Browsing by Subject "Covid-19"

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  • Oksanen, Lotta-Maria; Sanmark, Enni; Sofieva, Svetlana; Rantanen, Noora; Lahelma, Mari; Anttila, Veli-Jukka; Lehtonen, Lasse; Atanasova, Nina; Pesonen, Eero; Geneid, Ahmed; Hyvärinen, Antti-Pekka (2022)
    Background Intubation, laryngoscopy, and extubation are considered highly aerosol-generating procedures, and additional safety protocols are used during COVID-19 pandemic in these procedures. However, previous studies are mainly experimental and have neither analyzed staff exposure to aerosol generation in the real-life operating room environment nor compared the exposure to aerosol concentrations generated during normal patient care. To assess operational staff exposure to potentially infectious particle generation during general anesthesia, we measured particle concentration and size distribution with patients undergoing surgery with Optical Particle Sizer. Methods A single-center observative multidisciplinary clinical study in Helsinki University Hospital with 39 adult patients who underwent general anesthesia with tracheal intubation. Mean particle concentrations during different anesthesia procedures were statistically compared with cough control data collected from 37 volunteers to assess the differences in particle generation. Results This study measured 25 preoxygenations, 30 mask ventilations, 28 intubations, and 24 extubations. The highest total aerosol concentration of 1153 particles (p)/cm(3) was observed during mask ventilation. Preoxygenations, mask ventilations, and extubations as well as uncomplicated intubations generated mean aerosol concentrations statistically comparable to coughing. It is noteworthy that difficult intubation generated significantly fewer aerosols than either uncomplicated intubation (p = .007) or coughing (p = 0.006). Conclusions Anesthesia induction generates mainly small (
  • GBD 2019 LRI Collaborators; Kyu, Hmwe Hmwe; Vongpradith, Avina; Sirota, Sarah Brooke; Meretoja, Tuomo J.; Zhang, Zhi-Jiang (2022)
    Background The global burden of lower respiratory infections (LRIs) and corresponding risk factors in children older than 5 years and adults has not been studied as comprehensively as it has been in children younger than 5 years. We assessed the burden and trends of LRIs and risk factors across a groups by sex, for 204 countries and territories.Methods In this analysis of data for the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019, we used dinician-diagnosed pneumonia or bronchiolitis as our case definition for LRIs. We included International Classification of Diseases 9th edition codes 079.6, 466-469, 470.0, 480-482.8, 483.0-483.9, 484.1-484.2, 484.6-484.7, and 487-489 and International Classification of Diseases 10th edition codes A48.1, A70, B97.4 B97.6, 109-115.8, J16 J16.9, J20-121.9, J91.0, P23.0 P23.4, and U04 U04.9. We used the Cause of Death Ensemble modelling strategy to analyse 23109 site-years of vital r *stration data, 825 site-years of sample vital registration data, 1766 site-years of verbal autopsy data, and 681 site-years of mortality surveillance data. We used DisMod-MR 2.1, a Bayesian metaregression tool, to analyse age sex-specific incidence and prevalence data identified via systematic reviews of the literature, population-based survey data, and daims and inpatient data. Additio y, we estimated age sex-specific LRI mortality that is attributable to the independent effects of 14 risk factors.Findings Globally, in 2019, we estimated that there were 257 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 240-275) LRI incident episodes in males and 232 million (217-248) in females. In the same year, LRIs accounted for 1.30 million (95% UI 1.18-1.42) male deaths and 1.20 million (1.07-1.33) female deaths. Age-standardised incidence and mortality rates were 1.17 times (95% UI 1.16-1.18) and 1.31 times (95% UI 1.23-1.41) greater in males than in fe es in 2019. Between 1990 and 2019, LRI incidence and mortality rates declined at different rates across age groups and an increase in LRI episodes and deaths was estimated among all adult age groups, with males aged 70 years and older having the highest increase in LRI episodes (126.0% [95% UI 121.4-131.1]) and deaths (100.0% [83.4-115.9]). During the same period, LRI episodes and deaths in children younger than 