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1.
Prev Med ; 160: 107098, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1867904

ABSTRACT

Mask wearing and social distancing have been essential public health guidelines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but faced resistance from skeptical subgroups in the United States, including Republicans and evangelicals. We examined the effects of participation in ideologically heterogeneous civic associations on attitudes toward public health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among partisan and religious subgroups most resistant to public health guidelines. We analyzed panel survey data from a nationally representative cohort of 1222 U.S. adults collected in April, July, and November 2020, and July/August 2021. Data on the importance of social distancing and mask wearing were collected in November 2020. Evangelicals and Republicans who participated in ideologically diverse civic associations were more likely to support mask wearing compared to those participating in ideologically homogenous associations (difference in predicted policy support on a 0-1 scale: 0.084, p ≤ .05 and 0.020, p ≤ .05, respectively). Evangelicals in ideologically diverse associations were also more likely to support social distancing compared to those in ideologically homogenous associations (0.089, p ≤ .05). Participation in civic associations with ideologically heterogeneous members was associated with greater support for public health measures among skeptical subgroups. Encouraging exposure to diverse ideologies may bolster support for public health measures to mitigate COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Physical Distancing , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Masks , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
2.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 869, 2022 05 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1817212

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To examine the relationship between civic association participation and psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly whether different forms of engagement mitigate the increased rates of psychological distress throughout 2020. METHODS: Panel survey data collected from a nationally representative cohort of 1222 U.S. adults. Data was collected in three waves in April, July, and November 2020. Psychological distress was measured using the validated Kessler-6 instrument in November 2020. RESULTS: Respondents belonging to political associations were more likely to experience psychological distress (difference in predicted level of psychological distress on a 0-1 scale: 0.098, p ≤ .05) relative to those in unknown associations. However, individuals in political associations who more frequently interacted with others had lower levels of psychological distress (-.065, p ≤ .05) compared to those in political associations with less frequent interactions. CONCLUSIONS: Civic engagement that facilitates interpersonal interactions may protect against psychological distress.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychological Distress , Adult , Humans , Pandemics , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
Prev Med ; 159: 107067, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1796000

ABSTRACT

This study sought to examine public support for gun carrying-related policies from 2019 to 2021, a period encompassing the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing calls for racial and social justice. We conducted the National Survey of Gun Policy in January 2019 and 2021. The surveys were fielded using the NORC AmeriSpeak panel. Respondents indicated support for six policies regulating civilian gun carrying. Analyses, conducted in 2021, incorporated survey weights for nationally representative estimates. There were significant declines in support from 2019 to 2021 for two policies that would expand where civilians can lawfully carry guns: allowing concealed carry when on K-12 school grounds (23% in 2021 vs 31% in 2019) and college/university campuses (27% vs 36%). Support was also significantly lower for requiring concealed carry applicants to pass a test demonstrating safe and lawful use (74% in 2021 vs 81% in 2019). For the two new policies in the 2021 survey, more than half of respondents overall supported prohibiting open carry at demonstrations/rallies (54%) and prohibiting the carry of guns into government buildings (69%). There was lower support among gun owners (39% and 57%, respectively). Since 2019, there has been a decline in support for expanding locations for civilian gun carrying. Support remains high among U.S. adults, including the two-thirds of gun owners, for requiring concealed carry applicants to demonstrate competence in safe and lawful gun use. Our findings in support of a more regulated approach to concealed carry are in direct contrast to state-level shifts eliminating concealed gun carrying regulations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Firearms , Adult , Humans , Ownership , Pandemics , Public Opinion , United States
4.
Am J Prev Med ; 63(1): 77-84, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1693976

