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1.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(11): e42839, 2022 Nov 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109581

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Following the Riyadh Declaration, digital health technologies were prioritized in many countries to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital health apps for telemedicine and video consultations help reduce potential disease spread in routine health care, including follow-up care in orthopedic and trauma surgery. In addition to the satisfaction, efficiency, and safety of telemedicine, its economic and environmental effects are highly relevant to decision makers, particularly for the goal of reaching carbon neutrality of health care systems. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to provide the first comprehensive health economic and environmental analysis of video consultations in follow-up care after knee and shoulder interventions in an orthopedic and trauma surgery department of a German university hospital. The analysis is conducted from a societal perspective. We analyze both economic and environmental impacts of video consultations, taking into account the goal of carbon neutrality for the German health care system by 2030. METHODS: We conducted a prospective randomized controlled trial comparing follow-up care with digital health app video consultations (intervention group) to conventional face-to-face consultations in the clinic (control group). Economic impact included the analysis of travel and time costs and production losses. Examination of the environmental impact comprised the emissions of greenhouse gases, carbon monoxide, volatile hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and particulates, and the calculation of environmental costs. Sensitivity analysis included calculations with a higher cost per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent, which gives equal weight to the welfare of present and future generations. RESULTS: Data from 52 patients indicated that, from the patients' point of view, telemedicine helped reduce travel costs, time costs, and production losses, resulting in mean cost savings of €76.52 per video consultation. In addition, emissions of 11.248 kg of greenhouse gases, 0.070 kg of carbon monoxide, 0.011 kg of volatile hydrocarbons, 0.028 kg of nitrogen oxides, and 0.0004 kg of particulates could be saved per patient through avoided travel. This resulted in savings of environmental costs between €3.73 and €9.53 per patient. CONCLUSIONS: We presented the first comprehensive analysis of economic and environmental effects of telemedicine in the follow-up care of patients in orthopedic and trauma surgery in Germany. Video consultations were found to reduce the environmental footprint of follow-up care; saved travel costs, travel time, and time costs for patients; and helped to lower production losses. Our findings can support the decision-making on the use of digital health during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, providing decision makers with data for both economic and environmental effects. Thanks to the pragmatic design of our study, our findings can be applied to a wide range of clinical contexts and potential digital health applications that substitute outpatient hospital visits with video consultations. TRIAL REGISTRATION: German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00023445; https://tinyurl.com/4pcvhz4n.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Greenhouse Gases , Mobile Applications , Telemedicine , Humans , Aftercare , COVID-19/prevention & control , Carbon Monoxide , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , Referral and Consultation , Telemedicine/methods , Germany , Environment
2.
BMC Musculoskelet Disord ; 23(1): 968, 2022 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2108764

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Video consultations have proven to be a powerful support tool for patient-doctor interactions in general, not only during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study analyzed the feasibility and usefulness of orthopedic telemedical consultations (OTCs) for orthopedic patients at the interface of a clinic and general practitioners. METHODS: The study was carried out at an orthopedic department of a German hospital between April 2020 and October 2020. After written informed consent was obtained, general practitioners (GPs) of a large adjunct health region could present their patients with orthopedic pathologies to specialists at the hospital via OTCs instead of the usual live consultation (LC). The patients, specialists and GPs were evaluated for their OTC experience and attitude (5-point Likert-scale and open questions, 19 to 27 items). RESULTS: A total of 89 video consultations took place with 76 patients, 16 GPs and six specialists. The average distance between the GPs/patients and the hospital was 141.9 km. The OTCs were rated as pleasant, and the experience was rated as very satisfying (average Likert-Scale rating, with 5 as strong agreement: specialists = 4.8; GPs = 4.9; patients = 4.7). Following the OTC, a LC was not necessary in 76.4% of cases. Patients with a necessary LC after an OTC showed significantly lower satisfaction with the OTC (p = 0.005). Time savings, the elimination of travel and quick contact with orthopedic consultants were positively highlighted by the participants. A total of 123 recommendations for further treatment were given, such as the initiation of physiotherapy/medication and the use of imaging diagnostics. Different technical and organizational challenges could be identified and addressed. DISCUSSION: The vast majority of the participants stated they had a very positive impression. In particular, the potential savings in travel and time as well as straightforward contact with specialists were rated positively. However, limitations in the assessment of initial presentations of complex medical conditions were also highlighted. Further studies on OTCs with a consultative health professional may show other fields of use for this mode of interdisciplinary remote communication.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practitioners , Telemedicine , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/therapy , Referral and Consultation
3.
J Telemed Telecare ; 28(10): 733-739, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2108475

