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1.
Clin Toxicol (Phila) ; 61(6): 470-472, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234135

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus disease COVID-19 rapid antigen tests are a useful tool in detecting infection, and their use has increased in many countries since they became commercially available in late 2021. Some rapid antigen tests contain sodium azide, which can be toxic in small doses. This study aimed to describe the clinical characteristics of exposures to COVID-19 rapid antigen tests. METHODS: This is a prospective study conducted by the New South Wales Poisons Information Centre. From 22 January 2022 to 31 August 2022, rapid antigen test exposures were followed up to obtain outcome information. Data collected included: brand/ingredients, exposure route, demographics, symptoms, and disposition. RESULTS: We recorded 218 exposures in the seven-month study period. Complete follow-up information was available in 75% (n = 164). There were 53 exposures to sodium azide-containing products (35 with follow-up data) and 165 to non-sodium azide-containing products and unknown ingredient exposures (129 with follow-up data). Overall, unintentional exposures predominated (n = 182), and 151 were ingestions. The vast majority (>90%) did not develop symptoms, and all symptoms that developed were mild. Most cases (95%, n = 208) did not require referral to a healthcare facility. CONCLUSIONS: In this prospective series, few patients developed symptoms, regardless of the sodium azide content, likely due to low concentration and low volume within the test kits. However, ongoing toxicovigilance is warranted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Poisons , Humans , Prospective Studies , Australia/epidemiology , Azides , Poison Control Centers , Sodium Azide
2.
Sci Total Environ ; 893: 164846, 2023 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234062

ABSTRACT

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions on alcohol consumption in Australia remains unclear. High-resolution daily samples from a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) which served one of the largest cities in Australia, Melbourne, were analysed for temporal trends in alcohol consumption under extended periods of COVID-19 restrictions in 2020. Melbourne experienced two major lockdowns in 2020, which divided the year of 2020 into five periods (pre-lockdown, first lockdown, between lockdown, second lockdown and post second-lockdown). In this study, daily sampling identified shifts in alcohol consumption during different periods of restrictions. Alcohol consumption in the first lockdown period, when bars closed and social and sports events ceased, was lower than pre-lockdown period. However, alcohol consumption was higher in the second lockdown period than the previous lockdown period. There were spikes in alcohol consumption at the start and end of each lockdown (except for post lockdown). For most of 2020, the usual weekday-weekend variations in alcohol consumption were less evident but there was a significant difference in alcohol consumption between weekdays and weekends after the second lockdown. This suggests that drinking patterns eventually returned to normal after the end of the second lockdown. This study demonstrates the usefulness of high-resolution wastewater sampling in evaluating the effects on alcohol consumption of social interventions in specific temporal locations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Wastewater , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Australia/epidemiology
3.
J Law Med ; 30(1): 179-190, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233836

ABSTRACT

Technologically enhanced surveillance systems have been proposed for the task of monitoring and responding to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in both human, animal and environmental contexts. The use of these systems is in their infancy, although the advent of COVID-19 has progressed similar technologies in response to that pandemic. We conducted qualitative research to identify the Australian public's key concerns about the ethical, legal and social implications of an artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning-enhanced One Health AMR surveillance system. Our study provides preliminary evidence of public support for AI/machine learning-enhanced One Health monitoring systems for AMR, provided that three main conditions are met: personal health care data must be deidentified; data use and access must be tightly regulated under strong governance; and the system must generate high-quality, reliable analyses to guide trusted health care decision-makers.


Subject(s)
Artificial Intelligence , COVID-19 , Animals , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Australia , Drug Resistance, Bacterial
4.
PLoS One ; 18(6): e0286733, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232611

