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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(13)2022 Jun 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911364

ABSTRACT

Reducing inequality is one of the current challenges that most societies are facing. Our aim was to analyze the evolution of inequalities in self-assessed health among older Europeans in a time period spanning the 2008 economic crisis and the COVID-19 health crisis. We used data from Waves 2, 4 and 8 of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. We used inequality indices that accept ordinal variables. Our empirical results suggest that average inequality declines over time. Gender significantly influences the results. Some of the countries with the highest level of inequality are Denmark and Sweden, and some with the lowest are Estonia and the Netherlands. Our results may be of interest for the development of public policies to reduce inequalities. Special attention should be paid to vulnerable groups, such as the elderly.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Status Disparities , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Europe/epidemiology , European Union , Humans , Pandemics , Retirement , Socioeconomic Factors
2.
Age Ageing ; 51(6)2022 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908734

ABSTRACT

The sustainability of healthcare of older people in Europe is at stake. Many experts currently focus on the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. But there are other elements coming up that might even have a greater impact. Healthcare systems, geriatric care and geriatric rehabilitation in particular, will face disruptive changes due to both demographic demand and a shortage of human and financial resources. This decade will be transformed by a high proportion of the older health workforce transitioning to retirement. This expertise must be retained. The brain drain of health care workers migrating from Eastern parts to Western Europe is diminishing. Discussing and deciding upon the priorities of value-based health care for older people such as equity and access is required. The acute healthcare sector in most countries focuses on fee-for-service models instead of building systemic approaches to maximise independence and autonomy of older citizens. In this commentary, we build on recent book chapters and articles on geriatric rehabililtation. Our main questions for the anniversary edition of Age and Ageing is what it is that geriatric rehabilitation could, should and must contribute in the roaring 2020s?


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Geriatrics , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Pandemics , Retirement
3.
BMJ ; 377: o1390, 2022 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1891788
4.
BMJ ; 377: o1145, 2022 05 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1854298
5.
Front Public Health ; 9: 751828, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775939

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Despite growing recognition of hearing loss as a risk factor for late life cognitive disorders, sex and gender analysis of this association has been limited. Elucidating this is one means to advocate for holistic medicine by considering the psychosocial attributes of people. With a composite Gender Score (GS), we aimed to assess this among aging participants (50+) from the 2016 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) cohort. Methods: The GS was derived from gender-related variables in HRS by factor analyses and logistic regression, ranging from 0 (toward masculinity) to 100 (toward femininity). GS tertiles were also used to indicate three gender types (GS tertile 1: lower GS indicates masculinity; GS tertile 2: middle GS indicates androgyny; GS tertile 3: higher GS indicates femininity). Univariate followed by multiple logistic regressions were used to estimate the Odds Ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of cognitive impairment (assessed by adapted Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status) from hearing acuity, as well as to explore the interactions of sex and gender with hearing acuity. The risk of cognitive impairment among hearing-impaired participants was assessed using multivariable models including sex and gender as exposure variables. Results: Five variables (taking risks, loneliness, housework, drinking, and depression) were retained to compute the GS for each participant. The distribution of GS between sexes partly overlapped. After adjusting for confounding factors, the OR for cognitive impairment associated with hearing impairment was significantly higher (OR = 1.65, 95% CI: 1.26, 2.15), and this association was not modified by female sex (OR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.46, 1.27), but by androgynous gender (OR = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.24, 0.81). In the multivariable models for participants with hearing impairment, androgynous and feminine gender, as opposed to female sex, was associated with lower odds of cognitive impairment (OR of GS tertile 2 = 0.59, 95% CI: 0.41, 0.84; OR of GS tertile 3 = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.41, 0.87; OR of female sex = 0.78, 95% CI: 0.57, 1.08). Conclusions: Hearing impairment was associated with cognitive impairment among older people, and this association may be attenuated by a more feminine GS.


