An Evidence Base for School Health Policy during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

Saif Badran, MD, MRCS(Ed)*
Omran A.H. Musa, MA* Twitter
Somaya Al-maadeed, PhD, SMIEE
Egon Toft, MD, PhD
Suhail A. Doi, MBBS, PhD

* These authors contributed equally.

Objective:

Children represent a small fraction of confirmed COVID-19 cases, with a low case fatality rate (CFR). In this paper, we lay out an evidence-based policy for reopening schools.

Methods:

We gathered age-specific COVID-19 case counts and identified mortality data for 14 countries. Dose-response meta-analysis was used to examine the relationship of the incremental case fatality rate (CFR) to age. In addition, an evidence-to-decision framework (EtD) was used to correlate the dose-response data with other epidemiological characteristics of COVID-19 in childhood.

Results:

In the dose-response analysis, we found that there was an almost negligible fatality below age 18. CFR rose little between ages 5 to 50 years. The confidence intervals were narrow, suggesting relative homogeneity across countries. Further data suggested decreased child-hood transmission from respiratory droplets and a low viral load among children.

Conclusions:

Opening up schools and kindergartens is unlikely to impact COVID-19 case or mortality rates in both the child and adult populations. We outline a robust plan for schools that recommends that general principles not be micromanaged, with authority left to schools and monitored by public health authorities.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 8, Number 1, January 2021, pp. 40-47(8)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.8.1.4

2021-02-22T08:41:57-07:00February 22nd, 2021|COVID19, Health Policy, School Health|

Zoom (Virtual) Happy Hours and Drinking During COVID-19 in the US An Exploratory Qualitative Study

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

Sheila Pakdaman, MS Twitter
John D. Clapp, PhD, MSW

Objective:

In this study, we investigated video conferencing platforms (eg, Zoom) used as a means to gather virtually as a unique drinking environment during the pandemic.

Methods:

Using online recruitment strategies, we conducted 42 qualitative Zoom® interviews. Interviewees were 21-64 years of age from various locations in the United States.

Results:

During the pandemic, most individuals reported higher drinking intake to offset boredom and stress. As a drinking environment, video conferencing calls were perceived as poor substitutes for in-person drinking interactions.

Conclusions:

Our data suggest drinking behaviors and contexts changed during the pandemic restrictions, but virtual happy hours did not drive this change.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 8, Number 1, January 2021, pp. 3-12(10)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.8.1.1

2021-02-22T08:35:29-07:00February 22nd, 2021|Alcohol, COVID19|

COVID-19 and People Who Use Drugs – A Commentary

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

Suzan M. Walters, PhD Twitter
David W. Seal, PhD, FAAHB
Thomas J. Stopka, PhD, MHS
Megan E. Murphy, BS
Wiley D. Jenkins, PhD, MPH, FACE

Objective:

People who use drugs (PWUD) face increased risk of exposure to COVID-19, but also elevated risk associated from injection drug use. We describe factors underlying their increased risk and identify mechanisms for reducing or minimizing rates of COVID-19 transmission and other health outcomes.

Methods:

Our commentary draws upon empirical data, governmental and other reports, and field-based unpublished data from our own studies to inform our conclusion and recommendations.

Results:

Co-morbid health conditions (eg, diabetes), structural challenges (eg, homelessness, criminal justice involvement), stigma (eg, social devaluation, discrediting), and syndemic clustering of of overdose, HCV, and HIV among PWUD are exacerbated by COVID-19.

Conclusion:

Beyond the many challenges all people face to remain safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, PWUD face additional barriers to remaining safe not only from COVID-19 but from negative health outcomes associated with their living environments, socioeconomic positions, and injection drug use. Collaborative efforts among governmental agencies, health providers, SSPs, CBOs, and other agencies providing services to PWUD is essential to the development of programs and services to meet the many needs of PWUD, which have been particularly accentuated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 7, Number 5, October 2020, pp. 489-497(9)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.7.5.11

2020-10-15T10:18:38-06:00October 15th, 2020|COVID19, Substance Use|

When US and State Governments Go Viral: In-person Reopening of Schools during the COVID-19 Pandemic – and Then What? – A Commentary

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

Robert J. McDermott, PhD Twitter

Objective:

In this commentary I argue that rapid reopening of schools for in-person instruction in the United States is unwise and likely to extend the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods:

I review various sources of information and raise issues less frequently and thoroughly addressed in noted plans to expedite school reopening.

Results:

Whereas the focus has been on preparing plans of action for in-person instruction on the first day of school that minimize risk to pupils and school personnel, aspects of these plans are operationally unsound. Additionally, opinions among school personnel and parents for rapid reopening are far from unanimous. Moreover, the potential health impact on teachers, bus drivers, and other school personnel, as well as pupils, and the potential for another shutdown are phenomena with real probability.

Conclusion:

Despite government-led arguments favoring rapid restoration of in-person instruction, I argue that school reopening should take a wiser approach, sustaining remote instruction until pandemic statistics place people at substantially reduced disease risk.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 7, Number 4, July 2020, pp. 366-373(8)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.7.4.10

2020-08-21T17:27:28-06:00August 21st, 2020|COVID19, Open Access, School Health, Youth|

“How Long Will Covid-19 Last?” And Other Questions Youth Ask Physicians about COVID-19

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

Vanya Jones, PHD, MPH Twitter
Audrey Johnson, MBA
Megan Collins, MD, MPH
Panagis Galiatsatos, MD, MHS
Jacqueline Bryan
Susan Krenn, BA
Sherita H. Golden, MD, MHS
Alicia Wilson, JD

Objective:

In this investigation, we identify the questions youth in a low-income urban community asked healthcare providers about COVID-19.

