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1.
J Nutr Sci ; 12: e53, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2293565

ABSTRACT

To assess the determinants of hunger among food pantry users, the present study used a cross-sectional survey that included a modified Household Hunger Scale to quantify hunger. Mixed-effects logistic regression models were used to assess the relationship between hunger categories and various household socio-demographic and economic characteristics, such as age, race, household size, marital status and experience of any economic hardship. The survey was administered to food pantry users from June 2018 to August 2018 at various food pantries across Eastern Massachusetts with 611 food pantry users completing the questionnaire at any of the 10 food pantry sites. One-fifth (20⋅13 %) of food pantry users experienced moderate hunger and 19⋅14 % experienced severe hunger. Food pantry users who were single, divorced or separated; had less than a high school education; working part-time, unemployed or retired; or, who earned incomes less than $1000 per month were most likely to experience severe or moderate hunger. Pantry users who experienced any economic hardship had 4⋅78 the adjusted odds of severe hunger (95 % CI 2⋅49, 9⋅19), which was much larger than the odds of moderate hunger (AOR 1⋅95; 95 % CI 1⋅10, 3⋅48). Younger age and participation in WIC (AOR 0⋅20; 95 % CI 0⋅05-0⋅78) and SNAP (AOR 0⋅53; 95 % CI 0⋅32-0⋅88) were protective against severe hunger. The present study illustrates factors affecting hunger in food pantry users, which can help inform public health programmes and policies for people in need of additional resources. This is essential particularly in times of increasing economic hardships recently exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hunger , Humans , Cross-Sectional Studies , Pandemics , Food Supply , Family Characteristics , Massachusetts/epidemiology
2.
JAMA Netw Open ; 6(4): e238203, 2023 04 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2291703

ABSTRACT

This cohort study uses hospitalization and 30-day mortality risks to create a temporal profile of the severity of COVID-19 in Massachusetts from July 2021 to December 2022.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Massachusetts/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
3.
JAMA Health Forum ; 4(4): e230445, 2023 04 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2294381

ABSTRACT

Importance: Direct reports of the experiences of staff working in group homes for people with serious mental illness (SMI) and/or intellectual or developmental disabilities (ID/DD) are rarely reported. Hearing from workers about their experiences in the COVID-19 pandemic may inform future workforce and public policy. Objective: To gather baseline data on worker experience with the perceived effects of COVID-19 on health and work in the pandemic prior to initiating an intervention to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to measure differences in worker experience by gender, race, ethnicity, education, and resident population served (persons with SMI and/or IDD/DD). Design, Setting, and Participants: This mixed-mode, cross-sectional survey study was conducted using online then paper-based self-administration from May to September 2021 at the end of the first year of the pandemic. Staff working in 415 group homes that provided care within 6 Massachusetts organizations serving adults aged 18 years or older with SMI and/or ID/DD were surveyed. The eligible survey population included a census of staff who were currently employed in participating group homes during the study period. A total of 1468 staff completed or partially completed surveys. The overall survey response rate was 44% (range by organization, 20% to 52%). Main Outcomes and Measures: Self-reported experiential outcomes were measured in work, health, and vaccine completion. Bivariate and multivariate analyses explore experiences by gender, race, ethnicity, education, trust in experts and employers, and population served. Results: The study population included 1468 group home staff (864 [58.9%] women; 818 [55.7%] non-Hispanic Black; 98 [6.7%] Hispanic or Latino). A total of 331 (22.5%) group home staff members reported very serious perceived effects on health; 438 (29.8%) reported very serious perceived effects on mental health; 471 (32.1%) reported very serious perceived effects on health of family and friends; and 414 reported very serious perceived effects (28.2%) on access to health services, with statistically significant differences observed by race and ethnicity. Vaccine acceptance was higher among persons with higher educational attainment and trust in scientific expertise and lower among persons who self-reported as Black or Hispanic/Latino. A total of 392 (26.7%) respondents reported needing support for health needs, and 290 (19.8%) respondents reported needing support for loneliness or isolation. Conclusions and Relevance: In this survey study, approximately one-third of group home workers reported serious personal health and access to health care barriers during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Massachusetts. Addressing unmet health needs and access to health and mental health services, including inequities and disparities by race, ethnicity, and education, should benefit staff health and safety, as well as that of the individuals with disabilities who rely on them for support and care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Female , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Group Homes , Cross-Sectional Studies , Massachusetts/epidemiology
4.
Ann Epidemiol ; 80: 62-68.e3, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2275874

