Chronic wounds fail to progress through the normal stages of healing, with the largest remediable cause of chronicity being presence of a multi-species biofilm. Removal of biofilm from the wound environment is central to wound care. A device for mechanically removing biofilms from wounds has been devised. The removal is caused by small-scale liquid currents and shear, generated by acoustically activated microscopic air bubbles. These bubbles and acoustic waves are delivered onto the wound by a gentle liquid stream, allowing cleaning in situ and removal of debris in the run-off liquid. We have investigated if this liquid acoustic wound stream (LAWS) can remove bacterial biofilm from soft biological wound models and studied the effect of LAWS on the cellular tissues of the substrate. LAWS will efficiently remove early Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm from an artificial wound in a pig's trotter, 24 hours-mature biofilm of P. aeruginosa from a pre-wounded human full thickness skin model (EpiDerm FT), and 3-day mature biofilm of P. aeruginosa or Staphylococcus aureus from a porcine skin explant. Histological examinations of uninfected EpiDerm models that had been treated by LAWS and then stained with Haematoxylin and Eosin, demonstrated no damage to the human tissue, and wound diameter was smaller in the treated skin models compared with untreated samples. Immunofluorescence staining for cytokeratin 14 showed that keratinocytes had migrated further across the wound in the uninfected samples treated by LAWS. We discuss the implications for wound healing and propose further laboratory and clinical studies to demonstrate the removal of biofilm from patients with chronic leg ulcers and the impact on healing.
To describe public attitudes and knowledge around antibiotic activity, resistance and use.
Face-to-face household 18 question survey using computer-assisted data collection undertaken by Ipsos Market and Opinion Research International.
Randomly selected households across England, January–February 2020.
2022 adults (aged 15+,) including 521 black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) participants, and 406 aged 15–25 years olds.
Responses to questions about antibiotic activity, resistance and expectations for antibiotics and trust in healthcare professionals. Analyses were weighted to obtain estimates representative of the population with multivariable analysis undertaken for questions with five or more significant univariate variables.
84% stated they would be pleased if their general practitioner (GP) said they did not need antibiotics. Trust in GPs to make antibiotic decisions remains high (89%) and has increased for nurses (76%) and pharmacists (71%). Only 21% would challenge an antibiotic decision; this was significantly greater in BAME participants (OR 2.5; 95% CI 1.89 to 3.35). 70% reported receiving advice when prescribed antibiotics. Belief in benefits of antibiotics for ear infections was very high (68%). Similar to 2017, 81% agreed that antibiotics work for bacterial, 28% cold and influenza viruses. 84% agreed antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) are increasing, only 50% agreed healthy people can carry ARB and 39% agreed there was nothing they personally could do about ARB. Social grade DE and BAME participants, and those with less education had significantly less understanding about antibiotics and resistance.
As trust in healthcare practitioners is high, we need to continue antibiotic education and other interventions at GP surgeries and community pharmacies but highlight that most ear infections are not benefitted by antibiotics. Targeted interventions are needed for socioeconomic DE, BAME groups and previous antibiotic users. We need to explore if increasing perceived personal responsibility for preventing ARB reduces antibiotic use.
Group A β-haemolytic Streptococcus (GAS), a Gram-positive bacterium, causes skin, mucosal and systemic infections. Repeated GAS infections can lead to autoimmune diseases acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia have the highest rates of ARF and RHD in the world. Despite this, the contemporaneous prevalence and incidence of GAS pharyngitis and impetigo in remote Australia remains unknown. To address this, we have designed a prospective surveillance study of GAS pharyngitis and impetigo to collect coincident contemporary evidence to inform and enhance primary prevention strategies for ARF.
The Missing Piece Study aims to document the epidemiology of GAS pharyngitis and impetigo through collection of clinical, serological, microbiological and bacterial genomic data among remote-living Australian children. The study comprises two components: (1) screening of all children at school for GAS pharyngitis and impetigo up to three times a year and (2) weekly active surveillance visits to detect new cases of pharyngitis and impetigo. Environmental swabbing in remote schools will be included, to inform environmental health interventions. In addition, the application of new diagnostic technologies, microbiome analysis and bacterial genomic evaluations will enhance primary prevention strategies, having direct bearing on clinical care, vaccine development and surveillance for vaccine clinical trials.
