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1.
Ann R Coll Surg Engl ; 104(4): 269-273, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34941446

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented time for the management of colorectal cancer, with uncertainty as to cancer-specific risks and the circumventing of gold standard oncological strategies. Our study aimed to acquire a snapshot of the practice of multidisciplinary team (MDT) management and variability in response to rapidly emerging guidelines. METHODS: The survey was disseminated to 150 colorectal cancer MDTs across England and Wales taken from the National Bowel Cancer Audit data set between 15 April and 30 June 2020 for completion by colorectal surgeons. RESULTS: Sixty-seven MDTs responded to the survey. Fifty-seven centres reported that they continued to perform colorectal cancer resections during the initial lockdown period. Fifty centres (74.6%) introduced routine preoperative COVID-19 testing and 50 (74.6%) employed full personal protective equipment for elective cases. Laparoscopic resections were continued by 25 centres (42.1%), whereas 28 (48.3%) changed to an open approach. Forty-nine (79.0%) centres reported experiencing patient-led surgical cancellations in 0-25% of their listings. If surgery was delayed significantly then 24 centres (38.7%) employed alternative neoadjuvant therapy, with short-course radiotherapy being their preferred adjunct of choice for rectal cancer. Just over 50% of the MDTs stated that they were uncomfortable or very uncomfortable with their management strategies. CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates variability in the MDT management of colorectal cancer during the initial COVID-19 lockdown, incorporating adaptive patient behaviour and initially limited data on oncological safety profiles leading to challenging decision-making.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Rectal Neoplasms , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control
2.
S Afr J Commun Disord ; 69(2): e1-e8, 2022 Jul 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35924606

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND:  South Africa's healthcare system has a multitude of pre-existing challenges prior to the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, ranging from reduced number of staff, lack of resources and units being at overcapacity both in the adult and paediatric populations. The neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) require a team approach to ensure best practice with vulnerable infants, but little is known about how the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown restrictions impacted the feeding practices within the NICU. OBJECTIVES:  This study aimed to explore the impact that COVID-19 had on the feeding practices within the NICU settings in public hospitals in Gauteng. METHODS:  A qualitative design was employed with data collected in two NICUs in Gauteng. Data were collected in the form of observations and semi-structured interviews with healthcare workers (HCWs) in the NICU. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. RESULTS:  Although the sample size of participants was limited, social distancing proved to be a challenge resulting in mothers and healthcare workers being given restricted access. This had effects on the ability to provide adequate feeding practices and resulted in anxiety for the mothers and mental health challenges for the HCWs when feeding these at-risk infants. A limitation of this study was the use of only two sites. CONCLUSION:  COVID-19 amplified the existing challenges in the NICU. A multidisciplinary and family-centred approach to address feeding challenges is required to offset the challenges resulting from the pandemic and subsequent lockdown.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intensive Care Units, Neonatal , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Hospitals, Public , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Pandemics/prevention & control , South Africa/epidemiology
3.
Arch Osteoporos ; 17(1): 110, 2022 Aug 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35920939

