Effective Strategies for Managing COVID-19 Emergency Restrictions for Adults with Severe ASD in a Daycare Center in Italy.
ABSTRACT: The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a serious challenge for the life and mental health of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). COVID-19 sanitary restrictions led to significant changes in the lives of people with ASD, including their routines; similarly, these modifications affected the daily activities of the daycare centers which they attended. The present retrospective study evaluated the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on challenging behaviors in a cohort of people with severe ASD attending a daycare center in Italy at the beginning of the pandemic. During the first two weeks of the pandemic, we did not observe variations in challenging behaviors. This suggests that adaptations used to support these individuals with ASD in adapting to the COVID-19 emergency restrictions were effective for managing their behavior.
Project description:In 2020, many countries around the world created and enforced heavy restrictions geared towards reducing the spread of the coronavirus (i.e., COVID-19). In this study (N = 263), we examined the role of personality traits (i.e., Big Five and Dark Triad) and individual differences in perceptions of the COVID-19 pandemic situation (the situational eight: Duty, Intellect, Adversity, Mating, Positivity, Negativity, Deception, and Sociality) in accounting for individual differences in compliance with the governmental restrictions in Poland. We found that the way people perceived the situation explained more variance in compliance than personality traits which is in accordance with the hypothesis that strong situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, leave less room for dispositional tendencies in predicting behaviors than situational cues. Moreover, people scoring low on agreeableness and high on aspects of the Dark Triad traits (i.e., Machiavellianism, psychopathy Factor 1, and narcissistic rivalry) were less likely to comply with the restrictions. Additionally, we replicated and extended what is known about the associations between personality and individual differences in the perception of situations when the latter were assessed in relation to a strong situation and the former were assessed with long and multidimensional measures.
Project description:This commentary describes the transition to remote delivery of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who participates in a clinical trial during the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 on children's anxiety and on the family functioning are discussed. Modifications to CBT necessitated by telehealth delivery were aimed at maximizing engagement of children and their parents while maintaining treatment fidelity and adhering to the research protocol. Treatment targets were updated to address new sources of anxiety and CBT exposure exercises were modified to accommodate the new reality of quarantine restrictions. If the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect treatment delivery it may require a widespread utilization of telehealth for treating anxiety in children with ASD.
Project description:In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, social restrictions to contain the spread of the virus have disrupted behaviors across the 24-h day including physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep among children (5-12 years old) and adolescents (13-17 years old). Preliminary evidence reports significant decreases in physical activity, increases in sedentary behavior, and disrupted sleep schedules/sleep quality in children and adolescents. This commentary discusses the impact of COVID-19-related restrictions on behaviors across the 24-h day in children and adolescents. Furthermore, we suggest recommendations through the lens of a socio-ecological model to provide strategies for lasting behavior change to insure the health and well-being of children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To explore how people with dementia, their informal caregivers and their professionals participate in decision making about daycare and to develop a typology of participation trajectories. DESIGN:A qualitative study with a prospective, multiperspective design, based on 244 semistructured interviews, conducted during three interview rounds over the course of a year. Analysis was by means of content analysis and typology construction. SETTING:Community settings and nursing homes in the Netherlands. PARTICIPANTS:19 people with dementia, 36 of their informal caregivers and 38 of their professionals (including nurses, daycare employees and case managers). RESULTS:The participants' responses related to three critical points in the decision-making trajectory about daycare: (1) the initial positive or negative expectations of daycare; (2) negotiation about trying out daycare by promoting, resisting or attuning to others; and (3) trying daycare, which resulted in positive or negative reactions from people with dementia and led to a decision. The ways in which care networks proceeded through these three critical points resulted in a typology of participation trajectories, including (1) working together positively toward daycare, (2) bringing conflicting perspectives together toward trying daycare and (3) not reaching commitment to try daycare. CONCLUSION:Shared decision making with people with dementia is possible and requires and adapted process of decision making. Our results show that initial preferences based on information alone may change when people with dementia experience daycare. It is important to have a try-out period so that people with dementia can experience daycare without having to decide whether to continue it. Whereas shared decision making in general aims at moving from initial preferences to informed preferences, professionals should focus more on moving from initial preferences to experienced preferences for people with dementia. Professionals can play a crucial role in facilitating the possibilities for a try-out period.
Project description:The COVID-19 pandemic has had tremendous impact on Americans' lives including their personal and social behaviors. While people of all ages are affected in some way by the pandemic, older persons have been far more likely to suffer the most severe health consequences. For this reason, how people have responded to mitigating behaviors to COVID-19 may differ by age. Using a nationally representative sample from the longitudinal data of the Understanding America Study (UAS), we examined differentials in behavioral responses to COVID-19 by age and how they changed over the first three months of the pandemic. Behavioral responses and changes in behavior over time differed by age, type of behaviors and time reference. At the beginning of the pandemic (March, 2020), older and younger people were similar in their likelihood of engaging in preventive personal behaviors when controlling for other influences. As the pandemic progressed, however, older people adopted mitigating personal behavioral changes more than younger people, such that about 1-2 months after the pandemic started, older people were more likely to comply with suggested behaviors and regulations including practicing better hygiene, quarantining, and social distancing. One month into the pandemic, older people were less likely than younger people to engage in two of four risky behaviors. The change in risky behavior over time did not differ by age; but both younger and older people were more likely to engage in risky behaviors after two months. Being female, a member of a racial/ethnic minority group, higher socioeconomic status, having more COVID-19 cases in one's state of residence, a higher perceived risk for infection and dying, and a more left-leaning political orientation were related to adopting more pandemic mitigating behaviors.
