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1.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261339, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1636932

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Gauteng province, with 26.3% of South Africa's population, is the commercial and industrial powerhouse of the country. During the first epidemic wave in 2020, Gauteng accounted for 32.0% of South Africa's reported COVID-19 cases. AIM: The aim of this study was to describe the health system response to the COVID-19 pandemic during the first epidemic wave in Gauteng province and to explore the perspectives of key informants on the provincial response. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Using an adapted Pandemic Emergency Response Conceptual Framework, this was a qualitative case study design consisting of 36 key informant interviews and a document analysis. We used thematic analysis to identify themes and sub-themes from the qualitative data. RESULTS: Our case study found that Gauteng developed an innovative, multi-sectoral and comprehensive provincial COVID-19 response that aimed to address the dual challenge of saving lives and the economy. However, the interviews revealed multiple perspectives, experiences, contestations and contradictions in the pandemic response. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed and amplified the fragilities of existing systems, reflected in the corruption on personal protective equipment, poor data quality and inappropriate decisions on self-standing field hospitals. Rooted in a chronic under-investment and insufficient focus on the health workforce, the response failed to take into account or deal with their fears, and to incorporate strategies for psychosocial support, and safe working environments. The single-minded focus on COVID-19 exacerbated these fragilities, resulting in a de facto health system lockdown and reported collateral damage. The key informants identified missed opportunities to invest in primary health care, partner with communities and to include the private health sector in the pandemic response. CONCLUSION: Gauteng province should build on the innovations of the multi-sectoral response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while addressing the contested areas and health system fragilities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Female , Government Programs/organization & administration , Humans , Male , Qualitative Research , South Africa/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
2.
CMAJ Open ; 9(4): E1149-E1158, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575519

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There were large disruptions to health care services after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We sought to describe the extent to which pandemic-related changes in service delivery and access affected use of primary care for children overall and by equity strata in the 9 months after pandemic onset in Manitoba and Ontario. METHODS: We performed a population-based study of children aged 17 years or less with provincial health insurance in Ontario or Manitoba before and during the COVID-19 pandemic (Jan. 1, 2017-Nov. 28, 2020). We calculated the weekly rates of in-person and virtual primary care well-child and sick visits, overall and by age group, neighbourhood material deprivation level, rurality and immigrant status, and assessed changes in visit rates after COVID-19 restrictions were imposed compared to expected baseline rates calculated for the 3 years before pandemic onset. RESULTS: Among almost 3 million children in Ontario and more than 300 000 children in Manitoba, primary care visit rates declined to 0.80 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.77-0.82) of expected in Ontario and 0.82 (95% CI 0.79-0.84) of expected in Manitoba in the 9 months after the onset of the pandemic. Virtual visits accounted for 53% and 29% of visits in Ontario and Manitoba, respectively. The largest monthly decreases in visits occurred in April 2020. Although visit rates increased slowly after April 2020, they had not returned to prerestriction levels by November 2020 in either province. Children aged more than 1 year to 12 years experienced the greatest decrease in visits, especially for well-child care. Compared to prepandemic levels, visit rates were lowest among rural Manitobans, urban Ontarians and Ontarians in low-income neighbourhoods. INTERPRETATION: During the study period, the pandemic contributed to rapid, immediate and inequitable decreases in primary care use, with some recovery and a substantial shift to virtual care. Postpandemic planning must consider the need for catch-up visits, and the long-term impacts warrant further study.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pediatrics/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Age Distribution , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cross-Sectional Studies , Databases, Factual , Emigrants and Immigrants , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Manitoba/epidemiology , Ontario/epidemiology , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pandemics , Population Surveillance , Rural Population
3.
Gac Med Mex ; 157(3): 309-312, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1535086

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Patients with diabetes experience difficulties to maintain glycemic control during the confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the risk of developing diabetes chronic complications and severe COVID-19. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the conversion of an outpatient diabetes primary care center from a face-to-face care modality to a telemedicine care service by telephone. METHODS: Medical consultations were made by telephone during the initial phase of confinement (April to June 2020), to then continue the follow-up of patients admitted to a multicomponent diabetes care program. RESULTS: A total of 1,118 consultations were made by telephone and follow-up was subsequently continued in 192 patients with type 2 diabetes. Different professionals from different health areas participated, including medical care, diabetes education, nutrition, psychology and podiatry. CONCLUSIONS: Multicomponent diabetes care was successfully transformed from a face-to-face care modality to a telemedicine service. Many primary care patients may be candidates for telemedicine. A redesign of the care model that incorporates telemedicine should be considered to mitigate chronic diseases burden of morbidity and mortality imposed by COVID-19 pandemic, but also for the post-COVID-19 era.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care/methods , COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/therapy , Telemedicine/methods , Adult , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Primary Health Care/methods , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Prospective Studies , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data
5.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0257604, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435617

