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Fertility and Sterility ; 116(3 SUPPL):e90, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1880434


OBJECTIVE: COVID-19 has influenced family building, delayed fertility care, and affected people's decisions about where to live.We sought to understand differences in movement of cryopreserved reproductive tissue before and during the pandemic. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study of patients who transported tissue into or out of a single academic fertility center in New York City (NYC). Tissue transport was compared the year before (PRE, 4/1/2019-3/31/2020) and after (DUR, 4/1/2020-3/31/2021) the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in NYC, an epicenter. The primary outcome was the number of patients transporting tissue DUR compared to PRE. Secondary outcomes were the number of geographic changes, type of tissue, geographic origin/destination, and type of movement (in or out). Statistical analyses were performed using Kolmogorov-Smirnov, Wilcoxon Signed Rank Sum, Chi-Square, and Fisher's Exact tests with p<0.05 considered significant. RESULTS: A total of 367 tissue transports were included, with similar rates between cohorts (PRE 46.3% (170/367) vs DUR 53.7% (197/367), p=0.16). The median age at transport was the same (PRE 41 (range 29-54) vs DUR 41 (range 28-54) years, p=0.54). A similar amount of tissue was transported in (PRE 30.0% (51/170) vs DUR 35.0% (69/197)) and out (PRE 70.0% (119/170) vs DUR 65.0% (128/197), p=0.32). Patients were more likely to transport embryos pre-pandemic (37.6% (64/170) oocytes vs 61.8% (105/170) embryos, PRE) and oocytes during COVID-19 (51.8% (102/197) oocytes vs 44.2% (87/197) embryos, DUR) (p<0.01). A subgroup analysis excluding tissue moved for a gestational carrier or donor gametes found a similar number of transports were due to patient geographic relocation (PRE 50.0% (61/122) vs DUR 40.5% (60/148), p=0.12). Examination of geographic origin and destination of tissue PRE vs DUR produced no identifiable trends (p=0.38). Timing of tissue transport varied. The monthly transport rates were relatively even PRE (average 8% per month). However, during the pandemic, there were few transports in the beginning (April-May 2020, 0-1% per month) followed by a peak of transports in June-August 2020 (10-11% per month) and February-March 2021 (11-16% per month) (p<0.01). Transport activities were impacted by closure of clinics and courier service availability. CONCLUSIONS: The rate of cryopreserved tissue movement did not differ in the year before versus during the pandemic at our center, despite being in a COVID-19 epicenter, although transport activities were concentrated into fewer days. There was peak movement of tissue three months after the pandemic onset and roughly one year from the start of the pandemic. The type of tissue transported shifted to favor oocytes during the pandemic, warranting more investigation in how COVID-19 impacted family building activities. IMPACT STATEMENT: Despite the impact of COVID-19 on reproductive and place of living choices, the pandemic did not affect the amount of cryopreserved tissue that was relocated. However, insight into the increased movement of oocytes and potential impacts on warming outcomes or timelines is necessary.

Global Advances in Health and Medicine ; 10:22-23, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1234511


Objective: Integrative medicine is a key framework for the treatment of chronic medical conditions, particularly chronic pain. In-person visits pose notable barriers for individuals with pain or limited mobility, particularly in rural or underserved areas. However, many barriers are pertinent to the expansion of telehealth use in integrative medicine settings, such as concerns about maintaining patient-clinician rapport in the delivery of holistic, relationship-based care. The COVID-19 pandemic served as impetus for an immediate and complete transition to telehealth services in this interdisciplinary outpatient integrative medicine clinic. This poster will present rich qualitative perspectives from multiple stakeholder levels on the experience of virtual visits to examine whether telehealth represents an acceptable, accessible, and high-quality option for providing integrative healthcare. Methods: Patients (N=180), providers (N=19), and administrative staff (N=7) in our outpatient integrative health clinic were surveyed about their experience of providing or receiving care via telehealth. Specifically, participants were asked to describe what telehealth visits were like in comparison to in-person visits. Free-text responses were analyzed for major and minor emergent themes. Results: Major themes identified from the data included acceptability, ease/convenience, comfort, interpersonal connection, technology difficulties, application of telehealth to group/movement classes, and equity/access. Overwhelmingly, participants described telehealth as an acceptable and adequate, at times equal or superior, alternative to in-person visits. Importantly, telehealth improved comfort for patients who could hold visits at home where they were most comfortable. Challenges were also welldescribed including technological issues and loss of interpersonal connection. Conclusion: Telehealth visits represent an acceptable, at times preferable, way to deliver care in an outpatient integrative medicine setting. Telehealth represents a particularly promising care modality for patients experiencing chronic pain or limited mobility, or those residing in rural and underserved communities. Detailed qualitative results provide rich perspective to inform future implementation and health policy regarding telehealth use.

