Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 78
Filter
1.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 406, 2022 Mar 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793949

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mental health disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada are related to underlying economic, social, and political inequities that are legacies of colonization and the oppression of Indigenous cultures. It also widely acknowledged that mental health services currently available may not be culturally appropriate in supporting the health needs of Indigenous Canadians. A two-day Indigenous mental health forum examined mental health needs and gaps among Indigenous communities across the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) on Treaty 8 territory, in northern Alberta, Canada. This paper outlines the insights generated by stakeholder engagement at the forum to identify and prioritize directions for Indigenous mental health and build a vision and strategy for improving mental health services and programs for the region's diverse Indigenous population. METHODS: We applied a modified nominal group technique (NGT) consensus method embedded within Indigenous knowledge to determine key priorities and directions for Indigenous-focused mental health and synthesize information from discussions that occurred at the forum. Following the NGT, a participatory community visioning exercise was conducted with participants to develop a vision, guiding principles, and components of an action plan for an Indigenous mental health strategy for the RMWB. RESULTS: Four key themes for setting priorities and directions for Indigenous mental health emerged from roundtable group discussions: 1) understand the realities of mental health experiences for Indigenous peoples, 2) design a holistic and culturally rooted mental health system, 3) foster cross-sectoral engagement and collaboration on mental health service delivery, and 4) focus on children and youth. The community visioning exercise helped stakeholders to visualize a direction or path forward for addressing existing gaps in the mental health system and opportunities for strengthening Indigenous mental health in the region. CONCLUSIONS: Forum participants described mental health and well-being around holistic concepts of social and emotional well-being. Addressing Indigenous mental health and wellness involves multi-sectoral action in various settings including community and school through programs, policies, and other interventions that promote mental health for all Indigenous peoples, as well as for those at greater risk such as children and youth.


Subject(s)
Mental Disorders , Mental Health Services , Adolescent , Alberta , Consensus , Humans , Mental Disorders/therapy , Mental Health
2.
Front Public Health ; 9: 723613, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775839

ABSTRACT

Following the 2016 Horse River Wildfire in northern Alberta, the provincial health authority, the ministry of health, non-profit and charitable organizations, and regional community-based service agencies mobilized to address the growing health and mental health concerns among Indigenous residents and communities through the provision of services and supports. Among the communities and residents that experienced significant devastation and loss were First Nation and Métis residents in the region. Provincial and local funding was allocated to new recovery positions and to support pre-existing health and social programs. The objective of this research was to qualitatively describe the health systems response to the health impacts following the wildfire from the perspective of service providers who were directly responsible for delivering or organizing health and mental wellness services and supports to Indigenous residents. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 15 Indigenous and 10 non-Indigenous service providers from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). Interviews were transcribed verbatim and a constant comparative analysis method was used to identify themes. Following service provider interviews, a supplemental document review was completed to provide background and context for the qualitative findings from interviews. The document review allowed for a better understanding of the health systems response at a systems level following the wildfire. Triangulation of semi-structured interviews and organization report documents confirmed our findings. The conceptual framework by Mirzoev and Kane for understanding health systems responsiveness guided our data interpretation. Our findings were divided into three themes (1) service provision in response to Indigenous mental health concerns (2) gaps in Indigenous health-related services post-wildfire and (3) adopting a health equity lens in post-disaster recovery. The knowledge gained from this research can help inform future emergency management and assist policy and decision makers with culturally safe and responsive recovery planning. Future recovery and response efforts should consider identifying and addressing underlying health, mental health, and emotional concerns in order to be more effective in assisting with healing for Indigenous communities following a public health emergency such as a wildfire disaster.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Wildfires , Alberta , Animals , Horses , Humans , Mental Health , Rivers
3.
CMAJ ; 194(12): E444-E455, 2022 03 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765549

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pandemics may promote hospital avoidance, and added precautions may exacerbate treatment delays for medical emergencies such as stroke. We sought to evaluate ischemic stroke presentations, management and outcomes during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We conducted a population-based study, using linked administrative and stroke registry data from Alberta to identify all patients presenting with stroke before the pandemic (Jan. 1, 2016 to Feb. 27, 2020) and in 5 periods over the first pandemic year (Feb. 28, 2020 to Mar. 31, 2021), reflecting changes in case numbers and restrictions. We evaluated changes in hospital admissions, emergency department presentations, thrombolysis, endovascular therapy, workflow times and outcomes. RESULTS: The study included 19 531 patients in the prepandemic period and 4900 patients across the 5 pandemic periods. Presentations for ischemic stroke dropped in the first pandemic wave (weekly adjusted incidence rate ratio [IRR] 0.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.50 to 0.59). Population-level incidence of thrombolysis (adjusted IRR 0.50, 95% CI 0.41 to 0.62) and endovascular therapy (adjusted IRR 0.63, 95% CI 0.47 to 0.84) also decreased during the first wave, but proportions of patients presenting with stroke who received acute therapies did not decline. Rates of patients presenting with stroke did not return to prepandemic levels, even during a lull in COVID-19 cases between the first 2 waves of the pandemic, and fell further in subsequent waves. In-hospital delays in thrombolysis or endovascular therapy occurred in several pandemic periods. The likelihood of in-hospital death increased in Wave 2 (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.48, 95% CI 1.25 to 1.74) and Wave 3 (adjusted OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.07 to 2.00). Out-of-hospital deaths, as a proportion of stroke-related deaths, rose during 4 of 5 pandemic periods. INTERPRETATION: The first year of the COVID-19 pandemic saw persistently reduced rates of patients presenting with ischemic stroke, recurrent treatment delays and higher risk of in-hospital death in later waves. These findings support public health messaging that encourages care-seeking for medical emergencies during pandemic periods, and stroke systems should re-evaluate protocols to mitigate inefficiencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ischemic Stroke , Alberta/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Ischemic Stroke/diagnosis , Ischemic Stroke/epidemiology , Ischemic Stroke/therapy , Pandemics
4.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264145, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736505

