Special Issue "COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare"

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032). This special issue belongs to the section "Coronaviruses (CoV) and COVID-19 Pandemic".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Manoj Sharma
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 89557, US
Interests: health behavior research; health promotion; stress and coping
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Kavita Batra
Website
Guest Editor
Office of Research, School of Medicine, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 89557, USA
Interests: maternal and child health; psychological health; meta-analysis; data analytics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a worldwide public health emergency and has had a significant impact on all dimensions of health, including physical, psychological, social, and financial. Therefore, this Special Issue of Healthcare aims to reflect the full breadth of the pandemic’s impact across different populations worldwide and cover all aspects of health. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Preventive strategies associated with COVID-19 to promote health behaviours, for instance, handwashing, mask-wearing behaviour, social distancing, and vaccine acceptability, screening, testing, and tracing. Theory-based health behaviour intervention studies are highly encouraged.
  • Effect of COVID-19 on job sectors, for example, changes in employment and labour force participation.
  • Effect on psychosocial health across different population groups, including general, healthcare workers, geriatric, young adults, etc.

Prof. Manoj Sharma
Dr. Kavita Batra
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Healthcare is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Health Behaviour
  • Prevention
  • Impact
  • Healthcare
  • Screening
  • Treatment

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Prevention and Control of COVID-19 Pandemic on International Cruise Ships: The Legal Controversies
Healthcare 2021, 9(3), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9030281 - 04 Mar 2021
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, a number of international cruise ships were infected, thereby resulting in serious public health and human rights problems. Multiple difficulties were encountered in the prevention and control of the coronavirus disease onboard ships, while rule-based international cooperation [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, a number of international cruise ships were infected, thereby resulting in serious public health and human rights problems. Multiple difficulties were encountered in the prevention and control of the coronavirus disease onboard ships, while rule-based international cooperation in this regard appeared inefficient and ineffective. By applying interdisciplinary methodologies, including empirical research of law, policy science, and health studies, this research reviewed the legal difficulties in the prevention and control of COVID-19 on international cruise ships and sought solutions from a policy-making and strategic perspective. We found that, apart from the inherent nature of cruise ships such as crowded semi-enclosed areas, shared sanitary facilities and limited medical resources, there are also nonnegligible legal reasons affecting the effectiveness of containment measures on board. In particular, there is ambiguity and even inconsistency of relevant international norms and domestic regulations, and some of the key rules are neither mandatory nor enforceable. We conclude by suggesting that rule-based international cooperation on this issue must be strengthened with respect to information sharing and management, a more effective supervisory mechanism, clarification of key rules over jurisdiction and distributions of obligations among the port states, flag states, nationality states, and cruise ship companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare)
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Open AccessArticle
Forecasting COVID-19 Confirmed Cases Using Empirical Data Analysis in Korea
Healthcare 2021, 9(3), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9030254 - 01 Mar 2021
Abstract
From November to December 2020, the third wave of COVID-19 cases in Korea is ongoing. The government increased Seoul’s social distancing to the 2.5 level, and the number of confirmed cases is increasing daily. Due to a shortage of hospital beds, treatment is [...] Read more.
From November to December 2020, the third wave of COVID-19 cases in Korea is ongoing. The government increased Seoul’s social distancing to the 2.5 level, and the number of confirmed cases is increasing daily. Due to a shortage of hospital beds, treatment is difficult. Furthermore, gatherings at the end of the year and the beginning of next year are expected to worsen the effects. The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the importance of prediction timing rather than prediction of the number of confirmed cases. Thus, in this study, five groups were set according to minimum, maximum, and high variability. Through empirical data analysis, the groups were subdivided into a total of 19 cases. The cumulative number of COVID-19 confirmed cases is predicted using the auto regressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model and compared with the actual number of confirmed cases. Through group and case-by-case prediction, forecasts can accurately determine decreasing and increasing trends. To prevent further spread of COVID-19, urgent and strong government restrictions are needed. This study will help the government and the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) to respond systematically to a future surge in confirmed cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Psychological Impact of COVID-19 among College Students: An Evidence of 15 Countries
Healthcare 2021, 9(2), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020222 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 264
Abstract
Mental health issues among college students is a leading public health concern, which seems to have been exacerbating during the COVID-19 pandemic. While previous estimates related to psychological burden among college students are available, quantitative synthesis of available data still needs to be [...] Read more.
