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1.
JAMA ; 327(15): 1488-1495, 2022 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1919133

ABSTRACT

Importance: The racial and ethnic diversity of the US, including among patients receiving their care at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), is increasing. Dementia is a significant public health challenge and may have greater incidence among older adults from underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups. Objective: To determine dementia incidence across 5 racial and ethnic groups and by US geographical region within a large, diverse, national cohort of older veterans who received care in the largest integrated health care system in the US. Design, Setting, and Participants: Retrospective cohort study within the VHA of a random sample (5% sample selected for each fiscal year) of 1 869 090 participants aged 55 years or older evaluated from October 1, 1999, to September 30, 2019 (the date of final follow-up). Exposures: Self-reported racial and ethnic data were obtained from the National Patient Care Database. US region was determined using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regions from residential zip codes. Main Outcomes and Measures: Incident diagnosis of dementia (9th and 10th editions of the International Classification of Diseases). Fine-Gray proportional hazards models were used to examine time to diagnosis, with age as the time scale and accounting for competing risk of death. Results: Among the 1 869 090 study participants (mean age, 69.4 [SD, 7.9] years; 42 870 women [2%]; 6865 American Indian or Alaska Native [0.4%], 9391 Asian [0.5%], 176 795 Black [9.5%], 20 663 Hispanic [1.0%], and 1 655 376 White [88.6%]), 13% received a diagnosis of dementia over a mean follow-up of 10.1 years. Age-adjusted incidence of dementia per 1000 person-years was 14.2 (95% CI, 13.3-15.1) for American Indian or Alaska Native participants, 12.4 (95% CI, 11.7-13.1) for Asian participants, 19.4 (95% CI, 19.2-19.6) for Black participants, 20.7 (95% CI, 20.1-21.3) for Hispanic participants, and 11.5 (95% CI, 11.4-11.6) for White participants. Compared with White participants, the fully adjusted hazard ratios were 1.05 (95% CI, 0.98-1.13) for American Indian or Alaska Native participants, 1.20 (95% CI, 1.13-1.28) for Asian participants, 1.54 (95% CI, 1.51-1.57) for Black participants, and 1.92 (95% CI, 1.82-2.02) for Hispanic participants. Across most US regions, age-adjusted dementia incidence rates were highest for Black and Hispanic participants, with rates similar among American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and White participants. Conclusions and Relevance: Among older adults who received care at VHA medical centers, there were significant differences in dementia incidence based on race and ethnicity. Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms responsible for these differences.


Subject(s)
Dementia , Veterans , Aged , Dementia/epidemiology , Dementia/ethnology , Ethnicity/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Racial Groups/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , United States/epidemiology , Veterans/statistics & numerical data , Veterans Health Services/statistics & numerical data
2.
PLoS Med ; 19(3): e1003932, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793651

