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1.
J Occup Environ Med ; 63(12): 1019-1023, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1831470

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the relationship between the closure of "anchor businesses" - manufacturing plants and distribution centers employing >1000 workers - and the daily, county-level COVID-19 rate between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020. METHODS: We conducted a comparative, interrupted time series analysis of publicly available county-level data. Our main variable of interest was closure, indicating whether one or more of the anchor businesses within the county experienced a full or partial closure of at least 22 days (main analysis) or at least 1 day (sensitivity analyses). RESULTS: Closure of an anchor business was associated with 142 fewer positive COVID-19 tests per 100,000 population over a 40-day period. Even short-term and partial closures were associated with reduced spread. CONCLUSIONS: Temporary closure of anchor businesses appears to have slowed, but not completely contained, the spread of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Commerce , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , SARS-CoV-2
2.
BMJ Open ; 12(4): e055791, 2022 Apr 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784818

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We examined the association between stay-at-home order implementation and the incidence of COVID-19 infections and deaths in rural versus urban counties of the United States. DESIGN: We used an interrupted time-series analysis using a mixed effects zero-inflated Poisson model with random intercept by county and standardised by population to examine the associations between stay-at-home orders and county-level counts of daily new COVID-19 cases and deaths in rural versus urban counties between 22 January 2020 and 10 June 2020. We secondarily examined the association between stay-at-home orders and mobility in rural versus urban counties using Google Community Mobility Reports. INTERVENTIONS: Issuance of stay-at-home orders. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Co-primary outcomes were COVID-19 daily incidence of cases (14-day lagged) and mortality (26-day lagged). Secondary outcome was mobility. RESULTS: Stay-at-home orders were implemented later (median 30 March 2020 vs 28 March 2020) and were shorter in duration (median 35 vs 54 days) in rural compared with urban counties. Indoor mobility was, on average, 2.6%-6.9% higher in rural than urban counties both during and after stay-at-home orders. Compared with the baseline (pre-stay-at-home) period, the number of new COVID-19 cases increased under stay-at-home by incidence risk ratio (IRR) 1.60 (95% CI, 1.57 to 1.64) in rural and 1.36 (95% CI, 1.30 to 1.42) in urban counties, while the number of new COVID-19 deaths increased by IRR 14.21 (95% CI, 11.02 to 18.34) in rural and IRR 2.93 in urban counties (95% CI, 1.82 to 4.73). For each day under stay-at-home orders, the number of new cases changed by a factor of 0.982 (95% CI, 0.981 to 0.982) in rural and 0.952 (95% CI, 0.951 to 0.953) in urban counties compared with prior to stay-at-home, while number of new deaths changed by a factor of 0.977 (95% CI, 0.976 to 0.977) in rural counties and 0.935 (95% CI, 0.933 to 0.936) in urban counties. Each day after stay-at-home orders expired, the number of new cases changed by a factor of 0.995 (95% CI, 0.994 to 0.995) in rural and 0.997 (95% CI, 0.995 to 0.999) in urban counties compared with prior to stay-at-home, while number of new deaths changed by a factor of 0.969 (95% CI, 0.968 to 0.970) in rural counties and 0.928 (95% CI, 0.926 to 0.929) in urban counties. CONCLUSION: Stay-at-home orders decreased mobility, slowed the spread of COVID-19 and mitigated COVID-19 mortality, but did so less effectively in rural than in urban counties. This necessitates a critical re-evaluation of how stay-at-home orders are designed, communicated and implemented in rural areas.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Incidence , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Rural Population , United States/epidemiology , Urban Population
3.
PLoS One ; 17(4): e0265549, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779753

