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1.
Pediatrics ; 2022 Mar 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1724950

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pediatric acute care utilization decreased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study examined the association between the Child Opportunity Index (COI), a multidimensional neighborhood measure of childhood opportunity, and changes in acute care utilization at US pediatric hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the prior three years. METHODS: This observational study utilized administrative data across 41 US-based pediatric hospitals. Children 0-17 years with Emergency Department (ED) encounters during the study period were included. The COVID-19 pandemic time period (March 15, 2020-March 14, 2021) was the primary exposure. The primary outcome was the relative volume drop in ED encounters and observation/inpatient admissions through the ED by COI quintile. RESULTS: Of 12,138,750 encounters, 3,705,320 (30.5%) were among the very low COI quintile. Overall, there was a 46.8% relative volume reduction in the pandemic period compared to the pre-pandmic period. This drop in volume occurred disproportionately among the very low COI quintile (51.1%) compared to very high COI quintile (42.8%). The majority of clinical diagnosis groups demonstrated larger relative volume drops among the very low COI quintile. CONCLUSIONS: Acute care utilization decreased the most among children from very low COI neighborhoods, narrowing previously described acute care utilization disparities. Additional study of patient perspectives on health care needs and access during this period is required to understand these changes.

2.
Lancet Reg Health Am ; 2: 100027, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331027

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Our understanding of the association between coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) and preterm or early term birth among racially and ethnically diverse populations and people with chronic medical conditions is limited. METHODS: We determined the association between COVID-19 and preterm (PTB) birth among live births documented by California Vital Statistics birth certificates between July 2020 and January 2021 (n=240,147). We used best obstetric estimate of gestational age to classify births as very preterm (VPTB, <32 weeks), PTB (< 37 weeks), early term (37 and 38 weeks), and term (39-44 weeks), as each confer independent risks to infant health and development. Separately, we calculated the joint effects of COVID-19 diagnosis, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity on PTB and VPTB. FINDINGS: COVID-19 diagnoses on birth certificates increased for all racial/ethnic groups between July 2020 and January 2021 and were highest for American Indian/Alaska Native (12.9%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (11.4%), and Latinx (10.3%) birthing people. COVID-19 diagnosis was associated with an increased risk of VPTB (aRR 1.6, 95% CI [1.4, 1.9]), PTB (aRR 1.4, 95% CI [1.3, 1.4]), and early term birth (aRR 1.1, 95% CI [1.1, 1.2]). There was no effect modification of the overall association by race/ethnicity or insurance status. COVID-19 diagnosis was associated with elevated risk of PTB in people with hypertension, diabetes, and/or obesity. INTERPRETATION: In a large population-based study, COVID-19 diagnosis increased the risk of VPTB, PTB, and early term birth, particularly among people with medical comorbidities. Considering increased circulation of COVID-19 variants, preventative measures, including vaccination, should be prioritized for birthing persons. FUNDING: UCSF-Kaiser Department of Research Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health Program (BIRCWH) National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) [K12 HD052163] and the California Preterm Birth Initiative, funded by Marc and Lynn Benioff.

3.
J Gen Intern Med ; 36(7): 1951-1957, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1061194

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Social isolation is a known predictor of mortality that disproportionately affects vulnerable populations in the USA. Although experts began to recognize it as a public health crisis prior to 2020, the novel coronavirus pandemic has accelerated recognition of social isolation as a serious threat to health and well-being. OBJECTIVE: Examine patient experiences with screening and assistance for social isolation in primary care settings, and whether patient experiences with these activities are associated with the severity of reported social isolation. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey conducted in 2018. PARTICIPANTS: Adults (N = 251) were recruited from 3 primary care clinics in Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco. MAIN MEASURES: A modified version of the Berkman-Syme Social Network Index (SNI), endorsed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; items to assess for prior experiences with screening and assistance for social isolation. KEY RESULTS: In the sample population, 12.4% reported the highest levels of social isolation (SNI = 0/1), compared to 36.7%, 34.7%, and 16.3% (SNI = 2-4, respectively). Most patients had not been asked about social isolation in a healthcare setting (87.3%), despite reporting no discomfort with social isolation screening (93.9%). Neither discomfort with nor participation in prior screening for social isolation was associated with social isolation levels. Desire for assistance with social isolation (3.2%) was associated with a higher level of social isolation (AOR = 6.0, 95% CI, 1.3-28.8), as well as poor or fair health status (AOR = 9.1; 95% CI, 1.3-64.1). CONCLUSIONS: In this study, few patients reported being screened previously for social isolation in a primary care setting, despite low levels of discomfort with screening. Providers should consider broadening social isolation screening and referral practices in healthcare settings, especially among sicker and more isolated patients who express higher levels of interest in assistance with social isolation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Isolation , Adult , Chicago , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Patient Outcome Assessment , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , San Francisco
4.
J Gen Intern Med ; 36(5): 1411-1414, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1037988

ABSTRACT

Despite social care interventions gaining traction in the US healthcare sector in recent years, the scaling of healthcare practices to address social adversity and coordinate care across sectors has been modest. Against this backdrop, the coronavirus pandemic arrived, which re-emphasized the interdependence of the health and social care sectors and motivated health systems to scale tools for identifying and addressing social needs. A framework on integrating social care into health care delivery developed by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine provides a useful organizing tool to understand the social care integration innovations spurred by COVID-19, including novel approaches to social risk screening and social care interventions. As the effects of the pandemic are likely to exacerbate socioeconomic barriers to health, it is an appropriate time to apply lessons learned during the recent months to re-evaluate efforts to strengthen, scale, and sustain the health care sector's social care activities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, U.S., Health and Medicine Division , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Support , United States
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