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1.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(48): e2213313119, 2022 Nov 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2133967

ABSTRACT

Hong Kong has implemented stringent public health and social measures (PHSMs) to curb each of the four COVID-19 epidemic waves since January 2020. The third wave between July and September 2020 was brought under control within 2 m, while the fourth wave starting from the end of October 2020 has taken longer to bring under control and lasted at least 5 mo. Here, we report the pandemic fatigue as one of the potential reasons for the reduced impact of PHSMs on transmission in the fourth wave. We contacted either 500 or 1,000 local residents through weekly random-digit dialing of landlines and mobile telephones from May 2020 to February 2021. We analyze the epidemiological impact of pandemic fatigue by using the large and detailed cross-sectional telephone surveys to quantify risk perception and self-reported protective behaviors and mathematical models to incorporate population protective behaviors. Our retrospective prediction suggests that an increase of 100 daily new reported cases would lead to 6.60% (95% CI: 4.03, 9.17) more people worrying about being infected, increase 3.77% (95% CI: 2.46, 5.09) more people to avoid social gatherings, and reduce the weekly mean reproduction number by 0.32 (95% CI: 0.20, 0.44). Accordingly, the fourth wave would have been 14% (95% CI%: -53%, 81%) smaller if not for pandemic fatigue. This indicates the important role of mitigating pandemic fatigue in maintaining population protective behaviors for controlling COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Retrospective Studies , Fatigue/epidemiology , Fatigue/prevention & control
2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(22)2022 Nov 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2116268

ABSTRACT

There is lacking a population-based study on the fitness level of Hong Kong schoolchildren, and it seems that increasing childhood obesity prevalence has shifted the classification of healthy fitness, with 'underfit' as normal. This cross-sectional territory study aimed to develop an age- and sex-specific physical fitness reference using a representative sample of children aged 6-17 and to determine the associations with body mass index in schoolchildren. The study analyzed Hong Kong School Physical Fitness Award Scheme data covering grade 1 to grade 12 students' physical fitness and anthropometric measurements from 2017 to 2018. This reference was established without the impact due to COVID-19. Four aspects of physical fitness tests were measured using a standardized protocol, including (i) upper limb muscle strength, (ii) one-minute sit-up, (iii) sit-and-reach, and (iv) endurance run tests. The generalized additive model for location, scale, and shape was used to construct the reference charts. A Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare the mean differences in age, weight, and height, and a Pearson's chi-square test was used to examine the distributions of sex groups. A Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare the group differences in BMI status, followed by the Dunn test for pairwise comparisons. A 5% level of significance was regarded as statistically significant. Data of 119,693 students before the COVID-19 pandemic were included in the analysis. The association between physical fitness level and BMI status varied depending on the test used, and there were significant differences in fitness test scores among BMI groups. The mean test scores of the obese group were lower in most of the tests for both boys and girls, except for handgrip strength. The underweight group outperformed the obese group in push-ups, one-minute sit-ups, and endurance run tests, but not in handgrip strength. In conclusion, a sex- and age-specific physical fitness reference value for Hong Kong Chinese children aged 6 to 17 years old is established, and this study demonstrated a nonlinear relationship between BMI status and physical fitness. The reference will help to identify children with poor physical fitness to offer support and guidance on exercise training. It also serves as a baseline for assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Hong Kong students' physical fitness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pediatric Obesity , Male , Female , Child , Humans , Adolescent , Body Mass Index , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hand Strength , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Pandemics , Physical Fitness/physiology
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(22)2022 Nov 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2116074