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Vaccine uptake rates have been historically low in correctional settings. To better understand vaccine hesitancy in these high-risk settings, we explored reasons for COVID-19 vaccine refusal among people in federal prisons. METHODS: Three maximum security all-male federal prisons in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario (Canada) were chosen, representing prisons with the highest proportions of COVID-19 vaccine refusal. Using a qualitative descriptive design and purposive sampling, individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with incarcerated people who had previously refused at least one COVID-19 vaccine until data saturation was achieved. An inductive-deductive thematic analysis of audio-recorded interview transcripts was conducted using the Conceptual Model of Vaccine Hesitancy. RESULTS: Between May 19-July 8, 2021, 14 participants were interviewed (median age: 30 years; n = 7 Indigenous, n = 4 visible minority, n = 3 White). Individual-, interpersonal-, and system-level factors were identified. Three were particularly relevant to the correctional setting: 1) Risk perception: participants perceived that they were at lower risk of COVID-19 due to restricted visits and interactions; 2) Health care services in prison: participants reported feeling "punished" and stigmatized due to strict COVID-19 restrictions, and failed to identify personal benefits of vaccination due to the lack of incentives; 3) Universal distrust: participants expressed distrust in prison employees, including health care providers. INTERPRETATION: Reasons for vaccine refusal among people in prison are multifaceted. Educational interventions could seek to address COVID-19 risk misconceptions in prison settings. However, impact may be limited if trust is not fostered and if incentives are not considered in vaccine promotion.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Prisoners/psychology , Vaccination Refusal/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Alberta , Attitude , British Columbia , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Male , Middle Aged , Ontario , Risk , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Social Norms , Social Responsibility , Young Adult
5.
BMJ Open ; 12(3): e056229, 2022 03 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731279

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Studies on the management of the COVID-19 pandemic through testing have been conducted in countries that have been hardest hit by this pandemic. Considering the importance of testing in containing the spread of COVID-19, it is useful to have evidence on continuing COVID-19 testing even in countries where the prevalence of COVID-19 is relatively low. We, therefore, examined the association between reported COVID-19 symptoms and testing for COVID-19 in Canada. DESIGN AND SETTINGS: We conducted an online survey using the SurveyMonkey platform between July and October 2020 across Canada. PARTICIPANTS: A nationally representative sample size of 2790 adult individuals was used. RESULTS: Our findings show that respondents who reported that they and/or members of their households had COVID-19 symptoms were more likely to test for COVID-19 (adjusted OR, aOR 1.91; 95% CI 1.32 to 2.76) as compared with those who did not report COVID-19 symptoms. The likelihood of testing for COVID-19 was lower among male respondents compared with females (aOR 0.69; 95% CI 0.49 to 0.96), respondents aged 65-84 compared with those aged 18-44 (aOR 0.62; 95% CI 0.42 to 0.93), and respondents in British Columbia compared with those residing in Quebec. Higher odds of testing for COVID-19 were found among respondents who lived in Alberta compared with those who lived in Quebec (aOR 0.42; 95% CI 0.23 to 0.75) and respondents who had postgraduate education compared with those with high school or less education (aOR 1.84; 95% CI 1.01 to 3.36). The association between reported COVID-19 symptoms and testing for COVID-19 was statistically significant among female respondents (aOR 1.52; 95% CI 1.81 to 3.52) but not among male respondents. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, this study provides evidence in support of the hypothesis that there is significant association between reported COVID-19 symptoms and COVID-19 testing among adult Canadians. The study highlights the need for the Canadian government to prioritise subpopulations (ie, males, those aged 65-85, and those with high school or less education) that have lower likelihood of seeking COVID-19 testing to get tested when they have symptoms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Alberta , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Canada/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
6.
Nutrients ; 14(5)2022 Mar 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732146

