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2.
PLoS One ; 18(5): e0284966, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2318645

ABSTRACT

Information and communication technologies have significantly transformed the way advanced societies interact, produce, deliver services and consume resources. All walks of life are now touched by these technologies. However, compared to other areas of society, digital penetration is much lower in the development of and access to social services. The main objective of this paper was to find out what technological devices are used, how they are used and the way citizens interact with public bodies using technology to deliver social services. This has been part of a wider project on innovation in social services using participative methodologies centred on the development of local Hubs. The findings reveal a digital divide in technology-enabled access to social services that excludes the very people most in need of benefits and support.


Subject(s)
Communication , Social Work , Humans , Technology
3.
PLoS One ; 18(5): e0285752, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2316739

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 exposed and exacerbated health disparities, and a core challenge has been how to adapt pandemic response and public health in light of these disproportionate health burdens. Responding to this challenge, the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department designed a model of "high-touch" contact tracing that integrated social services with disease investigation, providing continued support and resource linkage for clients from structurally vulnerable communities. We report results from a cluster randomized trial of 5,430 cases from February to May 2021 to assess the ability of high-touch contact tracing to aid with isolation and quarantine. Using individual-level data on resource referral and uptake outcomes, we find that the intervention, randomized assignment to the high-touch program, increased the referral rate to social services by 8.4% (95% confidence interval, 0.8%-15.9%) and the uptake rate by 4.9% (-0.2%-10.0%), with the most pronounced increases in referrals and uptake of food assistance. These findings demonstrate that social services can be effectively combined with contact tracing to better promote health equity, demonstrating a novel path for the future of public health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Contact Tracing/methods , Touch , Health Promotion , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Work
4.
Soc Work ; 68(3): 230-239, 2023 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2316236

ABSTRACT

Social work turnover from the emotional overload of providing care during the pandemic has created staff shortages and exposed many gaps in service delivery. Those social workers who sustained employment during this pandemic are asked to take on flexible/additional roles to fill in those gaps in services to their most vulnerable clients. This qualitative study (N = 12) of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) inpatient social workers at two sites across the country assesses their experiences of taking on additional roles at their respective VA facility. Three research questions were addressed to the participants: (1) Describe your roles and responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic? (2) How did those responsibilities change/evolve over time? and (3) Did you receive training for your new roles or tasks? Thematic analysis revealed six themes that would facilitate effectiveness and continuity of care: (1) recognizing insufficient training to handle a pandemic, (2) meeting the demand for care, (3) responding to unexpected aspects of flexibility, (4) adjusting to new roles over time, (5) adaptation and support, and (6) additional resources to simplify efforts. With COVID rates stabilizing across much of the United States, now is the time to implement trainings and education about job flexibility in the future instance of a pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Veterans , Humans , United States/epidemiology , Social Workers , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Veterans/psychology , Health Personnel/psychology , Social Work
5.
Palliat Med ; 37(6): 884-892, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2302773

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-Cov-2 (COVID-19) pandemic affected the delivery of health and social care services globally. However, little is known about how palliative care social work services were impacted. AIM: The aim of this study was to capture and analyse data from palliative care social workers who provided professional support in a range of settings across 21 countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey-based design was used for this empirical study and this paper primarily focuses on the quantitative responses. SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Participants, palliative care social workers, were drawn internationally via members of the EAPC Social Work Task Force and the World Hospice Palliative Care Social Work network. RESULTS: We received 362 survey responses from 21 countries. Most (79%) respondents worked with adults in in-patient units or hospitals. The number of referrals during COVID-19 increased more in non-European countries, compared to European countries. The full range of social work services could no longer be delivered, existing services changed and 65.3% of participants reported higher levels of pressure during the pandemic, which was linked to higher levels of staff absence and additional duties. For many respondents (40.8%), this included facilitating online communication between patients and their families. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 resulted in adaptations to service delivery, increased pressure on staff and moral distress, like other health and social care professions. All members of the palliative team need support and supervision to ensure effective interdisciplinary working and team cohesion.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Palliative Care , Adult , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies , Social Work , Surveys and Questionnaires
6.
J Korean Med Sci ; 37(48): e342, 2022 Dec 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2297876

