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1.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 10(7)2022 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938758

ABSTRACT

Backround: In February 2021, the first formal evidence and consensus-based (S3) guidelines for the inpatient treatment of patients with COVID-19 were published in Germany and have been updated twice during 2021. The aim of the present study is to re-evaluate the dissemination pathways and strategies for ICU staff (first evaluation in December 2020 when previous versions of consensus-based guidelines (S2k) were published) and question selected aspects of guideline adherence of standard care for patients with COVID-19 in the ICU. Methods: We conducted an anonymous online survey among German intensive care staff from 11 October 2021 to 11 November 2021. We distributed the survey via e-mail in intensive care facilities and requested redirection to additional intensive care staff (snowball sampling). Results: There was a difference between the professional groups in the number, selection and qualitative assessment of information sources about COVID-19. Standard operating procedures were most frequently used by all occupational groups and received a high quality rating. Physicians preferred sources for active information search (e.g., medical journals), while nurses predominantly used passive consumable sources (e.g., every-day media). Despite differences in usage behaviour, the sources were rated similarly in terms of the quality of the information on COVID-19. The trusted organizations have not changed over time. The use of guidelines was frequently stated and highly recommended. The majority of the participants reported guideline-compliant treatment. Nevertheless, there were certain variations in the use of medication as well as the criteria chosen for discontinuing non-invasive ventilation (NIV) compared to guideline recommendations. Conclusions: An adequate external source of information for nursing staff is lacking, the usual sources of physicians are only appropriate for the minority of nursing staff. The self-reported use of guidelines is high.

2.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev ; 6: CD015209, 2022 06 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1888499