ABSTRACT

Evidence shows that university students, especially healthcare students, experienced considerable health impacts during COVID-19. This study examined Hong Kong general nursing students' mental health and quality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. An online questionnaire composed of personal demographics, the Fear of COVID-19 scale (FCV-19S), the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale short version (DASS21), and the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF (WHOQOL-BREF) was used for data collection in early 2021. Among 380 respondents, 170 (45%) did not attend clinical practicum during the pandemic. Students who did not participate in clinical training scored lower in FCV-19S but higher in WHOQOL-BREF than those who participated (p = 0.001 or p < 0.001). FCV-19S and WHOQOL-BREF were negatively correlated (r = -0.623 to -0.446, p < 0.001). Slight negative correlations were found between the FCV-19S and DASS-21 scores. Although there were no significant differences in DASS21 (p = 0.294-0.931) between these two student groups, there was a considerably high prevalence rate of depression (57.1%), anxiety (47.6%), and stress (39.5%). Hong Kong nursing students, especially those who attended clinical practicum during the pandemic, experienced substantial emotional and quality of life implications. Local universities are recommended to organize appropriate interventions to prepare and support nursing students' wellbeing and health in coping with future disasters.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Students, Nursing , Humans , Quality of Life/psychology , Mental Health , Students, Nursing/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Hong Kong/epidemiology
4.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 1364, 2022 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2115847

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Primary health care (PHC) is widely perceived to be the backbone of health care systems. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, PHC has not only provided primary medical services, but also served as a grassroots network for public health. Our research explored the accessibility, availability, and affordability of primary health care from a spatial perspective, to understand the social determinants affecting access to it in Hong Kong. METHOD: This constitutes a descriptive study from the perspective of spatial analysis. The nearest neighbor method was used to measure the geographic accessibility of PHC based on the road network. The 2SFCA method was used to measure spatial availability and affordability to primary health care, while the SARAR model, Spatial Error model, and Spatial Lag model were then constructed to explain potential factors influencing accessibility and availability of PHC. RESULTS: In terms of accessibility, 95% of residents in Hong Kong can reach a PHC institution within 15 minutes; in terms of availability, 83% of residents can receive PHC service within a month; while in terms of affordability, only 32% of residents can afford PHC services with the support of medical insurance and medical voucher. In Hong Kong, education status and household income show a significant impact on accessibility and availability of PHC. Regions with higher concentrations of residents with post-secondary education receive more PHC resources, while regions with higher concentrations of high-income households show poorer accessibility and poorer availability to PHC. CONCLUSION: The good accessibility and availability of primary health care reflects that the network layout of existing PHC systems in Hong Kong is reasonable and can meet the needs of most residents. No serious gap between social groups further shows equality in resource allocation of PHC in Hong Kong. However, affordability of PHC is not ideal. Indeed, narrowing the gap between availability and affordability is key to fully utilizing the capacity of the PHC system in Hong Kong. The private sector plays an important role in this, but the low coverage of medical insurance in outpatient services exacerbates the crowding of public PHC and underutilization of private PHC. We suggest diverting patients from public to private institutions through medical insurance, medical vouchers, or other ways, to relieve the pressure on the public health system and make full use of existing primary health care in Hong Kong.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Primary Health Care , Social Determinants of Health , Humans , Costs and Cost Analysis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Spatial Analysis , Health Services Accessibility , Healthcare Disparities
5.
Viruses ; 14(11)2022 Nov 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2110281

ABSTRACT

Hong Kong SAR has adopted universal masking, social distancing, testing of all symptomatic and high-risk groups for isolation of confirmed cases in healthcare facilities, and quarantine of contacts as epidemiological control measures without city lockdown or border closure. These measures successfully suppressed the community transmission of pre-Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variants or lineages during the first to the fourth wave. No nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infection was documented among healthcare workers in the first 300 days. The strategy of COVID-19 containment was adopted to provide additional time to achieve population immunity by vaccination. The near-zero COVID-19 situation for about 8 months in 2021 did not enable adequate immunization of the eligible population. A combination of factors was identified, especially population complacency associated with the low local COVID-19 activity, together with vaccine hesitancy. The importation of the highly transmissible Omicron variant kickstarted the fifth wave of COVID-19, which could no longer be controlled by our initial measures. The explosive fifth wave, which was partially contributed by vertical airborne transmission in high-rise residential buildings, resulted in over one million cases of infection. In this review, we summarize the epidemiology of COVID-19 and the infection control and public health measures against the importation and dissemination of SARS-CoV-2 until day 1000.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Infection Control
6.
Front Public Health ; 10: 973843, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2121817

