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1.
Arch Virol ; 167(7): 1509-1519, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1858999

ABSTRACT

According to the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health, more than 1,053,000 cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection have been confirmed in Lebanon so far. The actual number of cases is likely to be higher. We conducted a serological study from October 2020 to April 2021 to estimate the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies and identify associated factors. Serum samples as well as demographic, health, and behavioral data were collected from 2,783 subjects. Sera were tested by microneutralization assay. Neutralizing antibodies were detected in 58.9% of the study population. The positivity rate increased over the study period. It was highest among the group who remained at work during the COVID-19 pandemic and in peri-urban areas with limited adherence to preventive measures. Sex and age were associated with positivity. Reported previous COVID-19, exposure to a COVID-19 patient in the family, and attending gatherings were associated with increased prevalence. Not taking any precautionary measures against COVID-19 was a risk factor, whereas precautionary measures such as working from home and washing hands were protective. The high neutralizing antibody seroprevalence rates detected in this study emphasize the high transmission rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the community. Adherence to preventive measures and non-pharmaceutical interventions imposed by the government is recommended.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Lebanon/epidemiology , Pandemics , Prevalence , Seroepidemiologic Studies
2.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 893, 2022 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1833299

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Public acceptance of governmental measures are key to controlling the spread of infectious diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a significant burden on healthcare systems for high-income countries as well as low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The ability of LMICs to respond to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic has been limited and may have affected the impact of governmental strategies to control the spread of COVID-19. This study aimed to evaluate and compare public opinion on the governmental COVID-19 response of high and LMICs in the Middle East and benchmark it to international countries. METHODS: An online, self-administered questionnaire was distributed among different Middle Eastern Arab countries. Participants' demographics and level of satisfaction with governmental responses to COVID-19 were analyzed and reported. Scores were benchmarked against 19 international values. RESULTS: A total of 7395 responses were included. Bahrain scored highest for satisfaction with the governmental response with 38.29 ± 2.93 on a scale of 40, followed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (37.13 ± 3.27), United Arab Emirates (36.56 ± 3.44), Kuwait (35.74 ± 4.85), Jordan (23.08 ± 6.41), and Lebanon (15.39 ± 5.28). Participants' country of residence was a significant predictor of the satisfaction score (P < 0.001), and participants who suffered income reduction due to the pandemic, had a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and held higher educational degrees had significantly lower satisfaction scores (P < 0.001). When benchmarked with other international publics, countries from the Gulf Cooperation Council had the highest satisfaction level, Jordan had an average score, and Lebanon had one of the lowest satisfaction scores. CONCLUSION: The political crisis in Lebanon merged with the existing corruption were associated with the lowest public satisfaction score whereas the economical instability of Jordan placed the country just before the lowest position. On the other hand, the solid economy plus good planning and public trust in the government placed the other countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council on top of the scale. Further investigation is necessary to find out how the governments of other low-income countries may have handled the situation wisely and gained the trust of their publics. This may help convey a clearer picture to Arab governments that have suffered during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Arabs , COVID-19/epidemiology , Government , Humans , Lebanon/epidemiology , Pandemics , Personal Satisfaction , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Int J Qual Health Care ; 34(2)2022 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1831196

