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2.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0261942, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630823

ABSTRACT

Moral panics are moments of intense and widespread public concern about a specific group, whose behaviour is deemed a moral threat to the collective. We examined public health guidelines in the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canadian newspaper editorials, columns and letters to the editor, to evaluate how perceived threats to public interests were expressed and amplified through claims-making processes. Normalization of infection control behaviours has led to a moral panic about lack of compliance with preventive measures, which is expressed in opinion discourse. Following public health guidelines was construed as a moral imperative and a civic duty, while those who failed to comply with these guidelines were stigmatized, shamed as "covidiots," and discursively constructed as a threat to public health and moral order. Unlike other moral panics in which there is social consensus about what needs to be done, Canadian commentators presented a variety of possible solutions, opening a debate around infection surveillance, privacy, trust, and punishment. Public health communication messaging needs to be clear, to both facilitate compliance and provide the material conditions necessary to promote infection prevention behaviour, and reduce the stigmatization of certain groups and hostile reactions towards them.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Mass Media , Panic , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/prevention & control , Canada/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Newspapers as Topic
4.
Sex Transm Dis ; 48(12): 939-944, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605252

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Reported cases of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) infections are increasing among Canadian men. Estimates of community-based CT/NG prevalence are lacking among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBM). METHODS: Respondent driven sampling was used to recruit GBM in Montréal, Canada between February 2017 and June 2018. Specimens provided from urogenital, rectal, and pharyngeal sites were analyzed using nucleic acid amplification test to detect CT/NG. Prevalence estimates of CT/NG, overall and by anatomical site were calculated. All estimates are respondent-driven sampling-adjusted. RESULTS: Among 1177 GBM, the prevalence of rectal, urogenital, pharyngeal and overall were respectively 2.4%, 0.4%, 0.4%, and 2.8% for CT infections, and 3.1%, 0.4%, 3.5%, and 5.6% for NG infections. If testing had been limited to the urogenital site, 80% and 94% of CT and NG infections, respectively, would have been missed. CONCLUSIONS: This community-based study among GBM shows that the CT prevalence was about half of that observed for NG. A large part of CT/NG infections involves only the extragenital sites, highlighting the need for systematic multisite screening regardless of symptoms. In the mist of the COVID-19 pandemic and the limited CT/NG screening capacity due to test kits shortage, it might be considered to prioritize rectal and pharyngeal CT/NG testing over urogenital testing in asymptomatic GBM.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chlamydia Infections , Gonorrhea , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Canada/epidemiology , Chlamydia Infections/epidemiology , Chlamydia trachomatis/genetics , Gonorrhea/epidemiology , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Male , Neisseria gonorrhoeae/genetics , Pandemics , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2
5.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261424, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599330

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused two waves and spread to more than 90% of Canada's provinces since it was first reported more than a year ago. During the COVID-19 epidemic, Canadian provinces have implemented many Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs). However, the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic continues due to the complex dynamics of human mobility. We develop a meta-population network model to study the transmission dynamics of COVID-19. The model takes into account the heterogeneity of mitigation strategies in different provinces of Canada, such as the timing of implementing NPIs, the human mobility in retail and recreation, grocery and pharmacy, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residences due to work and recreation. To determine which activity is most closely related to the dynamics of COVID-19, we use the cross-correlation analysis to find that the positive correlation is the highest between the mobility data of parks and the weekly number of confirmed COVID-19 from February 15 to December 13, 2020. The average effective reproduction numbers in nine Canadian provinces are all greater than one during the time period, and NPIs have little impact on the dynamics of COVID-19 epidemics in Ontario and Saskatchewan. After November 20, 2020, the average infection probability in Alberta became the highest since the start of the COVID-19 epidemic in Canada. We also observe that human activities around residences do not contribute much to the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic. The simulation results indicate that social distancing and constricting human mobility is effective in mitigating COVID-19 transmission in Canada. Our findings can provide guidance for public health authorities in projecting the effectiveness of future NPIs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Epidemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Travel/statistics & numerical data , Basic Reproduction Number/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Canada/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Models, Statistical , Physical Distancing , Quarantine/methods
6.
Vaccine ; 40(3): 503-511, 2022 01 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598441

