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3.
Ethics Hum Res ; 44(1): 2-17, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597364

ABSTRACT

In this article, we analyze legal and ethical issues raised in Big Data health research projects in the Covid-19 era and consider how these issues might be addressed in ways that advance positive values (e.g., furtherance of respect for persons and accordance with relevant legal frameworks) while mitigating or eliminating any negative aspects (e.g., exacerbation of social inequality and injustice). We apply this analysis specifically to UK-REACH (The United Kingdom Research Study into Ethnicity and Covid-19 Outcomes in Healthcare Workers), a project with which we are involved. We argue that Big Data projects like UK-REACH can be conducted in an ethically robust manner and that funders and sponsors ought to encourage similar projects to drive better evidence-based public policy in public health. As part of this, we advocate that a Big Data ethics-by-design approach be undertaken when such projects are constructed. This principle extends the work of those who advocate ethics by design by addressing prominent issues in Big Data health research projects; it holds that ethical values and principles in Big Data health research projects are best adhered to when they are already integrated into the project aims and methods at the design stage. In advocating this principle, we present a unique perspective regarding pressing ethical problems around large-scale, data-driven Covid-19 research, as well as legal issues associated with processing ostensibly anonymized health data.


Subject(s)
Big Data , COVID-19 , Health Personnel , Humans , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Preprint | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296926

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Introduction Healthcare workers are experiencing deterioration in their mental health due to COVID-19. Ethnic minority populations in the United Kingdom are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, with a higher death rate and poorer physical and mental health outcomes. It is important that healthcare organisations consider the specific context and mental, as well as physical, health needs of an ethnically diverse healthcare workforce in order to better support them during, and after, the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods We undertook a qualitative work package as part of the United Kingdom Research study into Ethnicity and COVID-19 outcomes among healthcare workers (UK-REACH). As part of the qualitative research, we conducted focus group discussions with healthcare workers between December 2020 and July 2021, and covered topics such as their experiences, fears and concerns, and perceptions about safety and protection, while working during the pandemic. The purposive sample included ancillary health workers, doctors, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals from diverse ethnic backgrounds. We conducted discussions using Microsoft Teams. Recordings were transcribed and thematically analysed. Findings We carried out 16 focus groups with a total of 61 participants. Several factors were identified which contributed to, and potentially exacerbated, the poor mental health of ethnic minority healthcare workers during this period including anxiety (due to inconsistent protocols and policy);fear (of infection);trauma (due to increased exposure to severe illness and death);guilt (of potentially infecting loved ones);and stress (due to longer working hours and increased workload). Conclusion COVID-19 has affected the mental health of healthcare workers. We identified a number of factors which may be contributing to a deterioration in mental health across diverse ethnic groups. Healthcare organisations should consider developing strategies to counter the negative impact of these factors. This paper will help employers of healthcare workers and other relevant policy makers better understand the wider implications and potential risks of COVID-19 and assist in developing strategies to safeguard the mental health of these healthcare workers going forward, and reduce ethnic disparities. Key messages What is already known about this subject Healthcare Workers (HCWs) are experiencing deterioration of their mental health due to COVID-19 Ethnic minority populations and HCWs are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 More research is needed on the specific factors influencing the mental health of ethnically diverse healthcare workforces What are the new findings Prominent factors influencing the mental health and emotional wellbeing of this population include: anxiety (due to inconsistent protocols and policy) fear (of infection) trauma (due to increased exposure to severe illness and death) guilt (of potentially infecting loved ones) stress (due to longer working hours and increased workload) How might this impact on policy or clinical practice in the foreseeable future Healthcare organisations should consider the specific circumstances of these staff and develop strategies to counter the negative impact of these factors and help safeguard the mental health of their staff