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE/INTRODUCTION: The objective of this study was to describe osteoporosis-related care patterns during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Alberta, Canada, relative to the 3-year preceding. METHODS: A repeated cross-sectional study design encompassing 3-month periods of continuous administrative health data between March 15, 2017, and September 14, 2020, described osteoporosis-related healthcare resource utilization (HCRU) and treatment patterns. Outcomes included patients with osteoporosis-related healthcare encounters, physician visits, diagnostic and laboratory test volumes, and treatment initiations and disruptions. The percent change between outcomes was calculated, averaged across the control periods (2017-2019), relative to the COVID-19 periods (2020). RESULTS: Relative to the average control March to June period, all HCRU declined during the corresponding COVID-19 period. There was a reduction of 14% in patients with osteoporosis healthcare encounters, 13% in general practitioner visits, 9% in specialist practitioner visits, 47% in bone mineral density tests, and 13% in vitamin D tests. Treatment initiations declined 43%, 26%, and 35% for oral bisphosphonates, intravenous bisphosphonates, and denosumab, respectively. Slight increases were observed in the proportion of patients with treatment disruptions. In the subsequent June to September period, HCRU either returned to or surpassed pre-pandemic levels, when including telehealth visits accounting for 33-45% of healthcare encounters during the COVID periods. Oral bisphosphonate treatment initiations remained lower than pre-pandemic levels. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding public health lockdowns further heightened the "crisis" around the known gap in osteoporosis care and altered the provision of care (e.g., use of telehealth and initiation of treatment). Osteoporosis has a known substantial care and management disparity, which has been classified as a crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic created additional burden on osteoporosis patient care with healthcare encounters, physician visits, diagnostic and laboratory tests, and treatment initiations all declining during the initial pandemic period, relative to previous years.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Osteoporosis , Alberta/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Diphosphonates/therapeutic use , Humans , Osteoporosis/epidemiology , Osteoporosis/therapy , Pandemics
4.
Pan Afr Med J ; 42: 22, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35910062

ABSTRACT

Introduction: the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns restricted movement with non-essential hospital trips discouraged to prevent spread of the virus. Disruption of medical services can lead to increased seeking of medical advice and symptom management online. With COVID-19 known to worsen existing cardiovascular disease or precipitate a new one, we sought to explore online search trends of the Nigerian public regarding cardiac events before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: using Google Trends™, relative search volume for the terms 'cardiac arrest', 'heart attack', and 'heart arrest' were analyzed for the periods 27th February to 30th September in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Descriptive statistics, Mann-Whitney U test for relative search volume, search terms comparison in both years and Kendall´s correlation coefficient for examining relationships between time frames and search terms were used. Results: searches for terms 'heart attack' (p<0.001) and 'heart arrest' (p=0.01) were higher in 2020 compared to 2019, with a correlation between searches for 'cardiac arrest' and 'heart arrest' (p<0.001) and between 'heart attack' and 'heart arrest' (p=0.01). There was a strong positive correlation between search for 'heart attack' in 2019 and 2020 (tau b=0.35, p<0.001); and a moderate positive correlation for 'heart arrest' (tau b=0.13, p=0.01). Conclusion: increased online activity relating to cardiac arrest was recorded during the early months of the pandemic when compared to the year prior. Notable increases in search activity aligned with the timing of heart-related illnesses and deaths of Nigerian celebrities during the pandemic. Further understanding of health-related online search activity in Nigeria could inform the development of health promotion interventions and support health-related information seeking for cardiovascular diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Infodemiology , Nigeria/epidemiology , Search Engine
5.
Int J Public Health ; 67: 1604468, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35910427

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To assess the association between students' financial loss and depressive symptoms during the first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and whether this association varied by countries having different levels of lockdown measures. Methods: This cross-sectional survey, conducted in spring 2020, included 91,871 students from 23 countries. Depressive symptoms were measured using the shortened Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale and information on lockdowns retrieved from the COVID-19 government response tracker. The association between financial loss and depressive symptoms was investigated estimating prevalence ratios (PR) with multilevel Poisson models. Results: Some 13% of students suffered financial loss during the lockdown and 52% had a relatively high depression score, with large between-countries differences. Minimally and maximally adjusted models showed a 35% (PR = 1.35, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 1.29-1.42) and 31% (PR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.26-1.37) higher prevalence of depressive symptoms in students who lost economic resources compared to students with stable economic resources. No substantial differences in the association were found across countries. Conclusion: Depressive symptoms were more frequent among students who suffered financial loss during the pandemic. Policy makers should consider this issue in the implementation of COVID-19 mitigating measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Students , Universities
6.
Front Public Health ; 10: 902253, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35910901

