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1.
Front Public Health ; 10: 789396, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2142306

ABSTRACT

This case study illustrates the role and value of a social needs response team during times of crisis and beyond. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in two simultaneous crises-the infectious disease crisis and the socioeconomic crisis. Unemployment and lost wages, housing and food insecurity, and increased childcare needs are just a few examples of the socioeconomic needs that skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the start of the pandemic, the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) formed an interdisciplinary team of physicians, social workers, nurse practitioners and students of these professions to reimagine social needs screening in a way that could reach people during the pandemic and provide sustainable support for individual's evolving social needs. The Social Needs Response Team (SNRT) at UPHS utilized various secure platforms to keep members of the team connected with each other and their patients. Orientations for participating students included training on how to employ principles of crisis intervention theory, empathetic inquiry, and patient-led and family-centered care to best uncover and serve the needs of their patients. Alongside the illustrative case study, this piece details guiding principles and concepts that are essential to integrating social needs targeted care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Physicians , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Unemployment , Students
2.
JMIR Mhealth Uhealth ; 10(11): e41689, 2022 Nov 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109576

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the general public was concerned about the mental health impacts of unemployment due to COVID-19 and the stress essential workers experienced during this time. Several reports indicated that people in distress were turning to digital technology, but there was little evidence about the impact of these tools on mitigating distress. OBJECTIVE: This study seeks to determine the acceptability, feasibility, usability, and effectiveness of mobile mental health apps for decreasing mental health symptoms in essential workers and unemployed individuals with suicide risk. METHODS: We recruited participants who indicated that they were unemployed because of COVID-19 or were COVID-19-designated essential workers. Participants were randomized to 1 of 4 free commercial mobile apps for managing distress that were (1) highly rated by PsyberGuide and (2) met the criteria for intervention features these participants indicated were desirable in a previous survey. Participants used the apps for 4 weeks and completed baseline and 4-week self-assessments of depression, anxiety emotional regulation, and suicide risk. RESULTS: We found no differences between the apps in any outcome but did find significant changes in depression and anxiety over time (Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ]-9: estimate=-1.5, SE 0.2, 95% CI -1.1 to -1.8, P<.001; Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale [GAD]-7: estimate=-1.3, SE 0.2, 95% CI -1.0 to -1.6, P<.001). We found no significant changes in suicidal behavior (Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised [SBQ-R]) or emotional regulation (Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale - Short Form [DERS-SF]) for the 4 weeks. We did find a significant dose-response pattern for changes in depression and anxiety. Using the app at least once a week resulted in greater improvements in treatment conditions over time on depression (estimate=-0.6, SE 0.2, 95% CI 1.0-0.2, P=.003) and anxiety (estimate=0.1, SE 0.2, 95% CI 0.4-0.6, P=.78). There was no association between app frequency and changes in suicidal behavior (SBQ-R) or emotional regulation (DERS-SF). We further found a significant difference between the conditions with regard to app usability, with the control app being the most usable (meanBeautiful Mood 72.9, SD 16.7; meanCOVID Coach 71.2, SD 15.4; meanCalm 66.8, SD 17.3; mean7 Cups 65.2, SD 17.7). We found no significant differences for app acceptability or appropriateness. CONCLUSIONS: Few studies have evaluated prospectively the utility and usability of commercial apps for mood. This study found that free, self-guided commercial mobile mental health apps are seen as usable, but no one app is superior to the other. Although we found that regular use is indicated for effects on depression and anxiety to occur in those who are more symptomatic, regression to the mean cannot be ruled out. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04536935; https://tinyurl.com/mr36zx3s.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mobile Applications , Humans , Mental Health , Unemployment , Pandemics
3.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 41(11): 1598-1606, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109345

