Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 1.235
J Prim Care Community Health ; 14: 21501319231174810, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239780


OBJECTIVE: COVID-19 disproportionally affected Hispanic/Latinx populations exacerbating systemic health inequities. The pilot study aimed to explore barriers to COVID-19 vaccination across Hispanic/Latinx communities in Southern California. METHODS: Cross-sectional survey of 200 participants to identify common barriers to vaccine hesitancy among Hispanics/Latinx individuals in Southern California utilizing a 14-item survey and questionnaire in English and Spanish. RESULTS: Of the 200 participants that completed questionnaires, 37% identified a knowledge deficit, 8% identified misinformation, and 15% identified additional barriers such as awaiting appointments, immigration status, transportation issues, or religious reasons as barriers to not receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Wald statistics denoted that household members with COVID-19 infection within the past 3 months saw a medical provider within the last year, wearing a mask in public often, and barriers to vaccination (not knowing enough about the vaccine) predicted vaccine. These variables indicated changes in the likelihood of obtaining vaccination. CONCLUSION: The most crucial factor for increasing vaccination rates was directly reaching out to the community and actively conducting surveys to address the barriers and concerns encountered by Hispanic/Latinx participants.

COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Healthcare Disparities , Vaccination , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Hispanic or Latino , Pilot Projects
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(10)2023 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238447


Less than half of women with urinary incontinence (UI) receive treatment, despite the high prevalence and negative impact of UI and the evidence supporting the efficacy of pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT). A non-inferiority randomized controlled trial aiming to support healthcare systems in delivering continence care showed that group-based PFMT was non-inferior and more cost-effective than individual PFMT to treat UI in older women. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of providing online treatment options. Therefore, this pilot study aimed to assess the feasibility of an online group-based PFMT program for UI in older women. Thirty-four older women took part in the program. Feasibility was assessed from both participant and clinician perspectives. One woman dropped out. Participants attended 95.2% of all scheduled sessions, and the majority (32/33, 97.0%) completed their home exercises 4 to 5 times per week. Most women (71.9%) were completely satisfied with the program's effects on their UI symptoms after completion. Only 3 women (9.1%) reported that they would like to receive additional treatment. Physiotherapists reported high acceptability. The fidelity to the original program guidelines was also good. An online group-based PFMT program appears feasible for the treatment of UI in older women, from both participant and clinician perspectives.

COVID-19 , Telerehabilitation , Urinary Incontinence, Stress , Urinary Incontinence , Humans , Female , Aged , Feasibility Studies , Pelvic Floor , Pandemics , Pilot Projects , Urinary Incontinence/therapy , Exercise Therapy , Treatment Outcome
Mol Omics ; 19(5): 383-394, 2023 06 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237210


The use of face masks has become an integral part of public life in the post-pandemic era. However, the understanding of the effect of wearing masks on physiology remains incomplete and is required for informing public health policies. For the first time, we report the effects of wearing FFP2 masks on the metabolic composition of saliva, a proximal matrix to breath, along with cardiopulmonary parameters. Un-induced saliva was collected from young (31.2 ± 6.3 years) healthy volunteers (n = 10) before and after wearing FFP2 (N95) masks for 30 minutes and analyzed using GCMS. The results showed that such short-term mask use did not cause any significant change in heart rate, pulse rate or SpO2. Three independent data normalization approaches were used to analyze the changes in metabolomic signature. The individuality of the overall salivary metabotype was found to be unaffected by mask use. However, a trend of an increase in the salivary abundance of L-fucose, 5-aminovaleric acid, putrescine and phloretic acid was indicated irrespective of the method of data normalization. Quantitative analysis confirmed increases in concentrations of these metabolites in saliva of paired samples amid high inter-individual variability. The results showed that while there was no significant change in measured physiological parameters and individual salivary metabotypes, mask use was associated with correlated changes in these metabolites plausibly originating from altered microbial metabolic activity. These results might also explain the change in odour perception reported to be associated with mask use. Potential implications of these changes on mucosal health and immunity warrants further investigation to evolve more prudent mask use policies.

COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Masks , Pilot Projects , Metabolome
BMC Psychiatry ; 23(1): 371, 2023 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236246


AIM: To investigate the relationship between social media use and loneliness and psychological wellbeing of youth in rural New South Wales. DESIGN: This was a web-based cross-sectional survey. METHODS: The survey consisted of 33 items including demography (12 items), participants' social media use (9 items), mood and anxiety (6 items), perceived loneliness (6 items), the impact of COVID-19 on social media usage or perceived loneliness (2 items). The participants' mood and anxiety were evaluated using the psychological distress tool (K6), while loneliness was measured using the De Jong Gierveld 6-item scale. Total loneliness and psychological distress scores were compared between demographic variables. RESULTS: A total of 47 participants, aged 16-24 years took part in the study. The majority were women (68%) and many had K6 score that was indicative of psychological distress (68%). About half of the participants indicated that Facebook (FB) was their most used social media platform and two in five participants were on social media within 10 min of waking up each day, about 30% spent more than 20 h per week on social media, and more than two-third sent private messages, images, or videos, multiple times a day. The mean loneliness score was 2.89 (range, 0 to 6), with 0 being 'not lonely' and 6 being 'intense social loneliness'. One-way ANOVA and χ2 test results showed that those who used FB most frequently had significantly higher mean scores for loneliness compared to those that used other social media platforms (p = 0.015). Linear regression analysis revealed that those who commonly used FB were more likely to report higher loneliness scores (coefficient = -1.45, 95%CI -2.63, -0.28, p = 0.017), while gender (p = 0.039), age (p = 0.048), household composition (p = 0.023), and education level (p = 0.014) were associated with severe psychological distress. CONCLUSIONS: The study found that social media usage, particularly FB, as measured by time used and active or passive engagement with the medium, was significantly linked to loneliness, with some impact on psychological distress. Social media use within ten minutes of waking increased the likelihood of psychological distress. However, neither loneliness nor psychological distress were associated with rurality among the rural youth in this study.

COVID-19 , Social Media , Humans , Male , Female , Adolescent , Loneliness/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Pilot Projects
Bull World Health Organ ; 101(6): 371-380A, 2023 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236229


Objective: To determine whether the positive results of a single-district pilot project focused on rectal artesunate administration at the community level in Zambia could be replicated on a larger scale. Methods: In partnership with government, in 10 rural districts during 2018-2021 we: (i) trained community health volunteers to administer rectal artesunate to children with suspected severe malaria and refer them to a health facility; (ii) supported communities to establish emergency transport, food banks and emergency savings to reduce referral delays; (iii) ensured adequate drug supplies; (iv) trained health workers to treat severe malaria with injectable artesunate; and (v) monitored severe malaria cases and associated deaths via surveys, health facility data and a community monitoring system. Results: Intervention communities accessed quality-assured rectal artesunate from trained community health volunteers, and follow-on treatment for severe malaria from health workers. Based on formal data from the health management information system, reported deaths from severe malaria reduced significantly from 3.1% (22/699; 95% confidence interval, CI: 2.0-4.2) to 0.5% (2/365; 95% CI: 0.0-1.1) in two demonstration districts, and from 6.2% (14/225; 95% CI: 3.6-8.8) to 0.6% (2/321; 95% CI: 0.0-1.3) in eight scale-up districts. Conclusion: Despite the effects of the coronavirus disease, our results confirmed that pre-referral rectal artesunate administered by community health volunteers can be an effective intervention for severe malaria among young children. Our results strengthen the case for wider expansion of the pre-referral treatment in Zambia and elsewhere when combined with supporting interventions.

Antimalarials , Artemisinins , Malaria , Child , Humans , Child, Preschool , Artesunate/therapeutic use , Antimalarials/therapeutic use , Zambia , Artemisinins/therapeutic use , Pilot Projects , Malaria/drug therapy , Community Health Workers
Physiol Rep ; 11(11): e15704, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234918