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, low- and middle-income countries have rapidly scaled up intensive care unit (ICU) capacities. Doing this without monitoring the quality of care poses risks to patient safety and may negatively affect patient outcomes. While monitoring the quality of care is routine in high-income countries, it is not systematically implemented in most low- and middle-income countries. In this resource-scarce context, there is a paucity of feasibly implementable tools to monitor the quality of ICU care. Lebanon is an upper middle-income country that, during the autumn and winter of 2020-1, has had increasing demands for ICU beds for COVID-19. The World Health Organization has supported the Ministry of Public Health to increase ICU beds at public hospitals by 300%, but no readily available tool to monitor the quality of ICU care was available. OBJECTIVE: The objective with this study was to describe the process of rapidly developing and implementing a tool to monitor the quality of ICU care at public hospitals in Lebanon. METHODS: In the midst of the escalating pandemic, we applied a systematic approach to develop a realistically implementable quality assurance tool. We conducted a literature review, held expert meetings and did a pilot study to select among identified quality indicators for ICU care that were feasible to collect during a 1-hour ICU visit. In addition, a limited set of the identified indicators that were quantifiable were specifically selected for a scoring protocol to allow comparison over time as well as between ICUs. RESULTS: A total of 44 quality indicators, which, using different methods, could be collected by an external person, were selected for the quality of care tool. Out of these, 33 were included for scoring. When tested, the scores showed a large difference between hospitals with low versus high resources, indicating considerable variation in the quality of care. CONCLUSIONS: The proposed tool is a promising way to systematically assess and monitor the quality of care in ICUs in the absence of more advanced and resource-demanding systems. It is currently in use in Lebanon. The proposed tool may help identifying quality gaps to be targeted and can monitor progress. More studies to validate the tool are needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Critical Care , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Lebanon/epidemiology , Pilot Projects
4.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 593, 2022 May 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1822188

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People living with chronic conditions and physical disabilities face many challenges accessing healthcare services. In Lebanon, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and concomitant economic crisis further exacerbated the living conditions of this segment of the population. This study explored the barriers to accessing healthcare services among people living with diabetes and lower-limb amputation during the pandemic. METHODS: We conducted semi-structured, in-depth phone interviews with users of the Physical Rehabilitation Program, offered by the International Committee of the Red Cross. We used a purposive sampling technique to achieve maximum variation. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, translated, and analyzed using thematic analysis following the "codebook" approach. Transcripts were coded and grouped in a matrix that allowed the development of themes and sub-themes inductively and deductively generated. RESULTS: Eight participants (7 males, 1 female) agreed to be interviewed and participated in the study between March and April, 2021. Barriers to healthcare services access were grouped according to five emerging themes: (1) economic barriers, included increasing costs of food, health services and medications, transportation, shortage of medications, and limited income; (2) structural barriers: availability of transportation, physical environment, and service quality and availability; (3) cultural barriers: marginalization due to their physical disabilities; favoritism in service provision; (4) personal barriers: lack of psychosocial support and limited knowledge about services; (5) COVID-19 barriers: fear of getting sick when visiting healthcare facilities, and heightened social isolation due to lockdowns and physical distancing. CONCLUSION: The underlying economic crisis has worsened the conditions of people living with diabetes and lower-limb amputation. The pandemic has made these individuals more vulnerable to external and contextual factors that cannot be addressed only at an individual level. In the absence of a protective legal framework to mitigate inequalities, we provide recommendations for governments and nongovernmental institutions to develop solutions for more equitable access to healthcare for this segment of the population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Amputation , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Health Services , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Lebanon/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics
5.
Lancet ; 399(10336): 1692, 2022 04 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815314
6.
Asian J Psychiatr ; 71: 103081, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1777926
8.
East Mediterr Health J ; 28(3): 175-182, 2022 Mar 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1772113

ABSTRACT

Background: Clinical features of confirmed COVID-19 cases cover a wide spectrum. Aims: To study the clinical, radiological and virological features of the first 150 patients with COVID-19 in Lebanon. Methods: Our university hospital was designated as the primary COVID-19 care centre in Lebanon. Between 21 February 2020, the date of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Lebanon, and 3 April 2020, our team treated 150 patients diagnosed with COVID-19. In this prospective descriptive study, we present our experience in treating these patients, specifically the diagnostic criteria, outcome, and demographic, clinical, radiological and biological characteristics. Results: Ninety-five (63.33%) of the patients were male and 55 (36.67%) were female. Most patients (58%) were aged > 50 years, and 8 (5.33%) were healthcare workers. Diagnosis was based on reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, and patients were classified as mild, moderate or critical. Fifteen (10%) patients had a critical presentation and fever was the most prominent symptom at presentation. One hundred and thirty-eight (92%) patients underwent radiological evaluation. The most common laboratory findings were lymphocytopenia (34.38%), followed by neutropenia (28.13%), but leukocytosis was not prevalent (1.56%). Old age and comorbidity were significant indicators in patient risk stratification. Chest computed tomography was an invaluable method of diagnosis and management. Our radiological findings were consistent with the published literature. Conclusion: Our study underlines the variable presentation of COVID-19, the difference in severity, and the diverse methods of diagnosis. This suggests the need for a tailored approach, taking into consideration the wide spectrum of presentation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Female , Fever , Humans , Lebanon/epidemiology , Male , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Glob Public Health ; 17(5): 794-799, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700753

