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1.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 3451, 2021 02 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1078604

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced policy makers to decree urgent confinements to stop a rapid and massive contagion. However, after that stage, societies are being forced to find an equilibrium between the need to reduce contagion rates and the need to reopen their economies. The experience hitherto lived has provided data on the evolution of the pandemic, in particular the population dynamics as a result of the public health measures enacted. This allows the formulation of forecasting mathematical models to anticipate the consequences of political decisions. Here we propose a model to do so and apply it to the case of Portugal. With a mathematical deterministic model, described by a system of ordinary differential equations, we fit the real evolution of COVID-19 in this country. After identification of the population readiness to follow social restrictions, by analyzing the social media, we incorporate this effect in a version of the model that allow us to check different scenarios. This is realized by considering a Monte Carlo discrete version of the previous model coupled via a complex network. Then, we apply optimal control theory to maximize the number of people returning to "normal life" and minimizing the number of active infected individuals with minimal economical costs while warranting a low level of hospitalizations. This work allows testing various scenarios of pandemic management (closure of sectors of the economy, partial/total compliance with protection measures by citizens, number of beds in intensive care units, etc.), ensuring the responsiveness of the health system, thus being a public health decision support tool.


Subject(s)
/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Models, Theoretical , Forecasting , Humans , Monte Carlo Method , Pandemics/prevention & control , Portugal
2.
Harm Reduct J ; 18(1): 13, 2021 01 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045601

ABSTRACT

Four emergency shelters were instituted in Lisbon during COVID-19, and are still in operation. Between March and August 2020, they served over 600 people. The shelters host a diverse population, including people experiencing homelessness, foreigners, LGBTI + people, those with reduced mobility, couples, those with pets, and People Who Use Drugs, including alcohol (henceforth PWUD). Individuals are provided care regardless of their immigration or residence status. In order to ensure continuity of care in the shelters and to bring in clients who usually refuse to be sheltered, a range of social and health interventions are integrated into the shelters. Harm reduction services ensure that the most vulnerable populations, PWUD and people experiencing homelessness, have access to the services they need. Innovations in service provision maximize the services impacts and pave the way for the future inclusion and development of these services.


Subject(s)
/prevention & control , Drug Users/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Shelter/methods , Harm Reduction , Homeless Persons , Humans , Portugal
3.
Psicothema ; 33(1): 125-130, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1032502

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite being necessary to delay the spread of COVID-19, home confinement could have affected the emotional well-being of children and adolescents. Knowing which variables are involved in anxiety and depressive symptoms could help to prevent young people's psychological problems related to lockdown as early as possible. This cross-sectional study aims to examine anxiety and depressive symptomatology in Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese children and adolescents in order to determine which variables are related to poorer well-being during the pandemic. METHOD: The parents of 515 children, aged 3-18 years old, completed an online survey. Children's anxiety symptoms were assessed using the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale-Parent Version, and depressive symptoms were measured with the Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire-Parent Version. RESULTS: We found differences in anxiety and depression between countries, with higher anxiety scores in Spanish children, and higher depression scores in Spanish and Italian children compared to the Portuguese. Anxiety and depressive symptoms were more likely in children whose parents reported higher levels of stress. CONCLUSIONS: These findings are discussed in the light of detecting and supporting affected children as early as possible.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Adolescent , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Cultural Characteristics , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Portugal/epidemiology , Quarantine , Spain/epidemiology
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(2)2021 01 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1027276

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers (HCW) have been exposed to multiple psychosocial stressors. Resilience might protect employees from the negative consequences of chronic stress. The aim of this study was to explore the mediating role of resilience in the relationship between depression and burnout (personal, work-related, and client-related). A cross-sectional study was performed using an online questionnaire distributed via social networks. A survey was conducted comprising standardized measures of resilience (Resilience Scale-25 items), depression (subscale of Depression Anxiety Stress Scales-21 items), and burnout (Copenhagen Burnout Inventory Scale-19 items). A total of 2008 subjects completed the survey, and a hierarchical regression model was estimated for each burnout dimension. The results revealed that depression had not only a directed effect on personal, work- and client-related burnout, but also an indirect small effect on it through resilience. Psychological resilience played a partial mediating role between depression and all burnout dimensions. This partial mediation suggests that there may be other possible variables (e.g., social connection, self-compassion, gratitude, sense of purpose) that further explain the associations.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Health Personnel/psychology , Resilience, Psychological , /epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics , Portugal/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
5.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(1): e22794, 2021 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024473