Ethical approval has been obtained from the Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee (Ref: 892) and Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of Western Australia (Ref: RA/4/20/5101). Study findings will be shared with community members, teachers and children at participating schools, together with academic and medical services. Sharing findings in an appropriate manner is important and will be done in a suitable way which includes plain language summaries and presentations. Finally, findings and updates will also be disseminated to collaborators, researchers and health planners through peer-reviewed journal publications.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the leading chronic conditions in the older population. People with OA are more likely to have one or more other chronic conditions than those without. However, the temporal associations, clusters of the comorbidities, role of analgesics and the causality and variation between populations are yet to be investigated. This paper describes the protocol of a multinational study in four European countries (UK, Netherlands, Sweden and Spain) exploring comorbidities in people with OA.
This multinational study will investigate (1) the temporal associations of 61 identified comorbidities with OA, (2) the clusters and trajectories of comorbidities in people with OA, (3) the role of analgesics on incidence of comorbidities in people with OA, (4) the potential biomarkers and causality between OA and the comorbidities, and (5) variations between countries.
A combined case–control and cohort study will be conducted to find the temporal association of OA with the comorbidities using the national or regional health databases. Latent class analysis will be performed to identify the clusters at baseline and joint latent class analysis will be used to examine trajectories during the follow-up. A cohort study will be undertaken to evaluate the role of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioids and paracetamol on the incidence of comorbidities. Mendelian randomisation will be performed to investigate the potential biomarkers for causality between OA and the comorbidities using the UK Biobank and the Rotterdam Study databases. Finally, a meta-analyses will be used to examine the variations and pool the results from different countries.
Research ethics was obtained according to each database requirement. Results will be disseminated through the FOREUM website, scientific meetings, publications and in partnership with patient organisations.
To explore perceived sociocultural factors that may influence suicidality from key informants residing in coastal Kenya.
We used an exploratory qualitative study design.
Mombasa and Kilifi Counties of Coastal Kenya.
25 key informants including community leaders, professionals and community members directly and indirectly affected by suicidality.
We conducted in-depth interviews with purposively selected key informants to collect data on sociocultural perspectives of suicide. Thematic analysis was used to identify key themes using both inductive and deductive processes.
Four key themes were identified from the inductive content analysis of 25 in-depth interviews as being important for understanding cultural perspectives related to suicidality: (1) the stigma of suicidal behaviour, with suicidal victims perceived as weak or crazy, and suicidal act as evil and illegal; (2) the attribution of supernatural causality to suicide, for example, due to sorcery or inherited curses; (3) the convoluted pathway to care, specifically, delayed access to biomedical care and preference for informal healers; and (4) gender and age differences influencing suicide motivation, method of suicide and care seeking behaviour for suicidality.
This study provides an in depth understanding of cultural factors attributed to suicide in this rural community that may engender stigma, discrimination and poor access to mental healthcare in this community. We recommend multipronged and multilevel suicide prevention interventions targeted at changing stigmatising attitudes, beliefs and behaviours, and improving access to mental healthcare in the community.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common peripheral neuropathy. The optimal treatment strategy is still unknown. The objective of the Dutch Injection versus Surgery TRIal in patients with CTS (DISTRICTS) is to investigate if initial surgery of CTS results in a better clinical outcome and is more cost-effective when compared with initial treatment with corticosteroid injection.
The DISTRICTS is an ongoing multicenter, open-label randomised controlled trial. Participants with CTS are randomised to treatment with surgery or with a corticosteroid injection. If needed, any additional treatments after this first treatment are allowed and these are not dictated by the study protocol. The primary outcome is the difference between the groups in the proportion of participants recovered at 18 months. Recovery is defined as having no or mild symptoms as measured with the 6-item carpal tunnel symptoms scale. Secondary outcome measurements are among others: time to recovery, hand function, patient satisfaction, quality of life, additional treatments, adverse events, and use of care and health-related costs.
The study was approved by the Medical Ethical Committee of the Amsterdam University Medical Centers (study number 2017-171). Study results will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and conferences.
ISRCTN Registry: 13164336.
Blood-based biomarkers for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are a ‘Holy Grail’ of AD research. Growing evidence shows that levels of apolipoproteins and various inflammation-related factors are altered in the peripheral blood of patients with AD. The purpose of this study was to clear and definite whether these biomarkers are differentially expressed at the early stages of AD, and could be a biomarker as an early diagnosis of the disease.