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: U.S. residents had varying experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and social safety net policy in 2020. Past research has suggested that partisanship, ideology, racial attitudes, and personal experience may each influence policy attitudes. In this study, we explore whether variation in support for social safety net policy in 2020 is predicted by negative experiences of the pandemic when controlling for racial attitudes, partisanship, and ideology. METHODS: Support for 12 social safety net policies in 2020 was estimated using data from a nationally representative panel survey of U.S. adults conducted in 2020 (n=1,222). Logistic regression was used to examine differences in the predicted probability of supporting a majority of social safety net policies related to health, housing, and employment by partisanship, ideology, racial attitudes, and negative experiences of the pandemic. Analyses were conducted in 2021. RESULTS: Higher levels of symbolic racism was a consistently strong predictor of lower social safety net policy support across health, housing, and employment policies; as was identifying as either Conservative or Republican. Negative experiences of the pandemic were generally unpredictive of support for the social safety net policy. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the pandemic's consequences as well as the potential for social safety net policy to address these consequences, negative experiences of the pandemic failed to predict policy support, even as racial attitudes, partisanship, and ideology strongly predicted these preferences in 2020. Building public support for social safety net policy requires communication strategies that identify the shared benefits of these policies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Racism , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , Public Policy , Surveys and Questionnaires
6.
Prev Med ; 154: 106873, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510416

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has stretched the U.S. social safety net and prompted federal legislation designed to ameliorate the pandemic's health and economic impacts. We surveyed a nationally representative cohort of 1222 U.S. adults in April 2020 and November 2020 to evaluate changes in public opinion about 11 social safety net policies and the role of government over the course of the pandemic. A majority of U.S. adults supported six policies at both time points, including policies guaranteeing two weeks of paid sick leave; enacting universal health insurance; increasing the federal minimum wage; and increasing government spending on construction projects, business tax credits, and employment education and training. From April to November 2020, public support was stable for nine of the 11 policies but declined nearly 10 percentage points for policies guaranteeing two weeks paid sick leave (from 76% support in April 2020 to 67% support in November 2020) and extending unemployment insurance benefits (51% to 42%). Declines in support for these two policies were concentrated among those with higher incomes, more education, in better health status, the employed, and those with health insurance. The share of respondents believing in a strong role of government also declined from 33% in April to 26% in November 2020 (p > 0.05). Despite these shifts, we observed consistent majority support for several policies enacted during the pandemic, including guaranteeing paid sick leave and business tax credits, as well as employment-related policies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Policy , SARS-CoV-2 , Sick Leave
8.
Psychiatr Serv ; 73(3): 335-338, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331862

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The authors evaluated the likelihood of hospital admission, mechanical ventilation, and mortality within 30 days after a COVID-19 diagnosis among persons with or without serious mental illness. METHODS: Adults with and without serious mental illness diagnosed as having COVID-19 in the first year of the pandemic were identified in the TriNetX database, a network of electronic health records from 49 U.S. health care systems representing 63.5 million individuals. A propensity score approach was used to compare outcomes of unmatched and matched cohorts (N=85,257). RESULTS: Compared with persons without serious mental illness, persons with serious mental illness were more likely to be hospitalized or to die after COVID-19 diagnosis. No difference in mortality or use of mechanical ventilation was observed among groups admitted to the hospital with COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Disparities in overall mortality after COVID-19 for persons with serious mental illness likely were driven by factors outside of acute care settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Disorders , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Hospitalization , Humans , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/therapy , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Am J Prev Med ; 61(6): 919-922, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1283902

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated longstanding housing precarity. This study measures the public support for policies designed to increase housing stability and gauges whether support levels are associated with views about the role of evictions in COVID-19 transmission and the existence of racial inequities in the housing market. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey with a representative sample of U.S. adults in November 2020 assessed support for 4 housing policies. Logistic regression models estimated the adjusted levels of support for each policy, with separate models testing the association with whether or not a respondent recognized the role of evictions in increased COVID-19 transmission or acknowledged racial inequities in the housing market. RESULTS: Most U.S. adults supported policies aimed to increase housing stability during the COVID-19 pandemic, including extending moratoriums on evictions (63%) and foreclosures (67%) and increasing emergency rental assistance (63%). In total, 54% supported increased government spending on housing vouchers. Adults who agreed that averting eviction would slow COVID-19 transmission had higher support for housing stability policies, as did those who agreed that it was easier for White families to find affordable, high-quality housing than Black families. CONCLUSIONS: Support for housing stability policies was strong among U.S. adults, particularly among those who agreed that preventing evictions slowed COVID-19 transmission and among those who acknowledged racial inequities in the housing market. Raising public awareness of the connections among unstable housing, infectious disease transmission, and racial inequity could broaden the support for policies to keep people in their homes through the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Housing , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Policy , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Int Rev Psychiatry ; 33(7): 593-597, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281793