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously affected China's macroeconomy, industrial transformation, and high-quality development. Research on economic patterns and urban network systems can provide a reference for healthy development of the regional economic system. The evolution of the economic pattern and urban network system of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) from 2010 to 2020 is investigated using methods (e.g., the gravity center model, the gravitational force model, social network analysis, and geographic information system). (1) The gravity center of gross domestic product (GDP) of the GBA is located in Nansha district, Guangzhou, with a skewing direction northwest-east-northwest and a movement rate of "large-small-large." The center of import and export and the center of consumption show a "zigzagging migration" in which the center of investment shows an "irregular (random) migration". (2) The economic connection degree of cities in the GBA exhibits a high ascending velocity, and the whole area tends to be mature, with a significant effect of spatial proximity. With the steady increase in network density, there is significant polarization of network centrality in the region. The four major cohesive subgroups have been relatively stable and consistent with the degree of geographic proximity of the cities. The center-periphery structure is more significant, in which the core area is extended to the cities on the east coast of the Pearl River Estuary, thus forming the core cluster of "Hong Kong-Shenzhen-Guangzhou-Dongguan." In this study, the evolution of economic patterns and urban network systems in the GBA over the past decade is analyzed using multiple methods (i.e., gravity model, urban network system analysis, and geographic information system) based on urban socioeconomic data by starting from various spatial elements (e.g., "points, lines, and networks") to gain insights into and optimize research on regional economic development after the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Macau , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Cities
7.
Front Public Health ; 10: 1040169, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2119889

ABSTRACT

Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, adolescents' use of social networking sites/apps has surged, and their mental health and quality of life have also been significantly affected by the pandemic and its associated social-protection measures. The present study first examined the prevalence of social networking sites/apps use and social networking addiction, the mental health status, and the health-related quality of life among Hong Kong adolescent students. We further investigated the associations of the youths' daily use of social networking sites/apps and their social networking addiction with their mental health and quality of life during the pandemic. Methods: A total of 1,147 students (age = 15.20 ± 0.53 years) recruited from 12 randomly selected local secondary schools in Hong Kong participated in a questionnaire survey in classroom settings between January and June, 2020, right after the COVID-19 outbreak. The questionnaire includes demographic characteristics and scales that measure social networking sites/apps use and social networking addiction, mental health, and quality of life. Results: Approximately 46.4% of the participants reported using social networking sites/apps often or very often, and 7.8% met the criteria for social networking addiction using Bergen's Social Media Addiction Scale. The prevalence of mild to extremely severe depression, anxiety, and stress among the adolescents stood at 39.6, 37.5, 48.8%, respectively, and the participants' physical, social, and school functioning were lower than the norms of healthy adolescents before the pandemic. Participants who used social networking sites/apps but for <3 h per day (excluding students who never used social networking sites/apps) showed significantly fewer problems of depression, anxiety, and stress than did those who spent more than 3 h per day on social networking sites/apps. Social networking addiction was found to be consistently associated with poor mental health and health-related quality of life. Conclusion: This study provides important evidence supporting the potential protective effect of guiding adolescents to use social networking sites/apps appropriately in order to mitigate their negative emotions during contexts such as that of the pandemic; it further points to the need to provide extra support to promote the well-being of young people, especially those in disadvantaged situations (e.g., non-intact family) during and after the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health , Adolescent , Humans , Quality of Life , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Social Networking
8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(22)2022 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2110071