Subject(s)
Hearing Loss , Aged , Cognition , Female , Femininity , Hearing Loss/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Retirement
6.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 4396, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747181

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this longitudinal study is to construct a prediction model for Covid-19 level of concern using established Covid-19 socio-demographic, lifestyle and health risk characteristics and to examine specific contributions of obesity-related cardiometabolic health characteristics as predictors of Covid-19 level of concern among a representative sample of U.S. older adults. We performed secondary analyses of existing data on 2872 2006-2020 Health and Retirement Study participants and examined 19 characteristics in relation to the outcome of interest using logistic regression and machine learning algorithms. In mixed-effects ordinal logistic regression models, a history of diabetes, stroke as well as 1-2 cardiometabolic risk factors and/or chronic conditions were associated with greater Covid-19 level of concern, after controlling for confounders. Female sex, birth cohort, minority race, Hispanic ethnicity and total wealth as well as depressive symptoms were associated with higher level of Covid-19 concern, and education was associated with lower level of Covid-19 concern in fully adjusted mixed-effects ordinal logistic regression models. The selected socio-demographic, lifestyle and health characteristics accounted for < 70% of the variability in Covid-19 level of concern based on machine learning algorithms. Independent risk factors for Covid-19 level of concern among U.S. older adults include socio-demographic characteristics and depressive symptoms. Advanced research is needed to identify relevant predictors and elucidate underlying mechanisms of observed relationships.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Retirement , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Life Style , Longitudinal Studies , Risk Factors
8.
Am J Infect Control ; 50(5): 482-490, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1734131

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To identify key socio-demographic, lifestyle, and health predictors of self-reported coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) history, examine cardiometabolic health characteristics as predictors of self-reported Covid-19 history and compare groups with and without a history of Covid-19 on trajectories in cardiometabolic health and blood pressure measurements over time, among United States (U.S.) older adults. METHODS: Nationally representative longitudinal data on U.S. older adults from the 2006-2020 Health and Retirement Study were analyzed using logistic and mixed-effects logistic regression models. RESULTS: Based on logistic regression, number of household members (OR=1.26, 95% CI: 1.05, 1.52), depressive symptoms score (OR = 1.21, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.42) and number of cardiometabolic risk factors or chronic conditions ("1-2" vs "0") (OR = 0.27, 95% CI: 0.11, 0.67) were significant predictors of self-reported Covid-19 history. Based on mixed-effects logistic regression, several statistically significant predictors of Covid-19 history were identified, including female sex (OR = 3.06, 95% CI: 1.57, 5.96), other race (OR = 5.85, 95% CI: 2.37, 14.43), Hispanic ethnicity (OR = 2.66, 95% CI: 1.15, 6.17), number of household members (OR = 1.25, 95% CI: 1.10, 1.42), moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (1-4 times per month vs never) (OR = 0.38, 95% CI: 0.18, 0.78) and number of cardiometabolic risk factors or chronic conditions ("1-2" vs "0") (OR = 0.34, 95% CI: 0.19, 0.60). CONCLUSIONS: Number of household members, depressive symptoms and number of cardiometabolic risk factors or chronic conditions may be key predictors for self-reported Covid-19 history among U.S. older adults. In-depth analyses are needed to confirm preliminary findings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Diseases , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chronic Disease , Ethnicity , Female , Humans , Life Style , Retirement , Self Report , United States/epidemiology
9.
Workplace Health Saf ; 70(6): 268-277, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673878

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Sleep health disturbances can increase risks for workplace injury, error, and poor worker health. Essential workers have reported sleep disturbances since the COVID-19 pandemic onset, which may jeopardize their health and safety. The aims of this project were to assess sleep health among Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) workers, examine potential differences between worker types, and describe the self-perceived impact of COVID-19 on workers' workload and sleep. METHODS: Through an academic-practice partnership, this needs assessment used a cross-sectional design that collected self-report data during fall 2020 from CCRC workers. Guided by the Workplace Health Model, survey questions included work characteristics, sleep health, and COVID-19 impact on sleep and workload. FINDINGS: Ninety-four respondents completed the survey across multiple departments. Respondents (n = 34, 36.2%) reported sleeping below recommended hours on workdays. The majority scored above the population mean on Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement (PROMIS) measures of sleep disturbance (n = 52, 55.3%), sleep-related impairment (n = 49, 52.1%), and fatigue (n = 49, 52.1%). Differences in workday total sleep time and fatigue were noted among shift workers versus nonshift workers, with shift workers reporting less sleep and more fatigue. Shorter sleep duration was noted among respondents working shifts 10 or more hours compared with those working 8 hours. Pandemic-related workload increase was reported by 22.3% (n = 21) of respondents, with 17% (n = 16) noting more than one type of workload change. Since COVID-19 onset, 36.2% (n = 34) reported no sleep changes and 35.1% (n = 33) reported sleeping less. A medium, positive relationship was found between increased changes in work due to COVID-19 and increased difficulties sleeping (r = .41, n = 73, p = .000). CONCLUSION/APPLICATION TO PRACTICE: Proper sleep health is essential to workplace safety and worker health. By assessing sleep health during a crisis, occupational health nurses can identify opportunities to support worker health and safety, through sleep education, monitoring for sleepiness and fatigue, ensuring countermeasures are available (e.g., caffeine), and assessing for opportunities to change organizational policies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sleep Wake Disorders , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Fatigue/etiology , Humans , Pandemics , Retirement , Sleep , Sleep Wake Disorders/complications , Sleep Wake Disorders/epidemiology
10.
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci ; 77(7): 1371-1379, 2022 07 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1672195