ABSTRACT

In Australia, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the exponential growth in the delivery of telehealth services. Medicare data indicates that the majority of telehealth consultations have used the telephone, despite the known benefits of using video. The aim of this study was to understand the perceived quality and effectiveness of in-person, telephone and videoconsultations for cancer care. Data was collected via online surveys with consumers (n = 1162) and health professionals (n = 59), followed by semi-structured interviews with telehealth experienced health professionals (n = 22) and consumers (n = 18). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and significance was tested using the chi-square test. A framework analysis and thematic analysis were used for qualitative data. Results indicate telehealth is suitable for use across the cancer care pathway. However, consumers and health professionals perceived videoconsultations facilitated visual communication and improved patients' quality of care. The telephone was appropriate for short transactional consultations such as repeat prescriptions. Consumers were rarely given the choice of consultation modality. The choice of modality depended on a range of factors such as the type of consultation and stage of cancer care. Hybrid models of care utilising in-person, video and telephone should be developed and requires further guidance to promote the adoption of telehealth in cancer care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Telemedicine , Aged , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Pandemics , Referral and Consultation , Telephone , National Health Programs , Telemedicine/methods , Neoplasms/therapy
4.
J Telemed Telecare ; 28(10): 726-732, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2108473

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for the introduction of additional telehealth funding (telehealth item numbers) for general practitioner (GP) consultations through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) in Australia. This study evaluated the impact of telehealth funding on costs to the MBS for GP consultations from January 2017 to December 2021. An interrupted time series analysis assessed MBS costs (initial and monthly growth) for GP consultations (in-person, videoconference, telephone) before and after additional telehealth item numbers were introduced. From January 2017 to February 2020, total MBS costs for GP consultations were, on average, $545 million per month compared to $592 million per month from March 2020 to December 2021. There was an initial cost increase of approximately $39 million in the first month after additional telehealth funding was introduced (p = 0.0001). Afterwards, there was no significant change in monthly costs (p = 0.539). The introduction of additional MBS telehealth funding increased overall MBS costs for GP consultations. This increased cost for GP telehealth services could save costs to society if it translates into improved continuity of care, decreased hospitalisations, reduced productivity losses and improved patient outcomes. Future policy reform should incorporate a cost-benefit analysis to determine if increased MBS costs for GP consultations are a good investment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practitioners , Telemedicine , Aged , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , National Health Programs , Referral and Consultation
5.
Iran J Med Sci ; 47(6): 577-587, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2100904

ABSTRACT

Background: Transplanted patients receiving immunosuppressive agents are at a higher risk of Coronavirus-disease-2019 (COVID-19), and their polypharmacy state makes the choice of treatment challenging. This study aimed to assess the drug-related problems (DRP) and clinical pharmacists' interventions to manage transplanted patients and candidates for transplantation with COVID-19. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the COVID-19 intensive care unit of Shiraz Organ Transplantation Center (Iran), from March 2020 to April 2021. Patients were admitted to the COVID-19 intensive care unit based on clinical symptoms or positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. The clinical pharmacist reviewed all medications and physicians' orders on a daily basis and evaluated DRPs in accordance with the pharmaceutical care network of Europe (PCNE) classification (V 8.01). The treatment team was informed of the DRPs, and the acceptance or rejection of the intervention was also documented. Data were analyzed using SPSS (Version 25.0). In order to determine the proportion and determinants of drug-related problems, descriptive statistics and logistic regression were applied, respectively. Results: A clinical pharmacist reviewed 631 individuals with 11770 medication orders, and 639 DRPs were found in 69% of them with an average of 1.01±1 per patient. The most commonly reported DRPs were treatment efficacy issues followed by adverse drug reactions (ADRs). A total of 982 interventions were provided at prescriber, patient, and drug levels, of which 801 were accepted, and 659 (82.27%) were fully implemented. Conclusion: There have been considerable drug-related issues in managing transplanted patients with COVID-19. DRPs are more common in people with polypharmacy, more than three comorbidities, and hydroxychloroquine regimens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Organ Transplantation , Humans , Cross-Sectional Studies , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , Iran/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation
6.
Bull World Health Organ ; 100(11): 669-675, 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2099030

