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1.
Nutrients ; 13(12)2021 Dec 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1554890

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased food insecurity worldwide, yet there has been limited assessment of shifts in the cost and affordability of healthy, equitable and sustainable diets. This study explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and income supplements provided by the Australian government on diet cost and affordability for low-income households in an Australian urban area. The Healthy Diets ASAP method protocol was applied to assess the cost and cost differential of current and recommended diets before (in 2019) and during the COVID-19 pandemic (late 2020) for households with a minimum-wage and welfare-only disposable household income, by area of socioeconomic disadvantage, in Greater Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Data were collected between August and October, 2020, from 78 food outlets and compared with data collected in the same locations between May and October, 2019, in an earlier study. The price of most healthy food groups increased significantly during the pandemic-with the exception of vegetables and legumes, which decreased. Conversely, the price of discretionary foods and drinks did not increase during the pandemic. The cost of the current and recommended diets significantly increased throughout this period, but the latter continued to be less expensive than the former. Due to income supplements provided between May and September 2020, the affordability of the recommended diet improved greatly, by 27% and 42%, for households with minimum-wage and welfare-only disposable household income, respectively. This improvement in the affordability of the recommended diet highlights the need to permanently increase welfare support for low-income families to ensure food security.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diet, Healthy/economics , Food Insecurity/economics , Income , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Queensland/epidemiology
2.
Arch Phys Med Rehabil ; 103(3): 418-423, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509567

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To explore patients' thoughts and satisfaction with using videoconferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The current study aimed to gather (1) patient feedback and satisfaction with videoconferencing across all health professions as well as divided into a subgroup for each profession, (2) patient preferences for either videoconference or face-to-face consultations during the pandemic lockdown, and (3) whether patients would consider using videoconferencing once face-to-face appointments were available. DESIGN: An observational cross-sectional, mixed methods study design. SETTING: Tertiary-level persistent pain center. PARTICIPANTS: Sixty-five patients aged 18 to 85 years with persistent pain lasting more than 12 months. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Data were collected using a patient survey. Descriptive statistics were used to report findings from 5-point Likert scales. Qualitative analysis was guided by content analysis to organize and categorize the open-ended survey response text. RESULTS: Videoconferencing platform features including audiovisual, usability, and privacy worked well for most patients (≥90%). Two-thirds of those surveyed reported the videoconferencing sessions as equal to face-to-face attendance (68%). In the context of the pandemic, almost as many preferred videoconferencing (65%), whereas 26% preferred face-to-face attendance and 9% were unsure. Preferences for videoconferencing over face-to-face in context to the pandemic varied depending on the health discipline involved: pharmacy (83%), occupational therapy (78%), psychology (61%), pain specialist physician (59%), and physiotherapy (53%). Even outside of a pandemic situation, 80% would consider using videoconferencing in the future. Qualitative analysis on an open-ended question asking patients for any further comments regarding their experience with the videoconference consultation, found 3 main categories: (1) overall satisfaction with videoconferencing, (2) technology qualities and (3) clinical interaction. CONCLUSION: In the context of a pandemic, videoconferencing for interdisciplinary persistent pain management services was effective and preferred, and most patients would continue its use into the future. Alternative or mixed modes of support may be needed for the 26% who currently prefer onsite attendance, when that mode of delivery is not available.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Pain Management/methods , Pain/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Videoconferencing , Comorbidity , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Preference , Physical Therapy Modalities , Qualitative Research , Queensland/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Telemedicine/methods
3.
Elife ; 102021 08 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1513067

ABSTRACT

Identifying the key vector and host species that drive the transmission of zoonotic pathogens is notoriously difficult but critical for disease control. We present a nested approach for quantifying the importance of host and vectors that integrates species' physiological competence with their ecological traits. We apply this framework to a medically important arbovirus, Ross River virus (RRV), in Brisbane, Australia. We find that vertebrate hosts with high physiological competence are not the most important for community transmission; interactions between hosts and vectors largely underpin the importance of host species. For vectors, physiological competence is highly important. Our results identify primary and secondary vectors of RRV and suggest two potential transmission cycles in Brisbane: an enzootic cycle involving birds and an urban cycle involving humans. The framework accounts for uncertainty from each fitted statistical model in estimates of species' contributions to transmission and has has direct application to other zoonotic pathogens.


