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1.
BMC Geriatr ; 23(1): 362, 2023 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237183

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The precautions and restrictions imposed by the recent Covid-19 pandemic drew attention to the criticality of quality of care in long-term care facilities internationally, and in Canada. They also underscored the importance of residents' quality of life. In deference to the risk mitigation measures in Canadian long-term care settings during Covid-19, some person-centred, quality of life policies were paused, unused, or under-utilised. This study aimed to interrogate these existing but latent policies, to capture their potentiality in terms of positively influencing the quality of life of residents in long-term care in Canada. METHODS: The study analysed policies related to quality of life of long-term care residents in four Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Nova Scotia). Three policy orientations were framed utilising a comparative approach: situational (environmental conditions), structural (organisational content), and temporal (developmental trajectories). 84 long term care policies were reviewed, relating to different policy jurisdictions, policy types, and quality of life domains. RESULTS: Overall, the intersection of jurisdiction, policy types, and quality of life domains confirms that some policies, particularly safety, security and order, may be prioritised in different types of policy documents, and over other quality of life domains. Alternatively, the presence of a resident focused quality of life in many policies affirms the cultural shift towards greater person-centredness. These findings are both explicit and implicit, and mediated through the expression of individual policy excerpts. CONCLUSION: The analysis provides substantive evidence of three key policy levers: situations-providing specific examples of resident focused quality of life policy overshadowing in each jurisdiction; structures-identifying which types of policy and quality of life expressions are more vulnerable to dominance by others; and trajectories-confirming the cultural shift towards more person-centredness in Canadian long-term care related policies over time. It also demonstrates and contextualises examples of policy slippage, differential policy weights, and cultural shifts across existing policies. When applied within a resident focused, quality of life lens, these policies can be leveraged to improve extant resource utilisation. Consequently, the study provides a timely, positive, forward-facing roadmap upon which to enhance and build policies that capitalise and enable person-centredness in the provision of long-term care in Canada.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Long-Term Care , Humans , Canada/epidemiology , Quality of Life , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , British Columbia , Policy
2.
Can J Rural Med ; 28(2): 47-58, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2287718

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Healthcare workers (HCWs) play a critical role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Early in the pandemic, urban centres were hit hardest globally; rural areas gradually became more impacted. We compared COVID-19 infection and vaccine uptake in HCWs living in urban versus rural locations within, and between, two health regions in British Columbia (BC), Canada. We also analysed the impact of a vaccine mandate for HCWs. Methods: We tracked laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections, positivity rates and vaccine uptake in all 29,021 HCWs in Interior Health (IH) and all 24,634 HCWs in Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), by occupation, age and home location, comparing to the general population in that region. We then evaluated the impact of infection rates as well as the mandate on vaccination uptake. Results: While we found an association between vaccine uptake by HCWs and HCW COVID-19 rates in the preceding 2-week period, the higher rates of COVID-19 infection in some occupational groups did not lead to increased vaccination in these groups. By 27 October 2021, the date that unvaccinated HCWs were prohibited from providing healthcare, only 1.6% in VCH compared with 6.5% in IH remained unvaccinated. Rural workers in both areas had significantly higher unvaccinated rates compared with urban dwellers. Over 1800 workers, comprising 6.7% of rural HCWs and 3.6% of urban HCWs, remained unvaccinated and set to be terminated from their employment. While the mandate prompted a significant increase in uptake of second doses, the impact on the unvaccinated was less clear. Conclusions: As rural areas often suffer from under-staffing, loss of HCWs could have serious impacts on healthcare provision as well as on the livelihoods of unvaccinated HCWs. Greater efforts are needed to understand how to better address the drivers of rural-related vaccine hesitancy.


