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1.
Am J Audiol ; 30(2): 385-393, 2021 Jun 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805677

ABSTRACT

Purpose The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted normal operations of health care services, broad sectors of the economy, and the ability to socialize freely. For those with tinnitus, such changes can be factors in exacerbating tinnitus. The purpose of this study was to determine tinnitus help-seeking behavior, which resources individuals utilized to cope during the pandemic, and what additional support is desired. Method An exploratory cross-sectional study design including 1,522 adults with tinnitus living in North America (Canada and the United States) was used. Data were collected through an online survey distributed by the American Tinnitus Association via e-mail. Free text from open-ended questions was analyzed using the automated content analysis. The responses to the structured questionnaire were analyzed using descriptive and nonparametric statistics. Results Significantly less tinnitus support was sought during the pandemic, and very few respondents utilized tinnitus support networks during the pandemic at the time the survey was conducted. Nonetheless, seeking support during the pandemic was significantly associated with significantly less tinnitus distress. The most frequently utilized resources for coping during the pandemic were contacting family and friends, spending time outdoors or in nature, relaxation, and exercise. Such tools for coping were associated with significantly less tinnitus distress. The support requested and advice provided by participants to health care services had overlap. The main support needs related to managing tinnitus included addressing hearing loss, providing peer support, finding cures, and accessing trained and understanding health care providers to help. The advice for professionals related to tinnitus management included the need for cures, personalized support, addressing hearing loss, targeting the tinnitus percept, and providing more information about the condition. Conclusions These findings provide suggestions on how to better support those with tinnitus at a time when health care is undergoing rapid changes. Findings can be used by stakeholders, clinical practitioners, and tinnitus support services to devise ways to work more effectively together to improve access to patient-driven, suitable, accessible, and evidence-based support. Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.14558514.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological , COVID-19/epidemiology , Help-Seeking Behavior , Tinnitus/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Canada/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Psychological Distress , Surveys and Questionnaires , Tinnitus/therapy , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
2.
Front Public Health ; 10: 814366, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753416

ABSTRACT

Online mental health service (OMHS) has been named as the best psychological assistance measure during the COVID-19 pandemic. An interpretable, accurate, and early prediction for the demand of OMHS is crucial to local governments and organizations which need to allocate and make the decision in mental health resources. The present study aimed to investigate the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on the online psychological help-seeking (OPHS) behavior in the OMHS, then propose a machine learning model to predict and interpret the OPHS number in advance. The data was crawled from two Chinese OMHS platforms. Linguistic inquiry and word count (LIWC), neural embedding-based topic modeling, and time series analysis were utilized to build time series feature sets with lagging one, three, seven, and 14 days. Correlation analysis was used to examine the impact of COVID-19 on OPHS behaviors across different OMHS platforms. Machine learning algorithms and Shapley additive explanation (SHAP) were used to build the prediction. The result showed that the massive growth of OPHS behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic was a common phenomenon. The predictive model based on random forest (RF) and feature sets containing temporal features of the OPHS number, mental health topics, LIWC, and COVID-19 cases achieved the best performance. Temporal features of the OPHS number showed the biggest positive and negative predictive power. The topic features had incremental effects on performance of the prediction across different lag days and were more suitable for OPHS prediction compared to the LIWC features. The interpretable model showed that the increase in the OPHS behaviors was impacted by the cumulative confirmed cases and cumulative deaths, while it was not sensitive in the new confirmed cases or new deaths. The present study was the first to predict the demand for OMHS using machine learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study suggests an interpretable machine learning method that can facilitate quick, early, and interpretable prediction of the OPHS behavior and to support the operational decision-making; it also demonstrated the power of utilizing the OMHS platforms as an always-on data source to obtain a high-resolution timeline and real-time prediction of the psychological response of the online public.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Help-Seeking Behavior , Algorithms , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Machine Learning , Pandemics
3.
J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol ; 35(2): 245-251, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685896

