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1.
European Journal of Public Health ; 32:III569-III569, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2310321
3.
European Journal of Public Health ; 32:III574-III574, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2307990
4.
Health systems in transition ; 24(4):1-236, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2260735

ABSTRACT

This analysis of the Italian health system reviews recent developments in organization and governance, health financing, health care provision, health reforms and health system performance. Italy has a regionalized National Health Service (SSN) that provides universal coverage largely free of charge at the point of delivery, though certain services and goods require a co-payment. Life expectancy in Italy is historically among the highest in the EU. However, regional differences in health indicators are marked, as well as in per capita spending, distribution of health professionals and in the quality of health services. Overall, Italy's health spending per capita is lower than the EU average and is among the lowest in western European countries. Private spending has increased in recent years, although this trend was halted in 2020 during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. A key focus of health policies in recent decades was to promote a shift away from unnecessary inpatient care, with a considerable reduction of acute hospital beds and stagnating overall growth in health personnel. However, this was not counterbalanced by a sufficient strengthening of community services in order to cope with the ageing population's needs and related chronic conditions burden. This had important repercussions during the COVID-19 emergency, as the health system felt the impact of previous reductions in hospital beds and capacity and underinvestment in community-based care. Reorganizing hospital and community care will require a strong alignment between central and regional authorities. The COVID-19 crisis also highlighted several issues pre-dating the pandemic that need to be addressed to improve the sustainability and resilience of the SSN. The main outstanding challenges for the health system are linked to addressing historic underinvestment in the health workforce, modernizing outdated infrastructure and equipment, and enhancing information infrastructure. Italy's National Recovery and Resilience Plan, underwritten by the Next Generation EU budget to assist with economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, contains specific health sector priorities, such as strengthening the country's primary and community care, boosting capital investment and funding the digitalization of the health care system.Copyright World Health Organization 2022 (acting as the host organization for, and secretariat of, the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies).

5.
Eurohealth ; 27(1):4-9, 2021.
Article in English | GIM | ID: covidwho-2125601

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised that calls for clearer mandates and leadership from health authorities has gone unheard for decades. Preventable occurrences in response to the pandemic depict that countries in the WHO European Region suffer from various issues that undermine public health leadership - a necessary capacity to navigate extraordinary times, such as these. What remains clear is that there is a dire need for public health to be reinforced and enabled to ensure effective public health responses. Furthermore, internal siloes within the field must be broken down and collaboration within and across sectors nurtured, to help build up resilience to handle future emergencies.

6.
European journal of public health ; 32(Suppl 3), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2102762

ABSTRACT

Background During the COVID-19 pandemic, several public health challenges were faced, requiring worldwide leaders able to direct, guide, and establish appropriate strategies. The aim of this review was to summarize evidence on public health leadership during the COVID-19 era. Methods The systematic literature review was conducted according to the PRISMA 2020 checklist. A search of relevant articles was performed in the PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science databases. Eligible articles were any type of publication, published between 2020 and 2022, that outlined one or more characteristics of effective public health leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic We excluded all articles that did not explicitly address the COVID-19 pandemic or had a different setting. Results A total of 2499 records were screened, and 45 articles were included. We identified 93 characteristics, clustered in six groups, that were reported as fundamental to be an effective leader in public health crises worldwide. Emotional intelligence and human traits (reported by 46.67% of the articles) were considered essential to build trust in the population and ensure cooperation with working groups. Communication skills (47%) are considered necessary to enable people to understand and accept measures. A supportive, multidisciplinary team and accountability mechanisms (33,33%) were highlighted as central elements, especially in the international field, to ensure reliability and consistency in action. Management skills (35,56%), adaptability (44,44%), and evidence-based approach (33,33%) were reported as key capabilities to ensure a prompt and rapid response to the challenges created by the pandemic. Conclusions The identification of the attributes of an effective public health leader conducted in this study is useful in choosing the key personalities who must lead public health today and in the training of tomorrow's European and worldwide leaders to be ready to face future threats. Key messages • Effective public health leaders in crisis are empathetic and trustworthy people, who have developed management and communication skills, and are able to make timely and evidence-based decisions. • In order to create leaders capable of facing future threats, more emphasis in the training of public health workforce on soft skills and management competencies should be recommended.

