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1.
Dtsch Arztebl Int ; 119(29-30): 502-503, 2022 Jul 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109715
3.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(11): e42839, 2022 Nov 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109581

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Following the Riyadh Declaration, digital health technologies were prioritized in many countries to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital health apps for telemedicine and video consultations help reduce potential disease spread in routine health care, including follow-up care in orthopedic and trauma surgery. In addition to the satisfaction, efficiency, and safety of telemedicine, its economic and environmental effects are highly relevant to decision makers, particularly for the goal of reaching carbon neutrality of health care systems. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to provide the first comprehensive health economic and environmental analysis of video consultations in follow-up care after knee and shoulder interventions in an orthopedic and trauma surgery department of a German university hospital. The analysis is conducted from a societal perspective. We analyze both economic and environmental impacts of video consultations, taking into account the goal of carbon neutrality for the German health care system by 2030. METHODS: We conducted a prospective randomized controlled trial comparing follow-up care with digital health app video consultations (intervention group) to conventional face-to-face consultations in the clinic (control group). Economic impact included the analysis of travel and time costs and production losses. Examination of the environmental impact comprised the emissions of greenhouse gases, carbon monoxide, volatile hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and particulates, and the calculation of environmental costs. Sensitivity analysis included calculations with a higher cost per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent, which gives equal weight to the welfare of present and future generations. RESULTS: Data from 52 patients indicated that, from the patients' point of view, telemedicine helped reduce travel costs, time costs, and production losses, resulting in mean cost savings of €76.52 per video consultation. In addition, emissions of 11.248 kg of greenhouse gases, 0.070 kg of carbon monoxide, 0.011 kg of volatile hydrocarbons, 0.028 kg of nitrogen oxides, and 0.0004 kg of particulates could be saved per patient through avoided travel. This resulted in savings of environmental costs between €3.73 and €9.53 per patient. CONCLUSIONS: We presented the first comprehensive analysis of economic and environmental effects of telemedicine in the follow-up care of patients in orthopedic and trauma surgery in Germany. Video consultations were found to reduce the environmental footprint of follow-up care; saved travel costs, travel time, and time costs for patients; and helped to lower production losses. Our findings can support the decision-making on the use of digital health during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, providing decision makers with data for both economic and environmental effects. Thanks to the pragmatic design of our study, our findings can be applied to a wide range of clinical contexts and potential digital health applications that substitute outpatient hospital visits with video consultations. TRIAL REGISTRATION: German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00023445; https://tinyurl.com/4pcvhz4n.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Greenhouse Gases , Mobile Applications , Telemedicine , Humans , Aftercare , COVID-19/prevention & control , Carbon Monoxide , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , Referral and Consultation , Telemedicine/methods , Germany , Environment
4.
BMC Prim Care ; 23(1): 273, 2022 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2108743

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In Germany, general practices are usually contacted first by patients with health complaints, including symptoms characteristic of SARS-CoV-2. Within general practices, medical assistants (MAs) are the first contact person for patients and perform various tasks in close physical patient contact. Working conditions of MAs have been characterized as challenging, e.g., due to low salaries, a high workload, time pressure and frequent interruptions. The potential changes of working conditions and job-related challenges experienced by MAs due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic have not been fully explored. We aimed to address this knowledge gap among MAs working in general practices in Germany. METHODS: Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted between March and April 2021 with 24 MAs. Medical assistants of legal age, who worked in general practices in Germany, and who were continuously employed and without change of employer in 2020 were eligible for participation. Interview recordings were transcribed verbatim and content-analyzed using MAXQDA, using deductive and inductive coding. RESULTS: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic posed great challenges for MAs, including a dramatic increase in workload, changes in occupational tasks, increased hygiene measures, rearrangements of work organization, childcare issues, and structural and personnel challenges within their practice. Participants described both improved but also worsened collaboration with their employers and colleagues due to the pandemic. Many MAs complained about issues regarding SARS-CoV-2-related billing processes and an increase in unpleasant patient behavior, including disregard of practice rules or frequent verbal insults. Many also did not feel adequately appreciated by politics, media, or society for their efforts during the pandemic. Positive changes were perceived to be the expansion of digital communication channels and a growing social cohesiveness of practice teams. CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic posed great challenges for MAs. The pandemic seems to have worsened MAs' working conditions, which had been described as challenging already prior to the pandemic. In order to improve job satisfaction and to prevent loss of healthcare personnel, measures must be taken to improve working conditions of MAs in general practices.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Germany/epidemiology , Allied Health Personnel
5.
Int J Yoga Therap ; 32(2022)2022 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2100570

