Interrupted time-series analysis showed unintended consequences of non-pharmaceutical interventions on pediatric hospital admissions

Hannah C. Moore, Huong Le, Ariel Mace, Christopher C. Blyth, Daniel Yeoh, David Foley, Andrew Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: COVID-19-associated non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) have disrupted respiratory viral transmission. We quantified the changes in pediatric hospital admissions in 2020 from five different NPI phases in Western Australia for acute lower respiratory infections (ALRI) in children in the context of all-cause admissions. Study Design and Setting: We assessed anonymised hospitalization data from Perth Children's Hospital (Jan 2015-Dec 2020) for all-cause admissions, ALRI, febrile illnesses and trauma (negative control) in those <17 years. We evaluated absolute changes in admissions and the weekly change estimated from interrupted time-series models. Results: The absolute number of admissions was comparable in 2020 (15,678) vs. 2015 to 2019 average (15,310). Following the introduction of strict NPIs, all-cause admissions declined by 35%, recovered to pre-pandemic levels, then increased by 24% following NPI cessation. ALRI admissions in children <5 years initially declined by 89%, which was sustained throughout the gradual easing of NPI until an increase of 579% (997% in <3 months) following the final easing of NPI. Admissions for trauma showed minimal changes in 2020 compared to preceding years. Conclusion: COVID-19-associated NPI had significant unintended consequences in health service utilization, especially for ALRI and infants <3 months, prompting the need to understand viral transmission dynamics in young children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Volume143
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

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