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1.
Aust Health Rev ; 47(3): 354-361, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234351

ABSTRACT

Objective We aim to examine the activities undertaken by medical and surgical ward nurses at a major health service in Victoria, Australia, to inform nursing and midwifery strategic workforce planning. Methods This descriptive, exploratory study was conducted on 17 wards from three acute care hospitals in one of Victoria's largest health services. The Work Observation Method by Activity Timing tool was used to enable participants to document the time spent in each of 10 nursing activity domains. Results Data from 70 respondents across all shifts showed nurses spent one-third of their time in direct care. Registered nurses spent a lower proportion of time than enrolled nurses in direct care and medications overall. Compared with enrolled nurses, registered nurses spent less time in direct care on morning shifts and documentation on afternoon shifts, and more time on ward-related activities on afternoon shifts. Conclusions Medical and surgical enrolled nurses and registered nurses spent comparable proportions of time engaged in specific activities. Further research is required to understand the influences on the time devoted to direct care and how time spent in direct care intersects with other activities, and the relationship with patient outcomes and quality of care indicators.


Subject(s)
Nursing Staff, Hospital , Perioperative Nursing , Humans , Hospitals , Victoria
2.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 946, 2023 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233856

ABSTRACT

Sport participation and volunteering can make important contributions to good health. Sporting organisations need volunteers to deliver their participation opportunities and for many years the sector has faced challenges to volunteer recruitment and retention, especially due to the increased bureaucratic and compliance demands in operating community sports clubs. As sporting organisations pivot to adapt to COVID-safe sport we can learn about their experiences to inform volunteer recruitment and retention policies and practices. This research examined volunteer intentions and motivations in coaching and officiating in basketball and explored factors influencing their decision to return to COVID-safe basketball. Data was collected via an online survey that drew on theoretical frameworks of volunteer motivations (i.e. modified Volunteer Functions Inventory VFI) in sport as well as sport policies related to COVID-safe guidelines for return to sport. Data was collected in Victoria Australia during July 2020 before basketball had the chance to return from the first Australian-wide COVID-19 lockdown. Volunteers had positive intentions to return to basketball following COVID-19 restrictions because it was fun, to help others, or because friends/family were involved. Volunteers were most concerned that others will not comply with COVID-safe policies particularly around isolating when feeling unwell (95%), but also reported concerns about the inconveniences of some COVID-safe policies introduced to return to organised sport (e.g. social distancing, density limits, and enforcing rule changes). Understanding these volunteer intentions, motivations and factors influencing the decision to return to COVID-safe basketball can help inform recruitment and retention strategies to support volunteers in sport. Practical implications for sport policy and practice are discussed.


Subject(s)
Basketball , COVID-19 , Mentoring , Humans , Motivation , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Victoria , Volunteers , Policy
3.
Med J Aust ; 218(11): 528-541, 2023 06 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239586

ABSTRACT

Vaccination in pregnancy is the best strategy to reduce complications from influenza or pertussis infection in infants who are too young to be protected directly from vaccination. Pregnant women are also at risk of influenza complications preventable through antenatal vaccination. Both vaccines are funded under the National Immunisation Program for pregnant women in Australia, but coverage is not routinely reported nationally. We reviewed all reported Australian maternal influenza and pertussis vaccine coverage data for the period 2016-2021, to identify gaps and information needs. Maternal influenza vaccine coverage was suboptimal at < 58% for 2016-2018, with higher coverage of 62-75% reported in two states (Victoria and Western Australia) for 2019-2021. Maternal pertussis vaccine coverage from 2016 was generally higher than for influenza at > 70%, with the highest jurisdictional coverage of 89% reported in Western Australia in 2020. Vaccination rates were often suboptimal among First Nations pregnant women and up to 20% lower than among non-First Nations Australian women; while data were limited, coverage was low among culturally and linguistically diverse women and among women of lower socio-economic status. Jurisdictional perinatal data collections were the best source of information on antenatal vaccine coverage but were only available for a minority of the population; a nationally consistent systematic approach is lacking. Timely and comprehensive data are needed to provide feedback to improve maternal vaccination coverage, particularly among groups with higher risk and/or low uptake, and as new vaccines are recommended, including COVID-19 vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious , Whooping Cough , Infant , Female , Pregnancy , Humans , Influenza Vaccines/therapeutic use , Pertussis Vaccine , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Pregnant Women , Vaccination , Whooping Cough/epidemiology , Whooping Cough/prevention & control , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/prevention & control , Surveys and Questionnaires , Victoria
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(10)2023 05 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237188