15 years were estimated to have decreased, and the greatest dedine was observed for LRI deaths in males younger than 5 years (-70.7% [-77.2 to 61.8]). The leading risk factors for LRI mortality varied across age groups and sex. More than half of global LRI deaths in children younger than 5 years were attributable to child wasting (population attributable fraction [PAF] 53.0% [95% UI 37.7-61.8] in males and 56.4% [40.7-65.1] in females), and more than a quarter of LRI deaths among those aged 5-14 years were attributable to household air pollution (PAF 26.0% [95% UI 16.6-35.5] for males and PAF 25.8% [16.3-35.4] for females). PAFs of male LRI deaths attributed to smoking were 20.4% (95% UI 15.4-25.2) in those aged 15-49 years, 305% (24.1-36. 9) in those aged 50-69 years, and 21.9% (16. 8-27. 3) in those aged 70 years and older. PAFs of female LRI deaths attributed to household air pollution were 21.1% (95% UI 14.5-27.9) in those aged 15-49 years and 18 " 2% (12.5-24.5) in those aged 50-69 years. For females aged 70 years and older, the leading risk factor, ambient particulate matter, was responsible for 11-7% (95% UI 8.2-15.8) of LRI deaths.Interpretation The patterns and progress in reducing the burden of LRIs and key risk factors for mortality varied across age groups and sexes. The progress seen in children you - than 5 years was dearly a result of targeted interventions, such as vaccination and reduction of exposure to risk factors. Similar interventions for other age groups could contribute to the achievement of multiple Sustainable Development Goals targets, induding promoting wellbeing at all ages and reducing health inequalities. Interventions, including addressing risk factors such as child wasting, smoking, ambient particulate matter pollution, and household air pollution, would prevent deaths and reduce health disparities.Copyright 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Bollano, Entela; Polte, Christian Lars; Mäyränpää, Mikko I.; Oldfors, Anders; Bergh, Niklas; Lehtonen, Jukka; Kandolin, Riina (2022)
    Patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 have varying manifestations of cardiac involvement. We report four patients presenting with symptomatic cardiac sarcoidosis (CS) or giant cell myocarditis (GCM) 1-8 months after mild COVID-19. All patients received immunosuppressive therapy and improved gradually within the following months. The possible temporal association between the CS/GCM and COVID-19 infection might suggest that COVID-19 could be a trigger for granulomatous myocarditis.
  • Lehti, Tuuli E.; Knuutila, Mia; Öhman, Hanna; Kautiainen, Hannu; Karppinen, Helena; Tilvis, Reijo; Strandberg, Timo; Pitkälä, Kaisu H. (2023)
    Background Symptom burden causes suffering amongst older adults and is associated with healthcare visits and prognosis. Aims We evaluated the prevalence of 10 symptoms and changes in symptom burden amongst home-dwelling older adults in 2019 and 2021 using Finnish cohort data. We analysed factors associated with symptom burden increase during follow-up. Methods Altogether 1,637 people aged 75+ participated in the Helsinki Ageing Study postal survey in 2019, where they reported the presence of 10 common symptoms over the past 2 weeks. Of them, 785 participated in a follow-up in 2021, where the same symptoms were queried. We compared the prevalence of various symptoms and symptom burden scores in the 2-year interval and evaluated factors associated with increased symptom burden during this time. Results Of participants, 33% reported at least one daily symptom in 2019 versus 44% in 2021. Symptom burden increased by a mean ratio of 1.29 between 2019 and 2021. The most common symptoms were joint pain, back pain, urinary incontinence and fatigue. The prevalence of four symptoms increased between 2019 and 2021: joint pain, urinary incontinence, dizziness and shortness of breath. Higher age, reduced functional capacity and comorbidities were associated with higher odds of symptom burden increase during follow-up. Psychological well-being (PWB) was strongly associated with lower odds of symptom burden increase in the logistic regression model. Conclusions Symptom burden increased in our cohort aged 75+ between 2019 and 2021 before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. PWB was associated with lower odds of acquiring additional symptoms over time.
