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1.
J Cyst Fibros ; 20 Suppl 3: 31-38, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587346

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Depression and anxiety are two to four times more prevalent in people with CF (pwCF) than the general population. COVID-19 may exacerbate mental health challenges, increasing demand for psychological services, while decreasing their availability. We assessed the impact of the pandemic on depression and anxiety in pwCF, including how COVID-19 affected the frequency of mental health screening and the types of services provided. METHODS: A 38-item internet survey, completed in June 2020, assessed how COVID-19 affected: 1) the mental health clinician's role and screening processes; 2) barriers to screening and resource needs; 3) impact of COVID-19 on depression and anxiety, and 4) positive outcomes and confidence in sustaining mental health screening and treatment, including telehealth services, after the pandemic. RESULTS: Responses were obtained from 131 of the 289 US CF programs. Overall, 60% of programs (n=79) continued mental health screening and treatment, although less frequently; 50% provided individual tele-mental health interventions, and 9% provided telehealth group therapy. Clinically elevated depression symptoms (PHQ-9≥10; moderate to severe), were found in 12% of 785 pwCF, with 3.1% endorsing suicidal ideation. Similarly, elevated anxiety (moderate to severe; GAD-7≥10) was found in 13% of pwCF (n=779). CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic created an opportunity to implement innovative solutions to disruptions in mental health screening and treatment in CF programs. We found that pwCF had increased access to psychological interventions during the pandemic via telehealth, supporting the continued integration of tele-mental health screening and treatment into CF care.


Subject(s)
Anxiety , COVID-19 , Cystic Fibrosis , Depression , Mental Health , Psychosocial Intervention , Telemedicine , Anxiety/diagnosis , Anxiety/physiopathology , Anxiety/therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Cystic Fibrosis/epidemiology , Cystic Fibrosis/psychology , Cystic Fibrosis/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/physiopathology , Depression/therapy , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Mass Screening/methods , Needs Assessment , Psychosocial Intervention/methods , Psychosocial Intervention/trends , Psychosocial Support Systems , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/organization & administration , United States/epidemiology
2.
J Cyst Fibros ; 20 Suppl 3: 9-13, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587343

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cystic fibrosis (CF) care programs in the United States rapidly adopted telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding factors that promote or impede telehealth will inform planning for future telehealth-enabled care models. METHODS: Adult, pediatric, and affiliate CF care programs in the United States (n = 287) were surveyed twice eight months apart in 2020-2021 about telehealth use. Programs were asked to describe barriers to and promoters of telehealth. RESULTS: Ninety-seven percent of programs provided telehealth services. In the first CF Care Program State of Care Survey (SoC1), programs estimated that 57% of patients exclusively received in-person care, 36% of patients received telehealth by phone/computer with video, and 8% of patients received telephone-only care. In the second CF Care Program State of Care Survey (SoC2), programs estimated that 80% of visits were in-person and 15% were via audio and video telehealth. Pediatric programs (21%) were less likely than adult (37%) or affiliate (41%) programs to recommend telehealth (p = 0.007). All programs ranked lack of internet access as the highest barrier to patient engagement with telehealth. Promoters of telehealth were increased accessibility and avoidance of infection transmission. Top ranked changes to improve telehealth were expanded provision of remote monitoring devices and technology access. Similar proportions of program types anticipated institutional telehealth expansion. CONCLUSION: During the COVID-19 pandemic, CF programs in the United States identified factors to improve future care delivery via telehealth. Targeting specific barriers and promoters will improve the use and quality of telehealth throughout the care center network.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communication Barriers , Cystic Fibrosis , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Health Services Accessibility , Patient Participation , Telemedicine , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Cystic Fibrosis/epidemiology , Cystic Fibrosis/psychology , Cystic Fibrosis/therapy , Female , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Humans , Internet Access , Male , Needs Assessment , Patient Participation/methods , Patient Participation/psychology , Patient Satisfaction/statistics & numerical data , Quality Improvement , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/standards , United States/epidemiology
3.
J Cyst Fibros ; 20 Suppl 3: 57-63, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587342

