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1.
Frontiers in medicine ; 9, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2046228

ABSTRACT

Background Crowdsourcing is a low-cost, adaptable, and innovative method to collect ideas from numerous contributors with diverse backgrounds. Crowdsourcing from social media like Twitter can be used for generating ideas in a noticeably brief time based on contributions from globally distributed users. The world has been challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic in the last several years. Measures to combat the pandemic continue to evolve worldwide, and ideas and opinions on optimal counteraction strategies are of high interest. Objective This study aimed to validate the use of Twitter as a crowdsourcing platform in order to gain an understanding of public opinion on what measures can help to end the COVID-19 pandemic faster. Methods This cross-sectional study was conducted during the period from December 22, 2021, to February 4, 2022. Tweets were posted by accounts operated by the authors, asking “How to faster end the COVID-19 pandemic?” and encouraging the viewers to comment on measures that they perceive would be effective to achieve this goal. The ideas from the users' comments were collected and categorized into two major themes – personal and institutional measures. In the final stage of the campaign, a Twitter poll was conducted to get additional comments and to estimate which of the two groups of measures were perceived to be important amongst Twitter users. Results The crowdsourcing campaign generated seventeen suggested measures categorized into two major themes (personal and institutional) that received a total of 1,727 endorsements (supporting comments, retweets, and likes). The poll received a total of 325 votes with 58% of votes underscoring the importance of both personal and institutional measures, 20% favoring personal measures, 11% favoring institutional measures, and 11% of the votes given just out of curiosity to see the vote results. Conclusions Twitter was utilized successfully for crowdsourcing ideas on strategies how to end the COVID-19 pandemic faster. The results indicate that the Twitter community highly values the significance of both personal responsibility and institutional measures to counteract the pandemic. This study validates the use of Twitter as a primary tool that could be used for crowdsourcing ideas with healthcare significance.

2.
JMIR Form Res ; 6(6): e35754, 2022 Jun 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910892

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization Emergency Committee declared the rapid worldwide spread of COVID-19 a global health emergency. By December 2020, the safety and efficacy of the first COVID-19 vaccines had been demonstrated. However, international vaccination coverage rates have remained below expectations (in Europe at the time of manuscript submission). Controversial mandatory vaccination is currently being discussed and has already been introduced in some countries (Austria, Greece, and Italy). We used the Twitter survey system as a viable method to quickly and comprehensively gather international public health insights on mandatory vaccination against COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to better understand the public's perception of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in real time using Twitter polls. METHODS: Two Twitter polls were developed (in the English language) to seek the public's opinion on the possibility of mandatory vaccination. The polls were pinned to the Digital Health and Patient Safety Platform's (based in Vienna, Austria) Twitter timeline for 1 week in mid-November 2021, 3 days after the official public announcement of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in Austria. Twitter users were asked to participate and retweet the polls to reach the largest possible audience. RESULTS: Our Twitter polls revealed two extremes on the topic of mandatory vaccination against COVID-19. Almost half of the 2545 respondents (n=1246, 49%) favor mandatory vaccination, at least in certain areas. This attitude contrasts with the 45.7% (n=1162) who categorically reject mandatory vaccination. Over one-quarter (n=621, 26.3%) of participating Twitter users said they would never get vaccinated, as reflected by the current Western European and North American vaccination coverage rate. Concatenating interpretation of these two polls should be done cautiously as participating populations might substantially differ. CONCLUSIONS: Mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 (in at least certain areas) is favored by less than 50%, whereas it is opposed by almost half of the surveyed Twitter users. Since (social) media strongly influences public perceptions and views, and social media discussions and surveys are specifically susceptible to the "echo chamber effect," the results should be interpreted as a momentary snapshot. Therefore, the results of this study need to be complemented by long-term surveys to maintain their validity.

3.
J R Soc Interface ; 18(185): 20210608, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1865053

ABSTRACT

Due to its high lethality among older people, the safety of nursing homes has been of central importance during the COVID-19 pandemic. With test procedures and vaccines becoming available at scale, nursing homes might relax prohibitory measures while controlling the spread of infections. By control we mean that each index case infects less than one other person on average. Here, we develop an agent-based epidemiological model for the spread of SARS-CoV-2 calibrated to Austrian nursing homes to identify optimal prevention strategies. We find that the effectiveness of mitigation testing depends critically on test turnover time (time until test result), the detection threshold of tests and mitigation testing frequencies. Under realistic conditions and in absence of vaccinations, we find that mitigation testing of employees only might be sufficient to control outbreaks if tests have low turnover times and detection thresholds. If vaccines that are 60% effective against high viral load and transmission are available, control is achieved if 80% or more of the residents are vaccinated, even without mitigation testing and if residents are allowed to have visitors. Since these results strongly depend on vaccine efficacy against infection, retention of testing infrastructures, regular testing and sequencing of virus genomes is advised to enable early identification of new variants of concern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Aged , Humans , Nursing Homes , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
4.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 8(3): e34003, 2022 Mar 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742128

