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1.
Health Serv Res Manag Epidemiol ; 10: 23333928231175801, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238478

ABSTRACT

Objective: As the fourth wave of COVID-19 spread in South Korea in 2022, society experienced various adverse effects, including COVID-19 phobia, depression, and loneliness. Addressing these factors became a vital part of the anti-COVID-19 individual and public mental health efforts, conducted partly by fostering COVID-19 knowledge, attitudes, and compliance with public prevention practice guidelines under the controversial policy of living "with COVID-19". Method: The study used a cross-sectional online survey-based design. Participants comprised a convenience sample of Korean university students (n = 460). A survey was distributed to the participants to measure their agreement/disagreement with the policy "with COVID-19" and a structural equation model and path analysis to examine the impact of the latent variables of COVID-19 phobia and COVID-19 knowledge, attitudes, and practice as of April 2022. Results: The mean COVID-19 phobia score was 48.13/100, with psychological and social phobia scores higher than in previous studies, while psychosomatic and economic phobia scores were lower than in previous research. Higher psychological phobia significantly increased COVID-19 practices and attitudes. Conversely, higher psychosomatic phobia decreased practices and attitudes. Moreover, higher psychological phobia was significantly associated with disagreement with the policy. Conclusion: The results suggest that efforts to increase South Korean university students' acceptance of easing COVID-19 restrictions should focus on mitigating psychological phobia.

2.
Heliyon ; 9(4): e15275, 2023 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2298566

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to identify the characteristic differences and potential contributing factors of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) phobia between undergraduate and graduate students in Korea, Japan, and China. We used the online survey tool, we retained 460 responses from Korea, 248 responses from Japan, and 788 responses from China for analysis. We performed the statistical analysis; ANOVA F-test and Multiple linear regression. We visualized the results of these calculations using GraphPad PRISM 9. The mean COVID-19 phobia score was highest in Japan at 50.5 points. Psychological fear was identically prevalent in Japan and China, at an average of 17.3 points. Psychosomatic fear was highest in Japan at 9.2 points. Further, economic fear was highest in Korea at 13 points, whereas social fear was highest in China at 13.1 points. In Korea, COVID-19 phobia scores were significantly higher among women than in men. In Japan, COVID-19 phobia scores were significantly higher in individuals who complied with social distancing mandates. In China, a lack of previous experience with self-administered testing kits was associated with significantly lower phobia scores. Individuals who were avoiding crowded places had significantly higher scores in 3 countries. This implies that the students knew that it was necessary to comply with COVID-19 preventive behaviors to prevent infections. The findings of this study could be used as a reference when establishing an approach strategy to reduce COVID-19 phobia among Chinese, Japanese, and Korean students.