ABSTRACT

Objective: To describe the Family and Community Physiotherapist model, which aims to incorporate rehabilitation services within primary health care in Tuscany, Italy. Methods: The Department of Health Professions of the Central Tuscany local health authority designed the model during 2020-2021. We describe the four phases of the organizational case study implementation of the model, namely: (i) analysis of the political and organizational framework, as well as determination of changing health-care needs; (ii) model co-design and training of multiprofessional health-care workers (local general practitioners, physiatrists and geriatricians); (iii) delivery and surveillance of rehabilitation services; and (iv) evaluation. Findings: During the initial roll-out of the project in April-December 2021, general practitioners referred 165 patients with a mean age of 83.7 years (standard deviation: 11.1) to the Family and Community Physiotherapist. Interventions were mainly activated for patients with comorbidities (64/165; 38.8%), followed by those with long-term immobilization issues (36/165; 21.8%). The most commonly provided intervention was counselling, contributing to the achievement of objectives for 127 patients (77.0%). A full rehabilitation path was proposed for only 10 patients (6.1%). No additional costs were incurred by the health authority during the implementation of the model. Conclusion: Our model facilitated the provision of rehabilitative care in the community, preventing the exacerbation of chronic conditions and meeting the population health needs in non-hospital environments. The model overcame the typical lack of integration within health-care services with flexibility, promoting care proximity solutions to cope with health challenges such as an ageing population and the coronavirus disease.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Physical Therapy Modalities , Humans , Aged, 80 and over , Health Personnel , Referral and Consultation , Primary Health Care
7.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 1301, 2022 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2098340

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Breast cancer clinics across the UK have long been struggling to cope with high demand. Novel risk prediction tools - such as the PinPoint test - could help to reduce unnecessary clinic referrals. Using early data on the expected accuracy of the test, we explore the potential impact of PinPoint on: (a) the percentage of patients meeting the two-week referral target, and (b) the number of clinic 'overspill' appointments generated (i.e. patients having to return to the clinic to complete their required investigations). METHODS: A simulation model was built to reflect the annual flow of patients through a single UK clinic. Due to current uncertainty around the exact impact of PinPoint testing on standard care, two primary scenarios were assessed. Scenario 1 assumed complete GP adherence to testing, with only non-referred cancerous cases returning for delayed referral. Scenario 2 assumed GPs would overrule 20% of low-risk results, and that 10% of non-referred non-cancerous cases would also return for delayed referral. A range of sensitivity analyses were conducted to explore the impact of key uncertainties on the model results. Service reconfiguration scenarios, removing individual weekly clinics from the clinic schedule, were also explored. RESULTS: Under standard care, 66.3% (95% CI: 66.0 to 66.5) of patients met the referral target, with 1,685 (1,648 to 1,722) overspill appointments. Under both PinPoint scenarios, > 98% of patients met the referral target, with overspill appointments reduced to between 727 (707 to 746) [Scenario 1] and 886 (861 to 911) [Scenario 2]. The reduced clinic demand was sufficient to allow removal of one weekly low-capacity clinic [N = 10], and the results were robust to sensitivity analyses. CONCLUSION: The findings from this early analysis indicate that risk prediction tools could have the potential to alleviate pressure on cancer clinics, and are expected to have increased utility in the wake of heightened pressures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Further research is required to validate these findings with real world evidence; evaluate the broader clinical and economic impact of the test; and to determine outcomes and risks for patients deemed to be low-risk on the PinPoint test and therefore not initially referred.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms , COVID-19 , Humans , Female , Waiting Lists , Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , Pandemics , Workflow , COVID-19/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation , Risk Assessment
8.
Br Dent J ; 233(8): 653-658, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096673