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: With potential antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors represent a potential treatment for symptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. They may modulate the exuberant immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, a direct antiviral effect has been described. An understanding of the current evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of JAK inhibitors as a treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is required. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of systemic JAK inhibitors plus standard of care compared to standard of care alone (plus/minus placebo) on clinical outcomes in individuals (outpatient or in-hospital) with any severity of COVID-19, and to maintain the currency of the evidence using a living systematic review approach. SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register (comprising MEDLINE, Embase, ClinicalTrials.gov, World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, medRxiv, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials), Web of Science, WHO COVID-19 Global literature on coronavirus disease, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs Evidence Synthesis Program (VA ESP) Covid-19 Evidence Reviews to identify studies up to February 2022. We monitor newly published randomised controlled trials (RCTs) weekly using the Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register, and have incorporated all new trials from this source until the first week of April 2022. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included RCTs that compared systemic JAK inhibitors plus standard of care to standard of care alone (plus/minus placebo) for the treatment of individuals with COVID-19. We used the WHO definitions of illness severity for COVID-19. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We assessed risk of bias of primary outcomes using Cochrane's Risk of Bias 2 (RoB 2) tool. We used GRADE to rate the certainty of evidence for the following primary outcomes: all-cause mortality (up to day 28), all-cause mortality (up to day 60), improvement in clinical status: alive and without need for in-hospital medical care (up to day 28), worsening of clinical status: new need for invasive mechanical ventilation or death (up to day 28), adverse events (any grade), serious adverse events, secondary infections. MAIN RESULTS: We included six RCTs with 11,145 participants investigating systemic JAK inhibitors plus standard of care compared to standard of care alone (plus/minus placebo). Standard of care followed local protocols and included the application of glucocorticoids (five studies reported their use in a range of 70% to 95% of their participants; one study restricted glucocorticoid use to non-COVID-19 specific indications), antibiotic agents, anticoagulants, and antiviral agents, as well as non-pharmaceutical procedures. At study entry, about 65% of participants required low-flow oxygen, about 23% required high-flow oxygen or non-invasive ventilation, about 8% did not need any respiratory support, and only about 4% were intubated. We also identified 13 ongoing studies, and 9 studies that are completed or terminated and where classification is pending. Individuals with moderate to severe disease Four studies investigated the single agent baricitinib (10,815 participants), one tofacitinib (289 participants), and one ruxolitinib (41 participants). Systemic JAK inhibitors probably decrease all-cause mortality at up to day 28 (95 of 1000 participants in the intervention group versus 131 of 1000 participants in the control group; risk ratio (RR) 0.72, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.57 to 0.91; 6 studies, 11,145 participants; moderate-certainty evidence), and decrease all-cause mortality at up to day 60 (125 of 1000 participants in the intervention group versus 181 of 1000 participants in the control group; RR 0.69, 95% CI 0.56 to 0.86; 2 studies, 1626 participants; high-certainty evidence). Systemic JAK inhibitors probably make little or no difference in improvement in clinical status (discharged alive or hospitalised, but no longer requiring ongoing medical care) (801 of 1000 participants in the intervention group versus 778 of 1000 participants in the control group; RR 1.03, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.06; 4 studies, 10,802 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). They probably decrease the risk of worsening of clinical status (new need for invasive mechanical ventilation or death at day 28) (154 of 1000 participants in the intervention group versus 172 of 1000 participants in the control group; RR 0.90, 95% CI 0.82 to 0.98; 2 studies, 9417 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). Systemic JAK inhibitors probably make little or no difference in the rate of adverse events (any grade) (427 of 1000 participants in the intervention group versus 441 of 1000 participants in the control group; RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.08; 3 studies, 1885 participants; moderate-certainty evidence), and probably decrease the occurrence of serious adverse events (160 of 1000 participants in the intervention group versus 202 of 1000 participants in the control group; RR 0.79, 95% CI 0.68 to 0.92; 4 studies, 2901 participants; moderate-certainty evidence). JAK inhibitors may make little or no difference to the rate of secondary infection (111 of 1000 participants in the intervention group versus 113 of 1000 participants in the control group; RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.09; 4 studies, 10,041 participants; low-certainty evidence). Subgroup analysis by severity of COVID-19 disease or type of JAK inhibitor did not identify specific subgroups which benefit more or less from systemic JAK inhibitors. Individuals with asymptomatic or mild disease We did not identify any trial for this population. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: In hospitalised individuals with moderate to severe COVID-19, moderate-certainty evidence shows that systemic JAK inhibitors probably decrease all-cause mortality. Baricitinib was the most often evaluated JAK inhibitor. Moderate-certainty evidence suggests that they probably make little or no difference in improvement in clinical status. Moderate-certainty evidence indicates that systemic JAK inhibitors probably decrease the risk of worsening of clinical status and make little or no difference in the rate of adverse events of any grade, whilst they probably decrease the occurrence of serious adverse events. Based on low-certainty evidence, JAK inhibitors may make little or no difference in the rate of secondary infection. Subgroup analysis by severity of COVID-19 or type of agent failed to identify specific subgroups which benefit more or less from systemic JAK inhibitors. Currently, there is no evidence on the efficacy and safety of systemic JAK inhibitors for individuals with asymptomatic or mild disease (non-hospitalised individuals).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coinfection , Janus Kinase Inhibitors , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Janus Kinase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Oxygen , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
3.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(5)2022 Apr 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820431

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: Health care workers (HCWs) play a key role in increasing anti-COVID vaccination rates. Fear of potential side effects is one of the main reasons for vaccine hesitancy. We investigated which side effects are of concern to HCWs and how these are associated with vaccine hesitancy. (2) Methods: Data were collected in an online survey in February 2021 among HCWs from across Germany with 4500 included participants. Free-text comments on previously experienced vaccination side effects, and fear of short- and long-term side effects of the COVID-19 vaccination were categorized and analyzed. (3) Results: Most feared short-term side effects were vaccination reactions, allergic reactions, and limitations in daily life. Most feared long-term side effects were (auto-) immune reactions, neurological side effects, and currently unknown long-term consequences. Concerns about serious vaccination side effects were associated with vaccination refusal. There was a clear association between refusal of COVID-19 vaccination in one's personal environment and fear of side effects. (4) Conclusions: Transparent information about vaccine side effects is needed, especially for HCW. Especially when the participants' acquaintances advised against vaccination, they were significantly more likely to fear side effects. Thus, further education of HCW is necessary to achieve good information transfer in clusters as well.