  • Virmasalo, Ilkka; Hasanen, Elina; Pyykönen, Janne; Nurmi, Marisofia Kaarina; Simula, Mikko; Salmikangas, Anna-Katriina; Muukkonen, Petteri (2023)
    During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been required adaptations in leisure-time physical activity (PA) especially due to restrictive policies concerning indoor sport facilities (ISF). This study investigated the effects of the constraints on ISF among residents of two low socioeconomic status suburbs in Finland. Research questions were: (1) Are sociodemographic characteristics associated with a reduced use of ISF during the pandemic? (2) Are sociodemographic characteristics associated with changes in the overall PA amount among those respondents with a reduced use of ISF? (3) Is the reduced use of ISF associated with an increased use of other PA environments (home environment, built outdoor facilities, unbuilt nature, and streets)? Three rounds of survey data (December 2020, February 2021, and June 2021) were collected (total n = 738) and analysed using descriptive statistics and binary and multinomial logistic regressions. A risk of reduced use of ISF was associated with the female gender, higher education, and higher reported PA level. Among those who had reduced their use of ISF, a decrease in overall PA was associated with the female gender and a non-native language. In general, PA declined, but indoor PA was often replaced through other environments. The constraints on ISF seem to not have intensified the socioeconomic polarisation of PA. Versatile PA environments available in the suburbs may have mitigated the negative effects. Public sport administration should continue to pay attention to the provision of diverse PA environments.
  • Oksanen, Lotta; Auvinen, Mikko; Kuula, Joel; Malmgren, Rasmus; Romantschuk, Martin; Hyvärinen, Antti; Laitinen, Sirpa; Maunula, Leena; Sanmark, Enni; Geneid, Ahmed; Sofieva, Svetlana; Salokas, Julija; Veskiväli, Helin; Sironen, Tarja; Grönholm, Tiia; Hellsten, Antti; Atanasova, Nina (2022)
    COVID-19 has highlighted the need for indoor risk-reduction strategies. Our aim is to provide information about the virus dispersion and attempts to reduce the infection risk. Indoor transmission was studied simulating a dining situation in a restaurant. Aerosolized Phi6 viruses were detected with several methods. The aerosol dispersion was modeled by using the Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) technique. Three risk-reduction strategies were studied: (1) augmenting ventilation with air purifiers, (2) spatial partitioning with dividers, and (3) combination of 1 and 2. In all simulations infectious viruses were detected throughout the space proving the existence long-distance aerosol transmission indoors. Experimental cumulative virus numbers and LES dispersion results were qualitatively similar. The LES results were further utilized to derive the evolution of infection probability. Air purifiers augmenting the effective ventilation rate by 65% reduced the spatially averaged infection probability by 30%-32%. This relative reduction manifests with approximately 15 min lag as aerosol dispersion only gradually reaches the purifier units. Both viral findings and LES results confirm that spatial partitioning has a negligible effect on the mean infection-probability indoors, but may affect the local levels adversely. Exploitation of high-resolution LES jointly with microbiological measurements enables an informative interpretation of the experimental results and facilitates a more complete risk assessment.
