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1.
J Clin Epidemiol ; 147: 83-94, 2022 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1828797

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To describe divergence between actionable statements issued by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) guideline developers cataloged on the "COVID-19 Recommendations and Gateway to Contextualization" platform. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We defined divergence as at least two comparable actionable statements with different explicit judgments of strength, direction, or subgroup consideration of the population or intervention. We applied a content analysis to compare guideline development methods for a sample of diverging statements and to evaluate factors associated with divergence. RESULTS: Of the 138 guidelines evaluated, 85 (62%) contained at least one statement that diverged from another guideline. We identified 223 diverging statements in these 85 guidelines. We grouped statements into 66 clusters. Each cluster addressed the same population, intervention, and comparator group or just similar interventions. Clinical practice statements were more likely to diverge in an explicit judgment of strength or direction compared to public health statements. Statements were more likely to diverge in strength than direction. The date of publication, used evidence, interpretation of evidence, and contextualization considerations were associated with divergence. CONCLUSION: More than half of the assessed guidelines issued at least one diverging statement. This study helps in understanding the types of differences between guidelines issuing comparable statements and factors associated with their divergence.

2.
J Clin Epidemiol ; 148: 104-114, 2022 Apr 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814651

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: To develop a digital communication tool to improve the implementation of up-to-date COVID-19 recommendations. Specifically, to improve patient, caregiver and public understanding of healthcare recommendations on prevention, diagnoses and treatment. METHODS: Multi-stakeholder engagement design. In conjunction with the COVID-19 Recommendations and Gateway to Contextualization RecMap, we co-developed a stakeholder prioritization, drafting and editing process to enhance guideline communication and understanding. RESULTS: This paper presents the multi-stakeholder development process with three distinct plain language recommendation formats: formal recommendation, good practice statement, and additional guidance. Our case study of COVID-19 plain language recommendations PLRs addresses both public health interventions (e.g., vaccination, face masks) and clinical interventions (e.g., home pulse oximetry). CONCLUSION: This paper presents a novel approach to engaging stakeholders in improving the communication and understanding of published guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

3.
J Med Case Rep ; 15(1): 586, 2021 Dec 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571926

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Psychiatric disorders increase risk of neuropsychiatric disease and poor outcomes, yet little is known about the neuropsychiatric manifestations of COVID-19 in the psychiatric population. The primary objective is to synthesize neuropsychiatric outcomes of COVID-19 in people with preexisting psychiatric disorders. METHODS: Data were collected during an ongoing review of the impact of pandemics on people with existing psychiatric disorders. All study designs and gray literature were included. Medline, PsychInfo, CINAHL, EMBASE, and MedRx were searched from inception to September 1 2020. Risk of bias was assessed using a published tool that can accommodate all study types. Two independent authors screened the studies and extracted data. Data were narratively synthesized, as there were insufficient data to meta-analyze. Evidence was appraised according to GRADE. RESULTS: Four case reports were included, comprising 13 participants from three countries. Many large-sample, relevant papers were omitted for not reporting psychiatric history, despite reporting other comorbidities. Included participants (n = 13) were hospitalized with COVID-19 and appeared to meet criteria for delirium. Myoclonus, rigidity, and alogia were also reported. The most commonly reported preexisting psychiatric diagnoses were mood disorders, schizophrenia, and alcohol use disorder. CONCLUSIONS: People with preexisting psychiatric disorders may experience delirium, rigidity, myoclonus, and alogia during COVID-19 infection; although higher quality and longitudinal data are needed to better understand these phenomena. Relevant COVID-19 literature does not always report psychiatric history, despite heightened neuropsychiatric vulnerability within this population. TRIAL REGISTRATION:  PROSPERO (CRD42020179611).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delirium , Bias , Delirium/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
4.
BMJ Open ; 11(11): e055530, 2021 11 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528555

