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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(22)2022 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2110068

ABSTRACT

Optimizing the allocation of basic medical services and ensuring their equity are necessary to improve the ability to respond to public health emergencies and promote health equity in the context of COVID-19. This study aims to analyze the equity of Guangzhou's basic medical service and identify areas where health resources are relatively scarce. The spatial distribution and patterns of basic medical services were analyzed using kernel density analysis and standard deviation ellipse. The equity was analyzed using the Gini coefficient and Lorenz curve in terms of population and geographical area, respectively. Considering the medical demand and supply sides, the Gaussian two-step floating catchment area method was used to analyze the accessibility to different levels of medical institutions. The kernel density analysis and standard deviation ellipse showed that the spatial distribution of medical and health resources in Guangzhou is unevenly distributed, and high-level hospitals and medical resources are mainly concentrated in the centrum. From the perspective of population, Guangzhou's medical equity is generally reasonable. The accessibility of medical institutions differs with different levels, and the tertiary medical institutions have the best accessibility, while the unclassified, primary, and secondary medical institutions generally have lower accessibility. The accessibility of districts in Guangzhou varies greatly. Areas in the center are most accessible to basic medical services, while accessibility in outskirt areas has gradually decreased. Conclusion: The quantity of per capita medical and health resources in Guangzhou, as evidenced by basic medical services, is sufficient, but the spatial distribution is unequal. The developed city center enjoys more adequate healthcare resources than the distant suburbs. Primary healthcare should be built, especially in distant suburbs, to strengthen basic medical service equity in Guangzhou.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Promotion , Catchment Area, Health , Health Resources
2.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 10(11)2022 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2110007

ABSTRACT

Pregnancy monitoring is vital to guaranteeing that both the foetus and the mother are in optimal health conditions. WHO protocols recommend at least eight medical examinations during the pregnancy period. While the cancellation or reduction of appointments during pregnancy due to the pandemic may help reduce the risk of infection, it could also negatively influence perinatal outcomes and the birthing process. The aim of this research was to analyse the differences in perinatal outcomes and birth characteristics in two groups of pregnant women: women who gave birth before and during the pandemic, and whether these differences are due to changes in pregnancy monitoring because of the COVID-19 situation. A retrospective study was carried out from July 2018 to December 2021, at the Santo Domingo Hospital (Dominican Republic). A total of 1109 primiparous pregnant women were recruited for this study during the birthing process and perinatal visits. The results describe how women who gave birth before the pandemic had greater control and monitoring of their pregnancy, more doctor visits (p = 0.001), fewer caesarean sections (p = 0.006), and more skin-to-skin contact after birth (p = 0.02). During the COVID-19 pandemic, pregnant women's attendance at routine pregnancy monitoring, both doctor visits and ultrasound scans, has decreased, leading to an increase in the number of caesarean and instrumental deliveries. At the perinatal level, processes such as skin-to-skin contact after birth between mother and newborn or the introduction of early breastfeeding in the delivery room have also been reduced.

3.
Curr Oncol ; 29(11): 8565-8578, 2022 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109972

ABSTRACT

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telehealth was rapidly implemented without previous evidence. The ONCOTELEMD study aimed to evaluate the opinion of patients attended via telemedicine during this period and to study factors that condition patient preferences on its use. Included patients had a confirmed cancer diagnosis and were contacted by telephone between 13 March and 30 April 2020, in the Medical Oncology Service of Hospital Parc Taulí, Sabadell. A 12-question survey was presented to them between 4 February and 19 April 2021. Statistical analysis was carried out using chi-square and multivariable logistic regression tests. Six hundred forty-six patients were included; 487 responded to the survey. The median age was 68 years (27-90), 55.2% were female. Most patients had a surveillance visit (65.3%) and were diagnosed with colorectal or breast cancer (43% and 26.5%, respectively); 91.8% of patients were satisfied, and 60% would accept the use of telemedicine beyond the pandemic. Patients aged more than 50 years (OR 0.40; 95% CI, 0.19-0.81; p = 0.01) and diagnosed with breast cancer (OR 0.45; 95% CI, 0.26-0.69; p < 0.001) were less predisposed to adopt telehealth in the future. Patients agreed to be informed via telehealth of scan or lab results (62% and 84%, respectively) but not of new oral or endovenous treatments (52% and 33.5%, respectively). Additionally, 75% of patients had a medium or low-null technologic ability, and 51.3% would only use the telephone or video call to contact health professionals. However, differences were found according to age groups (p < 0.0001). In total, patients surveyed were satisfied with telemedicine and believed telehealth could have a role following the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, our results remark on the importance of individualizing the use of telehealth, showing relevant data on patient preferences and digital literacy.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms , COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Humans , Female , Aged , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Telemedicine/methods , Health Personnel
4.
Children (Basel) ; 9(11)2022 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109963