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: When studying health risks across a large geographic region such as a state or province, researchers often assume that finer-resolution data on health outcomes and risk factors will improve inferences by avoiding ecological bias and other issues associated with geographic aggregation. However, coarser-resolution data (e.g., at the town or county-level) are more commonly publicly available and packaged for easier access, allowing for rapid analyses. The advantages and limitations of using finer-resolution data, which may improve precision at the cost of time spent gaining access and processing data, have not been considered in detail to date. METHODS: We systematically examine the implications of conducting town-level mixed-effect regression analyses versus census-tract-level analyses to study sociodemographic predictors of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. In a series of negative binomial regressions, we vary the spatial resolution of the outcome, the resolution of variable selection, and the resolution of the random effect to allow for more direct comparison across models. RESULTS: We find stability in some estimates across scenarios, changes in magnitude, direction, and significance in others, and tighter confidence intervals on the census-tract level. Conclusions regarding sociodemographic predictors are robust when regions of high concentration remain consistent across town and census-tract resolutions. CONCLUSIONS: Inferences about high-risk populations may be misleading if derived from town- or county-resolution data, especially for covariates that capture small subgroups (e.g., small racial minority populations) or are geographically concentrated or skewed (e.g., % college students). Our analysis can help inform more rapid and efficient use of public health data by identifying when finer-resolution data are truly most informative, or when coarser-resolution data may be misleading.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Risk Factors , Students , Regression Analysis
5.
Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol ; 37(2): 93-103, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2256265

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy has been linked to preterm birth, but this association is not well understood. OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and spontaneous and provider-initiated preterm birth (PTB), and how timing of infection, and race/ethnicity as a marker of structural inequality, may modify this association. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study among pregnant people who delivered singleton, liveborn infants (22-44 weeks gestation) from 1 March 2020 to 31 March 2021 (n = 68,288). We used Cox proportional hazards models to compare the hazard of PTB between pregnant people with and without laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy. We evaluated this association according to the trimester of infection, timing from infection to birth, and timing of PTB. We also examined the joint associations of SARS-CoV-2 infection and race/ethnicity with PTB using the relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI). RESULTS: Positive SARS-CoV-2 tests were identified for 2195 pregnant people (3.2%). The prevalence of PTB was 7.2% (3.8% spontaneous, 3.6% provider-initiated). SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of PTB overall (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.53, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.34, 1.74), and provider-initiated PTB (HR 1.79, 95% CI 1.50, 2.12) but not spontaneous PTB (HR 1.09, 95% CI 0.89, 1.36). Second trimester infections were associated with an increased risk of provider-initiated PTB, and third trimester infections were associated with an increased risk of both PTB subtypes. A joint inverse association between White non-Hispanic race/ethnicity and SARS-CoV-2 infection and spontaneous PTB (HR 0.56, 95% CI 0.34, 0.94; RERI -0.6, 95% CI -1.0, -0.2) was also observed. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 infections were primarily associated with an increased risk for provider-initiated PTB in this study. These findings highlight the importance of promoting infection-prevention strategies among pregnant people.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Premature Birth , Pregnancy , Female , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Humans , Premature Birth/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Massachusetts/epidemiology
6.
Am J Public Health ; 113(6): 627-630, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2249215

ABSTRACT

Chelsea, Massachusetts, had one of the highest COVID-19 transmission rates in New England in the summer of 2020. The Chelsea Project was a collaborative effort in which government entities, local nonprofit organizations, and startups partnered to deploy wastewater analysis, targeted polymerase chain reaction testing and vaccine outreach, and a community-led communications strategy. The strategy helped increase both testing rates and vaccination rates in Chelsea. Today Chelsea has one of the highest vaccination rates among US cities with comparable demographics. (Am J Public Health. 2023;113(6):627-630. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2023.307253).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Equity , Humans , Wastewater , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring , COVID-19/epidemiology , Massachusetts/epidemiology
8.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 42(2): 268-276, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2230152