ABSTRACT

School teachers have faced many challenges due to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and public health-related containment measures. Recent studies have demonstrated high levels of stress and mental health issues among school teachers. To better understand teacher well-being and inform practices to support them in the face of the ongoing pandemic, we aimed to assess perceived stress, well-being and associated factors among school teachers in Hong Kong, China. For this cross-sectional study, we employed a self-reported questionnaire to assess teacher well-being as an indicator of mental health. Drawing on quantitative data obtained from 336 teachers in Hong Kong from April 2021 to February 2022, we assessed workloads, work-related sense of coherence, perceived stress, secondary burnout symptoms (i.e. intensification of work and exhaustion related to work situation), self-endangering work behaviours and satisfaction with work. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed to examine the associations between well-being, demographic and work characteristics. A high percentage (87.6%) of teachers had high levels of perceived stress, which was positively associated with extensification of work (r = 0.571, p < 0.01), intensification of work (r = 0.640, p < 0.01) and exhaustion related to work situation (r = 0.554, p < 0.01). A multilinear regression model adjusted for age and gender was computed to detect predictors of teachers' well-being index values (F(12, 296) = 41.405, p < 0.001, R2 = 0.627). A higher WHO-5 score was associated with (1) higher teaching hours (B = 0.235, 95% CI = 0.093, 0.413, p = 0.002); (2) higher work-related sense of coherence (B = 2.490, 95% CI = 0.209, 4.770, p = 0.032); (3) higher work satisfaction (B = 5.410, 95% CI = 2.979, 7.841, p < 0.001); (4) lower level of exhaustion related to work situations (B = -9.677, 95% CI = -12.279, -7.075, p < 0.001); and (5) lower level of psychosomatic complaints (B = -4.167, 95% CI = -6.739, -7.075, p = 0.002). These findings highlight the critical need to allocate more attention and resources to improve the mental health of school teachers in Hong Kong. The findings can also inform the development of psychological and organisational interventions and support mechanisms for teachers during the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and in preparation for future stressful scenarios. Safeguarding the well-being and mental health of teachers is important for improving the quality of teaching and learning environments and the mental health of school students.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , China/epidemiology
9.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(21)2022 Nov 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2099546

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Acceptance of vaccination in both healthcare professionals and the general public in the community is vital for efficacious control of the virus. Vaccine acceptance associates with many factors. Little research has been dedicated to examining attitudes and behaviors of healthcare professionals and community stakeholders regarding COVID-19 vaccine acceptance in Hong Kong. METHODS: An online cross-sectional survey was sent between February and April 2021 (N = 512). Multivariable regression modeling was used to identify associated variables with outcomes using adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95% of confidence intervals (CI). RESULTS: Two demographic variables-age group of over 40 years old (40-59: ORm = 3.157, 95% CI = 2.090-4.467; 60 or over: ORm = 6.606, 95% CI = 2.513-17.360) and those who had previously received a flu vaccination (ORm = 1.537, 95% CI = 1.047-2.258)-were found to be associated with high vaccine intent. Adjusting for these two variables, the results showed that five factors on knowledge variables as perceived benefits for vaccine intent were statistically significant: "Closed area and social gathering are the major ways of SAR-CoV-2 transmission" (AOR = 4.688, 95% CI = 1.802-12.199), "The vaccine can strengthen my immunity against COVID-19, so as to reduce the chance of being infected with it" (AOR = 2.983, 95% CI = 1.904-4.674), "The vaccine can lower the risk of transmitting the viruses to my family and friends" (AOR = 2.276, 95% CI = 1.508-3.436), "The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh its harm" (AOR = 3.913, 95% CI = 2.618-5.847) and "Vaccination is an effective way to prevent COVID-19" (AOR = 3.810, 95% CI = 2.535-5.728). CONCLUSIONS: High vaccine intent was associated with age and having previously received a flu vaccination. Knowledge and attitudes of healthcare professionals and community stakeholders were associated with high vaccine intent. Training and continuing education programs for healthcare providers and community stakeholders focusing on the delivery of evidence-based data on the benefits of vaccination campaigns for populations to increase the vaccination rates is recommended.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Humans , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Hong Kong , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination , Health Personnel
10.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 101(43): e31253, 2022 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2097512