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 vaccine uptake is lower amongst most minority ethnic groups compared to the White British group in England, despite higher COVID-19 mortality rates. Here, we add to existing evidence by estimating inequalities for 16 minority ethnic groups, examining ethnic inequalities within population subgroups, and comparing the magnitudes of ethnic inequalities in COVID-19 vaccine uptake to those for routine seasonal influenza vaccine uptake. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the Greater Manchester Care Record, which contains de-identified electronic health record data for the population of Greater Manchester, England. We used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate ethnic inequalities in time to COVID-19 vaccination amongst people eligible for vaccination on health or age (50+ years) criteria between 1 December 2020 and 18 April 2021 (138 days of follow-up). We included vaccination with any approved COVID-19 vaccine, and analysed first-dose vaccination only. We compared inequalities between COVID-19 and influenza vaccine uptake adjusting by age group and clinical risk, and used subgroup analysis to identify populations where inequalities were widest. The majority of individuals (871,231; 79.24%) were White British. The largest minority ethnic groups were Pakistani (50,268; 4.75%), 'other White background' (43,195; 3.93%), 'other ethnic group' (34,568; 3.14%), and Black African (18,802; 1.71%). In total, 83.64% (919,636/1,099,503) of eligible individuals received a COVID-19 vaccine. Uptake was lower compared to the White British group for 15 of 16 minority ethnic groups, with particularly wide inequalities amongst the groups 'other Black background' (hazard ratio [HR] 0.42, 95% CI 0.40 to 0.44), Black African (HR 0.43, 95% CI 0.42 to 0.44), Arab (HR 0.43, 95% CI 0.40 to 0.48), and Black Caribbean (HR 0.43, 95% CI 0.42 to 0.45). In total, 55.71% (419,314/752,715) of eligible individuals took up influenza vaccination. Compared to the White British group, inequalities in influenza vaccine uptake were widest amongst the groups 'White and Black Caribbean' (HR 0.63, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.68) and 'White and Black African' (HR 0.67, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.72). In contrast, uptake was slightly higher than the White British group amongst the groups 'other ethnic group' (HR 1.11, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.12) and Bangladeshi (HR 1.08, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.11). Overall, ethnic inequalities in vaccine uptake were wider for COVID-19 than influenza vaccination for 15 of 16 minority ethnic groups. COVID-19 vaccine uptake inequalities also existed amongst individuals who previously took up influenza vaccination. Ethnic inequalities in COVID-19 vaccine uptake were concentrated amongst older and extremely clinically vulnerable adults, and the most income-deprived. A limitation of this study is the focus on uptake of the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination, rather than full COVID-19 vaccination. CONCLUSIONS: Ethnic inequalities in COVID-19 vaccine uptake exceeded those for influenza vaccine uptake, existed amongst those recently vaccinated against influenza, and were widest amongst those with greatest COVID-19 risk. This suggests the COVID-19 vaccination programme has created additional and different inequalities beyond pre-existing health inequalities. We suggest that further research and policy action is needed to understand and remove barriers to vaccine uptake, and to build trust and confidence amongst minority ethnic communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Influenza Vaccines/therapeutic use , Patient Participation/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Male , Middle Aged , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Socioeconomic Factors , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult
3.
Front Public Health ; 9: 727064, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775850

ABSTRACT

Increasing the number of racially and ethnically underrepresented students who pursue scientific graduate studies in programs focusing on science and aging offers an opportunity to increase the number of aging specialists while simultaneously promoting diversity in the research labor market and supporting new ideas. This case study aims to better understand how students participating in an academic preparatory program experience a writing class contextualized within (1) students' writing background and (2) students' future ambitions related to science and aging. The individually-tailored writing class was taught as a critical component of a comprehensive educational program that targets underrepresented racial and ethnic minority undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing scientific graduate studies in fields related to aging. The researchers conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with students (n = 4) enrolled in the 24-month fellowship training program, which included participation in the writing course during the summer prior to their senior year of undergraduate education. All participants were young adult college students who identified as Black or African American and female. Using thematic coding, statements about professional writing skills were divided into four primary themes: (1) prior experiences, (2) class experiences, (3) future goals and ambitions, and (4) structural considerations. These themes suggest potential implications for effective interventions aimed to advance the writing skills and academic and career readiness of racially and ethnically diverse students entering fields of science and aging.


Subject(s)
Career Choice , Education, Graduate , Students , Writing , African Americans/psychology , African Americans/statistics & numerical data , Aging , Blacks/psychology , Blacks/statistics & numerical data , Cultural Diversity , Female , Humans , Minority Groups/psychology , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Science/education , Students/psychology , Students/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
5.
Mol Biol Cell ; 33(3): vo1, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1709244

ABSTRACT

Despite substantial investment and effort by federal agencies and institutions to improve the diversity of the professoriate, progress is excruciatingly slow. One program that aims to enhance faculty diversity is the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) funded by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences. IRACDA supports the training of a diverse cohort of postdoctoral scholars who will seek academic research and teaching careers. The San Diego IRACDA program has trained 109 postdoctoral scholars since its inception in 2003; 59% are women and 63% are underrepresented (UR) Black/African-American, Latinx/Mexican-American, and Indigenous scientists. Sixty-four percent obtained tenure-track faculty positions, including a substantial 32% at research-intensive institutions. However, the COVID-19 pandemic crisis threatens to upend IRACDA efforts to improve faculty diversity, and academia is at risk of losing a generation of diverse, talented scholars. Here, a group of San Diego IRACDA postdoctoral scholars reflects on these issues and discusses recommendations to enhance the retention of UR scientists to avoid a "lost generation" of promising UR faculty scholars.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cultural Diversity , Education, Graduate , Faculty, Medical/statistics & numerical data , Fellowships and Scholarships/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Universities/statistics & numerical data , California , Education, Graduate/economics , Ethnicity/statistics & numerical data , Faculty, Medical/economics , Female , Humans , Male , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , National Institute of General Medical Sciences (U.S.) , National Institutes of Health (U.S.) , Research Personnel/economics , Research Personnel/education , Research Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Salaries and Fringe Benefits/statistics & numerical data , United States , Universities/economics , Women/education
6.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 636, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671552