ABSTRACT

Introduction The COVID-19 pandemic impacted significantly on dental service delivery across England.Objective To explore how and why the pandemic affected antibiotic prescribing by primary care dentists.Methods Mixed-methods study: secondary analysis of routinely collected NHS dental antibiotic prescribing data from before and during the pandemic; and an online survey of dentists (NHS and private) across England's regions.Results Dental antibiotic prescribing increased 22% in the pandemic's first year, with regional variation from a 12.1% increase in London to 29.1% in East of England. Of 159 dentists surveyed, 60% had prescribed 'many more' antibiotics. Some urgent dental centres required antibiotics before accepting referrals, irrespective of clinical appropriateness. Diagnosing remotely was hard. Antibiotics were used to delay aerosol generating procedures and fill gaps in services. Widespread frustration existed.Discussion Maintaining access to urgent dental care during a future pandemic would include availability of high-grade personal protective equipment for dental teams. Everyone must understand the impact of restricted dental access on antibiotic overprescribing and hence antibiotic resistance.Conclusion Reduced dental access and changes in dental service delivery because of the pandemic increased antibiotic prescribing. Ensuring uninterrupted access for all to effective urgent dental care is an important element of global efforts to tackle antibiotic resistance.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents , COVID-19 , Humans , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , England/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation
9.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(21)2022 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2090176

ABSTRACT

Primary healthcare services have changed from face-to-face to tele-consults during the two COVID-19 years. We examined trends before and during the COVID-19 pandemic years based on groups of professionals, patient ages, and the associations with the diagnostic registry. We analyzed proportions for both periods, and ratios of the type of consults in 2017-2019 and 2020-2021 were calculated. The COVID-19 period was examined using monthly linear time trends. The results showed that consults in 2020-2021 increased by 24%. General practitioners saw significant falls in face-to-face consults compared with 2017-2019 (ratio 0.44; 95% CI: 0.44 to 0.45), but the increase was not proportional across age groups; patients aged 15-44 years had 45.8% more tele-consults, and those aged >74 years had 18.2% more. Trends in linear regression models of face-to-face consults with general practitioners and monthly diagnostic activity were positive, while the tele-consult trend was inverse to the trend of the diagnostic registry and face-to-face consults. Tele-consults did not resolve the increased demand for primary healthcare services caused by COVID-19. General practitioners, nurses and primary healthcare professionals require better-adapted tele-consult tools for an effective diagnostic registry to maintain equity of access and answer older patients' needs and priorities in primary healthcare.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practitioners , Telemedicine , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation , Primary Health Care , Telemedicine/methods
10.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(21)2022 Oct 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2090126

ABSTRACT

Telemedicine has become increasingly important worldwide over the last two decades. As a new field, it became known especially during the COVID-19 pandemic; this review presents fields of activity with special attention to opportunities and risks. Numerous areas of application offer the possibility for broad use in the medical and dental care landscape in diagnostics, therapy, rehabilitation, and decision advice across a spatial distance. Technical and semantic standards are required, and profiles and guidelines are increasingly defined and organized. Medical/dental consultations have been established in various regions around the world as a response to pandemic challenges and have made video and online emergency consultations possible. Telemedicine applications are already regularly used in medical/dental emergencies, regardless of the pandemic situation, both for transport by train and by plane, from which patients benefit. However, legal hurdles are often still unresolved, but infrastructure challenges both for provider, user hard- and software also complicate deployment. Problems are particularly prevalent in the absence of necessary internet coverage or among socially disadvantaged and vulnerable groups who cannot afford expensive equipment or do not know how to use the technology. Broad access must be enabled, and hardware and software interfaces and updates must be regularly checked and updated. Telemedicine might also improve access to and delivery of oral and general health care support both for rural and urban areas with low costs. Even though dentistry and many medical specialties are still performed clinically by means of practical/manual examination, there are areas of diagnostics where telemedicine applications can provide good support. Therefore, as conclusions, access, and delivery of telemedicine applications in dentistry and medicine should be expanded and improved to provide access to all population groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Referral and Consultation
11.
Prim Care ; 49(4): 531-541, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2081798

