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1.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; : 1-9, 2022 Mar 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730200

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to explore how deployed healthcare workers (HCWs) perceived personal preparedness for response and their main avenues for coping to maintain resilience during the prolonged COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 HCWs deployed to the frontline for an extended period to provide acute COVID-19 related care. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically. RESULTS: HCWs demonstrated heightened self-confidence and readiness to deal with public health emergencies owing to the ramped-up efforts in infrastructure for outbreak management and pre-emptive infectious disease training. Despite overall confidence, deployed HCWs had to adopt various coping mechanisms to sustain resilience during the prolonged pandemic. Main themes on coping centred around the value of team leaders and support from family members as an effective buffer for work-induced stress while institution-based counseling services and welfare were viewed as important for fostering internal locus of control and wellbeing. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that strategies such as on-the-job training, continuous education and improved communication would be essential to maintain resilience of deployed HCWs. Considerations should be also given to the swift implementation of blended wellness support comprising digital and in-person counseling to sustain wellbeing and prepare for endemic COVID-19.

2.
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 23(1): 7-14, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599448

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Little empirical research exists on how key stakeholders involved in the provision of care for chronic conditions and policy planning perceive the indirect or "spillover" effects of the COVID-19 on non-COVID patients. This study aims to explore stakeholder experiences and perspectives of the impact of COVID-19 on the provision of care for chronic conditions, evolving modalities of care, and stakeholder suggestions for improving health system resilience to prepare for future pandemics. DESIGN: Qualitative study design. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: This study was conducted during and after the COVID-19 lockdown period in Singapore. We recruited a purposive sample of 51 stakeholders involved in care of non-COVID patients and/or policy planning for chronic disease management. They included health care professionals (micro-level), hospital management officers (meso-level), and government officials (macro-level). METHODS: In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted. All interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim, and thematically analyzed. RESULTS: Optimal provision of care for chronic diseases may be compromised through the following processes: lack of "direct" communication between colleagues on clinical cases resulting in rescheduling of patient visits; uncertainty in diagnostic decisions due to protocol revision and lab closure; and limited preparedness to handle non-COVID patients' emotional reactions. Although various digital innovations enhanced access to care, a digital divide exists due to uneven digital literacy and perceived data security risks, thereby hampering wider implementation. To build health system resilience, stakeholders suggested the need to integrate digital care into the information technology ecosystem, develop strategic public-private partnerships for chronic disease management, and give equal attention to the provision of holistic psychosocial and community support for vulnerable non-COVID patients. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Findings highlight that strategies to deliver quality chronic care for non-COVID patients in times of public health crisis should include innovative care practices and institutional reconfiguration within the broader health system context.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Ecosystem , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Chronic Illn ; : 17423953211067458, 2021 Dec 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582527

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study aims to examine the impact of COVID-19 measures on wellbeing and self-management in medically vulnerable non-COVID patients and their views of novel modalities of care in Singapore. METHODS: Patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD), respiratory disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes and cancer were recruited from the SingHealth cluster and national cohort of older adults. Data on demographics, chronic conditions and perceived wellbeing were collected using questionnaire. We performed multivariable regression to examine factors associated with perceived wellbeing. Qualitative interviews were conducted to elicit patient's experience and thematically analyzed. RESULTS: A total of 91 patients participated. Male patients compared with female patients perceived a lower impact of the pandemic on subjective wellbeing. Patients with CVD compared to those having conditions other than CVD perceived a lower impact. Impacts of the pandemic were primarily described in relation to emotional distress and interference in maintaining self-care. Hampering of physical activity featured prominently, but most did not seek alternative ways to maintain activity. Despite general willingness to try novel care modalities, lack of physical interaction and communication difficulties were perceived as main barriers. DISCUSSION: Findings underline the need to alleviate emotional distress and develop adaptive strategies to empower patients to maintain wellbeing and self-care.

4.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0258866, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480457

ABSTRACT

AIM: The long-term stress, anxiety and job burnout experienced by healthcare workers (HCWs) are important to consider as the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic stresses healthcare systems globally. The primary objective was to examine the changes in the proportion of HCWs reporting stress, anxiety, and job burnout over six months during the peak of the pandemic in Singapore. The secondary objective was to examine the extent that objective job characteristics, HCW-perceived job factors, and HCW personal resources were associated with stress, anxiety, and job burnout. METHOD: A sample of HCWs (doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, administrative and operations staff; N = 2744) was recruited via invitation to participate in an online survey from four tertiary hospitals. Data were gathered between March-August 2020, which included a 2-month lockdown period. HCWs completed monthly web-based self-reported assessments of stress (Perceived Stress Scale-4), anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7), and job burnout (Physician Work Life Scale). RESULTS: The majority of the sample consisted of female HCWs (81%) and nurses (60%). Using random-intercept logistic regression models, elevated perceived stress, anxiety and job burnout were reported by 33%, 13%, and 24% of the overall sample at baseline respectively. The proportion of HCWs reporting stress and job burnout increased by approximately 1·0% and 1·2% respectively per month. Anxiety did not significantly increase. Working long hours was associated with higher odds, while teamwork and feeling appreciated at work were associated with lower odds, of stress, anxiety, and job burnout. CONCLUSIONS: Perceived stress and job burnout showed a mild increase over six months, even after exiting the lockdown. Teamwork and feeling appreciated at work were protective and are targets for developing organizational interventions to mitigate expected poor outcomes among frontline HCWs.