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To examine prevalence and correlates of suicidal ideation in older Chinese adults (OCAs) during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as mental health help-seeking behaviors of suicidal OCAs. BACKGROUND: Few data on suicidal behaviors of older adults during the pandemic are available. METHODS: In this cross-sectional survey, 1159 OCAs completed an online self-administered questionnaire between 23 February and 25 March 2020. A standardized single question and the 12-item General Health Questionnaire were used to assess the presence of suicidal ideation and common mental health problems (CMHPs), respectively. Suicidal ideators were further asked about their perceived need for mental health care and help-seeking from mental health workers. RESULTS: 4.1% of the OCAs experienced suicidal ideation during the past 2 weeks. Among the suicidal OCAs, 31.9% perceived a need for mental health care but only 10.6% had sought help from mental health workers. Factors significantly associated with suicidal ideation were a marital status of "others" (OR=2.39, P = .021), disagreement regarding the successful containment of the pandemic (OR=2.43, P = .022), physical health problems (OR=2.23, P = .012), and CMHPs (OR=4.99, P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, OCAs constitute a subpopulation that needs mental health services for suicidal problems but tends not to seek mental health help. Mental health services for OCAs may include mental health education, periodic evaluation of risk of suicide, expanded psychosocial support, and, when necessary, psychological crisis intervention and psychiatric treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Help-Seeking Behavior , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Mental Health , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Suicidal Ideation
4.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0262538, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674006

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite the low prevalence of help-seeking behavior among victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) in India, quantitative evidence on risk factors, is limited. We use a previously validated exploratory approach, to examine correlates of help-seeking from anyone (e.g. family, friends, police, doctor etc.), as well as help-seeking from any formal sources. METHODS: We used data from a nationally-representative health survey conducted in 2015-16 in India, and included all variables in the dataset (~6000 variables) as independent variables. Two machine learning (ML) models were used- L-1, and L-2 regularized logistic regression models. The results from these models were qualitatively coded by researchers to identify broad themes associated with help-seeking behavior. This process of implementing ML models followed by qualitative coding was repeated until pre-specified criteria were met. RESULTS: Identified themes associated with help-seeking behavior included experience of injury from violence, husband's controlling behavior, husband's consumption of alcohol, and being currently separated from husband. Themes related to women's access to social and economic resources, such as women's employment, and receipt of maternal and reproductive health services were also noted to be related factors. We observed similarity in correlates for seeking help from anyone, vs from formal sources, with a greater focus on women being separated for help-seeking from formal sources. CONCLUSION: Findings highlight the need for community programs to reach out to women trapped in abusive relationships, as well as the importance of women's social and economic connectedness; future work should consider holistic interventions that integrate IPV screening and support services with women's health related services.


Subject(s)
Help-Seeking Behavior
5.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(24)2021 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580735

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital medical staff (HMS) have faced significant personal, workplace, and financial disruption. Many have experienced psychosocial burden, exceeding already concerning baseline levels. This study examines the types and predictors of coping strategies and help-seeking behaviours utilised by Australian junior and senior HMS during the first year of the pandemic. METHODS: A cross-sectional online survey of Australian frontline healthcare workers was conducted between 27 August and 23 October 2020. Data collected included demographics, personal and workplace disruptions, self-reported and validated mental health symptoms, coping strategies, and help-seeking. RESULTS: The 9518 participants included 1966 hospital medical staff (62.1% senior, 37.9% junior). Both groups experienced a high burden of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and burnout. Coping strategies varied by seniority, with maintaining exercise the most common strategy for both groups. Adverse mental health was associated with increased alcohol consumption. Engagement with professional support, although more frequent among junior staff, was uncommon in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: Junior and senior staff utilised different coping and help-seeking behaviours. Despite recognition of symptoms, very few HMS engaged formal support. The varied predictors of coping and help-seeking identified may inform targeted interventions to support these cohorts in current and future crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Help-Seeking Behavior , Adaptation, Psychological , Australia/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Epilepsy Behav ; 126: 108489, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550147

