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1.
S Afr Med J ; 113(4): e16554, 2023 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234141

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In Malawi, only 1 072 229 people out of a national target population of 13 546 324 had received at least one dose of the AstraZeneca COVID­19 vaccine by 26 December 2021, and only 672 819 people were classified as fully vaccinated. Phalombe District in Malawi had particularly low COVID­19 vaccine uptake, with only 4% (n=8 538) of 225 219 people being fully vaccinated by 26 December. OBJECTIVES: To explore reasons for vaccine hesitancy and refusal among people living in Phalombe District. METHODS: This cross-sectional qualitative study employed six focus group discussions (FGDs) and 19 in-depth interviews (IDIs) to collect data. We purposefully selected two traditional authorities (TAs), Nazombe and Nkhumba, as study areas, and conducted FGDs and IDIs in 6 randomly selected villages in these two TAs. Participants were religious leaders, traditional leaders, youths, traditional healers and ordinary community members. We explored reasons for vaccine refusal and hesitancy, how contextual cultural beliefs influenced people's decision to receive the COVID­19 vaccine, and which sources of information were trusted in the community. Data were analysed using thematic content analysis. RESULTS: We conducted 19 IDIs and six FGDs. Themes that emerged from the data were reasons for vaccine refusal and hesitancy, contextual cultural beliefs affecting the decision whether to be vaccinated, ways to improve COVID­19 vaccine uptake, and means of communicating information about COVID­19 vaccines. Participants mentioned that myths contributing to vaccine refusal and hesitancy circulated in the community through social media. With regard to contextual cultural beliefs, most participants believed that COVID­19 was a disease of rich people, while others believed that it signalled the end of the world and that it could not be cured. CONCLUSION: Health systems should recognise and acknowledge the reasons leading to vaccine hesitancy and refusal and address these appropriately to improve vaccine uptake. Effective community sensitisation and engagement should be enhanced to clarify myths and address misinformation about the COVID­19 vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Adolescent , Humans , COVID-19 Vaccines , Malawi/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , South Africa , Vaccination
2.
BMC Musculoskelet Disord ; 24(1): 466, 2023 Jun 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233788

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, people with low back pain (LBP) might have avoided seeking care for their pain. We aimed to investigate how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected LBP care seeking behavior among adults. METHODS: Data from four assessments of the PAMPA cohort were analyzed. Participants who reported experiencing LBP during wave one both before and during social restrictions (n = 1,753 and n = 1,712, respectively), wave two (n = 2,009), and wave three (n = 2,482) were included. We asked participants about sociodemographic, behavioral, and health factors and outcomes related to LBP. Poisson regression analyses were conducted, and data are presented as prevalence ratios (PR) and respective 95% confidence interval (95%CI). RESULTS: Overall, care seeking behavior decreased by half in the first months of restrictions, from 51.5% to 25.2%. Although there was an increase in care seeking behavior observed in the other two assessments (nearly 10 and 16 months after restrictions), it was insufficient to reach pre-pandemic levels. In the first months of restrictions, a similar scenario was observed for specific care, such as general practitioner and exercise professional care, with proportions of pre-pandemic levels reached after 10 and 16 months. Women were more likely to seek care for LBP 10 and 16 months after restrictions (PR 1.30 95%CI 1.11; 1.52, PR 1.22 95%CI 1.06; 1.39, respectively). Also, those participants who worked, were physically active, and reported pain-related disability and high pain levels were more likely to seek care at all time points assessed. CONCLUSION: Overall, care-seeking behavior for LBP significantly decreased in the first months of restrictions and increased in the following months; however, this behavior remained lower than pre-pandemic levels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Low Back Pain , Adult , Humans , Female , Low Back Pain/diagnosis , Low Back Pain/epidemiology , Low Back Pain/therapy , Pandemics , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Patient Acceptance of Health Care
4.
BMC Infect Dis ; 23(1): 337, 2023 May 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2325812