ABSTRACT

Research demonstrates that receiving unemployment insurance decreases mental health problems. But researchers have also found racial and ethnic disparities in unemployment insurance receipt resulting from differences in work history and location. We examined a population disproportionately affected by job loss and unemployment insurance exclusions, using a survey of service workers from a single city who were parents of young children and who overwhelmingly had eligible work histories. During the COVID-19 pandemic, workers not identifying as White non-Hispanic in our sample were more likely to get laid off than White workers. Among those who were laid off, these workers and White workers experienced similar increases in material and mental health difficulties and similar gains when they received unemployment insurance. However, these workers were less likely than White workers to receive unemployment insurance at all. These results indicate that unemployment insurance has unrealized potential to reduce material and health disparities. Policies should be implemented to make this coverage more effective and equitable through increased access.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Child , Humans , United States , Child, Preschool , Healthcare Disparities , Unemployment , Insurance, Health
4.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 41(11): 1590-1597, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109344

ABSTRACT

Unemployment rates soared at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, increasing financial stress that can affect physical and mental health. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is the primary cash assistance program for low-income families in the US, with benefits conditional on work activities and subject to suspension. However, many states loosened requirements during the pandemic. Using TANF policy data and data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from the period January 2017-December 2020 with a triple-difference design, we found a general protective effect of supportive changes to TANF on poor physical and mental health days and binge drinking during the COVID-19 pandemic for likely TANF participants. For example, providing emergency cash benefits to those not already participating in TANF, waiving work requirements, waiving or pausing sanctions, and automatically recertifying benefits were associated with reductions in the number of mentally unhealthy days. This study provides support for increasing generosity and easing administrative burdens in safety-net programs to buffer against negative impacts of public health and economic crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Welfare , Humans , United States , Mental Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , Unemployment , Public Assistance
5.
Asian J Psychiatr ; 78: 103320, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2104283

ABSTRACT

Similar to other countries, the Japanese government quickly undertook preventative measures against increasing suicides during the pandemic, but could not suppress the increase. Suicide mortality among both sexes under 20 and females aged 20-39 significantly increased during the pandemic, but unexpectedly had already slowed decreasing trends before the pandemic onset. Furthermore, before the pandemic, a higher complete unemployment rate contributed to increasing suicide mortality of both sexes, whereas during the pandemic, the positive relationship between females suicide mortalities and complete unemployment rates was not observed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , Male , Female , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Japan/epidemiology , Unemployment , Pandemics
6.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0275095, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2098741

ABSTRACT

Using data from all those born in a single week in 1958 in Britain we track associations between short pain and chronic pain in mid-life (age 44) and subsequent health, wellbeing and labor market outcomes in later life. We focus on data taken at age 50 in 2008, when the Great Recession hit and then five years later at age 55 in 2013 and again at age 62 in 2021 during the Covid pandemic. We find those suffering both short-term and chronic pain at age 44 continue to report pain and poor general health in their 50s and 60s. However, the associations are much stronger for those with chronic pain. Furthermore, chronic pain at age 44 is associated with a range of poor mental health outcomes, pessimism about the future and joblessness at age 55 whereas short-duration pain at age 44 is not. Pain has strong predictive power for pain later in life: pain in childhood predicts pain in mid-life, even when one controls for pain in early adulthood. Pain appears to reflect other vulnerabilities as we find that chronic pain at age 44 predicts whether or not a respondent has Covid nearly twenty years later.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chronic Pain , Adult , Humans , Middle Aged , Child Development , Chronic Pain/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Unemployment
7.
JAMA ; 328(16): 1639-1641, 2022 10 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2094108

ABSTRACT

This study examines changes in unemployment among US health care workers from January 2015 to April 2022, before and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Personnel , Health Workforce , Unemployment , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Unemployment/statistics & numerical data , Health Workforce/statistics & numerical data
8.
J Occup Environ Med ; 64(9): 726-730, 2022 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2077939

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study is to determine relationships between lockdowns and excess mortality, unemployment, and employment growth. METHODS: Each US states' mortality data for 2020 were compared with the prior 3 years to determine excess mortality. Data were compared using measures of lockdowns, or state openness scores and adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and cardiovascular disease. Comparisons were made with unemployment rates and employment growth rates. RESULTS: The 2020 excess mortality ranged from -9% to 46%. The average openness score was not significant ( P = 0.20). However, openness was strongly associated with both unemployment ( P = 0.01) and employment growth ( P = 0.0008). CONCLUSIONS: There was no statistical relationship between excess mortality and openness scores, while there were strong relationships with employment measures. These results suggest that lockdowns are not sufficiently beneficial for future use in this pandemic and raise concerns for use in future pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Unemployment , Communicable Disease Control , Employment , Humans , Mortality , Pandemics
9.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(19)2022 Sep 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2065964