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: With over 82.4 million forcibly displaced persons worldwide, there remains an urgent need to better describe culturally, contextually and age-tailored strategies for preventing COVID-19 in humanitarian contexts. Knowledge gaps are particularly pronounced for urban refugees who experience poverty, overcrowded living conditions and poor sanitation access that constrain the ability to practise COVID-19 mitigation strategies such as physical distancing and frequent hand washing. With over 1.4 million refugees, Uganda is sub-Saharan Africa's largest refugee hosting nation. More than 90 000 of Uganda's refugees live in Kampala, most in informal settlements, and 27% are aged 15-24 years old. There is an urgent need for tailored COVID-19 responses with urban refugee adolescents and youth. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an 8-week interactive informational mobile health intervention on COVID-19 prevention practices among refugee and displaced youth aged 16-24 years in Kampala, Uganda. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will conduct a pre-test/post-test study nested within a larger cluster randomised trial. Approximately 385 youth participants will be enrolled and followed for 6 months. Data will be collected at three time points: before the intervention (time 1); immediately after the intervention (time 2) and at 16-week follow-up (time 3). The primary outcome (self-efficacy to practise COVID-19 prevention measures) and secondary outcomes (COVID-19 risk awareness, attitudes, norms and self-regulation practices; depression; sexual and reproductive health practices; food and water security; COVID-19 vaccine acceptability) will be evaluated using descriptive statistics and regression analyses. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has been approved by the University of Toronto Research Ethics Board, the Mildmay Uganda Research Ethics Committee, and the Uganda National Council for Science & Technology. The results will be published in peer-reviewed journals, and findings communicated through reports and conference presentations. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ClinicalTrials.gov Registry (NCT04631367).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Refugees , Telemedicine , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Uganda , Young Adult
5.
Ann Epidemiol ; 66: 37-43, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509562

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: There is scant research examining urban refugee youth mental health outcomes, including potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We examine prevalence and ecosocial risk factors of depression in the periods before and after the COVID-19 pandemic declaration among urban refugee youth in Kampala, Uganda. METHODS: Data from a cohort of refugee youth (n = 367) aged 16-24 years were collected in periods before (February 2020) and after (December 2020) the WHO COVID-19 pandemic declaration. We developed crude and adjusted generalized estimating equation logistic regression models to examine demographic and ecosocial factors (food insecurity, social support, intimate partner violence) associated with depression, and include time-ecosocial interactions to examine if associations differed before and after the pandemic declaration. RESULTS: The prevalence of depression was high, but there was no significant difference before (27.5%), and after (28.9%) the pandemic declaration (P = .583). In adjusted models, food insecurity (aOR: 2.54; 95% CI: 1.21-5.33) and experiencing violence (aOR: 2.53; 95% CI: 1.07-5.96) were associated with increased depression, and social support was associated with decreased depression (aOR: 0.85; 95% CI: 0.81-0.89). CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the urgent need for interventions to address chronic depression, food insecurity, and ongoing effects of violence exposure among urban refugee youth in Kampala.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Refugees , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Prevalence , Uganda/epidemiology , Young Adult
6.
J Clin Epidemiol ; 141: 161-171, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433469

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To propose a taxonomy and framework that identifies and presents actionable statements in guidelines. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We took an iterative approach reviewing case studies of guidelines produced by the World Health Organization and the American Society of Hematology to develop an initial conceptual framework. We then tested it using randomly selected recommendations from published guidelines addressing COVID-19 from different organizations, evaluated its results, and refined it before retesting. The urgency and availability of evidence for development of these recommendations varied. We consulted with experts in research methodology and guideline developers to improve the final framework. RESULTS: The resulting taxonomy and framework distinguishes five types of actional statements: formal recommendations; research recommendations; good practice statements; implementation considerations, tools and tips; and informal recommendations. These statements should respond to a priori established criteria and require a clear structure and recognizable presentation in a guideline. Most importantly, this framework identifies informal recommendations that differ from formal recommendations by how they consider evidence and in their development process. CONCLUSION: The identification, standardization and explicit labelling of actionable statements according to the framework may support guideline developers to create actionable statements with clear intent, avoid informal recommendations and improve their understanding and implementation by users.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Publications , Research Design , World Health Organization
7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(17)2021 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390645