ABSTRACT

Google Trends™ is a popular tool for analyzing healthcare-seeking patterns based on observed changes in the relative search volume (RSV) of the queries made on the Google™ search engine. Google Trends™ was increasingly utilized during the pandemic to assess the impact on mental health, risk communication, the impact of media coverage, and preparedness prediction. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on help-seeking behaviors for seizures and/or epilepsy by assessing the changes in seizure-related online queries in periods before and since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic on Google Trends™. We compared the RSV volumes in the year prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic against weekly COVID-19 positive cases for each state and US census regions Search terms were categorized according to seizure symptoms or seizure treatment. Our study showed no significant increase in the RSV for seizure and epilepsy-related searches during the COVID-19 pandemic via Google Trends™. Public health entities and medical systems may use Google Trends ™ as a way to predict national, regional, and local patient needs and drive resources to meet patient demands.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Help-Seeking Behavior , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Search Engine , Seizures
8.
Psychiatry Res ; 306: 114263, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510207

ABSTRACT

We analyzed service utilization data from the National Eating Disorder Information Centre's (NEDIC) toll-free helpline/chat to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on help-seeking behaviors among youth with disordered eating and their caregivers. The number of contacts from affected youth (n = 650) and caregivers (n = 823) was significantly higher in the pandemic year than 2018 and 2019. The proportion of affected youth reporting dieting/restriction, perfectionism, and weight pre-occupation was significantly higher during the pandemic than in 2018 and 2019. Our findings lend support to accounts from expert clinicians reporting an increase in youth presenting with eating disordered symptoms during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Feeding and Eating Disorders , Help-Seeking Behavior , Adolescent , Caregivers , Feeding and Eating Disorders/epidemiology , Feeding and Eating Disorders/therapy , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
BMJ Open ; 11(9): e053095, 2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416681

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To understand self-reported potential cancer symptom help-seeking behaviours and attitudes during the first 6 months (March-August 2020) of the UK COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: UK population-based survey conducted during August and September 2020. Correlates of help-seeking behaviour were modelled using logistic regression in participants reporting potential cancer symptoms during the previous 6 months. Qualitative telephone interviews with a purposeful subsample of participants, analysed thematically. SETTING: Online UK wide survey. PARTICIPANTS: 7543 adults recruited via Cancer Research UK online panel provider (Dynata) and HealthWise Wales (a national register of 'research ready' participants) supplemented with social media (Facebook and Twitter) recruitment. 30 participants were also interviewed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Survey measures included experiences of 15 potential cancer symptoms, help-seeking behaviour, barriers and prompts to help-seeking. RESULTS: Of 3025 (40.1%) participants who experienced a potential cancer symptom, 44.8% (1355/3025) had not contacted their general practitioner (GP). Odds of help-seeking were higher among participants with disability (adjusted OR (aOR)=1.38, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.71) and who experienced more symptoms (aOR=1.68, 95% CI 1.56 to 1.82), and lower among those who perceived COVID-19 as the cause of symptom(s) (aOR=0.36, 95% CI 0.25 to 0.52). Barriers included worries about wasting the doctor's time (1158/7543, 15.4%), putting strain on healthcare services (945, 12.6%) and not wanting to make a fuss (907, 12.0%). Interviewees reported reluctance to contact the GP due to concerns about COVID-19 and fear of attending hospitals, and described putting their health concerns on hold. CONCLUSIONS: Many people avoided healthcare services despite experiencing potential cancer symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside current help-seeking campaigns, well-timed and appropriate nationally coordinated campaigns should signal that services are open safely for those with unusual or persistent symptoms. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN17782018.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Help-Seeking Behavior , Neoplasms , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
10.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 17331, 2021 08 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1379338

