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1.
AJPM focus ; 2023.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2304139

ABSTRACT

Introduction : This mixed methods study describes processes to actively engage underserved, immigrant, and refugee communities in COVID-19 vaccine efforts to co-create culturally relevant resources and dissemination. Methods : A survey on health care characteristics and COVID-19 attitudes was deployed between March-November 2021 followed by listening sessions conducted in December 2021. All participants were recruited through the project's Community Advisory Board. The survey, completed by 77 adults, was available in English, Spanish, Burmese, Kizigua, and Karen. Listening sessions were led by trained, multilingual, and multicultural interviewers. Results : Doctors/healthcare providers were rated as the most trusted messengers of COVID-19 information, however, trusted sources varied across communities. Data from three listening sessions (with a total of 14 participants) expanded survey findings with a focus on trusted sources of COVID-19 communication. Conclusions : This study confirmed the importance of healthcare professionals as trusted messengers for COVID-19 information among underserved communities. Qualitative data highlighted the importance of schools, ethnically-based community organizations, and friends/family with health and English literacy skills for immigrant and refugee communities. Findings suggest opportunities for collaboration with specific trusted sources for future public health dissemination efforts. Trial registration : not applicable

2.
Frontiers in health services ; 2, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2253936

ABSTRACT

Objective To describe the early activities and lessons of the Share, Trust, Organize, Partner COVID-19 California Alliance (STOP COVID-19 CA), the California awardee of the NIH-funded multi-state Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) against COVID-19. The Alliance was established to ensure equity in Coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19) research, clinical practice, and public health for communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Study setting The STOP COVID-19 CA Alliance network of 11 universities and affiliated partner community-based organizations (CBOs) across California. Study design Mixed methods evaluation consisting of an analysis of activity (August 2020 to December 2021) detailed in reports submitted by community-academic teams and a survey (August 2021) of academic investigators and affiliated community-based organization (CBO) partners. Data collection We summarized activities from the 11 community-academic teams' progress reports and described results from an online survey of academic investigators and CBO partners in the California Alliance. Principal findings A review of progress reports (n = 256) showed that teams fielded surveys to 11,000 Californians, conducted 133 focus groups, partnered with 29 vaccine/therapeutics clinical trials, and led more than 300 town halls and vaccine events that reached Californians from communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Survey responses from academic investigators and CBO partners emphasized the importance of learning from the successes and challenges of the California Alliance teams' COVID-19 initiatives. Both academic and CBO respondents highlighted the need for streamlined federal and institutional administrative policies, and fiscal practices to promote more effective and timely operations of teams in their efforts to address the numerous underlying health and social disparities that predispose their communities to higher rates of, and poor outcomes from, COVID-19. Conclusions STOP COVID-19 CA represents a new and potentially sustainable statewide community engagement model for addressing health disparities in multiethnic/multicultural and geographically dispersed communities.

3.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 409, 2023 02 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2277360

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Community Advisory Boards (CABs) have been frequently used to engage diverse partners to inform research projects. Yet, evaluating the quality of engagement has not been routine. We describe a multi-method ethnographic approach documenting and assessing partner engagement in two "virtual" CABs, for which we conducted all meetings remotely. METHODS: Two research projects for increasing equitable COVID-19 testing, vaccination, and clinical trial participation for underserved communities involved remote CAB meetings. Thirty-three partners representing 17 community groups participated in 15 sessions across the two CABs facilitated by a social change organization. We developed ethnographic documentation forms to assess multiple aspects of CAB member engagement (e.g., time spent speaking, modality used, types of interactions). Documenters were trained to observe CAB sub-groups via virtual sessions. Debriefing with the documentation team after CAB meetings supported quality assurance and process refinement. CAB members completed a brief validated survey after each meeting to assess the quality and frequency of engagement. Content and rapid thematic analysis were used to analyze documentation data. Quantitative data were summarized as frequencies and means. Qualitative and quantitative findings were triangulated. RESULTS: A total of 4,540 interactions were identified across 15 meetings. The most frequent interaction was providing information (44%), followed by responding (37-38%). The quality and frequency of stakeholder engagement were rated favorably (average 4.7 of 5). Most CAB members (96%) reported good/excellent engagement. Specific comments included appreciation for the diversity of perspectives represented by the CAB members and suggestions for improved live interpretation. Debriefing sessions led to several methodological refinements for the documentation process and forms. CONCLUSION: We highlight key strategies for documenting and assessing community engagement. Our methods allowed for rich ethnographic data collection that refined our work with community partners. We recommend ongoing trainings, including debriefing sessions and routinely reviewed assessment of data to strengthen meaningful community engagement.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19 Testing , Anthropology, Cultural , Data Collection , Documentation
4.
J Sch Health ; 2022 Nov 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2283015

