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1.
Ann Intern Med ; 175(3): 352-361, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742919

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Little is known about real-world COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (VE) in racially and ethnically diverse, elderly populations with high comorbidity burden. OBJECTIVE: To determine the effectiveness of messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccines. DESIGN: Target trial emulation study comparing newly vaccinated persons with matched unvaccinated controls. SETTING: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health care system. PARTICIPANTS: Among persons receiving care in the Veterans Affairs health care system (n = 5 766 638), those who received at least 1 dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from 11 December 2020 to 25 March 2021 (n = 2 099 871) were matched to unvaccinated controls in a 1:1 ratio according to demographic, clinical, and geographic characteristics. INTERVENTION: Follow-up for SARS-CoV-2 infection or SARS-CoV-2-related death, defined as death within 30 days of infection, began after the vaccination date or an identical index date for the matched unvaccinated controls and continued until up to 30 June 2021. MEASUREMENTS: Vaccine effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infection or SARS-CoV-2-related death. RESULTS: Vaccinated and unvaccinated groups were well matched; both were predominantly male (92.9% vs. 93.4%), had advanced age (mean, 68.7 years in both groups), had diverse racial and ethnic distribution (for example, Black: 17.3% vs. 17.0%, Hispanic: 6.5% vs. 6.1%), and had substantial comorbidity burden. Vaccine effectiveness 7 or more days after the second vaccine dose was 69% (95% CI, 67% to 70%) against SARS-CoV-2 infection and 86% (CI, 82% to 89%) against SARS-CoV-2-related death and was similar when follow-up was extended to 31 March versus 30 June. Vaccine effectiveness against infection decreased with increasing age and comorbidity burden. LIMITATION: Predominantly male population and lack of data on SARS-CoV-2 variants. CONCLUSION: In an elderly, diverse, high-comorbidity population, COVID-19 VE against infection was substantially lower than previously reported, but VE against death was high. Complementary infection mitigation efforts remain important for pandemic control, even with vaccination. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Delivery of Health Care , Female , Humans , Male , Vaccination
2.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(3): 416-426, 2022 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1684537

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We aimed to describe trends in adverse outcomes among patients who tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) between February and September 2020 within a national healthcare system. METHODS: We identified enrollees in the national United States Veterans Affairs healthcare system who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 between 28 February 2020 and 30 September 2020 (n = 55 952), with follow-up extending to 19 November 2020. We determined trends over time in incidence of the following outcomes that occurred within 30 days of testing positive: hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, mechanical ventilation, and death. RESULTS: Between February and July 2020, there were marked downward trends in the 30-day incidence of hospitalization (44.2% to 15.8%), ICU admission (20.3% to 5.3%), mechanical ventilation (12.7% to 2.2%), and death (12.5% to 4.4%), which subsequently plateaued between July and September 2020. These trends persisted after adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, comorbid conditions, documented symptoms, and laboratory tests, including among subgroups of patients hospitalized, admitted to the ICU, or treated with mechanical ventilation. From February to September, there were decreases in the use of hydroxychloroquine (56.5% to 0%), azithromycin (48.3% to 16.6%), vasopressors (20.6% to 8.7%), and dialysis (11.6% to 3.8%) and increases in the use of dexamethasone (3.4% to 53.1%), other corticosteroids (4.9% to 29.0%), and remdesivir (1.7% to 45.4%) among hospitalized patients. CONCLUSIONS: The risk of adverse outcomes in SARS-CoV-2-positive patients decreased markedly between February and July, with subsequent stabilization from July to September. These trends were not explained by changes in measured baseline patient characteristics and may reflect changing treatment practices or viral pathogenicity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine , Intensive Care Units , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
3.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): e3085-e3094, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501024

