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3.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0274043, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2140503

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Neutralizing monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment for COVID-19 prevents hospitalization and death but is underused, especially in racial/ethnic minority and rural populations. Reasons for underuse and inequity may include community member lack of awareness or healthcare access barriers, among others. This study assessed mAbs community awareness and opportunities for improving equitable mAb access. METHODS: A concurrent mixed methods study including surveys and focus groups with adults with high-risk conditions or their proxy decision-makers. Surveys and focus group guides addressed diffusion of innovation theory factors. Descriptive statistics and Fisher's exact method was used to report and compare survey findings by race and ethnicity. Rapid qualitative methods were used for focus group analysis. RESULTS: Surveys from 515 individuals (460 English, 54 Spanish, 1 Amharic), and 8 focus groups (6 English, 2 Spanish) with 69 participants, completed June 2021 to January 2022. Most survey respondents (75%) had heard little or nothing about mAbs, but 95% would consider getting mAb treatment. Hispanic/Latino and Non-Hispanic People of Color (POC) reported less awareness, greater concern about intravenous infusions, and less trust in mAb safety and effectiveness than White, Non-Hispanic respondents. Focus group themes included little awareness but high interest in mAb treatment and concerns about cost and access barriers such as lacking established sources of care and travel from rural communities. Focus groups revealed preferences for broad-reaching but tailored messaging strategies using multiple media and trusted community leaders. CONCLUSIONS: Despite unfamiliarity with mAb treatment, most respondents were open to receiving mAbs or recommending mAbs to others. While mAb messaging should have broad reach "to everyone everywhere," racial and geographic disparities in awareness and trust about mAbs underscore need for tailored messaging to promote equitable access. Care processes should address patient-level barriers like transportation, insurance, or primary care access. COVID-19 treatment dissemination strategies should promote health equity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ethnicity , Adult , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Minority Groups , Health Promotion
4.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(8): e29205, 2021 08 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141332

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown that various social determinants of health (SDOH) may have contributed to the disparities in COVID-19 incidence and mortality among minorities and underserved populations at the county or zip code level. OBJECTIVE: This analysis was carried out at a granular spatial resolution of census tracts to explore the spatial patterns and contextual SDOH associated with COVID-19 incidence from a Hispanic population mostly consisting of a Mexican American population living in Cameron County, Texas on the border of the United States and Mexico. We performed age-stratified analysis to identify different contributing SDOH and quantify their effects by age groups. METHODS: We included all reported COVID-19-positive cases confirmed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing between March 18 (first case reported) and December 16, 2020, in Cameron County, Texas. Confirmed COVID-19 cases were aggregated to weekly counts by census tracts. We adopted a Bayesian spatiotemporal negative binomial model to investigate the COVID-19 incidence rate in relation to census tract demographics and SDOH obtained from the American Community Survey. Moreover, we investigated the impact of local mitigation policy on COVID-19 by creating the binary variable "shelter-in-place." The analysis was performed on all COVID-19-confirmed cases and age-stratified subgroups. RESULTS: Our analysis revealed that the relative incidence risk (RR) of COVID-19 was higher among census tracts with a higher percentage of single-parent households (RR=1.016, 95% posterior credible intervals [CIs] 1.005, 1.027) and a higher percentage of the population with limited English proficiency (RR=1.015, 95% CI 1.003, 1.028). Lower RR was associated with lower income (RR=0.972, 95% CI 0.953, 0.993) and the percentage of the population younger than 18 years (RR=0.976, 95% CI 0.959, 0.993). The most significant association was related to the "shelter-in-place" variable, where the incidence risk of COVID-19 was reduced by over 50%, comparing the time periods when the policy was present versus absent (RR=0.506, 95% CI 0.454, 0.563). Moreover, age-stratified analyses identified different significant contributing factors and a varying magnitude of the "shelter-in-place" effect. CONCLUSIONS: In our study, SDOH including social environment and local emergency measures were identified in relation to COVID-19 incidence risk at the census tract level in a highly disadvantaged population with limited health care access and a high prevalence of chronic conditions. Results from our analysis provide key knowledge to design efficient testing strategies and assist local public health departments in COVID-19 control, mitigation, and implementation of vaccine strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Social Determinants of Health , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Censuses , Female , Health Equity , Humans , Incidence , Male , Mexico/ethnology , Middle Aged , Minority Groups , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , Spatial Analysis , Texas/epidemiology , United States , Vulnerable Populations , Young Adult
5.
BMJ Open ; 12(11): e061896, 2022 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2119267

