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1.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264829, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759949

ABSTRACT

This paper examines whether the COVID-19-induced employment shocks are associated with increases in suicides and safety net use in the second and third quarters of 2020. We exploit plausibly exogenous regional variation in the magnitude of the employment shocks in Japan and adopt a difference-in-differences research design to examine and control for possible confounders. Our preferred point estimates suggest that a one-percentage-point increase in the unemployment rate in the second quarter of 2020 is associated with, approximately, an additional 0.52 suicides, 28 unemployment benefit recipients, 88 recipients of a temporary loan program, and 10 recipients of public assistance per 100,000 population per month. A simple calculation based on these estimates suggests that if a region experienced a one-percentage-point increase in the unemployment rate caused by the COVID-19 crisis in the second quarter of 2020, which is roughly equivalent to the third-highest regional employment shock, this would be associated with 37.4%, 60.5%, and 26.5% increases in the total, female, and male suicide rates respectively in July 2020 compared with July 2019. These results are primarily correlational rather than causal due to the limitation of our data and research design, but our baseline findings are robust to several different model specifications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , COVID-19/epidemiology , Employment , Female , Humans , Male , Public Assistance , Unemployment
2.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(7): e2117060, 2021 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1308936

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE: Socioeconomic factors in the disparities in COVID-19 outcomes have been reported in studies from the US and other Western countries. However, no studies have documented national- or subnational-level outcome disparities in Asian countries. OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between regional COVID-19 outcome disparities and socioeconomic characteristics in Japan. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This cross-sectional study collected and analyzed confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths (through February 13, 2021) as well as population and socioeconomic data in all 47 prefectures in Japan. The data sources were government surveys for which prefecture-level data were available. EXPOSURES: Prefectural socioeconomic characteristics included mean annual household income, Gini coefficient, proportion of the population receiving public assistance, educational attainment, unemployment rate, employment in industries with frequent close contacts with the public, household crowding, smoking rate, and obesity rate. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Rate ratios (RRs) of COVID-19 incidence and mortality by prefecture-level socioeconomic characteristics. RESULTS: All 47 prefectures in Japan (with a total population of 126.2 million) were included in this analysis. A total of 412 126 confirmed COVID-19 cases (326.7 per 100 000 people) and 6910 deaths (5.5 per 100 000 people) were reported as of February 13, 2021. Elevated adjusted incidence and mortality RRs of COVID-19 were observed in prefectures with the lowest household income (incidence RR: 1.45 [95% CI, 1.43-1.48] and mortality RR: 1.81 [95% CI, 1.59-2.07]); highest proportion of the population receiving public assistance (1.55 [95% CI, 1.52-1.58] and 1.51 [95% CI, 1.35-1.69]); highest unemployment rate (1.56 [95% CI, 1.53-1.59] and 1.85 [95% CI, 1.65-2.09]); highest percentage of workers in retail industry (1.36 [95% CI, 1.34-1.38] and 1.45 [95% CI, 1.31-1.61]), transportation and postal industries (1.61 [95% CI, 1.57-1.64] and 2.55 [95% CI, 2.21-2.94]), and restaurant industry (2.61 [95% CI, 2.54-2.68] and 4.17 [95% CI, 3.48-5.03]); most household crowding (1.35 [95% CI, 1.31-1.38] and 1.04 [95% CI, 0.87-1.24]); highest smoking rate (1.63 [95% CI, 1.60-1.66] and 1.54 [95% CI, 1.33-1.78]); and highest obesity rate (0.93 [95% CI, 0.91-0.95] and 1.17 [95% CI, 1.01-1.34]) compared with prefectures with the most social advantages. Among potential mediating variables, higher smoking rate (RR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.33-1.78) and obesity rate (RR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.01-1.34) were associated with higher mortality RRs, even after adjusting for prefecture-level covariates and other socioeconomic variables. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This cross-sectional study found a pattern of socioeconomic disparities in COVID-19 outcomes in Japan that was similar to that observed in the US and Europe. National policy in Japan could consider prioritizing populations in socially disadvantaged regions in the COVID-19 response, such as vaccination planning, to address this pattern.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Status Disparities , Social Class , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Crowding , Educational Status , Employment , Family Characteristics , Female , Humans , Income , Japan , Male , Middle Aged , Obesity , Occupations , Pandemics , Public Assistance , SARS-CoV-2 , Smoking , Socioeconomic Factors , Young Adult
4.
BMC Med ; 19(1): 127, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249556