4.
Anaesthesist ; 71(4): 281-290, 2022 04.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1777695

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the context of COVID-19, the German CEOsys project (COVID-19 Evidenz Ökosystem, www.covid-evidenz.de ) identifies, evaluates and summarizes the results of scientific studies to obtain evidence on this disease. The evidence syntheses are used to derive specific recommendations for clinical practice and to contribute to national guidelines. Besides the necessity of conducting good quality evidence syntheses during a pandemic, just as important is that the dissemination of evidence needs to be quick and efficient, especially in a health crisis. The CEOsys project has set itself this challenge. OBJECTIVE: Preparing the most suitable distribution of evidence syntheses as part of the CEOsys project tasks. METHODS: Intensive care unit (ICU) personnel in Germany were surveyed via categorical and free text questions. The survey focused on the following topics: evidence syntheses, channels and strategies of distribution, possibility of feedback, structure and barriers of dissemination and trustworthiness of various organizations. Profession, qualification, setting and size of the facility were recorded. Questionnaires were pretested throughout the queried professions (physician, nurse, others). The survey was anonymously carried out online through SosciSurvey® and an e­mail was sent directly to 940 addresses. The survey was launched on 3 December, a reminder was sent after 14 days and it ended on 31 December. The survey was also announced via e­mail through DIVI. RESULTS: Of 317 respondents 200 completed the questionnaire. All information was analyzed including the responses from incomplete questionnaires. The most stated barriers were lack of time and access. Especially residents and nurses without specialization in intensive care mentioned uncertainty or insufficient experience in dealing with evidence syntheses as a barrier. Active distribution of evidence syntheses was clearly preferred. More than half of the participants chose websites of public institutions, medical journals, professional societies and e­mail newsletters for drawing attention to new evidence syntheses. Short versions, algorithms and webinars were the most preferred strategies for dissemination. Trust in organizations supplying information on the COVID-19 pandemic was given to professional societies and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) as the German governmental institute for infections and public health. The respondents' prioritized topics are long-term consequences of the disease, protection of medical personnel against infection and possibilities of ventilation treatment. CONCLUSION: Even though universally valid, evidence syntheses should be actively brought to the target audience, especially during a health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic with its exceptional challenges including lack of time and uncertainties in patient care. The contents should be clear, short (short versions, algorithms) and with free access. E­mail newsletters, websites or medical journals should continuously report on new evidence syntheses. Professional societies and the governmental institute for infections and public health should be involved in dissemination due to their obvious trustworthiness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Critical Care , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Surveys and Questionnaires
5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-311539

ABSTRACT

Background: The surge in patients during the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the looming problem of staff shortage in German ICUs possibly leading to worse outcomes for patients. Methods: Within the German Evidence Ecosystem CEOsys network, we conducted an online national mixed-methods survey assessing the standard of care in German ICUs treating patients with COVID-19. Results: A total of 171 German ICUs reported a median ideal number of patients per intensivist of 8 (interquartile range, IQR = 3rd quartile - 1st quartile = 4.0) and per nurse of 2.0 (IQR = 1.0). For COVID-19 patients, the median target was a maximum of 6.0 (IQR = 2.0) patients per intensivist or 2.0 (IQR = 0.0) patients per nurse. Targets for intensivists were rarely met by 15.2% and never met by 3.5% of responding institutions. Targets for nursing staffing could rarely be met in 32.2% and never in 5.3% of responding institutions. Conclusions: Shortages of staffing in the critical care setting are eminent during the COVID-19 pandemic and might not only negatively affect patient outcomes, but also staff wellbeing and healthcare costs. A joint effort that scrutinizes the demands and structures of our health care system seems fundamental to be prepared for the future.