3.
J Med Internet Res ; 25: e46537, 2023 05 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2298564

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Social loneliness is a prevalent issue in industrialized countries that can lead to adverse health outcomes, including a 26% increased risk of premature mortality, coronary heart disease, stroke, depression, cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer disease. The United Kingdom has implemented a strategy to address loneliness, including social prescribing-a health care model where physicians prescribe nonpharmacological interventions to tackle social loneliness. However, there is a need for evidence-based plans for global social prescribing dissemination. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to identify global trends in social prescribing from 2018. To this end, we intend to collect and analyze words related to social prescribing worldwide and evaluate various trends of related words by classifying the core areas of social prescribing. METHODS: Google's searchable data were collected to analyze web-based data related to social prescribing. With the help of web crawling, 3796 news items were collected for the 5-year period from 2018 to 2022. Key topics were selected to identify keywords for each major topic related to social prescribing. The topics were grouped into 4 categories, namely Healthy, Program, Governance, and Target, and keywords for each topic were selected thereafter. Text mining was used to determine the importance of words collected from new data. RESULTS: Word clouds were generated for words related to social prescribing, which collected 3796 words from Google News databases, including 128 in 2018, 432 in 2019, 566 in 2020, 748 in 2021, and 1922 in 2022, increasing nearly 15-fold between 2018 and 2022 (5 years). Words such as health, prescribing, and GPs (general practitioners) were the highest in terms of frequency in the list for all the years. Between 2020 and 2021, COVID, gardening, and UK were found to be highly related words. In 2022, NHS (National Health Service) and UK ranked high. This dissertation examines social prescribing-related term frequency and classification (2018-2022) in Healthy, Program, Governance, and Target categories. Key findings include increased "Healthy" terms from 2020, "gardening" prominence in "Program," "community" growth across categories, and "Target" term spikes in 2021. CONCLUSIONS: This study's discussion highlights four key aspects: (1) the "Healthy" category trends emphasize mental health, cancer, and sleep; (2) the "Program" category prioritizes gardening, community, home-schooling, and digital initiatives; (3) "Governance" underscores the significance of community resources in social prescribing implementation; and (4) "Target" focuses on 4 main groups: individuals with long-term conditions, low-level mental health issues, social isolation, or complex social needs impacting well-being. Social prescribing is gaining global acceptance and is becoming a global national policy, as the world is witnessing a sharp rise in the aging population, noncontagious diseases, and mental health problems. A successful and sustainable model of social prescribing can be achieved by introducing social prescribing schemes based on the understanding of roles and the impact of multisectoral partnerships.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Aged , State Medicine , Loneliness/psychology , Social Isolation/psychology , Internet
4.
J Korean Med Sci ; 38(7): e52, 2023 Feb 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2268234

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A study on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) phobia among students revealed that fear of contracting COVID-19 was associated with commuting to school and spending time with others at school. Therefore, it is the need-of-the-hour for the Korean government to identify factors affecting COVID-19 phobia among university students and to consider these factors while framing the policy direction for the process of returning to normalcy in university education. Consequently, we aimed to identify the current state of COVID-19 phobia among Korean undergraduate and graduate students and the factors affecting COVID-19 phobia. METHODS: This cross-sectional survey was conducted to identify the factors affecting COVID-19 phobia among Korean undergraduate and graduate students. The survey collected 460 responses from April 5 to April 16, 2022. The questionnaire was developed based on the COVID-19 Phobia Scale (C19P-S). Multiple linear regression was performed on the C19P-S scores using five models with the following dependent variables: Model 1, total C19P-S score; Model 2, psychological subscale score; Model 3, psychosomatic subscale score; Model 4, social subscale score; and Model 5, economic subscale score. The fit of these five models was established, and a P-value of less than 0.05 (F test) was considered statistically significant. RESULTS: An analysis of the factors affecting the total C19P-S score led to the following findings: women significantly outscored men (difference: 4.826 points, P = 0.003); the group that favored the government's COVID-19 mitigation policy scored significantly lower than those who did not favor it (difference: 3.161 points, P = 0.037); the group that avoided crowded places scored significantly higher than the group that did not avoid crowded places (difference: 7.200 points, P < 0.001); and those living with family/friends scored significantly higher than those in other living situations (difference: 4.606 points, P = 0.021). Those in favor of the COVID-19 mitigation policy had significantly lower psychological fear than those who were against it (difference: -1.686 points, P = 0.004). Psychological fear was also significantly higher for those who avoided crowded places compared to those who did not difference: 2.641 points, P < 0.001). Fear was significantly higher in people cohabitating than those living alone (difference: 1.543 points, P = 0.043). CONCLUSION: The Korean government, in their pursuit of a policy that eases COVID-19-related restrictions, will also have to spare no efforts in providing correct information to prevent the escalation of COVID-19 phobia among people with a high fear of contracting the disease. This should be done through trustworthy information sources, such as the media, public agencies, and COVID-19 professionals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Phobic Disorders , Male , Humans , Female , Cross-Sectional Studies , Phobic Disorders/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Republic of Korea
5.
Heliyon ; 9(3): e13468, 2023 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2237561