We tested the hypothesis that post-COVID-19 adults (PC) would have impaired cutaneous nitric oxide (NO)-mediated vasodilation compared to controls (CON). We performed a cross-sectional study including 10 (10 F/0 M, 69 ± 7 years) CON and 7 (2 F/5 M, 66 ± 8 years) PC (223 ± 154 days post-diagnosis). COVID-19 symptoms severity (survey) was assessed (0-100 scale for 18 common symptoms). NO-dependent cutaneous vasodilation was induced by a standardized 42°C local heating protocol and quantified via perfusion of 15 mM NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester during the plateau of the heating response (intradermal microdialysis). Red blood cell flux was measured with laser-Doppler flowmetry. Cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC = flux/mm Hg) was presented as a percentage of maximum (28 mM sodium nitroprusside +43°C). All data are means ± SD. The local heating plateau (CON: 71 ± 23% CVCmax vs. PC: 81 ± 16% CVCmax , p = 0.77) and NO-dependent vasodilation (CON: 56 ± 23% vs. PC: 60 ± 22%, p = 0.77) were not different between groups. In the PC group neither time since diagnosis nor peak symptom severity (46 ± 18 AU) correlated with NO-dependent vasodilation (r < 0.01, p = 0.99 and r = 0.42, p = 0.35, respectively). In conclusion, middle-aged and older adults who have had COVID-19 did not have impaired NO-dependent cutaneous vasodilation. Additionally, in this cohort of PC, neither time since diagnosis nor symptomology were related to microvascular function.

COVID-19 , Nitric Oxide , Middle Aged , Humans , Aged , Pilot Projects , Cross-Sectional Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Skin/blood supply , Vasodilation/physiology , NG-Nitroarginine Methyl Ester , Microdialysis , Regional Blood Flow
BMC Med Inform Decis Mak ; 23(1): 103, 2023 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232894


BACKGROUND: Many early signs of Surgical Site Infection (SSI) developed during the first thirty days after discharge remain inadequately recognized by patients. Hence, it is important to use interactive technologies for patient support in these times. It helps to diminish unnecessary exposure and in-person outpatient visits. Therefore, this study aims to develop a follow-up system for remote monitoring of SSIs in abdominal surgeries. MATERIAL AND METHODS: This pilot study was carried out in two phases including development and pilot test of the system. First, the main requirements of the system were extracted through a literature review and exploration of the specific needs of abdominal surgery patients in the post-discharge period. Next extracted data was validated according to the agreement level of 30 clinical experts by the Delphi method. After confirming the conceptual model and the primary prototype, the system was designed. In the pilot test phase, the usability of the system was qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated by the participation of patients and clinicians. RESULTS: The general architecture of the system consists of a mobile application as a patient portal and a web-based platform for patient remote monitoring and 30-day follow-up by the healthcare provider. Application has a wide range of functionalities including collecting surgery-related documents, and regular assessment of self-reported symptoms via systematic tele-visits based on predetermined indexes and wound images. The risk-based models embedded in the database included a minimum set with 13 rules derived from the incidence, frequency, and severity of SSI-related symptoms. Accordingly, alerts were generated and displayed via notifications and flagged items on clinicians' dashboards. In the pilot test phase, out of five scheduled tele-visits, 11 (of 13) patients (85%), completed at least two visits. The nurse-centered support was very helpful in the recovery stage. Finally, the result of a pilot usability evaluation showed users' satisfaction and willingness to use the system. CONCLUSION: Implementing a telemonitoring system is potentially feasible and acceptable. Applying this system as part of routine postoperative care management can provide positive effects and outcomes, especially in the era of coronavirus disease when more willingness to telecare service is considered.

Mobile Applications , Telemedicine , Humans , Patient Discharge , Pilot Projects , Aftercare , Surgical Wound Infection/epidemiology , Surgical Wound Infection/prevention & control
PLoS One ; 18(5): e0286424, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20243234


BACKGROUND: Students in sub-Saharan African countries experienced online classes for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic. For some individuals, greater online engagement can lead to online dependency, which can be associated with depression. The present study explored the association between problematic use of the internet, social media, and smartphones with depression symptoms among Ugandan medical students. METHODS: A pilot study was conducted among 269 medical students at a Ugandan public university. Using a survey, data were collected regarding socio-demographic factors, lifestyle, online use behaviors, smartphone addiction, social media addiction, and internet addiction. Hierarchical linear regression models were performed to explore the associations of different forms of online addiction with depression symptom severity. RESULTS: The findings indicated that 16.73% of the medical students had moderate to severe depression symptoms. The prevalence of being at risk of (i) smartphone addiction was 45.72%, (ii) social media addiction was 74.34%, and (iii) internet addiction use was 8.55%. Online use behaviors (e.g., average hours spent online, types of social media platforms used, the purpose for internet use) and online-related addictions (to smartphones, social media, and the internet) predicted approximately 8% and 10% of the severity of depression symptoms, respectively. However, over the past two weeks, life stressors had the highest predictability for depression (35.9%). The final model predicted a total of 51.9% variance for depression symptoms. In the final model, romantic relationship problems (ß = 2.30, S.E = 0.58; p<0.01) and academic performance problems (ß = 1.76, S.E = 0.60; p<0.01) over the past two weeks; and increased internet addiction severity (ß = 0.05, S.E = 0.02; p<0.01) was associated with significantly increased depression symptom severity, whereas Twitter use was associated with reduced depression symptom severity (ß = 1.88, S.E = 0.57; p<0.05). CONCLUSION: Despite life stressors being the largest predictor of depression symptom score severity, problematic online use also contributed significantly. Therefore, it is recommended that medical students' mental health care services consider digital wellbeing and its relationship with problematic online use as part of a more holistic depression prevention and resilience program.