  • Kovács, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Tutkielman tiedonintressissä on tarkastella Covid-19 -pandemian sopimusoikeudellisia ulottuvuuksia erityisesti liikehuoneiston vuokrasopimusten kannalta. Aihe valikoitui sen ajankohtaisuuden ja tutkimattomuuden ja yhteiskunnallisen merkittävyyden vuoksi. Sen sisältää tärkeitä kysymyksiä, jotka liittyvät laa-jemmin sopimuksen sitovuuteen sekä muihin sopimusoikeuden peruskysymyksiin. Vaikka tarkastelu on rajattu yhteen sopimustyyppiin, soveltuvat tietyt tutkielman ydinajatukset myös muihin kestosopimuksiin. Toimialana liikehuoneistojen vuokraus on ollut eturintamassa ottamassa vastaan pandemian vaikutukset. Pitkien sopimuskausien vuoksi liikevuokrasuhteet ovat jo lähtökohtaisesti alttiita olosuhteiden muuttumiselle. Pandemian suorat ja välilliset vai-kutukset ovat päivittäistavarakauppaa lukuun ottamatta iskeneet ankarasti vuokralaisten liiketoimintaan ja sitä kautta myös vuokranantajiin, jotka ovat laa-jasti myöntäneet helpotuksia esimerkiksi vuokranmaksuvelvollisuuteen. Ankarimmin vaikutukset ovat näkyneet ravintola-alalla, jossa valtiovallan kiellot ja rajoitukset sekä yleinen kysynnän väheneminen ovat heikentäneet merkittävästi liiketoiminnan edellytyksiä. Vuokranantajien näkökulmasta tilanne on niin ikään ollut haastava, sillä vuokratulojen menetyksistä huolimatta vuokranantajan omat vastuut suhteessa rahoittajiin ja muihin sidosryhmiin säilyvät. Julkisessa keskustelussa on ollut esillä, onko vuokralainen velvollinen maksamaan vuokraa siltä ajalta, kun liiketilan normaali liiketoimintakäyttö on valtio-vallan toimien vuoksi estynyt tai merkittävästi rajoittunut. Sama problematiikka pätee muihinkin sopimusvelvoitteisiin ja sopimuksen ajalliseen sitovuuteen. Toisin kuin esimerkiksi irtaimen kaupassa tai rakennusurakoissa liikehuoneiston vuokrasopimuksissa ei ole tyypillisesti varauduttu olosuhteiden muuttumi-seen esimerkiksi vis majeure -ehdolla. Myöskään liikehuoneiston vuokraamista koskevaa lainsäädäntöä ei ole laadittu pandemiaa silmällä pitäen, joten painopiste siirtyy vääjäämättä oikeusperiaatteille sekä sopimuksen jälkiperäisen kohtuullistamiselle, kun arvioidaan pandemian vaikutuksia osapuolten sopimusvelvoitteisiin sekä sopimuksen ajalliseen sitovuuteen. Tutkielmassa tarkastellaan lainsäädännön, sopimusehtojen, yleisten oppien sekä jälkiperäi-sen kohtuullistamisen näkökulmasta sopimuksen sitovuutta. Esimerkiksi vuokranmaksuvelvollisuuden osalta pohditaan, voiko L liikehuoneiston vuokrauk-sesta 21 § soveltua tilanteessa, jossa liiketilan liiketoimintakäyttö on valtiovallan kieltojen vuoksi estynyt ja mikä on suoritusesteoppien käyttöala tässä kontekstissa. Selostamatta tässä yhteydessä yksityiskohtaisesti päättelyketjuja, voidaan yleisesti todeta, että pacta sunt servanda -periaate on vahvassa asemassa muutosvaatimuksia vastaan. Sopimuksen muodostuminen tappiolliseksi olosuhteiden muuttumisen vaikutuksesta ei lähtökohtaisesti ole peruste poiketa sopimussitovuudesta. Korkeimman oikeuden ratkaisussa 1994:96 todetulla tavalla osapuolten tulee sopimuksentekohetkellä osata varautua siihen, että sopimus voi myöhemmin muodostua kannattamattomaksi suhdannevaihteluiden vaikutuksesta. Vaikka sopimussitovuus on vahva lähtökohta, voidaan siitä tapauskohtaisesti poiketa myös elinkeinonharjoittajien välisessä suhteessa. Koronakriisi ennakoimattomuutensa osalta poikkeaa tavallisesta negatii-visesta suhdannekehityksestä. On myös huomioitava, ettei viitatussa tapauksessa liiketoiminnan harjoittamista ollut valtiovallan toimesta rajoitettu. Reaalisten liiketalouteen perustuvien argumenttien merkitystä ei voida tässä yhteydessä korostaa liikaa. Päätökset tehdään sen mukaan, mikä arvioidaan liiketa-loudellisesti järkeväksi. Tästä esimerkkinä mainittakoon laajat myönnytykset vuokrien maksamisessa. Vaikka vuokrasta vapautumiselle ei löydy yksiselit-teistä juridista oikeutusta, on vuokrasuhteen jatkuvuuden, liikepaikan arvon sekä liiketilojen korkean käyttöasteen turvaaminen nähty ratkaisevina seikkoi-na. Juridisten argumenttien merkitys korostuu, jos yhteisymmärrystä ei saavuteta. Pandemian vaikutukset osapuolten velvoitteisiin on ratkaistava viimekädessä tuomioistuimessa tapauskohtaisesti. Jos tavoitellaan yhdenmukaisia ratkai-suja, tulee tämä toteuttaa lainsäädännön keinoin. Joka tapauksessa prosessaamisen tulisi olla ultima ratio -sillä oikeustilan ollessa näinkin epäselvä on oikeudenkäynnin lopputulosta vaikea ennustaa. Osapuolten välinen neuvottelu on lähtökohtaisesti paras tapa ratkaista sopimukseen liittyvät erimielisyydet.