ABSTRACT

Background and objective: Different languages and versions of the COVID-19 Phobia Scale (C19P-S) have been developed and tested in several countries. Chinese college students are a large vulnerable group and are susceptible to psychological problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, no studies had yet examined the reliability and validity of the C19P-S in China among college students group. This study aims to evaluate the COVID-19-related phobia of Chinese college students and examine the reliability and validity of this scale. Methods: A total of 1689 Chinese college students participated in this study from April 27 to May 7, 2022. They finished the online questionnaire including demographic information and C19P-S. Cronbach's alpha and split-half reliability were used to examine the internal consistency of the scale. Confirmatory factor analysis was further used to examine the scale's construct validity. Convergence validity was also confirmed. Results: This scale in Chinese had high reliability and validity. The Cronbach's alpha and split-half reliability of the total scale were 0.960 and 0.935, respectively. The construct validity-related indicators of the total scale met the standards (RMSEA = 0.064, IFI = 0.907, TLI = 0.906, and CFI = 0.907). Regarding the subscales, the composite reliability (CR) and average variance extracted (AVE) also met the cutoff values (CR > 0.7 and AVE >0.5). Comparison between gender groups showed that total and subscale scores between male and female students differed significantly. Conclusion: The Chinese version of the C19P-S was appropriate for evaluating phobic symptoms among Chinese college students. Therefore, this tool could be used to evaluate the mental health of college students in the future.

6.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0277016, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2119322

ABSTRACT

Social capital (SC) has been documented to effectively reduce the spread of diseases, including COVID-19; however, research pertaining to SC and COVID-19 vaccination in Korea is lacking. This cross-sectional study conducted in the city of Wonju, Gangwon Province, Korea (n = 1,096) examined the differences in COVID-19 vaccine trust and hesitancy considering individual characteristics and investigated the effects of SC on COVID-19 vaccine trust and hesitancy. SC was measured based on 14 items pertaining to social trust, network, and norms. Responses regarding COVID-19 screening history, vaccine trust, and vaccine hesitancy were also assessed. SC scores did not differ between sexes, but differed significantly according to age and household income; thus, adults aged 70-79 years had the highest SC scores, and mean SC score increased significantly with income. COVID-19 vaccine trust differed significantly according to age, average household income, social organization involvement, and SC score. COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy differed significantly with age, SC score, and COVID-19 screening history. In univariate logistic regression, age, average household income, social organization involvement, and SC score were significant predictors of vaccine trust; in multivariable analysis, however, the identified predictors were age and SC. In particular, people with an SC score ≥50 were 2.660 times more likely to trust COVID-19 vaccines than those with lower scores. In multivariable analysis, age and SC were significant predictors of vaccine hesitancy. In particular, people with an SC score ≥50 were 1.400 times more likely not to be hesitant about receiving COVID-19 vaccines than people with lower scores. These results indicate that prioritizing policies to increase SC and trust in the government could boost the COVID-19 vaccination rate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Humans , Adult , COVID-19 Vaccines , Trust , Cross-Sectional Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Parents , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Vaccination , Republic of Korea/epidemiology
7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(9)2022 05 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1953343

ABSTRACT

This study explores the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on outpatient visits for all-cause and chronic diseases in 2020. We extracted the data of patients who visited medical institutions over the past five years (2016-2020) from nationwide claims data and measured the number of monthly outpatient visits. A negative binomial regression model was fitted to monthly outpatient visits from 2016 to 2019 to estimate the numbers of 2020. The number of all-cause outpatient visits in 2020 was 12% lower than expected. However, this change was relatively stable in outpatient visits for chronic diseases, which was 2% lower than expected. Deficits in all-cause outpatient visits were observed in all months except January; however, deficits in outpatient visits for chronic diseases have rebounded since April 2020. The levels of change in healthcare utilization were observed differently among disease groups, which indicates that the impacts of the pandemic were disproportionate. This study calls for a policy response to emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, as the findings confirm that a health crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, could disrupt the healthcare system. Assessing the mid-to long-term impacts of COVID-19 on healthcare utilization and health consequences will require further research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chronic Disease , Humans , Outpatients , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Front Psychiatry ; 13: 920887, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933868