ABSTRACT

Pediatric burns represent a significant public health problem. We analyzed the characteristics of pediatric burns in a reference center, in order to identify better strategies for prevention and care. Burn patients admitted to the pediatric departments of our hospital from January 2020 to June 2022 were retrospectively evaluated. Age, gender, the etiology of injuries, the total burn surface area (TBSA), the degree of burns, the length of hospital stay (LOS), concomitant SARS-CoV-2 infection, and burn surface microbial colonization were analyzed. Forty-seven patients were included in the analysis (M:F = 1:0.67). Most of the cases involved patients between 0 and 4 years of age (83%). Hot liquid burns accounted for 79% of cases, flame burns for 9%, thermal burns for 6%, scald burns for 4% and chemical burns for 2%. Mean TBSA was 14 ± 11%. A second-degree lesion was detected in 79% of patients and third-degree in 21%. Mean LOS was 17 days. No additional infection risks or major sequelae were reported in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Fifteen different species of bacteria plus C. parapsilosis were isolated, while no anaerobic microorganisms were detected. In the light of our experience, we recommend a carefully planned and proactive management strategy, always multidisciplinary, to ensure the best care for the burned child.

5.
Cancers (Basel) ; 14(22)2022 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109951

ABSTRACT

In this prospective, real-life cohort study, we followed 523 cancer patients (CP) and 579 healthcare workers (HCW) from two cancer centers to evaluate the biological and clinical results of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Seventy percent of the CP and 90% of the HCW received an mRNA vaccine or the AZD1222 vaccine. Seropositivity was high after the first vaccine among HCW and poor among CP. The second dose resulted in almost 100% seropositivity in both cohorts. Antibody response was higher after the second injection than the first in both populations. Despite at least two doses, 8 CP (1.5%) and 14 HCW (2.4%) were infected, corresponding either to a weak level of antibody or a new strain of virus (particularly the Omicron variant of concern). Sixteen CP and three HCW were hospitalized but none of them died from COVID-19. To conclude, this study showed that two doses of COVID-19 vaccines were crucially necessary to attain sufficient seropositivity. However, the post-vaccination antibody level declines in individuals from the two cohorts and could not totally prevent new SARS-CoV-2 infections.

6.
Cancers (Basel) ; 14(19)2022 Sep 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109946

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic continues, and patients actively receiving chemotherapy are known to be at enhanced risk for developing symptomatic disease with poorer outcomes. Our study evaluated the prevalence of COVID-19 among patients and providers of our community-facing county health system during the B1.1.529 ("Omicron") COVID-19 variant wave. (2) Methods: We retrospectively analyzed patients that received care and clinical providers whom worked at the Jackson Memorial Hospital Hematology/Oncology clinic in Miami, Florida, USA, from 1 December 2021 through 30 April 2022. We assessed demographic variables and quality outcomes among patients. (3) Results: 1031 patients and 18 providers were retrospectively analyzed. 90 patients tested positive for COVID-19 (8.73%), while 6 providers tested positive (33.3%) (p = 0.038). There were 4 (10.3%) COVID-19-related deaths (and another outside our study timeframe) and 39 non-COVID-19-related deaths (89.7%) in the patient population (p = 0.77). COVID-19 accounted for 4.44% of our clinic's total mortality, and delayed care in 64.4% of patients. (4) Conclusions: The prevalence of COVID-19 positivity in our patient cohort mirrored local, state, and national trends, however a statistically significant greater proportion of our providers tested positive. Almost two-thirds of patients experienced a cancer treatment delay, significantly impacting oncologic care.