Mental health issues among college students is a leading public health concern, which seems to have been exacerbating during the COVID-19 pandemic. While previous estimates related to psychological burden among college students are available, quantitative synthesis of available data still needs to be performed. Therefore, this meta-analysis endeavors to present collective evidence discussing the psychological impact of COVID-19 among college students. Bibliographical library databases, including Embase, Medline, CINAHL, Scopus, and PsycINFO, were systematically searched for relevant studies. Titles, abstracts, and full articles were screened, and two reviewers extracted data. Heterogeneity was assessed by I2 statistic. The random-effects model was utilized to obtain the pooled estimates of psychological indicators among college students. Location, gender, level of severity, and quality scores were used as moderator variables for subgroup analyses. Funnel plot and Egger linear regression test was used to assess publication bias. Twenty-seven studies constituting 90,879 college students met the inclusion criteria. The results indicated 39.4% anxiety (95% CI: 28.6, 51.3; I2 = 99.8%; p-value < 0.0001) and 31.2% depression (95% CI: 19.7, 45.6; I2= 99.8%, p < 0.0001) among college students. The pooled prevalence of stress (26.0%), post-traumatic stress disorder (29.8%), and impaired sleep quality (50.5%) were also reported. College students bear a disproportionate burden of mental health problems worldwide, with females having higher anxiety and depression levels than males. This study‘’s findings underscore the need to develop appropriate public health interventions to address college students’ emotional and psychosocial needs. The policies should be reflective of demographic and socioeconomic differentials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Awareness and Knowledge on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic among Seafarers
Healthcare 2021, 9(2), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020120 - 25 Jan 2021
Viewed by 372
Abstract
Background: The ongoing pandemic due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is becoming a serious global threat. Experts suggest that the infection can be controlled by immediate prevention measures. Sailing is one of the occupational categories more vulnerable to this virus outbreak due [...] Read more.
Background: The ongoing pandemic due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is becoming a serious global threat. Experts suggest that the infection can be controlled by immediate prevention measures. Sailing is one of the occupational categories more vulnerable to this virus outbreak due to the proximity of the working conditions. Objective: Awareness and knowledge assessments of seafarers towards the current epidemic is mandatory to understand the effectiveness and success of the infection control measures adopted by shipping companies. Methods: In this study, we presented an online questionnaire survey to determine the knowledge levels of COVID-19 among seafarers. The data were collected by self-reported survey, and analysis was done by the analysis of variance (ANOVA). The t-test was used to understand the knowledge attitude differences to COVID-19 among different occupational groups of seafarers, and the p-value ≤ of 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Among 1,458 responses received, 92.82% had a college or university degree. The results reported that the mean COVID-19 knowledge score was 5.82 (standard deviation = 0.51, range 0–6), and the overall correct percentage was 97%. There was a statistically significant difference between age groups (F (4, 1453) = 5.44, p < 0.001) and educational groups (F (4, 1453) = 1.52, p < 0.001). The knowledge score was not significantly different across the educational status of the participants (F (2, 1455) = 1.52, p = 0.220). Conclusions: The present study highlighted good knowledge and behaviours among sailors about COVID-19. However, shipping companies need to come up with new campaigns to hold optimistic practices and suitable guidelines on ships, including cruise boats, to keep sea workers always alert and collaborative in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare)
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Open AccessArticle
Determinants of Behavioral Changes Since COVID-19 among Middle School Students
Healthcare 2021, 9(1), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010075 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 386
Abstract
Middle school students are of particular interest when examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic because they are in a formative period for socioemotional development, and because they are not as mature as adults, making them more vulnerable to the effects of the [...] Read more.