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Understanding how influenza vaccine uptake changed during the 2020/2021 influenza season compared to previous pre-pandemic seasons is a key priority, as is identifying the relationship between prior influenza vaccination and COVID-19 vaccine willingness. METHODS: We analyzed data from a large, nationally representative cohort of Canadian residents aged 50 and older to assess influenza vaccination status three times between 2015 and 2020. We investigated: 1) changes in self-reported influenza vaccine uptake, 2) predictors of influenza vaccine uptake in 2020/2021, and 3) the association between influenza vaccination history and self-reported COVID-19 vaccine willingness using logistic regression models. RESULTS: Among 23,385 participants analyzed for aims 1-2, influenza vaccination increased over time: 14,114 (60.4%) in 2015-2018, 15,692 (67.1%) in 2019/2020, and 19,186 (82.0%; combining those already vaccinated and those planning to get a vaccine) in 2020/2021. After controlling for socio-demographics, history of influenza vaccination was most strongly associated with influenza vaccination in 2020/2021 (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 147.9 [95% CI: 120.9-180.9]); this association remained after accounting for multiple health and pandemic-related factors (aOR 140.3 [95% CI: 114.5-171.8]). To a lesser degree, those more concerned about COVID-19 were also more likely to report influenza vaccination in fall 2020, whereas those reporting a very negative impact of the pandemic were less likely to get vaccinated. Among 23,819 participants with information on COVID-19 vaccine willingness during the last quarter of 2020 (aim 3), prior influenza vaccination was most strongly associated with willingness to get a COVID-19 vaccine (aOR 15.1 [95% CI: 13.5-16.8] for those who had received influenza vaccine at all previous timepoints versus none). CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis highlights the importance of previous vaccination in driving vaccination uptake and willingness. Efforts to increase vaccination coverage for influenza and COVID-19 should target individuals who do not routinely engage with immunization services regardless of demographic factors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Adult , Aged , Aging , COVID-19 Vaccines , Canada/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Longitudinal Studies , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
7.
Psychiatry Res ; 307: 114327, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598218

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the mental health and substance use impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic among sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations as compared to non-SGM populations, and identifies risk factors for mental health and substance use impacts among SGM groups. Data were drawn from two rounds of a repeated cross-sectional monitoring survey of 6027 Canadian adults, with Round 1 conducted May 14-19, 2020 and Round 2 conducted September 14-21, 2020. Bivariate cross-tabulations with chi-square tests were utilized to identify differences in mental health and substance use outcomes between SGM and non-SGM groups. Separate multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify risk factors for mental health and substance use outcomes for all SGM respondents. Compared to non-SGM respondents, a greater proportion of SGM participants reported mental health and substance use impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including deterioration in mental health, poor coping, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, alcohol and cannabis use, and use of substances to cope. Among SGM respondents, various risk factors, including having a pre-existing mental health condition, were identified as associated with mental health and substance use impacts. These widening inequities demonstrate the need for tailored public mental health actions during and beyond the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Substance-Related Disorders , Adult , Canada/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
8.
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth ; 21(1): 851, 2021 Dec 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594954

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Infectious outbreaks are known to cause fear and panic. Exploration of pregnant individuals' psychosocial condition using a qualitative lens during an infectious outbreak is limited. In this study we explore pregnant individuals' lived experiences as well as their psychological and behavioural responses during COVID-19 with the goal of providing useful strategies from the patient's perspective to enable health care providers to help pregnant patients navigate this and future pandemics. METHODS: Pregnant individuals between 20-weeks gestation and 3 months postpartum who received maternity care from an urban academic interprofessional teaching unit in Toronto, Canada were invited to participate. Semi-structured 60 min interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analyzed using descriptive thematic analysis. Interview questions probed psychological responses to the pandemic, behavioural and lifestyle changes, strategies to mitigate distress while pregnant during COVID-19 and advice for other patients and the healthcare team. RESULTS: There were 12 participants, mean age 35 years (range 30-43 years), all 1 to 6 months postpartum. Six main themes emerged: 1) Childbearing-related challenges to everyday life; 2) Increased worry, uncertainty and fear; 3) Pervasive sense of loss; 4) Challenges accessing care; 5) Strategies for coping with pandemic stress; 6) Reflections and advice to other pregnant people and health care professionals. Pregnant individuals described lack of social support due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and a profound sense of loss of what they thought their pregnancy and postpartum period should have been. Advice to healthcare providers included providing mental health support, clear and up to date communication as well as more postpartum and breastfeeding support. CONCLUSIONS: These participants described experiencing psychosocial distress during their pregnancies and postpartum. In a stressful situation such as a global pandemic, health care providers need to play a pivotal role to ensure pregnant individuals feel supported and receive consistent care throughout the pregnancy and postpartum period. The health care provider should ensure that mental health concerns are addressed and provide postpartum and breastfeeding support. Without addressing this need for support, parental mental health, relationships, parent-infant bonding, and infant development may be negatively impacted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Postpartum Period/psychology , Pregnancy/psychology , Adaptation, Psychological , Adult , Canada/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Maternal Health Services/standards , Mental Health , Psychological Distress , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Support
9.
J Affect Disord ; 299: 483-491, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587424