ABSTRACT

Up to two-thirds of older Canadian adults have high nutrition risk, which predisposes them to frailty, hospitalization and death. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of a brief education intervention on nutrition risk and use of adaptive strategies to promote dietary resilience among community-dwelling older adults living in Alberta, Canada, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study design was a single-arm intervention trial with pre-post evaluation. Participants (N = 28, age 65+ years) in the study completed a survey online or via telephone. Questions included the Brief Resilience Scale (BRS), SCREEN-14, a brief poverty screen, and a World Health Organization-guided questionnaire regarding awareness and use of nutrition-related services and resources (S and R). A brief educational intervention involved raising participant awareness of available nutrition S and R. Education was offered via email or postal mail with follow-up surveys administered 3 months later. Baseline and follow-up nutrition risk scores, S and R awareness and use were compared using paired t-test. Three-quarters of participants had a high nutrition risk, but very few reported experiencing financial strain or food insecurity. Those at high nutrition risk were more likely to report eating alone, compared to those who scored as low risk. There was a significant increase in awareness of 20 S and R as a result of the educational intervention, but no change in use. The study shows increasing individual knowledge about services and resources in the community is not sufficient to change use of these services or improve nutrition risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Independent Living , Aged , Alberta/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Can J Public Health ; 113(1): 96-106, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1727049

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To examine the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on health-related quality of life (HRQL) of adults visiting emergency departments (ED) and primary care (PC) settings in Alberta, Canada, and explore whether this impact varies across demographic subgroups. METHODS: Data from two repeated cross-sectional surveys that measured HRQL using EQ-5D-5L were used; "pre-COVID" Sept 2019-Feb 2020 (ED, N=5927; PC, N=317), "Wave-1" Mar 2020-Aug 2020 (ED, N=4781; PC, N=375), and "Wave-2" Sept 2020-Jan 2021 (ED, N=4443; PC, N=327). RESULTS: In the ED sample, there were decrements in mild-extreme problems of 3.7% in mobility and 4.1% in usual activities from pre-COVID to wave 2. There were very minor changes in mild-extreme problems in self-care (decrement=1.3%), pain/discomfort (decrement=2.6%), and anxiety/depression (decrement=0.9%). In the PC sample, there were increases of 4.8% in mild-extreme pain/discomfort and 10.7% in anxiety/depression from pre-COVID to wave 2. Despite these changes, HRQL of both samples pre-COVID and during waves 1 and 2 was worse than that of the general Alberta population. There were no significant variations in the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on HRQL across age, sex, and income subgroups in the ED survey; however, such variations were observed in the PC survey whereby younger adults, females, and those with high income had the largest HRQL deteriorations. CONCLUSION: The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on HRQL was minimal in adults seeking ED care, but more pronounced in those seen in PC, especially in terms of mental health. Policies around COVID-19 should take into account the needs of certain groups of the population, especially women and young people.


RéSUMé: OBJECTIFS: Examiner l'impact de la pandémie de COVID-19 sur la qualité de vie liée à la santé (QVLS) des adultes visitant les services d'urgence (SU) et les établissements de soins primaires (SP) en Alberta, au Canada, et déterminer si cet impact varie selon les sous-groupes démographiques. MéTHODES: Les données de deux enquêtes transversales répétées qui ont mesuré la QVL à l'aide de l'EQ-5D-5L ont été utilisées; « pré-COVID ¼ septembre 2019-février 2020 (SU, N=5 927; SP, N=317), « Vague-1 ¼ mars 2020-août 2020 (SU, N=4 781; SP, N=375) et « Vague-2 ¼ septembre 2020-janvier 2021 (SU, N=4 443; SP, N=327). RéSULTATS: Dans l'échantillon du SU, il y a eu des diminutions des problèmes légers à extrêmes de 3,7 % dans la mobilité et de 4,1 % dans les activités habituelles de la période pré-COVID à la vague 2. Il y a eu des changements très mineurs dans les problèmes légers à extrêmes dans les soins personnels (diminution = 1,3 %), douleur/gêne (diminution=2,6 %) et anxiété/dépression (diminution=0,9 %). Dans l'échantillon SP, il y a eu des augmentations de 4,8 % de la douleur/gêne légère à extrême et de 10,7 % de l'anxiété/de la dépression de la période pré-COVID à la vague 2. Malgré ces changements, la QVLS des deux échantillons avant la COVID et pendant les vagues 1 et 2 était pire que celle de la population générale de l'Alberta. Il n'y avait pas de variations significatives de l'impact de la pandémie de COVID-19 sur la QVLS selon l'âge, le sexe et les sous-groupes de revenu dans l'enquête SU; cependant, de telles variations ont été observées dans l'enquête SP, où les jeunes adultes, les femmes et les personnes à revenu élevé présentaient les plus fortes détériorations de la QVLS. CONCLUSION: L'impact de la pandémie de COVID-19 sur la QVLS était minime chez les adultes cherchant des SU, mais plus prononcé chez ceux observés dans le SP, en particulier en termes de santé mentale. Les politiques autour de COVID-19 devraient prendre en compte les besoins de certains groupes de la population, en particulier les femmes et les jeunes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Quality of Life , Adolescent , Adult , Alberta/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Health Status , Humans , Pandemics , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
8.
Can J Public Health ; 113(1): 87-95, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1727048