Middle school students are of particular interest when examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic because they are in a formative period for socioemotional development, and because they are not as mature as adults, making them more vulnerable to the effects of the current pandemic. This study seeks to examine determinants of protective behavior changes since COVID-19 among middle school students. Participants were recruited through an official online flatform used by public schools. The final sample included 328 middle school students in South Korea. A multiple linear regression was conducted to explore what factors influence protective behavior changes since COVID-19. Gender and health status were associated with protective behavior changes since COVID-19. Family satisfaction was positively associated with protective behavior changes. Levels of sanitation since COVID-19 and perceptions regarding the risk of COVID-19 were significantly related to protective behavior changes. This study suggests to consider three factors–individual, family, and environmental—in order to prevent middle school students from contracting and spreading the virus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare)
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Open AccessArticle
Explaining Handwashing Behavior in a Sample of College Students during COVID-19 Pandemic Using the Multi-Theory Model (MTM) of Health Behavior Change: A Single Institutional Cross-Sectional Survey
Healthcare 2021, 9(1), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010055 - 06 Jan 2021
Viewed by 634
Abstract
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, handwashing offers a simple and effective hygienic measure for disease prevention. Reportedly, a significant proportion of college students did not follow handwashing recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the pre-COVID era. The purpose [...] Read more.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, handwashing offers a simple and effective hygienic measure for disease prevention. Reportedly, a significant proportion of college students did not follow handwashing recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the pre-COVID era. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to explore and explain the handwashing behavior among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic using a contemporary fourth-generation multi-theory model (MTM) of health behavior change. Data were collected from 713 college students at a large public university in the Southern U.S. in October 2020 using a validated 36-item survey. Statistical analyses included independent samples t-tests, Pearson correlation, and hierarchical regression modeling. Among students not following handwashing recommendations, the constructs of participatory dialogue (β = 0.152; p < 0.05) and behavioral confidence (β = 0.474; p < 0.0001) were statistically significant and accounted for 27.2% of the variance in the likelihood of initiation of the behavior. Additionally, the constructs of emotional transformation (β = 0.330; p < 0.0001), practice for change (β = 0.296; p < 0.0001), and changes in the social environment (β = 0.180; p < 0.05) were statistically significant and accounted for 45.1% of the variance in the likelihood of sustaining handwashing behavior. This study highlights the applicability and usability of the MTM in designing and testing behavior change interventions and media messaging in campaigns targeting college students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare)
Open AccessArticle
Lack of Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 among Blood Donors during COVID-19 Lockdown: A Study from Saudi Arabia
Healthcare 2021, 9(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010051 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 654
Abstract
In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Saudi Arabia have imposed timely restrictions to minimize the infection spread, lower the risk for vulnerable groups, and reduce the pressure on healthcare services. The effectiveness of these measures has not been assessed comprehensively and, [...] Read more.
In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Saudi Arabia have imposed timely restrictions to minimize the infection spread, lower the risk for vulnerable groups, and reduce the pressure on healthcare services. The effectiveness of these measures has not been assessed comprehensively and, thereby, remains uncertain. Besides monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases diagnosed by molecular assays, the seroprevalence can serve as an indicator for the incidence rate among the general population. This study aimed to evaluate seroprevalence status of all healthy blood donors who attended one of the main largest hospital located in the western region of Saudi Arabia from 1 January to 31 May 2020. The study period covered two months prior to reporting the first COVID-19 case in the country on 2 March 2020. Importantly, it covered the period when “lock-down type” measures have been enforced. Samples were subjected to in-house enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA), and microneutralization (MN). The sero statuses of all samples were confirmed negative, demonstrating the lack of antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) among blood donors during COVID-19 lockdown period. This study supports the hypothesis that COVID-19 restrictions have potential for limiting the extent of the infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare)
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Open AccessArticle
Postponed Dental Visits during the COVID-19 Pandemic and their Correlates. Evidence from the Nationally Representative COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring in Germany (COSMO)
Healthcare 2021, 9(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010050 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 513
Abstract