6.
Anaesthesist ; 71(4): 281-290, 2022 04.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1427225

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the context of COVID-19, the German CEOsys project (COVID-19 Evidenz Ökosystem, www.covid-evidenz.de ) identifies, evaluates and summarizes the results of scientific studies to obtain evidence on this disease. The evidence syntheses are used to derive specific recommendations for clinical practice and to contribute to national guidelines. Besides the necessity of conducting good quality evidence syntheses during a pandemic, just as important is that the dissemination of evidence needs to be quick and efficient, especially in a health crisis. The CEOsys project has set itself this challenge. OBJECTIVE: Preparing the most suitable distribution of evidence syntheses as part of the CEOsys project tasks. METHODS: Intensive care unit (ICU) personnel in Germany were surveyed via categorical and free text questions. The survey focused on the following topics: evidence syntheses, channels and strategies of distribution, possibility of feedback, structure and barriers of dissemination and trustworthiness of various organizations. Profession, qualification, setting and size of the facility were recorded. Questionnaires were pretested throughout the queried professions (physician, nurse, others). The survey was anonymously carried out online through SosciSurvey® and an e­mail was sent directly to 940 addresses. The survey was launched on 3 December, a reminder was sent after 14 days and it ended on 31 December. The survey was also announced via e­mail through DIVI. RESULTS: Of 317 respondents 200 completed the questionnaire. All information was analyzed including the responses from incomplete questionnaires. The most stated barriers were lack of time and access. Especially residents and nurses without specialization in intensive care mentioned uncertainty or insufficient experience in dealing with evidence syntheses as a barrier. Active distribution of evidence syntheses was clearly preferred. More than half of the participants chose websites of public institutions, medical journals, professional societies and e­mail newsletters for drawing attention to new evidence syntheses. Short versions, algorithms and webinars were the most preferred strategies for dissemination. Trust in organizations supplying information on the COVID-19 pandemic was given to professional societies and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) as the German governmental institute for infections and public health. The respondents' prioritized topics are long-term consequences of the disease, protection of medical personnel against infection and possibilities of ventilation treatment. CONCLUSION: Even though universally valid, evidence syntheses should be actively brought to the target audience, especially during a health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic with its exceptional challenges including lack of time and uncertainties in patient care. The contents should be clear, short (short versions, algorithms) and with free access. E­mail newsletters, websites or medical journals should continuously report on new evidence syntheses. Professional societies and the governmental institute for infections and public health should be involved in dissemination due to their obvious trustworthiness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Critical Care , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Surveys and Questionnaires
7.
J Clin Med ; 10(15)2021 Jul 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335124

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has recently dominated scientific literature. Incomplete understanding and a lack of data concerning the pathophysiology, epidemiology, and optimal treatment of the disease has resulted in conflicting recommendations. Adherence to existing guidelines and actual treatment strategies have thus far not been studied systematically. We hypothesized that capturing the variance in care would lead to the discovery of aspects that need further research and-in case of proven benefits of interventions not being performed-better communication to care providers. METHODS: This article is based on a quantitative and qualitative cross-sectional mixed-methods online survey among intensive-care physicians in Germany during the COVID-19 pandemic by the CEOsys (COVID-19 Evidence Ecosystem) network, endorsed by the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) conducted from December 3 to 31 December 2020. RESULTS: We identified several areas of care with an especially high variance in treatment among hospitals in Germany. Crucially, 51.5% of the participating ICUs (n = 205) reported using intubation as a last resort for respiratory failure in COVID-19 patients, while 21.8% used intubation early after admission. Furthermore, 11.5% considered extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in awake patients. Finally, 72.3% of respondents used the ARDS-network-table to titrate positive end-expiratory-pressure (PEEP) levels, with 36.9% choosing the low-PEEP table and 41.8% the high-PEEP table. CONCLUSIONS: We found that significant differences exist between reported treatment strategies and that adherence to published guidelines is variable. We describe necessary steps for future research based on our results highlighting significant clinical variability in care.