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Migrants and ethnic minority groups have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and have lower levels of vaccine uptake in some contexts. We aimed to determine the extent and nature of social media use in migrant and ethnic minority communities for COVID-19 information, and implications for preventative health measures including vaccination intent and uptake. DESIGN: A systematic review of published and grey literature following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. We searched databases including Embase, Web of Science, PubMed NIH, CINAHL, facilitated through the WHO Global Research on COVID-19 database from 31 December 2019 to 9 June 2021. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR STUDY SELECTION: Research reporting the use of social media by migrants and/or ethnic minority groups in relation to COVID-19. DATA EXTRACTION: We extracted data on key outcomes, study design, country, population under study and sample size. RESULTS: 1849 unique records were screened, and 21 data sources were included, including populations in the UK, USA, China, Jordan, Qatar and Turkey. We found evidence of consistent use of a range of social media platforms for COVID-19 information in some migrant and ethnic minority populations (including WeChat, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube), which may stem from difficulty in accessing COVID-19 information in their native languages or from trusted sources. Some evidence suggested circulating misinformation and social media use may be associated with lower participation in preventative health measures, including vaccine intent and uptake, findings which are likely relevant to multiple population groups. CONCLUSIONS: Social media platforms are an important source of information about COVID-19 for some migrant and ethnic minority populations. Urgent actions and further research are now needed to better understand effective approaches to tackling circulating misinformation, and to seize on opportunities to better use social media platforms to support public health communication and improve vaccine uptake. REGISTRATION: This study has been registered with PROSPERO (CRD42021259190).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Transients and Migrants , Humans , Minority Groups , Ethnicity , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ethnic and Racial Minorities , Pandemics/prevention & control
6.
Psychiatr Clin North Am ; 45(2): 283-295, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1849572

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic and murder of Mr George Floyd served as catalysts for examining antiracism efforts in psychiatry training programs and health care systems. Our recruitment and retention of Black, Indigenous, and other racial/ethnic minority psychiatry trainees has not met the demand for care and does not represent the communities served. Training directors at a critical juncture in creating systemic changes to recruitment, retention, policies, and curricular competencies to address ongoing inequities and disparities in health care. We describe several strategies and considerations for training directors in supporting a diverse psychiatric workforce.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Internship and Residency , Psychiatry , Ethnicity , Humans , Minority Groups , Pandemics , Psychiatry/education , Workforce
7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(22)2022 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2116020

ABSTRACT

Health Communication is critical in the context of public health and this was highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ethnic minority groups were significantly impacted during the pandemic; however, communication and information available to them were reported to be insufficient. This study explored the health information communication amongst ethnic communities in relation to their experiences with primary health care services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research used qualitative methodology using focus groups and semi-structured interviews with community members and leaders from three ethnic minority communities (African-Caribbean, Somali and South Asian) in Leicester, United Kingdom. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and open-coded. Rigour was determined through methodological coherence, appropriate and sufficient sampling, and iterative data collection and analysis. Six focus groups and interviews were conducted with 42 participants. Four overarching themes were identified related to health communication, experiences, services and community recommendations to improve primary care communication. To address primary care inequalities effectively and improve future health communication strategies, experiences from the pandemic should be reflected upon, and positive initiatives infused into the healthcare strategies, especially for ethnic minority communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Communication , Humans , Minority Groups , Ethnicity , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Ethnic and Racial Minorities , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Primary Health Care
8.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 166(6): 1147-1160, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2115913