Résumé Introduction: Les travailleurs de la santé (TS) jouent un rôle essentiel dans la réponse à la pandémie de COVID-19. Au début de la pandémie, les centres urbains ont été les plus durement touchés à l'échelle mondiale; les zones rurales ont progressivement été plus touchées. Nous avons comparé l'infection à la COVID-19 et l'adoption du vaccin chez les travailleuses et travailleurs de la santé vivant dans des zones urbaines et rurales au sein de deux régions sanitaires de la Colombie-Britannique (C.-B.), au Canada, et entre ces régions. Nous avons également analysé l'impact d'un mandat de vaccination pour les travailleuses et travailleurs de la santé. Méthodes: Nous avons suivi les infections au SRAS-CoV-2 confirmées en laboratoire, les taux de positivité et l'adoption du vaccin chez les 29 021 TS d'Interior Health (IH) et les 24 634 TS de Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), par profession, âge et lieu de résidence, en les comparant à la population générale de cette région. Nous avons ensuite évalué l'impact des taux d'infection ainsi que du mandat sur le recours à la vaccination. Résultats: Bien que nous ayons trouvé une association entre l'adoption du vaccin par les TS et les taux de COVID-19 des travailleurs de la santé au cours de la période de deux semaines précédentes, les taux plus élevés d'infection par la COVID-19 dans certains groupes professionnels n'ont pas entraîné une augmentation de la vaccination dans ces groupes. En date du 27 octobre 2021, date à laquelle il était interdit aux travailleuses et travailleurs de santé non vaccinés de fournir des soins de santé, seul 1,6% des travailleuses et travailleurs de la VCH, contre 6,5% des travailleuses et travailleurs de l'IH, n'étaient toujours pas vaccinés. Les travailleuses et travailleurs ruraux des deux zones présentaient des taux de non-vaccination significativement plus élevés que les citadins. Plus de 1 800 travailleuses et travailleurs, soit 6,7% des TS ruraux et 3,6% des TS urbains, n'étaient toujours pas vaccinés et devaient être licenciés. Bien que le mandat ait entraîné une augmentation significative de la prise des deuxièmes doses, l'impact sur les personnes non-vaccinées était moins clair. Conclusions: Comme les zones rurales souffrent souvent d'un manque de personnel, la perte de TS pourrait avoir de graves répercussions sur la prestation des soins de santé ainsi que sur les moyens de subsistance des TS non-vaccinés. Des efforts plus importants sont nécessaires pour comprendre comment mieux aborder les facteurs d'hésitation à SE faire vacciner en milieu rural. Mots-clés: Travailleuses et travailleurs de la santé, COVID-19, vaccination, mandat de vaccination, milieu rural.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , British Columbia/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Health Personnel
3.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(12): e2246548, 2022 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2157644

ABSTRACT

Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with an increase in mental health diagnoses among adolescents, though the extent of the increase, particularly for severe cases requiring hospitalization, has not been well characterized. Large-scale federated informatics approaches provide the ability to efficiently and securely query health care data sets to assess and monitor hospitalization patterns for mental health conditions among adolescents. Objective: To estimate changes in the proportion of hospitalizations associated with mental health conditions among adolescents following onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective, multisite cohort study of adolescents 11 to 17 years of age who were hospitalized with at least 1 mental health condition diagnosis between February 1, 2019, and April 30, 2021, used patient-level data from electronic health records of 8 children's hospitals in the US and France. Main Outcomes and Measures: Change in the monthly proportion of mental health condition-associated hospitalizations between the prepandemic (February 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020) and pandemic (April 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021) periods using interrupted time series analysis. Results: There were 9696 adolescents hospitalized with a mental health condition during the prepandemic period (5966 [61.5%] female) and 11 101 during the pandemic period (7603 [68.5%] female). The mean (SD) age in the prepandemic cohort was 14.6 (1.9) years and in the pandemic cohort, 14.7 (1.8) years. The most prevalent diagnoses during the pandemic were anxiety (6066 [57.4%]), depression (5065 [48.0%]), and suicidality or self-injury (4673 [44.2%]). There was an increase in the proportions of monthly hospitalizations during the pandemic for anxiety (0.55%; 95% CI, 0.26%-0.84%), depression (0.50%; 95% CI, 0.19%-0.79%), and suicidality or self-injury (0.38%; 95% CI, 0.08%-0.68%). There was an estimated 0.60% increase (95% CI, 0.31%-0.89%) overall in the monthly proportion of mental health-associated hospitalizations following onset of the pandemic compared with the prepandemic period. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with increased hospitalizations with mental health diagnoses among adolescents. These findings support the need for greater resources within children's hospitals to care for adolescents with mental health conditions during the pandemic and beyond.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Child , Adolescent , Female , Humans , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mental Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Cohort Studies , Retrospective Studies , Hospitalization
4.
iScience ; 25(11): 105310, 2022 Nov 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2120806

