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1.
BMC Med Educ ; 23(1): 386, 2023 May 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239260

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to determine whether the pandemic has reinforced the choice of pursuing health-related bachelor's degrees, and to identify underlying factors that could contribute to that impact. This is a cross-sectional study using an online survey of 2,344 students of nursing, physiotherapy, medicine, psychology and podiatry who started health-related bachelor's degrees after the COVID-19 outbreak in Spanish higher education institutions. The pandemic influenced the choice of these studies by increasing the desire to help others (33.2%), by increasing citizenship values (28.4%), and by increasing the desire to contribute to improving the situation of the country (27.5%). Women had a significantly greater influence on the increase in social values related to the practice of the profession produced by the pandemic, whereas men and the bachelor's degree in podiatry were more influenced by salary prospects. An increased desire to help others was significantly higher among women and nursing and medical students. Podiatry and psychology were the degrees were most influenced by the pandemic, as more students decided to pursue them, something they had previously doubted, while in nursing, psychology, and medicine the pandemic reinforced their interest in pursuing the degree the most. Students personally affected by COVID-19 reported being more influenced in reconsidering their professional path and in reinforcing their desire to pursue the health-related studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Students, Medical , Students, Nursing , Male , Humans , Female , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Spain/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Surveys and Questionnaires , Students, Medical/psychology , Students, Nursing/psychology
2.
Front Public Health ; 11: 1157363, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234340

ABSTRACT

Purpose: To analyse the association between the mortality during the summer 2022 and either high temperatures or the COVID-19 wave with data from the Catalan Health Care System (7.8 million people). Methods: We performed a retrospective study using publicly available data of meteorological variables, influenza-like illness (ILI) cases (including COVID-19) and deaths. The study comprises the summer months of the years 2021 and 2022. To compare the curves of mortality, ILI and temperature we calculated the z-score of each series. We assessed the observed lag between curves using the cross-correlation function. Finally, we calculated the correlation between the z-scores using the Pearson correlation coefficient (R2). Results: During the study period, 33,967 deaths were reported in Catalonia (16,416 in the summer of 2021 and 17,551 in the summer of 2022). In 2022, the observed lag and the correlation between the z-scores of temperature and all-cause deaths was 3 days and R2 = 0.86, while between ILI and all-cause deaths was 22 days and R2 = 0.21. This high correlation between temperature and deaths increased up to 0.91 when we excluded those deaths reported as COVID-19 deaths, while the correlation between ILI and non-COVID-19 deaths decreased to -0.19. No correlation was observed between non-COVID deaths and temperature or ILI cases in 2021. Conclusion: Our study suggests that the main cause of the increase in deaths during summer 2022 in Catalonia was the high temperatures and its duration. The contribution of the COVID-19 seems to be limited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Temperature , COVID-19/epidemiology , Spain/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Hot Temperature
3.
Euro Surveill ; 28(21)2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20244209

ABSTRACT

BackgroundSince 1996, epidemiological surveillance of acute respiratory infections (ARI) in Spain has been limited to seasonal influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and potential pandemic viruses. The COVID-19 pandemic provides opportunities to adapt existing systems for extended surveillance to capture a broader range of ARI.AimTo describe how the Influenza Sentinel Surveillance System of Castilla y León, Spain was rapidly adapted in 2020 to comprehensive sentinel surveillance for ARI, including influenza and COVID-19.MethodsUsing principles and methods of the health sentinel network, we integrated electronic medical record data from 68 basic surveillance units, covering 2.6% of the regional population between January 2020 to May 2022. We tested sentinel and non-sentinel samples sent weekly to the laboratory network for SARS-CoV-2, influenza viruses and other respiratory pathogens. The moving epidemic method (MEM) was used to calculate epidemic thresholds.ResultsARI incidence was estimated at 18,942 cases per 100,000 in 2020/21 and 45,223 in 2021/22, with similar seasonal fold increases by type of respiratory disease. Incidence of influenza-like illness was negligible in 2020/21 but a 5-week epidemic was detected by MEM in 2021/22. Epidemic thresholds for ARI and COVID-19 were estimated at 459.4 and 191.3 cases per 100,000 population, respectively. More than 5,000 samples were tested against a panel of respiratory viruses in 2021/22.ConclusionExtracting data from electronic medical records reported by trained professionals, combined with a standardised microbiological information system, is a feasible and useful method to adapt influenza sentinel reports to comprehensive ARI surveillance in the post-COVID-19 era.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Respiratory Tract Infections , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Spain/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Sentinel Surveillance , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/epidemiology
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(10)2023 May 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20244201