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Reducing poverty and improving access to health care are two of the most effective actions to decrease maternal mortality, and conditional cash transfer (CCT) programmes act on both. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of one of the world's largest CCT (the Brazilian Bolsa Familia Programme (BFP)) on maternal mortality during a period of 11 years. METHODS: The study had an ecological longitudinal design and used all 2548 Brazilian municipalities with vital statistics of adequate quality during 2004-2014. BFP municipal coverage was classified into four levels, from low to consolidated, and its duration effects were measured using the average municipal coverage of previous years. We used negative binomial multivariable regression models with fixed-effects specifications, adjusted for all relevant demographic, socioeconomic, and healthcare variables. RESULTS: BFP was significantly associated with reductions of maternal mortality proportionally to its levels of coverage and years of implementation, with a rate ratio (RR) reaching 0.88 (95%CI 0.81-0.95), 0.84 (0.75-0.96) and 0.83 (0.71-0.99) for intermediate, high and consolidated BFP coverage over the previous 11 years. The BFP duration effect was stronger among young mothers (RR 0.77; 95%CI 0.67-0.96). BFP was also associated with reductions in the proportion of pregnant women with no prenatal visits (RR 0.73; 95%CI 0.69-0.77), reductions in hospital case-fatality rate for delivery (RR 0.78; 95%CI 0.66-0.94) and increases in the proportion of deliveries in hospital (RR 1.05; 95%CI 1.04-1.07). CONCLUSION: Our findings show that a consolidated and durable CCT coverage could decrease maternal mortality, and these long-term effects are stronger among poor mothers exposed to CCT during their childhood and adolescence, suggesting a CCT inter-generational effect. Sustained CCT coverage could reduce health inequalities and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 3.1, and should be preserved during the current global economic crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Maternal Mortality/trends , Prenatal Care/economics , Primary Health Care/economics , Public Assistance/economics , Adolescent , Adult , Brazil , COVID-19/economics , Female , Financing, Government , Humans , Poverty/economics , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2
5.
J Gerontol Soc Work ; 64(6): 613-628, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196913

ABSTRACT

The novel COVID-19 pandemic and its containment measures such as lockdown and physical distancing are remarkedly affecting older adults' economic activities and well-being in ways deserving of urgent attention. To strengthen caregiving and promote targeted care for older adults during and after the pandemic, this paper investigates the impact of the coronavirus on the economic activities and well-being of older adults in Enugu and Anambra states, Nigeria. Hermeneutic phenomenology was adopted and 16 older adults aged between 60 and 81 years, with a majority of them still working as farmers and traders were phone-interviewed. Findings highlighted four key lessons for gerontological social workers including 1) the fear that impact of the containment measures could kill the older adults faster than the virus; 2) the measures generate a feeling of neglect and marginalization of healthcare needs among older adults; 3) altered positive health-seeking behavior among the older adults; 4) and concern about the absence of functional policy and plan to address the welfare of older adults. Therefore, the central focus of the gerontological social workers and Nigerian polity should not be on how to reduce the spread of the disease alone, but on an application of caution in instituting and implementing the measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/economics , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Fear , Female , Food Insecurity , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Male , Mental Health , Middle Aged , Nigeria/epidemiology , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , Public Assistance/organization & administration , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Workers/education , Socioeconomic Factors
6.
Lancet Psychiatry ; 8(4): 340-346, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1192378