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Identifying risk factors for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection could help health systems improve testing and screening strategies. The aim of this study was to identify demographic factors, comorbid conditions, and symptoms independently associated with testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: This was an observational cross-sectional study at the Veterans Health Administration, including persons tested for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) between 28 February and 14 May 2020. Associations between demographic characteristics, diagnosed comorbid conditions, and documented symptoms with testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 were measured. RESULTS: Of 88 747 persons tested, 10 131 (11.4%) were SARS-CoV-2 PCR positive. Positivity was associated with older age (≥80 vs <50 years: adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.16 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 1.97-2.37]), male sex (aOR, 1.45 [95% CI, 1.34-1.57]), regional SARS-CoV-2 burden (≥2000 vs <400 cases/million: aOR, 5.43 [95% CI, 4.97-5.93]), urban residence (aOR, 1.78 [95% CI, 1.70-1.87]), black (aOR, 2.15 [95% CI, 2.05-2.26]) or American Indian/Alaska Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (aOR, 1.26 [95% CI, 1.05-1.52]) vs white race, and Hispanic ethnicity (aOR, 1.52 [95% CI, 1.40-1.65]). Obesity and diabetes were the only 2 medical conditions associated with testing positive. Documented fevers, chills, cough, and diarrhea were also associated with testing positive. The population attributable fraction of positive tests was highest for geographic location (35.3%), followed by demographic variables (27.1%), symptoms (12.0%), obesity (10.5%), and diabetes (0.4%). CONCLUSIONS: The majority of positive SARS-CoV-2 tests were attributed to geographic location, demographic characteristics, and obesity, with a minor contribution of chronic comorbid conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Male , Risk Factors , United States/epidemiology
4.
PLoS Med ; 18(10): e1003807, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484840

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We examined whether key sociodemographic and clinical risk factors for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and mortality changed over time in a population-based cohort study. METHODS AND FINDINGS: In a cohort of 9,127,673 persons enrolled in the United States Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system, we evaluated the independent associations of sociodemographic and clinical characteristics with SARS-CoV-2 infection (n = 216,046), SARS-CoV-2-related mortality (n = 10,230), and case fatality at monthly intervals between February 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. VA enrollees had a mean age of 61 years (SD 17.7) and were predominantly male (90.9%) and White (64.5%), with 14.6% of Black race and 6.3% of Hispanic ethnicity. Black (versus White) race was strongly associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 5.10, [95% CI 4.65 to 5.59], p-value <0.001), mortality (AOR 3.85 [95% CI 3.30 to 4.50], p-value < 0.001), and case fatality (AOR 2.56, 95% CI 2.23 to 2.93, p-value < 0.001) in February to March 2020, but these associations were attenuated and not statistically significant by November 2020 for infection (AOR 1.03 [95% CI 1.00 to 1.07] p-value = 0.05) and mortality (AOR 1.08 [95% CI 0.96 to 1.20], p-value = 0.21) and were reversed for case fatality (AOR 0.86, 95% CI 0.78 to 0.95, p-value = 0.005). American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN versus White) race was associated with higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in April and May 2020; this association declined over time and reversed by March 2021 (AOR 0.66 [95% CI 0.51 to 0.85] p-value = 0.004). Hispanic (versus non-Hispanic) ethnicity was associated with higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and mortality during almost every time period, with no evidence of attenuation over time. Urban (versus rural) residence was associated with higher risk of infection (AOR 2.02, [95% CI 1.83 to 2.22], p-value < 0.001), mortality (AOR 2.48 [95% CI 2.08 to 2.96], p-value < 0.001), and case fatality (AOR 2.24, 95% CI 1.93 to 2.60, p-value < 0.001) in February to April 2020, but these associations attenuated over time and reversed by September 2020 (AOR 0.85, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.89, p-value < 0.001 for infection, AOR 0.72, 95% CI 0.62 to 0.83, p-value < 0.001 for mortality and AOR 0.81, 95% CI 0.71 to 0.93, p-value = 0.006 for case fatality). Throughout the observation period, high comorbidity burden, younger age, and obesity were consistently associated with infection, while high comorbidity burden, older age, and male sex were consistently associated with mortality. Limitations of the study include that changes over time in the associations of some risk factors may be affected by changes in the likelihood of testing for SARS-CoV-2 according to those risk factors; also, study results apply directly to VA enrollees who are predominantly male and have comprehensive healthcare and need to be confirmed in other populations. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we found that strongly positive associations of Black and AI/AN (versus White) race and urban (versus rural) residence with SARS-CoV-2 infection, mortality, and case fatality observed early in the pandemic were ameliorated or reversed by March 2021.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Population Surveillance , Rural Population/trends , United States Department of Veterans Affairs/trends , Urban Population/trends , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/economics , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mortality/trends , Population Surveillance/methods , Risk Factors , Socioeconomic Factors , United States/epidemiology
5.
Hepatology ; 74(1): 322-335, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384170