ABSTRACT

To inform women of the Navajo Nation of safety measures implemented to minimize COVID-19 virus exposure during screening and treatment procedures at Navajo Nation based health care facilities, the Navajo Nation Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention Program (NNBCCPP) and the University-based Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention Program (NACP) collaborated to develop a podcast to describe the continued availability of services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, women of all ages and ethnicities in the US needing breast and cervical cancer prevention screenings and treatment, have been hesitant to seek services given the advice to avoid crowded spaces and maintain physical distancing. Epidemiological trends indicate that proactive, intensive strategies are needed in Native American communities for early detection and treatment to support early cancer diagnosis and improve cancer survival. The NNBCCPP and Northern Arizona University (NAU) through the National Institute of Health's National Cancer Institute funded NACP had a nascent partnership prior to the onset of COVID-19 pandemic. This partnership relied on face-to-face interaction to allow for informal social interaction, facilitate clear communication and support continued trust building. To adhere to federal, state and tribal recommendations to minimize gatherings and to stay in-place to minimize the spread of the virus, the Navajo Nation and NAU restricted, and in most cases would not approve employee travel for partnership meetings. The plans to develop a podcast necessitated bringing additional members into the collaboration who were unfamiliar to the original partners and due to travel restrictions, required all interactions to be remote. This expanded group met virtually to develop a script, record and edit the podcast. More importantly, group members had to build and maintain trust over months of communicating via a teleconference video platform. This collaborative addressed challenges related to unstable Internet connections and periodic stay-at-home policies; thus, these emerging partners had to modify social and professional communication to respect and accommodate the stress and uncertain circumstances created by the pandemic on the citizens and employees of Navajo Nation. This case study describes strategies used to maintain and respect all members of the partnership.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Indians, North American , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Delivery of Health Care , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Universities , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/diagnosis , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/prevention & control
7.
PLoS One ; 17(8): e0271977, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35913929

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the experiences of refugees in a developing country during its first COVID-19 lockdown by utilizing a two-stage qualitative data analysis of 39 interviews with refugees and asylum-seekers. We find that their experiences during the lockdown are shaped by identity, trauma and help from external parties-such as community leaders and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Experiences during the pandemic in turn moderate the relationship between policy changes and trust in domestic authority figures, which consequently affects attitudes towards and compliance with public health measures put in place to contain the pandemic. We then explore the role of identity in refugees' pandemic experiences by comparing the differences between two refugee groups (Syrians and Rohingyas), validating them by utilizing comparative thematic analysis. Finally, the paper presents policy implications for crisis response in developing countries by suggesting improvements that can be made on the ground regarding the delivery of aid and assistance to vulnerable groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Refugees , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Trust
8.
PLoS One ; 17(8): e0272422, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35914007

ABSTRACT

Aggressive driving is a significant road safety problem and is likely to get worse as the situations that provoke aggression become more prevalent in the road network (e.g. as traffic volumes and density increase and the grey fleet expands). In addition, driver frustration and stress, also recognised as triggers for aggression, are likely to stay high because of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated burdens, leading to increased aggression. However, although drivers report that other drivers are becoming more aggressive, self-report data suggests that the prevalence of aggression has not changed over time. This may be due to the methods used to define and measure aggression. This study sought to clarify whether self-reported aggression has increased over a five-year period and across three different types of aggression: verbal aggression, aggressive use of the vehicle and personal physical aggression. The influence of COVID-19 lockdowns on own and others' driving styles was also investigated. A total of 774 drivers (males = 66.5%, mean age = 48.7; SD = 13.9) who had been licensed for at least five years (M = 30.6, SD = 14.3), responded to an online survey and provided retrospective frequencies for their current aggression (considered pre-COVID-19 lockdowns) and five years prior. Two open ended questions were included to understand perceived changes in driving styles (own and others) during the COVID-19 pandemic. One third (33%) of drivers believed they were more aggressive now than five years ago but 61% of the sample believed other drivers were more aggressive now than five years ago. Logistic regression analyses on changes in self-reported aggression (same or decreased vs increased) showed the main factor associated with increases in aggressive driving was the perception that other drivers' aggression had increased. Further, almost half the sample (47%) reported that other drivers had become riskier and more dangerous during, and soon after, the COVID-19 lockdowns. These results show that the driving environment is seen as becoming more aggressive, both gradually and as a direct result of COVID-19 lockdowns. The data indicate that this perceived increase in aggression is likely to provoke higher levels of aggression in some drivers. Campaigns to reduce aggression on the roads need to focus on changing road culture and improving interactions, or perceived interactions, among road users.


