In October we welcomed three new papers into the top ten most read, all of which relate to different aspects of COVID-19.
Adherence to non-pharmaceutical measures against COVID-19
The highest new entry in October is a study of factors that influence adherence to non-pharmaceutical measures against COVID-19 such as social distancing, working from home and wearing a mask or other face covering. Ding and colleagues used data from over 100,000 individuals, representing over 70,000 UK households to understand the impact of individual adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions on the levels of COVID-19 infections. The researchers examined factors that affect whether people are able to comply with guidance, such as not being able to work from home or maintain a two-metre distance in the workplace. For those who were most unable to comply, wearing a face covering or mask was the most protective intervention against COVID-19. They also found that masks led to lower levels of infections in women ahead of the Christmas 2020 UK lockdown.
This paper makes interesting reading alongside last month’s highest new entry (this month’s number seven), which is a study of vaccine acceptance.
COVID-19 outcome inequality for people with intellectual disability
Baksh and colleagues studied the hospital experiences of people who have intellectual disabilities compared with those of the general population after being admitted for COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic in the UK. People with intellectual disabilities were less likely to report symptoms such as loss of taste or smell but were more likely to need oxygen support. They were also less likely to receive either invasive or non-invasive oxygen therapy, or be admitted to an intensive care unit, and had a higher risk of COVID-19 related death. The authors comment that these disparities have contributed to excess mortality for people with intellectual disabilities during the pandemic.
Community mental health and well-being during the pandemic
Many researchers are studying the impact of measures to limit the COVID-19 pandemic. Feroz and colleagues have published a protocol for a qualitative study that seeks to understand more about the community perceptions of the pandemic in Pakistan. They are investigating how misinformation about the pandemic on social media may affect levels of anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders in the community. They will also study how fear and stigma could be driving people to conceal infections and delay seeking treatment.
Here is the full list of most read papers in BMJ Open during October 2021:
Most read figures are based on pdf downloads and full text views. Abstract views are excluded.