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Whether patients with cirrhosis have increased risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and the extent to which infection and cirrhosis increase the risk of adverse patient outcomes remain unclear. APPROACH AND RESULTS: We identified 88,747 patients tested for SARS-CoV-2 between March 1, 2020, and May 14, 2020, in the Veterans Affairs (VA) national health care system, including 75,315 with no cirrhosis-SARS-CoV-2-negative (C0-S0), 9,826 with no cirrhosis-SARS-CoV-2-positive (C0-S1), 3,301 with cirrhosis-SARS-CoV-2-negative (C1-S0), and 305 with cirrhosis-SARS-CoV-2-positive (C1-S1). Patients were followed through June 22, 2020. Hospitalization, mechanical ventilation, and death were modeled in time-to-event analyses using Cox proportional hazards regression. Patients with cirrhosis were less likely to test positive than patients without cirrhosis (8.5% vs. 11.5%; adjusted odds ratio, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.69-0.99). Thirty-day mortality and ventilation rates increased progressively from C0-S0 (2.3% and 1.6%) to C1-S0 (5.2% and 3.6%) to C0-S1 (10.6% and 6.5%) and to C1-S1 (17.1% and 13.0%). Among patients with cirrhosis, those who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were 4.1 times more likely to undergo mechanical ventilation (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 4.12; 95% CI, 2.79-6.10) and 3.5 times more likely to die (aHR, 3.54; 95% CI, 2.55-4.90) than those who tested negative. Among patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, those with cirrhosis were more likely to be hospitalized (aHR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.12-1.66), undergo ventilation (aHR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.05-2.46) or die (aHR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.18-2.30) than patients without cirrhosis. Among patients with cirrhosis and SARS-CoV-2 infection, the most important predictors of mortality were advanced age, cirrhosis decompensation, and high Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with a 3.5-fold increase in mortality in patients with cirrhosis. Cirrhosis was associated with a 1.7-fold increase in mortality in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , Liver Cirrhosis/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Veterans/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Liver Cirrhosis/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Proportional Hazards Models , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
6.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(3): 416-426, 2022 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387822

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We aimed to describe trends in adverse outcomes among patients who tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) between February and September 2020 within a national healthcare system. METHODS: We identified enrollees in the national United States Veterans Affairs healthcare system who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 between 28 February 2020 and 30 September 2020 (n = 55 952), with follow-up extending to 19 November 2020. We determined trends over time in incidence of the following outcomes that occurred within 30 days of testing positive: hospitalization, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, mechanical ventilation, and death. RESULTS: Between February and July 2020, there were marked downward trends in the 30-day incidence of hospitalization (44.2% to 15.8%), ICU admission (20.3% to 5.3%), mechanical ventilation (12.7% to 2.2%), and death (12.5% to 4.4%), which subsequently plateaued between July and September 2020. These trends persisted after adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, comorbid conditions, documented symptoms, and laboratory tests, including among subgroups of patients hospitalized, admitted to the ICU, or treated with mechanical ventilation. From February to September, there were decreases in the use of hydroxychloroquine (56.5% to 0%), azithromycin (48.3% to 16.6%), vasopressors (20.6% to 8.7%), and dialysis (11.6% to 3.8%) and increases in the use of dexamethasone (3.4% to 53.1%), other corticosteroids (4.9% to 29.0%), and remdesivir (1.7% to 45.4%) among hospitalized patients. CONCLUSIONS: The risk of adverse outcomes in SARS-CoV-2-positive patients decreased markedly between February and July, with subsequent stabilization from July to September. These trends were not explained by changes in measured baseline patient characteristics and may reflect changing treatment practices or viral pathogenicity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine , Intensive Care Units , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
7.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(8): e2119355, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1355857