Subject(s)
Alphavirus Infections/virology , Birds/virology , Culicidae/virology , Disease Reservoirs/virology , Disease Vectors , Ross River virus/pathogenicity , Viral Zoonoses , Alphavirus Infections/transmission , Animals , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Models, Biological , Queensland , Virulence
4.
BMJ Open ; 11(11): e047887, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511470

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Alcohol use in patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) is a significant problem in many countries. There is a need for valid and reliable surveillance of the prevalence of alcohol use in patients presenting to the ED, to provide a more complete picture of the risk factors and inform targeted public health interventions. This PACE study will use two biomarkers, blood ethanol and phosphatidylethanol (PEth), to determine the patterns, presence and level of alcohol use in patients presenting to an Australian ED. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is an observational prevalence study involving the secondary use of routinely collected blood samples from patients presenting to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (RBWH) Emergency and Trauma Centre (ETC). Samples will be tested for acute and medium-term alcohol intake using the two biomarkers blood ethanol and PEth respectively, over one collection period of 10-12 days. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages, means, SD, medians and IQRs, will be used to describe the prevalence, pattern and distribution of acute and medium-term alcohol intake in the study sample. The correlation between acute and medium-term alcohol intake levels will also be examined. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has been approved by the RBWH Human Research Ethics Committee (reference, LNR/2019/QRBW/56859). Findings will be disseminated to key stakeholders such as RBWH ETC, Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Statewide Clinical Networks, and used to inform clinicians and hospital services. Findings will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals and presentation at appropriate conferences.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking , Ethanol , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Australia/epidemiology , Biomarkers , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Glycerophospholipids , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic , Prevalence , Queensland/epidemiology
5.
Aust N Z J Public Health ; 46(1): 10-15, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467533

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To determine if non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) impacted on respiratory virus detections in Queensland, Australia, during the COVID-19 pandemic year of 2020. METHODS: We analysed weekly counts of influenza, human metapneumovirus, parainfluenza, respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus, and adenovirus available from a Queensland laboratory network for the year 2020. These were compared with averaged counts from 2015 to 2019. RESULTS: Overall, 686,199 tests were performed. The timing of NPI implementation was associated with a sharp and sustained decline in influenza, where during the typical annual influenza season (weeks 23-40) no cases were detected from 163,296 tests compared with an average of 26.1% (11,844/45,396) of tests positive in 2015-2019. Similar results were observed for human metapneumovirus and parainfluenza. Respiratory syncytial virus detections also declined but increased in weeks 48-52 (5.6%; 562/10,078) to exceed the 2015-2019 average (2.9%; 150/5,018). Rhinovirus detections increased after schools reopened, peaking in weeks 23-27 (57.4%; 36,228/63,115), exceeding the 2017-2019 detections during that period (21.9%; 8,365/38,072). CONCLUSIONS: NPIs implemented to control COVID-19 were associated with altered frequency and proportions of respiratory virus detections. Implications for public health: NPIs derived from influenza pandemic plans were associated with profound decreases in influenza detections during 2020.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Respiratory Tract Infections , Australia , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Pandemics , Queensland/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/diagnosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Aust N Z J Public Health ; 45(5): 430-436, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450514

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the admission characteristics and hospital outcomes for patients admitted with lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) in Northern Queensland. METHODS: We perform a retrospective analysis of the data covering an 11-year period, 2006-2016. Length of hospital stay (LOS) is modelled by negative binomial regression and heterogeneous effects are checked using interaction terms. RESULTS: A total of 11,726 patients were admitted due to LRTI; 2,430 (20.9%) were of Indigenous descent. We found higher hospitalisations due to LRTI for Indigenous than non-Indigenous patients, with a disproportionate increase in hospitalisations occurring during winter. The LOS for Indigenous patients was higher by 2.5 days [95%CI: -0.15; 5.05] than for non-Indigenous patients. The average marginal effect of 17.5 [95%CI: 15.3; 29.7] implies that the LOS for a patient, who was admitted to ICU, was higher by 17.5 days. CONCLUSIONS: We highlighted the increased burden of LRTIs experienced by Indigenous populations, with this information potentially being useful for enhancing community-level policy making. Implications for public health: Future guidelines can use these results to make recommendations for preventative measures in Indigenous communities. Improvements in engagement and partnership with Indigenous communities and consumers can help increase healthcare uptake and reduce the burden of respiratory diseases.