ABSTRACT

Worldwide, racial and ethnic minorities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 with increased risk of infection, its related complications, and death. In the initial phase of population-based vaccination in the United States (U.S.) and United Kingdom (U.K.), vaccine hesitancy may result in differences in uptake. We performed a cohort study among U.S. and U.K. participants who volunteered to take part in the smartphone-based COVID Symptom Study (March 2020-February 2021) and used logistic regression to estimate odds ratios of vaccine hesitancy and uptake. In the U.S. (n = 87,388), compared to white participants, vaccine hesitancy was greater for Black and Hispanic participants and those reporting more than one or other race. In the U.K. (n = 1,254,294), racial and ethnic minority participants showed similar levels of vaccine hesitancy to the U.S. However, associations between participant race and ethnicity and levels of vaccine uptake were observed to be different in the U.S. and the U.K. studies. Among U.S. participants, vaccine uptake was significantly lower among Black participants, which persisted among participants that self-reported being vaccine-willing. In contrast, statistically significant racial and ethnic disparities in vaccine uptake were not observed in the U.K sample. In this study of self-reported vaccine hesitancy and uptake, lower levels of vaccine uptake in Black participants in the U.S. during the initial vaccine rollout may be attributable to both hesitancy and disparities in access.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination Hesitancy , Vaccination/psychology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Asians/psychology , Asians/statistics & numerical data , Blacks/psychology , Blacks/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/psychology , Cohort Studies , Female , Hispanic or Latino/psychology , Hispanic or Latino/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Minority Groups/psychology , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Self Report , United Kingdom/ethnology , United States/epidemiology , Whites/psychology , Whites/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
7.
Pediatrics ; 149(1)2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626689

ABSTRACT

A physician workforce that reflects the patient population is associated with improved patient outcomes and promotes health equity. Notwithstanding, racial and ethnic disparities persist within US medical schools, making some individuals underrepresented in medicine (URM). We sought to increase the percentage of URM residents who matched into our pediatric residency programs from a baseline of 5% to 35% to achieve demographic parity with our patients. We developed a multifaceted approach using multiple iterative tests of change, with the primary strategy being increased visibility of URM trainees and faculty to residency applicants. Strategies included applicant interviews with URM faculty, interview dinners with URM residents, visibility at academic conferences for URM trainees, development of targeted marketing materials, and a visiting student program supported by networking with URM residents. The primary outcome measure was the percentage of matched residents in the categorical pediatrics, child neurology, and medical genetics training programs who identified as URM. The percentage of URM residents increased to 16% (6 of 37) in 2018, 26% (11 of 43) in 2019, 19% (8 of 43) in 2020, and 21% (9 of 43) in 2021 (a four-year average of 22% URM residents; P = .0002). This progress toward a more representative residency program was met by challenges, such as pipeline concerns, the minority tax, and recruitment during a pandemic. We were able to implement small, low-resource strategies that had a large cumulative impact and could be implemented in other residency programs. Specific tactics and challenges encountered are discussed in this special article.


