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4.
J Law Med Ethics ; 49(1): 89-91, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096544
5.
Int J Equity Health ; 21(1): 150, 2022 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089204

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 constitutes a global health emergency of unprecedented proportions. Preventive measures, however, have run up against certain difficulties in low and middle-income countries. This is the case in socially and geographically marginalized communities, which are excluded from information about preventive measures. This study contains a dual objective, i) to assess knowledge of COVID-19 and the preventive measures associated with it concerning indigents in the villages of Diebougou's district in Burkina Faso. The aim is to understand if determinants of this understanding exist, and ii) to describe how their pathways to healthcare changed from 2019 to 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: The study was conducted in the Diebougou healthcare district, in the south-west region of Burkina Faso. We relied on a cross-sectional design and used data from the fourth round of a panel survey conducted among a sample of ultra-poor people that had been monitored since 2015. Data were collected in August 2020 and included a total of 259 ultra-poor people. A multivariate logistic regression to determine the factors associated with the respondents' knowledge of COVID-19 was used. RESULTS: Half of indigents in the district said they had heard about COVID-19. Only 29% knew what the symptoms of the disease were. The majority claimed that they protected themselves from the virus by using preventive measures. This level of knowledge of the disease can be observed with no differences between the villages. Half of the indigents who expressed themselves agreed with government measures except for the closure of markets. An increase of over 11% can be seen in indigents without the opportunity for getting healthcare compared with before the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: This research indicates that COVID-19 is partially known and that prevention measures are not universally understood. The study contributes to reducing the fragmentation of knowledge, in particular on vulnerable and marginalized populations. Results should be useful for future interventions for the control of epidemics that aim to leave no one behind.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility , Cross-Sectional Studies , Burkina Faso/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Poverty
6.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 1965, 2022 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089183

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Undocumented immigrants face barriers to health care access, which may have been exacerbated during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. We test whether undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles County accessed COVID-19 related medical care by examining their Emergency Department (ED) patterns through high and low periods of COVID-19 infection. If undocumented immigrants were underutilizing or foregoing health care, we expect null or weaker associations between COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 related ED visits relative to Medi-Cal patients. METHODS: We analyzed all ED visits to the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California (LAC + USC) Medical Center between March - December 2020 (n = 85,387). We conducted logistic regressions with Los Angeles County weekly COVID-19 case counts as our main independent variable and an interaction between case counts and immigration status, stratified by age (over and under 65 years). RESULTS: We found that undocumented immigrants under 65 years old had a higher odds for a COVID-19 related ED visit compared to Medi-Cal patients and that both undocumented and Medi-Cal patients had higher odds of a COVID-19 related ED visit as COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County increased. For patients over 65 years, Medi-Cal patients actually had a weaker association between ED visits and county COVID-19 counts; as COVID-19 case counts rose, the odds of a COVID-19 related ED visit increased for the undocumented patients. CONCLUSION: While the overall likelihood of undocumented patients having a COVID-19 related ED visit varies compared to Medi-Cal patients - for younger patients, the odds is higher; for older patients, the odds is lower - it does not appear that undocumented patients underutilized the ED during the early COVID-19 pandemic relative to Medi-Cal patients. The ED may be a viable source of contact for this high-risk population for future outreach.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Emigration and Immigration , Emergency Service, Hospital , Health Services Accessibility
7.
Inquiry ; 59: 469580221133002, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089047

ABSTRACT

Gaps between medical needs and health services accessibility are defined as unmet medical needs (UMN). Previous studies assessing UMNs during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic did not account for factors such as the type of medical insurance or chronic disease. Therefore, this study investigated various factors, including medical insurance and chronic diseases, affecting self-reported UMN during the pandemic in Daejeon Metropolitan City, South Korea. This cross-sectional study was conducted using Daejeon Metropolitan City Health Surveys data from 2020. The weighted prevalence of UMN was estimated among participants (n = 1494) aged ≥18 years, while chi-squared and logistic models were used to assess the association between UMN and participant characteristics. The prevalence of UMN was 6.4% (n = 97). Female sex and low education levels were significantly associated with reporting UMN. Medical aid beneficiaries were less likely to report UMN than adults with National Health Programs coverage. Participants with chronic diseases, such as hypertension and arthritis, and those with depression, were more likely to report UMN than adults without these conditions. The findings highlight the need for targeted efforts to decrease UMN in the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for women and individuals with low education levels. The results also indicate that high-risk disease groups should be targeted with additional enabling services to support the management of chronic conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Female , Adolescent , Cross-Sectional Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Chronic Disease , Health Services Accessibility , Health Services Needs and Demand
9.
Front Public Health ; 10: 1001639, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2080301