ABSTRACT

SETTING: In Alberta, a small team of specialized public health experts typically complete case investigation and contact tracing. High COVID-19 case counts and a shortage of trained public health professionals required a rapid and significant adaptation of staffing models to meet the population's needs. INTERVENTION: A tiered, interdisciplinary staffing model, based on those in critical care, was developed, piloted, and implemented in the Alberta Health Services' Communicable Disease Control department in late 2020 to complete case investigation and contact tracing. The final model included novice, non-regulated professionals divided into pods of four to six investigators, led by an experienced regulated investigator. Team leads oversaw five pods. Communicable disease nurses provided an additional tier of clinical expertise. During the model development, roles and responsibilities of team members were delineated, ratios for supervision were tested, and rapid training was provided. OUTCOMES: The tiered staffing model began in November 2020 with staff members in two pods. At its peak in early May 2021, 72 pods of 502 non-regulated members, 134 regulated investigators, and 4 communicable disease nurses completed 780-973 case investigations daily, or 40-45% of all positive cases in Alberta. In comparison, the same number of regulated investigators working independently in the traditional staffing model without non-regulated pods completed, on average, 249 case investigations daily. IMPLICATIONS: A tiered staffing model can be effective at maximizing the skills of the experienced members of the case investigation team to maintain case investigation and contact tracing activities during a pandemic.


RéSUMé: LIEU: En Alberta, une petite équipe de spécialistes de la santé publique mène généralement les enquêtes et la recherche des contacts. Un nombre élevé de cas de COVID-19 et une pénurie de professionnels de la santé publique formés ont nécessité une adaptation rapide et importante des modèles de dotation des équipes pour répondre aux besoins de la population. INTERVENTION: Un modèle de dotation interdisciplinaire à plusieurs niveaux axé sur les patients aux soins intensifs a été élaboré, mis à l'essai et appliqué par la division de la lutte contre les maladies transmissibles des Services de santé de l'Alberta vers la fin de 2020 pour mener les enquêtes et la recherche des contacts. Le modèle final incluait des membres novices de professions non réglementées divisés en modules de quatre à six chercheurs et chercheuses sous la direction d'un chercheur ou d'une chercheuse d'expérience membre d'une profession réglementée. Les chefs d'équipes supervisaient cinq modules. Des infirmières et infirmiers en maladies transmissibles constituaient un niveau supplémentaire d'expérience clinique. Durant l'élaboration du modèle, les fonctions des membres des équipes ont été définies, les ratios d'encadrement ont été testés, et une formation rapide a été fournie. RéSULTATS: L'application du modèle de dotation à plusieurs niveaux a commencé en novembre 2020 avec des effectifs dans deux modules. À son sommet au début de mai 2021, 72 modules, composés de 502 membres de professions non réglementées, de 134 chercheurs et chercheuses de professions réglementées et de 4 infirmières et infirmiers en maladies transmissibles, ont mené de 780 à 973 enquêtes par jour, ce qui englobait entre 40 et 45 % des cas positifs en Alberta. À titre de comparaison, le même nombre de chercheurs et de chercheuses de professions réglementées, travaillant indépendamment selon le modèle de dotation classique sans modules non réglementés, a mené en moyenne 249 enquêtes par jour. CONSéQUENCES: Un modèle de dotation à plusieurs niveaux peut maximiser les compétences des membres expérimentés de l'équipe d'enquête pour maintenir les activités d'enquête et de recherche des contacts durant une pandémie.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Contact Tracing , Alberta , Health Services , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Can J Public Health ; 113(1): 81-86, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1727047

ABSTRACT

SETTING: In January 2021, the COVID-19 vaccine became available to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) over the age of 65 living in First Nations communities or Métis settlements in Alberta. In March, vaccine eligibility in Alberta expanded to include FNMI peoples of younger ages and in urban settings. The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) and other Indigenous organizations recognized that FNMI populations might be better served by tailored vaccine programs. INTERVENTION: The MNA is the government for the Métis people in Alberta. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the MNA has supported its citizens, through financial and mental wellness support, access to personal protective equipment, and messaging regarding public health orders. When vaccines became available, culturally appropriate virtual vaccine information sessions were provided. In March 2021, the MNA delivered the first Métis-led COVID-19 vaccination clinic. Unique to the clinic's success was the location, online booking process, and community presence. The clinic focused on cultural safety, including the availability of Indigenous health professionals to community members, and cultural reference points throughout the clinic. OUTCOMES: In the first MNA clinic, over 1300 people were vaccinated. Visitors shared appreciation for the culturally specific aspects of the clinic, which contributed to increased safety and comfort. IMPLICATIONS: Based on the success of the first Métis-led vaccination clinic, similar services in communities with high numbers of Métis people have been approved. This innovative practice initiative could provide a model of COVID-19 vaccine service delivery that could be used to meet the needs of Métis citizens in other jurisdictions in Canada.


