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1.
Stress Health ; 38(1): 140-146, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1661635

ABSTRACT

We examined stress as a predictor of behaviours related to Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) through its effects on delay discounting. Adults (N = 3686) completed an online survey with a behavioural measure of delay discounting and questions regarding stress, physical distancing, and stockpiling of food and supplies. Stress was weakly, but positively, correlated with delay discounting (p < 0.01). Delay discounting was positively correlated with stockpiling (p < 0.01); and discounting was negatively correlated with physical distancing (p < 0.01). Mediation models indicated that discounting was a significant mediator of the relationship between stress and physical distancing (-0.003) and stockpiling (0.003); bootstrap 95% CIs (-0.006, -0.001) and (0.001, 0.005), respectively. After accounting for its indirect effects through discounting, stress continued to have a direct effect on these outcomes. This study indicates that delay discounting partially mediates the link between stress and behaviours related to COVID-19. Results suggest that interventions reducing stress and/or delay discounting may be profitable for increasing infection prevention and reducing stockpiling.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delay Discounting , Adult , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
2.
Z Gesundh Wiss ; : 1-9, 2020 Jun 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635910

ABSTRACT

AIM: Unprecedented community containment measures were taken following the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Italy. The aim of the study was to explore the self-reported future compliance of citizens with such measures and its relationship with potentially impactful psychological variables. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: An online survey was completed by 931 people (18-76 years) distributed across the Italian territory. In addition to demographics, five dimensions were measured: self-reported compliance with containment measures over time (today, at 7, 14, 30, 60, 90, and 180 days from now) at three hypothetical risk levels (10, 50, 90% of likelihood of contracting the COVID-19), perceived risk, generalized anxiety, intolerance of uncertainty, and relevance of several psychological needs whose satisfaction is currently precluded. RESULTS: The mean compliance scores follow a hyperbolic-like curve, decreasing over time for the lowest level of risk (10%), whilst they tend to flatten for ≥ 50% risk (90%). Significantly higher levels of anxiety, intolerance of uncertainty, and perceived risk were reported by women compared to men (p < 0.001 for each variable). Outdoor sports was the only need associated with the discounting rate of compliance (r s = - 0.08, p = 0.018). CONCLUSION: The duration of containment measures plays a crucial role in tackling the spread of the disease as people will be less compliant over time. Psychological needs of citizens impacting on the compliance should be taken into account when planning an easing of the lockdown, along with interventions for protecting vulnerable groups from mental distress.

3.
Annu Rev Public Health ; 42: 381-403, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1554162

ABSTRACT

In recent years, life expectancy in the United States has stagnated, followed by three consecutive years of decline. The decline is small in absolute terms but is unprecedented and has generated considerable research interest and theorizing about potential causes. Recent trends show that the decline has affected nearly all race/ethnic and gender groups, and the proximate causes of the decline are increases in opioid overdose deaths, suicide, homicide, and Alzheimer's disease. A slowdown in the long-term decline in mortality from cardiovascular diseases has also prevented life expectancy from improving further. Although a popular explanation for the decline is the cumulative decline in living standards across generations, recent trends suggest that distinct mechanisms for specific causes of death are more plausible explanations. Interventions to stem the increase in overdose deaths, reduce access to mechanisms that contribute to violent deaths, and decrease cardiovascular risk over the life course are urgently needed to improve mortality in the United States.


Subject(s)
Life Expectancy/trends , Humans , United States/epidemiology
4.
Eur Geriatr Med ; 12(5): 1045-1055, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1474202