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This state of the art review focuses on bioethical questions and considerations from research findings and methodological issues, including design and recruitment of participants, in studies related to COVID-19 vaccine hesitation in Black individuals. Ethical concerns identified were applied to otolaryngology with recommendations for improving health inequities within subspecialties. DATA SOURCES: An internet search through PubMed, CINAHL, and socINDEX was conducted to identify articles on COVID-19 vaccine hesitation among the Black population between 2020 and 2021. REVIEW METHODS: A systematic review approach was taken to search and analyze the research on this topic, which was coupled with expert analysis in identifying and classifying vital ethical considerations. CONCLUSIONS: The most common COVID-19 vaccine hesitation factors were related to the development of the vaccine, mistrust toward government agencies, and misconceptions about safety and side effects. These findings raised bioethical concerns around mistrust of information, low health literacy, insufficient numbers of Black participants in medical research, and the unique positions of health professionals as trusted sources. These bioethical considerations can be applied in otolaryngology and other health-related areas to aid the public in making informed medical decisions regarding treatments, which may reduce health inequalities among Black Americans and other racial and ethnic minority groups. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Addressing ethical questions by decreasing mistrust, tailoring information for specific populations, increasing minority representation in research, and using health professionals as primary sources for communicating health information and recommendations may improve relationships with Black communities and increase acceptance of new knowledge and therapies such as COVID-19 vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Humans , Minority Groups
9.
Front Public Health ; 10: 1002209, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109883

ABSTRACT

Racial and ethnic minority communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, but the uptake of COVID-19 mitigation strategies like vaccination and testing have been slower in these populations. With the continued spread of COVID-19 while in-person learning is a priority, school-aged youth and their caregivers must make health-related decisions daily to ensure health at school. It is critical to understand factors associated with COVID-related health decisions such as vaccination, testing, and other health behaviors (e.g., wearing masks, hand washing). Community-engaged campaigns are necessary to overcome barriers to these health behaviors and promote health equity. The aim of this study was to examine COVID-19-related concerns and influences on health decisions in middle and high schools serving primarily racial and ethnic minority, low-income families. Seven focus groups were conducted with school staff, parents, and students (aged 16 years and older). Qualitative data were analyzed using a general inductive approach. Factors related to COVID-19 concerns and health decisions centered on (1) vaccine hesitancy, (2) testing hesitancy, (3) developmental stage (i.e., ability to engage in health behaviors based on developmental factors like age), (4) cultural and family traditions and beliefs, (5) compatibility of policies and places with recommended health behaviors, (6) reliability of information, and (7) perceived risk. We explore sub-themes in further detail. It is important to understand the community's level of concern and identify factors that influence COVID-19 medical decision making to better address disparities in COVID-19 testing and vaccination uptake.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ethnicity , Adolescent , Humans , Child , Health Promotion , Minority Groups , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ethnic and Racial Minorities , COVID-19 Testing , Reproducibility of Results
10.
Genes (Basel) ; 13(11)2022 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2099423

ABSTRACT

Childhood obesity has affected the health of millions of children around the world despite vigorous efforts by health experts. The obesity epidemic in the United States has disproportionately afflicted certain racial and ethnic minority groups. African American children are more likely than other children to have obesity-related risk factors such as hyperlipidemia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and coronavirus disease (COVID-19). For the reduction in obesity-related health inequalities to be successful, it is essential to identify the variables affecting various groups. A notable advancement in epigenetic biology has been made over the past decade. Epigenetic changes like DNA methylation impact on many genes associated with obesity. Here, we evaluated the DNA methylation levels of the genes NRF1, FTO, and LEPR from the saliva of children using real-time quantitative PCR-based multiplex MethyLight technology. ALU was used as a reference gene, and the Percent of Methylated Reference (PMR) was calculated for each sample. European American children showed a significant increase in PMR of NRF1 and FTO in overweight/obese participants compared to normal weight, but not in African American children. After adjusting for maternal education and annual family income by regression analysis, the PMR of NRF1 and FTO was significantly associated with BMI z-score only in European American children. While for the gene LEPR, African American children had higher methylation in normal weight participants as compared to overweight/obese and no methylation difference in European American children. The PMR of LEPR was significantly negative associated with the obesity measures only in African American children. These findings contribute to a race-specific link between NRF1, FTO, and LEPR gene methylation and childhood obesity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pediatric Obesity , Child , Humans , Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase FTO/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Ethnicity , Minority Groups , Overweight , Pediatric Obesity/epidemiology , United States
11.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 1988, 2022 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2098327