ABSTRACT

The Covid-19 global pandemic that began in March 2020 was not fully mitigated through governmental Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) and continued to infect people and take lives through 2021. Since many countries were affected by the second, third, and fourth waves of Covid-19, governments extended and strengthened NPIs, but these actions led to citizen protests and fatigue. In this study, we investigate the effect of a lockdown policy on Covid-19 third wave implemented by the province of Ontario, Canada, on April 3rd 2021, followed by a stay-at-home order on April 7th 2021 while free Covid-19 testing and vaccination were in progress. Herein, the effect of both NPIs and vaccination are considered simultaneously. We used the prevalence of Covid-19 cases, tests, and administered vaccines data reported publicly by the Government of Ontario on their website. Because mobility changes can reflect the behaviors and adherence of residents with a stay-at-home order, Covid-19 community mobility data for Ontario provided by Google was also considered. A statistical method called interrupted time series was used to analyze the data. The results indicated that, although vaccinations helped to control the Covid-19 infection rate during this time, the stay-at-home order caused a rate reduction by decreasing the trend of the Covid-19 prevalence by 13 (±0.8962) persons per million daily and the level by 33 (±7.6854) persons per million. Furthermore, the stay-at-home order resulted in approximately a 37% reduction in Covid-19 prevalence one week after the intervention's effective date. Therefore, Ontario's strict lockdown policy, including several NPIs, mitigated the Covid-19 surge during the third wave. The results show that even when vaccination is in progress, strict NPIs such as lockdown is required to control Covid-19 waves, and early re-openings should be avoided. These results may also be useful for other countries that have implemented delayed vaccination schedules.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Ontario/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
4.
Med Care ; 60(5): 357-360, 2022 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778986

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: With stressors that are often associated with suicide increasing during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there has been concern that suicide mortality rates may also be increasing. Our objective was to determine whether suicide mortality rates increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We conducted an interrupted time-series study using data from January 2019 through December 2020 from 2 large integrated health care systems. The population at risk included all patients or individuals enrolled in a health plan at HealthPartners in Minnesota or Henry Ford Health System in Michigan. The primary outcome was change in suicide mortality rates, expressed as annualized crude rates of suicide death per 100,000 people in 10 months following the start of the pandemic in March 2020 compared with the 14 months prior. RESULTS: There were 6,434,675 people at risk in the sample, with 55% women and a diverse sample across ages, race/ethnicity, and insurance type. From January 2019 through February 2020, there was a slow increase in the suicide mortality rate, with rates then decreasing by 0.45 per 100,000 people per month from March 2020 through December 2020 (SE=0.19, P=0.03). CONCLUSIONS: Overall suicide mortality rates did not increase with the pandemic, and in fact slightly declined from March to December 2020. Our findings should be confirmed across other settings and, when available, using final adjudicated state mortality data.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , Female , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Male , Pandemics
5.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0266343, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1770769

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The "Coronavirus Disease 2019" (COVID-19) pandemic has become a major challenge for all healthcare systems worldwide, and besides generating a high toll of deaths, it has caused economic losses. Hospitals have played a key role in providing services to patients and the volume of hospital activities has been refocused on COVID-19 patients. Other activities have been limited/repurposed or even suspended and hospitals have been operating with reduced capacity. With the decrease in non-COVID-19 activities, their financial system and sustainability have been threatened, with hospitals facing shortage of financial resources. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of COVID-19 on the revenues of public hospitals in Lorestan province in western Iran, as a case study. METHOD: In this quasi-experimental study, we conducted the interrupted time series analysis to evaluate COVID-19 induced changes in monthly revenues of 18 public hospitals, from April 2018 to August 2021, in Lorestan, Iran. In doing so, public hospitals report their earnings to the University of Medical Sciences monthly; then, we collected this data through the finance office. RESULTS: Due to COVID-19, the revenues of public hospitals experienced an average monthly decrease of $172,636 thousand (P-value = 0.01232). For about 13 months, the trend of declining hospital revenues continued. However, after February 2021, a relatively stable increase could be observed, with patient admission and elective surgeries restrictions being lifted. The average monthly income of hospitals increased by $83,574 thousand. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 has reduced the revenues of public hospitals, which have faced many problems due to the high costs they have incurred. During the crisis, lack of adequate fundings can damage healthcare service delivery, and policymakers should allocate resources to prevent potential shocks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitals, Public , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Iran/epidemiology , Patient Admission
6.
BMJ Open ; 12(3): e055815, 2022 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1741634