ABSTRACT

Our study assesses whether factors related to healthcare access in the first year of the pandemic affect mortality and length of stay (LOS). Our cohort study examined hospitalized patients at Nebraska Medicine between April and October 2020 who were tested for SARS-CoV-2 and had a charted sepsis related diagnostic code. Multivariate logistic was used to analyze the odds of mortality and linear regression was used to calculate the parameter estimates of LOS associated with COVID-19 status, age, gender, race/ethnicity, median household income, admission month, and residential distance from definitive care. Among 475 admissions, the odds of mortality is greater among those with older age (OR: 1.04, 95% CI: 1.02-1.07) and residence in an area with low median household income (OR: 2.11, 95% CI: 0.52-8.57), however, the relationship between mortality and wealth was not statistically significant. Those with non-COVID-19 sepsis had longer LOS (Parameter Estimate: -5.11, adjusted 95% CI: -7.92 to -2.30). Distance from definitive care had trends toward worse outcomes (Parameter Estimate: 0.164, adjusted 95% CI: -1.39 to 1.97). Physical and social aspects of access to care are linked to poorer COVID-19 outcomes. Non-COVID-19 healthcare outcomes may be negatively impacted in the pandemic. Strategies to advance patient-centered outcomes in vulnerable populations should account for varied aspects (socioeconomic, residential setting, rural populations, racial, and ethnic factors). Indirect impacts of the pandemic on non-COVID-19 health outcomes require further study.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sepsis , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Cohort Studies , Nebraska/epidemiology , Income , Health Services Accessibility
11.
Prim Care ; 49(4): 557-573, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2076607

ABSTRACT

Telehealth programs existed in many subspecialities before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the public health event motivated many subspecialties to reflect on how current technologies could be leveraged to benefit patient outcomes and increase health-care access. This article reviews the history and current state of telehealth access in many areas of subspecialty care. Primary care physicians (PCPs) may be unaware of the telehealth services and options local subspecialists offer. To best serve patients, PCPs could partner with subspecialists to develop processes to link patients to the right subspecialist at the right time and in the right visit type.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/therapy , Health Services Accessibility
12.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(20)2022 Oct 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2071454

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a dramatic reduction of routine healthcare availability in many European countries. Among a cohort of English middle-aged adults, we explored pre-pandemic and pandemic factors associated with not seeking healthcare during lockdown, and their effect on subsequent self-reported health measures. Longitudinal data from the Health and Employment After Fifty (HEAF) cohort were used. Pre-pandemic data came from the 5th annual follow-up (2019), when participants were aged 56-71 years, and pandemic data were collected by e-survey in February 2021 and November 2021. Response rates of the two e-surveys were 53% and 79%, respectively. Pre-pandemic predictors of not seeking healthcare were: female gender, higher BMI, higher comorbidity, poorer self-rated health and depression; non-care seekers were also more likely to report that family or friends were affected by COVID-19 and to have been advised to shield. Not seeking healthcare during lockdown was associated with a higher risk of reporting worsening of physical, but not mental, health during the later phase of the pandemic. In this cohort, those with generally poorer health were disproportionately more likely to not seek healthcare during lockdown, which may potentially exacerbate pre-existing inequalities and lead to longer-term health consequences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Middle Aged , Female , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Communicable Disease Control , Health Services Accessibility , Employment
13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(20)2022 Oct 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2071441

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic put pressure on health systems, affecting populations' use of health services, especially those experiencing increased difficulties in healthcare access, as some migrant groups. This study aimed to investigate access and use of health services during the COVID-19 pandemic among migrants in Portugal. A mixed-methods approach was used. A community-based cross-sectional survey was conducted involving migrant communities residing in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. Analyses of a subsample of participants (n = 929) examined factors associated with perceived worsening of access to health services during the pandemic. Semi-structured interviews with 14 migrants were conducted and thematically analyzed to further understand experiences and difficulties in health services' use. Around 44% of surveyed participants reported worsening of access to health services since the pandemic, more frequently women, those with lower income, and those who perceived being at moderate or high risk for COVID-19 infection. Digital change in services and lack of formal and informal support during lockdowns were highlighted by interviewers as main barriers in access to healthcare for migrants. The pandemic renewed concerns about inequalities in healthcare access among migrants. It is key that in following years health systems are able to address the potential accumulated burden of disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Transients and Migrants , Humans , Female , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies , Communicable Disease Control , Health Services , Health Services Accessibility
14.
S Afr Med J ; 112(9): 760-764, 2022 08 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2067141