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding the epidemiology of Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) in a local context is valuable for both future pandemic preparedness and potential increases in COVID-19 case volume, particularly due to variant strains. METHODS: Our work allowed us to complete a population-based study on patients who tested positive for COVID-19 in Alberta from March 1, 2020 to December 15, 2021. We completed a multi-centre, retrospective population-based descriptive study using secondary data sources in Alberta, Canada. We identified all adult patients (≥ 18 years of age) tested and subsequently positive for COVID-19 (including only the first incident case of COVID-19) on a laboratory test. We determined positive COVID-19 tests, gender, age, comorbidities, residency in a long-term care (LTC) facility, time to hospitalization, length of stay (LOS) in hospital, and mortality. Patients were followed for 60 days from a COVID-19 positive test. RESULTS: Between March 1, 2020 and December 15, 2021, 255,037 adults were identified with COVID-19 in Alberta. Most confirmed cases occurred among those less than 60 years of age (84.3%); however, most deaths (89.3%) occurred among those older than 60 years. Overall hospitalization rate among those who tested positive was 5.9%. Being a resident of LTC was associated with substantial mortality of 24.6% within 60 days of a positive COVID-19 test. The most common comorbidity among those with COVID-19 was depression. Across all patients 17.3% of males and 18.6% of females had an unplanned ambulatory visit subsequent to their positive COVID-19 test. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 is associated with extensive healthcare utilization. Residents of LTC were substantially impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic with high associated mortality. Further work should be done to better understand the economic burden associated with related healthcare utilization following a COVID-19 infection to inform healthcare system resource allocation, planning, and forecasting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Internship and Residency , Male , Adult , Female , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Long-Term Care , Retrospective Studies , Alberta/epidemiology , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care
5.
BMC Cancer ; 23(1): 439, 2023 May 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2319030

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has impacted both society and medical care. While Germany entered the first lockdown in spring 2020, the PIKKO study (Patient information, communication and competence empowerment in oncology) was still active. The intervention modules, patient navigator (PN), services of the Saarland Cancer Society (SCS), psycho-social counseling and different courses, and online knowledge database (ODB) continued to be offered, but in an adapted form. It was the aim of this supplementary survey to identify the restrictions and burdens of the pandemic containment strategies on the PIKKO patients and thus on the PIKKO study itself. Furthermore, this work shows how the PIKKO modules were used during the lockdown. METHODS: All patients in the PIKKO intervention group (IG) were invited to complete a questionnaire, n = 503. Furthermore, utilization of the SCS and log files of the ODB were analyzed. For socio-demographic data and contacts with the PN, data from the regular PIKKO surveys were used. In addition to descriptive statistics, chi²-tests, F-tests and linear regression analyses were performed. RESULTS: 356 patients participated in this supplemental survey. 37.6% reported restrictions. "Restrictions on accompanying persons", "ban on visits to the wards" and "protective mouth-nose-mask" were reported as the greatest burdens. 39.0% expressed fears that the restrictions would have an impact on the course of their disease. Linear regression analyses showed differences in feelings of burden among age groups (more among < 60-year-olds), gender (more among women), children in the household (more with children), and preexisting financial stress (more with financial worries). In April 2020, there was more patient contact with PNs by phone, more SCS psycho-social counseling by phone, adapted SCS course offering, but with significantly fewer participants, and high activity on the ODB. CONCLUSION: Cancer patients in the IG reported restrictions from the pandemic containment strategies and feared an impact on their recovery. However, whether a burden is perceived as heavy depends more on gender, age, or pre-existing burdens than on whether the lockdown affects PIKKO or not. The utilization of counseling, courses or the ODB despite lockdown shows the need for such services, especially in times of crisis. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study was retrospectively registered in the German Clinical Trial Register under DRKS00016703 (21 Feb 2019, retrospectively registered). https://www.drks.de/drks_web/navigate.do?navigationId=trial.HTML&TRIAL_ID=DRKS00016703 .


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Child , Female , Humans , Communicable Disease Control , COVID-19/epidemiology , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/therapy , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care
6.
J Prim Care Community Health ; 14: 21501319231171440, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2318346