ABSTRACT

A tele-mental health model called Head to Health was implemented in the state of Victoria, Australia to address the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a free centralized intake service that adopted a targeted approach with several novel elements, such as stepped care and telehealth. This study examines the views and experiences of clinicians and service users of the tele-mental health service in the Gippsland region of Victoria during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from clinicians were obtained via an online 10-item open-ended survey instrument and from service users through semi-structured interviews. Data were obtained from 66 participants, including 47 clinician surveys and 19 service user interviews. Six categories emerged from the data. They were: 'Conditions where use of tele-mental health is appropriate', 'Conditions where tele-mental health may not be useful', 'Advantages of tele-mental health', 'Challenges in using tele-mental health', 'Client outcomes with tele-mental health', and 'Recommendations for future use'. This is one of a few studies where clinicians' and service users' views and experiences have been explored together to provide a nuanced understanding of perspectives on the efficacy of tele-mental health when it was implemented alongside public mental health services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mental Health , Pandemics , Victoria/epidemiology
5.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 988, 2023 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20242605

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Policy responses to COVID-19 in Victoria, Australia over 2020-2021 have been supported by evidence generated through mathematical modelling. This study describes the design, key findings, and process for policy translation of a series of modelling studies conducted for the Victorian Department of Health COVID-19 response team during this period. METHODS: An agent-based model, Covasim, was used to simulate the impact of policy interventions on COVID-19 outbreaks and epidemic waves. The model was continually adapted to enable scenario analysis of settings or policies being considered at the time (e.g. elimination of community transmission versus disease control). Model scenarios were co-designed with government, to fill evidence gaps prior to key decisions. RESULTS: Understanding outbreak risk following incursions was critical to eliminating community COVID-19 transmission. Analyses showed risk depended on whether the first detected case was the index case, a primary contact of the index case, or a 'mystery case'. There were benefits of early lockdown on first case detection and gradual easing of restrictions to minimise resurgence risk from undetected cases. As vaccination coverage increased and the focus shifted to controlling rather than eliminating community transmission, understanding health system demand was critical. Analyses showed that vaccines alone could not protect health systems and need to be complemented with other public health measures. CONCLUSIONS: Model evidence offered the greatest value when decisions needed to be made pre-emptively, or for questions that could not be answered with empiric data and data analysis alone. Co-designing scenarios with policy-makers ensured relevance and increased policy translation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Victoria/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Communicable Disease Control , Policy
6.
Front Public Health ; 11: 1155980, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234940

ABSTRACT

The need to improve career development and training for residential aged care workers in Australia to achieve required essential competencies, including infection prevention and control competencies, has been repeatedly highlighted. In Australia long-term care settings for older adults are known as residential aged care facilities (RACFs). The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the lack of preparedness of the aged care sector to respond to emergencies, and the urgent need to improve the infection prevention and control training in residential aged care facilities. The government in the Australian State of Victoria allocated funds to support older Australians in RACFs, including funds toward infection prevention and control training of RACF staff. The School of Nursing and Midwifery at Monash University addressed some of these challenges in delivering an education program on effective infection prevention and control practices to the RACF workforce in Victoria, Australia. This was the largest state-funded program delivered to RACF workers to date in the State of Victoria. The aim of this paper is to provide a community case study, where we share our experience of program planning and implementation during early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and lessons learned.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Aged , Victoria/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Infection Control , Workforce
7.
Vaccine ; 41(28): 4138-4143, 2023 06 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2322063

