CINTESIS – Center for Health Technology and Services Research will participate in a scientific study that aims to assess morbidity and mortality among health professionals, during the COVID-19 pandemic, in Portugal.
The study, entitled PROVIDA, is developed by the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto (FMUP) , in collaboration with the Orders of Physicians, Nurses, and Pharmacists, as well as with other Medical Schools, Unions, and Research Units.
The project PROVIDA (research PROject on coVID19 – Study of the association of mortality with work circumstances among Portuguese health professionals) will “assess the risks health professionals have faced and are facing during the period of the epidemic and in the future improve the protocols for preparation, response, and action in these scenarios and individual protection measures.”
As explained by Altamiro da Costa Pereira, director of FMUP, CINTESIS coordinator and one of the researchers responsible for this study, “we aim not only to quantify the possible excesses in mortality rates among health professionals compared to those of the general population but also to investigate possible differences in the risks associated with different clinical specialties and differential exposures of healthcare professionals to infected patients.”
He adds that the PROVIDA study will also allow “to pay a deserved tribute to all those who sacrificed themselves in this pandemic, sometimes risking their lives, for the treatment of the patients who resorted to them”.
In addition to data related to deaths, “associations with working conditions” will be analyzed to distinguish “variations in risk”. Factors such as clinical specialty, workplace, co-morbidities, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be taken into account, including masks, gloves, gowns or visors.
The results of the study should allow contingency plans to be updated in the event of future “epidemic waves”. In perspective, there may be, for example, the implementation of measures that protect a group of “more vulnerable” professionals. Thus, it is intended to reduce morbidity and mortality among health professionals.
The PROVIDA project has already received the logistical support of the Porto City Council, the clinical support of the Clinical Academic Center of Porto and the academic and scientific sponsorship of CEMP – Council of Portuguese Medical Schools. It is also expected to be supported by professional organizations, unions, employers, hospitals, IPSS and relatives of the victims and the collaboration of the National Statistics Institute, the Regional Health Administrations, the Directorate-General for Health, the Shared Services of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Health.
Researchers or entities wishing to contribute technically, scientifically or financially can contact the responsible team via email at email@example.com.