ABSTRACT

The current study investigated the association between psychological factors and financial behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic in older people. Older people were chosen compared to other age groups because of the relatively greater impact in this age group of suboptimal financial decisions on future financial wellbeing. We hypothesised that the psychological factors facilitating general wellbeing during the COVID-I9 pandemic, i.e., positive mental wellbeing, hope, and positive coping, will have positive effects on financial behaviour. Based on telephone interviews, 1501 older Australians (Men = 750 and Women = 751; 55-64y = 630; > 65y = 871) completed an omnibus questionnaire examining coping, hope, mental wellbeing, and financial behaviour. Data was analysed using logistic regression and an ordinary and two-stage least square frameworks. Analyses revealed that the psychological factors identified as facilitating general wellbeing during the COVID-I9 pandemic also facilitated positive financial behaviour with hope and mental wellbeing emerging as significant determinants. Based on weightings from principal component analysis, one item each from the hope and mental wellbeing scale with eigenvalues > 1 were found to be robust predictors of positive financial behaviours. In conclusion, the findings support the assumption that the psychological factors associated with general wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic are also associated with positive financial behaviour. They further raise the possibility that single hope and positive mental well-being items can also be used to monitor psychological health and predict financial behaviour in older people and, in particular, at times of crisis. The latter may be useful measures for government to monitor psychological and financial wellbeing and inform policy for supporting older people at times of crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Adaptation, Psychological , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Middle Aged
5.
Commun Dis Intell (2018) ; 472023 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232443
6.
BMJ Open ; 13(5): e069756, 2023 05 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232252

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to analyse the usability, content, readability and cultural appropriateness of alcohol and other drugs (AODs) resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. OUTCOME MEASURES: The content of 30 AOD resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples was analysed according to the following criteria: general characteristics; elements of graphical design and written communication; thoroughness and content; readability (Flesch-Kincaid grade level (FKGL), Gunning Fog index (Fog), Simplified Measure of Gobbledygook and Flesch Reading Ease); and cultural appropriateness. RESULTS: Most resources displayed good usability, depicted by the use of headings and subheadings (n=27), superior writing style (n=19), relevant visuals (n=19) and use of colour support (n=30). However, some resources used at least one professional jargon (n=13), and many did not provide any peer-reviewed references (n=22). During content analysis, 12 resources were categorised into the alcohol group and 18 resources in the other drugs group. Impact of alcohol during pregnancy and breast feeding (n=12) was the most common included topics in the resources related to alcohol, while the physical impact of drugs (n=15) was the most discussed topics among the other drugs group. Based on the FKGL readability score, 83% of resources met the recommended reading grade level of 6-8 by NSW Health. Many resources (n=21) met at least half of the cultural appropriateness elements of interest. However, less than one-third were developed in collaboration with the local community (n=9), used local terms (n=5), targeted the local community (n=3), included an Aboriginal voice (n=2) and addressed the underlying cause (n=1). CONCLUSIONS: Many AOD resources are developed specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, but their usability, content and readability differed, and they were not culturally appropriate for all communities. Development of a standardised protocol for resource development is suggested.


Subject(s)
Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples , Health Services, Indigenous , Humans , New South Wales , Comprehension , Australia
7.
Trials ; 24(1): 316, 2023 May 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20240937

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Most people with dementia live in the community, not in residential care. Therefore, quality informal care for them is critical for managing behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). Music therapy has been shown to reduce BPSD. However, no randomised controlled trial has examined the effects of music interventions delivered by caregivers in home settings. The HOME-based caregiver-delivered music intervention for people living with dementia (HOMESIDE) trial aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a 12-week music intervention in addition to standard care for BPSD. This article describes the statistical analysis plan. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: HOMESIDE is a large, pragmatic international three-arm parallel-group randomised controlled trial. Dyads (persons with dementia and caregiver) in Australia, Germany, the UK, Poland and Norway were randomised to receive music and standard care, reading and standard care or standard care alone. The primary outcome is BPSD (proxy) of the person living with dementia, measured using the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Questionnaire (NPI-Q) at 90 and 180 days post-randomisation. Longitudinal analysis will compare NPI-Q severity between music and standard care versus standard care alone. Secondary outcomes include quality of life and depression (both person with dementia and caregiver), cognition (person with dementia only), distress, resilience, competence and caregiver-patient relationship (caregiver only). Treatment effects will be obtained at 90 and 180 days post-randomisation, where applicable. Safety outcomes (adverse events, hospitalisations, deaths) will be summarised. DISCUSSION: This statistical analysis plan provides a detailed methodology for the analysis of HOMESIDE and will improve the validity of the study and reduce the potential for bias. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12618001799246. Registered on November 05, 2018. CLINICALTRIALS: gov NCT03907748. Registered on April 09, 2019.