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to declines in routine childhood and adolescent vaccination coverage globally. While the declines in Australia have been less, they are a concern, given steady increases in coverage prior to the pandemic. Given limited evidence on how the experiences of parents during the pandemic affected their attitudes about and intentions towards adolescent vaccinations, with this study we aimed to explore these. METHODS: This was a qualitative study. We invited parents of adolescents eligible for school-based vaccinations in 2021 from metropolitan, regional and rural areas of New South Wales and Victoria (the most affected States) and South Australia (less affected) to half hour-long online semi-structured interviews. We analysed data thematically and applied a conceptual model of trust in vaccination. RESULTS: In July 2022 we interviewed 15 accepting, 4 hesitant and two parents who refused adolescent vaccinations. We identified three themes: 1. Pandemic impacting on professional and personal lives and routine immunisations; 2. Pandemic strengthening preexisting vaccine hesitancy, with perceived lack of clarity in governmental information about vaccination and stigma around non-vaccinating as contributing factors; 3. Pandemic raising awareness of the benefits of COVID-19 and routine vaccinations, with communication campaigns and one's trusted doctor's vaccination recommendations as contributing factors. CONCLUSIONS: For some parents, experiences of poor system readiness and growing distrust towards health and vaccination systems strengthened their pre-existing vaccine hesitancy. We offer recommendations on how trust in the health system and immunisation can be optimised post-pandemic to increase uptake of routine vaccines. These include improving access to vaccination services and clear, timely information about vaccines; supporting immunisation providers in their immunisation consultations; working alongside communities, and building capacity of vaccine champions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Humans , Adolescent , Child , Pandemics/prevention & control , Intention , Trust , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination , Parents , Victoria , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
8.
BMJ Open ; 13(4): e063632, 2023 04 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2293824

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To examine the prevalence of COVID-19 vaccination, and factors associated with vaccination intention and hesitancy in pregnant and postnatal women in Australia. DESIGN AND SETTING: A national online survey was conducted over 6 months between 31 August 2021 and 1 March 2022 and responses to vaccination status were categorised as: 'vaccinated', 'vaccine intended' and 'vaccine hesitant'. The data were weighted to reflect the proportion of women of reproductive age. Potential confounding variables were examined using multinomial logistic regression analyses, and all comparisons were made against vaccinated pregnant and postnatal women. PARTICIPANTS: 2140 women responded to the survey (838 pregnant; 1302 recently post partum). RESULTS: Amongst pregnant women, 586 (69.9%) were vaccinated, 166 (19.8%) indicated intention and 86 (10.3%) were hesitant. In postnatal women, this was 1060 (81.4%), 143 (11.0%) and 99 (7.6%), respectively. Only 52 (6.2%) of pregnant women stated never wanting a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine hesitancy increased over time, and for pregnant women was associated with: living in a state other than New South Wales (NSW) (Adjusted Relative Risk (ARR) 2.77, 95%CI: 1.68-4.56 for vaccine intention and ARR=3.31, 95%CI: 1.52-7.20 for vaccine hesitancy), younger age <30 years, not having a university education, income <80K AUD, gestation <28 weeks, having no pregnancy risk factors, and being less satisfied with life (ARR=2.20, 95%CI: 1.04-4.65 for vaccine intention and ARR=2.53, 95%CI: 1.02-6.25 for vaccine hesitancy) . For postnatal women: living in a state other than NSW or Victoria, income <80K AUD and having private obstetric care (ARR=2.06, 95%CI: 1.23-3.46) were significantly associated with vaccine hesitancy. CONCLUSIONS: Around 1 in 10 pregnant women and just over 1 in 13 postnatal women reported vaccine hesitancy in this Australian survey, and hesitancy was higher in the latter 3-month period. Tailored messages to younger mothers and those from lower-middle socioeconomic groups, alongside advice from midwives and obstetricians, could help to reduce hesitancy among pregnant and postnatal women. Financial incentives may help to facilitate COVID-19 vaccine uptake. A real-time surveillance system and additional pregnancy fields added to the Australian immunisation register would support the safety monitoring of multiple vaccines in pregnancy and may build confidence.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Pregnancy , Female , Humans , Adult , COVID-19 Vaccines , Intention , Victoria
9.
Vaccine ; 41(22): 3436-3445, 2023 05 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2295725