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Sustained fear during pregnancy has the potential to increase psychological distress and obstetric risk. This study aimed to (1) identify factors and characteristics associated with fear of COVID-19, (2) investigate the relationship between fear of COVID-19 and maternal anxiety and depression, and (3) determine the relationship between fear of COVID-19 and pregnancy outcomes. METHODS: 9251 pregnant Canadians were recruited between April - December 2020. Participants self-reported (scale of 0-100) the degree of threat they perceived from the SARS-CoV-2 virus in relation to themselves and their unborn baby. RESULTS: Mean fear scores indicated moderate to elevated concern. In multivariable linear regression, fear of COVID-19 was associated with food insecurity, ethnicity, geographic location, history of anxiety prior to pregnancy, having a chronic health condition, pre-pregnancy BMI, parity, and stage of pregnancy at study enrollment. Higher COVID-19 fear was associated with increased odds of depression, adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.75, p < 0.001, 95% CI 1.66-1.85, and anxiety, aOR=2.04, p < 0.001, 95% CI 1.94-2.15). Furthermore, fear of COVID-19 was associated with a 192-gram reduction in infant birthweight, and a 6.1-day reduction in gestational age at birth. LIMITATIONS: The sample has higher education compared to the Canadian population and cannot test causal effects. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that sociodemographic, health, and obstetric factors may contribute to increased fear of COVID-19 and associated adverse psychological and pregnancy outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Anxiety/epidemiology , Canada/epidemiology , Depression , Fear , Female , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Outcome/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological
10.
Front Public Health ; 9: 768624, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581114

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic coincided with a multi-national federally funded research project examining the potential for health and care services in small rural areas to identify and implement innovations in service delivery. The project has a strong focus on electronic health (eHealth) but covers other areas of innovation as well. The project has been designed as an ethnography to prelude a realist evaluation, asking the question under what conditions can local health and care services take responsibility for designing and implementing new service models that meet local needs? The project had already engaged with several health care practitioners and research students based in Canada, Sweden, Australia, and the United States. Our attention is particularly on rural communities with fewer than 5,000 residents and which are relatively isolated from larger service centres. Between March and September 2020, the project team undertook ethnographic and auto-ethnographic research in their own communities to investigate what the service model responses to the pandemic were, and the extent to which local service managers were able to customize their responses to suit the needs of their communities. An initial program theory drawn from the extant literature suggested that "successful" response to the pandemic would depend on a level of local autonomy, "absorptive capacity,*" strong service-community connections, an "anti-fragile†" approach to implementing change, and a realistic recognition of the historical barriers to implementing eHealth and other innovations in these types of rural communities. The field research in 2020 has refined the theory by focusing even more attention on absorptive capacity and community connections, and by suggesting that some level of ignorance of the barriers to innovation may be beneficial. The research also emphasized the role and power of external actors to the community which had not been well-explored in the literature. This paper will summarize both what the field research revealed about the capacity to respond well to the COVID-19 challenge and highlight the gaps in innovative strategies at a managerial level required for rapid response to system stress. *Absorptive Capacity is defined as the ability of an organization (community, clinic, hospital) to adapt to change. Organizations with flexible capacity can incorporate change in a productive fashion, while those with rigid capacity take longer to adapt, and may do so inappropriately. †Antifragility is defined as an entities' ability to gain stability through stress. Biological examples include building muscle through consistent use, and bones becoming stronger through subtle stress. Antifragility has been used as a guiding principle in programme implementation in the past.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Anthropology, Cultural , Australia/epidemiology , Canada/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Rural Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Sweden , United States/epidemiology
11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(1)2021 12 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580832