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We examined fidelity and feasibility of implementation of COVID-19 preventive measures in schools, and explored associations between adherence to these measures and staff well-being, to inform policy on sustainable implementation and staff wellbeing. METHODS: Surveys were conducted across 128 schools in England with 107 headteachers and 2698 staff-members with reference to autumn term 2020, examining school-level implementation of preventive measures, adherence, and teacher burnout (response rates for headteacher and staff surveys were 84% and 59%, respectively). RESULTS: The median number of measures implemented in primary and secondary schools was 33 (range 23-41), and 32 (range 22-40), respectively; most measures presented challenges. No differences were found regarding number of measures implemented by school-level socio-economic disadvantage. High adherence was reported for staff wearing face-coverings, staff regularly washing their hands, (secondary only) desks facing forwards, and (primary only) increased cleaning of surfaces and student hand-washing. Adherence to most measures was reported as higher in primary than secondary schools. Over half of school leaders and 42% (517/1234) of other teaching staff suffered from high emotional exhaustion. Higher teacher-reported school-wide adherence with measures was consistently associated with lower burnout for leaders and other teaching staff. CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicate a tremendous effort in implementing preventive measures and an urgent need to support investments in improving teacher wellbeing.

5.
Front Health Serv ; 2: 935297, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2253937

ABSTRACT

Objective: To describe the early activities and lessons of the Share, Trust, Organize, Partner COVID-19 California Alliance (STOP COVID-19 CA), the California awardee of the NIH-funded multi-state Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) against COVID-19. The Alliance was established to ensure equity in Coronavirus-19 disease (COVID-19) research, clinical practice, and public health for communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Study setting: The STOP COVID-19 CA Alliance network of 11 universities and affiliated partner community-based organizations (CBOs) across California. Study design: Mixed methods evaluation consisting of an analysis of activity (August 2020 to December 2021) detailed in reports submitted by community-academic teams and a survey (August 2021) of academic investigators and affiliated community-based organization (CBO) partners. Data collection: We summarized activities from the 11 community-academic teams' progress reports and described results from an online survey of academic investigators and CBO partners in the California Alliance. Principal findings: A review of progress reports (n = 256) showed that teams fielded surveys to 11,000 Californians, conducted 133 focus groups, partnered with 29 vaccine/therapeutics clinical trials, and led more than 300 town halls and vaccine events that reached Californians from communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Survey responses from academic investigators and CBO partners emphasized the importance of learning from the successes and challenges of the California Alliance teams' COVID-19 initiatives. Both academic and CBO respondents highlighted the need for streamlined federal and institutional administrative policies, and fiscal practices to promote more effective and timely operations of teams in their efforts to address the numerous underlying health and social disparities that predispose their communities to higher rates of, and poor outcomes from, COVID-19. Conclusions: STOP COVID-19 CA represents a new and potentially sustainable statewide community engagement model for addressing health disparities in multiethnic/multicultural and geographically dispersed communities.

6.
Int J Infect Dis ; 128: 230-243, 2023 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2165390

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Investigate risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infections in school students and staff. METHODS: In the 2020/2021 school year, we administered polymerase chain reaction, antibody tests, and questionnaires to a sample of primary and secondary school students and staff, with data linkage to COVID-19 surveillance. We fitted logistic regression models to identify the factors associated with infection. RESULTS: We included 6799 students and 5090 staff in the autumn and 11,952 students and 4569 staff in the spring/summer terms. Infections in students in autumn 2020 were related to the percentage of students eligible for free school meals. We found no statistical association between infection risk in primary and secondary schools and reported contact patterns between students and staff in either period in our study. Using public transports was associated with increased risk in autumn in students (adjusted odds ratio = 1.72; 95% confidence interval 1.31-2.25) and staff. One or more infections in the same household during either period was the strongest risk factor for infection in students and more so among staff. CONCLUSION: Deprivation, community, and household factors were more strongly associated with infection than contacts patterns at school; this suggests that the additional school-based mitigation measures in England in 2020/2021 likely helped reduce transmission risk in schools.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Risk Factors , England , Schools , Students
7.
Front Health Serv ; 22022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2080305