7.
European journal of public health ; 32(Suppl 3), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2102432

ABSTRACT

Influenza represents a major burden for public health. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are a priority target group for flu vaccination. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when SARS-CoV-2 vaccines were not yet available, susceptibility to influenza vaccination especially by HCWs increased. The aim of this study is to analyze the flu vaccination coverage among HCWs and to study which factors affected their adherence given the concomitant COVID-19 vaccination. The retrospective study was conducted in an Italian research hospital from October 2021 to January 2022. A total of 7,048 individuals was included. Age class, gender and job category variables were analyzed. Statistically significant differences among groups were tested through χ2 test. Univariate and multivariate analyses (p < 0,005) were performed to assess differences towards vaccination attitude. The flu vaccination coverage rate was 24.6%. Among the selected job categories, 29.8% of physicians, 19.9% of nurses and 19.7% of other HCWs were vaccinated with a statistically significant decrease (p < 0.001) across all categories respect with the last campaign. The findings of the logistic regression depicted that the 40-59 years old age class, compared with the youngest age class (OR 1.30, 95% CI 1.12-1.43) as well as being physician (OR 2.79, 95% CI 1.87-3.41) with the respect to being nurses, had a higher adherence to vaccination. Interestingly, being male, is associated with a statistically significant reduction (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.59-0.87) in vaccination uptake. Study findings showed a several decline in the flu vaccination coverage comparing with previous campaigns, probably due to the concomitant administration of the booster dose against SARS-CoV-2. This alarm should not be underestimated and requires timely and innovative organizational approaches (i.e., combined vaccine). Further studies are needed to analyze the reasons for this poor adhesion and the strategies to be adopted to increase the awareness of the HCWs. Key messages • Reaching high coverage rates and restore a positive trend for the future campaign for flu vaccination it is essential strategy to protect HCWs themselves, their patients and the hospital community. • Decision-makers should implement consistent communication strategies to lessen vaccine hesitancy among HCWs.

8.
European journal of public health ; 32(Suppl 3), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2101763

ABSTRACT

Background During the COVID-19 pandemic, several professional athletes from different sports were infected by SARS-CoV-2. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the currently available scientific evidence regarding the cardiological, pulmonary, psychological, and combined sequelae, in professional athletes. Methods The present systematic review was performed following the PRISMA statements, thereby searching on 3 databases: PubMed, ISI Web of Science, Scopus. Primary studies published between January 2020 and March 2022, investigating symptomatic and instrumental sequelae in competitive athletes after COVID-19 infection, were included. Results A total of 1,957 articles were screened, finally 18 were included (6 cohort studies, 2 case-control studies and 10 cross-sectional studies). Studies’ sample size ranged from a minimum of 12 to 1908 athletes playing different sports. In addition, the studies examined the following type of sequelae: 12 cardiological, 2 psychological, 1 pulmonary and 3 combined. Regarding the cardiological field, the prevalence of anomalies in instrumental examinations ranged 0-27.89% for first level tests (echocardiography, electrocardiogram, troponin), and 0-6.21% for second level tests (cardiac magnetic resonance). The prevalence of myocarditis and pericarditis in the athletes ranged from 0 to 3.33%, whereby the prevalence of myocarditis was in the range 0-2.32% and that of pericarditis in the range 0-2.22%. Conclusions The results show that post SARS-CoV-2 infection cardiac sequelae have a quite low prevalence among competitive athletes included in our review, but it would be important to set up a gradual and continuous testing approach to preserve sports performance. Public health framework, such as vaccination campaign, is important both at European and international level in order to address potential consequences of infectious diseases among competitive athletes. Key messages • It is important to monitor all COVID-19 sequelae in European competitive athletes playing different sports. • Considering anti-COVID-19 vaccination in competitive athletes as an important preventive measure, to limit the circulation of the virus and the physical consequences that may occur.