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Women have been especially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This exploratory study aimed to characterize women's adverse experiences related to their work, home lives, and wellbeing during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and to describe demographic differences of those lived experiences. METHODS: Using the validated Epidemic-Pandemic Impacts Inventory, we collected data from reproductive-aged women in the state of Georgia about their exposure to adverse events during the pandemic. A latent class analysis (LCA) was performed to identify subgroups of women reporting similar adverse experiences and describe their sociodemographic characteristics. An optional open-ended question yielded qualitative data that were analyzed thematically and merged with subgroup findings. Data were collected from September 2020 to January 2021. RESULTS: 423 individuals aged 18-49 completed the survey with 314 (74.2%) providing qualitative responses. The LCA yielded 4 subgroups: (1) a "low exposure" subgroup (n = 123, 29.1%) with relatively low probability of adverse experiences across domains (e.g. financial insecurity, health challenges, barriers to access to healthcare, intimate partner violence (IPV)); (2) a "high exposure" subgroup (n = 46, 10.9%) with high probability of experiencing multiple adversities across domains including the loss of loved ones to COVID-19; (3) a "caregiving stress" subgroup (n = 104, 24.6%) with high probability of experiencing challenges with home and work life including increased partner conflict; and (4) a "mental health changes" subgroup (n = 150, 35.5%) characterized by relatively low probability of adverse experiences but high probability of negative changes in mental health and lifestyle. Individuals in subgroups 1 and 4, which had low probabilities of adverse experiences, were significantly more likely to be non-Hispanic white. Individuals in subgroup 2 were more likely to identify with a sexual or racial/ethnic minority population. Inductive coding of qualitative data yielded themes such as stress, mental health, financial impact, and adaptation/resilience, providing context for pandemic-related adversity. CONCLUSION: Though many individuals in our sample experienced hardship, minority populations were unequally impacted by pandemic-related adversity in work life, home life, and wellbeing. Recovery and future emergency preparedness efforts in Georgia must incorporate support mechanisms for mental health and IPV, focusing especially on the intersectional needs of racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intimate Partner Violence , Female , Humans , Adult , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ethnicity , Georgia/epidemiology , Minority Groups
12.
BMJ Open ; 12(11): e065804, 2022 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2097999

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Achieving high vaccination coverage is vital to the efforts of curbing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public health and society. This study tested whether communicating the social benefit through community protection for friends and family members versus overall society, affects vaccination intention and perception among a sample enriched with respondents from black and ethnic minority backgrounds. DESIGN: A web-based experimental survey was conducted. Eligible participants were individually randomised, with equal probability, to one of the three experimental vignettes. SETTING: England. PARTICIPANTS: We recruited 512 (212 white, 300 ethnically diverse) vaccine-hesitant members from an online panel. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was the intention to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The secondary outcome consisted of a behavioural measure in the form of active interest in reading more about the COVID-19 vaccine. Additional measures included the perceived importance and expected uptake in others, as well as the attitudes towards vaccination. RESULTS: Logistic regression models did not show an effect of the messages on intentions for the overall sample (society: adjusted OR (aOR): 128, 95% CI 0.88 to 1.88 and friends and family: aOR 1.32, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.94). The role of vaccination in achieving community immunity yielded higher vaccination intentions among study participants with white ethnic background (society: aOR: 1.94, 95% CI 1.07 to 3.51 and friends and family: aOR 2.07, 95% CI 1.08 to 3.96), but not among respondents from ethnically diverse backgrounds (society: aOR: 0.95, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.58 and friends and family: aOR 1.06, 95% CI 0.64 to 1.73). The messages, however, did not affect the perceived importance of the vaccine, expected vaccination uptake and active interest in reading more about the vaccine. CONCLUSIONS: Thus, although highlighting the social benefits of COVID-19 vaccinations can increase intentions among vaccine non-intenders, they are unlikely to address barriers among ethnically diverse communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ethnicity , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Minority Groups , Vaccination , Intention , United Kingdom
13.
J Vis Exp ; (187)2022 09 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2080561