ABSTRACT

Millions of SARS-CoV-2 whole genome sequences have been generated to date. However, good quality data and adequate surveillance systems are required to contribute to meaningful surveillance in public health. In this context, the network of Spanish laboratories for coronavirus (RELECOV) was created with the main goal of promoting actions to speed up the detection, analyses, and evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 at a national level, partially structured and financed by an ECDC-HERA-Incubator action (ECDC/GRANT/2021/024). A SARS-CoV-2 sequencing quality control assessment (QCA) was developed to evaluate the network's technical capacity. QCA full panel results showed a lower hit rate for lineage assignment compared to that obtained for variants. Genomic data comprising 48,578 viral genomes were studied and evaluated to monitor SARS-CoV-2. The developed network actions showed a 36% increase in sharing viral sequences. In addition, analysis of lineage/sublineage-defining mutations to track the virus showed characteristic mutation profiles for the Delta and Omicron variants. Further, phylogenetic analyses strongly correlated with different variant clusters, obtaining a robust reference tree. The RELECOV network has made it possible to improve and enhance the genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in Spain. It has provided and evaluated genomic tools for viral genome monitoring and characterization that make it possible to increase knowledge efficiently and quickly, promoting the genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in Spain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Spain/epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , Genomics , Mutation
5.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int ; 30(32): 79315-79334, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20243944

ABSTRACT

Wastewater-based epidemiology has been widely used as a cost-effective method for tracking the COVID-19 pandemic at the community level. Here we describe COVIDBENS, a wastewater surveillance program running from June 2020 to March 2022 in the wastewater treatment plant of Bens in A Coruña (Spain). The main goal of this work was to provide an effective early warning tool based in wastewater epidemiology to help in decision-making at both the social and public health levels. RT-qPCR procedures and Illumina sequencing were used to weekly monitor the viral load and to detect SARS-CoV-2 mutations in wastewater, respectively. In addition, own statistical models were applied to estimate the real number of infected people and the frequency of each emerging variant circulating in the community, which considerable improved the surveillance strategy. Our analysis detected 6 viral load waves in A Coruña with concentrations between 103 and 106 SARS-CoV-2 RNA copies/L. Our system was able to anticipate community outbreaks during the pandemic with 8-36 days in advance with respect to clinical reports and, to detect the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants in A Coruña such as Alpha (B.1.1.7), Delta (B.1.617.2), and Omicron (B.1.1.529 and BA.2) in wastewater with 42, 30, and 27 days, respectively, before the health system did. Data generated here helped local authorities and health managers to give a faster and more efficient response to the pandemic situation, and also allowed important industrial companies to adapt their production to each situation. The wastewater-based epidemiology program developed in our metropolitan area of A Coruña (Spain) during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic served as a powerful early warning system combining statistical models with mutations and viral load monitoring in wastewater over time.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Spain/epidemiology , Wastewater , Pandemics , RNA, Viral , Wastewater-Based Epidemiological Monitoring , Disease Outbreaks
6.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 2916, 2023 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241764

ABSTRACT

The association between long-term exposure to ambient air pollutants and severe COVID-19 is uncertain. We followed 4,660,502 adults from the general population in 2020 in Catalonia, Spain. Cox proportional models were fit to evaluate the association between annual averages of PM2.5, NO2, BC, and O3 at each participant's residential address and severe COVID-19. Higher exposure to PM2.5, NO2, and BC was associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 hospitalization, ICU admission, death, and hospital length of stay. An increase of 3.2 µg/m3 of PM2.5 was associated with a 19% (95% CI, 16-21) increase in hospitalizations. An increase of 16.1 µg/m3 of NO2 was associated with a 42% (95% CI, 30-55) increase in ICU admissions. An increase of 0.7 µg/m3 of BC was associated with a 6% (95% CI, 0-13) increase in deaths. O3 was positively associated with severe outcomes when adjusted by NO2. Our study contributes robust evidence that long-term exposure to air pollutants is associated with severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Spain/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Nitrogen Dioxide/toxicity , COVID-19/epidemiology , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollutants/adverse effects , Particulate Matter/adverse effects
7.
Sci Rep ; 13(1): 8962, 2023 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20240866

