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2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Sep 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065951

ABSTRACT

The long-term mortality risk of natural disasters is a key threat to disaster resilience improvement, yet an authoritative certification and a reliable surveillance system are, unfortunately, yet to be established in many countries. This study aimed to clarify the mechanism of post-disaster indirect deaths in Japan, to improve the existing disaster recovery evaluation system and support decision making in public policy. This study first investigated the definition of indirect deaths via a literature review before examining the observed number of indirect deaths via case study, census data from the Population Demographic and Household Surveys, other social surveys, and reports in the case of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, which severely damaged northeastern Japan, especially the three prefectures, which are the target areas in this context (i.e., Fukushima, Iwate, and Miyagi). It was found that the reported number of indirect deaths was significantly underestimated. In total, 4657 indirect deaths were estimated to have occurred in the target prefectures. This was higher than the reported number, which was 3784. The overall statistics established via collaboration between local administrations and governments can be improved to provide better reference for researchers and policymakers to investigate the long-term effects of natural disaster.


Subject(s)
Disasters , Earthquakes , Natural Disasters , Japan/epidemiology , Tsunamis
3.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(33): e2203042119, 2022 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1984599

ABSTRACT

A common feature of large-scale extreme events, such as pandemics, wildfires, and major storms is that, despite their differences in etiology and duration, they significantly change routine human movement patterns. Such changes, which can be major or minor in size and duration and which differ across contexts, affect both the consequences of the events and the ability of governments to mount effective responses. Based on naturally tracked, anonymized mobility behavior from over 90 million people in the United States, we document these mobility differences in space and over time in six large-scale crises, including wildfires, major tropical storms, winter freeze and pandemics. We introduce a model that effectively captures the high-dimensional heterogeneity in human mobility changes following large-scale extreme events. Across five different metrics and regardless of spatial resolution, the changes in human mobility behavior exhibit a consistent hyperbolic decline, a pattern we characterize as "spatiotemporal decay." When applied to the case of COVID-19, our model also uncovers significant disparities in mobility changes-individuals from wealthy areas not only reduce their mobility at higher rates at the start of the pandemic but also maintain the change longer. Residents from lower-income regions show a faster and greater hyperbolic decay, which we suggest may help account for different COVID-19 rates. Our model represents a powerful tool to understand and forecast mobility patterns post emergency, and thus to help produce more effective responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Human Migration , Models, Statistical , Natural Disasters , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Forecasting , Human Migration/trends , Humans , Income , Seasons , Spatio-Temporal Analysis , United States
4.
PLoS One ; 17(6): e0269315, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933324

ABSTRACT

Natural disasters can have devastating and long-lasting effects on a community's emotional well-being. These effects may be distributed unequally, affecting some communities more profoundly and possibly over longer time periods than others. Here, we analyze the effects of four major US hurricanes, namely, Irma, Harvey, Florence, and Dorian on the emotional well-being of the affected communities and regions. We show that a community's emotional response to a hurricane event can be measured from the content of social media that its population posted before, during, and after the hurricane. For each hurricane making landfall in the US, we observe a significant decrease in sentiment in the affected areas before and during the hurricane followed by a rapid return to pre-hurricane baseline, often within 1-2 weeks. However, some communities exhibit markedly different rates of decline and return to previous equilibrium levels. This points towards the possibility of measuring the emotional resilience of communities from the dynamics of their online emotional response.


Subject(s)
Cyclonic Storms , Disasters , Natural Disasters , Social Media , Emotions , Humans
5.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 4886, 2022 03 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1830092

ABSTRACT

In the face of crises-wars, pandemics, and natural disasters-both increased selfishness and increased generosity may emerge. In this paper, we study the relationship between the presence of COVID-19 threat and generosity using a four-year longitudinal dataset (N = 696,942) capturing real donations made before and during the pandemic, as well as allocations from a 6-month dictator game study (N = 1003 participants) during the early months of the pandemic. Consistent with the notion of "catastrophe compassion" and contrary to some prior research showing a tendency toward self-interested behavior under threat, individuals across both datasets exhibited greater financial generosity when their county experienced COVID-19 threat. While we find that the presence of threat impacted individual giving, behavior was not sensitive to threat level. Our findings have significant societal implications and advance our understanding of economic and psychological theories of social preferences under threat.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Natural Disasters , COVID-19/epidemiology , Empathy , Humans
6.
Longit Life Course Stud ; 13(2): 287-306, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1808515