ABSTRACT

To avoid severe courses of COVID-19 infections and reduce death rates, vaccination against the SARS-CoV-1 virus was considered an essential strategy in fighting the pandemic. However, some yoga practitioners reject such vaccinations and assume that their yoga practices protect them. We therefore aimed to analyze how many yoga practitioners were vaccinated, their reasons for being vaccinated, and the influence of the ethical principles of yoga (yamas/niyamas) on these decisions. In a cross-sectional survey in summer 2021, we enrolled 1,545 yoga practitioners (86% women; mean age 51.1 ± 10.9 y). The majority of participants were already vaccinated (66%), and their percentage corresponded to that of the general population. Those who were not willing to get vaccinated scored significantly higher on the yama/niyama factors Contentment/Self-Reflection/Devotion and Surrender and Non-Possessiveness. Depending on the centrality of the yamas/niyamas in their lives, yoga participants differed on their vaccination decisions, but they did not relevantly differ on their pro-social reasons (protection of groups at risk, protection of family) when they were already vaccinated. This assumed protection against severe courses of the COVID-19 infection was higher in the nonvaccinated compared to the vaccinated individuals (Cohen's d = 0.99). This conviction was related to the niyama factor Contentment/Self-Reflection/Devotion and Surrender. Thus, in the yoga schools and other places of yoga practice the relevance of vaccination to also protect others should be discussed, and the consequences of following the yamas and niyamas for the sake of others should be clarified.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Yoga , Humans , Female , Adult , Middle Aged , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Vaccination , Germany
6.
Euro Surveill ; 27(43)2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2099047

ABSTRACT

BackgroundTracking person-to-person SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the population is important to understand the epidemiology of community transmission and may contribute to the containment of SARS-CoV-2. Neither contact tracing nor genomic surveillance alone, however, are typically sufficient to achieve this objective.AimWe demonstrate the successful application of the integrated genomic surveillance (IGS) system of the German city of Düsseldorf for tracing SARS-CoV-2 transmission chains in the population as well as detecting and investigating travel-associated SARS-CoV-2 infection clusters.MethodsGenomic surveillance, phylogenetic analysis, and structured case interviews were integrated to elucidate two genetically defined clusters of SARS-CoV-2 isolates detected by IGS in Düsseldorf in July 2021.ResultsCluster 1 (n = 67 Düsseldorf cases) and Cluster 2 (n = 36) were detected in a surveillance dataset of 518 high-quality SARS-CoV-2 genomes from Düsseldorf (53% of total cases, sampled mid-June to July 2021). Cluster 1 could be traced back to a complex pattern of transmission in nightlife venues following a putative importation by a SARS-CoV-2-infected return traveller (IP) in late June; 28 SARS-CoV-2 cases could be epidemiologically directly linked to IP. Supported by viral genome data from Spain, Cluster 2 was shown to represent multiple independent introduction events of a viral strain circulating in Catalonia and other European countries, followed by diffuse community transmission in Düsseldorf.ConclusionIGS enabled high-resolution tracing of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in an internationally connected city during community transmission and provided infection chain-level evidence of the downstream propagation of travel-imported SARS-CoV-2 cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases, Imported , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Travel , Communicable Diseases, Imported/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Phylogeny , Contact Tracing , Germany/epidemiology , Genomics
7.
Eur Psychiatry ; 65(1): e76, 2022 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2098605