7.
Behav Sci (Basel) ; 12(11)2022 Nov 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109943

ABSTRACT

Clinical diversity and multi-systemic manifestations of Parkinson's disease (PD) necessitate the involvement of several healthcare professionals from different disciplines for optimal care. Clinical guidelines recommend that all persons with PD should have access to a broad range of medical and allied health professionals to implement an efficient and effective multidisciplinary care model. This is well supported by growing evidence showing the benefits of multidisciplinary interventions on improving quality of life and disease progression in PD. However, a "multidisciplinary" approach requires gathering healthcare professionals from different disciplines into an integrative platform for collaborative teamwork. With the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, implementation of such a multidisciplinary care model has become increasingly challenging due to social distancing mandates, isolation and quarantine, clinics cancellation, among others. To address this problem, multidisciplinary teams are developing innovate virtual platforms to maintain care of people with PD. In the present review, we cover aspects on how SARS-CoV-2 has affected people with PD, their caregivers, and care team members. We also review current evidence on the importance of maintaining patient-centered care in the era of social distancing, and how can we utilize telehealth and innovative virtual platforms for multidisciplinary care in PD.

8.
Biomedicines ; 10(11)2022 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109932

ABSTRACT

Throughout the pandemic, serological assays have been revealed as crucial for detecting previous exposures to the virus and determining the timing of antibody maintenance after vaccination or natural infection. This study aimed to develop an optimized enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-based serology, which could be used in case of reagent shortages, such as that occurred in the beginning of this health emergency. As a result, we present a high-sensitive immunoassay for the determination of IgG levels in venous serum samples, using 2 µg/mL antigen (receptor-binding domain of the spike protein S1) for coating the plate and utilizing human samples at a dilution 1:1000. This method showed non-inferiority features versus a commercial kit, is less expensive, and has a higher spectrophotometric range that allows for a better quantification of the antibody titers. The optical density values before and after heating venous serum samples at 56 °C during 30 min was quite similar, showing that heat inactivation can be used to reduce the biohazardous risks while handling samples. Furthermore, we show that finger-stick capillary blood samples can also serve as a suitable source for IgG detection, bypassing the need for serum isolation and being suitable for point-of-care application (Pearson's coefficient correlation with capillary serum was 0.95, being statistically significant).

9.
Antibiotics (Basel) ; 11(11)2022 Nov 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109908

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization expressed concern that antimicrobial resistance would increase during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the excessive use of antibiotics. This study aimed to explore if antibiotic prescribing patterns in general practices located in the North Denmark Region changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study was conducted as a registry-based study. Data was collected for every antibiotic prescription issued in general practices located in the North Denmark Region during the first year of the pandemic (1 February 2020 to 31 January 2021) and the year prior to the pandemic (1 February 2019 to 31 January 2020). Data were compared regarding antibiotic agents and the type of consultation linked to each antibiotic prescription. Results showed that antibiotic prescriptions decreased by 18.5% during the first pandemic year. The use of macrolides and lincosamides, along with combinations of penicillins and beta-lactamase -sensitive penicillins, was reduced the most. Face-to-face consultations related to an antibiotic prescription decreased by 28.5%, while the use of video consultations increased markedly. In Denmark, COVID-19 restrictions have contributed to both a lower consumption of antibiotics and a change in prescription patterns in general practice. Probably some of the COVID-19 -preventing initiatives could be of importance moving forward in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

