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1.
Aust Health Rev ; 2022 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2050701

ABSTRACT

ObjectiveTo describe self-reported general and psychological health for allied health practitioners at an Australian acute public health service over three time points within the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.MethodsThis study collected data from cross-sectional online surveys at three time points: May-June 2020 (T1), October-November 2020 (T2) and November-December 2021 (T3). The self-report questionnaire consisted of demographic questions, a general health question and the 21-item version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21).ResultsA total of 308 responses were received (T1 n = 135, T2 n = 78, T3 n = 95) from representatives of eight allied health professions. The proportion of allied health practitioners reporting poor general health significantly increased over time, as did mean scores on all DASS-21 sub-scales. General health status was also significantly associated with DASS-21 subscale scores. Anxiety scores increased significantly between T1 and T2, while depression scores increased significantly between T2 and T3. Significant increases in stress scores were recorded across all time intervals. Between T1 and T3, the proportion of allied health practitioners reporting moderate, severe, or extremely severe symptoms increased for depression (10.3-30.9%), anxiety (5.2-18.2%) and stress (13.3-36.3%).ConclusionThe general and psychological health of allied health practitioners appears to be worsening as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Organisational strategies to support the health of the allied health workforce in acute care settings must address the cumulative effects of prolonged pressure on their general and psychosocial health. Support strategies need to be responsive to changes in psychological wellbeing at different phases of the pandemic.

2.
Clin Geriatr Med ; 38(3): 519-531, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1800153

ABSTRACT

It is now more than 2 years since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected people around the globe, particularly older persons, who are at the highest risk of severe disease. In addition, many of those who survive will have symptoms that persist after the initial infection. COVID-19 infection severely affects function and mobility through its impact on the musculoskeletal system. This article focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity in older people and subsequent effects and implications for function and quality of life.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Exercise , Humans , Pandemics , Quality of Life
3.
Occup Med (Lond) ; 72(3): 215-224, 2022 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1752147

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Hospital clinicians report poor psychosocial well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Few studies have reported data at more than one time point. AIMS: To compare psychosocial well-being among hospital clinicians at two different time points during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. METHODS: Participants included doctors, nurses, midwives and allied health clinicians at a multi-site, public health service in Melbourne, Australia. Data were collected via two cross-sectional, online surveys: May to June (wave 1; n = 638) and October to December 2020 (wave 2; n = 358). The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21) assessed psychological well-being in the past week. Investigator-devised questions assessed COVID-19 concerns and perceived work impacts. General linear models were used to assess impact of wave on psychological distress. RESULTS: There were no significant demographic differences between the two groups. Both positive (e.g. learning experience) and negative (e.g. risk of getting COVID-19) impacts were reported. In both waves, staff were most concerned about health risks to family members. Wave 2 respondents were significantly more likely than wave 1 respondents to indicate concerns about colleagues having COVID-19, increased workloads, leave cancellation and increased conflict at work (all P < 0.001). Adjusting for sex, age, self-rated health and discipline group, depression, anxiety and stress scores were significantly higher for respondents in the second than the first wave (all P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Psychological well-being of hospital clinicians was significantly worse during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic than the first. Sustained occupational and psychosocial support is recommended even when immediate COVID-19 concerns and impacts resolve.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/etiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/etiology , Hospitals , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
4.
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 23(5): 756-763, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631875

ABSTRACT

Osteoporosis is underdiagnosed and undertreated in people living in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs), even though aged-care residents are at greater risk of experiencing fractures than their community-dwelling counterparts. The first (2009) and second (2016) Consensus Conferences on the Treatment of Osteoporosis in RACFs in Australia addressed the prevention of falls and fractures in RACFs. A third Consensus Conference was held to review advances in the field of osteoporosis for people living in RACFs and to update current guidelines. The Conference was held virtually in October 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendance at the meeting was open to health practitioners (n = 116) (eg, general practitioners, geriatricians, rehabilitation specialists, endocrinologists, pharmacists, and physiotherapists) working in RACFs. Participants chose and/or were assigned to breakout groups to review the evidence and reach a consensus on the topic area assigned to the group, which was then presented to the entire group by a nominated spokesperson. Recommendations developed by breakout groups were discussed and voted on by all attending participants. This article updates the evidence for preventing falls and fractures and managing osteoporosis in older adults living in RACFs based on agreed outcomes from the group. We anticipate these updated recommendations will provide health practitioners with valuable guidance when practicing in RACFs.