ABSTRACT

Climate change and population growth will increase vulnerability to natural and human-made disasters or pandemics. Longitudinal research studies may be adversely impacted by a lack of access to study resources, inability to travel around the urban environment, reluctance of sample members to attend appointments, sample members moving residence and potentially also the destruction of research facilities. One of the key advantages of longitudinal research is the ability to assess associations between exposures and outcomes by limiting the influence of sample selection bias. However, ensuring the validity and reliability of findings in longitudinal research requires the recruitment and retention of respondents who are willing and able to be repeatedly assessed over an extended period of time. This study examined recruitment and retention strategies of 11 longitudinal cohort studies operating during the Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake sequence which began in September 2010, including staff perceptions of the major impediments to study operations during/after the earthquakes and respondents' barriers to participation. Successful strategies to assist recruitment and retention after a natural disaster are discussed. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, longitudinal studies are potentially encountering some of the issues highlighted in this paper including: closure of facilities, restricted movement of research staff and sample members, and reluctance of sample members to attend appointments. It is possible that suggestions in this paper may be implemented so that longitudinal studies can protect the operation of their research programmes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Earthquakes , Pandemics , Research Subjects , COVID-19/psychology , Cohort Studies , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Natural Disasters , New Zealand , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Reproducibility of Results , Research Subjects/psychology , Research Subjects/statistics & numerical data
7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(5)2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736889

ABSTRACT

Mental health problems are a leading cause of disability in both developed and developing countries, and the consequences of mental health disorders for individuals, families, and society as a whole could be severe and costly. To supplement relevant research and provide insightful policy suggestions to families, government and societies, this study investigates the nexus between natural disasters and mental health for middle-aged and older adults in rural China. Based on data of 8721 observations from the 2014 China Family Panel Studies, we estimate the effects of natural disasters on mental health using ordinary least squares and propensity score matching. Our findings suggest that natural disasters have a significant negative effect on middle-aged and older adults' mental health in the case of rural China. This effect is heterogeneous depending on individuals' education level and their agricultural production status. Finally, individuals' happiness and life satisfaction are shown to be the potential mechanism through which the effect of natural disasters on mental health operates.


Subject(s)
Mental Disorders , Natural Disasters , Aged , China , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/psychology , Mental Health , Middle Aged
9.
Lancet ; 399(10323): 423, 2022 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655280
10.
Women Birth ; 35(6): 524-531, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612100

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As climate change worsens, the frequency and intensity of natural disasters continues to increase. These extreme weather events particularly affect the physical and mental health of vulnerable groups such as mothers and infants. From low-income to high income countries, poorly organised disaster response can negatively impact infant and young child feeding practices. AIM: To examine challenges and supportive strategies for infant and young child feeding during natural disasters to inform further research and guide disaster recommendations and practice. METHODS: A comprehensive search strategy explored the electronic databases PubMed, CINAHL and Cochrane Library. Screening, data extraction and analysis were conducted using Covidence. Quality assessment was conducted using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT). Studies were analysed using thematic analysis. FINDINGS: This review included 13 studies (4 mixed methods, 1 critical ethnography, 2 quasi-experimental studies, 4 descriptive studies, 1 qualitative study, 1 evidence gap map analysis). Breastfeeding facilitators during natural disaster contexts are privacy for breastfeeding, community and family support, adaptation of professional breastfeeding support to the local context and pre-existing breastfeeding practice. Breastfeeding challenges during natural disasters include decreased breastfeeding self-efficacy, lack of knowledge and resources and over-reliance on formula baby milks. Formula baby milk feeding challenges during natural disasters are the lack of access to resources required for hygienic formula baby milk preparation as well as the lack of availability of formula baby milk in some contexts. CONCLUSION: This systematic integrative review demonstrates that interventions which facilitate optimal infant and young child feeding in natural disaster contexts must be culturally and socially appropriate; increasing women's knowledge of optimal breastfeeding and safe formula baby milk feeding practices as well as breastfeeding self-efficacy.