  • Huhtala, Jenni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The aim of this thesis is to understand how restrictions and recommendations to limit the spread of Covid-19 pandemic affected air quality in Helsinki from January to September 2020 and examine the health benefits coming from the decreased pollutant levels. During that time many restrictions to people’s movements took place. This caused a decrease in traffic rates which in turn affected air quality. The air pollutants included in this study are nitrogen oxide (NOx), tropospheric ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10). The data was uploaded from SMEAR III -station in Kumpula neighborhood and the results were obtained by comparing concentrations from 2020 to those of 2018-2019. The data were divided into three periods, which were studied separately. The first period was the time before the lockdown (1.1.-17.3.), 2nd period was during the lockdown (18.3.-15.6.), and the 3rd period was after the lockdown (16.6.-30.9.). In addition, the health effects caused by the changes in pollutant concentration were studied with a calculator for financial benefits of emission reductions made by Finnish Environment Institute. The change in NOx concentrations during 2020 compared to 2018-2019 were -36.4 % in 1st period, -26.5 % in 2nd period and +34.1 % in 3rd period. The changes for O3 were +4.8 % (1st period), -8.6 % (2nd period) and -11.6 % (3rd period). PM2.5 concentrations changed -39.4 % (2nd period) and 0.0 % (3rd period) and PM10 concentrations -46.9 % (2nd period) and -14.7 % (3rd period) during 2020 compared to 2018-2019. Decrease of NOx in 1st period caused 2 600 t€/y savings in costs of air pollution related health effects. The changes in PM2.5 and NOx generated savings of 38 000 t€/y during 2nd period and -2 400 t€/y during 3rd period. Even though the pollutant concentrations decreased in most periods, the decrease can’t be explained only by changes in traffic rates and human activities. Other factors contribute air pollutant levels as well, including atypical weather during 2020. The study could be continued by separating the effects of weather, traffic and other contributing factors in changes in air pollutant concentrations.
  • Mustajoki, Arto; Nilsson, Nadezjda Zorikhina; Guzman Tirado, Rafael; Tous-Rovirosa, Anna; Dergacheva, Daria; Vepreva, Irina; Itskovich, Tatiana (2020)
  • Karhu, Pilvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The purpose of this study is to observe the effect of Covid-19 epidemic to the everyday life and the work-life balance among young adults. Work is a significant part of a person’s every-day life. Individualisation of working hours stands out in the current work life. Therefore, the need for finding the work-life balance increases. Work-life balance is seen to be a main factor, whereby the employee is able to stabilize the demands becoming from work and leisure. The exceptional global circumstances with Covid-19 epidemic have suddenly affected people’s everyday life and ways of working during the year 2020. Majority of Finnish employees were forced to move to remote work due to the Covid-19 epidemic. The remote work makes it even more challenging to maintain the border between work and leisure time. In addition, people were required to adapt their everyday life due to the health threatening virus. This research applies qualitative methodology. The data were collected by using the theme interview method. Six young adults took part in the interview. All interviews were carried out during September and October in 2020. In addition to the interview the interviewees were asked to describe their normal day during Covid-19 epidemic with a timeline. The timeline was used to support the interviews according to the stimulated recall Interview method. The interview recordings were transcribed word for word and analysed using qualitative content analysis. Hermeneutic-phenomenological approach was also applied in this research. The significance of routines stood out in the everyday life during Covid-19 epidemic. Certain everyday routines were shattered due to the epidemic, while people were forced to adapt their ways of working and free time activities. Despite this, other daily routines were considered as a resource to manage in the crisis. Especially the continuing of work was seen as an important factor in the Covid-19 crisis. Work and leisure time activities were overlapping more flexibly during the Covid-19 epidemic. On the other hand, it was considered important to make a clear boundary between work and leisure time in the end of the day.
