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1.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0277435, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109334

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination of adolescent and young adults is important for infection control. Factors influencing vaccination behavior in this age group include the source of information about the vaccine and social norms. However, there are few studies on factors influencing vaccination behavior among Japanese university students. This study aimed to assess beliefs, attitudes, and sources of information about the COVID-19 vaccine among university students in Japan. A cross-sectional online questionnaire survey was conducted among students in Teikyo University, Japan in September, 2021. The survey was designed to collect demographic information, vaccination status, attitudes, beliefs, and anxiety about the vaccine, sources of information, and whether or not the participant watched an educational movie. The factors associated with beliefs and attitudes were analyzed using logistic and linear regression. A total of 4,062 valid questionnaires were retrieved. The positive vaccine behavior group included 3,725 students (91.7%). The most common source of information on the COVID-19 vaccine was TV/radio (75.0%), and the most common Social networking service (SNS) for COVID-19 information was Twitter (31.1%). Approximately 85% students believed in the efficacy of vaccination. Positive attitude was associated with female sex and watching an educational movie by the university. Concern about the vaccine was positively associated with information from acquaintances or Instagram, and negatively associated with information from Twitter, and watching the educational movie. The majority of students had positive beliefs and attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination, and social media and educational movies produced by the university had a large influence on their attitude toward vaccination behavior. On the contrary, some students were anxious about vaccination. Promotion of educational movies on social media by the universities is an effective way to encourage vaccination among young people.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Young Adult , Adolescent , Humans , Female , Universities , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Japan/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Vaccination , Students , Surveys and Questionnaires
2.
Environ Health Prev Med ; 27: 45, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109258

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People's preventive behavior is crucial for reducing the infection and transmission of a novel coronavirus, especially in aging societies. Moreover, since behavioral restrictions may lead to high risks of secondary health impacts among older people, health-promoting behaviors, including proper nutrition intake and regular exercise, should also be encouraged. Although various studies have reported the positive association between social participation and health among older people, whether their social participation relates to preventive and health-promoting behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic was uncertain. This study examined the relationships between social participation before the COVID-19 pandemic and preventive and health-promoting behaviors during the pandemic among older people in Japan. METHODS: We obtained longitudinal data from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES), which conducted baseline and follow-up surveys from November 2019 to January 2020 (pre-pandemic) and from November 2020 to February 2021 (during the pandemic) in ten municipalities. In total, 10,523 responses were analyzed. Preventive and health-promoting behaviors were measured by nine actions (e.g., wash/disinfect hands, wear masks, do exercise), and the total of these actions was divided into two (highly implemented ≥7 or not highly implemented <7). Social participation was assessed by nine activities (e.g., participating in volunteering, sports clubs, had paid work). Adjusted for covariates, we examined the relationships between each social participation and preventive and health-promoting behavior by the logistic regression analysis or the Poisson regression analysis. RESULTS: Older people who participated in social activities pre-pandemic showed a tendency to implement preventive and health-promoting behaviors during the pandemic. Especially, participations in "sports" and "Kayoi-no-ba" were positively related to "do exercise." Only "had paid work" was negatively related to highly implemented preventive and health-promoting behaviors. CONCLUSIONS: There were the positive relationships between social participation and preventive and health-promoting behavior. This study also indicated that older people who did not participate in social activities or had paid work before the COVID-19 pandemic may have higher risks of infection and secondary health impacts. Taking into account such old people's lifestyles as well as their workplace conditions, promoting appropriate behaviors need to be considered.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Social Participation , Longitudinal Studies , Japan/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
J Occup Environ Med ; 64(11): e769-e773, 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2107645