Subject(s)
Breast Feeding , Natural Disasters , Child , Female , Humans , Infant , Breast Feeding/psychology , Health Promotion , Mothers , Poverty
11.
Front Public Health ; 9: 777255, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599102

ABSTRACT

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan has been one of the best performers in the world with extremely low infections and deaths. This success can be attributed to the long experiences dealing with natural disasters and communicable diseases. However, with different disastrous characteristics, the disaster management systems for communicable diseases and natural disasters are very different in terms of laws, plans, frameworks, and emergency operations. Taking the response to COVID-19 pandemic as a study subject, we found that disaster management for communicable diseases can be improved through a comparison with natural disasters, and vice versa. First, having wider and longer impacts than natural disasters, the plans and framework for communicable diseases in Taiwan focus more on national and regional scales. Local governments would need more capacity support including budgets and training to conduct investigations and quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Second, for quick response, the emergency operation for communicable diseases was designed to be more flexible than that for natural disasters by giving the commander more authority to adjust to the circumstances. The commanding system requires a more objective consultation group to prevent arbitrary decisions against the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, risk governance is important for communicable diseases as well as for natural disasters. Additional efforts should be made to enhance vulnerability assessment, disaster reduction, and risk communication for shaping responses and policies in an efficient and coordinating way.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Natural Disasters , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Taiwan/epidemiology
13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(21)2021 11 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512304

ABSTRACT

Natural disasters have obvious cross-regional and compound characteristics. Cross-regional emergency cooperation for natural disasters deepens the diversification of coordination relations and the complexity of interaction modes among emergency response organizations, including horizontal and vertical organizational interactions. In order to clarify the cooperation mechanism of emergency organizations during cross-regional emergency cooperation for natural disasters and to explore the key factors that affect the cooperative relationships of emergency organizations, in this study, a game model is constructed based on evolutionary game theory, which is composed of local, neighboring, and central governments. Then, the stability of the emergency game strategy is analyzed. On this basis, a numerical simulation is used to simulate the dynamic evolution trajectory of the game system. The results show that there is an embedded mutual promotion mechanism that evolves towards a positive emergency strategy combination among the game subjects. The selection strategies of the game subjects show the characteristics of consistency and the following: enhanced cooperation efficiency between local and neighboring governments, emergency capital stock, and shared resources, therefore, guiding social emergency forces to actively participate in emergency operations. Strengthening the emergency dispatching strength of the central government and the effectiveness of central-local emergency dispatching, can support the performance of cross-regional emergency cooperation for natural disasters. Furthermore, the efficiency of cooperation between local and neighboring governments will be enhanced.


Subject(s)
Game Theory , Natural Disasters , Biological Evolution , Computer Simulation , Cooperative Behavior , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans
14.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(11)2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504854

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Catastrophic natural disasters and epidemics claim thousands of lives and have severe and lasting consequences, accompanied by human suffering. The Ebola epidemic of 2014-2016 and the current COVID-19 pandemic have revealed some of the practical and ethical complexities relating to the management of dead bodies. While frontline staff are tasked with saving lives, managing the bodies of those who die remains an under-resourced and overlooked issue, with numerous ethical and practical problems globally. METHODS: This scoping review of literature examines the management of dead bodies during epidemics and natural disasters. 82 articles were reviewed, of which only a small number were empirical studies focusing on ethical or sociocultural issues that emerge in the management of dead bodies. RESULTS: We have identified a wide range of ethical and sociocultural challenges, such as ensuring dignity for the deceased while protecting the living, honouring the cultural and religious rituals surrounding death, alleviating the suffering that accompanies grieving for the survivors and mitigating inequalities of resource allocation. It was revealed that several ethical and sociocultural issues arise at all stages of body management: notification, retrieving, identification, storage and burial of dead bodies. CONCLUSION: While practical issues with managing dead bodies have been discussed in the global health literature and the ethical and sociocultural facets of handling the dead have been recognised, they are nonetheless not given adequate attention. Further research is needed to ensure care for the dead in epidemics and that natural disasters are informed by ethical best practice.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Natural Disasters , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Holist Nurs Pract ; 35(6): 321-325, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467438

ABSTRACT

Trauma clusters are formed when 2 or more disasters occur simultaneously and/or consecutively. These disasters have the propensity to potentiate health disparities. The purpose of this article is to share thoughts about critical caring theory and how the theory can inform holistic nursing action when health disparity amplifies trauma clustering.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disaster Planning , Disasters , Natural Disasters , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
16.
Med J Aust ; 213 Suppl 11: S3-S32.e1, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1456469