11.
Front Psychiatry ; 13: 1003881, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109868

ABSTRACT

Background: Loneliness affects up to 42% of long-term care residents and is associated with poor health outcomes. Humanoid robot interventions hold promise for reducing loneliness and decreasing barriers to social interaction in long-term care settings, such as the current COVID-19 safety measures in many countries, limited mobility, and poor health. We present a protocol describing an assessor-blinded randomized controlled trial comparing the effects of a humanoid robot intervention to treatment as usual, on loneliness and mental health outcomes in long-term care residents. Methods: Seventy-four (n = 74) older adults experiencing loneliness in 3 long-term care homes will be randomized 1:1 to an 8-week, twice a week social intervention with the Grace humanoid robot vs. a treatment as usual active control. We will assess change (baseline to week 8) in (1) loneliness (primary outcome), (2) depression severity, and (3) stress (secondary outcomes), as well as (4) other exploratory outcomes: anxiety, quality of life and reduction in acute healthcare utilization. We will also assess the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention using qualitative methods. Discussion: The proposed study will assess the effects of a social robot on loneliness and other mental health outcomes, as well as the feasibility of the intervention in older adults living in long-term care settings. Trial registration: NCT05423899.

12.
Front Physiol ; 13: 949351, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109829

ABSTRACT

The present study aimed to evaluate the body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness of overweight or obese people after COVID-19. 171 volunteers of both sexes (men, n = 93 and women, n = 78) between 19 and 65 years old were allocated into three groups according to the severity of their symptoms of COVID-19: non-hospitalized people/mild symptoms (n = 61), hospitalized (n = 58), and hospitalized in an intensive care unit-ICU (n = 52). Two laboratory visits were carried out 24 h apart. First, a medical consultation was carried out, with subsequent measurement of body weight and height (calculation of body mass index) and body composition assessment via electrical bioimpedance. After 24 h, a cardiorespiratory test was performed using the Bruce protocol, with a direct gas exchange analysis. Hospitalized individuals had significantly higher values for fat mass and body fat percentage than non-hospitalized individuals (p < 0.05). Significantly higher values were found for heart rate (HR) and peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) for individuals who were not hospitalized when compared to those hospitalized in the ICU (p < 0.05). Significantly higher values for distance, ventilation, and the relationship between respiratory quotient were found for non-hospitalized individuals compared to hospitalized individuals and those in the ICU (p < 0.05). After the cardiorespiratory test, higher values for peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) were observed for non-hospitalized individuals than for all hospitalized individuals (p < 0.05). Diastolic blood pressure was significantly higher at the tenth and fifteenth minute post-Bruce test in hospitalized than in non-hospitalized participants (p < 0.05). Based on these results, proposals for cardiopulmonary rehabilitation are indispensable for hospitalized groups considering the responses of blood pressure. Monitoring HR, SpO2, and blood pressure are necessary during rehabilitation to avoid possible physical complications. Volume and intensity of exercise prescription should respect the physiologic adaptation. Given lower physical conditioning among all the groups, proposals for recovering from health conditions are urgent and indispensable for COVID-19 survivors.

13.
JMIR Mhealth Uhealth ; 10(11): e41689, 2022 Nov 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109576

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the general public was concerned about the mental health impacts of unemployment due to COVID-19 and the stress essential workers experienced during this time. Several reports indicated that people in distress were turning to digital technology, but there was little evidence about the impact of these tools on mitigating distress. OBJECTIVE: This study seeks to determine the acceptability, feasibility, usability, and effectiveness of mobile mental health apps for decreasing mental health symptoms in essential workers and unemployed individuals with suicide risk. METHODS: We recruited participants who indicated that they were unemployed because of COVID-19 or were COVID-19-designated essential workers. Participants were randomized to 1 of 4 free commercial mobile apps for managing distress that were (1) highly rated by PsyberGuide and (2) met the criteria for intervention features these participants indicated were desirable in a previous survey. Participants used the apps for 4 weeks and completed baseline and 4-week self-assessments of depression, anxiety emotional regulation, and suicide risk. RESULTS: We found no differences between the apps in any outcome but did find significant changes in depression and anxiety over time (Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ]-9: estimate=-1.5, SE 0.2, 95% CI -1.1 to -1.8, P<.001; Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale [GAD]-7: estimate=-1.3, SE 0.2, 95% CI -1.0 to -1.6, P<.001). We found no significant changes in suicidal behavior (Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised [SBQ-R]) or emotional regulation (Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale - Short Form [DERS-SF]) for the 4 weeks. We did find a significant dose-response pattern for changes in depression and anxiety. Using the app at least once a week resulted in greater improvements in treatment conditions over time on depression (estimate=-0.6, SE 0.2, 95% CI 1.0-0.2, P=.003) and anxiety (estimate=0.1, SE 0.2, 95% CI 0.4-0.6, P=.78). There was no association between app frequency and changes in suicidal behavior (SBQ-R) or emotional regulation (DERS-SF). We further found a significant difference between the conditions with regard to app usability, with the control app being the most usable (meanBeautiful Mood 72.9, SD 16.7; meanCOVID Coach 71.2, SD 15.4; meanCalm 66.8, SD 17.3; mean7 Cups 65.2, SD 17.7). We found no significant differences for app acceptability or appropriateness. CONCLUSIONS: Few studies have evaluated prospectively the utility and usability of commercial apps for mood. This study found that free, self-guided commercial mobile mental health apps are seen as usable, but no one app is superior to the other. Although we found that regular use is indicated for effects on depression and anxiety to occur in those who are more symptomatic, regression to the mean cannot be ruled out. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04536935; https://tinyurl.com/mr36zx3s.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , Humans , Mental Health , Unemployment , Pandemics
14.
JMIR Hum Factors ; 9(4): e41499, 2022 Nov 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109574