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed strain on healthcare systems across the world; however, countries experiencing overlapping crises such as economic or political unrest face immense pressure in ensuring routine healthcare services can continue to operate. Despite being less likely suffer severe disease or die from COVID-19, data suggest women have experienced poorer mental health, higher rates of unemployment, and more social isolation during the pandemic. In general, we know women and girls experience multiple forms of disadvantage in disaster contexts including being more likely to become homeless, work as an unpaid carer, and to experience poverty. Research from previous disaster contexts has demonstrated that women's healthcare services tend to be deprioritised in the emergency response, and reports suggest this has been the case during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper highlights key priorities for safeguarding women's and girls' health in disaster contexts, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, by drawing on learning from the multiple crises facing Beirut, including responding to the pandemic, economic collapse, and the Beirut Port Explosion in 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disasters , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Female , Humans , Lebanon/epidemiology , Pandemics
10.
BMJ ; 376: o19, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1685528
11.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0261559, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1632609

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The massive, free and unrestricted exchange of information on the social media during the Covid-19 pandemic has set fertile grounds for fear, uncertainty and the rise of fake news related to the virus. This "viral" spread of fake news created an "infodemic" that threatened the compliance with public health guidelines and recommendations. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to describe the trust in social media platforms and the exposure to fake news about COVID-19 in Lebanon and to explore their association with vaccination intent. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study conducted in Lebanon during July-August, 2020, a random sample of 1052 participants selected from a mobile-phone database responded to an anonymous structured questionnaire after obtaining informed consent (response rate = 40%). The questionnaire was conducted by telephone and measured socio-demographics, sources and trust in sources of information and exposure to fake news, social media activity, perceived threat and vaccination intent. RESULTS: Results indicated that the majority of participants (82%) believed that COVID-19 is a threat and 52% had intention to vaccinate. Exposure to fake/ unverified news was high (19.7% were often and 63.8% were sometimes exposed, mainly to fake news shared through Watsapp and Facebook). Trust in certain information sources (WHO, MoPH and TV) increased while trust in others (Watsapp, Facebook) reduced vaccination intent against Covid-19. Believing in the man-made theory and the business control theory significantly reduced the likelihood of vaccination intent (Beta = 0.43; p = 0.01 and Beta = -0.29; p = 0.05) respectively. CONCLUSION: In the context of the infodemic, understanding the role of exposure to fake news and of conspiracy believes in shaping healthy behavior is important for increasing vaccination intent and planning adequate response to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Vaccination/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Lebanon , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Social Media , Surveys and Questionnaires , Trust , Young Adult
13.
Epidemiol Infect ; 149: e242, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1591869

ABSTRACT

Little is known about the decision-making process of college students in Lebanon regarding coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) vaccination. The aim of this study was to identify factors predicting behavioural intentions of students enrolled at the American University of Beirut to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine. A total of 3805 students were randomly selected. Participants were divided into three groups: vaccine accepting (willing to take or already took the vaccine), vaccine hesitant (hesitant to take the vaccine) and vaccine resistant (decided not to take the vaccine). Overall, participants were vaccine accepting (87%), with 10% and 3% being hesitant and resistant, respectively. Vaccine hesitancy was significantly associated with nationality, residency status and university rank. Participants who believed the vaccine was safe and in agreement with their personal views were less likely to be hesitant. Participants who did not receive the flu vaccine were more hesitant than those who did. Moreover, a significant association between hesitancy and agreement with conspiracies was observed. A high level of knowledge about COVID-19 disease and vaccine resulted in lower odds of vaccine resistance among students. The factors identified explaining each of the three vaccine intention groups can be used as core content for health communication and social marketing campaigns to increase the rate of COVID-19 vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Students/psychology , /statistics & numerical data , Adult , Female , Health Communication , Humans , Lebanon , Male , Students/statistics & numerical data , Universities , Young Adult
14.
Ann Biol Clin (Paris) ; 79(6): 579-586, 2021 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551359

