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1.
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 23(3): 405-413.e3, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1709707

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: A major surge in COVID-19 cases despite Singapore's high vaccination has strained the health care system in October 2021. Our aim was to assess and compare Healthcare Worker (HCW) mental well-being in 2021 against a previously published cohort in 2020. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: HCWs from 4 public hospitals and a primary health care system over a 4-week duration in 2021 coinciding with a major surge compared with a similar period in 2020. METHODS: A survey comprising of the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ) was distributed via email. Primary endpoints were the proportion meeting OLBI thresholds for both disengagement and exhaustion and being at risk for both Anxiety and Depression using HADS. Multivariate analysis identified significant predictors among demographic, workplace, and SAQ data. Subgroup analysis of overseas HCWs was performed. RESULTS: We surveyed 1475 HCWs. Significantly more HCWs met primary outcomes using OLBI and HADS than in 2020 (84.1% and 39.6% vs 68.2% and 23.3%, respectively; P < .001). Burnout levels were uniformly high. A HADS score ≥8 in either subscale was significantly associated with meeting burnout thresholds (P < .001). Overseas HCWs (P = .002), South Asian ethnicity (P = .004), preuniversity educational qualifications (P = .026), and longer shift workhours of 8 to <12 (P = .015) and ≥12 (P = .001) were significantly associated with meeting HADS thresholds. Among overseas HCWs (n=407), seeing family more than a year ago was significantly associated with worse OLBI disengagement scores and a greater proportion meeting HADS thresholds vs seeing them within a year or being local HCWs (47.2% vs 37.2% and 35.6%, respectively; P = .001). CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: HCW mental health has objectively worsened between 2020 and 2021 in the pandemic's second year. Avoiding prolonged shifts, adopting preventive mental health strategies, improving patient safety, and attention to HCWs of minority ethnicity, from overseas, and with preuniversity education may help.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/psychology , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Expert Rev Vaccines ; 21(4): 561-567, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585387

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Achieving high vaccination rates is key to containing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study evaluated the factors associated with uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine. METHODS: Six hundred and seventy-six respondents were surveyed online between May and June 2021. Data on demographics, perception of the COVID-19 pandemic, and vaccine willingness and hesitancy factors were collected. RESULTS: Approximately 54.6% of the respondents had received the COVID-19 vaccination. Age (p = 0.001), males (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1-2.6, p = 0.026), ethnicity (p = 0.004), occupation (p = 0.003)), working in healthcare (OR 6.1, 95% CI 2.8-13.2, p < 0.001), smoking (OR 3.3, 95% CI 1.3-8.8, p = 0.014), seeing vaccination as a social responsibility (OR 3.8, 95% CI 1.2-12.0, p = 0.022) and believing the vaccine is important to end the COVID-19 pandemic (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.1-6.1, p = 0.020) were associated with greater vaccination uptake. CONCLUSION: Social responsibility and well-being of collective society are important values associated with vaccine uptake in an Asian society. Understanding factors behind vaccine uptake can help advise public health measures and strategies to achieve high levels of vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Immunity, Herd , Male , Pandemics , Singapore/epidemiology , Vaccination
3.
Brain Sci ; 11(8)2021 Jul 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1325603

ABSTRACT

Impaired sense of smell occurs in a fraction of patients with COVID-19 infection, but its effect on cerebral activity is unknown. Thus, this case report investigated the effect of COVID-19 infection on frontotemporal cortex activity during olfactory stimuli. In this preliminary study, patients who recovered from COVID-19 infection (n = 6) and healthy controls who never contracted COVID-19 (n = 6) were recruited. Relative changes in frontotemporal cortex oxy-hemoglobin during olfactory stimuli was acquired using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). The area under curve (AUC) of oxy-hemoglobin for the time interval 5 s before and 15 s after olfactory stimuli was derived. In addition, olfactory function was assessed using the Sniffin' Sticks 12-identification test (SIT-12). Patients had lower SIT-12 scores than healthy controls (p = 0.026), but there were no differences in oxy-hemoglobin AUC between healthy controls and patients (p > 0.05). This suggests that past COVID-19 infection may not affect frontotemporal cortex function, and these preliminary results need to be verified in larger samples.

4.
Int J Infect Dis ; 106: 52-60, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279600

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In the fight against COVID-19, vaccination is vital in achieving herd immunity. Many Asian countries are starting to vaccinate frontline workers; however, expedited vaccine development has led to hesitancy among the general population. We evaluated the willingness of healthcare workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. METHODS: From 12 to 21 December 2020, we recruited 1720 healthcare workers from 6 countries: China, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and Bhutan. The self-administrated survey collected information on willingness to vaccinate, perception of COVID-19, vaccine concerns, COVID-19 risk profile, stigma, pro-socialness scale, and trust in health authorities. RESULTS: More than 95% of the healthcare workers surveyed were willing to vaccinate. These respondents were more likely to perceive the pandemic as severe, consider the vaccine safe, have less financial concerns, less stigmatization regarding the vaccine, higher pro-socialness mindset and trust in health authorities. A high perceived pandemic risk index, low vaccine harm index and high pro-socialness index were independent predictors in multivariable analysis. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of healthcare workers in Asia are willing to receive COVID-19 vaccination. Perceived COVID-19 susceptibility, low potential risk of vaccine harm and pro-socialness are the main drivers. These findings may help formulate vaccination strategies in other countries.


