Protective behaviors such as mask wearing and physical distancing are critical to slow the spread of COVID-19, even in the context of vaccine scale-up. Understanding the variation in self-reported COVID-19 protective behaviors is critical to developing public health messaging. The purpose of the study is to provide nationally representative estimates of five self-reported COVID-19 protective behaviors and correlates of such behaviors. In this cross-sectional survey study of US adults, surveys were administered via internet and telephone. Adults were surveyed from April 30-May 4, 2020, a time of peaking COVID-19 incidence within the US. Participants were recruited from the probability-based AmeriSpeak® national panel. Brief surveys were completed by 994 adults, with 73.0% of respondents reported mask wearing, 82.7% reported physical distancing, 75.1% reported crowd avoidance, 89.8% reported increased hand-washing, and 7.7% reported having prior COVID-19 testing. Multivariate analysis (p critical value .05) indicates that women were more likely to report protective behaviors than men, as were those over age 60. Respondents who self-identified as having low incomes, histories of criminal justice involvement, and Republican Party affiliation, were less likely to report four protective behaviors, though Republicans and individuals with criminal justice histories were more likely to report having received COVID-19 testing. The majority of Americans engaged in COVID-19 protective behaviors, with low-income Americans, those with histories of criminal justice involvement, and self-identified Republicans less likely to engage in these preventive behaviors. Culturally competent public health messaging and interventions might focus on these latter groups to prevent future infections. These findings will remain highly relevant even with vaccines widely available, given the complementarities between vaccines and protective behaviors, as well as the many challenges in delivering vaccines.
Examine factors associated with history of arrests and felony incarceration among Veterans and Service Members (V/SM) with combat exposure.
Participants were V/SM who completed a baseline assessment for the multicenter Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium study (N = 1555). Most were male (87%), white (72%), with a mean age of 40 years (SD = 9.71). The majority (83%) reported a history of ≥1 mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), with thirty-five present of those experiencing 3+ mTBIs.
Three groups were composed based on self-reported level of involvement with the criminal justice system: 1.) No history of arrests or incarcerations (65%), 2.) A lifetime history of arrest but no felony incarceration (32%), and 3.) A lifetime history of felony incarceration (3%). Chi-square and Kruskal-Wallis H tests revealed statistically significant differences between the groups in demographic factors including the incarcerated group having younger age, greater percentage of men, lower education, and greater percentage of never being married, followed by the arrest group and then the no arrest group (all p < 0.05). The incarcerated group also had the highest level of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, lowest social support, and greatest percentage of hazardous alcohol consumption, followed by the arrest and then the no arrest groups (all p < 0.05). No differences were found between groups for mTBI history or neuropsychological testing results.
Correlates of legal involvement among V/SM span demographic and psychological dimensions. Some correlates are modifiable, including social support, PTSD symptoms, and alcohol consumption. Addressing these modifiable risk factors is critical to lower the risk of future criminal justice involvement.
In 2016, over 11 million individuals were admitted to prisons and jails in the United States. Because the majority of these individuals will return to the community, addressing their health needs requires coordination between community and correctional health care providers. However, few systems exist to facilitate this process and little is known about how physicians perceive and manage these transitions.
The goal of this study was to characterize physicians’ views on transitions both into and out of incarceration and describe how knowledge of a patient’s criminal justice involvement impacts patient care plans.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted between October 2018 and May 2019 with physicians from three community clinics in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Team members used a hybrid approach of deductive and inductive coding, in which a priori codes were defined based on the interview guide while also allowing for data-driven codes to emerge.
Four themes emerged related to physicians’ perceptions on continuity of care for patients with criminal justice involvement. Physicians identified disruptions in patient-physician relationships, barriers to accessing prescription medications, disruptions in insurance coverage, and problems with sharing medical records, as factors contributing to discontinuity of care for patients entering and exiting incarceration. These factors impacted patients differently depending on the direction of the transition.
Our findings identified four disruptions to continuity of care that physicians viewed as key barriers to successful transitions into and out of incarceration. These disruptions are unlikely to be effectively addressed at the provider level and will require system-level changes, which Medicaid and managed care organizations could play a leading role in developing.