ABSTRACT

Automated immunoassays have been introduced to complement real time PCR (RT-PCR) in the battle against SARS-CoV-2. This study compares four serological automated immunoassays by different manufacturers (Abbott, Euroimmun, Roche and Snibe) that are available in Lebanon with regards to specificities, sensitivities, inter-agreement and positive/negative distinction abilities. One hundred and fifty-seven samples (73 with a positive RT-PCR and 84 controls) were analyzed. The 73 study samples were divided into 3 time categories: ≤ 7 days, 8-13 days and ≥ 14 days based on time since first positive RT-PCR or first symptoms. The category "total days" was studied as the average of all the three time categories. All assays had 100% specificity and their sensitivities in the "total days" category ranged from 75.3% to 20.6% (Snibe IgM). The sensitivity was low for all at ≤ 7 days and increased gradually in the other time categories. The IgG assays by different manufacturers showed high inter-agreement. The assays also showed good positive/negative discriminative abilities after 14 days. The four studied automated immunoassays (except for Snibe IgM) show an adequate diagnostic performance when used 14 days after first positive PCR or first symptom onset.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunoassay , Immunoglobulin G , Lebanon , Sensitivity and Specificity
15.
BMC Womens Health ; 21(1): 369, 2021 10 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526626

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Autonomy involves making independent decisions and creating lasting and equitable power relationships within families. Many factors, dependent on both the woman and her partner, can influence self-dependence, and subsequent decision-making, exerting a protective or triggering effect on its development. Therefore, the primary objective of the study was to assess autonomy in a sample of Lebanese women. The secondary objective was to evaluate the association between socioeconomic status, psychological factors, and autonomy. METHODS: A web based cross-sectional online study was conducted between June 8 and August 1, 2020. The questionnaire developed on Google Forms was distributed through social media and WhatsApp groups, using the snowball technique. The Women's Autonomy Index (WAI) was created using three items adapted from a previous study. In addition, the Composite Abuse Scale Revised-Short Form (CASR-SF) was used to assess three domains of abuse: physical, sexual, and psychological. The Perceived stress scale short version to measure stress perception, the Lebanese Anxiety Scale to measure anxiety and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) to assess depression. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 25 was used for data analysis. Linear regressions were performed, taking the Women's Autonomy Index as the dependent variable. RESULTS: The sample consisted of 369 Lebanese women. University education level (beta = 1.263), alcohol consumption (beta = 0.586), intermediate income level (beta = 0.702), high income (beta = 0.911), employment (beta = 0.559), and older age (beta = 0.033) were significantly associated with higher WAI. Living in South Lebanon (beta = - 0.668) and being Druze (beta = - 323) were associated with lower WAI. Significantly higher mean scores of anxiety and perceived stress were found among women with low autonomy. CONCLUSION: In Lebanon, the autonomy of women depends on several personal and partner-related characteristics (education, socioeconomic status, age), in addition to the cultural (geographic and religious) environment. Furthermore, low autonomy is associated with higher perceived stress and anxiety and probable depression and domestic abuse.


Subject(s)
Anxiety , Social Media , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Delivery of Health Care , Female , Humans , Lebanon , Personal Autonomy
16.
Int J Pharm Pract ; 30(1): 82-85, 2022 Jan 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522211

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to explore the experiences and views of domiciliary coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients towards pharmaceutical care services provided during their infection. METHODS: This was a single-centred observational study conducted among home-treated COVID-19 patients (n = 500), who were tested positive for COVID-19 in a medical centre in Lebanon. KEY FINDINGS: Out of the 500 home-treated COVID-19 patients invited to participate in the study, 279 patients completed the questionnaire. Although the participants had a good view of pharmacists caring for COVID-19 patients (mean view score: 17.79/25), their treatment experiences were unsatisfactory (mean experience score: 1.51/4). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 patients reported minimal involvement of pharmacists in their treatment. Therefore, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare authorities should intervene in restructuring, guiding and reviewing unrealized new pharmaceutical services to COVID-19 outpatients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Community Pharmacy Services , Pharmaceutical Services , Humans , Lebanon , Pandemics , Pharmacists , Professional Role , SARS-CoV-2
17.
J Endocrinol Invest ; 45(4): 763-772, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1516940