8.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(7)2021 Jul 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1308464

ABSTRACT

Vaccination hesitancy is a threat to herd immunity. Healthcare workers (HCWs) play a key role in promoting Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination in the general population. We therefore aimed to provide data on COVID-19 vaccination acceptance/hesitancy among German HCWs. For this exploratory, cross-sectional study, an online survey was conducted in February 2021. The survey included 54 items on demographics; previous vaccination behavior; trust in vaccines, physicians, the pharmaceutical industry and health politics; fear of adverse effects; assumptions regarding the consequences of COVID-19; knowledge about vaccines; and information seeking behavior. Odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated and chi-square tests were performed. Four thousand five hundred surveys were analyzed. The overall vaccination acceptance was 91.7%. The age group ≤20 years showed the lowest vaccination acceptance. Factors associated with vaccination hesitancy were lack of trust in authorities and pharmaceutical companies. Attitudes among acquaintances were associated with vaccination hesitancy too. Participants with vaccination hesitancy more often obtained information about COVID-19 vaccines via messenger services or online video platforms and underperformed in the knowledge test. We found high acceptance amongst German HCWs. Several factors associated with vaccination hesitancy were identified which could be targeted in HCW vaccination campaigns.

9.
Cureus ; 13(6): e15755, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290571

ABSTRACT

Introduction Adequate staffing in the intensive care units (ICUs) is the most important factor to provide optimal care and ensure favorable outcomes in critically ill patients. Recently, the need for ICU beds has reached unprecedented levels and the management and treatment of critically ill patients has been in focus. The aim of the study was to assess the targeted and actual nurse-to-patient (NPR) and physician-to-patient ratios (PPR) regarding patients with and without COVID-19. Methods We conducted a nationwide online survey assessing the standard of care in German ICUs treating patients with COVID-19. We asked questions regarding targeted PPR and NPR and their implementation in daily clinical practice to heads of German ICU departments. Results We received 244 responses of which 171 were eligible for final analysis. Targeted median PPR ratio was 8 [interquartile range (IQR) = 4] and targeted NPR was 2 (IQR = 1). For COVID-19 patients, the median targeted PPR was 6 (IQR = 2) and the median targeted NPR was 2 (IQR = 0). Targeted PPRs were rarely met by 15.2% and never met by 3.5% of responding institutions. Targeted NPRs were rarely met in 32.2% and never in 5.3% of responding institutions. Conclusion In contrast to PPR, targeted NPRs were largely unattainable in German ICUs. Our results raise concern in view of studies linking worse outcomes in critically ill patients to suboptimal NPRs. This warrants further health policy efforts regarding optimal staffing in the ICU.

10.
GMS Hyg Infect Control ; 16: Doc21, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290316

ABSTRACT

Aim: Recommendations on hygiene measures, personal protective equipment (PPE), isolation, and antibiotic prophylaxis were developed during the coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) pandemic and have been revised several times to date. Some of the underlying literature indicates a large evidence gap. We suspect that this leads to a large variance of measures on German intensive care units (ICU). Methods: A mixed methods online survey among intensive-care specialists in Germany caring for COVID-19 patients was conducted in December 2020. Results: We received responses from 205 German ICUs that had treated COVID-19 patients to date. There was wide variation in the use of PPE. Polymerase Chain reaction (PCR) testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was used by 94.8% of the units, with an average waiting time of 12 hours for the result. 18.7% of the respondents prescribed antibiotic prophylaxis in COVID-19 patients. Conclusion: We found a high variance in essential care strategies for COVID-19 patients on German intensive care units. This included differences in infection prophylaxis, personal protective equipment, and the indication of prophylactic antibiotic therapy. Based on our results, we recommend further studies to quantify and improve guideline adherence.

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