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Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, associated factors, experiences and attitudes of nursing home and home healthcare employees in Switzerland


West, Erin A; Kotoun, Olivia J; Schori, Larissa J; Kopp, Julia; Kaufmann, Marco; Rasi, Manuela; Fehr, Jan; Puhan, Milo A; Frei, Anja (2022). Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, associated factors, experiences and attitudes of nursing home and home healthcare employees in Switzerland. BMC Infectious Diseases, 22:259.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Many studies in hospital settings exist and have shown healthcare employees to be particularly exposed to SARS-CoV-2. While research focused on hospital staff, little evidence exists for employees in nursing homes and home care. The aims of this study were to assess the seroprevalence in nursing homes and home care employees in the Canton of Zurich, compare it to the general population, assess factors associated with seropositivity and explore the perspective of the employees regarding how the pandemic changed their daily work.

METHODS

This cross-sectional study is part of the national Corona Immunitas research program of coordinated, seroprevalence studies in Switzerland. Six nursing homes and six home healthcare organizations providing at home care services in Zurich were selected and 296 and 131 employees were recruited, respectively. Assessments included standardized questionnaires, blood sampling for antibodies, and additional work-specific questions. All participants were recruited between 21st September and 23rd October 2020, before the second wave of the pandemic hit Switzerland, and were possibly exposed to SARS-CoV-2 at their work during the first wave in spring 2020.

RESULTS

Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was 14.9% (95% CI 11.1%-19.6%; range 3.8% to 24.4%) for nursing home employees and 3.8% (95% CI 1.4-9.1%; range 0% to 10%) for home healthcare employees, compared to the general population of Zurich at 3.5% in September 2020 for those aged 20-64. Nurses were 2.6 times more likely to have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies than those employees who were not nurses (95% CI 1.1-6.2). The employees (nursing homes vs. home healthcare) perceived the implementation of general safety measures (44.9% vs. 57.3%) and wearing masks during work (36.8% vs. 43.5%), especially due to the limited communication with residents/clients, as the most crucial changes.

CONCLUSIONS

Nursing home employees who worked through SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks at their work were substantially more affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to the general population and to home healthcare employees who similarly worked through outbreaks in their communities. Employees reported that important resources to cope with the burdensome changes they perceived in their daily work were personal resources and team support.

TRIAL REGISTRATION

Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN18181860 dated 09/07/2020. Retrospectively registered.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Many studies in hospital settings exist and have shown healthcare employees to be particularly exposed to SARS-CoV-2. While research focused on hospital staff, little evidence exists for employees in nursing homes and home care. The aims of this study were to assess the seroprevalence in nursing homes and home care employees in the Canton of Zurich, compare it to the general population, assess factors associated with seropositivity and explore the perspective of the employees regarding how the pandemic changed their daily work.

METHODS

This cross-sectional study is part of the national Corona Immunitas research program of coordinated, seroprevalence studies in Switzerland. Six nursing homes and six home healthcare organizations providing at home care services in Zurich were selected and 296 and 131 employees were recruited, respectively. Assessments included standardized questionnaires, blood sampling for antibodies, and additional work-specific questions. All participants were recruited between 21st September and 23rd October 2020, before the second wave of the pandemic hit Switzerland, and were possibly exposed to SARS-CoV-2 at their work during the first wave in spring 2020.

RESULTS

Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was 14.9% (95% CI 11.1%-19.6%; range 3.8% to 24.4%) for nursing home employees and 3.8% (95% CI 1.4-9.1%; range 0% to 10%) for home healthcare employees, compared to the general population of Zurich at 3.5% in September 2020 for those aged 20-64. Nurses were 2.6 times more likely to have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies than those employees who were not nurses (95% CI 1.1-6.2). The employees (nursing homes vs. home healthcare) perceived the implementation of general safety measures (44.9% vs. 57.3%) and wearing masks during work (36.8% vs. 43.5%), especially due to the limited communication with residents/clients, as the most crucial changes.

CONCLUSIONS

Nursing home employees who worked through SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks at their work were substantially more affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to the general population and to home healthcare employees who similarly worked through outbreaks in their communities. Employees reported that important resources to cope with the burdensome changes they perceived in their daily work were personal resources and team support.

TRIAL REGISTRATION

Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN18181860 dated 09/07/2020. Retrospectively registered.

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Additional indexing

Contributors:Corona Immunitas Research Group
Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Infectious Diseases
Language:English
Date:16 March 2022
Deposited On:06 Jan 2023 09:33
Last Modified:28 Jun 2024 01:37
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2334
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-022-07222-8
PubMed ID:35296242
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)