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1.
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth ; 22(1): 274, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1770507

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The aim of the current study is to investigate the relationship between perceived control, coping and psychological distress among pregnant women in Ireland during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is hypothesised that lower levels of perceived control, greater use of avoidant coping and greater Covid-19 related pregnancy concern will be associated with psychological distress. In addition, it is hypothesised that the relationship between Covid-19 related pregnancy concern and psychological distress will be moderated by perceived control and avoidant coping. METHOD: The study is cross-sectional, utilizing an online questionnaire, which was completed by 761 women in January 2021. The questionnaire includes measures of perceived control, coping style, perceived stress, anxiety and depression. RESULTS: Correlation analyses found that lower levels of perceived control were associated with higher levels of avoidant coping and psychological distress. There was also a significant positive relationship between avoidant coping and psychological distress. Using multiple regression, perceived control, avoidant coping and Covid-19 related pregnancy concern were found to predict 51% of the variance in psychological distress. However, in the moderation analysis, perceived control and avoidant coping were not found to moderate the relationship between Covid-19 related pregnancy concern and psychological distress. CONCLUSION: The results from this study suggest that pregnant women in Ireland are experiencing increased levels of psychological distress during the Covid-19 pandemic. The findings also suggest that perceptions of control and avoidant coping are associated with psychological distress in this group and could be used as intervention targets.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnant Women , Adaptation, Psychological , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/psychology
2.
Euro Surveill ; 27(7)2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703810

ABSTRACT

Despite high COVID-19 vaccine coverage in the EU/EEA, there are increasing reports of SARS-CoV-2 infections and hospitalisations in vaccinated individuals. Using surveillance data from Estonia, Ireland, Luxembourg and Slovakia (January-November 2021), we estimated risk reduction of severe outcomes in vaccinated cases. Increasing age remains the most important driver of severity, and vaccination significantly reduces risk in all ages for hospitalisation (adjusted relative risk (aRR): 0.32; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.26-0.39) and death (aRR: 0.20; 95% CI: 0.13-0.29).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Estonia/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Luxembourg , Risk Reduction Behavior , SARS-CoV-2 , Slovakia/epidemiology
3.
Acta Psychol (Amst) ; 225: 103550, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1699912

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The successful control of the COVID-19 pandemic depends largely on the acceptance and uptake of a COVID-19 vaccine among the public. Thus, formative research aiming to understand and determine the causes of weak and/or positive vaccination intentions is vital in order to ensure the success of future and current vaccination programmes through the provision of effective, evidence-based health messaging. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was completed by a sample of Irish (N = 500) and UK (N = 579) citizens using the online platform 'Qualtrics'. Participants completed a questionnaire battery comprised of health, attitudes/beliefs, influences, and behavioural intention measures. Demographic information was also assessed. RESULTS: Results highlighted similar rates of vaccine intention among both samples; where a total of 76.8% Irish respondents, and 73.7% of UK respondents indicated that they intended to be immunized if the government advised them to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Overall, 23.2% of Irish respondents reported being vaccine hesitant or vaccine resistant, while a rate of 26.3% of UK respondents reported vaccine hesitancy or resistance. Univariate analysis highlighted that both gender and age played a significant role in vaccine intention, with women under age 30 reporting higher rate of vaccine hesitancy. Multivariate analysis revealed that significant correlates of vaccine acceptance included peer influence, GP influence, civic responsibility, perceived benefit, and positive vaccination attitudes. Those who reported vaccine resistance and hesitancy were more likely to have less positive vaccination attitudes and perceive higher vaccination risk. DISCUSSION: The current sociodemographic and psychological profiles of vaccine resistant and hesitant individuals provide a useful resource for informing health practitioners in the UK and Ireland with the means of enhancing pro-vaccine attitudes and promoting vaccination uptake. The current research shows indications of associations between distrust in the vaccine itself and vaccine hesitancy and resistance. Thus, to effectively design and deliver public health messages that ensures the success of vaccination uptake, it is likely that governments and public health officials will need to take actions to garner trust in the safety of the vaccine itself. Additionally, campaigns to decrease hesitancy and resistance in the COVID-19 vaccine may benefit in targeting altruism to increase willingness to get vaccinated against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Intention , Ireland/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
4.
Acta Psychol (Amst) ; 224: 103535, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1694038

