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1.
J Glob Health ; 12: 04035, 2022 May 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1876099

ABSTRACT

Background: Universal Health Coverage (UHC) can be achieved by universal access to a solid and resilient people-centred health care system, with Primary Health Care (PHC) as its foundation and strategy. Increased access to PHC occurs when health care services are available, affordable, accessible, acceptable, and perceived appropriate by users. Many studies highlight that health care workers are critical in helping people access, navigate, and interact with PHC services. How the interventions involving health care staff work and under what circumstance remains unclear. Methods: Through a systematic review and a realist synthesis, we identified and described staff-based interventions impacting UHC through PHC. We conducted the systematic review from inception to June 2021, searching for peer-reviewed studies published in English, using quantitative methods for evaluating interventions. Results: We identified three Context-Mechanism-Outcome (CMO) configurations: inserting culturally sensitive ad hoc bridge figures, tailoring staff practices to the needs of specified populations, and training as a means for staff reskilling. Inserting ad hoc bridge figures in health care services was successful when they were familiar with the contextual culture and the users' needs. The second configuration entails interventions where the staff was asked to consider the needs of targeted populations and differentiate strategies by the detected conditions. Finally, the third one consists of specific, ad hoc, and context-based training targeting several stakeholders. Central to this intervention was training for health care bridge figures, since they were explicitly trained before performing their duties to cope with the health care and social needs of the specific groups they intended to serve. Conclusions: The review highlights that the context and contextual factors should be considered for an intervention to be successful. Hence, it provides policymakers with practical indications for designing staff-based interventions for reaching UHC within PHC services in a given context. Healthcare bridge figures, an umbrella term embracing a variety of selected community health workers, often trained and working in the communities from which they come, increase access to PHC services as they respond to local societal and cultural norms and customs, ensuring community acceptance and ownership.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care , Universal Health Insurance , Community Health Workers , Health Services , Humans , Primary Health Care
2.
Inquiry ; 59: 469580221105998, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1874956

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: This study examines how the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is affecting utilization of medical and behavioral health services through school based health centers (SBHC s). METHODS: We leveraged the electronic health records from one of the largest sponsors of SBHCs in the country, and tested differences in SBHC utilization with chi-square tests one year prior to the pandemic (pre-pandemic: March 2019-February 2020) compared to one year into the pandemic period (March 2020-February 2021). RESULTS: A significant difference in SBHC utilization was found between pre-pandemic and pandemic periods (P <.001). 63.5% of SBHC patients accessed medical services pre-pandemic compared to 51.2% during the pandemic. In contrast, 36.5% of SBHC patients accessed behavioral services pre-pandemic compared to 48.8% during the pandemic, representing a 12.3% increase in SBHC behavioral service utilization since the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: SBHCs may serve as an invaluable means of ensuring youth, particularly those from disadvantaged communities, have access to needed behavioral health services during the current public health crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , School Health Services , Adolescent , Connecticut/epidemiology , Health Services , Humans
3.
J Health Organ Manag ; ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print)2021 Dec 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1874116

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The health service response to COVID-19 provided a unique opportunity to build our understanding of the leadership styles in use in managing a crisis event. Existing literature emphasises command and control leadership; however, there has been less emphasis on relational approaches and the behaviours necessary to ensure the agility of the response and minimise the risk of relational disturbances. The purpose of this paper is to understand leadership styles in use, as part of a health service response to COVID-19. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: This paper draws on data from semi-structured interviews with 27 executives and senior leaders from a tertiary health service in Australia. The data were analysed using thematic analysis. Notes and examples were coded according to deductively derived criteria around leadership styles and competencies from the literature, while remaining open to emergent themes. FINDINGS: Health system leaders described examples of both command and control and relational leadership behaviours. This dually provided the discipline (command and control) and agility (relational) required of the crisis response. While some leaders experienced discomfort in enacting these dual behaviours, this discomfort related to discordance with leadership preferences rather than conflict between the styles. Both leadership approaches were considered necessary to effectively manage the health system response. ORIGINALITY/VALUE: Crisis management literature has typically focused on defining and measuring the effectiveness of behaviours reflective of a command and control leadership response. Very few studies have considered the relational aspects of crisis management, nor the dual approaches of command and control, and relational leadership.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Leadership , Australia , Health Services , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
4.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263970, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869160