ABSTRACT

CHAPTER 1: RETAIL INITIATIVES TO IMPROVE THE HEALTHINESS OF FOOD ENVIRONMENTS IN RURAL, REGIONAL AND REMOTE COMMUNITIES: Objective: To synthesise the evidence for effectiveness of initiatives aimed at improving food retail environments and consumer dietary behaviour in rural, regional and remote populations in Australia and comparable countries, and to discuss the implications for future food environment initiatives for rural, regional and remote areas of Australia. STUDY DESIGN: Rapid review of articles published between January 2000 and May 2020. DATA SOURCES: We searched MEDLINE (EBSCOhost), Health and Society Database (Informit) and Rural and Remote Health Database (Informit), and included studies undertaken in rural food environment settings in Australia and other countries. DATA SYNTHESIS: Twenty-one articles met the inclusion criteria, including five conducted in Australia. Four of the Australian studies were conducted in very remote populations and in grocery stores, and one was conducted in regional Australia. All of the overseas studies were conducted in rural North America. All of them revealed a positive influence on food environment or consumer behaviour, and all were conducted in disadvantaged, rural communities. Positive outcomes were consistently revealed by studies of initiatives that focused on promotion and awareness of healthy foods and included co-design to generate community ownership and branding. CONCLUSION: Initiatives aimed at improving rural food retail environments were effective and, when implemented in different rural settings, may encourage improvements in population diets. The paucity of studies over the past 20 years in Australia shows a need for more research into effective food retail environment initiatives, modelled on examples from overseas, with studies needed across all levels of remoteness in Australia. Several retail initiatives that were undertaken in rural North America could be replicated in rural Australia and could underpin future research. CHAPTER 2: WHICH INTERVENTIONS BEST SUPPORT THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING NEEDS OF RURAL POPULATIONS EXPERIENCING NATURAL DISASTERS?: Objective: To explore and evaluate health and social care interventions delivered to rural and remote communities experiencing natural disasters in Australia and other high income countries. STUDY DESIGN: We used systematic rapid review methods. First we identified a test set of citations and generated a frequency table of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) to index articles. Then we used combinations of MeSH terms and keywords to search the MEDLINE (Ovid) database, and screened the titles and abstracts of the retrieved references. DATA SOURCES: We identified 1438 articles via database searches, and a further 62 articles via hand searching of key journals and reference lists. We also found four relevant grey literature resources. After removing duplicates and undertaking two stages of screening, we included 28 studies in a synthesis of qualitative evidence. DATA SYNTHESIS: Four of us read and assessed the full text articles. We then conducted a thematic analysis using the three phases of the natural disaster response cycle. CONCLUSION: There is a lack of robust evaluation of programs and interventions supporting the health and wellbeing of people in rural communities affected by natural disasters. To address the cumulative and long term impacts, evidence suggests that continuous support of people's health and wellbeing is needed. By using a lens of rural adversity, the complexity of the lived experience of natural disasters by rural residents can be better understood and can inform development of new models of community-based and integrated care services. CHAPTER 3: THE IMPACT OF BUSHFIRE ON THE WELLBEING OF CHILDREN LIVING IN RURAL AND REMOTE AUSTRALIA: Objective: To investigate the impact of bushfire events on the wellbeing of children living in rural and remote Australia. STUDY DESIGN: Literature review completed using rapid realist review methods, and taking into consideration the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement for systematic reviews. DATA SOURCES: We sourced data from six databases: EBSCOhost (Education), EBSCOhost (Health), EBSCOhost (Psychology), Informit, MEDLINE and PsycINFO. We developed search terms to identify articles that could address the research question based on the inclusion criteria of peer reviewed full text journal articles published in English between 1983 and 2020. We initially identified 60 studies and, following closer review, extracted data from eight studies that met the inclusion criteria. DATA SYNTHESIS: Children exposed to bushfires may be at increased risk of poorer wellbeing outcomes. Findings suggest that the impact of bushfire exposure may not be apparent in the short term but may become more pronounced later in life. Children particularly at risk are those from more vulnerable backgrounds who may have compounding factors that limit their ability to overcome bushfire trauma. CONCLUSION: We identified the short, medium and long term impacts of bushfire exposure on the wellbeing of children in Australia. We did not identify any evidence-based interventions for supporting outcomes for this population. Given the likely increase in bushfire events in Australia, research into effective interventions should be a priority. CHAPTER 4: THE ROLE OF NATIONAL POLICIES TO ADDRESS RURAL ALLIED HEALTH, NURSING AND DENTISTRY WORKFORCE MALDISTRIBUTION: Objective: Maldistribution of the health workforce between rural, remote and metropolitan communities contributes to longstanding health inequalities. Many developed countries have implemented policies to encourage health care professionals to work in rural and remote communities. This scoping review is an