The scientific journal Nepal Journal of Epidemiology published its fourth and final issue of 2021 on December 31. This issue included our systematic review ‘Epidemiologic characteristics, clinical management and Public Health Implications of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Pregnancy: A Systematic Review and meta-analysis’. This review covered the published literature on the epidemiology, clinical management and public health prevention aspects of pregnancy and childbirth and coronavirus (COVID-19) up until December 2020. We worked hard and fast to submit the paper as soon as possible after the end of 2020 to be able to publish up-to-date findings. We managed this and submitted the paper on March 5th, the peer-review took some months and so did the making of the revisions. As a result we resubmitted the manuscript of 29 September and we got the acceptance email within a week. We made it into the next issue of the Nepal Journal of Epidemiology which published exactly one year after the data collection period had ended for our systematic review.
There are two lessons here, first even when submitting to an online journal one will experience a delay in publishing. Secondly, the 36 papers we had appraised and included were published in 2020, meaning these scientific papers were submitted in mid-2020 at the latest in order to make it through the peer-review process, get accepted and formatted for online publication.
In the resubmitted version we had to add as a weakness of this review that: “It is worth noting that this extensive systematic review only cover papers published in 2020, and hence studies conducted in or before 2020. This was before the emergence of variants of COVID-19, especially the delta and omicron variants.”
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health).
Congratulations to FHSS’s Prof. Jane Murphy and Victoria Lawrence on the publication of their study ‘A UK survey of nutritional care pathways for patients with COVID‐19 prior to and post‐hospital stay’ in the Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics .
This study examined the development of care pathways by UK dietitians to manage the post‐hospital nutritional care of patients following COVID‐19 infection and the evaluation of these pathways. Of the responses, 51% reported developing or adapting a pathway for COVID‐19 infection and 54% planned to undertake evaluation of their pathway. Despite challenges encountered, dietitians have responded rapidly and adapted to new ways of working. The paper is Open Access and co-authored with colleagues from the University of Plymouth, Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (in London), University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Glasgow & Clyde, and Imperial College London.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
- Lawrence, V., Hickson, M., Weekes, C.E., Julian, A., Frost, G., Murphy, J. (2021) ‘A UK survey of nutritional care pathways for patients with COVID‐19 prior to and post‐hospital stay‘ Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics [Online first 12 May 2021]
Today FHSS Prof. Jonathan Parker published an article (online first) on structural discrimination and abuse associated with COVID-19 in care homes in The Journal of Adult Protection . Whilst Dr. Preeti Mahato, Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen and FHSS Visiting Professor Padam Simkhada had a COVID-19 paper published in the Journal of Midwifery Association of Nepal (JMAN) in late-January 2021 , although an electronic copy only reached their email inbox today.
- Parker, J. (2021) Structural discrimination and abuse: COVID-19 and people in care homes in England and Wales, The Journal of Adult Protection, Online ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAP-12-2020-0050
- Tamang, P., Mahato, P., Simkhada P., Bissell, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2021) Pregnancy, Childbirth, Breastfeeding and Coronavirus Disease: What is known so far? Journal of Midwifery Association of Nepal (JMAN) 2(1): 96-101.
Peer reviewing is the backbone of academic publishing. It is this peer review process to ensure that papers/publications have been vetted scientifically prior to publication by experts in the field, i.e. one’s peers. However, the process is not without its problems. One such problems is the delay in academic publishing. For example, a few days ago we published a substantive editorial on COVID-19 in Qater . When we submitted this in July 2020 the information in our editorial was very up to date, and it still was when the Qatar Medical Journal accepted it on 26th July 2020. Unfortunately, with all the incredibly rapid developments in vaccine development, approval and roll out some of the paper now reads like ‘historial data’.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)
- van Teijlingen, E.R., Sathian, B., Simkhada, P., Banerjee, I. (2021) COVID-19 in Qatar: Ways forward in public health & treatment, Qatar Medical Journal 2020(38): 1-8 https://doi.org/10.5339/qmj.2020.38
An evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach on risk zoning, personal and transmission risk assessment in near real-time, and risk communication would support the optimized decisions to minimize the impact of coronavirus on our lives. This interdisciplinary paper , pubished today in Scientific Reports, offers a framework to assess the individual and regional risk of COVID-19 along with risk communication tools and mechanisms. Relative risk scores on a scale of 100 represent the integrated risk of influential factors. The personal risk model incorporates age, exposure history, symptoms, local risk and existing health condition, whereas regional risk is computed through the actual cases of COVID-19, public health risk factors, socioeconomic condition of the region, and immigration statistics. A web application tool (http://www.covira.info) has been developed, where anyone can assess their risk and find the guided information links primarily for Nepal. This study provides regional risk for Nepal, but the framework is scalable across the world.
The authors comprised researchers from the University of Bristol, Science Hub (Nepal), University of the West of England, Public Health Perspective Nepal, Nepal Open University, Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, the University of Huddersfield and Bournemouth University.
- Parajuli, R.R., Mishra, B., Banstola, A. Multidisciplinary approach to COVID-19 risk communication: a framework and tool for individual and regional risk assessment. 21650 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-78779-0
Public engagement in the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences (LES) has been selected for NERC’s Engage – an online platform dedicated to increasing the impact of environmental research by increasing visibility through blogs. Research associate and PhD researcher Katie Thompson talks about how public engagement projects within LES have continued throughout Covid19 and social distancing (read our blog here). Genoveva Esteban and Katie Thompson were organising a ‘Family Science Fair’ for March 2020 when the global pandemic hit, the lockdown was enforced, and the event had to be cancelled. They turned their outreach efforts to the well-established Wessex Portal, an online platform run at LES with daily public engagement. Their festival activities were adapted through the development of a partner page, WildlifeCraftClub, where they have posted over 150 colouring sheets online for the public to use at home. They were delighted when the Linnean Society collaborated with the WidlifeCraftClub and the society are now showcasing weekly drawings from their archives. They plan to continue online public engagement activities with the launch of a new initiative ‘SnapShot Science’, which will virtually showcase departmental research. Watch this space!
(Images: Atlantic Salmon to celebrate International Year of the Salmon; Heliozoon (a single-celled organism); African elephant; Magnolia flower)