS-CoV-2 cases across 16 census metropolitan areas (hereafter, cities) in 4 Canadian provinces, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. METHODS: We used surveillance data on confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases and census data for social determinants at the level of the dissemination area (DA). We calculated Gini coefficients to determine the overall geographic heterogeneity of confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 in each city, and calculated Gini covariance coefficients to determine each city's heterogeneity by each social determinant (income, education, housing density and proportions of visible minorities, recent immigrants and essential workers). We visualized heterogeneity using Lorenz (concentration) curves. RESULTS: We observed geographic concentration of SARS-CoV-2 cases in cities, as half of the cumulative cases were concentrated in DAs containing 21%-35% of their population, with the greatest geographic heterogeneity in Ontario cities (Gini coefficients 0.32-0.47), followed by British Columbia (0.23-0.36), Manitoba (0.32) and Quebec (0.28-0.37). Cases were disproportionately concentrated in areas with lower income and educational attainment, and in areas with a higher proportion of visible minorities, recent immigrants, high-density housing and essential workers. Although a consistent feature across cities was concentration by the proportion of visible minorities, the magnitude of concentration by social determinant varied across cities. INTERPRETATION: Geographic concentration of SARS-CoV-2 cases was observed in all of the included cities, but the pattern by social determinants varied. Geographically prioritized allocation of resources and services should be tailored to the local drivers of inequalities in transmission in response to the resurgence of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Demography/statistics & numerical data , Social Determinants of Health/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/economics , Canada/epidemiology , Cities/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Demography/economics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Determinants of Health/economics , Socioeconomic Factors
4.
CMAJ Open ; 9(4): E1149-E1158, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575519

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There were large disruptions to health care services after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We sought to describe the extent to which pandemic-related changes in service delivery and access affected use of primary care for children overall and by equity strata in the 9 months after pandemic onset in Manitoba and Ontario. METHODS: We performed a population-based study of children aged 17 years or less with provincial health insurance in Ontario or Manitoba before and during the COVID-19 pandemic (Jan. 1, 2017-Nov. 28, 2020). We calculated the weekly rates of in-person and virtual primary care well-child and sick visits, overall and by age group, neighbourhood material deprivation level, rurality and immigrant status, and assessed changes in visit rates after COVID-19 restrictions were imposed compared to expected baseline rates calculated for the 3 years before pandemic onset. RESULTS: Among almost 3 million children in Ontario and more than 300 000 children in Manitoba, primary care visit rates declined to 0.80 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.77-0.82) of expected in Ontario and 0.82 (95% CI 0.79-0.84) of expected in Manitoba in the 9 months after the onset of the pandemic. Virtual visits accounted for 53% and 29% of visits in Ontario and Manitoba, respectively. The largest monthly decreases in visits occurred in April 2020. Although visit rates increased slowly after April 2020, they had not returned to prerestriction levels by November 2020 in either province. Children aged more than 1 year to 12 years experienced the greatest decrease in visits, especially for well-child care. Compared to prepandemic levels, visit rates were lowest among rural Manitobans, urban Ontarians and Ontarians in low-income neighbourhoods. INTERPRETATION: During the study period, the pandemic contributed to rapid, immediate and inequitable decreases in primary care use, with some recovery and a substantial shift to virtual care. Postpandemic planning must consider the need for catch-up visits, and the long-term impacts warrant further study.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pediatrics/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Age Distribution , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Databases, Factual , Emigrants and Immigrants , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Manitoba/epidemiology , Ontario/epidemiology , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pandemics , Population Surveillance , Rural Population
5.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-296345

ABSTRACT

Background There is a growing recognition that strategies to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission should be responsive to local transmission dynamics. Studies have revealed inequalities along social determinants of health, but little investigation was conducted surrounding geographic concentration within cities. We quantified social determinants of geographic concentration of COVID-19 cases across sixteen census metropolitan areas (CMA) in four Canadian provinces. Methods We used surveillance data on confirmed COVID-19 cases at the level of dissemination area. Gini (co-Gini) coefficients were calculated by CMA based on the proportion of the population in ranks of diagnosed cases and each social determinant using census data (income, education, visible minority, recent immigration, suitable housing, and essential workers) and the corresponding share of cases. Heterogeneity was visualized using Lorenz (concentration) curves. Results Geographic concentration was observed in all CMAs (half of the cumulative cases were concentrated among 21-35% of each city’s population): with the greatest geographic heterogeneity in Ontario CMAs (Gini coefficients, 0.32-0.47), followed by British Columbia (0.23-0.36), Manitoba (0.32), and Québec (0.28-0.37). Cases were disproportionately concentrated in areas with lower income, education attainment, and suitable housing;and higher proportion of visible minorities, recent immigrants, and essential workers. Although a consistent feature across CMAs was concentration by proportion visible minorities, the magnitude of concentration by social determinants varied across CMAs. Interpretation The feature of geographical concentration of COVID-19 cases was consistent across CMAs, but the pattern by social determinants varied. Geographically-prioritized allocation of resources and services should be tailored to the local drivers of inequalities in transmission in response to SARS-CoV-2’s resurgence.

6.
Clin Simul Nurs ; 63: 10-15, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1520863

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This paper describes the rapid conversion of a face-to-face interprofessional (IP) disaster simulation to an online format in response to COVID-19 campus closures. METHODS: The online disaster simulation utilized internet-based tools allowing real-time collaboration between IP students. Team exercises involved disaster triage, disease outbreak investigation, and disaster response. Surveys measuring self-assessment of various IP skills and simulation learning outcomes (SLOs) were compared with responses from previous face-to-face simulations. RESULTS: Results indicated mean scores for IP skills were higher for online students when compared with in-person simulations, and all SLOs were met. CONCLUSIONS: The online disaster simulation provided an effective, innovative IP educational opportunity.