Subject(s)
Assisted Living Facilities , COVID-19 , Osteoporosis , Osteoporotic Fractures , Aged , Humans , Osteoporosis/prevention & control , Osteoporotic Fractures/epidemiology , Osteoporotic Fractures/prevention & control , Pandemics
5.
BMJ Open ; 11(7): e048395, 2021 07 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1327672

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: One in three people aged 65 years and over fall each year. The health, economic and personal impact of falls will grow substantially in the coming years due to population ageing. Developing and implementing cost-effective strategies to prevent falls and mobility problems among older people is therefore an urgent public health challenge. StandingTall is a low-cost, unsupervised, home-based balance exercise programme delivered through a computer or tablet. StandingTall has a simple user-interface that incorporates physical and behavioural elements designed to promote compliance. A large randomised controlled trial in 503 community-dwelling older people has shown that StandingTall is safe, has high adherence rates and is effective in improving balance and reducing falls. The current project targets a major need for older people and will address the final steps needed to scale this innovative technology for widespread use by older people across Australia and internationally. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This project will endeavour to recruit 300 participants across three sites in Australia and 100 participants in the UK. The aim of the study is to evaluate the implementation of StandingTall into the community and health service settings in Australia and the UK. The nested process evaluation will use both quantitative and qualitative methods to explore uptake and acceptability of the StandingTall programme and associated resources. The primary outcome is participant adherence to the StandingTall programme over 6 months. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval has been obtained from the South East Sydney Local Health District Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC reference 18/288) in Australia and the North West- Greater Manchester South Research Ethics Committee (IRAS ID: 268954) in the UK. Dissemination will be via publications, conferences, newsletter articles, social media, talks to clinicians and consumers and meetings with health departments/managers. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ACTRN12619001329156.


Subject(s)
Exercise Therapy , Independent Living , Aged , Australia , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Humans , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
6.
Aust Health Rev ; 45(6): 656-666, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1316729

ABSTRACT

Objective This study investigated the short-term psychosocial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospital clinical staff, specifically their self-reported concerns and perceived impact on their work and personal lives. Methods Nurses, midwives, doctors and allied health staff at a large metropolitan tertiary health service in Melbourne, Australia, completed an anonymous online cross-sectional survey between 15 May and 10 June 2020. The survey assessed respondents' COVID-19 contact status, concerns related to COVID-19 and other effects of COVID-19. Space was provided for free-text comments. Results Respondents were mostly concerned about contracting COVID-19, infecting family members and caring for patients with COVID-19. Concerns about accessing and using personal protective equipment, redeployment and their ability to provide high-quality patient care during the pandemic were also reported. Pregnant staff expressed uncertainty about the possible impact of COVID-19 on their pregnancy. Despite their concerns, few staff had considered resigning, and positive aspects of the pandemic were also described. Conclusion The COVID-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact on the work and personal lives of hospital clinical staff. Staff, particularly those who are pregnant, would benefit from targeted well-being and support initiatives that address their concerns and help them manage their work and personal lives. What is known about the topic? The COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on healthcare workers' psychological well-being. Little is known about their COVID-19-related concerns and the perceived impact of the pandemic on their work and personal lives, particularly hospital clinical staff during the 'first wave' of the pandemic in Australia. What does this paper add? This paper contributes to a small but emerging evidence base about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work and personal lives of hospital clinical staff. Most staff were concerned about their own health and the risk to their families, friends and colleagues. Despite their concerns, few had considered resigning. Uncertainty about the possible impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy was also reported. What are the implications for practitioners? During the current and future pandemics, staff, especially those who are pregnant, would benefit from targeted well-being and support initiatives that address their concerns and help them manage the impact on their health, work and personal lives.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Australia/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hospitals , Humans , Personnel, Hospital , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Aust Health Rev ; 45(3): 297-305, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1254135