9.
Safety and Health at Work ; 13:S162, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1677022

ABSTRACT

Introduction: During the pandemic, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) has become essential for Healthcare Workers (HCWs) to fight safely against the virus. However, the extensive and prolonged use of PPE may cause various adverse skin reactions due to the use of alcohol hand cleanser and protracted use of masks and goggles. The aim of this study is to evaluate the skin problems caused by PPE in HCWs and the possible consequences on their work. Materials and methods: An online ad hoc questionnaire, composed by 35 questions about sociodemographic characteristics, work related issues and exposure/habits about PPE, was administered to a sample of Italian HCWs. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed in order to explore possible associations between variables. Results: We tested 3 types of PPE: Gloves, Hair Bonnets and Masks for different time of utilization (<1, 1-3, 3-6, >6 hours). The sample included 1184 participants: 292 workers reported a dermatological pathology nested in four different pathological groups: 45 (15%) had Psoriasis, 54 (19%) Eczema, 38 (13%) Acne, 48 (16%), seborrheic dermatitis and 107 (36%) other. 25 workers had a loss of occupational days due to dermatological illness;56 occupational physician surveillance visits were asked for;in 30 cases were recognized limitations in working duties. Conclusions: Protecting HCWs requires the use of PPE, but occupational dermatitis is an emerging problem in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. National data for affected healthcare professionals could contribute to a better understanding of the problem and prevention initiatives in the workplace

10.
European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. European Observatory Policy Briefs ; 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1668445

ABSTRACT

Digital health tools hold the potential to improve the efficiency, accessibility and quality of care. Before the pandemic, efforts had been made to support implementation across Europe over many years, but widespread adoption in practice had been difficult and slow. The greatest barriers to adoption of digital health tools were not primarily technical in nature, but instead lay in successfully facilitating the required individual, organizational and system changes. During the COVID-19 pandemic many digital health tools moved from being viewed as a potential opportunity to becoming an immediate necessity, and their use increased substantially. Digital health tools have been used during the pandemic to support four main areas: communication and information, including tackling misinformation;surveillance and monitoring;the continuing provision of health care such as through remote consultations;and the rollout and monitoring of vaccination programmes. Greater use of digital health tools during the pandemic has been facilitated by: policy changes to regulation and reimbursement;investment in technical infrastructure;and training for health professionals. As the pandemic comes under control, if health systems are to retain added value from greater use of digital health tools, active strategies are needed now to build on the current momentum around their use. Areas to consider while developing such strategies include: Ensuring clear system-level frameworks and reimbursement regimes for the use of digital health tools, while allowing scope for co-design of digital health solutions by patients and health professionals for specific uses. Combining local flexibility with monitoring and evaluation to learn lessons and ensure that digital health tools help to meet wider health system goals.

14.
European Journal of Public Health ; 31:2, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1609951
15.
European Journal of Public Health ; 31:76-76, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1609828
16.
G Ital Med Lav Ergon ; 43(2):93-98, 2021.
Article in Italian | PubMed | ID: covidwho-1346946

ABSTRACT

The legal responsibility of the vaccinating doctor is one of the central issues in the current setting of the Covid-19 pandemic. The aim of this statement is to outline the profiles of the medical legal liability, with a focus on the figure of the vaccinating physician, in criminal, civil, and disciplinary terms, based on the Italian legislation in force. The vaccinating doctor responds for his work in the field of vaccination in the same way as any other health service should perform (diagnostic, therapeutic, etc.). Helpful in this context is the adoption of the L. 76/2021;it was developed to find a balance between safeguarding the person privacy and greater guarantees for the doctor. This law introduces a criminal shield that can put a limit to litigation, curbing the phenomenon of so-called defensive medicine. The climate of uncertainty and fear of legal repercussions for the doctors, and the constant updating and redefinition of the indications of operability in the vaccination campaigns, underline the need to focus on the knowledge of the responsibilities and the safeguard of the vaccinating doctors. In addition to the regulatory cornerstones, the statement also addresses the issue of informed consent and the role of the occupational doctor as a central figure in the vaccination campaign in the workplace.