Subject(s)
Dementia , Music , Humans , Caregivers , Australia , Quality of Life , Reading , Dementia/diagnosis , Dementia/therapy
8.
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth ; 23(1): 429, 2023 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239634

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As a COVID-19 risk mitigation measure, Australia closed its international borders for two years with significant socioeconomic disruption including impacting approximately 30% of the Australian population who are migrants. Migrant populations during the peripartum often rely on overseas relatives visiting for social support. High quality social support is known to lead to improved health outcomes with disruption to support a recognised health risk. AIM: To explore women's experience of peripartum social support during the COVID-19 pandemic in a high migrant population. To quantify type and frequency of support to identify characteristics of vulnerable perinatal populations for future pandemic preparedness. METHODS: A mixed methods study with semi-structured interviews and a quantitative survey was conducted from October 2020 to April 2021. A thematic approach was used for analysis. RESULTS: There were 24 participants interviewed both antenatally and postnatally (22 antenatal; 18 postnatal). Fourteen women were migrants and 10 Australian born. Main themes included; 'Significant disruption and loss of peripartum support during the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing impact for migrant women'; 'Husbands/partners filling the support gap' and 'Holding on by a virtual thread'. Half of the participants felt unsupported antenatally. For Australian born women, this dissipated postnatally, but migrants continued to feel unsupported. Migrant women discussed partners stepped into traditional roles and duties of absent mothers and mothers-in-law who were only available virtually. CONCLUSION: This study identified disrupted social support for migrant women during the pandemic, providing further evidence that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted migrant populations. However, the benefits identified in this study included high use of virtual support, which could be leveraged for improving clinical care in the present and in future pandemics. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted most women's peripartum social support with migrant families having ongoing disruption. Gains in the pandemic included greater gender equity for domestic work as husbands/partners increased their contribution to domestic work and childcare.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Transients and Migrants , Female , Pregnancy , Humans , Pandemics , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mothers
9.
Nutrients ; 15(11)2023 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239545

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have higher weight gain and psychological distress compared to those without PCOS. While COVID-19 restrictions led to population level adverse changes in lifestyle, weight gain and psychological distress, their impact on people with PCOS is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact the 2020 COVID-19 restrictions had on weight, physical activity, diet and psychological distress for Australians with PCOS. METHODS: Australian reproductive-aged women participated in an online survey with assessment of weight, physical activity, diet and psychological distress. Multivariable logistic and linear regression were used to examine associations between PCOS and residential location with health outcomes. RESULTS: On adjusted analysis, those with PCOS gained more weight (2.9%; 95% CI; 0.027-3.020; p = 0.046), were less likely to meet physical activity recommendations (OR 0.50; 95% CI; 0.32-0.79; p = 0.003) and had higher sugar-sweetened beverage intake (OR 1.74; 95% CI 1.10-2.75; p = 0.019) but no differences in psychological distress compared to women without PCOS. CONCLUSIONS: People with PCOS were more adversely affected by COVID-19 restrictions, which may worsen their clinical features and disease burden. Additional health care support may be necessary to assist people with PCOS to meet dietary and physical activity recommendations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Polycystic Ovary Syndrome , Psychological Distress , Sedentary Behavior , Humans , Female , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Weight Gain , Exercise , Polycystic Ovary Syndrome/epidemiology , Polycystic Ovary Syndrome/psychology , Diet , Australia/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Surveys and Questionnaires , Pandemics
10.
Child Abuse Negl ; 141: 106232, 2023 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238970

