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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(20)2022 Oct 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2082075

ABSTRACT

The final year of high school is a challenging phase of adolescents' lives and substance use can play an important role. We examined changes in the frequency and quantity of alcohol and cannabis use, and demographic correlates among Grade 12 students of 2020. Students (N = 844) from nine schools retrospectively self-reported changes in substance use after the easing of COVID-19 lockdowns (back to school), compared to before the pandemic. Changes in use were examined with age, gender, Aboriginal or Torres Islander, parental and family characteristics, and truancy. Thirty-one percent of students reported that they used alcohol less frequently, and 24% reported that they used it more frequently compared to pre-COVID-19. Most students (46%) reported that they used cannabis less, while a subset reported using more frequently (22%). A history of truancy was associated with an increased frequency (OR = 2.13 [1.18-3.83]) of cannabis use. A substantial minority of adolescents used more alcohol and cannabis after the initial COVID-19 lockdown period. Students in their final year who reported increased use may benefit from increased support to manage their substance use.


Subject(s)
Adolescent Behavior , COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Humans , Adolescent , Self Report , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Communicable Disease Control , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking
2.
Health Soc Care Community ; 2022 Jun 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1886666

ABSTRACT

This qualitative study was designed to understand the impact of social distancing measures on people with dementia and carers living in the community in England and Wales during a period of social restrictions before the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out. We conducted 12 semi-structured interviews with people with dementia aged 50-88 years, living alone or with a partner, and 10 carers aged 61-78 years, all living with the person with dementia. Three of the interviews were with dyads. Participants were recruited during November and December 2020. We used framework analysis to identify themes and elicit suggestions for potential solutions. We identified three interrelated themes. People with dementia experienced a fear of decline in capabilities or mood and attempted to mitigate this. Carers noticed changes in the person with dementia and increased caring responsibilities, and for some, a change in the relationship. Subsequently, reduced confidence in capabilities to navigate a new and hostile environment created a cyclical dilemma of re-engaging where an inability to access usual activities made things worse. People with dementia and carers experienced neglect and being alone in their struggle, alongside feeling socially excluded during the pandemic, and there was little optimism associated with the upcoming vaccine programme. People found their own solutions to reduce the effects of isolation by keeping busy and being socially active, and practising skills deemed to help reduce the progression of dementia. This and some limited local public initiatives for the general public facilitated feelings of social inclusion. This study adds understanding to existing evidence about the longer-term experience of social isolation several months into the pandemic. It highlights the importance of health and community groups and suggests how services can find ways to support, include, and interact with people with dementia and carers during and after social restrictions.

3.
J Alzheimers Dis ; 88(2): 679-692, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1875365

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Social restriction measures imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom impacted on carers of people with dementia, limiting access to support services and increasing perceived burden of caring. Few studies have compared data collected both during and before the pandemic to examine the effect of these changes. OBJECTIVE: To explore whether the COVID-19 pandemic affected the well-being of carers of people with dementia living in the community, and their ability to cope with their caring responsibilities. METHODS: Analysis was conducted on two groups of carers who were enrolled in the IDEAL programme; the 'pre-pandemic group' (n = 312), assessed at two time points prior to the pandemic, and the 'pandemic group', assessed prior to and several months into the pandemic (n = 156). For the pre-pandemic group, carers were matched 2:1 to carers in the pandemic group on certain characteristics. Differences in change over time between the two groups on self-reported well-being, quality of life, coping, perceived competence, and role captivity, were investigated using mixed effect modelling. RESULTS: Compared to the pre-pandemic group, those in the pandemic group appeared to cope better and had more stable self-rated competency and role captivity. They did not differ in terms of well-being or quality of life. CONCLUSIONS: Despite reports of negative impacts on carers early in the pandemic, the findings suggest the pandemic had little negative longer-term impact on carers of people with dementia, and in fact they appeared to have a more positive attitude towards coping several months into the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological , COVID-19 , Caregivers , Dementia , Caregivers/psychology , Dementia/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Quality of Life
4.
Front Psychiatry ; 13: 849808, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775806