17.
European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. European Observatory Policy Briefs ; 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196319

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 can cause persistent ill-health. Around a quarter of people who have had the virus experience symptoms that continue for at least a month but one in 10 are still unwell after 12 weeks. This has been described by patient groups as "Long COVID". Our understanding of how to diagnose and manage Long COVID is still evolving but the condition can be very debilitating. It is associated with a range of overlapping symptoms including generalized chest and muscle pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, and cognitive dysfunction, and the mechanisms involved affect multiple system and include persisting inflammation, thrombosis, and autoimmunity. It can affect anyone, but women and health care workers seem to be at greater risk. Long COVID has a serious impact on people's ability to go back to work or have a social life. It affects their mental health and may have significant economic consequences for them, their families and for society. Policy responses need to take account of the complexity of Long COVID and how what is known about it is evolving rapidly. Areas to address include: The need for multidisciplinary, multispecialty approaches to assessment and management;Development, in association with patients and their families, of new care pathways and contextually appropriate guidelines for health professionals, especially in primary care to enable case management to be tailored to the manifestations of disease and involvement of different organ systems;The creation of appropriate services, including rehabilitation and online support tools;Action to tackle the wider consequences of Long COVID, including attention to employment rights, sick pay policies, and access to benefit and disability benefit packages;Involving patients both to foster self-care and self-help and in shaping awareness of Long COVID and the service (and research) needs it generates;and Implementing well-functioning patient registers and other surveillance systems;creating cohorts of patients;and following up those affected as a means to support the research which is so critical to understanding and treating Long COVID.

18.
European Journal of Public Health ; 30, 2020.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1015260

ABSTRACT

Background Several countries facing the COVID-19 pandemic were not prepared to manage it. Public health mitigation strategies, ranging from isolation of infected cases to implementation of national lockdowns, proved their effectiveness for the outbreaks control. However, the adjustment of public health measures is crucial during transition phases to avoid new outbreaks. To address the need for designing evidence-based strategies, we performed a systematic review, identifying healthcare systems approaches, experiences and recommendations used to manage COVID-19 and other epidemics. Methods PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus and Cochrane were searched to retrieve eligible studies of any study design, published in English until April 17th, 2020. Double-blinded screening process was conducted by titles/abstracts and subsequently eligible full-texts were read and pertinent data were extracted. We performed a narrative analysis of each implemented strategy. Results We included a total of 24 articles addressing the public health strategies implemented for respiratory viral infections outbreaks as COVID-19, influenza A H1N1, MERS and SARS. The identified strategies are ascribable to two main categories: healthcare systems management at a national level and healthcare providers strategies at a local level. The key components of the transition strategies regarded the implementation of evidence-based contextual policies, intrahospital management approaches, community healthcare facilities, non-pharmaceutical interventions, enhanced surveillance, workplace preventive measures, mental health interventions and communication plans. Conclusions The identified healthcare systems strategies applied worldwide to face epidemics or pandemics, are a useful knowledge base to inform decision-makers about control measures to be used in the transition phases of COVID-19 and beyond. Key messages Healthcare systems strategies that can be implemented to manage pandemics/epidemics transition phases are a useful knowledge base to inform policy makers about the most effective solutions to adopt. The evidence reporting the healthcare systems management of respiratory viruses epidemics/pandemics, show the lack of a common and shared approach and more evidence-based research is needed.

19.
Eurohealth ; 26(2):51-57, 2020.
Article in English | GIM | ID: covidwho-942067

ABSTRACT

Finding ways to increase the surge capacity and flexibility of the health workforce has been fundamental to delivering an effective COVID-19 response. This article explores the strategies that 44 countries in Europe plus Canada have taken to maintain and increase the availability of health workers using data from the COVID-19 Health System and Response Monitor. We show that all countries have used a variety of strategies to repurpose and mobilise the existing health workforce, while some have also augmented capacity by utilising foreign-trained or previously retired or inactive health professionals, medical and nursing students and volunteers.

20.
The European Journal of Public Health. 2020 Sep 30|30(Suppl 5): ckaa165.210 ; 2020.
Article | PMC | ID: covidwho-865879
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