Subject(s)
Aggressive Driving , Automobile Driving , COVID-19 , Accidents, Traffic , Aggression , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Self Report
9.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 13175, 2022 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35915133

ABSTRACT

Forced quarantine and nationwide lockdowns have been a primary response by many jurisdictions in their attempt at COVID-19 elimination or containment, yet the associated mental health burden is not fully understood. Using an eight country cross-sectional design, this study investigates the association between COVID-19 induced quarantine and/or isolation on probable generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive episode (MDE) psychological outcomes approximately eight months after the pandemic was declared. Overall, 9027 adults participated, and 2937 (32.5%) were indicated with GAD and/or MDE. Reported quarantine and/or isolation was common, with 1199 (13.8%) confined for travel or health requirements, 566 (6.5%) for being close contact, 720 (8.3%) for having COVID-19 symptoms, and 457 (5.3%) for being COVID-19 positive. Compared to those not quarantining or isolating, the adjusted estimated relative risks of GAD and/or MDE associated with quarantine and/or isolation was significant (p < 0.001), ranging from 1.24 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.07, 1.43) for travel/health to 1.37 (95% CI 1.19, 1.59) for COVID-19 symptom isolation reasons. While almost universally employed, quarantine and/or isolation is associated with a heavy mental health toll. Preventive strategies are needed, such as minimizing time-limits imposed and providing clear rationale and information, together with additional treatment and rehabilitation resources.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Depressive Disorder, Major , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression , Depressive Disorder, Major/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Quarantine/psychology
10.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 1469, 2022 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35915413

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Migrant and refugee women have faced a myriad of challenges during COVID-19, which are often exacerbated by the interaction between this population's diverse identities and established systems in the local context. This qualitative study uses the lens of intersectionality to understand migrant and refugee women's experiences of gender-based violence and access to and quality of support services in Italy during the first year of COVID-19. METHODS: Data were gathered from 51 key informant interviews and eight focus group discussions of 31 participants. Key informants included service providers across sectors, including gender-based violence and anti-violence organizations, government and law, health, psychology, social work, and anti-trafficking administration. Focus group participants were migrant and refugee women aged 18-65 from the following countries of origin: Bangladesh, Cameroon, Colombia, El Salvador, Gambia, Ghana, Honduras, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, and Syria. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and coded using a collaborative process with partners from UNICEF. Transcripts were then evaluated for arising themes using three methods of intersectionality analysis. RESULTS: Data analysis revealed how COVID-19 converged with sexism, racism, and xenophobia in Italy, leading to increased public and domestic violence against refugee and migrant women. Another prominent theme was the exacerbated vulnerability for refugee and migrant women in precarious socioeconomic situations, which prompted many service providers to recognize and address gaps in service offerings and coordination around basic needs. However, due to resource constraints and bias, providers did not systematically incorporate inclusive language and cultural mediation into remote and online services, creating a heightened barrier to access for non-Italian women despite their complex needs. As such, refugee and migrant women highlighted community-based solidarity and support as protective factors during lockdown periods. CONCLUSION: Findings emphasize how overlapping dominant sociocultural and socioeconomic systems impacted refugee and migrant women's experiences of violence during COVID-19 in Italy, and how some support services were unprepared to respond to the complex needs of diverse, newcomer populations. We discuss how policymakers and practitioners might consider intersectionality in their preparedness and response planning for gender-based violence services during health emergencies moving forward.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gender-Based Violence , Refugees , Transients and Migrants , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Intersectional Framework , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , Refugees/psychology
11.
BMJ Open ; 12(8): e062388, 2022 Aug 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35922104