Project description:Since March, 2020, in response to the COVID?19 pandemic, many countries have been on lockdown (at different levels of severity), restricting many activities and businesses that involve gatherings of large numbers of people in close proximity. Currently (early June, 2020), countries across the globe are in different stages of easing lockdown restrictions. Public policies for behaviors and actions during this transition period vary widely across countries and within country jurisdictions. The present editorial will address potential policies that could minimize resurgence of the present pandemic (the 'second?wave') and reduce the likelihood and severity of similar future pandemics.
Project description:The United Kingdom and Scottish governments instigated a societal lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, many experienced substantial lifestyle changes alongside the stresses of potentially catching the virus or experiencing bereavement. Stressful situations and poorer health behaviors (e.g., higher alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet, poorer sleep quality, physical inactivity) are frequently linked to poor mental health. Our objective was to examine changes in health behaviors and their relationship with negative mood during COVID-19 lockdown. We also considered associations between health behaviors and socio-demographic differences and COVID-19-induced changes. 399 participants completed a questionnaire asking about their personal situation and health behaviors during lockdown as well as a negative mood scale. The significance threshold for all analyses was ? = 0.05. Poorer diet was linked to more-negative mood, and to changes to working status. Poorer sleep quality was linked with more-negative mood, and with 'shielding' from the virus. Being less physically active was related to more-negative mood and student status, whereas being more physically active was linked to having or suspecting COVID-19 infection within the household. Increased alcohol consumption was linked to living with children, but not to negative mood. Changes to diet, sleep quality, and physical activity related to differences in negative mood during COVID-19 lockdown. This study adds to reports on poor mental health during lockdown and identifies lifestyle restrictions and changes to health behaviors which may, to some extent, be responsible for higher negative mood. Our data suggests that it is advisable to maintain or improve health behaviors during pandemic-associated restrictions.
Project description:During the COVID-19 pandemic, government and public health officials have advocated three behaviors to help "flatten the curve" of the disease-staying-at-home, wearing face masks, and social distancing. But, some people, especially those younger in age, have flouted restrictions, harming themselves and the community. We explore the moral foundations underlying people's compliance with the three behaviors. Our study with 1033 Americans revealed that caring and fairness concerns predict complying with all behaviors, while sanctity concerns only predict compliance with wearing face masks and social distancing. A deeper investigation revealed age differences in loyalty and sanctity concerns for staying-at-home and social distancing, and in sanctity concerns only for wearing face masks. The findings document the innate intuitions that guide one's decision to comply with such behaviors. They also provide governments and policy officials with implications on possible message frames to use in communicating the importance of the three behaviors in order to protect one's and the public's health from COVID-19 and other flu-like illnesses in the future.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The COVID-19 pandemic has led to special circumstances and changes to everyday life due to the worldwide measures that were imposed such as lockdowns. This review aims to evaluate obesity in children, adolescents and young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.<h4>Methods</h4>A literature search was conducted to evaluate pertinent studies up to 10 November 2020.<h4>Results</h4>A total of 15 articles were eligible; 9 identified 17,028,111 children, adolescents and young adults from 5-25 years old, 5 pertained to studies with an age admixture (<i>n</i> = 20,521) and one study included parents with children 5-18 years old (<i>n</i> = 584). During the COVID-19 era, children, adolescents and young adults gained weight. Changes in dietary behaviors, increased food intake and unhealthy food choices including potatoes, meat and sugary drinks were noted during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Food insecurity associated with financial reasons represents another concern. Moreover, as the restrictions imposed reduced movements out of the house, physical activity was limited, representing another risk factor for weight gain.<h4>Conclusions</h4>COVID-19 restrictions disrupted the everyday routine of children, adolescents and young adults and elicited changes in their eating behaviors and physical activity. To protect them, health care providers should highlight the risk of obesity and provide prevention strategies, ensuring also parental participation. Worldwide policies, guidelines and precautionary measures should ideally be established.
Project description:Various non-pharmaceutical interventions were adopted by countries worldwide in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic with adverse socioeconomic side effects, which raises the question about their differential effectiveness. We estimate the average dynamic effect of each intervention on the incidence of COVID-19 and on people's whereabouts by developing a statistical model that accounts for the contemporaneous adoption of multiple interventions. Using daily data from 175 countries, we show that, even after controlling for other concurrent lockdown policies, cancelling public events, imposing restrictions on private gatherings and closing schools and workplaces had significant effects on reducing COVID-19 infections. Restrictions on internal movement and public transport had no effects because the aforementioned policies, imposed earlier on average, had already de facto reduced human mobility. International travel restrictions, although imposed early, had a short-lived effect failing to prevent the epidemic from turning into a pandemic because they were less stringent. We interpret the impact of each intervention on containing the pandemic using a conceptual framework which relies on their effects on human mobility behaviors in a manner consistent with time-use and epidemiological factors.