Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) broke out in China in December 2019 and now is a pandemic all around the world. In Italy, Northern regions were hit the hardest during the first wave. We aim to explore the prevalence and the exposure characteristics of physiotherapists (PTs) working in different Italian regions during the first wave of COVID-19. Methods: Between April and May 2020 a structured anonymous online survey was distributed to all PTs registered in the National Professional Registry to collect prevalence data of a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 (i.e., nasopharyngeal swab and/or serological test). A bottom-up agglomerative nesting hierarchical clustering method was applied to identify groups of regions based on response rate. Multivariable logistic regression was used to explore personal and work-related factors associated with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Results: A total of 15,566 PTs completed the survey (response rate 43.3%). The majority of respondents (57.7%) were from Northern regions. Considering all respondents, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Northern and Central Italy, was higher compared to those in Southern Italy (6.9% vs. 1.8%, P < 0.001); focusing the analysis on respondents who underwent nasopharyngeal swab and/or serological test led to similar findings (14.1% vs. 6.4%, P < 0.001). Working in Northern and Central regions was associated with a higher risk of confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 compared to Southern regions (OR 3.4, 95%CI 2.6 to 4.3). PTs working in Northern and Central regions were more likely to be reallocated to a different unit and changing job tasks, compared to their colleagues working in the Southern regions (10.5% vs 3.7%, P < 0.001). Conclusions: Work-related risk factors were differently distributed between Italian regions at the time of first pandemic wave, and PTs working in the Northern and Central regions were more at risk of a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, especially when working in hospitals. Preventive and organizational measures should be applied to harmonize physiotherapy services in the national context. REGISTRATION: https://osf.io/x7cha.

Prevalence and associated factors of COVID-19 across Italian regions: a secondary analysis from a national survey on physiotherapists / S. Gambazza, S. Bargeri, I. Campanini, R. Meroni, A. Turolla, G. Castellini, S. Gianola. - In: ARCHIVES OF PHYSIOTHERAPY. - ISSN 2057-0082. - 11:1(2021 Dec 17), pp. 30.1-30.10. [10.1186/s40945-021-00125-y]

Prevalence and associated factors of COVID-19 across Italian regions: a secondary analysis from a national survey on physiotherapists

S. Gambazza
Primo
;
G. Castellini
Penultimo
;
2021

Abstract

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) broke out in China in December 2019 and now is a pandemic all around the world. In Italy, Northern regions were hit the hardest during the first wave. We aim to explore the prevalence and the exposure characteristics of physiotherapists (PTs) working in different Italian regions during the first wave of COVID-19. Methods: Between April and May 2020 a structured anonymous online survey was distributed to all PTs registered in the National Professional Registry to collect prevalence data of a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 (i.e., nasopharyngeal swab and/or serological test). A bottom-up agglomerative nesting hierarchical clustering method was applied to identify groups of regions based on response rate. Multivariable logistic regression was used to explore personal and work-related factors associated with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Results: A total of 15,566 PTs completed the survey (response rate 43.3%). The majority of respondents (57.7%) were from Northern regions. Considering all respondents, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Northern and Central Italy, was higher compared to those in Southern Italy (6.9% vs. 1.8%, P < 0.001); focusing the analysis on respondents who underwent nasopharyngeal swab and/or serological test led to similar findings (14.1% vs. 6.4%, P < 0.001). Working in Northern and Central regions was associated with a higher risk of confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 compared to Southern regions (OR 3.4, 95%CI 2.6 to 4.3). PTs working in Northern and Central regions were more likely to be reallocated to a different unit and changing job tasks, compared to their colleagues working in the Southern regions (10.5% vs 3.7%, P < 0.001). Conclusions: Work-related risk factors were differently distributed between Italian regions at the time of first pandemic wave, and PTs working in the Northern and Central regions were more at risk of a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, especially when working in hospitals. Preventive and organizational measures should be applied to harmonize physiotherapy services in the national context. REGISTRATION: https://osf.io/x7cha.
COVID–19; Coronavirus; Coronavirus infections; Disease outbreaks; Pandemics; Physical therapy; Physiotherapy; Prevention & control; SARS-CoV-2; Surveys and questionnaires;
Settore MED/48 -Scienze Infermie.e Tecniche Neuro-Psichiatriche e Riabilitattive
Settore MED/01 - Statistica Medica
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/889994
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