RéSUMé: LIEU: En janvier 2021, le vaccin anti-COVID-19 est devenu accessible aux Premières Nations, Inuits et Métis (PNIM) de 65 ans et plus vivant dans les communautés des Premières nations ou les établissements métis de l'Alberta. En mars, l'admissibilité au vaccin en Alberta a été étendue aux personnes des PNIM plus jeunes et vivant en milieu urbain. La Nation métisse de l'Alberta (NMA) et d'autres organismes autochtones ont pensé que les populations PNIM seraient peut-être mieux servies par des programmes de vaccination adaptés. INTERVENTION: La NMA est le gouvernement des Métis en Alberta. Durant la pandémie, la NMA a appuyé ses citoyens en leur offrant des mesures d'aide financière et de bien-être mental, en leur donnant accès à de l'équipement de protection individuelle et en diffusant des messages sur les ordonnances de santé publique. Quand les vaccins sont devenus disponibles, des séances d'information virtuelles culturellement appropriées ont été offertes. En mars 2021, la NMA a monté la première clinique de vaccination contre la COVID-19 dirigée par des Métis. Le succès de cette clinique a reposé sur son emplacement, sur le processus de prise de rendez-vous et sur la présence communautaire. La clinique a mis l'accent sur la sécurisation culturelle, notamment en mettant à la disposition des résidents des professionnels de la santé autochtones et en plaçant des références culturelles à plusieurs endroits. RéSULTATS: Au cours de la première clinique de la NMA, plus de 1 300 personnes se sont fait vacciner. Les visiteurs ont dit apprécier les aspects culturellement spécifiques de la clinique, qui ont contribué à en accroître la sécurité et le confort. CONSéQUENCES: Avec le succès de la première clinique de vaccination dirigée par des Métis, des services semblables ont été approuvés dans des communautés où les Métis sont nombreux. Cette initiative novatrice pourrait être un modèle de prestation de services de vaccination contre la COVID-19 adaptés aux besoins des citoyens de la Nation métisse dans d'autres provinces et territoires du Canada.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Indians, North American , Alberta , COVID-19 Vaccines , Canada , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Crit Care Med ; 50(3): 353-362, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708946

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has disrupted critical care services across the world. In anticipation of surges in the need for critical care services, governments implemented "lockdown" measures to preserve and create added critical care capacity. Herein, we describe the impact of lockdown measures on the utilization of critical care services and patient outcomes compared with nonlockdown epochs in a large integrated health region. DESIGN: This was a population-based retrospective cohort study. SETTING: Seventeen adult ICUs across 14 acute care hospitals in Alberta, Canada. PATIENTS: All adult (age ≥ 15 yr) patients admitted to any study ICU. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The main exposure was ICU admission during "lockdown" occurring between March 16, 2020, and June 30, 2020. This period was compared with two nonpandemic control periods: "year prior" (March 16, 2019, to June 30, 2019) and "pre lockdown" immediately prior (November 30, 2019, to March 15, 2020). The primary outcome was the number of ICU admissions. Secondary outcomes included the following: daily measures of ICU utilization, ICU duration of stay, avoidable delay in ICU discharge, and occupancy; and patient outcomes. Mixed multilevel negative binomial regression and interrupted time series regression were used to compare rates of ICU admissions between periods. Multivariable regressions were used to compare patient outcomes between periods. During the lockdown, there were 3,649 ICU admissions (34.1 [8.0] ICU admissions/d), compared with 4,125 (38.6 [9.3]) during the prelockdown period and 3,919 (36.6 [8.7]) during the year prior. Mean bed occupancy declined significantly during the lockdown compared with the nonpandemic periods (78.7%, 95.9%, and 96.4%; p < 0.001). Avoidable ICU discharge delay also decreased significantly (42.0%, 53.2%, and 58.3%; p < 0.001). During the lockdown, patients were younger, had fewer comorbid diseases, had higher acuity, and were more likely to be medical admissions compared with the nonpandemic periods. Adjusted ICU and hospital mortality and ICU and hospital lengths of stay were significantly lower during the lockdown compared with nonpandemic periods. CONCLUSIONS: The coronavirus disease 2019 lockdown resulted in substantial changes to ICU utilization, including a reduction in admissions, occupancy, patient lengths of stay, and mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , APACHE , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Alberta/epidemiology , Bed Occupancy , Comorbidity , Critical Care , Female , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Patient Discharge , Public Health , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors
11.
Healthc Manage Forum ; 35(2): 90-98, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685885

ABSTRACT

This provincial case study, one of seven conducted as part of a national research program on healthcare supply chain management during COVID-19, focuses on Alberta. With a history of emergency preparedness, Alberta's unique context, one that includes having an already established, centralized, and digital healthcare supply chain strategy, sets this case apart from the others in terms of pandemic responses. A key challenge navigated by Alberta was the inadequacies of traditional sourcing and procurement approaches to meet surges in product demand, which was overcome by the implementation of unique procurement strategies. Opportunities for Alberta included the integration of supply chain teams into senior leadership structures, which enabled access to data to inform public health decision-making. This case demonstrated how Alberta's healthcare supply chain assets-its supply chain infrastructure, data, and leadership expertise, especially-contributed to resilient supply chain capacity across the province.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Services Administration , Alberta , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
12.
BMJ Open ; 12(1): e057838, 2022 01 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1642872