Subject(s)
Internship and Residency/organization & administration , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Pediatrics/education , Program Development , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Equity , Humans , Internship and Residency/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Pediatricians/supply & distribution , United States/epidemiology
8.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(11): e2135967, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527395

ABSTRACT

Importance: Racial and ethnic inequities in COVID-19 mortality have been well documented, but little prior research has assessed the combined roles of race and ethnicity and educational attainment. Objective: To measure inequality in COVID-19 mortality jointly by race and ethnicity and educational attainment. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study analyzed data on COVID-19 mortality from the 50 US states and the District of Columbia for the full calendar year 2020. It included all persons in the United States aged 25 years or older and analyzed them in subgroups jointly stratified by age, sex, race and ethnicity, and educational attainment. Main Outcomes and Measures: Population-based cumulative mortality rates attributed to COVID-19.F. Results: Among 219.1 million adults aged 25 years or older (113.3 million women [51.7%]; mean [SD] age, 51.3 [16.8] years), 376 125 COVID-19 deaths were reported. Age-adjusted cumulative mortality rates per 100 000 ranged from 54.4 (95% CI, 49.8-59.0 per 100 000 population) among Asian women with some college to 699.0 (95% CI, 612.9-785.0 per 100 000 population) among Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander men with a high school degree or less. Racial and ethnic inequalities in COVID-19 mortality rates remained when comparing within educational attainment categories (median rate ratio reduction, 17% [IQR, 0%-25%] for education-stratified estimates vs unstratified, with non-Hispanic White individuals as the reference). If all groups had experienced the same mortality rates as college-educated non-Hispanic White individuals, there would have been 48% fewer COVID-19 deaths among adults aged 25 years or older overall, including 71% fewer deaths among racial and ethnic minority populations and 89% fewer deaths among racial and ethnic minority populations aged 25 to 64 years. Conclusions and Relevance: Public health research and practice should attend to the ways in which populations that share socioeconomic characteristics may still experience racial and ethnic inequity in the distribution of risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 exposure and infection fatality rates (eg, housing, occupation, and prior health status). This study suggests that a majority of deaths among racial and ethnic minority populations could have been averted had all groups experienced the same mortality rate as college-educated non-Hispanic White individuals, thus highlighting the importance of eliminating joint racial-socioeconomic health inequities.


Subject(s)
Academic Success , COVID-19/mortality , /statistics & numerical data , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , United States/epidemiology
9.
Clin Orthop Relat Res ; 479(7): 1417-1425, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511052

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare disparities are well documented across multiple subspecialties in orthopaedics. The widespread implementation of telemedicine risks worsening these disparities if not carefully executed, despite original assumptions that telemedicine improves overall access to care. Telemedicine also poses unique challenges such as potential language or technological barriers that may alter previously described patterns in orthopaedic disparities. QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: Are the proportions of patients who use telemedicine across orthopaedic services different among (1) racial and ethnic minorities, (2) non-English speakers, and (3) patients insured through Medicaid during a 10-week period after the implementation of telemedicine in our healthcare system compared with in-person visits during a similar time period in 2019? METHODS: This was a retrospective comparative study using electronic medical record data to compare new patients establishing orthopaedic care via outpatient telemedicine at two academic urban medical centers between March 2020 and May 2020 with new orthopaedic patients during the same 10-week period in 2019. A total of 11,056 patients were included for analysis, with 1760 in the virtual group and 9296 in the control group. Unadjusted analyses demonstrated patients in the virtual group were younger (median age 57 years versus 59 years; p < 0.001), but there were no differences with regard to gender (56% female versus 56% female; p = 0.66). We used self-reported race or ethnicity as our primary independent variable, with primary language and insurance status considered secondarily. Unadjusted and multivariable adjusted analyses were performed for our primary and secondary predictors using logistic regression. We also assessed interactions between race or ethnicity, primary language, and insurance type. RESULTS: After adjusting for age, gender, subspecialty, insurance, and median household income, we found that patients who were Hispanic (odds ratio 0.59 [95% confidence interval 0.39 to 0.91]; p = 0.02) or Asian were less likely (OR 0.73 [95% CI 0.53 to 0.99]; p = 0.04) to be seen through telemedicine than were patients who were white. After controlling for confounding variables, we also found that speakers of languages other than English or Spanish were less likely to have a telemedicine visit than were people whose primary language was English (OR 0.34 [95% CI 0.18 to 0.65]; p = 0.001), and that patients insured through Medicaid were less likely to be seen via telemedicine than were patients who were privately insured (OR 0.83 [95% CI 0.69 to 0.98]; p = 0.03). CONCLUSION: Despite initial promises that telemedicine would help to bridge gaps in healthcare, our results demonstrate disparities in orthopaedic telemedicine use based on race or ethnicity, language, and insurance type. The telemedicine group was slightly younger, which we do not believe undermines the findings. As healthcare moves toward increased telemedicine use, we suggest several approaches to ensure that patients of certain racial, ethnic, or language groups do not experience disparate barriers to care. These might include individual patient- or provider-level approaches like expanded telemedicine schedules to accommodate weekends and evenings, institutional investment in culturally conscious outreach materials such as advertisements on community transport systems, or government-level provisions such as reimbursement for telephone-only encounters. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, therapeutic study.