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is a lack of consensus on the social determinants of Deaths of Despair (DoD), i.e., an increase in mortality attributed to drug overdose, alcohol-related liver disease, and suicide in the United States (USA) during recent years. The objective of this study was to review the scientific literature on DoD with the purpose of identifying relevant social determinants and inequalities related to these mortality trends. METHODS: Scoping review focusing on the period 2015-2022 based on PubMed search. Articles were selected according to the following inclusion criteria: published between 1 January 2000 and 31 October 2021; including empirical data; analyzed DoD including the three causes defined by Case and Deaton; analyzed at least one social determinant; written in English; and studied DoD in the USA context only. Studies were excluded if they only analyzed adolescent populations. We synthesized our findings in a narrative report specifically addressing DoD by economic conditions, occupational hazards, educational level, geographical setting, and race/ethnicity. RESULTS: Seventeen studies were included. Overall, findings identify a progressive increase in deaths attributable to suicide, drug overdose, and alcohol-related liver disease in the USA in the last two decades. The literature concerning DoD and social determinants is relatively scarce and some determinants have been barely studied. However different, however, large inequalities have been identified in the manner in which the causes of death embedded in the concept of DoD affect different subpopulations, particularly African American, and Hispanic populations, but blue collar-whites are also significantly impacted. Low socioeconomic position and education levels and working in jobs with high insecurity, unemployment, and living in rural areas were identified as the most relevant social determinants of DoD. CONCLUSIONS: There is a need for further research on the structural and intermediate social determinants of DoD and social mechanisms. Intersectional and systemic approaches are needed to better understand and tackle DoD and related inequalities.


Subject(s)
Drug Overdose , Liver Diseases , Suicide , Adolescent , Humans , Social Determinants of Health , Unemployment , United States/epidemiology
10.
Psychiatry Res ; 317: 114898, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2061786

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan, various measures have been implemented to prevent the spread of infection, including restrictions on human mobility. A dynamic fluctuation in the number of suicides has been observed during this period. The question is whether the increase/decrease in suicides during the pandemic is related to changes in human mobility. To answer the same, we estimated incidence rate ratios (IRR) of suicide for changes in human mobility using the relative number of suicides by month from March 2020 to September 2021, based on the same months in 2019 as reference. The IRR of suicide during the pandemic were significantly lower in the months when mobility decreased-in both the previous and current month-than in the months when mobility was stable; the IRR of suicide were statistically higher in the months with increased mobility compared with the stable months. The burden from a decrease in one's mobility, which might lead to an increase in suicide, may not occur immediately, as seen in the delayed effects of unemployment. It may be important to investigate people's mental health and stress levels after pandemic restrictions were relaxed. The findings may help practitioners and families consider the timing of intervention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , Humans , Pandemics , Japan/epidemiology , Unemployment/psychology
11.
PLoS One ; 17(9): e0274799, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2039429

ABSTRACT

Little is known about longitudinal patterns of welfare program participation among single mothers after they transition from employment to unemployment. To better understand how utilization patterns of these welfare programs may change during the 12 months after a job loss, we used the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation to examine the patterns of participation in Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and unemployment insurance among 342 single mothers who transitioned from employment to unemployment during the Great Recession. Using sequence analysis and cluster analysis, this paper identified four distinct patterns of program participation: (a) constantly receiving in-kind benefits; (b) primarily but not solely receiving food stamps; (c) inconsistent unemployment insurance or Medicaid-based benefits; and (d) limited or no benefits. Almost two-fifths of our sample of single mothers received inconsistent, limited, or no benefits. Results of the multinomial regression revealed that race, work disability, poverty, homeownership, and region of residence were significant factors that influenced whether study subjects participated in or had access to social safety net programs. Our findings illustrate the heterogeneity in patterns of multiple program participation among single mothers transitioning from employment to unemployment. Better understanding these varied patterns may inform decisions that increase the accessibility of US social safety net programs for single mothers during periods of personal economic hardship.


