First Response Pregnancy Test Survey Reveals Women Are Putting Off Having Children Due to Increased Uncertainty During COVID-19
OB/GYN Mary Jane Minkin, M.D. offers advice to address pregnancy anxieties
According to a new First Response survey about the current family planning goals of 3,000 US women aged 18-35, nearly 20% say they’re uncertain of their trying to conceive (TTC) plans while 38% are intentionally putting off conceiving during the pandemic due to anxiety and stress. Mary Jane Minkin, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Yale Medical School tells women to follow simple safety measures when considering getting pregnant during this unprecedented time.
“Women are understandably facing a lot of anxiety when considering their family planning journey and many are waiting for a vaccine before starting or growing their family,” says Minkin. “However, if the time is right to have a baby, go ahead and book an appointment with a medical provider, take extra precautions, utilize telehealth appointments, and implement precautions based on the advice from healthcare providers.”
Dr. Minkin offers the following advice to address pregnancy related anxieties:
Book a preconception appointment. OB-GYN’s, doctors, and nurse practitioners are available via phone and in person to answer all questions and health concerns. If you need help finding a healthcare provider, contact your nearest hospital clinic, community health center external icon, or health department. Medical visits can also be handled virtually by scheduling a telehealth appointment, which can be helpful to address any questions you may have.
When unsure, take a pregnancy test. Stress and anxiety can trigger symptoms that mimic those of pregnancy, like morning sickness, food cravings, mood swings, and fatigue – so the best way to know if pregnant is to use a reliable pregnancy test like First Response Early Result so you don’t need to leave the house until COVID-19 settles down. A test can be revealing up to six days before a missed period. Be sure to call your doctor right away if the test is positive to put a proper plan of action in place.
Be wary of listening to friends or relying on Dr. Google. While the experiences of others or the internet can hold insights, when it comes to making important personal health decisions make sure to consult a medical professional to confirm whether what you’ve been told or read is really true. Other reliable online sources include ACOG.org, CDC.gov, and WHO.int.
Stay current on all vaccines. Pregnancy can alter the immune system and lead to an increased risk of respiratory infections. A flu shot can help mom and baby by causing the body to create protective antibodies (proteins produced by the body to fight off diseases.) The whooping cough (Tdap) vaccine will help protect your baby against whooping cough, which can mimic symptoms of COVID-19.
Maintain overall health. Make sure to have at least a 30-day supply of the medicines you need on hand, stop smoking, eat healthy foods and supplement with folic acid. Try an easy to take pre-natal vitamin like the vitafusion gummy vitamin. It is also important to avoid alcohol and limit caffeine intake
BOSTON, Oct. 22, 2020
The Physicians Foundation Releases New Survey on the Future of the Health Care System
BOSTON, Oct. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Physicians Foundation, a national nonprofit advancing the work of practicing physicians to support the delivery of high-quality patient care, today released the results of a national survey of 1,270 physicians on the future of the health care system. When asked to rank their preferences for the future direction of the U.S. health care system, physicians ranked a two-tiered system featuring a single payer option plus private pay as the best direction. As part of the same question, physicians overwhelmingly ranked a government funded and administered single payer/Medicare for All system lowest among four potential options. The survey, COVID-19 And The Future Of The Health Care System, is the third in the Foundation’s three-part series, 2020 Survey of America’s Physicians, examining how COVID-19 is affecting and is perceived by the nation’s physicians.
The survey also asked physicians to rank a series of policy steps that would ensure access to high-quality, cost-efficient care. Physicians overwhelmingly indicated that efforts to “simplify/streamline prior authorization for medical services and prescriptions” was the most important thing that could be done to ensure access to care. Reimbursing physicians for providing telemedicine services and simplifying access to integrated mental health services each were tied as the next most popular choices.
“As we’ve seen from our data over the past few months, COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on physicians. We know that burnout continues to grow as a result of frustration with the pandemic and our current health care system, and you see that in this survey’s results,” said Gary Price, MD, president of The Physicians Foundation. “Physicians are fed up with being unable to practice medicine the way they were trained to do so. They are tired of fighting insurers and PBMs to get patients the treatments they need, and they want change. They want to be able to offer the services patients need and want.”