Behavior, Addictive , COVID-19 , Social Media , Students, Medical , Humans , Smartphone , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/psychology , Pilot Projects , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , Internet
Ideggyogy Sz ; 76(5-6): 197-204, 2023 May 30.
Article in Hungarian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235610


Background and purpose:

 Thrombolysis and/or thrombectomy have been proven effective in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. Due to the narrow time window, the number of patients suitable for these treatments is low. The main limitation is the pre-hospital stage, few people call an ambulance in time. The delay may be caused by the population’s insufficient health knowledge, but also by the loneliness and isolation of the population most prone to stroke. Among the latter, there are many grandparents who spend considerable time with their grandchildren. This gave rise to the idea of educating even younger children about the symptoms of a stroke, enabling them to call an ambulance if necessary. To this end, we adapted the Angels Initiative project previously tested in Greece. The Hungarian pilot study Budapest District XII. took place in district kindergartens. The Angels’ original role-playing program could not be implemented due to the COVID epidemic, so the necessity called for a new, Hungarian version: the online “Stroke Ovi” program. We introduced this in several stages, and in the third we also carried out an impact study.

. Methods:

 We adapted the Angels Initiative’s international program and its Hungarian translation to our program. We prepared the original, live role-playing form, with a parent meeting in the selected “test kindergarten”. Due to the uncertainly lingering impact of the COVID epidemic, we reevaluated our plan, using the Hungarian storybook and take-home workbook created in the meantime, we developed our own online version in several kindergartens in Budapest. We held 10 and then 25 minute sessions a week for 5 weeks. In the third educational cycle, which always targets new groups, we already examined the impact of the program by taking pre- and post-tests, in which not only the children but also their parents participated. In addition to neurologists and kindergarten teachers, we also included psychologists and speech therapists in our work, because we believed that in a social environment that includes parents and children, results can only be achieved through multidisciplinary cooperation.

. Results:

 In the third cycle of the program, tests were taken before (pre-test) and after (post-test) among children and their parents. We only took into account those answers where we received an evaluable answer in the survey before and after the program. Our most important results: 1. there was no negative change in any question, so it was not the case that the total score of any question in the pre-test was higher than in the post-test. 2. The children learned that not only adults can call the ambulance. 3. Before the program, all children were already aware that if “someone is very ill”, the ambulance should be called. 4. Among the questions about stroke symptoms, it is important that hemiparesis, facial paresis and speech/language disorder are clear symptoms for children. Based on the parental questionnaires, the knowledge of the adults can be judged to be very good. The same number of correct answers were received during the pre-test and the post-test, on the basis of which we could not calculate a transfer effect. However, it is important that the parents considered the program useful, motivating and important for the children, so cooperation can be expected in the future.

. Conclusion:

The Hungarian “Stroke Ovi” program has so far proven to be clearly effective. This was proven by the impact assessments even if, instead of the original role-playing game, we implemented it “only” online due to the COVID epidemic. This constraint also forced and created a new “Hungarian version”. Despite the small number of samples caused by the circumstances, we consider this positive effect to be measurable. However, as the main result and evidence, we evaluated the children’s reaction, which took shape in spontaneous drawings and displayed professional values in addition to positive emotional reactions, such as the drawing of ambulances, the recurring representation of the 112 number. With the involvement of the media, we think online education is also a good option in the series of stroke campaigns, but we think the original role-playing form is really effective. At the same time, we can see that the application of the new method requires great caution due to the education of developing children. For this reason, results can only be achieved through social and multidisciplinary cooperation involving neurologists, psychologists, kindergarten teachers, and parents.