Subject(s)
Health Services Accessibility , Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Orthopedic Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Ethnicity/statistics & numerical data , Female , Health Plan Implementation , Healthcare Disparities/ethnology , Humans , Insurance Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Language , Male , Medicaid , Middle Aged , Odds Ratio , Racial Groups/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Telemedicine/methods , United States
10.
Acad Med ; 96(11): 1507-1512, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493989

ABSTRACT

The harsh realities of racial inequities related to COVID-19 and civil unrest following police killings of unarmed Black men and women in the United States in 2020 heightened awareness of racial injustices around the world. Racism is deeply embedded in academic medicine, yet the nobility of medicine and nursing has helped health care professionals distance themselves from racism. Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), like many U.S. academic medical centers, affirmed its commitment to racial equity in summer 2020. A Racial Equity Task Force was charged with identifying barriers to achieving racial equity at the medical center and medical school and recommending key actions to rectify long-standing racial inequities. The task force, composed of students, staff, and faculty, produced more than 60 recommendations, and its work brought to light critical areas that need to be addressed in academic medicine broadly. To dismantle structural racism, academic medicine must: (1) confront medicine's racist past, which has embedded racial inequities in the U.S. health care system; (2) develop and require health care professionals to possess core competencies in the health impacts of structural racism; (3) recognize race as a sociocultural and political construct, and commit to debiologizing its use; (4) invest in benefits and resources for health care workers in lower-paid roles, in which racial and ethnic minorities are often overrepresented; and (5) commit to antiracism at all levels, including changing institutional policies, starting at the executive leadership level with a vision, metrics, and accountability.


Subject(s)
Academic Medical Centers/ethics , COVID-19/ethnology , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Racism/ethnology , Schools, Medical/statistics & numerical data , Academic Medical Centers/organization & administration , African Americans/ethnology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Delivery of Health Care/ethics , Female , Health Personnel/ethics , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Schools, Medical/ethics , United States/epidemiology
11.
Acad Med ; 96(11): 1546-1552, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493981

ABSTRACT

Racially and ethnically diverse and socioeconomically disadvantaged communities have historically been disproportionately affected by disasters and public health emergencies in the United States. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health established the National Consensus Panel on Emergency Preparedness and Cultural Diversity to provide guidance to agencies and organizations on developing effective strategies to advance emergency preparedness and eliminate disparities among racially and ethnically diverse communities during these crises. Adopting the National Consensus Panel recommendations, the Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Health Equity; Language Services; and academic-community partnerships used existing health equity resources and expertise to develop an operational framework to support the organization's COVID-19 response and to provide a framework of health equity initiatives for other academic medical centers. This operational framework addressed policies to support health equity patient care and clinical operations, accessible COVID-19 communication, and staff and community support and engagement, which also supported the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care. Johns Hopkins Medicine identified expanded recommendations for addressing institutional policy making and capacity building, including unconscious bias training for resource allocation teams and staff training in accurate race, ethnicity, and language data collection, that should be considered in future updates to the National Consensus Panel's recommendations.