ABSTRACT

AIMS: To evaluate the efficacy of multi-component interventions for prevention of hospital-acquired pneumonia in older patients hospitalized in geriatric wards. METHODS: A randomized, parallel-group, controlled trial was undertaken in patients aged 65 and above who were admitted to a tertiary hospital geriatric unit from January 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018 for an acute non-respiratory illness. Participants were randomized by to receive either a multi-component intervention (consisting of reverse Trendelenburg position, dysphagia screening, oral care and vaccinations), or usual care. The outcome measures were the proportion of patients who developed hospital-acquired pneumonia during hospitalisation, and mean time from randomization to the next hospitalisation due to respiratory infections in 1 year. RESULTS: A total of 123 participants (median age, 85; 43.1% male) were randomized, (n = 59) to intervention group and (n = 64) to control group. The multi-component interventions did not significantly reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired pneumonia but did increase the mean time to next hospitalisation due to respiratory infection (11.5 months vs. 9.5 months; P = 0.049), and reduced the risk of hospitalisation in 1 year (18.6% vs. 34.4%; P = 0.049). Implementation of multi-component interventions increased diagnoses of oropharyngeal dysphagia (35.6% vs. 20.3%; P < 0.001) and improved the influenza (54.5% vs 17.2%; P < 0.001) and pneumococcal vaccination rates (52.5% vs. 20.3%; P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The nosocomial pneumonia multi-component intervention did not significantly reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired pneumonia during hospitalisation but reduce subsequent hospitalisations for respiratory infections. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrial.gov, NCT04347395.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross Infection , Healthcare-Associated Pneumonia , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Female , Healthcare-Associated Pneumonia/epidemiology , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
5.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 69(40): 1450-1456, 2020 Oct 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389856

ABSTRACT

During the course of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, reports of a new multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) have been increasing in Europe and the United States (1-3). Clinical features in children have varied but predominantly include shock, cardiac dysfunction, abdominal pain, and elevated inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein (CRP), ferritin, D-dimer, and interleukin-6 (1). Since June 2020, several case reports have described a similar syndrome in adults; this review describes in detail nine patients reported to CDC, seven from published case reports, and summarizes the findings in 11 patients described in three case series in peer-reviewed journals (4-6). These 27 patients had cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, dermatologic, and neurologic symptoms without severe respiratory illness and concurrently received positive test results for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or antibody assays indicating recent infection. Reports of these patients highlight the recognition of an illness referred to here as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults (MIS-A), the heterogeneity of clinical signs and symptoms, and the role for antibody testing in identifying similar cases among adults. Clinicians and health departments should consider MIS-A in adults with compatible signs and symptoms. These patients might not have positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR or antigen test results, and antibody testing might be needed to confirm previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. Because of the temporal association between MIS-A and SARS-CoV-2 infections, interventions that prevent COVID-19 might prevent MIS-A. Further research is needed to understand the pathogenesis and long-term effects of this newly described condition.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/diagnosis , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/virology , Adult , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , United Kingdom/epidemiology , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
6.
J Am Pharm Assoc (2003) ; 61(6): 703-708, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376017

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Student pharmacists and faculty exhibit high levels of stress, independent of the current coronavirus 2019 pandemic, and their path toward wellness, including a reduction in stress and anxiety, is of the utmost importance. Yoga and meditation are proven interventions to reduce stress and anxiety and increase wellness. Yin yoga is an adaptable, quiet practice ideal for those lacking previous yoga experience, flexibility, and time. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of a 6-week yin yoga and meditation intervention on College of Pharmacy faculty and students' stress perception, anxiety levels, and mindfulness skills. METHODS: Faculty and students participated in a 6-week pilot program comprising a once-weekly yin yoga class followed by guided meditation. Yin yoga was selected for its quiet meditative style. Participants completed a pre- and postquestionnaire at 6 weeks and 3 and 6 months to evaluate potential changes in perceived stress scores, anxiety scores, and mindfulness skills. The questionnaire was composed of 3 self-reporting tools: Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Perceived Stress Scale, and the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire. RESULTS: Twenty participants, 12 students and 8 faculty (ages 18-66 years), completed the study. Anxiety and stress scores decreased, and mindfulness increased at 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months, with all changes reaching statistical significance. No participants reported being in the "high" category of anxiety after intervention using BAI categorical data, although this finding was not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: Faculty and students demonstrated a reduction in stress and anxiety levels and an increase in mindfulness after a 6-week yin yoga and meditation program. Outcomes suggest that inclusion of an adaptable, meditative practice, which may easily be replicated at home, for as little as once per week for 6 weeks may reduce stress and anxiety and increase mindfulness long term. Creating a culture of wellness should be a priority for all Colleges of Pharmacy.