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The present study aims to delineate the role of preexisting depression for changes in common mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Using mixed-effects linear regression models, we analyzed data on the course of depressive (Patient Health Questionnaire-2) and anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-2) symptoms as well as loneliness (three-item UCLA Loneliness Scale) in a subset of the Socio-Economic Panel Study, a large and nationally representative household panel study from Germany. Participants were assessed during the first COVID-19 wave in Germany (March 31 to July 4, 2020; n = 6,694) and prospectively followed up at the peak of the second COVID-19 wave (January 18 to February 15, 2021; n = 6,038). RESULTS: Overall, anxiety and depressive symptoms decreased, whereas loneliness increased from the first to the second COVID-19 wave. However, depressive symptoms increased and the surge in loneliness was steeper in those with versus without clinically relevant depressive symptoms in 2019 or a history of a depressive disorder before the COVID-19 pandemic. Anxiety symptoms remained stable throughout the pandemic in individuals with versus without clinically relevant depressive symptoms in 2019. Pre-pandemic depression was associated with overall higher depressive and anxiety symptoms and loneliness across both assessments. The stringency of lockdown measures did not affect the results. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that individuals with a history of depressive symptoms before the COVID-19 pandemic are at increased risk to experience an escalation of mental health problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, they might particularly profit from targeted prevention and early intervention programs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Loneliness/psychology , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/psychology , Sampling Studies , Communicable Disease Control , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Germany/epidemiology , Anxiety Disorders/epidemiology
8.
Horm Metab Res ; 54(11): 715-720, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096875

ABSTRACT

A continual increase in cases of Long/Post COVID constitutes a medical and socioeconomic challenge to health systems around the globe. While the true extent of this problem cannot yet be fully evaluated, recent data suggest that up to 20% of people with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 suffer from clinically relevant symptoms of Long/Post COVID several weeks to months after the acute phase. The clinical presentation is highly variable with the main symptoms being chronic fatigue, dyspnea, and cognitive symptoms. Extracorporeal apheresis has been suggested to alleviate symptoms of Post/COVID. Thus, numerous patients are currently treated with apheresis. However, at present there is no data from randomized controlled trials available to confirm the efficacy. Therefore, physicians rely on the experience of practitioners and centers performing this treatment. Here, we summarize clinical experience on extracorporeal apheresis in patients with Post/COVID from centers across Germany.


Subject(s)
Blood Component Removal , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/therapy , Germany
9.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; 42(6): 653-658, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096425

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The pressures exerted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic pose an unprecedented demand on healthcare services. Hospitals become rapidly overwhelmed when patients requiring life-saving support outpace available capacities. OBJECTIVE: We describe methods used by a university hospital to forecast case loads and time to peak incidence. METHODS: We developed a set of models to forecast incidence among the hospital catchment population and to describe the COVID-19 patient hospital-care pathway. The first forecast utilized data from antecedent allopatric epidemics and parameterized the care-pathway model according to expert opinion (ie, the static model). Once sufficient local data were available, trends for the time-dependent effective reproduction number were fitted, and the care pathway was reparameterized using hazards for real patient admission, referrals, and discharge (ie, the dynamic model). RESULTS: The static model, deployed before the epidemic, exaggerated the bed occupancy for general wards (116 forecasted vs 66 observed), ICUs (47 forecasted vs 34 observed), and predicted the peak too late: general ward forecast April 9 and observed April 8 and ICU forecast April 19 and observed April 8. After April 5, the dynamic model could be run daily, and its precision improved with increasing availability of empirical local data. CONCLUSIONS: The models provided data-based guidance for the preparation and allocation of critical resources of a university hospital well in advance of the epidemic surge, despite overestimating the service demand. Overestimates should resolve when the population contact pattern before and during restrictions can be taken into account, but for now they may provide an acceptable safety margin for preparing during times of uncertainty.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospital Bed Capacity , Hospitals, University/organization & administration , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Forecasting , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitals, University/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Incidence , Models, Statistical , Patient Safety
10.
Diabetes Res Clin Pract ; 193: 110146, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2095254