ABSTRACT

Objective This study assessed the psychological well-being of Australian hospital clinical staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods An anonymous online cross-sectional survey was conducted in a large metropolitan tertiary health service located in Melbourne, Australia. The survey was completed by nurses, midwives, doctors and allied health (AH) staff between 15 May and 10 June 2020. The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale - 21 items (DASS-21) assessed the psychological well-being of respondents in the previous week. Results In all, 668 people responded to the survey (nurses/midwives, n=391; doctors, n=138; AH staff, n=139). Of these, 108 (16.2%) had direct contact with people with a COVID-19 diagnosis. Approximately one-quarter of respondents reported symptoms of psychological distress. Between 11% (AH staff) and 29% (nurses/midwives) had anxiety scores in the mild to extremely severe ranges. Nurses and midwives had significantly higher anxiety scores than doctors (P<0.001) and AH staff (P<0.001). Direct contact with people with a COVID-19 diagnosis (P<0.001) and being a nurse or midwife (P<0.001) were associated with higher anxiety scores. Higher ratings of the health service's pandemic response and staff support strategies were protective against depression (P<0.001), anxiety (P<0.05) and stress (P<0.001). Conclusions The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant effect on the psychological well-being of hospital clinical staff, particularly nurses and midwives. Staff would benefit from (additional) targeted supportive interventions during the current and future outbreaks of infectious diseases. What is known about the topic? The outbreak of COVID-19 is having, and will have, a considerable effect on health services. No Australian data about the effect of COVID-19 on the psychological well-being of hospital clinical staff are available. What does this paper add? Australia healthcare providers have experienced considerable emotional distress during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly nurses and midwives and clinical staff who have had direct contact with people with a COVID-19 diagnosis. In this study, nurses and midwives had significantly higher levels of anxiety, depression and stress during the pandemic than general Australian adult population norms, and significantly more severe anxiety symptoms than medical and AH staff. Despite a lower number of COVID-19 cases and a lower death rate than in other countries, the proportion of Australian hospital clinical staff experiencing distress is similar to that found in other countries. What are the implications for practitioners? Targeted well-being interventions are required to support hospital clinical staff during the current and future outbreaks of infectious diseases and other 'crises' or adverse events.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Hospitals , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
8.
Phys Ther ; 101(6)2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091223

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a rapid shift to telehealth-delivered physical therapy services. Common impairments after stroke create unique challenges when providing rehabilitation via telehealth, particularly when it involves activities undertaken in weight-bearing or standing positions, including walking training. Our scoping review maps the evidence regarding safety, efficacy, and feasibility of remotely supervised telehealth interventions involving activities undertaken in weight-bearing or standing positions for people after stroke. METHODS: Searches of relevant databases for primary research studies were conducted using keywords relating to exercise and telehealth. Studies of stroke survivors undertaking interventions involving activities in weight-bearing or standing positions, supervised in real-time via telehealth were included. Two reviewers independently appraised all studies. Data were charted by one reviewer, checked by another, and results synthesized narratively. RESULTS: Seven studies (2 randomized trials, 1 mixed-methods, and 4 pre-post studies) were included, involving 179 participants. Some studies included stroke survivors with cognitive impairment, and 2 (29%) studies included only participants who walked independently. Adherence (reported in 3 studies) and satisfaction (reported in 4 studies) were good, and no serious adverse events (data from 4 studies) related to interventions were reported. Strategies to overcome technological barriers were used to optimize intervention safety and feasibility, along with physiological monitoring, caregiver assistance, and in-person exercise prescription. However, there is limited high-quality evidence of efficacy. CONCLUSIONS: We identified strategies used in research to date that can support current practice. However, urgent research is needed to ensure that stroke survivors are receiving evidence-based, effective services. IMPACT: The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated a rapid shift to telerehabilitation services for people with stroke, but there is little evidence to guide best practice. Our review provides practical guidance and strategies to overcome barriers and optimize safety and adherence for telehealth interventions involving activities in weight-bearing or standing positions.


Subject(s)
Exercise Therapy/methods , Standing Position , Stroke Rehabilitation/methods , Telerehabilitation/methods , Walking , Weight-Bearing , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Safety , SARS-CoV-2
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