ABSTRACT

Importance: Although people receiving maintenance dialysis have limited life expectancy and a high burden of comorbidity, relatively few studies have examined spirituality and religious beliefs among members of this population. Objective: To examine whether there is an association between the importance of religious or spiritual beliefs and care preferences and palliative care needs in people who receive dialysis. Design, Setting, and Participants: A cross-sectional survey study was conducted among adults who were undergoing maintenance dialysis at 31 facilities in Seattle, Washington, and Nashville, Tennessee, between April 22, 2015, and October 2, 2018. The survey included a series of questions assessing patients' knowledge, preferences, values, and expectations related to end-of-life care. Data were analyzed from February 12, 2020, to April 21, 2021. Exposures: The importance of religious or spiritual beliefs was ascertained by asking participants to respond to this statement: "My religious or spiritual beliefs are what really lie behind my whole approach to life." Response options were definitely true, tends to be true, tends not to be true, or definitely not true. Main Outcomes and Measurements: Outcome measures were based on self-reported engagement in advance care planning, resuscitation preferences, values regarding life prolongation, preferred place of death, decision-making preference, thoughts or discussion about hospice or stopping dialysis, prognostic expectations, and palliative care needs. Results: A total of 937 participants were included in the cohort, of whom the mean (SD) age was 62.8 (13.8) years and 524 (55.9%) were men. Overall, 435 (46.4%) participants rated the statement about religious or spiritual beliefs as definitely true, 230 (24.6%) rated it as tends to be true, 137 (14.6%) rated it as tends not to be true, and 135 (14.4%) rated it as definitely not true. Participants for whom these beliefs were more important were more likely to prefer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (estimated probability for definitely true: 69.8% [95% CI, 66.5%-73.2%]; tends to be true: 60.8% [95% CI, 53.4%-68.3%]; tends not to be true: 61.6% [95% CI, 53.6%-69.6%]; and definitely not true: 60.6% [95% CI, 52.5%-68.6%]; P for trend = .003) and mechanical ventilation (estimated probability for definitely true: 42.6% [95% CI, 38.1%-47.0%]; tends to be true: 33.5% [95% CI, 25.9%-41.2%]; tends not to be true: 35.1% [95% CI, 27.2%-42.9%]; and definitely not true: 27.9% [95% CI, 19.6%-36.1%]; P for trend = .002) and to prefer a shared role in decision-making (estimated probability for definitely true: 41.6% [95% CI, 37.7%-45.5%]; tends to be true: 35.4% [95% CI, 29.0%-41.8%]; tends not to be true: 36.0% [95% CI, 26.7%-45.2%]; and definitely not true: 23.8% [95% CI, 17.3%-30.3%]; P for trend = .001) and were less likely to have thought or spoken about stopping dialysis. These participants were no less likely to have engaged in advance care planning, to value relief of pain and discomfort, to prefer to die at home, to have ever thought or spoken about hospice, and to have unmet palliative care needs and had similar prognostic expectations. Conclusions and Relevance: The finding that religious or spiritual beliefs were important to most study participants suggests the value of an integrative approach that addresses these beliefs in caring for people who receive dialysis.


