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The aims of this study were to describe emergency department (ED) utilization by people in provincial prison and on release, and to compare with ED utilization for the general population.
We linked correctional and health administrative data for people released from provincial prison in Ontario in 2010. We matched each person by age and sex with four people in the general population. We compared ED utilization rates using generalized estimating equations, by sex and for high urgency and ambulatory care sensitive conditions.
People who experienced imprisonment (N = 48,861) had higher ED utilization rates compared with the general population (N = 195,444), with rate ratios of 3.2 (95% CI 3.0–4.4) for men and 6.5 (95% CI 5.6–7.5) for women in prison and a range of rate ratios between 3.1 and 7.7 for men and 4.2 and 8.8 for women over the 2 years after release. Most ED visits were high urgency, and between 1.0% and 5.1% of visits were for ambulatory care sensitive conditions. ED utilization rates increased on release from prison.
People experiencing imprisonment in Ontario have higher ED utilization compared with matched people in the general population, primarily for urgent issues, and particularly in women and in the week after release. Providing high-quality ED care and implementing prison- and ED-based interventions could improve health for this population and prevent the need for ED use.
This study aimed to explore the extent to which health visitors who trained and qualified in both Greater London and the South West of England between September 2011 and January 2016 were employed in health visiting posts and have remained in the profession.
In 2011, the UK Government launched the Health Visitor Implementation Plan ‘A Call to Action’ (Department of Health, 2011) to develop the health visitor workforce by training 4200 health visitors over a four-year period. By April 2015, 4000 additional health visitors were trained, but the total workforce has since fallen back to pre-Implementation Plan size.
Data were collected using a survey, completed online by participants. All participants had undertaken a health visitor education programme at one of two participating universities. The survey was distributed in January 2017 and completed by 180 individuals. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS; association was assessed using individual chi-square tests or Fisher’s exact test. Free-text responses were thematically analysed.
Most (153; 87%) participants were still working as health visitors. Length of time spent working in the community prior to completing health visitor training was associated with staying in the role ( χ2 (with Fisher’s exact test = 7.998, P = .027). Current pay was associated with attrition from the health visitor workforce ( χ2 (with Fisher’s exact test) = 67.559, P < .001.). The majority who had left the health visitor role were on higher pay bands in their new post compared to those that had stayed (12; 60%). Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) theory of socio-ecological development was used as a framework to interpret the results. While participants made an active choice to join the profession, leaving was influenced more by factors outside their control. To influence health visitor retention, both local and strategic changes are required.
The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of institutional policies and practices for the prevention of and response to gender inequities as experienced by female faculty working in the health sciences at a US research university.
Data from the institution's Faculty Campus Climate Survey (n = 260 female faculty) were coupled with qualitative interviews (n = 14) of females in leadership positions, exploring campus climate, and institutional policies and practices aimed at advancing women.
Two-thirds (59%) of the female faculty respondents indicated witnessing sexual harassment and 28% reported experiencing sexual harassment. Several organizational themes emerged to address this problem: culture, including cultural change, transparency, and accountability.
The findings reveal the ways in which university culture mimics the larger societal context. At the same time, the distinct culture of higher education processes for recruitment, career advancement – specifically tenure and promotion – are identified as important factors that require modifications in support of reductions in gender inequalities.
The prevalence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) varies significantly among different patient populations. We aimed to summarise AMR prevalence data from screening studies in different patient settings in Switzerland and to identify surveillance gaps. We performed a systematic review, searching Pubmed, MEDLINE, Embase (01/2000–05/2017) and conference proceedings for Swiss studies reporting on carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE), extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL), mobilised colistin-resistance, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) within different patient settings. We identified 2345 references and included 46 studies. For acute care patients, most screening data come from admission screenings, whereas AMR prevalence among hospitalised patients is largely unknown. Universal admission screenings showed ESBL-prevalences of 5–8% and MRSA-prevalences of 2–5%. For targeted screening, ESBL-prevalence ranged from 14–21%; MRSA-prevalence from 1–4%. For refugees, high ESBL (9–24%) and MRSA (16–24%) carriage rates were reported; returning travellers were frequently (68–80%) colonised with ESBL. Screening data for other pathogens, long-term care facility (LTCF) residents and pediatric populations were scarce. This review confirms high ESBL- and MRSA-carriage rates for risk populations in Switzerland. Emerging pathogens (CPE and VRE) and certain populations (inpatients, LTCF residents and children) are understudied. We encourage epidemiologists and public health authorities to consider these findings in the planning of future surveillance studies.
