Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 6 de 6
Filter
1.
Environ Int ; 161: 107136, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1864560

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have produced the WHO/ILO Joint Estimates of the Work-related Burden of Disease and Injury (WHO/ILO Joint Estimates). For these, systematic reviews of studies estimating the prevalence of exposure to selected occupational risk factors have been conducted to provide input data for estimations of the number of exposed workers. A critical part of systematic review methodology is to assess the quality of evidence across studies. In this article, we present the approach applied in these WHO/ILO systematic reviews for performing such assessments on studies of prevalence of exposure. It is called the Quality of Evidence in Studies estimating Prevalence of Exposure to Occupational risk factors (QoE-SPEO) approach. We describe QoE-SPEO's development to date, demonstrate its feasibility reporting results from pilot testing and case studies, note its strengths and limitations, and suggest how QoE-SPEO should be tested and developed further. METHODS: Following a comprehensive literature review, and using expert opinion, selected existing quality of evidence assessment approaches used in environmental and occupational health were reviewed and analysed for their relevance to prevalence studies. Relevant steps and components from the existing approaches were adopted or adapted for QoE-SPEO. New steps and components were developed. We elicited feedback from other systematic review methodologists and exposure scientists and reached consensus on the QoE-SPEO approach. Ten individual experts pilot-tested QoE-SPEO. To assess inter-rater agreement, we counted ratings of expected (actual and non-spurious) heterogeneity and quality of evidence and calculated a raw measure of agreement (Pi) between individual raters and rater teams for the downgrade domains. Pi ranged between 0.00 (no two pilot testers selected the same rating) and 1.00 (all pilot testers selected the same rating). Case studies were conducted of experiences of QoE-SPEO's use in two WHO/ILO systematic reviews. RESULTS: We found no existing quality of evidence assessment approach for occupational exposure prevalence studies. We identified three relevant, existing approaches for environmental and occupational health studies of the effect of exposures. Assessments using QoE-SPEO comprise three steps: (1) judge the level of expected heterogeneity (defined as non-spurious variability that can be expected in exposure prevalence, within or between individual persons, because exposure may change over space and/or time), (2) assess downgrade domains, and (3) reach a final rating on the quality of evidence. Assessments are conducted using the same five downgrade domains as the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach: (a) risk of bias, (b) indirectness, (c) inconsistency, (d) imprecision, and (e) publication bias. For downgrade domains (c) and (d), the assessment varies depending on the level of expected heterogeneity. There are no upgrade domains. The QoE-SPEO's ratings are "very low", "low", "moderate", and "high". To arrive at a final decision on the overall quality of evidence, the assessor starts at "high" quality of evidence and for each domain downgrades by one or two levels for serious concerns or very serious concerns, respectively. In pilot tests, there was reasonable agreement in ratings for expected heterogeneity; 70% of raters selected the same rating. Inter-rater agreement ranged considerably between downgrade domains, both for individual rater pairs (range Pi: 0.36-1.00) and rater teams (0.20-1.00). Sparse data prevented rigorous assessment of inter-rater agreement in quality of evidence ratings. CONCLUSIONS: We present QoE-SPEO as an approach for assessing quality of evidence in prevalence studies of exposure to occupational risk factors. It has been developed to its current version (as presented here), has undergone pilot testing, and was applied in the systematic reviews for the WHO/ILO Joint Estimates. While the approach requires further testing and development, it makes steps towards filling an identified gap, and progress made so far can be used to inform future work in this area.


Subject(s)
Occupational Diseases , Occupational Exposure , Cost of Illness , Humans , Occupational Diseases/epidemiology , Occupational Diseases/etiology , Prevalence , Review Literature as Topic , World Health Organization
2.
J Travel Med ; 28(7)2021 10 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1348060

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: International travel measures to contain the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic represent a relatively intrusive form of non-pharmaceutical intervention. To inform decision-making on the (re)implementation, adaptation, relaxation or suspension of such measures, it is essential to not only assess their effectiveness but also their unintended effects. METHODS: This scoping review maps existing empirical studies on the unintended consequences, both predicted and unforeseen, and beneficial or harmful, of international travel measures. We searched multiple health, non-health and COVID-19-specific databases. The evidence was charted in a map in relation to the study design, intervention and outcome categories identified and discussed narratively. RESULTS: Twenty-three studies met our inclusion criteria-nine quasi-experimental, two observational, two mathematical modelling, six qualitative and four mixed-methods studies. Studies addressed different population groups across various countries worldwide. Seven studies provided information on unintended consequences of the closure of national borders, six looked at international travel restrictions and three investigated mandatory quarantine of international travellers. No studies looked at entry and/or exit screening at national borders exclusively, however six studies considered this intervention in combination with other international travel measures. In total, 11 studies assessed various combinations of the aforementioned interventions. The outcomes were mostly referred to by the authors as harmful. Fifteen studies identified a variety of economic consequences, six reported on aspects related to quality of life, well-being, and mental health and five on social consequences. One study each provided information on equity, equality, and the fair distribution of benefits and burdens, environmental consequences and health system consequences. CONCLUSION: This scoping review represents the first step towards a systematic assessment of the unintended benefits and harms of international travel measures during COVID-19. The key research gaps identified might be filled with targeted primary research, as well as the additional consideration of gray literature and non-empirical studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Quality of Life , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev ; 3: CD013717, 2021 03 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1148783