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Procedural anxiety was anticipated in children 5-11 years during the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Victoria, Australia, as children in this age group receive few routine vaccines. Therefore, the Victorian state government designed a tailored, child-friendly vaccine program. This study aimed to assess parental satisfaction with elements of the bespoke vaccination pathway. METHODS: The Victorian government and state-run vaccination hubs in Victoria facilitated an online immunisation plan to help parents identify their child's support needs, and utilised experienced paediatric staff and additional supports for children with severe needle distress and/or disability. All parents/guardians of children 5-11 years who received a COVID-19 vaccine in a vaccination hub were sent a 16-item feedback survey via text message. RESULTS: Between 9 February and 31 May 2022 there were 9203 responses; 865 children (9.4%) had a first language other than English, 499 (5.4%) had a disability or special needs, and 142 (1.5%) were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. Most parents (94.4%; 8687/9203) rated their satisfaction with the program as very good or excellent. The immunisation plan was used by 13.5% (1244/9203) of respondents, with usage more common for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children (26.1%; 23/88) or families with a first language other than English (23.5%; 42/179). The child-friendly staff (88.5%, 255/288) and themed environment (66.3%, 191/288) were the most valued measures for vaccination. Additional support measures were required by 1.6% (150/9203) of children in the general population and 7.9%, (17/261) of children with a disability and/or special needs. CONCLUSION: A tailored COVID-19 vaccination program for children 5-11 years, with additional support for children with severe needle distress and/or disability, had high parental satisfaction. This model could be utilised for COVID-19 vaccination in pre-school children and for routine childhood vaccination programs to provide optimal support to children and their families.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Humans , Child , Child, Preschool , Victoria/epidemiology , Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination
10.
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth ; 23(1): 279, 2023 Apr 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2304545

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In Australia, maternity care services provide care for pregnant and postpartum women and their newborns. The COVID-19 pandemic forced these services to quickly adapt and develop policies and procedures for dealing with transmission in health care facilities, as well as work under public health measures to counter its spread within the community. Despite well-documented responses and adaptations by healthcare systems, no studies have examined the experiences of maternity service leaders through the pandemic. This study aimed to explore the experiences of maternity service leaders, to understand their perspectives on what happened in health services and what was required of a leader during the COVID-19 pandemic in one Australian state. METHODS: A longitudinal qualitative study collected data from 11 maternity care leaders during the pandemic in the state of Victoria. Leaders participated in a series of interviews over the 16-month study period, with a total of 57 interviews conducted. An inductive approach to developing codes allowed for semantic coding of the data, then a thematic analysis was conducted to explore patterned meaning across the dataset. RESULTS: One overarching theme, 'challenges of being a maternity service leader during the pandemic', encompassed participant's experiences. Four sub-themes described the experiences of these leaders: (1) needing to be a rapid decision-maker, (2) needing to adapt and alter services, (3) needing to filter and translate information, and (4) the need to support people. At the beginning of the pandemic, the challenges were most acute with slow guideline development, rapid communications from the government and an urgent need to keep patients and staff safe. Over time, with knowledge and experience, leaders were able to quickly adjust and respond to policy change. CONCLUSION: Maternity service leaders played an important role in preparing and adapting services in accordance with government directives and guidelines while also developing strategies tailored to their own health service requirements. These experiences will be invaluable in designing high quality and responsive systems for maternity care in future crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , Infant, Newborn , Female , Pregnancy , Humans , Pandemics , Delivery of Health Care , Victoria , Qualitative Research
11.
Resuscitation ; 187: 109803, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2301011

ABSTRACT

This is a commentary on the study conducted by Kennedy et al. from Victoria, Australia, that analyzed the cohort of all adult EMS-witnessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) patients in the region and compared patients treated during the COVID-19 period to a historical comparator period. The commentary summarizes the study findings and discusses the importance of the study in the context of the chain of survival and changes in airway management for OHCA patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation , Emergency Medical Services , Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest , Adult , Humans , Pandemics , Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest/therapy , Victoria/epidemiology
12.
Sex Health ; 20(2): 164-172, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2294570

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Sexually transmissible infections (STI) are prevalent and increasing among young Australians. This study examined trends in STI testing, sexual health knowledge/behaviours, and pornography use in young people aged 15- 29years in Victoria, Australia between 2015 and 2021. METHODS: Seven online cross-sectional surveys were conducted in a convenience sample of young people, recruiting a total of 7014 participants (67% female). Logistic regression analyses determined trends over time in binary outcomes. RESULTS: There was a decrease in reports of lifetime vaginal sex over time, while lifetime anal sex remained stable. Among those who had ever had vaginal sex, results showed an increase in the use of long-acting reversible contraceptives on the last occasion of vaginal sex. There was no change in STI testing or condom use with all partner types. Knowledge of STIs and sexual health changed over time: the proportion knowing that chlamydia can make women infertile decreased over time, while knowledge that taking the pill does not reduce fertility increased. There was no change in pornography use after adjusting for demographic variables. CONCLUSIONS: Although uptake of long-acting contraceptives increased, STI knowledge and testing, as well as consistent condom use, remained low. Public health interventions should continue to address these critical components of STI prevention.