This chapter considers the practical implications of free will skepticism and discusses recent empirical work that has just begun to investigate the matter. It argues that there are good philosophical and empirical reasons for thinking that belief in free will, rather than providing the pragmatic benefits many claim, actually has a dark side; i.e., it is too often used to justify punitive excess in criminal justice, to encourage treating people in severe and demeaning ways, and to excuse and perpetuate social and economic inequalities. After addressing recent empirical findings in social psychology that purport to show that diminishing one’s belief in free will increases antisocial behavior – findings that are overblown and questionable – the chapter discusses contrary findings in moral and political psychology that reveal interesting and troubling correlations between people’s free will beliefs and their other moral, religious, and political beliefs. It concludes that we would be better off without the notions of free will and just deserts.
Recent free will denialism (FWD) tends to be optimistic, claiming that not only will the rejection of the belief in free will and moral responsibility not make matters dreadful but that we are indeed better off without them. I address the denialist claim that FWD has the philosophical resources to effectively safeguard human rights and respect for persons in the context of punishment, even without belief in free will, moral responsibility, and desert. I raise seven reasons for doubt concerning the ability of FWD to maintain deontological constraints. Together they present a strong case for doubting the optimism of FWD.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed 15 National Public Health Emergency and Preparedness Response Capabilities (NPHPRCs) to serve as national standards for health-related core capabilities. The objective of this study is to determine the level of federal funding allocated for research related to NPHPRCs during 2008–2017.
An online search of http://www.USAspending.gov was performed to identify federal awards, grants, contracts from 2008–2017 related to research associated with NPHPRCs. Inclusion criteria were identifiable as research and disaster-related; US-based; and specific reference to any of the NPHPRCs. A panel of 3 experts reviewed each entry for inclusion.
The search identified 15 278 transactions representing US $29.2 billion in awards. After exclusions, 93 entries were found to be related to NPHPRCs, averaging US $2 783 136 annually. Funding notably dropped to US $168 684 in 2010 and ceased entirely in 2016. Ten (67%) of NPHPRCs received funding. Eighty-percent of funding focused on 4 capabilities. Three federal agencies funded 80% of research. Sixteen (24%) of the 47 recipients received 80% of all funding.
US federal investments in research and development related to NPHPRCs have been highly variable over the past decade. One-third of NPHPRCs receive no funding. There are notable gaps in funding, content, continuity, and scope of participation.
Extant research has established an empirical relationship between fatigue and safety-related outcomes. It is not clear if these findings are relevant to Canadian paramedicine. The purpose of this study was to determine if fatigue and shiftwork variables were related to safety outcomes in Canadian paramedics.
A survey was conducted with ten paramedic services in Ontario with a 40.5% response rate (n = 717). Respondents reported levels of fatigue, safety outcomes (injury, safety compromising behaviours, and medical errors/adverse events), work patterns (types of shifts, hours worked weekly) and demographic characteristics. Univariate and logistic regression analyses were used to assess for significant differences.
In this sample, 55% of paramedics reported being fatigued at work. Fatigued paramedics were over twice as likely to report injuries, three times as likely to report safety compromising behaviors, and 1.5 times more likely to report errors/adverse outcomes. When controlling for fatigue, shift length variables did not consistently influence safety outcomes.
These results create preliminary evidence of a relationship between fatigue and safety outcomes in Canadian paramedicine. While more research is needed, these findings point to the influence fatigue has on safety outcomes and provide an indication that fatigue mitigation efforts may be worthwhile.
The aim of this systematic review is to evaluate the impact of personal protective equipment (PPE) on medical device use during public health emergency responses. We conducted a systematic literature search of peer-reviewed journals in PubMed, Web of Science, and EBSCO databases. Twenty-nine of 92 articles published between 1984 and 2015 met the inclusion criteria for the review. Although many medical device use impacts were reported, they predominantly fell into 3 categories: airway management, drug administration, and diagnostics and monitoring. Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN)-PPE increased completion times for emergency clinical procedures by as much as 130% and first attempt failure rates by 35% (anesthetist) versus 55% (non-anesthetist). Effects of CBRN-PPE use depend on device, CBRN-PPE level, and clinician experience and training. Continuous clinical training of responders in CBRN-PPE and device modifications can improve safety and effectiveness of medical device use during public health emergency response.