ABSTRACT

Booster vaccination offers vital protection against COVID-19, particularly for communities in which many people have chronic conditions. Although vaccination has been widely and freely available, people who have experienced barriers to care might be deterred from being vaccinated. We examined the relationship between COVID-19 booster uptake and small area-level demographics, chronic disease prevalence, and measures of health care access in 462 Massachusetts communities during the period September 2021-April 2022. Unadjusted analyses found that booster uptake was higher in older and wealthier areas, lower in areas with more Hispanic and Black residents, and lower in areas with a high prevalence of chronic conditions. In both unadjusted and adjusted analyses, uptake was lower in communities with more uninsured residents and those in which fewer residents received routine medical check-ups. Adjusted analyses found that areas with more vaccine providers and primary care physicians had higher booster uptake, but this association was not significant in unadjusted analyses. Results suggest a need for innovative outreach efforts, as well as structural changes such as expansion of health care coverage and universal access to care to mitigate the inequitable burden of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Health Services Accessibility , Public Health , Aged , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Vaccination , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage
9.
PLoS Med ; 20(1): e1004167, 2023 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2224411

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Inequities in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine and booster coverage may contribute to future disparities in morbidity and mortality within and between Massachusetts (MA) communities. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a population-based cross-sectional study of primary series vaccination and booster coverage 18 months into the general population vaccine rollout. We obtained public-use data on residents vaccinated and boosted by ZIP code (and by age group: 5 to 19, 20 to 39, 40 to 64, 65+) from MA Department of Public Health, as of October 10, 2022. We constructed population denominators for postal ZIP codes by aggregating census tract population estimates from the 2015-2019 American Community Survey. We excluded nonresidential ZIP codes and the smallest ZIP codes containing 1% of the state's population. We mapped variation in ZIP code-level primary series vaccine and booster coverage and used regression models to evaluate the association of these measures with ZIP code-level socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. Because age is strongly associated with COVID-19 severity and vaccine access/uptake, we assessed whether observed socioeconomic and racial/ethnic inequities persisted after adjusting for age composition and plotted age-specific vaccine and booster coverage by deciles of ZIP code characteristics. We analyzed data on 418 ZIP codes. We observed wide geographic variation in primary series vaccination and booster rates, with marked inequities by ZIP code-level education, median household income, essential worker share, and racial/ethnic composition. In age-stratified analyses, primary series vaccine coverage was very high among the elderly. However, we found large inequities in vaccination rates among younger adults and children, and very large inequities in booster rates for all age groups. In multivariable regression models, each 10 percentage point increase in "percent college educated" was associated with a 5.1 (95% confidence interval (CI) 3.9 to 6.3, p < 0.001) percentage point increase in primary series vaccine coverage and a 5.4 (95% CI 4.5 to 6.4, p < 0.001) percentage point increase in booster coverage. Although ZIP codes with higher "percent Black/Latino/Indigenous" and higher "percent essential workers" had lower vaccine coverage (-0.8, 95% CI -1.3 to -0.3, p < 0.01; -5.5, 95% CI -7.3 to -3.8, p < 0.001), these associations became strongly positive after adjusting for age and education (1.9, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.8, p < 0.001; 4.8, 95% CI 2.6 to 7.1, p < 0.001), consistent with high demand for vaccines among Black/Latino/Indigenous and essential worker populations within age and education groups. Strong positive associations between "median household income" and vaccination were attenuated after adjusting for age. Limitations of the study include imprecision of the estimated population denominators, lack of individual-level sociodemographic data, and potential for residential ZIP code misreporting in vaccination data. CONCLUSIONS: Eighteen months into MA's general population vaccine rollout, there remained large inequities in COVID-19 primary series vaccine and booster coverage across MA ZIP codes, particularly among younger age groups. Disparities in vaccination coverage by racial/ethnic composition were statistically explained by differences in age and education levels, which may mediate the effects of structural racism on vaccine uptake. Efforts to increase booster coverage are needed to limit future socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Adult , Child , Humans , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Massachusetts/epidemiology
10.
PLoS One ; 18(1): e0279283, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2197083