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether workplace infection control measures during the COVID-19 pandemic could increase perceived organizational support (POS). METHODS: This prospective cohort study was conducted in Japan from December 2020 to December 2021 using a questionnaire survey. There were 18,560 respondents at follow-up; we investigated 4971 who rated low POS at baseline. The participants were asked a single question about POS and nine about workplace infection control measures. We determined the odds ratios (ORs) of high POS at follow-up using multilevel logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: The groups of 5 to 6 (OR = 1.29, 95% confidence interval = 1.05-1.57, P = 0.014) and 7 to 9 workplace infection control measures (OR = 1.54, 95% confidence interval, 1.28-1.85, P < 0.001) had significantly higher ORs than the group with 0 to 2 measures. CONCLUSIONS: Health support for employees through workplace infection control measures can increase POS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Workplace , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , Japan/epidemiology , Infection Control , Surveys and Questionnaires
4.
Asian J Psychiatr ; 78: 103320, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2104283

ABSTRACT

Similar to other countries, the Japanese government quickly undertook preventative measures against increasing suicides during the pandemic, but could not suppress the increase. Suicide mortality among both sexes under 20 and females aged 20-39 significantly increased during the pandemic, but unexpectedly had already slowed decreasing trends before the pandemic onset. Furthermore, before the pandemic, a higher complete unemployment rate contributed to increasing suicide mortality of both sexes, whereas during the pandemic, the positive relationship between females suicide mortalities and complete unemployment rates was not observed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , Male , Female , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Japan/epidemiology , Unemployment , Pandemics
5.
In Vivo ; 36(6): 2806-2812, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2100681

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/AIM: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has reduced hospital visits due to concerns regarding infection and also resulted in cancer screening delays. These changes may have had an impact on the progression of colorectal cancer (CRC). Therefore, the present study investigated the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for CRC using a correlation analysis of clinical outcomes before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The present study targeted CRC patients who underwent MIS between January 2018 and December 2019 (pre-COVID-19) and between April 2020 and March 2021 (COVID-19). A comparison analysis of clinical, surgical, and pathological findings between the pre-COVID-19 and COVID-19 groups was performed. RESULTS: Ninety-one patients underwent MIS for CRC pre-COVID-19 and 67 during COVID-19. The number of CRC cases detected by fecal occult blood tests was slightly higher in the pre-COVID-19 group than that in the COVID-19 group. Re-evaluations of laparoscopic videos revealed that the number of cases of surgical T4 CRC resected with the combined resection of the adjacent organs was significantly higher in the COVID-19 group than that in the pre-COVID-19 group (16.4 vs. 4.4%, p=0.010). Furthermore, surgical times were significantly longer in the COVID-19 group than those in the pre-COVID-19 group (p<0.001). Pathological findings showed that the number of pT4 cases was significantly higher in the COVID-19 group than that in the pre-COVID-19 group (p=0.026). CONCLUSION: The number of T4 CRC cases was higher during than before the COVID-19 pandemic, with increases in the surgical difficulty of MIS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Colorectal Neoplasms , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Japan/epidemiology , Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures/methods , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Colorectal Neoplasms/epidemiology , Colorectal Neoplasms/surgery
6.
J Atheroscler Thromb ; 29(11): 1571-1587, 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2100246

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Declines in cardiovascular diseases during the first surge of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been reported. With the repeating surges of COVID-19, we aim to investigate the medium-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the practice of percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs). METHODS: We performed a descriptive analysis of rates of PCIs, utilizing administrative data in Japan. Changes in the proportion of severe cases and in-hospital mortality since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic were investigated using interrupted time series (ITS) analyses. RESULTS: From April 2018 to February 2021, 38,696 and 28,585 cases of elective and emergency PCIs, respectively, were identified. The rates of PCIs decreased during the first and third COVID-19 surges. The ratios of monthly rates of elective PCIs to that in the corresponding months during the previous 2 years were 50.3% in May 2020 and 76.1% in January 2021. The decrease in rates of emergency PCIs was smaller than that of elective PCIs. The ITS analyses did not identify any significant changes in the proportion of severe cases and in-hospital mortality. CONCLUSIONS: We found that the impacts of COVID-19 on PCIs were larger in the first surge than in the subsequent and larger in the elective than in the emergency; this continued over the medium-term. During the COVID-19 pandemic, in-hospital mortality of cases undertaking emergency PCIs did not change.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Percutaneous Coronary Intervention , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Japan/epidemiology , Hospital Mortality
7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(21)2022 Nov 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2099547

