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Matern Child Health J ; 26(9): 1753-1761, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1959051


OBJECTIVE: Obstetrical patients are at risk of complications from COVID-19 and face increased stress due to the pandemic and changes in hospital birth setting. The objective was to describe the perinatal care experiences of obstetrical patients who gave birth during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A descriptive epidemiological survey was administered to consenting patients who gave birth at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) between March 16th and June 16th, 2020. The participants reported on prenatal, in-hospital, and postpartum care experiences. COVID-19 pandemic related household stress factors were investigated. Frequencies and percentages are presented for categorical variables and median and interquartile range (IQR) for continuous variables. RESULTS: A total of 216 participants were included in the analyses. Median participants age was 33 years (IQR: 30-36). Collectively, 94 (43.5%) participants felt elevated stress for prenatal appointments and 105 (48.6%) for postpartum appointments because of COVID-19. There were 108 (50.0%) were scared to go to the hospital for delivery, 97 (44.9%) wore a mask during labour and 54 (25.0%) gave birth without a support person. During postpartum care, 125 (57.9%) had phone appointments (not offered prior to COVID-19), and 18 (8.3%) received no postpartum care at all. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 pandemic and public health protocols created a stressful healthcare environment for the obstetrical population where many were fearful of accessing services, experienced changes to standard care, or no care at all. As the pandemic continues, careful attention should be given to the perinatal population to reduce stress and improve continuity of care.

RéSUMé: OBJECTIF: Les patients obstétriques sont à risque de complications de la COVID-19 et font face à un stress accru en raison de la pandémie et des changements dans le cadre de l'accouchement en milieu hospitalier. L'objectif était de décrire les expériences de soins périnataux des patients obstétriques qui ont accouché au cours des premières phases de la pandémie de COVID-19. MéTHODES: Un sondage épidémiologique descriptif a été menée auprès de patients qui ont accouché à L'Hôpital d'Ottawa (TOH) entre le 16 mars et le 16 juin 2020. Les participants ont fait un compte rendu de leurs expériences en matière de soins prénataux, hospitaliers et post-partum. Les facteurs de stress domestique liés à la COVID-19 ont été étudiés. Les fréquences et les pourcentages sont présentés pour les variables catégorielles et la médiane et l'écart interquartile (IQR) sont présentés pour les variables continues. RéSULTATS: Au total, 261 participants ont répondu au sondage. L'âge maternel médian était de 33 ans (IQR: 30­36). Collectivement, 94 participants (43,5%) ressentaient un stress élevé en lien avec les rendez-vous prénataux et 105 (48,6%) pour les rendez-vous post-partum en raison de la COVID-19. Il y avait 108 patients (50,0%) qui avaient peur d'aller à l'hôpital pour accoucher, 97 (44,9%) qui portaient un masque pendant leur travail et 54 (25,0%) qui ont accouché sans personne de soutien. En lien avec les soins post-partum, 125 (57,9%) ont eu des rendez-vous téléphoniques (non offerts avant la pandémie COVID-19) et 18 (8,3%) n'ont reçu aucun soin post-partum. CONCLUSION: La pandémie de COVID-19 et les politiques de santé publique ont créé un environnement de soins de santé stressant pour la population obstétrique où beaucoup avaient peur d'accéder aux services de soins, ont connu des changements dans les soins de base ou n'ont pas eu de soins du tout. Alors que la pandémie se poursuit, une attention particulière doit être accordée à la population périnatale afin de réduire le stress et améliorer la continuité des soins.

COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Parturition , Patient Outcome Assessment , Postpartum Period , Pregnancy
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(7): ofac205, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1922312


Background: Nonpharmaceutical interventions such as physical distancing and mandatory masking were adopted in many jurisdictions during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic to decrease spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We determined the effects of these interventions on incidence of healthcare utilization for other infectious diseases. Methods: Using a healthcare administrative dataset, we employed an interrupted time series analysis to measure changes in healthcare visits for various infectious diseases across the province of Ontario, Canada, from January 2017 to December 2020. We used a hierarchical clustering algorithm to group diagnoses that demonstrated similar patterns of change through the pandemic months. Results: We found that visits for infectious diseases commonly caused by communicable respiratory pathogens (eg, acute bronchitis, acute sinusitis) formed distinct clusters from diagnoses that often originate from pathogens derived from the patient's own flora (eg, urinary tract infection, cellulitis). Moreover, infectious diagnoses commonly arising from communicable respiratory pathogens (hierarchical cluster 1: highly impacted diagnoses) were significantly decreased, with a rate ratio (RR) of 0.35 (95% confidence interval [CI], .30-.40; P < .001) after the introduction of public health interventions in April-December 2020, whereas infections typically arising from the patient's own flora (hierarchical cluster 3: minimally impacted diagnoses) did not demonstrate a sustained change in incidence (RR, 0.95 [95% CI, .90-1.01]; P = .085). Conclusions: Public health measures to curtail the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 were widely effective against other communicable respiratory infectious diseases with similar modes of transmission but had little effect on infectious diseases not strongly dependent on person-to-person transmission.