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Gender-based violence (GBV) policies and services in the United States (U.S.) have historically been underfunded and siloed from other health services. Soon after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports emerged noting increases in GBV and disruption of health services but few studies have empirically investigated these impacts. This study examines how the existing GBV funding and policy landscape, COVID-19, and resulting state policies in the first six months of the pandemic affect GBV health service provision in the U.S. METHODS: This is a mixed method study consisting of 1) an analysis of state-by-state emergency response policies review; 2) a quantitative analysis of a survey of U.S.-based GBV service providers (N = 77); and 3) a qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with U.S.-based GBV service providers (N = 11). Respondents spanned a range of organization types, populations served, and states. RESULTS: Twenty-one states enacted protections for GBV survivors and five states included explicit exemptions from non-essential business closures for GBV service providers. Through the surveys and interviews, GBV service providers note three major themes on COVID-19's impact on GBV services: reductions in GBV service provision and quality and increased workload, shifts in service utilization, and funding impacts. Findings also indicate GBV inequities were exacerbated for historically underserved groups. DISCUSSION: The noted disruptions on GBV services from the COVID-19 pandemic overlaid long-term policy and funding limitations that left service providers unprepared for the challenges posed by the pandemic. Future policies, in emergency and non-emergency contexts, should recognize GBV as essential care and ensure comprehensive services for clients, particularly members of historically underserved groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gender-Based Violence , Health Services Accessibility , Health Services , Humans , Pandemics , United States
5.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 725, 2022 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869085

ABSTRACT

AIMS: The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged health systems and their capacity to deliver essential health services while responding to COVID-19. This study examines the pandemic's impact on health service usage among patients with type 2 diabetes in the North Karelia region, in Finland. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study used electronic health records of 11,458 type 2 diabetes patients, comprising all primary and specialised care contacts in 2019 and 2020. We analysed diabetes and dental healthcare contacts to primary care nurses, doctors and dentists and all emergency visits in specialised care. We compared healthcare usage in three different periods in 2020 (pre-lockdown [1 January-15 March], lockdown [16 March-31 May], post-lockdown [1 June-31 December]) with the equivalent period in 2019. RESULTS: During the lockdown period, the number of diabetes-related contacts decreased significantly but quickly increased again to nearly the same level as in 2019. Overall, healthcare usage was lower in the pandemic year, with proportionally 9% fewer contacts per person (mean 2.08 vs 2.29) and a proportionally 9% lower proportion of patients making any contact (59.9% vs 65.8%). The proportion of remote consultations was similar in both years in the pre-lockdown period (56.3-59.5%) but then increased to 88.0% during the 2020 lockdown. Patterns were similar when analysed by age group and gender. Emergency visits went down significantly at the beginning of the lockdown period, but a "rebound effect" was observed, so after the lockdown, the number of emergency visits in 2020 exceeded the numbers of the previous year. CONCLUSION: Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, diabetes care was continuous, and even elderly patients aged ≥70 years accessed the health services. The delivery of many essential services was facilitated by processes that strongly relied on telemedicine already before the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 , Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/therapy , Finland/epidemiology , Health Services , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
6.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 708, 2022 May 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1866346

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Rapid decision-making with limited resources and prior research to draw upon posed challenges for health service leaders globally when preparing for COVID-19. How do health services prepare for a pandemic and evaluate if the preparation has been effective? This study aimed to explore health workers' perceptions and knowledge regarding preparedness for COVID-19 at a regional health service in Australia. METHODS: A 32-item online survey was developed to evaluate preparedness across five scales: 1) Clinical, 2) Communication, 3) Environment, 4) Human Resources, and 5) General Preparedness. Data were analyzed using parametric and non-parametric statistics and qualitative content analysis. RESULTS: Ninety-three employees completed the survey, with most working in clinical roles (58.1%). Respondents largely felt the health service was well-prepared (84.0%) and they were personally prepared (74.4%) to respond to COVID-19. Clinical and communication scale scores varied by role type. Respondents faced personal risk and resource shortages impacted their sense of safety; others felt adequately supported. CONCLUSIONS: A coordinated "whole hospital response", accessible and inclusive communication, education, adequate resourcing, and employee wellbeing supports are necessary when preparing health services for sentinel events. This survey tool offers health services an approach to evaluating pandemic preparation. Continued advocacy for resources and wellbeing needs of health workers is paramount in future preparations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Health Services , Humans , Surveys and Questionnaires
7.
BMJ Open ; 12(5): e059207, 2022 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1865177

