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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(18)2021 09 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1409581

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The impact of the 2019 coronavirus pandemic on the mental health of millions worldwide has been well documented, but its impact on prevention and treatment of mental and behavioral health conditions is less clear. The COVID-19 pandemic also created numerous challenges and opportunities to implement health care policies and programs under conditions that are fundamentally different from what has been considered to be usual care. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on implementation of evidence-based policy and practice by State Mental Health Authorities (SMHA) for prevention and treatment of mental health problems in children and adolescents. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 29 SMHA representatives of 21 randomly selected states stratified by coronavirus positivity rate and rate of unmet services need. Data analysis with SMHA stakeholders used procedures embedded in the Rapid Assessment Procedure-Informed Community Ethnography methodology. Results: The need for services increased during the pandemic due primarily to family stress and separation from peers. States reporting an increase in demand had high coronavirus positivity and high unmet services need. The greatest impacts were reduced out-of-home services and increased use of telehealth. Barriers to telehealth services included limited access to internet and technology, family preference for face-to-face services, lack of privacy, difficulty using with young children and youth in need of substance use treatment, finding a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant platform, training providers and clients, and reimbursement challenges. Policy changes to enable reimbursement, internet access, training, and provider licensing resulted in substantially fewer appointment cancellations or no-shows, greater family engagement, reduction in travel time, increased access for people living in remote locations, and increased provider communication and collaboration. States with high rates of coronavirus positivity and high rates of unmet need were most likely to continue use of telehealth post-pandemic. Despite these challenges, states reported successful implementation of policies designed to facilitate virtual services delivery with likely long-term changes in practice. Conclusions: Policy implementation during the pandemic provided important lessons for planning and preparedness for future public health emergencies. Successful policy implementation requires ongoing collaboration among policy makers and with providers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , Health Policy , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Psychiatr Serv ; 73(4): 381-387, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331863

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Mental health agencies provide critical safety net services for youths. No research has assessed impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on services these agencies provide or youths they serve. This study sought to characterize agency officials' perceptions of the pandemic's impacts on youths and challenges to providing youth services during the pandemic and to examine associations between these challenges and impacts. METHODS: Surveys were completed in September-October 2020 by 159 state or county mental health agency officials from 46 states. Respondents used 7-point scales (higher rating indicated more severe impact or challenge) to rate the pandemic's impact on youth mental health issues, general service challenges, and telepsychiatry service challenges across patient, provider, and financing domains. Multiple linear regression models estimated associations between service challenges (independent variables) and pandemic impacts (dependent variables). RESULTS: Most agency officials perceived the pandemic as having disproportionately negative mental health impacts on socially disadvantaged youths (serious impact, 72%; mean rating=5.85). Only 15% (mean=4.29) perceived the pandemic as having a seriously negative impact on receipt of needed youth services. Serious service challenges were related to youths' lack of reliable equipment or Internet access for telepsychiatry services (serious challenge, 59%; mean=5.47) and the inability to provide some services remotely (serious challenge, 42%, mean=4.72). In regression models, the inability to provide some services remotely was significantly (p≤0.01) associated with three of five pandemic impacts. CONCLUSIONS: Officials perceived the COVID-19 pandemic as exacerbating youth mental health disparities but as not having a dramatic impact on receipt of needed services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychiatry , Telemedicine , Adolescent , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics
3.
Adm Policy Ment Health ; 49(2): 157-167, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328625

