ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0232.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-SoV-2; hospital admissions; COPD exacerbation; asthma exacerbation; air pollution
Online: 8 June 2021 (13:27:21 CEST)
We conducted a retrospective observational study to assess the hospitalization rates for acute exacerbations of asthma and/or COPD during the first imposed lockdown in Athens, Greece. Patient characteristics and the concentration of eight air pollutants (namely, CO, NO, NO2, O3 PM2.5, PM10, SO2 and benzene) were considered. A total of 153 consecutive hospital admissions were studied. Reduced admissions occurred in the lockdown period when compared to the Pre-lockdown 2020 (p<0.001) or the Control 2019 (p=0.007) period. Furthermore, the concentration of 6/8 air pollutants positively correlated with weekly hospital admissions in 2020 and significantly decreased during the lockdown. Finally, admitted patients for asthma exacerbation during the lockdown were younger (p=0.046) and less frequently presented respiratory failure (p=0.038), whereas patients with COPD presented higher blood eosinophil percentage (p=0.017) and count (p=0.012). Overall, admissions for asthma and COPD exacerbations decreased during the lockdown. This might partially explained by reduction of air pollution during this period while medical care avoidance behavior, especially among elderly patients cannot be excluded. Our findings aid in understanding the untold impact of the pandemic on diseases beyond COVID-19, focusing on patients with obstructive diseases..
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0194.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: COVID-19; health care workers; Greece; mental health; depression; anxiety; traumatic stress; burnout
Online: 8 February 2021 (11:41:59 CET)
COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to adversely affect the mental health of healthcare workers (HCWs). The public healthcare system in Greece was already facing serious challenges at the outset of the outbreak following years of austerity and an escalating refugee crisis. The multi-center, cross-sectional study aims to assess the levels and associated risk factors of anxiety, depression, traumatic stress and burnout of frontline staff in Greece. A total of 464 HCWs in six reference hospitals completed a self-administered questionnaire comprising of sociodemographic and work-related information and psychometric scales. The proportion of HCWs with symptoms of moderate/severe depression, anxiety and traumatic stress were 30%, 25% and 33% respectively. Burnout levels were particularly high with 65% of respondents scoring moderate/severe in Emotional Exhaustion, 92% severe in Depersonalization and 51% low/moderate in Personal Accomplishment. Predictive factors of adverse psychological outcomes included fear, perceived stress, risk of infection, lack of protective equipment and low social support. The psychological burden associated with Covid-19 in healthcare professionals in Greece is considerable with more than half experiencing at least mild mental health difficulties. Findings signal the need for immediate organizational and individually tailored interventions to enhance resilience and support wellbeing under pandemic conditions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0277.v1
Online: 21 March 2022 (08:25:20 CET)
Abstract: COVID-19 Long Haulers, an estimated 3% to 12% of people infected globally with coronavirus having latter devasting symptoms 12 weeks after the initial infection is on the rise. We conducted a collaborative study with the long covid patient organization in Greece in order to estimate the prevalence, symptoms and problems that adult long haulers experience and then propose a management plan for these patients. Symptoms were obtained from 208 patients using unstructured qualitative free text entries in an anonymized online questionnaire. The majority of respondents (68.8%) were not hospitalized and had been diagnosed more than six months ago with lingering symptoms (66,8%). Eighteen different symptoms (fatigue, tachycardia, shortness of breath, parosmia etc) were mentioned in both hospitalized and community patients. Interestingly, patients with initial mild symptoms suffer from the same persistent symptoms as those who were hospitalized. Awareness of long covid sequelae seems to be low even among medical doctors. Treatment options incorporating targeted rehabilitation programs are either not available or still excluded from the management plan of long covid patients. Since long COVID is a multi-systemic entity, we propose a holistic interventional approach using a multidisciplinary medical team in order to securely and effectively diagnose and treat these specific patients. Academic and medical community must collaborate with long covid patients’ organizations so as to provide personalized medicine.