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cystic fibrosis (CF) programs and people with CF (PwCF) employed various monitoring methods for virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper characterizes experiences with remote monitoring across the U.S. CF community. METHODS: The CF Foundation (CFF) sponsored distribution of home spirometers (April 2020 to May 2021), surveys to PwCF and CF programs (July to September 2020), and a second program survey (April to May 2021). We used mixed methods to explore access, use, and perspectives regarding the use of remote monitoring in future care. RESULTS: By October 2020, 13,345 spirometers had been distributed, and 19,271 spirometers by May 2021. Programs (n=286) estimated proportions of PwCF with home devices increased over seven months: spirometers (30% to 70%), scales (50% to 70%), oximeters (5% to 10%) with higher estimates in adult programs for spirometers and oximeters. PwCF (n=378) had access to scales (89%), followed by oximeters (48%) and spirometers (47%), often using scales and oximeters weekly, and spirometers monthly. Over both surveys, some programs had no method to collect respiratory specimens for cultures associated with telehealth visits (47%, n=132; 41%, n=118). Most programs (81%) had a process for phlebotomy associated with a telehealth visit, primarily through off-site labs. Both PwCF and programs felt future care should advance remote monitoring and recommended improvements for access, training, and data collection systems. CONCLUSIONS: PwCF and programs experienced unprecedented access to remote monitoring and raised its importance for future care. Improvements to current systems may leverage these shared experiences to augment future care models.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cystic Fibrosis , Equipment and Supplies/supply & distribution , Home Care Services , Monitoring, Physiologic/methods , Spirometry , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Cystic Fibrosis/diagnosis , Cystic Fibrosis/epidemiology , Cystic Fibrosis/therapy , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Home Care Services/organization & administration , Home Care Services/standards , Humans , Models, Organizational , Needs Assessment , Oximetry/instrumentation , Oximetry/methods , Quality Improvement , SARS-CoV-2 , Spirometry/instrumentation , Spirometry/methods , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/standards , United States/epidemiology
4.
J Cyst Fibros ; 20 Suppl 3: 23-28, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587339

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic forced cystic fibrosis (CF) care programs to rapidly shift from in-person care delivery to telehealth. Our objective was to provide a qualitative exploration of facilitators and barriers to: 1) implementing high-quality telehealth and 2) navigating reimbursement for telehealth services. METHODS: We used data from the 2020 State of Care CF Program Survey (n=286 U.S. care programs) administered in August-September to identify two cohorts of programs, with variation in telehealth quality (n=12 programs) and reimbursement (n=8 programs). We conducted focus groups and semi-structured interviews with CF program directors and coordinators in December 2020, approximately 9 months from onset of the pandemic. We used the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research to identify facilitators and barriers of implementation, and inductive thematic analysis to identify facilitators and barriers of reimbursement. RESULTS: Factors differentiating programs with greater and lower perceived telehealth quality included telehealth characteristics (perceived advantage over in-person care, cost, platform quality); external influences (needs and resources of those served by the CF program), characteristics of the CF program (compatibility with workflows, relative priority, available resources); characteristics of team members (individual stage of change), and processes for implementation (engaging patients and teams). Reimbursement barriers included documentation to optimize billing; reimbursement of multi-disciplinary team members, remote monitoring, and telephone-only telehealth; and lower volume of patients. CONCLUSIONS: A number of factors are associated with successful implementation and reimbursement of telehealth. Future efforts should provide guidance and incentives that support telehealth delivery and infrastructure, share best practices across CF programs, and remove barriers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communication Barriers , Cystic Fibrosis , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Health Services Accessibility , Patient Participation , Telemedicine , Adult , Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Cystic Fibrosis/epidemiology , Cystic Fibrosis/psychology , Cystic Fibrosis/therapy , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Humans , Needs Assessment , Patient Participation/methods , Patient Participation/psychology , Qualitative Research , Quality Improvement , Reimbursement Mechanisms , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/economics , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/standards , United States/epidemiology
5.
J Cyst Fibros ; 20 Suppl 3: 49-54, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587337