  • Palmén, Fredrik (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Syftet med avhandlingen är att undersöka hur rederierna Viking Line och Tallink Siljas reaktioner på coronaviruspandemin tog sig i uttryck på Facebook på våren 2020. Forskningen tar både fasta på hur kommunikationen på Facebook har sett ut samt hur rederierna säger sig ha upplevt krisen. Avhandlingen svarar på frågan hur kommunikationen har sett ut och på vilket sätt den skiljer sig från tiden före pandemin. Dessutom ger analyserna svar på hur rederiernas kommunikation skiljer sig från varandra. Avhandlingen strävar efter att belysa de teman som rederierna har kommunicerat på Facebook under coronaviruspandemins första fas i Finland, samt vilka metoder som använts för att förstärka budskapen i inläggen. Detta analyseras ur mottagarens synvinkel, alltså på vilket sätt Facebookinläggen kan tolkas och vilka upplevelser de väcker. Studien grundar sig i teori om kriskommunikation och intryckshantering. Metoderna som används är kvalitativ forskningsintervju, tematisering och kvalitativ semiotisk innehållsanalys. Den sistnämnda är av störst relevans eftersom den möjliggör breda insikter i hur kommunikationen på Facebook har sett ut. Analyserna av inläggen fokuserar på inläggens bilder och texter, medan exempelvis kommentarer och reaktioner utesluts. Eftersom det inte är ändamålsenligt att analysera varje inlägg som publicerats, görs en innehållstematisering av inläggen. Tematiseringen bidrar med ett målstyrt urval bestående av totalt tio inlägg som analyseras noggrannare med hjälp av den semiotiska analysen. Forskningens resultat tyder på liknande upplevelser av pandemin hos både Tallink Silja och Viking Line. De teman som lyftes fram i kommunikationen var också i stort sett samma, men skillnader i kommunikationen noteras också. En signifikant skillnad är rederiernas förhållningssätt till social media som kriskommunikationskanal. Viking Line använder sig på ett bredare plan av social media i kriskommunikationen, medan Tallink Silja främst utnyttjar andra kanaler. Avhandlingen kan fungera som grund för vidare forskning i kriskommunikation på social media. Det som exempelvis inte tas upp i denna forskning är vilka reaktioner kommunikationen har väckt hos mottagarna. Avhandlingen riktar sig till kommunikatörer som med hjälp av social media vill utveckla sin kommunikation eller kriskommunikation, särskilt när krisen slår till mot organisationen utifrån.
  • Sakki, Inari; Castrén, Laura (2022)
    Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been widespread conversations about the origins of the virus and who to blame for it. This article focuses on the online hate directed at Chinese and Asian people during the pandemic. Taking a critical discursive psychological approach, we analysed seven online threads related to COVID-19 and China from two Finnish websites (Suomi24 and Ylilauta) and one US (8kun) site. We identified three discursive trends associated with dehumanising Chinese populations: 'monstrous Chinese', 'immoral Chinese' and 'China as a threat', which created different forms of dehumanisation on a continuum from harsher dehumanisation to milder depersonalisation. The animalistic metaphors, coarse language, humorous frames and conspiracy beliefs worked to rhetorically justify the dehumanisation of Chinese individuals, making it more acceptable to portray them as a homogeneous and inhumane mass of people that deserves to be attacked. This study contributes to the field of discursive research on dehumanisation by deepening our knowledge of the specific features of Sinophobic hate speech.
  • AlKnawy, Bandar; Kozlakidis, Zisis; Tarkoma, Sasu; Bates, David; Honkela, Antti; Crooks, George; Rhee, Kyu; McKillop, Mollie (2023)
    The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to prioritise mature digital health and data governance at both national and supranational levels to guarantee future health security. The Riyadh Declaration on Digital Health was a call to action to create the infrastructure needed to share effective digital health evidence-based practices and high-quality, real-time data locally and globally to provide actionable information to more health systems and countries. The declaration proposed nine key recommendations for data and digital health that need to be adopted by the global health community to address future pandemics and health threats. Here, we expand on each recommendation and provide an evidence-based roadmap for their implementation. This policy document serves as a resource and toolkit that all stakeholders in digital health and disaster preparedness can follow to develop digital infrastructure and protocols in readiness for future health threats through robust digital public health leadership.