This study was a part of the Sino Longitudinal Study on Cognitive Decline, an ongoing prospective cohort study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03370744) that centres on Xuanwu Hospital (Beijing, China) in cooperation with an alliance of 94 hospitals from 50 cities across China.
In the present study, 416 right-handed Chinese Han subjects were recruited through standardised public advertisements from 2014 to 2019.
Concentrations of plasma apolipoprotein A1, apolipoprotein CIII (ApoCIII), apolipoprotein E (ApoE), A-2-macroglobulin (A2M), complement C3 (C3) and complement factor H (FH) were determined using a commercial multiplex Luminex-based panel in normal controls (NC), subjective cognitive decline (SCD), mild cognitive impairment and AD groups.
For individual analysis, pairwise comparisons showed that: (1) For SCD versus NC, no biomarker showed significant difference; (2) For amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) versus NC, levels of ApoCIII, ApoE, A2M, C3 and FH increased significantly; and (3) For AD versus NC, amounts of C3 increased. For models differentiating clinical groups, discriminant analysis was performed by including all protein markers, age, sex, genotype and education level in the model. This approach could distinguish between patients with aMCI (area under the curve (AUC): 0.743) and AD (AUC: 0.837) from NC.
Our results suggest that concentrations of certain apolipoproteins and inflammation-related factors are altered at the early stage of AD, and could be useful biomarkers for early diagnosis.
Older patients with multimorbidity, polypharmacy and related complex care needs represent a growing proportion of the population and a challenge for healthcare systems. Particularly in transitional care (hospital admission and hospital discharge), medical errors, inappropriate treatment, patient concerns and lack of confidence in healthcare are major problems that may arise from a lack of information continuity. The aim of this study is to develop an intervention to improve informational continuity of care at the interface between general practice and hospital care.
A qualitative approach will be used to develop our participatory intervention. Overall, 32 semistructured interviews with relevant stakeholders will be conducted and analysed. The stakeholders will include healthcare professionals from the outpatient setting (general practitioners, healthcare assistants, ambulatory care nurses) and the inpatient setting (clinical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, clinical information scientists) as well as patients and informal caregivers. At a series of workshops based on the results of the stakeholder analyses, we aim to develop a participatory intervention that will then be implemented in a subsequent pilot study. The same stakeholder groups will be invited for participation in the workshops.
Ethical approval for this study was waived by the Ethics Committee of Goethe University Frankfurt because of the nature of the proposed study. Written informed consent will be obtained from all study participants prior to participation. Results will be tested in a pilot study and disseminated at (inter)national conferences and via publication in peer-reviewed journals.
Clinical Trials Register: registration number DRKS00027649.
No proven treatment is available for severely ill COVID-19. Therapeutic use of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (COPLA) is under investigation.
To compare the efficacy of COPLA with standard medical therapy (SMT) alone in severe COVID-19 patients.
A multicentric, open-labelled, phase-III randomised controlled trial conducted at two treatment centres with COPLA collected at the third dedicated centre in North-India, the coordinating centre during trial from June 2020 to December 2020. The study population comprised 400 participants in the ratio of 1:1 in each treatment group.
One group received COPLA with SMT (n=200), and another group received SMT only (n=200).
Primary outcome was time to clinical improvement measured by a two-point reduction in the ordinal scale. Secondary outcomes included duration of O2 therapy, the proportion of patients on mechanical ventilation at day-7, mortality, SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels, cytokine levels and incidence of adverse events.
The median time to a two-point reduction in the ordinal scale in both groups was 9 days (IQR=7–13) (p=0.328). The median duration of O2 therapy was 8 days (IQR=6–12) in COPLA and 10 days (IQR=6–12) in SMT group (p=0.64). The PaO2/FiO2 ratio showed significant improvement at 7 days in COPLA group(p=0.036). There was no difference in mortality till 28 days in both groups (p=0.62). However, if COPLA was given within 3 days of hospital admission, a significant reduction in ordinal scale was observed (p=0.04). Neutralising antibody titres in COPLA group (80 (IQR 80–80)) were higher than SMT group (0 (IQR 0–80)) at 48 hours (p=0.001). COPLA therapy led to a significant reduction in TNF-α levels at 48 hours (p=0.048) and D-dimer at 7 days (p=0.02). Mild allergic reactions were observed in 3 (1.5%) patients in COPLA group.