ABSTRACT

This work aims to find out the effectiveness of sources based on Big Data like mobile phone records to analyze mobility flows and changes in the population of Spain in different scenarios during the period of the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus. To this end, we have used mobile phone data provided by the National Institute of Statistics from four days corresponding to different phases of the pandemic. Origin-Destination matrices and population estimation calculations at the spatial level of population cells have been elaborated. The results show different patterns that correspond to the phenomena that have occurred, as the decrease of the population during the periods associated with the confinement measures. The consistency of findings with the reality and the generally good correlation with the population census data indicate that mobile phone records are a useful source of data for the elaboration of demographic and mobility studies during pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cell Phone , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Spain/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Psychol Health Med ; 28(6): 1460-1469, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233056

ABSTRACT

The possible relationship between vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and mental health has been largely unexplored. We investigated variations in public interest in mental health issues between the different periods of the vaccination campaign against SARS-CoV-2 in Spain and before the initiation of the campaign. Using Google Trends, we explored the relative search volume (RSV) for the terms 'anxiety', 'depression', 'stress', 'insomnia', and 'suicide' between 03/01/2020 and 01/15/2022. The RSV was compared for these terms with respect to four periods: the pre-vaccination pandemic period; the period running from initiation of vaccination until 50% of the population was fully vaccinated (FV); the period running from 50% FV to 70% FV; and the period after 70% FV. Differences in the RSV indices were observed between the studied periods for 'anxiety'(F = 6.07; p = 0.001; ƞ2 = 0.16), 'stress' (F = 7.77; p < 0.001; ƞ2 = 0.19), and 'insomnia' (F = 3.80; p = 0.013; ƞ2 = 0.11). A lower RSV was found for 'anxiety', 'stress', and 'insomnia' after 70% FV compared to the two previous vaccination periods. A lower RSV was also found for 'stress' after achieving the milestone of 70% FV in relation to the period prior to initiation of the campaign. In conclusion, there is less need for information on specific mental health topics in the period after 70% FV. In Spain, reaching this vaccination milestone may have had a positive impact on anxiety, stress, and insomnia levels in the population, as reflected in fewer web searches for information on these psychopathological processes. The promotion of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign could take into account the changes observed in this preliminary study with respect to public interest in stress, anxiety, and insomnia once a large percentage of the population has been vaccinated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Spain/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Mental Health , Vaccination
9.
Eur J Gen Pract ; 29(2): 2155135, 2023 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232531

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Covid-19 pandemic has increased stress levels in GPs, who have resorted to different coping strategies to deal with this crisis. Gender differences in coping styles may be contributing factors in the development of psychological distress. OBJECTIVES: To identify differences by gender and by stress level in coping strategies of GPs during the Covid-19 pandemic. METHODS: A cross-sectional, web-based survey conducted with GPs in Catalonia (Spain), in June-July 2021. via the institution's email distribution list, all GPs members of the Catalan Society of Family and Community Medicine were invited to complete a survey assessing sociodemographic, health and work-related characteristics, experienced stress (Stress scale of the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales-DASS 21) and the frequency of use of a range of coping strategies (Brief-COPE) classified as problem-focused, emotion-focused and avoidant strategies, some of which are adaptive and others maladaptive. We compared the scores of each strategy by gender and stress level using Student's t-test. RESULTS: Of 4739 members, 522 GPs participated in the study (response rate 11%; 79.1% women; mean age = 46.9 years, SD = 10.5). Of these, 41.9% reported moderate-severe stress levels. The most common coping strategies were acceptance, active coping, planning, positive reframing and venting. More frequently than men, women resorted to emotional and instrumental support, venting, distraction and self-blame, whereas men used acceptance and humour more commonly than women. Moderate-severe stress levels were associated with non-adaptive coping, with increased use of avoidance strategies, self-blame, religion and venting, and decreased use of positive reframing and acceptance. CONCLUSION: The most common coping strategies were adaptive and differed by gender. However, highly stressful situations caused maladaptive strategies to emerge.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Male , Humans , Female , Middle Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Spain/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/etiology , Pandemics , Sex Factors , Adaptation, Psychological
10.
An Pediatr (Engl Ed) ; 99(1): 3-13, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20231363