In 2017, Cuba was pummeled by Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest and most devastating Atlantic basin hurricanes in history. Twelve of Cuba’s 15 provinces and 90 percent of the population were affected, and there was island-wide loss of electrical power. Despite the significant damage, ongoing economic hardships, and the political realities that required Cuba to handle the situation without response support from other nations, Cuba’s recovery was swift and effective. Cuba’s disaster self-sufficiency and timely response to Hurricane Irma was grounded on 5 decades of disaster planning coupled with ongoing evolution of disaster risk reduction and management strategies. While the central command center, with local dispatch response teams, and mandated citizen engagement are features unique to Cuba’s political structure, in this study, we highlight 5 defining attributes of Cuba’s hurricane response that can constructively inform the actions of other island and coastal nations vulnerable to Atlantic tropical cyclones. These attributes are: (1) actively learning and incorporating lessons from past disaster events, (2) integrating healthcare and public health professionals on the frontlines of disaster response, (3) proactively engaging the public in disaster preparedness, (4) incorporating technology into disaster risk reduction, and (5) infusing science into risk planning. In terms of hurricane response, as a geopolitically isolated nation, Cuba has experienced particular urgency when it comes to protecting the population and creating resilient infrastructure that can be rapidly reactivated after the onslaught of storms of ever-increasing intensity. This includes planning for worsening future disaster scenarios based on a clear-eyed appreciation of the realities of climate change.
After-action reports analyze events and improve knowledge about how to prevent and react to unexpected situations. Anyway, there is no consensus among the templates developed for disaster events reporting, and there is not a specific model for reporting hospital disaster response.
The study was aimed to pilot the use of a new assessment tool for hospital response to natural disasters.
A data collection tool, focused on hospital disaster response to natural disasters, was created modifying the “Utstein-Style Template for Uniform Data Reporting of Acute Medical Response in Disasters” and tested the reaction of the nearest hospitals to the epicenter after the August 24, 2016, Central Italy earthquake.
Four hospitals were included. The completion rate of the tool was 97.10%. A total of 613 patients accessed the 4 emergency departments, most of them in Rieti Hospital (178; 29.04%). Three hundred thirty-six (54.81%) patients were classified as earthquake-related, most with trauma injuries (260; 77.38%).
This template seemed to be a valid instrument for hospital disaster management reporting and could be used for better comprehension of hospital disaster reaction, debriefing activities, and hospital disaster plan revisions.
The aim of this study was to provide an overview of the methodological characteristics and compare the assessment methods applied in health technology assessments (HTAs) of public health interventions (PHIs).
We defined a PHI as a population-based intervention on health promotion or for primary prevention of chronic or nonchronic diseases. HTAs on PHIs were identified by systematically searching the Web pages of members of international HTA networks. We included only full HTA reports published between 2012 and 2016. Two reviewers extracted data on the methods used to assess effectiveness/safety, as well as on economic, social, cultural, ethical, and legal aspects using a-priori standardized tables.
We included ten HTAs provided by four different organizations. Of these, all reports assessed the effectiveness of the interventions and conducted economic evaluations, seven investigated social/cultural aspects, and four each considered legal and ethical aspects, respectively. Some reports addressed applicability, context/setting, and intervention fidelity issues in different ways. We found that most HTAs adapted their methods to some extent, for example, by including nonrandomized studies, expanding the search strategy, involving stakeholders, or applying a framework to guide the HTA process.
Our analysis provides a comprehensive overview of methods applied in HTAs on public health interventions. We found that a heterogeneous set of approaches is used to deal with the challenges of evaluating complex public health interventions.