Subject(s)
Anxiety , Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Health Personnel/psychology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Burnout, Professional/etiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Singapore/epidemiology
6.
Asia Pacific Scholar ; 6(3):56-66, 2021.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1323523

ABSTRACT

Introduction: COVID-19 challenged a graduate medical student Emergency Medicine Clinical Clerkship to transform a 160-hour face-to-face clinical syllabus to a remotely delivered e-learning programme comprising of live streamed lectures, case-based discussions, and telesimulation experiences. This paper outlines the evaluation of the telesimulation component of a programme that was designed as a solution to COVID-19 restriction. Methods: A mixed methods approach was used to evaluate the telesimulation educational activities. Via a post-course online survey student were asked to rate the pre-simulation preparation, level of engagement, confidence in recognising and responding to the four clinical presentations and to evaluate telesimulation as a tool to prepare for working in the clinical environment. Students responded to open-ended questions describing their experience in greater depth. Results: Forty-two (72.4%) out of 58 students responded. 97.62% agreed that participating in the simulation was interesting and useful and 90.48% felt that this will provide a good grounding prior to clinical work. Four key themes were identified: Fidelity, Realism, Engagement and Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes Outcomes. Limitations of telesimulation included the inability to examine patients, perform procedures and experience non-verbal cues of team members and patients;but this emphasised importance of non-verbal cues and close looped communication. Additionally, designing the telesimulation according to defined objectives and scheduling it after the theory teaching contributed to successful execution. Conclusion: Telesimulation is an effective alternative when in-person teaching is not possible and if used correctly, can sharpen non-tactile aspects of clinical care such as history taking, executing treatment algorithms and team communication. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Asia Pacific Scholar is the property of Centre for Medical Education (CenMed) and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

7.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(5): e26282, 2021 05 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249619

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Frontline health care workers are experiencing a myriad of physical and psychosocial challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There is growing recognition that digital technologies have the potential to improve the well-being of frontline workers. However, there has been limited development of wellness interventions using mobile health (mHealth) technology. More importantly, little research has been conducted on how frontline workers perceive mHealth-based support to promote their well-being. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to explore frontline workers' experience of conventional psychological wellness programs and their perceptions of the usefulness of mHealth apps and features for promoting well-being. It also sought to identify factors that could potentially influence uptake and retention of an mHealth-based wellness program. METHODS: We conducted semistructured interviews using purposive sampling with frontline workers involved in the COVID-19 response. Various visual materials, collated from existing mHealth app features, were presented to facilitate discussion. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis based on grounded theory was undertaken. Themes were subsequently mapped to key nudge strategies-those commonly used for mHealth development-to assess participants' preferences for particular features and their reasoning. RESULTS: A total of 42 frontline workers participated in 12 one-on-one interviews or focus group discussions. Frontline workers generally had a limited ability to identify their own psychological problems and liked the reminders functionality of the app to track their mood over time. A personalized goal-setting feature (ie, tailoring) and in-app resources were generally valued, while frequent coaching and messages (ie, framing) were seen as a distraction. The majority of participants desired a built-in chat function with a counselor (ie, guidance) for reasons of accessibility and protection of privacy. Very few participants appreciated a gamification function. Frontline workers commonly reported the need for ongoing social support and desired access to an in-app peer support community (ie, social influence). There were, however, concerns regarding potential risks from virtual peer interactions. Intrinsic motivational factors, mHealth app technicality, and tangible rewards were identified as critical for uptake and retention. CONCLUSIONS: Our study highlights the potential of mHealth apps with relevant features to be used as wellness tools by frontline health care workers. Future work should focus on developing a nonintrusive and personalized mHealth app with in-app counseling, peer support to improve well-being, and tangible and extrinsic rewards to foster continued use.


Subject(s)
Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19/psychology , Health Personnel , Mobile Applications , Telemedicine/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Psychology , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
8.
Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med ; 28(1): 118, 2020 Dec 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-979473

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The current COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting gaps around the world in the design and workflow of Emergency Departments (ED). These gaps have an impact on both patient care and staff safety and represent a risk to public health. There is a need for a conceptual framework to guide ED design and workflow to address these challenges. Such a framework is important as the ED environment will always remain vulnerable to infectious diseases outbreaks in the future. AIMS: This paper aims to address issues and principles around ED design and workflow amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We propose a conceptual framework and checklist for EDs to be prepared for future outbreaks as well. METHODS: A scoping literature review was conducted, of the experiences of EDs in managing outbreaks such as SARS, H1N1 and COVID-19. The combined experiences of the authors and the experiences from the literature were grouped under common themes to develop the conceptual framework. RESULTS: Four key principles were derived- (1) situational awareness, surveillance and perimeter defence, (2) ED staff protection, (3) surge capacity management and (4) ED recovery. The findings were integrated in a proposed conceptual framework to guide ED design in response to an infectious disease outbreak. There are various elements which need to be considered at ED input, throughput and output. These elements can be categorised into (1) system (workflow, protocols and communication), (2) staff (human resources), (3) space (infrastructure), and (4) supply (logistics) and are placed in a checklist for pragmatic use. CONCLUSION: The ED needs to be in a constant state of preparedness. A framework can be useful to guide ED design and workflow to achieve this. As all ED systems are different with varying capabilities, our framework may help EDs across the world prepare for infectious disease outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Public Health
9.
J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open ; 2020 Sep 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-796085

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has placed large stressors on emergency departments (EDs) worldwide. As the pandemic progressed, EDs faced changing patient epidemiology and numbers. Our ED needed to rapidly transform to deal with the risk of COVID-19. Having limited floor space, we opted for a phased, dynamic response that allowed us to adapt the ED multiple times as the epidemiology of the pandemic evolved. The principles behind our response include guiding ED operations with data, enhancing infection control practices, and being prepared to transform areas of the ED to care for different groups of patients. Our experience can serve to guide other EDs in planning their response to surge capacity and ED operations during such pandemics.

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