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an uptake of telehealth in cystic fibrosis care. Previous studies show disparities in telehealth use based on socioeconomic status (SES). We aimed to: (1) understand telehealth use and perceptions and (2) identify the facilitators and barriers to telehealth use among people with CF and their families (PwCF) from diverse racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. METHODS: We conducted an analysis of the 2020 Cystic Fibrosis State of Care surveys completed by PwCF (PFSoC), CF Care Programs (SoC1) and the CF Foundation Patient Registry (CFFPR). RESULTS: A total of 424 PwCF and 286 programs responded to the PFSoC and SoC1. Among PwCF, 90% self-identified as White, 6% as Hispanic/Latino, and 2% as Black. Racial/ethnic minorities were less likely to have had a telehealth visit (p=.015). This difference was pronounced among the Hispanic/Latino population (p<.01). Telehealth use did not differ by health insurance and was similarly offered independent of financial status. Compared to PwCF who denied financial constraints, those who reported financial difficulties found telehealth more difficult to use (p=.018) and were less likely to think that their concerns (p=.010) or issues that mattered most to them (p=.020) were addressed during telehealth. Programs perceived lack of technology, language barriers, and home conditions as barriers to telehealth in vulnerable populations. CONCLUSION: PFSoC and SoC1 identified differences in telehealth use and care perceptions by ethnicity, race, and socioeconomic characteristics. Further studies are needed to understand how telehealth can change access to CF care in diverse subpopulations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communication Barriers , Cystic Fibrosis , Minority Health , Telemedicine , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Cystic Fibrosis/economics , Cystic Fibrosis/ethnology , Cystic Fibrosis/psychology , Cystic Fibrosis/therapy , Financial Stress/ethnology , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Healthcare Disparities/ethnology , Healthcare Disparities/standards , Humans , Minority Health/ethnology , Minority Health/standards , Minority Health/statistics & numerical data , Needs Assessment , Organizational Innovation , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/standards , United States/epidemiology , Vulnerable Populations/statistics & numerical data
6.
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth ; 21(1): 828, 2021 Dec 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571748

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The early postpartum period is recognized cross-culturally as being important for recovery, with new parents receiving increased levels of community support. However, COVID-19-related lockdown measures may have disrupted these support systems, with possible implications for mental health. Here, we use a cross-sectional analysis among individuals who gave birth at different stages of the pandemic to test (i) if instrumental support access in the form of help with household tasks, newborn care, and care for older children has varied temporally across the pandemic, and (ii) whether access to these forms of instrumental support is associated with lower postpartum depression scores. METHODS: This study used data from the COVID-19 And Reproductive Effects (CARE) study, an online survey of pregnant persons in the United States. Participants completed postnatal surveys between April 30 - November 18, 2020 (n = 971). Logistic regression analysis tested whether birth timing during the pandemic was associated with odds of reported sustained instrumental support. Linear regression analyses assessed whether instrumental support was associated with lower depression scores as measured via the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression survey. RESULTS: Participants who gave birth later in the pandemic were more likely to report that the pandemic had not affected the help they received with household work and newborn care (p < 0.001), while access to childcare for older children appeared to vary non-linearly throughout the pandemic. Additionally, respondents who reported that the pandemic had not impacted their childcare access or help received around the house displayed significantly lower depression scores compared to participants who reported pandemic-related disruptions to these support types (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The maintenance of postpartum instrumental support during the pandemic appears to be associated with better maternal mental health. Healthcare providers should therefore consider disrupted support systems as a risk factor for postpartum depression and ask patients how the pandemic has affected support access. Policymakers seeking to improve parental wellbeing should design strategies that reduce disease transmission, while facilitating safe interactions within immediate social networks (e.g., through investment in COVID-19 testing and contact tracing). Cumulatively, postpartum instrumental support represents a potential tool to protect against depression, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child Care , Depression, Postpartum , Physical Distancing , Stress, Psychological , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Child , Child Care/methods , Child Care/psychology , Child Care/statistics & numerical data , Communicable Disease Control/methods , /trends , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression, Postpartum/diagnosis , Depression, Postpartum/epidemiology , Depression, Postpartum/prevention & control , Depression, Postpartum/psychology , Female , Humans , Maternal-Child Health Services/organization & administration , Maternal-Child Health Services/trends , Needs Assessment , Psychiatric Status Rating Scales/statistics & numerical data , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological/complications , Stress, Psychological/etiology , Stress, Psychological/physiopathology , United States/epidemiology
7.
Pediatr Infect Dis J ; 41(1): e1-e5, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522380