Subject(s)
Patient Preference , Renal Dialysis , Self Report , Terminal Care/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Religion , Spirituality , Surveys and Questionnaires , Tennessee , Washington
8.
Hepatology ; 74(1): 322-335, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1251985

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Whether patients with cirrhosis have increased risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and the extent to which infection and cirrhosis increase the risk of adverse patient outcomes remain unclear. APPROACH AND RESULTS: We identified 88,747 patients tested for SARS-CoV-2 between March 1, 2020, and May 14, 2020, in the Veterans Affairs (VA) national health care system, including 75,315 with no cirrhosis-SARS-CoV-2-negative (C0-S0), 9,826 with no cirrhosis-SARS-CoV-2-positive (C0-S1), 3,301 with cirrhosis-SARS-CoV-2-negative (C1-S0), and 305 with cirrhosis-SARS-CoV-2-positive (C1-S1). Patients were followed through June 22, 2020. Hospitalization, mechanical ventilation, and death were modeled in time-to-event analyses using Cox proportional hazards regression. Patients with cirrhosis were less likely to test positive than patients without cirrhosis (8.5% vs. 11.5%; adjusted odds ratio, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.69-0.99). Thirty-day mortality and ventilation rates increased progressively from C0-S0 (2.3% and 1.6%) to C1-S0 (5.2% and 3.6%) to C0-S1 (10.6% and 6.5%) and to C1-S1 (17.1% and 13.0%). Among patients with cirrhosis, those who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were 4.1 times more likely to undergo mechanical ventilation (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 4.12; 95% CI, 2.79-6.10) and 3.5 times more likely to die (aHR, 3.54; 95% CI, 2.55-4.90) than those who tested negative. Among patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, those with cirrhosis were more likely to be hospitalized (aHR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.12-1.66), undergo ventilation (aHR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.05-2.46) or die (aHR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.18-2.30) than patients without cirrhosis. Among patients with cirrhosis and SARS-CoV-2 infection, the most important predictors of mortality were advanced age, cirrhosis decompensation, and high Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with a 3.5-fold increase in mortality in patients with cirrhosis. Cirrhosis was associated with a 1.7-fold increase in mortality in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , Liver Cirrhosis/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Veterans/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Liver Cirrhosis/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Proportional Hazards Models , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
9.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(4): e214347, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1168797

ABSTRACT

Importance: A strategy that prioritizes individuals for SARS-CoV-2 vaccination according to their risk of SARS-CoV-2-related mortality would help minimize deaths during vaccine rollout. Objective: To develop a model that estimates the risk of SARS-CoV-2-related mortality among all enrollees of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. Design, Setting, and Participants: This prognostic study used data from 7 635 064 individuals enrolled in the VA health care system as of May 21, 2020, to develop and internally validate a logistic regression model (COVIDVax) that predicted SARS-CoV-2-related death (n = 2422) during the observation period (May 21 to November 2, 2020) using baseline characteristics known to be associated with SARS-CoV-2-related mortality, extracted from the VA electronic health records (EHRs). The cohort was split into a training period (May 21 to September 30) and testing period (October 1 to November 2). Main Outcomes and Measures: SARS-CoV-2-related death, defined as death within 30 days of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. VA EHR data streams were imported on a data integration platform to demonstrate that the model could be executed in real-time to produce dashboards with risk scores for all current VA enrollees. Results: Of 7 635 064 individuals, the mean (SD) age was 66.2 (13.8) years, and most were men (7 051 912 [92.4%]) and White individuals (4 887 338 [64.0%]), with 1 116 435 (14.6%) Black individuals and 399 634 (5.2%) Hispanic individuals. From a starting pool of 16 potential predictors, 10 were included in the final COVIDVax model, as follows: sex, age, race, ethnicity, body mass index, Charlson Comorbidity Index, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, congestive heart failure, and Care Assessment Need score. The model exhibited excellent discrimination with area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) of 85.3% (95% CI, 84.6%-86.1%), superior to the AUROC of using age alone to stratify risk (72.6%; 95% CI, 71.6%-73.6%). Assuming vaccination is 90% effective at preventing SARS-CoV-2-related death, using this model to prioritize vaccination was estimated to prevent 63.5% of deaths that would occur by the time 50% of VA enrollees are vaccinated, significantly higher than the estimate for prioritizing vaccination based on age (45.6%) or the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention phases of vaccine allocation (41.1%). Conclusions and Relevance: In this prognostic study of all VA enrollees, prioritizing vaccination based on the COVIDVax model was estimated to prevent a large proportion of deaths expected to occur during vaccine rollout before sufficient herd immunity is achieved.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Planning/methods , Health Priorities/statistics & numerical data , Mass Vaccination , Veterans/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Area Under Curve , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , ROC Curve , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
10.
BMJ Open ; 11(3): e047782, 2021 03 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1153682