5.
Preprint | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296840

ABSTRACT

Background Vaccination is key to successful prevention of COVID-19 particularly nosocomial acquired infection in health care workers (HCWs). ‘Vaccine hesitancy’ is common in the population and in HCWs, and like COVID-19 itself, hesitancy is more frequent in ethnic minority groups. UK-REACH (United Kingdom Research study into Ethnicity and COVID-19 outcomes) is a large-scale study of COVID-19 in UK HCWs from diverse ethnic backgrounds, which includes measures of vaccine hesitancy. The present study explores predictors of vaccine hesitancy using a ‘phenomic approach’, considering several hundred questionnaire-based measures. Methods UK-REACH includes a questionnaire study encompassing 12,431 HCWs who were recruited from December 2020 to March 2021 and completed a lengthy online questionnaire (785 raw items;392 derived measures;260 final measures). Ethnicity was classified using the Office for National Statistics’ five (ONS5) and eighteen (ONS18) categories. Missing data were handled by multiple imputation. Variable selection used the islasso package in R , which provides standard errors so that results from imputations could be combined using Rubin’s rules. The data were modelled using path analysis, so that predictors, and predictors of predictors could be assessed. Significance testing used the Bayesian approach of Kass and Raftery, a ‘very strong’ Bayes Factor of 150, N=12,431, and a Bonferroni correction giving a criterion of p<4.02 × 10 −8 for the main regression, and p<3.11 × 10 −10 for variables in the path analysis. Results At the first step of the phenomic analysis, six variables were direct predictors of greater vaccine hesitancy: Lower pro-vaccination attitudes;no flu vaccination in 2019-20;pregnancy;higher COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs;younger age;and lower optimism the roll-out of population vaccination. Overall 44 lower variables in total were direct or indirect predictors of hesitancy, with the remaining 215 variables in the phenomic analysis not independently predicting vaccine hesitancy. Key variables for predicting hesitancy were belief in conspiracy theories of COVID-19 infection, and a low belief in vaccines in general. Conspiracy beliefs had two main sets of influences: Higher Fatalism, which was influenced a) by high external and chance locus of control and higher need for closure, which in turn were associated with neuroticism, conscientiousness, extraversion and agreeableness;and b) by religion being important in everyday life, and being Muslim. receiving information via social media, not having higher education, and perceiving greater risks to self, the latter being influenced by higher concerns about spreading COVID, greater exposure to COVID-19, and financial concerns. There were indirect effects of ethnicity, mediated by religion. Religion was more important for Pakistani and African HCWs, and less important for White and Chinese groups. Lower age had a direct effect on hesitancy, and age and female sex also had several indirect effects on hesitancy. Conclusions The phenomic approach, coupled with a path analysis revealed a complex network of social, cognitive, and behavioural influences on SARS-Cov-2 vaccine hesitancy from 44 measures, 6 direct and 38 indirect, with the remaining 215 measures not having direct or indirect effects on hesitancy. It is likely that issues of trust underpin many associations with hesitancy. Understanding such a network of influences may help in tailoring interventions to address vaccine concerns and facilitate uptake in more hesistant groups. Funding UKMRI-MRC and NIHR

6.
Preprint | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296785

ABSTRACT

Background: New data collection in established longitudinal population studies provides an opportunity for studying the risk factors and sequelae of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), plus the indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on wellbeing. The Extended Cohort for E-health, Environment and DNA (EXCEED) cohort is a population-based cohort (N>11,000), recruited from 2013 in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. EXCEED includes consent for electronic healthcare record (EHR) linkage, spirometry, genomic data, and questionnaire data. Methods: Between May 2020 and July 2021, a new questionnaire was deployed in EXCEED, which captured COVID-19 symptoms, general physical and mental health, plus socioeconomic and environmental factors during the pandemic. An online system was developed to invite new participants to join EXCEED, with informed consent being provided online. New and existing participants then completed the COVID-19 questionnaire online. A subset of the new questionnaire respondents were invited to participate in COVID-19 serology substudies, using home antibody testing kits. Results: In total, 3,693 participants provided COVID-19 infection status (median age 62.9 (IQR 54.7-69.2), 58.9% female). Trends of monthly incidence proportions of COVID-19 in EXCEED (self-report or symptom-predicted) approximated local and national figures. Regression analysis of 2,768 participants with linked EHR data showed no obvious monotonic relationship between number of chronic diseases (of 16 pre-specified diseases) and COVID-19 infection. There were 2,144 participants with valid results from a kit allowing differentiation between antibodies due to vaccination or infection. Of these, 8.5% had results consistent with previous COVID-19 infection, and 85.9% had evidence of COVID-19 vaccination, but without evidence of infection. Conclusions: Enriching EXCEED with a new COVID-19 questionnaire and serology data may improve understanding of the risk factors, clinical sequelae and broader impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the general population. Controlled access to these data for bona fide researchers is via application to the EXCEED study.