Subject(s)
Academic Medical Centers/organization & administration , COVID-19/ethnology , Disasters/prevention & control , Health Equity/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Civil Defense/organization & administration , Consensus , Cultural Diversity , Government Programs/organization & administration , Government Programs/standards , Healthcare Disparities/ethnology , Humans , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Policy Making , Public Health/standards , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Social Participation , Socioeconomic Factors , United States/epidemiology
13.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(9): e2127582, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1441918

ABSTRACT

Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic has had disproportionate effects on racial and ethnic minority communities, where preexisting clinical and social conditions amplify health and social disparities. Many of these communities report lower vaccine confidence and lower receipt of the COVID-19 vaccine. Understanding factors that influence the multifaceted decision-making process for vaccine uptake is critical for narrowing COVID-19-related disparities. Objective: To examine factors that members of multiethnic communities at high risk for COVID-19 infection and morbidity report as contributing to vaccine decision-making. Design, Setting, and Participants: This qualitative study used community-engaged methods to conduct virtual focus groups from November 16, 2020, to January 28, 2021, with Los Angeles County residents. Potential participants were recruited through email, video, and telephone outreach to community partner networks. Focus groups were stratified by self-identified race and ethnicity as well as age. Transcripts were analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis. Main Outcomes and Measures: Themes were categorized by contextual, individual, and vaccine-specific influences using the World Health Organization's Vaccine Hesitancy Matrix categories. Results: A total of 13 focus groups were conducted with 70 participants (50 [71.4%] female) who self-identified as American Indian (n = 17 [24.3%]), Black/African American (n = 17 [24.3%]), Filipino/Filipina (n = 11 [15.7%]), Latino/Latina (n = 15 [21.4%]), or Pacific Islander (n = 10 [14.3%]). A total of 39 participants (55.7%) were residents from high-poverty zip codes, and 34 (48.6%) were essential workers. The resulting themes included policy implications for equitable vaccine distribution: contextual influences (unclear and unreliable information, concern for inequitable access or differential treatment, references to mistrust from unethical research studies, accessibility and accommodation barriers, eligibility uncertainty, and fears of politicization or pharmaceutical industry influence); social and group influences (inadequate exposure to trusted messengers or information, altruistic motivations, medical mistrust, and desire for autonomy); and vaccination-specific influences (need for vaccine evidence by subpopulation, misconceptions on vaccine development, allocation ambiguity, vaccination safety preferences, the importance of perceiving vaccine equity, burden of vaccine scheduling, cost uncertainty, and desire for practitioner recommendation). Conclusions and Relevance: In this qualitative study, participants reported a number of factors that affected their vaccine decision-making, including concern for inequitable vaccine access. Participants endorsed policy recommendations and strategies to promote vaccine confidence. These results suggest that support of informed deliberation and attainment of vaccine equity will require multifaceted, multilevel policy approaches that improve COVID-19 vaccine knowledge, enhance trust, and address the complex interplay of sociocultural and structural barriers to vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Patient Participation/statistics & numerical data , Trust/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Los Angeles , Male , Minority Groups/psychology , Motivation , Patient Participation/psychology
14.
Ophthalmology ; 129(1): 15-25, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412002

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To identify disparities in the use of telemedicine during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study of completed clinical encounters in an academic ophthalmology center from March 2020 through August 2020. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 5023 patients comprising 8116 ophthalmic clinical encounters. METHODS: Medical charts were abstracted for demographic information. We identified zip code-level socioeconomic characteristics, which were drawn from the 2019 American Community Survey 5-year estimates. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The completion of a synchronous video encounter, the completion of a telephone (audio-only) encounter in the absence of any video encounters, or the completion of in-person encounters only. RESULTS: During the study period, 8116 total clinical encounters were completed for 5023 unique patients. Of these patients, 446 (8.9%) participated in a video encounter, 642 (12.8%) completed a telephone encounter, and 3935 (78.3%) attended clinical appointments in person only. In adjusted analysis, patients who were Black (odds ratio [OR], 0.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.52-0.80; P < 0.001) or Hispanic/Latino (OR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.49-0.85; P = 0.002) were significantly less likely to complete a video or telephone appointment. Older patients (OR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.98-0.99; P < 0.001), patients whose primary language was not English (OR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.28-0.82; P = 0.01), Black patients (OR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.32-0.62; P < 0.001), and Hispanic/Latino patients (OR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.37-0.83; P = 0.005) were significantly less likely to complete a video encounter. Finally, among patients completing any type of telemedicine encounter, older age, (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.03; P < 0.001), Medicare insurance (OR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.11-2.17; P = 0.01), and Black race (OR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.33-2.94; P < 0.001) were associated with using only phone visits. CONCLUSIONS: Ethnic/racial minorities, older patients, and non-English-speaking individuals were significantly less likely to complete a video telehealth encounter. With the expansion of telemedicine and the need to reduce the disparate impact of COVID-19 on minorities, it will be increasingly important to identify barriers to telehealth use and opportunities to improve access.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Ophthalmology/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Appointments and Schedules , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Medicare/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Telephone , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
15.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 18117, 2021 09 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406408

