256 results found
Ward H, Atchison C, Whitaker M, et al., 2021, SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence in England following the first peak of the pandemic., Nature Communications, 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.
Atchison C, Bowman LR, Vrinten C, et 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
Riley S, Walters C, Wang H, et 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
Matthews NR, Davies B, Ward H, 2020, Global health education in UK medical schools: a review of undergraduate university curricula, BMJ Global Health, 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.
Riley S, Eales O, Walters CE, et al., 2020, REACT-1 round 7 interim report: fall in prevalence of swab-positivity in England during national lockdown
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:sec><jats:title>Background</jats:title><jats:p>The second wave of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in England has been characterized by high growth and prevalence in the North with lower prevalence in the South. High prevalence was first observed at younger adult ages before spreading out to school-aged children and older adults. Local tiered interventions were in place up to 5th November 2020 at which time a second national lockdown was implemented.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Methods</jats:title><jats:p>REACT-1 is a repeated cross-sectional survey of SARS-CoV-2 swab-positivity in random samples of the population of England. The current period of data collection (round 7) commenced on 13th November 2020 and we report interim results here for swabs collected up to and including 24th November 2020. Because there were two distinct periods of growth during the previous round 6, here we compare results from round 7 (mainly) with the second half of round 6, which obtained swabs between 26th October and 2nd November 2020. We report prevalence both unweighted and reweighted to be representative of the population of England. We describe trends in unweighted prevalence with daily growth rates, doubling times, reproduction numbers (R) and splines. We estimated odds ratios for swab-positivity using mutually-adjusted multivariable logistic regression models.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Results</jats:title><jats:p>We found 821 positives from 105,123 swabs giving an unweighted prevalence of 0.78% (95% CI, 0.73%, 0.84%) and a weighted prevalence of 0.96% (0.87%, 1.05%). The weighted prevalence estimate was ∼30% lower than that of 1.32% (1.20%, 1.45%) obtained in the second half of round 6. This decrease corresponds to a halving time of 37 (30, 47) days and an R number of 0.88 (0.86, 0.91). Using only data from th
Riley S, Ainslie K, Eales O, et al., 2020, REACT-1 round 6 updated report: high prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 swab positivity with reduced rate of growth in England at the start of November 2020
BackgroundEngland is now in the midst of its second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple regions of the country are at high infection prevalence and all areas experienced rapid recent growth of the epidemic during October 2020.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 6 of REACT-1 commenced swab-collection on 16th October. A prior interim report included data from 16th to 25th October for 85,971 participants. Here, we report data for the entire round on 160,175 participants with swab results obtained up to 2nd November 2020.ResultsOverall weighted prevalence of infection in the community in England was 1.3% or 130 people per 10,000 infected, up from 60 people per 10,000 in the round 5 report (18th September to 5th October 2020), doubling every 24 days on average since the prior round. The corresponding R number was estimated to be 1.2. Prevalence of infection was highest in North West (2.4%, up from 1.2% ), followed by Yorkshire and The Humber (2.3% up from 0.84%), West Midlands (1.6% up from 0.60%), North East (1.5% up from 1.1%), East Midlands (1.3% up from 0.56%), London (0.97%, up from 0.54%), South West (0.80% up from 0.33%), South East (0.69% up from 0.29%), and East of England (0.69% up from 0.30%). Rapid growth in the South observed in the first half of round 6 was no longer apparent in the second half of round 6. We also observed a decline in prevalence in Yorkshire and The Humber during this period. Comparing the first and second halves of round 6, there was a suggestion of decline in weighted prevalence in participants aged 5 to 12 years and in those aged 25 to 44 years. While prevalence remained high, in the second half of round 6 there was suggestion of a slight fall then rise that was seen nationally and also separately in both the North and the South.ConclusionThe impact of the second national lockdown
Riley S, Ainslie KEC, Eales O, et al., 2020, High prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 swab positivity and increasing R number in England during October 2020: REACT-1 round 6 interim report, Publisher: medRxiv