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the validity of COVID-19 International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) codes and their combinations. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: Acute care hospitals and emergency departments (EDs) in Alberta, Canada. PARTICIPANTS: Patients who were admitted to hospital or presented to an ED in Alberta, as captured by local administrative databases between 1 March 2020 and 28 February 2021, who had a positive COVID-19 test and/or a COVID-19-related ICD-10 code. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The sensitivity, positive predictive value (PPV) and 95% CIs for ICD-10 codes were computed. Stratified analysis on age group, sex, symptomatic status, mechanical ventilation, hospital type, patient intensive care unit (ICU) admission, discharge status and season of pandemic were conducted. RESULTS: Two overlapping subsets of the study population were considered: those who had a positive COVID-19 test (cohort A, for estimating sensitivity) and those who had a COVID-19-related ICD-10 code (cohort B, for estimating PPV). Cohort A included 17 979 ED patients and 6477 inpatients while cohort B included 33 675 ED patients and 18 746 inpatients. Of inpatients, 9.5% in cohort A and 8.1% in cohort B received mechanical ventilation. Over 13% of inpatients were admitted to ICU. The length of hospital stay was 6 days (IQR: 3-14) for cohort A and 8 days (IQR: 3-19) for cohort B. In-hospital mortality was 15.9% and 38.8% for cohort A and B, respectively. The sensitivity for ICD-10 code U07.1 (COVID-19, virus identified) was 82.5% (81.8%-83.2%) with a PPV of 93.1% (92.6%-93.6%). The combination of U07.1 and U07.3 (multisystem inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19) had a sensitivity of 82.5% (81.9%-83.2%) and PPV of 92.9% (92.4%-93.4%). CONCLUSIONS: In Alberta, ICD-10 COVID-19 codes (U07.1 and U07.3) were coded well with high validity. This indicates administrative data can be used for COVID-19 research and pandemic management purposes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , International Classification of Diseases , Alberta/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Hospitals , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
13.
BMJ Open ; 12(1): e051254, 2022 01 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1642869

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 vaccines require enhanced safety monitoring after emergency approval. The Canadian National Vaccine Safety Network monitors the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and provides enhanced monitoring for healthy, auto-immune, immunocompromised, pregnant and breastfeeding populations and allows for the detection of safety signals. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Online participant reporting of health events in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals 12 years of age and older is captured in three surveys: 1 week after dose 1, 1 week after dose 2 and 7 months after dose 1. Medically attended events are followed up by telephone. The number, percentage, rate per 10 000 and incident rate ratios with 95% CIs are calculated by health event, vaccine type, sex and in 10-year age groups. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Each study site has Research Ethics Board approvals for the project (UBC Children's & Women's, CIUSSS de l'Estrie-CHUS, Health PEI, Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board, University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services, IWK Health, Unity Health Toronto and CHU de Québec-Université Laval Research Ethics Boards). Individuals are invited to participate in this active surveillance and electronic consent is given before proceeding to each survey. Weekly reports are shared with public health and posted on the study website. At least one peer-reviewed manuscript is produced.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Alberta , COVID-19 Vaccines , Child , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination/adverse effects
14.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(12): 3045-3051, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613521

ABSTRACT

Influenza strains circulating among swine populations can cause outbreaks in humans. In October 2020, we detected a variant influenza A subtype H1N2 of swine origin in a person in Alberta, Canada. We initiated a public health, veterinary, and laboratory investigation to identify the source of the infection and determine whether it had spread. We identified the probable source as a local pig farm where a household contact of the index patient worked. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the isolate closely resembled strains found at that farm in 2017. Retrospective and prospective surveillance using molecular testing did not identify any secondary cases among 1,532 persons tested in the surrounding area. Quick collaboration between human and veterinary public health practitioners in this case enabled a rapid response to a potential outbreak.


Subject(s)
Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza, Human , Orthomyxoviridae Infections , Swine Diseases , Alberta/epidemiology , Animals , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N2 Subtype , Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/epidemiology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/veterinary , Phylogeny , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , Swine , Swine Diseases/epidemiology
15.
Can J Public Health ; 113(1): 67-80, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1608031

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The First Nations people experience significant challenges that may influence the ability to follow COVID-19 public health directives on-reserve. This study aimed to describe experiences, perceptions and circumstances of an Alberta First Nations community, related to COVID-19 public health advice. We hypothesized that many challenges ensued when following and implementing advice from public health experts. METHODS: With First Nations leadership and staff, an online cross-sectional survey was deployed between April 24 and June 25, 2020. It assessed the appropriateness of public health advice to curb COVID-19 within this large First Nations community. Both quantitative and qualitative data were captured and described. RESULTS: A total of 106 adults living on-reserve responded; over 80% were female. Difficulty accessing food was significant by employment status (p = 0.0004). Those people with lower income found accessing food (p = 0.0190) and getting essential medical care (p = 0.0060), clothing (p = 0.0280) and transportation (p = 0.0027) more difficult. Some respondents described lost income associated with COVID-19 experiences, as well as difficulties accessing essential supplies. Respondents found "proper handwashing" most easy (98%) and "keeping a distance of 2 m from others" most difficult (23%). Many respondents found following public health advice within their personal domain easy and put "family safety" first but experienced some difficulties when navigating social aspects and obligations, particularly when unable to control the actions of others. People stated wanting clear information, but were sometimes critical of the COVID-19 response. CONCLUSION: First Nations people face many additional challenges within the COVID-19 response, driven in part by ongoing issues related to significant societal, economic, and systemic factors.