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The novel coronavirus outbreak required the population's compliance with public health measures yet young adults have been identified as having low risk perceptions and relatively low adherence with preventive measures. This study investigated third-level students' COVID-19 risk perception, knowledge and attitudes, and preventive behaviours between February and June 2021 to further understand young adults' beliefs and behavioural response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland. DESIGN: Cross-sectional quantitative online survey design. METHODS: Three hundred and sixty-four university students completed an online survey which measured risk perception, preventive behaviours, knowledge of COVID-19, vaccination attitude and source of COVID-19 information. RESULTS: University students in Ireland reported high levels of knowledge of COVID-19 and high adherence to preventive behaviours. While risk perception levels were moderately high, students displayed higher concern for others than for themselves. High levels of risk perception significantly predicted preventive behaviours while general knowledge of the virus increased the likelihood of vaccine uptake. Over two-thirds of participants were willing to take the COVID-19 vaccine if available. CONCLUSIONS: Vaccination hesitancy remains a concern among the young adult population requiring urgent attention from public health officials. The implication for health policymakers is that positive behavioural responses of the young population can be reinforced by targeting risk perceptions and by increasing the public's knowledge and understanding of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Pandemics , Perception , SARS-CoV-2 , Students , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
5.
Eur J Public Health ; 32(1): 140-144, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1672190

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As most COVID-19 transmission occurs locally, targeted measures where the likelihood of infection and hospitalization is highest may be a prudent risk management strategy. To date, in the Republic of Ireland, a regional comparison of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations has not been completed. Here, we investigate (i) the variation in rates of confirmed infection and hospital admissions within geographical units of the Republic of Ireland and (ii) frequency of deviations in risk of infection or risk of hospitalization. METHODS: We analyzed routinely collected, publicly available data available from the National Health Protection and Surveillance Centre and Health Service Executive from nine geographical units, known as Community Health Organization areas. The observational period included 206 14-day periods (1 September 2020-15 April 2021). RESULTS: A total of 206 844 laboratory-confirmed cases and 7721 hospitalizations were reported. The national incidence of confirmed infections was 4508 [95% confidence interval (CI) 4489-4528] per 100 000 people. The risk of hospital admission among confirmed cases was 3.7% (95% CI 3.5-3.9). Across geographical units, the likelihood that rolling 14-day risk of infection or hospitalization exceeded national levels was 9-86% and 0-88%, respectively. In the most affected regions, we estimate this resulted in an excess of 15 180 infections and 1920 hospitalizations. CONCLUSIONS: Responses to future COVID-19 outbreaks should consider the risk and harm of infection posed to people living in specific regions. Given the recent surges of COVID-19 cases in Europe, every effort should be made to strengthen local surveillance and to tailor community-centred measures to control transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks , Hospitalization , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Public Health ; 204: 49-53, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616725

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: There is limited evidence on the risk of in-flight transmission of SARS-CoV-2. This study estimated the extent of in-flight SARS-CoV-2 transmission on international flights arriving in Ireland during December 2020. STUDY DESIGN: This was a cross-sectional analysis. METHODS: National surveillance data identified all notified cases of COVID-19 who were infectious while travelling on international flights to Ireland during December 2020. Close contacts of cases were tested for SARS-CoV-2, and the results were collated to estimate the pooled secondary attack rate across all flights. Laboratory and epidemiological data were obtained from the Health Service Executive Covid Care Tracker, a national database of COVID-19 cases in Ireland. RESULTS: A total of 165 infectious cases of COVID-19 were identified on 134 incoming flights; 40.0% were symptomatic on board. There were 2099 flight close contacts identified, of whom 40.9% had results of a SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction test within 14 days of arrival. The pooled secondary attack rate for these contacts was 7.0% and was higher among those on flights of ≥5-hour duration (P = 0.008). More than half (59.1%) of close contacts had no SARS-CoV-2 test result recorded; the reasons included incorrect or absent contact details (26.5%) and no response when contacted (17.8%). CONCLUSIONS: In this national study investigating transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from international flights arriving into Ireland, the pooled secondary attack rate was 7.0%. International travel is likely to have contributed to the third wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Ireland in early 2021. Application of non-pharmaceutical interventions remains central to mitigating the risk of in-flight transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Contact Tracing , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Travel
7.
Euro Surveill ; 26(48)2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613504