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION/OBJECTIVES: New variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 will continue to develop and spread globally. The Omicron variant identified in November 2021 has many lineages. Variants spread quickly and can infect previously vaccinated individuals, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to update vaccination recommendations. While ~230 million Americans received the initially-recommended vaccine sequence, booster uptake has been much lower; less than half of fully vaccinated individuals report receiving a booster. Racial disparities also mark patterns of COVID-19 vaccination booster uptake. This study explored willingness and motivations to get a COVID-19 booster among a diverse sample of participants. METHODS: We used convenience sampling to recruit participants 18 years of age or older who attended a community vaccine event. We conducted informal interviews during the recommended 15-min post-vaccination wait time with 55 participants who attended vaccine events at Marshallese and Hispanic community locations and comprised the recruitment pool for individual interviews. Using a qualitative descriptive design, we conducted in-depth follow-up interviews with 9 participants (Marshallese n = 5, Hispanic n = 4) to explore willingness and motivations to get boosted. We used rapid thematic template analysis to review informal interview summaries and formal interviews. The research team resolved data discrepancies by consensus. RESULTS: Participants reported high willingness to get boosted, especially if boosters were recommended in the future to protect against serious illness and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This finding underscores how essential including recommendations to get a COVID-19 booster from trusted sources in health messaging and educational campaigns may be for increasing booster uptake. Participants described their preference for receiving future COVID-19 boosters, reporting that they would attend similar vaccine events, especially those held at faith-based organizations and facilitated by the same community partners, community health workers, and research staff. This finding shows how community engagement can overcome barriers to vaccination (ie, transportation, language, and fear of discrimination) by providing services in preferred community locations with trusted community partners. CONCLUSIONS: Findings document high willingness to get a COVID-19 booster, emphasize the role of recommendations from trusted sources in motivating booster uptake, and highlight the importance of community engagement to address disparities in vaccination coverage and reach.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Hispanic or Latino , Language , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology , Vaccination , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/ethnology , Immunization, Secondary
7.
Vaccine ; 41(18): 2956-2960, 2023 05 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2316810

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer is a preventable disease caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV vaccine uptake in Japan has been slow since the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare suspended the recommendation for proactive HPV vaccination in 2013. In April 2022, Japan initiated catch-up vaccinations for women who missed the opportunity to receive the HPV vaccine. However, as of September 2022, very few women had received catch-up vaccination, raising concerns about vaccine hesitancy in the target population. It is necessary to understand the thinking and motivation of the target population to develop effective strategies to improve vaccination rates. Therefore, using cluster analysis, this study aimed to clarify the pattern of HPV vaccine hesitancy among the catch-up generations in Japan. METHODS: This descriptive study was based on an Internet survey completed by 3,790 women in Japan aged over 18 years who were eligible for catch-up vaccination and had not yet received an HPV vaccine. Participants were asked about their intention and thinking about the HPV vaccine and descriptive norms on vaccination intention. Cluster analysis using k-means clustering was performed to clarify these patterns. RESULTS: Cluster analysis revealed three hesitancy patterns: acceptance, neutral and refusal. The acceptance group, with high intention, comprised 28.2% of the participants, and students and a high-income level mainly dominated this group. The refusal group, with negative thinking and low intention, accounted for 20.1% and was more prevalent among workers and the unemployed. The neutral group, with neutral thinking and intention, accounted for 51.6%. The perceived effect of descriptive norms on vaccination intention was large in the acceptance group but small in the refusal group. CONCLUSION: HPV vaccine awareness promotion strategies must be based on the characteristics of each group and the different distributions of sociodemographic factors.


Subject(s)
Papillomavirus Infections , Papillomavirus Vaccines , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms , Humans , Female , Adult , Middle Aged , Papillomavirus Infections/prevention & control , Japan , Vaccination Hesitancy , Vaccination , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/prevention & control , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/epidemiology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Patient Acceptance of Health Care
8.
Cancer Med ; 12(12): 13821-13833, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2316539

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Oncological care has been disrupted worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic. We aimed to quantify the long-term impact of the pandemic on cancer care utilization and to examine how this impact varied by sociodemographic and clinical factors in southwestern China, where the Dynamic Zero-COVID Strategy was implemented. This strategy mainly included lockdowns, stringent testing, and travel restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. METHOD: We identified 859,497 episodes of the utilization of cancer care from electronic medical records between January 1, 2019, and March 31, 2021, from the cancer center of a tertiary hospital serving an estimated population of 8.4 million in southwestern China. Changes in weekly utilization were evaluated via segmented Poisson regression across service categories, stratified by cancer type and sociodemographic factors. RESULTS: A sharp reduction in utilization of in-person cancer services occurred during the first week of the pandemic outbreak in January 2020, followed by a quick rebound in February 2020. Although there were few COVID-19 cases from March 2020 until this analysis, the recovery of most in-person services was slow and remained incomplete as of March 31, 2021. The exceptions were outpatient radiation and surgery, which increased and exceeded pre-pandemic levels, particularly among lung cancer patients; meanwhile, telemedicine utilization increased substantially after the onset of the pandemic. Care disruptions were most prominent for women, rural residents, uninsured, and breast cancer patients. CONCLUSIONS: As of March 2021, despite few COVID-19 cases, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a strong and continuing impact on in-person oncology care utilization in southwestern China under the Dynamic Zero-COVID Strategy. Equitable and timely access to cancer care requires adjustment in strict policies for COVID-19 prevention and control, as well as targeted remedies for the most vulnerable populations during and beyond the pandemic. Future studies should monitor the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and response strategies on cancer care and outcomes.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms , COVID-19 , Humans , Female , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , China/epidemiology
9.
Cancer Med ; 12(8): 9849-9856, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2316390