Background REACT-1 measures prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in representative samples of the population in England using PCR testing from self-administered nose and throat swabs. Here we report interim results for round 6 of observations for swabs collected from the 16th to 25th October 2020 inclusive. Methods REACT-1 round 6 aims to collect data and swab results from 160,000 people aged 5 and above. Here we report results from the first 86,000 individuals. We estimate prevalence of PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, reproduction numbers (R) and temporal trends using exponential growth or decay models. Prevalence estimates are presented both unweighted and weighted to be representative of the population of England, accounting for response rate, region, deprivation and ethnicity. We compare these interim results with data from round 5, based on swabs collected from 18th September to 5th October 2020 inclusive. Results Overall prevalence of infection in the community in England was 1.28% or 128 people per 10,000, up from 60 per 10,000 in the previous round. Infections were doubling every 9.0 (6.1, 18) days with a national reproduction number (R) estimated at 1.56 (1.27, 1.88) compared to 1.16 (1.05, 1.27) in the previous round. Prevalence of infection was highest in Yorkshire and The Humber at 2.72% (2.12%, 3.50%), up from 0.84% (0.60%, 1.17%), and the North West at 2.27% (1.90%, 2.72%), up from 1.21% (1.01%, 1.46%), and lowest in South East at 0.55% (0.45%, 0.68%), up from 0.29% (0.23%, 0.37%). Clustering of cases was more prevalent in Lancashire, Manchester, Liverpool and West Yorkshire, West Midlands and East Midlands. Interim estimates of R were above 2 in the South East, East of England, London and South West, but with wide confidence intervals. Nationally, prevalence increased across all age groups with the greatest increase in those aged 55-64 at 1.20% (0.99%, 1.46%), up 3-fold from 0.37% (0.30%, 0.46%). In those aged over 65, prevalence was 0.81% (0.58%, 0
Riley S, Ainslie KEC, Eales O, et al., 2020, High and increasing prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 swab positivity in England during end September beginning October 2020: REACT-1 round 5 updated report, Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:sec><jats:title>Background</jats:title><jats:p>REACT-1 is quantifying prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection among random samples of the population in England based on PCR testing of self-administered nose and throat swabs. Here we report results from the fifth round of observations for swabs collected from the 18th September to 5th October 2020. This report updates and should be read alongside our round 5 interim report.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Methods</jats:title><jats:p>Representative samples of the population aged 5 years and over in England with sample size ranging from 120,000 to 175,000 people at each round. Prevalence of PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, estimation of reproduction number (R) and time trends between and within rounds using exponential growth or decay models.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Results</jats:title><jats:p>175,000 volunteers tested across England between 18th September and 5th October. Findings show a national prevalence of 0.60% (95% confidence interval 0.55%, 0.71%) and doubling of the virus every 29 (17, 84) days in England corresponding to an estimated national R of 1.16 (1.05, 1.27). These results correspond to 1 in 170 people currently swab-positive for the virus and approximately 45,000 new infections each day. At regional level, the highest prevalence is in the North West, Yorkshire and The Humber and the North East with strongest regional growth in North West, Yorkshire and The Humber and West Midlands.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Conclusion</jats:title><jats:p>Rapid growth has led to high prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 virus in England, with highest rates in the North of England. Prevalence has increased in all age groups, including those at highest risk. Improved compliance with existing policy and, as necessar
Riley S, Ainslie KEC, Eales O, et al., 2020, High prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 swab positivity in England during September 2020: interim report of round 5 of REACT-1 study, Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Background REACT-1 is a community survey of PCR confirmed swab-positivity for SARS-CoV-2 among random samples of the population in England. This interim report includes data from the fifth round of data collection currently underway for swabs sampled from the 18th to 26th September 2020.Methods Repeated cross-sectional surveys of random samples of the population aged 5 years and over in England with sample size ranging from 120,000 to 160,000 people in each round of data collection. Collection of self-administered nose and throat swab for PCR and questionnaire data. Prevalence of swab-positivity by round and by demographic variables including age, sex, region, ethnicity. Estimation of reproduction number (R) between and within rounds, and time trends using exponential growth or decay model. Assessment of geographical clustering based on boundary-free spatial model.Results Over the 9 days for which data are available, we find 363 positives from 84,610 samples giving a weighted prevalence to date of 0.55% (0.47%, 0.64%) in round 5. This implies that 411,000 (351,000, 478,000) people in England are virus-positive under the assumption that the swab assay is 75% sensitive. Using data from the most recent two rounds, we estimate a doubling time of 10.6 (9.4, 12.0) days covering the period 20th August to 26th September, corresponding to a reproduction number R of 1.47 (1.40, 1.53). Using data only from round 5 we estimate a reproduction number of 1.06 (0.74, 1.46) with probability of 63% that R is greater than 1. Between rounds 4 and 5 there was a marked increase in unweighted prevalence at all ages. In the most recent data, prevalence was highest in the 18 to 24 yrs age group at 0.96% (0.68%, 1.36%). At 65+ yrs prevalence increased 7-fold between rounds 4 and 5 from 0.04% (0.03%, 0.07%) to 0.29% (0.23%, 0.37%). Prevalence increased in all regions between rounds 4 and 5, giving the highest unweighted prevalence in round 5 in the North West at 0.86% (0.69%, 1.06%). In Lond
