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  • Journal article
    Ward H, Atchison C, Whitaker M, Ainslie KEC, Elliott J, Okell L, Redd R, Ashby D, Donnelly C, Barclay W, Darzi A, Cooke G, Riley S, Elliott Pet al., 2021,

    SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence in England following the first peak of the pandemic.

    , Nature Communications, Vol: 12, Pages: 1-8, ISSN: 2041-1723

    England has experienced a large outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, disproportionately affecting people from disadvantaged and ethnic minority communities. It is unclear how much of this excess is due to differences in exposure associated with structural inequalities. Here we report from the REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-2 (REACT-2) national study of over 100,000 people. After adjusting for test characteristics and re-weighting to the population, overall antibody prevalence is 6.0% (95% CI: 5.8-6.1). An estimated 3.4 million people had developed antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 by mid-July 2020. Prevalence is two- to three-fold higher among health and care workers compared with non-essential workers, and in people of Black or South Asian than white ethnicity, while age- and sex-specific infection fatality ratios are similar across ethnicities. Our results indicate that higher hospitalisation and mortality from COVID-19 in minority ethnic groups may reflect higher rates of infection rather than differential experience of disease or care.

  • Journal article
    Yang N, Jenkins R, Dubois E, Quezada Yamamoto H, Ward H, Junghans Minton Cet al., 2021,

    Group singing programs for mental health and well-being: an evaluation framework

    , Music and Medicine, ISSN: 1943-8621
  • Journal article
    Atchison C, Bowman LR, Vrinten C, Redd R, Pristerà P, Eaton J, Ward Het al., 2021,

    Early perceptions and behavioural responses during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional survey of UK adults.

    , BMJ Open, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 2044-6055

    OBJECTIVE: To examine risk perceptions and behavioural responses of the UK adult population during the early phase of the COVID-19 epidemic in the UK. DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Conducted with a nationally representative sample of UK adults within 48 hours of the UK Government advising the public to stop non-essential contact with others and all unnecessary travel. PARTICIPANTS: 2108 adults living in the UK aged 18 years and over. Response rate was 84.3% (2108/2500). Data collected between 17 March and 18 March 2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Descriptive statistics for all survey questions, including number of respondents and weighted percentages. Robust Poisson regression used to identify sociodemographic variation in: (1) adoption of social distancing measures, (2) ability to work from home, and (3) ability and (4) willingness to self-isolate. RESULTS: Overall, 1992 (94.2%) respondents reported at least one preventive measure: 85.8% washed their hands with soap more frequently; 56.5% avoided crowded areas and 54.5% avoided social events. Adoption of social distancing measures was higher in those aged over 70 years compared with younger adults aged 18-34 years (adjusted relative risk/aRR: 1.2; 95% CI: 1.1 to 1.5). Those with lowest household income were three times less likely to be able to work from home (aRR: 0.33; 95% CI: 0.24 to 0.45) and less likely to be able to self-isolate (aRR: 0.92; 95% CI: 0.88 to 0.96). Ability to self-isolate was also lower in black and minority ethnic groups (aRR: 0.89; 95% CI: 0.79 to 1.0). Willingness to self-isolate was high across all respondents. CONCLUSIONS: Ability to adopt and comply with certain non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) is lower in the most economically disadvantaged in society. Governments must implement appropriate social and economic policies to mitigate this. By incorporating these differences in NPIs among socioeconomic subpopulations into mathematical models of COV

  • Journal article
    Day S, Viney W, Bruton J, Ward Het al., 2020,

    Past-futures in experimental care: breast cancer and HIV medicine

    , NEW GENETICS AND SOCIETY, ISSN: 1463-6778
  • Report
    Riley S, Walters C, Wang H, Eales O, Ainslie K, Atchison C, Fronterre C, Diggle PJ, Ashby D, Donnelly C, Cooke G, Barclay W, Ward H, Darzi A, Elliott Pet al., 2020,

    REACT-1 round 7 updated report: regional heterogeneity in changes in prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the second national COVID-19 lockdown in England

    , REACT-1 round 7 updated report: regional heterogeneity in changes in prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the second national COVID-19 lockdown in England, London, Publisher: Imperial College London