Subject(s)
Hospitalization , Respiratory Tract Infections , Humans , Length of Stay , Queensland/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies
7.
Commun Dis Intell (2018) ; 452021 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444670

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To date, there are limited Australian data on characteristics of people diagnosed with COVID-19 and on how these characteristics relate to outcomes. The ATHENA COVID-19 Study was established to describe health outcomes and investigate predictors of outcomes for all people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Queensland by linking COVID-19 notification, hospital, general practice and death registry data. This paper reports on the establishment and first findings for the ATHENA COVID-19 Study. METHODS: Part 1 of the ATHENA COVID-19 Study used Notifiable Conditions System data from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020, linked to: Emergency Department Collection data for the same period; Queensland Health Admitted Patient Data Collections (from 1 January 2010 to 30 January 2021); and Deaths Registrations data (from 1 January 2020 to 17 January 2021). RESULTS: To 31 December 2020, a total of 1,254 people had been diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection in Queensland: half were female (49.8%); two-thirds (67.7%) were aged 20-59 years; and there was an over-representation of people living in less-disadvantaged areas. More than half of people diagnosed (57.6%) presented to an ED; 21.2% were admitted to hospital as an inpatient (median length of stay 11 days); 1.4% were admitted to an intensive care unit (82.4% of these required ventilation); and there were six deaths. Analysis of factors associated with these outcomes was limited due to small case numbers: people living in less-disadvantaged areas had a lower risk of being admitted to hospital (test for trend, p < 0.001), while those living in more remote areas were less likely than people living in major cities to present to an ED (test for trend: p=0.007), which may reflect differential health care access rather than health outcomes per se. Increasing age (test for trend, p < 0.001) and being a current/recent smoker (age-sex-adjusted relative risk: 1.61; 95% confidence interval: 1.00, 2.61) were associated with a higher risk of being admitted to hospital. CONCLUSION: Despite uncertainty in our estimates due to small numbers, our findings are consistent with what is known about COVID-19. Our findings reinforce the value of linking multiple data sources to enhance reporting of outcomes for people diagnosed with COVID-19 and provide a platform for longer term follow-up.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Hospitalization , Hospitals , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Queensland/epidemiology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Young Adult
8.
Australas Psychiatry ; 30(1): 18-22, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438215

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To guide the efficient and effective provision of mental health services to clients in Central West and Far North Queensland, we surveyed preferences for face-to-face or in-person contact. METHODS: A clinician-designed survey of contact preferences was offered to 248 clients of mental health services in Far North and Central West Queensland in mid-2020. With the onset of COVID-19, the survey was modified to measure the impact of the pandemic. RESULTS: Just over half of the services' clients participated in the survey (50.4%), of whom more were female (63.2%). Of the participants, 46.3% in Far North and 8.6% in Central West Queensland identified as Indigenous. Strong resistance to telehealth before the pandemic across groups (76%) was moderated during COVID-19 (42.4%), an effect that appeared likely to continue past the pandemic for Central West clients (34.5%). Far North clients indicated their telehealth reluctance would return after the pandemic (77.6%). CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that remote Australians strongly prefer in-person mental health care to telehealth. Although the COVID-19 pandemic increased acceptance of telehealth across regions while social distancing continued, there was evidence that Indigenous Australians were more likely to prefer in-person contact after the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Mental Health , Telemedicine , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Queensland , Referral and Consultation , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/methods
10.
Int J Equity Health ; 20(1): 153, 2021 06 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388768