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Effective interventions to promote well-being at work are required to reduce the prevalence and consequences of stress and burnout especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study determined the effects of mindful coloring on perceived stress levels, mental well-being, burnout, and state and trait mindfulness levels for nurses during COVID-19. METHODS: This was a single-center, two-armed, parallel, superiority, blinded randomized controlled trial. Seventy-seven participants were randomly allocated (by computer-generated sequence) to either mindful coloring (n = 39) or waitlist control groups (n = 38). Twenty-seven nurses in the mindful coloring group and 32 in the control group were included in the full compliance per protocol analysis. The mindful coloring intervention included participants viewing a 3-minutes instructional video and coloring mandalas for at least 5 working days or 100 minutes in total during a 10-day period. Participants in both groups completed the Perceived Stress Scale (total score 0-40), short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (total score 7-35), Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey for Medical Personnel (3 subscales), Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire-Short Form (total score 24-120) and Mindful Attention Awareness Scale-State version (total score 0-30) instruments. The primary outcome was the perceived stress level. RESULTS: Baseline prevalence of moderate to high perceived stress level was high (79.2%). There was a large mindful coloring effect on reducing mean perceived stress levels (Mean difference [MD] in change between groups -3.0, 95% CI: -5.0 to -1.00; Cohen's d = 0.80). Mindful coloring may lead to a small improvement in mental well-being level (P = .08), with an improvement found in the intervention group (MD 0.9, 95% CI 0.0-1.8, P = .04) through enhanced state mindfulness (P < .001). There were no effects on changing burnout subscales or trait mindfulness levels. No adverse reactions were reported. CONCLUSION: Coloring mandalas may be an effective low-cost brief intervention to reduce perceived stress levels through enhancing state mindfulness and it may promote mental well-being. Hospitals may promote or provide mindful coloring as a self-care and stress-relief practice for nurses during their off hours or work breaks.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Mindfulness , Humans , Mindfulness/methods , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Pandemics , Burnout, Professional/prevention & control , Hospitals
13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(20)2022 Oct 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2082256

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Studies have widely reported that social and cultural values serve as constraints in controlling the spread of an epidemic. However, I argue that a social and cultural value system is a double-edged sword and can motivate people's preventive health behaviors. Few studies have examined the positive role of social and cultural values in promoting epidemic control. METHODS: Using the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2003 and the COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020 in Hong Kong as examples, the present study performed participant observation in Hong Kong from January to June 2003 and from January 2020 to May 2022; in-depth individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 70 participants between February 2021 and March 2022. RESULTS: Social and cultural values serve as informal social control mechanisms in manipulating people's adoption of preventive health behaviors that can assist in epidemic control. Specifically, the construction and stigmatization of the "others" groups and the traditional cultural values based on the capitalist ideology were noted to facilitate control measures against the two outbreaks in Hong Kong. CONCLUSION: These two outbreaks reinforced the embedded social and cultural values of the capitalist ideology of Hong Kong, which increased the vulnerability of disadvantaged social groups to stigmatization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Stereotyping , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control
14.
Health Expect ; 25(6): 3192-3201, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2078475

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a reduction in blood donations and limited blood supply in many countries. The theory of planned behaviour has been widely used in past studies to understand the factors influencing blood donation. However, this theory limits analyses to the individual level. Furthermore, most research on the determinants of blood donation during the COVID-19 pandemic is quantitative in nature, with relevant qualitative research being rare. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the motivators and demotivators for donating blood among current blood donors during COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: Forty in-depth, individual semistructured interviews were conducted with current blood donors from December 2020 to March 2021 in Hong Kong. Thematic content analysis was adopted in the data analysis. RESULTS: The majority of the participants (n = 37) were demotivated from donating blood during the COVID-19 pandemic. Factors at the perceptual, social and institutional levels interacted to cause this reluctance. Only three participants felt more motivated to donate blood. The data revealed that sociocultural forces and government pandemic prevention policies strongly affected the participants' motivations to donate blood during the pandemic. CONCLUSION: This study presents a macro understanding of blood donation behaviour by investigating the institutional, social and perceptual factors influencing current blood donors during the COVID-19 pandemic. This adds a more comprehensive understanding of blood donation where the theory of planned behaviour is widely used in past studies. PUBLIC CONTRIBUTION: The participants shared their experiences in the interviews. Their experiences provide hints for explaining the decreasing blood donation during the pandemic times.