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the global imperative to address health inequities. Observational studies are a valuable source of evidence for real-world effects and impacts of implementing COVID-19 policies on the redistribution of inequities. We assembled a diverse global multi-disciplinary team to develop interim guidance for improving transparency in reporting health equity in COVID-19 observational studies. We identified 14 areas in the STROBE (Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology) checklist that need additional detail to encourage transparent reporting of health equity. We searched for examples of COVID-19 observational studies that analysed and reported health equity analysis across one or more social determinants of health. We engaged with Indigenous stakeholders and others groups experiencing health inequities to co-produce this guidance and to bring an intersectional lens. Taking health equity and social determinants of health into account contributes to the clinical and epidemiological understanding of the disease, identifying specific needs and supporting decision-making processes. Stakeholders are encouraged to consider using this guidance on observational research to help provide evidence to close the inequitable gaps in health outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Equity , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Justice
8.
Clin Infect Dis ; 72(9): 1657-1659, 2021 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216612

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are parallel and interacting health emergencies that provide the opportunity for mutual learning. As their measures and consequences are comparable, the COVID-19 pandemic helps to illustrate the potential long-term impact of AMR, which is less acute but not less crucial. They may also impact each other as there is a push to use existing antimicrobials to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients in the absence of specific treatments. Attempts to manage the spread of COVID-19 may also lead to a slowdown in AMR. Understanding how COVID-19 affects AMR trends and what we can expect if these trends remain the same or worsen will help us to plan the next steps for tackling AMR. Researchers should start collecting data to measure the impact of current COVID-19 policies and programs on AMR.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents , COVID-19 , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Drug Resistance, Bacterial , Emergencies , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Intensive Care Med ; 47(5): 521-537, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1193132

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Corticosteroids are now recommended for patients with severe COVID-19 including those with COVID-related ARDS. This has generated renewed interest regarding whether corticosteroids should be used in non-COVID ARDS as well. The objective of this study was to summarize all RCTs examining the use of corticosteroids in ARDS. METHODS: The protocol of this study was pre-registered on PROSPERO (CRD42020200659). We searched online databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE, CDC library of COVID research, CINAHL, and COCHRANE. We included RCTs that compared the effect of corticosteroids to placebo or usual care in adult patients with ARDS, including patients with COVID-19. Three reviewers abstracted data independently and in duplicate using a pre-specified standardized form. We assessed individual study risk of bias using the revised Cochrane ROB-2 tool and rated certainty in outcomes using GRADE methodology. We pooled data using a random effects model. The main outcome for this review was 28-day-mortality. RESULTS: We included 18 RCTs enrolling 2826 patients. The use of corticosteroids probably reduced mortality in patients with ARDS of any etiology (2740 patients in 16 trials, RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.72-0.95, ARR 8.0%, 95% CI 2.2-12.5%, moderate certainty). Patients who received a longer course of corticosteroids (over 7 days) had higher rates of survival compared to a shorter course. CONCLUSION: The use of corticosteroids probably reduces mortality in patients with ARDS. This effect was consistent between patients with COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 ARDS, corticosteroid types, and dosage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Adult , Humans , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2
10.
JMIR Res Protoc ; 10(2): e26192, 2021 Feb 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059620