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Increased exposure to digital devices as part of online classes increases susceptibility to visual impairments, particularly among school students taught using e-learning strategies. This study aimed to identify the impact of remote learning during the COVID-19 lockdown on children's visual health. DESIGN: Systematic review using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. DATA SOURCES: Scopus, PubMed and ScienceDirect databases from the year 2020 onwards. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: We included cross-sectional, case-control, cohort studies, case series and case reports, published in English, Spanish or French, that approached the effects of remote learning during the COVID-19 lockdown on visual health in neurotypical children. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: We included a total of 21 articles with previous quality assessments using the Joanna Briggs checklist. Risk of bias assessment was applied using the National Institutes of Health quality assessment tool for before-and-after studies with no control group; the tool developed by Hoy et al to assess cross-sectional studies; the Murad et al tool to evaluate the methodological quality of case reports and case series; and the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale for cohort studies. RESULTS: All but one study reported a deleterious impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on visual health in children. Overall, the most frequently identified ocular effects were refractive errors, accommodation disturbances and visual symptoms such as dry eye and asthenopia. CONCLUSIONS: Increased dependence on digital devices for online classes has either induced or exacerbated visual disturbances, such as rapid progression of myopia, dry eye and visual fatigue symptoms, and vergence and accommodation disturbances, in children who engaged in remote learning during the COVID-19 lockdown. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42022307107.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Learning , Schools , United States
12.
BMJ Open ; 12(8): e063279, 2022 Aug 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35922108

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the working environment, how we think of it and how it stands to develop into the future. Knowledge about how people have continued to work on-site and adjusted to working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown will be vital for planning work arrangements in the post-pandemic period. Our primary objective was to investigate experiences of working from home or having colleagues working from home during a late stage of the COVID-19 lockdown among researchers and healthcare providers in a hospital research setting. Second, we aimed to investigate researchers' productivity through changes in various proxy measures during lockdown as compared with pre-lockdown. DESIGN: Mixed-method participatory Group Concept Mapping (GCM). SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: GCM, based on a mixed-method participatory approach, was applied involving researchers' and healthcare providers' online sorting and rating experiences working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. At a face-to-face meeting, participants achieved consensus on the number and labelling of domains-the basis for developing a conceptual model. RESULTS: Through the GCM approach, 47 participants generated 125 unique statements of experiences related to working from home, which were organised into seven clusters. Using these clusters, we developed a conceptual model that illustrated the pros and cons of working from home. CONCLUSION: The future work setting, the role of the office and the overall work environment need to respond to workers' increased wish for flexible work arrangements and co-decision.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Denmark , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
13.
BMC Med Educ ; 22(1): 596, 2022 Aug 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35922839

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus pandemic led to a lockdown of public life. For universities, this meant suspensions or corresponding adaptations of practical courses. In Germany, Kiel Dental Clinic received special permission to start practical courses under appropriate hygiene conditions. The study aimed at recording the experiences and associated challenges of course implementation under the special regulations from the perspective of students and teachers. METHODS: Qualitative guided interviews were conducted with students and teachers at Kiel in the summer semester 2020. Students (4th, 6th, 8th, 10th semesters) were recruited and lecturers responsible for conducting the practical courses within the dental clinic's four departments. Evaluation was carried out by means of qualitative content analysis, whereby deductive procedures were supplemented by inductive ones. RESULTS: Thirty-nine students and 19 lecturers took part. The flow of information at the start of the course was welcomed by students and teachers across the board. The lack of or limited adjustment to the scope tended to be assessed positively by students. The majority of both groups suspected there had been no reduction in learning, and learning had been improved due to the smaller group sizes. Regarding the necessary conditions for conducting the course, positive and negative aspects became apparent. CONCLUSION: Students and teachers felt very relief to start the practical courses under special conditions although the implementation was very challenging for both groups. The structural and content-related course adaptations required a high degree of flexibility on the part of students and lecturers alike, but also meant that courses were able to be conducted without serious deficits in learning gains.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Students, Dental , Communicable Disease Control , Curriculum , Humans , Learning , Teaching
14.
PLoS One ; 17(8): e0270399, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35921281