ABSTRACT

This time-to-event study examines social factors associated with health-seeking and diagnosis of 165 COVID-19 cases in response to the pandemic spread in Shaanxi Province, China. In particular, we investigate the differential access to healthcare in terms of delayed time from symptom onset to first medical visit and subsequently to diagnosis by factors such as sex, age, travel history, and type of healthcare utilization. We show that it takes more time for patients older than 60 (against those under 30) to seek healthcare after developing symptoms (+ 2.5 days, [Formula: see text]), surveillance on people with living or travel history to Wuhan helps shorten the time to the first doctor visit (- 0.8 days) and diagnosis (- 2.2 days, [Formula: see text]). A delay cut is associated with the adoption of intermediary and large hospitals rather than community-based care as primary care choices (- 1.6 days, [Formula: see text] and - 2.2 days, [Formula: see text]). One unit increase of healthcare workers per 1000 people saves patients 0.5 days ([Formula: see text]) for diagnosis from the first doctor visit and 0.6 days ([Formula: see text]) in total. Our analysis of factors associated with the time delay for diagnosis may provide a better understanding of the health-seeking behaviors of patients and the diagnosis capacity of healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Delayed Diagnosis/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Risk Assessment/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , China , Female , Help-Seeking Behavior , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
11.
Gen Hosp Psychiatry ; 72: 124-130, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1364025

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The Australian COVID-19 Frontline Healthcare Workers Study investigated coping strategies and help-seeking behaviours, and their relationship to mental health symptoms experienced by Australian healthcare workers (HCWs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Australian HCWs were invited to participate a nationwide, voluntary, anonymous, single time-point, online survey between 27th August and 23rd October 2020. Complete responses on demographics, home and work situation, and measures of health and psychological wellbeing were received from 7846 participants. RESULTS: The most commonly reported adaptive coping strategies were maintaining exercise (44.9%) and social connections (31.7%). Over a quarter of HCWs (26.3%) reported increased alcohol use which was associated with a history of poor mental health and worse personal relationships. Few used psychological wellbeing apps or sought professional help; those who did were more likely to be suffering from moderate to severe symptoms of mental illness. People living in Victoria, in regional areas, and those with children at home were significantly less likely to report adaptive coping strategies. CONCLUSIONS: Personal, social, and workplace predictors of coping strategies and help-seeking behaviour during the pandemic were identified. Use of maladaptive coping strategies and low rates of professional help-seeking indicate an urgent need to understand the effectiveness of, and the barriers and enablers of accessing, different coping strategies.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological , COVID-19 , Health Personnel , Pandemics , Psychological Distress , Adult , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Health Personnel/psychology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Help-Seeking Behavior , Humans , Male , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
13.
Mayo Clin Proc ; 96(8): 2067-2080, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322265

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the prevalence of suicidal ideation (SI) and attitudes regarding help seeking among US physicians relative to the general US working population. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: A secondary analysis of a cross-sectional survey of US physicians and a probability-based sample of the US working population was conducted between October 12, 2017, and March 15, 2018. Among 30,456 invited physicians, 5197 (17.1%) completed the primary survey. Suicidal ideation in the last year, attitudes regarding help seeking, symptoms of depression, and burnout were assessed by standardized questions. RESULTS: Among the 4833 physicians who responded regarding SI, 316 (6.5%) reported having suicidal thoughts in the last 12 months. Most physicians (3527 [72.9%]) reported that they would seek professional help if they had a serious emotional problem. Physicians with SI were less likely to report that they would seek help (203/316 [64.2%]) than physicians without SI (3318/4517 [73.5%]; P=.001). On multivariable analysis, symptoms of depression (odds ratio [OR], 4.42; 95% CI, 1.89 to 11.52), emotional exhaustion (OR, 1.07 each 1-point increase; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.11), and self-valuation (OR, 0.84 each 1-point increase; 95% CI, 0.70 to 0.99) were associated with SI. Among individuals aged 29 to 65 years, physicians were more likely than workers in other fields to report SI (7.1% vs 4.3%; P<.001), a finding that persisted on multivariable analysis. CONCLUSION: In this national study conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 15 US physicians had thoughts of taking their own life in the last year, which exceeded the prevalence of SI among US workers in other fields.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Help-Seeking Behavior , Physicians/psychology , Suicidal Ideation , Adult , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Self-Assessment , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States/epidemiology
14.
Am J Mens Health ; 15(4): 15579883211030021, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1299308