ABSTRACT

BackgroundRobust data on SARS-CoV-2 population seroprevalence supplement surveillance data in providing evidence for public health action.AimTo conduct a SARS-CoV-2 population-based seroprevalence survey in Ireland.MethodsUsing a cross-sectional study design, we selected population samples from individuals aged 12-69 years in counties Dublin and Sligo using the Health Service Executive Primary Care Reimbursement Service database as a sampling frame. Samples were selected with probability proportional to the general population age-sex distribution, and by simple random sampling within age-sex strata. Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were detected using the Abbott Architect SARS-CoV-2 IgG Assay and confirmed using the Wantai Assay. We estimated the population SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence weighted for age, sex and geographic area.ResultsParticipation rates were 30% (913/3,043) and 44% (820/1,863) in Dublin and Sligo. Thirty-three specimens had detectable SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (1.9%). We estimated weighted seroprevalences of 3.12% (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.05-4.53) and 0.58% (95% CI: 0.18-1.38) for Dublin and Sligo, and 1.69% (95% CI: 1.13-2.41) nationally. This equates to an estimated 59,482 (95% CI: 39,772-85,176) people aged 12-69 years nationally having had infection with SARS-CoV-2, 3.0 (95% CI: 2.0-4.3) times higher than confirmed notifications. Ten participants reported a previous laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 -infection; eight of these were antibody-positive. Twenty-five antibody-positive participants had not reported previous laboratory-confirmed infection.ConclusionThe majority of people in Ireland are unlikely to have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 by June-July 2020. Non-pharmaceutical public health measures remained key pending widespread availability of vaccination, and effective treatments.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
8.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260632, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556880

ABSTRACT

Strategies adopted globally to mitigate the threat of COVID-19 have primarily involved lockdown measures with substantial economic and social costs with varying degrees of success. Morbidity patterns of COVID-19 variants have a strong association with age, while restrictive lockdown measures have association with negative mental health outcomes in some age groups. Reduced economic prospects may also afflict some age cohorts more than others. Motivated by this, we propose a model to describe COVID-19 community spread incorporating the role of age-specific social interactions. Through a flexible parameterisation of an age-structured deterministic Susceptible Exposed Infectious Removed (SEIR) model, we provide a means for characterising different forms of lockdown which may impact specific age groups differently. Social interactions are represented through age group to age group contact matrices, which can be trained using available data and are thus locally adapted. This framework is easy to interpret and suitable for describing counterfactual scenarios, which could assist policy makers with regard to minimising morbidity balanced with the costs of prospective suppression strategies. Our work originates from an Irish context and we use disease monitoring data from February 29th 2020 to January 31st 2021 gathered by Irish governmental agencies. We demonstrate how Irish lockdown scenarios can be constructed using the proposed model formulation and show results of retrospective fitting to incidence rates and forward planning with relevant "what if / instead of" lockdown counterfactuals. Uncertainty quantification for the predictive approaches is described. Our formulation is agnostic to a specific locale, in that lockdown strategies in other regions can be straightforwardly encoded using this model.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Models, Statistical , Public Health/economics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Algorithms , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Ireland/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
9.
Strabismus ; 29(4): 252-266, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556028