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Increasing health costs, demand and patient multimorbidity challenge the sustainability of healthcare systems. These challenges persist and have been amplified by the global pandemic. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to develop an understanding of how the sustainable performance of healthcare systems (SPHS) has been conceptualised, defined and measured. DESIGN: Scoping review of peer-reviewed articles and editorials published from database inception to February 2021. DATA SOURCES: PubMed and Ovid Medline, and snowballing techniques. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: We included articles that discussed key focus concepts of SPHS: (1) definitions, (2) measurement, (3) identified challenges, (4) identified solutions for improvement and (5) scaling successful solutions to maintain SPHS. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: After title/abstract screening, full-text articles were reviewed, and relevant information extracted and synthesised under the five focus concepts. RESULTS: Of 142 included articles, 38 (27%) provided a definition of SPHS. Definitions were based mainly on financial sustainability, however, SPHS was also more broadly conceptualised and included acceptability to patients and workforce, resilience through adaptation, and rapid absorption of evidence and innovations. Measures of SPHS were also predominantly financial, but recent articles proposed composite measures that accounted for financial, social and health outcomes. Challenges to achieving SPHS included the increasingly complex patient populations, limited integration because of entrenched fragmented systems and siloed professional groups, and the ongoing translational gaps in evidence-to-practice and policy-to-practice. Improvement strategies for SPHS included developing appropriate workplace cultures, direct community and consumer involvement, and adoption of evidence-based practice and technologies. There was also a strong identified need for long-term monitoring and evaluations to support adaptation of healthcare systems and to anticipate changing needs where possible. CONCLUSIONS: To implement lasting change and to respond to new challenges, we need context-relevant definitions and frameworks, and robust, flexible, and feasible measures to support the long-term sustainability and performance of healthcare systems.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care , Health Services , Humans , Pandemics , Workforce
8.
BMJ Open ; 12(5): e055415, 2022 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1865168

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To identify factors associated with accessing and utilisation of healthcare and provision of health services in slums. DESIGN: A scoping review incorporating a conceptual framework for configuring reported factors. DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, Web of Science and the Cochrane Library were searched from their inception to December 2021 using slum-related terms. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Empirical studies of all designs reporting relevant factors in slums in low and middle-income countries. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: Studies were categorised and data were charted according to a preliminary conceptual framework refined by emerging findings. Results were tabulated and narratively summarised. RESULTS: Of the 15 469 records retrieved from all years, 4368 records dated between 2016 and 2021 were screened by two independent reviewers and 111 studies were included. The majority (63 studies, 57%) were conducted in Asia, predominantly in India. In total, 104 studies examined healthcare access and utilisation from slum residents' perspective while only 10 studies explored provision of health services from providers/planners' perspective (three studies included both). A multitude of factors are associated with accessing, using and providing healthcare in slums, including recent migration to slums; knowledge, perception and past experience of illness, healthcare needs and health services; financial constraint and competing priorities between health and making a living; lacking social support; unfavourable physical environment and locality; sociocultural expectations and stigma; lack of official recognition; and existing problems in the health system. CONCLUSION: The scoping review identified a significant body of recent literature reporting factors associated with accessing, utilisation and provision of healthcare services in slums. We classified the diverse factors under seven broad categories. The findings can inform a holistic approach to improving health services in slums by tackling barriers at different levels, taking into account local context and geospatial features of individual slums. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION NUMBER: https://osf.io/694t2.


Subject(s)
Developing Countries , Poverty Areas , Health Facilities , Health Services , Health Services Accessibility , Humans
9.
J Public Health Manag Pract ; 28(4 Suppl 4): S122-S129, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1865015