Subject(s)
Meditation , Mindfulness , Yoga , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Faculty, Pharmacy , Humans , Middle Aged , Stress, Psychological/prevention & control , Students , Young Adult
7.
J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol ; 42(2): 108-114, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373503

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has negatively affected many people's mental health with increased symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression in the general population. Anxiety and depression can have negative effects on pregnant women and result in poor neonatal outcomes. Therefore, we analyzed stress, anxiety and depression in pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cohort study of pregnant women during COVID-19 compared to pregnant women before COVID-19. Pregnant women were recruited through social media platforms from 21 May 2020 to 22 June 2020. Pregnant women ≥ 18 years of age, who master the Dutch language were included. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) were analyzed. Demographic features were summarized using descriptive statistics. Possible differences in demographic variables between groups were compared using Mann Whitney U test and Chi-squared test. Significant demographic differences between groups were controlled for using logistical regression analysis or an independent one-way analysis of covariance. RESULTS: Thousand hundred and two pregnant women completed the questionnaires during COVID-19, and 364 pregnant women before COVID-19. We found no differences in clinically high levels of anxiety (HADS-A ≥ 8) and depression (HADS-D ≥ 8) in women during COVID-19 (19.5% and 13.2%, respectively) and women before COVID-19 (23.1% and 15.7%, respectively). A question was implemented whether participants related their stress level to COVID-19. Women who related their stress to the COVID-19 pandemic reported significantly higher overall stress levels on the PSS-10 compared to women with stress unrelated to COVID-19 (mean, 15.62; standard deviation [SD], 6.44 vs. mean, 10.28; SD, 5.48; p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: In contrast to previous studies, COVID-19 did not increase anxiety and depression levels in Dutch pregnant women. Women who related their perceived stress to the COVID-19 pandemic experienced higher stress levels than women who did not relate their stress to the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that interventions that specifically aim to reduce COVID-19 stress, may help to reduce overall stress levels in pregnant women during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Depression/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications/epidemiology , Pregnant Women , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/etiology , Adolescent , Adult , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Netherlands/epidemiology , Pregnancy , Young Adult
8.
Scand J Work Environ Health ; 47(4): 306-317, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1339682

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the effects of the promotion of active breaks and postural shifts on new onset of neck and low-back pain during a 6-month follow-up among high-risk office workers. METHODS: A 3-arm cluster-randomized controlled trial with 6-month follow-up was conducted among healthy but high-risk office workers. Participants were recruited from six organizations in Bangkok, Thailand (N=193) and randomly assigned at cluster level into active break intervention (N=47), postural shift intervention (N=46), and control (N=100) groups. Participants in the intervention groups received a custom-designed apparatus to facilitate designated active breaks and postural shifts during work. Participants in the control group received a placebo seat pad. The primary outcome measure was new onset of neck and low-back pain during 6-month follow-up. Analyses were performed using Cox proportional hazard models. RESULTS: One-hundred and eighty-six (96%) predominantly female participants were successfully followed up over six months. New onset of neck pain during the 6-month follow-up occurred in 17%, 17%, and 44% of the participants in the active break, postural shift, and control groups, respectively. For new onset of low-back pain, these percentages were 9%, 7%, and 33%, respectively. Hazard rate (HR) ratios after adjusting for biopsychosocial factors indicated a protective effect of the active break and postural shift interventions for neck pain [HRadj 0.45, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.20-0.98 for active break and HRadj 0.41, 95% CI 0.18-0.94 for postural shift] and low-back pain (HRadj 0.34, 95% CI 0.12-0.98 for active break and HRadj 0.19, 95% CI 0.06-0.66 for postural shift). CONCLUSION: Interventions to increase either active breaks or postural shifts reduced new onset of neck and low-back pain among high-risk office workers.