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccination is being rapidly rolled out in the US and many other countries, and it is crucial to provide fast and accurate assessment of vaccination coverage and vaccination gaps to make strategic adjustments promoting vaccine coverage. We reported the effective use of real-time geospatial analysis to identify barriers and gaps in COVID-19 vaccination in a minority population living in South Texas on the US-Mexico Border, to inform vaccination campaign strategies. We developed 4 rank-based approaches to evaluate the vaccination gap at the census tract level, which considered both population vulnerability and vaccination priority and eligibility. We identified areas with the highest vaccination gaps using different assessment approaches. Real-time geospatial analysis to identify vaccination gaps is critical to rapidly increase vaccination uptake, and to reach herd immunity in the vulnerable and the vaccine hesitant groups. Our results assisted the City of Brownsville Public Health Department in adjusting real-time targeting of vaccination, gathering coverage assessment, and deploying services to areas identified as high vaccination gap. The analyses and responses can be adopted in other locations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunization Programs/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccination Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Geography , Humans , Immunization Programs/methods , Mexico/ethnology , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Minority Health/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Socioeconomic Factors , Texas/ethnology , Vaccination/methods , Vaccination Coverage/methods , Vulnerable Populations/ethnology , Vulnerable Populations/statistics & numerical data
16.
PLoS One ; 16(5): e0251123, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388912

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is a lack of population level data on risk factors, incidence and impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant women and their babies. The primary aim of this study was to describe the incidence, characteristics and outcomes of hospitalized pregnant women with symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 in the UK compared to pregnant women without SARS-CoV-2. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a national, prospective cohort study of all hospitalized pregnant women with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 from 01/03/2020 to 31/08/2020 using the UK Obstetric Surveillance System. Incidence rates were estimated using national maternity data. Overall, 1148 hospitalized women had confirmed SARS-CoV-2 in pregnancy, 63% of which were symptomatic. The estimated incidence of hospitalization with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 was 2.0 per 1000 maternities (95% CI 1.9-2.2) and for asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 was 1.2 per 1000 maternities (95% CI 1.1-1.4). Compared to pregnant women without SARS-CoV-2, women hospitalized with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 were more likely to be overweight or obese (adjusted OR 1.86, (95% CI 1.39-2.48) and aOR 2.07 (1.53-2.29)), to be of Black, Asian or Other minority ethnic group (aOR 6.24, (3.93-9.90), aOR 4.36, (3.19-5.95) and aOR 12.95, (4.93-34.01)), and to have a relevant medical comorbidity (aOR 1.83 (1.32-2.54)). Hospitalized pregnant women with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 were more likely to be admitted to intensive care (aOR 57.67, (7.80-426.70)) but the absolute risk of poor outcomes was low. Cesarean births and neonatal unit admission were increased regardless of symptom status (symptomatic aOR 2.60, (1.97-3.42) and aOR 3.08, (1.99-4.77); asymptomatic aOR 2.02, (1.52-2.70) and aOR 1.84, (1.12-3.03)). The risks of stillbirth or neonatal death were not significantly increased, regardless of symptom status. CONCLUSIONS: We have identified factors that increase the risk of symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 in pregnancy. Clinicians can be reassured that the majority of women do not experience severe complications of SARS-CoV-2 in pregnancy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Carrier State/epidemiology , Pregnancy Outcome , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Carrier State/diagnosis , Carrier State/virology , Cesarean Section , Cohort Studies , Databases, Factual , Female , Humans , Incidence , Intensive Care Units , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Obesity/complications , Odds Ratio , Pregnancy , Pregnant Women , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult
17.
Am J Public Health ; 111(8): 1481-1488, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1381323