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on trajectories in cardiometabolic health, physical activity, and functioning among U.S. older adults, overall and according to selected baseline sociodemographic characteristics. METHODS: We performed secondary analyses using longitudinal data on 1,372 participants from the 2006-2020 Health and Retirement Study. Pre-post COVID-19 pandemic onset was examined in relation to body mass index (BMI), number of cardiometabolic risk factors and/or chronic conditions, physical activity, Activities of Daily Living (ADL), and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) using mixed-effects regression models and group-based trajectory models. RESULTS: The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with significantly increased BMI (ß = 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.74, 2.03). Furthermore, the odds of having at least one cardiometabolic risk factor and/or chronic disease increased pre-post COVID-19 onset (odds ratio 1.16, 95% CI: 1.00, 1.36), whereas physical functioning worsened pre-post COVID-19 onset (ADL: ß = 1.11, 95% CI: 0.94, 1.28; IADL: ß = 0.59, 95% CI: 0.46, 0.73). The pre-post COVID-19 period (2018-2020) showed a stable group of trajectories, with low, medium and high levels of the selected health indicators. Health disparities according to sex, race/ethnicity, educational level, work status, and total wealth are highlighted. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic onset appears to worsen cardiometabolic health and physical functioning among U.S. older adults, with clusters of individuals defined by selected sociodemographic characteristics experiencing distinct trajectories pre-post COVID-19 pandemic onset.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Diseases , Activities of Daily Living , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Chronic Disease , Exercise , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , Retirement
11.
Anesth Analg ; 134(2): 348-356, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635164

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the personal and professional lives of all health care workers. Anesthesiologists frequently perform virus-aerosolizing procedures (eg, intubation and extubation) that place them at increased risk of infection. We sought to determine how the initial COVID-19 outbreak affected members of the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia (SPA) on both personal and professional levels. Specifically, we examined the potential effects of gender and age on personal stress, burnout, sleep deprivation, anxiety, depression, assessed job satisfaction, and explored financial impact. METHODS: After receiving approval from the SPA Committees for Research and Quality and Safety and the Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board, we e-mailed a questionnaire to all 3245 SPA members. The survey included 22 questions related to well-being and 13 questions related to effects of COVID-19 on current and future practice, finances, retirement planning, academic time and productivity, and clinical and home responsibilities. To address low initial response rates and quantify nonresponse bias, we sent a shortened follow-up survey to a randomly selected subsample (n = 100) of SPA members who did not respond to the initial survey. Response differences between the 2 cohorts were determined. RESULTS: A total of 561 (17%) members responded to the initial questionnaire. Because of COVID-19, 21.7% of respondents said they would change their clinical responsibilities, and 10.6% would decrease their professional working time. Women were more likely than men to anticipate a future COVID-19-related job change (odds ratio [OR] = 1.92, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12-2.63; P = .011), perhaps because of increased home responsibilities (OR = 2.63, 95% CI, 1.74-4.00; P < .001). Additionally, 14.2% of respondents planned to retire early, and 11.9% planned to retire later. Women and non-White respondents had higher likelihoods of burnout on univariate analysis (OR = 1.75, 95% CI, 1.06-2.94, P = .026 and OR = 1.82, 95% CI, 1.08-3.04, P = .017, respectively), and 25.1% of all respondents felt socially isolated. In addition, both changes in retirement planning and future occupational planning were strongly associated with total job satisfaction scores (both P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the personal and professional lives of pediatric anesthesiologists, albeit not equally, as women and non-Whites have been disproportionately impacted. The pandemic has significantly affected personal finances, home responsibilities, and retirement planning; reduced clinical and academic practice time and responsibilities; and increased feelings of social isolation, stress, burnout, and depression/anxiety.