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The impact of persistent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms on quality of life remains unclear. This study aimed to describe such persistent symptoms and their relationships with quality of life, including clinical frailty and subjective health status. METHODS: A prospective longitudinal 3-month follow-up survey monitored symptoms, health quality, support needs, frailty, and employment. RESULTS: A total of 82 patients with a mean age of 52 years (ranging from 23-84 years) were enrolled, including 48 (58.6%) men, and 34 (41.5%) women. The fully active status decreased from 87.8% before admission to 78.1% post discharge. Two patients (2.4%) were ambulatory and capable of all self-care but unable to carry out any work-related activities 12 weeks after discharge. Clinical frailty scale (CFS) levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 changed drastically between admission and 12 weeks later after discharge. Just after admission, the median EuroQol visual analogue scales (EQ-VAS) was 82.23 (± 14.38), and it decreased to 78.10 (± 16.02) 12 weeks after discharge; 62 (75.6%) of patients reported at least one symptom 12 weeks after discharge. The most frequent symptom was fatigue followed by smell disorder, anxiety, sleep disorder, headache, depressive mood, dyspnea, and taste disorder. CFS was definitively associated with fatigue. Decreased EQ-VAS was associated with fatigue and palpitation, cough, taste disorder, and chest pain. EQ-VAS was worse in women (28%) than in men. Compared with regular outpatient clinic visits before admission, 21 patients (25.6%) reported increased outpatient clinic visits, one (1.4%) reported readmission, and one (1.4%) reported emergency room visits. Six of the 54 (77.1%) patients who were employed before admission lost their jobs. And most vulnerable type was self-employed, because three self-employed job workers were not working at 12 weeks after discharge. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 sequelae should not be underestimated. We find a decrease in health quality and increase in psychological problems in discharged COVID-19 patients, and some patients experience unemployment. The number of patients suffering from COVID-19 sequelae would not be negligible considering there are more than one million COVID-19 infection cases in Korea. Hence, the government should start a systematic monitoring system for discharged patients and prepare timely medical and social interventions accordingly.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Frailty , Male , Humans , Female , Middle Aged , Quality of Life , Aftercare , Prospective Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , Patient Discharge , Social Work , Disease Progression , Taste Disorders , Fatigue/epidemiology , Fatigue/etiology
7.
Australas J Ageing ; 42(2): 429-435, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2253227

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To investigate how small, local organisations were impacted by and responded to COVID-19 in their delivery of social care services to older adults (70 years and older). Lessons learnt and future implications are discussed. METHODS: Six representatives from four social care services (five females and one male) participated in individual semistructured interviews. Responses were analysed thematically. RESULTS: The key themes identified were service providers' experience, perceived needs of older adults and adapting services. Service providers positioned themselves as front-line essential workers for their older adult clients, resulting in some emotional toll and distress for the service providers. They provided information, wellness checks and at-home assistance to keep their older adult clients connected. CONCLUSIONS: Service providers feel more prepared for future restrictions but flag the potential of training and supporting older adults to use technology to stay connected, as well as the need for more readily available funding to allow services to adapt quickly during times of crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Male , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Social Support , Social Work , Social Isolation
8.
Womens Health (Lond) ; 19: 17455057231156792, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2252387