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: individual preventive behaviors are one of the key measures needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This study sought to identify the factors associated with the adoption of COVID-19 preventive measures, focusing specifically on information sources. METHODS: we conducted a nationally representative cross-sectional survey of 30,053 Japanese adults in February 2021. The survey asked about socioeconomic, health-related, and psychological characteristics, attitudes toward immunization, and the use of information sources regarding COVID-19. We have constructed multivariable logistic regression to estimate the factors associated with the adoption of three preventive measures: 3Cs avoidance, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene. RESULTS: socioeconomic variables, psychological variables, and the use of information sources are significantly associated with the adoption of preventive measures. The more information sources one uses, the more likely one is to adopt preventive measures. Trust in healthcare professionals is positively associated with adopting preventive measures. On the other hand, negative correlations between trust in social media and preventive behaviors were observed. CONCLUSIONS: encouraging access to multiple information sources, utilizing communication channels, and modifying messaging according to target groups are essential to promote COVID-19 preventive measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Adult , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Japan/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
8.
Crit Care ; 26(1): 335, 2022 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2098416

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early public-access defibrillation (PAD) effectively improves the outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA), but several strategies implemented to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) could decrease the availability of PAD and worsen outcomes after OHCA. Previous studies have reported conflicting findings, and there is a paucity of nationwide observations. This study aims to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on PAD and OHCA outcomes using a nationwide OHCA registry in Japan, where PAD is well-documented. METHODS: This secondary analysis of the All-Japan Utstein Registry, a prospective population-based nationwide registry of OHCA patients, included patients aged ≥ 18 years with bystander-witnessed OHCA and an initial shockable rhythm who were transported to medical facilities between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2020. The analytical parameters of this study were the proportion of patients who underwent PAD and patients with one-month survival with favorable neurological outcomes, defined as a cerebral performance category score of 1 or 2. We compared the data between 2019 and 2020 using a multivariable logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: During the study period, 1,930,273 OHCA patients were registered; of these, 78,302 were eligible for the analysis. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the proportion of OHCA patients who underwent PAD and demonstrated favorable neurological outcomes increased gradually from 2005 to 2019 (P for trend < 0.001). The proportion of patient who had PAD were 17.7% (876/4959) in 2019 and 15.1% (735/4869) in 2020, respectively. The proportion of patient who displayed favorable neurological outcomes were 25.1% (1245/4959) in 2019 and 22.8% (1109/4869) in 2020, respectively. After adjusting for potential confounders, a significant reduction in the proportion of PAD was observed compared to that in 2019 (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76-0.97), while no significant reduction was observed in favorable neurological outcomes (AOR, 0.97; 95% CI 0.87-1.07). CONCLUSION: The proportion of PAD clearly decreased in 2020, probably due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. In contrast, no significant reduction was observed in favorable neurological outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation , Emergency Medical Services , Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest , Humans , Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest/epidemiology , Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest/therapy , Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest/complications , Defibrillators , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Prospective Studies , Pandemics , Japan/epidemiology , Electric Countershock , Registries
9.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 808, 2022 Oct 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2098321

