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COVID-19, Healthcare Quality, Patient Safety and Quality of Life

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 August 2022) | Viewed by 22659

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Patient safety and a good quality of care are considered to be a right for all patients and the responsibility of all staff within hospitals (Zineldin, 2006). They are all related to quality of life.

Human error is almost unavoidable, even for the most experienced, trained and qualified physicians and other healthcare providers. Medical errors (MEs) are one of the leading causes of death and injury in many countries.

More people die and are injured as a result of MEs than as a result of AIDS, breast cancer or car accidents. In total, 23 percent of Europeans argue that they have been directly affected by a ME, personally or in the family. A total of 18 percent indicate that they or their family members have experienced a serious ME in a hospital, while 11 percent have reported been prescribed the wrong medication (European Commission, 2006). The Johns Hopkins patient safety experts’ index (2015) shows that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical errors in the U.S. (https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/study_suggests_medical_errors_now_third_leading_cause_of_death_in_the_us).  In Sweden, over 3000 people die each year as a result of MEs and adverse events. In Canada, 185,000 MEs were associated with adverse events, 70,000 of which were potentially preventable, in 2004.

Many studies have found that poor medical care or even the rude treatment of patients by providers dissatisfies patients, discourages them from seeking care and returning for services, and prompts them to switch physicians. Healthcare staff members derive greater personal and professional satisfaction from their jobs when they can offer good-quality care and feel that their work is valuable.

In addition, the healthcare system (HCS) is facing the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic and crisis. To respond to the crisis, the HCS had to instantly reorganize, with little time to reflect on the roles to assign to patient safety (PS) and quality improvement (QI).

Systematic methods to ensure patient safety, quality of care, patient satisfaction and overall  quality of life are still evolving, in both developed and developing countries. The medical and healthcare sectors have to cope with environmental pressures, such as demographic changes and the ageing of populations, as well as the novel COVID-19 pandemic, the emergence of new treatments and technologies, and an increased insistence on better medical and healthcare in order to remain competitive.

This Special Issue reflects an effort to capture current developments in the patient safety, healthcare quality and overall quality of life fields, and to provide a forum for cutting-edge contributions to the literature.

The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Tools for preventing inaccurate diagnoses;
  • Measuring misdiagnosis;
  • Healthcare-associated infections and patient safety;
  • Healthcare disparities;
  • COVID-19: patient safety and quality improvement;
  • Best practices in clinical and operational processes;
  • Post-operative care, patient safety and satisfaction after critical surgeries;
  • Patient satisfaction: recent indicator for the quality of primary care;
  • The relationship of patient safety and satisfaction with care and clinical outcomes;
  • Illness behaviour and patent safety;
  • Methods for reducing medical errors and increasing patient safety and quality of life;
  • The measurement of patient safety and quality of life;
  • Key factors affecting the quality of life in patients with chronic illnesses;
  • The Care Act, standards, safety and patient satisfaction in hospitals;
  • Self-efficacy and patient safety;
  • Physician and patient satisfaction;
  • The promotion of staff and patient wellbeing and psychological safety.

Prof. Dr. Mosad Zineldin
Guest Editor

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 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 2500 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

  • Best clinical practice
  • Medical errors
  • Medication errors
  • Quality improvement
  • COVID-19
  • Quality and safety
  • E-health and patient safety
  • Satisfaction
  • Infection and medical errors
  • IT 5Qs model
  • Innovation
  • E-health
  • Sustaining improvement
  • Clinical practice guidelines