7.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294814

ABSTRACT

We conducted a serosurvey in 2020, amongst 149 adult migrants living in the United Kingdom, to determine seroprotection rates for measles, varicella zoster, and rubella. Findings suggest a gap in seroprotection against measles (89.3%). Younger migrants and those from Europe and Central Asia may be more susceptible;self-reported vaccine/disease status is a poor predictor of seroprotection. Understanding factors associated with seroprotection among migrants is critical for informing the delivery of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

8.
Diabetes Metab Syndr ; 16(1): 102361, 2021 Dec 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556980

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Vaccine hesitancy is an ongoing major challenge. We aimed to assess the uptake and hesitancy of the COVID-19 vaccination. METHODS: A short online survey was posted between April 12 to July 31, 2021 targeted at health and social care workers (HCWs) across the globe. RESULTS: 275 from 37 countries responded. Most were hospital or primary care physicians or nurses, 59% women, aged 18-60 years, and 21% had chronic conditions with most prevalent being diabetes, hypertension, and asthma. We found that most HCWs (93%) had taken or willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. While 7% were vaccine hesitant (mainly women aged 30-39 years), respondents main concerns was the safety or potential side effects. Vaccine willing respondents raised concerns of unequal access to the COVID-19 vaccination in some countries, and highlighted that the only solution to overcoming COVID-19 infections was the vaccine booster doses given annually and free mass vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: This study found that the majority of the frontline HCWs are willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Further promotion of the COVID-19 vaccine would reassure and persuade HCWs to become vaccinated.

10.
PLoS Med ; 18(11): e1003823, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504361

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers (HCWs) and ethnic minority groups are at increased risk of COVID-19 infection and adverse outcomes. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccination is now available for frontline UK HCWs; however, demographic/occupational associations with vaccine uptake in this cohort are unknown. We sought to establish these associations in a large UK hospital workforce. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted cross-sectional surveillance examining vaccine uptake amongst all staff at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. We examined proportions of vaccinated staff stratified by demographic factors, occupation, and previous COVID-19 test results (serology/PCR) and used logistic regression to identify predictors of vaccination status after adjustment for confounders. We included 19,044 HCWs; 12,278 (64.5%) had received SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Compared to White HCWs (70.9% vaccinated), a significantly smaller proportion of ethnic minority HCWs were vaccinated (South Asian, 58.5%; Black, 36.8%; p < 0.001 for both). After adjustment for age, sex, ethnicity, deprivation, occupation, SARS-CoV-2 serology/PCR results, and COVID-19-related work absences, factors found to be negatively associated with vaccine uptake were younger age, female sex, increased deprivation, pregnancy, and belonging to any non-White ethnic group (Black: adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.30, 95% CI 0.26-0.34, p < 0.001; South Asian: aOR 0.67, 95% CI 0.62-0.72, p < 0.001). Those who had previously had confirmed COVID-19 (by PCR) were less likely to be vaccinated than those who had tested negative. Limitations include data being from a single centre, lack of data on staff vaccinated outside the hospital system, and that staff may have taken up vaccination following data extraction. CONCLUSIONS: Ethnic minority HCWs and those from more deprived areas as well as younger staff and female staff are less likely to take up SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. These findings have major implications for the delivery of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination programmes, in HCWs and the wider population, and should inform the national vaccination programme to prevent the disparities of the pandemic from widening.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Minority Groups , United Kingdom/epidemiology
11.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 9: 100180, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1461657