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) typically experience multidimensional symptoms throughout the course of their disease, with burdensome physical symptoms, social isolation, and additional psychological suffering. COVID-19 lockdown resulted in restrictions on chronic care delivery at primary healthcare (PHC) facilities, and it is not known what the care experiences of patients with COPD were during this time. OBJECTIVES: To describe patient experiences of the impact of the lockdown on their needs and their experiences of the primary care received for their COPD. METHODS: The data reported in this paper are from a cohort of 49 patients with COPD receiving primary care, recruited in February and March 2020, before recruitment was paused for COVID-19 lockdown, for a feasibility stepped-wedge hybrid type II design randomised controlled trial of integrated person-centred palliative care in primary care for patients with COPD in Cape Town, South Africa. Data are open-text responses from participants who responded to a single question on a validated measure of primary care consultation empathy (CARE), and describe patient experiences of the impact of the lockdown on the primary care received for their COPD, prior to crossover to trial intervention. RESULTS: Thirty-two patients with COPD gave between 1 and 9 responses each to the open-ended question between March and December 2020. The average age of the participants was 58.6 years, and 53.1% (n=17) were female. Inductive analysis of the open-text data identified four main themes. Participants described decreased access to chronic care and a desire for more person-centred care in interactions with healthcare professionals. The socioeconomic ramifications of the COVID-19 lockdown added to the burden they experienced. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 lockdown PHC service restrictions caused a disruption to the continuity of care for patients with COPD, with associated worry, anxiety and disappointment. Medication access was largely supported by the home delivery of chronic medication. We suggest that there are opportunities for providing more sustained support for patients with COPD through referrals to community health workers, and also through telephonic patient follow-up by primary care teams.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Primary Health Care , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/complications , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/diagnosis , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/therapy , Quality of Life , South Africa/epidemiology
15.
Prev Chronic Dis ; 19: E64, 2022 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2067107

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Forgone health care, defined as not using health care despite perceiving a need for it, is associated with poor health outcomes, especially among people with chronic conditions. The objective of our study was to examine how the pandemic affected forgone health care during 3 stages of the pandemic. METHODS: We used the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey COVID-19 Rapid Response Questionnaire administered in summer 2020, fall 2020, and winter 2021 to examine sociodemographic characteristics, chronic diseases, COVID-19 vaccination status, and telehealth availability in relation to beneficiary reports of forgone health care. RESULTS: Of the 3 periods studied, the overall rate of forgone health care was highest in summer 2020 (20.8%), followed by fall 2020 (7.8%) and winter 2021 (6.5%). COVID-19 vaccination status, age, sex, race and ethnicity, US region, availability of primary care telehealth appointments, and chronic conditions (heart disease, arthritis, depression, osteoporosis or a broken hip, and diabetes or high blood glucose) were significantly related to forgone care. CONCLUSION: High rates of forgone care among Medicare participants varied over time and were significantly related to beneficiary characteristics. Our findings highlight the need for health care reform and changes in policy to address the issue of access to care for people with chronic conditions during a pandemic or other public health emergency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Medicare , Aged , Blood Glucose , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Chronic Disease , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Pandemics , United States/epidemiology
16.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Oct 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066014

ABSTRACT

Migrants and refugees are among the vulnerable populations that suffered disproportionately from the COVID-19 crisis. However, their experiences with COVID-19 positivity status have not been investigated. This study explored the physical, mental, and psychosocial impacts of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis on Syrian refugees living in Jordan. Using a qualitative approach, twenty phone interviews were conducted with ten adult Syrian refugees living within the camp and ten refugees living in non-camp (host community) settings in Jordan. Follow-up interviews with five health care providers at a refugee camp were conducted to explore the services and support provided to the refugees with COVID-19 infection. The findings were thematically analyzed and grouped into major themes, subthemes, and emerging themes. Refugees living within camp settings had better access to testing, healthcare, and disease management and did not experience fear of being deported. Refugees in both settings suffered mental and psychosocial health impacts, social isolation, fear of death, and disease complications. COVID-19 infection has negatively impacted refugees' well-being with noticeable disparities across the different living conditions. Refugees living within host community settings may need more support for managing their condition, accessibility to free testing, as well as treatment and healthcare services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Refugees , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Jordan/epidemiology , Life Style , Phobic Disorders , Refugees/psychology , Syria
17.
Front Public Health ; 10: 871567, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065638