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has had a great impact on the physical and psychological health of the population. The aim of this study was to evaluate child and adolescent mental health in a population cohort along the 2020-2021 school year. METHODS: This was a prospective longitudinal study of a cohort of children from 5-14 years of age in Catalonia, Spain, performed from September 2020 to July 2021. The participants were randomly selected and accompanied by their primary care paediatrician. Evaluation of risk of psychopathology was performed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) carried out by one of the legal guardians of the child. We also collected sociodemographic and health variables of the participants and their nuclear family. Data were collected by an online survey through the RedCap platform at the beginning of the academic year and at the end of each trimester (4 cuts). RESULTS: At the beginning of the school year, 9.8% of the patients were probable cases of psychopathology compared to 6.2% at the end of the year. The perception of the level of preoccupation of the children for their health and that of their family was related to presenting psychopathology, especially at the beginning of the year, with the perception of a good family atmosphere being always related to lower risk. No variable related to COVID-19 was associated with an altered SDQ result. CONCLUSIONS: Along the 2020-2021 school year, the percentage of children with a probability of presenting psychopathology decreased from 9.8% to 6.2%.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Disorders , Humans , Child , Adolescent , Mental Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Spain/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Schools
11.
J Dent ; 135: 104563, 2023 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20230704

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the teaching of prosthodontics, on the 5th course of the Bachelor's degree in Dentistry in Spain. METHODS: In June 2021, a two-section survey was submitted to the coordinators of prosthodontics of the 23 Spanish faculties of Dentistry. The first section was focused on the theoretical lessons, seminars, and clinical discussion sessions. The second part relied on the clinical teaching and the implemented preventive measures. RESULTS: The response rate was 100%. By the end of the 2020-21 course, both the theoretical and practical teaching were replaced by online activities, returning to face-to face in 2021-22. While most participants preferred in-person seminars and clinical discussion sessions, concerning the theory, comparable percentages of professors chose either face-to-face or blended learning (BL). The students' satisfaction with BL is high, but they seem more attentive in-person. At the beginning of the pandemic, the most common emergency in prosthodontics was debonding. Overall, a low concern about cross-infection was noticed. The barrier measures were the mainly adopted for prevention. CONCLUSIONS: Although the BL is appreciated in prosthodontics for theoretical lessons, face-to-face teaching appears to be the best option for seminars and clinical case discussions. The students are satisfied with BL. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spanish faculties of Dentistry responded quickly to continuing offering quality education through an accelerated digitization process that has created a new paradigm. Detailed analyses of these changes may help establish plans to respond systematically to unforeseen emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Spain/epidemiology , Prosthodontics , COVID-19/prevention & control , Learning , Teaching
12.
Gac Sanit ; 37: 102312, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2323177

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the Valencian Community (Spain) in October 2022, when BA.5 was the predominant variant. METHOD: Cross-sectional, region-wide, population-based serosurvey study in 88 randomly selected primary care centers of the Valencian Community. RESULTS: Seroprevalence of anti-nucleocapsid (indicative of past infection) and total receptor binding domain (indicative of past infection or vaccination) antibodies was 71.0% (confidence interval [CI]: 67.8-74.2) and 98.4% (CI: 97.5-99.3), respectively. 66.7% (CI: 63.4-70.0) of the population shows hybrid immunity, but only 43.2% in those 80 and over. CONCLUSIONS: The high proportion of hybrid immunity detected is relevant for public health strategies. A second vaccination booster was advisable in the elderly population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Humans , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spain/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology
13.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 9: e40514, 2023 05 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2326468

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic placed a tremendous strain on health care systems worldwide. To mitigate the spread of the virus, many countries implemented stringent nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), which significantly altered human behavior both before and after their enactment. Despite these efforts, a precise assessment of the impact and efficacy of these NPIs, as well as the extent of human behavioral changes, remained elusive. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we conducted a retrospective analysis of the initial wave of COVID-19 in Spain to better comprehend the influence of NPIs and their interaction with human behavior. Such investigations are vital for devising future mitigation strategies to combat COVID-19 and enhance epidemic preparedness more broadly. METHODS: We used a combination of national and regional retrospective analyses of pandemic incidence alongside large-scale mobility data to assess the impact and timing of government-implemented NPIs in combating COVID-19. Additionally, we compared these findings with a model-based inference of hospitalizations and fatalities. This model-based approach enabled us to construct counterfactual scenarios that gauged the consequences of delayed initiation of epidemic response measures. RESULTS: Our analysis demonstrated that the pre-national lockdown epidemic response, encompassing regional measures and heightened individual awareness, significantly contributed to reducing the disease burden in Spain. The mobility data indicated that people adjusted their behavior in response to the regional epidemiological situation before the nationwide lockdown was implemented. Counterfactual scenarios suggested that without this early epidemic response, there would have been an estimated 45,400 (95% CI 37,400-58,000) fatalities and 182,600 (95% CI 150,400-233,800) hospitalizations compared to the reported figures of 27,800 fatalities and 107,600 hospitalizations, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings underscore the significance of self-implemented prevention measures by the population and regional NPIs before the national lockdown in Spain. The study also emphasizes the necessity for prompt and precise data quantification prior to enacting enforced measures. This highlights the critical interplay between NPIs, epidemic progression, and human behavior. This interdependence presents a challenge in predicting the impact of NPIs before they are implemented.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Retrospective Studies , Spain/epidemiology
14.
Actas Esp Psiquiatr ; 51(2): 56-64, 2023 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2324769