Direction of the Health Care System
While physicians’ overall preference is for a hybrid approach, their opinions on other options for organizing our system yielded significant insights. Most surprisingly, maintaining or improving the current Affordable Care Act (ACA) influenced program did not initially rank high, with only 19% selecting this as number one on the one to four scale. Instead, 30% of physicians (the second highest percentage) chose moving to a market-driven system with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and catastrophic policies as number one. It wasn’t until the next levels (two to four) were added that improving the current ACA system became more highly ranked (49%) than transitioning to a market-driven/HSA model (45%). The survey found significant polarity in support for HSAs: thirty percent of physicians rated it a number one, but 42% also rated it a four.
Support for a
Enrollment in child care centers across Alabama has dropped by more than 23,000 children since the coronavirus pandemic began even though most facilities have reopened, a new state report showed Wednesday.
While 85% of the 2,381 facilities surveyed by the Department of Human Resources have reopened since the initial lockdown period that forced businesses to close in March, centers are operating at only 66% of capacity compared to 88% in January, a news release said Wednesday.
Overall October enrollment in licensed centers, licensed family child care homes and exempt facilities was down by 23,241 kids, the agency said.
“The providers that have been able to reopen are providing a much-needed service to the people of Alabama. As the survey reveals, however, not all children have returned to their child care providers,” Human Resources Commissioner Nancy Buckner said.
The department didn’t say what was behind the decline, but Alabama’s unemployment rate is up from a year ago and many people are still working from home, possibly reducing the need for child care.
More than 2,800 people have died from COVID-19 in the state, which ranks 20th highest in the nation for fatalities on a per-person basis, and almost 175,000 have tested positive, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
Health officials say key pandemic statistics are worsening in Alabama as cases also rise across much of the nation.
While most people who contract the coronavirus recover after suffering only mild to moderate symptoms, it can be deadly for older patients and those with other health problems.
Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.
From increased stress and anxiety to rising levels of loneliness, the mental health consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic are wide-sweeping. A new survey from the American Psychological Association points to the age group that’s been hit hardest: Gen-Z.
Gen-Z adults, those ages 18 to 23, reported the highest levels of stress compared to other generations and were the most likely age group to report symptoms of depression, according to the APA’s 2020 Stress in America survey.
More than seven in 10 Gen-Z adults surveyed said they experienced common symptoms of depression in the prior two weeks, such as: feeling so tired they sat around and did nothing, having trouble thinking and concentrating and feeling very restless, lonely, miserable or unhappy.
So why is Gen-Z hit so hard with stress and depression during the pandemic? They are “experiencing adulthood at a time when the future looks uncertain,” while older generations might have more perspective that enables them to cope with the changes, according to the report.
Fear and anxiety tend to run hand-in-hand, Kevin Antshel, clinical psychologist and director of the clinical psychology program at Syracuse University previously told CNBC Make It. “The more things are uncertain, the more we’re going to fear, and the more we fear things, the more we are anxious,” he said. And prolonged anxiety can lead to depression.
The APA survey took place from Aug. 4 to Aug. 26. When asked to rank their stress level on a scale of one to 10 the prior month, Gen-Z adults said they experienced the highest level of stress, 6.1 out of 10, compared to other generations.
To put that in perspective, millennials (ages 24-41) ranked their stress level 5.6 out of 10, and Gen X (ages 42-55) said their stress was a 5.2 out of 10. The overall reported stress level for adults in 2020 is 5.0.
For Gen-Z teens, ages 13 to 17, 51% said that the pandemic made it impossible to plan for the future, and 67% of Gen-Z adults in college said the same. The Gen-Z adults in college also said that uncertainty about the school year was a significant source of stress.
There are a few strategies that the APA says can help decrease anxiety and build emotional resilience in young people. For starters, giving young people outlets to talk about issues that are troubling them is important. Practicing the rule of “three good things,” in which you reflect on three good things that happened at the end of the day, may be helpful the APA suggests.
It’s also crucial to remember that we are in the midst of a global pandemic, and we all may need more flexibility, space or support than usual, according to the APA.
The APA’s Stress in America survey was conducted with the Harris Poll and consisted of more than 3,000 adults ages 18 and older, plus a sample of 1,026 teens ages 13 to 17.