COVID-19 , Ischemic Stroke , Stroke , Child , Adult , Humans , Pilot Projects , Students/psychology , Stroke/epidemiology , Stroke/prevention & control
Invest Radiol ; 57(1): 71-76, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239065


PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of measuring early changes in serum cytokine levels after intravenous diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (Ca-DTPA) chelation in patients manifesting either gadolinium deposition disease (GDD) or gadolinium storage condition (GSC) and the possible usefulness of this method in further research. METHODS: Four patients with recent-onset GDD (≤1 year) and 2 patients with long-standing GSC (4 and 9 years) underwent chelation with intravenous bolus administration of Ca-DTPA. Multiple blood draws were performed to measure serum cytokines: at T = 0 (before Ca-DTPA injection) and 1, 5, 10, 30, 60 minutes, and 24 hours after Ca-DTPA injection. Patients rated the severity of GDD symptom flare at 24 hours. The 24-hour urine Gd amounts were measured prechelation and for the 24 hours after chelation. Serum samples were analyzed blind to whether patients had GDD or GSC but with knowledge of the time points characterizing each sample. RESULTS: Urine samples for both GDD and GSC patients showed increases in Gd postchelation. All GDD patients experienced flare reactions postchelation; the 2 GSC patients did not. Two cytokines, EGF and sCD40L, peaked at 30 minutes postchelation in at least 4 of the 6 participants. Three cytokines, ENA78/CXCL5, EOTAXIN/CCL11, and LEPTIN, peaked at 24 hours in at least 4 of the 6 participants. Two participants were high outliers for a large number of cytokines across time points. No clear distinction between GDD and GSC was apparent from the cytokine patterns, although differences were present. CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study describes precise temporal resolution (in the range of minutes) after a cytokine-inciting event. Select cytokines exhibited peak values at different time points. At this preliminary stage of investigation, peak cytokine release seems to reflect the amount of Gd mobilized rather than the severity of the patient symptomatic reaction. Too few subjects were studied to support statistical analysis between GDD and GSC groups, although differences were observed through visual data analysis.

Gadolinium , Organometallic Compounds , Contrast Media , Cytokines , Gadolinium DTPA , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Imaging , Pentetic Acid , Pilot Projects
Indian J Ophthalmol ; 71(5): 2181-2187, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2325545


Purpose: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic affected the in-person rehabilitation/habilitation services in families with children with cerebral visual impairment (CVI) in India. This study aimed to develop a structured and family-centered telerehabilitation model alongside conventional in-person intervention in children with CVI to observe its feasibility in the Indian population. Methods: This pilot study included 22 participants with a median age of 2.5 years (range: 1-6) who underwent a detailed comprehensive eye examination followed by functional vision assessment. The visual function classification system (VFCS) was administered to the children and the structured clinical question inventory (SCQI) to the parents. Every participant underwent 3 months of telerehabilitation including planning, training, and monitoring by experts. At 1 month, the parental care and ability (PCA) rubric was administered to the parents. After 3 months, in an in-person follow-up, all the measures were reassessed for 15 children. Results: After 3 months of Tele-rehabilitation there were significant improvements noted in PCA rubric scores (P<0.05). Also, statistically significant improvements were noted in functional vision measured using SCQI and VFCS scores (P<0.05) compared to baseline. Conclusion: The outcomes of the study provide the first steps towards understanding the use of a novel tele-rehabilitation model in childhood CVI along-side conventional face-to-face intervention. The added role of parental involvement in such a model is highly essential.

COVID-19 , Telerehabilitation , Humans , Child , Infant , Child, Preschool , Pilot Projects , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Vision Disorders/epidemiology , Vision Disorders/diagnosis , India/epidemiology
PLoS One ; 18(5): e0278251, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2325375