Bruton J, Jones K, Jenkins R, et al., 2020, Barriers and facilitators to the participation of people from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) 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
Riley S, Ainslie KEC, Eales O, et al., 2020, Resurgence of SARS-CoV-2 in England: detection by community antigen surveillance, Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
<jats:p>BackgroundBased on cases and deaths, transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in England peaked in late March and early April 2020 and then declined until the end of June. Since the start of July, cases have increased, while deaths have continued to decrease.MethodsWe report results from 594,000 swabs tested for SARS-CoV-2 virus obtained from a representative sample of people in England over four rounds collected regardless of symptoms, starting in May 2020 and finishing at the beginning of September 2020. Swabs for the most recent two rounds were taken between 24th July and 11th August and for round 4 between 22nd August and 7th September. We estimate weighted overall prevalence, doubling times between and within rounds and associated reproduction numbers. We obtained unweighted prevalence estimates by sub-groups: age, sex, region, ethnicity, key worker status, household size, for which we also estimated odds of infection. We identified clusters of swab-positive participants who were closer, on average, to other swab-positiveparticipants than would be expected.FindingsOver all four rounds of the study, we found that 72% (67%, 76%) of swab-positive individuals were asymptomatic at the time of swab and in the week prior. The epidemic declined between rounds 1 and 2, and rounds 2 and 3. However, the epidemic was increasing between rounds 3 and 4, with a doubling time of 17 (13, 23) days corresponding to an R value of 1.3 (1.2, 1.4). When analysing round 3 alone, we found that the epidemic had started to grow again with 93% probability. Using only the most recent round 4 data, we estimated a doubling time of 7.7 (5.5, 12.7) days, corresponding to an R value of 1.7 (1.4, 2.0). Cycle threshold values were lower (viral loads were higher) for rounds 1 and 4 than they were for rounds 2 and 3. In round 4, we observed the highest prevalence in participants aged 18 to 24 years at 0.25% (0.16%, 0.41%), increasing from 0.08% (0.04%, 0.18%) in round 3. We observed the lowest prev
Wilson J, Wallace H, Loftus-Keeling M, et 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.
Robb C, Loots C, Ahmadi-Abhari S, et 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.
Riley S, Atchison C, Ashby D, et 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
Ward H, Atchison C, Whitaker M, et al., 2020, Antibody prevalence for SARS-CoV-2 in England following first peak of the pandemic: REACT2 study in 100,000 adults, Publisher: bioRxiv
Background England, UK has experienced a large outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 infection. As in USA and elsewhere, disadvantaged communities have been disproportionately affected. Methods National REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission-2 (REACT-2) seroprevalence study using self-administered lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) test for IgG among a random population sample of 100,000 adults over 18 years in England, 20 June to 13 July 2020. Results Completed questionnaires were available for 109,076 participants, yielding 5,544 IgG positive results and adjusted (for test performance), re-weighted (for sampling) prevalence of 6.0% (95% CI: 5.8, 6.1). Highest prevalence was in London (13.0% [12.3, 13.6]), among people of Black or Asian (mainly South Asian) ethnicity (17.3% [15.8, 19.1] and 11.9% [11.0, 12.8] respectively) and those aged 18-24 years (7.9% [7.3, 8.5]). Care home workers with client-facing roles had adjusted odds ratio of 3.1 (2.5, 3.8) compared with non-essential workers. One third (32.2%, [31.0-33.4]) of antibody positive individuals reported no symptoms. Among symptomatic cases, the majority (78.8%) reported symptoms during the peak of the epidemic in England in March (31.3%) and April (47.5%) 2020. We estimate that 3.36 million (3.21, 3.51) people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 in England to end June 2020, with an overall infection fatality ratio of 0.90% (0.86, 0.94). Conclusion The pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 infection in England disproportionately affected ethnic minority groups and health and care home workers. The higher risk of infection in these groups may explain, at least in part, their increased risk of hospitalisation and mortality from COVID-19.
Flower B, Brown JC, Simmons B, et al., 2020, Clinical and laboratory evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 lateral flow assays for use in a national COVID-19 sero-prevalence survey, Thorax, Vol: 75, Pages: 1082-1088, ISSN: 0040-6376
BackgroundAccurate antibody tests are essential to monitor the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Lateral flow immunoassays (LFIAs) can deliver testing at scale. However, reported performance varies, and sensitivity analyses have generally been conducted on serum from hospitalised patients. For use in community testing, evaluation of finger-prick self-tests, in non-hospitalised individuals, is required.MethodsSensitivity analysis was conducted on 276 non-hospitalised participants. All had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR and were ≥21d from symptom-onset. In phase I we evaluated five LFIAs in clinic (with finger-prick) and laboratory (with blood and sera) in comparison to a) PCR-confirmed infection and b) presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies on two “in-house” ELISAs. Specificity analysis was performed on 500 pre-pandemic sera. In phase II, six additional LFIAs were assessed with serum.Findings95% (95%CI [92.2, 97.3]) of the infected cohort had detectable antibodies on at least one ELISA. LFIA sensitivity was variable, but significantly inferior to ELISA in 8/11 assessed. Of LFIAs assessed in both clinic and laboratory, finger-prick self-test sensitivity varied from 21%-92% vs PCR-confirmed cases and 22%-96% vs composite ELISA positives. Concordance between finger-prick and serum testing was at best moderate (kappa 0.56) and, at worst, slight (kappa 0.13). All LFIAs had high specificity (97.2% - 99.8%).InterpretationLFIA sensitivity and sample concordance is variable, highlighting the importance of evaluations in setting of intended use. This rigorous approach to LFIA evaluation identified a test with high specificity (98.6% (95%CI [97.1, 99.4])), moderate sensitivity (84.4% with fingerprick (95%CI [70.5, 93.5])), and moderate concordance, suitable for seroprevalence surveys.
Atchison C, Pristerà P, Cooper E, et al., 2020, Usability and acceptability of home-based self-testing for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies for population surveillance., Clinical Infectious Diseases, ISSN: 1058-4838
BACKGROUND: This study assesses acceptability and usability of home-based self-testing for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using lateral flow immunoassays (LFIA). METHODS: We carried out public involvement and pilot testing in 315 volunteers to improve usability. Feedback was obtained through online discussions, questionnaires, observations and interviews of people who tried the test at home. This informed the design of a nationally representative survey of adults in England using two LFIAs (LFIA1 and LFIA2) which were sent to 10,600 and 3,800 participants, respectively, who provided further feedback. RESULTS: Public involvement and pilot testing showed high levels of acceptability, but limitations with the usability of kits. Most people reported completing the test; however, they identified difficulties with practical aspects of the kit, particularly the lancet and pipette, a need for clearer instructions and more guidance on interpretation of results. In the national study, 99.3% (8,693/8,754) of LFIA1 and 98.4% (2,911/2,957) of LFIA2 respondents attempted the test and 97.5% and 97.8% of respondents completed it, respectively. Most found the instructions easy to understand, but some reported difficulties using the pipette (LFIA1: 17.7%) and applying the blood drop to the cassette (LFIA2: 31.3%). Most respondents obtained a valid result (LFIA1: 91.5%; LFIA2: 94.4%). Overall there was substantial concordance between participant and clinician interpreted results (kappa: LFIA1 0.72; LFIA2 0.89). CONCLUSION: Impactful public involvement is feasible in a rapid response setting. Home self-testing with LFIAs can be used with a high degree of acceptability and usability by adults, making them a good option for use in seroprevalence surveys.