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A strong relationship has been observed between comorbidities and the risk of severe/fatal COVID-19 manifestations, but no score is available to evaluate their association in cancer patients. To make up for this lacuna, we aimed to develop a comorbidity score for cancer patients, based on the Lombardy Region healthcare databases. METHODS: We used hospital discharge records to identify patients with a new diagnosis of solid cancer between February and December 2019; 61 comorbidities were retrieved within 2 years before cancer diagnosis. This cohort was split into training and validation sets. In the training set, we used a LASSO-logistic model to identify comorbidities associated with the risk of developing a severe/fatal form of COVID-19 during the first pandemic wave (March-May 2020). We used a logistic model to estimate comorbidity score weights and then we divided the score into five classes (<=-1, 0, 1, 2-4, >=5). In the validation set, we assessed score performance by areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and calibration plots. We repeated the process on second pandemic wave (October-December 2020) data. RESULTS: We identified 55,425 patients with an incident solid cancer. We selected 21 comorbidities as independent predictors. The first four score classes showed similar probability of experiencing the outcome (0.2% to 0.5%), while the last showed a probability equal to 5.8%. The score performed well in both the first and second pandemic waves: AUC 0.85 and 0.82, respectively. Our results were robust for major cancer sites too (i.e., colorectal, lung, female breast, and prostate). CONCLUSIONS: We developed a high performance comorbidity score for cancer patients and COVID-19. Being based on administrative databases, this score will be useful for adjusting for comorbidity confounding in epidemiological studies on COVID-19 and cancer impact.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Male , Humans , Female , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Comorbidity , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Neoplasms/epidemiology
10.
Sci Rep ; 13(1): 7353, 2023 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2316053

ABSTRACT

As the global vaccination mass campaign against COVID-19 extended to children aged 5 to 11 years, some parents remained hesitant about their children being administered the vaccine despite data supporting its safety. Parent vaccine hesitancy (PVH) may have predisposed certain groups of children, particularly those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), to COVID-19 when other neurotypical children would have been vaccinated. We investigated the current PVH in 243 parents of children with ASD and 245 controls using the Parent Attitudes about Childhood Vaccines (PACV) scale. The study was conducted in Qatar from May to October 2022. Overall, 15.0% [95% CI 11.7%; 18.3%] of parents were vaccine-hesitant, with no difference (p = 0.054) between groups (ASD children [18.2%] vs. controls [11.7%]). The only sociodemographic factor associated with higher vaccine hesitancy was being a mother (as compared to being a father). The COVID-19 vaccine receipt rate at the time of the study did not differ between ASD (24.3%) and non-ASD groups (27.8%). Around two-thirds of parents of children with ASD refused or were unsure about vaccinating their children against COVID-19. We found that the intent to vaccinate against COVID-19 was higher in parents who were married and in those with a lower PACV total score. Continued public health efforts are needed to address vaccine hesitancy among parents.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , COVID-19 , Vaccines , Female , Humans , Child , COVID-19 Vaccines , Vaccination Hesitancy , Intention , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , COVID-19/prevention & control , Parents , Vaccination
11.
Trials ; 23(1): 524, 2022 Jun 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2317210