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 716 KiB  
Article
Mothers in Lockdown Due to COVID-19 in Mexico: Does Having a Paid Job Make a Difference?
by Nazira Calleja and Cecilia Mota
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(17), 11014; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191711014 - 03 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1456
Abstract
Worldwide lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had one thing in common between different countries: they highly affected family life in different ways. However, the way they affected women with young children has not been well studied. With the purpose of evaluating the [...] Read more.
Worldwide lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had one thing in common between different countries: they highly affected family life in different ways. However, the way they affected women with young children has not been well studied. With the purpose of evaluating the experience of lockdown in Mexico in mothers with and without a paid job carried out at home, 220 Mexican women between 24 and 55 years of age, with one or more children under 15 years of age and who lived with their partner, answered online questionnaires. The results show that, although most of the domestic tasks were carried out by the mothers, the partners of those who had a paid job significantly collaborated more with them. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) were frequently used in both groups, but mothers working from home used them to a greater extent. For these mothers, work overload and confinement were among the main problems caused by the lockdown measures, while the economic situation was the main issue for the group with no paid jobs. Both groups considered family coexistence and the lack of the need to hurry as the advantages of lockdown. To face it, the participants mainly carried out coexistence and entertainment activities. To explain these differences between mothers with and without teleworking, new studies will need to be carried out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19, Healthcare Quality, Patient Safety and Quality of Life)
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15 pages, 388 KiB  
Article
Smartphone Addiction among University Students in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Prevalence, Relationship to Academic Procrastination, Quality of Life, Gender and Educational Stage
by Ismael Salamah Albursan, Mohammad Farhan Al. Qudah, Hafidha Sulaiman Al-Barashdi, Salaheldin Farah Bakhiet, Eqbal Darandari, Sumayyah S. Al-Asqah, Heba Ibraheem Hammad, Mohammed M. Al-Khadher, Saleem Qara, Sultan Howedey Al-Mutairy and Huthaifa I. Albursan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(16), 10439; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191610439 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 6068
Abstract
The current study aims to identify the level and proportions of smartphone addiction, and academic procrastination among university students in the light of the Corona pandemic; identify the differences in smartphone addiction, academic procrastination, and quality of life according to gender and stage [...] Read more.
The current study aims to identify the level and proportions of smartphone addiction, and academic procrastination among university students in the light of the Corona pandemic; identify the differences in smartphone addiction, academic procrastination, and quality of life according to gender and stage of study; and revealing the predictive ability of academic procrastination and quality of life for smartphone addiction. Methods: 556 male and female students from Saudi universities participated in the study, whose ages ranged from 18 to 52 years. Measures of academic procrastination and quality of life were used, in addition to the Italian scale of smartphone addiction, which was translated and checked for validity and reliability. Results: The results revealed that 37.4% of the sample were addicted to smartphone use, while 7.7% had a high level of procrastination, and 62.8% had an average level of procrastination. The results did not show statistically significant differences in smartphone addiction and quality of life according to gender and educational stage, while there were statistically significant differences in academic procrastination according to gender in favor of males, and according to stage of education in favor of undergraduate students. The results also revealed a statistically significant positive relationship between academic procrastination and smartphone addiction, and a statistically significant negative relationship between smartphone addiction and quality of life. A negative relationship between quality of life and academic procrastination was found. The results also revealed that addiction to smartphones could be predicted through academic procrastination and quality of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19, Healthcare Quality, Patient Safety and Quality of Life)
21 pages, 2045 KiB  
Article
Physical Activity, Life Satisfaction, Stress Perception and Coping Strategies of University Students in Belarus during the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Andrei Shpakou, Ihar A. Naumau, Tatyana Yu. Krestyaninova, Alena V. Znatnova, Svetlana V. Lollini, Sergei Surkov and Aleh Kuzniatsou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(14), 8629; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19148629 - 15 Jul 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2468
Abstract
The COVID-19 restrictions in Belarus turned out to be less stringent than those of its neighboring countries. Objective: We aimed to evaluate physical activity, life satisfaction, perception of stress, choice of coping strategies and their correlations among Belarusian students. An anonymous Internet survey [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 restrictions in Belarus turned out to be less stringent than those of its neighboring countries. Objective: We aimed to evaluate physical activity, life satisfaction, perception of stress, choice of coping strategies and their correlations among Belarusian students. An anonymous Internet survey was conducted among 1769 students studying at the faculties of physical culture (415), pedagogical (737), and medical (617) universities. International Physical Activity Questionnaires (IPAQ) and Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), Perceived Stress Scale-10 (PSS-10), and Coping Orientations to Problems Experienced (mini-COPE) questionnaires were used. The respondents declared sufficient and high levels of physical activity. The level of physical activity was correlated with life satisfaction (typically for student-athletes). The least satisfaction with life and highest level of perceived stress were among future doctors. The minimum indicator of stress was noted in athletes. The most common coping strategy was active coping. Strategies of problem avoidance and seeking support from outside were not used by student-athletes. These strategies were used by pedagogical and medical students. Student-athletes have the most favorable opportunities, followed by representatives of pedagogical and medical students. The proposed classification of the levels of behavior (optimal, acceptable, satisfactory and risky) makes it possible to adjust lifestyles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19, Healthcare Quality, Patient Safety and Quality of Life)