ABSTRACT

Background: Meaningful community engagement is instrumental to effective implementation and sustainment of equitable public health interventions. Significant resources are necessary to ensure that community engagement takes place in culturally sensitive, trusted ways that optimize positive public health outcomes. However, the types and costs of resources best suited to enable meaningful community engagement in implementation research are not well-documented. This study's objectives are (1) to describe a pragmatic method for systematically tracking and documenting resources utilized for community engagement activities, (2) report resources across phases of implementation research, and (3) provide recommendations for planning and budgeting for community engagement in health equity implementation research. Methods: Community engagement partners completed a tracking log of their person-hours for community engagement activities across three phases of community engagement (startup, early, maintenance) in two implementation research projects to promote equity in COVID-19 testing and vaccination for underserved communities. Both projects completed a six-session Theory of Change (i.e., a facilitated group discussion about current and desired conditions that culminated with a set of priorities for strategic change making) over 4 months with respective Community Advisory Boards (CAB) that included community organizers, promotores, federally qualified health center providers and administrators, and public health researchers. The reported person-hours that facilitated community member engagement were documented and summarized within and across project phases. Results: For both projects, the startup phase required the highest number of person-hours (M = 60), followed by the maintenance (M = 53) and early phase (M = 47). Within the startup phase, a total of 5 community engagement activities occurred with identifying and inviting CAB members incurring the greatest number of person-hours (M = 19). Within the early phase, a total of 11 community engagement activities occurred with coordinating and leading live interpretation (Spanish) during CAB sessions incurring the greatest number of person-hours (M = 10). The maintenance phase included 11 community engagement activities with time dedicated to written translation of CAB materials into Spanish incurring the greatest number of person-hours (M = 10). Conclusions: Study findings indicate that the most significant investment of resources is required in the startup period. Needed resources decreased, albeit with a greater diversity of activities, in later phases of community engagement with Spanish language translation requiring most in the later stage of the study. This study contributes to the community engagement and implementation science literature by providing a pragmatic tracking and measurement approach and recommendations for planning for and assessing costs to facilitate meaningful community engagement in public health implementation research.

8.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0262515, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1688746

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Following the full re-opening of schools in England and emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant, we investigated the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in students and staff who were contacts of a confirmed case in a school bubble (school groupings with limited interactions), along with their household members. METHODS: Primary and secondary school bubbles were recruited into sKIDsBUBBLE after being sent home to self-isolate following a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the bubble. Bubble participants and their household members were sent home-testing kits comprising nasal swabs for RT-PCR testing and whole genome sequencing, and oral fluid swabs for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. RESULTS: During November-December 2020, 14 bubbles were recruited from 7 schools, including 269 bubble contacts (248 students, 21 staff) and 823 household contacts (524 adults, 299 children). The secondary attack rate was 10.0% (6/60) in primary and 3.9% (4/102) in secondary school students, compared to 6.3% (1/16) and 0% (0/1) among staff, respectively. The incidence rate for household contacts of primary school students was 6.6% (12/183) and 3.7% (1/27) for household contacts of primary school staff. In secondary schools, this was 3.5% (11/317) and 0% (0/1), respectively. Household contacts were more likely to test positive if their bubble contact tested positive although there were new infections among household contacts of uninfected bubble contacts. INTERPRETATION: Compared to other institutional settings, the overall risk of secondary infection in school bubbles and their household contacts was low. Our findings are important for developing evidence-based infection prevention guidelines for educational settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/virology , Child , Contact Tracing , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Nasopharynx/virology , Prospective Studies , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Schools/statistics & numerical data , Students/statistics & numerical data
9.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 21: 100471, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1996406

ABSTRACT

Background: There remains uncertainty about the epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 among school students and staff and the extent to which non-pharmaceutical-interventions reduce the risk of school settings. Methods: We conducted an open cohort study in a sample of 59 primary and 97 secondary schools in 15 English local authority areas that were implementing government guidance to schools open during the pandemic. We estimated SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence among those attending school, antibody prevalence, and antibody negative to positive conversion rates in staff and students over the school year (November 2020-July 2021). Findings: 22,585 staff and students participated. SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence among those attending school was highest during the first two rounds of testing in the autumn term, ranging from 0.7% (95% CI 0.2, 1.2) among primary staff in November 2020 to 1.6% (95% CI 0.9, 2.3) among secondary staff in December 2020. Antibody conversion rates were highest in the autumn term. Infection patterns were similar between staff and students, and between primary and secondary schools. The prevalence of nucleoprotein antibodies increased over the year and was lower among students than staff. SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence in the North-West region was lower among secondary students attending school on normal school days than the regional estimate for secondary school-age children. Interpretation: SARS-CoV-2 infection prevalence in staff and students attending school varied with local community infection rates. Non-pharmaceutical interventions intended to prevent infected individuals attending school may have partially reduced the prevalence of infection among those on the school site. Funding: UK Department of Health and Social Care.