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cannabis is the most-frequently used illicit drug in Europe. Over the last few years in Spain, treatment demand has increased, yet most cannabis users do not seek treatment despite the related problems. A web-based self-help tool, like CANreduce 2.0, could help these users to control their consumption. METHODS: This study protocol describes a three-arm randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing the effectiveness of three approaches, in terms of reducing cannabis use among problematic cannabis users, the first two treatment arms including the Spanish version of CANreduce 2.0 (an adherence-focused, guidance-enhanced, web-based self-help tool) (1) with and (2) without psychological support; and the third group (3) treatment as usual (TAU). Study hypotheses will be tested concerning the primary outcome: change in the number of days of cannabis use over the previous week, comparing assessments at 6 weeks and 3 and 6 months follow-up between groups and against baseline. Secondary outcomes related to cannabis use will be tested similarly. Mental disorders will be explored as predictors of adherence and outcomes. Analyses will be performed on an intention-to-treat basis, then verified by complete case analyses. DISCUSSION: This study will test how effective the Spanish version of CANreduce 2.0 (CANreduce-SP) is at reducing both the frequency and quantity of cannabis use in problematic users and whether adding psychological support increases its effectiveness. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial is registered with the Clinical Trials Protocol Registration and Results System (PRS) number: NCT04517474 . Registered 18 August 2020, (Archived by archive.is https://archive.is/N1Y64 ). The project commenced in November 2020 and recruitment is anticipated to end by November 2022.


Subject(s)
Cannabis , Counseling , Marijuana Abuse , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Health Behavior , Humans , Internet , Marijuana Abuse/therapy , Mental Disorders , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Treatment Outcome
12.
Perspect Biol Med ; 65(1): 106-123, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2314137

ABSTRACT

Despite the impact of vaccination on the control and prevention of many infectious diseases, vaccine opposition and hesitancy remain significant barriers to fully protecting individuals and communities against serious disease. The primary response to the problem of vaccine hesitancy includes persuasion and some degree of compulsion, usually in the form of vaccine mandates. Persuasion, if it can be successfully leveraged to provide sufficient control of disease spread, is the ethically preferred approach. Yet persuasion has proven less than adequate, leading to increasing calls for vaccination mandates and the elimination of nonmedical exemptions to those mandates. Four scholars have recently examined the underlying causes of vaccine hesitancy in the interest of improving rhetoric surrounding vaccination. This article reviews those books and offers suggestions for optimizing the strategy of persuasion in the interest of reducing the need for compulsion.


Subject(s)
Persuasive Communication , Vaccines , Humans , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Vaccination , Vaccination Hesitancy
13.
Riv Psichiatr ; 58(1): 1-9, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2307773

ABSTRACT

Vaccine hesitancy is a term used to refer to a series of attitudes ranging from reluctance to undergo vaccination to blatant refusal. In the context of the current pandemic, vaccine hesitancy is viewed as one of the ten major threats to public health. This narrative review, based on analysis of the most important literature reports on this topic, aims to illustrate the dimensions of vaccine hesitancy and the numerous sociodemographic and individual determinants involved, with particular reference to psychopathology, a somewhat neglected, but potentially relevant factor.


Subject(s)
Mental Disorders , Vaccination Hesitancy , Humans , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Vaccination , Mental Disorders/prevention & control
14.
Am J Manag Care ; 27(8): 334-339, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2299344

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To examine the impact of an employer-sponsored behavioral health (BH) program on all-cause health care utilization and cost. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of health insurance claims data obtained from a large employer in western New York covering a 25-month period between 2016 and 2018. Those employees treated by the employer-sponsored BH program were compared against a contemporaneous comparison group of employees of the same employer who had eligible BH diagnoses for the program but were treated elsewhere. METHODS: A difference-in-differences method was used to estimate the program's impact on all-cause care utilization (physician office visits and acute care utilization) and total cost of care, including prescription drug costs. RESULTS: Program participation was associated with a reduction of approximately 28% in total cost of care including prescription drug costs (P = .043) over an 18-month period following the initial program encounter, as well as 27% reductions in primary care provider (PCP) visits (P = .001) and non-BH specialist visits (P = .005). No significant impacts were observed for acute care utilization and BH specialist visit rates. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the employer-sponsored BH program implementation may have shifted treatments of certain BH conditions away from PCPs and non-BH specialists who may not have the proper training or resources to manage such conditions. Therefore, these results are consistent with the expectation that improved access to BH care is likely to improve efficiency in the health care system via provision of more appropriate care for those who need it.