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7 pages, 292 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Early and Late Intubation in COVID-19 and Its Effect on Mortality
by Benjamin McKay, Matthew Meyers, Leah Rivard, Holly Stankewicz, Jill C. Stoltzfus and Guhan Rammohan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 3075; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19053075 - 05 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1639
Abstract
Background: Best practices for management of COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory failure continue to evolve. Initial debate existed over whether patients should be intubated in the emergency department or trialed on noninvasive methods prior to intubation outside the emergency department. Objectives: To determine [...] Read more.
Background: Best practices for management of COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory failure continue to evolve. Initial debate existed over whether patients should be intubated in the emergency department or trialed on noninvasive methods prior to intubation outside the emergency department. Objectives: To determine whether emergency department intubations in COVID-19 affect mortality. Methods: We conducted a retrospective observational chart review of patients who had a confirmed positive COVID-19 test and required endotracheal intubation during their hospital course between 1 March 2020 and 1 June 2020. Patients were divided into two groups based on location of intubation: early intubation in the emergency department or late intubation performed outside the emergency department. Clinical and demographic information was collected including comorbid medical conditions, qSOFA score, and patient mortality. Results: Of the 131 COVID-19-positive patients requiring intubation, 30 (22.9%) patients were intubated in the emergency department. No statistically significant difference existed in age, gender, ethnicity, or smoking status between the two groups at baseline. Patients in the early intubation cohort had a greater number of existing comorbidities (2.5, p = 0.06) and a higher median qSOFA score (3, p ≤ 0.001). Patients managed with early intubation had a statistically significant higher mortality rate (19/30, 63.3%) compared to the late intubation group (42/101, 41.6%). Conclusion: COVID-19 patients intubated in the emergency department had a higher qSOFA score and a greater number of pre-existing comorbidities. All-cause mortality in COVID-19 was greater in patients intubated in the emergency department compared to patients intubated outside the emergency department. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19, Healthcare Quality, Patient Safety and Quality of Life)
16 pages, 374 KiB  
Article
The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Social Inequalities of Health Care Use in Hungary: A Nationally Representative Cross-Sectional Study
by Bayu Begashaw Bekele, Bahaa Aldin Alhaffar, Rahul Naresh Wasnik and János Sándor
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2258; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042258 - 16 Feb 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2792
Abstract
Background: The social representation of restricted health care use during the COVID-19 pandemic has not been evaluated properly yet in Hungary. Objective: Our study aimed to quantify the effect of COVID-19 pandemic measures on general practitioner (GP) visits, specialist care, hospitalization, and cost-related [...] Read more.
Background: The social representation of restricted health care use during the COVID-19 pandemic has not been evaluated properly yet in Hungary. Objective: Our study aimed to quantify the effect of COVID-19 pandemic measures on general practitioner (GP) visits, specialist care, hospitalization, and cost-related prescription nonredemption (CRPNR) among adults, and to identify the social strata susceptible to the pandemic effect. Methods: This cross-sectional study was based on nationally representative data of 6611 (Nprepandemic = 5603 and Npandemic = 1008) adults. Multivariable logistic regression models were applied to determine the sociodemographic and clinical factors influencing health care use by odds ratios (ORs) along with the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI). To identify the social strata susceptible to the pandemic effect, the interaction of the time of data collection with the level of education, marital status, and Roma ethnicity, was tested and described by iORs. Results: While the CRPNR did not change, the frequency of GP visits, specialist care, and hospitalization rates was remarkably reduced by 22.2%, 26.4%, and 6.7%, respectively, during the pandemic. Roma proved to be not specifically affected by the pandemic in any studied aspect, and the pandemic restructuring of health care impacted the social subgroups evenly with respect to hospital care. However, the pandemic effect was weaker among primary educated adults (iORGP visits, high-school vs. primary-education = 0.434; 95% CI 0.243–0.776, ORspecialist visit, high-school vs. primary-education = 0.598; 95% CI 0.364–0.985), and stronger among married adults (iORGP visit, widowed vs. married = 2.284; 95% CI 1.043–4.998, iORspecialist visit, widowed vs. married = 1.915; 95% CI 1.157–3.168), on the frequency of GP visits and specialist visits. The prepandemic CRPNR inequality by the level of education was increased (iORhigh-school vs. primary-education = 0.236; 95% CI 0.075–0.743). Conclusion: Primary educated and widowed adults did not follow the general trend, and their prepandemic health care use was not reduced during the pandemic. This shows that although the management of pandemic health care use restrictions was implemented by not increasing social inequity, the drug availability for primary educated individuals could require more support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19, Healthcare Quality, Patient Safety and Quality of Life)
20 pages, 378 KiB  
Article
Family Caregivers’ Experiences and Coping Strategies in Managing Stroke Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Exploration Study
by Muhammad Iqbal Haji Mukhti, Mohd Ismail Ibrahim, Tengku Alina Tengku Ismail, Iliatha Papachristou Nadal, Sureshkumar Kamalakannan, Sanjay Kinra and Kamarul Imran Musa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 942; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020942 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3177