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In this study, we assess the indirect impact of COVID-19 on utilisation of immunisation and outpatient services in Kenya. DESIGN: Longitudinal study. SETTING: Data were analysed from all healthcare facilities reporting to Kenya's health information system from January 2018 to March 2021. Multiple imputation was used to address missing data, interrupted time series analysis was used to quantify the changes in utilisation of services and sensitivity analysis was carried out to assess robustness of estimates. EXPOSURE OF INTEREST: COVID-19 outbreak and associated interventions. OUTCOME MEASURES: Monthly attendance to health facilities. We assessed changes in immunisation and various outpatient services nationally. RESULTS: Before the first case of COVID-19 and pursuant intervention measures in March 2020, uptake of health services was consistent with historical levels. There was significant drops in attendance (level changes) in April 2020 for overall outpatient visits for under-fives (rate ratio, RR 0.50, 95% CI 0.44 to 0.57), under-fives with pneumonia (RR 0.43, 95% CI 0.38 to 0.47), overall over-five visits (RR 0.65, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.75), over-fives with pneumonia (RR 0.62, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.70), fourth antenatal care visit (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.80 to 0.93), total hypertension (RR 0.89, 95% CI 0.82 to 0.96), diabetes cases (RR 0.95 95% CI, 0.93 to 0.97) and HIV testing (RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.94 to 0.99). Immunisation services, first antenatal care visits, new cases of hypertension and diabetes were not affected. The post-COVID-19 trend was increasing, with more recent data suggesting reversal of effects and health services reverting to expected levels as of March 2021. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 pandemic has had varied indirect effects on utilisation of health services in Kenya. There is need for proactive and targeted interventions to reverse these effects as part of the pandemic's response to avert non-COVID-19 indirect mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ambulatory Care , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Immunization , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Kenya/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies , Outpatients , Pandemics , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2
7.
World J Surg ; 46(5): 984-993, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1733967

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on surgical care delivery in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) has been challenging to assess due to a lack of data. This study examines the impact of COVID-19 on pediatric surgical volumes at four LMIC hospitals. METHODS: Retrospective and prospective pediatric surgical data collected at hospitals in Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Nigeria, and Zambia were reviewed from January 2019 to April 2021. Changes in surgical volume were assessed using interrupted time series analysis. RESULTS: 6078 total operations were assessed. Before the pandemic, overall surgical volume increased by 21 cases/month (95% CI 14 to 28, p < 0.001). From March to April 2020, the total surgical volume dropped by 32%, or 110 cases (95% CI - 196 to - 24, p = 0.014). Patients during the pandemic were younger (2.7 vs. 3.3 years, p < 0.001) and healthier (ASA I 69% vs. 66%, p = 0.003). Additionally, they experienced lower rates of post-operative sepsis (0.3% vs 1.5%, p < 0.001), surgical site infections (1.3% vs 5.8%, p < 0.001), and mortality (1.6% vs 3.1%, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, children's surgery in LMIC saw a sharp decline in total surgical volume by a third in the month following March 2020, followed by a slow recovery afterward. Patients were healthier with better post-operative outcomes during the pandemic, implying a widening disparity gap in surgical access and exacerbating challenges in addressing the large unmet burden of pediatric surgical disease in LMICs with a need for immediate mitigation strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Hospitals , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Drug Alcohol Depend ; 232: 109263, 2022 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1719618