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a source of stress and have important mental health implications for all persons but may have unique implications for men. In addition to the risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19, the rising COVID-19 death toll, ongoing economic uncertainty, loneliness from social distancing, and other changes to our lifestyles make up the perfect recipe for a decline in mental health. In June 2020, men reported slightly lower rates of anxiety than women, but had higher rates of depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. As of September 2020, men sought mental health care at a higher rate than women for family and relationships, with year-over-year visits up 5.5 times and total virtual mental health care visits monthly growth in 2020 was up 79% since January. Because men are not a homogeneous group, it is important to implement strategies for groups of men that may have particularly unique needs. In this paper, we discuss considerations for intervening in men's mental health during and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including current technology-based cyberpsychology options.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Help-Seeking Behavior , Men's Health/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , Anxiety/psychology , Depression/psychology , Humans , Loneliness/psychology , Male , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Suicidal Ideation
15.
Psychiatry Res ; 303: 114069, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275650

ABSTRACT

The primary goal of this study was to increase understanding of help-seeking intentions in the U.S. population during the COVID-19 pandemic and to examine influencing factors such as COVID-19 financial hardship, suicide risk, and stigma in order to contribute to effective theory-based help-seeking and suicide prevention campaigns. In a representative sample of U.S. adults (N = 5,010), this research tested whether COVID-19 financial hardship was associated with higher levels of depression and suicidal ideation (supported), and whether the reasoned action framework could usefully predict help-seeking intentions in this context (supported). The reasoned action framework explained 36% of the variance in help-seeking intentions in the U.S. population and identified injunctive norm (social support) as primary determinant of intention. Neither suicidal ideation, COVID-19 financial hardship, or self-stigma of seeking help influenced determinants of help-seeking. Future research should test injunctive norm as causal predictor of help-seeking in the U.S. population to usefully inform effective help-seeking campaigns, particularly among those who have experienced COVID-19 financial hardship. Additionally, effective dissemination strategies for help-seeking campaigns should be tested and identified, such as broader targeted approaches as well as intentional mis-targeting techniques.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Help-Seeking Behavior , Suicide , Adult , Financial Stress , Humans , Intention , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Stigma , Suicidal Ideation
16.
BMC Emerg Med ; 21(1): 56, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1208869

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Emergency department (ED) visits due to non-coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) conditions have drastically decreased since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to identify the magnitude, characteristics and underlying motivations of ED visitors with delayed healthcare seeking behaviour during the first wave of the pandemic. METHODS: Between March 9 and July 92,020, adults visiting the ED of an academic hospital in the East of the Netherlands received an online questionnaire to collect self-reported data on delay in seeking emergency care and subsequent motivations for this delay. Telephone interviews were held with a subsample of respondents to better understand the motivations for delay as described in the questionnaire. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative data were thematically analysed. RESULTS: One thousand three hundred thirty-eight questionnaires were returned (34.0% response). One in five respondents reported a delay in seeking emergency care. Almost half of these respondents (n = 126; 45.4%) reported that the pandemic influenced the delay. Respondents reporting delay were mainly older adults (mean 61.6; ±13.1 years), referred to the ED by the general practitioner (GP; 35.1%) or a medical specialist (34.7%), visiting the ED with cardiac problems (39.7%). The estimated median time of delay in receiving ED care was 3 days (inter quartile range  8 days). Respectively 46 (16.5%) and 26 (9.4%) respondents reported that their complaints would be either less severe or preventable if they had sought for emergency care earlier. Delayed care seeking behaviour was frequently motivated by: fear of contamination, not wanting to burden professionals, perceiving own complaints less urgent relative to COVID-19 patients, limited access to services, and by stay home instructions from referring professionals. CONCLUSIONS: A relatively large proportion of ED visitors reported delay in seeking emergency care during the first wave. Delay was often driven by misperceptions of the accessibility of services and the legitimacy for seeking emergency care. Public messaging and close collaboration between the ED and referring professionals could help reduce delayed care for acute needs during future COVID-19 infection waves.