7.
Ann Epidemiol ; 65: 84-92, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525672

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Inequities in the burden of COVID-19 were observed early in Canada and around the world, suggesting economically marginalized communities faced disproportionate risks. However, there has been limited systematic assessment of how heterogeneity in risks has evolved in large urban centers over time. PURPOSE: To address this gap, we quantified the magnitude of risk heterogeneity in Toronto, Ontario from January to November 2020 using a retrospective, population-based observational study using surveillance data. METHODS: We generated epidemic curves by social determinants of health (SDOH) and crude Lorenz curves by neighbourhoods to visualize inequities in the distribution of COVID-19 and estimated Gini coefficients. We examined the correlation between SDOH using Pearson-correlation coefficients. RESULTS: Gini coefficient of cumulative cases by population size was 0.41 (95% confidence interval [CI]:0.36-0.47) and estimated for: household income (0.20, 95%CI: 0.14-0.28); visible minority (0.21, 95%CI:0.16-0.28); recent immigration (0.12, 95%CI:0.09-0.16); suitable housing (0.21, 95%CI:0.14-0.30); multigenerational households (0.19, 95%CI:0.15-0.23); and essential workers (0.28, 95%CI:0.23-0.34). CONCLUSIONS: There was rapid epidemiologic transition from higher- to lower-income neighborhoods with Lorenz curve transitioning from below to above the line of equality across SDOH. Moving forward necessitates integrating programs and policies addressing socioeconomic inequities and structural racism into COVID-19 prevention and vaccination programs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Geography , Humans , Ontario/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors
8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292101

ABSTRACT

Background: Many studies have examined the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) on SARS-CoV-2 transmission worldwide. However, less attention has been devoted to understanding the limits of NPIs across the course of the pandemic and along a continuum of their stringency. In this study, we explore the relationship between the growth of SARS-CoV-2 cases and a stringency index across Canada prior to accelerated vaccine roll-out.Methods: We conducted an ecological time-series study of daily SARS-CoV-2 case growth in Canada from February 2020 to February 2021. Our outcome was a back-projected version of the daily growth ratio in a stringency period (i.e., a 10-point range of the stringency index) relative to the last day of the previous period. We examined the trends in case growth using a linear mixed effects model accounting for stringency period, province, and mobility in public domains.Results: Case growth declined, rapidly, by 37–50% and began plateauing within the first two weeks of the first wave, irrespective of the starting values of the stringency index. Across individual stringency periods, there was a lag of 11·3 days, on average, to observe the largest cumulative decline in relative growth. The largest decreasing trends from our mixed effects model occurred over the first stringency period in each province, at a mean index value of 25·2 out of 100.Conclusions: There was a negative correlation between NPI stringency and growth of SARS-CoV-2 that attenuated throughout the course of Canada’s epidemic. We suggest that individual- and network-level risk factors need to guide the use of NPIs in future epidemics.

9.
Can Fam Physician ; 67(8): 565, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1357745

Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
10.
International Indigenous Policy Journal ; 11(3), 2020.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-937787

ABSTRACT

Objectives: This article articulates the complexity of modeling in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit contexts by providing the results of a modeling exercise completed at the request of the First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba. Methods: We developed a model using the impact of a previous pandemic (the 2009 H1N1) to generate estimates. Results: The lack of readily available data has resulted in a model that assumes homogeneity of communities in terms of health status, behaviour, and infrastructure limitations. While homogeneity may be a reasonable assumption for province-wide planning, First Nation communities and Tribal Councils require more precise information in order to plan effectively. Metis and urban Inuit communities, in contrast, have access to much less information, making the role of Indigenous organizations mandated to serve the needs of these populations that much more difficult. Conclusion: For many years, Indigenous organizations have advocated for the need to have access to current and precise data to meet their needs. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the importance of timely and accurate community-based data to support pandemic responses.

11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 17(22)2020 11 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-927688

ABSTRACT

The study is on racism against First Nation peoples in the Canadian healthcare system. The study design incorporates principles of grounded theory, participant and Indigenous (decolonizing) research. Four questions are addressed: (1) What is the root cause of racism against First Nation peoples in the healthcare system? (2) What factors perpetuate racisms existence? (3) What are the impacts of racism on First Nation health? (4) What needs to be done to eradicate racism and to create an equitable healthcare system that sufficiently represents the needs, interests and values of First Nation peoples?


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care , Indigenous Canadians , Racism , Canada , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Indigenous Canadians/statistics & numerical data , Racism/prevention & control , Racism/statistics & numerical data
12.
Canadian Family Physician ; 66(8):559, 2020.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-826947

ABSTRACT

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) have embraced the learning health system (LHS) as a model for improving the health of Canadians to the extent that it has made the LHS a fundamental component of the CIHR's Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) SUPPORT Unit Phase II call for proposals. The call should have closed in May 2020 but has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only previously funded units are eligible to apply for renewal of their funding. The SPOR SUPPORT units will need to build or maintain "a data platform that incrementally adds relevant datasets within their jurisdiction and equitably provides that data to researchers, policy makers and other SPOR stakeholders, upon request and in a timely manner, in support of patient-oriented research." The potential of electronic medical record (EMR) data as a tool for improving patient care has been widely recognized at the practice-patient interface (the micro level), where initiatives such as the College of Family Physicians of Canada's Practice Improvement Initiative support family physicians in implementing quality improvement.

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