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT: Underfunding of the governmental public health system in the United States has been a problem for many years, and the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the significant gaps in public health infrastructure that have resulted from this inadequate funding. PROGRAM: The states of Ohio, Oregon, and Washington received funding in 2016 to define, measure, and advocate for the foundational public health services (FPHS) delivered by the governmental public health system. They have taken unique but related approaches to strengthening work in the areas of categorical public health programs and the underlying infrastructure and capabilities that support the programmatic work. IMPLEMENTATION: All 3 states conducted assessments of gaps and funding needs that have allowed them to advocate for, and receive, limited resources for the governmental public health system. These resources were used to strengthen the public health system in ways that assisted with pandemic response. The pandemic also provided many opportunities for the states to demonstrate the importance of the foundational capabilities (assessment, communications, partnership development, policy, leadership, quality improvement, emergency response planning) and public health infrastructure in the areas of information technology and laboratory capacity. These opportunities allowed states to make progress in obtaining funding for FPHS. CONCLUSION: While heavily focused on the program area of communicable disease control, the pandemic response highlighted the importance of having a robust public health infrastructure that is well supported in the areas of foundational capabilities. Substantial infrastructure investments will allow health departments to close gaps in health inequities; contribute to the significant work needed postpandemic in the areas of chronic disease, behavioral health, climate change, and social determinants of health; and be better prepared for future emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Health Services , Humans , Pandemics , Public Health/methods , United States/epidemiology
10.
BMJ Case Rep ; 15(5)2022 May 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1861602

ABSTRACT

Globally, obstetric emergencies majorly account for maternal morbidity and mortality. Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas accounted for more than 13% of maternal deaths in the country in 2021. Obstetric haemorrhage was the leading cause of maternal death after COVID-19 infection and hypertensive disorders. This case highlights the clinical course and social determinants of health that limited access to health services in a young woman with an obstetric emergency in rural southern Mexico. The case describes common challenges during an obstetric emergency in resource-poor settings, such as timely referral to a second level of care. Our analysis identifies the social determinants of health behind the slow and inadequate emergency response. Additionally, we present several interventions that can be implemented in low-resource settings for strengthening the response to obstetric emergencies at the primary and secondary levels of care.


Subject(s)
Abortion, Incomplete , Abortion, Spontaneous , COVID-19 , Emergencies , Female , Health Services , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Mexico/epidemiology , Pregnancy , Pregnant Women
11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(10)2022 05 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1855623

ABSTRACT

The digital economy is booming in China and has become the world's largest after the United States'. Since China entered the era of the digital economy, its digital technology has radiated into various fields. This study is to examine the impact of China's digital economy on the provision efficiency of public health institutions and the mechanism of action between them. Specifically, it measures the development level of China's digital economy, and the provision efficiency of public health institutions from 2009 to 2018. The research also explores the relationship between China's digital economy and its provision efficiency, through the Tobit-DEA model. An analysis of the regional heterogeneity indicated that the performance of China's digital economy in the eastern region has a significant positive effect on improving the efficiency of the public health sector. This further confirms that the digital economy has strengthened China's ability to deal with public health crises during the COVID-19 pandemic. A further mediation effect analysis showed that China's digital economy optimizes the efficiency of public health provision by improving governmental performance and regulatory quality. This shows that the development of the digital economy promotes the construction of digital government, and thus improves the quality of governmental supervision and governmental performance, which has a significant positive effect on the efficiency of the supply of public health services. During the COVID-19 pandemic especially, government delivery of public health services was critical in addressing public health crises. Therefore, based on the results of our empirical analysis, this study provides policy suggestions for improving the efficiency of public health service provision in the era of the digital economy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , China , Efficiency , Health Services , Humans , Pandemics , United States
13.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 21(1): 1105, 2021 Oct 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1854800

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Health systems around the world are being challenged by an on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic and associated response can have a significant downstream effect on access to routine health care services, and indirectly cause morbidity and mortality from causes other than the disease itself, especially in resource-poor countries such as Ethiopia. This study aimed to explore the impact of the pandemic on these services and measures taken to combat the effect. METHODS: The study was conducted at St. Paul's hospital millennium medical college (SPHMMC) from December 15, 2020 to January 15, 2021 using a comparative cross-sectional study design. We collected data on the number of clients getting different essential health care services from May to October 2019 (Pre COVID) and the same period in 2020 (during a COVID-19 pandemic) from the patient registry book. The analysis was done with SPSS version 24 software. RESULT: Overall, the essential services of SPHMMC were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The most affected service is inpatient admission, which showed a 73.3% (2044 to 682) reduction from the pre-COVID period and the least affected is maternal service, which only decreased by 13% (3671 to 3177). During the 6 months after the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a progressive increment in the number of clients getting essential health services. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION: The establishment of a triple setup for fighting against COVID-19, which encompasses non-COVID services, an isolation center and a COVID-19 treatment center, played a vital role in preserving essential health services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Health Services , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics
14.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(5)2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1854319