Subject(s)
Attitude to Health , COVID-19/therapy , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Help-Seeking Behavior , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19/psychology , Emergency Medical Services , Health Services Needs and Demand , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Netherlands , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , Retrospective Studies
17.
Ann Clin Psychiatry ; 33(2): e8-e12, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1194815

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In representative cases of Munchausen by internet (MBI), an individual (or "poser") goes online to falsely report or exaggerate illnesses or life crises. The principal goal, as in factitious disorder imposed on self or another, is to garner emotional satisfaction. We provide the first evidence that MBI can target a specific type of health care provider-in this case, birthing doulas. METHODS: We describe 5 cases in which individuals have utilized social media platforms to report factitious perinatal illnesses and crises, including neonatal death, in real time. Current health headlines, such as those involving the COVID-19 pandemic, can be relevant to the ruses. Posers can engage in deceptions with several health care professionals concurrently or serially, and may portray multiple people ("sock puppets") at the same time. RESULTS: MBI has consequences that can be highly disruptive. In the cases highlighted in this report, many hours of support were given to individuals who had fabricated their pregnancies, infants, and perinatal complications. The doulas experienced feelings ranging from resignation to anger and betrayal. CONCLUSIONS: Health care professionals of all types who offer services online should be vigilant to the risks of potential MBI.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Deception , Doulas , Factitious Disorders , Internet Use , Malingering , Munchausen Syndrome , Telemedicine , Adult , COVID-19/psychology , Communication , Doulas/ethics , Doulas/psychology , Emotional Abuse , Factitious Disorders/diagnosis , Factitious Disorders/psychology , Female , Help-Seeking Behavior , Humans , Munchausen Syndrome/diagnosis , Munchausen Syndrome/epidemiology , Munchausen Syndrome/psychology , Perinatal Care , Telemedicine/ethics , Telemedicine/methods
18.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0249389, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167113

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Emergency Department (ED) attendances with chest pain reduced during the COVID-19 lockdown. We performed a service evaluation project in NHS Lothian to explore how and why the COVID-19 pandemic and public health advice had affected chest pain presentations and help-seeking behaviour at an individual patient level using a qualitative interview approach. METHODS: We carried out 28 semi-structured telephone interviews with a convenience sample of patients who presented with chest pain during lockdown and in patients with known coronary heart disease under the outpatient care of a cardiologist in April and May 2020. Interviews were audio recorded and voice files listened to while making detailed notes. Salient themes and issues were documented as verbatim extracts. Interviews were analysed thematically. RESULTS: Patient interviews revealed three main themes. 1) pandemic help-seeking behaviour; describing how participants made the decision to seek professional healthcare assessment. 2) COVID-19 exposure concerns; describing how the subthemes of perceived vulnerability, wishing to protect others and adding pressure to the health service shaped their decision making for an episode of acute chest pain. 3) hospital experience; describing the difference between the imagined and actual experience in hospital. CONCLUSIONS: Qualitative interviews revealed how the pandemic shaped help-seeking practices, how patients interpreted their personal vulnerability to the virus, and described patient experience of attending hospital for assessment during this time. As patient numbers presenting to hospital appeared to mirror public health messaging, dynamic monitoring of this messaging should evaluate public response to healthcare campaigns to ensure the net impact on health, pandemic and non-pandemic related, is optimised.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Chest Pain/epidemiology , Help-Seeking Behavior , Pandemics , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Qualitative Research , Quarantine , Scotland , Surveys and Questionnaires
19.
J Interpers Violence ; 36(9-10): 4899-4915, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1127656