ABSTRACT

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: The aim of this study was to analyze the incidence of type 1 diabetes in children and adolescents (<20 years of age) during the COVID-19 pandemic (3/2020 to 12/2021) in Germany. METHODS: The present study was based on the IQVIA longitudinal prescription database (LRx), All persons (age ≤ 20 years) with new insulin prescriptions from 2016 to 2021 (index date) were selected and stratified by age group. Weekly (age-specific) data were used to forecast the prescription incidence for the pandemic period based on pre-pandemic data and to explore the relationship between weekly reported age-specific COVID-19 incidences and type 1 diabetes incidence and rate ratios of observed vs. predicted diabetes incidence respectively. RESULTS: During the pre-pandemic period, there was a stable higher insulin prescription incidence during the winter period and a lower insulin prescription incidence during summer. During the pandemic period, there was less seasonal variation in incidence related to the finding that the observed incidence during summer in 2002 and 2021 was 44 % and 65 %, higher, respectively, than the expected incidence based on pre-pandemic year. We did not find any cross-correlations between the COVID-19 incidence and the type 1 diabetes incidence for any age group. Likewise, there were no cross-correlations between the COVID-19 incidence and the incidence rate ratios of observed incidences to predicted incidences. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was less seasonal variation in the incidence of type 1 diabetes (defined by new insulin prescriptions), with higher observed than expected incidences during summer. We found no evidence that the increase in type 1 diabetes incidence during the COVID-19 pandemic relates to direct effects of COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 , Child , Adolescent , Humans , Young Adult , Adult , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/epidemiology , Incidence , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Germany/epidemiology , Insulin/therapeutic use
11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(21)2022 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2090185

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic was accompanied by multiple disruptions in the everyday lives of families. Previous research has underlined the negative impact of the pandemic on stress among parents and identified factors related to heightened levels of stress. Yet, several potential stressors have not been taken into account. Moreover, little is known about how general and pandemic-related stressors impacted help-seeking intentions for personal or family problems. METHODS: We recruited N = 602 parents and their children (n = 101) for a cross-sectional online survey on parent, child and family well-being, stress and help need after the first wave of COVID-19 infections in Germany. Data were analysed using multinomial regression analyses to predict family help need, taking into account pre-pandemic help-seeking. RESULTS: Parents showed high levels of stress, which were associated with pre-pandemic mental health, family functioning, pandemic related worries about finances, household workload and health worries. While 76.2% of families reported no during-pandemic help need, 11.3% reported a help need before and during the pandemic and 12.5% of families without prior help needs reported a new help need during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: The results of the present study underline the need for help service providers to adapt their offers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies , Communicable Disease Control , Germany/epidemiology
12.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(21)2022 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2090173

ABSTRACT

The continuous transformation process in the world of work, intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic, is giving employees more scope to shape their own work. This scope can be experienced as a burden or as a resource for employees. Work design competencies (WDC) describe employees' experience of their scope for design. Our study draws on existing datasets based on two Germany-wide studies. We used hierarchical cluster analyses to examine patterns between WDC, the age of employees (range: 18-71 years), the amount of weekly work time working from home (WFH), and work ability. In total, the data of N = 1232 employees were analyzed, and 735 of them participated in Study 1. To test the validity of the clusters, we analyzed data from N = 497 employees in Study 2. In addition, a split-half validation was performed with the data from Study 1. In both studies, three clusters emerged that differed in age and work ability. The cluster with the highest mean of WDC comprised employees that were on average older and reported a higher mean of work ability. Regarding WFH, no clear patterns emerged. The results and further theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Overall, WDC appear to be relevant to work ability and, in a broader sense, to occupational health, and are related to sociodemographic factors such as age.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Occupational Health , Humans , Adolescent , Young Adult , Adult , Middle Aged , Aged , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Germany , Cluster Analysis
13.
PLoS One ; 17(10): e0276485, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089431