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In 2020, the Japanese government implemented first of two Go To Travel campaigns to promote the tourism sector as well as eating and drinking establishments, especially in remote areas. The present study aimed to explore the relationship between enhanced travel and geographic propagation of COVID-19 across Japan, focusing on the second campaign with nationwide large-scale economic boost in 2020. METHODS: We carried out an interrupted time-series analysis to identify the possible cause-outcome relationship between the Go To Travel campaign and the spread of infection to nonurban areas in Japan. Specifically, we counted the number of prefectures that experienced a weekly incidence of three, five, and seven COVID-19 cases or more per 100,000 population, and we compared the rate of change before and after the campaign. RESULTS: Three threshold values and three different models identified an increasing number of prefectures above the threshold, indicating that the inter-prefectural spread intensified following the launch of the second Go To Travel campaign from October 1st, 2020. The simplest model that accounted for an increase in the rate of change only provided the best fit. We estimated that 0.24 (95% confidence interval 0.15 to 0.34) additional prefectures newly exceeded five COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population per week during the second campaign. CONCLUSIONS: The enhanced movement resulting from the Go To Travel campaign facilitated spatial spread of COVID-19 from urban to nonurban locations, where health-care capacity may have been limited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Japan/epidemiology , Travel , Hospital Bed Capacity , Incidence
10.
BMC Infect Dis ; 22(1): 806, 2022 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2098320

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic affects common diseases, but its impact on hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is unclear. Google Trends data is beneficial for approximate real-time statistics and because of ease in access, is expected to be used for infection explanation from an information-seeking behavior perspective. We aimed to explain HFMD cases before and during COVID-19 using Google Trends. METHODS: HFMD cases were obtained from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, and Google search data from 2009 to 2021 in Japan were downloaded from Google Trends. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated between HFMD cases and the search topic "HFMD" from 2009 to 2021. Japanese tweets containing "HFMD" were retrieved to select search terms for further analysis. Search terms with counts larger than 1000 and belonging to ranges of infection sources, susceptible sites, susceptible populations, symptoms, treatment, preventive measures, and identified diseases were retained. Cross-correlation analyses were conducted to detect lag changes between HFMD cases and search terms before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple linear regressions with backward elimination processing were used to identify the most significant terms for HFMD explanation. RESULTS: HFMD cases and Google search volume peaked around July in most years, excluding 2020 and 2021. The search topic "HFMD" presented strong correlations with HFMD cases, except in 2020 when the COVID-19 outbreak occurred. In addition, the differences in lags for 73 (72.3%) search terms were negative, which might indicate increasing public awareness of HFMD infections during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of multiple linear regression demonstrated that significant search terms contained the same meanings but expanded informative search content during the COVID-19 pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: The significant terms for the explanation of HFMD cases before and during COVID-19 were different. Awareness of HFMD infections in Japan may have improved during the COVID-19 pandemic. Continuous monitoring is important to promote public health and prevent resurgence. The public interest reflected in information-seeking behavior can be helpful for public health surveillance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease , Mouth Diseases , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Japan/epidemiology , Search Engine , Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease/epidemiology , Infodemiology
11.
BMJ Open ; 12(11): e059860, 2022 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2097978

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the risk factors for workplace bullying and mental health outcomes among workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study. SETTING: A nationwide online survey was conducted from August to September 2020 in Japan. PARTICIPANTS: 16 384 workers (men: n=9565; women: n=6789). MAIN OUTCOME VARIABLES: Workplace bullying was measured by one item from the Brief Job Stress Questionnaire; severe psychological distress according to the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (≥13) and suicidal ideation by one item. Prevalence ratios were calculated by modified Poisson regression analyses adjusting for potential confounders such as gender, age, occupational characteristics and a prior history of depression. RESULTS: Overall, 15% of workers experienced workplace bullying, 9% had severe psychological distress and 12% had suicidal ideation during the second and third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. The results of this study showed men, executives, managers and permanent employees had a higher risk of bullying than women or part-time workers. Increased physical and psychological demands were common risk factors for bullying, severe psychological distress and suicidal ideation. Starting to work from home was a significant predictor for adverse mental health outcomes but a preventive factor against workplace bullying. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study showed different high-risk groups for bullying or mental health during the pandemic. Any intervention to decrease workplace bullying or mental health problems should focus not only on previously reported vulnerable workers but also workers who have experienced a change in work style or job demands.