international synthesis of those policies, examining their effectiveness at recruiting and retaining nursing, dental and allied health professionals in rural communities. STUDY DESIGN: Using scoping review methods, we included primary research - published between 1 September 2009 and 30 June 2020 - that reported an evaluation of existing policy initiatives to address workforce maldistribution in high income countries with a land mass greater than 100 000 km2 . DATA SOURCES: We searched MEDLINE, Ovid Embase, Ovid Emcare, Informit, Scopus, and Web of Science. We screened 5169 articles for inclusion by title and abstract, of which we included 297 for full text screening. We then extracted data on 51 studies that had been conducted in Australia, the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Norway. DATA SYNTHESIS: We grouped the studies based on World Health Organization recommendations on recruitment and retention of health care workers: education strategies (n = 27), regulatory change (n = 11), financial incentives (n = 6), personal and professional support (n = 4), and approaches with multiple components (n = 3). CONCLUSION: Considerable work has occurred to address workforce maldistribution at a local level, underpinned by good practice guidelines, but rarely at scale or with explicit links to coherent overarching policy. To achieve policy aspirations, multiple synergistic evidence-based initiatives are needed, and implementation must be accompanied by well designed longitudinal evaluations that assess the effectiveness of policy objectives. CHAPTER 5: AVAILABILITY AND CHARACTERISTICS OF PUBLICLY AVAILABLE HEALTH WORKFORCE DATA SOURCES IN AUSTRALIA: Objective: Many data sources are used in Australia to inform health workforce planning, but their characteristics in terms of relevance, accessibility and accuracy are uncertain. We aimed to identify and appraise publicly available data sources used to describe the Australian health workforce. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a scoping review in which we searched bibliographic databases, websites and grey literature. Two reviewers independently undertook title and abstract screening and full text screening using Covidence software. We then assessed the relevance, accessibility and accuracy of data sources using a customised appraisal tool. DATA SOURCES: We searched for potential workforce data sources in nine databases (MEDLINE, Embase, Ovid Emcare, Scopus, Web of Science, Informit, the JBI Evidence-based Practice Database, PsycINFO and the Cochrane Library) and the grey literature, and examined several pre-defined websites. DATA SYNTHESIS: During the screening process we identified 6955 abstracts and examined 48 websites, from which we identified 12 publicly available data sources - eight primary and four secondary data sources. The primary data sources were generally of modest quality, with low scores in terms of reference period, accessibility and missing data. No single primary data source scored well across all domains of the appraisal tool. CONCLUSION: We identified several limitations of data sources used to describe the Australian health workforce. Establishment of a high quality, longitudinal, linked database that can inform all aspects of health workforce development is urgently needed, particularly for rural health workforce and services planning. CHAPTER 6: RAPID REALIST REVIEW OF OPIOID TAPERING IN THE CONTEXT OF LONG TERM OPIOID USE FOR NON-CANCER PAIN IN RURAL AREAS: Objective: To describe interventions, barriers and enablers associated with opioid tapering for patients with chronic non-cancer pain in rural primary care settings. STUDY DESIGN: Rapid realist review registered on the international register of systematic reviews (PROSPERO) and conducted in accordance with RAMESES standards. DATA SOURCES: English language, peer-reviewed articles reporting qualitative, quantitative and mixed method studies, published between January 2016 and July 2020, and accessed via MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL Complete, PsycINFO, Informit or the Cochrane Library during June and July 2020. Grey literature relating to prescribing,deprescribing or tapering of opioids in chronic non-cancer pain, published between January 2016 and July 2020, was identified by searching national and international government, health service and peek organisation websites using Google Scholar. DATA SYNTHESIS: Our analysis of reported approaches to tapering conducted across rural and non-rural contexts showed that tapering opioids is complex and challenging, and identified several barriers and enablers. Successful outcomes in rural areas appear likely through therapeutic relationships, coordination and support, by using modalities and models of care that are appropriate in rural settings and by paying attention to harm minimisation. CONCLUSION: Rural primary care providers do not have access to resources available in metropolitan centres for dealing with patients who have chronic non-cancer pain and are taking opioid medications. They often operate alone or in small group practices, without peer support and access to multidisciplinary and specialist teams. Opioid tapering approaches described in the literature include regulation, multimodal and multidisciplinary approaches, primary care provider support, guidelines, and patient-centred strategies. There is little research to inform tapering in rural contexts. Our review provides a synthesis of the current evidence in the form of a conceptual model. This preliminary model could inform the development of a model of care for use in implementation research, which could test a variety of mechanisms for supporting decision making, reducing primary care providers' concerns about potential harms arising from opioid tapering, and improving patient outcomes.