ABSTRACT

During the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments instituted a series of measures to control the spread of the virus. The measures were widely believed to increase women's risk of violent victimization, most of which is by an intimate partner. We examined help-seeking during this period in a large U.S. city and used an interrupted time series analysis to assess the effects of three government interventions on domestic violence and sexual assault hotline calls and on "911" calls regarding domestic violence, assault, and rape. Declaration of an emergency appeared to reduce victim calls to the rape crisis hotline and the few "911" calls about rape. School closure was associated with a reduction in "911" calls about assault and rape and victim calls to the domestic violence hotline. Implementation of stay-at-home orders was associated with a gradual increase in domestic violence hotline calls. Although "911" calls regarding assault fell by nearly half, calls to police for domestic violence were unchanged. In sum, there was a decrease in help-seeking for sexual assault and assault in general but not for domestic violence during the initial phases of the COVID-19 outbreak. The analysis underscores the importance of distinguishing between the violence itself, calls to police, and calls to helplines when claims are made about changes over time in violence against women. The opportunities and constraints for each can differ widely under usual circumstances, circumstances that were altered by public health interventions related to the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Domestic Violence/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility , Help-Seeking Behavior , Intimate Partner Violence/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/prevention & control , Quarantine/psychology , Rape/statistics & numerical data , Spouse Abuse/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Domestic Violence/psychology , Domestic Violence/trends , Female , Humans , Intimate Partner Violence/psychology , Intimate Partner Violence/trends , Rape/psychology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spouse Abuse/psychology , Spouse Abuse/trends
20.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(3): e210684, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1126326

ABSTRACT

Importance: Latinx individuals, particularly immigrants, are at higher risk than non-Latinx White individuals of contracting and dying from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Little is known about Latinx experiences with COVID-19 infection and treatment. Objective: To describe the experiences of Latinx individuals who were hospitalized with and survived COVID-19. Design, Setting, and Participants: The qualitative study used semistructured phone interviews of 60 Latinx adults who survived a COVID-19 hospitalization in public hospitals in San Francisco, California, and Denver, Colorado, from March 2020 to July 2020. Transcripts were analyzed using qualitative thematic analysis. Data analysis was conducted from May 2020 to September 2020. Main Outcomes and Measures: Themes and subthemes that reflected patient experiences. Results: Sixty people (24 women and 36 men; mean [SD] age, 48 [12] years) participated. All lived in low-income areas, 47 participants (78%) had more than 4 people in the home, and most (44 participants [73%]) were essential workers. Four participants (9%) could work from home, 12 (20%) had paid sick leave, and 21 (35%) lost their job because of COVID-19. We identified 5 themes (and subthemes) with public health and clinical care implications: COVID-19 was a distant and secondary threat (invincibility, misinformation and disbelief, ingrained social norms); COVID-19 was a compounder of disadvantage (fear of unemployment and eviction, lack of safeguards for undocumented immigrants, inability to protect self from COVID-19, and high-density housing); reluctance to seek medical care (worry about health care costs, concerned about ability to access care if uninsured or undocumented, undocumented immigrants fear deportation); health care system interactions (social isolation and change in hospital procedures, appreciation for clinicians and language access, and discharge with insufficient resources or clinical information); and faith and community resiliency (spirituality, Latinx COVID-19 advocates). Conclusions and Relevance: In interviews, Latinx patients with COVID-19 who survived hospitalization described initial disease misinformation and economic and immigration fears as having driven exposure and delays in presentation. To confront COVID-19 as a compounder of social disadvantage, public health authorities should mitigate COVID-19-related misinformation, immigration fears, and challenges to health care access, as well as create policies that provide work protection and address economic disadvantages.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/ethnology , Emigration and Immigration , Employment , Fear , Help-Seeking Behavior , Hospitalization , Public Health , Adult , COVID-19/therapy , California , Colorado , Communication , Deportation , Economic Status , Female , Financial Stress , Health Expenditures , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Poverty Areas , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Sick Leave , Social Class , Social Norms , Teleworking , Undocumented Immigrants
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