Subject(s)
Sexual Health , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Female , Humans , Adolescent , Male , Victoria/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/diagnosis , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control , Erotica , Risk-Taking , Sexual Behavior , Contraceptive Agents
13.
Med J Aust ; 218(8): 361-367, 2023 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2299844

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To assess the mental health and wellbeing of health and aged care workers in Australia during the second and third years of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, overall and by occupation group. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS: Longitudinal cohort study of health and aged care workers (ambulance, hospitals, primary care, residential aged care) in Victoria: May-July 2021 (survey 1), October-December 2021 (survey 2), and May-June 2022 (survey 3). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Proportions of respondents (adjusted for age, gender, socio-economic status) reporting moderate to severe symptoms of depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9, PHQ-9), anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale, GAD-7), or post-traumatic stress (Impact of Event Scale-6, IES-6), burnout (abbreviated Maslach Burnout Inventory, aMBI), or high optimism (10-point visual analogue scale); mean scores (adjusted for age, gender, socio-economic status) for wellbeing (Personal Wellbeing Index-Adult, PWI-A) and resilience (Connor Davidson Resilience Scale 2, CD-RISC-2). RESULTS: A total of 1667 people responded to at least one survey (survey 1, 989; survey 2, 1153; survey 3, 993; response rate, 3.3%). Overall, 1211 survey responses were from women (72.6%); most respondents were hospital workers (1289, 77.3%) or ambulance staff (315, 18.9%). The adjusted proportions of respondents who reported moderate to severe symptoms of depression (survey 1, 16.4%; survey 2, 22.6%; survey 3, 19.2%), anxiety (survey 1, 8.8%; survey 2, 16.0%; survey 3, 11.0%), or post-traumatic stress (survey 1, 14.6%; survey 2, 35.1%; survey 3, 14.9%) were each largest for survey 2. The adjusted proportions of participants who reported moderate to severe symptoms of burnout were higher in surveys 2 and 3 than in survey 1, and the proportions who reported high optimism were smaller in surveys 2 and 3 than in survey 1. Adjusted mean scores for wellbeing and resilience were similar at surveys 2 and 3 and lower than at survey 1. The magnitude but not the patterns of change differed by occupation group. CONCLUSION: Burnout was more frequently reported and mean wellbeing and resilience scores were lower in mid-2022 than in mid-2021 for Victorian health and aged care workers who participated in our study. Evidence-based mental health and wellbeing programs for workers in health care organisations are needed. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12621000533897 (observational study; retrospective).


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Female , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mental Health , Longitudinal Studies , Retrospective Studies , Health Personnel/psychology , Anxiety , Surveys and Questionnaires , Burnout, Professional/psychology , Victoria/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology
14.
Acta Paediatr ; 111(1): 107-114, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2274902

ABSTRACT

AIM: To assess the causal effect of being born extremely preterm (EP; <28 weeks' gestation) or extremely low birthweight (ELBW; <1000 g), compared with being born at term, on neurodevelopment and social-emotional development at 2 years' corrected age. METHODS: Prospective geographical cohort study of children born EP/ELBW over 12 months in 2016 from Victoria, Australia, and term-born controls. Children were assessed at 2 years' corrected age with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-3rd edition and the Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment. Delay was defined as <-1 standard deviation relative to the mean of controls. The estimand of interest was the mean difference/odds ratio (OR) between the EP/ELBW and control groups estimated using linear/logistic regression, adjusted for multiple pregnancy and social risk. RESULTS: A total of 205 EP/ELBW and 201 controls were assessed at 2 years. Delay/concerns were more common in the EP/ELBW group compared with controls, for cognitive (OR 3.7 [95% confidence interval 2.3, 6.0]), language (5.3 [3.1, 9.0]) and motor (3.9 [2.3, 6.3]) development, and social-emotional competence (4.1 [1.6, 10.2]). CONCLUSION: Being born EP/ELBW has an adverse effect on cognitive, language and motor development, and social-emotional competence at 2 years' corrected age. Close developmental surveillance, including social-emotional development, is recommended.