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has likely affected the delivery of interventions to prevent blood-borne viruses (BBVs) among people who inject drugs (PWID). We examined the impact of the first wave of COVID-19 in Scotland on: 1) needle and syringe provision (NSP), 2) opioid agonist therapy (OAT) and 3) BBV testing. METHODS: An interrupted time series study design; 23rd March 2020 (date of the first 'lockdown') was chosen as the key date. RESULTS: The number of HIV tests and HCV tests in drug services/prisons, and the number of needles/syringes (N/S) distributed decreased by 94% (RR=0.062, 95% CI 0.041-0.094, p < 0.001), 95% (RR=0.049, 95% CI 0.034-0.069, p < 0.001) and 18% (RR = 0.816, 95% CI 0.750-0.887, p < 0.001), respectively, immediately after lockdown. Post-lockdown, an increasing trend was observed relating to the number of N/S distributed (0.6%; RR = 1.006, 95% CI 1.001-1.012, p = 0.015), HIV tests (12.1%; RR = 1.121, 95% CI 1.092-1.152, p < 0.001) and HCV tests (13.2%; RR = 1.132, 95 CI 1.106-1.158, p < 0.001). Trends relating to the total amount of methadone prescribed remained stable, but a decreasing trend in the number of prescriptions (2.4%; RR = 0.976, 95% CI 0.959-0.993, p = 0.006) and an increasing trend in the quantity prescribed per prescription (2.8%; RR = 1.028, 95% CI 1.013-1.042, p < 0.001) was observed post-lockdown. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 impacted the delivery of BBV prevention services for PWID in Scotland. While there is evidence of service recovery; further effort is likely required to return some intervention coverage to pre-pandemic levels in the context of subsequent waves of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Users , HIV Infections , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Substance Abuse, Intravenous , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland/epidemiology , Substance Abuse, Intravenous/epidemiology , Substance Abuse, Intravenous/rehabilitation
9.
South Med J ; 115(3): 175-180, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1718124

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in unprecedented hospitalizations, ventilator use, and deaths. Because of concerns for resource utilization and surges in hospital capacity use, Texas Executive Order GA-29 required statewide mask wear beginning July 3, 2020. Our objective was to compare COVID-19 case load, hospital bed use, and deaths before and after implementation of this mask order. METHODS: This was a retrospective observational study using publicly reported statewide data to perform a mixed-methods interrupted time series analysis. We compared outcomes before and after the statewide mask wear mandate per Executive Order GA-29. The preorder period was from June 19 to July 2, 2020. The postorder period was July 17 to September 17, 2020. Outcomes included daily COVID-19 case load, hospitalizations, and mortality. RESULTS: The daily case load before the mask order per 100,000 individuals was 187.5 (95% confidence interval [CI] 157.0-217.0) versus 200.7 (95% CI 179.8-221.6) after GA-29. The number of daily hospitalized patients with COVID-19 was 171.4 (95% CI 143.8-199.0) before GA-29 versus 225.1 (95% CI 202.9-247.3) after. Daily mortality was 2.4 (95% CI 1.9-2.9) before GA-29 versus 5.2 (95% CI 4.6-5.8). There was no material impact on our results after controlling for economic activity. CONCLUSIONS: In both adjusted and unadjusted analyses, we were unable to detect a reduction in case load, hospitalization rates, or mortality associated with the implementation of an executive order requiring a statewide mask order. These results suggest that during a period of rapid virus spread, additional public health measures may be necessary to mitigate transmission at the population level.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Mandatory Programs , Masks , Workload/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Facilities and Services Utilization , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Retrospective Studies , Survival Rate , Texas
11.
Int J Drug Policy ; 102: 103608, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1693692

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Given the global economic recessions mediated by the COVID-19 pandemic and that many countries have implemented direct income support programs, we investigated the timing of the COVID-19 economic impact payments and opioid overdose deaths. METHODS: A longitudinal, observational study design that included data from the Ohio Department of Health was utilized. Statistical change point analyses were conducted to identify significant changes in weekly number of opioid overdose deaths from January 1 of 2018 to August 1 of 2020. Additional analyses including difference-in-difference, time series tests, interrupted time series regression analysis and Granger causality test were performed. RESULTS: A single change point was identified and occurred at week 16, 2020. For 2020, the median opioid overdose deaths numbers for weeks 1-16 and weeks 17-32 were 68.5 and 101, respectively. The opioid overdose deaths numbers from weeks 17-32 of 2020 were significantly higher than those in weeks 1-16 of 2020 and those in 2018 and 2019 (before and after week 16). The interrupted time series regression analysis indicated more than 203 deaths weekly for weeks 17-32 of 2020 compared to all other weeks. The result of the Granger causality test found that the identified change point (week 16 of 2020) directly influenced the increase in opioid overdose deaths in weeks 17-32 of 2020. CONCLUSION: The identified change point may refer to the timing of many factors, not only the economic payments and further research is warranted to investigate the potential relationship between the COVID-19 economic impact payments and overdose deaths.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Opiate Overdose , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Drug Overdose/epidemiology , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Opiate Overdose/epidemiology , Pandemics
12.
PLoS Med ; 19(2): e1003904, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686090

