• Facemasks: Perceptions and use in an ED population during COVID-19.

      Eswaran, Vidya; Chang, Anna Marie; Wilkerson, R Gentry; O'Laughlin, Kelli N; Chinnock, Brian; Eucker, Stephanie A; Baumann, Brigitte M; Anaya, Nancy; Miller, Daniel G; Haggins, Adrianne N; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2022-04-13)
      STUDY OBJECTIVE: Facemask use is associated with reduced transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Most surveys assessing perceptions and practices of mask use miss the most vulnerable racial, ethnic, and socio-economic populations. These same populations have suffered disproportionate impacts from the pandemic. The purpose of this study was to assess beliefs, access, and practices of mask wearing across 15 urban emergency department (ED) populations. METHODS: This was a secondary analysis of a cross-sectional study of ED patients from December 2020 to March 2021 at 15 geographically diverse, safety net EDs across the US. The primary outcome was frequency of mask use outside the home and around others. Other outcome measures included having enough masks and difficulty obtaining them. RESULTS: Of 2,575 patients approached, 2,301 (89%) agreed to participate; nine had missing data pertaining to the primary outcome, leaving 2,292 included in the final analysis. A total of 79% of respondents reported wearing masks "all of the time" and 96% reported wearing masks over half the time. Subjects with PCPs were more likely to report wearing masks over half the time compared to those without PCPs (97% vs 92%). Individuals experiencing homelessness were less likely to wear a mask over half the time compared to those who were housed (81% vs 96%). CONCLUSIONS: Study participants reported high rates of facemask use. Respondents who did not have PCPs and those who were homeless were less likely to report wearing a mask over half the time and more likely to report barriers in obtaining masks. The ED may serve a critical role in education regarding, and provision of, masks for vulnerable populations.
    • The Rapid Evaluation of COVID-19 Vaccination in Emergency Departments for Underserved Patients Study

      Rodriguez, Robert M; Torres, Jesus R; Chang, Anna Marie; Haggins, Adrianne N; Eucker, Stephanie A; O'Laughlin, Kelli N; Anderson, Erik; Miller, Daniel G; Wilkerson, R Gentry; Caldwell, Martina; et al. (Elsevier Inc., 2021-05-31)
      Study objective: Emergency departments (EDs) often serve vulnerable populations who may lack primary care and have suffered disproportionate COVID-19 pandemic effects. Comparing patients having and lacking a regular source of medical care and other ED patient characteristics, we assessed COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, reasons for not wanting the vaccine, perceived access to vaccine sites, and willingness to get the vaccine as part of ED care. Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey conducted from December 10, 2020, to March 7, 2021, at 15 safety net US EDs. Primary outcomes were COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, reasons for vaccine hesitancy, and sites (including EDs) for potential COVID-19 vaccine receipt. Results: Of 2,575 patients approached, 2,301 (89.4%) participated. Of the 18.4% of respondents who lacked a regular source of medical care, 65% used the ED as their usual source of health care. The overall rate of vaccine hesitancy was 39%; the range among the 15 sites was 28% to 58%. Respondents who lacked a regular source of medical care were more commonly vaccine hesitant than those who had a regular source of medical care (47% versus 38%, 9% difference, 95% confidence interval 4% to 14%). Other characteristics associated with greater vaccine hesitancy were younger age, female sex, Black race, Latinx ethnicity, and not having received an influenza vaccine in the past 5 years. Of the 61% who would accept a COVID-19 vaccine, 21% stated that they lacked a primary physician or clinic at which to receive it; the vast majority (95%) of these respondents would accept the COVID-19 vaccine as part of their care in the ED. Conclusion: ED patients who lack a regular source of medical care are particularly hesitant regarding COVID-19 vaccination. Most COVID-19 vaccine acceptors would accept it as part of their care in the ED. EDs may play pivotal roles in COVID-19 vaccine messaging and delivery to highly vulnerable populations.