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We evaluated whether the Massachusetts COVID-19 vaccine lottery increased vaccine uptake. METHODS: We analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker to identify total number of adults aged 18 to 64 who received at least first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or who were fully vaccinated in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Vermont during the study period of March 6 -July 31, 2021. Each of the five states contributed 148 days of a daily report on cumulative number of vaccinated people, comprising 740 state-days as the total sample size. We conducted multivariable, state-day level difference-in-differences (DID) regression using a negative binomial regression model that compared the change in outcomes for Massachusetts to those of four geographically adjacent comparison states without the lotteries, before and after the Massachusetts vaccine lottery announcement (June 15, 2021). Our analyses controlled for key state-level characteristics obtained from the American Community Survey as well as day fixed-effects to capture secular trends in the outcomes. RESULTS: Massachusetts COVID-19 vaccine lottery was not associated with a significant increase in the number of adults aged 18 to 64 who were fully vaccinated or received at least one dose of the vaccine, compared with other states [Full dose, incidence rate ratio (IRR): 1.04, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.97 to 1.11, P > 0.05; At least one dose, IRR: 0.99, 95% CI: 0.93 to 1.06, P > 0.05]. CONCLUSIONS: There was insufficient evidence to conclude that Massachusetts COVID-19 vaccine lottery was associated with increased number of adult COVID-19 vaccinations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Smallpox Vaccine , Adult , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Massachusetts/epidemiology
11.
12.
N Engl J Med ; 387(21): 1935-1946, 2022 11 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2106628

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In February 2022, Massachusetts rescinded a statewide universal masking policy in public schools, and many Massachusetts school districts lifted masking requirements during the subsequent weeks. In the greater Boston area, only two school districts - the Boston and neighboring Chelsea districts - sustained masking requirements through June 2022. The staggered lifting of masking requirements provided an opportunity to examine the effect of universal masking policies on the incidence of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in schools. METHODS: We used a difference-in-differences analysis for staggered policy implementation to compare the incidence of Covid-19 among students and staff in school districts in the greater Boston area that lifted masking requirements with the incidence in districts that sustained masking requirements during the 2021-2022 school year. Characteristics of the school districts were also compared. RESULTS: Before the statewide masking policy was rescinded, trends in the incidence of Covid-19 were similar across school districts. During the 15 weeks after the statewide masking policy was rescinded, the lifting of masking requirements was associated with an additional 44.9 cases per 1000 students and staff (95% confidence interval, 32.6 to 57.1), which corresponded to an estimated 11,901 cases and to 29.4% of the cases in all districts during that time. Districts that chose to sustain masking requirements longer tended to have school buildings that were older and in worse condition and to have more students per classroom than districts that chose to lift masking requirements earlier. In addition, these districts had higher percentages of low-income students, students with disabilities, and students who were English-language learners, as well as higher percentages of Black and Latinx students and staff. Our results support universal masking as an important strategy for reducing Covid-19 incidence in schools and loss of in-person school days. As such, we believe that universal masking may be especially useful for mitigating effects of structural racism in schools, including potential deepening of educational inequities. CONCLUSIONS: Among school districts in the greater Boston area, the lifting of masking requirements was associated with an additional 44.9 Covid-19 cases per 1000 students and staff during the 15 weeks after the statewide masking policy was rescinded.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Policy , Masks , School Health Services , Universal Precautions , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Incidence , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , Schools/legislation & jurisprudence , Schools/statistics & numerical data , Students/legislation & jurisprudence , Students/statistics & numerical data , Health Policy/legislation & jurisprudence , Masks/statistics & numerical data , School Health Services/legislation & jurisprudence , School Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Occupational Groups/legislation & jurisprudence , Occupational Groups/statistics & numerical data , Universal Precautions/legislation & jurisprudence , Universal Precautions/statistics & numerical data , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data
14.
J Public Health Manag Pract ; 28(4): 344-352, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2051747

