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3.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264906, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745315

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To identify the experiences and concerns of health workers (HWs), and how they changed, throughout the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. METHODS: Longitudinal, qualitative study with HWs involved in patient management or delivery of care related to COVID-19 in general practice, emergency departments and hospitals. Participants were identified through snowballing. Semi-structured telephone or video interviews were conducted between February 2020 and February 2021, audio-recorded, summarised, and transcribed. Data were analysed longitudinally using framework and thematic analysis. RESULTS: We conducted 105 interviews with 14 participants and identified three phases corresponding with shifts in HWs' experiences and concerns. (1) Emergency and mobilisation phase (late winter-spring 2020), with significant rapid shifts in responsibilities, required skills, and training, and challenges in patient care. (2) Consolidation and preparation phase (summer-autumn 2020), involving gradual return to usual care and responsibilities, sense of professional development and improvement in care, and focus on learning and preparing for future. (3) Exhaustion and survival phase (autumn 2020-winter 2021), entailing return of changes in responsibilities, focus on balancing COVID-19 and non-COVID care (until becoming overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases), and concerns about longer-term impacts of unceasing pressure on health services. Participants' perceptions of COVID-19 risk and patient/public attitudes changed throughout the year, and tiredness and weariness turned into exhaustion. CONCLUSIONS: Results showed a long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on UK HWs' experiences and concerns related to changes in their roles, provision of care, and personal wellbeing. Despite mobilisation in the emergency phase, and trying to learn from this, HWs' experiences seemed to be similar or worse in the second wave partly due to many COVID-19 cases. The findings highlight the importance of supporting HWs and strengthening system-level resilience (e.g., with resources, processes) to enable them to respond to current and future demands and emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Health Personnel/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Clinical Competence , Disease Management , Hospitals , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Qualitative Research , United Kingdom/epidemiology
4.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 106(1): 15-16, 2021 11 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708724

ABSTRACT

A 3-year analysis released in August 2021 by the WHO indicated that more than 700 healthcare workers and patients have died (2,000 injured) as a result of attacks against health facilities since 2017. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the risks even worse for doctors, nurses, and support staff, unfortunately. According to the latest figures from the International Committee of the Red Cross, 848 COVID-19-related violent incidents were recorded in 2020, and this is likely an underrepresentation of a much more widespread phenomenon. In response to rises in COVID-19-related attacks against healthcare, some countries have taken action. In Algeria, for instance, the penal code was amended to increase protection for healthcare workers against attacks and to punish individuals who damage health facilities. In the United Kingdom, the police, crime, sentencing, and courts bill proposed increased the maximum penalty from 12 months to 2 years in prison for anyone who assaults an emergency worker. Measures taken by countries represent a good practical way to counteract this crisis within COVID-19. However, we stress the importance of primary prevention with the use of communication: social media and other communication channels are fundamentally important to combat violence against health professionals, both to inform the population with quality data and to disseminate campaigns to prevent these acts.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care/trends , Violence , Health Personnel , Humans , Patients , Risk Factors , Violence/prevention & control , Violence/statistics & numerical data
6.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0262347, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606863

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has substantially impacted healthcare utilization worldwide. The objective of this retrospective analysis of a large hospital discharge database was to compare all-cause and cause-specific hospitalizations during the first six months of the pandemic in the United States with the same months in the previous four years. METHODS: Data were collected from all hospitals in the Premier Healthcare Database (PHD) and PHD Special Release reporting hospitalizations from January through July for each year from 2016 through 2020. Hospitalization trends were analyzed stratified by age group, major diagnostic categories (MDCs), and geographic region. RESULTS: The analysis included 286 hospitals from all 9 US Census divisions. The number of all-cause hospitalizations per month was relatively stable from 2016 through 2019 and then fell by 21% (57,281 fewer hospitalizations) between March and April 2020, particularly in hospitalizations for non-respiratory illnesses. From April onward there was a rise in the number of monthly hospitalizations per month. Hospitalizations per month, nationally and in each Census division, decreased for 20 of 25 MDCs between March and April 2020. There was also a decrease in hospitalizations per month for all age groups between March and April 2020 with the greatest decreases in hospitalizations observed for patients 50-64 and ≥65 years of age. CONCLUSIONS: Rates of hospitalization declined substantially during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting delayed routine, elective, and emergency care in the United States. These lapses in care for illnesses not related to COVID-19 may lead to increases in morbidity and mortality for other conditions. Thus, in the current stage of the pandemic, clinicians and public-health officials should work, not only to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission, but also to ensure that care for non-COVID-19 conditions is not delayed.