  • Zhang, Min; Kim, Rokho; Amster, Yonah; Rantanen, Jorma; Gassert, Thomas H. (2023)
  • Vuorio, Alpo; Ramaswami, Uma; Holven, Kirsten B. (2022)
  • Jensen, Bjorn C. S.; Engsig-Karup, Allan P.; Knudsen, Kim (2022)
    The use of epidemic modelling in connection with spread of diseases plays an important role in understanding dynamics and providing forecasts for informed analysis and decision-making. In this regard, it is crucial to quantify the effects of uncertainty in the modelling and in model-based predictions to trustfully communicate results and limitations. We propose to do efficient uncertainty quantification in compartmental epidemic models using the generalized Polynomial Chaos (gPC) framework. This framework uses a suitable polynomial basis that can be tailored to the underlying distribution for the parameter uncertainty to do forward propagation through efficient sampling via a mathematical model to quantify the effect on the output. By evaluating the model in a small number of selected points, gPC provides illuminating statistics and sensitivity analysis at a low computational cost. Through two particular case studies based on Danish data for the spread of Covid-19, we demonstrate the applicability of the technique. The test cases consider epidemic peak time estimation and the dynamics between superspreading and partial lockdown measures. The computational results show the efficiency and feasibility of the uncertainty quantification techniques based on gPC, and highlight the relevance of computational uncertainty quantification in epidemic modelling.
  • Liuska, Lotta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This study reviews the everyday life of special needs families during the Covid-19-pandemic. In special needs families at least one child has an increased need for services for their health, growth and/or development. Previous studies show that these services are an important resource and help in everyday life, as it is often built around taking care of the child. In previous studies special needs families have mainly been reviewed during normal conditions and the more recent studies conducted during the pandemic emphasize the perspective of authorities. The purpose of this study is to highlight the everyday life of special needs families during the Covid-19-pandemic and how services have been organized. This study applies qualitative methodology. The data was collected by semi-structured interviews. Seven mothers of special needs families took part in the interviews. The families were from across Finland. The family structures, children’s diagnoses and available resources varied within these families. Tran scripted data was analyzed with content analysis. The study shows that the everyday life of the families focused at home during the Covid-19-pandemic, which led to everyday life routines, free time and use of money changing. During the pandemic the families had to quickly rebuild their everyday life and its routines. Everyday life became more restricted as the routines focused at home. Parents' free time decreased as the children did not attend school or free-time activities. The meaning of home and its surroundings were highlighted because families were not able to spend their time together in shopping centers or restaurants. It became apparent that the realization of services varied between the families during the Covid-19-pandemic. During the pandemic the services were no longer considered safe due to the increased risk of infection, which led to some of the services coming to a halt and the implementation of special arrangements to other services. The decision of realization of the services was partly held by the service providers, while in some cases the families made the decision themselves to pause the service. The need for help in the families did not decrease and especially mothers had to answer this with their own work input. The families found the service system to be rigid and hoped for more flexibility from their service providers. That would mean considering the wishes of the family and the focusing on the best interest of the child.
  • Suutarinen, Janne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The thesis assesses ethical problems pertaining to a scenario of a mandatory vaccination program against SARS-CoV-2 (“Covid-19”) in Finland, as the epidemic situation stood in the early 2022. The initial research question is whether this kind of a program would be ethically justifiable. The conclusion to this question is reached by describing the epidemic situation, presenting basic ethical norms of public healthcare, and making a synthetizing ethical analysis on their basis. The concluding answer no comes as the result of analyzing the Finnish scenario from the perspectives of eight criteria of ethical justification that would need to be adequately met in order for a mandatory vaccination program to be an ethically sound public health measure. The eight criteria are formed by examining literature of public health ethics and vaccination ethics as well as strong ethical arguments in favor and against mandatory vaccinations, and by combining a ground of shared prerequisites guiding ethical considerations on the topic. The analysis reveals numerous ethical problems present in the Finnish scenario. The mere existence of so many unsolved issues makes the potential mandatory Covid-19 vaccination program an unethical option. The thesis calls for better public discussion on public health ethics, so that the ethical imperatives of protecting public health security and protecting individual bodily autonomy are realized also in emergency situations.