ABSTRACT

We analyzed RNA sequencing data from nasal swabs used for SARS-CoV-2 testing. 13% of 317 PCR-negative samples contained over 100 reads aligned to multiple regions of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Differential gene expression analysis compares the host gene expression in potential false-negative (FN: PCR negative, sequencing positive) samples to subjects with multiple SARS-CoV-2 viral loads. The host transcriptional response in FN samples was distinct from true negative samples (PCR & sequencing negative) and similar to low viral load samples. Gene Ontology analysis shows viral load-dependent changes in gene expression are functionally distinct; 23 common pathways include responses to viral infections and associated immune responses. GO analysis reveals FN samples had a high overlap with high viral load samples. Deconvolution of RNA-seq data shows similar cell content across viral loads. Hence, transcriptome analysis of nasal swabs provides an additional level of identifying SARS-CoV-2 infection.

5.
Theranostics ; 12(8): 3946-3962, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1934549

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Viral infections are complex processes based on an intricate network of molecular interactions. The infectious agent hijacks components of the cellular machinery for its profit, circumventing the natural defense mechanisms triggered by the infected cell. The successful completion of the replicative viral cycle within a cell depends on the function of viral components versus the cellular defenses. Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are important cellular modulators, either promoting or preventing the progression of viral infections. Among these ncRNAs, the long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) family is especially relevant due to their intrinsic functional properties and ubiquitous biological roles. Specific lncRNAs have been recently characterized as modulators of the cellular response during infection of human host cells by single stranded RNA viruses. However, the role of host lncRNAs in the infection by human RNA coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-2 remains uncharacterized. Methods: In the present work, we have performed a transcriptomic study of a cohort of patients with different SARS-CoV-2 viral load and analyzed the involvement of lncRNAs in supporting regulatory networks based on their interaction with RNA-binding proteins (RBPs). Results: Our results revealed the existence of a SARS-CoV-2 infection-dependent pattern of transcriptional up-regulation in which specific lncRNAs are an integral component. To determine the role of these lncRNAs, we performed a functional correlation analysis complemented with the study of the validated interactions between lncRNAs and RBPs. This combination of in silico functional association studies and experimental evidence allowed us to identify a lncRNA signature composed of six elements - NRIR, BISPR, MIR155HG, FMR1-IT1, USP30-AS1, and U62317.2 - associated with the regulation of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Conclusions: We propose a competition mechanism between the viral RNA genome and the regulatory lncRNAs in the sequestering of specific RBPs that modulates the interferon response and the regulation of RNA surveillance by nonsense-mediated decay (NMD).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA, Long Noncoding , COVID-19/genetics , Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein , Genome, Viral , Humans , Immunity , Mitochondrial Proteins/metabolism , RNA, Long Noncoding/genetics , RNA, Long Noncoding/metabolism , RNA, Untranslated/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Thiolester Hydrolases/metabolism
6.
Healthc Manage Forum ; 35(4): 213-217, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1861898

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is now endemic and has taken a terrible toll on the health workforce and its leaders. Stress and burnout are rampant, and health workers are leaving in record numbers. Using data collected during the first four waves of the pandemic, and a longitudinal analysis of these data, the authors identify ongoing challenges to health leadership related to building resilience and psychologically healthy workplaces. The article is organized around three questions: What happened during Waves 1 to 4? What did we learn? And what should be done differently? Eight actions emerged around the theme of "leaders supporting leaders": build personal resilience; practice compassionate leadership; model effective interpersonal leadership behaviour; ensure frequent and authentic communication; participate in networks and communities of practice; balance short- and long-term commitments; apply systems thinking; and contribute to a collaborative, national strategy.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Burnout, Professional/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Leadership , Pandemics , Workplace
7.
Cell Rep Med ; 3(2): 100522, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650891