ABSTRACT

Depression among university students and international university students is an increasing problem globally. This study aimed to clarify the differences on the conditions and determinants of the knowledge, preventive practices and depression of the Chinese international students and local Korean students in South Korea during the COVID-19 pandemic. An online cross-sectional questionnaire including general demographic characteristics, COVID-19-related knowledge, preventive practice, and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) was applied from March 23 to April 22, 2020. A total of 533 university students (171 Chinese international students and 362 local South Korean students) were included in the study. The majority of both Chinese international students and local South Korean students had a good comprehension of COVID-19. Chinese international students in South Korea showed better preventive practice than local Korean students, while the proportion of moderate to severe depression of Chinese international students was relatively higher (28.07%) than that of local Korean students (22.38%). Determinants of depression of Chinese international students in South Korea were information satisfaction, likelihood of survival after infection, symptoms of a cough and feelings of discrimination, while for local Korean students were gender, educational level, family, suspected symptoms, self-assessed physical health status, COVID-19 detection, population contact history and online sources of information. These results could be used as a reference for decreasing the depressive symptoms among the university students.

9.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 10(4)2022 Apr 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792740

ABSTRACT

Health financing strategies contribute significantly to containing the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study aims to reassess Korea's financing strategies in response to COVID-19 in 2020, to ascertain its effects and sustainability. The Joint External Evaluation tool was adopted to analyze the data collected from government reports, official statistics, and other sources. Findings show that Korea could maintain a low incidence and fatality rate compared with other countries, at low costs. It was a result of rapidly procured healthcare resources based on laws and policies established after the 2015 epidemic, and the National Health Insurance. However, to achieve long-term sustainability, it is important to enhance the financial stability of the national health insurance and increase the proportion of the public sector in healthcare resources.

10.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 9(11)2021 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488535

ABSTRACT

Official responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have prioritized information disclosure. Timely and comprehensive information released by the authorities is conveyed mainly through dashboards, which can better inform the public and help them prepare for the pandemic. However, there is limited evidence regarding the COVID-19 dashboard data presentation for South Korea, China, and Japan. This study aimed to describe the current COVID-19 situation in the three countries and compare the information disclosure content on their COVID-19 dashboards. Based on the COVID-19 data released and updated by each country's official authorities, two dashboard websites used by many people in each country were selected. We conducted content analysis and developed a checklist (39 items in five categories: cases, testing, vaccines, health information, and additional items) based on the structure of each country's COVID-19 dashboard website to assess COVID-19 information disclosure. Japan experienced the worst outbreak among the three countries. They all provided basic dynamic data displayed on the dashboard, while the performance in key categories varied substantially between the countries (South Korea: 30/39 items; China: 25/39 items; Japan: 30/39 items). Moreover, as part of the publicly accessible information recorded by each nation, there were differences in the key indicators published and important facts disclosed. Improvement in reporting techniques and disclosure methods will help countries communicate more effectively with the public and conduct more efficient public health research.

11.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1835, 2021 10 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463242

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: According to the World Health Organization, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created situations that have a negative effect on people and threaten their mental health. Paraguay announced the Estado de Emergencia Sanitaria (Presidential Decree No. 3456) on March 16, 2020, which was followed by the imposition of a 24-h restriction on movement order on March 21. Self-quarantine at home may have been the most effective method of preventing the spread of infectious diseases; however, with the global pandemic becoming more prolonged and the consequent lengthening of the 24-h self-quarantine period, it is highly probable that both physical and psychological problems will arise. METHODS: In this study, a web-based cross-sectional method was used to analyze the factors influencing COVID-19-induced depressive feelings in Paraguayan public officials. RESULTS: Public officials reported a high level of depressive symptoms with a high level of apprehension in early stage of COVID-19. In addition, this study identified that when the self-quarantine period increased, levels of depressive feelings also increased. Since self-quarantine is characterized by the requirement that individuals endure an undetermined period within a confined area, it may have caused stress and anxiety, as well as the consequent experience of depressive feelings. CONCLUSIONS: Paraguayan government should develop a program for the delivery of mental health care and services to public officials in COVID-19 Pandemic period. Moreover, a program is required for people facing deteriorating mental health due to social isolation and loneliness caused by social distancing during the prolonged period of self-quarantine. Finally, mental health care programs should be organized in a community-focused way by utilizing online systems to enhance the effectiveness of mental health recovery.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Anxiety , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Internet , Pandemics/prevention & control , Paraguay/epidemiology , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Int J Infect Dis ; 108: 435-442, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1351702