Subject(s)
Attitude to Health , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Health Personnel/psychology , Perception , Vaccination/psychology , Adult , Asia , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Immunity, Herd , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Social Stigma , Surveys and Questionnaires
5.
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 21(12): 1751-1758.e5, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-951349

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The strain on health care systems due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased psychological distress among health care workers (HCWs). As this global crisis continues with little signs of abatement, we examine burnout and associated factors among HCWs. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, administrative, and support staff in 4 public hospitals and 1 primary care service in Singapore 3 months after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. METHODS: Study questionnaire captured demographic and workplace environment information and comprised 3 validated instruments, namely the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI), Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Multivariate mixed model regression analyses were used to evaluate independent associations of mean OLBI-Disengagement and -Exhaustion scores. Further subgroup analysis was performed among redeployed HCWs. RESULTS: Among 11,286 invited HCWs, 3075 valid responses were received, giving an overall response rate of 27.2%. Mean OLBI scores were 2.38 and 2.50 for Disengagement and Exhaustion, respectively. Burnout thresholds in Disengagement and Exhaustion were met by 79.7% and 75.3% of respondents, respectively. On multivariate regression analysis, Chinese or Malay ethnicity, HADS anxiety or depression scores ≥8, shifts lasting ≥8 hours, and being redeployed were significantly associated with higher OLBI mean scores, whereas high SAQ scores were significantly associated with lower scores. Among redeployed HCWs, those redeployed to high-risk areas in a different facility (offsite) had lower burnout scores than those redeployed within their own work facility (onsite). A higher proportion of HCWs redeployed offsite assessed their training to be good or better compared with those redeployed onsite. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Every level of the health care workforce is susceptible to high levels of burnout during this pandemic. Modifiable workplace factors include adequate training, avoiding prolonged shifts ≥8 hours, and promoting safe working environments. Mitigating strategies should target every level of the health care workforce, including frontline and nonfrontline staff. Addressing and ameliorating burnout among HCWs should be a key priority for the sustainment of efforts to care for patients in the face of a prolonged pandemic.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Health Personnel/psychology , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Singapore/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
6.
J Neurol Sci ; 417: 117078, 2020 10 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-695321

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIM: COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented increased usage of Personal protective equipment (PPE) by healthcare-workers. PPE usage causes headache in majority of users. We evaluated changes in cerebral hemodynamics among healthcare-workers using PPE. METHODS: Frontline healthcare-workers donning PPE at our tertiary center were included. Demographics, co-morbidities and blood-pressure were recorded. Transcranial Doppler (TCD) monitoring of middle cerebral artery was performed with 2-MHz probe. Mean flow velocity (MFV) and pulsatility index (PI) were recorded at baseline, after donning N95 respirator-mask, and after donning powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR), when indicated. End-tidal carbon-dioxide (ET-CO2) pressure was recorded for participants donning PAPR in addition to the N95 respirator-mask. RESULTS: A total of 154 healthcare-workers (mean age 29 ± 12 years, 67% women) were included. Migraine was the commonest co-morbidity in 38 (25%) individuals while 123 (80%) developed de-novo headache due to N95 mask. Donning of N95 respirator-mask resulted in significant increase in MFV (4.4 ± 10.4 cm/s, p < 0.001) and decrease in PI (0.13 ± 0.12; p < 0.001) while ET-CO2 increased by 3.1 ± 1.2 mmHg (p < 0.001). TCD monitoring in 24 (16%) participants donning PAPR and N95 respirator mask together showed normalization of PI, accompanied by normalization of ET-CO2 values within 5-min. Combined use of N95 respirator-mask and PAPR was more comfortable as compared to N95 respirator-mask alone. CONCLUSION: Use of N95 respirator-mask results in significant alterations in cerebral hemodynamics. However, these effects are mitigated by the use of additional PAPR. We recommend the use of PAPR together with the N95 mask for healthcare-workers doing longer duties in the hospital wards.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Health Personnel , Masks/adverse effects , Occupational Diseases/prevention & control , Pandemics , Respiratory Protective Devices , Adult , Blood Flow Velocity , COVID-19 , Carbon Dioxide/analysis , Cerebrovascular Circulation , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Headache/etiology , Hemodynamics , Humans , Male , Middle Cerebral Artery/diagnostic imaging , Middle Cerebral Artery/physiopathology , Occupational Diseases/etiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pulsatile Flow , SARS-CoV-2 , Ultrasonography, Doppler, Transcranial , Young Adult
7.
J Thromb Thrombolysis ; 50(3): 596-603, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-641018