Convalescent plasma with adequate antibody titres should be transfused in COVID-19 patients along with SMT in the initial 3 days of hospitalisation for better clinical outcomes.
We aimed at identifying baseline predictive factors for emergency department (ED) readmission, with hospitalisation/death, in patients with COVID-19 previously discharged from the ED. We also developed a disease progression velocity index.
Retrospective cohort study of prospectively collected data. The charts of consecutive patients with COVID-19 discharged from the Reggio Emilia (Italy) ED (2 March 2 to 31 March 2020) were retrospectively examined. Clinical, laboratory and CT findings at first ED admission were tested as predictive factors using multivariable logistic models. We divided CT extension by days from symptom onset to build a synthetic velocity index.
450 patients discharged from the ED with diagnosis of COVID-19.
ED readmission within 14 days, followed by hospitalisation/death.
Of the discharged patients, 84 (18.7%) were readmitted to the ED, 61 (13.6%) were hospitalised and 10 (2.2%) died. Age (OR=1.05; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.08), Charlson Comorbidity Index 3 versus 0 (OR=11.61; 95% CI 1.76 to 76.58), days from symptom onset (OR for 1-day increase=0.81; 95% CI 0.73 to 0.90) and CT extension (OR for 1% increase=1.03; 95% CI 1.01 to 1.06) were associated in a multivariable model for readmission with hospitalisation/death. A 2-day lag velocity index was a strong predictor (OR for unit increase=1.21, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.36); the model including this index resulted in less information loss.
A velocity index combining CT extension and days from symptom onset predicts disease progression in patients with COVID-19. For example, a 20% CT extension 3 days after symptom onset has the same risk as does 50% after 10 days.
The first German SARS-CoV-2 outbreak was a superspreading event in Gangelt, North Rhine-Westphalia, during indoor carnival festivities called ‘Kappensitzung’ (15 February 2020). We determined SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR positivity rate, SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies, and analysed the conditions and dynamics of superspreading, including ventilation, setting dimensions, distance from infected persons and behavioural patterns.
In a cross-sectional epidemiological study (51 days postevent), participants were asked to give blood, pharyngeal swabs and complete self-administered questionnaires.
The SARS-CoV-2 superspreading event took place during festivities in the small community of Gangelt in February 2020. This 5-hour event included 450 people (6–79 years of age) in a building of 27 m x 13.20 m x 4.20 m.
Out of 450 event participants, 411 volunteered to participate in this study.
Primary outcome: infection status (determined by IgG ELISA). Secondary outcome: symptoms (determined by questionnaire).
Overall, 46% (n=186/404) of participants had been infected, and their spatial distribution was associated with proximity to the ventilation system (OR 1.39, 95% CI 0.86 to 2.25). Risk of infection was highly associated with age: children (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.267 to 0.414) and young adults (age 18–25 years) had a lower risk of infection than older participants (average risk increase of 28% per 10 years). Behavioural differences were also risk associated including time spent outside (OR 0.55, (95% CI 0.33 to 0.91) or smoking (OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.124 to 0.81).
Our findings underline the importance of proper indoor ventilation for future events. Lower susceptibility of children/young adults indicates their limited involvement in superspreading.
To compare mental healthcare use and healthcare professional (HCP) contacts for patients before and after initiation of paliperidone palmitate.
The South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLAM) Biomedical Research Centre Clinical Record Interactive Search.
We identified all adults with a diagnosis of schizophrenia (International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision: F20.x), who had received paliperidone palmitate prescription for at least 365 days and had at least 1 year of recorded treatment from SLAM, prior to the first recorded receipt of paliperidone palmitate.
Inpatient and community mental healthcare service use, such as inpatient bed days, number of active days in the service, face-to-face and telephone HCP use in the 12 months before and after paliperidone palmitate initiation.
We identified 664 patients initiated on paliperidone palmitate. Following initiation, inpatient bed days were lower, although patients remained active on the service case load longer for both mirror approach 1 (mean difference of inpatient bed days –10.48 (95% CI –15.75 to –5.22); days active 40.67 (95% CI 33.39 to 47.95)) and mirror approach 2 (mean difference of inpatient bed days –23.96 (95% CI –30.01 to –17.92); mean difference of days active 40.69 (95% CI 33.39 to 47.94)). The postinitiation period was further characterised by fewer face-to-face and telephone contacts with medical and social work HCPs, and an increased contact with clinical psychologists.