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Due to the upsurge of COVID-19, nations are increasingly adopting telemedicine programs in anticipation of similar crises. Similar to all nations worldwide, Jordan is implementing efforts to adopt such technologies, yet it is far from complete. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of Jordanians toward telemedicine, to identify key factors predisposing individuals to its use or acting as barriers to its implementation. METHODS: We implemented a cross-sectional design using an online, self-administered questionnaire executed in Google Forms and distributed through social media. Differences in knowledge and attitude scores were examined using independent sample t tests and ANOVA. A multivariate linear regression model was computed to assess predictors of awareness toward telemedicine. RESULTS: A total of 1201 participants fully completed the questionnaire. Participants were characterized by a mean age of 36.3 (SD 14.4) years and a male-to-female ratio of nearly 1:1. About 50% (619/1201, 51.5%) of our studied population were aware of telemedicine, while nearly 25% (299/1201, 24.9%) declared they had observed it in action. Approximatively 68% (814/1201, 67.8%) of respondents were willing to use telemedicine. The majority of the sample portrayed favorable and positive views toward telemedicine. Higher educational degrees, living in urban districts, and having a higher perception of electronic usage ability were associated with higher knowledge and better attitudes toward telemedicine (all P<.05). The multivariate linear regression analysis demonstrated that perceived ability to use electronics was associated with positive attitudes (ß=0.394; 95% CI 0.224 to 0.563), while living in Southern Jordan predicted poor attitudes toward telemedicine (ß=-2.896; 95% CI -4.873 to -0.919). CONCLUSIONS: Jordanians portray favorable perceptions of telemedicine. Nonetheless, concerns with regards to privacy, medical errors, and capacity for accurate diagnoses are prevalent. Furthermore, Jordanians believe that integrating telemedicine within the health care system is not applicable due to limited resources.

15.
JMIR Hum Factors ; 9(4): e40110, 2022 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109566

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has led to over 500 million cases and 6.2 million deaths around the world. Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) like Armenia face unique infrastructure, financial, and capacity challenges that in many cases result in worse outcomes. Health care facilities across Armenia experienced a shortage of resources, including hospital beds and oxygen, which was further exacerbated by the war with neighboring Azerbaijan. Without a framework for home-based care, health care facilities were severely strained by COVID-19 patients who had prolonged oxygen requirements but were otherwise clinically stable. OBJECTIVE: This paper describes our approach to establishing an international collaboration to develop a web app to support home monitoring of patients with COVID-19 with persistent oxygen requirements. METHODS: The app was developed using a rapid, coordinated, and collaborative approach involving an international group of clinicians, developers, and collaborators. Health screening, monitoring, and discharge forms were developed into a lightweight OpenMRS web app and customized for the local Armenian context. RESULTS: The software was designed and developed over 2 months using human-centered design and agile sprints. Once live, 5087 patient records were created for 439 unique patients. CONCLUSIONS: This project suggests a promising framework for designing and implementing remote monitoring programs in LMICs, despite pandemic and geopolitical challenges.