ABSTRACT

Asynchronous telehealth provides a viable option for improving access in a convenient and timely manner to patients seeking care as well as for physicians seeking subspecialty consultation. Access to technology, clear guidelines, standards, and expectations is required for this innovation to function well. Limitations in access due to patient and technology factors is an area that requires attention. Positive impact on access and quality has been demonstrated. Rapid development continues and was enhanced with the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/therapy , Referral and Consultation
12.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(10): e37436, 2022 10 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089629

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Online consultations (OCs) allow patients to contact their care providers on the web. Worldwide, OCs have been rolled out in primary care rapidly owing to policy initiatives and COVID-19. There is a lack of evidence regarding how OC design and implementation influence care quality. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to synthesize research on the impacts of OCs on primary care quality, and how these are influenced by system design and implementation. METHODS: We searched databases from January 2010 to February 2022. We included quantitative and qualitative studies of real-world OC use in primary care. Quantitative data were transformed into qualitative themes. We used thematic synthesis informed by the Institute of Medicine domains of health care quality, and framework analysis informed by the nonadoption, abandonment, scale-up, spread, and sustainability framework. Strength of evidence was judged using the GRADE-CERQual approach. RESULTS: We synthesized 63 studies from 9 countries covering 31 OC systems, 14 (22%) of which used artificial intelligence; 41% (26/63) of studies were published from 2020 onward, and 17% (11/63) were published after the COVID-19 pandemic. There was no quantitative evidence for negative impacts of OCs on patient safety, and qualitative studies suggested varied perceptions of their safety. Some participants believed OCs improved safety, particularly when patients could describe their queries using free text. Staff workload decreased when sufficient resources were allocated to implement OCs and patients used them for simple problems or could describe their queries using free text. Staff workload increased when OCs were not integrated with other software or organizational workflows and patients used them for complex queries. OC systems that required patients to describe their queries using multiple-choice questionnaires increased workload for patients and staff. Health costs decreased when patients used OCs for simple queries and increased when patients used them for complex queries. Patients using OCs were more likely to be female, younger, and native speakers, with higher socioeconomic status. OCs increased primary care access for patients with mental health conditions, verbal communication difficulties, and barriers to attending in-person appointments. Access also increased by providing a timely response to patients' queries. Patient satisfaction increased when using OCs owing to better primary care access, although it decreased when using multiple-choice questionnaire formats. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first theoretically informed synthesis of research on OCs in primary care and includes studies conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. It contributes new knowledge that, in addition to having positive impacts on care quality such as increased access, OCs also have negative impacts such as increased workload. Negative impacts can be mitigated through appropriate OC system design (eg, free text format), incorporation of advanced technologies (eg, artificial intelligence), and integration into technical infrastructure (eg, software) and organizational workflows (eg, timely responses). TRIAL REGISTRATION: PROSPERO CRD42020191802; https://tinyurl.com/2p84ezjy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , United States , Humans , Female , Male , Pandemics , Artificial Intelligence , Referral and Consultation , Quality of Health Care
13.
J Prim Care Community Health ; 13: 21501319221130603, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089141

ABSTRACT

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual care (VC) was not routinely offered for assessment of low back pain (LBP), a highly prevalent, disabling condition. COVID-19 related healthcare closures resulted in a rapid backlog of patients referred to a provincial interprofessional LBP program. Without management, these patients were at high risk of experiencing untoward outcomes. Virtual care became a logical option. However, many clinicians lacked experience and confidence with LBP virtual care (LBP-VC); and either were unfamiliar with, or did not have access to, requisite technology. Multi-stakeholder engagement was utilized to understand barriers, identify enablers, and ultimately promote VC for LBP. As a result of the multi-stakeholder engagement, the concept of a toolkit for LBP-VC, including clinical resources and guidelines, emerged. The toolkit contains preparatory steps for VC and a standardized approach to virtual LBP assessment. Key steps in the toolkit have potential applicability to other musculoskeletal populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Low Back Pain , Humans , Low Back Pain/therapy , Pandemics , Referral and Consultation
14.
Int J Clin Pract ; 2022: 1682986, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2088967