ABSTRACT

We sought to characterize gun and ammunition purchasing during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic using a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. We fielded a survey using NORC's Amerispeak Panel between 7 and 22 July 2020 (survey completion rate = 91.1%, N = 1337). We used survey-weighted data to calculate the proportion of adults who purchased a gun during this time period and types of guns and amount of ammunition purchased. Between March and mid-July 2020, 6% of adults purchased a gun and 9% bought ammunition. Of those purchasing a gun, 34% were first-time purchasers. Among those purchasing ammunition, 19% reported purchasing more than usual in response to the COVID-19 pandemic while 27% purchased less than usual. An estimated 6,451,163 adults bought guns for the first time between March and mid-July 2020. Increases in gun purchasing, particularly among first-time gun owners, could pose significant short- and long-term implications for public health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Consumer Behavior , Firearms , Pandemics , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Consumer Behavior/statistics & numerical data , Firearms/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States/epidemiology
11.
Am J Public Health ; 111(5): 937-948, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140578

ABSTRACT

Objectives. To examine how sociodemographic, political, religious, and civic characteristics; trust in science; and fixed versus fluid worldview were associated with evolving public support for social distancing, indoor mask wearing, and contact tracing to control the COVID-19 pandemic.Methods. Surveys were conducted with a nationally representative cohort of US adults in April, July, and November 2020.Results. Support for social distancing among US adults dropped from 89% in April to 79% in July, but then remained stable in November 2020 at 78%. In July and November, more than three quarters of respondents supported mask wearing and nearly as many supported contact tracing. In regression-adjusted models, support differences for social distancing, mask wearing, and contact tracing were most pronounced by age, partisanship, and trust in science. Having a more fluid worldview independently predicted higher support for contact tracing.Conclusions. Ongoing resistance to nonpharmaceutical public health responses among key subgroups challenge transmission control.Public Health Implications. Developing persuasive communication efforts targeting young adults, political conservatives, and those distrusting science should be a critical priority.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Contact Tracing , Masks/trends , Physical Distancing , Public Health/trends , Adult , Aged , Contact Tracing/statistics & numerical data , Contact Tracing/trends , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Politics , Science , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires
12.
Ann Behav Med ; 55(2): 93-102, 2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069209

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cross-sectional studies have found that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has negatively affected population-level mental health. Longitudinal studies are necessary to examine trajectories of change in mental health over time and identify sociodemographic groups at risk for persistent distress. PURPOSE: To examine the trajectories of mental distress between March 10 and August 4, 2020, a key period during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Participants included 6,901 adults from the nationally representative Understanding America Study, surveyed at baseline between March 10 and 31, 2020, with nine follow-up assessments between April 1 and August 4, 2020. Mixed-effects logistic regression was used to examine the association between date and self-reported mental distress (measured with the four-item Patient Health Questionnaire) among U.S. adults overall and among sociodemographic subgroups defined by sex, age, race/ethnicity, household structure, federal poverty line, and census region. RESULTS: Compared to March 11, the odds of mental distress among U.S. adults overall were 1.84 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.65-2.07) times higher on April 1 and 1.92 (95% CI = 1.62-2.28) times higher on May 1; by August 1, the odds of mental distress had returned to levels comparable to March 11 (odds ratio [OR] = 0.80, 95% CI = 0.66-0.96). Females experienced a sharper increase in mental distress between March and May compared to males (females: OR = 2.29, 95% CI = 1.85-2.82; males: OR = 1.53, 95% CI = 1.15-2.02). CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the trajectory of mental health symptoms during an unprecedented pandemic, including the identification of populations at risk for sustained mental distress.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Mental Health/trends , Psychological Distress , Adult , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Health Questionnaire , Self Report , Socioeconomic Factors , United States , Young Adult
13.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(1): e2034882, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064290