Subject(s)
Low Back Pain , Occupational Diseases , Female , Health Status , Humans , Low Back Pain/prevention & control , Neck Pain/prevention & control , Thailand
9.
J Nurs Manag ; 2021 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1297797

ABSTRACT

AIM: To elucidate the effects of workplace violence on turnover intention among Chinese health care workers, and to identify the potential mediators in this relationship. BACKGROUND: Workplace violence has emerged as a crucial determinant of turnover intention for health care workers. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among Chinese health care workers (N = 1,063) between 13 and 20 February 2020. Mediation effects were tested using structural equation modelling with weighted least squares mean and variance adjusted (WLSMV) estimator. RESULTS: Workplace violence had both direct and indirect effects on turnover intention among Chinese health care workers. Specifically, perceived social support, mental health and perceived social support together with mental health partially mediated the relationship between workplace violence and turnover intention. CONCLUSIONS: Chinese health care workers experiencing violence during the COVID-19 outbreak were more likely to report turnover intention. Enhancing social support and reducing mental health problems would be beneficial in decreasing the detrimental effects of workplace violence on turnover intention. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: Ensuring health care workers' health and safety is vital in reducing turnover intention, which in turn ascertains continuity of health care delivery. Health care managers should develop targeted interventions to improve social support and prevent post-violence mental health problems.

10.
Aging Ment Health ; 25(7): 1161-1164, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290248

ABSTRACT

Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of physical distancing risk collateral damage such as increased loneliness. Older adults have been identified as being at higher risk of poor outcomes if infected and in many countries have been subjected to greater restrictions on physical contacts with others. Most research so far points towards an increase in loneliness during the pandemic. However, there has been a lack of prospective studies based on representative samples of older adults, with the oldest old, older adults with low or no Internet usage, and those in poor health currently underrepresented. Despite the significance of cultural norms for individuals' standards for social relations and, thus, the experience of loneliness, there has been a lack of comparative research on loneliness in older adults during the pandemic. Reviews have found little evidence for what interventions and what elements of interventions are effective in reducing loneliness. There is potential for social relations to be maintained via technology-based solutions, although there is a risk of excluding older adults with limited resources who are both least likely to use technology and most vulnerable to loneliness. Furthermore, remote social contacts cannot fully compensate for the loss of physical contacts. Where stay-at-home orders are not imposed, supporting neighbourliness and the community use of accessible open spaces are other options. Finally, policy responses to the pandemic need to be more nuanced and non-ageist in order to avoid unnecessary increases in loneliness in older adults.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Humans , Loneliness , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation
11.
Child Obes ; 17(5): 299-310, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1292084

ABSTRACT

Background: Childhood obesity is an ever-growing public health concern in the United States and globally. By 2030, it is estimated that 70% of the world's population of children and adolescents will be obese. Therefore, efforts to reduce childhood obesity are of utmost importance, particularly with the current coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, as rates are expected to soar due to social distancing measures and restrictions. This systematic review aims to examine the literature regarding the effectiveness of clinic-based telehealth vs. face-to-face modalities to reduce obesity among school-aged children. Methods: An electronic database search of articles published in English over the last 10 years was undertaken in PubMed, Medline, and CINAHL. Key terms used to identify studies included school-aged children and adolescents with overweight and obesity in clinic-based weight management interventions conducted face-to-face or via telehealth, and having efficacy determined through changes in measured child BMI as primary outcomes and dietary and physical activity changes, as well as assessing feasibility and satisfaction with telehealth, as secondary outcomes. Results: Out of 1093 articles identified, 10 met the inclusion criteria. While both telehealth and face-to-face weight management interventions are effective in reducing obesity in children and adolescents, the evidence is lacking in which is more effective. Of the 10 studies, 5 showed outcome improvements when both telehealth and face-to-face interventions were combined as adjunct therapies. Conclusions: Findings support using telehealth in conjunction with face-to-face visits for obesity treatment among children and adolescents. However, more research involving telehealth weight management interventions for young children is recommended.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care , Pediatric Obesity/therapy , Telemedicine , Adolescent , Canada , Child , Humans , Treatment Outcome , United States
12.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(6): e24712, 2021 06 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1291865