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 extended through 2020 with impact on all hospital services. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of orthoptic service provision during the initial recovery period from July to September 2020 in the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands. We conducted a prospective survey-based cross-sectional study using an online survey aiming for coverage of orthoptic departments across the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands. The survey sought to gather data on orthoptic practice during the COVID-19 pandemic period between the first and second waves in the UK. Questions included within the survey asked about the impact on services paused or reduced during the pandemic, the reinstatement of services, backlog of appointments, changes to arrangement and conduct of appointments, changes to working practice, impact to lives of orthoptists, and access by orthoptists to professional support and guidelines. We circulated the online survey through the British and Irish Orthoptic Society that reaches over 95% of UK and Irish orthoptic services and through social media and orthoptic research networks. This survey was open from July 1st to September 30th 2020 and achieved a response rate from orthoptic departments of 85%. A high rate (92%) of teleconsultations continued with 50% of departments using a proforma to guide the teleconsultation and with added use of risk assessment for patient appointments. To enable reopening of clinics, multiple changes were made for patient and staff flow through clinic areas. Reduced clinical capacity was confirmed by 76.5% of departments. Appointments averaged 15-20 minutes and there was routine use of PPE and cleaning and adoption of staggered appointments with added evening/weekend clinics. There was increased use of information resources/leaflets for patients and dependence on professional and health care guidance documents. The average backlog for patient appointments had increased to 26 weeks. The initial UK and Irish recovery phase in summer 2020 allowed a glimpse at adjustments needed to reopen orthoptic clinics for in-person appointments. Teleconsultation remained in frequent use but with greater risk assessment and triage to identify those requiring in-person appointments.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Orthoptics , Pregnancy , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom/epidemiology
12.
Crit Care ; 25(1): 399, 2021 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523316

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic had a relatively minimal direct impact on critical illness in children compared to adults. However, children and paediatric intensive care units (PICUs) were affected indirectly. We analysed the impact of the pandemic on PICU admission patterns and patient characteristics in the UK and Ireland. METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study of all admissions to PICUs in children < 18 years during Jan-Dec 2020, using data collected from 32 PICUs via a central database (PICANet). Admission patterns, case-mix, resource use, and outcomes were compared with the four preceding years (2016-2019) based on the date of admission. RESULTS: There were 16,941 admissions in 2020 compared to an annual average of 20,643 (range 20,340-20,868) from 2016 to 2019. During 2020, there was a reduction in all PICU admissions (18%), unplanned admissions (20%), planned admissions (15%), and bed days (25%). There was a 41% reduction in respiratory admissions, and a 60% reduction in children admitted with bronchiolitis but an 84% increase in admissions for diabetic ketoacidosis during 2020 compared to the previous years. There were 420 admissions (2.4%) with either PIMS-TS or COVID-19 during 2020. Age and sex adjusted prevalence of unplanned PICU admission reduced from 79.7 (2016-2019) to 63.1 per 100,000 in 2020. Median probability of death [1.2 (0.5-3.4) vs. 1.2 (0.5-3.4) %], length of stay [2.3 (1.0-5.5) vs. 2.4 (1.0-5.7) days] and mortality rates [3.4 vs. 3.6%, (risk-adjusted OR 1.00 [0.91-1.11, p = 0.93])] were similar between 2016-2019 and 2020. There were 106 fewer in-PICU deaths in 2020 (n = 605) compared with 2016-2019 (n = 711). CONCLUSIONS: The use of a high-quality international database allowed robust comparisons between admission data prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. A significant reduction in prevalence of unplanned admissions, respiratory diseases, and fewer child deaths in PICU observed may be related to the targeted COVID-19 public health interventions during the pandemic. However, analysis of wider and longer-term societal impact of the pandemic and public health interventions on physical and mental health of children is required.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Intensive Care Units, Pediatric/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Child , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , United Kingdom/epidemiology
13.
Psychosom Med ; 83(4): 338-344, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1494128