ABSTRACT

The lockdown during the first wave of COV- ID-19 in Spain has been related to higher levels of anxiety in the general population. However, the emotional impact on Spanish caregivers of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD) has not been studied so far.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , COVID-19 , Down Syndrome , Williams Syndrome , Humans , Williams Syndrome/psychology , Autism Spectrum Disorder/psychology , Caregivers/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Spain/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Anxiety/epidemiology
15.
BMC Womens Health ; 23(1): 201, 2023 04 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2324737

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The intersection between poverty and mental health is clear. Period poverty, understood as the lack of access to menstrual products, has been gaining attention especially among low and middle-income countries as an overlooked aspect of gendered poverty. Less is known about the incidence of period poverty in high-income countries and its association with mental health. The purpose of this study is to examine this association in a representative sample of young women living in an urban setting in southern Europe. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study. Data were obtained from a representative survey of individuals aged 15 to 34 in the city of Barcelona (Spain), with a sample group of 647 young women. Subjects were selected through a systematic stratified random sampling method. A proportional quota sampling was used. The information was registered using CAPI data collection method. Period poverty was measured by a combination of three questions about the lack of access or misuse of menstrual products for economic reasons. The GHQ-12 was used to measure the risk of poor mental health. The analysis was carried out using multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: From our sample, 15.3% of young women reported having experienced period poverty. Higher odds of poor mental health were estimated for women facing period poverty (AOR = 1.85 p < 0.05). This effect is statistically significant after controlling by their income status and level of deprivation. Young women living in poorer households have a higher probability of poor mental health than those living in high-income households (AOR = 0.47 p < 0.05). Finally, material deprivation was associated to an increased risk of poor mental health among young women reporting period poverty (AOR = 2.59 p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: We found that a considerable number of young women living in an urban setting in a high-income country cannot afford menstrual products, and this may have an impact on their mental wellbeing. The relationship between period poverty and respondents' mental health is significant when controlling for factors known to confer an increased risk of poor mental health. If confirmed by further research, the public health burden of poor mental health in young women could be reduced by policy-level interventions to improve access to menstrual products.


Subject(s)
Mental Health , Poverty , Humans , Female , Spain/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Income
16.
Rev Esp Sanid Penit ; 24(3): 77-78, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2316992
17.
Arch Soc Esp Oftalmol (Engl Ed) ; 98(6): 325-328, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2316950

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: This study reports visual health during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 in Spain and Portugal, focusing on eye complaints and population habits. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Cross-sectional survey through an online email invitation to patients attending ophthalmology clinics in Spain and Portugal from September to November 2021. Around 3833 participants offered valid anonymous responses in a questionnaire. RESULTS: Sixty percent of respondents identified significant discomfort related to dry eye symptoms for increased screen time and lens fogging using facemasks. 81.6% of the participants used digital devices for more than 3 h per day and 40% for more than 8 h. In addition, 44% of participants referred to worsening near vision. The most frequent ametropias were myopia (40.2%) and astigmatism (36.7%). Parents considered eyesight the most important aspect of their children (87.2%). CONCLUSIONS: The results show the challenges for eye practices during the initial COVID-19 pandemic. Focusing on signs and symptoms that lead to ophthalmologic conditions is an essential concern, especially in our digital society highly dependent on vision. At the same time, the excessive use of digital devices during this pandemic has aggravated dry eye and myopia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dry Eye Syndromes , Myopia , Child , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Portugal/epidemiology , Spain/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Myopia/epidemiology
18.
Public Health ; 219: 139-145, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2314580