(1) Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is accompanied by various societal and economic challenges. Furthermore, it is associated with major health challenges. Oral health is a key component of health. Therefore, both curative and preventive dental visits are important during pandemics. Since there is [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is accompanied by various societal and economic challenges. Furthermore, it is associated with major health challenges. Oral health is a key component of health. Therefore, both curative and preventive dental visits are important during pandemics. Since there is a lack of nationally representative studies focusing on postponed dental visits and their correlates during the COVID-19 pandemic, we aimed to fill this gap in knowledge; (2) Methods: Cross-sectional data (wave 17) were collected from a nationally representative online-survey (COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring in Germany (COSMO)) conducted in July 2020. The analytical sample consisted of 974 individuals (average age was 45.9 years (SD: 16.5, from 18 to 74 years)). The outcome measure was postponed dental visits since March 2020 (yes; no) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the type of postponed dental visits was recorded (check-up/regular dental examination; pain/dental complaints; planned therapy); (3) Results: 22% of participants reported to have postponed dental visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020, whereas 78% of individuals did not report postponed visits (“no, attended as planned”: 29.2%; “no, examining pending”: 44.9%; “no, other reasons”: 3.9%). Among individuals who reported postponed dental visits, 72% postponed a “check-up/regular dental examination”, whereas 8.4% postponed a dental visit despite “pain/dental complaints” and 19.6% postponed “planned therapy”. Furthermore, multiple logistic regressions showed that the likelihood of postponed dental visits was positively associated with being younger (aged 65 and older, OR: 0.43, 95% CI: 0.22–0.85; compared to individuals 18 to 29 years), and higher affect regarding COVID-19 (OR: 1.36, 95% CI: 1.13–1.64); (4) Conclusions: Our study showed that more than one out of five individuals postponed a dental visit—particularly check-ups and regular dental examination—due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020. Several correlates of these postponed visits have been identified. This may help identify and address individuals at risk for deterioration of oral health amplified by postponed dental visits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare)
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Open AccessArticle
A Direct Method for RT-PCR Detection of SARS-CoV-2 in Clinical Samples
Healthcare 2021, 9(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010037 - 04 Jan 2021
Viewed by 484
Abstract
Introduction: the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a global pandemic of acute respiratory disease (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-strand RNA virus and its genomic characterization has played a vital role in the design of appropriate diagnostics tests. [...] Read more.
Introduction: the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a global pandemic of acute respiratory disease (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-strand RNA virus and its genomic characterization has played a vital role in the design of appropriate diagnostics tests. The current RT-PCR protocol for SARS-CoV-2 detects two regions of the viral genome, requiring RNA extraction and several hours. There is a need for fast, simple, and cost-effective detection strategies. Methods: we optimized a protocol for direct RT-PCR detection of SARS-CoV-2 without the need for nucleic acid extraction. Nasopharyngeal samples were diluted to 1:3 using diethyl pyrocarbonate (DEPC)-treated water. The diluted samples were incubated at 95 °C for 5 min in a thermal cycler, followed by a cooling step at 4 °C for 5 min. Samples then underwent reverse transcription real-time RT-PCR in the E and RdRp genes. Results: our direct detection protocol showed 100% concordance with the standard protocol with an average Ct value difference of 4.38 for the E region and 3.85 for the RdRp region. Conclusion: the direct PCR technique was found to be a reliable and sensitive method that can be used to reduce the time and cost of the assay by removing the need for RNA extraction. It enables the use of the assay in research, diagnostics, and screening for COVID-19 in regions with fewer economic resources, where supplies are more limited allowing for wider use for screening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Manual Therapy Service Utilization within the Australian Private Healthcare Setting
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040558 - 13 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 798
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted a wide range of health services. This study aimed to quantify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on manual therapy service utilization within the Australian private healthcare setting during the first half of 2020. Quarterly data regarding the [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted a wide range of health services. This study aimed to quantify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on manual therapy service utilization within the Australian private healthcare setting during the first half of 2020. Quarterly data regarding the number and total cost of services provided were extracted for each manual therapy profession (i.e., chiropractic, osteopathy, and physiotherapy) for the period January 2015 to June 2020 from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Time series forecasting methods were used to estimate absolute and relative differences between the forecasted and observed values of service utilization. An estimated 1.3 million (13.2%) fewer manual therapy services, with a total cost of AUD 84 million, were provided within the Australian private healthcare setting during the first half of 2020. Reduction in service utilization was considerably larger in the second quarter (21.7%) than in the first quarter (5.7%), and was larger in physiotherapy (20.6%) and osteopathy (12.7%) than in chiropractic (5.2%). The impact varied across states and territories, with the largest reductions in service utilization observed in New South Wales (17.5%), Australian Capital Territory (16.3%), and Victoria (16.2%). The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on manual therapy service utilization in Australia. The magnitude of the decline in service utilization varied considerably across professions and locations. The long-term consequences of this decline in manual therapy utilization remain to be determined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare)
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Open AccessArticle
COVID-19 and Psychological Health of Female Saudi Arabian Population: A Cross-Sectional Study
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 542; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040542 - 09 Dec 2020
Viewed by 402
Abstract
The influence of the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented on physical and mental health. This study aimed to determine the impact of the COVID-19 event on mental health among Saudi Arabian females of Riyadh by a cross-sectional study design. The samples of the study [...] Read more.