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To analyze the relationship between traffic inflow and COVID-19 prevalence in South Korea for formulating prevention policies for novel infections. METHODS: We evaluated traffic inflow and new COVID-19 cases in 8 regions of Korea from January 1, 2020, to January 31, 2021. The toll collection system (TCS) traffic volume for 2019-2020 and traffic inflow trends were analyzed using independent samples t-test and nonlinear regression, respectively. The association between TCS traffic volume and new COVID-19 cases by city was analyzed using correlation analysis. RESULTS: Traffic inflow volume in 2020 decreased 3.7% from 2019. The TCS traffic inflow trend in the 8 provinces decreased during the first COVID-19 wave, gradually increased until the second wave, decreased after the second wave, and showed a sharp decrease in the third wave. There was a positive correlation between the traffic inflow volume and new cases in Busan-Gyeongnam and Jeonbuk, but not in Daegu-Gyeongbuk or Gangwon. CONCLUSIONS: A decrease in new COVID-19 cases in the regions was associated with increased traffic inflow volume. Therefore, the Korean government can establish preventive social distancing policies by identifying increases or decreases in traffic volume. These policies will also need to consider the distribution of vaccines in each area.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cities , Humans , Prevalence , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
13.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(9): e31409, 2021 09 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1344227

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization emphasized vaccination against COVID-19 because physical distancing proved inadequate to mitigate death, illness, and massive economic loss. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate Korean citizens' perceptions of vaccines by examining their views on COVID-19 vaccines, their positive and negative perceptions of each vaccine, and ways to enhance policies to increase vaccine acceptance. METHODS: This cross-sectional study analyzed posts on NAVER and Instagram to examine Korean citizens' perception of COVID-19 vaccines. The keywords searched were "vaccine," "AstraZeneca," and "Pfizer." In total 8100 posts in NAVER and 5291 posts in Instagram were sampled through web crawling. Morphology analysis was performed, overlapping or meaningless words were removed, sentiment analysis was implemented, and 3 public health professionals reviewed the results. RESULTS: The findings revealed a negative perception of COVID-19 vaccines; of the words crawled, the proportion of negative words for AstraZeneca was 71.0% (476/670) and for Pfizer was 56.3% (498/885). Among words crawled with "vaccine," "good" ranked first, with a frequency of 13.43% (312/2323). Meanwhile, "side effect" ranked highest, with a frequency of 29.2% (163/559) for "AstraZeneca," but 0.6% (4/673) for "Pfizer." With "vaccine," positive words were more frequently used, whereas with "AstraZeneca" and "Pfizer" negative words were prevalent. CONCLUSIONS: There is a negative perception of AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines in Korea, with 1 in 4 people refusing vaccination. To address this, accurate information needs to be shared about vaccines including AstraZeneca, and the experiences of those vaccinated. Furthermore, government communication about risk management is required to increase the AstraZeneca vaccination rate for herd immunity before the vaccine expires.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Internet/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data
15.
Health Sci Rep ; 4(3): e320, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1293180