Subject(s)
Food Assistance , Unemployment , Employment , Humans , Medicaid , Poverty , United States
12.
Psychiatry Res ; 316: 114774, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2036449

ABSTRACT

This study estimated the excess suicidal mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. A Poisson regression model was used to assess the association between unemployment rates, expenditure for alcohol, eating out, and suicide, from January 2008 to March 2020. The excess suicidal mortality was assessed by applying the identified model to data from April 2020 to December 2021. The number of estimated excess deaths during COVID-19 was 3397 in men and 2390 in women. COVID-19 may have caused unprecedented psychological distress among people, owing to restricted social gatherings and prolonged uncertainties.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide , Female , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , Suicide/psychology , Unemployment/psychology
13.
J Ment Health Policy Econ ; 25(3): 79-89, 2022 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2033927

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The lack of work appeared to be linked to several symptoms related to poor mental health. Likewise, the reverse relationship, namely the influence of poor mental health on the risk of job loss, has also been analysed, i.e. distress could lead to a poorer work performance culminating in potential job loss. Thus, the bidirectional nature of the relationship between unemployment and mental health makes the accurate estimation of causal relationships a complex matter, leaving room for additional research on the subject. AIMS OF THE STUDY: The aim of this research is to analyse the influence that unemployment could have on mental health taking into account the bidirectional nature that exists between both concepts. METHODS: In order to tackle the causal effect of being unemployed on mental health, we present a biprobit model taking into account the presence of dummy endogenous regressors and we compare these results with those obtained from a standard univariate probit. Our identification strategy exploits geographical information on the unemployment rates as instrument. We use Spanish cross-sectional data from the 2006, 2011 and 2017 years. RESULTS: Based on the results, the paper concludes that unemployed persons in Spain could be subject to a 5.4% higher probability of suffering symptoms related to a common mental disorder (versus 11% obtained using a standard probit). DISCUSSION: The results obtained confirm a negative impact of unemployment situation on mental health. In other words, the probability of unemployed people suffering a mental disorder seems superior to that for individuals with a job. Moreover, the marginal effect obtained from a univariate probit model without the possibility of controlling the mental health selection effects, proves the existence of a problem of simultaneity that would have overestimated the effect of being unemployed on mental health. IMPLICATIONS FOR HEALTH CARE PROVISION: It is hoped that the conclusions obtained here prove useful in the implementation of specific mental health care provision aimed at unemployed people. In this context, the evidence obtained should result in the incorporation of health assistance as an essential part in response to the needs of this collective. IMPLICATIONS FOR HEALTH POLICIES: These special needs of unemployed people should be contemplated not only from a health care provision but also as part of a broader system that incorporates the mental health care of unemployed persons as part of more general public health policies. Finally, these results suggest that mental health-related objectives should be considered when planning, implementing, and evaluating active labour market policies for the unemployed. IMPLICATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH: The length and severity of the last recession, together with the risks associated with the global crisis resulting from COVID-19, reiterate the obvious concerns about the consequences of economic crises and unemployment on personal mental health. In this context, our study could be a step forward in the study of the causal relationships between unemployment and mental health when new data are available.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Disorders , Unemployment , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Health , Unemployment/psychology
14.
J Addict Nurs ; 33(3): 168-171, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2018273