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Marijuana is fast becoming a favorite medication among older Americans, a new study finds.
Cannabis is being used to ease problems such as pain, sleep disturbances and psychiatric conditions like anxiety and depression, researchers say.
Among more than 550 patients surveyed, 15% had used cannabis within the past three years, and 50% of users said they used it regularly and mostly for medical purposes.
“Pain, insomnia and anxiety were the most common reasons for cannabis use and, for the most part, patients reported that cannabis was helping to address these issues, especially with insomnia and pain,” said researcher Christopher Kaufmann. He’s an assistant professor in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.
Also, 61% of the patients who used cannabis had started using it after age 60.
“Surprisingly, we found that nearly three-fifths of cannabis users reported using cannabis for the first time as older adults. These individuals were a unique group compared to those who used cannabis in the past,” said researcher Kevin Yang, a third-year medical student at UCSD.
“New users were more likely to use cannabis for medical reasons than for recreation. The route of cannabis use also differed with new users more likely to use it topically as a lotion rather than by smoking or ingesting as edibles. Also, they were more likely to inform their doctor about their cannabis use, which reflects that cannabis use is no longer as stigmatized as it was previously,” Yang said in a university news release.
The report was published online recently in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
“There seems to be potential with cannabis, but we need more evidence-based research,” Kaufmann added. “We want to find out how cannabis compares to current medications available. Could cannabis be a safer alternative to treatments, such as opioids and benzodiazepines? Could cannabis help reduce the simultaneous use of multiple medications in older persons?
“We want to find out which conditions cannabis is most effective in treating,” Kaufmann said in the release. “Only then can we better counsel older adults on cannabis use.”
Harvard University has more on medical marijuana.
Copyright 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
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People are getting the results of coronavirus tests in the U.S. faster than they were in the spring, but testing still takes far too long to help effective disease control measures such as contact tracing and quarantining, according to the results of a large national survey.
The survey, which is conducted monthly by a consortium of researchers from Northeastern, Northwestern, Harvard and Rutgers universities, also finds that Hispanics and African-Americans are waiting about a day longer than whites on average, underscoring yet another way the pandemic is hitting minorities harder.
The researchers also found that a disturbingly high proportion of those testing positive — almost half — are never contacted by a health worker to determine who they may have infected, a crucial step for preventing outbreaks.
“That is how you limit the spread of the disease and limit the number of people who have to socially isolate and avoid lockdowns,” says Dr. David Lazer of Northeastern University, who led the team conducting the survey. “The good news is there has been some improvement. The bad news is everything is still taking far too long.”
The researchers surveyed 52,329 people in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in July, August and September as part of a series of ongoing surveys the team has been conducting since April.
Of those surveyed, 12,911 got a coronavirus test, including 8,843 whose sample was collected with a nasal swab.
Among that group, the average wait time for results was 2.7 days in September, down from four days in April, the researchers found. In addition, the proportion of people getting their results back within 24 hours increased from 23% to 37%.
While that’s an improvement, the turnaround time is still “too slow in most cases to support a successful strategy of contact tracing,” and most people are still waiting far too long, the researchers wrote.
“Despite decreased average wait times, a substantial proportion of Americans still endure long waits,” they added.
They noted that in September, 42% of those tested had to wait at least three days before getting their results.
The average black respondent waited 4.4 days to receive results and the average Hispanic respondent waited 4.1 days. In comparison, white and Asian American respondents respectively waited an average of 3.5 and 3.6 days, the researchers found.
“We know that African-Americans and Hispanics are underserved medically,” Lazer says. “This is reflective of that larger reality. It’s terrible.”
To keep outbreaks from occurring, people who are infected need to be contacted quickly, ideally within 24-36 hours to make sure they don’t infect other people and find out who they may have come into contact with so those people
With more than 50,000 respondents from across multiple geographies, a Gympik survey tracks key wellness trends such as mental health, emerging fitness solutions, and new industry challenges
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The novel coronavirus outbreak has had a drastic impact on every aspect of daily life, whether personal or professional.