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT: Massachusetts' decentralized public health model holds tightly to its founding principle of home rule and a board of health system established in 1799. Consequently, Massachusetts has more local health departments (n = 351) than any other state. During COVID-19, each health department, steeped in centuries of independence, launched its own response to the pandemic. OBJECTIVES: To analyze local public health resources and responses to COVID-19. DESIGN: Semistructured interviews and a survey gathered quantitative and qualitative information about communities' responses and resources before and during the pandemic. Municipality demographics (American Community Survey) served as a proxy for community health literacy. We tracked the frequency and content of local board of health meetings using minutes and agendas; we rated the quality of COVID-19 communications on town Web sites. SETTING: The first 6 months of the COVID-19 pandemic in Massachusetts: March-August 2020. PARTICIPANTS: Health directors and agents in 10 south-central Massachusetts municipalities, identified as the point of contact by the Academic Public Health Corps. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We measured municipality resources using self-reported budgets, staffing levels, and demographic-based estimates of community health literacy. We identified COVID-19 responses through communities' self-reported efforts, information on town Web sites, and meeting minutes and agendas. RESULTS: Municipalities excelled in communicating with residents, local businesses, and neighboring towns but lacked the staffing and funding for an efficient and coordinated response. On average, municipal budgets ranged from $5 to $16 per capita, and COVID-19 consumed 75% of health department staff time. All respondents noted extreme workload increases. While municipal Web sites received high scores for Accurate Information, other categories (Navigability; Timeliness; Information Present) were less than 50%. CONCLUSIONS: Increased support for regionalization and sustained public health funding would improve local health responses during complex emergencies in states with local public health administration.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communication , Humans , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Pandemics , Public Health , Public Health Administration
15.
J Am Geriatr Soc ; 70(11): 3273-3280, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1968152

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the deadly 2020 SARS-CoV-2 surge in nursing homes (NHs), Massachusetts (MA) initiated a multicomponent infection control intervention to mitigate its spread. METHODS: We aimed to assess the intervention's impact by comparing the weekly risk of PCR-confirmed infections among MA NH residents to those in neighboring New England states, all managed similarly by a single NH provider. We studied 2085 residents in 20 MA NHs and 4493 residents in 45 comparator facilities. The intervention included: (1) A 28-item infection control checklist of best practices, (2) incentive payments to NHs contingent on scoring ≥24 on the checklist, meeting 6 core competencies, testing residents and staff for SARS-COV-2 RNA, uploading data, and enabling virtual visits; (3) on-site and virtual infection control consultations for deficient facilities; (4) 6 weekly webinars; (5) continuous communication with the MA Department of Public Health; and (6) access to personal protective equipment, temporary staff, and SARS-CoV-2 testing. Weekly rates of infection were adjusted for county COVID-19 prevalence. RESULTS: The adjusted risk of infection started higher in MA, but declined more rapidly in its NHs compared to similarly managed facilities in other states. The decline in infection risk during the early intervention period was 53% greater in MA than in Comparator States (state-by-time interaction HR = 0.47; 95% CI 0.37-0.59). By the late intervention period, the risk of infection continued to decline in both groups, and the change from baseline in MA was marginally greater than that in the Comparator States (interaction HR 0.80; 95% CI 0.64-1.00). CONCLUSIONS: The MA NH intervention was associated with a more rapid reduction in the rate of SARS-CoV-2 infections compared to similarly managed NHs in neighboring states. Although several unmeasured factors may have confounded our results, implementation of the MA model may help rapidly reduce high rates of infection and prevent future COVID-19 surges in NHs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Testing , RNA, Viral , Nursing Homes , Infection Control/methods , Massachusetts/epidemiology
16.
Subst Abus ; 43(1): 1317-1321, 2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1960702