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Patients with COVID-19 are follow-up in primary care and long COVID is scarcely defined. The study aim was to describe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia and cut-offs for defining long COVID in primary care follow-up patients. METHODS: A retrospective observational study in primary care in Madrid, Spain, was conducted. Data was collected during 6 months (April to September) in 2020, during COVID-19 first wave, from patients ≥ 18 years with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia diagnosed. Variables: sociodemographic, comorbidities, COVID-19 symptoms and complications, laboratory test and chest X-ray. Descriptive statistics were used, mean (standard deviation (SD)) and medians (interquartile range (IQR)) respectively. Differences were detected applying X2 test, Student's T-test, ANOVA, Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney or Kruskal-Wallis depending on variable characteristics. RESULTS: 155 patients presented pneumonia in day 7.8 from the onset (79.4% were hospitalized, median length of 7.0 days (IQR: 3.0, 13.0)). After discharge, the follow-up lasted 54.0 median days (IQR 42.0, 88.0) and 12.2 mean (SD 6.4) phone calls were registered per patient. The main symptoms and their duration were: cough (41.9%, 12 days), dyspnoea (31.0%, 15 days), asthenia (26.5%, 21 days). Different cut-off points were applied for long COVID and week 4 was considered the best milestone (28.3% of the sample still had symptoms after week 4) versus week 12 (8.3%). Patients who still had symptoms >4 weeks follow-up took place over 81.0 days (IQR: 50.5, 103.0), their symptoms were more prevalent and lasted longer than those ≤ 4 weeks: cough (63.6% 30 days), dyspnoea (54.6%, 46 days), and asthenia (56.8%, 29 days). Embolism was more frequent in patients who still had symptoms >4 weeks than those with symptoms ≤4 weeks (9.1% vs 1.8%, p value 0.034). CONCLUSION: Most patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia recovered during the first 4 weeks from the beginning of the infection. The cut-off point to define long COVID, as persisting symptoms, should be between 4 to 12 weeks from the onset of the symptoms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cities/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Spain/epidemiology
6.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 100(37): e27294, 2021 Sep 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1434549

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: This study aimed to assess the association between role conflict and ambiguity among nurses in primary healthcare centers (PHCs) in Saudi Arabia and their stress levels during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.In this online cross-sectional study, sociodemographic and occupational characteristics, role conflict, and ambiguity of 432 nurses were assessed using the Bowling Scale for Role Conflict and Ambiguity and stress was assessed using the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale from September 27 to October 17, 2020. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for above-median stress levels of nurses with average and high (2nd and 3rd tertiles) role conflict and ambiguity compared with nurses with low role conflict and ambiguity (1st tertile).The mean (standard deviation) age of the nurses was 36.5 ±â€Š6.6 years, and 25.9% of them were males. After adjusting for PHC type and working hours, nurses with average and high role conflict had significantly higher stress rates than those with low role conflict, with ORs (95% CIs) of 2.69 (1.62-4.46) and 6.31 (3.78-10.53), respectively. Similarly, nurses with average- and high-role ambiguity had significantly higher stress than those with low role ambiguity, with ORs (95% CIs) of 2.15 (1.30-3.55) and 7.68 (4.54-13.01), respectively. Increasing stress rates were detected across increasing categories of role conflict and ambiguity (P values for trend <.001).We found that role conflict and ambiguity were associated with stress among nurses in PHCs in Saudi Arabia during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Nurse's Role , Occupational Stress/etiology , Adult , COVID-19/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Nurses , Occupational Stress/psychology , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Saudi Arabia , Surveys and Questionnaires
7.
Healthc Policy ; 17(1): 73-90, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1431156