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with increased social and economic stressors among pregnant individuals. While community and social services have been available to mitigate stressors in pregnancy (e.g. food insecurity and financial hardship) and reduce the risk of adverse maternal outcomes, it is unclear how the pandemic impacted access to these resources, particularly in communities of color with lower incomes. OBJECTIVE: To examine the experiences accessing community and social service resources during the COVID-19 pandemic among pregnant people of color with low incomes. DESIGN: Participants for this COVID-related qualitative study were recruited from two sources-a prospective comparative effectiveness study of two models of enhanced prenatal care and the California Black Infant Health Program between August and November of 2020. METHODS: We conducted 62 interviews with Medicaid-eligible participants in California's Central Valley. During their interviews, study participants were asked to share their pregnancy-related experiences, including how they felt the pandemic had affected those experiences. RESULTS: We identified two broad themes: challenges with accessing community and social service resources during the pandemic and opportunities for improving access to these resources. Sub-themes related to challenges experienced included difficulty with remote access, convoluted enrollment processes for community and social services, and problems specific to accessing COVID-19 resources (e.g. testing). Sub-themes related to opportunities to improve access included leveraging instrumental support from perinatal staff and informational (e.g. practical) support from other community programs and pregnant peers. Participant recommendations included leveraging opportunities to improve client experiences through increased transparency and better patient-provider communication. CONCLUSION: This study highlights some important trends that emerged with the rollout of remote service delivery for social services among a vulnerable population. Many participants were able to leverage support through other programs and perinatal staff. These individuals identified additional opportunities to improve client experiences that can inform the future implementation of support services for pregnant people.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pregnancy , Female , Infant , United States , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Skin Pigmentation , Social Work
9.
Health Syst Reform ; 9(2): 2186824, 2023 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2259814

ABSTRACT

During the first and second waves of the pandemic, Quebec was among the Canadian provinces with the highest COVID-19 mortality rates. Facing particularly large COVID-19 outbreaks in its facilities, an integrated health and social services center in the province of Quebec (Canada), developed resilience strategies. To explore these diverse responses to the crisis, we conducted a case study analysis of a Quebec integrated health and social services center, building on a conceptualization of resilience strategies using "configurations" of effects, strategies, and impacts. Qualitative data from 14 indepth interviews conducted in the summer and fall of 2020 with managers and frontline practitioners were analyzed through the lens of situations of "anticipation," "reaction," or "inaction." The findings were discussed in three results dissemination workshops, two with practitioners and one with managers, to discern lessons they learned. Three major configurations emerged: 1) reorganization of services and spaces to accommodate more COVID-19 patients; 2) management of contamination risks for patients and professionals; and 3) management of personal protective equipment (PPE), supplies, and medications. Within these configurations, the responses to the crisis were strongly shaped by the 2015 health care system reforms in Quebec and were constrained by organizational challenges that included a centralized model of governance, a history of substantial budget cuts to longterm care facilities, and a systematic lack of human resources.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Quebec/epidemiology , Canada , Social Work
10.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(1)2022 12 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2288574

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed new features in terms of substantial changes in rates of infection, cure, and death as a result of social interventions, which significantly challenges traditional SEIR-type models. In this paper we developed a symmetry-based model for quantifying social interventions for combating COVID-19. We found that three key order parameters, separating degree (S) for susceptible populations, healing degree (H) for mild cases, and rescuing degree (R) for severe cases, all display logistic dynamics, establishing a novel dynamic model named SHR. Furthermore, we discovered two evolutionary patterns of healing degree with a universal power law in 23 areas in the first wave. Remarkably, the model yielded a quantitative evaluation of the dynamic back-to-zero policy in the third wave in Beijing using 12 datasets of different sizes. In conclusion, the SHR model constitutes a rational basis by which we can understand this complex epidemic and policymakers can carry out sustainable anti-epidemic measures to minimize its impact.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Pandemics/prevention & control , Beijing , Social Work
11.
J Evid Based Soc Work (2019) ; 20(4): 496-507, 2023 Jul 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2239528

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to analyze the relationship between emotions and concerns stemming from COVID-19 and the academic engagement of social work students, taking into account the mediating role played by resilience. METHOD: We carried out a cross-cutting quantitative study by means of an online questionnaire. The participants comprised a total of 474 students currently enrolled on the Degree in Social Work at the University of Valencia (Spain). RESULTS: The results show that the effects of emotions and concerns stemming from COVID-19 on student engagement were fully mediated by resilience. Indeed, positive emotions and concerns about the future had a positive impact on student engagement through resilience. DISCUSSION: Resilience stands as a potential protective factor against the social and academic challenges generated by COVID-19. The pandemic could therefore be seen as a real opportunity for sweeping change in the teaching and practice of social work.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Mediation Analysis , Students , Emotions , Social Work
12.
Soc Work ; 68(2): 141-149, 2023 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2222760