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19, a viral respiratory disease first reported in December 2019, quickly became a threat to global public health. Further understanding of the epidemiology of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the risk perception of the community may better inform targeted interventions to reduce the impact and spread of COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we aimed to examine the association between chronic diseases and serious outcomes following COVID-19 infection, and to explore its influence on people's self-perception of risk for worse COVID-19 outcomes. METHODS: This study draws data from two databases: (1) the nationwide database of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in Portugal, extracted on April 28, 2020 (n=20,293); and (2) the community-based COVID-19 Barometer survey, which contains data on health status, perceptions, and behaviors during the first wave of COVID-19 (n=171,087). We assessed the association between relevant chronic diseases (ie, respiratory, cardiovascular, and renal diseases; diabetes; and cancer) and death and intensive care unit (ICU) admission following COVID-19 infection. We identified determinants of self-perception of risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes using logistic regression models. RESULTS: Respiratory, cardiovascular, and renal diseases were associated with mortality and ICU admission among patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 infection (odds ratio [OR] 1.48, 95% CI 1.11-1.98; OR 3.39, 95% CI 1.80-6.40; and OR 2.25, 95% CI 1.66-3.06, respectively). Diabetes and cancer were associated with serious outcomes only when considering the full sample of COVID-19-infected cases in the country (OR 1.30, 95% CI 1.03-1.64; and OR 1.40, 95% CI 1.03-1.89, respectively). Older age and male sex were both associated with mortality and ICU admission. The perception of risk for severe COVID-19 disease in the study population was 23.9% (n=40,890). This was markedly higher for older adults (n=5235, 46.4%), those with at least one chronic disease (n=17,647, 51.6%), or those in both of these categories (n=3212, 67.7%). All included diseases were associated with self-perceptions of high risk in this population. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate the association between some prevalent chronic diseases and increased risk of worse COVID-19 outcomes. It also brings forth a greater understanding of the community's risk perceptions of serious COVID-19 disease. Hence, this study may aid health authorities to better adapt measures to the real needs of the population and to identify vulnerable individuals requiring further education and awareness of preventive measures.


Subject(s)
/therapy , Chronic Disease/epidemiology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , /mortality , Comorbidity , Databases, Factual , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Portugal/epidemiology , Risk Assessment , Surveys and Questionnaires , Treatment Outcome
6.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(2)2021 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1016173

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study is to determine the anxiety and fear related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and their associations with travel, tourism and hospitality, in the Portuguese population. The Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS) and Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) were validated for the Portuguese population and correlations with issues related to travel, tourism and hospitality were established. CAS and FCV-19S presented a good adjustment model and solid reliability and validity. Correlations between CAS and FCV-19S and the perception of the impact of COVID-19 in travel, tourism and hospitality were found. Participants considered that COVID-19 mainly affected their holidays and leisure time. However, the strongest correlation established was between total FCV-19S and emotional fear FCV-19S and the fear of attending hotel facilities. The Portuguese versions of CAS and FCV-19S are reliable psychological tools to assess anxiety and fear in relation to COVID-19 for the general population. The use of hotel facilities is the most threatening issue related to travel, tourism and hospitality. The results suggest that hotels should invest in hygiene and safety measures that allow users to regain confidence in hotel equipment.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , Psychometrics , Tourism , Fear , Humans , Portugal/epidemiology , Reproducibility of Results
7.
Science ; 369(6510): 1440, 2020 Sep 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1007318
8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(1)2020 12 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1006311

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the mental health of the general population, and for healthcare workers (HCWs) it has been no different. Religiosity and spirituality are known coping strategies for mental illnesses, especially in stressful times. This study aimed to describe the role of spiritual-religious coping regarding fear and anxiety in relation to COVID-19 in HCWs in Portugal. A cross-sectional quantitative online survey was performed. Socio-demographic and health data were collected as well as the Duke University Religion Index, Spirituality Scale, Fear of COVID-19 Scale, and Coronavirus Anxiety Scale. Two hundred and twenty-two HCWs participated in the study, 74.3% were female and 81.1% were physicians. The median age was 37 years (Q1, Q3: 31, 51.3). Religiosity was neither a significant factor for coronavirus-related anxiety nor it was for fear of COVID-19. Participants with higher levels in the hope/optimism dimension of the Spirituality Scale showed less coronavirus-related anxiety. Female HCWs, non-physicians, and the ones with a previous history of anxiety presented higher levels of fear and/or anxiety related to COVID-19. HCWs' levels of distress should be identified and reduced, so their work is not impaired.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological , Anxiety/epidemiology , Fear , Health Personnel/psychology , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Portugal/epidemiology , Religion , Spirituality
10.
Acta Med Port ; 33(11): 720-725, 2020 Nov 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-967626