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study documents the adoption of telehealth by various types of primary healthcare (PHC) providers working in teaching PHC clinics in Quebec during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also identifies the perceived advantages and disadvantages of telehealth. METHOD: A cross-sectional study was conducted between May and August 2020. The e-survey was completed by 48/50 teaching primary care clinics representing 603/1,357 (44%) PHC providers. RESULTS: Telephone use increased the most, becoming the principal virtual modality of consultation, during the pandemic. Video consultations increased, with variations by type of PHC provider: between 2% and 16% reported using it "sometimes." The main perceived advantages of telehealth were minimizing the patient's need to travel, improved efficiency and reduction in infection transmission risk. The main disadvantages were the lack of physical exam and difficulties connecting with some patients. CONCLUSION: The variation in telehealth adoption by type of PHC provider may inform strategies to maximize the potential of telehealth and help create guidelines for its use in more normal times.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Quebec , SARS-CoV-2
8.
South Med J ; 114(9): 593-596, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1395358

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Since the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many US clinics have shifted some or all of their practice from in-person to virtual visits. In this study, we assessed the use of telehealth among primary care and specialty clinics, by targeting healthcare administrators via multiple channels. METHODS: Using an online survey, we assessed the use of, barriers to, and reimbursement for telehealth. Respondents included clinic administrators (chief executive officers, vice presidents, directors, and senior-level managers). RESULTS: A total of 85 complete responses were recorded, 79% of which represented solo or group practices and 63% reported a daily patient census >50. The proportion of clinics that delivered ≥50% of their consults using telehealth increased from 16% in March to 42% in April, 35% in May, and 30% in June. Clinics identified problems with telehealth reimbursement; although 63% of clinics reported that ≥75% of their telehealth consults were reimbursed, only 51% indicated that ≥75% of their telehealth visits were reimbursed at par with in-person office visits. Sixty-five percent of clinics reported having basic or foundational telehealth services, whereas only 9% of clinics reported advanced telehealth maturity. Value-based care participating clinics were more likely to report advanced telehealth services (27%), compared with non-value-based care clinics (3%). CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the adaptability of clinics to quickly transition and adopt telehealth. Uncertainty about reimbursement and policy changes may make the shift temporal, however.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Medicine/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Health Care Surveys , Humans , Medicine/methods , Primary Health Care/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/methods , Texas
9.
Rev Esp Quimioter ; 33(6): 422-429, 2020 Dec.
Article in Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390021

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Since the discovery of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the polymerase chain reaction technique (RT-PCR) has become the fundamental method for diagnosing the disease in its acute phase. The objective is to describe the demand-based series of RT-PCR determinations received at a Microbiology Service at a third-level reference hospital for a health area for three months spanning from the onset of the epidemic by SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of the total of the RT-PCR requested in the Microbiology Service analyzed from 02/25/2020 to 05/26/2020 (90 days) has been carried out. They have been grouped by epidemiological weeks and by the petitioner service. A descriptive analysis was carried out by age, gender and number of requests for each patient. In the tests carried out, a confidence level of 95% (p <0.05) was considered significant. RESULTS: A total of 27,106 requests was received corresponding to 22,037 patients. Median age 53.7 (RIC 40.9-71.7) years, women: 61.3%. Proportion of patients with any positive RT-PCR: 14%. Of the total requests for RT-PCR, positive 3,710. Week 13 had the highest diagnosis performance (39.0%). The primary care has been the service thar has made the most requests (15,953). Patients with 3 or more RT-PCR: 565, of them, 19 patients had a positive result after previously having a negative one. CONCLUSIONS: Requests have been increasing depending on the evolution of the epidemic. The RT-PCR has a high diagnostic performance in the phases of highest contagiousness and / or transmissibility of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Pandemics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Confidence Intervals , Female , Health Services Needs and Demand/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Retrospective Studies , Spain/epidemiology , Statistics, Nonparametric , Young Adult
10.
Lancet Digit Health ; 3(8): e517-e525, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294384