The survey titled ‘COVID-19 Fitness Behaviour Survey’ draws insights from the responses of over 50,000 fitness enthusiasts from multiple regions. It maps the changes brought by the pandemic upon the fitness behavior of the Indian consumer. The report reveals trends related to holistic fitness, as well as novel challenges that the Indian fitness industry faces in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The paradigm-changing shift towards digital fitness
A significant finding of the survey details the future shape of a post-pandemic reality. The Gympik survey highlights how consumers have adopted digital fitness solutions to counter the physical restrictions posed by the pandemic.
The extended lockdown drove a massive surge in the demand for virtual classes for yoga by 87 per cent and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio workouts such as Zumba by 72 per cent, aerobics by 67 per cent, and pilates by 22 per cent. Moreover, an overwhelming 84 per cent of fitness enthusiasts tried live-streaming fitness classes at least thrice during the lockdown—marking a significant increase over the corresponding numbers in 2019, which stood at 29 per cent. During the lockdown, 77 per cent of Indians also tried to stay fit by combining household chores with virtual classes and DIY (do-it-yourself) home workout routines.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, it was the younger audiences who led this charge in the demand for virtual fitness. Consumers between 25 and 34 years of age were the most willing to adopt digital fitness solutions, with female users (60 per cent) being more open to virtual classes than male users (40 per cent). Major urban centers such as Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Delhi/NCR dominated the country’s virtual fitness landscape.
Going back to the gym: Concerns, possible solutions, and the way ahead
The report also analyzed consumer’s enthusiasm toward resuming gym workouts with strong sanitization, social distancing, and spot temperature checks emerging as the key areas of concern.
As gym owners gear up to resume operations, implementing better on-premise sanitization can help them allay such concerns and get their business back to pre-pandemic levels. With customers also open to continue paying for digital fitness post-lockdown, they can also look at implementing hybrid physical/digital memberships to make their business more viable, sustainable, and future-ready.
Holistic health in the pandemic: The challenges and solutions
The social isolation enforced during the lockdown has had a major impact on the mental health of India’s fitness enthusiasts. Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of the respondents felt the COVID-19 situation has worsened their mental health, with 45 per
Rates of Covid-19 among dentists were low in the late spring as dental practices reopened and patients returned, a report published Thursday by the American Dental Association suggests.
Researchers conducted a nationwide survey June 8 with responses from more than 2,000 dentists from across the country. Just 0.9 percent, they found, had either confirmed or probable cases of Covid-19.
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Early on in the coronavirus pandemic, it was widely believed that dentists would be at high risk of contracting Covid-19, as their work puts them in very close contact with patients and many of their procedures, which involve water and air spray, could generate virus-laden aerosol particles.
The survey also found that virtually all of the dentists — 99.7 percent — were using what was referred to as “enhanced infection control procedures.” They included screening protocols for patients and disinfection practices.
However, while nearly all dentists reported some use of personal protective equipment, only 73 percent of dentists reported wearing protective equipment in accordance with national guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That required the use of surgical masks, gowns, gloves and eye protection during procedures not expected to produce aerosols, as well as the use of N95 respirators for aerosol-generating procedures.
The lead author of the study, Cameron Estrich, a health data analyst at the American Dental Association, or ADA, said she was surprised by two things: the low rate of infection and the extremely high adoption of infection control measures.
“Pretty much all of the dentists that we surveyed had really stepped up their infection control and prevention procedures,” she said. “They had shut down their practices for a few months to get these all in place.”
Dr. Biana Roykh, an associate professor of dental medicine at Columbia University, said that while the findings are encouraging, it’s important to note that the survey was conducted in early June, when many practices may not have been fully operational and were limited to emergency visits only.
“It looks at a time when the pandemic was at its height and the experiences in the dental practices were probably more or less limited in terms of how much aerosols that we’re generating,” said Roykh, who wasn’t involved with the ADA report.
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In New York, for example, dentists weren’t allowed to fully reopen until May 31, just over a week before the survey was sent out.
Roykh said that while the findings are preliminary, they mirror what she has seen in her dental practice.
“Our experience with this specific pandemic shows that when we are compliant with good PPE measures, and health and safety controls are in place, that we are generally able to keep our workforce safe,” she said.
Renee Anthony, a professor of occupational and environmental health at the University of Iowa, said she is looking for data about infection rates of patients who have visited dental offices.