ABSTRACT

Objective: Research suggests a decline in the mental health and wellbeing of people with dementia (PwD) during the COVID-19 pandemic; however few studies have compared data collected pre-pandemic and during the pandemic. Moreover, none have compared this change with what would be expected due to dementia progression. We explored whether PwD experienced changes in mental health and wellbeing by comparing pre-pandemic and pandemic data, and drew comparisons with another group of PwD questioned on two occasions prior to the pandemic. Methods: Community-dwelling PwD enrolled in the IDEAL programme were split into two groups matched for age group, sex, dementia diagnosis, and time since diagnosis. Although each group was assessed twice, one was assessed prior to and during the pandemic (pandemic group; n = 115) whereas the other was assessed prior to the pandemic (pre-pandemic group; n = 230). PwD completed measures of mood, sense of self, wellbeing, optimism, quality of life, and life satisfaction. Results: Compared to the pre-pandemic group, the pandemic group were less likely to report mood problems, or be pessimistic, but more likely to become dissatisfied with their lives. There were no changes in continuity in sense of self, wellbeing, and quality of life. Discussion: Results suggest the pandemic had little effect on the mental health and wellbeing of PwD, with any changes observed likely to be consistent with expected rates of decline due to dementia. Although personal accounts attest to the challenges experienced, PwD appear to have been resilient to the impact of lockdown and social restrictions during the pandemic.

5.
Int J Geriatr Psychiatry ; 37(5)2022 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1763227

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Unpaid carers for people with dementia play a crucial role in society. Emerging evidence suggests the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted on carers. This study sought to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on carers for community-dwelling people with dementia and compare responses with pre-pandemic data. METHODS: Data were collected between September 2020 and April 2021 in England and Wales. Carers were identified from the Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life (IDEAL) cohort and data were collected either through the telephone, video conferencing, or an online questionnaire. Responses from 242 carers were compared against benchmark data from the IDEAL cohort collected pre-pandemic. Analyses were conducted for the full sample of carers and spousal/partner carers only. RESULTS: In total 48.8% of carers thought their healthcare needs were negatively affected during the pandemic. Compared with pre-pandemic data carers were more lonely and experienced less life satisfaction. There was little impact on carers' experience of caregiving, although carers felt trapped in their caregiving role. Carers were more optimistic and had higher social contact with relatives. There were changes in the methods carers used for contacting relatives and friends. Most carers coped very or fairly well during the pandemic. There was little difference in the experiences of spousal/partner carers and the full sample. CONCLUSIONS: After a long period of providing care under pandemic conditions carers require additional support. This support needs to be focused on alleviating feelings of loneliness and increasing life satisfaction. Services need to consider how to improve access to health care, particularly resuming face-to-face appointments.

6.
Subst Abuse ; 15: 11782218211061746, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561994

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Alcohol and other drug (AOD) use patterns have altered as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions. This study aimed to: (i) determine the impact of the pandemic on patterns of AOD use among individuals seeking treatment, (ii) identify which mental health and resilience factors were associated with changes in patterns of AOD use and (iii) evaluate changes in the contextual factors (eg, motivations) associated with use. METHODS: Cross-sectional surveys were completed by clients (n = 325) who had sought AOD treatment from January 2020 onwards. We measured quantity and frequency of AOD use now compared to before the pandemic, mental health (depression, anxiety, trauma exposure), resilience and contextual factors related to AOD use. RESULTS: Quantity of tobacco and cannabis use increased post-pandemic, while methamphetamine and alcohol did not change. Depression was associated with more frequent alcohol use now compared to before the pandemic, while anxiety and lower resilience were associated with less frequent cannabis use now. Lower resilience was associated changes in methamphetamine use. Depression was associated with using more frequently for enjoyment and to alleviate loneliness following the pandemic, and anxiety was associated with using earlier in the day and to alleviate boredom. CONCLUSIONS: The pandemic has led to increased frequency of AOD use for a subset of individuals seeking treatment. Depression, anxiety and resilience are important factors associated with altered AOD use, and changes in the motivations and control surrounding use. Special consideration of this should be considered during AOD treatment through the pandemic.