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is a disproportionate representation of Aboriginal children in the Australian Out of Home Care system. An important strategy to ensure Aboriginal children experience trauma informed care that is culturally situated is to have access to Aboriginal practitioners. The experiences of Aboriginal practitioners working in Aboriginal Out of Home Care have not been explored thoroughly. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: This community led research was undertaken on Dharawal Country on the South Coast of the Illawarra region, Australia with an Out of Home Care program managed by an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation. The study included Aboriginal (n = 50) and non-Aboriginal (n = 3) participants connected through employment or community membership to the organisation. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to explore the wellbeing needs of Aboriginal practitioners working with Aboriginal children in Aboriginal Out of Home Care. METHODS: This co-designed qualitative research project used yarning sessions (individual and group), co-analysis with co-researchers, document analysis and reflexive writing. FINDINGS: Aboriginal practitioners are required to bring their cultural expertise to their work and with this, there is an expectation of cultural leadership and the fulfilling of cultural responsibilities. These elements bring with them emotional labour that must be acknowledged and accounted for in working in the Out of Home Care sector. CONCLUSION: The findings point to the importance of establishing an organisational social and emotional wellbeing framework in recognition of Aboriginal practitioner's specific needs, centring cultural participation as a key wellbeing and trauma informed strategy.


Subject(s)
Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples , Foster Home Care , Health Personnel , Child , Humans , Australia , Indigenous Peoples , Health Personnel/psychology
11.
Aust Health Rev ; 47(3): 362-368, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237810

ABSTRACT

Objectives To project the prevalence of people receiving dialysis in Australia for 2021-30 to inform service planning and health policy. Methods Estimates were based on data from 2011 to 2020 from the Australia & New Zealand Dialysis & Transplant (ANZDATA) Registry and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. We projected dialysis and functioning kidney transplant recipient populations for the years 2021-30. Discrete-time, non-homogenous Markov models were built on probabilities for transition between three mutually exclusive states (Dialysis, Functioning Transplant, Death), for five age groups. Two scenarios were employed - stable transplant rate vs a continued increase - to assess the impact of these scenarios on the projected prevalences. Results Models projected a 22.5-30.4% growth in the dialysis population from 14 554 in 2020 to 17 829 ('transplant growth') - 18 973 ('transplant stable') by 2030. An additional 4983-6484 kidney transplant recipients were also projected by 2030. Dialysis incidence per population increased and dialysis prevalence growth exceeded population ageing in 40-59 and 60-69 year age groups. The greatest dialysis prevalence growth was seen among those aged ≥70 years. Conclusion Modelling of the future prevalence of dialysis use highlights the increasing demand on services expected overall and especially by people aged ≥70 years. Appropriate funding and healthcare planning must meet this demand.


Subject(s)
Kidney Failure, Chronic , Kidney Transplantation , Humans , Australia/epidemiology , Kidney Failure, Chronic/epidemiology , Kidney Failure, Chronic/therapy , New Zealand/epidemiology , Prevalence , Registries , Renal Dialysis
12.
Aust J Gen Pract ; 52(6): 345-357, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237045

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patient harm resulting from drug interactions between conventional and traditional or complementary medicines (CM) are avoidable. OBJECTIVE: To provide a clinical overview of a selection of CM interactions with drugs commonly used in Australian general practice or in the management of COVID-19. DISCUSSION: Many herb constituents are substrates for cytochrome P450 enzymes, and inducers and/or inhibitors of transporters such as P-glycoprotein. Hypericum perforatum (St John's Wort), Hydrastis canadensis (golden seal), Ginkgo biloba (ginkgo) and Allium sativum (garlic) are reported to interact with many drugs. Simultaneous administration of certain anti-viral drugs with zinc compounds and several herbs should also be avoided. Preventing and identifying unwanted CM-drug interactions in primary care requires vigilance, access to CM-drug interaction checkers and excellent communication skills. Potential risks from interactions should be balanced against the potential benefits of continuing the drug and/or CM and involve shared decision making.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Garlic , Humans , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Herb-Drug Interactions , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Australia , Primary Health Care
13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(10)2023 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236880