Subject(s)
Bullying , COVID-19 , Occupational Stress , Psychological Distress , Male , Female , Humans , Suicidal Ideation , Cross-Sectional Studies , Pandemics , Workplace/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Japan/epidemiology , Occupational Stress/epidemiology , Risk Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/psychology
12.
Prev Med ; 164: 107329, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096171

ABSTRACT

Many studies have found adverse effects of the coronavirus disease pandemic on health. Irrespective of being infected by the coronavirus, lockdowns and other measures to restrict mobility have worsened an individual's subjective health assessment. Unlike previous studies, this study examined how pre-pandemic social isolation (in the form of no interaction with others and having no social support) affected the impact of the pandemic on self-rated health in Japan. To this end, we estimated fixed-effects models using 4172 observations of 2086 individuals obtained from a three-wave Internet nationwide survey conducted in January/February 2019 and February 2020 (before the pandemic), in March 2021 (when the pandemic-related state of emergency was effective in four prefectures and just after it was lifted in six prefectures), and in October/November (a full month after the state of emergency was lifted in all prefectures). The state of emergency raised the probability of reporting poor health by 17.8 (95% confidence interval [CI]:1.9-33.8) percentage points among the participants who had not interacted with others before the pandemic, compared with only 0.7 (95% CI: -3.1-4.5) percentage points among other participants. Similar results were obtained in the absence of social support prior to the pandemic. In conclusion, pre-pandemic social isolation was detrimental to health, suggesting that policy measures are needed to avoid social isolation to increase the resilience of public health to external shocks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Social Isolation
14.
Stud Health Technol Inform ; 300: 135-148, 2022 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089734

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To clarify the views of the general population of two countries (US and Japan), concerning handling of their medical records electronically, disclosure of the name of disease, secondary usage of information, compiling their records into a lifelong medical record, access to their medical records on the internet, questionnaire filling for delicate history, comprehensive consent for laboratory results, chart and genome profile, and AI use in diagnosis and explanation. METHODS: The authors contacted people nationwide in the United States at random via Random Digit Dialing (RDD) in 2008. Same questionnaire plus some new items were surveyed in 2022 by mail invited web entry. The authors had also surveyed people in Japan in 2007 and 2017 using same questionnaires sent by mail. RESULTS: In US, accessing own chart by internet became accepted (positive 52% to 61%) and popular in these 14 years. Japan showed small change, as regional medical record sharing is yet to come. About medical records in un-identifiable manner to be used for the purpose of medical error precautions, infectious disease measures and device/drug developments, in US, positive answers are constantly low, even for infectious disease prevention like CoVID-19. About preference to compile medical record into one file as a lifelong medical record, sharp contrast was observed. US people became favor of lifelong record (46% to 71%), while Japanese people decreased (76% to 57%). As for comprehensive consent, Japan positive answers are more than US for all situations, except if genome profile is included. US answers are almost same, even genome profile is included. About AI (artificial intelligence) application to healthcare, both US and Japan survey showed best preferred is "Doctor may use AI and everything, and explains in person". Japanese people largely prefer explanation in person, while US showed small preference.


Subject(s)
Artificial Intelligence , COVID-19 , Humans , United States , Japan/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Attitude , Surveys and Questionnaires , Electronics
15.
PLoS One ; 17(10): e0276803, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089450