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving and affecting healthcare systems across the world. Singapore has escalated its alert level to Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) Orange, signifying severe disease with community spread. We aimed to study the overall volume of AIS cases and the delivery of hyperacute stroke services during DORSCON Orange. This was a single-centre, observational cohort study performed at a comprehensive stroke centre responsible for AIS cases in the western region of Singapore, as well as providing care for COVID-19 patients. All AIS patients reviewed as an acute stroke activation in the Emergency Department (ED) from November 2019 to April 2020 were included. System processes timings, treatment and clinical outcome variables were collected. We studied 350 AIS activation patients admitted through the ED, 206 (58.9%) pre- and 144 during DORSCON Orange. Across the study period, number of stroke activations showed significant decline (p = 0.004, 95% CI 6.513 to - 2.287), as the number of COVID-19 cases increased exponentially, whilst proportion of activations receiving acute recanalization therapy remained stable (p = 0.519, 95% CI - 1.605 to 2.702). Amongst AIS patients that received acute recanalization therapy, early neurological outcomes in terms of change in median NIHSS at 24 h (-4 versus -4, p = 0.685) were largely similar between the pre- and during DORSCON orange periods. The number of stroke activations decreased while the proportion receiving acute recanalization therapy remained stable in the current COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore.


Subject(s)
Comprehensive Health Care/organization & administration , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated/organization & administration , Health Services Needs and Demand/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Stroke/therapy , Aged , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Patient Care Team/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Recovery of Function , Referral and Consultation/organization & administration , Singapore/epidemiology , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/epidemiology , Time Factors , Time-to-Treatment/organization & administration , Treatment Outcome , Workflow
8.
J Thromb Thrombolysis ; 50(3): 587-595, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-640827

ABSTRACT

Acute ischemic stroke (AIS) is a life-threatening complication of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. Increasing reports suggest an association between COVID-19 and AIS, although the underlying mechanism remains uncertain. We performed a systematic review to characterize the clinical characteristics, neuroimaging findings, and outcomes of AIS in COVID-19 patients. A literature search was performed in PubMed and Embase using a suitable keyword search strategy from 1st December 2019 to 29th May 2020. All studies reporting AIS occurrence in COVID-19 patients were included. A total of 39 studies comprising 135 patients were studied. The pooled incidence of AIS in COVID-19 patients from observational studies was 1.2% (54/4466) with a mean age of 63.4 ± 13.1 years. The mean duration of AIS from COVID-19 symptoms onset was 10 ± 8 days, and the mean NIHSS score was 19 ± 8. Laboratory investigations revealed an elevated mean D-dimer (9.2 ± 14.8 mg/L) and fibrinogen (5.8 ± 2.0 g/L). Antiphospholipid antibodies were detected in a significant number of cases. The majority of AIS neuroimaging patterns observed was large vessel thrombosis, embolism or stenosis (62.1%, 64/103), followed by multiple vascular territory (26.2%, 27/103). A high mortality rate was reported (38.0%, 49/129). We report the pooled incidence of AIS in COVID-19 patients to be 1.2%, with a high mortality rate. Elevated D-dimer, fibrinogen and the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies appear to be prominent in COVID-19 patients with concomitant AIS, but further mechanistic studies are required to elucidate their role in pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Brain Ischemia/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Stroke/epidemiology , Aged , Brain Ischemia/diagnosis , Brain Ischemia/mortality , Brain Ischemia/virology , COVID-19 , Cause of Death , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Observational Studies as Topic , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prevalence , Prognosis , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Stroke/diagnosis , Stroke/mortality , Stroke/virology , Time Factors
10.
Brain Behav Immun ; 88: 1-5, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-596407

ABSTRACT

'The Mask' has become a byword and a precious possession universally. Except for its use by the medical fraternity, answers to the common questions-whether it provides enough protection, which type is optimal for the general public and who really needs to don it, remain poorly understood. For a frontline healthcare worker, wearing mask is a necessity as an important person protection equipment, it is perhaps the most-powerful psychological symbol for the general public. Surprisingly, it even undermines all other recommended practices of infection control and breaking the transmission chain of Covid-19, like hand washing, personal hygiene and social distancing. 'The mask' has evolved with time and yet there is a need to further improve the design for safety, tolerability and comfort. In this review we present the journey of face mask, originating from the first masks aimed at stopping the bad smell to its industrial use to its all-important place in the medical field. Various types of face masks, their filtration efficiency, reusability and current recommendations for their use are presented.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Masks , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Respiratory Protective Devices , Symbolism , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Equipment Reuse , Guidelines as Topic , Humans , Infection Control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Textiles
11.
Brain Behav Immun ; 88: 559-565, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-100653