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Persistent somatic symptoms, such as pain and fatigue, have been referred to as somatization. Somatization is commonly associated with histories of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although previous research has demonstrated that PTSD can predict somatic problems, there has been no examination of this at the level of PTSD symptom clusters and multidimensional assessment of somatic symptoms. We examined the association between the three International Classification of Disease (11th Edition) PTSD symptom clusters (reexperiencing in the here and now, avoidance, and sense of threat), measured in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic as the stressor, and somatic symptoms while statistically adjusting for confounding variables. METHODS: Participants were a nationally representative sample of 1041 adults from the general population of the Republic of Ireland. Physical health problems across the domains of pain, gastrointestinal, cardiopulmonary, and fatigue were assessed by the Patient Health Questionnaire, and PTSD symptoms were assessed using the International Trauma Questionnaire. RESULTS: Sense of threat was associated with the presence of pain (ß = 0.254), fatigue (ß = 0.332), gastrointestinal (ß = 0.234), and cardiovascular symptoms (ß = 0.239). Avoidance was associated with pain (ß = 0.347). Reexperiencing was not associated with any physical health variable. CONCLUSIONS: In the context of COVID-19, the sense of threat symptoms in PTSD is most strongly related to somatic problems. Findings suggest that interventions addressing sense of threat symptoms might provide relief from somatization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Fear/psychology , Medically Unexplained Symptoms , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/etiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/complications , Female , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
14.
Influenza Other Respir Viruses ; 16(1): 172-177, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450556

ABSTRACT

We developed a COVID-19 pandemic severity assessment (PSA) monitoring system in Ireland, in order to inform and improve public health preparedness, response and recovery. The system based on the World Health Organization (WHO) Pandemic Influenza Severity Assessment (PISA) project included a panel of surveillance parameters for the following indicators: transmissibility, impact and disease severity. Age-specific thresholds were established for each parameter and data visualised using heat maps. The findings from the first pandemic wave in Ireland have shown that the WHO PISA system can be adapted for COVID-19, providing a standardised tool for early warning and monitoring pandemic severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Humans , Influenza, Human/diagnosis , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Ireland/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Int J Clin Pract ; 75(12): e14941, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450551

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This longitudinal cohort study aimed to examine the impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland on parents of children with externalising difficulties, in comparison to parents of children without such difficulties. METHOD: Parents of 159 children completed online self-report measures at three time points during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic; (a) Delay and Mitigation Phase (March 2020 to May 2020), (b) Reopening of Society Phase (June 2020 to July 2020) and (c) Wave 2 Case Acceleration Phase (September 2020 to October 2020). Participants were allocated to the clinical group if they met the clinical cut off point on the Conduct or Hyperactivity/Inattention subscales of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire at Time 1. RESULTS: Parents of children with externalising difficulties experienced significantly higher levels of stress, lower levels of wellbeing and engaged in higher levels of avoidant-focused coping strategies longitudinally. There was a significant difference between outcomes at the different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, for stress related to parenting, personal/family stress related to the impact of the COVID-19 and type of coping strategies employed. Children with externalising difficulties, in comparison to children without externalising difficulties, showed significantly greater adjustment over time for behavioural and emotional difficulties, as reported by their parents. CONCLUSIONS: Results provide important information regarding the trajectory of psychological outcomes in parents of children with externalising difficulties over the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the need for increased parental supports during, and after, the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child , Cohort Studies , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Parents , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Vaccine ; 39(40): 5954-5962, 2021 09 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1372608