The influence of the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented on physical and mental health. This study aimed to determine the impact of the COVID-19 event on mental health among Saudi Arabian females of Riyadh by a cross-sectional study design. The samples of the study were recruited using convenience and snowball sampling methods. The questionnaire is composed of items related to sociodemographic profile, general mental status, negative attitude scale, impact of event (COVID-19 pandemic) scale (R) and negative health impact. The data obtained were analyzed using multivariate regression analysis. Out of the 797 samples (34.58 ± 12.89 years), 457 (57.34%) belonged to an age group of ≥25 years. The average BMI of the participants was 26.73 (kg/m2). Significantly (p = 0.000), a large proportion of the participants were overweight and unemployed. Age group (>25 years) have more odds for abnormal mental status (OR; 1.592), development of negative attitudes (OR; 1.986), the intense impact of COVID-19 events (OR; 1.444) and susceptibility to attain negative health impacts (OR; 1.574). High body weight is another risk factor for altered mental status, negative attitude and developing impact of COVID-19 quickly. Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic was directly associated with stress (53%), anxiety (63%) and depression (44%) in our sample population. There is an urgent need for psychological counseling for the distressed population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare)
Open AccessArticle
Echocardiography Abnormal Findings and Laboratory Operations during the COVID-19 Pandemic at a High Volume Center in New York City
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 534; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040534 - 03 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 412
Abstract
(1) Background: This study sought to explore how the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affected the echocardiography (TTE) laboratory operations at a high volume medical center in New York City. Changes in cardiac imaging study volume, turn-around time, and abnormal findings were analyzed and [...] Read more.
(1) Background: This study sought to explore how the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affected the echocardiography (TTE) laboratory operations at a high volume medical center in New York City. Changes in cardiac imaging study volume, turn-around time, and abnormal findings were analyzed and compared to a pre-pandemic period. (2) Methods: Volume of all cardiac imaging studies and TTE reports between 11 March 2020 to 5 May 2020 and the same calendar period in 2019 were retrospectively identified and compared. (3) Results: During the pandemic, our center experienced a 46.72% reduction in TTEs, 82.47% reduction in transesophageal echocardiograms, 83.16% reduction in stress echo, 70.32% reduction in nuclear tests, 46.25% reduction in calcium score, 73.91% reduction in coronary computed tomography angiography, and 87.23% reduction in cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. TTE findings were overall similar between 2020 and 2019 (all p ≥ 0.05), except for a significantly higher right ventricular systolic pressure in 2020 (39.8 ± 14.2 vs. 34.6 ± 11.2 mmHg, p = 0.012). (4) Conclusions: Despite encountering an influx of critically ill patients, our hospital center experienced a reduction in the number of cardiac imaging studies, which likely represents a change in both patient mindset and physician management approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare)
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Open AccessArticle
Clinical Characteristics of the COVID-19 Patients with Pneumonia Detected by Computerized Tomography but Negative for Infiltration by X-ray
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 518; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040518 - 29 Nov 2020
Viewed by 718
Abstract
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has rapidly spread to all corners of the globe. Different diagnostic tools, such as Chest X-ray (CXR), lung ultrasound (LUS), and computerized tomography (CT), have been used to detect active pneumonic lesions associated with COVID-19 with their varying degrees [...] Read more.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has rapidly spread to all corners of the globe. Different diagnostic tools, such as Chest X-ray (CXR), lung ultrasound (LUS), and computerized tomography (CT), have been used to detect active pneumonic lesions associated with COVID-19 with their varying degrees of sensitivity and specificity. This study was undertaken to investigate the clinical characteristics of COVID-19 patients with a pneumonic lung lesion detected by CT that is not detected by CXR. A total of 156 COVID-19 patients hospitalized at three nationally designated South Korean hospitals with no active lesion detected by CXR but on clinical suspicion of pneumonia underwent the CT examination and were enrolled. Medical records, which included demographic and clinical features, including comorbidity, symptoms, radiological, and laboratory findings on admission, were reviewed and analyzed. The risk factors of pneumonia detected by CT for patients without an active lesion detected by CXR were investigated. Of the 156 patients without an active lesion detected by CXR, 35 (22.44%) patients were found to have pneumonia by CT. The patients with pneumonia defined by CT were older than those without (64.1 years vs. 41.2 years). Comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, preexisting stroke, and