ABSTRACT

The current study investigates the mental health condition of Mainland Chinese in Canada and identifies the associated sociodemographic and COVID-19-related predictors. A sample of 471 Mainland Chinese aged 18 or older completed an online survey that collected information on demographics, experience, cognition, and behaviours related to the COVID-19 pandemic and mental health condition. Mental health condition was assessed with the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) for the depression, anxiety, and stress levels of Mainland Chinese during the pandemic. Moderate to severe depression, anxiety, and stress levels were respectively reported by 11.30%, 10.83%, and 5.10% of respondents. Univariate analysis of variance models (ANOVAs) were conducted to assess mental health condition variance as stratified by independent sociodemographic- or COVID-19-related explanatory variables, to identify possible predictors to be entered into the subsequent regression models. The regression models identified age, income level, health status, and perceived discrimination as significant sociodemographic predictors (absolute value of ßs = 1.19-7.11, ps < 0.05), whereas self-infection worry, attitude towards Canadian measures, information confusion, food/goods stocking, and room cleaning/sanitizing were identified as significant COVID-19-reltaed predictors (absolute value of ßs = 1.33-3.45, ps < 0.05) for mental health outcomes. The results shed light on our understanding of the major factors associated with the mental health condition of Mainland Chinese in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Anxiety/epidemiology , Canada/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Mental Health , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 42(10): 1181-1188, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575830

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: A Canadian health authority implemented a multisectoral intervention designed to control severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission during long-term care facility (LTCF) outbreaks. The primary objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention 14 days after implementation. DESIGN: Quasi-experimental, segmented regression analysis. INTERVENTION: A series of outbreak measures classified into 4 categories: case and contact management, proactive case detection, rigorous infection control practices and resource prioritization and stewardship. METHODS: A mixed-effects segmented Poisson regression model was fitted to the incidence rate of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), calculated every 2 days, within each facility and case type (staff vs residents). For each facility, the outbreak time period was segmented into an early outbreak period (within 14 days of the intervention) and postintervention period (beyond 14 days following the intervention). Model outputs quantified COVID-19 incidence trend and rate changes between these 2 periods. A secondary model was constructed to identify effect modification by case type. RESULTS: The significant upward trend in COVID-19 incidence rate during the early outbreak period (rate ratio [RR], 1.07; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.11; P < .001) reversed during the postintervention period (RR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.67-0.80; P < .001). The average trend did not differ by case type during the early outbreak period (P > .05) or the postintervention period (P > .05). However, staff had a 70% larger decrease in the average rate of COVID-19 during the postintervention period than residents (RR, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.10-0.88; P < .05). CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides evidence for the effectiveness of this intervention to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in LTCFs. This intervention can be adapted and utilized by other jurisdictions to protect the vulnerable individuals in LTCFs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Long-Term Care , Canada/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Skilled Nursing Facilities
13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(24)2021 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1554926