ABSTRACT

Introduction: In late February 2020, after we had informed about the presence of some cases of COVID-19 in Iran and its rapid spread throughout the country, we decided to make the necessary arrangements for patients with critical conditions in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Children's Medical Center. There are a little data on critically ill children with COVID-19 infection with ICU requirements. The aim of this study was to describe clinical characteristics, laboratory parameters, treatment, and outcomes of the pediatrics population infected by SARS-CoV-2 admitted to PICU. Materials and Methods: This study was performed between February 2020 and May 2020 in the COVID PICU of the Children's Medical Center Hospital in Tehran, Iran. Patients were evaluated in terms of demographic categories, primary symptoms and signs at presentation, underlying disease, SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test result, laboratory findings at PICU admission, chest X-ray (CXR) and lung CT findings, and treatment. Moreover, the need to noninvasive ventilation (NIV) or mechanical ventilation, the length of hospital stay in the PICU, and outcomes were assessed. Results: In total, 99 patients were admitted to COVID PICU, 42.4% (42 patients) were males, and 66 patients had positive SARS-CoV-2 real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). There was no statistically significant difference in the frequency of clinical signs and symptoms (except for fever) among patients with positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and negative ones. Among all admitted patients, the presence of underlying diseases was noticed in 81 (82%) patients. Of 99 patients, 34 patients were treated with NIV during their admission. Furthermore, 35 patients were intubated and treated with mechanical ventilation. Unfortunately, 11 out of 35 mechanically ventilated patients (31%) passed away. Conclusion: No laboratory and radiological findings in children infected with COVID-19 were diagnostic in cases with COVID-19 admitted to PICU. There are higher risks of severe COVID-19, PICU admission, and mortality in children with comorbidities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Child , Male , Humans , Female , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Iran/epidemiology , Intensive Care Units, Pediatric , Hospitals , Referral and Consultation , Retrospective Studies , Intensive Care Units
15.
Ir Med J ; 115(8): 653, 2022 Sep 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2083474

ABSTRACT

Aim Explore the impact of COVID-19 on numbers and clinical profile of Eating Disorder (ED) presentations to a specialist ED program pre- and during COVID-19. Methods Retrospective chart review of referrals pre- COVID-19 (January 2018 - February 2020) and during COVID-19 (March 2020 - August 2021) were compared. Results 128 youth were assessed with significantly higher rates of referrals each month during COVID-19 compared to pre- COVID-19 (3.78 vs. 2.31, p = 0.02). Youth referred during COVID-19 showed a higher rate of % Ideal Body Weight (IBW) loss (4.8% = vs. 2.6%, p = < 0.001) and had a shorter duration of illness pre-referral (4.8 months vs. 7.4 months, p = 0.001). Fewer youth during COVID- 19 (19% vs. 43%, p = 0.011) were prescribed psychotropic medication. Many youth (80%), self-declared COVID-19 as a contributory factor in the development of their ED. Conclusion This study supports the growing consensus of a COVID-19 specific impact on ED services with higher rates of referrals, youth presenting with a faster pace of weight loss and earlier referral to specialist services. Whether this represents a true increase in EDs or an overall increase in CAMHS referrals with a faster transfer to ED services requires further exploration.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Feeding and Eating Disorders , Child , Adolescent , Humans , Retrospective Studies , Feeding and Eating Disorders/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation , Weight Loss
16.
Pediatrics ; 149(6)2022 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2079829