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Loneliness is a serious public health issue, and its burden is increasing in many countries. Loneliness affects social, physical, and mental health, and it is associated with multimorbidity and premature mortality. In addition to social interventions, a range of digital technology interventions (DTIs) are being used to tackle loneliness. However, there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of DTIs in reducing loneliness, especially in adults. The effectiveness of DTIs in reducing loneliness needs to be systematically assessed. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to assess the effectiveness of DTIs in reducing loneliness in older adults. METHODS: We conducted electronic searches in PubMed, MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, and Web of Science for empirical studies published in English from January 1, 2010, to July 31, 2019. The study selection criteria included interventional studies that used any type of DTIs to reduce loneliness in adults (aged ≥18 years) with a minimum intervention duration of 3 months and follow-up measurements at least 3 months after the intervention. Two researchers independently screened articles and extracted data using the PICO (participant, intervention, comparator, and outcome) framework. The primary outcome measure was loneliness. Loneliness scores in both the intervention and control groups at baseline and at follow-up at 3, 4, 6, and 12 months after the intervention were extracted. Data were analyzed via narrative synthesis and meta-analysis using RevMan (The Cochrane Collaboration) software. RESULTS: A total of 6 studies were selected from 4939 screened articles. These studies included 1 before and after study and 5 clinical trials (4 randomized clinical trials and 1 quasi-experimental study). All of these studies enrolled a total of 646 participants (men: n=154, 23.8%; women: n=427, 66.1%; no gender information: n=65, 10.1%) with an average age of 73-78 years (SD 6-11). Five clinical trials were included in the meta-analysis, and by using the random effects model, standardized mean differences (SMDs) were calculated for each trial and pooled across studies at the 3-, 4-, and 6-month follow-ups. The overall effect estimates showed no statistically significant difference in the effectiveness of DTIs compared with that of usual care or non-DTIs at follow-up at 3 months (SMD 0.02; 95% CI -0.36 to 0.40; P=.92), 4 months (SMD -1.11; 95% CI -2.60 to 0.38; P=.14), and 6 months (SMD -0.11; 95% CI -0.54 to 0.32; P=.61). The quality of evidence was very low to moderate in these trials. CONCLUSIONS: Our meta-analysis shows no evidence supporting the effectiveness of DTIs in reducing loneliness in older adults. Future research may consider randomized controlled trials with larger sample sizes and longer durations for both the interventions and follow-ups. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): RR2-10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032455.


Subject(s)
Digital Technology , Loneliness , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Quality of Life , Time Factors
13.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0253447, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280630

ABSTRACT

Well-being is a major issue among health care professionals, especially physicians. Less job satisfaction and impaired health can have an impact on health care quality. Our aim was to examine the association of stressors (illegitimate tasks) and health related resources (work-related sense of coherence; recovery experience) with life satisfaction, happiness, job satisfaction and burnout among German general practitioners (GPs). We conducted a cross-sectional survey among general medical practices in Germany. Main outcome measures were life satisfaction, happiness (Subjective Happiness Scale), job satisfaction (Work Satisfaction Scale) and burnout (Copenhagen Burnout Inventory). 548 GPs from across Germany participated (53.6% males, 45.6% females; mostly representative of German GPs). One third (35.2%) of the participants reported a high prevalence of personal, and one quarter (26.5%) indicated a high prevalence of work-related burnout symptoms. Illegitimate tasks are negatively associated with life and job satisfaction and are positively associated with personal, work-related and patient-related burnout among GPs. Work-SoC and recovery experience are positively associated with life satisfaction, happiness, and job satisfaction and are negatively associated with personal, work-related and patient-related burnout. Female physicians have a higher job satisfaction than male physicians. Being female and working as an employed physician is associated with a higher prevalence of personal burnout symptoms. GPs working in a group practice are happier and more satisfied with their job than GPs in single practices. Personal, work-related and patient-related burnout symptoms are stronger in GPs working in a single practice than in GPs in group practices. Our results highlight that Work-SoC, recovery experience and illegitimate tasks are important for creating work-related well-being among GPs. Introducing health promotion activities which aim to strengthen recovery experience and Work-SoC, as well as interventions to restructure tasks, may increase life satisfaction, happiness, and job satisfaction and reduce burnout symptoms in this health care profession.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , General Practitioners/psychology , Happiness , Job Satisfaction , Personal Satisfaction , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Burnout, Professional/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
14.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(6): e26385, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273306