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Older adults-classified as a high-risk group-are highly likely to experience increased loneliness due to the implementation of various policies designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Accordingly, this study aims to examine the effects of a pilot social prescribing project for elderly people in rural area of South Korea during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Using the PRECEDE-PROCEED model, the effectiveness of the pilot project was verified through pre- and post-impact and outcome evaluation. RESULTS: According to the results of the impact evaluation, loneliness reduced significantly, while the social participation attitude score increased. Although the average score of self-efficacy increased, it was not statistically significant. Moreover, it was found that self-esteem increased significantly. In the outcome evaluation, depression reduced considerably. CONCLUSION: To conclude, the pilot social prescribing project was effective in reducing depression and loneliness for the elderly in rural areas of Korea. It was also confirmed that there is potential to develop a new health promotion project that can improve the self-esteem of the elderly, and expand their social activities. Second, the pilot project was carried out in an integrated manner by utilizing resources in communities with good accessibility. Therefore, it is expected to be used as a new "Integrated community care model" to improve the mental health of the elderly in rural areas. Third, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the elderly tend to experience increasing feelings of depression, isolation, and loneliness due to "social distancing." Therefore, it is expected that social prescribing programs for the elderly in rural areas would become a new alternative for relieve mental disorder of the seniors.

16.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 13717, 2021 07 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294481

ABSTRACT

Most countries have implemented restrictions on mobility to prevent the spread of Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), entailing considerable societal costs but, at least initially, based on limited evidence of effectiveness. We asked whether mobility restrictions were associated with changes in the occurrence of COVID-19 in 34 OECD countries plus Singapore and Taiwan. Our data sources were the Google Global Mobility Data Source, which reports different types of mobility, and COVID-19 cases retrieved from the dataset curated by Our World in Data. Beginning at each country's 100th case, and incorporating a 14-day lag to account for the delay between exposure and illness, we examined the association between changes in mobility (with January 3 to February 6, 2020 as baseline) and the ratio of the number of newly confirmed cases on a given day to the total number of cases over the past 14 days from the index day (the potentially infective 'pool' in that population), per million population, using LOESS regression and logit regression. In two-thirds of examined countries, reductions of up to 40% in commuting mobility (to workplaces, transit stations, retailers, and recreation) were associated with decreased cases, especially early in the pandemic. Once both mobility and incidence had been brought down, further restrictions provided little additional benefit. These findings point to the importance of acting early and decisively in a pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Pandemics/prevention & control , Transportation , Travel , Travel-Related Illness , Workplace
17.
Global Health ; 17(1): 3, 2021 01 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059578

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization (WHO) declared coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Previous studies of infectious diseases showed that infectious diseases not only cause physical damage to infected individuals but also damage to the mental health of the public. Therefore this study aims to analyze the factors that affected depression in the public during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide evidence for COVID-19-related mental health policies and to emphasize the need to prepare for mental health issues related to potential infectious disease outbreaks in the future. RESULTS: This study performed the following statistical analyses to analyze the factors that influence depression in the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. First, to confirm the level of depression in the public in each country, the participants' depression was plotted on a Boxplot graph for analysis. Second, to confirm personal and national factors that influence depression in individuals, a multi-level analysis was conducted. As a result, the median Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) score for all participants was 6. The median was higher than the overall median for the Philippines, Indonesia, and Paraguay, suggesting a higher level of depression. In personal variables, depression was higher in females than in males, and higher in participants who had experienced discrimination due to COVID-19 than those who had not. In contrast, depression was lower in older participants, those with good subjective health, and those who practiced personal hygiene for prevention. In national variables, depression was higher when the Government Response Stringency Index score was higher, when life expectancy was higher, and when social capital was higher. In contrast, depression was lower when literacy rates were higher. CONCLUSIONS: Our study reveals that depression was higher in participants living in countries with higher stringency index scores than in participants living in other countries. Maintaining a high level of vigilance for safety cannot be criticized. However, in the current situation, where coexisting with COVID-19 has become inevitable, inflexible and stringent policies not only increase depression in the public, but may also decrease resilience to COVID-19 and compromise preparations for coexistence with COVID-19. Accordingly, when establishing policies such as social distancing and quarantine, each country should consider the context of their own country.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Adult , Age Factors , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Global Health , Health Status , Humans , Life Expectancy , Male , Mental Health , Pandemics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Sex Factors , Social Capital , Socioeconomic Factors
18.
Healthc Inform Res ; 26(4): 335-343, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-967683