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The current study investigated the experiences, wellbeing impacts, and coping strategies of frontline workers who participated in "Hotels for Heroes", an Australian voluntary hotel quarantine program during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was open to those who were COVID-19 positive or exposed to COVID-19 as part of their profession. METHODS: Frontline workers who had stayed in voluntary quarantine between April 2020 and March 2021 were invited to participate in a voluntary, anonymous, cross-sectional online survey including both quantitative and qualitative responses. Complete responses were collected from 106 participants, which included data on sociodemographic and occupational characteristics, experiences of the Hotels for Heroes program, and validated mental health measures. RESULTS: Mental health problems were prevalent amongst frontline workers (e.g., moderate anxiety symptoms, severe depression symptoms, and greater than usual impact of fatigue). For some, quarantine appeared to be helpful for anxiety and burnout, but quarantine also appeared to impact anxiety, depression, and PTSD negatively, and longer stays in quarantine were associated with significantly higher coronavirus anxiety and fatigue impacts. The most widely received support in quarantine was from designated program staff; however, this was reportedly accessed by less than half of the participants. CONCLUSIONS: The current study points to specific aspects of mental health care that can be applied to participants of similar voluntary quarantine programs in the future. It seems necessary to screen for psychological needs at various stages of quarantine, and to allocate appropriate care and improve its accessibility, as many participants did not utilise the routine support offered. Support should especially target disease-related anxiety, symptoms of depression and trauma, and the impacts of fatigue. Future research is needed to clarify specific phases of need throughout quarantine programs, and the barriers for participants receiving mental health supports in these contexts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Quarantine/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Australia , Anxiety/epidemiology
14.
15.
Nat Immunol ; 24(6): 966-978, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20245297

ABSTRACT

High-risk groups, including Indigenous people, are at risk of severe COVID-19. Here we found that Australian First Nations peoples elicit effective immune responses to COVID-19 BNT162b2 vaccination, including neutralizing antibodies, receptor-binding domain (RBD) antibodies, SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific B cells, and CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. In First Nations participants, RBD IgG antibody titers were correlated with body mass index and negatively correlated with age. Reduced RBD antibodies, spike-specific B cells and follicular helper T cells were found in vaccinated participants with chronic conditions (diabetes, renal disease) and were strongly associated with altered glycosylation of IgG and increased interleukin-18 levels in the plasma. These immune perturbations were also found in non-Indigenous people with comorbidities, indicating that they were related to comorbidities rather than ethnicity. However, our study is of a great importance to First Nations peoples who have disproportionate rates of chronic comorbidities and provides evidence of robust immune responses after COVID-19 vaccination in Indigenous people.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Humans , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Australia/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Immunoglobulin G , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Immunity , Antibodies, Viral , Vaccination
16.
J Law Med ; 30(1): 23-47, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20244758

ABSTRACT

Victoria is the first Australian jurisdiction to enact legislation establishing a regulatory framework specifically to guide government management of the COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemics. The Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Act 2021 (Vic) inserts Pt 8A into the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic). The worthwhile stated objective of Pt 8A is to ensure that decision-making in response to an existing or emergent pandemic is "proactive and responsive", "informed by public health advice and other relevant information", and transparent and accountable. This column analyses sections of Pt 8A related to this aim, which grant decision-making powers, require various matters to inform this decision-making, and provide measures for oversight of decision-making. The column argues that Pt 8A constitutes a useful model on which Victoria and other jurisdictions could build and recommends further legislative amendments to help achieve its objective.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Public Health , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Australia , COVID-19/epidemiology
17.
PLoS One ; 18(6): e0286528, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20244334

ABSTRACT

While spillover across equity markets has been extensively investigated, volatility spillover across sectors has largely been under-examined in the current literature. This paper estimates the sectoral volatility using the ARMA-GARCH model and its spillover across Australian sectors on the VAR framework during the 2010-2021 period. We then identify breakpoints in market volatility during the Covid-19 pandemic using a wavelet methodology. We find that volatility spillover across Australian sectors is very significant at 60 per cent from 2010 to 2019, reaching 90 per cent during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. The spillover then reverts to its pre-pandemic level in 2021. Consumer Staples and Industrials are the significant risk transmitters, whereas Financials and Real estates are the most significant risk absorbers. Our findings also indicate that Real Estate, Health Care, and Financials record the most significant increase in volatility of more than 300 per cent. Policy implications regarding risk management across Australian sectors have emerged, particularly during extreme events such as the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Health Facilities , Industry
18.
Aust J Gen Pract ; 52(6): 409-412, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20243349