ABSTRACT

Recent studies have found a relationship between fear of COVID-19 and mental health problems. Medical workers caring for COVID-19 patients tend to suffer from mental health problems; however, the impact of their personality traits, in the form of mental problems like depression and anxiety in Japan is unclear. In this study, we investigated the risk of nurses' depression and anxiety, predicted by the fear of COVID-19 and the Big Five personality traits. A total of 417 nurses working in hospitals providing care to COVID-19 patients in Wakayama prefecture of the Kansai region participated in this study. The questionnaires comprised items on nurses' basic characteristics and three scales: the Fear of COVID-19 Scale 2020, the Big-Five Scale, and the Japanese version of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Depression and anxiety in the HADS were set as dependent variables, and basic attributes, fear, and personality traits as independent variables; multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted. The questionnaire, with no missing items was distributed from February to March 2021. Neuroticism (OR = 1.06, 95%CI = 1.03-1.09) was the only significant factor associated with the depression symptom, and both FCV-19S scores (OR = 1.16, 95%CI = 1.09-1.23) and neuroticism (OR = 1.09, 95%CI = 1.06-1.13) were the significant factors associated with anxiety. The Nagelkerke's R squared was 0.171 in the depression model and 0.366 in the anxiety model. Thus, it was found that it is necessary to support nurses' mental health by developing methods suitable to their personalities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Japan/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/psychology , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Fear , Personality
16.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 1294, 2022 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089193

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had various impacts on businesses and workers worldwide. The spread of infection has been reported through cluster outbreaks in the workplace, and World Health Organization has emphasized workplace infection control measures. Occupational physicians (OPs) are expected to actively support employers' efforts to minimize the damage of the pandemic. However, there is little research on the role of these specialists during a pandemic. Clarification of the contributions of OPs to health and safety at the workplace in the COVID-19 pandemic would be beneficial to ensure that OPs can be effectively deployed in the next pandemic. METHODS: We employed semi-structured interviews and qualitative content analysis of the interview transcripts. Twenty OPs were selected as priority candidates from among 600 OPs certificated of the JSOH, and thirteen who met the eligibility criteria agreed to participate. The online interviews were conducted in November and December 2020 with thirteen OPs. We extracted meaning units (MUs) from interview transcripts according to the research question: "What was the role of OP in the COVID-19 pandemic?" and condensed and abstracted them into codes and categorized them. Validity was confirmed by additional 5 OPs interviews. RESULTS: A total of 503 MUs were extracted from the transcripts. These were abstracted into 10 sub-categories and two categories. Categories 1 and 2 dealt with "Role in confronting the direct effects of the pandemic" and "Role in confronting the indirect effects of the pandemic" and accounted for 434 (86.3%) and 69 (13.7%) MUs, respectively. These results were validated by another 5 interviews. CONCLUSION: This study identified the role of OPs in Japan in the COVID-19 pandemic. The results showed that they made a wide range of contributions to the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic. We hope our findings will help OPs during future pandemics or other long-term emergency situations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Occupational Health , Physicians , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Workplace , Japan/epidemiology , Qualitative Research
17.
Indoor Air ; 32(10): e13136, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2088235

ABSTRACT

Appropriate knowledge and actions of residents in housing are expected to reduce health effects, defined as "living literacy." With the spread of COVID-19 and the diversification of lifestyles, a quantitative evaluation of a comprehensive model that includes living literacy in the housing environment is required. In this study, the author conducted two web-based surveys of approximately 2000 different households in Japan during the summer of 2020 and winter of 2021, and a statistical analysis based on the survey results. As a result, ventilation by opening windows was observed as a new resident behavior trend under COVID-19. In addition, structural equation modeling using the survey samples confirmed the certain relationship between living literacy and subjective evaluation of the indoor environment and health effects in both periods.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Literacy , Life Style , Models, Theoretical , Humans , Air Pollution, Indoor/analysis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Housing , Japan/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Behavior , Seasons
18.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 17642, 2022 Oct 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2087309