ABSTRACT

Background: Racial, sex, and age disparities in buprenorphine treatment have previously been demonstrated. We evaluated trends in buprenorphine treatment disparities before and after the onset of the COVID pandemic in Massachusetts. Methods: This cross-sectional study used data from an integrated health system comparing 12-months before and after the March 2020 Massachusetts COVID state of emergency declaration, excluding March as a washout period. Among patients with a clinical encounter during the study periods with a diagnosis of opioid use disorder or opioid poisoning, we extracted outpatient buprenorphine prescription rates by age, sex, race and ethnicity, and language. Generating univariable and multivariable Poisson regression models, we calculated the probability of receiving buprenorphine. Results: Among 4,530 patients seen in the period before the COVID emergency declaration, 57.9% received buprenorphine. Among 3,653 patients seen in the second time period, 55.1% received buprenorphine. Younger patients (<24) had a lower likelihood of receiving buprenorphine in both time periods (adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR), 0.56; 95% CI, 0.42-0.75 before vs. aPR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.60-0.96 after). Male patients had a greater likelihood of receiving buprenorphine compared to female patients in both time periods (aPR: 1.05; 95% CI, 1.00-1.11 vs. aPR: 1.09; 95% CI, 1.02-1.16). Racial disparities emerged in the time period following the COVID pandemic, with non-Hispanic Black patients having a lower likelihood of receiving buprenorphine compared to non-Hispanic white patients in the second time period (aPR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.72-0.99). Conclusions: Following the onset of the COVID pandemic in Massachusetts, ongoing racial, age, and gender disparities were evident in buprenorphine treatment with younger, Black, and female patients less likely to be treated with buprenorphine across an integrated health system.


Subject(s)
Buprenorphine , COVID-19 , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Pandemics
17.
Front Public Health ; 10: 862388, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1952798

ABSTRACT

Early life adversity can significantly impact child development and health outcomes throughout the life course. With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating preexisting and introducing new sources of toxic stress, social programs that foster resilience are more necessary now than ever. The Helping Us Grow Stronger (HUGS/Abrazos) program fills a crucial need for protective buffers during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has escalated toxic stressors affecting pregnant women and families with young children. HUGS/Abrazos combines patient navigation, behavioral health support, and innovative tools to ameliorate these heightened toxic stressors. We used a mixed-methods approach, guided by the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework, to evaluate the implementation of the HUGS/Abrazos program at Massachusetts General Hospital from 6/30/2020-8/31/2021. Results of the quality improvement evaluation revealed that the program was widely adopted across the hospital and 392 unique families were referred to the program. The referred patients were representative of the communities in Massachusetts disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, 79% of referred patients followed up with the initial referral, with sustained high participation rates throughout the program course; and they were provided with an average of four community resource referrals. Adoption and implementation of the key components in HUGS/Abrazos were found to be appropriate and acceptable. Furthermore, the implemented program remained consistent to the original design. Overall, HUGS/Abrazos was well adopted as an emergency relief program with strong post-COVID-19 applicability to ameliorate continuing toxic stressors while decreasing burden on the health system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Quality Improvement
20.
Am J Ind Med ; 65(7): 556-566, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1843845

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Incidence of drug poisoning deaths has increased during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Previous research has established that risks differ for drug poisoning death according to occupation, and that workers also have a different risk for exposure to and death from COVID-19. This study sought to determine whether workers in certain occupations had drug poisoning mortality rates that increased in 2020 (the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic) compared to the average mortality rate for workers in those occupations during the previous 3 years. METHODS: Death certificates of Massachusetts residents who died from drug poisonings in 2017-2020 were obtained. Average mortality rates of drug poisoning according to occupation during the 2017-2019 period were compared to mortality rates in 2020. RESULTS: Between the 2017-2019 period and 2020, mortality rates of drug poisoning increased significantly for workers in three occupational groups: food preparation and serving; healthcare support; and transportation and material moving. In these occupations, most of the increases in 2020 compared to 2017-2019 occurred in months after COVID-19 pandemic cases and deaths increased in Massachusetts. CONCLUSION: Mortality rates from drug poisonings increased substantially in several occupations in 2020 compared to previous years. Further research should examine the role of occupational factors in this increase in drug poisoning mortality rates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Particular attention should be given to determine the role that exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, work stress, and financial stress due to job insecurity played in these increases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Poisoning , Humans , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Occupations , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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