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Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol ; : 1-7, 2023 Jan 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2187644


PURPOSE: Mobile health (mHealth) technology has increased dramatically in the wake of the pandemic. Less research has focused on people with mobility impairing (PMI) disabilities. This study determined the prevalence of mHealth use among PMI adults during the COVID-19 escalation and examines demographic, health and COVID-19 concerns correlates. METHODS: PMI adults (N = 304) completed an online survey investigating mHealth use and COVID-19 concerns related to food access in June of 2020. Smartphone and mHealth use were measured with an adapted version of the survey used in the Pew Internet & American Life project. Descriptive and multivariable analyses were conducted to determine associations of demographics, health status, and COVID-19 concerns with mHealth use. About two-thirds (N = 201) of the sample were mHealth users (owned a smartphone and engaged in health-promoting behaviors with the smartphone; e.g., sought online information, tracked health behaviors, used patient portals). RESULTS: Having hypertension was associated with higher mHealth use, and having higher COVID-19 concerns about food access was associated with higher mHealth use. Those who used mHealth were also more engaged with smartphone apps for communication, services, and entertainment. Only the association between educational attainment and mHealth use remained significant after adjusting for other covariates in multivariable logistic regression models. DISCUSSION: PMIs continue to need support in the use of mHealth technology to help maximize access to potentially important tools for rehabilitation and health management. There is a need to continue to investigate mHealth and its applications for people with disabilities.Implications for RehabilitationMany people with mobility impairing disabilities may be missing opportunities for mHealth rehabilitation and healthcare.COVID-19 has widened existing gaps in access and use of mHealth technology among people with mobility impairing disabilities.Focused education is needed to help people with disabilities exploit the full range of services of their smartphones to increase access to care, social connectivity, and other important goods and services to enhance rehabilitation and health management.

BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 2270, 2022 Dec 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2153544


BACKGROUND: Early Care and Education (ECE) sites are critical hubs for social, emotional, and physical learning development of preschool children (ages 3-5). The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted ECE enrollment and participation; until June 2022, preschool children in the US were ineligible for COVID-19 vaccines. It is critical to identify perceptions of teachers/directors and parents to enhance safe return-to-school efforts. METHODS: Focus groups (n = 7; 22 participants) were conducted with ECE teachers/directors throughout Arizona to examine perceptions of COVID-19 testing for families and staff at ECE sites, and current and possible COVID-19 mitigation strategies during Summer 2021. Preschool parents from underserved families in Phoenix (n = 41) completed a brief survey on their perceptions of benefits of ECE for themselves and their children, thoughts on COVID-19 mitigation strategies, and timing for safe return to school during Spring 2021. Focus groups were transcribed and analyzed for themes using constant comparison. RESULTS: There were 4 focus group themes: 1) perceptions of saliva-based COVID-19 testing, 2) logistical strategies for COVID-19 testing at ECE sites; 3) successes and challenges with current COVID-19 mitigation strategies; 4) ideas to support improved COVID-19 mitigation, including outdoor gardening. Parents rated peace of mind about the child's education as the most important benefit for themselves of in-person ECE (74.6%), and social development for children as the most important benefit for their children (54.4%). Over 40% of parents reported it would not be safe to send children back until 2022. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 continues to impact attendance at ECE sites, despite parents reporting key benefits to attending ECE sites. Teachers/directors supported COVID-19 mitigation strategies including saliva-based testing and gardening education to improve safe return to schools.

COVID-19 , Child Care , Child, Preschool , Humans , Child , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Pandemics/prevention & control , Parents/psychology