ABSTRACT

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spreads rapidly, causing outbreaks that grow exponentially within a short period before interventions are sought and effectively implemented. Testing is part of the first line of defense against Corona Virus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19), playing a critical role in the early identification and isolation of cases to slow transmission, provision of targeted care to those affected, and protection of health system operations. Laboratory tests for COVID-19 based on nucleic acid amplification techniques were rapidly developed in the early days of the pandemic, but such tests typically require sophisticated laboratory infrastructure and skilled staff. In March 2020, Zimbabwe confirmed its first case of COVID-19; this was followed by an increase in infection rates as the pandemic spread across the country, thus increasing the demand for testing. One national laboratory was set to test all the country's COVID-19 suspect cases, building pressure on human and financial resources. Staff burnout and longer turnaround times of more than 48 h were experienced, and results were released late for clinical relevance. Leveraging on existing PCR testing platforms, including GeneXpert machines, eased the pressure for a short period before facing the stockout of SARs-CoV-2 cartridges for a long time, leading to work overload at a few testing sites contributing to long turnaround times. On September 11, WHO released the interim guidance to use antigen rapid diagnostic test as a diagnostic tool. The Zimbabwe laboratory pillar quickly adopted it and made plans for its implementation. The National Microbiology Reference Laboratory verified the two emergency-listed kits, the Panbio Abbott and the Standard Q, Biosensor, and they met the WHO minimum performance of ≥97% specificity and ≥80% sensitivity. Decentralizing diagnostic testing leveraging existing human resources became a game-changer in improving COVID-19 containment measures. Task shifting through training on Antigen rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDT) commenced, and testing was decentralized to all the ten provinces, from 1 central testing laboratory to more than 1,000 testing centers. WhatsApp platforms made it easier for data to be reported from remote areas. Result turnaround times were improved to the same day, and accessibility to testing was enhanced.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Zimbabwe/epidemiology
18.
Am J Public Health ; 112(11): 1556-1559, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065246

ABSTRACT

Mobile health units can improve access to preventive health services, especially for medically underserved populations. However, there is little published experience of mobile health units being used to expand access to COVID-19 vaccination. In concert with local public health departments and community members, we implemented a mobile COVID-19 health unit and deployed it to 12 predominantly low-income and racial/ethnic minority communities in Massachusetts. We describe the success and challenges of this innovative program in expanding access to COVID-19 vaccination. (Am J Public Health. 2022;112(11):1556-1559. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2022.307021).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Medically Underserved Area , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Counseling , Ethnicity , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Minority Groups , Vaccination
19.
BMJ Open ; 12(10): e064981, 2022 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2064172

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We investigated associations between multiple sociodemographic characteristics (sex, age, occupational social class, education and ethnicity) and self-reported healthcare disruptions during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: Coordinated analysis of prospective population surveys. SETTING: Community-dwelling participants in the UK between April 2020 and January 2021. PARTICIPANTS: Over 68 000 participants from 12 longitudinal studies. OUTCOMES: Self-reported healthcare disruption to medication access, procedures and appointments. RESULTS: Prevalence of healthcare disruption varied substantially across studies: between 6% and 32% reported any disruption, with 1%-10% experiencing disruptions in medication, 1%-17% experiencing disruption in procedures and 4%-28% experiencing disruption in clinical appointments. Females (OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.15 to 1.40; I2=54%), older persons (eg, OR 1.39; 95% CI 1.13 to 1.72; I2=77% for 65-75 years vs 45-54 years) and ethnic minorities (excluding white minorities) (OR 1.19; 95% CI 1.05 to 1.35; I2=0% vs white) were more likely to report healthcare disruptions. Those in a more disadvantaged social class were also more likely to report healthcare disruptions (eg, OR 1.17; 95% CI 1.08 to 1.27; I2=0% for manual/routine vs managerial/professional), but no clear differences were observed by education. We did not find evidence that these associations differed by shielding status. CONCLUSIONS: Healthcare disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic could contribute to the maintenance or widening of existing health inequalities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , United Kingdom/epidemiology
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