ABSTRACT

We found evidence from two experiments that a simple set of gestural techniques can improve the experience of online meetings. Video conferencing technology has practical benefits, but psychological costs. It has allowed industry, education and social interactions to continue in some form during the covid-19 lockdowns. But it has left many users feeling fatigued and socially isolated, perhaps because the limitations of video conferencing disrupt users' ability to coordinate interactions and foster social affiliation. Video Meeting Signals (VMS™) is a simple technique that uses gestures to overcome some of these limitations. First, we carried out a randomised controlled trial with over 100 students, in which half underwent a short training session in VMS. All participants rated their subjective experience of two weekly seminars, and transcripts were objectively coded for the valence of language used. Compared to controls, students with VMS training rated their personal experience, their feelings toward their seminar group, and their perceived learning outcomes as significantly higher. Also, they were more likely to use positive language and less likely to use negative language. A second, larger experiment replicated the first, and added a condition where groups were given a version of the VMS training but taught to use emoji response buttons rather than gestures to signal the same information. The emoji-trained groups did not experience the same improvement as the VMS groups. By exploiting the specific benefits of gestural communication, VMS has great potential to overcome the psychological problems of group video meetings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communications Media , Communicable Disease Control , Gestures , Humans , Videoconferencing
15.
PLoS One ; 17(8): e0271757, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35921371

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Understanding parents' and children's mental health issues would help design population-specific intervention programs. The present study explored parents' perceived stress and child emotions and behavior during the COVID-19 lockdown among Sri Lankan families. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among Sri Lankan parents of children aged 11 to 17 years. Validated instruments (Perceived Stress Scale-PSS and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire-SDQ) evaluated parental stress, child emotions, and hyperactivity/inattention. Multiple linear regression assessed the predictors of mental health issues, including the interaction between age and gender. RESULTS: Three hundred fifty-five parents responded to the survey (mothers:76%). One-third of parents experienced difficulties with their children during the pandemic. Emotions and hyperactivity-inattention problems measured via the SDQ scale were high among 38% of children, while the perceived stress was high in 79.2% of parents. Overall, child emotions and hyperactivity-inattention increased with decreasing age, increasing parent stress, having middle-income compared to high-income, and having a family member/close relative tested positive for COVID-19. Hyperactivity-inattention (29.3%) was more than the emotional problems (22%) among children. The emotional problems were reported more with increasing parent stress, while child hyperactivity-inattention alone was reported more with decreasing age, middle-income compared to high-income families, and increasing parent stress. Also, the interaction effect of age and gender indicated that higher age was related to greater parent-reported hyperactivity-inattention problems in males. CONCLUSIONS: The findings highlight how the COVID-19 crisis and social isolation have contributed to increased parental stress and child emotional and hyperactivity-inattention problems. In addition to cautioning the healthcare workers, socio-culturally appropriate preventive and supportive mental health programs may help deal with further waves of COVID-19 or any other adverse circumstances.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emotions , Female , Humans , Male , Mothers/psychology , Parents/psychology , Sri Lanka/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
16.
Front Public Health ; 10: 819231, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35910875

