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PLoS One ; 18(4): e0284283, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2296683


BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in changes in lifestyle habits and experiences of mental health outcomes, some of which were possibly related to weight gain, leading to an increase in the prevalence of obesity, which is associated with the development of several severe diseases. Concerns regarding weight gain and its impact on health outcomes are prevalent worldwide, with obesity being one of the highest causes of mortality in current society. METHODS: A self-reported questionnaire collected data from participants aged 18 years of age and above from 26 countries and regions worldwide. Post-hoc multiple logistic regression analyses have been done to evaluate the association between demographic and socioeconomic factors, and the perspectives that were identified to be associated with weight gain. RESULTS: Participants belonging to a younger age group; with a higher level of education; living in an urban area; living with family members; employed full-time; and had obesity were found to be more vulnerable to weight gain. After adjusting for socio-demographic factors, participants who were quarantined; exercised less prior to the pandemic; consumed unhealthy foods; and reported negative thoughts such as helplessness and the perceived risk of COVID-19, were more likely to experience weight gain; while negative thoughts such as having no means of control over the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic will have great personal effect were associated with females, students, and people living in the rural area. CONCLUSIONS: Weight gain risk during the pandemic was significantly associated with certain socio-demographic and COVID-19 related factors. To improve public health outcomes, future research should conduct a longitudinal evaluation on the effects of COVID-19 experiences upon health choices. Streamlined mental support should also be provided to the vulnerable groups which were prone to negative thoughts that were associated with weight gain.

COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Weight Gain , Obesity/epidemiology
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(9)2022 Sep 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2044014


Several vaccines have been developed for COVID-19 since the pandemic began. This study aimed to evaluate the factors associated with COVID-19 vaccination intention. A global survey was conducted across 26 countries from October, 2020 to December, 2021 using an online self-administered questionnaire. Demographic information, socio-economic status, and clinical information were collected. A logistic regression examined the associations between vaccine intention and factors such as perceptions and the presence of chronic physical and mental conditions. The sample included 2459 participants, with 384 participants (15.7%) expressing lower COVID-19 vaccination intent. Individuals who identified as female; belonged to an older age group; had a higher level of education; were students; had full health insurance coverage; or had a previous history of influenza vaccination were more willing to receive vaccination. Conversely, those who were working part-time, were self-employed, or were receiving social welfare were less likely to report an intention to get vaccinated. Participants with mental or physical health conditions were more unwilling to receive vaccination, especially those with sickle cell disease, cancer history within the past five years, or mental illness. Stronger vaccination intent was associated with recommendations from the government or family doctors. The presence of chronic conditions was associated with lower vaccine intention. Individuals with health conditions are especially vulnerable to health complications and may experience an increased severity of COVID-19 symptoms. Future research should evaluate the effectiveness of interventions targeting the vaccine perceptions and behaviours of at-risk groups. As such, public awareness campaigns conducted by the government and proactive endorsement from health physicians may help improve COVID-19 vaccination intention.

Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(7)2022 Jul 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2010324


Invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) is a leading cause of disability and mortality worldwide, particularly in the elderly population. With the implementation of the Government Vaccination Programme (GVP) and the Vaccination Subsidy Scheme (VSS), enabling factors and barriers in service provider scheme participation and vaccination uptake were examined in 32 interviews with doctors and 16 interviews with vaccine recipients. Interview data were analysed in NVivo 11.0 with reference to the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) and the REAIM Framework to develop codes and themes. Barriers to pneumococcal vaccination uptake included concerns on vaccine efficacy and poor understanding of the disease and vaccine schemes, whilst service provider participation was hindered by ill-defined parameters for patient eligibility and time, location, and logistical constraints. Enabling factors to improve intervention implementation were involvement of the government and physicians to encourage participation, clarifying eligibility criteria, and improving individual knowledge of IPD and vaccination schemes. As participation rates in the GVP and VSS remains low in Hong Kong, efforts concentrating on health promotion strategies encouraging pneumococcal vaccination amongst the elderly population are recommended.