Subject(s)
Hospitalization/trends , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , United States/epidemiology
7.
J Cyst Fibros ; 20 Suppl 3: 31-38, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587346

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Depression and anxiety are two to four times more prevalent in people with CF (pwCF) than the general population. COVID-19 may exacerbate mental health challenges, increasing demand for psychological services, while decreasing their availability. We assessed the impact of the pandemic on depression and anxiety in pwCF, including how COVID-19 affected the frequency of mental health screening and the types of services provided. METHODS: A 38-item internet survey, completed in June 2020, assessed how COVID-19 affected: 1) the mental health clinician's role and screening processes; 2) barriers to screening and resource needs; 3) impact of COVID-19 on depression and anxiety, and 4) positive outcomes and confidence in sustaining mental health screening and treatment, including telehealth services, after the pandemic. RESULTS: Responses were obtained from 131 of the 289 US CF programs. Overall, 60% of programs (n=79) continued mental health screening and treatment, although less frequently; 50% provided individual tele-mental health interventions, and 9% provided telehealth group therapy. Clinically elevated depression symptoms (PHQ-9≥10; moderate to severe), were found in 12% of 785 pwCF, with 3.1% endorsing suicidal ideation. Similarly, elevated anxiety (moderate to severe; GAD-7≥10) was found in 13% of pwCF (n=779). CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic created an opportunity to implement innovative solutions to disruptions in mental health screening and treatment in CF programs. We found that pwCF had increased access to psychological interventions during the pandemic via telehealth, supporting the continued integration of tele-mental health screening and treatment into CF care.


Subject(s)
Anxiety , COVID-19 , Cystic Fibrosis , Depression , Mental Health , Psychosocial Intervention , Telemedicine , Anxiety/diagnosis , Anxiety/physiopathology , Anxiety/therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Cystic Fibrosis/epidemiology , Cystic Fibrosis/psychology , Cystic Fibrosis/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/physiopathology , Depression/therapy , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Mass Screening/methods , Needs Assessment , Psychosocial Intervention/methods , Psychosocial Intervention/trends , Psychosocial Support Systems , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/organization & administration , United States/epidemiology
8.
J Cyst Fibros ; 20 Suppl 3: 57-63, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587342

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cystic fibrosis (CF) programs and people with CF (PwCF) employed various monitoring methods for virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper characterizes experiences with remote monitoring across the U.S. CF community. METHODS: The CF Foundation (CFF) sponsored distribution of home spirometers (April 2020 to May 2021), surveys to PwCF and CF programs (July to September 2020), and a second program survey (April to May 2021). We used mixed methods to explore access, use, and perspectives regarding the use of remote monitoring in future care. RESULTS: By October 2020, 13,345 spirometers had been distributed, and 19,271 spirometers by May 2021. Programs (n=286) estimated proportions of PwCF with home devices increased over seven months: spirometers (30% to 70%), scales (50% to 70%), oximeters (5% to 10%) with higher estimates in adult programs for spirometers and oximeters. PwCF (n=378) had access to scales (89%), followed by oximeters (48%) and spirometers (47%), often using scales and oximeters weekly, and spirometers monthly. Over both surveys, some programs had no method to collect respiratory specimens for cultures associated with telehealth visits (47%, n=132; 41%, n=118). Most programs (81%) had a process for phlebotomy associated with a telehealth visit, primarily through off-site labs. Both PwCF and programs felt future care should advance remote monitoring and recommended improvements for access, training, and data collection systems. CONCLUSIONS: PwCF and programs experienced unprecedented access to remote monitoring and raised its importance for future care. Improvements to current systems may leverage these shared experiences to augment future care models.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cystic Fibrosis , Equipment and Supplies/supply & distribution , Home Care Services , Monitoring, Physiologic/methods , Spirometry , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Cystic Fibrosis/diagnosis , Cystic Fibrosis/epidemiology , Cystic Fibrosis/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Home Care Services/organization & administration , Home Care Services/standards , Humans , Models, Organizational , Needs Assessment , Oximetry/instrumentation , Oximetry/methods , Quality Improvement , SARS-CoV-2 , Spirometry/instrumentation , Spirometry/methods , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/standards , United States/epidemiology
9.
J Cyst Fibros ; 20 Suppl 3: 1-2, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587341