Sustaining the impact of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination on incidence and prevalence of HBV infection requires increasing and maintaining the uptake of vaccine among those at risk. In recent years, the level of vaccine uptake among people who inject drugs (PWID) in the UK has levelled-off. Data (2015–2016) from the national unlinked-anonymous monitoring survey of PWID, an annual survey that collects data from PWID across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, were used to examine HBV vaccine uptake. Data from participants who had injected drugs during the previous year were used to investigate sources of hepatitis B vaccine doses as well as factors associated with vaccine uptake. Among the 3175 anti-HBc-negative participants, 3138 (99%) reported their vaccination status; 23% (714) reported no vaccine uptake. Among those not vaccinated, 447 (63%) reported being sexually active and 116 (16%) reported sharing needles and syringes. Majority of those not vaccinated reported accessing services in the previous year that could have provided hepatitis B vaccine doses. These missed opportunities for vaccinating of PWID indicate a need for additional targeted interventions.
Describe the lived experience of a grassroots, non-governmental disaster medical team (DMT) through a research lens and share practical lessons learned, based on the DMT’s experience to support and inform future response teams.
Forty-five days after Hurricane Maria, a non-governmental DMT provided primary medical care via community based pop-up clinics and home visitations in 5 different areas of Puerto Rico. Observational data, photo images, and debriefing notes were collected and documented in the response team’s daily activity log. Field notes were coded using a descriptive coding method and then categorized into 2 domains specific to public health and medical diagnosis.
Medical aid was provided to nearly 300 (N = 296) residents. Field note observations identified exhaustion related to living conditions and the exacerbation of underlying conditions such as reactive airway diseases, diabetes, hypertension, and depression due to the compounding effects of multiple post-disaster triggers. During home visitations, feelings of sadness and helplessness were identified secondary to natural disaster trauma and current living conditions.
Our non-governmental DMT displayed similar characteristics demonstrated by federal DMTs post natural disaster. A number of strategic lessons learned emerged from the public health intervention important to future non-governmental DMTs.
Scabies is a contagious skin infection commonly occurring in institutions such as care homes. However, a large proportion of vulnerable people in England receive domiciliary care in the community and their experience of scabies has not been described. We undertook a pragmatic cross-sectional survey of Health Protection Teams (HPTs) in England to determine the burden of scabies related to domiciliary care. Fifteen cases or outbreaks were notified to HPTs between January 2013 and December 2017. Although a relatively uncommon event for individual HPTs, they were complex to manage and required the co-ordination of multiple stakeholders. Diagnosis was often delayed and required several clinical consultations. A lack of guidance led to difficulties establishing stakeholder roles and responsibilities and sources of funding for treatment. The stigmatisation of scabies sometimes affected the quality of care provided to patients, such as use of excessive personal protective equipment. Our study demonstrates that scabies is an issue of public health importance for domiciliary care service providers and users, and research is required to better understand the impacts of the disease and to develop evidence-based guidance. More generally, there is a need for simpler treatment regimens and methods of diagnosing scabies.
After the first successes of ART, this technique showed a rapid development, in many countries. It soon appeared to the professionals themselves that a number of important health concerns were related to the new technique, in terms of practice, efficacy and safety. Moreover, the competition between centers requested solid data for the public and health authorities correct knowledge, based on large samples. This resulted in the development of national, regional, and world registries. It needed general agreements on definitions, numerators, denominators, ways of reporting, that were obtained through several workshops that included WHO. This chapter outlines, in a first section, general importance of surveillance, on efficacy, and safety (immediate and long term, women and children). The second section describes the history itself, from national to regional and world (ICMART) registries. It shows that a lot has already been done, even if efforts are still needed to improve quality, but it is better to have insufficient knowledge than none at all.
Communication is essential during public health emergencies and incidents. This research aimed to understand current uses and challenges for public health agencies using social media during these incidents.
An exploratory, qualitative study was conducted using the structured interview matrix facilitation technique. Focus groups were held with professionals from local public health agencies across Ontario, Canada. Representation from different geographic regions was sought to capture differences in participant experience. An inductive approach to content analysis was used to identify emergent themes.
A diverse group of public health professionals (n = 36) participated. Six themes were identified. Social media is identified as a communication tool used to expand reach of messages, to engage in dialogue with the public, and to inform the scope of potential incidents. Barriers to its use include hesitancy to adapt, lack of trust and credibility, and organizational structure and capacity constraints. Key strategies proposed to promote social media use and address barriers resulted from participant discussions and are presented.