ABSTRACT

Background: In most countries, healthcare workers (HCWs) represent a priority group for vaccination against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) due to their elevated risk of COVID-19 and potential contribution to nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Concerns have been raised that HCWs from ethnic minority groups are more likely to be vaccine hesitant (defined by the World Health Organisation as refusing or delaying a vaccination) than those of White ethnicity, but there are limited data on SARS-CoV-2 vaccine hesitancy and its predictors in UK HCWs. Methods: Nationwide prospective cohort study and qualitative study in a multi-ethnic cohort of clinical and non-clinical UK HCWs. We analysed ethnic differences in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine hesitancy adjusting for demographics, vaccine trust, and perceived risk of COVID-19. We explored reasons for hesitancy in qualitative data using a framework analysis. Findings: 11,584 HCWs were included in the cohort analysis. 23% (2704) reported vaccine hesitancy. Compared to White British HCWs (21.3% hesitant), HCWs from Black Caribbean (54.2%), Mixed White and Black Caribbean (38.1%), Black African (34.4%), Chinese (33.1%), Pakistani (30.4%), and White Other (28.7%) ethnic groups were significantly more likely to be hesitant. In adjusted analysis, Black Caribbean (aOR 3.37, 95% CI 2.11 - 5.37), Black African (aOR 2.05, 95% CI 1.49 - 2.82), White Other ethnic groups (aOR 1.48, 95% CI 1.19 - 1.84) were significantly more likely to be hesitant. Other independent predictors of hesitancy were younger age, female sex, higher score on a COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs scale, lower trust in employer, lack of influenza vaccine uptake in the previous season, previous COVID-19, and pregnancy. Qualitative data from 99 participants identified the following contributors to hesitancy: lack of trust in government and employers, safety concerns due to the speed of vaccine development, lack of ethnic diversity in vaccine studies, and confusing and conflicting information. Participants felt uptake in ethnic minority communities might be improved through inclusive communication, involving HCWs in the vaccine rollout, and promoting vaccination through trusted networks. Interpretation: Despite increased risk of COVID-19, HCWs from some ethnic minority groups are more likely to be vaccine hesitant than their White British colleagues. Strategies to build trust and dispel myths surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine in these communities are urgently required. Emphasis should be placed on the safety and benefit of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in pregnancy and in those with previous COVID-19. Public health communications should be inclusive, non-stigmatising and utilise trusted networks. Funding: UKRI-MRC and NIHR.

12.
HIV Med ; 2021 Sep 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1434702

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The contribution of HIV to COVID-19 outcomes in hospitalized inpatients remains unclear. We conducted a multi-centre, retrospective matched cohort study of SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive hospital inpatients analysed by HIV status. METHODS: HIV-negative patients were matched to people living with HIV (PLWH) admitted from 1 February 2020 to 31 May 2020 up to a 3:1 ratio by the following: hospital site, SARS-CoV-2 test date ± 7 days, age ± 5 years, gender, and index of multiple deprivation decile ± 1. The primary objective was clinical improvement (two-point improvement or better on a seven-point ordinal scale) or hospital discharge by day 28, whichever was earlier. RESULTS: A total of 68 PLWH and 181 HIV-negative comparators were included. In unadjusted analyses, PLWH had a reduced hazard of achieving clinical improvement or discharge [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) = 0.57, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.39-0.85, p = 0.005], but this association was ameliorated (aHR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.43-1.17, p = 0.18) after additional adjustment for ethnicity, frailty, baseline hypoxaemia, duration of symptoms prior to baseline, body mass index (BMI) categories and comorbidities. Baseline frailty (aHR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.65-0.95, p = 0.011), malignancy (aHR = 0.37, 95% CI 0.17, 0.82, p = 0.014) remained associated with poorer outcomes. The PLWH were more likely to be of black, Asian and minority ethnic background (75.0% vs 48.6%, p = 0.0002), higher median clinical frailty score [3 × interquartile range (IQR): 2-5 vs, 2 × IQR: 1-4, p = 0.0069), and to have a non-significantly higher proportion of active malignancy (14.4% vs 9.9%, p = 0.29). CONCLUSIONS: Adjusting for confounding comorbidities and demographics in a matched cohort ameliorated differences in outcomes of PLWH hospitalized with COVID-19, highlighting the importance of an appropriate comparison group when assessing outcomes of PLWH hospitalized with COVID-19.