RéSUMé: OBJECTIFS: Les Premiers Peuples connaissent d'importantes difficultés qui peuvent nuire à la capacité de suivre les directives de santé publique sur la COVID-19 dans les réserves. Notre étude visait à décrire les expériences, les perceptions et la situation d'une Première Nation de l'Alberta en lien avec les consignes de santé publique sur la COVID-19. Nous avons postulé que de nombreuses difficultés s'ensuivent lorsque les conseils des spécialistes de la santé publique sont suivis et appliqués. MéTHODE: Avec les dirigeants et le personnel de la Première Nation, nous avons mené un sondage transversal en ligne entre le 24 avril et le 25 juin 2020. Le sondage évaluait la pertinence des consignes de santé publique pour contenir la COVID-19 dans cette grande communauté. Des données quantitatives et qualitatives ont été saisies et décrites. RéSULTATS: En tout, 106 adultes vivant dans la réserve ont répondu; plus de 80 % étaient des femmes. Les difficultés d'accès aux aliments selon la situation d'emploi étaient significatives (p = 0,0004). Les personnes à faible revenu trouvaient plus difficile d'accéder aux aliments (p = 0,0190) et d'obtenir des soins médicaux essentiels (p = 0,0060), de se procurer des vêtements (p = 0,0280) et de trouver de moyens de transport (p = 0,0027). Certains répondants ont fait état de pertes de revenus associées à leurs expériences de la COVID-19, et de difficultés d'accès aux fournitures essentielles. Les répondants ont trouvé que « bien se laver les mains ¼ était la consigne la plus facile à respecter (98 %), et que « rester à 2 mètres les uns des autres ¼ était la plus difficile (23 %). De nombreux répondants ont trouvé facile de respecter les consignes de santé publique dans leur domaine personnel et d'accorder la priorité à « la santé familiale ¼, mais ont éprouvé des difficultés à négocier les obligations et aspects sociaux, particulièrement lorsqu'ils ne pouvaient pas contrôler les actions des autres. Les gens ont dit vouloir des informations claires, mais ont parfois critiqué la riposte à la COVID-19. CONCLUSION: Les Premiers Peuples font face à de nombreuses difficultés supplémentaires dans le cadre de la riposte à la COVID-19; ces difficultés résultent en partie de problèmes persistants liés à d'importants facteurs sociétaux, économiques et systémiques.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Alberta , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
16.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(12): e28610, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1591657

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Inequities in access to health services are a global concern and a concern for Canadian populations living in rural areas. Rural children hospitalized at tertiary children's hospitals have higher rates of medical complexity and experience more expensive hospitalizations and more frequent readmissions. The 2 tertiary pediatric hospitals in Alberta, Canada, have already been operating above capacity, but the pediatric beds at regional hospitals are underused. Such imbalance could lead to poor patient safety and increased readmission risk at tertiary pediatric hospitals and diminish the clinical exposure of regional pediatric health care providers, erode their confidence, and compel health systems to further reduce the capacity at regional sites. A Telemedicine Rounding and Consultation for Kids (TRaC-K) model was proposed to enable health care providers at Alberta Children's Hospital to partner with their counterparts at Medicine Hat Regional Hospital to provide inpatient clinical care for pediatric patients who would otherwise have to travel or be transferred to the tertiary site. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to identify perceived barriers and enablers to implementing the TRaC-K model. METHODS: This study was guided by the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) and used qualitative methods. We collected qualitative data from 42 participants from tertiary and regional hospitals through 31 semistructured interviews and 2 focus groups. These data were thematically analyzed to identify major subthemes within each TDF domain. These subthemes were further aggregated and categorized into barriers or enablers to implementing the TRaC-K model and were tabulated separately. RESULTS: Our study identified 31 subthemes in 14 TDF domains, ranging from administrative issues to specific clinical conditions. We were able to merge these subthemes into larger themes and categorize them into 4 barriers and 4 enablers. Our findings showed that the barriers were lack of awareness of telemedicine, skills to provide virtual clinical care, unclear processes and resources to support TRaC-K, and concerns about clear roles and responsibilities. The enablers were health care providers' motivation to provide care closer to home, supporting system resource stewardship, site and practice compatibility, and motivation to strengthen tertiary-regional relationships. CONCLUSIONS: This systematic inquiry into the perceived barriers and enablers to the implementation of TRaC-K helped us to gain insights from various health care providers' and family members' perspectives. We will use these findings to design interventions to overcome the identified barriers and harness the enablers to encourage successful implementation of TRaC-K. These findings will inform the implementation of telemedicine-based interventions in pediatric settings in other parts of Canada and beyond. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): RR2-10.1186/s12913-018-3859-2.