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Deaths in the first year of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in England and Wales were unevenly distributed socioeconomically and geographically. However, the full scale of inequalities may have been underestimated to date, as most measures of excess mortality do not adequately account for varying age profiles of deaths between social groups. We measured years of life lost (YLL) attributable to the pandemic, directly or indirectly, comparing mortality across geographic and socioeconomic groups. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We used national mortality registers in England and Wales, from 27 December 2014 until 25 December 2020, covering 3,265,937 deaths. YLLs (main outcome) were calculated using 2019 single year sex-specific life tables for England and Wales. Interrupted time-series analyses, with panel time-series models, were used to estimate expected YLL by sex, geographical region, and deprivation quintile between 7 March 2020 and 25 December 2020 by cause: direct deaths (COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases), cardiovascular disease and diabetes, cancer, and other indirect deaths (all other causes). Excess YLL during the pandemic period were calculated by subtracting observed from expected values. Additional analyses focused on excess deaths for region and deprivation strata, by age-group. Between 7 March 2020 and 25 December 2020, there were an estimated 763,550 (95% CI: 696,826 to 830,273) excess YLL in England and Wales, equivalent to a 15% (95% CI: 14 to 16) increase in YLL compared to the equivalent time period in 2019. There was a strong deprivation gradient in all-cause excess YLL, with rates per 100,000 population ranging from 916 (95% CI: 820 to 1,012) for the least deprived quintile to 1,645 (95% CI: 1,472 to 1,819) for the most deprived. The differences in excess YLL between deprivation quintiles were greatest in younger age groups; for all-cause deaths, a mean of 9.1 years per death (95% CI: 8.2 to 10.0) were lost in the least deprived quintile, compared to 10.8 (95% CI: 10.0 to 11.6) in the most deprived; for COVID-19 and other respiratory deaths, a mean of 8.9 years per death (95% CI: 8.7 to 9.1) were lost in the least deprived quintile, compared to 11.2 (95% CI: 11.0 to 11.5) in the most deprived. For all-cause mortality, estimated deaths in the most deprived compared to the most affluent areas were much higher in younger age groups, but similar for those aged 85 or over. There was marked variability in both all-cause and direct excess YLL by region, with the highest rates in the North West. Limitations include the quasi-experimental nature of the research design and the requirement for accurate and timely recording. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we observed strong socioeconomic and geographical health inequalities in YLL, during the first calendar year of the COVID-19 pandemic. These were in line with long-standing existing inequalities in England and Wales, with the most deprived areas reporting the largest numbers in potential YLL.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Adult , Aged , Cardiovascular Diseases/mortality , Cause of Death , Diabetes Mellitus/mortality , England/epidemiology , Female , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Life Expectancy , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/mortality , Residence Characteristics , Respiratory Tract Diseases/mortality , Socioeconomic Factors , Wales/epidemiology
13.
J Prim Care Community Health ; 13: 21501319221076926, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685972

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Changes in health care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic may have impacted opioid prescribing. This study evaluated the impact of restrictions on in-person care on opioid prescribing in the outpatient setting. The hypothesis was that after restrictions to in-person care were implemented, there would be a reduction in the number of chronic and non-chronic opioid prescriptions. METHODS: An interrupted time series analysis was conducted to compare the number of weekly opioid prescriptions between baseline (1/1/2019-3/14/2020), restriction (3/15/2020-6/6/2020), and reopening (6/7/2020-10/31/2020) periods at outpatient practices within a health system in Bronx, NY. Analyses were stratified by prescription type (chronic if the patient had been prescribed opioids for >90 days, or non-chronic). RESULTS: For chronic opioid prescriptions, the week restrictions were implemented, there was an increase in the number of prescriptions compared to what was predicted if there had been no interruption (34.8 prescriptions, 95% CI: 8.0, 61.7). Subsequently, the weekly trend in prescribing was not different in the restriction period or in the reopening period compared to the previous time periods. For non-chronic opioid prescriptions, during the restriction period, the weekly trend in prescribing decreased compared to baseline (-5.0 prescriptions/week, 95% CI: -9.0, -1.0). Subsequently, during the reopening period, the weekly trend in prescribing increased compared to the restriction period (6.4 prescriptions/week, 95% CI: 2.2, 10.7). CONCLUSIONS: Despite abrupt restrictions on in-person care, chronic opioid prescriptions did not decrease, which is evidence that providers evolved to meet patient needs. Changes in non-chronic prescriptions are likely related to patients electing not to pursue care for acute pain or challenges with appointment availability.