Subject(s)
Drug Costs , Office Visits , Health Promotion , Humans , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Retrospective Studies
15.
Br J Gen Pract ; 73(728): 134-135, 2023 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2301536
16.
Am J Law Med ; 48(1): 54-90, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2303184

ABSTRACT

This Article tackles the critical problem of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and provides a normative framework for legal policies to address such hesitancy in the ongoing pandemic. The foundation of this Article rests in decision-making theories that allow policymakers to understand individual misperception of risk as compared to evidence-based assessment of risk. Vaccine-hesitant individuals assign a high risk to the COVID-19 vaccine and a low risk to the disease-a perception that is disconnected from the science. The backbone of this Article is the timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic and the underlying science of the disease and vaccines. The timeline provides a factual background to demonstrate how vaccine hesitancy to the COVID-19 vaccine emerged. The instant pandemic also demonstrates changes in how individuals see themselves in society, receive information, and are persuaded by economic forces. This Article combines the individual's decision-making process with modern day variables to suggest interventions that can undo anti-vaccine damage. While the novelty of the normative framework provided herein is instructive for current COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy issues, this framework can be applied to other areas in which individual's perceptions of risk are disconnected from evidence-based assessment of risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Perception , Vaccination , Vaccination Hesitancy
17.
PLoS Med ; 20(4): e1004187, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2300630

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has exacerbated mental health challenges among physicians and non-physicians. However, it is unclear if the worsening mental health among physicians is due to specific occupational stressors, reflective of general societal stressors during the pandemic, or a combination. We evaluated the difference in mental health and addictions health service use between physicians and non-physicians, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We conducted a population-based cohort study in Ontario, Canada between March 11, 2017 and August 11, 2021 using data collected from Ontario's universal health system. Physicians were identified using registrations with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario between 1990 and 2020. Participants included 41,814 physicians and 12,054,070 non-physicians. We compared the first 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 11, 2020 to August 11, 2021) to the period before COVID-19 pandemic (March 11, 2017 to February 11, 2020). The primary outcome was mental health and addiction outpatient visits overall and subdivided into virtual versus in-person, psychiatrists versus family medicine and general practice clinicians. We used generalized estimating equations for the analyses. Pre-pandemic, after adjustment for age and sex, physicians had higher rates of psychiatry visits (aIRR 3.91 95% CI 3.55 to 4.30) and lower rates of family medicine visits (aIRR 0.62 95% CI 0.58 to 0.66) compared to non-physicians. During the first 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of outpatient mental health and addiction (MHA) visits increased by 23.2% in physicians (888.4 pre versus 1,094.7 during per 1,000 person-years, aIRR 1.39 95% CI 1.28 to 1.51) and 9.8% in non-physicians (615.5 pre versus 675.9 during per 1,000 person-years, aIRR 1.12 95% CI 1.09 to 1.14). Outpatient MHA and virtual care visits increased more among physicians than non-physicians during the first 18 months of the pandemic. Limitations include residual confounding between physician and non-physicians and challenges differentiating whether observed increases in MHA visits during the pandemic are due to stressors or changes in health care access. CONCLUSIONS: The first 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a larger increase in outpatient MHA visits in physicians than non-physicians. These findings suggest physicians may have had larger negative mental health during COVID-19 than the general population and highlight the need for increased access to mental health services and system level changes to promote physician wellness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health , Humans , Ontario/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Cohort Studies , Patient Acceptance of Health Care
18.
JAMA Netw Open ; 6(4): e2310696, 2023 04 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2299841