  • Hätinen, Annika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Syftet för denna avhandling är att undersöka hur socialarbetare upplever och kritiskt reflekterar kring att etiska principer och etiska överväganden tillämpas i omhändertagandeprocessen i barnskyddet. Syftet är vidare att undersöka etiska konflikter i omhändertagandeprocessen samt om Covid-19 pandemin har haft en påverkan på den etiska tillämpningen i omhändertagandeprocessen. Forskningsmaterialet insamlades genom kvalitativa semistrukturerade intervjuer. Intervjuerna genomfördes på distans via programmet Microsoft Teams på grund av den rådande Covid-19 pandemisituationen. Sammanlagt fem socialarbetare, som jobbade i barnskyddets öppenvård, deltog i studien. Materialet är analyserat med en teoristyrd innehållsanalys. Som teoretisk referensram har jag använt mig av Paynes (2015) kritiska teori och av Banks (2001) teori om etiska principer. Resultaten fördelades enligt analysen i tre huvudrubriker: etiska principer i omhändertagandeprocessen, etiska konflikter i omhändertagandeprocessen samt Covid-19 pandemins påverkan på omhändertagandeprocessen. Resultaten i studien visar att socialarbetarna tillämpar etiska principer och etiskt tänkande under omhändertagandeprocessen på ett professionellt sätt. Socialarbetarna beskriver att etiskt tänkande ofta är undermedvetet i yrkesrollen. Barnets delaktighet, personlighet och självbestämmanderätt beaktas genom öppen och ärlig kommunikation, genom att lyssna på barnet, tala på barnets nivå, svara på frågor, ta känslor i beaktande och vara närvarande. Att upprätthålla sekretessen under omhändertagandeprocessen ansågs inte problematiskt. Ibland måste etiska principerna ses över och begränsningar måste göras, till exempel då klientens självbestämmanderätt måste begränsas. Socialarbetarna berättar att det förekommer olika etiska konflikter under omhändertagandeprocessen. Placering av spädbarn och ungdomar var en etisk fråga som orsakade konflikter. Även resursbrister i olika stödåtgärder för klienterna ansågs orsaka konflikter. Resultaten gällande Covid-19 pandemins påverkan på omhändertagandeprocessen visar att socialarbetarna upplever att pandemin har påverkat barnskyddsklienternas psykiska välmående och på socialarbetarnas arbetsförhållanden negativt. Bland annat distansmöten och trögare arbetsprocesser togs upp som svårigheter i arbetet under pandemin. Avhandlingen pekar på att det finns behov av att fortsätta studera pandemins påverkan på socialt arbete och kritisk reflektera över socialarbetarnas maktperspektiv och tillämpning av etiska principer i arbetet
  • Li, Tingyang (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis examines the macroeconomic impact of Covid-19, constructing a DSGE model incorporating wage rigidity and consumption habit. This paper captures the characteristics of the Finnish economy, such as high wages and high consumption habits, and aims to analyze the macroeconomic impact of Covid-19 in Finland. Based on the New Keynesian DSGE model and combined with the SVAR method, focusing on the adverse effects of Covid-19 and analyzing how to mitigate its negative effects. After building the DSGE model, Bayesian estimation was performed using the parameters of Kilponen (2016) as the prior distribution, after which impulse response analysis was performed. At the same time, the effectiveness of fiscal policy and monetary policy is analyzed. The results of the empirical model support the conclusions in the theoretical model. The results show that the decline in utility due to insufficient consumption preferences significantly impacts consumption and output, causing aggregate consumption to decline and remain below steady-state levels for a long time. The level of labor supply is negatively affected by underconsumption. But the shock to consumer preference increased investment, offsetting some of the negative shock to output. Inflation and real interest rates also took a downward hit. Real interest rates first fall and then rise but remain below a stable level for a long time as the supply of capital rises when the demand for capital falls. A negative shock to technology causes aggregate consumption and aggregate output, and labor and capital goods to fall. In contrast, a fall in capital value causes Tobin's q to fall. Looking at the impact time of the impulse response, we find that the negative impact on macroeconomic variables is large and long-lasting. A positive government spending shock of one standard deviation would directly increase aggregate output, but its impact on output would be diminished. Compared with fiscal policy and monetary policy, the role of government spending is more likely to bring the economy into a stable state, and its response is more sensitive. We find that fiscal policy has a more significant impact on macroeconomic regulation; this suggests that monetary and fiscal policy need to work together in the context of high inflation and low interest rates. Fiscal policy drives economic recovery and can provide strong support for the realization of monetary policy.