Subject(s)
Blood Donors , COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Motivation , Pandemics , Hong Kong/epidemiology
15.
J Infect Dis ; 226(8): 1382-1384, 2022 Oct 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2077786

ABSTRACT

There is limited evidence on vaccine effectiveness against asymptomatic or mild Omicron infections. We estimated that recent third doses of messenger RNA or inactivated vaccines reduced the risk of self-reported infection by 52% (95% confidence interval, 17%-73%) among randomly sampled adults during the Omicron BA.2-dominated surge in Hong Kong.


Subject(s)
BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, Inactivated
16.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(10): e2236278, 2022 10 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2074851

ABSTRACT

This cohort study assesses the incidence of emergency department (ED) visits in Hong Kong, China, for sexual abuse among youth before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sex Offenses , Humans , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Incidence , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital
17.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(20)2022 Oct 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2071474

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: While a number of population preventive measures for COVID-19 exist that help to decrease the spread of the virus in the community, there are still many areas in preventative efforts that need improvement or refinement, particularly as new strains of the virus develop. Some of the key issues currently include incorrect and/or inconsistent use of face masks, low acceptance of early screening or vaccination for COVID-19, vaccine hesitance, and misinformation. This is particularly the case in some vulnerable populations, such as older people with chronic illnesses, ethnic minorities who may not speak the mainstream language well and children. The current protocol introduces a large programme of research through five interrelated studies that all focus on social and behavioural interventions to improve different aspects of community-related preventative indicators. Hence, the specific objectives of the overall programme are to (1) increase early testing for COVID-19 and promote the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines in the community (Study 1); (2) increase COVID-19-related health literacy and vaccine literacy and promote improved preventative measures in minority ethnic groups, chronically ill populations and caregivers (Study 2); (3) strengthen the public's motivation to stay at home and avoid nonessential high-risk activities (Study 3); (4) decrease COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy (Study 4); and (5) enhance the adherence to COVID-19-related hygiene practices and the uptake of early testing in school children (Study 5). METHODS: We will utilise a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach in the proposed studies. All studies will incorporate an intervention development phase in conjunction with key community stakeholders, a feasibility study and an execution stage. A variety of self-reported and objective-based measures will be used to assess various outcomes, based on the focus of each study, in both the short- and long-term, including, for example, the 8-item self-reported eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEAL) and objective measures such as vaccine uptake. DISCUSSION: Theory-driven interventions will address each study's focus (e.g., social distancing, promotion of vaccine uptake, eHealth education, preventive measures and early detection). Improvements are expected to be seen in the outcomes of vulnerable and high-risk groups. Decreased infection rates are expected due to improved preventative behaviours and increased vaccine uptake. Long-term sustainability of the approach will be achieved through the CBPR model. The publication of this protocol can assist not only in sharing a large-scale and complex community-based design, but will also allow all to learn from this, so that we will have better insight in the future whether sharing of study designs can elicit timely research initiatives.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Child , Humans , Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Community-Based Participatory Research , COVID-19 Vaccines , Hong Kong/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Chronic Disease
18.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Oct 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066086