Subject(s)
Analgesics, Opioid , COVID-19 , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Drug Prescriptions , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Outpatients , Pandemics , Practice Patterns, Physicians' , SARS-CoV-2
14.
J Antimicrob Chemother ; 77(4): 1189-1196, 2022 Mar 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1684714

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Blood biomarkers have the potential to help identify COVID-19 patients with bacterial coinfection in whom antibiotics are indicated. During the COVID-19 pandemic, procalcitonin testing was widely introduced at hospitals in the UK to guide antibiotic prescribing. We have determined the impact of this on hospital-level antibiotic consumption. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective, controlled interrupted time series analysis of organization-level data describing antibiotic dispensing, hospital activity and procalcitonin testing for acute hospitals/hospital trusts in England and Wales during the first wave of COVID-19 (24 February to 5 July 2020). RESULTS: In the main analysis of 105 hospitals in England, introduction of procalcitonin testing in emergency departments/acute medical admission units was associated with a statistically significant decrease in total antibiotic use of -1.08 (95% CI: -1.81 to -0.36) DDDs of antibiotic per admission per week per trust. This effect was then lost at a rate of 0.05 (95% CI: 0.02-0.08) DDDs per admission per week. Similar results were found specifically for first-line antibiotics for community-acquired pneumonia and for COVID-19 admissions rather than all admissions. Introduction of procalcitonin in the ICU setting was not associated with any significant change in antibiotic use. CONCLUSIONS: At hospitals where procalcitonin testing was introduced in emergency departments/acute medical units this was associated with an initial, but unsustained, reduction in antibiotic use. Further research should establish the patient-level impact of procalcitonin testing in this population and understand its potential for clinical effectiveness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Procalcitonin , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , Hospitals , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , State Medicine , United Kingdom
15.
J Antimicrob Chemother ; 77(4): 1185-1188, 2022 Mar 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1672217

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted healthcare delivery and there are growing concerns that the pandemic will accelerate antimicrobial resistance. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on antibiotic prescribing in a tertiary paediatric hospital in London, UK. METHODS: Data on patient characteristics and antimicrobial administration for inpatients treated between 29 April 2019 and Sunday 28 March 2021 were extracted from the electronic health record (EHR). Interrupted time series analysis was used to evaluate antibiotic days of therapy (DOT) and the proportion of prescribed antibiotics from the WHO 'Access' class. RESULTS: A total of 23 292 inpatient admissions were included. Prior to the pandemic there were an average 262 admissions per week compared with 212 during the pandemic period. Patient demographics were similar in the two periods but there was a shift in the specialities that patients had been admitted to. During the pandemic, there was a crude increase in antibiotic DOTs, from 801 weekly DOT before the pandemic to 846. The proportion of Access antibiotics decreased from 44% to 42%. However, after controlling for changes in patient characteristics, there was no evidence for the pandemic having an impact on antibiotic prescribing. CONCLUSIONS: The patient population in a specialist children's hospital was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but after adjusting for these changes there was no evidence that antibiotic prescribing was significantly affected by the pandemic. This highlights both the value of routine, high-quality EHR data and importance of appropriate statistical methods that can adjust for underlying changes to populations when evaluating impacts of the pandemic on healthcare.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Anti-Bacterial Agents , COVID-19/drug therapy , Child , Hospitals, Pediatric , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis
16.
Medicina (Kaunas) ; 58(2)2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1667240