A community-based coronavirus disease (COVID-19) active case-finding strategy using an antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic test (Ag-RDT) was implemented in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to enhance COVID-19 case detection. With this pilot community-based active case finding and response program that was designed as a clinical, prospective testing performance, and implementation study, we aimed to identify insights to improve community diagnosis and rapid response to COVID-19. This pilot study was modeled on the DRC's National COVID-19 Response Plan and the COVID-19 Ag-RDT screening algorithm defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), with case findings implemented in 259 health areas, 39 health zones, and 9 provinces. In each health area, a 7-member interdisciplinary field team tested the close contacts (ring strategy) and applied preventive and control measures to each confirmed case. The COVID-19 testing capacity increased from 0.3 tests per 10,000 inhabitants per week in the first wave to 0.4, 1.6, and 2.2 in the second, third, and fourth waves, respectively. From January to November 2021, this capacity increase contributed to an average of 10.5% of COVID-19 tests in the DRC, with 7,110 positive Ag-RDT results for 40,226 suspected cases and close contacts who were tested (53.6% female, median age: 37 years [interquartile range: 26.0-50.0)]. Overall, 79.7% (n = 32,071) of the participants were symptomatic and 7.6% (n = 3,073) had comorbidities. The Ag-RDT sensitivity and specificity were 55.5% and 99.0%, respectively, based on reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis, and there was substantial agreement between the tests (k = 0.63). Despite its limited sensitivity, the Ag-RDT has improved COVID-19 testing capacity, enabling earlier detection, isolation, and treatment of COVID-19 cases. Our findings support the community testing of suspected cases and asymptomatic close contacts of confirmed cases to reduce disease spread and virus transmission.

COVID-19 , Humans , Female , Adult , Male , Democratic Republic of the Congo/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Prospective Studies , Pilot Projects , Sensitivity and Specificity
Dimens Crit Care Nurs ; 42(4): 223-233, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2323593


BACKGROUND: Few studies in academic literature involve the application of a spiritual health intervention for the purpose of mitigating compassion fatigue in nurses. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the perspectives of Canadian spiritual health practitioners (SHPs) in their support for nurses to prevent compassion fatigue. METHOD: Interpretive description was utilized for this research study. Sixty-minute interviews with 7 individual SHPs were conducted. Data were analyzed with NVivo 12 software (QSR International, Burlington, Massachusetts). Thematic analysis identified common themes that allowed data from interviews, a pilot project on psychological debriefing, and a literature search to be compared, contrasted, and compiled. RESULTS: The 3 main themes were found. The first theme highlighted the underlying issue of how spirituality is ranked or viewed within health care and the impact of leadership integrating spirituality in their practice. The second theme related to SHPs' perception of nurses' compassion fatigue and lack of connection to spirituality. The final theme explored the nature of SHP support to mitigate compassion fatigue before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. DISCUSSION: Spiritual health practitioners are positioned in a unique role to be facilitators of connectedness. They are professionally trained to provide a type of in situ nurturing for patients and health care staff through spiritual assessments, pastoral counseling, and psychotherapy. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed an underlying desire for in situ nurturing and connectedness in nurses due to an increase in existential questioning, unusual patient circumstances, and social isolation leading to disconnectedness. Organizational spiritual values are recommended to be exemplified by those in leadership to create holistic, sustainable work environments.

COVID-19 , Compassion Fatigue , Nurses , Humans , Canada , Pandemics , Pilot Projects
Environ Pollut ; 331(Pt 2): 121875, 2023 Aug 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2321619


Globally, approximately 1.2 million deaths among non-smokers are attributed to second-hand smoke (SHS) per year. Multi-unit housing is becoming the common type of residential dwelling in developed cities and the issue of neighbour SHS is of rising concern especially as 'Work From Home' became the norm during and post COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of this pilot study is to measure and compare the air quality of households that are exposed to SHS and unexposed households among smoking and non-smoking households in Singapore. A total of 27 households were recruited from April to August 2021. Households were categorized into smoking households with neighbour SHS, smoking households without neighbour SHS, non-smoking households with neighbour SHS, and non-smoking household without neighbour SHS. Air quality of the households was measured using calibrated particulate matter (PM2.5) sensors for 7-16 days. Socio-demographic information and self-reported respiratory health were collected. Regression models were used to identify predictors associated with household PM2.5 concentrations and respiratory health. Mean PM2.5 concentration was significantly higher among non-smoking households with neighbour SHS (n = 5, mean = 22.2, IQR = 12.7) than in non-smoking household without neighbour SHS (n = 2, mean = 4.1, IQR = 5.8). Smoking activity at enclosed areas in homes had the lowest PM2.5 concentration (n = 7 mean = 15.9, IQR = 11.0) among the three smoking locations. Exposure to higher household PM2.5 concentration was found to be associated with poorer respiratory health. A 'smoke-free residential building' policy is recommended to tackle the issue of rising neighbour SHS complaints and health concerns in densely populated multi-unit housing in Singapore. Public education campaigns should encourage smokers to smoke away from the home to minimize SHS exposure in household members.