ABSTRACT

Social protection measures can play an important part in securing livelihoods and in mitigating short-term and long-term economic, social, and mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, cash transfer programmes are currently being adapted or expanded in various low-income and middle-income countries to support individuals and families during the pandemic. We argue that the current crisis offers an opportunity for these programmes to focus on susceptible young people (aged 15-24 years), including those with mental health conditions. Young people living in poverty and with mental health problems are at particular risk of experiencing adverse health, wellbeing, and employment outcomes with long-term consequences. They are also at risk of developing mental health conditions during this pandemic. To support this population, cash transfer programmes should not only address urgent needs around food security and survival but expand their focus to address longer-term mental health impacts of pandemics and economic crises. Such an approach could help support young people's future life chances and break the vicious cycle between mental illness and poverty that spirals many young people into both socioeconomic and mental health disadvantage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Mental Disorders/prevention & control , Mental Health , Public Policy , Adolescent , Developing Countries , Government Programs , Humans , Mental Disorders/economics , Poverty , Public Assistance/economics , Young Adult
7.
Econ Hum Biol ; 41: 100997, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1141727

ABSTRACT

This study examines the effect of Income Support Programs (ISPs) on job search effort, work- place mobility, COVID-19 cases, and mortality growth rates. To identify ISPs' causal effect, I use the variation in their introductions' timing across countries and implement a difference-in-difference and multi-event analysis method. I find that ISPs led to a 4.4-8.29 percentage points reduction in workplace mobility and a 6.6-11.6 percentage points reduction in job search effort levels. They also caused a 21.8-47.7 and 17.1-29.7 percentage points reduction in the COVID-19 case growth rate and COVID-19 mortality growth rates, respectively. Using the event analysis estimates, I simulated the counterfactual job search effort, workplace mobility, and the number of COVID-19 cases and mortality without income support programs. The average global job search effort and workplace mobility without ISPs would have been 11.12 and 9.26 percent higher than the observed mean job search effort and workplace mobility. However, these would have come at the cost of 3.69 million and 166, 690 additional COVID-19 cases and mortality than the cases and deaths registered by May 15th.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Career Mobility , Income/statistics & numerical data , Public Assistance/statistics & numerical data , Workplace/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Am J Public Health ; 110(12): 1811-1813, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067489

ABSTRACT

Objectives. To examine public support for health insurance, income support, and unemployment policies during the initial phase of disease transmission and economic distress following the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak and to assess varying public support based on beliefs about the role of government.Methods. We fielded a nationally representative survey of US adults (n = 1468) from April 7, 2020, to April 13, 2020.Results. Of US adults, 77% supported paid sick leave, and a majority also supported universal health insurance, an increased minimum wage, and various unemployment support policies. Public support for an active government role in society to improve citizens' lives increased by 10 percentage points during this initial pandemic response relative to September 2019. Belief in a strong governmental role in society was associated with greater support for social safety-net policies.Conclusions. During the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in early April 2020, most US adults favored a range of safety-net policies to ameliorate its negative health and economic consequences. For most safety-net policies, public support was highest among those favoring a stronger governmental role in society.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Public Assistance/trends , Public Policy/trends , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sick Leave/economics , United States/epidemiology
11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(3)2021 01 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045435

ABSTRACT

It is crucial to understand how the most vulnerable populations have been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This paper intends to contextualize the experience of resettled refugees in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic, framing the issue for further study as the situation evolves. Based on the experience drawn from the first wave of the pandemic, the findings of this paper suggest that refugees in Canada encounter barriers to healthcare, economic support, education, social support, and border crossing impediments, all of which can have a compounding effect. These findings provide needed information to inform the development of effective policies and strategies to support refugees during health security emergencies in Canada.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Refugees , Canada/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Public Assistance , Social Support , Vulnerable Populations
12.
Psychiatry Res ; 296: 113669, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-989071

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to analyze the possible impacts on the prison population's mental health in the context of the new COVID-19 pandemic. Qualitative study was carried out following a lexical and content analysis using the software IRaMuTeQ, version 0.7 alpha 2, in the speech of the short communication and headlines from newspapers. Three groups emerged from the analysis: "spatial conditions for infection" (39.2% of the text segments); "disease outbreaks in prisons" (30,4%) and "public responsibility" (30,4%). Precarious conditions of prisons, high rate of infections and psychiatric illnesses, and lack of government assistance are issues that should be given special attention in order to formulate health promotion and prevention policies focusing on mental health in prison population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Prisoners/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/psychology , Comorbidity , Cross-Sectional Studies , Evaluation Studies as Topic , Health Promotion , Humans , Mental Disorders/prevention & control , Mental Disorders/psychology , Prisoners/psychology , Public Assistance , Risk Factors
13.
Isr J Health Policy Res ; 9(1): 54, 2020 10 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-883599