Subject(s)
Anesthesia/psychology , Anesthesiologists/psychology , Burnout, Professional/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Pediatrics , Surveys and Questionnaires , Adult , Anesthesia/trends , Anesthesiologists/trends , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Job Satisfaction , Male , Middle Aged , Occupational Exposure/adverse effects , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Pediatrics/trends , Retirement/trends , Societies, Medical/trends
12.
Int Psychogeriatr ; 33(12): 1309-1320, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621179

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Previous work using a US sample has shown that an index of social deprivation (SoDep Index) is associated with cognitive functioning and decline in older adults. This study aimed to replicate these findings using a European sample (Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, SHARE). DESIGN: We analyzed data of 51,630 respondents aged 50 years and older (M: 63.5 years, standard deviation [SD]: 9.1) with at least two cognitive assessments (follow-up M: 6.06 years, SD: 3.86). Cognitive scores were transformed to Z-scores. Multiple growth curve modeling was used to model cognitive status and decline as predicted by the SoDep Index. In a sensitivity analysis, we constructed a new SoDep Index (SoDep Indexnew) including further social deprivation domains. RESULTS: Adjusting for covariates, a unit increase in SoDep Index was associated with a cognitive score of 0.037 SDs smaller (p < .001) and a decline 0.003 SDs per year faster (p < .001). Of the covariates, depressive symptoms, chronic disease burden, male gender, and widowhood were also associated with poorer cognition. Being divorced was associated with better cognition. Sensitivity analysis confirmed findings. Compared to the SoDep Index, the SoDep Indexnew showed a more pronounced association with both cognition and cognitive decline. CONCLUSIONS: We were able to replicate results showing an association between SoDep Index and cognitive function and decline. The sensitivity analysis further emphasizes the relevance of financial security. This strengthens the implication that preventing social deprivation can contribute to reducing the dementia burden by raising cognitive functioning in the older population. The findings are relevant to policy-makers and health care practitioners.


Subject(s)
Cognitive Dysfunction , Aged , Cognition , Cognitive Dysfunction/diagnosis , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Retirement
13.
Acta Med Port ; 34(11): 761-766, 2021 Nov 02.
Article in Portuguese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524744

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, and Portugal reported its initial cases. In this study, we aimed to determine the impact of COVID-19 on Portuguese individuals aged over 60 years old. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE 8: COVID-19 Survey). We selected a sample of 1080 noninstitutional Portuguese individuals aged ≥ 60 years. RESULTS: The study sample consisted of 605 (56%) women and 475 (44%) men, with a mean age of 70 ± 9.1 years. In total, 80% of the participants experienced higher levels of anxiety, 73% felt more depressed and 30% experienced additional sleep problems comparedto the period before the pandemic. Interestingly, there were no statistically significant differences between the sexes or the two selected age groups (60 - 74 and over 75 years old) regarding the incidence of these changes. Only 23%, of those that were interviewed maintained their walking routines. In addition, only 8% of the participants continued visiting family members as frequently as before. While 8% of the participants were refused some form of medical treatment, 56% claimed that they experienced healthcare delays. However,only 15% of the participants reported that their health status worsened during the pandemic. DISCUSSION: The pandemic has had a significant impact on Portuguese individuals aged ≥ 60 years; which is in agreement with the findings of previous international studies. It changed the participants' routines and increased their anxiety and depression levels. Despite the deterioration of healthcare services, most participants did not experience worsening of their health status. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, a COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the elderly population, particularly regarding their mental health.