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Poor diet is the leading preventable risk factor contributing to the burden of disease globally and in Australia, and is inequitably distributed. As the price of healthy foods is a perceived barrier to improved diets, evidence on the cost and affordability of current (unhealthy) and recommended (healthy, more equitable and sustainable) diets is required to support policy action. METHODS: This study applied the Healthy Diets ASAP (Australian Standardised Affordability and Pricing) methods protocol to measure the cost, cost differential and affordability of current and recommended diets for a reference household in Queensland, Australia. Food prices were collected in 18 randomly selected locations stratified by area of socioeconomic disadvantage and remoteness. Diet affordability was calculated for three income categories. RESULTS: Surprisingly, recommended diets would cost 20% less than the current diet in Queensland as a whole. Households spent around 60% of their food budget on discretionary choices (that is, those not required for health that are high in saturated fat, added sugar, salt and/or alcohol). Queensland families would need to spend around 23% of their income on recommended diets. However, recommended diets would not be affordable in low socioeconomic or very remote areas, costing 30 and 35% of median household income respectively. The government supplements due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic would improve affordability of recommended diets by 29%. CONCLUSIONS: Study findings highlight that while price is one factor affecting consumer food choice, other drivers such as taste, convenience, advertising and availability are important. Nevertheless, the study found that recommended diets would be unaffordable in very remote areas, and that low-income families are likely experiencing food stress, irrespective of where they live in Queensland. Policy actions, such as increasing to 20% the current 10% tax differential between basic healthy, and unhealthy foods in Australia, and supplementing incomes of vulnerable households, especially in remote areas, are recommended to help improve diet equity and sustainability, and health and wellbeing for all.


Subject(s)
Costs and Cost Analysis/statistics & numerical data , Diet, Healthy/economics , Diet/economics , Poverty Areas , Rural Population , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Female , Food Preferences , Health Equity , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Queensland
11.
Med Teach ; 44(1): 87-94, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1377938

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The Queensland Basic Paediatric Training Network (QBPTN) is the centralised pathway for entry into paediatric training in Queensland, Australia. In response to COVID-19 travel and social distancing restrictions imposed in 2020, QBPTN successfully adopted a Virtual Multiple Mini Interviews (vMMIs) model for the selection of candidates for entry into paediatric training. The authors describe the planning, implementation, challenges, and evaluation of candidates' and interviewers' experiences of vMMIs, including the differences between candidates from two geographical areas. METHODS: The contents of six vMMI stations were similar to face-to-face MMI. Implementation required the identification of ZOOMTM as a preferred online platform, securing venues, communication, development of contingency plans and central coordination by the network. Candidates' experiences with vMMI were explored through thematic analysis of the qualitative data from focus groups and free text responses, and descriptive analysis of SurveyMonkey© questionnaire responses. Experiences between 'metropolitan' and 'regional and interstate' candidates were compared. RESULTS: 5-minute stations with 2-minute pre-reading were used. 78 candidates and 14 interviewers participated in the selection process. All candidates attended the focus group. 58.7% of candidates responded to post vMMI questionnaire. 93% of survey responders were happy to undertake vMMI in the future, with 23% feeling they would have performed better in face-to-face. Experiences between 'metropolitan' and 'other' groups were similar. Positive experiences of participants were related to the user-friendly IT platform, successful pre-interview communications, preparation, convenience, time, and cost savings. Stress related IT failures and difficulties establishing rapport with interviewers were reported as the main negative experiences. CONCLUSION: 'vMMI' is a feasible and acceptable method of selection into paediatric training. vMMI has many benefits and can be implemented relatively quickly by addressing key logistical requirements. The model under discussion could be adapted by other centres based on local needs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , School Admission Criteria , Child , Humans , Queensland , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
12.
J Adolesc ; 91: 110-118, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340503