ABSTRACT

All children and youth require ample physical activity (PA), low levels of sedentary behaviour (SB), and adequate sleep to stay healthy. Children and youth living with disabilities (CYWD) tend to have fewer opportunities for participation in PA and outdoor play compared with their typically developing peers. In turn, CYWD are typically less active and more sedentary, on average, compared with their peers. The COVID-19 pandemic reduced opportunities for many children and youth to participate in PA and outdoor play. The purpose of this study was to assess parent-perceived changes in PA (including outdoor play), SB (including screen time), and sleep quality and quantity, due to COVID-19 and related restrictions, in a national cohort of Canadian CYWD. We recruited parents of school-aged CYWD (N = 151) in May 2020. In an online survey, parents reported their child's previous 7-day PA, SB, and sleep, as well as perceived changes in their child's movement and play behaviours due to COVID-19 and related restrictions. Parent-perceived parental support for their child's movement and play behaviours during the pandemic was also assessed. We used descriptive statistics to describe the child's movement behaviours and assessed the association between movement behaviours and parental factors using Pearson and point-biserial correlations. Few (5.3%) CYWD met PA recommendations and 13.2% met screen time recommendations during the acute period of the COVID-19 pandemic. More CYWD (66.2%) were meeting sleep recommendations. Overall, only 1.3% of CYWD were meeting the combined movement guidelines. Parent encouragement was positively associated with the child's outdoor PA (0.23), wheeling, walking, and biking (0.19), indoor PA (0.16), and family-based PA (0.26). Parental co-play was similarly positively associated with the child's outdoor PA (0.26), wheeling, walking, and biking (0.39), indoor PA (0.16), and family-based PA (0.26). Parents perceived their CYWD to be less active and more sedentary as a result of COVID-19 and the related restrictions. Parents of CYWD have an important role in encouraging healthy movement behaviours. Return to movement and play post-COVID guidelines should include tailored strategies for CYWD and their families to mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disabled Children , Adolescent , Canada/epidemiology , Child , Exercise , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
15.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0259590, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542180

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Public health services and systems research is under-developed in Canada and this is particularly the case with respect to research on local public health unit operational functioning and capacity. The purpose of this paper is to report on a study that will collect retrospective information on the local public health response to COVID-19 throughout Canada between 2020 and 2021. METHODS/DESIGN: The goal of the study is to develop and implement a study framework that will collect retrospective information on the local public health system response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. This study will involve administering a mixed-method survey to Medical Health Officers/Medical Officers of Health in every local and regional public health unit across the country, followed by a process of coding and grouping these responses in a consistent and comparable way. Coded responses will be assessed for patterns of divergent or convergent roles and approaches of local public health across the country with respect to interventions in their response to COVID-19. The Framework Method of thematic analysis will be applied to assess the qualitative answers to the open-ended questions that speak to public health policy features. DISCUSSION: The strengths of the study protocol include the engagement of Medical Health Officers/Medical Officers of Health as research partners and a robust integrated knowledge translation approach to further public health services and systems research in Canada.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health/statistics & numerical data , Canada/epidemiology , Clinical Protocols , Humans , Retrospective Studies , Surveys and Questionnaires
16.
Health Rep ; 32(11): 16-27, 2021 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524859

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There are important information gaps concerning the prevalence and distribution of infection control practices (ICPs) within workplaces continuing to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. DATA AND METHODS: To address these gaps, this paper examines the prevalence of workplace ICPs among employed respondents to Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey in the months of July, August and September 2020 (n = 53,316). The article also seeks to identify sociodemographic, occupational and workplace factors associated with the level and type of workplace ICPs. ICPs included the reorganization of the workplace to allow for physical distancing, increased access to hand sanitizer or handwashing facilities, enhanced cleaning protocols and access to personal protective equipment. Multivariable regression models were used to examine the number of ICPs in place and the absence of specific ICPs. RESULTS: Generally high levels of reported protections among workers (15% of the sample had three ICPs and 72% had four or more ICPs) were observed. However, certain subgroups of workers were less likely to have ICPs in place. These included workers who were male; those with lower levels of education, shorter job tenure, or non-permanent work; and those working in the agricultural, construction, transportation and warehousing, and education industries. INTERPRETATION: In a large sample of Canadian employees, generally high levels of workplace ICPs to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 were observed. Groups with lower levels of ICPs included workers at the start of their employment, workers with low levels of education, and certain industry groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Workplace , Canada/epidemiology , Humans , Infection Control , Male , Pandemics , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Can J Public Health ; 112(5): 831-842, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524702