Subject(s)
Telemedicine , Alberta , Child , Hospitals, Pediatric , Humans , Qualitative Research , Referral and Consultation
17.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(1)2021 12 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580773

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Fort McMurray, a city in northern Alberta, Canada, has experienced multiple traumas in the last five years, including the 2016 wildfire, the 2020 floods, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Eighteen months after the wildfire, major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms were elevated among school board employees in the city. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to compare employees of the school board and other employees of Fort McMurray in respect to the impact the 2016 wildfires, the 2019 COVID pandemic, and the 2020 floods had on their mental health. METHODOLOGY: A quantitative cross-sectional survey was conducted in Fort McMurray from 24 April to 2 June 2021. Online questionnaires were administered through REDCap and were designed to capture socio-demographic characteristics, clinical as well as wildfire, COVID-19, and flooding-related variables. Mental health outcome variables were captured using self-reported standardized assessment scales. Data were analysed with descriptive statistics, Chi-square/Fisher's Exact tests, and binary regression analysis. RESULTS: Of the 249 residents who accessed the online survey, 186 completed the survey, giving a response rate of 74.7%. Of these respondents, 93.5% (174) indicated their employment status and were included in the Chi-square analysis. Most of the respondents were female (86.2%, (150)), above 40 years (53.4%, (93)), and were in a relationship (71.3%, (124)). The prevalence values for MDD, GAD and PTSD among respondents were 42.4%, 41.0, and 36.8%, respectively. There was a statistically significant difference between employees of the school board and other employees with respect to likely PTSD prevalence (28% vs. 45%, respectively, p < 0.05), although with other factors controlled for, in a binary logistic regression model, employer type did not significantly predict likely PTSD. CONCLUSIONS: The study has established that likely PTSD symptoms were significantly higher in other employees compared to those of school board employees. Greater exposure to the traumatic events and a greater perceived lack of support from other employers might have contributed to the significantly higher prevalence of PTSD in other employees.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Depressive Disorder, Major , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic , Wildfires , Alberta/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression , Female , Floods , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology
18.
Healthc Policy ; 17(2): 38-53, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572942

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed primary care (PC), and policies aimed at integrating it into provincial health systems, to a "shock test." This paper draws on documentary analysis and qualitative interviews with PC and health system stakeholders to examine shifts in Alberta's pre-pandemic PC integration model during the first nine months of the pandemic. We begin with an account of three elements of the province's pre-pandemic model: finance, health authority activity and community activity. We describe these elements as they shifted, focusing on two indicators of change: novel virtual care billing codes and personal protective equipment (PPE) distribution channels. We draw out policy planning lessons for improving PC integration under normal and future pandemic conditions, namely, by facilitating rapid updates of virtual care billing codes, analyses of the impact of care delivery and backstopping of PPE markets and supply chains for PC.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Alberta , Humans , Pandemics , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Healthc Policy ; 17(2): 54-71, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572941

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the resilience of health systems broadly and primary care (PC) specifically. This paper begins by distinguishing the technical and political aspects of resilience and then draws on a documentary analysis and qualitative interviews with health system and PC stakeholders to examine competing resilience-focused responses to the pandemic in Alberta, Canada. We describe the pre-existing linkages between the province's central service delivery agency and its independent PC clinics. Together, these central and independent elements make up Alberta's broader health system, with the focus of this paper being on PC's particular vision of how resilience ought to be achieved. We describe two specific, pandemic-affected areas of activity by showing how competing visions of resilience emerged in the central service delivery agency and independent PC responses as they met at the system's points of linkage. At the first point of linkage, we describe the centralized activation of an incident management system and the replies made by independent PC stakeholders. At the second point of linkage, we describe central efforts to disseminate infection prevention and control guidance to PC clinics and the improvisational efforts of staff at those independent clinics to operationalize the guidance and ensure continuity of operations. We identify gaps between the resilience visions of the central agency and independent PC, drawing broadly applicable policy lessons for improving responses in present and future public health emergencies. Finding ways to include PC in centralized resilience policy planning is a priority.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Alberta , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Nutrients ; 13(12)2021 Nov 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542683

ABSTRACT

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) environments influence children's early development and habits that track across a lifespan. The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of COVID-19 government-mandated guidelines on physical activity (PA) and eating environments in ECEC settings. This cross-sectional study involved the recruitment of 19 ECEC centers pre-COVID (2019) and 15 ECEC centers during COVID (2020) in Alberta, Canada (n = 34 ECEC centers; n = 83 educators; n = 361 preschoolers). Educators completed the CHEERS (Creating Healthy Eating and activity Environments Survey) and MEQ (Mindful Eating Questionnaire) self-audit tools while GT3X+ ActiGraph accelerometers measured preschooler PA. The CHEERS healthy eating environment subscale was greater during COVID-19 (5.97 ± 0.52; 5.80 ± 0.62; p = 0.02) and the overall score positively correlated with the MEQ score (r = 0.20; p = 0.002). Preschoolers exhibited greater hourly step counts (800 ± 189; 649 ± 185), moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) (9.3 ± 3.0 min/h; 7.9 ± 3.2 min/h) and lower sedentary times (42.4 ± 3.9 min/h; 44.1 ± 4.9 min/h) during COVID-19 compared to pre-COVID, respectively (p < 0.05). These findings suggest the eating environment and indices of child physical activity were better in 2020, which could possibly be attributed to a change in government-mandated COVID-19 guideline policy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Child Care , Child Day Care Centers , SARS-CoV-2 , Alberta , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Diet, Healthy , Female , Humans , Male
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL