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This study aimed to identify the roles of community pharmacists (CPs) during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the differences in their role performance compared with their perceived importance, and limiting factors.
A cross-sectional online survey of CPs was conducted. The CPs self-measured the importance and performance of each role during the pandemic using a five-point Likert scale. A paired t-test was used to compare each role’s importance and performance scores. A logistic regression analysis of the roles with low performance scores, despite their level of importance, was conducted to determine the factors affecting performance. The limiting factors were also surveyed.
The 436 responses to the questionnaire were analyzed. The performance scores were significantly lower than the perceived importance scores for 15 of the 17 roles. The source and update frequency of COVID-19 information and participation in outreach pharmaceutical services were associated with low performance scores. Insufficient economic compensation, the lack of communication channels, and legal limitations were the limiting factors in performing the CPs’ roles.
The participation in outreach pharmaceutical services, economic compensation, and communication channel should be improved to motivate the CPs in performing their roles.
Identification of geographical areas with high burden of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission in schools using spatial analyses has become an important tool to guide targeted interventions in educational setting. In this study, we aimed to explore the spatial distribution and determinants of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among students aged 3–18 years in South Korea. We analysed the nationwide epidemiological data on laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases in schools and in the communities between January 2020 and October 2021 in South Korea. To explore the spatial distribution, the global Moran's I and Getis-Ord's G using incidence rates among the districts of aged 3–18 years and 30–59 years. Spatial regression analysis was performed to find sociodemographic predictors of the COVID-19 attack rate in schools and in the communities. The global spatial correlation estimated by Moran's I was 0.647 for the community population and 0.350 for the student population, suggesting that the students were spatially less correlated than the community-level outbreak of SARS-CoV-2. In schools, attack rate of adults aged 30–59 years in the community was associated with increased risk of transmission (P < 0.0001). Number of students per class (in kindergartens, primary schools, middle schools and high schools) did not show significant association with the school transmission of SARS-CoV-2. In South Korea, COVID-19 in students had spatial variations across the country. Statistically significant high hotspots of SARS-CoV-2 transmission among students were found in the capital area, with dense population level and high COVID-19 burden among adults aged 30–59 years. Our finding suggests that controlling community-level burden of COVID-19 can help in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection in school-aged children.
Background: After the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak in Korea in 2015, the government newly established the additional reimbursement for infection prevention to encourage infection control activities in the hospitals. The new policy was announced in December 2015 and was implemented in September 2016. We evaluated how infection control activities improved in hospitals after the change of government policy in Korea. Methods: Three cross-sectional surveys using the WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework (HHSAF) were conducted in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Using multivariable linear regression model including hospital characteristics, we analyzed the changes in total HHSAF scores according to the survey time. Results: In total, 32 hospitals participated in the survey in 2013, 52 in 2015, and 101 in 2017. The number of inpatient beds per infection control professionals decreased from 324 in 2013 to 303 in 2015 and 179 in 2017. Most hospitals were at intermediate or advanced levels of progress (90.6% in 2013, 86.6% in 2015, and 94.1% in 2017). In a multivariable linear regression model, the total HHSAF scores were significantly associated with hospital teaching status (β coefficient of major teaching hospital, 52.6; 95% CI, 8.9–96.4; P = .018), bed size (β coefficient of 100-bed increase, 5.1; 95% CI, 0.3–9.8; P = .038), and survey time (β coefficient of 2017 survey, 45.1; 95% CI, 19.3–70.9; P = .001). Conclusions: After the national policy implementation, the number of infection control professionals increased, and the promotion of hand hygiene activities was strengthened in Korean hospitals.
Background: Recently, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) have markedly increased, but no infection control policy has been established in South Korea. We investigated the current HAI surveillance system and executed a point-prevalence pilot study in LTCHs. Methods: HAIs were defined by newly established surveillance manual based on McGeer criteria revised in 2012. Three LTCHs in Seoul and Gyeonggi province were voluntarily recruited, and data were collected from up to 50 patients who were hospitalized on August 1. The medical records from September to November 2018 were retrospectively reviewed by a charge nurse for infection control per each hospitals after 1 day of training specific for LTCH surveillance. All data were reviewed by a senior researcher visiting onsite. Results: The participating hospitals had 272.33 ± 111.01 beds. Only 1 hospital had an onsite microbiological laboratory. In total, 156 patients were enrolled and 5 HAIs were detected, for a prevalence rate of 3.2%. The average patient age was 79.04 ± 9.92 years. The HAIs included 2 urinary tract infections, skin and soft-tissue infection, low respiratory infection, and conjunctivitis. Conclusions: This is the first survey of HAI in LTCHs in South Korea. The 3.2% prevalence rate is lower than those from previous reports from the European Union or the United States. This study supports the development of a national HAI surveillance and infection control system in LTCHs, although implementation may be limited due to the lack of laboratory support and infection control infrastructure in Korea.
A growing number of studies are emphasizing the importance of positive and negative appraisals of caregiving and the utilization of social resources to buffer the negative effects of caring for persons with dementia. By assessing the roles of unmet needs and formal support, this study tested a hypothesized model for Korean family caregivers’ satisfaction and burden in providing care for persons with dementia.