ABSTRACT

Importance: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused major disruptions in the US health care system. Objective: To estimate frequency of and reasons for reported forgone medical care from March to mid-July 2020 and examine characteristics of US adults who reported forgoing care. Design, Setting, and Participants: This survey study used data from the second wave of the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Civic Life and Public Health Survey, fielded from July 7 to July 22, 2020. Respondents included a national sample of 1337 individuals aged 18 years or older in the US who were part of National Opinion Research Center's AmeriSpeak Panel. Exposures: The initial period of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, defined as from March to mid-July 2020. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcomes were missed doses of prescription medications; forgone preventive and other general medical care, mental health care, and elective surgeries; forgone care for new severe health issues; and reasons for forgoing care. Results: Of 1468 individuals who completed wave 1 of the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Civic Life and Public Health Survey (70.4% completion rate), 1337 completed wave 2 (91.1% completion rate). The sample of respondents included 691 (52%) women, 840 non-Hispanic White individuals (63%), 160 non-Hispanic Black individuals (12%), and 223 Hispanic individuals (17%). The mean (SE) age of respondents was 48 (0.78) years. A total of 544 respondents (41%) forwent medical care from March through mid-July 2020. Among 1055 individuals (79%) who reported needing care, 544 (52%) reported forgoing care for any reason, 307 (29%) forwent care owing to fear of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission, and 75 (7%) forwent care owing to financial concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents who were unemployed, compared with those who were employed, forwent care more often (121 of 186 respondents [65%] vs 251 of 503 respondents [50%]; P = .01) and were more likely to attribute forgone care to fear of SARS-CoV-2 transmission (78 of 186 respondents [42%] vs 120 of 503 respondents [24%]; P = .002) and financial concerns (36 of 186 respondents [20%] vs 28 of 503 respondents [6%]; P = .001). Respondents lacking health insurance were more likely to attribute forgone care to financial concerns than respondents with Medicare or commercial coverage (19 of 88 respondents [22%] vs 32 of 768 respondents [4%]; P < .001). Frequency of and reasons for forgone care differed in some instances by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, and health status. Conclusions and Relevance: This survey study found a high frequency of forgone care among US adults from March to mid-July 2020. Policies to improve health care affordability and to reassure individuals that they can safely seek care may be necessary with surging COVID-19 case rates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , Socioeconomic Factors , United States
14.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(1): e2034882, 2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1039140

ABSTRACT

Importance: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused major disruptions in the US health care system. Objective: To estimate frequency of and reasons for reported forgone medical care from March to mid-July 2020 and examine characteristics of US adults who reported forgoing care. Design, Setting, and Participants: This survey study used data from the second wave of the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Civic Life and Public Health Survey, fielded from July 7 to July 22, 2020. Respondents included a national sample of 1337 individuals aged 18 years or older in the US who were part of National Opinion Research Center's AmeriSpeak Panel. Exposures: The initial period of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, defined as from March to mid-July 2020. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcomes were missed doses of prescription medications; forgone preventive and other general medical care, mental health care, and elective surgeries; forgone care for new severe health issues; and reasons for forgoing care. Results: Of 1468 individuals who completed wave 1 of the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Civic Life and Public Health Survey (70.4% completion rate), 1337 completed wave 2 (91.1% completion rate). The sample of respondents included 691 (52%) women, 840 non-Hispanic White individuals (63%), 160 non-Hispanic Black individuals (12%), and 223 Hispanic individuals (17%). The mean (SE) age of respondents was 48 (0.78) years. A total of 544 respondents (41%) forwent medical care from March through mid-July 2020. Among 1055 individuals (79%) who reported needing care, 544 (52%) reported forgoing care for any reason, 307 (29%) forwent care owing to fear of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission, and 75 (7%) forwent care owing to financial concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents who were unemployed, compared with those who were employed, forwent care more often (121 of 186 respondents [65%] vs 251 of 503 respondents [50%]; P = .01) and were more likely to attribute forgone care to fear of SARS-CoV-2 transmission (78 of 186 respondents [42%] vs 120 of 503 respondents [24%]; P = .002) and financial concerns (36 of 186 respondents [20%] vs 28 of 503 respondents [6%]; P = .001). Respondents lacking health insurance were more likely to attribute forgone care to financial concerns than respondents with Medicare or commercial coverage (19 of 88 respondents [22%] vs 32 of 768 respondents [4%]; P < .001). Frequency of and reasons for forgone care differed in some instances by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, and health status. Conclusions and Relevance: This survey study found a high frequency of forgone care among US adults from March to mid-July 2020. Policies to improve health care affordability and to reassure individuals that they can safely seek care may be necessary with surging COVID-19 case rates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , Socioeconomic Factors , United States
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