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To systematically identify and describe approaches to prioritise primary research topics in any health-related area. METHODS: We searched Medline and CINAHL databases and Google Scholar. Teams of two reviewers screened studies and extracted data in duplicate and independently. We synthesised the information across the included approaches by developing common categorisation of relevant concepts. RESULTS: Of 44 392 citations, 30 articles reporting on 25 approaches were included, addressing the following fields: health in general (n=9), clinical (n=10), health policy and systems (n=10), public health (n=6) and health service research (n=5) (10 addressed more than 1 field). The approaches proposed the following aspects to be addressed in the prioritisation process: situation analysis/ environmental scan, methods for generation of initial list of topics, use of prioritisation criteria, stakeholder engagement, ranking process/technique, dissemination and implementation, revision and appeal mechanism, and monitoring and evaluation. Twenty-two approaches proposed involving stakeholders in the priority setting process. The most commonly proposed stakeholder category was 'researchers/academia' (n=17, 77%) followed by 'healthcare providers' (n=16, 73%). Fifteen of the approaches proposed a list of criteria for determining research priorities. We developed a common framework of 28 prioritisation criteria clustered into nine domains. The criterion most frequently mentioned by the identified approaches was 'health burden' (n=12, 80%), followed by 'availability of resources' (n=11, 73%). CONCLUSION: We identified and described 25 prioritisation approaches for primary research topics in any health-related area. Findings highlight the need for greater participation of potential users (eg, policy-makers and the general public) and incorporation of equity as part of the prioritisation process. Findings can guide the work of researchers, policy-makers and funders seeking to conduct or fund primary health research. More importantly, the findings should be used to enhance a more coordinated approach to prioritising health research to inform decision making at all levels.


Subject(s)
Health Policy , Public Health , Delivery of Health Care , Health Services , Humans , Stakeholder Participation
15.
Aust Health Rev ; 46(3): 284-288, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852632

ABSTRACT

We describe the design and implementation of an intensive care unit (ICU) virtual visiting program in a metropolitan ICU in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, to examine patterns of use, and describe clinician acceptance of this technology. This was a mixed-methods study, comprising a retrospective analysis of virtual visits from 18 August to 30 September 2020. Patterns of utilisation included duration and time of visits, as well as bandwidth used. A post-implementation survey on a Virtual Visiting program based on the technology acceptance model was sent to clinicians; results were reported on separate scales for usefulness and usability. Publicly available telecommunication solutions were unsuitable for virtual visiting, whereas dedicated telehealth solutions needed modification to improve accessibility by patients and families. During the study period, 69 virtual visits were made with a median length of 10 min (range 1-80 min). A total of 72.5% of calls were made during office hours (09:00-17:00 h), with the latest occurring at approximately 21:30 h. Virtual visits required a mean bandwidth of 1224 kbps (download) and 940 kbps (upload), and consumed 0.7 GB (range 0.0-7.0 GB) and 0.5 GB (range 0.0-6.7 GB) of download and upload data. Clinicians reported a mean score of 2 (range 1-4) for perceived usefulness and 3 (range 1-6) for the perceived ease of use. Virtual visiting is a feasible alternative in the ICU, with good acceptance by clinicians. Challenges include safety and usability of videoconferencing platforms, as well as bandwidth requirements. Future health service design should consider support for dedicated virtual visiting solutions, as well as ensuring adequate bandwidth capabilities for this service. Further studies are needed to assess patient and family acceptability of this technology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Services , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Retrospective Studies , Victoria
16.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(9)2022 05 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1847325

ABSTRACT

This pilot study was conducted on the reported hypothesis that the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak had an impact on the accessibility and quality of healthcare services and exacerbated socioeconomic inequalities. The aim was to determine whether economic status and education had an impact on the perception of access and quality to healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic and whether, according to patients, accessibility and quality had changed significantly compared to the pre-pandemic period in Poland. The study was based on the authors' questionnaire and the results were statistically analyzed. Two hundred forty-seven feedback responses were received with a responsiveness rate of 93 percent. Statistically significant differences were found when comparing education level and utilization of healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic. A comparison of gender and economic situation, and average monthly income found no statistically significant differences. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly affected the provision of health services in many countries around the world. One result of the pandemic crisis has been widening socioeconomic inequalities among patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Services , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Pandemics , Perception , Pilot Projects , Social Class
17.
PLoS Med ; 19(5): e1003993, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1833507