ABSTRACT

This study aims to examine whether social work services can improve migrant children's social engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic in urban China. Valid questionnaires of 416 migrant children in Guangzhou were obtained as the samples. Two regression models were employed to analyze the factors associated with social engagement. The results show that during the pandemic, migrant children with higher self-efficacy, higher community social capital, and better social inclusion tended to have higher social engagement. Among the three dimensions of social capital, only community social capital has a significant positive effect on migrant children's social engagement. The degree of social inclusion of migrant children affects their social engagement. Social work services are beneficial to promoting the social engagement of migrant children. The research has implications for the practice of child social workers. First, it is important to cultivate migrant children's self-efficacy to promote social engagement. Second, social workers should build the social capital of the communities where migrant children live to promote the social engagement of this group. Third, social workers should strengthen support for migrant children's learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Transients and Migrants , Humans , Child , Pandemics , East Asian People , Social Participation , Social Work , China/epidemiology
13.
PLoS One ; 17(12): e0278240, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2197040

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has had broad impacts on individuals, families and communities which will continue to require multidimensional responses from service providers, program developers, and policy makers. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to use Life Course theory to understand and imagine public health and policy responses to the multiple and varied impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on different groups. METHODS: "The Cost of COVID-19" was a research study carried out in Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington counties in South Eastern Ontario, Canada, between June and December 2020. Data included 210 micronarrative stories collected from community members, and 31 in-depth interviews with health and social service providers. Data were analyzed using directed content analysis to explore the fit between data and the constructs of Life Course theory. RESULTS: Social pathways were significantly disrupted by changes to education and employment, as well as changes to roles which further altered anticipated pathways. Transitions were by and large missed, creating a sense of loss. While some respondents articulated positive turning points, most of the turning points reported were negative, including fundamental changes to relationships, family structure, education, and employment with lifelong implications. Participants' trajectories varied based on principles including when they occurred in their lifespan, the amount of agency they felt or did not feel over circumstances, where they lived (rural versus urban), what else was going on in their lives at the time the pandemic struck, how their lives were connected with others, as well as how the pandemic impacted the lives of those dear to them. An additional principle, that of Culture, was felt to be missing from the Life Course theory as currently outlined. CONCLUSIONS: A Life Course analysis may improve our understanding of the multidimensional long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health countermeasures. This analysis could help us to anticipate services that will require development, training, and funding to support the recovery of those who have been particularly affected. Resources needed will include education, mental health and job creation supports, as well as programs that support the development of individual and community agency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Public Health , Life Change Events , Public Policy , Social Work , Ontario/epidemiology
14.
Soc Work Health Care ; 62(1): 1-18, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2186801

ABSTRACT

There is increasing recognition of the salience of eHealth technologies in enhancing health service capacity. Yet social work remains "behind the curve" in progressing digital practices. As the demand for digital health care increases, particularly following COVID-19, it is becoming increasingly urgent to understand how social workers engage with eHealth technologies, and how technological engagement impacts on social work practice. In this scoping review, we sought to examine eHealth use in health social work practice. Our findings suggest that, while social workers recognize the strengths and opportunities to broaden the scope of their practice, they remain concerned that eHealth may not be congruent with the values and approaches of the profession. This review provides a broad overview of health social workers' engagement with eHealth technologies and considers implications for future research that examines the nuanced and complex nature of professional values, risk, and assessment in the digital space.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Health Personnel , Social Work
16.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 1385, 2022 Nov 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2139276