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 has resulted in major life changes to the majority of the world population, particularly adolescents, with social-distancing measures such as home-based schooling likely to impact sleep quality. Increased worry is also likely considering the substantial financial, educational and health concerns accompanying COVID-19. White matter (WM) integrity has been shown to be associated with anxiety and depression symptoms, including worry, as well being closely associated with sleep quality. This study aimed to investigate the associations between pre-COVID sleep quality, WM structural integrity and levels of worry and rumination about COVID. METHODS: N = 30 adolescent participants from Queensland, Australia, completed diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) scanning pre-COVID, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) pre and during COVID, and 9 items designed to measure 3 constructs, perceived impact of COVID, general worry, and COVID-specific worry and rumination. RESULTS: Sleep quality (PSQI total) was significantly poorer during COVID compared with pre-COVID. Sleep onset latency measured pre-COVID was significantly associated with COVID-specific worry and rumination. While the structural integrity of a number of WM tracts (measured pre-COVID) were found to be significantly associated with COVID-specific worry and rumination. Follow-up regression analysis using a model including pre-COVID sleep onset latency, structural integrity of the posterior limb of the internal capsule (PLIC), gender and change in PSQI explained a significant 47% of the variance in COVID-specific worry and rumination. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that adolescents with poor sleep quality and perturbed WM integrity may be at risk of heightened reactivity to future stressful events and interventions should focus on improving sleep onset latency.


Subject(s)
Anxiety , COVID-19 , Pandemics , Sleep , White Matter , Adolescent , Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Diffusion Tensor Imaging , Humans , Predictive Value of Tests , Queensland/epidemiology , White Matter/diagnostic imaging
13.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 21(1): 732, 2021 Jul 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322937

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pandemics such as COVID-19 are a serious public health risk for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, yet primary healthcare systems are not well resourced to respond to such urgent events. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a federal government advisory group recommended a rapid, tailored Indigenous response to prevent predicted high morbidity and mortality rates. This paper examines the efforts of one ACCHO, which in the absence of dedicated funding, pivoted its operations in response to COVID-19. Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service (Gurriny) is the only primary healthcare service in the discrete Indigenous community of Yarrabah, Far North Queensland. METHODS: The research was conducted at the request of the Chief Executive Officer of Gurriny. Using grounded theory methods, thirteen Gurriny staff and five Yarrabah and government leaders and community members were interviewed, transcripts of these interviews and 59 documents were imported into NVIVO-12 and coded, and key concepts were compared, organised into higher order constructs, then structured into a theoretical framework. RESULTS: Gurriny responded to COVID-19 by leading with local solutions to keep Yarrabah safe. Four key strategies were implemented: managing the health service operations, realigning services, educating and supporting community, and working across agencies. These strategies were enabled or hindered by five conditions: the governance and leadership capacity of Gurriny, relying on the health taskforce, locking the door, "copping it", and (not) having resources. A year after the first case was experienced in Australia and on the eve of vaccine rollout to Indigenous communities, there have been no COVID-19 cases in Yarrabah. DISCUSSION: The success of the locally led, holistic, comprehensive and culturally safe response of Gurriny suggests that such tailored place-based approaches to pandemics (and other health issues) are appropriate, but require dedicated resourcing. Key challenges were the fragmented and rapidly changing government processes, poorly coordinated communication and resource allocation channels, and bottlenecks in hierarchical funding approval processes. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 response in Yarrabah demonstrates the need for governance reform towards greater resourcing and support for local decision making by Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Services, Indigenous , Australia , Grounded Theory , Humans , Pandemics , Public Health , Queensland , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Viruses ; 13(6)2021 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273518

ABSTRACT

We describe the impact of COVID-19 mitigation measures on mosquito-borne diseases in Queensland, Australia, during the first half of 2020. Implementation of restrictions coincided with an atypical late season outbreak of Ross River virus (RRV) characterized by a peak in notifications in April (1173) and May (955) which were greater than 3-fold the mean observed for the previous four years. We propose that limitations on human movement likely resulted in the majority of RRV infections being acquired at or near the place of residence, and that an increase in outdoor activities, such as gardening and bushwalking in the local household vicinity, increased risk of exposure to RRV-infected mosquitoes. In contrast, the precipitous decline in international passenger flights led to a reduction in the number of imported dengue and malaria cases of over 70% and 60%, respectively, compared with the previous five years. This substantial reduction in flights also reduced a risk pathway for importation of exotic mosquitoes, but the risk posed by importation via sea cargo was not affected. Overall, the emergence of COVID-19 has had a varied impact on mosquito-borne disease epidemiology in Queensland, but the need for mosquito surveillance and control, together with encouragement of personal protective measures, remains unchanged.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Population Surveillance , Vector Borne Diseases/epidemiology , Alphavirus Infections/epidemiology , Alphavirus Infections/transmission , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Culicidae/virology , Disease Outbreaks/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Movement , Queensland/epidemiology , Travel , Vector Borne Diseases/prevention & control , Vector Borne Diseases/transmission
15.
Aust N Z J Public Health ; 45(4): 344-347, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1221531