ABSTRACT

In order to shed light on unmeasurable real-world phenomena, we investigate exemplarily the actual number of COVID-19 infections in Germany based on big data. The true occurrence of infections is not visible, since not every infected person is tested. This paper demonstrates that coronavirus-related search queries issued on Google can depict true infection levels appropriately. We find significant correlation between search volume and national as well as federal COVID-19 cases as reported by RKI. Additionally, we discover indications that the queries are indeed causal for infection levels. Finally, this approach can replicate varying dark figures throughout different periods of the pandemic and enables early insights into the true spread of future virus outbreaks. This is of high relevance for society in order to assess and understand the current situation during virus outbreaks and for decision-makers to take adequate and justifiable health measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Search Engine , Pandemics , Disease Outbreaks , Germany/epidemiology
14.
Public Health ; 212: 89-94, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2083041

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to clarify the level and the correlates of climate anxiety in Germany. STUDY DESIGN: This was a quota-based online survey. METHODS: We used data collected in mid-March 2022 from a sample of the general adult population (n = 3091 individuals aged 18-74 years; March 2022). Climate anxiety was quantified using the Climate Anxiety Scale (ranging from 1 to 7, with higher scores corresponding to higher levels of climate anxiety). RESULTS: The average level of climate anxiety in Germany was 2.0 (standard deviation [SD]: 1.2). It differed between subgroups (e.g. individuals aged 18-29 years: 2.4, SD: 1.3; individuals aged 65-74 years: 1.8, SD: 1.0). Log-linear regressions showed that climate anxiety was higher among younger individuals (ß = -0.005, P < .001), full-time employed individuals (compared with retired individuals, ß = 0.07, P < .01), individuals without chronic conditions (compared with individuals with at least one chronic conditions, ß = -0.08, P < .001), individuals already vaccinated against COVID-19 (compared with individuals not vaccinated against COVID-19, ß = 0.10, P < .001), individuals with higher levels of coronavirus anxiety (ß = 0.06, P < .001), and individuals with greater fear of a conventional war (ß = 0.09, P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed a rather low level of climate anxiety. It also revealed some correlates of greater climate anxiety such as higher levels of coronavirus anxiety or greater fear of war. Knowledge about the correlates may assist in addressing individuals at risk for high levels of climate anxiety.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety Disorders , Germany/epidemiology , Chronic Disease
15.
Front Public Health ; 10: 970092, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2080291

ABSTRACT

Socio-economic conditions and social attitudes are known to represent epidemiological determinants. Credible knowledge on socio-economic driving factors of the COVID-19 epidemic is still incomplete. Based on linear random effects regression, an ecological model is derived to estimate COVID-19 incidence in German rural/urban districts from local socio-economic factors and popularity of political parties in terms of their share of vote. Thereby, records provided by Germany's public health institute (Robert Koch Institute) of weekly notified 7-day incidences per 100,000 inhabitants per district from the outset of the epidemic in 2020 up to December 1, 2021, are used to construct the dependent variable. Local socio-economic conditions including share of votes, retrieved from the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, have been used as potential risk factors. Socio-economic parameters like per capita income, proportions of protection seekers and social benefit claimants, and educational level have negligible impact on incidence. To the contrary, incidence significantly increases with population density and we observe a strong association with vote shares. Popularity of the right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD) bears a considerable risk of increasing COVID-19 incidence both in terms of predicting the maximum incidences during three epidemic periods (alternatively, cumulative incidences over the periods are used to quantify the dependent variable) and in a time-continuous sense. Thus, districts with high AfD popularity rank on top in the time-average regarding COVID-19 incidence. The impact of the popularity of the Free Democrats (FDP) is markedly intermittent in the course of time showing two pronounced peaks in incidence but also occasional drops. A moderate risk emanates from popularities of the Green Party (GRÜNE) and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU/CSU) compared to the other parties with lowest risk level. In order to effectively combat the COVID-19 epidemic, public health policymakers are well-advised to account for social attitudes and behavioral patterns reflected in local popularities of political parties, which are conceived as proper surrogates for these attitudes. Whilst causal relations between social attitudes and the presence of parties remain obscure, the political landscape in terms of share of votes constitutes at least viable predictive "markers" relevant for public health policy making.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Risk Factors , Socioeconomic Factors
16.
Rehabilitation (Stuttg) ; 61(5): 344-352, 2022 Oct.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2077146