ABSTRACT

Increasing the diversity of students choosing careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is an area of intense focus across the USA, especially in kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12)-focused pipeline programs in medical schools. A diverse STEM workforce contributes to better problem-solving and equity in health care. Two of the many major barriers for rural students are the lack of sufficient STEM role models and limited access to technology in the classroom. Medical schools often serve as an important resource for students in the local community who can easily gain access to STEM professionals and modern technology through on-campus, sponsored events and STEM outreach to the local classrooms. However, underrepresented minority (URM) students often live in socioeconomically distressed parts of rural states such as Arkansas, where access to STEM role models and technology is limited. Virtual learning in the COVID-19 era has proven that the imaging technology resources of a medical school can be harnessed to reach a wider audience, especially students living in rural areas far from the medical school campus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Technology , Students , Minority Groups , Engineering
14.
Front Public Health ; 10: 898787, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2080282

ABSTRACT

Background: The continued emergence of new COVID-19 variants highlights the importance of vaccination in the effort to reduce disease transmission and burden. The objective of this study is to evaluate the processes and outcomes associated with a novel in-home COVID-19 vaccination program aimed at vaccinating high-risk populations in New York, USA. Methods: To evaluate program processes, we described the program itself and reflected on some key lessons learned. To evaluate program outcomes, we analyzed data reported by vaccine recipients. These outcomes included the percentage of vaccine recipients that successfully received the full course of vaccinations, and the demographic and health characteristics of vaccine recipients. We additionally assessed demographic differences in motivations for receiving in-home care, using chi-squared tests to assess statistical significance. Data were collected and reported via dynamic online intake forms. Results: The median age of vaccine recipients was 79 ± SD 9.0 years. The oldest vaccine recipient was 107 years old. Of those with non-missing data, more than half of vaccine recipients were female (63%), identified as part of a racial/ethnic minority (66%), reported an annual income of < $25,000 (58%), and received a high school degree or less (68%). Most vaccine recipients reported having one or more health conditions associated with increased risk of severe COVID-19 disease (72%). Vaccine recipients were most likely to report receiving in-home vaccination because they were home-bound due to disability. Motivations for receiving in-home vaccination differed by demographic subgroup. Conclusion: The population receiving vaccinations from this in-home care delivery program comprised seniors who were mostly female and non-white, indicated socioeconomic vulnerability, and reported one or more COVID-related health conditions; this signified that the program met its goal of vaccinating those most at risk for severe COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Ethnicity , Female , Humans , Male , Minority Groups , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination , Vulnerable Populations
15.
Front Public Health ; 10: 875198, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2080281

ABSTRACT

Background: Worldwide, the Coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on people's health, lives, and livelihoods. However, this impact has not been felt equally across various population groups. People from ethnic minority backgrounds in the UK have been more adversely affected by the pandemic, especially in terms of their physical health. Their mental health, on the other hand, has received less attention. This study aimed to explore the mental health experiences of UK adults from ethnic minorities during the Coronavirus pandemic. This work forms part of our wider long-term UK population study "Mental Health in the Pandemic." Methods: We conducted an exploratory qualitative study with people from ethnic minority communities across the UK. A series of in-depth interviews were conducted with 15 women, 14 men and 1 non-binary person from ethnic minority backgrounds, aged between 18 and 65 years old (mean age = 40). We utilized purposefully selected maximum variation sampling in order to capture as wide a variety of views, perceptions and experiences as possible. Inclusion criteria: adults (18+) from ethnic minorities across the UK; able to provide full consent to participate; able to participate in a video- or phone-call interview. All interviews took place via MS Teams or Zoom. The gathered data were transcribed verbatim and underwent thematic analysis following Braun and Clarke carried out using NVivo 12 software. Results: The qualitative data analysis yielded seven overarching themes: (1) pandemic-specific mental health and wellbeing experiences; (2) issues relating to the media; (3) coping mechanisms; (4) worries around and attitudes toward vaccination; (5) suggestions for support in moving forward; (6) best and worst experiences during pandemic and lockdowns; (7) biggest areas of change in personal life. Generally, participants' mental health experiences varied with some not being affected by the pandemic in a way related to their ethnicity, some sharing positive experiences and coping strategies (exercising more, spending more time with family, community cohesion), and some expressing negative experiences (eating or drinking more, feeling more isolated, or even racism and abuse, especially toward Asian communities). Concerns were raised around trust issues in relation to the media, the inadequate representation of ethnic minorities, and the spread of fake news especially on social media. Attitudes toward vaccinations varied too, with some people more willing to have the vaccine than others. Conclusion: This study's findings highlight the diversity in the pandemic mental health experiences of ethnic minorities in the UK and has implications for policy, practice and further research. To enable moving forward beyond the pandemic, our study surfaced the need for culturally appropriate mental health support, financial support (as a key mental health determinant), accurate media representation, and clear communication messaging from the Governments of the UK.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Coronavirus , Adult , Male , Female , Humans , Adolescent , Young Adult , Middle Aged , Aged , Pandemics , Mental Health , Ethnicity , Minority Groups , Ethnic and Racial Minorities , United Kingdom/epidemiology
16.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(10): e2237711, 2022 10 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2074863