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In late 2019, the first cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were reported in Wuhan, China, followed by a worldwide spread. Numerous countries have implemented control measures related to international travel, including border closures, travel restrictions, screening at borders, and quarantine of travellers. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness of international travel-related control measures during the COVID-19 pandemic on infectious disease transmission and screening-related outcomes. SEARCH METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, Embase and COVID-19-specific databases, including the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register and the WHO Global Database on COVID-19 Research to 13 November 2020. SELECTION CRITERIA: We considered experimental, quasi-experimental, observational and modelling studies assessing the effects of travel-related control measures affecting human travel across international borders during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the original review, we also considered evidence on severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). In this version we decided to focus on COVID-19 evidence only. Primary outcome categories were (i) cases avoided, (ii) cases detected, and (iii) a shift in epidemic development. Secondary outcomes were other infectious disease transmission outcomes, healthcare utilisation, resource requirements and adverse effects if identified in studies assessing at least one primary outcome. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently screened titles and abstracts and subsequently full texts. For studies included in the analysis, one review author extracted data and appraised the study. At least one additional review author checked for correctness of data. To assess the risk of bias and quality of included studies, we used the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2) tool for observational studies concerned with screening, and a bespoke tool for modelling studies. We synthesised findings narratively. One review author assessed the certainty of evidence with GRADE, and several review authors discussed these GRADE judgements. MAIN RESULTS: Overall, we included 62 unique studies in the analysis; 49 were modelling studies and 13 were observational studies. Studies covered a variety of settings and levels of community transmission. Most studies compared travel-related control measures against a counterfactual scenario in which the measure was not implemented. However, some modelling studies described additional comparator scenarios, such as different levels of stringency of the measures (including relaxation of restrictions), or a combination of measures. Concerns with the quality of modelling studies related to potentially inappropriate assumptions about the structure and input parameters, and an inadequate assessment of model uncertainty. Concerns with risk of bias in observational studies related to the selection of travellers and the reference test, and unclear reporting of certain methodological aspects. Below we outline the results for each intervention category by illustrating the findings from selected outcomes. Travel restrictions reducing or stopping cross-border travel (31 modelling studies) The studies assessed cases avoided and shift in epidemic development. We found very low-certainty evidence for a reduction in COVID-19 cases in the community (13 studies) and cases exported or imported (9 studies). Most studies reported positive effects, with effect sizes varying widely; only a few studies showed no effect. There was very low-certainty evidence that cross-border travel controls can slow the spread of COVID-19. Most studies predicted positive effects, however, results from individual studies varied from a delay of less than one day to a delay of 85 days; very few studies predicted no effect of the measure. Screening at borders (13 modelling studies; 13 observational studies) Screening measures covered symptom/exposure-based screening or test-based screening (commonly specifying polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing), or both, before departure or upon or within a few days of arrival. Studies assessed cases avoided, shift in epidemic development and cases detected. Studies generally predicted or observed some benefit from screening at borders, however these varied widely. For symptom/exposure-based screening, one modelling study reported that global implementation of screening measures would reduce the number of cases exported per day from another country by 82% (95% confidence interval (CI) 72% to 95%) (moderate-certainty evidence). Four modelling studies predicted delays in epidemic development, although there was wide variation in the results between the studies (very low-certainty evidence). Four modelling studies predicted that the proportion of cases detected would range from 1% to 53% (very low-certainty evidence). Nine observational studies observed the detected proportion to range from 0% to 100% (very low-certainty evidence), although all but one study observed this proportion to be less than 54%. For test-based screening, one modelling study provided very low-certainty evidence for the number of cases avoided. It reported that testing travellers reduced imported or exported cases as well as secondary cases. Five observational studies observed that the proportion of cases detected varied from 58% to 90% (very low-certainty evidence). Quarantine (12 modelling studies) The studies assessed cases avoided, shift in epidemic development and cases detected. All studies suggested some benefit of quarantine, however the magnitude of the effect ranged from small to large across the different outcomes (very low- to low-certainty evidence). Three modelling studies predicted that the reduction in the number of cases in the community ranged from 450 to over 64,000 fewer cases (very low-certainty evidence). The variation in effect was possibly related to the duration of quarantine and compliance. Quarantine and screening at borders (7 modelling studies; 4 observational studies) The studies assessed shift in epidemic development and cases detected. Most studies predicted positive effects for the combined measures with varying magnitudes (very low- to low-certainty evidence). Four observational studies observed that the proportion of cases detected for quarantine and screening at borders ranged from 68% to 92% (low-certainty evidence). The variation may depend on how the measures were combined, including the length of the quarantine period and days when the test was conducted in quarantine. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: With much of the evidence derived from modelling studies, notably for travel restrictions reducing or stopping cross-border travel and quarantine of travellers, there is a lack of 'real-world' evidence. The certainty of the evidence for most travel-related control measures and outcomes is very low and the true effects are likely to be substantially different from those reported here. Broadly, travel restrictions may limit the spread of disease across national borders. Symptom/exposure-based screening measures at borders on their own are likely not effective; PCR testing at borders as a screening measure likely detects more cases than symptom/exposure-based screening at borders, although if performed only upon arrival this will likely also miss a meaningful proportion of cases. Quarantine, based on a sufficiently long quarantine period and high compliance is likely to largely avoid further transmission from travellers. Combining quarantine with PCR testing at borders will likely improve effectiveness. Many studies suggest that effects depend on factors, such as levels of community transmission, travel volumes and duration, other public health measures in place, and the exact specification and timing of the measure. Future research should be better reported, employ a range of designs beyond modelling and assess potential benefits and harms of the travel-related control measures from a societal perspective.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel-Related Illness , Bias , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Imported/epidemiology , Communicable Diseases, Imported/prevention & control , Humans , Internationality , Models, Theoretical , Observational Studies as Topic , Quarantine
5.
Health Res Policy Syst ; 18(1):75-75, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-662371