ABSTRACT

Background and Objectives: Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is a useful tool that helps clinicians properly treat patients in emergency department (ED). This study aimed to evaluate the impact of specific interventions on the use of POCUS in the ED. Materials and Methods: This retrospective study used an interrupted time series analysis to assess how interventions changed the use of POCUS in the emergency department of a tertiary medical institute in South Korea from October 2016 to February 2021. We chose two main interventions-expansion of benefit coverage of the National Health Insurance (NHI) for emergency ultrasound (EUS) and annual ultrasound educational workshops. The primary variable was the EUS rate, defined as the number of EUS scans per 1000 eligible patients per month. We compared the level and slope of EUS rates before and after interventions. Results: A total of 5188 scanned records were included. Before interventions, the EUS rate had increased gradually. After interventions, except for the first workshop, the EUS rate immediately increased significantly (p < 0.05). The difference in the EUS rate according to the expansion of the NHI was estimated to be the largest (p < 0.001). However, the change in slope significantly decreased after the third workshop during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic (p = 0.004). The EUS rate increased significantly in the presence of physicians participating in intensive POCUS training (p < 0.001). Conclusion: This study found that expansion of insurance coverage for EUS and ultrasound education led to a significant and immediate increase in the use of POCUS, suggesting that POCUS use can be increased by improving education and insurance benefits.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Point-of-Care Systems , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Insurance Benefits , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Ultrasonography
17.
Pediatrics ; 149(2)2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662454

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: With the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, pediatric ambulatory encounter volume and antibiotic prescribing both decreased; however, the durability of these reductions in pediatric primary care in the United States has not been assessed. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective observational study to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health measures on antibiotic prescribing in 27 pediatric primary care practices. Encounters from January 1, 2018, through June 30, 2021, were included. The primary outcome was monthly antibiotic prescriptions per 1000 patients. Interrupted time series analysis was performed. RESULTS: There were 69 327 total antibiotic prescriptions from April through December in 2019 and 18 935 antibiotic prescriptions during the same months in 2020, a 72.7% reduction. The reduction in prescriptions at visits for respiratory tract infection (RTI) accounted for 87.3% of this decrease. Using interrupted time series analysis, overall antibiotic prescriptions decreased from 31.6 to 6.4 prescriptions per 1000 patients in April 2020 (difference of -25.2 prescriptions per 1000 patients; 95% CI: -32.9 to -17.5). This was followed by a nonsignificant monthly increase in antibiotic prescriptions, with prescribing beginning to rebound from April to June 2021. Encounter volume also immediately decreased, and while overall encounter volume quickly started to recover, RTI encounter volume returned more slowly. CONCLUSIONS: Reductions in antibiotic prescribing in pediatric primary care during the COVID-19 pandemic were sustained, only beginning to rise in 2021, primarily driven by reductions in RTI encounters. Reductions in viral RTI transmission likely played a substantial role in reduced RTI visits and antibiotic prescriptions.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Drug Prescriptions/statistics & numerical data , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care , Child , Female , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Male , Pandemics , Pediatrics , Philadelphia/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies
18.
Malar J ; 20(1): 475, 2021 Dec 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635854