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Amidst ongoing calls for increased health systems resilience, gaps remain in our understanding of how health systems can reach further into communities to ensure resilient service delivery. Indeed, public health emergencies caused by infectious hazards reveal both the value and vulnerability of the workforce delivering health services in communities. This study explores ways in which a non-governmental organization (NGO) in the Philippines protected their frontline workforce during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Guided by a qualitative descriptive approach, 34 in-depth interviews were conducted with community-based health actors employed by the NGO between June 2020 and February 2021. Data analysis was guided by an iterative deductive and inductive approach. RESULTS: We identified four key activities that enabled the NGO and their staff to provide health and social services in communities in a safe and consistent manner as part of the organization's pandemic response. These include (1) ensuring adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and hygiene supplies; (2) providing contextualized and role-specific infection prevention and control (IPC) training; (3) ensuring access to testing for all staff; and (4) providing support during quarantine or isolation. CONCLUSION: Learning from the implementation of these activities offers a way forward toward health emergency preparedness and response that is crucially needed for NGOs to safely leverage their workforce during pandemics. Further, we describe how community-based health actors employed by NGOs can contribute to broader health systems resilience in the context of health emergency preparedness and response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Workforce , Pandemics , Humans , Community Health Services , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Philippines/epidemiology , Social Work , Public Health , Infection Control , Organizations, Nonprofit
17.
Psychiatr Danub ; 33(4): 634-638, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2100819

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To explore the effect of social work intervention on psychological intervention of medical workers after the epidemic under the mode of "internet plus Music Therapy". SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The observation objects in this study were all medical workers in fever clinic under the epidemic situation in COVID-19. A total of 60 cases were selected, and the proportion of anxiety and depression of medical workers in fever clinic was investigated by electronic questionnaire. After completing the investigation, social work intervention measures under the mode of "internet plus Music Therapy" were implemented. RESULTS: After implementation, the proportion of anxiety and depression of medical workers were significantly lower than those before intervention (P<0.05). The development of music therapy activities has alleviated the job anxiety of medical workers to a great extent, and the job anxiety test, total score and scores of various factors have all decreased. CONCLUSIONS: Social work intervention under the mode of "internet plus Music Therapy" can relieve anxiety and depression, and ensure the mental health of frontline medical staff during the epidemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Music Therapy , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/therapy , Humans , Internet , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Work
18.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(10): e2239076, 2022 10 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2094122

ABSTRACT

Importance: Although the general US population had fewer emergency department (ED) visits during the COVID-19 pandemic, patterns of use among high users are unknown. Objectives: To examine natural trends in ED visits among high users of health and social services during an extended period and assess whether these trends differed during COVID-19. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study combined data from 9 unique cohorts, 1 for each fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) from 2012 to 2021, and used mixed-effects, negative binomial regression to model ED visits over time and assess ED use among the top 5% of high users of multiple systems during COVID-19. Data were obtained from the Coordinated Care Management System, a San Francisco Department of Public Health platform that integrates medical and social information with service use. Exposures: Fiscal year 2020 was defined as the COVID-19 year. Main Outcomes and Measures: Measured variables were age, gender, language, race and ethnicity, homelessness, insurance status, jail health encounters, mental health and substance use diagnoses, and mortality. The main outcome was annual mean ED visit counts. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were used to describe changes in ED visit rates both over time and in COVID-19 vs non-COVID-19 years. Results: Of the 8967 participants, 3289 (36.7%) identified as White, 3005 (33.5%) as Black, and 1513 (16.9%) as Latinx; and 7932 (88.5%) preferred English. The mean (SD) age was 46.7 (14.2) years, 6071 (67.7%) identified as men, and 7042 (78.5%) had experienced homelessness. A statistically significant decrease was found in annual mean ED visits among high users for every year of follow-up until year 8, with the largest decrease occurring in the first year of follow-up (IRR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.40-0.43). However, during the pandemic, ED visits decreased 25% beyond the mean reduction seen in prepandemic years (IRR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.72-0.79). Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, multiple cohorts of the top 5% of high users of multiple health care systems in San Francisco had sustained annual decreases in ED visits from 2012 to 2021, with significantly greater decreases during COVID-19. Further research is needed to elucidate pandemic-specific factors associated with these findings and understand how this change in use was associated with health outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Male , Humans , Middle Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Emergency Service, Hospital , Delivery of Health Care , Social Work
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(17)2022 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2010025