dementia were more common among patients with pneumonia defined by CT than those without. Serum albumin level, C-reactive protein (CRP), stroke, and age ≥ 70 years were significantly associated with pneumonia defined by CT after adjustment for age. In multivariable regression analysis, serum albumin level (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 0.123, 95% CI = (0.035–0.429)) and preexisting stroke (AOR = 11.447, 95% CI = (1.168–112.220)) significantly and independently predicted pneumonia detection by CT. Our results suggest that CT scans should be performed on COVID-19 patients negative for a pneumonic lung lesion by CXR who are suspected to be pneumonic on clinical grounds. In addition, older patients with a lower albumin level and a preexisting stroke should be checked for the presence of pneumonia despite a negative CXR finding for an active lesion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare)
Open AccessArticle
Predictors of Staying at Home during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Social Lockdown based on Protection Motivation Theory: A Cross-Sectional Study in Japan
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040475 - 11 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 749
Abstract
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a social lockdown should be put in place and individuals should stay at home. Behavioral change is the only way to prevent the pandemic and overwhelmed healthcare systems until vaccines are available. We aimed to examine the psychological factors [...] Read more.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a social lockdown should be put in place and individuals should stay at home. Behavioral change is the only way to prevent the pandemic and overwhelmed healthcare systems until vaccines are available. We aimed to examine the psychological factors that predict staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic and social lockdown. A total of 1980 participants in Japan completed a survey for this study from 9 to 11 May 2020, when the state of emergency covered all prefectures in the country. Self-reported behavior in terms of staying at home, the perceived severity of the pandemic, vulnerability to the pandemic, response efficacy, and self-efficacy based on protection motivation theory were assessed. Multiple regression analysis showed that perceived severity (standardized β = 0.11, p < 0.001) and self-efficacy (standardized β = 0.32, p < 0.001) significantly predicted greater levels of staying at home, after controlling for socio-demographics. However, perceived vulnerability and response efficacy did not. To encourage people to stay at home during the pandemic and social lockdown, increasing the perceived severity of infection by COVID-19 and self-efficacy in terms of exercising restraint with respect to going out may consequently encourage people to stay at home. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare)

Review

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Open AccessReview
Maternal Coronavirus Infections and Neonates Born to Mothers with SARS-CoV-2: A Systematic Review
Healthcare 2020, 8(4), 511; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare8040511 - 24 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1107
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is continuously affecting the lives of all people. Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy in terms of morbidity, mortality, and perinatal maternal and fetal outcomes is essential to propose strategies for prevention and infection control. Here, [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is continuously affecting the lives of all people. Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy in terms of morbidity, mortality, and perinatal maternal and fetal outcomes is essential to propose strategies for prevention and infection control. Here, we conducted a systematic review to investigate pregnant women infected with COVID-19 in terms of signs and symptoms, type of delivery, comorbidities, maternal and neonatal outcomes, and the possibility of vertical transmission. A search on Embase and PubMed databases was performed on 31 October 2020. Observational studies and case reports on pregnant women infected with COVID-19 were included without language restrictions. The 70 selected studies included a total of 1457 pregnant women diagnosed with COVID-19 in the first, second, and third trimesters of pregnancy. The most common signs and symptoms were fever, cough, and nausea. The most frequent comorbidities were obesity, hypertensive disorders, and gestational diabetes. Among maternal and fetal outcomes, premature birth (n = 64), maternal death (n = 15), intrauterine fetal death or neonatal death (n = 16), cases of intrauterine fetal distress (n = 28), miscarriage (n = 7), decreased fetal movements (n = 19), and severe neonatal asphyxia (n = 5) were the most frequent. Thirty-nine newborns tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA was detected in the placenta (n = 13) and breast milk (n = 6). This review indicates that COVID-19 during pregnancy can result in maternal, fetal, and neonatal complications. In addition, SARS-CoV-2 viral exposure of neonates during pregnancy and delivery cannot be ruled out. Thus, we highlight the need for long-term follow-up of newborns from mothers diagnosed with COVID-19 to establish the full implications of SARS-CoV-2 infection in these children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19: Impact on Public Health and Healthcare)
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