Subject(s)
Infant, Extremely Low Birth Weight , Infant, Extremely Premature , Birth Weight , Child , Cohort Studies , Developmental Disabilities , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Pregnancy , Prospective Studies , Victoria/epidemiology
15.
Pediatr Infect Dis J ; 42(4): 276-280, 2023 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2280000

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Beginning in early 2022, clusters of severe pediatric hepatitis were reported in Europe and the United States. To date, no cause has been identified although human adenovirus 41 has been proposed in a proportion of cases. We examined population data >11 years for hepatitis clusters in Victoria, Australia, and whether any were spatiotemporally associated with community transmission of common respiratory viruses. METHODS: We used SaTScan to analyze for clusters of pediatric hepatitis and respiratory adenoviruses in Victoria. Negative binomial regression analysis was performed to determine any associations between hepatitis and respiratory viruses across Victoria between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2022. RESULTS: A number of positive associations were observed in Victoria between pediatric hepatitis clusters and respiratory viruses in our spatiotemporal analysis. A positive association was not found with respiratory adenoviruses or SARS-CoV-2. Increased hepatitis clusters were observed in 2021 and 2022 as noted internationally. CONCLUSION: The current hepatitis outbreak is novel and, although respiratory viruses are broadly associated with hepatitis, SARS-CoV-2 and respiratory adenoviruses are unlikely to be related.


Subject(s)
Adenoviridae Infections , COVID-19 , Hepatitis A , Hepatitis , Child , Humans , United States , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Victoria/epidemiology
16.
Addiction ; 118(8): 1557-1568, 2023 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2277844

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Few studies of the impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health measures on drug markets and drug use patterns have used longitudinal data. We aimed to examine whether COVID-19 measures were associated with increases in methamphetamine price, decreases in methamphetamine use frequency and subsequent changes in secondary outcomes of other drug use frequency in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. DESIGN: Longitudinal analysis framework was used from a longitudinal cohort of people who use methamphetamine. SETTING: Victoria state, Australia. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred eighty-five VMAX study participants who reported a methamphetamine purchase after the onset of the pandemic were used for the price paid analysis. Methamphetamine or other drug use frequency analysis was performed using 277 participants who used methamphetamine during the pandemic or in the year before the pandemic. MEASUREMENTS: Price paid per gram of methamphetamine derived from the most recent purchase price and most recent purchase quantity. Frequency of methamphetamine and other drug use measured as the average number of days per week used in the last month. FINDINGS: Compared with pre-COVID-19 period, methamphetamine prices increased by AUD351.63 (P value <0.001) and by AUD456.51 (P value <0.001) in Melbourne and regional Victoria, respectively, during the period in which the most intense public health measures were implemented in Victoria. Although prices decreased after harder restrictions were lifted (by AUD232.84, P value <0.001 and AUD263.68, P value <0.001, in Melbourne and regional Victoria, respectively), they remained higher than pre-COVID-19 levels. A complementary 76% decrease was observed in relation to methamphetamine use frequency in regional Victoria (P value = 0.006) that was not offset by any changes in the frequency of use of other drugs such as alcohol, tobacco or other illicit drugs. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 public health measures in Victoria state, Australia, appear to have been associated with major price changes in the methamphetamine market and decreased frequency of use of the drug.


Subject(s)
Amphetamine-Related Disorders , COVID-19 , Illicit Drugs , Methamphetamine , Humans , Victoria/epidemiology , Amphetamine-Related Disorders/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology
17.
Expert Rev Vaccines ; 22(1): 299-306, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2276313

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) is a preventable adverse event following incorrect vaccine administration, which can result in significant long-term morbidity. There has been a notable surge in reported cases of SIRVA as a rapid national population-based COVID-19 immunization program has been rolled out across Australia. METHODS: Surveillance of Adverse Events Following Vaccination in the Community (SAEFVIC) in Victoria identified 221 suspected cases of SIRVA following the commencement of the COVID-19 vaccination program, reported between February 2021 and February 2022. This review describes the clinical features and outcomes of SIRVA in this population. Additionally, a suggested diagnostic algorithm is proposed, in order to facilitate early recognition and management of SIRVA. RESULTS: 151 cases were confirmed as SIRVA, with 49.0% having received vaccines at state vaccination centers. 75.5% were suspected incorrect administration site, with most patients experiencing shoulder pain and restricted movement within 24 hours of vaccination, lasting on average 3 months. CONCLUSION: Improved awareness and education regarding SIRVA is imperative in a pandemic vaccine roll-out. The development of a structured framework for evaluating and managing suspected SIRVA will aid in timely diagnosis and treatment, essential to mitigate potential long-term complications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Shoulder Injuries , Humans , Algorithms , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Vaccination , Vaccines , Victoria/epidemiology
18.
BMC Med Res Methodol ; 23(1): 54, 2023 02 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2274118