ABSTRACT

A rapid ethnographic assessment of delivery of mental health services to patients at a Level I trauma center in a major metropolitan hospital undergoing a COVID-19 surge was conducted to assess the challenges involved in services delivery and to compare the experience of delivering services across time. Study participants were patients and providers who interacted with or otherwise were observed by three clinicians engaged in the delivery of care within the Emergency Department (ED) and Trauma Center at Harborview Medical Center from the COVID-19-related "surge" in April to the end of July 2020. Data were collected and analyzed in accordance with the Rapid Assessment Procedures-Informed Clinical Ethnography (RAPICE) protocol. Community and institutional efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus created several challenges to providing mental health services in an acute care setting during the April surge. Most of these challenges were successfully addressed by standardization of infection control protocols, but new challenges emerged including an increase in expenses for infection control and reduction in clinical revenues due to fewer patients, furloughs of mental health services providers and peer specialists in the ED, services not provided or delayed, increased stress due to fear of furloughs or increased workload of those not furloughed, and increases in patients seen with injuries due to risky behavior, violence, and substance use. These findings illustrate the rapidly shifting nature of the pandemic, its impacts on mental health services, and the mitigation efforts of communities and healthcare systems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Anthropology, Cultural , Delivery of Health Care , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Trauma Centers
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(2)2021 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1016172

ABSTRACT

Background: This year has seen the emergence of two major crises, a significant increase in the frequency and severity of hurricanes and the COVID-19 pandemic. However, little is known as to how each of these two events have impacted the other. A rapid qualitative assessment was conducted to determine the impact of the pandemic on preparedness and response to natural disasters and the impact of past experiences with natural disasters in responding to the pandemic. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 26 representatives of 24 different community-based programs in southern Louisiana. Data were analyzed using procedures embedded in the Rapid Assessment Procedure-Informed Community Ethnography methodology, using techniques of immersion and crystallization and focused thematic analysis. Results: The pandemic has impacted the form and function of disaster preparedness, making it harder to plan for evacuations in the event of a hurricane. Specific concerns included being able to see people in person, providing food and other resources to residents who shelter in place, finding volunteers to assist in food distribution and other forms of disaster response, competing for funds to support disaster-related activities, developing new support infrastructures, and focusing on equity in disaster preparedness. However, several strengths based on disaster preparedness experience and capabilities were identified, including providing a framework for how to respond and adapt to COVID and integration of COVID response with their normal disaster preparedness activities. Conclusions: Although prior experience has enabled community-based organizations to respond to the pandemic, the pandemic is also creating new challenges to preparing for and responding to natural disasters.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disaster Planning/organization & administration , Disasters , Pandemics , Cyclonic Storms , Humans , Louisiana
5.
BMJ Open ; 10(10): e041772, 2020 10 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-883375

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Assess the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on service delivery by frontline healthcare providers in acute care medical and emergency department settings and identify strategies used to cope with pandemic-related physical and mental health demands. DESIGN: Rapid clinical ethnography of patient-provider encounters during an initial pandemic 'surge' conducted by a team of clinician-researchers using a structured protocol for qualitative data collection and analysis. SETTING: Level 1 trauma centre at Harborview Hospital in Seattle Washington in April 2020. PARTICIPANTS: Frontline clinical providers serving as participant observers during performance of their clinical duties recorded observations and summaries of conversations with other providers and patients. RESULTS: We identified four different kinds of impacts: procedural, provider, patient and overall. Each impact highlighted two or more levels of a socioecological model of services delivery: (1) the epidemiology of COVID-19, (2) outer setting, (3) inner or organisational setting and (4) individual patient and provider. Despite significant changes in procedures that included COVID-19 screening of all admitted patients, social distancing and use of personal protective equipment, as well as changes in patient and provider behaviour, the overall impact of the pandemic on the emergency department and acute care service delivery was minimal. This is attributed to having a smaller surge than expected, a quick response by the healthcare system to anticipated demands for service delivery and protection of patients and providers, adequate supplies and high provider morale. CONCLUSIONS: Although limited to one setting in one healthcare system in one community, the findings offer some important lessons for healthcare systems that have yet to be impacted as well as systems that have been more severely impacted. Each of the socioecological framework levels was found to impact service delivery to patients, and variations at each of these levels account for variations in that quality of care globally.


Subject(s)
Attitude of Health Personnel , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Qualitative Research , Trauma Centers/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Washington/epidemiology
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