ABSTRACT

Importance: Persistent racial and ethnic disparities in severe maternal morbidity (SMM) in the US remain a public health concern. Structural racism leaves women of color in a disadvantaged situation especially during COVID-19, leading to disproportionate pandemic afflictions among racial and ethnic minority women. Objective: To examine racial and ethnic disparities in SMM rates before and during the COVID-19 pandemic and whether the disparities varied with level of Black residential segregation. Design, Setting, and Participants: A statewide population-based retrospective cohort study used birth certificates linked to all-payer childbirth claims data in South Carolina. Participants included women who gave birth between January 2018 and June 2021. Data were analyzed from December 2021 to February 2022. Exposures: Exposures were (1) period when women gave birth, either before the pandemic (January 2018 to February 2020) or during the pandemic (March 2020 to June 2021) and (2) Black-White residential segregation (isolation index), categorizing US Census tracts in a county as low (<40%), medium (40%-59%), and high (≥60%). Main Outcomes and Measures: SMM was identified using International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) codes developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Multilevel logistic regressions with an interrupted approach were used, adjusting for maternal-level and facility-level factors, accounting for residential county-level random effects. Results: Of 166 791 women, 95 098 (57.0%) lived in low-segregated counties (mean [SD] age, 28.1 [5.7] years; 5126 [5.4%] Hispanic; 20 523 [21.6%] non-Hispanic Black; 62 690 [65.9%] White), and 23 521 (14.1%) women (mean [SD] age, 28.1 [5.8] years; 782 [3.3%] Hispanic; 12 880 [54.8%] non-Hispanic Black; 7988 [34.0%] White) lived in high-segregated areas. Prepandemic SMM rates were decreasing, followed by monthly increasing trends after March 2020. On average, living in high-segregated communities was associated with higher odds of SMM (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.61; 95% CI, 1.06-2.34). Black women regardless of residential segregation had higher odds of SMM than White women (aOR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.11-1.96 for low-segregation; 2.12; 95% CI, 1.38-3.26 for high-segregation). Hispanic women living in low-segregated communities had lower odds of SMM (aOR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.25-0.90) but those living in high-segregated communities had nearly twice the odds of SMM (aOR, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.07-4.17) as their White counterparts. Conclusions and Relevance: Living in high-segregated Black communities in South Carolina was associated with racial and ethnic SMM disparities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Black vs White disparities persisted with no signs of widening gaps, whereas Hispanic vs White disparities were exacerbated. Policy reforms on reducing residential segregation or combating the corresponding structural racism are warranted to help improve maternal health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ethnicity , Humans , Female , Pregnancy , Adult , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Whites , African Americans , Retrospective Studies , Minority Groups
17.
Health Lit Res Pract ; 6(4): e247-e256, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066721