Bowman L, Kwok KO, Redd R, et al., 2020, Public perceptions and preventive behaviours during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic: a comparative study between Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
<jats:p>Background: In the absence of treatments and vaccines, the mitigation of COVID-19 relies on population engagement in non-pharmaceutical interventions, which is driven by their risk perception, anxiety level and knowledge. There may also be regional discrepancies in these drivers due to different historical exposure to disease outbreaks, government responses and cultures. As such, this study compared psycho-behavioral responses in two regions during the early phase of the pandemic.Methods: Comparable cross-sectional surveys were administered among adults in Hong Kong (HK) and the United Kingdom (UK) during the early phase of each respective epidemic. Explanatory variables included demographics, risk perception and knowledge of COVID-19, anxiety level and preventive behaviors. Responses were weighted according to census data. Logistic regression models, including interaction terms to quantify regional differences, were used to assess the association between explanatory variables and the adoption of social-distancing measures.Results: Data of 3431 complete responses (HK:1663; UK:1768) were analysed. Perceived severity differed by region (HK: 97.5%; UK: 20.7%). A large proportion of respondents were abnormally/borderline anxious (HK:64.8%; UK:45.9%) and regarded direct contact with infected individuals as the transmission route of COVID-19 (HK:94.0-98.5%; UK:69.2-93.5%), with HK identifying additional routes. HK reported high levels of adoption of social-distancing (HK:32.4-93.7%; UK:17.6-59.0%) and mask-wearing (HK:98.8%; UK:3.1%). The impact of perceived severity and perceived ease of transmission on the adoption of social-distancing varied by region. In HK, they had no impact, whereas in the UK, those who perceived severity as 'high' were more likely to adopt social-distancing (aOR:1.58-3.01), and those who perceived transmission as 'easy' were prone to both general social-distancing (aOR:2.00, 95% CI:1.57, 2.55) and contact avoidance (aOR:1.80, 95% CI:
Riley S, Ainslie KEC, Eales O, et al., 2020, Transient dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 as England exited national lockdown, Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
<jats:p>Control of the COVID-19 pandemic requires a detailed understanding of prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 virus in the population. Case-based surveillance is necessarily biased towards symptomatic individuals and sensitive to varying patterns of reporting in space and time. The real-time assessment of community transmission antigen study (REACT-1) is designed to overcome these limitations by obtaining prevalence data based on a nose and throat swab RT-PCR test among a representative community-based sample in England, including asymptomatic individuals. Here, we describe results comparing rounds 1 and 2 carried out during May and mid June / early July 2020 respectively across 315 lower tier local authority areas. In round 1 we found 159 positive samples from 120,620 tested swabs while round 2 there were 123 positive samples from 159,199 tested swabs, indicating a downwards trend in prevalence from 0.13% (95% CI, 0.11%, 0.15%) to 0.077% (0.065%, 0.092%), a halving time of 38 (28, 58) days, and an R of 0.89 (0.86, 0.93). The proportion of swab-positive participants who were asymptomatic at the time of sampling increased from 69% (61%, 76%) in round 1 to 81% (73%, 87%) in round 2. Although health care and care home workers were infected far more frequently than other workers in round 1, the odds were markedly reduced in round 2. Age patterns of infection changed between rounds, with a reduction by a factor of five in prevalence in 18 to 24 year olds. Our data were suggestive of increased risk of infection in Black and Asian (mainly South Asian) ethnicities. Using regional and detailed case location data, we detected increased infection intensity in and near London. Under multiple sensitivity analyses, our results were robust to the possibility of false positives. At the end of the initial lockdown in England, we found continued decline in prevalence and a shift in the pattern of infection by age and occupation. Community-based sampling, including asymptomatic individ
Buitendijk S, Ward H, Shimshon G, et al., 2020, COVID-19: an opportunity to rethink global cooperation in higher education and research, BMJ Global Health, Vol: 5, Pages: e002790-e002790, ISSN: 2059-7908
Luna Puerta L, Kendall W, Davies B, et al., 2020, The reported impact of public involvement in biobanks: a scoping review, Health Expectations, Vol: 23, ISSN: 1369-6513