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the German government and the 16 German federal states implemented a variety of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to decelerate the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and thus prevent a collapse of the health care system. These measures comprised, among others, social distancing, the temporary closure of shops and schools, and a ban of large public gatherings and meetings with people not living in the same household. OBJECTIVE: It is fair to assume that the issued NPIs have heavily affected social life and psychological functioning. We therefore aimed to examine possible effects of this lockdown in conjunction with daily new infections and the state of the national economy on people's interests, motives, and other psychological states. METHODS: We derived 249 keywords from the Google Trends database, tapping into 27 empirically and rationally selected psychological domains. To overcome issues with reliability and specificity of individual indicator variables, broad factors were derived by means of time series factor analysis. All domains were subjected to a change point analysis and time series regression analysis with infection rates, NPIs, and the state of the economy as predictors. All keywords and analyses were preregistered prior to analysis. RESULTS: With the pandemic arriving in Germany, significant increases in people's search interests were observed in virtually all domains. Although most of the changes were short-lasting, each had a distinguishable onset during the lockdown period. Regression analysis of the Google Trends data confirmed pronounced autoregressive effects for the investigated variables, while forecasting by means of the tested predictors (ie, daily new infections, NPIs, and the state of economy) was moderate at best. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that people's interests, motives, and psychological states are heavily affected in times of crisis and lockdown. Specifically, disease- and virus-related domains (eg, pandemic disease, symptoms) peaked early, whereas personal health strategies (eg, masks, homeschooling) peaked later during the lockdown. Domains addressing social life and psychosocial functioning showed long-term increases in public interest. Renovation was the only domain to show a decrease in search interest with the onset of the lockdown. As changes in search behavior are consistent over multiple domains, a Google Trends analysis may provide information for policy makers on how to adapt and develop intervention, information, and prevention strategies, especially when NPIs are in effect.


Subject(s)
Administrative Personnel/psychology , Burnout, Psychological/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Conflict of Interest , Social Media , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
15.
Autoimmun Rev ; 20(8): 102865, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263223

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The novel SARS-CoV-2 has been rattling the world since its outbreak in December 2019, leading to the COVID-19 pandemic. The learning curve of this new virus has been steep, with a global scientific community desperate to learn how the virus is transmitted, how it replicates, why it causes such a wide spectrum of disease manifestations, resulting in none or few symptoms in some. Others are burdened by an intense immune response that resembles the cytokine storm syndrome (CSS), which leads to severe disease manifestations, often complicated by fatal acute respiratory distress syndrome and death. Research efforts have been focusing on finding effective cures and vaccinations for this virus. The presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, represented by several GI manifestations, has led to its investigation as a target for the virus and as an indicator of disease severity. The response of the microbiome (which is heavily linked to immunity) to the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, and its role in igniting the exaggerated immune response has therefore become a focus of interest. The objective of our study was to gather the data connecting between the microbiome, the GI tract and COVID-19 and to investigate whether these reported alterations in the gut microbiome bear any resemblance to those seen in lupus, the prototypical autoimmune disease. Confirming such changes may become the steppingstone to potential therapies that may prevent transmission, progression and immune related manifestations of COVID-19, via manipulation of the gut microbiota. METHODS: We performed an extensive literature review, utilizing the Pubmed search engine and Google Scholar for studies evaluating the microbiome in COVID-19 patients and compared results with studies evaluating the microbiome in lupus. We searched for the terms: microbiome, dysbiosis, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, gastrointestinal as well as lupus and autoimmune. While there were hundreds of articles which referred to gastrointestinal manifestations in COVID-19, to date only 4 studies investigated the gastrointestinal microbiome in this setting. We compared the similarities between microbiome of COVID-19 patients and lupus patients. RESULTS: We found that there are several similar processes of immune dysregulation in patients with COVID-19 and in those with lupus, with several other alterations seen in other pathological states. Some of these similarities include loss of microbiota biodiversity, increased representation of pathobionts, which are microbes associated with inflammation and disease (i.e Proteobacteria) and a relative decrease of symbionts, which are protective microbes, associated with anti-inflammatory properties (i.e Lactobacillus). Compromise to the intestinal barrier has also been reported in both. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the gastrointestinal tract contributes to the disease manifestations in COVID-19. Whether gastrointestinal dysbiosis is the cause or effect of gastrointestinal manifestations and several severe systemic manifestations, which may be the response to an increased pro-inflammatory environment, is still debatable and warrants further investigation. Given the resemblance of the microbiome in COVID-19 patients to that seen in lupus patients, it becomes clearer why several therapies used in autoimmune conditions are currently under investigation for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Moreover, these findings should promote further investigating the utility of manipulation of the microbiome, via nutritional supplementation or even fecal transplantations, interventions that may alter the course of the disease, and potentially prevent disease transmission at low cost and low risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Autoimmunity , Dysbiosis , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Drug Dev Res ; 82(7): 873-879, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263077