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Health literacy encompasses various levels of communication for an individual, provider, and an organization. Validated and reliable tools have been developed to assess health literacy; however, there is a paucity of tools available to assess health literacy in native languages for indigenous and racial/ethnic minority populations. OBJECTIVE: This article shares the process taken to translate and evaluate validation and reliability of the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults for use with the Samoan population. METHODS: Respondent-driven sampling was used to collect data from 1,543 adults age 45 years and older in American Samoa. A confirmatory factor analysis using a two-factor model for validation was conducted. KEY RESULTS: The validation results indicated a "good fit" in multiple indices and Cronbach's alpha indicated high internal consistency in both the English and Samoan languages. CONCLUSIONS: Developing culturally validated and reliable health literacy assessment tools is important to help health care professionals decrease health disparities and address inadequate health literacy in all cultures. [HLRP: Health Literacy Research and Practice. 2022;6(4):e247-e256.] Plain Language Summary: The INSPIRE project studied the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (STOFHLA) tested on the American Samoan population age 50 years and older. The results would show if the STOFHLA is a valid tool to measure functional health literacy in American Samoa adults.


Subject(s)
Health Literacy , Adult , Ethnicity , Health Literacy/methods , Humans , Language , Middle Aged , Minority Groups , Reproducibility of Results
18.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066004

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Many studies indicate that ethnic minority women, including women from the disadvantaged Palestinian-Arab minority in Israel, experience higher rates of psychological distress but are less likely to use mental health services. This study examined psychological distress and its role as a moderator in the relationship between mental health service use and stigma-related, attitudinal, and instrumental barriers. METHOD: Cross-sectional study of 146 Palestinian-Arab women who completed measures of psychological distress, mental health service use, the Barriers to Care Evaluation scale, and sociodemographic characteristics. RESULTS: Participants who did not utilize mental health services reported higher levels of all barrier types compared to participants who reported previous use, but lower levels of psychological distress. Psychological distress was a significant moderator only in the relationship between attitudinal barriers and mental health service use. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the role of psychological distress in the relationship between barriers to and utilization of mental health services, helping professionals and policymakers increase mental health service use among Palestinian-Arab women in Israel and other vulnerable women elsewhere.


Subject(s)
Mental Health Services , Psychological Distress , Arabs/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ethnicity , Female , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Minority Groups/psychology
19.
Front Public Health ; 10: 953198, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065645

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To explore the effectiveness of a COVID-19 specific social vulnerability index, we examined the relative importance of four COVID-19 specific themes and three general themes of the COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index (CCVI) in explaining COVID-19 mortality rates in Cook County, Illinois. Methods: We counted COVID-19 death records from the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, geocoded incident addresses by census tracts, and appended census tracts' CCVI scores. Negative binomial regression and Random Forest were used to examine the relative importance of CCVI themes in explaining COVID-19 mortality rates. Results: COVID-19 specific Themes 6 (High risk environments) and 4 (Epidemiological factors) were the most important in explaining COVID-19 mortality (incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 6.80 and 6.44, respectively), followed by a general Theme 2 (Minority status & language, IRR = 3.26). Conclusion: The addition of disaster-specific indicators may improve the accuracy of social vulnerability indices. However, variance for Theme 6 was entirely from the long-term care resident indicator, as the other two indicators were constant at the census tract level. Thus, CCVI should be further refined to improve its effectiveness in identifying vulnerable communities. Also, building a more robust local data infrastructure is critical to understanding the vulnerabilities of local places.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Minority Groups
20.
Am J Public Health ; 112(11): 1556-1559, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065246

ABSTRACT

Mobile health units can improve access to preventive health services, especially for medically underserved populations. However, there is little published experience of mobile health units being used to expand access to COVID-19 vaccination. In concert with local public health departments and community members, we implemented a mobile COVID-19 health unit and deployed it to 12 predominantly low-income and racial/ethnic minority communities in Massachusetts. We describe the success and challenges of this innovative program in expanding access to COVID-19 vaccination. (Am J Public Health. 2022;112(11):1556-1559. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2022.307021).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Medically Underserved Area , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Counseling , Ethnicity , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Minority Groups , Vaccination
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