The stress process model and a two-factor model were used as the conceptual framework for this study. Data for 320 family caregivers from a large cross-sectional survey, the Seoul Dementia Management study, were analyzed using structural equation modeling. In the hypothesized model, the exogenous variables were patient symptoms, including cognitive impairment, behavioral problems, and dependency on others to help with activities of daily living and with instrumental activities of daily living. The endogenous variables were the caregiver's perception of the unmet needs of the patient, formal support, caregiving satisfaction, and caregiving burden.
The adjusted model explained the mediating effect of unmet needs on the relationship between patient symptoms or formal support and caregiving satisfaction. Formal support also had a mediating effect on the relationship between patient symptoms and unmet needs. Patient symptoms and caregiving satisfaction had a significant direct effect on caregiving burden.
The level of unmet needs of persons with dementia and their family caregivers must be considered in the development of support programs focused on improving caregiving satisfaction.
Psychological health is an important issue after disasters. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of psychological symptoms among 993 residents of Taean District in South Korea after the Hebei Spirit oil spill and to examine determinants of vulnerability in residents’ psychological symptoms.
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTS), depression, suicidal ideation, and anxiety were assessed by questionnaires, and the responses were analyzed by using the survey analysis considering the sampling frame.
Among the study subjects, the symptom prevalences of PTS, depression, suicidal ideation, and anxiety were 19.5%, 22.0%, 2.3%, and 4.2%, respectively, and symptoms were higher in people who were female, were older, were less educated, and had lower family income. People with fishery or related occupations compared to those with unrelated livelihoods and people residing in the vicinity of the oil band in the contaminated coastline showed additively increased symptom risks of PTS. Risk of suicidal ideation was predominantly increased in people with fishery or related occupations compared with those with unrelated livelihoods.
Social supports, including compensation for income loss and community mental health programs, and longer follow-up studies are needed for residents in the communities affected by the Hebei Spirit oil spill. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:51-58)
In this letter, we investigated the correlation between as-grown surface morphologies and Mn compositions of Ga1-xMnxAs epilayers - a III-V diluted magnetic semiconductor - grown by liquid phase epitaxy (LPE). Ga1-xMnxAs epilayers were grown at 595 °C from 50 % Ga + 50 % Bi mixed solvent. The grown layers were characterized by energy dispersive x-ray analysis (EDS) and atomic forced microscopy (AFM). The Mn composition measured by EDS after growth process was varied from 1 to 7 %. As increasing Mn composition surface morphologies of as-grown Ga1-xMnxAs epilayers were varied. At higher Mn compositions, the morphology of the surface layers degrades strongly, preventing removal of the solution-melt from it. Key words: LPE, as-grown, surface morphology, Mn composition, Ga1-xMnxAs, energy-dispersive x-ray analysis (EDS), atomic forced microscopy (AFM).
Thin film electrodes of the perovskite oxide (Ba,Sr)RuO3 (BSR) were deposited on 4 inch ptype Si wafers by metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) for the practical (Ba,Sr)TiO3 (BST) capacitor application using a new single cocktail source. The source materials used for the MOCVD BSR process were Ba(METHD)2, Sr(METHD)2 and Ru(METHD)3 and these were dissolved in n-butyl acetate. The source-feeding rate was precisely controlled by liquid mass flow controllers (LMFC). As-deposited BSR films possessed a (110)-oriented structure, with good uniformity and adherence on bare Si wafer. The phase formation was strongly affected by the oxygen flow rate and the input source rate. As the oxygen flow rate increased, the Ru/(Ba+Sr) composition ratio in the film decreased, while the Ba/(Ba+Sr) ratio was almost independent of the oxygen flow rate. The dielectric constants of BST capacitors fabricated using these electrodes was greater than 500.
Microtubules and microfilaments are major cytoskeletal components and important modulators for chromosomal movement and cellular division in mammalian oocytes. In this study we observed microtubule and microfilament organisation in bovine oocytes by laser scanning confocal microscopy, and determined requirements of their assembly during in vitro maturation. After germinal vesicle breakdown, small microtubular asters were observed near the condensed chromatin. The asters appeared to elongate and encompass condensed chromatin particles. At the metaphase stage, microtubules were observed in the second meiotic spindle at the metaphase stage. The meiotic spindle was a symmetrical, barrel-shaped structure containing anastral broad poles, located peripherally and radially oriented. Treatment with nocodazole did not inhibit germinal vesicle breakdown. However, progression to metaphase failed to occur in oocytes treated with nocodazole. In contrast, microfilaments were observed as a relatively thick uniform area around the cell cortex and overlying chromatin following germinal vesicle breakdown. Treatment with cytochalasin B inhibited microfilament polymerisation but did not prevent either germinal vesicle breakdown or metaphase formation. However, movement of chromatin to the proper position was inhibited in oocytes treated with cytochalasin B. These results suggest that both microtubules and microfilaments are closely associated with reconstruction and proper positioning of chromatin during meiotic maturation in bovine oocytes.
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