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Several studies have shown that COVID-19 pandemic has a negative impact on type 2 diabetic mellitus (T2DM) patients' quality of life (QoL). However, very few studies were performed in Middle Eastern countries. AIM: The aim of the current study was to assess, the QoL and diabetes-specific QoL, treatment satisfaction and psychological distress of Lebanese patients with T2DMs using: the Audit of Diabetes-Dependent Quality of Life (ADDQoL), Diabetes Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire status version (DTSQs) and Kessler 10 (K10) questionnaires and to compare results to those obtained during the pre-COVID-19 period. RESULTS: 461 patients with T2DM participated in the study; 52.6% men, 47.4% women; median age 59 years old. The respective median ADDQoL and DTSQs scores were - 2.2 (interval interquartile range (IQR) - 3.9, - 0.8) (range from - 9 maximum negative impact to + 3 maximum positive impact) and 30(IQR22-36) (range from 0 maximum dissatisfaction to 36 maximum satisfaction). K10 median score was 26(IQR18-35) (range from minimum score of 10 indicating no distress to maximum score of 50 indicating severe distress). Rural dwelling, lack of exercise, current smoking, diabetic complications, injectable diabetes treatment, and previous COVID-19 infection were all associated with significantly worse ADDQoL, DTSQs, and K10 score indicating greater distress. A significant worsening of ADDQoL scores followed onset of the pandemic with no significant change in DTSQs scores. CONCLUSION: During the COVID-19 pandemic, T2DM Lebanese patients experienced more negative impact of diabetes on QoL and mental health. Those infected with COVID-19 also reported worse QoL, treatment satisfaction and mental health. This highlights the need for community and individual support.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/psychology , Mental Health , Psychological Distress , Quality of Life/psychology , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/drug therapy , Female , Humans , Hypoglycemic Agents/therapeutic use , Lebanon , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Patient Reported Outcome Measures , Patient Satisfaction
18.
Am J Emerg Med ; 51: 342-347, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1499591

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the declaration of the novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, frontline healthcare workers (HCWs) and staff in the Emergency Departments (ED) started experiencing feelings of anxiety and fear from the projected exponential spread and the potential burden on the healthcare system and infrastructure. In Lebanon, major local factors contributing to this fear were the rapid escalation of COVID-19 cases across the country, the lack of preparedness, and the shortage of personal protective equipment, in addition to the evolving economic crisis and financial restrictions. This study aims to investigate the immediate psychological impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on ED staff working in a hospital environment in relation to their household income. METHODS: Self-reported cross-sectional survey was delivered to the frontline staff working at the Department of Emergency Medicine of AUBMC in Beirut, Lebanon. General demographic characteristics, scores of Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 (GAD-7), scores of Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9), and scores of Burnout Measure-Short (BMS) version were collected. RESULTS: 74 HCWs (49.6%) participated in the study. The mean age for participants was (31.78 ± 9.49). More than half of the participants were nurses and more than 70% reported a monthly salary of less than 2000 USD. The household income was negatively associated with the participants' scores on the GAD-7 and PHQ-9, but not the BMS. Previous mental health diagnosis was positively associated with the PHQ-9 and BMS scores, while seeking mental health care was negatively associated with the PHQ-9 and BMS scores. CONCLUSION: At our tertiary care center in a low-income, low resource country amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the HCWs reported marked psychological disturbances on different scales. In particular, the financial burden was associated with increased anxiety and clinical depression, but was not associated with burnout.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Economic Recession , Health Personnel/psychology , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital , Fear , Female , Humans , Lebanon , Male , Medical Staff, Hospital/psychology , Middle Aged , Nurses/psychology , Pandemics , Self Report , Tertiary Care Centers , Young Adult
19.
Hum Resour Health ; 19(1): 131, 2021 10 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1484315