JAMA Netw Open ; 5(1): e2143160, 2022 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1640613


Importance: Physicians self-report high levels of symptoms of anxiety and depression, and surveys suggest these symptoms have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is not known whether pandemic-related stressors have led to increases in health care visits related to mental health or substance use among physicians. Objective: To evaluate the association between the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in outpatient health care visits by physicians related to mental health and substance use and explore differences across physician subgroups of interest. Design, Setting, and Participants: A population-based cohort study was conducted using health administrative data collected from the universal health system (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) of Ontario, Canada, from March 1, 2017, to March 10, 2021. Participants included 34 055 physicians, residents, and fellows who registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario between 1990 and 2018 and were eligible for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan during the study period. Autoregressive integrated moving average models and generalized estimating equations were used in analyses. Exposures: The period during the COVID-19 pandemic (March 11, 2020, to March 10, 2021) compared with the period before the pandemic. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was in-person, telemedicine, and virtual care outpatient visits to a psychiatrist or family medicine and general practice clinicians related to mental health and substance use. Results: In the 34 055 practicing physicians (mean [SD] age, 41.7 [10.0] years, 17 918 [52.6%] male), the annual crude number of visits per 1000 physicians increased by 27%, from 816.8 before the COVID-19 pandemic to 1037.5 during the pandemic (adjusted incident rate ratio per physician, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.07-1.19). The absolute proportion of physicians with 1 or more mental health and substance use visits within a year increased from 12.3% before to 13.4% during the pandemic (adjusted odds ratio, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.03-1.14). The relative increase was significantly greater in physicians without a prior mental health and substance use history (adjusted incident rate ratio, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.60-1.85) than in physicians with a prior mental health and substance use history. Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a substantial increase in mental health and substance use visits among physicians. Physician mental health may have worsened during the pandemic, highlighting a potential greater requirement for access to mental health services and system level change.

COVID-19 , Mental Health , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Physicians/psychology , Stress, Psychological , Substance-Related Disorders , Adult , Ambulatory Care , Anxiety , Cohort Studies , Depression , Family Practice , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Disorders , Middle Aged , Ontario , Psychiatry , Psychological Distress , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine
Drug Alcohol Depend ; 226: 108877, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1293716


INTRODUCTION: Little detailed sociodemographic information is available about how alcohol use and associated health care visits have changed during COVID-19. Therefore, we assessed how rates of emergency department (ED) visits due to alcohol have changed during COVID-19 by age and sex and for individuals living in urban and rural settings and low and high-income neighborhoods. METHODS: Our cohort included 13,660,516 unique Ontario residents between the ages of 10-105. We compared rates and characteristics of ED visits due to alcohol, identified using ICD-10 codes, from March 11-August 31 2020 to the same period in the prior 3 years. We used negative binomial regressions to examine to examine changes is visits during COVID-19 after accounting for temporal and seasonal trends. RESULTS: During COVID-19, the average monthly rate of ED visits due to alcohol decreased by 17.2 % (95 % CI -22.7, -11.3) from 50.5-40.9 visits per 100,000 individuals. In contrast, the proportion of all-cause ED visits due to alcohol increased by 11.4 % (95 % CI 7.7, 15.3) from 15.0 visits to 16.3 visits per 1000 all cause ED visits. Changes in ED visits due to alcohol were similar for men in women. Decreases in visits were larger for younger adults compared to older adults and pre-COVID-19 disparities in rates of ED visits due to alcohol between urban and rural settings and low and high-income neighborhoods widened. ED visits related to harms from acute intoxication showed the largest declines during COVID-19, particularly in younger adults and urban and high-income neighborhoods. CONCLUSION: ED visits due to alcohol decreased during the first six months of COVID-19, but to a lesser extent than decreases in all-cause ED visits. Our data suggest a widening of geographic and income-based disparities in alcohol harms in Ontario during COVID-19 which may require immediate and long-term interventions to mitigate.

COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Alcohol Drinking , Child , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Humans , International Classification of Diseases , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
BMC Med ; 19(1): 20, 2021 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067229


BACKGROUND: There is little information on care-seeking patterns for sexual assault and domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of this study was to examine the changes in emergency department (ED) admissions for sexual assault and domestic violence since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared. METHODS: Observational ED admissions data from The Ottawa Hospital were analyzed from March 4 to May 5 (62 days) in 2020 (COVID-19 period) and compared to the same period in 2018 (pre-COVID-19). Total and mean weekly admissions were calculated for all-cause ED admissions and for sexual and domestic violence cases. A Poisson regression (without offset term) was used to calculate the weekly case count ratio and 95% confidence intervals (CI) between the two time periods. Case characteristics were compared using chi-square tests, and percent differences were calculated. RESULTS: Compared to pre-COVID-19, total ED admissions dropped by 1111.22 cases per week (32.9% reduction), and the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Program cases dropped 4.66 cases per week. The weekly case count ratio for sexual assault cases was 0.47 (95% CI 0.79-0.27), equivalent of 53.49% reduction in cases, and 0.52 (95% CI 0.93-0.29), equivalent to a 48.45% reduction in physical assault cases. The characteristics of presenting cases were similar by age (median 25 years), sex (88.57% female), assault type (57.14% sexual assault, 48.57% physical assault), and location (31.43% patient's home, 40.00% assailant's home). There was a significant increase in psychological abuse (11.69% vs 28.57%) and assaults occurring outdoors (5.19% vs 22.86%). CONCLUSION: This study found a decrease in ED admissions for sexual assault and domestic violence during COVID-19, despite societal conditions that elevate risk of violence. Trends in care-seeking and assault patterns will require ongoing monitoring to inform the provision of optimal support for individuals experiencing violence, particularly as countries begin to re-open or lock-down again.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Domestic Violence/trends , Emergency Service, Hospital/trends , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Sex Offenses/trends , Adult , COVID-19/psychology , Communicable Disease Control/trends , Domestic Violence/psychology , Female , Humans , Male , Ontario/epidemiology , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , Sex Offenses/psychology , Young Adult