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease, which became a global threat to public health. Specific subsets of the population are more vulnerable, namely those with chronic diseases. We aimed to estimate the share of the Portuguese population at the highest risk for complications following COVID-19 infection due to both old age and specific comorbidities. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Our sample included all people aged 65 years and above (2215 men and 3486 women) who participated in the fifth Portuguese National Health Interview Survey, conducted in 2014. In order to project the potential population at highest risk for COVID-19, we used the latest available official demographic estimates from the National Institute of Statistics - INE 2018. We used a more restrictive definition of risk combining old age criteria and the following chronic conditions as potential risk factors for COVID-19 according to the available literature: hypertension, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardio- and cerebrovascular disease. RESULTS: We estimated that 15.5% (n = 1 560 667) of the Portuguese population might be at increased risk for complications from COVID-19 because of old age and existing chronic conditions. Such estimates vary across the country (from 1.7% in Azores to 33.7% in Northern Portugal). Northern Portugal not only has the highest prevalence of selected morbidity (72.8%) within mainland Portugal, but also has the largest population at risk for COVID-19 (n = 526 607). This was followed by the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region (n = 408 564) and Central Portugal (n = 388 867). DISCUSSION: Our results should encourage authorities to continue protecting those more vulnerable to the pandemic threat, particularly on those areas of the country which are more likely to be further affected. CONCLUSION: We projected a considerable number of Portuguese people at the highest risk for severe COVID-19 disease due to both old age and pre-existing chronic conditions. Such estimates vary across the country.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Cerebrovascular Disorders/epidemiology , Chronic Disease , Comorbidity , Cross-Sectional Studies , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Hypertension/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , Portugal , Prevalence , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/epidemiology , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors
11.
Front Public Health ; 8: 553345, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-961665

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 mitigation measures present unprecedented challenges in mental healthcare delivery, posing high risk to the mental health of at-risk populations, namely patients diagnosed with COVID-19, frontline healthcare providers, and those submitted to quarantine or isolation measures, as well as the general population. Ensuring safe and equitable access to mental healthcare by these groups entails resorting to innovative psychosocial intervention strategies, such as digital mental health. In this perspective piece, we describe the impact of COVID-19 on the Portuguese population's mental health, present an overview on initiatives developed to address the challenges currently faced by the Portuguese mental healthcare system, and discuss how the timely implementation of a comprehensive digital mental health strategy, coupling research, education, implementation, and quality assessment initiatives, might buffer COVID-19's impact on the Portuguese society.


Subject(s)
/complications , Health Personnel , Mental Disorders , Mental Health Services , Telemedicine , Caregivers/psychology , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Mental Disorders/diagnosis , Mental Disorders/therapy , Portugal , Quarantine
12.
Rev Lat Am Enfermagem ; 28: e3396, 2020.
Article in English, Portuguese, Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-918993

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: to analyze the newspaper articles on hospital care for elderly COVID-19 patients in online newspapers. METHOD: documentary, retrospective, descriptive and exploratory research. The data were collected from articles published on open-access websites of 12 newspapers from the following countries: Brazil, Spain, United States, France, Italy and Portugal. RESULTS: out of 4,220 newspaper articles identified in this regard, 101 were selected after applying the inclusion criteria, the majority coming from Italy. The data analysis revealed three thematic categories: the care for patients with COVID-19 in the health system; the work process of the health team and its concern with contagion; and ethical dilemma in care for the elderly during hospitalization. CONCLUSION: the COVID-19 pandemic presented itself quickly and was widely reported in all countries. The health systems need to reorganize for care to the global population, especially the elderly, considering their weaknesses and also the lack of prior professional training to offer care to this population.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Aged , Betacoronavirus , Brazil , Humans , Portugal , Retrospective Studies , Spain , United States
13.
Acta Med Port ; 33(11): 733-741, 2020 Nov 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-914894

