Recommendations for coping with working and learning remotely and returning to the workplace

How can students with special education needs be supported when learning remotely? This question plus management of COVID-19 in the workplace, yoga to relieve pandemic stress, underemployment, and a post-pandemic "new normal" for people with disabilities
9-Dec-2020 4:45 PM EST, by IOS Press

Newswise — WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, published by IOS Press, is committed to helping organizations manage the challenges they face during the COVID-19 pandemic by publishing robust, evidence-based research and commentary. All articles featured here and in the WORK COVID-19 Collection are freely available.

Telehealth can deliver robust outcomes for children with special education needs

New research finds telehealth can be very effective in the delivery of support for students with special education needs, particularly when barriers to services exist, as during the current global COVID-19 pandemic. "While services delivered by telehealth should not be considered a replacement for in-person occupational therapy (OT) services, telehealth's positive attributes are powerful," say authors Cynthia Abbott-Gaffney, OTD, MA, OTR/L, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Occupational Therapy Program, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA, and Karen Jacobs, EdD, OT, OTR, CPE, College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College, Occupational Therapy Program, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA. "Our research highlights the need for robust training, practice and support to ensure that practitioners have the opportunity to develop best practices and identify options for overcoming digital, financial and collaboration support barriers for those we serve."

"Telehealth in school-based practice: Perceived viability to bridge global OT practitioner shortages prior to COVID-19 global health emergency," by Cynthia Abbott-Gaffney and Karen Jacobs


Let's get back to work: Proactive biological cycle management to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in workplaces

Established expertise and knowledge from occupational health and safety experts, following the three principles of biological cycle management, can open an exit ramp from lockdown and support employees' return to work. These principles are self-care (individuals take care of their own health by wearing a mask and handwashing, for example); other-care (individuals protect the health of others); and self-quarantine (individuals stay at home when they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has). Education at work can support compliance with these principles. "Closing a workplace means unemployment and increasing social and family harm. These are physical and mental risks in their own right. Work is supported even in a pandemic by following the principles of biological safety management," observes senior author Vahid Gharibi, PhD Student, Department of Occupational Health, School of Health, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran; and Department of Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran.

"Let's get back to work: Preventive biological cycle management of COVID-19 in the workplace," by Mehdi Jahangiri, Rosanna Cousins, and Vahid Gharibi


Yoga practice encouraged to meet the mental, emotional and physical challenges of working from home during COVID-19

Researchers review the evidence of yoga's beneficial impact on stress reduction, the immune system and in certain co-morbidities associated with severe or lethal COVID-19. "Yoga practice can reduce the risks of comorbid conditions and strengthen the immune system by relieving stress and anxiety, directly improving impact markers, or both. Yoga practices can be employed at home and workplaces alike," explain senior authors Akshay Anand, PhD, and Kanupriya Sharma, PhD candidate, Neuroscience Research Lab, Department of Neurology, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India. Yoga-based modules such as Yoga Scholars PGIMER on Facebook, the Common Yoga Protocol developed for the International Day of Yoga and the 5?min Y break AYUSH Protocol can be easily accessed by those working from home.

"The role of Yoga in working from home during the COVID-19 global lockdown," by Kanupriya Sharma, Akshay Anand, and Raj Kumar


Underemployment is overlooked as a significant consequence of the COVID-19 epidemic

While unemployment is a very visible sign of an unhealthy economy, underemployment is a latent and passive manifestation of the same. A large number of workers will become underemployed during the COVID-19 epidemic, working increased hours, for less money, in jobs that underutilize skills and are not appropriate or productive. Researchers review the consequences of underemployment in this time and call for organizations and policy makers to develop programs and policies to mitigate the impacts. Senior investigator Manjeet Kaur, PhD, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Punjab, India, notes, "A study of employment can never be complete without dealing with the socio-economic and psychological issues related to underemployment, because they harm the individual, organization and economy on the whole."

"Individual, interpersonal and economic challenges of underemployment in the wake of COVID-19," by Manjeet Kaur, Pratibha Goyal, and Mini Goyal


Researchers see an opportunity to create a "new normal" for people with disabilities post-Covid-19 pandemic

Peer-reviewed research related to the effect of COVID-19 on individuals with disabilities, analyzed through a "systems-thinking" approach, suggests five key leverage points for the advancement of the disability and rehabilitation fields post-pandemic. They are the development of disability-inclusive public health responses and emergency preparedness; enabling employment and telework opportunities for people with disabilities; and addressing new requirements in rehabilitation service provision, including in the care of people with infectious diseases such as COVID-19; embracing telehealth; and developing greater resilience, distance learning, and employability among the rehabilitation workforce. "If successful, we can move towards a transformed society with improved capacity and capabilities for increasing the health, employment, equity, and quality of life for people with disabilities. To achieve anything less would be a lost opportunity to 'build back better," suggests Tiago S. Jesus, PhD, OT, Global Health and Tropical Medicine and WHO Collaborating Center on Health Workforce Policy and Planning, Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, NOVA University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.