ABSTRACT

The findings of this body of work are presented in the eight articles included in this supplement. The impact and perspectives of adult and pediatric care teams and patient/families are covered with special attention to mental health care, the financial and personnel impacts within care programs, the experiences of vulnerable and underrepresented patient populations, and implementation of remoting monitoring. Commentaries from colleagues provide a broader perspective, offering reflections on the findings and their implications regarding the future CF care model.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cystic Fibrosis , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Continuity of Patient Care , Cystic Fibrosis/epidemiology , Cystic Fibrosis/therapy , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Humans , Organizational Innovation , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/standards , United States/epidemiology
11.
PLoS Med ; 18(11): e1003854, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528713

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the number of consultations and diagnoses in primary care and referrals to specialist care declined substantially compared to prepandemic levels. Beyond deferral of elective non-COVID-19 care by healthcare providers, it is unclear to what extent healthcare avoidance by community-dwelling individuals contributed to this decline in routine healthcare utilisation. Moreover, it is uncertain which specific symptoms were left unheeded by patients and which determinants predispose to healthcare avoidance in the general population. In this cross-sectional study, we assessed prevalence of healthcare avoidance during the pandemic from a patient perspective, including symptoms that were left unheeded, as well as determinants of healthcare avoidance. METHODS AND FINDINGS: On April 20, 2020, a paper COVID-19 survey addressing healthcare utilisation, socioeconomic factors, mental and physical health, medication use, and COVID-19-specific symptoms was sent out to 8,732 participants from the population-based Rotterdam Study (response rate 73%). All questionnaires were returned before July 10, 2020. By hand, prevalence of healthcare avoidance was subsequently verified through free text analysis of medical records of general practitioners. Odds ratios (ORs) for avoidance were determined using logistic regression models, adjusted for age, sex, and history of chronic diseases. We found that 1,142 of 5,656 included participants (20.2%) reported having avoided healthcare. Of those, 414 participants (36.3%) reported symptoms that potentially warranted urgent evaluation, including limb weakness (13.6%), palpitations (10.8%), and chest pain (10.2%). Determinants related to avoidance were older age (adjusted OR 1.14 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.08 to 1.21]), female sex (1.58 [1.38 to 1.82]), low educational level (primary education versus higher vocational/university 1.21 [1.01 to 1.46), poor self-appreciated health (per level decrease 2.00 [1.80 to 2.22]), unemployment (versus employed 2.29 [1.54 to 3.39]), smoking (1.34 [1.08 to 1.65]), concern about contracting COVID-19 (per level increase 1.28 [1.19 to 1.38]) and symptoms of depression (per point increase 1.13 [1.11 to 1.14]) and anxiety (per point increase 1.16 [1.14 to 1.18]). Study limitations included uncertainty about (perceived) severity of the reported symptoms and potentially limited generalisability given the ethnically homogeneous study population. CONCLUSIONS: In this population-based cross-sectional study, 1 in 5 individuals avoided healthcare during lockdown in the COVID-19 pandemic, often for potentially urgent symptoms. Healthcare avoidance was strongly associated with female sex, fragile self-appreciated health, and high levels of depression and anxiety. These results emphasise the need for targeted public education urging these vulnerable patients to timely seek medical care for their symptoms to mitigate major health consequences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , Primary Health Care/trends , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anxiety/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Health Facilities , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Mental Health/trends , Middle Aged , Netherlands/epidemiology , Pandemics , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Surveys and Questionnaires
16.
Semin Perinatol ; 45(5): 151431, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454526