BackgroundBiobanks increasingly employ public involvement and engagement strategies, though few studies have explored their impact. This review aims to (a) investigate how the impact of public involvement in biobanks is reported and conceptualized by study authors; in order to (b) suggest how the research community might re‐conceptualize the impact of public involvement in biobanks.MethodsA systematic literature search of three electronic databases and the INVOLVE Evidence Library in January 2019. Studies commenting on the impact of public involvement in a biobank were included, and a narrative review was conducted.Results and discussionForty‐one studies covering thirty‐one biobanks were included, with varying degrees of public involvement. Impact was categorized according to where it was seen: ‘the biobank’, ‘people involved’ and ‘the wider research community’. Most studies reported involvement in a ‘functional’ way, in relation to improved rates of participation in the biobank. Broader forms of impact were reported but were vaguely defined and measured. This review highlights a lack of clarity of purpose and varied researcher conceptualizations of involvement. We pose three areas for further research and consideration by biobank researchers and public involvement practitioners.ConclusionsFunctional approaches to public involvement in biobanking limit impact. This conceptualization of involvement emerges from an entrenched technical understanding that ignores its political nature, complicated by long‐standing disagreement about the values of public involvement. This study urges a re‐imagination of impact, re‐conceptualized as a two‐way learning process. More support will help researchers and members of the public to undergo such reflective exercises.
Atchison CJ, Bowman L, Vrinten C, et al., 2020, Perceptions and behavioural responses of the general public during the COVID-19 pandemic: A cross-sectional survey of UK Adults, Publisher: medRxiv
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: 2,108 adults living in the UK aged 18 years and over. Data were collected between March 17 and 18 2020. Main outcome measures: Descriptive statistics for all survey questions, including the number of respondents and the weighted percentages. Logistic regression was used to identify sociodemographic variation in: (1) adoption of social-distancing measures, (2) ability to work from home, and (3) willingness and (4) ability to self-isolate. Results Overall, 1,992 (94.2%) respondents reported taking 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 compared to younger adults aged 18 to 34 years (aOR:1.9; 95% CI:1.1 to 3.4). Those with the lowest household income were six times less likely to be able to work from home (aOR:0.16; 95% CI:0.09 to 0.26) and three times less likely to be able to self-isolate (aOR:0.31; 95% CI:0.16 to 0.58). Ability to self-isolate was also lower in black and minority ethnic groups (aOR:0.47; 95% CI:0.27 to 0.82). Willingness to self-isolate was high across all respondents. Conclusions The ability to adopt and comply with certain 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 socio-economic subpopulations into mathematical models of COVID-19 transmission dynamics, our modelling of epidemic outcomes and response to COVID-19 can be improved.
Pristera P, Papageorgiou V, Kaur M, et al., 2020, Report 14: Online community involvement in COVID-19 research & outbreak response: early insights from a UK perspective
The Patient Experience Research Centre (PERC) at Imperial College London is developing research to explore and understand people’s views about, experiences of and behavioural responses to the outbreak in the UK and elsewhere. To guide that effort and to help inform COVID-19 research and responses more broadly - for example in mathematical modelling and policy - PERC launched an online community involvement initiative that sought rapid, early insight from members of the public and aimed to establish a network for ongoing community engagement.Priority areas for COVID-19 research Vaccine development was considered the most urgent research priority for many respondents. Social studies exploring the public’s experiences, risk perceptions and behaviours during this outbreak were necessary and important according to 95% of the respondents. Such research could:Improve the way the current outbreak response is planned and implemented;Improve the way information and guidance is provided to and understood by the public;Optimise the support provided to communities and vulnerable groups; andImprove future outbreak preparedness.Other recommended areas of research included:Understanding the role of the media in influencing how people react and respond;Furthering our basic understanding of the virus – how it spreads, who it affects the most and why, and whether people achieve and maintain immunity after being infected;Critiquing the UK’s response to the pandemic against that of other countries; andEnsuring lessons can be learnt from this outbreak to better equip us for future outbreaks, and public health emergencies in general.Key unmet needs amongst communities The main challenges described by respondents were ineffective communication, including access to information and information overload; and conflicting guidance and misinformation. Respondents’ described feelings of concern, confusion and, in some cases, panic as a result of these communication a
Atchison C, Bowman L, Eaton J, et al., 2020, Report 10: Public response to UK Government recommendations on COVID-19: population survey, 17-18 March 2020, 10