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Online information on COVID-19 vaccination may influence people's perception and willingness to be vaccinated. Official websites of vaccination programs have not been systematically assessed before. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess and compare the readability and content quality of web-based information on COVID-19 vaccination posted on official/governmental websites. Furthermore, the relationship between evaluated website parameters and country vaccination rates were calculated. METHODS: By referring to an open data set hosted at Our World in Data, the 58 countries/regions with the highest total vaccination count as of July 8, 2021, were identified. Together with the websites from the World Health Organization and European Union, a total of 60 vaccination campaign websites were targeted. The "frequently asked questions" or "questions and answers" section of the websites were evaluated in terms of readability (Flesch Reading Ease score and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level), quality (Health On the Net Foundation code [HONcode] certification and Quality Evaluation Scoring Tool), and content stating vaccination duration of protection and potential side effects. RESULTS: In terms of readability, the Flesch Reading Ease score of the vaccination frequently asked questions websites ranged between 11.2 and 69.5, with a mean of 40.9 (SD 13.2). Meanwhile, the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level ranged between 6.5 and 17.6, with a mean of 12.1 (SD 2.8). In terms of quality, only 2 websites were HONcode certified, and the Quality Evaluation Scoring Tool score of the websites ranged between 7 and 20, with a mean of 15.3 (SD 3.1). Half of the websites (25/50) did not present a publication date or date of the last update. Regarding the duration of protection offered by the vaccines, 46% (23/50) of the websites stated that they do not know, and another 40% (20/50) did not address it. Five side effects of the vaccinations were most frequently mentioned, namely, fever/chill (41/50, 82%), various injection site discomfort events (eg, swelling, redness, or pain; 39/50, 78%), headache (36/50, 72%), fatigue (33/50, 66%), and muscle/joint pain (31/50, 62%). CONCLUSIONS: In general, the content quality of most of the evaluated websites was good, but HONcode certification should be considered, content should be written in a more readable manner, and a publication date or date of the last update should be presented.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Comprehension , Humans , Reading , Vaccination
5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-314898

ABSTRACT

Due to its high lethality amongst the elderly, the safety of nursing homes has been of central importance during the COVID-19 pandemic. With test procedures becoming available at scale, such as antigen or RT-LAMP tests, and increasing availability of vaccinations, nursing homes might be able to safely relax prohibitory measures while controlling the spread of infections (meaning an average of one or less secondary infections per index case). Here, we develop a detailed agent-based epidemiological model for the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in nursing homes to identify optimal prevention strategies. The model is microscopically calibrated to high-resolution data from nursing homes in Austria, including detailed social contact networks and information on past outbreaks. We find that the effectiveness of mitigation testing depends critically on the timespan between test and test result, the detection threshold of the viral load for the test to give a positive result, and the screening frequencies of residents and employees. Under realistic conditions and in absence of an effective vaccine, we find that preventive screening of employees only might be sufficient to control outbreaks in nursing homes, provided that turnover times and detection thresholds of the tests are low enough. If vaccines that are moderately effective against infection and transmission are available, control is achieved if 80% or more of the inhabitants are vaccinated, even if no preventive testing is in place and residents are allowed to have visitors. Since these results strongly depend on vaccine efficacy against infection, retention of testing infrastructures, regular voluntary screening and sequencing of virus genomes is advised to enable early identification of new variants of concern.

6.
JMIR Med Educ ; 8(1): e32747, 2022 Feb 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686322

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Digital teaching in medical education has grown in popularity in the recent years. However, to the best of our knowledge, no bibliometric report to date has been published that analyzes this important literature set to reveal prevailing topics and trends and their impacts reflected in citation counts. OBJECTIVE: We used a bibliometric approach to unveil and evaluate the scientific literature on digital teaching research in medical education, demonstrating recurring research topics, productive authors, research organizations, countries, and journals. We further aimed to discuss some of the topics and findings reported by specific highly cited works. METHODS: The Web of Science electronic database was searched to identify relevant papers on digital teaching research in medical education. Basic bibliographic data were obtained by the "Analyze" and "Create Citation Report" functions of the database. Complete bibliographic data were exported to VOSviewer for further analyses. Visualization maps were generated to display the recurring author keywords and terms mentioned in the titles and abstracts of the publications. RESULTS: The analysis was based on data from 3978 papers that were identified. The literature received worldwide contributions with the most productive countries being the United States and United Kingdom. Reviews were significantly more cited, but the citations between open access vs non-open access papers did not significantly differ. Some themes were cited more often, reflected by terms such as virtual reality, innovation, trial, effectiveness, and anatomy. Different aspects in medical education were experimented for digital teaching, such as gross anatomy education, histology, complementary medicine, medicinal chemistry, and basic life support. Some studies have shown that digital teaching could increase learning satisfaction, knowledge gain, and even cost-effectiveness. More studies were conducted on trainees than on undergraduate students. CONCLUSIONS: Digital teaching in medical education is expected to flourish in the future, especially during this era of COVID-19 pandemic.