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed healthcare delivery in the USA, but there has been little empirical work describing the impact of these changes on clinicians. We conducted a study to address the following question: how has the pandemic impacted US clinicians' professional roles and relationships? DESIGN: Inductive thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews. SETTING: Clinical settings across the USA in April and May of 2020. PARTICIPANTS: Clinicians with leadership and/or clinical roles during the COVID-19 pandemic. MEASURES: Emergent themes related to professional roles and relationships. RESULTS: Sixty-one clinicians participated in semi-structured interviews. Study participants were practising in 15 states across the USA, and the majority were White physicians from large academic centres. Three overlapping and inter-related themes emerged from qualitative analysis of interview transcripts: (1) disruption: boundaries between work and home life became blurred and professional identity and usual clinical roles were upended; (2) constructive adaptation: some clinicians were able to find new meaning in their work and described a spirit of collaboration, shared goals, open communication and mutual respect among colleagues; and (3) discord and estrangement: other clinicians felt alienated from their clinical roles and experienced demoralising work environments marked by division, value conflicts and mistrust. CONCLUSIONS: Clinicians encountered marked disruption of their professional roles, identities and relationships during the pandemic to which they and their colleagues responded in a range of different ways. Some described a spirit of collaboration and camaraderie, while others felt alienated by their new roles and experienced work environments marked by division, value conflicts and mistrust. Our findings highlight the importance of effective teamwork and efforts to support clinician well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Delivery of Health Care , Health Personnel/psychology , Interprofessional Relations , Pandemics , Professional Role , Female , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Male , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
11.
JAMA Netw Open ; 3(11): e2027315, 2020 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-911600

ABSTRACT

Importance: Little is known about how US clinicians have responded to resource limitation during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Objective: To describe the perspectives and experiences of clinicians involved in institutional planning for resource limitation and/or patient care during the pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: This qualitative study used inductive thematic analysis of semistructured interviews conducted in April and May 2020 with a national group of clinicians (eg, intensivists, nephrologists, nurses) involved in institutional planning and/or clinical care during the COVID-19 pandemic across the United States. Main Outcomes and Measures: Emergent themes describing clinicians' experience providing care in settings of resource limitation. Results: The 61 participants (mean [SD] age, 46 [11] years; 38 [63%] women) included in this study were practicing in 15 US states and were more heavily sampled from areas with the highest rates of COVID-19 infection at the time of interviews (ie, Seattle, New York City, New Orleans). Most participants were White individuals (39 [65%]), were attending physicians (45 [75%]), and were practicing in large academic centers (≥300 beds, 51 [85%]; academic centers, 46 [77%]). Three overlapping and interrelated themes emerged from qualitative analysis, as follows: (1) planning for crisis capacity, (2) adapting to resource limitation, and (3) multiple unprecedented barriers to care delivery. Clinician leaders worked within their institutions to plan a systematic approach for fair allocation of limited resources in crisis settings so that frontline clinicians would not have to make rationing decisions at the bedside. However, even before a declaration of crisis capacity, clinicians encountered varied and sometimes unanticipated forms of resource limitation that could compromise care, require that they make difficult allocation decisions, and contribute to moral distress. Furthermore, unprecedented challenges to caring for patients during the pandemic, including the need to limit in-person interactions, the rapid pace of change, and the dearth of scientific evidence, added to the challenges of caring for patients and communicating with families. Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this qualitative study highlighted the complexity of providing high-quality care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Expanding the scope of institutional planning to address resource limitation challenges that can arise long before declarations of crisis capacity may help to support frontline clinicians, promote equity, and optimize care as the pandemic evolves.