Our findings indicate a change in the profile of HCP use, consistent with a transition from treatment to possible rehabilitation.
The Protective Behavioural Strategies for Marijuana (PBSM-17) scale serves to identify and measure strategies employed by young adults before, during or after cannabis use. After the adaptation and translation of the PBSM-17 into French, a methodological study was conducted to evaluate the psychometric properties of this French version (FV) and of the original English version (EV) in a sample of bilingual Canadian university students.
A total of 211 cannabis users (mean age=22.1 years) completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, a question on frequency of cannabis use (four categories: 1–3 times a month, once a week, more than once a week, everyday) and both versions (FV and EV) of the PBSM-17.
Both versions had similar internal reliability (α=0.91; α=0.88). The one-factor solution explained 36.46% of the variance for the FV and 42.26% for the EV. As hypothesised, greater use of protective behavioural strategies was related to lower frequency of cannabis use. One-way ANOVA test results revealed a statistically significant difference in use of strategies by frequency of cannabis use for both the FV (F(3, 207)=27.38, p
The FV and EV of the PBSM-17 demonstrated satisfactory psychometric properties. The proposed FV of the PBSM-17 is a reliable instrument that could be used for research and clinical purposes. Protective behavioural strategies can serve as indicator of lower-risk cannabis use and could be targeted in prevention interventions.
Infections caused by carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales are frequent and associated with high rates of mortality. Intestinal carriers are at increased risk of infection by these microorganisms. Decolonisation strategies with antibiotics have not obtained conclusive results. Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) could be an effective and safe strategy to decolonise intestinal carriers of KPC-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (KPC-Kp) but this hypothesis needs evaluation in appropriate clinical trials.
The KAPEDIS trial is a single-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2, superiority clinical trial of FMT for eradication of intestinal colonisation by KPC-Kp. One hundred and twenty patients with rectal colonisation by KPC-Kp will be randomised 1:1 to receive encapsulated lyophilised FMT or placebo. The primary outcome is KPC-Kp eradication at 30 days. Secondary outcomes are: (1) frequency of adverse events; (2) changes in KPC-Kp relative load within the intestinal microbiota at 7, 30 and 90 days, estimated by real-time quantitative PCR analysis of rectal swab samples and (3) rates of persistent eradication, KPC-Kp infection and crude mortality at 90 days. Participants will be monitored for adverse effects throughout the intervention.
Ethical approval was obtained from Reina Sofía University Hospital Institutional Review Board (approval reference number: 2019-003808-13). Trial results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and disseminated at national and international conferences.
by Ehimen C. Aneni, Gul Jana Saeed, Marcio Sommer Bittencourt, Miguel Cainzos-Achirica, Chukwuemeka U. Osondu, Matthew Budoff, Edison R. Parise, Raul D. Santos, Khurram NasirBackground
There is limited knowledge about the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) associated with cardiometabolic disorders in lean persons. This study examines the contribution of cardiometabolic disorders to NAFLD risk among lean individuals and compares to non-lean individuals.Methods
We analyzed longitudinal data from 6,513 participants of a yearly voluntary routine health testing conducted at the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, Brazil. NAFLD was defined as hepatic ultrasound diagnosed fatty liver in individuals scoring below 8 on the alcohol use disorders identification test. Our main exposure variables were elevated blood glucose, elevated blood pressure (BP), presence of atherogenic dyslipidemia (AD, defined as the combination of elevated triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol) and physical inactivity ( Results
Over 15,580 person-years (PY) of follow-up, the incidence rate of NAFLD was 7.7 per 100 PY. In multivariate analysis adjusting for likely confounders, AD was associated with a 72% greater risk of NAFLD (IRR: 1.72 [95% CI:1.32–2.23]). Elevated blood glucose (IRR: 1.71 [95%CI: 1.29–2.28]) and physical inactivity (IRR: 1.46 [95%CI: 1.28–1.66]) were also independently associated with increased risk of NAFLD. In lean individuals, AD, elevated blood glucose and elevated BP were significantly associated with NAFLD although for elevated blood glucose, statistical significance was lost after adjusting for possible confounders. Physical inactivity and elevations in HsCRP were not associated with the risk of NAFLD in lean individuals only. Among lean (and non-lean) individuals, there was an independent association between progressively increasing waist circumference and NAFLD.Conclusion
Cardiometabolic risk factors are independently associated with NAFLD. However, there are significant differences in the metabolic risk predictors of NAFLD between lean and non-lean individuals. Personalized cardiovascular disease risk stratification and appropriate preventive measures should be considered in both lean and non-lean individuals to prevent the development of NAFLD.