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: Living with an opioid use disorder (OUD) can make finding and sustaining employment a significant challenge and is only expected to get worse in the COVID-19 environment. For most individuals in OUD treatment, being employed is an important part of their recovery journey. Employment has several benefits, including reductions in preoccupation with symptoms, social isolation, risk of suicide, hopelessness, and economic instability, which if not addressed often result in homelessness. Therefore, employment is an important social determinant of health, especially among those with OUD. Employment success and OUD, however, may vary based on race, age, gender, and socioeconomic status. Return to work support as states begin to reopen will be critically important to improve treatment outcomes for individuals with OUD in a post-COVID-19 environment, requiring utilizations of evidence-based interventions. Nurses, particularly psychiatric mental health and addiction nurses, should routinely screen for employment needs of their patients with OUD and connect them to the necessary support services. Finally, nurses should advocate for regulatory reform that allows for employment support services to be billable and integrated in psychiatric and behavioral health services just like other mental health services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Opioid-Related Disorders , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Humans , Opioid-Related Disorders/drug therapy , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Opioid-Related Disorders/psychology , Pandemics , Unemployment
15.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 14898, 2022 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2016841

ABSTRACT

Job loss is a stressful event that increases the risk of experiencing depression and anxiety, especially during the initial months of unemployment. This study examined differences in psychological symptoms and resilient functioning accounted by employment status. The results pointed out that recently unemployed compared to currently employed individuals had lower levels of perceived controllability and resilience as well as higher levels of depression and anxiety. Path analyses showed that lower controllability appraisals at wave 1 of recently unemployed compared to employed individuals, in turn, predicted a lower use of active coping and reappraisal at wave 2, with the latter further accounting for lower levels in resilience. Higher use of distraction further mediated the relation between employment status and higher levels of depression and anxiety symptoms. Our findings demonstrate the importance of controllability appraisals and coping strategies used to promote adaptive psychological functioning following job loss.


Subject(s)
Adaptation, Psychological , Anxiety , Anxiety/psychology , Anxiety Disorders/psychology , Employment/psychology , Humans , Unemployment/psychology
16.
PLoS One ; 17(9): e0272024, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009686

ABSTRACT

This paper analyses the interaction between the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), unemployment rate, stock market, consumer confidence index (CCI), and economic policy uncertainty (EPU) index in China within a time-frequency framework. We compare the changes in economic indicators during the global financial crisis (GFC) and study the different impacts of the two events on China's economy. An unprecedented impact of COVID-19 shocks on the unemployment rate, CCI, EPU index, and stock market volatility over the low frequency bands is uncovered by applying the coherence wavelet method to China monthly data. The COVID-19 effect on the stock market volatility and the EPU index is substantially higher than on the unemployment rate and the CCI. On the contrary, the GFC's impact on the unemployment rate is much greater than that on the EPU index and CCI. Additionally, the impact of the GFC on the economy is more cyclical in the long-term, while the COVID-19 pandemic is a short-term shock with a relatively short oscillation cycle. This study concludes that the economic impact of COVID-19 will not spread into a financial crisis for China and believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is more of a health event than an economic crisis for Chinese economy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Economic Recession , Humans , Pandemics , Uncertainty , Unemployment
17.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 1614, 2022 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2009373

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Every year, more than 700,000 people die due to suicide, one of the most common reasons for youth death. While many studies have revealed two main factors for suicidal behavior: impulsive suicidal behavior due to mental illness and financial stress, it is not clear what happens if individuals face deterioration of mental health and economic recession. This paper attempts to answer this question and how suicide rates are correlated with these factors. METHODS: We empirically investigate whether economic recessions and air pollution trigger suicides by examining Japan, a country with one of the highest suicide rates, from 2014 to 2021. We take advantage of the characteristics of the COVID-19 pandemic and the periods before the pandemic, when both economic recessions and reductions in air pollution occurred simultaneously. Using monthly and municipal- level data, we construct a triple difference model that takes air pollution and unemployment as treatments. RESULTS: Our findings show that high (upper half of each period) levels of air pollution and unemployment have substantial impacts on the suicide rates of adults (22.9% in the short term) and children (42.7% in the short term, 36.0% in the long term), indicating that the increase in suicide rates among children is almost twice as high as that among adults. Our study finds that unemployment and air pollution alone are not associated with increased suicide rates but their simultaneous occurrence triggers suicides during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Our study urges suicide prevention, particularly among children, as an essential consideration for public health. Furthermore, our results indicate the need for the government to allocate resources to recover air quality and the economy simultaneously during a recession to reduce suicide mortality of both child and adults.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Suicide , Adolescent , Adult , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Child , Economic Recession , Humans , Pandemics , Unemployment/psychology
18.
Prev Med ; 164: 107239, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2008192