7.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(1): e28152, 2022 01 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599424

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Social media has been extensively used for the communication of health-related information and consecutively for the potential spread of medical misinformation. Conventional systematic reviews have been published on this topic to identify original articles and to summarize their methodological approaches and themes. A bibliometric study could complement their findings, for instance, by evaluating the geographical distribution of the publications and determining if they were well cited and disseminated in high-impact journals. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to perform a bibliometric analysis of the current literature to discover the prevalent trends and topics related to medical misinformation on social media. METHODS: The Web of Science Core Collection electronic database was accessed to identify relevant papers with the following search string: ALL=(misinformati* OR "wrong informati*" OR disinformati* OR "misleading informati*" OR "fake news*") AND ALL=(medic* OR illness* OR disease* OR health* OR pharma* OR drug* OR therap*) AND ALL=("social media*" OR Facebook* OR Twitter* OR Instagram* OR YouTube* OR Weibo* OR Whatsapp* OR Reddit* OR TikTok* OR WeChat*). Full records were exported to a bibliometric software, VOSviewer, to link bibliographic information with citation data. Term and keyword maps were created to illustrate recurring terms and keywords. RESULTS: Based on an analysis of 529 papers on medical and health-related misinformation on social media, we found that the most popularly investigated social media platforms were Twitter (n=90), YouTube (n=67), and Facebook (n=57). Articles targeting these 3 platforms had higher citations per paper (>13.7) than articles covering other social media platforms (Instagram, Weibo, WhatsApp, Reddit, and WeChat; citations per paper <8.7). Moreover, social media platform-specific papers accounted for 44.1% (233/529) of all identified publications. Investigations on these platforms had different foci. Twitter-based research explored cyberchondria and hypochondriasis, YouTube-based research explored tobacco smoking, and Facebook-based research studied vaccine hesitancy related to autism. COVID-19 was a common topic investigated across all platforms. Overall, the United States contributed to half of all identified papers, and 80% of the top 10 most productive institutions were based in this country. The identified papers were mostly published in journals of the categories public environmental and occupational health, communication, health care sciences services, medical informatics, and medicine general internal, with the top journal being the Journal of Medical Internet Research. CONCLUSIONS: There is a significant platform-specific topic preference for social media investigations on medical misinformation. With a large population of internet users from China, it may be reasonably expected that Weibo, WeChat, and TikTok (and its Chinese version Douyin) would be more investigated in future studies. Currently, these platforms present research gaps that leave their usage and information dissemination warranting further evaluation. Future studies should also include social platforms targeting non-English users to provide a wider global perspective.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Bibliometrics , Communication , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
8.
Nurs Open ; 9(2): 1155-1163, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588991

ABSTRACT

AIM: Centring on nursing homes, we analysed the implementation process of a tablet- and videoconferencing-based telemedicine application from the perspectives of management, nursing staff and physicians. DESIGN: We used a qualitative design based on interviews to explore diverse perspectives on the implementation of telemedicine. METHODS: We conducted fourteen face-to-face or online interviews with a purposeful sample of five managers, six nurses and three general practitioners treating residents in Austrian nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. We condensed data using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Nursing home management implemented telemedicine rapidly, using a top-down approach met with ambivalence by staff. On the part of nurses, their professional understanding of person-centred care was challenged. Telemedicine also impacted cooperation between nurses and physicians, influencing their respective understanding of their roles. Working experience with digital nursing documentation had a positive effect on users' acceptance of the telemedicine solution.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Humans , Nursing Homes , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Aging Dis ; 12(3): 710-717, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1315005