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Portugal took early action to control the COVID-19 epidemic, initiating lockdown measures on March 16th when it recorded only 62 cases of COVID-19 per million inhabitants and reported no deaths. The Portuguese public complied quickly, reducing their overall mobility by 80%. The aim of this study was to estimate the initial impact of the lockdown in Portugal in terms of the reduction of the burden on the healthcare system. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We forecasted epidemic curves for: Cases, hospital inpatients (overall and in intensive care), and deaths without lockdown, assuming that the impact of containment measures would start 14 days after initial lockdown was implemented. We used exponential smoothing models for deaths, intensive care and hospitalizations and an ARIMA model for number of cases. Models were selected considering fitness to the observed data up to the 31st March 2020. We then compared observed (with intervention) and forecasted curves (without intervention). RESULTS: Between April 1st and April 15th, there were 146 fewer deaths (-25%), 5568 fewer cases (-23%) and, as of April 15th, there were 519 fewer intensive care inpatients (-69%) than forecasted without the lockdown. On April 15th, the number of intensive care inpatients could have reached 748, three times higher than the observed value (229) if the intervention had been delayed. DISCUSSION: If the lockdown had not been implemented in mid-March, Portugal intensive care capacity (528 beds) would have likely been breached during the first half of April. The lockdown seems to have been effective in reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, serious COVID-19 disease, and associated mortality, thus decreasing demand on health services. CONCLUSION: An early lockdown allowed time for the National Health Service to mobilize resources and acquire personal protective equipment, increase testing, contact tracing and hospital and intensive care capacity and to promote broad prevention and control measures. When lifting more stringent measures, strong surveillance and communication strategies that mobilize individual prevention efforts are necessary.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Emergencies/epidemiology , Epidemics/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Public Policy/legislation & jurisprudence , Quarantine/methods , Bed Occupancy , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Epidemics/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Portugal/epidemiology , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data
14.
Ciênc. Saúde Colet ; 25(supl.2): 4197-4200, Mar. 2020.
Article in Portuguese | LILACS (Americas) | ID: covidwho-910865

ABSTRACT

Resumo A pandemia de COVID-19 fez-nos questionar práticas diárias até então instituídas, como o simples aperto de mão. Levantou também outras questões, algumas de índole ético-legal. Estarão a ser cumpridos os princípios éticos que devem orientar a prestação de cuidados individualizados? Conseguiremos nós, profissionais de saúde, fornecer instrumentos aos doentes para que possam usufruir plenamente do seu direito de autonomia? A garantia de soluções de segurança necessárias, para diminuir o risco de contágio na prestação de cuidados, salvaguarda o princípio da não maleficiência. Todavia, o risco de contágio é impossível de eliminar na totalidade, existindo um residual associado à utilização das instalações físicas dos serviços de saúde. Mas, não deverá a decisão de assumir esse risco ser alvo do arbítrio livre, informado e esclarecido do doente? A diminuição da atividade assistencial presencial motivou a incorporação de outras ferramentas de comunicação como telefone, correio eletrónico e videochamada. Poderá o paciente realmente decidir sobre a forma como prefere ser consultado, ou estaremos nós a impor o modelo de consulta? Nos últimos meses ocorreram mudanças profundas na forma de trabalho em Saúde, que permanecerão. Não existirão, contudo, princípios éticos da biomedicina, que deverão sempre prevalecer?


Abstract Coronavirus disease 2019 made us question daily practices, such as the simple handshake. It also raised some ethical and legal issues. Are the ethical principles, that should guide the provision of individualized care, being fulfilled? Will we, as health professionals, be able to provide patients with instruments so that they can fully exercise their autonomy? The guarantee of necessary security solutions, to reduce the risk of contagion in the provision of care, safeguards the principle of non-maleficence. However, the risk of contagion is impossible to completely eliminate, and there is a residual risk associated with the use of physical facilities in healthcare services. But, shouldn't the decision to take that risk be the subject of the patient's free and informed will? The incorporation of telemedicine platforms is ideal for managing several challenges posed by COVID-19, such as the decrease in face-to-face health care assistance. Can the patient really decide how he prefers to be consulted, or are we imposing the consultation model? There have been profound changes in healthcare systems. However, one must remember that there are ethical principles of biomedicine, that should always prevail?