ABSTRACT

A coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cluster emerged in a manufacturing factory in early August 2021. In November 2021, we conducted a ventilation survey using the tracer gas method. Firstly, we reproduce the situation at the time of cluster emergence and examined whether the ventilation in the office was in a condition that increased the risk of aerosol transmission. Secondly, we verified the effectiveness of the factory's own countermeasure implemented immediately after the August cluster outbreak. Furthermore, we verified the effectiveness of several additional improvement measures on the factory's own countermeasures already installed in August. Under the conditions of the cluster emergence, the air changes per hour (ACH) value was 0.73 ACH on average. The ACH value was less than 2 ACH recommended by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, suggesting an increased risk of aerosol transmission. The factory's own countermeasures taken immediately in August were found to be effective, as the ACH value increased to 3.41 ACH on average. Moreover, it was confirmed that additional improvement measures on the factory's own countermeasures increased the ACH value to 8.33 ACH on average. In order to prevent the re-emergence of COVID-19 clusters due to aerosol infection in the office, it was found that while continuing the factory's own countermeasure, additional improvement measures should also be added depending on the number of workers in the room. In a company, it is important that workers themselves continue to take infection control measures autonomously, and confirming the effectiveness of the measures will help maintain workers' motivation. We believe it is helpful that external researchers in multiple fields and internal personnel in charge of the health and safety department and occupational health work together to confirm the effectiveness of conducted measures, such as in this case.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Japan/epidemiology , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets , Ventilation , Manufacturing and Industrial Facilities
19.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 18092, 2022 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2087306

ABSTRACT

This study focused on human contact behavior with objects and discussed countermeasures during the COVID-19 pandemic across 15 location types. Reducing contact with objects and disinfecting items can be implemented at a relatively low cost. We created a protocol for organizing the objects, and 1260 subjects who went outside during a day between December 3-7, 2020 in Tokyo and Kanagawa, Japan were surveyed. The participants touched 7317 objects in total; the most common objects were doors, chairs, baskets, elevator equipment, and cash. One-way analysis of variance and Scheffé's multiple comparison test showed that supermarkets had the lowest mean and median values despite having the highest number of users, contact objects, and object types. Conversely, the values for hotels were the highest, significantly higher than that for other places, excluding amusement parks, workplaces, and schools and universities. Furthermore, the long-tailed frequency distribution of the number of objects suggests that the objects touched by many individuals are limited; thus, it is important to determine the objects to be prioritized for disinfection at each location. The data and protocol could inform infection countermeasures that properly address the contact realities as they pertain to people's behavior and objects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Touch , Japan/epidemiology , Tokyo/epidemiology
20.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 17621, 2022 Oct 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2087302

ABSTRACT

This study, which included serological and cellular immunity tests, evaluated whether coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination adequately protected healthcare workers (HCWs) from COVID-19. Serological investigations were conducted among 1600 HCWs (mean ± standard deviation, 7.4 ± 1.4 months after the last COVID-19 vaccination). Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies N-Ig, Spike-Ig (Roche), N-IgG, Spike-IgM, and -IgG (Abbott), were evaluated using a questionnaire of health condition. 161 HCWs were analyzed for cellular immunity using T-SPOT® SARS-CoV-2 kit before, and 52 HCWs were followed up until 138.3 ± 15.7 days after their third vaccination. Spike-IgG value was 954.4 ± 2282.6 AU/mL. Forty-nine of the 1600 HCWs (3.06%) had pre-existing SARS-CoV-2 infection. None of the infectious seropositive HCWs required hospitalization. T-SPOT value was 85.0 ± 84.2 SFU/106 cells before the third vaccination, which increased to 219.4 ± 230.4 SFU/106 cells immediately after, but attenuated later (to 111.1 ± 133.6 SFU/106 cells). Poor counts (< 40 SFU/106 cells) were present in 34.8% and 38.5% of HCWs before and after the third vaccination, respectively. Our findings provide insights into humoral and cellular immune responses to repeated COVID-19 vaccinations. COVID-19 vaccination was effective in protecting HCWs from serious illness during the original Wuhan-1, Alpha, Delta and also ongoing Omicron-predominance periods. However, repeated vaccinations using current vaccine versions may not induce sufficient cellular immunity in all HCWs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Japan/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Vaccination , Immunoglobulin G , Immunoglobulin M
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