Methods:

This formative qualitative study consisted of analyzing data collected using Poll Everywhere as part of 3 phone town halls with a pulmonary and critical care medicine physician and youth.

Results:

During the 3 town halls, there were 143 participants who asked 43 questions that were divided into 4 codes: Healthcare, Cure, General COVID-19, and Prevention.

Conclusion:

Youth have questions about healthy behaviors and treatment that can be answered in a low technology forum engagement with health professionals. These results also underscore the need to continue health education discussions either through traditional school-based or alternate formats, especially as we anticipate COVID-19 to last during the next academic year.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 7, Number 4, July 2020, pp. 342-346(5)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.7.4.7

2020-08-21T17:34:50-06:00August 21st, 2020|COVID19, Open Access, Youth|

COVID-19 School Closures: Implications for Pediatric Diabetes Management – A Commentary

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

Rohit Jaswaney, BA Twitter
Jessica P. Cerdeña, MPhil Twitter

Objective:

The United States COVID-19 outbreak shuttered public and private schools, confining more than 55.1 million students to their homes. In this paper, we discuss the unique vulnerabilities faced by families affected by pediatric diabetes as well as structural issues exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods:

Drawing on clinical and anthropological expertise, we review the unintended consequences of remote schooling for management of pediatric diabetes and other chronic health conditions.

Results:

We identify multiple barriers to pediatric diabetes care imposed by conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. We propose a 4-tiered policy solution that aims to improve crisis response and to protect the health of children with chronic conditions, like diabetes, long-term.

Conclusion:

The COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated wide disruptions to schooling, employment, finances, and transportation, placing enormous burdens on families that care for a child with diabetes. Comprehensive policies supporting integrated diabetes care, student accommodations in remote learning conditions, extended medication
supplies, and increased healthcare access would not only prevent adverse outcomes for children with diabetes in crisis settings, but also lay a durable foundation needed to increase health equity of all children living with chronic conditions.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 7, Number 4, July 2020, pp. 325-328(4)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.7.4.5

2020-08-21T17:33:03-06:00August 21st, 2020|COVID19, Open Access, School Health, Youth|

Are Our Lives the Experiment? COVID-19 Lessons during a Chaotic Natural Experiment – A Commentary

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

Sarah L. Patrick, MPH, PhD Twitter
Holly C. Cormier, PhD

Objective:

In this paper, we urge health behavior and policy experts to engage in rigorous science and evaluation of the evolving natural experiment to stop or adapt to the pandemic of COVID-19.

Methods:

We conducted scientific literature, media library, and governmental website searches with key words COVID-19, policy, health behavior, and pandemic as a rapid review.

Results:

As of March 26, 2020, approximately one-third of the world’s population was under some COVID-related movement restriction. Moreover, 21 states in the United States initiated policies to stay-in-place, close businesses and schools, or create mechanisms for social distancing, with more states likely to take up these actions.

Conclusion:

As individuals and whole communities ascend Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Scale, it is important to structure health behavior and policy evaluation and research to capture the lessons learned from this worldwide natural experiment of differing choices of support and restriction of individuals, groups, occupations, and whole countries. Whereas this may be the first pandemic of this magnitude and speed in the modern world, it likely will not be the last, making it imperative that we learn from and teach as many of these lessons as possible.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 7, Number 2, March 2020, pp. 165-169(5)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.7.2.10

2020-06-29T14:02:34-06:00April 19th, 2020|COVID19, Open Access|

Impact of COVID-19 on Persons in Correctional Facilities – A Commentary

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

David Wyatt Seal, PhD, FAAHB

Objective:

People who work in or who are confined to correctional facilities are at high risk for exposure to COVID-19. In this paper, I describe the at-risk populations in correctional facilities and identify mechanisms for reducing or minimizing rates of COVID-19 transmission.

Methods:

Risk reduction involves careful situational analysis and adaptation of communicable disease control procedures.

Results:

Prevention, identification and quarantine, and treatment are 3 steps that can reduce and minimize risk of infection to correctional facility workers and incarcerated individuals.

Conclusion:

Incarcerated individuals are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 exposure, infection, and disease consequences due to their high incidence of chronic disease and poor health in general, as well as the conditions of confinement. Humane and immediate steps to prevent, diagnose, and treat COVID-19 among individuals in correctional settings are needed.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 7, Number 2, March 2020, pp. 161-164(4)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.7.2.9

2020-06-30T17:27:13-06:00April 19th, 2020|COVID19, Open Access|

Years of Neglecting Young and Old: Paying the Piper During COVID-19

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An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.

Authors:

Annie Lu Nguyen, MPH, PhD Twitter
Robert J. McDermott, PhD

Objective:

In this paper, we argue that COVID-19 has demonstrated the seriousness of longstanding neglect of public education infrastructure, particularly where school health education and school-based health services are concerned, as well as having accentuated long-standing vulnerabilities among older adults.

Methods:

We examined practices about the divide between evidence-based recommendations of experts and system responses that leave a sizeable number of Americans vulnerable to the worst aspects of COVID-19.

Results:

We identify practices in schools, as well as institutions that respond to the needs of older Americans that increase general risk across generations from the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. We also caution against making unwarranted assumptions or generalizations about older adults in and out of care settings.

Conclusion:

Authorities need to learn lessons from the present pandemic to avoid similar types of vulnerability in future public health emergencies.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 7, Number 2, March 2020, pp. 154-160(7)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.7.2.8

2020-06-29T13:38:54-06:00April 19th, 2020|COVID19, Open Access|
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