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To describe the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and associated practice shifts on consultation and referral patterns of an intimate partner violence program at a large, urban children's hospital. METHODS: Secondary data analyses examined COVID-19-related variations in patterns of consultations and referrals in the 11 months before the COVID-19 pandemic (April 1, 2019-February 29, 2020) and those after its emergence (April 1, 2020-February 28, 2021). χ2 analyses were used to examine differences in categorical outcomes of interest by time and practice setting, as well as differences within practice settings. Poisson regressions were used to compare the number of reasons for consultation and the number of referrals during the 2 periods. RESULTS: Analyses revealed significant decreases in face-to-face consults (28% to 2%; P < .001) during the period after COVID-19 emergence alongside significant increases in the total number of consults (240 to 295; P < .001), primarily for emotional abuse (195 to 264; P = .007). Psychoeducation referrals also increased significantly (199 to 273; P < .001), whereas referrals to community resources decreased significantly (111 to 95; P < .001). Setting-specific analyses revealed that primary care settings were the only practice settings to demonstrate significant differences in overall number of and specific reasons for consultation and associated referral types before and after COVID-19 emergence. CONCLUSIONS: Even during a shift away from face-to-face care, there was an increase in intimate partner violence referrals after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings suggest the importance of pediatric primary care as a location for survivors to access support.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intimate Partner Violence , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Hospitals, Pediatric , Humans , Intimate Partner Violence/psychology , Pandemics , Referral and Consultation
17.
PLoS One ; 17(10): e0273492, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2079732

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a rapid shift towards telephone consultations (TC) in the out-patient clinic setting with little knowledge of the consequences. The aims of this study were to evaluate patient-centred experiences with TC, to describe patterns in clinical outcomes from TC and to pinpoint benefits and drawbacks associated with this type of consultations. METHODS: This mixed methods study combined an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. A quantitative, retrospective observational study was conducted employing data from all 248 patients who received TC at an out-patient cardiology clinic during April 2020 with a one-month follow-up. Semi-structured interviews were conducted; Ten eligible patients were recruited from the outpatient clinic by purposive sampling. RESULTS: Within the follow-up period, no patients died or were acutely hospitalised. Approximately one in every four patients was transferred to their general practitioner, while the remaining three-quarter of the patients had a new examination or a new consultation planned. The cardiologist failed to establish contact with more than a fifth of the patients, often due to missing phone numbers. Ten patients were interviewed. Five themes emerged from the interviews: 1) Knowing an estimated time of the consultation is essential for patient satisfaction, 2) TC are well perceived when individually adapted, 3) TC can be a barrier to patient questions, 4) Video consultations should only be offered to patients who request it, and 5) Prescriptions or instructions made via TC do not cause uncertainty in patients. CONCLUSIONS: The TC program was overall safe and the patients felt comfortable. Crucial issues include precise time planning, the patient's availability on the phone and a correct phone number. Patients stressed that TC are unsuitable when addressing sensitive topics. A proposed visitation tool is presented.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiology , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Referral and Consultation , Pandemics , Telephone , Ambulatory Care Facilities
18.
PLoS One ; 17(8): e0272570, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2079720

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: With fragile health care systems, sub-Saharan Africa countries like Ethiopia are facing a complex epidemic, and become difficult to control the noble coronavirus. The use of COVID-19 preventive measures is strongly recommended. This study aimed to assess the adherence of COVID-19 mitigation measures and associated factors among health care workers. METHODS: A facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted among health care workers at referral hospitals in the Amhara regional state of Ethiopia from May 15 to June 10; 2021. It was a web-based study using an online questionnaire. STATA 14.2 was used for data analysis. Variables with a p-value<0.05 at 95% confidence level in multivariable analysis were declared as statistically significant using binary logistic regression. RESULT: Adherence to COVID-19 mitigation measures was 50.24% in the current study. The odd of adherence of participants with a monthly income of ≥12801birr was 15% whereas the odds of adherence of participants who hesitate to take the COVID 19 vaccine were 10% as compared to those who don't hesitate. Participants who had undergone COVID-19 tests adhered 6.64 times more than their counterparts. Those who believe adequate measurements are taken by the government adhered 4.6 times more than those who believe not adequate. Participants who believe as no risk of severe disease adhered 16% compared to those with fear of severe disease. Presence of households aged >60years adhered about 7.9 times more than with no households aged>60. Participants suspected of COVID-19 diagnosis adhered 5.7 times more than those not suspected. CONCLUSION: In this study, a significant proportion of healthcare workers did not adhere to COVID-19 mitigation measures. Hence, giving special attention to healthcare workers with a monthly income of ≥12801 birr, being hesitant towards COVID-19 vaccine, being aged 26-30, and perceiving no risk of developing a severe infection is crucial to reduce non-adherence.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Referral and Consultation
19.
PLoS One ; 17(10): e0265478, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2079676