Social media use is highly variable across public health agencies in Ontario. This study identifies and provides strategies to address barriers and practice gaps related to public health agencies’ use of social media during emergencies.
Risk communication plays a very important role in the prevention of public health crisis events and has been considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be 1 of the main functions of an emergency public health crisis. However, it is a relatively new research field in China, so many people have mistaken understandings of risk communication. This article will describe the concept and importance of risk communication and briefly introduce the role of risk communication in public health crisis management. It also provides information for the prevention of public health crisis events in the future.
Diets lower in meat are considered both highly beneficial for human health and more environmentally friendly. The present study compared consumer groups with different self-declared diet styles regarding meat (vegetarians/vegans, pescatarians, low- and regular meat consumers) in terms of their motives, protein consumption, diet quality and weight status.
Cross-sectional data from the Swiss Food Panel 2.0 (survey 2017).
Data of 4213 Swiss adults (47·4 % females) from a nationally representative sample living in the German- and French-speaking regions of Switzerland (mean age 55·4 years).
For vegetarians, vegans and pescatarians, ethical concerns about animal welfare and environmental friendliness, as well as taste preferences are stronger reasons to avoid meat consumption. Female low-meat consumers are more likely to be motivated by weight regulation. Only 18 % of the sample and 26 % of self-declared low-meat consumers met the official dietary recommendations for meat intake. Concerns about animal welfare and taste preferences predicted lower meat intake, whereas perceived difficulty of practising a low-meat diet and weight-loss motives were associated with higher meat consumption in consumers who reported eating little or no meat.
Our study demonstrates that there can be large discrepancies between consumers’ self-perception and their actual meat consumption. This has to be taken into account when designing public health interventions. Addressing ethical concerns about animal welfare (e.g. through awareness campaigns), further improving the range of vegetarian options and increasing consumers’ knowledge about the dietary recommendations may be ways to promote diets lower in meat.
In July 2013, a train carrying 72 cars of crude oil derailed in the town of Lac-Mégantic (Eastern Townships, Quebec, Canada). This disaster provoked a major conflagration, explosions, 47 deaths, the destruction of 44 buildings, the evacuation of one-third of the local population, and an unparalleled oil spill. Notwithstanding the environmental impact, many citizens of this town and in surrounding areas have suffered and continue to suffer substantial losses as a direct consequence of this catastrophe.
To tailor public health interventions and to meet the psychosocial needs of the community, the Public Health Department of Eastern Townships has undertaken repeated surveys to monitor health and well-being over time. This study focuses on negative psychosocial outcomes one and two years after the tragedy.
Two cross-sectional surveys (2014 and 2015) were conducted among large random samples of adults in Lac-Mégantic and surrounding areas (2014: n = 811; 2015: n = 800), and elsewhere in the region (2014: n = 7,926; 2015: n = 800). A wide range of psychosocial outcomes was assessed (ie, daily stress, main source of stress, sense of insecurity, psychological distress, excessive drinking, anxiety or mood disorders, psychosocial services use, anxiolytic drug use, gambling habits, and posttraumatic stress symptoms [PSS]). Exposure to the tragedy was assessed using residential location (ie, six-digit postal code) and intensity of exposure (ie, intense, moderate, or low exposure; from nine items capturing human, material, or subjective losses). Relationships between such exposures and adverse psychosocial outcomes were examined using chi-squares and t-tests. Distribution of outcomes was also examined over time.
One year after the disaster, an important proportion of participants reported human, material, and subjective losses (64%, 23%, and 54%, respectively), whereas 17% of people experienced intense exposure. Participants from Lac-Mégantic, particularly those intensely exposed, were much more likely to report psychological distress, depressive episode, anxiety disorders, and anxiolytic drug use, relative to less-exposed ones. In 2015, 67% of the Lac-Mégantic participants (76% of intensely exposed) reported moderate to severe PSS. Surprisingly, the use of psychosocial services in Lac-Mégantic declined by 41% from 2014 to 2015.
The psychosocial burden in the aftermath of the Lac-Mégantic tragedy is substantial and persistent. Public health organizations responding to large-scaling disasters should monitor long-term psychosocial consequences and advocate for community-based psychosocial support in order to help citizens in their recovery process.