7.
BMJ Open ; 11(11): e048524, 2021 11 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528552

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The Community Ageing Research 75+ (CARE75+) study is a longitudinal cohort study collecting extensive health and social data, with a focus on frailty, independence and quality of life in older age. CARE75+ was the first international experimental frailty research cohort designed using trial within cohorts (TwiCs) methodology, aligning epidemiological research with clinical trial evaluation of interventions to improve the health and well-being of older people. CARE75+ REMOTE is an extension of CARE75+ using a remote model that does not require face-to-face interactions for data collection in the current circumstances of a global pandemic and will provide an efficient, sustainable data collection model. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Prospective cohort study using TwiCs. One thousand community-dwelling older people (≥75 years) will be recruited from UK general practices by telephone. Exclusions include: nursing home/care home residents; those with an estimated life expectancy of 3 months or less; and people receiving palliative care. DATA COLLECTION: Assessments will be conducted by telephone, web-submission or postal questionnaire: baseline, 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, 30 months and 36 months. Measures include activities of daily living, mood, health-related quality of life, comorbidities, medications, frailty, informal care, healthcare and social care service use. Consent will be sought for data linkage and invitations to additional studies (sub-studies). ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: CARE75+ was approved by the National Research Ethics Service (NRES) Committee Yorkshire and the Humber-Bradford Leeds 10 October 2014 (14/YH/1120). CARE75+ REMOTE (amendment 13) was approved on the 18th November 2020. Consent is sought if an individual is willing to participate and has capacity to provide informed consent. Consultee assent is sought if an individual lacks capacity. Results will be disseminated in peer-reviewed scientific journals and conferences. Results will be summarised and disseminated to study participants via newsletters, local engagement events and on a bespoke website. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN16588124.


Subject(s)
Activities of Daily Living , Quality of Life , Aged , Aging , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Prospective Studies
8.
J Alzheimers Dis ; 85(2): 925-940, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518458

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with dementia have been widely-documented, but most studies have relied on carer reports and few have compared responses to information collected before the pandemic. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to explore the impact of the pandemic on community-dwelling individuals with mild-to-moderate dementia and compare responses with pre-pandemic data. METHODS: During the second wave of the pandemic, we conducted structured telephone interviews with 173 people with dementia and 242 carers acting as informants, all of whom had previously participated in the IDEAL cohort. Where possible, we benchmarked responses against pre-pandemic data. RESULTS: Significant perceived negative impacts were identified in cognitive and functional skills and ability to engage in self-care and manage everyday activities, along with increased levels of loneliness and discontinuity in sense of self and a decline in perceived capability to 'live well'. Compared to pre-pandemic data, there were lower levels of pain, depression, and anxiety, higher levels of optimism, and better satisfaction with family support. There was little impact on physical health, mood, social connections and relationships, or perceptions of neighborhood characteristics. CONCLUSION: Efforts to mitigate negative impacts of pandemic-related restrictions and restore quality of life could focus on reablement to address the effects on participation in everyday activities, creating opportunities for social contact to reduce loneliness, and personalized planning to reconnect people with their pre-COVID selves. Such efforts may build on the resilience demonstrated by people with dementia and carers in coping with the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Dementia/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Activities of Daily Living/psychology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/psychology , Caregivers/psychology , Dementia/complications , Dementia/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Quality of Life
9.
Int Urogynecol J ; 32(9): 2353-2356, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1300453

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: While 2017 guidelines from The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists called for pessary replacement every 3 to 4 months, a recent study in Obstetrics and Gynecology suggested that uninterrupted pessary use up to 6 months is not an independent risk factor for development of pessary-related complications. METHODS: Our recent experience throughout the Covid-19 pandemic highlights the potential ramifications of delayed clinical follow-up. RESULTS: During the Covid-19 pandemic, 3 of our patients developed rectovaginal fistulae secondary to Gellhorn pessary erosion in the context of delayed clinical follow-up. Our patients had previously attended routine appointments every 3 months without complications until missed appointments secondary to the pandemic led to fistulae formation. CONCLUSION: We believe that delayed clinical follow-up of pessary management beyond 3 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic may lead to fistula complications in elderly women with Gellhorn pessaries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pelvic Organ Prolapse , Aged , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Pandemics , Pelvic Organ Prolapse/therapy , Pessaries , SARS-CoV-2
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