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The high proportion of SARS-CoV-2 infections that have remained undetected presents a challenge to tracking the progress of the pandemic and estimating the extent of population immunity. METHODS: We used residual blood samples from women attending antenatal care services at three hospitals in Kenya between August 2020 and October 2021and a validated IgG ELISA for SARS-Cov-2 spike protein and adjusted the results for assay sensitivity and specificity. We fitted a two-component mixture model as an alternative to the threshold analysis to estimate of the proportion of individuals with past SARS-CoV-2 infection. RESULTS: We estimated seroprevalence in 2,981 women; 706 in Nairobi, 567 in Busia and 1,708 in Kilifi. By October 2021, 13% of participants were vaccinated (at least one dose) in Nairobi, 2% in Busia. Adjusted seroprevalence rose in all sites; from 50% (95%CI 42-58) in August 2020, to 85% (95%CI 78-92) in October 2021 in Nairobi; from 31% (95%CI 25-37) in May 2021 to 71% (95%CI 64-77) in October 2021 in Busia; and from 1% (95% CI 0-3) in September 2020 to 63% (95% CI 56-69) in October 2021 in Kilifi. Mixture modelling, suggests adjusted cross-sectional prevalence estimates are underestimates; seroprevalence in October 2021 could be 74% in Busia and 72% in Kilifi. CONCLUSIONS: There has been substantial, unobserved transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Nairobi, Busia and Kilifi Counties. Due to the length of time since the beginning of the pandemic, repeated cross-sectional surveys are now difficult to interpret without the use of models to account for antibody waning.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Hospitals , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Kenya/epidemiology , Pregnancy , Prenatal Care , Referral and Consultation , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
20.
Epidemiol Infect ; 150: e179, 2022 Oct 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2076950

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Here, we are sharing our second report about children affected by Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). The aim of the present study was to update our knowledge about children with MIS-C. Furthermore, we tried to compare clinical manifestations, laboratory features and final outcome of patients based on disease severity, in order to better understanding of the nature of this novel syndrome. METHODS: This retrospective study was conducted at Children's Medical Center Hospital, the hub of excellence in paediatrics in Iran, located in Tehran, Iran. We reviewed medical records of children admitted to the hospital with the diagnosis of MIS-C from July 2020 to October 2021. RESULTS: One hundred and twenty-two patients enrolled the study. Ninety-seven (79.5%) patients had mild to moderate MIS-C (MIS-C without overlap with KD (n = 80); MIS-C overlapping with KD (n = 17)) and 25 (20.5%) patients showed severe MIS-C. The mean age of all patients was 6.4 ± 4.0 years. Nausea and vomiting (53.3%), skin rash (49.6%), abdominal pain (46.7%) and conjunctivitis (41.8%) were also frequently seen Headache, chest pain, tachypnea and respiratory distress were significantly more common in patients with severe MIS-C (P < 0.0001, P = 0.021, P < 0.0001 and P < 0.0001, respectively). Positive anti-N severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 IgM and IgG were detected in 14 (33.3%) and 23 (46.9%) tested patients, respectively. Albumin, and vitamin D levels in children with severe MISC were significantly lower than children with mild to moderate MIS-C (P < 0.0001, P = 0.05). Unfortunately, 2 (1.6%) of 122 patients died and both had severe MIS-C. CONCLUSION: Patients with MIS-C in our region suffer from wide range of signs and symptoms. Among laboratory parameters, hypoalbuminemia and low vitamin D levels may predict a more severe course of the disease. Coronary artery dilation is frequently seen among all patients, regardless of disease severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Child , Child, Preschool , COVID-19/complications , Iran/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Retrospective Studies , Hospitals , Referral and Consultation , Vitamin D
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