ABSTRACT

Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with sleep quality impairment and psychological distress, and the general public has responded to the pandemic and quarantine requirements in a variety of ways. We aimed to investigate whether sleep quality is low during a short-term (circuit break) quarantine restriction, and whether sleep quality is associated with respondents' overall attitudes to the pandemic using a validated scale. Design and Setting: Online cross-sectional study in England in November 2020. Participants: The study included 502 respondents over the age of 18. Measurements: Sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and pandemic attitudes were assessed using the Oxford Pandemic Attitudes Scale-COVID-19 (OPAS-C), a validated 20-item, 7-domain scale that assesses pandemic-related stress, fear, loneliness, sense of community, sense of exaggerated concern, non-pharmaceutical interventions, and vaccine hesitancy. Unadjusted and multivariable logistic regression odds ratios of association were assessed between the dependent variable of poor sleep quality (PSQI>5) and risk factors, including OPAS-C score, age, sex, educational status, and income. Results: The mean (SD) PSQI score was 7.62 (3.49). Overall, 68.9% of respondents met criteria for poor sleep quality using the PSQI cutoff of >5. The mean (SD) OPAS-C score was 60.3 (9.1). There was a significantly increased odds of poor sleep quality in the highest vs. lowest OPAS-C quartiles (OR 4.94, 95% CI [2.67, 9.13], p < 0.0001). Age, sex, income, political leaning, employment status, and education attainment were not associated with poor sleep quality. Conclusions: More than two-thirds of respondents met criteria for poor sleep quality. The odds of poor sleep quality increased in a dose-response relationship with pandemic attitudes (such as higher levels of pandemic-related stress, fear, or loneliness). The association between poor sleep quality and pandemic attitudes suggests opportunities for public health and sleep medicine interventions, and highlights the need for further research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sleep Quality
17.
Bull Math Biol ; 84(9): 94, 2022 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35913582

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has led to a global pandemic and caused huge healthy and economic losses. Non-pharmaceutical interventions, especially contact tracing and social distance restrictions, play a vital role in the control of COVID-19. Understanding the spatial impact is essential for designing such a control policy. Based on epidemic data of the confirmed cases after the Wuhan lockdown, we calculate the invasive reproduction numbers of COVID-19 in the different regions of China. Statistical analysis indicates a significant positive correlation between the reproduction numbers and the population input sizes from Wuhan, which indicates that the large-scale population movement contributed a lot to the geographic spread of COVID-19 in China. Moreover, there is a significant positive correlation between reproduction numbers and local population densities, which shows that the higher population density intensifies the spread of disease. Considering that in the early stage, there were sequential imported cases that affected the estimation of reproduction numbers, we classify the imported cases and local cases through the information of epidemiological data and calculate the net invasive reproduction number to quantify the local spread of the epidemic. The results are applied to the design of border control policy on the basis of vaccination coverage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Humans , Mathematical Concepts , Models, Biological , Population Density , SARS-CoV-2
18.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(8): e2224641, 2022 Aug 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35913741