On Monday 16th March 2020 the UK government announced new actions to control COVID-19. These recommendations directly affected the entire UK population, and included the following: stop non-essential contact with others; stop all unnecessary travel; start working from home where possible; avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues; and to isolate at home for 14 days if anyone in the household has a high temperature or a new and continuous cough. To capture public sentiment towards these recommendations, a YouGov survey was commissioned by the Patient Experience Research Centre (PERC), Imperial College London. The survey was completed by 2,108 UK adults between the dates of 17th – 18th March 2020. The survey results show the following:• 77% reported being worried about the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK.• 48% of adults who have not tested positive for COVID-19 believe it is likely they will be infected at some point in the future.• 93% of adults reported personally taking at least one measure to protect themselves from COVID-19 infection, including:o 83% washed their hands more frequently;o 52% avoided crowded areas;o 50% avoided social events;o 36% avoided public transport;o 31% avoided going out;o 11% avoided going to work;o 28% avoided travel to areas outside the UK.• There is high reported ability and willingness to self-isolate for 7 days* if advised to do so by a health professional (88%).• However only 44% reported being able to work from home. This was higher among managerial and professional workers (60%) than manual, semi-skilled, and casual workers (19%)^, reflecting less flexible job roles for manual and lower grade workers. • 71% reported changing behaviour in response to government guidance. The figure (53%) was lower for young adults (18-24 year-olds).• Hand washing (63%), avoiding persons with symptoms (61%), and covering your sneeze (53%) were more likely to be perceived as ‘very effective&rs
Papageorgiou V, Wharton-Smith A, Campos-Matos I, et al., 2020, Patient data-sharing for immigration enforcement: a qualitative study of healthcare providers in England, BMJ Open, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2044-6055
Aim: To explore healthcare providers’ perceptions and experiences of the implications of a patient data-sharing agreement between National Health Service (NHS) Digital and the Home Office on access to NHS services and quality of care received by migrant patients in England.Design: A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews, thematic analysis and constant-comparison approach.Participants: Eleven healthcare providers and one non-clinical volunteer working in community or hospital-based settings who had experience of migrants accessing NHS England services. Interviews were carried out in 2018.Setting: England.Results: Awareness and understanding of the patient data-sharing agreement varied among participants, who associated this with a perceived lack of transparency by the government. Participants provided insight into how they thought the data-sharing agreement was negatively influencing migrants’ health-seeking behaviour, their relationship with clinicians and the safety and quality of their care. They referred to the policy as a challenge to their core ethical principles, explicitly patient confidentiality and trust, which varied depending on their clinical specialty.Conclusions: A perceived lack of transparency during the policy development process can result in suspicion or mistrust towards government among the health workforce, patients and public, which is underpinned by a notion of power or control. The patient data-sharing agreement was considered a threat to some of the core principles of the NHS and its implementation as adversely affecting healthcare access and patient safety. Future policy development should involve a range of stakeholders including civil society, healthcare professionals and ethicists, and include more meaningful assessments of the impact on healthcare and public health.
Day S, Viney W, Bruton J, et al., 2020, Past-futures in experimental care: breast cancer and HIV medicine, New Genetics and Society, ISSN: 1463-6778
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Cambrosio et al. (2018. “Extending Experimentation: Oncology’s Fading Boundary Between Research and Care.” New Genetics and Society 37 (3): 207–226) argue that “experimental care” in contemporary oncology involves the rapid merging of patient research and care, and invite further study into developments across other health conditions. We present a 2018–2019 study of experimental breast cancer care in an urban clinical setting in the light of two other studies in the same hospital group: in the same cancer service (2013–14) and, prompted by these earlier findings, an interview study in HIV services (2014–15). We found that patients and staff anticipated better outcomes by treating sub-types of breast cancer but they also hoped for a better one-size-fits-all approach, akin to the antiretroviral treatments introduced for HIV and explored in our interview study. We conclude that the promise of targeted treatment for sub-types of disease – variously described as experimental care, personalised, precision, stratified and sub-group medicine – is accompanied by hopes for a single, standard, effective approach.
