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Kidney360 ; 1(12): 1390-1397, 2020 12 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776865


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may have a negative effect on the mental and social health of patients with ESKD on chronic in-center hemodialysis (HD), who have a high burden of psychologic symptoms at baseline and unavoidable treatment-related COVID exposures. The goal of our study was to assess the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the psychosocial health of patients on chronic in-center HD. Methods: Participants enrolled in the ongoing Technology Assisted Collaborative Care (TACcare) trial in Western Pennsylvania and New Mexico were approached for participation in a phone survey in May 2020. Data on the pandemic's effects on participants' physical and mental health, symptoms (such as anxiety, mood, loneliness, sleep, and stress), and food and housing security were collected. Results: Surveys were completed by 49 participants (mean age 56 years; 53% men, 18% Black, 20% American Indian, and 22% Hispanic). Almost 80% of participants reported being moderately to extremely worried about the pandemic's effects on their mental/emotional health and interpersonal relationships. More than 85% of the participants were worried about obtaining their dialysis treatments due to infection risk from close contact in the dialysis facility or during transportation. Despite this, 82% of participants reported being not at all/slightly interested in trying home dialysis as an alternative option. Overall, 27% of the participants had clinical levels of depressive symptoms but only 12% had anxiety meeting clinical criteria. About 33% of participants reported poor sleep quality over the last month. Perceived stress was high in about 30% of participants and 85% felt overwhelmed by difficulties with COVID-19, although 41% felt that things were fairly/very often going their way. Conclusions: Our study provides preliminary insights into the psychosocial distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic among a diverse cohort of patients receiving chronic HD who are participating in an ongoing clinical trial.

COVID-19 , Kidney Failure, Chronic , Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Kidney Failure, Chronic/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Renal Dialysis/psychology
J Addict Med ; 15(6): 512-515, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-978616


INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 and associated social distancing has presented challenges for individuals engaging in face-to-face mutual help groups (MHGs) such as Alcoholics Anonymous for alcohol use recovery. Online MHGs may be particularly appealing to individuals with limited access or inclination to attend in-person MHGs. We examined engagement within the popular "StopDrinking" online MHG, hypothesizing that engagement would increase due to demand for virtual peer support as COVID-19 social distancing progressed. METHODS: We collected publicly available engagement data for StopDrinking from February 19, 2018 through April 30, 2020 while considering March and April of 2020 as months initially impacted by voluntary or mandated COVID-19 social distancing. Using seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average models, we predicted daily engagement for this social distancing time period based on all available engagement data collected before April 2020. Kalman filtering with 95% prediction limits was employed to define significant thresholds for observed data to reside within. RESULTS: All days of observed engagement in March and April 2020 were lower than corresponding predicted values. Observed engagement fell below the lower 95% prediction limit for 36% of days, with 15 days in March and 7 days in April having significantly lower than predicted engagement. CONCLUSIONS: Relatively low activity on StopDrinking may signal broader population trends of problematic alcohol use and recovery disengagement during the initial COVID-19 social distancing timeframe. Continued investigation of online MHGs is needed to understand their potential for monitoring population health trends and to understand how such groups might support alcohol use recovery in contexts of crisis and isolation.

COVID-19 , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Humans , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2