13.
BMJ Open ; 11(9): e050647, 2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416675

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant morbidity and mortality and devastated economies globally. Among groups at increased risk are healthcare workers (HCWs) and ethnic minority groups. Emerging evidence suggests that HCWs from ethnic minority groups are at increased risk of adverse COVID-19-related outcomes. To date, there has been no large-scale analysis of these risks in UK HCWs or ancillary workers in healthcare settings, stratified by ethnicity or occupation, and adjusted for confounders. This paper reports the protocol for a prospective longitudinal questionnaire study of UK HCWs, as part of the UK-REACH programme (The United Kingdom Research study into Ethnicity And COVID-19 outcomes in Healthcare workers). METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A baseline questionnaire will be administered to a national cohort of UK HCWs and ancillary workers in healthcare settings, and those registered with UK healthcare regulators, with follow-up questionnaires administered at 4 and 8 months. With consent, questionnaire data will be linked to health records with 25-year follow-up. Univariate associations between ethnicity and clinical COVID-19 outcomes, physical and mental health, and key confounders/explanatory variables will be tested. Multivariable analyses will test for associations between ethnicity and key outcomes adjusted for the confounder/explanatory variables. We will model changes over time by ethnic group, facilitating understanding of absolute and relative risks in different ethnic groups, and generalisability of findings. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study is approved by Health Research Authority (reference 20/HRA/4718), and carries minimal risk. We aim to manage the small risk of participant distress about questions on sensitive topics by clearly participant information that the questionnaire covers sensitive topics and there is no obligation to answer these or any other questions, and by providing support organisation links. Results will be disseminated with reports to Government and papers submitted to pre-print servers and peer reviewed journals. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN11811602; Pre-results.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care , Health Personnel , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Minority Groups , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom
14.
JAMA ; 326(7): 674, 2021 08 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1391507
17.
BMJ Open ; 11(7): e049611, 2021 07 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304230

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, emerging evidence suggests that individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds may be disproportionately affected. The United Kingdom Research study into Ethnicity And COVID-19 outcomes in Healthcare workers (UK-REACH) project has been initiated to generate rapid evidence on whether and why ethnicity affects COVID-19 diagnosis and clinical outcomes in healthcare workers (HCWs) in the UK, through five interlinked work packages/work streams, three of which form the basis of this protocol. The ethico-legal work (Work Package 3) aims to understand and address legal, ethical and acceptability issues around big data research; the HCWs' experiences study (Work Package 4) explores their work and personal experiences, perceptions of risk, support and coping mechanisms; the stakeholder engagement work (Work Package 5) aims to provide feedback and support with the formulation and dissemination of the project recommendations. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Work Package 3 has two different research strands: (A) desk-based doctrinal research; and (B) empirical qualitative research with key opinion leaders. For the empirical research, in-depth interviews will be conducted digitally and recorded with participants' permission. Recordings will be transcribed, coded and analysed using thematic analysis. In Work Package 4, online in-depth interviews and focus groups will be conducted with approximately 150 HCWs, from across the UK, and these will be recorded with participants' consent. The recordings will be transcribed and coded and data will be analysed using thematic analysis. Work Package 5 will achieve its objectives through regular group meetings and in-group discussions. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval has been received from the London-Brighton & Sussex Research Ethics Committee of the Health Research Authority (Ref No 20/HRA/4718). Results of the study will be published in open-access journals, and disseminated through conference presentations, project website, stakeholder organisations, media and scientific advisory groups. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN11811602.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Health Personnel , Humans , London , Minority Groups , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Stakeholder Participation , United Kingdom
18.
BMJ Open ; 11(6): e046392, 2021 06 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1286744

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 has spread rapidly worldwide, causing significant morbidity and mortality. People from ethnic minorities, particularly those working in healthcare settings, have been disproportionately affected. Current evidence of the association between ethnicity and COVID-19 outcomes in people working in healthcare settings is insufficient to inform plans to address health inequalities. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This study combines anonymised human resource databases with professional registration and National Health Service data sets to assess associations between ethnicity and COVID-19 diagnosis, hospitalisation and death in healthcare workers in the UK. Adverse COVID-19 outcomes will be assessed between 1 February 2020 (date following first confirmed COVID-19 case in UK) and study end date (31 January 2021), allowing 1-year of follow-up. Planned analyses include multivariable Poisson, logistic and flexible parametric time-to-event regression within each country, adjusting for core predictors, followed by meta-analysis of country-specific results to produce combined effect estimates for the UK. Mediation analysis methods will be explored to examine the direct, indirect and mediated interactive effects between ethnicity, occupational group and COVID-19 outcomes. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval for the UK-REACH programme has been obtained via the expedited HRA COVID-19 processes (REC ref: 20/HRA/4718, IRAS ID: 288316). Research information will be anonymised via the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage Databank before release to researchers. Study results will be submitted for publication in an open access peer-reviewed journal and made available on our dedicated website (https://uk-reach.org/). TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN11811602.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Health Personnel , Humans , Meta-Analysis as Topic , Retrospective Studies , Routinely Collected Health Data , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine , United Kingdom
20.
J Public Health (Oxf) ; 43(2): e270-e272, 2021 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-958975

Subject(s)
Data Collection , Humans
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