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, national-level surveillance platforms with real-time individual person-level data are required to monitor and predict the epidemiological and clinical profile of COVID-19 and inform public health policy. We aimed to create a national dataset of patient-level data in Scotland to identify temporal trends and COVID-19 risk factors, and to develop a novel statistical prediction model to forecast COVID-19-related deaths and hospitalisations during the second wave. METHODS: We established a surveillance platform to monitor COVID-19 temporal trends using person-level primary care data (including age, sex, socioeconomic status, urban or rural residence, care home residence, and clinical risk factors) linked to data on SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests, hospitalisations, and deaths for all individuals resident in Scotland who were registered with a general practice on Feb 23, 2020. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate the association between clinical risk groups and time to hospitalisation and death. A survival prediction model derived from data from March 1 to June 23, 2020, was created to forecast hospital admissions and deaths from October to December, 2020. We fitted a generalised additive spline model to daily SARS-CoV-2 cases over the previous 10 weeks and used this to create a 28-day forecast of the number of daily cases. The age and risk group pattern of cases in the previous 3 weeks was then used to select a stratified sample of individuals from our cohort who had not previously tested positive, with future cases in each group sampled from a multinomial distribution. We then used their patient characteristics (including age, sex, comorbidities, and socioeconomic status) to predict their probability of hospitalisation or death. FINDINGS: Our cohort included 5 384 819 people, representing 98·6% of the entire estimated population residing in Scotland during 2020. Hospitalisation and death among those testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 between March 1 and June 23, 2020, were associated with several patient characteristics, including male sex (hospitalisation hazard ratio [HR] 1·47, 95% CI 1·38-1·57; death HR 1·62, 1·49-1·76) and various comorbidities, with the highest hospitalisation HR found for transplantation (4·53, 1·87-10·98) and the highest death HR for myoneural disease (2·33, 1·46-3·71). For those testing positive, there were decreasing temporal trends in hospitalisation and death rates. The proportion of positive tests among older age groups (>40 years) and those with at-risk comorbidities increased during October, 2020. On Nov 10, 2020, the projected number of hospitalisations for Dec 8, 2020 (28 days later) was 90 per day (95% prediction interval 55-125) and the projected number of deaths was 21 per day (12-29). INTERPRETATION: The estimated incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection based on positive tests recorded in this unique data resource has provided forecasts of hospitalisation and death rates for the whole of Scotland. These findings were used by the Scottish Government to inform their response to reduce COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality. FUNDING: Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme, UK Research and Innovation Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, Health Data Research UK, Scottish Government Director General Health and Social Care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Forecasting , Hospitalization , Models, Statistical , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/trends , Child , Child, Preschool , Comorbidity/trends , Female , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Information Storage and Retrieval , Male , Middle Aged , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , Scotland/epidemiology , Sex Factors
12.
J Clin Psychiatry ; 82(2)2021 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225878

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The early COVID-19 pandemic resulted in great psychosocial disruption and stress, raising speculation that psychiatric disorders may worsen. This study aimed to identify patients vulnerable to worsening mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: This retrospective observational study used electronic health records from March 9 to May 31 in 2019 (n = 94,720) and 2020 (n = 94,589) in a large, community-based health care system. Percent change analysis compared variables standardized to the average patient population for the respective time periods. RESULTS: Compared to 2019, psychiatric visits increased significantly (P < .0001) in 2020, with the majority being telephone/video-based (+264%). Psychiatric care volume increased overall (7%), with the greatest increases in addiction (+42%), behavioral health in primary care (+17%), and adult psychiatry (+5%) clinics. While patients seeking care with preexisting psychiatric diagnoses were mainly stable (−2%), new patients declined (−42%). Visits for substance use (+51%), adjustment (+15%), anxiety (+12%), bipolar (+9%), and psychotic (+6%) disorder diagnoses, and for patients aged 18­25 years (+4%) and 26­39 years (+4%), increased. Child/adolescent and older adult patient visits decreased (−22.7% and −5.5%, respectively), and fewer patients identifying as White (−3.8%) or male (−5.0) or with depression (−3%) or disorders of childhood (−2%) sought care. CONCLUSIONS: The early COVID-19 pandemic was associated with dramatic changes in psychiatric care facilitated by a rapid telehealth care transition. Patient volume, demographic, and diagnostic changes may reflect comfort with telehealth or navigating the psychiatric care system. These data can inform health system resource management and guide future work examining how care delivery changes impact psychiatric care quality and access.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Community Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/therapy , Mental Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Electronic Health Records , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Disorders/diagnosis , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Young Adult
14.
BMC Emerg Med ; 21(1): 55, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1208680