Introdução: Em março de 2020, a COVID-19 foi declarada pandemia pela Organização Mundial da Saúde e Portugal registou os seus primeiros casos. Este estudo visou determinar o impacto da COVID-19 na população portuguesa maior de 60 anos. Material e Métodos: Trata-se de um estudo observacional transversal que analisa várias variáveis de saúde, comportamentais, sociais e económicas. Utilizaram-se dados do projecto Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement (SHARE 8: COVID-19 Survey), seleccionando uma amostra de 1080 portugueses não institucionalizados e maiores de 60 anos. Resultados: A amostra englobou 605 mulheres (56%) e 475 homens (44%), com idade média de 70 ± 9,1 anos. No total, 80% dos participantes notou aumento da ansiedade, 73% sentiu-se mais deprimido e 30% considerou que o seu sono piorou em relação ao período anterior à pandemia. Não houve diferenças estatisticamente significativas entre os sexos ou as duas faixas etárias analisadas (60 - 74 e ≥ 75 anos) quanto à incidência destas alterações. No respeitante a saídas de casa, apenas 23% dos entrevistados manteve os hábitos de passeio e 8% manteve as visitas a familiares no seu padrão habitual. Relativamente ao acesso a cuidados médicos, a 8% foi negado algum tratamento e 56% queixou-se do adiamento dos cuidados. Apenas 13% referiu um agravamento do seu estado de saúde durante a pandemia. Discussão: Este trabalho mostra que esta pandemia impactou a população portuguesa com mais de 60 anos, o que está em linha com o reportado noutros estudos internacionais. Os hábitos alteraram-se, e a ansiedade e depressão aumentaram. Apesar da deterioração dos cuidados de saúde, a maioria dos participantes não notou agravamento do seu estado de saúde. Conclusão: Em conclusão, a pandemia por COVID-19 teve um impacto significativo na população idosa particularmente no que concerne à sua saúde mental.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Aging , Anxiety , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Portugal/epidemiology , Retirement , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Crit Care Med ; 49(11): e1157-e1162, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467424

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Joblessness is common in survivors from critical care. Our aim was to describe rates of return to work versus unemployment following coronavirus disease 2019 acute respiratory distress syndrome requiring intensive care admission. DESIGN: Single-center, prospective case series. SETTING: Critical Care Follow-Up Clinic, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center-IRCCS, Rozzano, Italy. PATIENTS: One hundred and one consecutive laboratory-confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 patients were discharged from our hospital following an ICU stay between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2020. Twenty-five died in the ICU. Seventy-six were discharged alive from hospital. Two patients refused participation, while three were unreachable. The remaining 71 were alive at 6 months and interviewed. INTERVENTIONS: Baseline and outcome healthcare data were extracted from the electronic patient records. Employment data were collected using a previously published structured interview instrument that included current and previous employment status, hours worked per week, and timing of return to work. Health-related quality of life status was assessed using the Italian EQ-5D-5L questionnaire. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Of the 71 interviewed patients, 45 (63%) were employed prior to coronavirus disease 2019, of which 40 (89%) of them worked full-time. Thirty-three (73%) of the previously employed survivors had returned to work by 6 months, 10 (22%) were unemployed, and 2 (5%) were newly retired. Among those who returned to work, 20 (85%) of them reported reduced effectiveness at work. Those who did not return to work were either still on sick leave or lost their job as a consequence of coronavirus disease 2019. Reported quality of life of survivors not returning to work was worse than of those returning to work. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of coronavirus disease 2019 survivors following ICU in our cohort had returned to work by 6 months of follow-up. However, most of them reported reduced work effectiveness. Prolonged sick leave and unemployment were common findings in those not returning.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/epidemiology , Return to Work/statistics & numerical data , Unemployment/statistics & numerical data , Age Factors , Aged , Comorbidity , Female , Frailty/epidemiology , Humans , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Discharge/statistics & numerical data , Quality of Life , Retirement/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Sex Factors , Socioeconomic Factors
16.
Nurs Open ; 9(1): 175-180, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442026

ABSTRACT

AIM: To investigate the usability of querying subjective impairments of the sense of smell and taste in order to improve pre-test probability in testing for SARS-CoV-2. To achieve this, exploring the prevalence of these restrictions in the COVID-19-negative population, as well as nasal co-symptoms. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study was carried out as part of the secondary prophylaxis, following the STROBE guidelines of the EQUATOR network. METHODS: In total, 1,734 employees of retirement and nursing homes were tested for COVID-19 and asked for subjective reduction or loss in the sense of smell and taste, furthermore about nasal co-symptoms such as nasal obstruction and rhinorrhoea. RESULTS: All employees tested negative for COVID-19. Subjective hyposmia and hypogeusia rarely occurred and were usually accompanied by other nasal symptoms such as nasal obstruction. Querying subjective hyposmia/anosmia or hypogeusia/ageusia appears to be a useful anamnestic instrument for the clinical assessment of the probability of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Nursing Homes , Olfaction Disorders/diagnosis , Olfaction Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics , Prevalence , Retirement , SARS-CoV-2 , Smell , Taste
17.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(19)2021 09 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438607