ABSTRACT

The molecular mechanisms underlying the clinical manifestations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and what distinguishes them from common seasonal influenza virus and other lung injury states such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, remain poorly understood. To address these challenges, we combine transcriptional profiling of 646 clinical nasopharyngeal swabs and 39 patient autopsy tissues to define body-wide transcriptome changes in response to COVID-19. We then match these data with spatial protein and expression profiling across 357 tissue sections from 16 representative patient lung samples and identify tissue-compartment-specific damage wrought by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, evident as a function of varying viral loads during the clinical course of infection and tissue-type-specific expression states. Overall, our findings reveal a systemic disruption of canonical cellular and transcriptional pathways across all tissues, which can inform subsequent studies to combat the mortality of COVID-19 and to better understand the molecular dynamics of lethal SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Lung/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Transcriptome/genetics , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Cohort Studies , Female , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Influenza, Human/genetics , Influenza, Human/pathology , Influenza, Human/virology , Lung/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Orthomyxoviridae , RNA-Seq/methods , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/genetics , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/microbiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , Viral Load
8.
Genomics ; 114(2): 110270, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1633861

ABSTRACT

Viruses can subvert a number of cellular processes including splicing in order to block innate antiviral responses, and many viruses interact with cellular splicing machinery. SARS-CoV-2 infection was shown to suppress global mRNA splicing, and at least 10 SARS-CoV-2 proteins bind specifically to one or more human RNAs. Here, we investigate 17 published experimental and clinical datasets related to SARS-CoV-2 infection, datasets from the betacoronaviruses SARS-CoV and MERS, as well as Streptococcus pneumonia, HCV, Zika virus, Dengue virus, influenza H3N2, and RSV. We show that genes showing differential alternative splicing in SARS-CoV-2 have a similar functional profile to those of SARS-CoV and MERS and affect a diverse set of genes and biological functions, including many closely related to virus biology. Additionally, the differentially spliced transcripts of cells infected by coronaviruses were more likely to undergo intron-retention, contain a pseudouridine modification, and have a smaller number of exons as compared with differentially spliced transcripts in the control groups. Viral load in clinical COVID-19 samples was correlated with isoform distribution of differentially spliced genes. A significantly higher number of ribosomal genes are affected by differential alternative splicing and gene expression in betacoronavirus samples, and the betacoronavirus differentially spliced genes are depleted for binding sites of RNA-binding proteins. Our results demonstrate characteristic patterns of differential splicing in cells infected by SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS. The alternative splicing changes observed in betacoronaviruses infection potentially modify a broad range of cellular functions, via changes in the functions of the products of a diverse set of genes involved in different biological processes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Zika Virus Infection , Zika Virus , Alternative Splicing , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Zika Virus/genetics
9.
Innovation in Aging ; 5(Supplement_1):369-370, 2021.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1584611

ABSTRACT

Long-term care (LTC) is highly regulated and often the policy language is complex and in tension with residents’ quality of life goals. Prior to COVID-19, LTC policy levers prioritized safety over other quality domains such as privacy, dignity, spirituality, and comfort. During the pandemic, this focus on safety regulations, while important, intensified in ways that often negatively impacted residents’ overall quality of life. In this symposium, we share findings from a five- year research project where we conducted a unique and expansive review of regulatory policy across four Canadian jurisdictions. We highlight how 11 different quality of life domains are supported and which texts offering promising policy language to enhance a well-rounded quality of life for residents. These are timely insights to offer as policy-makers look to the future and consider the lessons learned from the pandemic. We contend that creating more LTC policy is not a timely pathway forward to LTC reform. Instead, we suggest that existing policy can be leveraged when applied within a resident-centred quality of life lens. We will guide attendees through examples of existing promising policies highlighting how they might leveraged in planning for a better LTC system. The discussion will be rooted in our unique resident-centred approach to policy analysis using specific domains of quality of life and then applied to four different perspectives: residents, families, staff and volunteers. Our discussant a Ministry of Health decision-maker will address the implications of our research for post-pandemic planning to improve resident quality of life

10.
Leadersh Health Serv (Bradf Engl) ; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print)2021 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1570195

