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Med J Aust ; 216(3): 160, 2022 02 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2202842
J Perinat Med ; 50(6): 822-831, 2022 Jul 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2197354


OBJECTIVES: Perinatal bereavement care is a complex area of practice. The COVID-19 pandemic led to reconfiguration of maternity and perinatal bereavement care services. This study explores Australian health care providers' perspectives of the impact of COVID-19 on the provision of respectful and supportive care following stillbirth or neonatal death. METHODS: Members of a perinatal bereavement care network were consulted at the commencement of the pandemic in Australia using an online feedback form. Respondents provided ratings and free-text comments on the impact of COVID-19 on implementation of 49 recommendations contained in the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand/Stillbirth Centre of Research Clinical Practice Guideline for Respectful and Supportive Perinatal Bereavement Care. RESULTS: Responses were received from 35 health care providers who provided perinatal bereavement care in clinical settings or through support organisations in Australia. Major impacts of COVID-19 were reported for 8 of 49 guideline recommendations. Impacts included reduced: support for mothers due to visitor restrictions; availability of cultural and spiritual support and interpreters; involvement of support people in decision-making; options for memory-making and commemorative rituals; and staff training and supervision. Adaptations to minimise impacts included virtual consultations, online staff training, use of cold cots, and increased staff support for memory-making. CONCLUSIONS: Health care providers encounter substantial challenges as they strive to implement best practice perinatal bereavement care in pandemic conditions. Some practice adaptations developed during the COVID-19 pandemic could benefit parents; however, evaluation of their effectiveness and acceptability is needed.

COVID-19 , Hospice Care , Perinatal Death , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Pandemics , Parents , Perinatal Care , Perinatal Death/prevention & control , Pregnancy , Stillbirth/epidemiology
Cogn Res Princ Implic ; 7(1): 88, 2022 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2196536


The objective was to document the influence of face mask use by other people on communication experiences, participation in activities, and quality of life. Australian adults (n = 665) completed an online survey; 90.8% resided in a state with mandatory mask use outside the home and 44.1% self-reported hearing difficulties. Mask use was reported as negatively affecting communication quality in the community (90.2%) and workplace (91.8%), and with household members (59.1%), including an increased requirement for clarification and repetition, increased difficulty communicating, and decreased understanding. Masks influenced feelings when communicating in the community (74.1%) and workplace (76.7%), and with household members (43.6%), including increased fatigue and frustration, and decreased connection to others. Masks influenced the time spent communicating in the community (68.8%) and workplace (67.9%), and with household members (42.3%), including a decrease in the number of individuals communicated with, and the time spent communicating with each individual. Masks influenced participation in activities in the community (50.9%) and workplace (59.7%), and with household members (41.3%), including reduced participation in health-related activities, shopping, and socialising. Influences on quality of life included reduced physical and mental health, including increased loneliness. Female gender and greater self-reported hearing difficulties were significantly associated with increased influence of mask use. The wide-ranging influences of face mask use have implications for physical health and mental health, including social connectedness, and for employers and the economy. As an important measure for combatting disease spread, the negative impacts of mask use must be considered during policy formulation, and appropriate mitigating measures, such as educational campaigns, enacted.

COVID-19 , Adult , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communication , Female , Humans , Masks , Pandemics , Quality of Life
BMC Med ; 20(1): 57, 2022 02 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2196267


BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization's (WHO) 25X25 goal aims for a 25% relative reduction in premature death due to four non-communicable diseases (NCD4)-cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes-by 2025 compared to 2010. This study aimed to quantify the premature mortality in the Australian population due to NCD4, quantify the variation in mortality rates by age and sex, predict the premature mortality due to NCD4 in 2025 and evaluate the progress towards the WHO 25X25 goal. METHODS: A population-based study using cause-specific mortality data of all deaths which occurred in Australia from 2010 to 2016 and registered up to 2017, for adults aged 30-69 years, was conducted. Age-specific and age-standardised mortality rates (ASMR) and probability of death for NCD4 were calculated for each year. ASMRs in 2016 were calculated for men and women. Deaths and the probability of death in 2025 were predicted using Poisson regression based on data from 2006 to 2016. To assess the progress against the WHO 25X25 goal, the relative reduction in the probability of death from NCD4 conditions in 2025 compared to 2010 was calculated. RESULTS: ASMRs for NCD4 decreased from 2010 to 2016, except for diabetes which increased on average by 2.5% per year. Across sociodemographic factors, ASMRs were highest in males and increased with age. The projected probability of premature death in 2025 was 7.36%, equivalent to a relative reduction of 25.16% compared to 2010 levels. CONCLUSIONS: Premature mortality due to cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases and diabetes declined in Australia from 2010 to 2016. This trend is consistent across age groups and by sex, and higher mortality rates were observed in males and at older ages. Nationally, if the current trends continue, we estimate that Australia will achieve a 25.16% relative reduction in premature deaths due to NCD4 in 2025 compared to 2010, signifying substantial progress towards the WHO 25X25 goal. Concerted efforts will need to continue to meet the 25X25 goal, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 , Noncommunicable Diseases , Adult , Aged , Australia/epidemiology , Cause of Death , Female , Goals , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mortality , Mortality, Premature , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , World Health Organization