ABSTRACT

Importance: Limited data exist on pediatric health care utilization during the COVID-19 pandemic among children and young adults born preterm. Objective: To investigate differences in health care use related to COVID-19 concerns during the pandemic among children and young adults born preterm vs those born at term. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this cohort study, questionnaires regarding COVID-19 and health care utilization were completed by 1691 mother-offspring pairs from 42 pediatric cohorts in the National Institutes of Health Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes Program. Children and young adults (ages 1-18 years) in these analyses were born between 2003 and 2021. Data were recorded by the August 31, 2021, data-lock date and were analyzed between October 2021 and October 2022. Exposures: Premature birth (<37 weeks' gestation). Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was health care utilization related to COVID-19 concerns (hospitalization, in-person clinic or emergency department visit, phone or telehealth evaluations). Individuals born preterm vs term (≥37 weeks' gestation) and differences among preterm subgroups of individuals (<28 weeks', 28-36 weeks' vs ≥37 weeks' gestation) were assessed. Generalized estimating equations assessed population odds for health care used and related symptoms, controlling for maternal age, education, and psychiatric disorder; offspring history of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) or asthma; and timing and age at COVID-19 questionnaire completion. Results: Data from 1691 children and young adults were analyzed; among 270 individuals born preterm, the mean (SD) age at survey completion was 8.8 (4.4) years, 151 (55.9%) were male, and 193 (71.5%) had a history of BPD or asthma diagnosis. Among 1421 comparison individuals with term birth, the mean (SD) age at survey completion was 8.4 (2.4) years, 749 (52.7%) were male, and 233 (16.4%) had a history of BPD or asthma. Preterm subgroups included 159 individuals (58.5%) born at less than 28 weeks' gestation. In adjusted analyses, individuals born preterm had a significantly higher odds of health care utilization related to COVID-19 concerns (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.70; 95% CI, 1.21-2.38) compared with term-born individuals; similar differences were also seen for the subgroup of individuals born at less than 28 weeks' gestation (aOR, 2.15; 95% CI, 1.40-3.29). Maternal history of a psychiatric disorder was a significant covariate associated with health care utilization for all individuals (aOR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.17-1.78). Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that during the COVID-19 pandemic, children and young adults born preterm were more likely to have used health care related to COVID-19 concerns compared with their term-born peers, independent of a history of BPD or asthma. Further exploration of factors associated with COVID-19-related health care use may facilitate refinement of care models.


Subject(s)
Asthma , Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia , COVID-19 , Infant, Newborn , Pregnancy , Female , Young Adult , Humans , Male , Child , Infant , Child, Preschool , Adolescent , Infant, Premature , Cohort Studies , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Asthma/epidemiology , Asthma/therapy , Delivery of Health Care , Patient Acceptance of Health Care
19.
BMJ Open ; 13(4): e071879, 2023 04 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2297978

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This case study examines the enabling factors, strengths, challenges and lessons learnt from Timor-Leste (TLS) as it sought to maintain quality essential health services (EHS) during the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: A qualitative case study triangulated information from 22 documents, 44 key informant interviews and 6 focus group discussions. The framework method was used to thematically examine the factors impacting quality EHS in TLS. SETTING: National, municipal, facility levels in Baucau, Dili and Ermera municipalities in TLS. RESULTS: Based on the TLS National Health Statistics Reports, a reduction in outpatient, emergency department and primary care service delivery visits was observed in 2020 when compared with 2019. However, in contrast, maternal child health services simultaneously improved in the areas of skilled birth attendants, prenatal coverage and vitamin A distribution, for example. From the thematic analysis, five themes emerged as contributing to or impeding the maintenance of quality EHS including (1) high-level strategy for maintaining quality EHS, (2) measurement for quality and factors affecting service utilisation, (3) challenges in implementation of quality activities across the three levels of the health system, (4) the impact of quality improvement leadership in health facilities during COVID-19 and (5) learning systems for maintaining quality EHS now and for the future. CONCLUSION: The maintenance of quality EHS is critical to mitigate adverse health effects from the COVID-19 pandemic. When quality health services are delivered prior to and maintained during public health emergencies, they build trust within the health system and promote healthcare-seeking behaviour. Planning for quality as part of emergency preparedness can facilitate a high standard of care by ensuring health services continue to provide a safe environment, reduce harm, improve clinical care and engage patients, facilities and communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Female , Child , Humans , Timor-Leste/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Services , Patient Acceptance of Health Care
20.
Acta Neuropsychiatr ; 33(5): 273-276, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2275121

ABSTRACT

Patients with mental illness are at an increased risk of COVID-19 infection, morbidity, and mortality, and prioritisation of this group for COVID-19 vaccination programmes has therefore been suggested. Vaccine uptake may, however, be compromised by vaccine hesitancy amongst patients with mental illness, posing a critical public health issue. We conducted two surveys to provide weighted estimates of vaccine willingness amongst patients with mental illness and the general population of Denmark. Vaccine willingness was high in both groups, but slightly lower amongst patients with mental illness (84.8%), compared with the general population (89.5%) (p < .001). Based on these findings, vaccine hesitancy does not appear to be a major barrier for vaccine uptake amongst patients with mental illness in Denmark, but may be so in other countries with lower general vaccine willingness. Replication of the present study in other countries is strongly warranted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/psychology , Mental Disorders/immunology , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , Case-Control Studies , Denmark/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Disorders/mortality , Mental Disorders/virology , Middle Aged , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Surveys and Questionnaires
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