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: HIV is the leading cause of mortality among youth in sub-Saharan Africa. Uganda hosts over 1.43 million refugees, and more than 83,000 live in Kampala, largely in informal settlements. There is limited information about HIV testing uptake and preferences among urban refugee and displaced youth. HIV self-testing is a promising method for increasing testing uptake. Further, mobile health (mHealth) interventions have been effective in increasing HIV testing uptake and could be particularly useful among youth. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of two HIV self-testing implementation strategies (HIV self-testing intervention alone and HIV self-testing combined with an mHealth intervention) in comparison with the HIV testing standard of care in terms of HIV testing outcomes among refugee/displaced youth aged 16 to 24 years in Kampala, Uganda. METHODS: A three-arm cluster randomized controlled trial will be implemented across five informal settlements grouped into three sites, based on proximity, and randomization will be performed with a 1:1:1 method. Approximately 450 adolescents (150 per cluster) will be enrolled and followed for 12 months. Data will be collected at the following three time points: baseline enrollment, 8 months after enrollment, and 12 months after enrollment. Primary outcomes (HIV testing frequency, HIV status knowledge, linkage to confirmatory testing, and linkage to HIV care) and secondary outcomes (depression, condom use efficacy, consistent condom use, sexual relationship power, HIV stigma, and adolescent sexual and reproductive health stigma) will be evaluated. RESULTS: The study has been conducted in accordance with CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) guidelines. The study has received ethical approval from the University of Toronto (June 14, 2019), Mildmay Uganda (November 11, 2019), and the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (August 3, 2020). The Tushirikiane trial launched in February 2020, recruiting a total of 452 participants. Data collection was paused for 8 months due to COVID-19. Data collection for wave 2 resumed in November 2020, and as of December 10, 2020, a total of 295 participants have been followed-up. The third, and final, wave of data collection will be conducted between February and March 2021. CONCLUSIONS: This study will contribute to the knowledge of differentiated HIV testing implementation strategies for urban refugee and displaced youth living in informal settlements. We will share the findings in peer-reviewed manuscripts and conference presentations. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04504097; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04504097. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/26192.

11.
Trials ; 21(1): 941, 2020 Nov 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-940030

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: 1. To compare the effectiveness of four different surveillance strategies in detecting COVID-19 within the homeless shelter population. 2. To assess the participant adherence over time for each surveillance method. TRIAL DESIGN: This is a prospective cluster-randomized study to compare the effectiveness of four different surveillance regimens across eight homeless shelters in the city of Hamilton. PARTICIPANTS: Participants will include both residents of, and the staff working within, the homeless shelters. All participants aged 18 or older who consent to the study and are able to collect a swab sample (where relevant) are eligible for the study. The study will take place across eight homeless shelters (four men-only and four women-only) in the City of Hamilton in Ontario, Canada. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR GROUPS: The comparator group will receive active daily surveillance of symptoms and testing will only be completed in symptomatic participants (i.e. those who fail screening or who seek care for potential COVID-19 related symptoms). The three intervention arms will all receive active daily surveillance of symptoms and testing of symptomatic participants (as in the comparator group) in addition to one of the following: 1. Once weekly self-collected oral swabs (OS) regardless of symptoms using written and visual instructions. 2. Once weekly self-collected oral-nares swab (O-NS) regardless of symptoms using written and visual instructions. 3. Once weekly nurse collected nasopharyngeal swab (NPS) regardless of symptoms. Participants will follow verbal and written instructions for the collection of OS and O-NS specimens. For OS collection, participants are instructed to first moisten the swab on their tongue, insert the swab between the cheek and the lower gums and rotate the swab three times. This is repeated on the other side. For O-NS collection, after oral collection, the swab is inserted comfortably (about 2-3 cm) into one nostril, parallel to the floor and turned three times, then repeated in the other nostril. NPS specimens were collected by the nurse following standard of care procedure. All swabs were placed into a viral inactivation medium and transported to the laboratory for COVID-19 testing. Briefly, total nucleic acid was extracted from specimens and then amplified by RT-PCR for the UTR and Envelope genes of SARS-CoV-2 and the human RNase P gene, which is used as a sample adequacy marker. MAIN OUTCOMES: 1. PRIMARY OUTCOME: COVID-19 detection rate, i.e. the number of new positive cases over the study period of 8 weeks in each arm of the study. 2. SECONDARY OUTCOMES: Qualitative assessment of study enrollment over 8 weeks. Percentage of participants who performed 50% or more of the weekly swabs in the intervention arms in the 8 week study period. RANDOMIZATION: We will use a computer-generated random assignment list to randomize the shelters to one of four interventions. Shelters were stratified by gender, and the simple randomization scheme was applied within each stratum. The randomization scheme was created using WinPEPI. BLINDING: This is an open-label study in which neither participants nor assessors are blinded. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMIZED (SAMPLE SIZE): Since we are including our total sample frame, a sample size estimation at the cluster level is not required. However, if we succeed to enroll 50 participants per shelter from 8 shelters (n=400), and the detection rate is 3 times higher in the intervention groups (0.15) than in the comparator groups (0.05), we will have 90% power to detect a statistically significant and clinically important difference at a type I error rate of alpha=0.05 (one tailed), assuming an intraclass correlation of ~0.008. These computations were done using WinPEPI, and informed by conservative estimates from other studies on respiratory illness in the homeless (see Full protocol). TRIAL STATUS: The protocol version number is 3.0. Recruitment began on April 17, 2020 and is ongoing. Due to low numbers of COVID cases in the community and shelter system during the initial study period, the trial was extended. The estimated date for the end of the extended recruitment period is Feb 1, 2021. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov on June 18, 2020 with the identifier NCT04438070 . FULL PROTOCOL: The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Homeless Persons/statistics & numerical data , Mass Screening/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Adult , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Early Diagnosis , Female , Humans , Male , Ontario/epidemiology , Patient Compliance , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Program Evaluation , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Specimen Handling/methods , Time Factors
12.
BMJ Open ; 10(7):e036259-e036259, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-662271