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 profoundly affected Irish citizens. The effects have been especially pronounced for nurses in front-line, clinical and management roles. This article discusses the national and employer policy context relevant to nurses in Ireland. There have been staff and bed shortages in public hospitals since austerity policies were introduced following the global financial crisis. Government measures responding to the pandemic include initial 'cocooning' of older citizens, travel restrictions, changed working conditions and restricted availability of childcare. This article draws on interviews with 25 older nurses in 2021, sixteen women and nine men, aged 49 or over in Ireland. It explores older nurses' experiences of COVID-19 and asks what are the implications for their working conditions and retirement timing intentions. A gendered political economy of ageing approach and thematic analysis reveals that while some nurses responded positively to the pandemic, some experienced adverse health impacts, stress and exhaustion; some reported a fear of contracting COVID-19 and of infecting their families; several women nurses decided to retire earlier due to COVID-19. The implications of the findings for employer and government policy and for research are discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nurses , Female , Humans , Ireland , Male , Pandemics , Retirement , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(18)2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1409592

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Retirement is recognized as a factor influencing the ageing process. Today, virtual health coaching systems can play a pivotal role in supporting older adults' active and healthy ageing. This study wants to answer two research questions: (1) What are the user requirements of a virtual coach (VC) based on an Embodied Conversational Agent (ECA) for motivating older adults in transition to retirement to adopt a healthy lifestyle? (2) How could a VC address the active and healthy ageing dimensions, even during COVID-19 times? METHODS: Two-wave focus-groups with 60 end-users aged 55 and over and 27 follow-up telephone interviews were carried out in Austria, Italy and the Netherlands in 2019-2020. Qualitative data were analysed by way of framework analysis. RESULTS: End-users suggest the VC should motivate older workers and retirees to practice physical activity, maintain social contacts and emotional well-being. The ECA should be reactive, customizable, expressive, sympathetic, not directive nor patronizing, with a pleasant and motivating language. The COVID-19 outbreak increased the users' need for functions boosting community relationships and promoting emotional well-being. CONCLUSIONS: the VC can address the active and healthy ageing paradigm by increasing the chances of doing low-cost healthy activities at any time and in any place.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Healthy Aging , Mentoring , Aged , Humans , Retirement , SARS-CoV-2 , User-Centered Design
20.
Swiss Med Wkly ; 151: w30021, 2021 08 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1399510

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers are more frequently exposed to SARS-CoV-2 than the general population. Little is known about healthcare settings outside of hospitals. We studied the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 among healthcare workers in outpatient facilities and retirement or nursing homes in the Canton of Solothurn, Switzerland in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Longitudinal seroprevalence study among healthcare workers with examinations at baseline and 2 months between June and September 2020. The Abbott SARS-CoV-2 IgG and Liaison/Diasorin SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 IgG assay were used to detect antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. All participants provided demographic information. We report descriptive statistics and calculated the seroprevalence with 95% confidence intervals. RESULTS: We included 357 healthcare workers; their median age was 43 years (interquartile range 29-54), and 315 (88.2%) were female. Forty-nine (13.7%) were physicians, 87 (24.4%) practice assistants and 221 (61.9%) nurses. Overall seroprevalence among healthcare workers in outpatient facilities and retirement or nursing homes was 3.4% (12/357). The 12 seropositive healthcare workers were all nurses (12/221, 5.5%); 11 worked at retirement or nursing homes and one at the hospital's outpatient clinic. Symptoms such as loss of smell or taste, shortness of breath, and fever were more prevalent among seropositive healthcare workers than seronegative healthcare workers. No close contact had detectable antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSIONS: Seroprevalence among healthcare workers was low, but higher among nursing staff of retirement or nursing homes. Healthcare workers at private practices were able to protect themselves well during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Nursing Homes , Outpatients , Pandemics , Retirement , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Switzerland/epidemiology
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