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: This first phase of a three-phase action research project aims to define leadership practices that should be used during and after the pandemic to re-imagine and rebuild the health and social care system. Specifically, the objectives were to determine what effective leadership practices Canadian health leaders have used through the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, to explore how these differ from pre-crisis practices; and to identify what leadership practices might be leveraged to create the desired health and care systems of the future. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: The authors used an action research methodology. In the first phase, reported here, the authors conducted one-on-one, virtual interviews with 18 health leaders from across Canada and across leadership roles. Data were analyzed using grounded theory methodology. FINDINGS: Five key practices emerged from the data, within the core dimension of disrupting entrenched structures and leadership practices. These were, namely, responding to more complex emotions in self and others. Future practice identified to create more psychologically supportive workplaces. Agile and adaptive leadership. Future practice should allow leaders to move systemic change forward more quickly. Integrating diverse perspectives, within and across organizations, leveling hierarchies through bringing together a variety of perspectives in the decision-making process and engaging people more broadly in the co-creation of strategies. Applying existing leadership capabilities and experience. Future practice should develop and expand mentorship to support early career leadership. Communication was increased to build credibility and trust in response to changing and often contradictory emerging evidence and messaging. Future practice should increase communication. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS: The project was limited to health leaders in Canada and did not represent all provinces/territories. Participants were recruited through the leadership networks, while diverse, were not demographically representative. All interviews were conducted in English; in the second phase of the study, the authors will recruit a larger and more diverse sample and conduct interviews in both English and French. As the interviews took place during the early stages of the pandemic, it may be that health leaders' views of what may be required to re-define future health systems may change as the crisis shifts over time. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: The sponsoring organization of this research - the Canadian Health Leadership Network and each of its individual member partners - will mobilize knowledge from this research, and subsequent phases, to inform processes for leadership development and, succession planning across, the Canadian health system, particularly those attributes unique to a context of crisis management but also necessary in post-crisis recovery. SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS: This research has shown that there is an immediate need to develop innovative and influential leadership action - commensurate with its findings - to supporting the evolution of the Canadian health system, the emotional well-being of the health-care workforce, the mental health of the population and challenges inherent in structural inequities across health and health care that discriminate against certain populations. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: An interdisciplinary group of health researchers and decision-makers from across Canada who came together rapidly to examine leadership practices during COVID-19's first wave using action research study design.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Canada , Health Services Research , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Cell Rep ; 37(3): 109839, 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1439921

ABSTRACT

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs involved in post-transcriptional gene regulation that have a major impact on many diseases and provide an exciting avenue toward antiviral therapeutics. From patient transcriptomic data, we determined that a circulating miRNA, miR-2392, is directly involved with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) machinery during host infection. Specifically, we show that miR-2392 is key in driving downstream suppression of mitochondrial gene expression, increasing inflammation, glycolysis, and hypoxia, as well as promoting many symptoms associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. We demonstrate that miR-2392 is present in the blood and urine of patients positive for COVID-19 but is not present in patients negative for COVID-19. These findings indicate the potential for developing a minimally invasive COVID-19 detection method. Lastly, using in vitro human and in vivo hamster models, we design a miRNA-based antiviral therapeutic that targets miR-2392, significantly reduces SARS-CoV-2 viability in hamsters, and may potentially inhibit a COVID-19 disease state in humans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , MicroRNAs/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Biomarkers/metabolism , Cricetinae , Female , Ferrets , Gene Expression Regulation , Glycolysis , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Hypoxia , Inflammation , Male , Mice , Middle Aged , Proteomics/methods , ROC Curve , Rats , COVID-19 Drug Treatment
12.
Healthc Manage Forum ; 34(6): 326-331, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403172

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has created a unique context for the practice of leadership in healthcare. Given the significant use of the LEADS in a Caring Environment capabilities framework (LEADS) in Canada's health system, it is important to document the relevancy of LEADS. The authors reviewed literature, conducted research, and reflected on their own experience to identify leadership practices during the pandemic and related them to LEADS. Findings are presented in three sections: Hindsight (before), Insight (during), and Foresight (post). We profile the issue of improving long-term Care to provide an example of how LEADS can be applied in crisis times. Our analysis suggests that while LEADS appears to specify the leadership capabilities needed, it requires adaptation to context. The vision Canada has for healthcare will dictate how LEADS will be used as a guide to leadership practice in the current context or to shape a bolder vision of healthcare's future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Leadership , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
13.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(6): e2112596, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1265355