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Since the declaration of the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak as pandemic, there are reports on the increased prevalence of physical symptoms observed in the general population. We investigated the association between psychological outcomes and physical symptoms among healthcare workers. METHODS: Healthcare workers from 5 major hospitals, involved in the care for COVID-19 patients, in Singapore and India were invited to participate in a study by performing a self-administered questionnaire within the period of February 19 to April 17, 2020. Healthcare workers included doctors, nurses, allied healthcare workers, administrators, clerical staff and maintenance workers. This questionnaire collected information on demographics, medical history, symptom prevalence in the past month, Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21) and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised (IES-R) instrument. The prevalence of physical symptoms displayed by healthcare workers and the associations between physical symptoms and psychological outcomes of depression, anxiety, stress, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were evaluated. RESULTS: Out of the 906 healthcare workers who participated in the survey, 48 (5.3%) screened positive for moderate to very-severe depression, 79 (8.7%) for moderate to extremely-severe anxiety, 20 (2.2%) for moderate to extremely-severe stress, and 34 (3.8%) for moderate to severe levels of psychological distress. The commonest reported symptom was headache (32.3%), with a large number of participants (33.4%) reporting more than four symptoms. Participants who had experienced symptoms in the preceding month were more likely to be older, have pre-existing comorbidities and a positive screen for depression, anxiety, stress, and PTSD. After adjusting for age, gender and comorbidities, it was found that depression (OR 2.79, 95% CI 1.54-5.07, p = 0.001), anxiety (OR 2.18, 95% CI 1.36-3.48, p = 0.001), stress (OR 3.06, 95% CI 1.27-7.41, p = 0.13), and PTSD (OR 2.20, 95% CI 1.12-4.35, p = 0.023) remained significantly associated with the presence of physical symptoms experienced in the preceding month. Linear regression revealed that the presence of physical symptoms was associated with higher mean scores in the IES-R, DASS Anxiety, Stress and Depression subscales. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates a significant association between the prevalence of physical symptoms and psychological outcomes among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. We postulate that this association may be bi-directional, and that timely psychological interventions for healthcare workers with physical symptoms should be considered once an infection has been excluded.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections , Depression/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Adult , Allied Health Personnel/psychology , Allied Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Female , Headache/epidemiology , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , India/epidemiology , Internationality , Lethargy/epidemiology , Male , Nurses/psychology , Nurses/statistics & numerical data , Pharyngitis/epidemiology , Physicians/psychology , Physicians/statistics & numerical data , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Singapore/epidemiology , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
12.
Headache ; 60(5): 864-877, 2020 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-98794

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an emerging infectious disease of pandemic proportions. Healthcare workers in Singapore working in high-risk areas were mandated to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N95 face mask and protective eyewear while attending to patients. OBJECTIVES: We sought to determine the risk factors associated with the development of de novo PPE-associated headaches as well as the perceived impact of these headaches on their personal health and work performance. The impact of COVID-19 on pre-existing headache disorders was also investigated. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study among healthcare workers at our tertiary institution who were working in high-risk hospital areas during COVID-19. All respondents completed a self-administered questionnaire. RESULTS: A total of 158 healthcare workers participated in the study. Majority [126/158 (77.8%)] were aged 21-35 years. Participants included nurses [102/158 (64.6%)], doctors [51/158 (32.3%)], and paramedical staff [5/158 (3.2%)]. Pre-existing primary headache diagnosis was present in about a third [46/158 (29.1%)] of respondents. Those based at the emergency department had higher average daily duration of combined PPE exposure compared to those working in isolation wards [7.0 (SD 2.2) vs 5.2 (SD 2.4) hours, P < .0001] or medical ICU [7.0 (SD 2.2) vs 2.2 (SD 0.41) hours, P < .0001]. Out of 158 respondents, 128 (81.0%) respondents developed de novo PPE-associated headaches. A pre-existing primary headache diagnosis (OR = 4.20, 95% CI 1.48-15.40; P = .030) and combined PPE usage for >4 hours per day (OR 3.91, 95% CI 1.35-11.31; P = .012) were independently associated with de novo PPE-associated headaches. Since COVID-19 outbreak, 42/46 (91.3%) of respondents with pre-existing headache diagnosis either "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that the increased PPE usage had affected the control of their background headaches, which affected their level of work performance. CONCLUSION: Most healthcare workers develop de novo PPE-associated headaches or exacerbation of their pre-existing headache disorders.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Headache/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment/adverse effects , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Adult , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Singapore/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
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