COVID-19 , Tobacco Smoke Pollution , Humans , Particulate Matter/analysis , Housing , Pilot Projects , Singapore/epidemiology , Pandemics
Niger J Clin Pract ; 26(4): 391-396, 2023 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2321395


Background and Aim: This study evaluates the salivary viral load of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in hospitalized patients and outpatients before and after gargling with 1% hydrogen peroxide and 0.25% povidone-iodine in comparison with normal saline. Patients and Methods: This clinical trial was conducted on 120 participants with laboratory-confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in two groups: outpatients (n = 60) and hospitalized patients (n = 60). In each group, the patients were randomly divided into three subgroups of 20 based on their given mouthwash for gargling (hydrogen peroxide, povidone-iodine, or normal saline). Two saliva samples were taken from each patient: the first one before gargling and the second one 10 minutes after gargling 10 ml of the respected mouthwashes for 30 seconds. The TaqMan real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of SARS-CoV-2 was used to measure the viral load. Results: Saliva samples from 46% of patients were positive for coronavirus before gargling the mouthwashes. The percentage of patients with an initial positive saliva sample was significantly higher in the outpatient group (83.3%) than in the hospitalized group (5.4%) (P = 0.01). According to the findings, gargling any mouthwash similar to saline did not reduce the viral load (P > 0.05). Conclusion: The saliva of COVID-19 patients in the initial stage of the disease was more likely to contain SARS-CoV-2 than the saliva of the hospitalized patients. Gargling hydrogen peroxide or povidone-iodine did not reduce the salivary SARS-CoV-2 viral load.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Povidone-Iodine , Hydrogen Peroxide , Mouthwashes , Viral Load , Saline Solution , Pilot Projects
BMC Pulm Med ; 23(1): 148, 2023 Apr 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2326368


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to collect pilot efficacy data on a novel treatment for refractory chronic cough (RCC), which we call cough desensitization treatment (CDT). DESIGN AND METHODS: In this parallel cohort, sham-controlled, randomized controlled trial, 21 adults with RCC were randomly assigned to 12 sessions of either CDT (progressive doses of aerosolized capsaicin while behaviorally suppressing cough; n = 11) or a sham treatment (repeated exposure to aerosolized saline; n = 9). The Leicester Cough Questionnaire (LCQ) was the primary outcome measure. Perceived cough severity with a visual analogue scale and cough challenge testing (for measuring cough-reflex sensitivity) were secondary outcome measures. Data were analyzed with mixed effects linear regression and follow-up contrasts. RESULTS: Results on all measures favored CDT. Excluding one sham participant, whose baseline LCQ scores were deemed unreliable, mean change in LCQ at 3-weeks post treatment was 6.35 and 2.17 in the CDT and sham groups, respectively. There was moderate to strong evidence of a greater improvement in the CDT group in total LCQ score (p = .058) and LCQ Psychological domain (p = .026) and Physical domain (p = .045) scores. Strong evidence was found for a greater reduction in urge-to-cough during CCT in the CDT group (p = .037) and marginal for a reduction in the capsaicin cough-reflex sensitivity (p = .094). There was weak evidence of a greater reduction in cough severity in the CDT group (p = .103). DISCUSSION: Although the study is limited due to the small sample size, the data provide additional evidence supporting further research on CDT. CDT resulted in a greater change in the primary efficacy measure (LCQ) than both pharmaceutical and behavioral treatments currently found in the literature. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial (NCT05226299) was registered on on 07/02/2022.

Carcinoma, Renal Cell , Kidney Neoplasms , Adult , Humans , Chronic Disease , Cough/drug therapy , Capsaicin , Pilot Projects , Surveys and Questionnaires
Front Public Health ; 11: 1169604, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2325964


Background: The purpose of the pilot study conducted by the authors was to assess occupational risk in selected areas of psychosocial risk factors among health professions in a pilot study. Medical staff working in the healthcare sector experience stress, job burnout and bullying on a daily basis. Monitoring occupational risks in the above areas provides an opportunity to take appropriate preventive measures. Methods: The prospective online survey included 143 health care workers from various professional groups. Eighteen participants did not complete the survey, and the results of 125 participants were eventually included in the analysis. The study used health and safety questionnaires in the healthcare sector, which are not widely used as screening tools in Poland. Results: The following statistical methods were performed in the study: the Mann-Whitney test, Kruskal-Wallis test, Dunn's test. In addition, multivariate analysis was performed. The results obtained in the study indicate that the questionnaires used in the study can be widely used by employers or occupational medicine as screening tools. Conclusions: Our findings show that level of education attainment in healthcare is correlated with higher chance of experiencing stress and burnout. Among the surveyed professions, nurses reported a higher amount of stress and burnout. Paramedics reported the highest chance of being bullied at work. This can be explained by their nature of work which requires directly interacting with patients and their families. In addition, it should be noted that the tools used can be successfully applied in workplaces as elements of workplace ergonomics assessment in the context of cognitive ergonomics.