ABSTRACT

Importance: Alcohol consumption (AC) leads to death and disability worldwide. Ongoing discussions on potential negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on AC need to be informed by real-world evidence. Objective: To examine whether lockdown measures are associated with AC and consumption-related temporal and psychological within-person mechanisms. Design, Setting, and Participants: This quantitative, intensive, longitudinal cohort study recruited 1743 participants from 3 sites from February 20, 2020, to February 28, 2021. Data were provided before and within the second lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany: before lockdown (October 2 to November 1, 2020); light lockdown (November 2 to December 15, 2020); and hard lockdown (December 16, 2020, to February 28, 2021). Main Outcomes and Measures: Daily ratings of AC (main outcome) captured during 3 lockdown phases (main variable) and temporal (weekends and holidays) and psychological (social isolation and drinking intention) correlates. Results: Of the 1743 screened participants, 189 (119 [63.0%] male; median [IQR] age, 37 [27.5-52.0] years) with at least 2 alcohol use disorder (AUD) criteria according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fifth Edition) yet without the need for medically supervised alcohol withdrawal were included. These individuals provided 14 694 smartphone ratings from October 2020 through February 2021. Multilevel modeling revealed significantly higher AC (grams of alcohol per day) on weekend days vs weekdays (ß = 11.39; 95% CI, 10.00-12.77; P < .001). Alcohol consumption was above the overall average on Christmas (ß = 26.82; 95% CI, 21.87-31.77; P < .001) and New Year's Eve (ß = 66.88; 95% CI, 59.22-74.54; P < .001). During the hard lockdown, perceived social isolation was significantly higher (ß = 0.12; 95% CI, 0.06-0.15; P < .001), but AC was significantly lower (ß = -5.45; 95% CI, -8.00 to -2.90; P = .001). Independent of lockdown, intention to drink less alcohol was associated with lower AC (ß = -11.10; 95% CI, -13.63 to -8.58; P < .001). Notably, differences in AC between weekend and weekdays decreased both during the hard lockdown (ß = -6.14; 95% CI, -9.96 to -2.31; P = .002) and in participants with severe AUD (ß = -6.26; 95% CI, -10.18 to -2.34; P = .002). Conclusions and Relevance: This 5-month cohort study found no immediate negative associations of lockdown measures with overall AC. Rather, weekend-weekday and holiday AC patterns exceeded lockdown effects. Differences in AC between weekend days and weekdays evinced that weekend drinking cycles decreased as a function of AUD severity and lockdown measures, indicating a potential mechanism of losing and regaining control. This finding suggests that temporal patterns and drinking intention constitute promising targets for prevention and intervention, even in high-risk individuals.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Substance Withdrawal Syndrome , Adult , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcohol Drinking/psychology , Alcoholism/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Pandemics
19.
Nutrients ; 14(13)2022 Jun 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35807753

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic produced life disturbances and loss of routine which affected diet and sleep quality as well as physical exercise frequency. Interestingly, mental distress was higher even in those who exercised. The purpose of this study was to assess exercise frequency in relation to different levels of mental distress severity in men and women while accounting for working days and weekends. A de-identified secondary data set was analyzed. Regression analyses produced models of the different stages of COVID-19 in relation to physical exercise frequency and mental distress levels. Margin analysis generated predictive models that could be used prophylactically to customize physical exercise frequencies in men and women to reduce their risk of mental distress during future pandemics. Mental distress during the lockdown and after ease of restrictions was associated with different physical exercise frequencies, with a noticeable difference between men and women. During a pandemic, sedentary men are more likely to be mentally distressed during working days. Nevertheless, moderately active, but not very active women, may be less distressed during pandemic weekends. These findings may provide a framework to optimize mental health during different stages of a pandemic by customizing physical exercise frequencies based on gender and time of the week.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Disorders , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Health , Pandemics
20.
Nutrients ; 14(13)2022 Jun 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35807905

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 lockdown has had a significant impact on people's lives worldwide. This study aimed to investigate the effect of personality on chrononutrition during the COVID-19 lockdown. Using a cross-sectional design, a convenient sample of 543 adults in Qatar completed an online questionnaire using validated tools to assess personality and chrononutrition behaviors during the first COVID-19 lockdown. Participants scoring high in openness were more likely to eat at night (mean difference (MD) = 0.41, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.10, 0.72) compared to those scoring high in agreeableness, while those scoring high in extraversion and openness had a shorter eating window (MD = -76.6, 95%CI: -146.3, -6.93 and MD = -29.8, 95%CI: -56.5, -3.01, respectively). Participants high in extraversion had longer evening latency (MD = 66.3, 95%CI: 25.4, 107.3) and evening eating (MD = -62.0, 95%CI: -114.0, -9.0) compared those high in agreeableness. Participants high in conscientiousness showed evidence of first eating event misalignment during the weekend (MD = 22.0, 95%CI: 0.15, 43.9) and last eating event misalignment during weekdays (MD = -27.8, 95%CI: -47.3, -8.41) compared to those high in agreeableness. Lastly, participants high in openness showed evidence of eating window misalignment during the weekend (MD = 30.6, 95%CI: 5.01, 56.2). This study suggests that personality traits can inform personalized nutritional approaches when aiming for healthy habits during unexpected periods, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics , Personality , Qatar/epidemiology
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