ABSTRACT

Mindfulness-based art therapy has shown to improve psychological well-being. Zentangle is an easy-to-learn, mindfulness-based art therapy suitable for everyone. We reported the transition from face-to-face to online Zentangle workshops in family social services during COVID-19. We explored feedback from face-to-face workshops and the acceptability of an online approach utilizing information communication technology (ICT) to achieve greater service reach, satisfaction, and knowledge and related outcomes. Under the Hong Kong Jockey Club SMART Family-Link Project and in collaboration with Caritas Integrated Family Service Centre-Aberdeen, this study was conducted in two phases: a four-session, face-to-face workshop (phase one) and eleven online single-session workshops (phase two) from September 2019 to September 2020. A total of 305 participants joined the workshops. Phase one participants (n = 11) reported high satisfaction (4.7 out of 5), increases in knowledge (4.2/5) and confidence (3.9/5) towards managing stress, increases in knowledge (4.1/5) and confidence (3.9/5) in showing support and care towards family members, and an increase in knowledge towards strengthening family relationships (4.0/5). Phase two participants (n = 294) also reported high satisfaction (4.7/5) and strongly agreed that ICT helped with learning Zentangle more conveniently, that they had increased knowledge and interest in Zentangle (all 4.7/5), and would definitely join the workshop again (4.8/5). The qualitative data supported the quantitative findings. We are the first to report on the utilization of ICT in an exploratory trial of brief, online Zentangle art workshops targeting the general public, with high satisfaction and positive participant experiences with ICT integration, learning Zentangle, and enhanced psychological and family well-being. This study provided preliminary evidence on the use of ICT to successfully transition face-to-face to online workshops and reach a wider audience.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mindfulness , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Information Technology , Learning , Social Work
20.
Prev Chronic Dis ; 19: E48, 2022 08 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1994410

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES: Multisector collaboration is a widely promoted strategy to increase equitable availability, access, and use of healthy foods, safe places for physical activity, social supports, and preventive health care services. Yet fewer studies and resources exist for collaboration among governmental and nongovernmental agencies to address public problems in rural areas, despite an excess burden of risk factors for cancer morbidity and mortality. We aimed to learn about cancer prevention activities and collaboration facilitators among rural informal interagency networks. EVALUATION METHODS: In 2020, researchers conducted semistructured interviews with staff from rural public health and social services agencies, community health centers, and extension offices. Agency staff were from 5 service areas across 27 rural counties in Missouri and Illinois with high poverty rates and excess cancer risks and mortality. We conducted a thematic analysis to code interview transcripts and identify key themes. RESULTS: Exchanging information, cohosting annual or one-time events, and promoting other agencies' services and programs were the most commonly described collaborative activities among the 32 participants interviewed. Participants indicated a desire to improve collaborations by writing more grants together to codevelop ongoing prevention programs and further share resources. Participants expressed needs to increase community outreach, improve referral systems, and expand screenings. We identified 5 facilitator themes: commitment to address community needs, mutual willingness to collaborate, long-standing relationships, smaller community structures, and necessity of leveraging limited resources. Challenges included lack of funding and time, long travel distances, competing priorities, difficulty replacing staff in remote communities, and jurisdictional boundaries. Although the COVID-19 pandemic further limited staff availability for collaboration, participants noted benefits of remote collaborative meetings. IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: Rural areas need consistent funding and other resources to support health-improving multisector initiatives. Existing strengths found in the rural underresourced areas can facilitate multisector collaborations for cancer prevention, including long-standing relationships, small community structures, and the need to leverage limited resources.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Rural Health Services , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , Rural Population , Social Work
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