Ward H, Cooke G, Atchison C, et al., 2020, Declining prevalence of antibody positivity to SARS-CoV-2: a community study of 365,000 adults
Background The prevalence and persistence of antibodies following a peak SARS-CoV-2 infection provides insights into its spread in the community, the likelihood of reinfection and potential for some level of population immunity.Methods Prevalence of antibody positivity in England, UK (REACT2) with three cross-sectional surveys between late June and September 2020. 365104 adults used a self-administered lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) test for IgG. A laboratory comparison of LFIA results to neutralization activity in panel of sera was performed.Results There were 17,576 positive tests over the three rounds. Antibody prevalence, adjusted for test characteristics and weighted to the adult population of England, declined from 6.0% [5.8, 6.1], to 4.8% [4.7, 5.0] and 4.4% [4.3, 4.5], a fall of 26.5% [-29.0, −23.8] over the three months of the study. There was a decline between rounds 1 and 3 in all age groups, with the highest prevalence of a positive result and smallest overall decline in positivity in the youngest age group (18-24 years: −14.9% [-21.6, −8.1]), and lowest prevalence and largest decline in the oldest group (75+ years: −39.0% [-50.8, −27.2]); there was no change in antibody positivity between rounds 1 and 3 in healthcare workers (+3.45% [-5.7, +12.7]).The decline from rounds 1 to 3 was largest in those who did not report a history of COVID-19, (−64.0% [-75.6, −52.3]), compared to −22.3% ([-27.0, −17.7]) in those with SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed on PCR.Discussion These findings provide evidence of variable waning in antibody positivity over time such that, at the start of the second wave of infection in England, only 4.4% of adults had detectable IgG antibodies using an LFIA. Antibody positivity was greater in those who reported a positive PCR and lower in older people and those with asymptomatic infection. These data suggest the possibility of decreasing population immunity and increasing risk of rei
Ward H, 2019, Numbers and narratives: approaches to understanding patients’ experiences, XPA & Health Communication, Vol: 2, ISSN: 2604-0999
Rai T, Bruton P, Kall M, et al., 2019, Experience of primary care for people with HIV: a mixed-method analysis, British Journal of General Practice, Vol: 3, ISSN: 0960-1643
BackgroundAdvances in treatment have transformed HIV into a long-term condition (LTC), presenting freshchallenges for health services, HIV specialists and general practitioners (GPs).AimTo explore the experience of people living with HIV (PLHIV) regarding using their GPs.Design and settingA mixed-method analysis using data from two sources: a nationally-representative survey of PLHIVand a qualitative study with London-based PLHIV.MethodsUnivariate logistic regression for quantitative data and Framework analysis for qualitative data.ResultsThe survey had 4,422 participants; the qualitative study included 52 participants. In both studies, GPregistration and HIV status disclosure were high. Similar to general population trends, recent GP usewas associated with poor self-rated health status, co-morbidities, older age and lower socioeconomic status. Two-thirds reported a good experience with GPs; a lower proportion feltcomfortable asking HIV-related questions. Actual or perceived HIV stigma were consistentlyassociated with poor satisfaction. In the interviews, participants with additional LTCs valuedsensitive and consistent support from GPs. Some anticipated, and sometimes experienced, problems relating to HIV status, GPs’ limited experience and time to manage their complex needs. Sometimesthey took their own initiatives to facilitate coordination and communication. For PLHIV, a ‘good’ GPoffered continuity and took time to know and accept them without judgement.ConclusionWe suggest clarification of roles and provision of relevant support to build confidence in GPs andprimary care staff to care for PLHIV. As PLHIV population ages, there is a strong need to developtrusting patient/GP relationships and HIV-friendly GP practices.
Papageorgiou V, Jones K, Mindham R, et al., 2019, ‘Do I really want to do this for the rest of my life?’: a qualitative exploration of participant and study staff perspectives from the Therapy withdrawal in Recovered Dilated cardiomyopathy - Heart Failure (TRED-HF) study, Chronic Living Conference 2020
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