ABSTRACT

California has focused on health equity in the state's COVID-19 reopening plan. The Blueprint for a Safer Economy assigns each of California's 58 counties into 1 of 4 tiers based on 2 metrics: test positivity rate and adjusted case rate. To advance to the next less-restrictive tier, counties must meet that tier's test positivity and adjusted case rate thresholds. In addition, counties must have a plan for targeted investments within disadvantaged communities, and counties with more than 106 000 residents must meet an equity metric. California's explicit incorporation of health equity into its reopening plan underscores the interrelated fate of its residents during the COVID-19 pandemic and creates incentives for action. This article evaluates the benefits and challenges of this novel health equity focus, and outlines recommendations for other US states to address disparities in their reopening plans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Equity/standards , Health Promotion/standards , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , California , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Humans
19.
Isr J Health Policy Res ; 10(1): 43, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1339148

ABSTRACT

As of March 31, 2021, Israel had administered 116 doses of vaccine for COVID-19 per 100 population (of any age) - far more than any other OECD country. It was also ahead of other OECD countries in terms of the share of the population that had received at least one vaccination (61%) and the share that had been fully vaccinated (55%). Among Israelis aged 16 and over, the comparable figures were 81 and 74%, respectively. In light of this, the objectives of this article are: 1. To describe and analyze the vaccination uptake through the end of March 2021 2. To identify behavioral and other barriers that likely affected desire or ability to be vaccinated 3. To describe the efforts undertaken to overcome those barriers Israel's vaccination campaign was launched on December 20, and within 2.5 weeks, 20% of Israelis had received their first dose. Afterwards, the pace slowed. It took an additional 4 weeks to increase from 20 to 40% and yet another 6 weeks to increase from 40 to 60%. Initially, uptake was low among young adults, and two religious/cultural minority groups - ultra-Orthodox Jews and Israeli Arabs, but their uptake increased markedly over time.In the first quarter of 2021, Israel had to enhance access to the vaccine, address a moderate amount of vaccine hesitancy in its general population, and also address more intense pockets of vaccine hesitancy among young adults and religious/cultural minority groups. A continued high rate of infection during the months of February and March, despite broad vaccination coverage at the time, created confusion about vaccine effectiveness, which in turn contributed to vaccine hesitancy. Among Israeli Arabs, some residents of smaller villages encountered difficulties in reaching vaccination sites, and that also slowed the rate of vaccination.The challenges were addressed via a mix of messaging, incentives, extensions to the initial vaccine delivery system, and other measures. Many of the measures addressed the general population, while others were targeted at subgroups with below-average vaccination rates. Once the early adopters had been vaccinated, it took hard, creative work to increase population coverage from 40 to 60% and beyond.Significantly, some of the capacities and strategies that helped Israel address vaccine hesitancy and geographic access barriers are different from those that enabled it to procure, distribute and administer the vaccines. Some of these strategies are likely to be relevant to other countries as they progress from the challenges of securing an adequate vaccine supply and streamlining distribution to the challenge of encouraging vaccine uptake.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination Refusal/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Age Factors , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Immunization Programs/organization & administration , Israel , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Time Factors
20.
Am J Epidemiol ; 190(8): 1439-1446, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337250

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is disproportionately burdening racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States. Higher risks of infection and mortality among racialized minorities are a consequence of structural racism, reflected in specific policies that date back centuries and persist today. Yet our surveillance activities do not reflect what we know about how racism structures risk. When measuring racial and ethnic disparities in deaths due to COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistically accounts for the geographic distribution of deaths throughout the United States to reflect the fact that deaths are concentrated in areas with different racial and ethnic distributions from those of the larger United States. In this commentary, we argue that such an approach misses an important driver of disparities in COVID-19 mortality, namely the historical forces that determine where individuals live, work, and play, and that consequently determine their risk of dying from COVID-19. We explain why controlling for geography downplays the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on racialized minority groups in the United States. Finally, we offer recommendations for the analysis of surveillance data to estimate racial disparities, including shifting from distribution-based to risk-based measures, to help inform a more effective and equitable public health response to the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19/mortality , Health Status Disparities , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , /statistics & numerical data , Geography , Healthcare Disparities , Humans , Racism/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
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