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In March 2020, the government of Uganda implemented a strict lockdown policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interrupted time series analysis (ITSA) was performed to assess whether major changes in outpatient attendance, malaria burden, and case management occurred after the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic in rural Uganda. METHODS: Individual level data from all outpatient visits collected from April 2017 to March 2021 at 17 facilities were analysed. Outcomes included total outpatient visits, malaria cases, non-malarial visits, proportion of patients with suspected malaria, proportion of patients tested using rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), and proportion of malaria cases prescribed artemether-lumefantrine (AL). Poisson regression with generalized estimating equations and fractional regression was used to model count and proportion outcomes, respectively. Pre-COVID trends (April 2017-March 2020) were used to predict the'expected' trend in the absence of COVID-19 introduction. Effects of COVID-19 were estimated over two six-month COVID-19 time periods (April 2020-September 2020 and October 2020-March 2021) by dividing observed values by expected values, and expressed as ratios. RESULTS: A total of 1,442,737 outpatient visits were recorded. Malaria was suspected in 55.3% of visits and 98.8% of these had a malaria diagnostic test performed. ITSA showed no differences between observed and expected total outpatient visits, malaria cases, non-malarial visits, or proportion of visits with suspected malaria after COVID-19 onset. However, in the second six months of the COVID-19 time period, there was a smaller mean proportion of patients tested with RDTs compared to expected (relative prevalence ratio (RPR) = 0.87, CI (0.78-0.97)) and a smaller mean proportion of malaria cases prescribed AL (RPR = 0.94, CI (0.90-0.99)). CONCLUSIONS: In the first year after the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Uganda, there were no major effects on malaria disease burden and indicators of case management at these 17 rural health facilities, except for a modest decrease in the proportion of RDTs used for malaria diagnosis and the mean proportion of malaria cases prescribed AL in the second half of the COVID-19 pandemic year. Continued surveillance will be essential to monitor for changes in trends in malaria indicators so that Uganda can quickly and flexibly respond to challenges imposed by COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care , COVID-19/epidemiology , Malaria/epidemiology , Chronic Disease Indicators , Humans , Infection Control , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Malaria/diagnosis , Malaria/therapy , Malaria/transmission , Rural Health , Uganda/epidemiology
19.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0262530, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1627791

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The effect of fasting on immunity is unclear. Prolonged fasting is thought to increase the risk of infection due to dehydration. This study describes antibiotic prescribing patterns before, during, and after Ramadan in a primary care setting within the Pakistani and Bangladeshi populations in the UK, most of whom are Muslims, compared to those who do not observe Ramadan. METHOD: Retrospective controlled interrupted time series analysis of electronic health record data from primary care practices. The study consists of two groups: Pakistanis/Bangladeshis and white populations. For each group, we constructed a series of aggregated, daily prescription data from 2007 to 2017 for the 30 days preceding, during, and after Ramadan, respectively. FINDINGS: Controlling for the rate in the white population, there was no evidence of increased antibiotic prescription in the Pakistani/Bangladeshi population during Ramadan, as compared to before Ramadan (IRR: 0.994; 95% CI: 0.988-1.001, p = 0.082) or after Ramadan (IRR: 1.006; 95% CI: 0.999-1.013, p = 0.082). INTERPRETATION: In this large, population-based study, we did not find any evidence to suggest that fasting was associated with an increased susceptibility to infection.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Disease Susceptibility/metabolism , Fasting/adverse effects , Adult , Aged , Arabs , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Diseases/drug therapy , Communicable Diseases/transmission , Electronic Health Records , Female , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis/methods , Islam , Male , Middle Aged , Practice Patterns, Physicians' , Primary Health Care/trends , Retrospective Studies , United Kingdom/epidemiology
20.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261587, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1623658

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected health care systems globally. The aim of our study is to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the number of hospital admissions for ischemic stroke by severity in Japan. METHODS: We analysed administrative (Diagnosis Procedure Combination-DPC) data for cases of inpatients aged 18 years and older who were diagnosed with ischemic stroke and admitted during the period April 1 2018 to June 27 2020. Levels of change of the weekly number of inpatient cases with ischemic stroke diagnosis after the declaration of state of emergency were assessed using interrupted time-series (ITS) analysis. The numbers of patients with various characteristics and treatment approaches were compared. We also performed an ITS analysis for each group ("independent" or "dependent") divided based on components of activities of daily living (ADL) and level of consciousness at hospital admission. RESULTS: A total of 170,294 cases in 567 hospitals were included. The ITS analysis showed a significant decrease in the weekly number of ischemic stroke cases hospitalized (estimated decrease: -156 cases; 95% confidence interval (CI): -209 to -104), which corresponds to -10.4% (95% CI: -13.6 to -7.1). The proportion of decline in the independent group (-21.3%; 95% CI: -26.0 to -16.2) was larger than that in the dependent group (-8.6%; 95% CI: -11.7 to -5.4). CONCLUSIONS: Our results show a marked reduction in hospital admissions due to ischemic stroke after the declaration of the state of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic. The independent cases were affected more in proportion than dependent cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Ischemic Stroke/epidemiology , Pandemics , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis/methods , Japan/epidemiology , Male , Retrospective Studies
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