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We report a survey in regional Queensland to understand the reasons for suboptimal uptake of the COVIDSafe app. METHODS: A short five-minute electronic survey disseminated to healthcare professionals, mining groups and school communities in the Central Queensland region. Free text responses and their topics were modelled using natural language processing and a latent Dirichlet model. RESULTS: We received a total of 723 responses; of these, 69% had downloaded the app and 31% had not. The respondents' reasons for not downloading the app were grouped under four topics: lack of perceived risk of COVID-19/lack of perceived need and privacy issues; phone-related issues; tracking and misuse of data; and trust, security and credibility. Among the 472 people who downloaded the app and provided text amenable to text mining, the two topics most commonly listed were: to assist with contact tracing; and to return to normal. CONCLUSIONS: This survey of a regional population found that lack of perceived need, concerns around privacy and technical difficulties were the major barriers to users downloading the application. Implications for public health: Health promotion campaigns aimed at increasing the uptake of the COVIDSafe app should focus on promoting how the app will assist with contact tracing to help return to 'normal'. Additionally, health promotors should address the app's impacts on privacy, people's lack of perceived need for the app and technical barriers.


Subject(s)
Attitude to Computers , COVID-19/prevention & control , Confidentiality/psychology , Data Accuracy , Mobile Applications/statistics & numerical data , Preventive Medicine/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Queensland , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
16.
BMJ Open ; 11(5): e044655, 2021 05 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219278

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Sars-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 officially declared pandemic in March 2020. Health systems worldwide responded with swift changes to increase workflow capacity while protecting the vulnerable, including those with cancer. This led to unprecedented and rapid restructuring of health service provision. Published data from the 2003 SARS pandemic focuses on medical and nursing staff, overlooking other departmental employees such as administration officers or food service workers. Our protocol aims to document directives and adjustments communicated to staff in two cancer care departments and correlate this with measures of distress and perceived preparedness across the spectrum of all staff involved in cancer care. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We use a semiqualitative approach comprising weekly diarising of events and simultaneous staff surveys. Principal investigators will document changes at a metropolitan quaternary cancer centre and a regional cancer centre. Communications, directives and changes will be diarised in real time in four executional domains. Simultaneously, prospective voluntary self-administered online surveys will be conducted at regular intervals by staff. The survey assesses the perceived institutional preparedness and personal well-being, with a combination of Likert scaled and open response questions. A semiquantitative self-assessment of distress adapted from National Comprehensive Cancer Network distress thermometer is incorporated. Additionally, open-text personal reflections on themes including difficult decisions will be invited. Survey participants will be drawn from various work areas of the cancer care departments: administrative staff, health professionals, for example, allied health, ancillary workers, nursing and medical. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study has been reviewed and approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee (LNR/2020/QRBW/62982). Published literature on domains of distress neglects categories of healthcare worker who form an essential part of the care delivery team. Our study hopes to gather insights about psychosocial impact and adjustment which could direct responses in future emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Australia , Humans , Perception , Prospective Studies , Queensland , SARS-CoV-2 , Workforce
18.
Science ; 372(6539)2021 04 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201427

ABSTRACT

Animals in the wild are able to subsist on pathogen-infected and poisonous food and show immunity to various diseases. These may be due to their microbiota, yet we have a poor understanding of animal microbial diversity and function. We used metagenomics to analyze the gut microbiota of more than 180 species in the wild, covering diverse classes, feeding behaviors, geographies, and traits. Using de novo metagenome assembly, we constructed and functionally annotated a database of more than 5000 genomes, comprising 1209 bacterial species of which 75% are unknown. The microbial composition, diversity, and functional content exhibit associations with animal taxonomy, diet, activity, social structure, and life span. We identify the gut microbiota of wild animals as a largely untapped resource for the discovery of therapeutics and biotechnology applications.