Global Advances in Health and Medicine ; 10:21-22, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1234506


Objective: Interdisciplinary integrative medicine is key to treatment of chronic pain conditions. In-person visits can burden this population, particularly in rural and underserved areas with limited transportation options. Telehealth visits, were historically unsupported by payment models, delivery platforms, health and technological literacy, and clinician buy-in. The COVID-19 pandemic initiated a rapid transition to telehealth at our interdisciplinary outpatient integrative medicine center. This poster will describe the quantitative experience of telehealth integrative medicine services among stakeholders. Methods: Patients (n=472), clinicians (n=25), and staff (n=12) ranked telehealth vs in-person visits by survey with custom scale quality judgments and discrete choice after transitioning to telehealth and three months later. Results: Patient quality judgements significantly favored telehealth at baseline, B=.77 [0.29-1.25], SE=.25, t(712)= 3.15, p=.002, and increased in preference for telehealth at three months, B=.27 [-0.03-0.57], SE=.15, t(712)= 1.76, p=.079. Quality of technology, residing outside the county, and experiencing multiple disciplines predicted patient telehealth favorability. Clinicians did not favor one modality over the other, B=-1.00 [-1.56--0.44], SE=.29, t(799)=-3.48, p<.001. Patient discrete choice split at baseline and favored telehealth at three months. Overall, discrete choice favored telehealth at follow-up across clinicians and patients. Administrative staff's overall impression of telehealth was most favorable of all groups. Conclusion: Telehealth is a promising care modality for patients experiencing chronic pain. Far from a temporary preference, after three months, the majority of patients indicated they would choose telehealth visits over inperson visits, if they were equally safe. Policy that does not support telehealth for outpatient integrative medicine cannot do so under the name of patient preference, perceptions of quality, patient choice, or access.

Stroke ; 52(SUPPL 1), 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1234410


Introduction: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic response on medical care for stroke is unknown. Methods: We used local “Get With The Guidelines” stroke data for patients with ischemic stroke (IS), transient ischemic attack (TIA), and intracerebral hemorrhage/subarachnoid hemorrhage (ICH/SAH) from March 20-April 14, 2020 (study period) and January 1-March 19, 2020 (control period #1) and March 20-April 14, 2019 (control period #2). We examined daily admission rates, transfers, tPA administration, thrombectomy, and time from last well to hospital arrival. Results: There were 349 patients (n=40 study period, n=225 control period #1, n=84 control period #2);263 with IS, 37 with TIA, and 49 with ICH/SAH. Overall, 46% were female, 82% white, with median age 70 years (IQR 58-82 years). Daily admission rates were 1.4 IS/day for the study period compared to 2.1 IS/day (Incident rate ratio [IRR] 1.49 95% CI 1.05-2.13, p=0.027) and 2.2 IS/day (IRR 1.57 1.04-2.37, p=0.033) for control periods #1 and #2 (Table), respectively. There was only one admission for TIA in the study period compared to approximately one every 4 days in control period #1 (IRR 7.2 95% CI 1.0-53.7, p=0.053) and one every 2 days in control period #2 (IRR 14.0 95% CI 1.8-106.5, p=0.011). ICH/SAH admissions were fewer in the study period. Transfers were less common with approximately one transfer every four days in the study period compared to one each day of the control periods. Rates of tPA, thrombectomy, and time from last well to first hospital contact did not differ across the epochs. Conclusions: Our data suggest the COVID-19 pandemic response has led to reduced admissionvolumes for all stroke types in the University of Rochester Medical Center catchment area, partlydue to decreases in hospital transfers. These data raise the question whether fewer patients soughtcare for stroke symptoms at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.