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Longitudinal studies are critical to informing evolving responses to COVID-19 but can be hampered by attrition bias, which undermines their reliability for guiding policy and practice. We describe recruitment and retention in the Optimise Study, a longitudinal cohort and social networks study that aimed to inform public health and policy responses to COVID-19. METHODS: Optimise recruited adults residing in Victoria, Australia September 01 2020-September 30 2021. High-frequency follow-up data collection included nominating social networks for study participation and completing a follow-up survey and four follow-up diaries each month, plus additional surveys if they tested positive for COVID-19 or were a close contact. This study compared number recruited to a-priori targets as of September 302,021, retention as of December 31 2021, comparing participants retained and not retained, and follow-up survey and diary completion October 2020-December 2021. Retained participants completed a follow-up survey or diary in each of the final three-months of their follow-up time. Attrition was defined by the number of participants not retained, divided by the number who completed a baseline survey by September 302,021. Survey completion was calculated as the proportion of follow-up surveys or diaries sent to participants that were completed between October 2020-December 2021. RESULTS: At September 302,021, 663 participants were recruited and at December 312,021, 563 were retained giving an overall attrition of 15% (n = 100/663). Among the 563 retained, survey completion was 90% (n = 19,354/21,524) for follow-up diaries and 89% (n = 4936/5560) for monthly follow-up surveys. Compared to participants not retained, those retained were older (t-test, p <  0.001), and more likely to be female (χ2, p = 0.001), and tertiary educated (χ2, p = 0.018). CONCLUSION: High levels of study retention and survey completion demonstrate a willingness to participate in a complex, longitudinal cohort study with high participant burden during a global pandemic. We believe comprehensive follow-up strategies, frequent dissemination of study findings to participants, and unique data collection systems have contributed to high levels of study retention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Female , Male , Victoria/epidemiology , Longitudinal Studies , Reproducibility of Results , COVID-19/epidemiology , Social Networking
19.
Psychiatry Res ; 322: 115121, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2272038

ABSTRACT

Young Australians have been differentially affected by lockdowns and social restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study compared the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions for young people in two Australian states, Victoria and Queensland, with Victoria experiencing more days in lockdown and greater infection rates. An online survey was completed between 01/04/2021 and 31/07/2021 by 687 young people, aged 16 to 24 years; 337 from Victoria and 350 from Queensland. Levels of negative emotion feelings (as measured by the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale), and COVID-19 risk factors for negative emotions (such as financial hardship, education disruption, loneliness and household conflict), as well as protective factors (resilience and self-esteem) were compared between the Victorian and Queensland samples, also considering some early pandemic data and pre-pandemic norms. No significant differences in negative emotions were found between young people living in the two states, despite substantial differences in pandemic restrictions. The results indicated that young people in Queensland and Victoria had experienced similarly high levels of negative emotions, at levels also seen at the start of the pandemic in Victoria. This is of grave concern, requiring urgent attention as the pandemic continues.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Adolescent , Mental Health , Communicable Disease Control , Victoria
20.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; 17: e371, 2023 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2263175

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Pandemics generate such a significant demand for care that traditional triage methods can become saturated. Secondary population-based triage (S-PBT) overcomes this limitation. Although the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic forced S-PBT into operation internationally during the first year of the pandemic, Australian doctors were spared this responsibility. However, the second wave of COVID-19 provides an opportunity to explore the lived experience of preparing for S-PBT within the Australian context.The aim of this study is to explore the lived experience of preparing to operationalize S-PBT to allocate critical care resources during Australia's second wave of COVID-19 in 2020. METHODS: Intensivists and emergency physicians working during the second Victorian COVID-19 surge were recruited by purposive non-random sampling. Semi-structured interviews were hosted remotely, recorded, transcribed, and coded to facilitate a qualitative phenomenological analysis. RESULTS: Six interviews were conducted with an equal mix of intensivists and emergency doctors. Preliminary findings from a thematic analysis revealed 4 themes: (1) threat of resources running; (2) informed decision requiring information; (3) making decisions as we always do; and (4) a great burden to carry. CONCLUSION: This is the first description of this novel phenomenon within Australia and, in doing so, it identified a lack of preparedness to operationalize S-PBT during the second wave of COVID-19 in Australia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Victoria/epidemiology , Pilot Projects , Triage/methods
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