ABSTRACT

The influenza vaccine is free to all healthcare workers (HCWs) working in hospitals and long-term/residential health care facilities in Ireland. To evaluate influenza vaccine uptake, the Health Service Executive-Health Protection Surveillance Centre surveyed HCWs each season between 2011-2012 and 2019-2020. The national HCW uptake target was 40% for the first six seasons and was increased to 75% for the 2019-2020 season. Data on seasonal influenza vaccine uptake among HCWs employed in these healthcare settings were obtained using web-based surveys sent to occupational or management contact points. Data on numbers of staff vaccinated by Health Service Executive (HSE) professional staff grade and numbers eligible for vaccination in each grade were provided. Since the 2017-2018 season, a point prevalence survey for residents to assess influenza vaccine uptake has also been undertaken in long-term/residential care facilities (LTCFs) and aggregate data submitted, initially using a desktop spreadsheet survey tool, but later using web-based survey tools; these surveys were undertaken to investigate how uptake differed between HCWs and residents, both long-term and short-term. Participation by healthcare facilities and influenza vaccine uptake by both HCWs and LTCF-residents in these surveys increased over the nine seasons. Uptake among HCWs employed in publicly-funded hospitals increased from 18.1% (2011-2012) to 58.9% (2019-2020). Uptake in publicly-funded LTCFs increased from 17.8% (2011-2012) to 45.5% (2019-2020). Overall, uptake among hospital nursing staff was lowest among all staff categories for most seasons, but increased from 12.4% in 2011-2012 to 58.1% in 2019-2020. In all seasons since 2011-2012, medical/dental, management/administrative or health and social care professional staff reported the highest uptake values in public LTCFs. Of the three annual point prevalence surveys between 2017-2018 and 2019-2020, all showed high overall uptake among long-term residents (between 88.9% and 89.4%), and a lower and wider uptake range among respite residents (between 57.5% and 66.5%).


Subject(s)
Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Health Personnel , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Ireland/epidemiology , Public Health , Seasons
17.
Alcohol Alcohol ; 57(2): 211-218, 2022 Mar 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1437811

ABSTRACT

AIMS: The novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has impacted the lives of people worldwide since March 2020. Social restrictions aimed at flattening the curve may be associated with an increase in mental health problems and have raised concerns regarding their effect on alcohol consumption. The objective of this study was to characterize changes in alcohol use during lockdown in Ireland and associations with drinking motives and psychopathological symptoms. METHODS: We collected data from 713 adults (aged 18-60) during the second lockdown period (October/December 2020). By means of an online survey, participants self-reported their alcohol use before COVID and during lockdown. Motives to drink and psychopathological symptoms were also recorded. RESULTS: Our findings showed that 66% decreased their alcohol consumption, while 15% increased their alcohol consumption. An older age and coping motives were the strongest predictors of increased alcohol use during lockdown. Depression and hostility were the specific psychopathological dimensions associated with drinking to cope. CONCLUSIONS: Older adults who drink to cope-mainly with depression symptomatology-are an important at-risk population, in line with predictions from alcohol self-medication frameworks. Future research is needed to incorporate strategies into the public mental health ecosystem.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking , COVID-19 , Mental Disorders , Motivation , Adaptation, Psychological , Adolescent , Adult , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/psychology , Middle Aged , Young Adult
18.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 735, 2021 Aug 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435226

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In Ireland and across the European Union the COVID-19 epidemic waves, driven mainly by the emergence of new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 have continued their course, despite various interventions from governments. Public health interventions continue in their attempts to control the spread as they wait for the planned significant effect of vaccination. METHODS: To tackle this challenge and the observed non-stationary aspect of the epidemic we used a modified SEIR stochastic model with time-varying parameters, following Brownian process. This enabled us to reconstruct the temporal evolution of the transmission rate of COVID-19 with the non-specific hypothesis that it follows a basic stochastic process constrained by the available data. This model is coupled with Bayesian inference (particle Markov Chain Monte Carlo method) for parameter estimation and utilized mainly well-documented Irish hospital data. RESULTS: In Ireland, mitigation measures provided a 78-86% reduction in transmission during the first wave between March and May 2020. For the second wave in October 2020, our reduction estimation was around 20% while it was 70% for the third wave in January 2021. This third wave was partly due to the UK variant appearing in Ireland. In June 2020 we estimated that sero-prevalence was 2.0% (95% CI: 1.2-3.5%) in complete accordance with a sero-prevalence survey. By the end of April 2021, the sero-prevalence was greater than 17% due in part to the vaccination campaign. Finally we demonstrate that the available observed confirmed cases are not reliable for analysis owing to the fact that their reporting rate has as expected greatly evolved. CONCLUSION: We provide the first estimations of the dynamics of the COVID-19 epidemic in Ireland and its key parameters. We also quantify the effects of mitigation measures on the virus transmission during and after mitigation for the three waves. Our results demonstrate that Ireland has significantly reduced transmission by employing mitigation measures, physical distancing and lockdown. This has to date avoided the saturation of healthcare infrastructures, flattened the epidemic curve and likely reduced mortality. However, as we await for a full roll out of a vaccination programme and as new variants potentially more transmissible and/or more infectious could continue to emerge and mitigation measures change silent transmission, challenges remain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , Bayes Theorem , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
19.
BMJ Open ; 11(9): e053423, 2021 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435059