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: International literature reports an increase of the incidence of psychological disorders because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Especially young people and people with pre-existing psychological disorders are troubled by the pandemic. Objective of this study is the extent of psychological symptoms, the functioning and the treatment success of rehabilitation inpatients who participated in a medical and psychiatric rehabilitation in the year before the COVID-19 pandemic and those who participated during the COVID-19 phase. METHODS: The data of N=1,715 rehabilitation inpatients who completed the rehabilitation before the lockdown in 2019 and N=707 rehabilitation inpatients who began in 2020 after the lockdown of the clinic due to the pandemic (during the COVID-19 phase) from March to Mai 2020 are compared in reference to their sample characteristics and their results in patient reported outcomes. RESULTS: There are no significant differences between the two observed time periods in reference to the sociodemographic characteristics of the rehabilitation inpatients. At the beginning of the rehabilitation there was no significant difference in the scale somatization. There was a significantly higher score in the scales' anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 phase, but only to the extent of a small effect. The results of the scales of activity and participation (ICF 3 F AT) as well as functionality (WHODAS 2.0) do not differ in the time periods at the beginning of the rehabilitation. However, rehabilitation inpatients with low socioeconomic status (rehabilitation allowance or disability pension) have critical scores in some scales. The rehabilitation success is comparable to the one before the COVID-19 pandemic and falls within the range of medium to high effect sizes. CONCLUSION: The study shows - with respect to its limitations - low or no significant differences in reference to the sociodemographic data and the symptomatic load at the beginning of the rehabilitation. The effect sizes are comparable with the time frame bevor the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of international studies, which reported a considerable increase in psychological stress of the population cannot directly be transferred to the Austrian rehabilitation clientele.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychiatric Rehabilitation , Humans , Adolescent , Pandemics , Austria/epidemiology , Depression , Communicable Disease Control , Germany , Anxiety/psychology
17.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 17221, 2022 Oct 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2077104

ABSTRACT

For SARS-CoV-2, R0 calculations in the range of 2-3 dominate the literature, but much higher estimates have also been published. Because capacity for RT-PCR testing increased greatly in the early phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, R0 determinations based on these incidence values are subject to strong bias. We propose to use Covid-19-induced excess mortality to determine R0 regardless of RT-PCR testing capacity. We used data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on the incidence of Covid cases, Covid-related deaths, number of RT-PCR tests performed, and excess mortality calculated from data from the Federal Statistical Office in Germany. We determined R0 using exponential growth estimates with a serial interval of 4.7 days. We used only datasets that were not yet under the influence of policy measures (e.g., lockdowns or school closures). The uncorrected R0 value for the spread of SARS-CoV-2 based on RT-PCR incidence data was 2.56 (95% CI 2.52-2.60) for Covid-19 cases and 2.03 (95% CI 1.96-2.10) for Covid-19-related deaths. However, because the number of RT-PCR tests increased by a growth factor of 1.381 during the same period, these R0 values must be corrected accordingly (R0corrected = R0uncorrected/1.381), yielding 1.86 for Covid-19 cases and 1.47 for Covid-19 deaths. The R0 value based on excess deaths was calculated to be 1.34 (95% CI 1.32-1.37). A sine-function-based adjustment for seasonal effects of 40% corresponds to a maximum value of R0January = 1.68 and a minimum value of R0July = 1.01. Our calculations show an R0 that is much lower than previously thought. This relatively low range of R0 fits very well with the observed seasonal pattern of infection across Europe in 2020 and 2021, including the emergence of more contagious escape variants such as delta or omicron. In general, our study shows that excess mortality can be used as a reliable surrogate to determine the R0 in pandemic situations.