"A 'new normal' following COVID-19 and the economic crisis: Using systems thinking to identify challenges and opportunities in disability, telework, and rehabilitation," by Tiago S. Jesus, Michel D. Landry, and Karen Jacobs



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Newswise: Data and Safety Review Board Reports How it Monitored the COVID-19 Vaccine Trials
Released: 15-Jun-2021 2:55 PM EDT
Data and Safety Review Board Reports How it Monitored the COVID-19 Vaccine Trials
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Evaluation of three vaccine candidates during the COVID-19 pandemic fell to 12 experts of the federally appointed COVID-19 Vaccine Data and Safety Monitoring Board. This team has now taken the unusual step of publishing details of their review process in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Released: 15-Jun-2021 1:55 PM EDT
NCCN Policy Summit Explores How COVID-19 Pandemic Can Lead to Improvements in Cancer Care
National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®)

NCCN Policy Summit examines the impact of the past year on oncology policy in the U.S., such as resuming recommended screening and clinical trials, applying health innovations from the COVID-19 pandemic to cancer treatment, and addressing systemic inequalities that lead to disparities in outcomes.

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Embargo will expire: 17-Jun-2021 11:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 15-Jun-2021 1:20 PM EDT

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Released: 15-Jun-2021 1:05 PM EDT
Common cold combats COVID-19
Yale University

Exposure to the rhinovirus, the most frequent cause of the common cold, can protect against infection by the virus which causes COVID-19, Yale researchers have found.

Released: 15-Jun-2021 11:55 AM EDT
Researchers Develop More Reliable Rapid Tests for COVID-19
University of Maryland Medical Center

Researchers Develop More Reliable Rapid Tests for COVID-19 Public Release Date: 15-Jun-2021 00:00:00 US Eastern Time (24hr) Research News Release Contact Person: Deborah Kotz Contact Phone: 410-706-4255 Contact E-mail: Journal: Nature Protocols DOI: 10.1038/s41596-021-00546-w Funder: Grant Number(s): Meeting: Primary Keyword: Medicine/Health Keywords: Medicine/Health -> Diagnostics Medicine/Health -> Infectious/Emerging Diseases Subtitle: Tests Use Innovative Techniques That Improve Accuracy Rivaling Gold Standard PCR Test Summary: Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have developed two rapid diagnostic tests for COVID-19 that are nearly as accurate as the gold-standard test currently used in laboratories. Unlike the gold standard test, which extracts RNA and uses it to amplify the DNA of the virus, these new tests can detect the presence of the virus in as little as five minutes using different methods.

Newswise: SARS-CoV-2 Worldwide Replication Drives Rapid Rise and Selection of Mutations
Released: 15-Jun-2021 11:40 AM EDT
SARS-CoV-2 Worldwide Replication Drives Rapid Rise and Selection of Mutations
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

The number of COVID-19 variants is growing rapidly, so much that the scale and scope of mutation may pose a threat to the continuing successful use of the current vaccines and therapies. The findings, by an international team that includes University of California researchers, are being published in the June edition of the peer-reviewed journal EMBO Molecular Medicine. The pace of variation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus strains makes plain the threat that rapidly evolving new strains might give rise to escape variants, capable of limiting the efficacy of vaccines, therapies, and diagnostic tests.

Newswise:Video Embedded what-makes-us-sneeze
14-Jun-2021 5:20 PM EDT
What makes us sneeze?
Washington University in St. Louis

What exactly triggers a sneeze? A team led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has identified, in mice, specific cells and proteins that control the sneeze reflex. Better understanding of what causes us to sneeze — specifically how neurons behave in response to allergens and viruses — may point to treatments capable of slowing the spread of infectious respiratory diseases.

Newswise: Virtual Event For June 17, 11AM EDT: COVID-19 Vaccines and Male Fertility
Released: 15-Jun-2021 8:55 AM EDT
Virtual Event For June 17, 11AM EDT: COVID-19 Vaccines and Male Fertility

This upcoming JAMA-published study examined whether the COVID-19 vaccine impacts male fertility.

14-Jun-2021 11:40 AM EDT
Rapid exclusion of COVID-19 infection using AI, EKG technology
Mayo Clinic

Artificial intelligence (AI) may offer a way to accurately determine that a person is not infected with COVID-19. An international retrospective study finds that infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, creates subtle electrical changes in the heart. An AI-enhanced EKG can detect these changes and potentially be used as a rapid, reliable COVID-19 screening test to rule out COVID-19 infection.

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