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom included large scale changes to healthcare delivery, without fully understanding the potential for unexpected effects caused by these changes. The aim was "to ascertain the characteristics of patients, uncertainty over diagnosis, or features of the emergency response to the pandemic that could be modified to mitigate against future excess deaths". METHODS: Review of the entire pathway of care of patients whose death was registered in Salford during the 8 week period of the first wave (primary care, secondary care, 111 and 999 calls) in order to create a single record of healthcare prior to death. An expert panel judged avoidability of death against the National Mortality Case Record Review Programme scale. The panel identified themes using a structured judgement review format. RESULTS: There were 522 deaths including 197 in hospital, and 190 in care homes. 51% of patients were female, 81% Caucasian, age 79 ± 9 years. Dementia was present in 35%, COVID-19 was cause of death in 44%. Healthcare contact prior to death was most frequently with primary care (81% of patients). Forty-six patients (9%) had healthcare appointments cancelled (median 1 cancellation, range 1-9). Fewer than half of NHS 111 calls were answered during this period. 18% of deaths contained themes consistent with some degree of avoidability. In people aged ≥75 years who lived at home this was 53%, in care home residents 29% and in patients with learning disability 44% (n = 9). Common themes were; delays in patients presenting to care providers (10%), delays in testing (17%), avoidable exposure to COVID-19 (26%), delays in provider response (5%), and sub-optimal care (11%). For avoidability scores of 2 or 3 (indicating more than 50% chance of avoidability), 44% of cases had > 2 themes. CONCLUSIONS: The initial emergency response had unforeseen consequences resulting in late presentation, sub-optimal assessments, and delays in receiving care. Death in more vulnerable groups was more likely to display avoidability themes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Critical Pathways/organization & administration , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/therapy , Emergency Responders/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , United Kingdom
15.
J Am Geriatr Soc ; 69(9): 2404-2411, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1180824

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: To identify major barriers to video-based telehealth use among homebound older adults. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: A large home-based primary care (HBPC) program in New York City (NYC) serving 873 homebound patients living in the community. PARTICIPANTS: Sixteen primary care physicians. MEASUREMENTS: An 11-item assessment of provider perceptions of patients' experience with and barriers to telehealth. RESULTS: According to physicians in the HBPC program, more than one-third (35%) of homebound patients (mean age of 82.7; 46.6% with dementia; mean of 4 comorbidities/patient) engaged in first-time video-based telehealth encounters between April and June 2020 during the first COVID-19 surge in NYC. The majority (82%) required assistance from a family member and/or paid caregiver to complete the visit. Among patients who had not used telehealth, providers deemed 27% (n = 153) "unable to interact over video" for reasons including cognitive or sensory impairment and 14% lacked access to a caregiver to assist them with technology. Physicians were not knowledgeable of their patients' internet connectivity, ability to pay for cellular plans, or video-capable device access. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a large and dramatic shift to video-based telehealth use in home-based primary care. However, 4 months into the pandemic a majority of patients had not participated in a video-based telehealth encounter due to a number of barriers. Patients lacking caregiver support to assist with technology may benefit from novel approaches such as the deployment of community health workers to assist with device setup. Physicians may not be able to identify potentially modifiable barriers to telehealth use among their patients, highlighting the need for better systematic data collection before targeted interventions to increase video-based telehealth use.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Home Care Services/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Personnel/psychology , Homebound Persons/psychology , Homebound Persons/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , New York City , Primary Health Care/methods , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
16.
BMC Fam Pract ; 22(1): 66, 2021 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175290