Subject(s)
Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
18.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Oct 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066062

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The measures taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have led to significant changes in people's daily lives. This paper examines changes in substance use during the first lockdown (March-July 2020) and investigates mental health burdens in substance users with increased consumption of alcohol, nicotine or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in Germany compared to users with unchanged or reduced consumption. METHOD: In a cross-sectional online survey, 2369 people were asked about their mental health and their substance use during the first lockdown in Germany. RESULTS: Of the participants, 28.5% increased their alcohol use, 28.8% their use of tobacco products, and 20.6% their use of THC-containing products during the pandemic. The groups with increased alcohol, nicotine, and THC use during the first lockdown reported more depressive symptoms and anxiety. Individuals who reported increased consumption of alcohol or nicotine were also more likely to experience loneliness and have suicidal thoughts and were more often stressed due to social distancing. CONCLUSION: Alcohol, nicotine and THC increased in a subgroup of consumers who reported to have more mental health problems compared to individuals who did not increase their consumption. This increased substance use could, therefore, be understood as a dysfunctional strategy to cope with negative emotions during the lockdown.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Dronabinol , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Mental Health , Nicotine , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Oct 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066043

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to identify the frequency of loneliness and to examine the factors associated with loneliness among homeless individuals in Germany during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Data were taken from the 'national survey on the psychiatric and somatic health of homeless individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic'. The data collection took place from 26th July to 17th September 2021 (the analytical sample included n = 491 observations). The well-established UCLA-3 tool was used to quantify loneliness. Independent variables included sex, age, marital status, the existence of children and pets, level of education, country of origin, duration of homelessness, alcohol and drug consumption, mental health concerns and concerns regarding COVID-19 illness. Multiple logistic regressions were used to examine the predictors of loneliness. RESULTS: The frequency of loneliness was 41.7% for the total sample. Multiple logistic regression analysis stratified by gender showed that a higher likelihood of loneliness was associated with being born in Germany, being middle aged (40 to 49 years compared to 18 to 29 years), having mental health problems and a short period of homelessness (1 month compared to longer periods) among women. In men, a higher likelihood of loneliness was associated with a higher fear of COVID-19 and a short period of homelessness. CONCLUSIONS: Our study revealed a high frequency rate of loneliness among homeless individuals. The study results highlight the associations between some explanatory variables (i.e., the duration of homelessness and mental health problems). Identifying the factors associated with loneliness may help to adequately address the problems of homeless individuals at risk of loneliness. Longitudinal studies are required to confirm our findings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Homeless Persons , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Homeless Persons/psychology , Humans , Loneliness/psychology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics
20.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Sep 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065923

ABSTRACT

Health care lies at the forefront of the impacts of climate change. Since the health sector is a major polluting and emission intensive sector, it remains a crucial challenge to address sustainability. The English National Health System (NHS) aims to be the first in the world to achieve net zero in all emission classes (Scope 1-3). In Germany, sustainability in health care is being driven bottom-up, while the Federal Ministry of Health at the time of the research in early 2021 takes no active stance on a net zero health care system. This article analyses the approaches to sustainability in the two different health care systems, explores common challenges, and draws recommendations to support the transition of the sector to a net zero future. An exploratory mixed method approach was taken applying qualitative and quantitative methods. This includes high-level expert interviews and an online survey from the United Kingdom (UK) and Germany. Results reveal the complex nature of health care systems and the need for engraining a systems-thinking approach. The findings call for the legal embedding of sustainability into the key principles of health care in Germany, endorses the ambition of the national health care systems in the UK, recommends collaborative cross-sector approaches for sustainability, and highlights the need for increased public awareness on the interrelation between human and planetary health to enable governance for sustainable health care.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care , Health Facilities , Climate Change , Germany , Humans , United Kingdom
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