Bullying , Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Humans , Pilot Projects , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Burnout, Professional/psychology , Workplace , Ergonomics , Medical Staff
GMS J Med Educ ; 40(2): Doc16, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2325837


Background: Virtual reality (VR) can offer an innovative approach to providing training in emergency situations, especially in times of COVID-19. There is no risk of infection, and the procedure is scalable and resource-efficient. Nevertheless, the challenges and problems that can arise in the development of VR training are often unclear or underestimated. As an example, we present the evaluation of the feasibility of development of a VR training session for the treatment of dyspnoea. This is based on frameworks for serious games, and provides lessons learned. We evaluate the VR training session with respect to usability, satisfaction, as well as perceived effectiveness and workload of participants. Methods: The VR training was developed using the established framework (Steps 1-4) for serious games of Verschueren et al. and Nicholson's RECIPE elements for meaningful gamification. Primary validation (Step 4) was performed at the University of Bern, Switzerland, in a pilot study without control group, with a convenience sample of medical students (n=16) and established measurement tools. Results: The theoretical frameworks permitted guided development of the VR training session. Validation gave a median System Usability Scale of 80 (IQR 77.5-85); for the User Satisfaction Evaluation Questionnaire, the median score was 27 (IQR 26-28). After the VR training, there was a significant gain in the participants' confidence in treating a dyspnoeic patient (median pre-training 2 (IQR 2-3) vs. post-training 3 (IQR 3-3), p=0.016).Lessons learned include the need for involving medical experts, medical educators and technical experts at an equivalent level during the entire development process. Peer-teaching guidance for VR training was feasible. Conclusion: The proposed frameworks can be valuable tools to guide the development and validation of scientifically founded VR training. The new VR training session is easy and satisfying to use and is effective - and is almost without motion sickness.

COVID-19 , Virtual Reality , Humans , Pilot Projects , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Treatment , Dyspnea/therapy
S Afr Med J ; 113(5): 30-38, 2023 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2319318


BACKGROUND: There is no current active or passive disease surveillance programme focused on schools in South Africa. As such the country is missing an opportunity to rapidly and effectively flag and address pathogen outbreaks, for example SARS-CoV-2, in a key closed setting. Furthermore, the role of school transmission in the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus within communities is uncertain.  Objective. This pilot study, conducted during March 2022 in Cape Town, aimed to indicate the feasibility of conducting intense active contact-tracing in a school environment prior to a large national study to compare school versus community SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk.  Methods. We conducted a pilot school-level case-ascertained prospective study with a component of enhanced surveillance. Following study initiation, the first learner at a participating school who tested SARS-CoV-2 positive (via Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)) was invited to join the study as the index case and all their school-based close contacts were followed up telephonically, monitored for symptoms for 14 days, and tested using a PCR if any symptoms were reported.  Results. On 8th March 2022, a student with RAT laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 was identified and they and their guardian consented to participate as the index case. Of the 11 eligible close contacts, six provided consent/assent and completed symptom monitoring calls until the end of the 14-day study period. The Secondary Attack Rate (SAR) was 2/11 (18.18%) of all close contacts who were at risk of infection, 2/4 (50.0%) of all those close contacts who developed symptoms, and 2/4 (50.0%) of all those close contacts who developed symptoms and were tested for SARS-CoV-2. During the same period, the school reported that nine of the 926 learner body tested COVID-19 positive (0.97%). Total hours spent conducting monitoring for 6 learners was 27 hours, with each learner requiring approximately 4.5 hours of contact time during the study period.  Conclusion. This is the first South African school-based COVID-19 transmission study, the results of which can inform national discussions regarding the role of schools and school-based active and passive surveillance in pathogen prevention and control.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , Pilot Projects , South Africa/epidemiology