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To estimate the prevalence of symptoms and signs related to a COVID-19 case series confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for SARS-CoV-2. Risk factors and the associated use of health services will also be analysed. METHODS: Observational, descriptive, retrospective case series study. The study was performed at two Primary Care Health Centres located in Madrid, Spain. The subjects studied were all PCR SARS-CoV-2 confirmed cases older than 18 years, diagnosed from the beginning of the community transmission (March 13) until April 15, 2020. We collected sociodemographic, clinical, health service utilization and clinical course variables during the following months. All data was gathered by their own attending physician, and electronic medical records were reviewed individually. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: A descriptive analysis was carried out and a Poisson regression model was adjusted to study associated factors to Health Services use. RESULTS: Out of the 499 patients studied from two health centres, 55.1% were women and mean age was 58.2 (17.3). 25.1% were healthcare professionals. The most frequent symptoms recorded related to COVID-19 were cough (77.9%; CI 95% 46.5-93.4), fever (77.7%; CI95% 46.5-93.4) and dyspnoea (54.1%, CI95% 46.6-61.4). 60.7% were admitted to hospital. 64.5% first established contact with their primary care provider before going to the hospital, with a mean number of 11.4 Healthcare Providers Encounters with primary care during all the follow-up period. The number of visit-encounters with primary care was associated with being male [IRR 1.072 (1.013, 1.134)], disease severity {from mild respiratory infection [IRR 1.404 (1.095, 1.801)], up to bilateral pneumonia [IRR 1.852 (1.437,2.386)]}, and the need of a work leave [IRR 1.326 (1.244, 1.413]. CONCLUSION: Symptoms and risk factors in our case series are similar to those in other studies. There was a high number of patients with atypical unilateral or bilateral pneumonia. Care for COVID has required a high use of healthcare resources such as clinical encounters and work leaves.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Symptom Assessment , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , Demography , Disease Transmission, Infectious/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Primary Health Care/methods , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index , Socioeconomic Factors , Spain/epidemiology , Symptom Assessment/methods , Symptom Assessment/statistics & numerical data
17.
BMJ ; 373: n826, 2021 04 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1172748

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To describe a novel England-wide electronic health record (EHR) resource enabling whole population research on covid-19 and cardiovascular disease while ensuring data security and privacy and maintaining public trust. DESIGN: Data resource comprising linked person level records from national healthcare settings for the English population, accessible within NHS Digital's new trusted research environment. SETTING: EHRs from primary care, hospital episodes, death registry, covid-19 laboratory test results, and community dispensing data, with further enrichment planned from specialist intensive care, cardiovascular, and covid-19 vaccination data. PARTICIPANTS: 54.4 million people alive on 1 January 2020 and registered with an NHS general practitioner in England. MAIN MEASURES OF INTEREST: Confirmed and suspected covid-19 diagnoses, exemplar cardiovascular conditions (incident stroke or transient ischaemic attack and incident myocardial infarction) and all cause mortality between 1 January and 31 October 2020. RESULTS: The linked cohort includes more than 96% of the English population. By combining person level data across national healthcare settings, data on age, sex, and ethnicity are complete for around 95% of the population. Among 53.3 million people with no previous diagnosis of stroke or transient ischaemic attack, 98 721 had a first ever incident stroke or transient ischaemic attack between 1 January and 31 October 2020, of which 30% were recorded only in primary care and 4% only in death registry records. Among 53.2 million people with no previous diagnosis of myocardial infarction, 62 966 had an incident myocardial infarction during follow-up, of which 8% were recorded only in primary care and 12% only in death registry records. A total of 959 470 people had a confirmed or suspected covid-19 diagnosis (714 162 in primary care data, 126 349 in hospital admission records, 776 503 in covid-19 laboratory test data, and 50 504 in death registry records). Although 58% of these were recorded in both primary care and covid-19 laboratory test data, 15% and 18%, respectively, were recorded in only one. CONCLUSIONS: This population-wide resource shows the importance of linking person level data across health settings to maximise completeness of key characteristics and to ascertain cardiovascular events and covid-19 diagnoses. Although this resource was initially established to support research on covid-19 and cardiovascular disease to benefit clinical care and public health and to inform healthcare policy, it can broaden further to enable a wide range of research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Electronic Health Records , Medical Record Linkage , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cardiovascular Diseases/diagnosis , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
18.
Aust N Z J Public Health ; 45(4): 385-390, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1169755

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the proportion of influenza vaccines administered in non-medical settings in Australia in 2019 and identify factors associated with vaccination site. METHODS: We surveyed 1,444 Australian adults online in October 2019. To identify factors associated with vaccination site, we used Pearson's chi-square test. We used thematic analysis to describe responses to the question, 'Please explain why you chose to get vaccinated there'. RESULTS: Most participants (73%) received the influenza vaccine in a medical setting, while 13% received it at a pharmacy and 14% at their workplace. Being vaccinated in pharmacy was associated with being under 65 years of age (p<0.01), marital status (p=0.01), and not having a high-risk comorbidity (p<0.01). Workplace vaccination was associated with being under 65 (p<0.01), household income (p<0.01), not having a regular general physician/practice (p=0.01), having private insurance (p<0.01), and not having a high-risk comorbidity (p<0.01). There was no association between site of vaccination and first-time vaccination (p=0.71, p=0.22). CONCLUSIONS: Despite new policies allowing pharmacists to administer influenza vaccines, most Australian adults are still vaccinated in medical settings. Pharmacy and workplace vaccination settings were more common among younger adults without high-risk comorbidities. Implications for public health: Workplaces, pharmacies and other non-medical settings may provide an opportunity to increase influenza vaccination among healthy, working-age adults who might otherwise forego annual vaccination. Pharmacies may also provide a convenient location for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, particularly in medically underserved areas.


Subject(s)
Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Pharmacies/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Workplace/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Australia , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
19.
Thorax ; 76(9): 860-866, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1158123

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The impact of COVID-19 and ensuing national lockdown on asthma exacerbations is unclear. METHODS: We conducted an interrupted time-series (lockdown on 23 March 2020 as point of interruption) analysis in asthma cohort identified using a validated algorithm from a national-level primary care database, the Optimum Patient Care Database. We derived asthma exacerbation rates for every week and compared exacerbation rates in the period: January to August 2020 with a pre-COVID-19 period and January to August 2016-2019. Exacerbations were defined as asthma-related hospital attendance/admission (including accident and emergency visit), or an acute course of oral corticosteroids with evidence of respiratory review, as recorded in primary care. We used a generalised least squares modelling approach and stratified the analyses by age, sex, English region and healthcare setting. RESULTS: From a database of 9 949 387 patients, there were 100 165 patients with asthma who experienced at least one exacerbation during 2016-2020. Of 278 996 exacerbation episodes, 49 938 (17.9%) required hospital visit. Comparing pre-lockdown to post-lockdown period, we observed a statistically significant reduction in the level (-0.196 episodes per person-year; p<0.001; almost 20 episodes for every 100 patients with asthma per year) of exacerbation rates across all patients. The reductions in level in stratified analyses were: 0.005-0.244 (healthcare setting, only those without hospital attendance/admission were significant), 0.210-0.277 (sex), 0.159-0.367 (age), 0.068-0.590 (region). CONCLUSIONS: There has been a significant reduction in attendance to primary care for asthma exacerbations during the pandemic. This reduction was observed in all age groups, both sexes and across most regions in England.


Subject(s)
Asthma/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Progression , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Symptom Flare Up , Administration, Oral , Adolescent , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Adult , Asthma/drug therapy , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
20.
Thorax ; 76(9): 867-873, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1158122

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic's impact on people with asthma is poorly understood. We hypothesised that lockdown restrictions were associated with reductions in severe asthma exacerbations requiring emergency asthma admissions and/or leading to death. METHODS: Using data from Public Health Scotland and the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage Databank in Wales, we compared weekly counts of emergency admissions and deaths due to asthma over the first 18 weeks in 2020 with the national averages over 2015-2019. We modelled the impact of instigating lockdown on these outcomes using interrupted time-series analysis. Using fixed-effect meta-analysis, we derived pooled estimates of the overall changes in trends across the two nations. We also investigated trends in asthma-related primary care prescribing and emergency department (ED) attendances in Wales. RESULTS: Lockdown was associated with a 36% pooled reduction in emergency admissions for asthma (incidence rate ratio, IRR: 0.64, 95% CI: 0.49 to 0.83, p value 0.001) across both countries. There was no significant change in asthma deaths (pooled IRR: 0.57, 95% CI: 0.17 to 1.94, p value 0.37). ED asthma attendances in Wales declined during lockdown (IRR: 0.85, 95% CI: 0.73 to 0.99, p value 0.03). A large spike of 121% more inhaled corticosteroids and 133% more oral corticosteroid prescriptions was seen in Wales in the week before lockdown. CONCLUSIONS: National lockdowns were associated with substantial reductions in severe asthma exacerbations leading to hospital admission across both Scotland and Wales, with no corresponding increase in asthma deaths.


Subject(s)
Asthma/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Administration, Inhalation , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Asthma/drug therapy , Emergency Service, Hospital/trends , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Patient Admission/trends , Primary Health Care/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland/epidemiology , Wales/epidemiology
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