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 manifests as a mild disease in most people but can progress to severe disease in nearly 20% of individuals. Disease progression is likely driven by a cytokine storm, either directly stimulated by SARS-CoV-2 or by increased systemic inflammation in which the gut might play an integral role. SARS-CoV-2 replication in the gut may cause increased intestinal permeability, alterations to the fecal microbiome, and increased inflammatory cytokines. Each effect may lead to increased systemic inflammation and the transport of cytokines and inflammatory antigens from the gut to the lung. Few interventions are being studied to treat people with mild disease and prevent the cytokine storm. Serumderived bovine immunoglobulin/protein isolate (SBI) may prevent progression by (1) binding and neutralizing inflammatory antigens, (2) decreasing gut permeability, (3) interfering with ACE2 binding by viral proteins, and (4) improving the fecal microbiome. SBI is therefore a promising intervention to prevent disease progression in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Immunization, Passive/methods , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/complications , Cattle , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/prevention & control , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Gastrointestinal Tract/pathology , Humans , Permeability
17.
Risk Manag Healthc Policy ; 14: 2119-2132, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256183

ABSTRACT

AIM: This study measured the level of knowledge, attitudes and practices towards COVID-19 prevention and examined associated factors among patients at a national tertiary general hospital in Vietnam. METHODS: Adult patients admitted to University Medical Center during research period were recruited in a cross-sectional study, which employed a convenience sampling method with a 4-component questionnaire in order to examine the patients' consciousness towards COVID-19 spreading prevention based on four aspects: demographic characteristics (10 items), knowledge (14 items), attitudes (6 items), and practices (7 items). RESULTS: The study involved 2769 respondents (18-90 years) with the mean age of 38.05±13.91 years. About two thirds of the respondents obtained diploma degree or higher (63.4%) and shared their living space with others (64.4%). The majority of patients settled in urban area (74.9%). All participants stayed informed about COVID-19, with the most commonly used channels like television (75.2%), the Internet (72.2%) and phone (69.8%). The vast majority showed sufficient knowledge (93.7%) and positive attitudes (76.3%). Just over half of participants remained good practiced of COVID-19 prevention (57.7%). On average, the factors of younger age, higher educational level, frequency and department of admission, and the number of COVID-19 informative channels were significantly associated with sufficient knowledge, positive attitudes, and good practices regarding preventive action against COVID-19 spreading. The optimistic attitude and having more undergoing chronic diseases were associated with the likelihood of well-practiced COVID-19 preventive measures (OR 3.63, 95% CI 1.54-8.55, p=0.003 and OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.78-0.98, p=0.02, respectively). CONCLUSION: The results of this study demonstrated that the likelihood of good preventive practices in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic was influenced by attitudes and several sociodemographic factors. More drastic interventions for the prevention of COVID-19 should be widely furnished and equipped in hospitals, through various routes to maximize the efficiency and adherence to prevention practices.