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The effects of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in humanitarian contexts are not well understood. Specific vulnerabilities in such settings raised concerns about the ability to respond and maintain essential health services. This study describes the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Azraq and Zaatari refugee camps in Jordan (population: 37,932 and 79,034, respectively) and evaluates changes in routine health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We calculate the descriptive statistics of COVID-19 cases in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)'s linelist and adjusted odds ratios (aORs) for selected outcomes. We evaluate the changes in health services using monthly routine data from UNHCR's health information system (HIS; January 2018 to March 2021) and apply interrupted time series analysis with a generalized additive model and negative binomial (NB) distribution, accounting for long-term trends and seasonality, reporting results as incidence rate ratios (IRRs). COVID-19 cases were first reported on September 8 and September 13, 2020 in Azraq and Zaatari camps, respectively, 6 months after the first case in Jordan. Incidence rates (IRs) were lower in camps than neighboring governorates (by 37.6% in Azraq (IRR: 0.624, 95% confidence interval [CI]: [0.584 to 0.666], p-value: <0.001) and 40.2% in Zaatari (IRR: 0.598, 95% CI: [0.570, 0.629], p-value: <0.001)) and lower than Jordan (by 59.7% in Azraq (IRR: 0.403, 95% CI: [0.378 to 0.430], p-value: <0.001) and by 63.3% in Zaatari (IRR: 0.367, 95% CI: [0.350 to 0.385], p-value: <0.001)). Characteristics of cases and risk factors for negative disease outcomes were consistent with increasing COVID-19 evidence. The following health services reported an immediate decline during the first year of COVID-19: healthcare utilization (by 32% in Azraq (IRR: 0.680, 95% CI [0.549 to 0.843], p-value < 0.001) and by 24.2% in Zaatari (IRR: 0.758, 95% CI [0.577 to 0.995], p-value = 0.046)); consultations for respiratory tract infections (RTIs; by 25.1% in Azraq (IRR: 0.749, 95% CI: [0.596 to 0.940], p-value = 0.013 and by 37.5% in Zaatari (IRR: 0.625, 95% CI: [0.461 to 0.849], p-value = 0.003)); and family planning (new and repeat family planning consultations decreased by 47.4% in Azraq (IRR: 0.526, 95% CI: [0.376 to 0.736], p-value = <0.001) and 47.6% in Zaatari (IRR: 0.524, 95% CI: [0.312 to 0.878], p-value = 0.014)). Maternal and child health services as well as noncommunicable diseases did not show major changes compared to pre-COVID-19 period. Conducting interrupted time series analyses in volatile settings such refugee camps can be challenging as it may be difficult to meet some analytical assumptions and to mitigate threats to validity. The main limitation of this study relates therefore to possible unmeasured confounding. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 transmission was lower in camps than outside of camps. Refugees may have been affected from external transmission, rather than driving it. Various types of health services were affected differently, but disruptions appear to have been limited in the 2 camps compared to other noncamp settings. These insights into Jordan's refugee camps during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic set the stage for follow-up research to investigate how infection susceptibility evolved over time, as well as which mitigation strategies were more successful and accepted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Refugees , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Health Services , Humans , Jordan/epidemiology , Pandemics , Refugee Camps , Retrospective Studies
18.
Prim Health Care Res Dev ; 23: e27, 2022 05 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1829910

ABSTRACT

AIM: This study aimed to (i) identify community health workers' (CHWs) perceived satisfaction for maternal and neonatal health services, with respect to (1) socio-demographic characteristics; (2) coronavirus preparedness; (3) coronavirus responsiveness; and (4) employee satisfaction and (ii) investigate the interplay among study variables to identify the role of direct effects and mediation. BACKGROUND: Women CHWs are salient providers for maternal and neonatal services at the primary level, especially in conservative regions. Service delivery is a valuable indicator for mother and newborn wellbeing. There is need for empirical evidence to understand how CHWs may be supported in delivering maternal and neonatal health services during pandemics. METHODS: Bivariate regression was used to identify the lower odds for CHWs' perceived satisfaction for maternal and neonatal health services. In addition, structural equation modeling was used to investigate if coronavirus responsiveness and employee satisfaction as mediating variables influence the relationship between coronavirus preparedness and maternal and neonatal health services. Data were collected telephonically from 350 CHWs. The sample was representative of 35 districts of Punjab, which is the most populated province in the country. FINDINGS: We found thirty predictors with respect to coronavirus preparedness, coronavirus responsiveness and employee satisfaction which contribute to lower odds of satisfaction for maternal and neonatal health services. We also found that coronavirus preparedness has a direct effect on maternal and neonatal health service satisfaction (ß = .242, P < .001) and an indirect effect on maternal health satisfaction (ß = .242, P < .001) via the mediation of employee satisfaction. We conclude with four critical recommendations to support CHWs in delivering optimal services, comprising of education and training, operational support, public acceptance, and employee support and benefits. The findings are important for the planning of primary health services and governance support for CHWs and poor women clients in Pakistan and other developing countries.