ABSTRACT

Children, although at lower risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19 relative to adults, still stand to benefit from therapeutic interventions. Understanding of COVID-19 clinical presentation and prognosis in children is essential to optimize therapeutic trials design. This perspective illustrates how to collectively accelerate pediatric COVID-19 therapeutic research and development, based on the experience of the Global Accelerator for Paediatric Formulations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Research , Seizures/drug therapy , Child , Dosage Forms , Drug Compounding , Drug Development , Humans , Needs Assessment , Pharmaceutical Preparations , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(21)2021 10 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512286

ABSTRACT

In response to the drug-resistant tuberculosis (DRTB) ototoxicity burden in South Africa, ototoxicity monitoring has been decentralised, with community health workers (CHWs) acting as facilitators. This study describes a community-based ototoxicity monitoring programme (OMP) for patients with DRTB. Findings are compared to the recommended guidelines for ototoxicity monitoring, the OMP protocol and published studies. This was a retrospective study of longitudinal ototoxicity monitoring of 831 patients with DRTB, using data collected at community-based clinics in the City of Cape Town between 2013 and 2017. Approximately half (46.8%) of the patients had an initial assessment conducted in accordance with the OMP protocol recommendations, and follow-up rates (79.5%) were higher than those of a similar DRTB programme. However, patients in this study were not monitored within the timeframes or with the regularity recommended by the guidelines or the OMP protocol. Extended high-frequency pure-tone audiometry (27.5%) was underutilised by testers and data recording was inconsistent (e.g., 37.7% of patient gender was not recorded by testers). Community-based OMP using CHWs to facilitate monitoring showed improvement over previous hospital-based reports, with more accessible services and higher follow-up rates. However, to improve OMP outcomes, OMP managers should reassess current protocols and data recording practices.


Subject(s)
Ototoxicity , Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant , Humans , Needs Assessment , Retrospective Studies , South Africa/epidemiology , Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant/drug therapy
12.
Front Public Health ; 9: 732539, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506375

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed significant gaps in mental health in terms of unrecognized and unmet needs. The goal was to accurately assess the needs and identify gaps in this area during the epidemiological crisis. A Delphi study to identify the needs was conducted with a group of decision-makers, experts, and users of mental health services. A starting point of the Delphi study was prepared in two working groups, based on recognizable international recommendations and experiences of the practitioners from the field situation. This initial set of emergency measures was supplemented through the first Delphi round, and consensus about the importance was reached in the second round. A total of 41 activities were derived, the vast majority of which were rated with a score of 4 or more. Mental health activities, which should be addressed in terms of needs, can be divided into systemic measures and service measures. This study recognizes a need to reorganize services in the direction of improving local accessibility and strengthening the network of services for immediate responses to the psychological, health, and social needs of individuals, including those arising from crisis situations, such as COVID-19 pandemic. The results of this study are in line with the international recommendations and also influenced the formulation of the Action Plan of the National Mental Health Program, while some of the measures were already implemented during the publication of the research results.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Consensus , Delphi Technique , Humans , Mental Health , Needs Assessment , SARS-CoV-2
13.
J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown) ; 22(9): 711-715, 2021 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496885