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study analyzed the perceptions and emotions of Korean and Japanese citizens regarding coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It examined the frequency of words used in Korean and Japanese tweets regarding COVID-19 and the corresponding changes in their interests. METHODS: This cross-sectional study analyzed Twitter posts (Tweets) from February 1, 2020 to April 30, 2020 to determine public opinion of the COVID-19 pandemic in Korea and Japan. We collected data from Twitter (https://twitter.com/), a major social media platform in Korea and Japan. Python 3.7 Library was used for data collection. Data analysis included KR-WordRank and frequency analyses in Korea and Japan, respectively. Heat diagrams, word clouds, and rank flowcharts were also used. RESULTS: Overall, 1,470,673 and 4,195,457 tweets were collected from Korea and Japan, respectively. The word trend in Korea and Japan was analyzed every 5 days. The word cloud analysis revealed "COVID-19", "Shinchonji", "Mask", "Daegu", and "Travel" as frequently used words in Korea. While in Japan, "COVID-19", "Mask", "Test", "Impact", and "China" were identified as high-frequency words. They were divided into four categories: social distancing, prevention, issue, and emotion for the rank flowcharts. Concerning emotion, "Overcome" and "Support" increased from February in Korea, while "Worry" and "Anxiety" decreased in Japan from April 1. CONCLUSIONS: As a result of the trend, people's interests in the economy were high in both countries, indicating their reservations on the economic downturn. Therefore, focusing policies toward economic stability is essential. Although the interest in prevention increased since April in both countries, the general public's relaxation regarding COVID-19 was also observed.

19.
J Public Health Policy ; 42(1): 15-26, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889299

ABSTRACT

In a recent report, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) introduced South Korea's measures to manage COVID-19 as role model for the world. Screening centers serve as frontiers for preventing community transmission of infectious diseases. COVID-19 screening centers in Korea operate 24 h a day, always open for individuals with suspected COVID-19 symptoms. South Korea concentrated COVID-19 screening centers around cities with high population density. Advanced screening centers (models C, D, and E) proved more effective and efficient in the prevention of COVID-19 than the traditional screening centers (models A and B). Particularly, screening centers at Incheon Airport in South Korea prevent transmission through imported cases effectively. It will be important elsewhere, as in South Korea, to establish an infectious disease delivery system that can lead to 'Test-Treat-Track' using an adequate model of screening centers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Mass Screening/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Afr J Reprod Health ; 24(s1): 66-77, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-859354

ABSTRACT

In Africa, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported in Egypt on February 14, 2020. Since then, the number of cases has continued to increase with Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Sudan, Angola, Tanzania, Ghana, and Kenya identified as vulnerable countries. The present study aimed to: 1) identify differences in trust level of COVID-19 diagnosis, recent healthcare utilization experiences, and COVID-19-related knowledge, information, and prevention practices in South Korea, Ethiopia, and DRC; and 2) identify factors influencing trust level in healthcare facilities regarding COVID-19 diagnosis. The present study was cross-sectional. The questionnaire survey was conducted between May 1-14, 2020 using Google forms, and 748 respondents were included in the final analysis. The data collected were analyzed using ANOVA, post- hoc test, and binary logistic regression analysis. South Korea showed higher rate of practice for COVID-19 prevention such as hand washing, mask wearing, and etc. than Ethiopia and DRC. The results showed significant differences with the trust level being 3.129 times higher in respondents from DRC than those from Ethiopia (aOR=3.129, 95% CI: [1.884-5.196], p <.000) and 29.137 times higher in respondents from South Korean than those from Ethiopia (aOR=29.137, 95% CI: [13.869-61.210], p <.000). Gender, age, number of family members, healthcare utilization experience, information, and practice were significant variables. Health education expansion for information and practice about COVID-19 in Ethiopia and DRC is necessary.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Trust , Adult , Age Factors , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Consumer Health Information/methods , Consumer Health Information/statistics & numerical data , Cross-Sectional Studies , Democratic Republic of the Congo/epidemiology , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Patient Satisfaction , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors , Socioeconomic Factors
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