ABSTRACT

We discuss the use of tele-mental health in settings serving expectant parents in fetal care centers and parents with children receiving treatment in neonatal intensive care units within a pediatric institution. Our emphasis is on the dramatic rise of tele-mental health service delivery for this population in the wake of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., including relevant practice regulations, challenges and advantages associated with the transition to tele-mental health in these perinatal settings.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care , Intensive Care Units, Neonatal/trends , Mental Health/trends , Perinatal Care , Psychosocial Intervention , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Female , Humans , Infection Control , Male , Parents/education , Parents/psychology , Perinatal Care/methods , Perinatal Care/organization & administration , Pregnancy , Prenatal Education/trends , Psychosocial Intervention/methods , Psychosocial Intervention/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/organization & administration , United States/epidemiology
17.
Br J Anaesth ; 128(2): e100-e103, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1439905

ABSTRACT

Efficiency is an essential part of sustainable healthcare, especially in emergency and acute care (including surgical) settings. Waste minimisation, streamlined processes, and lean principles are all important for responsible stewardship of finite health resources. However, the promotion of efficiency above all else has effectively subordinated preparedness as a form of waste. Investment in preparedness is an essential part of resilient healthcare. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the gap between efficient processes and resilient systems in many health settings. In anticipation of future pandemics, natural disasters, and mass casualty incidents, health systems, and individual healthcare workers, must prioritise preparedness to be ready for the unexpected or for crises. This requires a reframing of priorities to view preparedness as crucial insurance against system failure during disasters, by taking advantage of lessons learnt preparing for war and mass casualty incidents.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Civil Defense/methods , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Health Personnel , Mass Casualty Incidents/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , Civil Defense/trends , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Health Personnel/trends , Humans
18.
Ghana Med J ; 54(4 Suppl): 100-103, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436201

ABSTRACT

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare systems and their provision of care has globally been challenged, including the delivery of Oral healthcare. In Ghana, it has become imperative that healthcare delivery including the practice of Dentistry and its sub-specialties be re-oriented in our peculiar setting to ensure minimal risk of spread of the infection. This article discusses the impact of COVID-19 on the practice of Dentistry in the country.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Dentistry/trends , Infection Control/trends , Practice Patterns, Dentists'/trends , Ghana , Humans , Oral Health/trends , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Pan Afr Med J ; 39: 159, 2021.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1431148

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic has posed huge challenges for the health system in Africa; however they haven´t been well quantified. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on curative and preventive activities in health care facilities at 17 integrated health centers in Niamey by comparing the first half of 2020 and the first half of 2019. The differences were more pronounced in the second quarter of 2020, with a 34% reduction (95% CI: -47% to -21%) for curative care, 61% (95% CI: -74% to -48%) for pentavalent vaccines 1 and 3 and 36% (95% CI: -49% to -23%) for VAR 1. A nearly zero gain of 1% (95% IC: -2% to 4%) was reported for prenatal care attendance, thus reversing the gains of the first quarter. The COVID-19 pandemic has had negative effects on service deliveries to the most vulnerable groups, such as women and children. New strategies, such as community engagement, are essential.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Child , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Female , Humans , Niger , Pregnancy , Prenatal Care/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Vulnerable Populations
20.
Ann Fam Med ; 19(5): 457-459, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416847

ABSTRACT

Health care organizations in the United States have transformed at an unprecedented rate since March 2020 due to COVID-19, most notably with a shift to telemedicine. Despite rapidly adapting health care delivery in light of new safety considerations and a shifting insurance landscape, primary care offices across the country are facing drastic decreases in revenue and potential bankruptcy. To survive, primary care's adaptations will need to go beyond virtual versions of traditional office visits. Primary care is faced with a chance to redefine what it means to care for and support patients wherever they are. This opportunity to shape the "new normal" is a critical step for primary care to meet its full potential to lead a paradigm shift to patient-centered health care reform in America during this time when we need it most.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Primary Health Care/methods , Telemedicine , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Primary Health Care/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
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