ABSTRACT

CoronaVIrus Disease-19 (COVID-19) had a huge impact on human health and economy. However, to this date, the effects of the pandemic on the training of young cardiologists are only partially known. To assess the consequences of the pandemic on the education of the cardiologists in training, we performed a 23-item national survey that has been delivered to 1443 Italian cardiologists in training, registered in the database of the Italian Society of Cardiology (SIC). Six hundred and thirty-three cardiologists in training participated in the survey. Ninety-five percent of the respondents affirmed that the training programme has been somewhat stopped or greatly jeopardized by the pandemic. For 61% of the fellows in training (FITs), the pandemic had a negative effect on their education. Moreover, 59% of the respondents believe that they would not be able to fill the gap gained during that period over the rest of their training. A negative impact on the psycho-physical well being has been reported by 86% of the FITs. The COVID-19 pandemic had an unparalleled impact on the education, formation and mental state of the cardiologists in training. Regulatory agencies, universities and politicians should make a great effort in the organization and reorganization of the teaching programs of the cardiologists of tomorrow.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiologists , Cardiology/education , Communicable Disease Control , Education , Internship and Residency , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cardiologists/education , Cardiologists/psychology , Cardiologists/standards , Clinical Competence/standards , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Education/organization & administration , Education/standards , Fellowships and Scholarships/methods , Fellowships and Scholarships/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Internship and Residency/methods , Internship and Residency/organization & administration , Internship and Residency/standards , Italy/epidemiology , Needs Assessment , SARS-CoV-2 , Societies, Medical/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires
14.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1953, 2021 10 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496160

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic presented novel barriers to youth physical activity engagement. Identifying what resources parents and children are interested in receiving can support efforts to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic on youth physical activity behavior. This study aimed to identify physical activity-related information needs during the COVID-19 pandemic among a nationally representative sample of American parents of children 6-10 years-old and parent-child dyads of children 11-17 years-old. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted by a market research company in October-November 2020. Parents and children were asked about their interest in specific types of information about helping their family and themselves, respectively, be active (Yes/No). Weighted percentages were calculated for reported information needs and compared using two-sample test of proportions. RESULTS: Final analytic sample was 1000 parents (55.4% female; 74.7% White; 74.0% non-Hispanic); 500 children 11-17 years-old (52.1% male; 77.6% White). Over 40% of participants were interested in information about being active during COVID-19. Parents were more likely to be interested in information if they always (versus never) worked from home [53.3% (95% CI: 43.3-63.0%) versus 22.0% (95% CI: 14.9-31.3%), p < 0.001]; had children attending school remotely versus in-person [47.3% (95% CI:40.2-54.5%) versus 27.5% (95% CI: 19.6-37.1%), p < 0.001]; and lived in a big city versus a rural area [66.5% (95% CI:54.5-76.7%) versus 34.1% (95% CI: 22.8-47.6%), p < 0.001]. Children most interested were those who did not have resources for online activity engagement and those worried about their safety or getting infected with COVID-19. Children were also more likely to be interested if their parents worked full-time versus not working [48.6% (95% CI:41.7-55.6%) versus 31.5% (95% CI: 24.1-39.9%), p < 0.001], and lived in a big city versus a rural area [57.2% (95% CI:45.3-68.3%) versus 27.8% (95% CI:17.8-40.7%), p < 0.001]. CONCLUSIONS: Families are interested in physical activity resources, particularly those whose daily routines and opportunities for physical activity may have been most significantly impacted by the pandemic. This includes parents who always worked from home or whose children attended school remotely. Identifying felt needs is an important step in developing tailored interventions that aim to effectively and sustainably support families in promoting physical activity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adolescent , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Exercise , Female , Humans , Male , Needs Assessment , Parents , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
15.
J Healthc Qual Res ; 35(6): 337-338, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1492276
17.
Support Care Cancer ; 28(8): 3517-3531, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453749