To define the prevalence and seizure subtypes among children with cerebral palsy (CP) in rural Bangladesh and explore barriers to optimum epilepsy control.
Prospective cohort study.
The study was conducted in Shahjadpur, a rural subdistrict of Bangladesh.
Assessments were conducted in three focused epilepsy clinics overseen by a paediatric neurologist between December 2016 and January 2018, with intervening phone and video-conference follow-ups. Details of event type, frequency and medication compliance were collected. Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) were prescribed based on seizure type, family income, comorbidity and medication availability.
23.4% (170/726) of the BCPR cohort had a clinical diagnosis of epilepsy of whom 166 were assessed. Following the focused epilepsy clinics, 62.0% (103/166) children were clinically determined to have ongoing epileptic seizures. 62.1% (64/103) had generalised onset tonic clonic seizures, 27.2% (28/103) had focal onset seizures with impaired awareness and 10.7% (11/103) had other seizure types. None of the children with prolonged seizures (31/103) had an emergency seizure management plan. Non-epileptic events were being pharmacologically treated as seizures in 18.1% (30/166) children. Financial constraints were the main reason for non-compliance on follow-up.
Gaps in optimum epilepsy management in rural Bangladesh are amenable to improvement anchored with local healthcare workers. Training and clinical care focused on recognition of common seizure types, seizure mimics and rationalising use of available AEDs can be facilitated by better referral pathways and telehealth support.
To enhance health and prevent secondary consequences for patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD), maintenance of an active lifestyle following participation in cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is important. However, levels of physical activity often decrease after completion of a structured CR programme. Models that support long-term behaviour change with a sustained level of physical activity are imperative. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of a mobile health intervention based on the Health Action Process Approach theoretical model of behaviour change in patients with CVD for 3 months after completion of a CR programme.
In a feasibility trial design, we will recruit 40 participants from CR programmes at Slagelse Hospital, the City of Slagelse (municipality), or Holbæk Hospital. After completing the standard structured CR programme, each participant will create an action plan for physical activity together with a physiotherapist. Following that, participants are sent 2 weekly text messages for 3 months. The first text message prompts physical activity, and the second will check if the action plan has been followed. If requested by participants, a coordinator will call and guide the physical activities behaviour. The feasibility of this maintenance intervention is evaluated based on predefined progression criteria. Physical activity is measured with accelerometers at baseline and at 3 months follow-up.
Study approval was waived (EMN-2021-00020) by the Research Ethics Committee of Region Zealand, Denmark. Study results will be made public and findings disseminated to patients, health professionals, decision-makers, researchers and the public.
To explore the health professionals’ and community members’ perspectives on the factors influencing transmission of the novel COVID-19 in Zambia.
An exploratory qualitative study using in-depth interviews as data collection technique.
Four primary healthcare facilities and local communities of Lusaka city and Chirundu international border town under Lusaka province, Zambia.
Purposive sampling of 60 study participants comprising health professionals (n=15) and community members (n=45). Health staff were health inspectors and surveillance officers. Community members included public market traders, civic and religious leaders, immigration officers, bus and international truck drivers.
Both health professionals and community members were aware of the COVID-19 pandemic, the preventive and control measures. Nevertheless, stark differences were observed on the two groups’ perspectives on COVID-19 and the factors influencing its transmission. Most health staff expressed high personal risk and susceptibility to the disease and a positive attitude towards the prevention and control measures. Conversely, myths and misconceptions influenced most community members’ perspectives on the disease and their attitude towards the COVID-19 guidelines. Participants were unanimous on the low levels of adherence to the COVID-19 preventive and control measures in the community. Reasons for non-adherence included limited information on COVID-19, negative attitude towards COVID-19 guidelines, social movement and travel patterns, networks and interactions, living and work conditions, water and sanitation facilities, and observation of behaviours of important role models such as politicians and other community leaders. These factors were perceived to increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
These findings highlight important factors influencing transmission of COVID-19 in Zambia. Future interventions should focus on providing information to mitigate myths and misconceptions, increasing people’s risk perception to the disease, and improving attitude towards the prevention and control interventions and mitigating structural and socioeconomic barriers.