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The availability of oral antivirals for SARS-CoV-2 infection reduces the risk of severe, acute illness in people at higher risk for death and hospitalisation. OBJECTIVE: The process for antiviral prescription and dispensing in Australia is outlined using nationwide data. DISCUSSION: Australia has focused on providing rapid access to antivirals to high-risk people in the community via general practices and community pharmacies. Although the introduction of oral antiviral treatments is an important part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination remains the most effective way of mitigating the risk of developing severe complications of COVID-19, including hospitalisation and death.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Pandemics , Australia
19.
Drug Alcohol Rev ; 42(5): 1041-1053, 2023 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20243332

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Initial COVID-19 restrictions forced changes in the contexts (e.g., with who and where) within which individuals consumed alcohol. We aimed to explore different profiles of drinking contexts during initial COVID-19 restrictions and their association with alcohol consumption. METHOD: We used latent class analysis (LCA) to explore subgroups of drinking contexts among 4891 respondents of the Global Drug Survey from the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia who reported drinking alcohol in the month prior to data collection (3 May-21 June 2020). Ten binary LCA indicator variables were generated from a survey question about last month alcohol settings. Negative binomial regression was used to explore the association between the latent classes and respondents' total number of drinks consumed in the last 30 days (i.e., alcohol consumption). RESULTS: The LCA found six distinct classes of individuals who reported drinking in the following contexts: household (36.0%); alone (32.3%); alone and household (17.9%); gatherings and household (9.5%); party (3.2%); and everywhere (1.1%), with the last group associated with the highest probability of increased alcohol consumption during this time. Male respondents and those aged 35 or older were most likely to report increased alcohol consumption. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that drinking contexts, sex and age influenced alcohol consumption during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings highlight a need for improved policy targeting risky drinking in home settings. Further research should explore whether COVID-19-induced shifts in alcohol use persist as restrictions are lifted.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking , COVID-19 , Humans , Male , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Latent Class Analysis , New Zealand/epidemiology , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires , Australia/epidemiology , Ethanol
20.
PLoS One ; 18(6): e0286799, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20243275

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Achieving high COVID-19 vaccine booster coverage is an ongoing global challenge. Health authorities need evidence about effective communication interventions to improve acceptance and uptake. This study aimed to test effects of persuasive messages about COVID-19 vaccine booster doses on intention to vaccinate amongst eligible adults in Australia. METHODS: In this online randomised controlled trial, adult participants received one of four intervention messages or a control message. The control message provided information about booster dose eligibility. Intervention messages added to the control message, each using a different persuasive strategy, including: emphasising personal health benefits of booster doses, community health benefits, non-health benefits, and personal agency in choosing vaccination. After the intervention, participants answered items about COVID-19 booster vaccine intention and beliefs. Intervention groups were compared to the control using tests of two proportions; differences of ≥5 percentage points were deemed clinically significant. A sub-group analysis was conducted among hesitant participants. RESULTS: Of the 487 consenting and randomised participants, 442 (90.8%) completed the experiment and were included in the analysis. Participants viewing messages emphasising non-health benefits had the highest intention compared to those who viewed the control message (percentage point diff: 9.0, 95% CI -0.8, 18.8, p = 0.071). Intention was even higher among hesitant individuals in this intervention group compared to the control group (percentage point diff: 15.6, 95% CI -6.0, 37.3, p = 0.150). Conversely, intention was lower among hesitant individuals who viewed messages emphasising personal agency compared to the control group (percentage point diff: -10.8, 95% CI -33.0, 11.4, p = 0.330), although evidence in support of these findings is weak. CONCLUSION: Health authorities should highlight non-health benefits to encourage COVID-19 vaccine booster uptake but use messages emphasising personal agency with caution. These findings can inform communication message development and strategies to improve COVID-19 vaccine booster uptake. Clinical trial registration: Registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12622001404718); trial webpage: https://www.anzctr.org.au/ACTRN12622001404718.aspx.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Vaccination , Adult , Humans , Australia , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Intention , Vaccination/psychology , Persuasive Communication
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