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The primary objective was to determine the association between public health preventive measures and children's outdoor time, sleep duration, and screen time during COVID-19. METHODS: A cohort study using repeated measures of exposures and outcomes was conducted in healthy children (0 to 10 years) through The Applied Research Group for Kids (TARGet Kids!) COVID-19 Study of Children and Families in Toronto, Canada, between April 14 and July 15, 2020. Parents were asked to complete questionnaires about adherence to public health measures and children's health behaviours. The primary exposure was the average number of days that children practiced public health preventive measures per week. The three outcomes were children's outdoor time, total screen time, and sleep duration during COVID-19. Linear mixed-effects models were fitted using repeated measures of primary exposure and outcomes. RESULTS: This study included 554 observations from 265 children. The mean age of participants was 5.5 years, 47.5% were female and 71.6% had mothers of European ethnicity. Public health preventive measures were associated with shorter outdoor time (-17.2; 95% CI -22.07, -12.40; p < 0.001) and longer total screen time (11.3; 95% CI 3.88, 18.79; p = 0.003) during COVID-19. The association with outdoor time was stronger in younger children (<5 years), and the associations with total screen time were stronger in females and in older children (≥5 years). CONCLUSION: Public health preventive measures during COVID-19 were associated with a negative impact on the health behaviours of Canadian children living in a large metropolitan area.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Behavior , Public Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Canada/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male
18.
Healthc Q ; 24(3): 13-15, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524628

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected Canada's long-term care (LTC) sector, with residents of LTC and retirement homes accounting for 67% of all COVID-19-related deaths as of February 15, 2021. This study investigated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on LTC residents across Canada during the first six months of the pandemic, including how care changed for residents, using data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information's LTC and acute care databases. The results suggest that LTC residents received less medical care, with fewer physician visits and hospital transfers compared with the same period in 2019. They also had less contact with family/friends compared with the same period in 2019, which was associated with higher levels of depression. In provinces where it could be measured, the number of LTC resident deaths from all causes was higher than pre-pandemic years during the peak of the first wave, even in jurisdictions with few COVID-19-related deaths in LTC.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Canada/epidemiology , Humans , Long-Term Care , SARS-CoV-2
19.
CMAJ Open ; 9(4): E1013-E1020, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524569

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Qualitative research is lacking on the mental well-being of adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to explore the feelings and emotions adolescents experienced during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the coping strategies they identified and employed to manage those emotions. METHODS: Participants living in Canada aged 13-19 years were recruited through social media platforms and youth-serving organizations. Qualitative data were gathered from 2 open-ended questions included in a youth-informed cross-sectional online survey: "What feelings and emotions have you experienced around the pandemic?" and "What coping strategies have you used during the pandemic?" We collected data from June 2020 to September 2020. A summative content analysis was undertaken to analyze survey responses inductively. RESULTS: A total of 1164 open-ended responses from Canadian adolescents (n = 851; mean age 15.6, standard deviation 1.7, yr) were analyzed. We identified 3 major themes within the category of feelings and emotions associated with the pandemic: sociospatial and temporal disconnections, emotional toll of the pandemic and positives amid the pandemic. Within the category of coping strategies used during the pandemic, 2 major themes were identified: connecting online and outdoors, and leisure and health-promoting activities. INTERPRETATION: Although the emotional toll of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is evident, participants in our study adopted various positive coping strategies to mitigate their distress, including physical activity, safe peer interactions and hobbies. The results have important implications for public health policy and practice during pandemic times, emphasizing the importance of accessible mental health resources for those experiencing psychological distress.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Adaptation, Psychological , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Canada/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emotions , Exercise , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Psychological Distress , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Media , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
20.
Front Public Health ; 9: 749515, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518574

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented situation in which physical distancing and "stay at home" orders have increased the pressures for social isolation. Critically, certain demographic factors have been linked to increased feelings of isolation and loneliness. These at-risk groups for social isolation may be disproportionately affected by the changes and restrictions that have been implemented to prevent viral spread. In our analysis, we sought to evaluate if perceived feelings of social isolation, during the COVID-19 pandemic, was related to demographic and technology-related psychographic characteristics. Older adults across Canada were surveyed about their demographic background, their feelings concerning confidence and proficiency in technology use, and how frequently they have felt isolated during the pandemic. In total 927 responses from Canadians over 65 years old, of varying demographic characteristics were collected. Our data shows that many older adults are feeling isolated "Often" or "Some of the time" in 2020, regardless of most demographic factors that have been previously associated with increased isolation risk. However, feelings of proficiency in using technology was an important factor affecting feelings of isolation. Given that technology proficiency is a modifiable factor, and remained significant after adjustment for demographic factors, future efforts to reduce social isolation should consider training programs for older adults to improve technology confidence, especially in an increasingly digital world.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Isolation , Aged , Canada/epidemiology , Demography , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Technology
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