ABSTRACT

In December 2019, the People's Republic of China and the World Health Organization first reported on a cluster of pneumonia with an unknown cause. Nine months later more than 1.4 million people have died from COVID 19. In this work, the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic on five nursing homes in Austria, which cared for 889 residents in the first half of 2020, were examined. The research question was whether the measures taken were appropriate to prevent an outbreak within the individual facilities. To detect previously unrecognized infections, the present study evaluated the prevalence of neutralizing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in residents and employees of the nursing homes. Following the analysis of blood samples, the prospectively collected data was connected to data from screening examinations and data from contact tracing. The present study demonstrated an overall prevalence of neutralizing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in nursing homes of 3.7%. Whereas the prevalence in those facilities that have never been hit by an outbreak is 0%, the prevalence in those facilities with an outbreak is up to 4.9%. Neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 35 persons. A retrospective analysis of all 5 included nursing homes demonstrated that upon regular clinical screening in combination with PCRs an infection with SARS-COV-2 was detected in 66 residents and 24 employees from different professional groups. In only 25 of the 35 persons with neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 an infection was proven in advance. This study suggests that specific measures can prevent transmission within a health care facility. Nevertheless, the results also show that a risk reduction to 0% cannot be achieved. In preparation for further pandemic waves there is still the need to reduce the probability of a transmission in nursing homes with specific test strategies.

10.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(4): e28973, 2021 04 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207686

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization's Emergency Committee declared the rapid, worldwide spread of COVID-19 a global health emergency. Since then, tireless efforts have been made to mitigate the spread of the disease and its impact, and these efforts have mostly relied on nonpharmaceutical interventions. By December 2020, the safety and efficacy of the first COVID-19 vaccines were demonstrated. The large social media platform Twitter has been used by medical researchers for the analysis of important public health topics, such as the public's perception on antibiotic use and misuse and human papillomavirus vaccination. The analysis of Twitter-generated data can be further facilitated by using Twitter's built-in, anonymous polling tool to gain insight into public health issues and obtain rapid feedback on an international scale. During the fast-paced course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Twitter polling system has provided a viable method for gaining rapid, large-scale, international public health insights on highly relevant and timely SARS-CoV-2-related topics. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to understand the public's perception on the safety and acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines in real time by using Twitter polls. METHODS: We developed 2 Twitter polls to explore the public's views on available COVID-19 vaccines. The surveys were pinned to the Digital Health and Patient Safety Platform Twitter timeline for 1 week in mid-February 2021, and Twitter users and influencers were asked to participate in and retweet the polls to reach the largest possible audience. RESULTS: The adequacy of COVID-19 vaccine safety (ie, the safety of currently available vaccines; poll 1) was agreed upon by 1579 out of 3439 (45.9%) Twitter users. In contrast, almost as many Twitter users (1434/3439, 41.7%) were unsure about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Only 5.2% (179/3439) of Twitter users rated the available COVID-19 vaccines as generally unsafe. Poll 2, which addressed the question of whether users would undergo vaccination, was answered affirmatively by 82.8% (2862/3457) of Twitter users, and only 8% (277/3457) categorically rejected vaccination at the time of polling. CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to the perceived high level of uncertainty about the safety of the available COVID-19 vaccines, we observed an elevated willingness to undergo vaccination among our study sample. Since people's perceptions and views are strongly influenced by social media, the snapshots provided by these media platforms represent a static image of a moving target. Thus, the results of this study need to be followed up by long-term surveys to maintain their validity. This is especially relevant due to the circumstances of the fast-paced pandemic and the need to not miss sudden rises in the incidence of vaccine hesitancy, which may have detrimental effects on the pandemic's course.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Patient Compliance/psychology , Patient Compliance/statistics & numerical data , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Papillomavirus Vaccines , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 9(3)2021 Mar 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1129690

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: With the spread of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the world has been experiencing an extraordinary state of emergency. As patients entering a doctor's practice can potentially infect medical staff and other patients, using digital alternatives wherever possible is a potential solution to avoiding face-to-face encounters. In these conditions, telemedicine is becoming increasingly relevant. Hence, the aim of this study was to examine telemedicine use and gathered experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic in Austria. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In June 2020, a representative group of Austrian respondents (n = 1000) was asked via online survey whether they had contacted a doctor during spring of 2020, and, if so, whether they had used a telemedical method to do so. The survey also reflected gathered experiences and degrees of satisfaction with the use of telemedicine. RESULTS: A third (33%) of those who contacted a doctor during the target period did so using telemedical tools. The majority of those with previous telehealth experience were satisfied with the help they received. Patients commonly used a telephone to contact their doctors. The overall assessment of telemedical aids tended to be positive, with more than half (53%) of those surveyed seeing significant advantages, and a 90% satisfaction rate among the respondents who used telehealth services. CONCLUSION: The outcomes from this work hint at fairly high acceptance of telemedical communication tools in the studied group of the Austrian population. Based on the high rate of satisfaction among patients who used telehealth, it is expected that the use of telehealth services will increase further in the near future.

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