10.
JMIR Res Protoc ; 11(11): e34075, 2022 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1875278

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: One of the most debated questions in the COVID-19 pandemic has been the role of schools in SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey (SIS) aims to provide much-needed evidence addressing this issue. OBJECTIVE: We present the study protocol and participation profile for the SIS study, aimed at assessing the role of schools in SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission within school settings, and investigating how transmission within and from schools could be mitigated through the implementation of school COVID-19 control measures. METHODS: SIS was a multisite, prospective, observational cohort study conducted in a stratified random sample of primary and secondary schools in selected local authorities in England. A total of 6 biobehavioral surveys were planned among participating students and staff during the 2020-2021 academic year, between November 2020 and July 2021. Key measurements were SARS-CoV-2 virus prevalence, assessed by nasal swab polymerase chain reaction; anti-SARS-CoV-2 (nucleocapsid protein) antibody prevalence and conversion, assessed in finger-prick blood for staff and oral fluid for students; student and staff school attendance rates; feasibility and acceptability of school-level implementation of SARS-CoV-2 control measures; and investigation of selected school outbreaks. The study was approved by the United Kingdom Health Security Agency Research Support and Governance Office (NR0237) and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Ethics Review Committee (reference 22657). RESULTS: Data collection and laboratory analyses were completed by September 2021. A total of 22,585 individuals-1891 staff and 4654 students from 59 primary schools and 5852 staff and 10,188 students from 97 secondary schools-participated in at least one survey. Across all survey rounds, staff and student participation rates were 45.2% and 16.4%, respectively, in primary schools and 30% and 15.2%, respectively, in secondary schools. Although primary student participation increased over time, and secondary student participation remained reasonably consistent, staff participation declined across rounds, especially for secondary school staff (3165/7583, 41.7% in round 1 and 2290/10,374, 22.1% in round 6). Although staff participation overall was generally reflective of the eligible staff population, student participation was higher in schools with low absenteeism, a lower proportion of students eligible for free school meals, and from schools in the least deprived locations (in primary schools, 446/4654, 9.6% of participating students were from schools in the least deprived quintile compared with 1262/22,225, 5.7% of eligible students). CONCLUSIONS: We outline the study design, methods, and participation, and reflect on the strengths of the SIS study as well as the practical challenges encountered and the strategies implemented to address these challenges. The SIS study, by measuring current and incident infection over time, alongside the implementation of control measures in schools across a range of settings in England, aims to inform national guidance and public health policy for educational settings. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): RR1-10.2196/34075.

11.
Health Serv Res ; 57 Suppl 1: 149-157, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731058

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To describe the use of a Theory of Change to meaningfully engage community members from or support underserved communities in two National Institutes of Health-funded implementation science projects aimed at promoting equitable access to COVID-19 testing and vaccination for underserved communities. STUDY SETTING: Both projects focused on Latino, Black, and immigrant and refugee communities in South/Central San Diego and/or individuals accessing care at a federally qualified health center near the US/Mexico border during December 2020-April 2021. STUDY DESIGN: By using a participatory action research design, Community Advisory Boards (CABs) were established for each project with 11 and 22 members. CAB members included community organizers, promotores de salud (community health workers), clinic providers and administrators, and public health researchers. The CABs were guided through a seven-session Theory of Change process, focused on identifying necessary conditions that must exist to eliminate COVID-19 disparities along with specified actions to create those conditions and a blueprint for assessing the impact of those actions. DATA COLLECTION: Each session lasted 2 h hosted virtually and was augmented by interactive web-based activities. There was a live interpreter who facilitated the participation of Spanish-speaking CAB members. A Theory of Change for each project was completed in approximately 4 months. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Nine necessary conditions were identified related to (1) accessible and available services; (2) culturally and linguistically competent programming; (3) investment in trusted community and faith leaders; (4) social safety nets to provide ancillary services. Corresponding actions to create these conditions and measures to indicate success in creating these conditions were operationalized by the CAB. CONCLUSIONS: While resource-intensive, a CAB-led Theory of Change process yielded a rich opportunity to engage diverse groups that typically are not invited to inform these processes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing , Community Health Workers , Hispanic or Latino , Humans
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