    BackgroundEngland exited a four-week second national lockdown on 2nd December 2020 initiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior results showed that prevalence dropped during the first half of lockdown, with greater reductions in higher-prevalence northern regions.MethodsREACT-1 is a series of community surveys of SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR swab-positivity in England, designed to monitor the spread of the epidemic and thus increase situational awareness. Round 7 of REACT-1 commenced swab-collection on 13th November 2020. A prior interim report included data from 13th to 24th November 2020 for 105,122 participants. Here, we report data for the entire round with swab results obtained up to 3rd December 2020.ResultsBetween 13th November and 3rd December (round 7) there were 1,299 positive swabs out of 168,181 giving a weighted prevalence of 0.94% (95% CI 0.87%, 1.01%) or 94 per 10,000 people infected in the community in England. This compares with a prevalence of 1.30% (1.21%, 1.39%) from 16th October to 2nd November 2020 (round 6), a decline of 28%. Prevalence during the latter half of round 7 was 0.91% (95% CI, 0.81%, 1.03%) compared with 0.96% (0.87%, 1.05%) in the first half. The national R number in round 7 was estimated at 0.96 (0.88, 1.03) with a decline in prevalence observed during the first half of this period no longer apparent during the second half at the end of lockdown. During round 7 there was a marked fall in prevalence in West Midlands, a levelling off in some regions and a rise in London. R numbers at regional level ranged from 0.60 (0.41, 0.80) in West Midlands up to 1.27 (1.04, 1.54) in London, where prevalence was highest in the east and south-east of the city. Nationally, between 13th November and 3rd December, the highest prevalence was in school-aged children especially at ages 13-17 years at 2.04% (1.69%, 2.46%), or approximately 1 in 50.ConclusionBetween the previous round and round 7 (during lockdown), there was a fall in prevalence of SARS-C

  • Journal article
    Matthews NR, Davies B, Ward H, 2020,

    Global health education in UK medical schools: a review of undergraduate university curricula

    , BMJ Global Health, Vol: 5, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 2059-7908

    IntroductionIn recognition of our increasingly globalised world, global health is now arequired component of the medical school curriculum in the UK. We reviewthe current provision of global health education (GHE) in UK medical schoolsto identify gaps in compulsory teaching.MethodsWe conducted a review of the literature to inform a two-part electronic surveyof global health compulsory teaching, optional teaching and pre-electivetraining. Surveys were sent to all 33 UK medical schools for completion by thefaculty lead on global health and the nominated final year studentrepresentative.ResultsSurveys were returned by 29 (88%) medical school faculty and 15 (45%)medical student representatives; 24 (83%) faculty and 10 (67%) studentsreported including GHE in the core curriculum, however, there was widevariation in learning outcomes covered. On average 75% of faculty and 82%of students reported covering recommended global health themes ‘Globalburden of disease’, ‘Socioeconomic and environmental determinants ofhealth’, Human rights and ethics’, and ‘Cultural diversity and health’, whilstonly 48% of faculty and 33% of students reported teaching on ‘Healthsystems’ and ‘Global health governance’. Almost all institutions offeredoptional global health programmes and most offered some form of preelective training, although content and delivery were variable.ConclusionOver the last decade, the inclusion of global health in the core curriculum ofUK medical schools has increased dramatically. Yet, despite interest amongststudents, significant gaps are apparent in current GHE. Governing bodies inmedical education should establish a comprehensive national strategy to helpimprove access to fundamental GHE for all medical students.

  • Journal article
    Bruton J, Jones K, Jenkins R, Davies B, Ward H, Toledano Met al., 2020,

    Enabling participation of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) and seldom-heard communities in health research: A case study from the SCAMP adolescent cohort study

    , Research for All, Vol: 4, Pages: 207-219, ISSN: 2399-8121

    Aim: To investigate barriers and facilitators to BME parental consent for children’s involvement in data-sharing aspects of study on mobile phone and wireless device use (SCAMP). To co-produce solutions to increase participation. Methods: Focus groups, telephone interviews, community event, PPI Café; symposium with public, participants and researchers. Results: Barriers were concerns about the research, practical constraints, poor communication. Facilitators were value of research, benefits to others. Solutions to increase participation were community support and clear, simple communication. Overall, trust in the research and the researchers was a key focus of enabling participation.Sharing recommendations: Symposium generated ideas about improving participation including tailoring participant information, engaging with local advocates, involving people in research design and delivery.Key words: Seldom heard, BME, research participation, co-production, PPI, parental consent

  • Journal article
    Wilson J, Wallace H, Loftus-Keeling M, Ward H, Davies B, Vargas-Palacios A, Hulme C, Wilcox Met al., 2020,

    Swab-yourself trial with economic monitoring and testing for infections collectively (SYSTEMATIC): Part 1. A diagnostic accuracy, and cost-effectiveness, study comparing clinician-taken versus self-taken rectal and pharyngeal samples for the diagnosis of gonorrhoea and chlamydia