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The outbreak of a new Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) poses dramatic challenges to public health authorities worldwide. One measure put in place to contain the spread of the disease is self-quarantine of individuals who may have been exposed to the disease. While officials expect the public to comply with such regulation, studies suggest that a major obstacle to compliance for self-quarantine is concern over loss of income or employment due to the prolonged absence from work. METHODS: A cohort study of the adult population of Israel was conducted in two time points during the COVID-19 outbreak, the last week of February and the third week of March 2020, in order to assess public attitudes. In particular, public compliance rates to self-quarantine with and without State-sponsored compensation for lost wages were assessed. RESULTS: The results suggest that public attitudes changed as the threat increased, making people more compliant with regulations. In February 2020, compliance rate for self-quarantine dropped from 94% to less than 57% when monetary compensation for lost wages was removed; however, in March 2020 this drop became more moderate (from 96 to 71%). The multivariate logistic regression revealed that older, non-Jewish, worried over COVID-19, and trusting the Ministry of Health were more likely than their counterparts to comply with self-isolation, even when monetary compensation was not assumed. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the effects of threat on people's obedience with regulations, this study demonstrates that providing people with assurances about their livelihood during absence from work remains an important component in compliance with public health regulations.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Guideline Adherence/statistics & numerical data , Income , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Public Assistance/statistics & numerical data , Quarantine/legislation & jurisprudence , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Young Adult
14.
Pediatrics ; 146(4)2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-680619

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As the coronavirus disease pandemic spread across the United States and protective measures to mitigate its impact were enacted, parents and children experienced widespread disruptions in daily life. Our objective with this national survey was to determine how the pandemic and mitigation efforts affected the physical and emotional well-being of parents and children in the United States through early June 2020. METHODS: In June 2020, we conducted a national survey of parents with children age <18 to measure changes in health status, insurance status, food security, use of public food assistance resources, child care, and use of health care services since the pandemic began. RESULTS: Since March 2020, 27% of parents reported worsening mental health for themselves, and 14% reported worsening behavioral health for their children. The proportion of families with moderate or severe food insecurity increased from 6% before March 2020 to 8% after, employer-sponsored insurance coverage of children decreased from 63% to 60%, and 24% of parents reported a loss of regular child care. Worsening mental health for parents occurred alongside worsening behavioral health for children in nearly 1 in 10 families, among whom 48% reported loss of regular child care, 16% reported change in insurance status, and 11% reported worsening food security. CONCLUSIONS: The coronavirus disease pandemic has had a substantial tandem impact on parents and children in the United States. As policy makers consider additional measures to mitigate the health and economic effects of the pandemic, they should consider the unique needs of families with children.


Subject(s)
Child Health , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Mental Health , Parents/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Child , Child Care/psychology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Food Supply , Health Policy , Health Status , Health Surveys , Humans , Insurance Coverage , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Public Assistance , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
16.
Psychol Trauma ; 12(S1): S191-S192, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-607249

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is projected to cause an economic shock larger than the global financial crisis of 2007-2008 and a recession as great as anything seen since the Great Depression in 1930s. The social and economic consequences of lockdowns and social distancing measures, such as unemployment, broken relationships and homelessness, create potential for intergenerational trauma extending decades into the future. In this article, we argue that, in the absence of a vaccine, governments need to introduce universal basic income as a means of mitigating this trauma. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Economic Recession , Income , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Psychological Trauma , Public Assistance , Adult , COVID-19 , Homeless Persons , Humans , Psychological Trauma/economics , Psychological Trauma/etiology , Psychological Trauma/prevention & control , Public Assistance/economics , Unemployment
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