ABSTRACT

Importance: Additional sources of pediatric epidemiological and clinical data are needed to efficiently study COVID-19 in children and youth and inform infection prevention and clinical treatment of pediatric patients. Objective: To describe international hospitalization trends and key epidemiological and clinical features of children and youth with COVID-19. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study included pediatric patients hospitalized between February 2 and October 10, 2020. Patient-level electronic health record (EHR) data were collected across 27 hospitals in France, Germany, Spain, Singapore, the UK, and the US. Patients younger than 21 years who tested positive for COVID-19 and were hospitalized at an institution participating in the Consortium for Clinical Characterization of COVID-19 by EHR were included in the study. Main Outcomes and Measures: Patient characteristics, clinical features, and medication use. Results: There were 347 males (52%; 95% CI, 48.5-55.3) and 324 females (48%; 95% CI, 44.4-51.3) in this study's cohort. There was a bimodal age distribution, with the greatest proportion of patients in the 0- to 2-year (199 patients [30%]) and 12- to 17-year (170 patients [25%]) age range. Trends in hospitalizations for 671 children and youth found discrete surges with variable timing across 6 countries. Data from this cohort mirrored national-level pediatric hospitalization trends for most countries with available data, with peaks in hospitalizations during the initial spring surge occurring within 23 days in the national-level and 4CE data. A total of 27 364 laboratory values for 16 laboratory tests were analyzed, with mean values indicating elevations in markers of inflammation (C-reactive protein, 83 mg/L; 95% CI, 53-112 mg/L; ferritin, 417 ng/mL; 95% CI, 228-607 ng/mL; and procalcitonin, 1.45 ng/mL; 95% CI, 0.13-2.77 ng/mL). Abnormalities in coagulation were also evident (D-dimer, 0.78 ug/mL; 95% CI, 0.35-1.21 ug/mL; and fibrinogen, 477 mg/dL; 95% CI, 385-569 mg/dL). Cardiac troponin, when checked (n = 59), was elevated (0.032 ng/mL; 95% CI, 0.000-0.080 ng/mL). Common complications included cardiac arrhythmias (15.0%; 95% CI, 8.1%-21.7%), viral pneumonia (13.3%; 95% CI, 6.5%-20.1%), and respiratory failure (10.5%; 95% CI, 5.8%-15.3%). Few children were treated with COVID-19-directed medications. Conclusions and Relevance: This study of EHRs of children and youth hospitalized for COVID-19 in 6 countries demonstrated variability in hospitalization trends across countries and identified common complications and laboratory abnormalities in children and youth with COVID-19 infection. Large-scale informatics-based approaches to integrate and analyze data across health care systems complement methods of disease surveillance and advance understanding of epidemiological and clinical features associated with COVID-19 in children and youth.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Electronic Health Records/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Global Health , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Retrospective Studies
14.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(3): e22219, 2021 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088863

ABSTRACT

Coincident with the tsunami of COVID-19-related publications, there has been a surge of studies using real-world data, including those obtained from the electronic health record (EHR). Unfortunately, several of these high-profile publications were retracted because of concerns regarding the soundness and quality of the studies and the EHR data they purported to analyze. These retractions highlight that although a small community of EHR informatics experts can readily identify strengths and flaws in EHR-derived studies, many medical editorial teams and otherwise sophisticated medical readers lack the framework to fully critically appraise these studies. In addition, conventional statistical analyses cannot overcome the need for an understanding of the opportunities and limitations of EHR-derived studies. We distill here from the broader informatics literature six key considerations that are crucial for appraising studies utilizing EHR data: data completeness, data collection and handling (eg, transformation), data type (ie, codified, textual), robustness of methods against EHR variability (within and across institutions, countries, and time), transparency of data and analytic code, and the multidisciplinary approach. These considerations will inform researchers, clinicians, and other stakeholders as to the recommended best practices in reviewing manuscripts, grants, and other outputs from EHR-data derived studies, and thereby promote and foster rigor, quality, and reliability of this rapidly growing field.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Data Collection/methods , Electronic Health Records , Data Collection/standards , Humans , Peer Review, Research/standards , Publishing/standards , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
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