16.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(11): e39728, 2022 Nov 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109564

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Virtual care (VC) visits (telephone or video) and email-based patient communication have been rapidly adopted to facilitate cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Inequities in access and patient experience may arise as these digital health tools become prevalent. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to characterize inequities in access and patient-reported experience following adoption of digital health tools at a tertiary cancer center during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We designed a cross-sectional study of outpatients with visits from September to December 2020. Patient characteristics and responses to an email-based patient-experience survey were collated. Inequities in access were assessed across three pairs of comparison groups: (1) patients with VC and in-person visits, (2) patients with and without documented email addresses, and (3) responders and nonresponders to the survey. Inequities in patient-reported experience were assessed among survey responders. Demographics were mapped to area-level averages from national census data. Socioeconomic status was mapped to area-level dimensions of the Canadian Index of Multiple Deprivation. Covariate balance between comparison groups was assessed using standardized mean differences (SMDs), with SMD≥0.2 indicating differences between groups. Associations between patient experience satisfaction scores and covariates were assessed using multivariable analyses, with P<.05 indicating statistical significance. RESULTS: Among the 42,194 patients who had outpatient visits, 62.65% (n=26,435) had at least one VC visit and 31.15% (n=13,144) were emailable. Access to VC and email was similar across demographic and socioeconomic indices (SMD<0.2). Among emailable patients, 21.84% (2870/13,144) responded to the survey. Survey responsiveness was similar across indices, aside from a small difference by age (SMD=0.24). Among responders, 24.4% received VC and were similar to in-person responders across indices (SMD<0.2). VC and in-person responders had similar satisfaction levels with all care domains surveyed (all P>.05). Regardless of visit type, patients had variable satisfaction with care domains across demographic and socioeconomic indices. Patients with higher ethnocultural composition scores were less satisfied with the cultural appropriateness of their care (odds ratio [OR] 0.70, 95% CI 0.57-0.86). Patients with higher situational vulnerability scores were less satisfied with discussion of physical symptoms (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.48-0.93). Patients with higher residential instability scores were less satisfied with discussion of both physical (OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.68-0.97) and emotional (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.77-0.96) symptoms, and also with the duration of their visit (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.74-0.98; P=.02). Male patients were more satisfied with how their health care provider had listened to them (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.11-2.44; P=.01). CONCLUSIONS: Adoption of VC and email can equitably maintain access and patient-reported experience in cancer care across demographics and socioeconomic indices. Existing health inequities among structurally marginalized patients must continue to be addressed to improve their care experience.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Telemedicine , Humans , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies , Patient Satisfaction , Canada , Communication , Electronics , Neoplasms/therapy
17.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(10): e39676, 2022 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109563

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic and its corresponding preventive and control measures have increased the mental burden on the public. Understanding and tracking changes in public mental status can facilitate optimizing public mental health intervention and control strategies. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to build a social media-based pipeline that tracks public mental changes and use it to understand public mental health status regarding the pandemic. METHODS: This study used COVID-19-related tweets posted from February 2020 to April 2022. The tweets were downloaded using unique identifiers through the Twitter application programming interface. We created a lexicon of 4 mental health problems (depression, anxiety, insomnia, and addiction) to identify mental health-related tweets and developed a dictionary for identifying health care workers. We analyzed temporal and geographic distributions of public mental health status during the pandemic and further compared distributions among health care workers versus the general public, supplemented by topic modeling on their underlying foci. Finally, we used interrupted time series analysis to examine the statewide impact of a lockdown policy on public mental health in 12 states. RESULTS: We extracted 4,213,005 tweets related to mental health and COVID-19 from 2,316,817 users. Of these tweets, 2,161,357 (51.3%) were related to "depression," whereas 1,923,635 (45.66%), 225,205 (5.35%), and 150,006 (3.56%) were related to "anxiety," "insomnia," and "addiction," respectively. Compared to the general public, health care workers had higher risks of all 4 types of problems (all P<.001), and they were more concerned about clinical topics than everyday issues (eg, "students' pressure," "panic buying," and "fuel problems") than the general public. Finally, the lockdown policy had significant associations with public mental health in 4 out of the 12 states we studied, among which Pennsylvania showed a positive association, whereas Michigan, North Carolina, and Ohio showed the opposite (all P<.05). CONCLUSIONS: The impact of COVID-19 and the corresponding control measures on the public's mental status is dynamic and shows variability among different cohorts regarding disease types, occupations, and regional groups. Health agencies and policy makers should primarily focus on depression (reported by 51.3% of the tweets) and insomnia (which has had an ever-increasing trend since the beginning of the pandemic), especially among health care workers. Our pipeline timely tracks and analyzes public mental health changes, especially when primary studies and large-scale surveys are difficult to conduct.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders , Social Media , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Infodemiology , Mental Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , Policy
18.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(10): e38604, 2022 10 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109557