Subject(s)
Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19/therapy , Health Resources/statistics & numerical data , Physicians/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Clinical Decision-Making , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Office Visits/statistics & numerical data , Physicians/psychology , Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
12.
JAMA Netw Open ; 3(9): e2022310, 2020 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-784192

ABSTRACT

Importance: Identifying independent risk factors for adverse outcomes in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can support prognostication, resource utilization, and treatment. Objective: To identify excess risk and risk factors associated with hospitalization, mechanical ventilation, and mortality in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Design, Setting, and Participants: This longitudinal cohort study included 88 747 patients tested for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid by polymerase chain reaction between Feburary 28 and May 14, 2020, and followed up through June 22, 2020, in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national health care system, including 10 131 patients (11.4%) who tested positive. Exposures: Sociodemographic characteristics, comorbid conditions, symptoms, and laboratory test results. Main Outcomes and Measures: Risk of hospitalization, mechanical ventilation, and death were estimated in time-to-event analyses using Cox proportional hazards models. Results: The 10 131 veterans with SARS-CoV-2 were predominantly male (9221 [91.0%]), with diverse race/ethnicity (5022 [49.6%] White, 4215 [41.6%] Black, and 944 [9.3%] Hispanic) and a mean (SD) age of 63.6 (16.2) years. Compared with patients who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2, those who tested positive had higher rates of 30-day hospitalization (30.4% vs 29.3%; adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.13; 95% CI, 1.08-1.13), mechanical ventilation (6.7% vs 1.7%; aHR, 4.15; 95% CI, 3.74-4.61), and death (10.8% vs 2.4%; aHR, 4.44; 95% CI, 4.07-4.83). Among patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, characteristics significantly associated with mortality included older age (eg, ≥80 years vs <50 years: aHR, 60.80; 95% CI, 29.67-124.61), high regional COVID-19 disease burden (eg, ≥700 vs <130 deaths per 1 million residents: aHR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.02-1.45), higher Charlson comorbidity index score (eg, ≥5 vs 0: aHR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.54-2.42), fever (aHR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.32-1.72), dyspnea (aHR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.53-2.07), and abnormalities in the certain blood tests, which exhibited dose-response associations with mortality, including aspartate aminotransferase (>89 U/L vs ≤25 U/L: aHR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.35-2.57), creatinine (>3.80 mg/dL vs 0.98 mg/dL: aHR, 3.79; 95% CI, 2.62-5.48), and neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (>12.70 vs ≤2.71: aHR, 2.88; 95% CI, 2.12-3.91). With the exception of geographic region, the same covariates were independently associated with mechanical ventilation along with Black race (aHR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.25-1.85), male sex (aHR, 2.07; 95% CI, 1.30-3.32), diabetes (aHR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.18-1.67), and hypertension (aHR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.03-1.64). Notable characteristics that were not significantly associated with mortality in adjusted analyses included obesity (body mass index ≥35 vs 18.5-24.9: aHR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.77-1.21), Black race (aHR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.88-1.21), Hispanic ethnicity (aHR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.79-1.35), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (aHR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.88-1.19), hypertension (aHR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.81-1.12), and smoking (eg, current vs never: aHR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.67-1.13). Most deaths in this cohort occurred in patients with age of 50 years or older (63.4%), male sex (12.3%), and Charlson Comorbidity Index score of at least 1 (11.1%). Conclusions and Relevance: In this national cohort of VA patients, most SARS-CoV-2 deaths were associated with older age, male sex, and comorbidity burden. Many factors previously reported to be associated with mortality in smaller studies were not confirmed, such as obesity, Black race, Hispanic ethnicity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, and smoking.


Subject(s)
Cause of Death , Coronavirus Infections , Hospitalization , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Respiration, Artificial , Veterans , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Coronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Dyspnea/etiology , Dyspnea/therapy , Female , Fever/etiology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Proportional Hazards Models , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , Severity of Illness Index , United States , United States Department of Veterans Affairs
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