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Without adequate reporting of research, valuable time and resources are wasted. In the same vein, adequate reporting of practice guidelines to optimise patient care is equally important. Our study examines the quality of reporting of published WHO guidelines, over time, using the RIGHT (Reporting Items for Practice Guidelines in HealThcare) reporting checklist. METHODS: We examined English-language guidelines approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee from inception of the committee in 2007 until 31 December 2017. Pairs of independent, trained reviewers assessed the reporting quality of these guidelines. Descriptive data were summarised with frequencies and percentages. RESULTS: We included 182 eligible guidelines. Overall, 25 out of the 34 RIGHT items were reported in 75% or more of the WHO guidelines. The reporting rates improved over time. Further, 90% of the guidelines reported document type in the title. The identification of evidence, the rationale for recommendations and the review process were reported in more than 80% of guidelines. The certainty of the evidence using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system was assessed in 81% of the guidelines assessed. While 82% of guidelines reported funding sources, only 25% mentioned the role of funders. CONCLUSIONS: WHO guidelines provide adequate reporting of many of the RIGHT items and reporting has improved over time. WHO guidelines compare favourably to guidelines produced by other organisations. However, reporting can be further improved in a number of areas.

6.
J Int AIDS Soc ; 23(4): e25489, 2020 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-68729

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Several antiretroviral drugs are being considered for the treatment of COVID-19, the disease caused by a newly identified coronavirus, (SARS-CoV-2). We systematically reviewed the clinical outcomes of using antiretroviral drugs for the prevention and treatment of coronaviruses and planned clinical trials. METHODS: Three databases were screened from inception to 30 March 2020 for studies reporting clinical outcomes of patients with SARS, MERS or COVID-19 treated with antiretrovirals. RESULTS: From an initial screen of 433 titles, two randomized trials and 24 observational studies provided clinical outcome data on the use of antiretroviral drugs; most studies reported outcomes using LPV/r as treatment. Of the 21 observational studies reporting treatment outcomes, there were three studies among patients with SARS, six studies among patients with MERS and 12 studies among patients with COVID-19. In one randomized trial 99 patients with severe COVID-19 illness were randomized to receive LPV/r (400/100 mg twice a day) and 100 patients to standard of care for 14 days: LPV/r was not associated with a statistically significant difference in time to clinical improvement, although LPV/r given within 12 days of symptoms was associated with shorter time to clinical improvement; 28 day mortality was numerically lower in the LPV/r group (14/99) compared to the control group (25/100), but this difference was not statistically significant. The second trial found no benefit. The certainty of the evidence for the randomized trials was low. In the observational studies 3 out of 361 patients who received LPV/r died; the certainty of evidence was very low. Three studies reported a possible protective effect of LPV/r as post-exposure prophylaxis. Again, the certainty of the evidence was very low due to uncertainty due to limited sample size. CONCLUSIONS: On the basis of the available evidence it is uncertain whether LPV/r and other antiretrovirals improve clinical outcomes or prevent infection among patients at high risk of acquiring COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus/drug effects , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Adult , Anti-Retroviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Drug Combinations , Female , Humans , Lopinavir , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Ritonavir , SARS Virus/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/drug therapy , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL