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2.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0262530, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1627791

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The effect of fasting on immunity is unclear. Prolonged fasting is thought to increase the risk of infection due to dehydration. This study describes antibiotic prescribing patterns before, during, and after Ramadan in a primary care setting within the Pakistani and Bangladeshi populations in the UK, most of whom are Muslims, compared to those who do not observe Ramadan. METHOD: Retrospective controlled interrupted time series analysis of electronic health record data from primary care practices. The study consists of two groups: Pakistanis/Bangladeshis and white populations. For each group, we constructed a series of aggregated, daily prescription data from 2007 to 2017 for the 30 days preceding, during, and after Ramadan, respectively. FINDINGS: Controlling for the rate in the white population, there was no evidence of increased antibiotic prescription in the Pakistani/Bangladeshi population during Ramadan, as compared to before Ramadan (IRR: 0.994; 95% CI: 0.988-1.001, p = 0.082) or after Ramadan (IRR: 1.006; 95% CI: 0.999-1.013, p = 0.082). INTERPRETATION: In this large, population-based study, we did not find any evidence to suggest that fasting was associated with an increased susceptibility to infection.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Disease Susceptibility/metabolism , Fasting/adverse effects , Adult , Aged , Arabs , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Diseases/drug therapy , Communicable Diseases/transmission , Electronic Health Records , Female , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis/methods , Islam , Male , Middle Aged , Practice Patterns, Physicians' , Primary Health Care/trends , Retrospective Studies , United Kingdom/epidemiology
3.
PLoS Med ; 18(11): e1003854, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528713

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the number of consultations and diagnoses in primary care and referrals to specialist care declined substantially compared to prepandemic levels. Beyond deferral of elective non-COVID-19 care by healthcare providers, it is unclear to what extent healthcare avoidance by community-dwelling individuals contributed to this decline in routine healthcare utilisation. Moreover, it is uncertain which specific symptoms were left unheeded by patients and which determinants predispose to healthcare avoidance in the general population. In this cross-sectional study, we assessed prevalence of healthcare avoidance during the pandemic from a patient perspective, including symptoms that were left unheeded, as well as determinants of healthcare avoidance. METHODS AND FINDINGS: On April 20, 2020, a paper COVID-19 survey addressing healthcare utilisation, socioeconomic factors, mental and physical health, medication use, and COVID-19-specific symptoms was sent out to 8,732 participants from the population-based Rotterdam Study (response rate 73%). All questionnaires were returned before July 10, 2020. By hand, prevalence of healthcare avoidance was subsequently verified through free text analysis of medical records of general practitioners. Odds ratios (ORs) for avoidance were determined using logistic regression models, adjusted for age, sex, and history of chronic diseases. We found that 1,142 of 5,656 included participants (20.2%) reported having avoided healthcare. Of those, 414 participants (36.3%) reported symptoms that potentially warranted urgent evaluation, including limb weakness (13.6%), palpitations (10.8%), and chest pain (10.2%). Determinants related to avoidance were older age (adjusted OR 1.14 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.08 to 1.21]), female sex (1.58 [1.38 to 1.82]), low educational level (primary education versus higher vocational/university 1.21 [1.01 to 1.46), poor self-appreciated health (per level decrease 2.00 [1.80 to 2.22]), unemployment (versus employed 2.29 [1.54 to 3.39]), smoking (1.34 [1.08 to 1.65]), concern about contracting COVID-19 (per level increase 1.28 [1.19 to 1.38]) and symptoms of depression (per point increase 1.13 [1.11 to 1.14]) and anxiety (per point increase 1.16 [1.14 to 1.18]). Study limitations included uncertainty about (perceived) severity of the reported symptoms and potentially limited generalisability given the ethnically homogeneous study population. CONCLUSIONS: In this population-based cross-sectional study, 1 in 5 individuals avoided healthcare during lockdown in the COVID-19 pandemic, often for potentially urgent symptoms. Healthcare avoidance was strongly associated with female sex, fragile self-appreciated health, and high levels of depression and anxiety. These results emphasise the need for targeted public education urging these vulnerable patients to timely seek medical care for their symptoms to mitigate major health consequences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , Primary Health Care/trends , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Anxiety/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Health Facilities , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Mental Health/trends , Middle Aged , Netherlands/epidemiology , Pandemics , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Surveys and Questionnaires
4.
Ann Fam Med ; 19(5): 457-459, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416847

ABSTRACT

Health care organizations in the United States have transformed at an unprecedented rate since March 2020 due to COVID-19, most notably with a shift to telemedicine. Despite rapidly adapting health care delivery in light of new safety considerations and a shifting insurance landscape, primary care offices across the country are facing drastic decreases in revenue and potential bankruptcy. To survive, primary care's adaptations will need to go beyond virtual versions of traditional office visits. Primary care is faced with a chance to redefine what it means to care for and support patients wherever they are. This opportunity to shape the "new normal" is a critical step for primary care to meet its full potential to lead a paradigm shift to patient-centered health care reform in America during this time when we need it most.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Primary Health Care/methods , Telemedicine , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Primary Health Care/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
6.
S Afr Med J ; 111(8): 714-719, 2021 May 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374631

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic and responses by governments, including lockdowns, have had various consequences for lives and livelihoods. South Africa (SA) was one of the countries that implemented severely restrictive lockdowns to reduce transmission and limit the number of patients requiring hospitalisation. These interventions have had mixed consequences for routine health services. OBJECTIVES: To assess the impact of COVID-19 and restrictions imposed to limit viral transmission on routine health services in SA. METHODS: Data routinely collected via the District Health Information System in 2019 and 2020 were analysed to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: Access to public health services between March 2020 and December 2020 was limited in all provinces. However, this was not linear, i.e. not all services in all provinces were similarly affected. Services most severely affected were antenatal visits before 20 weeks, access to contraceptives, and HIV and TB testing. The impact on outcomes was also noticeable, with a measurable effect on maternal and neonatal mortality. CONCLUSIONS: The responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, including different levels of lockdowns, the limitation of health services, lack of staff as a result of COVID-19 infection, and fear and stigma, resulted in a reduction in access to routine health services. However, the picture varies by type of service, province and district, with some faring worse than others. It is important to ensure that routine services are not significantly affected during future COVID-19 waves. This will require careful planning on the part of service providers and optimal communication with patients and communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Primary Health Care/trends , COVID-19/transmission , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , South Africa
7.
Eur J Gen Pract ; 27(1): 241-247, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1371665

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Telemedicine, once defined merely as the treatment of certain conditions remotely, has now often been supplanted in use by broader terms such as 'virtual care', in recognition of its increasing capability to deliver a diverse range of healthcare services from afar. With the unexpected onset of COVID-19, virtual care (e.g. telephone, video, online) has become essential to facilitating the continuation of primary care globally. Over several short weeks, existing healthcare policies have adapted quickly and empowered clinicians to use digital means to fulfil a wide range of clinical responsibilities, which until then have required face-to-face consultations. OBJECTIVES: This paper aims to explore the virtual care policies and guidance material published during the initial months of the pandemic and examine their potential limitations and impact on transforming the delivery of primary care in high-income countries. METHODS: A rapid review of publicly available national policies guiding the use of virtual care in General Practice was conducted. Documents were included if issued in the first six months of the pandemic (March to August of 2020) and focussed primarily on high-income countries. Documents must have been issued by a national health authority, accreditation body, or professional organisation, and directly refer to the delivery of primary care. RESULTS: We extracted six areas of relevance: primary care transformation during COVID-19, the continued delivery of preventative care, the delivery of acute care, remote triaging, funding & reimbursement, and security standards. CONCLUSION: Virtual care use in primary care saw a transformative change during the pandemic. However, despite the advances in the various governmental guidance offered, much work remains in addressing the shortcomings exposed during COVID-19 and strengthening viable policies to better incorporate novel technologies into the modern primary care clinical environment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Primary Health Care/methods , Telemedicine/methods , Developed Countries , Digital Technology/methods , Health Policy , Humans , Primary Health Care/trends , Telemedicine/trends
8.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0255594, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1344156

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Implementation of evidence-based care for heavy drinking and depression remains low in global health systems. We tested the impact of providing community support, training, and clinical packages of varied intensity on depression screening and management for heavy drinking patients in Latin American primary healthcare. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Quasi-experimental study involving 58 primary healthcare units in Colombia, Mexico and Peru randomized to receive: (1) usual care (control); (2) training using a brief clinical package; (3) community support plus training using a brief clinical package; (4) community support plus training using a standard clinical package. Outcomes were proportion of: (1) heavy drinking patients screened for depression; (2) screen-positive patients receiving appropriate support; (3) all consulting patients screened for depression, irrespective of drinking status. RESULTS: 550/615 identified heavy drinkers were screened for depression (89.4%). 147/230 patients screening positive for depression received appropriate support (64%). Amongst identified heavy drinkers, adjusting for country, sex, age and provider profession, provision of community support and training had no impact on depression activity rates. Intensity of clinical package also did not affect delivery rates, with comparable performance for brief and standard versions. However, amongst all consulting patients, training providers resulted in significantly higher rates of alcohol measurement and in turn higher depression screening rates; 2.7 times higher compared to those not trained. CONCLUSIONS: Training using a brief clinical package increased depression screening rates in Latin American primary healthcare. It is not possible to determine the effectiveness of community support on depression activity rates due to the impact of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking/psychology , Alcoholics/psychology , Depression/therapy , Adult , Alcohol Drinking/adverse effects , Alcohol Drinking/prevention & control , Alcoholic Intoxication/psychology , Alcoholism/diagnosis , Colombia/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Delivery of Health Care , Depression/psychology , Depressive Disorder/psychology , Depressive Disorder/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Mass Screening/methods , Mexico/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Peru/epidemiology , Primary Health Care/methods , Primary Health Care/trends , Referral and Consultation , Substance Abuse Detection/methods
9.
Dermatol Clin ; 39(4): 587-597, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343177

ABSTRACT

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on dermatology practice cannot be overstated. At its peak, the pandemic resulted in the temporary closure of ambulatory sites as resources were reallocated towards pandemic response efforts. Many outpatient clinics have since reopened and are beginning to experience a semblance of pre-pandemic routine, albeit with restrictions in place. We provide an overview of how COVID-19 has affected dermatology practice globally beginning with the rise of teledermatology. A summary of expert recommendations that shape the "new normal" in various domains of dermatology practice, namely, dermatology consultation, procedural dermatology, and phototherapy, is also provided.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care Facilities/trends , Dermatology/standards , Primary Health Care/trends , Skin Diseases/therapy , Telemedicine/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , Dermatology/trends , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Humans , Office Visits/trends , Skin Diseases/epidemiology
11.
J Am Geriatr Soc ; 69(11): 3034-3043, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304115

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Individuals aged 65 and older face unique barriers to adoption of telehealth, and the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has provided a "natural experiment" in how to meet the health needs of older patients remotely. Physician perspectives on practical considerations surrounding telehealth adoption, motivations of use, and reasons for nonuse are necessary to inform the future of healthcare delivery. The objective is to understand the experiences of physicians using telemedicine for older patients. METHODS: From September to November 2020, we conducted 30-min semi-structured interviews using purposeful sampling to identify and enroll participants from diverse settings. We included 48 U.S.-based physicians (geriatrician, n = 18, primary care, n = 15, emergency, n = 15) from all geographic regions, rural-urban and academic/community settings. Audio-recorded interviews were professionally transcribed and analyzed using framework analysis. Major themes and subthemes were identified. RESULTS: Participants had a median (interquartile range) age of 37.5 (34-44.5), 27 (56%) were women. Five major themes emerged: (1) telehealth uptake was rapid and iterative, (2) telehealth improved the safety of medical care, (3) use cases were specialty-specific (for geriatricians and primary care physicians telehealth substituted for in-person visits; for emergency physicians it primarily supplemented in-person visits), (4) physicians altered clinical care to overcome older patient barriers to telehealth use, and (5) telehealth use among physicians declined in mid-April 2020, due primarily to patient needs and administrator preferences, not physician factors. CONCLUSION: In this qualitative analysis, physicians reported a rapid, iterative uptake of telehealth and attenuation of use as coronavirus disease 2019 prevalence declined. Physician experiences during the pandemic can inform interventions and policies to help buoy telehealth for ongoing healthcare delivery and ensure its accessibility for older Americans.


Subject(s)
Attitude of Health Personnel , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Physicians, Primary Care/trends , Professional-Patient Relations , Telemedicine/trends , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Primary Health Care/trends , Qualitative Research
12.
BMC Fam Pract ; 22(1): 143, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295441

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Integrated primary care teams are ideally positioned to support the mental health care needs arising during the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding how COVID-19 has affected mental health care delivery within primary care settings will be critical to inform future policy and practice decisions during the later phases of the pandemic and beyond. The objective of our study was to describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on primary care teams' delivery of mental health care. METHODS: A qualitative study using focus groups conducted with primary care teams in Ontario, Canada. Focus group data was analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: We conducted 11 focus groups with 10 primary care teams and a total of 48 participants. With respect to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health care in primary care teams, we identified three key themes: i) the high demand for mental health care, ii) the rapid transformation to virtual care, and iii) the impact on providers. CONCLUSIONS: From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, primary care quickly responded to the rising mental health care demands of their patients. Despite the numerous challenges they faced with the rapid transition to virtual care, primary care teams have persevered. It is essential that policy and decision-makers take note of the toll that these demands have placed on providers. There is an immediate need to enhance primary care's capacity for mental health care for the duration of the pandemic and beyond.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated/organization & administration , Mental Health Services , Patient Care Team/organization & administration , Primary Health Care , Telemedicine , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Focus Groups , Health Services Needs and Demand , Humans , Male , Mental Health/trends , Mental Health Services/standards , Mental Health Services/supply & distribution , Ontario/epidemiology , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Primary Health Care/methods , Primary Health Care/trends , Quality Improvement/organization & administration , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data
13.
BMC Fam Pract ; 22(1): 125, 2021 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282239

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The aims of our study were to describe the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown on primary care in Germany regarding the number of consultations, the prevalence of specific reasons for consultation presented by the patients, and the frequency of specific services performed by the GP. METHODS: We conducted a longitudinal observational study based on standardised GP interviews in a quota sampling design comparing the time before the COVID-19 pandemic (12 June 2015 to 27 April 2017) with the time during lockdown (21 April to 14 July 2020). The sample included GPs in urban and rural areas 120 km around Hamburg, Germany, and was stratified by region type and administrative districts. Differences in the consultation numbers were analysed by multivariate linear regressions in mixed models adjusted for random effects on the levels of the administrative districts and GP practices. RESULTS: One hundred ten GPs participated in the follow-up, corresponding to 52.1% of the baseline. Primary care practices in 32 of the 37 selected administrative districts (86.5%) could be represented in both assessments. At baseline, GPs reported 199.6 ± 96.9 consultations per week, which was significantly reduced during COVID-19 lockdown by 49.0% to 101.8 ± 67.6 consultations per week (p < 0.001). During lockdown, the frequency of five reasons for consultation (-43.0% to -31.5%) and eleven services (-56.6% to -33.5%) had significantly decreased. The multilevel, multivariable analyses showed an average reduction of 94.6 consultations per week (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: We observed a dramatic reduction of the number of consultations in primary care. This effect was independent of age, sex and specialty of the GP and independent of the practice location in urban or rural areas. Consultations for complaints like low back pain, gastrointestinal complaints, vertigo or fatigue and services like house calls/calls at nursing homes, wound treatments, pain therapy or screening examinations for the early detection of chronic diseases were particularly affected.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practitioners , Health Services/trends , Primary Health Care/trends , Referral and Consultation/trends , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Germany , House Calls , Humans , Linear Models , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , Nursing Homes , Public Policy , SARS-CoV-2
14.
CMAJ Open ; 9(2): E651-E658, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1271057

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: It has been suggested that the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened socioeconomic disparities in access to primary care. Given these concerns, we investigated whether the pandemic affected visits to family physicians differently across sociodemographic groups. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using electronic medical records from family physician practices within the University of Toronto Practice-Based Research Network. We evaluated primary care visits for a fixed cohort of patients who were active within the database as of Jan. 1, 2019, to estimate the number of patients who visited their family physician (visitor rate) and the number of distinct visits (visit volume) between Jan. 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020. We compared trends in visitor rate and visit volume during the pandemic (Mar. 14 to June 30, 2020) with the same period in the previous year (Mar. 14 to June 30, 2019) across sociodemographic factors, including age, sex, neighbourhood income, material deprivation and ethnic concentration. RESULTS: We included 365 family physicians and 372 272 patients. Compared with the previous year, visitor rates during the pandemic period dropped by 34.5%, from 357 visitors per 1000 people to 292 visitors per 1000 people. Declines in visit volume during the pandemic were less pronounced (21.8% fewer visits), as the mean number of visits per patient increased during the pandemic (from 1.64 to 1.96). The declines in visitor rate and visit volume varied based on patient age and sex, but not socioeconomic status. INTERPRETATION: Although the number of visits to family physicians dropped substantially during the first few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario, patients from communities with low socioeconomic status did not appear to be disproportionately affected. In this primary care setting, the pandemic appears not to have worsened socioeconomic disparities in access to care.


Subject(s)
Appointments and Schedules , Family Practice/trends , Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care/trends , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Female , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Ontario , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors , Social Class , Young Adult
16.
Diabetes Metab Syndr ; 15(1): 205-211, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1188470

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Potential role of health literacy in determining adherence to COVID-19 preventive behavior, pharmacological, and lifestyle management among diagnosed patients of chronic diseases during nationwide lockdown is inadequately investigated. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted from May-August 2020 among diagnosed patients of chronic diseases residing in a COVID-19 hotspot of urban Jodhpur, Rajasthan, and availing health services from primary care facility. Telephonic interviews of participants were conducted to determine their health literacy using HLS-EU-Q47 questionnaire, adherence to COVID-19 preventive behaviour as per World Health Organization recommendations, and compliance to prescribed pharmacological and physical activity recommendations for chronic disease. RESULTS: All the 605 diagnosed patients of chronic diseases availing services from primary care facility were contacted for the study, yielding response rate of 68% with 412 agreeing to participate. Insufficient health literacy was observed for 65.8% participants. Only about half of participants had scored above median for COVID-19 awareness (55.1%) and preventive behavior (45.1%). Health literacy was observed to be significant predictor of COVID-19 awareness [aOR: 3.53 (95% CI: 1.81-6.88)]; COVID-19 preventive behavior [aOR: 2.06, 95%CI; 1.14-3.69] and compliance to pharmacological management [aOR: 3.05; 95% CI: 1.47-6.35] but not for physical activity. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 awareness, preventive behavior, and compliance to pharmacological management is associated with health literacy among patients of chronic disease availing services from primary health facility. Focusing on health literacy could thus be an essential strategic intervention yielding long term benefits.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Literacy/trends , Patient Compliance , Primary Health Care/trends , Quarantine/trends , Urban Population/trends , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Chronic Disease , Communicable Disease Control/trends , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Facilities/trends , Humans , India/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Compliance/psychology , Registries , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
17.
Expert Rev Endocrinol Metab ; 16(3): 147-153, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1165207

ABSTRACT

Objectives: Changes in hematological parameters are becoming evident as important early markers of COVID-19. Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) has been shown to be associated with increased severity of COVID-19. In this study, we aim to explore the various hematological variables in COVID-19 positive patients with T2DM, so as to act early and improve patient outcomes.Methods: Medical e-records of seventy adult patients with T2DM who were COVID-19 positive have been analyzed in this retrospective cohort study. Demographic, clinical and laboratory parameters for these patients were examined.Results: Of the seventy patients with T2DM, 48.88% had poorly controlled diabetes. 70.69% were pyrexial, 56.25% were tachycardic and 38.58% were asymptomatic on presentation. Amongst the hematological parameters, anemia was seen in 10% of males and 15.38% of females. 20% had a high red-blood-cell-distribution-width (RDW). 7.27% had thrombocytosis and 3.64% had thrombocytopenia. 73.3% had a high platelet-distribution-width (PDW) and 44.44% had an increased mean-platelet-volume (MPV). 16.36% were neutropenic and 16.67% had lymphocytopenia.Conclusion: Diabetic COVID-19 positive patients have been shown to have prominent manifestations of the hemopoietic-system with varied hematological profiles. Recognizing the implications of these variables early in primary-care, can help clinicians aid management decisions and dictate early referral to secondary-care services, to help improve prognosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/blood , Hematologic Diseases/blood , Primary Health Care/trends , Adult , Anemia/blood , Anemia/diagnosis , Anemia/epidemiology , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/diagnosis , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/epidemiology , Erythrocyte Indices/physiology , Female , Hematologic Diseases/diagnosis , Hematologic Diseases/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Mean Platelet Volume/methods , Mean Platelet Volume/trends , Middle Aged , Platelet Count/methods , Platelet Count/trends , Primary Health Care/methods , Retrospective Studies , Thrombocytopenia/blood , Thrombocytopenia/diagnosis , Thrombocytopenia/epidemiology
18.
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
19.
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth ; 21(1): 208, 2021 Mar 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1136217

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pregnancy is a risk factor for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Pregnant women suffer from varying levels of pregnancy-related anxiety (PRA) which can negatively affect pregnancy outcomes. The aim of this study was to assess PRA and its associated factors during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: This web-based cross-sectional study was conducted in 2020 on 318 pregnant women purposively recruited from primary healthcare centers in Sari and Amol, Iran. Data were collected using questionnaires (PRAQ, Edinburg, KAP of COVID-19, CDA-Q and Demographic questionnaire), which were provided to participants through the social media or were completed for them over telephone. Data were analyzed with the linear regression and the logistic regression analysis, at the significance level of 0.05 using the SPSS software (v. 21). RESULTS: Around 21% of participants had PRA, 42.1% had depression, and 4.4% had COVID-19 anxiety. The significant predictors of PRA were number of pregnancies (P = 0.008), practice regarding COVID-19 (P < 0.001), COVID-19 anxiety (P < 0.001), depression (P < 0.001), and social support (P = 0.025) which explained 19% of the total variance. Depression and COVID-19 anxiety increased the odds of PRA by respectively four times and 13%, while good practice regarding COVID-19 decreased the odds by 62%. CONCLUSION: Around 21% of pregnant women suffer from PRA during the COVID-19 pandemic and the significant predictors of PRA during the pandemic include number of pregnancies, practice regarding COVID-19, COVID-19 anxiety, depression, and social support. These findings can be used to develop appropriate strategies for the management of mental health problems during pregnancy in the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Anxiety , COVID-19 , Pregnancy Complications , Primary Health Care , Social Support , Adult , Anxiety/diagnosis , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Iran/epidemiology , Needs Assessment , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications/diagnosis , Pregnancy Complications/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications/prevention & control , Pregnancy Complications/psychology , Pregnant Women/psychology , Primary Health Care/methods , Primary Health Care/standards , Primary Health Care/trends , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological/diagnosis , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology
20.
J Am Board Fam Med ; 34(Suppl): S203-S209, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1100014

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has laid bare the dis-integrated health care system in the United States. Decades of inattention and dwindling support for public health, coupled with declining access to primary care medical services have left many vulnerable communities without adequate COVID-19 response and recovery capacity. "Health is a Community Affair" is a 1966 effort to build and deploy local communities of solution that align public health, primary care, and community organizations to identify health care problem sheds, and activate local asset sheds. After decades of independent effort, the COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to reunite and align the shared goals of public health and primary care. Imagine how different things might look if we had widely implemented the recommendations from the 1966 report? The ideas and concepts laid out in "Health is a Community Affair" still offer a COVID-19 response and recovery approach. By bringing public health and primary care together in community now, a future that includes a shared vision and combined effort may emerge.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated/organization & administration , Primary Health Care/standards , Public Health/standards , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cooperative Behavior , Delivery of Health Care, Integrated/trends , Humans , Pandemics , Primary Health Care/economics , Primary Health Care/trends , Public Health/economics , Public Health/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
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