ABSTRACT

Although prior research has assessed public mental health in the U.S. throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it is unclear how area-level unemployment impacted psychological well-being; moreover, studies that examine potential effect heterogeneity of the impact of area-level unemployment on well-being by employment status are lacking. To address these shortcomings, this study utilized data from Gallup's repeated cross-sectional, nationally representative COVID-19 web survey collected between April 2020 and July 2021 (n = 132,971). Survey modified Poisson regression models were estimated to determine the association between current unemployment rate in respondents' state of residence and experience of each of the following negative emotions during a lot of the prior day: sadness, worry, stress, anger, loneliness, depression, and anxiety. These models were stratified by employment status and sequentially adjusted for individual-level covariates, state fixed effects, and current state-level COVID-19 mortality. State-level unemployment was most strongly associated with sadness, followed by worry, anger, loneliness, stress, and anxiety; no associations were observed for depression. For sadness, worry, and stress, associations were strongest among full-time employed and retired individuals, and weakest among unemployed respondents and homemakers. Moreover, there was some evidence that state-level unemployment was negatively associated with the experience of anger in the early stages of the pandemic, and positively in its later stages. In sum, these findings suggest that Americans' emotional experience during the COVID-19 pandemic was considerably impacted by the state of the economy, highlighting the need for risk-buffering social policies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Unemployment , Humans , United States/epidemiology , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emotions
19.
S Afr J Commun Disord ; 69(2): e1-e8, 2022 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1975046

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND:  Before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in early 2020, the unemployment rate in South Africa was at its highest in history at 29.1%. During the COVID-19 pandemic to date, unemployment rose even higher to 35.3%. In this context, there has been an increase in the number of unemployed health professionals in South Africa. OBJECTIVES:  This study aimed to determine the employment rates of newly graduated South African audiologists and identify the challenges in obtaining and maintaining employment for audiologists in South Africa. METHODS:  A descriptive online survey design was used. Participants were recruited online through professional association webpages using the snowball sampling technique. All qualified audiologists registered with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa were eligible to participate. RESULTS:  A total of 132 audiologists completed the survey. In the first-year postgraduation, 16% of the participants were unemployed, and this increased to 19% in the second-year postgraduation. In the majority (81%) of employed participants, almost a fifth (19%) were working within non-audiology/healthcare fields. The most common workplace challenges reported were remuneration (37%) followed by lack of resources (18%), workload (18%), work environment (10%), working hours (9%) and, lastly, interprofessional relationships (8%). CONCLUSION:  Findings from this study are the first to document employment rates amongst South African audiologists. These findings have the potential to influence the critical discourse on hearing healthcare human resource planning, hearing healthcare labour capacity and potential for growth in the South African context post-COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Audiologists , COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , South Africa/epidemiology , Unemployment
20.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 1405, 2022 Jul 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1965750

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The economic slowdown affects the population's health. Based on a social gradient concept, we usually assume that this detrimental impact results from a lower social status, joblessness, or other related factors. Although many researchers dealt with the relationship between economy and health, the findings are still inconsistent, primarily related to unemployment. This study reinvestigates a relationship between the economy's condition and health by decomposing it into macroeconomic indicators. METHODS: We use data for 21 European countries to estimate the panel models, covering the years 1995-2019. Dependent variables describe population health (objective measures - life expectancy for a newborn and 65 years old, healthy life expectancy, separately for male and female). The explanatory variables primarily represent GDP and other variables describing the public finance and health sectors. RESULTS: (1) the level of economic activity affects the population's health - GDP stimulates the life expectancies positively; this finding is strongly statistically significant; (2) the unemployment rate also positively affects health; hence, increasing the unemployment rate is linked to better health - this effect is relatively short-term. CONCLUSIONS: Social benefits or budgetary imbalance may play a protective role during an economic downturn.


Subject(s)
Unemployment , Europe , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Male , Socioeconomic Factors
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