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the focus of healthcare has shifted toward prevention, pharmacists were highly encouraged to expand their practice to include immunization services. Our study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of community-based Lebanese pharmacists, in addition to their willingness to expand their practice scope to include vaccine administration. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted during the phase preceding the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine in Lebanon between 1 and 31st December 2020. Using a stratified random sampling method, data were collected from Lebanese community pharmacists (CPs) through an online survey that included information on socio-demographic characteristics, clinical experience, willingness to administer vaccines, knowledge about vaccination, attitudes towards immunization, reasons supporting utilizing pharmacists as immunizers and the requested elements to incorporate immunization in pharmacists' practice scope. Multivariable analyses were performed to identify the factors associated with knowledge. RESULTS: A total of 412 community pharmacists participated in this survey. Of the total, 66.5% of the surveyed CPs are willing to administer vaccines. The majority of them (89.8%) had an overall good level. Out of all, 92.7% showed a positive overall attitude score toward immunization, 95.4% agreed that community pharmacists can play an important role in advertising and promoting vaccination. The main needed elements for implementing immunization services in pharmacies listed by participants were: support of health authorities (99.3%), statutory allowance (82.8%), patient demand (95.4%), pharmacist's interest (96.1%) and continuous education and training workshops on immunization. Older CPs (50 years and above) [aOR = 0.703, CI 95% (0.598-0.812)] and those working in Bekaa and North have lower knowledge score than their counterparts. High educational level [aOR = 1.891, CI 95% (1.598-2.019)], previous experience in immunization [aOR = 3.123, CI 95% (2.652-4.161)] and working in urban areas [aOR = 3.640, CI 95% (2.544-4.717)] were positively associated with a good knowledge level. CONCLUSION: Most of Lebanese community pharmacists are willing to offer immunizations. The expansion of the pharmacists practice scope to include provision of immunizations required a national plan that encompasses strengthening knowledge, training, certification for eligibility to administer vaccines, enhancing pharmacovigilance and statutory reform.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Community Pharmacy Services , Adult , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Immunization , Lebanon , Pharmacists , SARS-CoV-2
20.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0258913, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480459

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected millions of lives globally. However, the disease has presented more extreme challenges for developing countries that are experiencing economic crises. Studies on COVID-19 symptoms and gut health are scarce and have not fully analyzed possible associations between gut health and disease pathophysiology. Therefore, this study aimed to demonstrate a potential association between gut health and COVID-19 severity in the Lebanese community, which has been experiencing a severe economic crisis. METHODS: This cross-sectional study investigated SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive Lebanese patients. Participants were interviewed and gut health, COVID-19 symptoms, and different metrics were analyzed using simple and multiple logistic regression models. RESULTS: Analysis of the data showed that 25% of participants were asymptomatic, while an equal proportion experienced severe symptoms, including dyspnea (22.7%), oxygen need (7.5%), and hospitalization (3.1%). The mean age of the participants was 38.3 ±0.8 years, and the majority were males (63.9%), married (68.2%), and currently employed (66.7%). A negative correlation was found between gut health score and COVID-19 symptoms (Kendall's tau-b = -0.153, P = 0.004); indicating that low gut health was associated with more severe COVID-19 cases. Additionally, participants who reported unhealthy food intake were more likely to experience severe symptoms (Kendall's tau-b = 0.118, P = 0.049). When all items were taken into consideration, multiple ordinal logistic regression models showed a significant association between COVID-19 symptoms and each of the following variables: working status, flu-like illness episodes, and gut health score. COVID-19 severe symptoms were more common among patients having poor gut health scores (OR:1.31, 95%CI:1.07-1.61; P = 0.008), experiencing more than one episode of flu-like illness per year (OR:2.85, 95%CI:1.58-5.15; P = 0.001), and owning a job (OR:2.00, 95%CI:1.1-3.65; P = 0.023). CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first study that showed the impact of gut health and exposure to respiratory viruses on COVID-19 severity in Lebanon. These findings can facilitate combating the pandemic in Lebanon.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Intestinal Diseases/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Lebanon/epidemiology , Male , Severity of Illness Index
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