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Virtual care use increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of that shift on patient and provider experiences is unclear. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated patient and provider experiences with virtual visits across an academic, ambulatory hospital in Toronto, Canada and assessed predictors of positive experience with virtual care. METHODS: Survey data were analyzed from consenting patients who attended at least one virtual visit (video or telephone) and from consenting providers who delivered at least one virtual visit. Distributions for demographic variables and responses to survey questions are reported, with statistical significance assessed using chi-square tests and t tests. Ordinal logistic regression analysis was used to identify any patient predictors of responses. RESULTS: During the study period, 253 patients (mean age 45.1, SD 15.6 years) completed 517 video visit surveys, and 147 patients (mean age 41.6, SD 16.4 years) completed 209 telephone visit surveys. A total of 75 and 94 providers completed the survey in June 2020 and June 2021, respectively. On a scale from 1 to 10 regarding likelihood to recommend virtual care to others, fewer providers rated a score of 8 or above compared with patients (providers: 62/94, 66% for video and 49/94, 52% for telephone; patients: 415/517, 80% for video and 150/209, 72% for telephone). Patients of non-White ethnicity had lower odds of rating a high score of 9 or 10 compared with White patients (odds ratio 0.52, 95% CI 0.28-0.99). CONCLUSIONS: Patient experiences with virtual care were generally positive, but provider experiences were less so. Findings suggest potential differences in patient experience by ethnicity, warranting further investigation into equity concerns with virtual care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Humans , Middle Aged , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Ontario/epidemiology , Ambulatory Care , Hospitals
19.
JMIR Form Res ; 6(11): e38425, 2022 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109556

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Primary care providers are regarded as trustworthy sources of information about COVID-19 vaccines. Although primary care practices often provide information about common medical and public health topics on their practice websites, little is known about whether they also provide information about COVID-19 vaccines on their practice websites. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and correlates of COVID-19 vaccine information on family medicine practices' website home pages in the United States. METHODS: We used the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid National Provider Identifier records to create a sampling frame of all family medicine providers based in the United States, from which we constructed a nationally representative random sample of 964 family medicine providers. Between September 20 and October 8, 2021, we manually examined the practice websites of these providers and extracted data on the availability of COVID-19 vaccine information, and we implemented a 10% cross-review quality control measure to resolve discordances in data abstraction. We estimated the prevalence of COVID-19 vaccine information on practice websites and website home pages and used Poisson regression with robust error variances to estimate crude and adjusted prevalence ratios for correlates of COVID-19 vaccine information, including practice size, practice region, university affiliation, and presence of information about seasonal influenza vaccines. Additionally, we performed sensitivity analyses to account for multiple comparisons. RESULTS: Of the 964 included family medicine practices, most (n=509, 52.8%) had ≥10 distinct locations, were unaffiliated with a university (n=838, 87.2%), and mentioned seasonal influenza vaccines on their websites (n=540, 56.1%). In total, 550 (57.1%) practices mentioned COVID-19 vaccines on their practices' website home page, specifically, and 726 (75.3%) mentioned COVID-19 vaccines anywhere on their practice website. As practice size increased, the likelihood of finding COVID-19 vaccine information on the home page increased (n=66, 27.7% among single-location practices, n=114, 52.5% among practices with 2-9 locations, n=66, 56.4% among practices with 10-19 locations, and n=304, 77.6% among practices with 20 or more locations, P<.001 for trend). Compared to clinics in the Northeast, those in the West and Midwest United States had a similar prevalence of COVID-19 vaccine information on website home pages, but clinics in the south had a lower prevalence (adjusted prevalence ratio 0.8, 95% CI 0.7 to 1.0; P=.02). Our results were largely unchanged in sensitivity analyses accounting for multiple comparisons. CONCLUSIONS: Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, primary care practitioners who promote and provide vaccines should strongly consider utilizing their existing practice websites to share COVID-19 vaccine information. These existing platforms have the potential to serve as an extension of providers' influence on established and prospective patients who search the internet for information about COVID-19 vaccines.