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) communities are disproportionately infected by HIV in Ontario, Canada. They constitute only 5% of the population of Ontario yet account for 25% of new diagnoses of HIV. The aim of this study is to understand underlying factors that augment the HIV risk in ACB communities and to inform policy and practice in Ontario. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will conduct a cross-sectional study of first-generation and second-generation ACB adults aged 15-64 in Toronto (n=1000) and Ottawa (n=500) and collect data on sociodemographic information, sexual behaviours, substance use, blood donation, access and use of health services and HIV-related care. We will use dried blood spot testing to determine the incidence and prevalence of HIV infection among ACB people, and link participant data to administrative databases to investigate health service access and use. Factors associated with key outcomes (HIV infection, testing behaviours, knowledge about HIV transmission and acquisition, HIV vulnerability, access and use of health services) will be evaluated using generalised linear mixed models, adjusted for relevant covariates. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has been reviewed and approved by the following Research Ethics Boards: Toronto Public Health, Ottawa Public Health, Laurentian University;the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto. Our findings will be disseminated as community reports, fact sheets, digital stories, oral and poster presentations, peer-reviewed manuscripts and social media.

13.
BMJ Open ; 10(9): e040229, 2020 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-740289

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The current COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in high rates of infection and death, as well as widespread social disruption and a reduction in access to healthcare services and support. There is growing concern over how the pandemic, as well as measures put in place to curb the pandemic, will impact people with mental disorders. We aim to study the effect of pandemics and epidemics on mental health outcomes for people with premorbid mental disorders. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: With our predefined search strategy, we will search five databases for studies reporting on mental health outcomes in people with pre-existing mental disorders during pandemic and epidemic settings. Search dates are planned as follows: 5 May 2020 and 23 July 2020. The following databases will be searched: MEDLINE/PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, MedRxiv and EMBASE. Data will be screened and extracted in duplicate by two independent reviewers. Studies involving non-clinical populations or patients diagnosed with a mental disorder during a pandemic/epidemic will be excluded. We will include data collected from all pandemics and epidemics throughout history, including the present COVID-19 pandemic. If possible, study findings will be combined in meta-analyses, and subgroup analyses will be performed. We hope that this review will shed light on the impact of pandemics and epidemics on those with pre-existing mental disorders. Knowledge generated may inform future intervention studies as well as healthcare policies. Given the potential implications of the current pandemic measures (ie, disruption of healthcare services) on mental health, we will also compile a list of existing mental health resources. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: No ethical approval is required for this protocol and proposed systematic review as we will only use data from previously published papers that have themselves received ethics clearance and used proper informed consent procedures. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO registration number: CRD42020179611.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Mental Disorders , Mental Health Services/supply & distribution , Mental Health , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Research Design , SARS-CoV-2 , Systematic Reviews as Topic
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