    , Clinical Infectious Diseases, ISSN: 1058-4838

    BackgroundUrogenital testing misses extragenital Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and Chlamydia trachomatis (CT). Extragenital self-sampling is frequently undertaken despite no robust RCT evidence of efficacy. We compared clinician-taken rectal and pharyngeal samples with self-taken samples for diagnostic accuracy and cost in MSM and females.MethodsProspective, convenience, sample in UK sexual health clinic. Randomised order of clinician and self-samples from pharynx and rectum, plus first catch urine (MSM) and vulvovaginal swabs (females), for NG/CT detection.ResultsOf 1793 participants (1284 females, 509 MSM), 116 had NG detected (75 urogenital site, 83 rectum, 72 pharynx); 9.4% infected females and 67.3% MSM were urogenital negative. 276 had CT detected (217 urogenital site, 249 rectum, 63 pharynx); 13.1% infected females and 71.8% MSM were urogenital negative. Sexual history did not identify those with rectal infections. Clinician-rectal and self-rectal positive percent agreements (PPA) for NG detection were 92.8% and 97.6%; clinician-rectal, and self-rectal PPA for CT detection were 95.6% and 97.2%. There was no difference in diagnostic accuracy between clinician and self-taken samples.Clinicians performed swabs quicker than participants so costs were lower. However, in asymptomatic people, non-qualified clinicians would oversee self-swabbing and these costs would be lower than clinician’s.ConclusionsThere was no difference in diagnostic accuracy of clinician compared with self-taken extragenital samples. Sexual history did not identify those with rectal infections so individuals should have extragenital clinician, or self-taken, samples. Clinician swabs cost less than self-swabs but in asymptomatic people, or doing home testing, their costs would be lower than clinician swabs.

  • Journal article
    Robb C, Loots C, Ahmadi-Abhari S, Giannakopoulou P, Udeh-Momoh C, McKeand J, Price G, Car J, Majeed A, Ward H, Middleton Let al., 2020,

    Associations of social isolation with anxiety and depression during the early COVID-19 Pandemic: a survey of older adults in London, UK

    , Frontiers in Psychiatry, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 1664-0640

    The COVID-19 pandemic is imposing a profound negative impact on the health and wellbeing of societies and individuals, worldwide. One concern is the effect of social isolation as a result of social distancing on the mental health of vulnerable populations, including older people.Within six weeks of lockdown, we initiated the CHARIOT COVID-19 Rapid Response Study, a bespoke survey of cognitively healthy older people living in London,to investigate the impact of COVID-19 and associated social isolation on mental and physical wellbeing. The sample was drawn from CHARIOT, a register of people over 50 who have consented to be contacted for ageing related research. A total of 327,127 men and women (mean age=70.7 [SD=7.4]) participated in the baseline survey, May-July 2020. Participants were asked about changes to the 14 components of the Hospital Anxiety Depression scale (HADS) after lockdown was introduced in the UK,on 23rd March. A total of 12.8% of participants reported feeling worse on the depression components of HADS (7.8% men and 17.3% women) and 3612.3% reported feeling worse on the anxiety components (7.8% men and 16.5% women). Fewer participants reported feeling improved (1.5% for depression and 4.9% for anxiety). Women, younger participants, those single/widowed/divorced, reporting poor sleep, feelings of loneliness and who reported living alone were more likely to indicate feeling worse on both the depression and/or anxiety components of the HADS. There was a significant negative association between subjective loneliness and worsened components of both depression (OR 17.24, 95% CI 13.20, 22.50) and anxiety (OR 10.85, 95% CI 8.39, 14.03). Results may inform targeted interventions and help guide policy recommendations in reducing the effects of social isolation related to the pandemic, and beyond, on the mental health of older people.

  • Journal article
    Riley S, Atchison C, Ashby D, Donnelly CA, Barclay W, Cooke G, Ward H, Darzi A, Elliott Pet al., 2020,

    REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT) of SARS-CoV-2 virus: Study protocol

    , Wellcome Open Research, Vol: 5, Pages: 200-200

    <ns3:p><ns3:bold>Background:</ns3:bold> England, UK has one of the highest rates of confirmed COVID-19 mortality globally. Until recently, testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus focused mainly on healthcare and care home settings. As such, there is far less understanding of community transmission.</ns3:p><ns3:p> <ns3:bold>Protocol:</ns3:bold> The REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT) programme is a major programme of home testing for COVID-19 to track progress of the infection in the community.</ns3:p><ns3:p> REACT-1 involves cross-sectional surveys of viral detection (virological swab for RT-PCR) tests in repeated samples of 100,000 to 150,000 randomly selected individuals across England. This examines how widely the virus has spread and how many people are currently infected. The age range is 5 years and above. Individuals are sampled from the England NHS patient list.</ns3:p><ns3:p> REACT-2 is a series of five sub-studies towards establishing the seroprevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in England as an indicator of historical infection. The main study (study 5) uses the same design and sampling approach as REACT-1 using a self-administered lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) test for IgG antibodies in repeated samples of 100,000 to 200,000 adults aged 18 years and above. To inform study 5, studies 1-4 evaluate performance characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 LFIAs (study 1) and different aspects of feasibility, usability and application of LFIAs for home-based testing in different populations (studies 2-4).</ns3:p><ns3:p> <ns3:bold>Ethics and dissemination: </ns3:bold>The study has ethical approval. Results are reported using STROBE guidelines and disseminated through reports to public health bodies, presentations at scientific meetings and open access publications.</ns3:p><ns3:p> <ns3:bold>Conclusions: </ns3:bold>This study provides robust estimat

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