18.
J Formos Med Assoc ; 120 Suppl 1: S57-S68, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253194

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 outbreaks associated with mass religious gatherings which have the potential of invoking epidemics at large scale have been a great concern. This study aimed to evaluate the risk of outbreak in mass religious gathering and further to assess the preparedness of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) for preventing COVID-19 outbreak in this context. METHODS: The risk of COVID-19 outbreak in mass religious gathering was evaluated by using secondary COVID-19 cases and reproductive numbers. The preparedness of a series of NPIs for preventing COVID-19 outbreak in mass religious gathering was then assessed by using a density-dependent model. This approach was first illustrated by the Mazu Pilgrimage in Taiwan and validated by using the COVID-19 outbreak in the Shincheonji Church of Jesus (SCJ) religious gathering in South Korea. RESULTS: Through the strict implementation of 80% NPIs in the Mazu Pilgrimage, the number of secondary cases can be substantially reduced from 1508 (95% CI: 900-2176) to 294 (95% CI: 169-420) with the reproductive number (R) significantly below one (0.54, 95% CI: 0.31-0.78), indicating an effective containment of outbreak. The expected number of secondary COVID-19 cases in the SCJ gathering was estimated as 232 (basic reproductive number (R0) = 6.02) and 579 (R0 = 2.50) for the first and second outbreak, respectively, with a total expected cases (833) close to the observed data on high infection of COVID-19 cases (887, R0 = 3.00). CONCLUSION: We provided the evidence on the preparedness of NPIs for preventing COVID-19 outbreak in the context of mass religious gathering by using a density-dependent model.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Crowding , Disease Outbreaks , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Humans , Religion , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Taiwan/epidemiology
19.
Biomed Pharmacother ; 140: 111785, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1252500

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused significant devastation globally. Despite the development of several vaccines, with uncertainty around global uptake and vaccine efficacy, the need for effective therapeutic agents remains. Increased levels of cytokines including tumour necrosis factor are significant in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and associated with poor outcomes including ventilator requirement and mortality. Repurposing tumour necrosis factor blocker therapy used in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease seems promising, with early feasibility data showing a reduction in circulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and encouraging the evaluation of such interventions in preventing disease progression and clinical deterioration in patients with COVID-19. Here, we examine the biological activities of tumour necrosis factor inhibitors indicative of their potential in COVID-19 and briefly outline the randomised control trials assessing their benefit-risk profile in COVID-19 therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Inflammation/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors/pharmacology , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation/metabolism
20.
Viruses ; 13(6)2021 05 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1244143

ABSTRACT

Europe is experiencing a third wave of COVID-19 due to the spread of highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants. A number of positive and negative factors constantly shape the rates of COVID-19 infections, hospitalization, and mortality. Among these factors, the rise in increasingly transmissible variants on one side and the effect of vaccinations on the other side create a picture deeply different from that of the first pandemic wave. Starting from the observation that in several European countries the number of COVID-19 infections in the second and third pandemic wave increased without a proportional rise in disease severity and mortality, we hypothesize the existence of an additional factor influencing SARS-CoV-2 dynamics. This factor consists of an immune defence against severe COVID-19, provided by SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells progressively developing upon natural exposure to low virus doses present in populated environments. As suggested by recent studies, low-dose viral particles entering the respiratory and intestinal tracts may be able to induce T cell memory in the absence of inflammation, potentially resulting in different degrees of immunization. In this scenario, non-pharmaceutical interventions would play a double role, one in the short term by reducing the detrimental spreading of SARS-CoV-2 particles, and one in the long term by allowing the development of a widespread (although heterogeneous and uncontrollable) form of immune protection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Environmental Exposure , Humans , Immunologic Memory
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