20.
J Multidiscip Healthc ; 15: 2527-2537, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109477

ABSTRACT

Background: The nature of COVID-19 transmission creates significant risks in surgical departments owing to the close contact of medical staff with patients, the limited physical environment of the operating room and recovery room, the possibility of shared surgical equipment and challenges in the delivery of surgical care in all surgical departments. Globally, studies have reported that the effects of the pandemic on surgical departments are profound, potentially long-lasting and extensive. To manage these effects, different local guidelines and recommendations have been developed, with potential differences in their effectiveness and implementation. Therefore, harmonized and effective national/international guidelines for specific surgical departments during perioperative periods are pertinent to curtail the infection, and will inevitably need to be adapted for consistent and sustainable implementation by all medical staff. The pattern of surgical patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic at Jimma Medical Center (JMC), Ethiopia, has not been explored yet. The present study aimed to describe the pattern of perioperative surgical patient care, equipment handling and operating room management during the COVID-19 pandemic at JMC. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted to describe the pattern of perioperative surgical patient care, equipment handling and operating room management during the COVID-19 pandemic at JMC, using five-point Likert scales (0, not at all; 1, rarely; 2, sometimes; 3, most of the time; 4, frequently). A total of 90 respondents [35 patients (five patients from each of seven surgical departments) and 55 healthcare providers (six professionals from each of nine units, including the center of sterility room and anesthesia)] who were available during the study period, selected by a convenience sampling technique with multistage clustering, participated in the study. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire via direct observation and face-to-face interviews with patients undergoing surgery, healthcare providers and hospital administrators, against the standard surgical patient care guidelines. The collected data were manually checked for missing values and outliers, cleared, entered into EpiData (v4.3.1) and exported to SPSS (v22) for analysis. The mean score of practice was compared among different disciplines by applying the unpaired t-test. The findings of the study were reported using tables and narration. A p-value of less than 0.05 was declared as statistically significant. Results: Despite the surgical care practice having changed during the COVID-19 pandemic in all service domains, it is not implemented consistently among different surgical departments owing to different barriers (lack of training on the updated guidelines and financial constraints). The majority of surgical staff were implementing the use of preventive measures against COVID-19, while they were practiced less among patients. The guidelines for surgical practice during the preoperative phase were well applied, especially screening patients by different methods and the application of telemedicine to reduce physical contacts. But, against guidelines, elective patients were planned and underwent surgery, especially in the general surgery department. The implementation of recommended guidelines in the center of sterility room in handling surgical equipment was not very different before and during the pandemic. The extent of practice for anesthesia care, operating room management and postoperative care in the recovery room also changed, and the guidelines were sometimes applied. Conclusion and Recommendations: Although perioperative surgical care practice differed before and during the pandemic, the standard guidelines were inconsistently implemented among surgical departments. The implementation of recommended guidelines in the center of sterility room in handling surgical equipment was not very different before and during the pandemic. Thus, the authors developed safe surgical care guidelines throughout the different domains (infection prevention and PPE use; preoperative care, intraoperative care, operating room management, anesthesia care, equipment handling process and postoperative care) for all disciplines and shared them with all staff. We recommend that all surgical staff should access these guidelines and strictly adhere to them for surgical service during the pandemic.

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