Subject(s)
Community Health Workers , Infant Health , Female , Health Services , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Pakistan , Personal Satisfaction
19.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 593, 2022 May 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1822188

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People living with chronic conditions and physical disabilities face many challenges accessing healthcare services. In Lebanon, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and concomitant economic crisis further exacerbated the living conditions of this segment of the population. This study explored the barriers to accessing healthcare services among people living with diabetes and lower-limb amputation during the pandemic. METHODS: We conducted semi-structured, in-depth phone interviews with users of the Physical Rehabilitation Program, offered by the International Committee of the Red Cross. We used a purposive sampling technique to achieve maximum variation. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, translated, and analyzed using thematic analysis following the "codebook" approach. Transcripts were coded and grouped in a matrix that allowed the development of themes and sub-themes inductively and deductively generated. RESULTS: Eight participants (7 males, 1 female) agreed to be interviewed and participated in the study between March and April, 2021. Barriers to healthcare services access were grouped according to five emerging themes: (1) economic barriers, included increasing costs of food, health services and medications, transportation, shortage of medications, and limited income; (2) structural barriers: availability of transportation, physical environment, and service quality and availability; (3) cultural barriers: marginalization due to their physical disabilities; favoritism in service provision; (4) personal barriers: lack of psychosocial support and limited knowledge about services; (5) COVID-19 barriers: fear of getting sick when visiting healthcare facilities, and heightened social isolation due to lockdowns and physical distancing. CONCLUSION: The underlying economic crisis has worsened the conditions of people living with diabetes and lower-limb amputation. The pandemic has made these individuals more vulnerable to external and contextual factors that cannot be addressed only at an individual level. In the absence of a protective legal framework to mitigate inequalities, we provide recommendations for governments and nongovernmental institutions to develop solutions for more equitable access to healthcare for this segment of the population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Amputation , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Health Services , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Lebanon/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics
20.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 563, 2022 Apr 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1817219

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic caused stress in healthcare organizations worldwide. Hospitals and healthcare institutions had to reorganize their services to meet the demands of the crisis. In this case study, we focus on the role of simulation as part of the pandemic preparations in a large hospital in Norway. The aim of this study is to explore hospital leaders' and simulation facilitators' expectations of, and experiences of utilizing simulation-based activities in the preparations for the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: This is a qualitative case study utilizing semi-structured in-depth interviews with hospital leaders and simulation facilitators in one large hospital in Norway. The data were sorted under three predefined research topics and further analyzed by inductive, thematic analysis according to Braun and Clarke within these pre-defined topics. RESULTS: Eleven members of the hospital leadership and simulation facilitators were included in the study. We identified four themes explaining why COVID-19 related simulation-based activities were initiated, and perceived consequences of the activities; 1) a multifaceted method like simulation fitted a multifaceted crisis, 2) a well-established culture for simulation in the hospital was crucial for scaling up simulation-based activities during the crisis, 3) potential risks were outweighed by the advantages of utilizing simulation-based activities, and finally 4) hospital leaders and simulation facilitators retrospectively assessed the use of simulation-based activities as appropriate to prepare for a pandemic crisis. CONCLUSIONS: The hospital leadership's decision to utilize simulation-based activities in preparing for the COVID-19 crisis may be explained by many factors. First, it seems that many years of experience with systematic use of simulation-based activities within the hospital can explain the trust in simulation as a valuable tool that were easy to reach. Second, both hospital leaders and simulation facilitators saw simulation as a unique tool for the optimization of the COVID-19 response due to the wide applicability of the method. According to hospital leaders and simulation facilitators, simulation-based activities revealed critical gaps in training and competence levels, treatment protocols, patient logistics, and environmental shortcomings that were acted upon, suggesting that institutional learning took place.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Services , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies
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