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To explore and compare the perspectives of junior doctors in Brazil and Ireland regarding transition and professional socialisation during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the purpose of identifying better ways to support doctors as they assume their new professional role. DESIGN: 27 semistructured interviews. Transcripts were analysed using qualitative thematic analysis. Cruess' framework of professional socialisation in medicine supported the interpretation of these data. SETTING: Public health hospitals across four Brazilian states (Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Ceará, Paraíba) and County Cork in the South of Ireland. PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-seven male and female medical junior doctors who had graduated between November 2019 and April 2020. RESULTS: Fourteen Brazilian and 13 Irish junior doctors were interviewed for this study. Entry to clinical practice during the pandemic had a significant impact on factors influencing the professional socialisation of junior doctors. This impact was reflected across the following six thematic areas: lack of preparedness; disrupted trajectory of role adaptation; fewer opportunities for experiential learning; solidarity and isolation; altered interactions with patients; challenges to health and well-being. CONCLUSIONS: Transition to clinical practice is an important stage in junior doctors' professional socialisation and identity formation. The COVID-19 pandemic created the opportunity for medical graduates to enter the workforce earlier than usual. Entering the workforce during this period created a lack of confidence among junior doctors concerning the boundaries of their new role and responsibilities, while simultaneously disrupting their social integration. Priorities to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and future pandemics on this transition are presented.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Brazil/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Male , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 18474, 2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415959

ABSTRACT

Understanding patient progression from symptomatic COVID-19 infection to a severe outcome represents an important tool for improved diagnoses, surveillance, and triage. A series of models have been developed and validated to elucidate hospitalization, admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) and mortality in patients from the Republic of Ireland. This retrospective cohort study of patients with laboratory-confirmed symptomatic COVID-19 infection included data extracted from national COVID-19 surveillance forms (i.e., age, gender, underlying health conditions, occupation) and geographically-referenced potential predictors (i.e., urban/rural classification, socio-economic profile). Generalised linear models and recursive partitioning and regression trees were used to elucidate COVID-19 progression. The incidence of symptomatic infection over the study-period was 0.96% (n = 47,265), of whom 3781 (8%) required hospitalisation, 615 (1.3%) were admitted to ICU and 1326 (2.8%) died. Models demonstrated an increasingly efficacious fit for predicting hospitalization [AUC 0.816 (95% CI 0.809, 0.822)], admission to ICU [AUC 0.885 (95% CI 0.88 0.89)] and death [AUC of 0.955 (95% CI 0.951 0.959)]. Severe obesity (BMI ≥ 40) was identified as a risk factor across all prognostic models; severely obese patients were substantially more likely to receive ICU treatment [OR 19.630] or die [OR 10.802]. Rural living was associated with an increased risk of hospitalization (OR 1.200 (95% CI 1.143-1.261)]. Urban living was associated with ICU admission [OR 1.533 (95% CI 1.606-1.682)]. Models provide approaches for predicting COVID-19 prognoses, allowing for evidence-based decision-making pertaining to targeted non-pharmaceutical interventions, risk-based vaccination priorities and improved patient triage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Obesity, Morbid/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , Comorbidity , Evidence-Based Medicine , Female , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Incidence , Intensive Care Units , Ireland/epidemiology , Linear Models , Male , Middle Aged , Population Surveillance , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , Socioeconomic Factors , Urban Population/statistics & numerical data
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