Subject(s)
Health Services Research , Regional Medical Programs , Rural Health Services , Allied Health Personnel/supply & distribution , Australia , Dentists/supply & distribution , Diet, Healthy , Disaster Medicine , Food Supply , Humans , Natural Disasters , Nurses/supply & distribution
17.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(9): e31264, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443994

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patient portals play an important role in connecting patients with their medical care team, which improves patient engagement in treatment plans, decreases unnecessary visits, and reduces costs. During natural disasters, patients' needs increase, whereas available resources, specifically access to care, become limited. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to examine patients' health needs during a natural crisis by analyzing the electronic messages sent during Hurricane Harvey to guide future disaster planning efforts. METHODS: We explored patient portal use data from a large Greater Houston area health care system focusing on the initial week of the Hurricane Harvey disaster, beginning with the date of landfall, August 25, 2017, to August 31, 2017. A mixed methods approach was used to assess patients' immediate health needs and concerns during the disruption of access to routine and emergent medical care. Quantitative analysis used logistic regression models to assess the predictive characteristics of patients using the portal during Hurricane Harvey. This study also included encounters by type (emergency, inpatient, observation, outpatient, and outpatient surgery) and time (before, during, and after Hurricane Harvey). For qualitative analysis, the content of these messages was examined using the constant comparative method to identify emerging themes found within the message texts. RESULTS: Out of a total of 557,024 patients, 4079 (0.73%) sent a message during Hurricane Harvey, whereas 31,737 (5.69%) used the portal. Age, sex, race, and ethnicity were predictive factors for using the portal and sending a message during the natural disaster. We found that prior use of the patient portal increased the likelihood of portal use during Hurricane Harvey (odds ratio 13.688, 95% CI 12.929-14.491) and of sending a portal message during the disaster (odds ratio 14.172, 95% CI 11.879-16.907). Having an encounter 4 weeks before or after Hurricane Harvey was positively associated with increased use of the portal and sending a portal message. Patients with encounters during the main Hurricane Harvey week had a higher increased likelihood of portal use across all five encounter types. Qualitative themes included: access, prescription requests, medical advice (chronic conditions, acute care, urgent needs, and Hurricane Harvey-related injuries), mental health, technical difficulties, and provider constraints. CONCLUSIONS: The patient portal can be a useful tool for communication between patients and providers to address the urgent needs and concerns of patients as a natural disaster unfolds. This was the first known study to include encounter data to understand portal use compared with care provisioning. Prior use was predictive of both portal use and message sending during Hurricane Harvey. These findings could inform the types of demands that may arise in future disaster situations and can serve as the first step in intentionally optimizing patient portal usability for emergency health care management during natural disasters.


Subject(s)
Cyclonic Storms , Disaster Planning , Disasters , Natural Disasters , Humans , Mental Health
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(16)2021 08 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376805

ABSTRACT

The evidence supporting the idea that natural disaster-related prenatal maternal stress (PNMS) influences the child's development has been accumulating for several years. We conducted a meta-analytical review to quantify this effect on different spheres of child development: birth outcomes, cognitive, motor, physical, socio-emotional, and behavioral development. We systematically searched the literature for articles on this topic (2756 articles retrieved and 37 articles included in the systematic review), extracted the relevant data to calculate the effect sizes, and then performed a meta-analysis for each category of outcomes (30 articles included across the meta-analyses) and meta-regressions to determine the effect of some factors of interest on the association between PNMS and child development: type of PNMS (objective, psychological, cognitive, diet), type of natural disaster (ice storm, flood/cyclone), type of report (maternal, third-party observer, medical), timing of exposure (preconception exposure included or not) and child age at assessment (under 10 or 10 years and older). We found that PNMS significantly influences all spheres of child development. Higher PNMS levels were associated with longer gestational age, larger newborns, and higher BMI and adiposity levels, as well as worse cognitive, motor, socio-emotional, and behavioral outcomes.


Subject(s)
Disasters , Natural Disasters , Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects , Child , Child Development , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Pregnancy , Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological
20.
Prehosp Disaster Med ; 36(5): 657-658, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319003
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