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study explored the association of students' mental health with their support system, identified the preferred ways and sources of support, investigated the perceived usefulness of available university support, and recommended actionable strategies to enhance students' mental health. METHOD: An online questionnaire survey and semi-structured focus group interviews were conducted in 2021. RESULTS: Among 1121 university students, 39.4% reported anxiety symptoms, which were less common in Chinese students and those pursuing medical and health programmes. Overall, 32.6% reported depression symptoms, which were more common in undergraduates. Both anxiety and depression symptoms were less common in students with higher resilience and support system and more common in students with family distress. Students with higher resilience had a better support system and less family distress. Perceived support from universities was lower than from peers and families. Peer support and phone contacts were the most preferred sources and ways of support. The most useful available university support was updated university guidelines, and the least useful was the emotional hotline service from universities The qualitative findings corroborated the quantitative results. CONCLUSION: We suggested that a holistic care approach and more proactive student-oriented university support would help students face adversity and enhance mental health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Depression/psychology , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Students/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Universities
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Oct 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066059

ABSTRACT

To date, we know little about COVID-19-related health literacy among school leaders, particularly in East Asia. The present study aimed to assess the level of COVID-19-related health literacy and associated factors (vaccine hesitancy, self-endangering behaviour, and work satisfaction) among school leaders in Hong Kong. A cross-sectional study of 259 school leaders was carried out during the COVID-19 pandemic between April 2021 and February 2022. COVID-19-related health literacy using HLS-COVID-Q22, three subscales of self-endangering work behaviour scales (i.e., "extensification of work", "intensification of work" and "quality reduction"), and two dimensions of Burnout Assessment Tool (BAT) (i.e., psychosomatic complaints and exhaustion) were used. The study employed independent sample t-test, ANOVA, and multilinear regression models. The findings show that more than half (53.7%) of school leaders had insufficient health literacy. Participants with insufficient health literacy scored significantly higher in the following factors: exhaustion related to work situation (p = 0.029), psychosomatic complaints (p < 0.001), attitude about vaccination (i.e., less agree with vaccination) (p < 0.001), level of informing on COVID-19 related information (i.e., felt less informed) (p < 0.001), and level of confusion about COVID-19-related information (i.e., felt more confused) (p < 0.001). In a linear regression model predicting attitude about coronavirus vaccination, age (ß, -0.188, 95% CI, -0.024, -0.005, p = 0.002) and health literacy (ß, -0.395, 95% CI, -0.716, -0.361, p < 0.001) were the negative predictors, F(5, 214) = 11.859, p < 0.001. For the linear regression model adjusted for sex and age for predicting health literacy, the model was insignificant. Despite being a highly educated group, this study reveals that one in two Hong Kong school leaders have insufficient health literacy. Inadequate health literacy was strongly associated with a negative attitude about vaccination, low information, and confusion about COVID-19-related information. Additionally, insufficient health literacy was associated with the two secondary symptoms of burnouts. The study highlights an urgent need to develop intervention programmes to promote the COVID-19-specific as well as overall health literacy of the school leaders.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Literacy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Schools , Vaccination/psychology
20.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Sep 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065911

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Alcohol expectancies, i.e., the perceived consequences of drinking, have been reported to be important factor in predicting drinking behaviors. However, studies in the Asia region were largely limited to school-based samples. This study aimed to be the first to explore drinking expectancies among urban Chinese young adults. METHODS: In 2020, eight focus group discussions were conducted with Hong Kong Chinese young adults aged 18-34 (n = 53). The participants included heavy drinkers, light drinkers, and non-drinkers from a wide range of occupations and educational backgrounds. Thematic analysis was conducted to uncover common alcohol expectancies. RESULTS: Six themes emerged from this study. Four themes that were commonly reported in the literature were the negative consequences of drinking, social bonding, confidence enhancement, and tension reduction. The study also uncovered two culturally relevant alcohol expectancies: health benefits and business drinking expectancies. In contrast to Western samples, Chinese young adults did not report drinking expectancies related to cognitive enhancement or increased sexual interest. CONCLUSION: Alcohol harm reduction strategies will need to address the positive drinking expectancies uncovered in this study. Future policy discussions in this emerging alcohol market region should consider greater scrutiny of the role of alcohol marketing in the propagation of positive drinking expectancies.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking , Asians , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking/psychology , Ethanol , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Schools , Young Adult
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