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Rural breast cancer survivors (BCS) in the United States face unique challenges during survivorship, related to knowledge and accessibility of resources. Survivorship care plans should address five key areas that include surveillance and screening for new/reoccurring cancer; management of long-term effects of cancer treatment; health promotion; and care coordination/practice implications. To maximize the benefit of survivorship care for rural BCS, it is necessary to better understand their experiences and preferences. METHODS: A systematic review of the extant literature addressing the survivorship needs and interventions for rural BCS was conducted. The following databases were searched for reports published between January, 2007, and December, 2018: PubMed, CINAHL, SCOPUS, PsycINFO (EBSCO), CAB Direct, and Sociological Abstracts. Reports published after 2007 with samples including and comprised of rural BCS in the United States were included. Screening of the search results followed PRISMA guidelines using Covidence systematic review software. RESULTS: Findings were extracted from 30 reports disseminating findings of 14 research studies. The five areas of a survivorship care were counted/accounted for during data extraction. The included reports concentrated on health promotion (e.g., weight loss and exercise) and the management of long-term effects of cancer treatment as key outcomes. There is a gap in the literature addressing care coordination, surveillance, and screening. CONCLUSION: Additional research including interventions for rural BCS that address more survivorship care areas would benefit this population and improve survivorship quality of life for rural BCS.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms/mortality , Cancer Survivors/statistics & numerical data , Breast Neoplasms/psychology , Cancer Survivors/psychology , Databases, Factual , Female , Humans , Needs Assessment , Quality of Life , Rural Population , Survival Rate , Survivorship , United States/epidemiology
18.
BMJ Open ; 11(10): e049134, 2021 10 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450602

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, US Veterans Health Administration (VHA) employee occupational health (EOH) providers were tasked with assuming a central role in coordinating employee COVID-19 screening and clearance for duty, representing entirely novel EOH responsibilities. In a rapid qualitative needs assessment, we aimed to identify learnings from the field to support the vastly expanding role of EOH providers in a national healthcare system. METHODS: We employed rapid qualitative analysis of key informant interviews in a maximal variation sample on the parameters of job type, rural versus urban and provider gender. We interviewed 21 VHA EOH providers between July and December 2020. This sample represents 15 facilities from diverse regions of the USA (large, medium and small facilities in the Mid-Atlantic; medium sites in the South; large facilities in the West and Pacific Northwest). RESULTS: Five interdependent needs included: (1) infrastructure to support employee population management, including tools that facilitate infection control measures such as contact tracing (eg, employee-facing electronic health records and coordinated databases); (2) mechanisms for information sharing across settings (eg, VHA listserv), especially for changing policy and protocols; (3) sufficiently resourced staffing using detailing to align EOH needs with human resource capital; (4) connected and resourced local and national leaders; and (5) strategies to support healthcare worker mental health.Our identified facilitators for EOH assuming new challenging and dynamically changing roles during COVID-19 included: (A) training or access to expertise; (B) existing mechanisms for information sharing; (C) flexible and responsive staffing; and (D) leveraging other institutional expertise not previously affiliated with EOH (eg, chaplains to support bereavement). CONCLUSIONS: Our needs assessment highlights local and system level barriers and facilitators of EOH assuming expanded roles during COVID-19. Integrating changes both within and across systems and with alignment of human capital will enable EOH preparedness for future challenges.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Occupational Health , Health Personnel , Humans , Needs Assessment , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Veterans Health , Workforce
20.
Nat Hum Behav ; 5(10): 1273-1281, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440475

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced teachers and parents to quickly adapt to a new educational context: distance learning. Teachers developed online academic material while parents taught the exercises and lessons provided by teachers to their children at home. Considering that the use of digital tools in education has dramatically increased during this crisis, and it is set to continue, there is a pressing need to understand the impact of distance learning. Taking a multidisciplinary view, we argue that by making the learning process rely more than ever on families, rather than on teachers, and by getting students to work predominantly via digital resources, school closures exacerbate social class academic disparities. To address this burning issue, we propose an agenda for future research and outline recommendations to help parents, teachers and policymakers to limit the impact of the lockdown on social-class-based academic inequality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Education, Distance/methods , Needs Assessment/organization & administration , Social Class , Socioeconomic Factors , COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Family Characteristics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
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