Subject(s)
Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Personal Autonomy , Patient Rights , Portugal , Mass Screening , Telemedicine , Coronavirus Infections , Confidentiality , Patient Preference , Pandemics , Betacoronavirus
15.
J Perinat Med ; 48(9): 977-980, 2020 Nov 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-883706

ABSTRACT

Objectives The burden of undocumented SARS-Cov-2 infections in Portuguese pregnant women is unknown. At our institution, routine COVID-19 testing was implemented from 19th of March on to all pregnant women who were admitted for delivery. The purpose of the study was to estimate the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate in our obstetric population admitted for delivery. Mathods Between 19th March and May 4th, 184 pregnant women were screened for SARS-CoV-2 infection upon admission. Results Eleven women were positive for SARS-CoV-2, corresponding to a global prevalence of 6.0%. Of these, only two reported symptoms at admission. The prevalence of asymptomatic infection was 4.9%. We report a lower rate of positive cass than other studies. Eighty-two percent of our cases had no symptoms at admission. Conclusions The proportion of asymptomatic infection highlights the importance of universal laboratory screening for all women admitted for delivery as opposed to symptom-based screening.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Delivery, Obstetric , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Adult , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Portugal/epidemiology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
16.
PLoS One ; 15(10): e0240500, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-868679

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to disruptive changes worldwide, with different implications across countries. The evolution of citizens' concerns and behaviours over time is a central piece to support public policies. OBJECTIVE: To unveil perceptions and behaviours of the Portuguese population regarding social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing for more informed public policies. METHODS: Online panel survey distributed in three waves between March 13th and May 6th 2020. Data collected from a non-representative sample of 7,448 respondents includes socio-demographic characteristics and self-reported measures on levels of concern and behaviours related to COVID-19. We performed descriptive analysis and probit regressions to understand relationships between the different variables. RESULTS: Most participants (85%) report being at least very concerned with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and social isolation reached a high level of adherence during the state of emergency. Around 36% of the sample anticipated consumption decisions, stockpiling ahead of the state of emergency declaration. Medical appointments suffered severe consequences, being re-rescheduled or cancelled. We find important variation in concerns with the economic impact across activity sectors. CONCLUSION: We show that high level of concern and behaviour adaptation in our sample preceded the implementation of lockdown measures in Portugal around mid-March. One month later, a large share of individuals had suffered disruption in their routine health care and negative impacts in their financial status.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological , Consumer Behavior , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Social Behavior , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Attitude , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Demography/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Portugal , Socioeconomic Factors
17.
Acta Med Port ; 33(10): 709, 2020 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-859251
18.
Biomed Res Int ; 2020: 8397053, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-841506

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The Portuguese healthcare system had to adapt at short notice to the COVID-19 pandemic. We implemented workflow changes to our molecular pathology laboratory, a national reference center, to maximize safety and productivity. We assess the impact this situation had on our caseload and what conclusions can be drawn about the wider impact of the pandemic in oncological therapy in Portugal. Material and Methods. We reviewed our database for all oncological molecular tests requested between March and April of 2019 and 2020. For each case, we recorded age, sex, region of the country, requesting institution, sample type, testing method, and turnaround time (TAT). A comparison between years was made. Results: The total number of tests decreased from 421 in 2019 to 319 in 2020 (p = 0.0027). The greatest reduction was in clinical trial-related cases. Routine cases were similar between years (267 vs. 256). TAT was higher in 2019 (mean 15 days vs. 12.3 days; p = 0.0003). Medium- to large-sized public hospitals in the north of the country were mostly responsible for the reduction in cases (p = 0.0153). Conclusions: Case reduction was observed at hospitals that have mostly been involved in the treatment of COVID-19 and in the north of the country, the region worst-hit by the pandemic. Similar to other studies, our TAT decreased, even with a similar number of routine cases. Thus, we conclude that it is possible to successfully adapt the workflow of a molecular pathology laboratory to new safety standards without losing efficiency.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Medical Oncology , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Pathology, Molecular , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , Humans , Laboratories , Laboratory Personnel , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/statistics & numerical data , National Health Programs , Pandemics , Portugal/epidemiology , Workflow
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