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study analysed the association between social and ideological determinants with COVID-19 vaccine accessibility and hesitancy in the Spanish adult population. STUDY DESIGN: This was a repeated cross-sectional study. METHODS: The data analysed are based on monthly surveys conducted by the Centre for Sociological Research between May 2021 and February 2022. Individuals were classified according to their COVID-19 vaccination status into (1) vaccinated (reference group); (2) willing to vaccinate but not vaccinated, proxy of lack of vaccine accessibility; and (3) hesitant, proxy of vaccine hesitancy. Independent variables included social (educational attainment, gender) and ideological determinants (voting in the last elections, importance attached to the health vs the economic impact of the pandemic, and political self-placement). We estimated odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) conducting one age-adjusted multinomial logistic regression model for each determinant and then stratified them by gender. RESULTS: Both social and ideological determinants had a weak association with the lack of vaccine accessibility. Individuals with medium educational attainment had higher odds of vaccine hesitancy (OR = 1.44, CI 1.08-1.93) compared with those with high educational attainment. People self-identified as conservative (OR = 2.90; CI 2.02-4.15) and those who prioritised the economic impact (OR = 3.80; CI 2.62-5.49) and voted for parties opposed to the Government (OR = 2.00; CI 1.54-2.60) showed higher vaccine hesitancy. The stratified analysis showed a similar pattern for both men and women. CONCLUSIONS: Considering the determinants of vaccine uptake and hesitancy could help to design strategies that increase immunisation at the population level and minimise health inequities.


Subject(s)
Academic Success , COVID-19 , Adult , Male , Humans , Female , Spain/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Cross-Sectional Studies , Vaccination
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(9)2023 05 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2318859

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 lockdowns greatly affected the mental health of populations and collectives. This study compares the mental health and self-perceived health in five countries of Latin America and Spain, during the first wave of COVID 19 lockdown, according to social axes of inequality. This was a cross-sectional study using an online, self-managed survey in Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Spain. Self-perceived health (SPH), anxiety (measured through GAD-7) and depression (measured through PHQ-9) were measured along with lockdown, COVID-19, and social variables. The prevalence of poor SPH, anxiety, and depression was calculated. The analyses were stratified by gender (men = M; women = W) and country. The data from 39,006 people were analyzed (W = 71.9%). There was a higher prevalence of poor SPH and bad mental health in women in all countries studied. Peru had the worst SPH results, while Chile and Ecuador had the worst mental health indicators. Spain had the lowest prevalence of poor SPH and mental health. The prevalence of anxiety and depression decreased as age increased. Unemployment, poor working conditions, inadequate housing, and the highest unpaid workload were associated with worse mental health and poor SPH, especially in women. In future policies, worldwide public measures should consider the great social inequalities in health present between and within countries in order to tackle health emergencies while reducing the health breach between populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Male , Humans , Female , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Mental Health , Latin America/epidemiology , Spain/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Communicable Disease Control , Socioeconomic Factors , Anxiety/epidemiology , Health Status , Depression/epidemiology
20.
Front Public Health ; 11: 1089565, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2318661

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the lack of a government contingency plan for an effective response to an unexpected health crisis. This study uses a phenomenological approach to explore the experience of healthcare professionals during the first three waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in a public health hospital in the Valencia region, Spain. It assesses the impact on their health, coping strategies, institutional support, organizational changes, quality of care, and lessons learned. Methods: We carried out a qualitative study with semi-structured interviews with doctors and nurses from the Preventive Medicine, Emergency, and Internal Medicine Services and the Intensive Care Unit, using the Colaizzi's 7-step data analysis method. Results: During the first wave, lack of information and leadership led to feelings of uncertainty, fear of infection, and transmission to family members. Continuous organizational changes and lack of material and human resources brought limited results. The lack of space to accommodate patients, along with insufficient training in treating critical patients, and the frequent moving around of healthcare workers, reduced the quality of care. Despite the high levels of emotional stress reported, no sick leave was taken; the high levels of commitment and professional vocation helped in adapting to the intense work rhythms. Healthcare professionals in the medical services and support units reported higher levels of stress, and a greater sense of neglect by their institution than their colleagues in managerial roles. Family, social support, and camaraderie at work were effective coping strategies. Health professionals showed a strong collective spirit and sense of solidarity. This helped them cope with the additional stress and workload that accompanied the pandemic. Conclusion: In the wake of this experience, they highlight the need for a contingency plan adapted to each organizational context. Such a plan should include psychological counseling and continuous training in critical patient care. Above all, it needs to take advantage of the hard-won knowledge born of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Spain/epidemiology , Health Personnel/psychology , Hospitals, Public
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