Subject(s)
Animals, Wild/microbiology , Bacteria , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Genome, Bacterial , Metagenome , Animals , Animals, Wild/classification , Animals, Wild/physiology , Bacteria/classification , Bacteria/genetics , Bacteria/isolation & purification , Bacterial Toxins/metabolism , Behavior, Animal , Biodiversity , Databases, Nucleic Acid , Diet , Ecosystem , Falkland Islands , Feces/microbiology , Host Microbial Interactions , Israel , Madagascar , Metagenomics , Peptide Hydrolases/genetics , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , Phylogeny , Queensland , Uganda
19.
BMJ Open ; 11(4): e042475, 2021 04 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186290

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are vital for the delivery of medical therapies, but up to 30% of PICCs are associated with complications such as deep vein thrombosis or infection. The integration of antimicrobial and hydrophobic catheter materials, and pressure-activated valves, into polyurethane PICCs are innovations designed to prevent infective and/or thrombotic complications. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A multicentre, parallel group, superiority randomised controlled trial with two experimental arms ((1) hydrophobic PICC (with pressure-activated valve); (2) chlorhexidine gluconate-impregnated PICC (with external clamp)) and one control group ((3) conventional polyurethane PICC (with external clamp)). Recruitment of 1098 adult and paediatric patients will take place over 2 years at three tertiary-referral hospitals in Queensland, Australia. Patients are eligible for inclusion if their PICC is to be inserted for medical treatment, with a vascular size sufficient to support a 4-Fr PICC or larger, and with informed consent. The primary outcome is PICC failure, a composite of thrombotic (venous thrombosis, breakage and occlusion) and infective complications (PICC-associated bloodstream infection and local infection). Secondary outcomes include: all-cause PICC complication; thrombotic complications; infective complications; adverse events (local or systemic reaction); PICC dwell time; patient/parent satisfaction; and healthcare costs. Differences between both intervention groups and the control group will be compared using Cox proportional hazards regression. Effect estimates will be presented as HRs with corresponding 95% CI. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval from Queensland Health (HREC/QCHQ/48682) and Griffith University (Ref. No. 2019/094). Results will be published. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ACTRN12619000022167.


Subject(s)
Catheter-Related Infections , Catheterization, Central Venous , Catheterization, Peripheral , Central Venous Catheters , Adult , Australia , Catheter-Related Infections/prevention & control , Catheterization, Central Venous/adverse effects , Catheterization, Peripheral/adverse effects , Central Venous Catheters/adverse effects , Child , Humans , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Queensland , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Risk Factors
20.
J Agromedicine ; 25(4): 402-408, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174768

ABSTRACT

Australia and with that Queensland have been extremely fortunate with the impact of COVID-19. Queensland has only had 1,067 cases as of June 30, 2020, of which 78% have been overseas acquired. Australia and Queensland acted early to address COVID-19 by putting in place a range of strategies including travel bans (international and domestic), isolation measures, testing regimes, advice to business, economic support, and research funding. Agriculture was designated an essential business and as such has continued operating throughout the pandemic. They have however had to develop and implement COVID plans to keep workers safe. To help agricultural business establish plans information was developed by Safe Work Australia, National Farmers Federation and the Queensland Department of Workplace Health and Safety. Workforce issues were identified early, particularly seasonal workers (those who travel from their usual place of residence to another place to work). The Queensland Government enacted a directive about how seasonal workers were to be managed and also developed a guide specifically for horticulture to help manage their COVID-19 response. We provide two case studies demonstrating how agriculture has responded to COVID-19. Agriculture has successfully, in Queensland, adapted quickly to the changing work conditions due to COVID-19. This is due to all levels of government coming together with industry to find solutions. Some changes have had wider benefits such as improved sanitation, better communication and a greater recognition of seasonal worker needs. Being prepared and resilient has enabled agriculture to alleviate the impact on their businesses ensuring the health of all.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Horticulture , Occupational Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Farmers/statistics & numerical data , Horticulture/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Queensland/epidemiology , Resilience, Psychological
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