Abstract
Background: Stroke is a chronic disease that requires stroke survivors to be supported long-term by their families. This is especially because of the inaccessibility to post-stroke rehabilitation outside hospitals. The Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis and the pandemic restrictions in Malaysia are [...] Read more.
Background: Stroke is a chronic disease that requires stroke survivors to be supported long-term by their families. This is especially because of the inaccessibility to post-stroke rehabilitation outside hospitals. The Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis and the pandemic restrictions in Malaysia are expected to exponentially increase the demand from family caregivers in supporting stroke survivors. Thus, this study aims to explore the burden, experience, and coping mechanism of the family caregivers supporting stroke survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methodology: A phenomenological qualitative study was conducted from November 2020 to June 2021 in Malaysia. A total of 13 respondents were recruited from two public rehabilitation centers in Kota Bharu, Kelantan. In-depth interviews were conducted with the participants. Comprehensive representation of perspectives from the respondents was achieved through purposive sampling. The interviews were conducted in the Kelantanese dialect, recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Three themes on burdens and experiences were identified. They were worsening pre-existing issues, emerging new issues, and fewer burdens and challenges. Two themes on coping strategies were also identified. They were problem-focused engagement and emotion-focused engagement. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the entire system of stroke management. While family caregivers mostly faced the extra burden through different experiences, they also encountered some positive impacts from the pandemic. The integrated healthcare system, especially in the era of digitalization, is an important element to establish the collaborative commitment of multiple stakeholders to compensate burden and sustain the healthcare of stroke survivors during the pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19, Healthcare Quality, Patient Safety and Quality of Life)
9 pages, 305 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy and Psychosocial Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic among Health-Science Students of Lithuania–A National Cross-Sectional Online Survey
by Jonas Montvidas, Milda Basevičiūtė, Kamilė Burokaitė, Virginija Adomaitienė and Sigita Lesinskienė
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 12870; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182412870 - 07 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1891
Abstract
(1) Background: the relationship between the psychosocial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is understudied. Moreover, health science students are the future leaders and advocates of vaccination efforts. Therefore, it is essential to understand the origins of vaccine hesitancy and [...] Read more.
(1) Background: the relationship between the psychosocial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is understudied. Moreover, health science students are the future leaders and advocates of vaccination efforts. Therefore, it is essential to understand the origins of vaccine hesitancy and evaluate if the adverse psychosocial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic influence it. (2) Methods: we shared an anonymous questionnaire among health-science students via institutional emails of two Lithuanian universities. Results were summarized with odds ratios and mean differences. (3) Results: a total of 1545 health sciences students answered the questionnaire. Almost a fifth of the respondents claimed that they were unsure about getting vaccinated, and nearly one out of ten claimed that they would not get vaccinated. Medicine students, non-infected students, and students who volunteered in a COVID-19 ward were significantly more willing to get vaccinated compared to other health science students. Vaccine hesitant respondents reported a more significant negative effect of COVID-19 on their income and belief in the future. (4) Conclusions: the results of this study showed that negative psychosocial impact on income and ‘belief in future’ were positively associated with vaccine hesitancy. Having been diagnosed with COVID-19 was significantly associated with being doubtful towards vaccination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19, Healthcare Quality, Patient Safety and Quality of Life)
10 pages, 334 KiB  
Article
The Relation between Perceived and Actual Understanding and Adherence: Results from a National Survey on COVID-19 Measures in Belgium
by Kirsten Vanderplanken, Stephan Van den Broucke, Isabelle Aujoulat and Joris Adriaan Frank van Loenhout
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10200; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910200 - 28 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1472
Abstract
To reduce the spread of COVID-19 among the population, Belgium has implemented various infection prevention and control measures over time. This study investigated the extent to which understanding of the COVID-19 measures contributed to adherence, and which personal characteristics were considered risk factors [...] Read more.
To reduce the spread of COVID-19 among the population, Belgium has implemented various infection prevention and control measures over time. This study investigated the extent to which understanding of the COVID-19 measures contributed to adherence, and which personal characteristics were considered risk factors for lower adherence. It consisted of a large online survey among a sample of the population (n = 2008), representative of citizens of Belgium in terms of gender, age, province and socio-economic status. The survey was conducted in September 2020, and included questions on perceived and actual understanding of COVID-19 protective measures in place during that time, as well as past and future adherence to those measures. The results showed that both perceived and actual understanding contributed significantly to past as well as future adherence. Risk factors for perceived understanding included being male and belonging to a younger age group, while risk factors for actual understanding were speaking French (versus Dutch) and belonging to a lower socio-economic level. Communication about COVID-19 measures should put more focus on trying to improve the understanding of the measures, instead of only making them known, particularly for those who are less health literate and as such at risk of poor understanding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19, Healthcare Quality, Patient Safety and Quality of Life)
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