VILLANOVA, Pa. – The M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing at Villanova University has launched the national COVID-19 Caring About Health for All Study (CHAMPS) of health care, first responder and service workers for the health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Managing the health care needs of COVID-19 patients has had a tremendous impact not only on the lives of those delivering health care directly but on those who support that effort, from ambulance drivers to maintenance and housekeeping staff whose service has been essential to maintain the health care enterprise. All of them have one thing in common: they are at increased risk of exposure to the virus as well as disruption of their personal and social lives. The COVID-19 CHAMPS Study is designed to understand the immediate effects, as well as the long-term effects on their health, lives and careers.
The objective of CHAMPS is to assess the short and long-term physical, social and behavioral health of all who were involved in supporting or delivering care for COVID-19 patients. It will also serve as a registry for future, hypothesis-driven sub-studies of behavioral and biological coping mechanisms and allostatic load (wear and tear on the body), as well as randomized clinical trials. Participants will be recruited throughout the United States and its territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands) with outcomes followed longitudinally for 20 years.
This study will obtain data on the physical and mental health and well-being of workers potentially exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the course of their duties. Included are a broad range of occupations such as those working in the community (police officers, firefighters, emergency personnel, screening staff) as well as in permanent or temporary sites that care for patients (service staff, nurses, physicians and other health professionals).
“It is vital that we learn from this experience and understand the broad scope of the impact on the health of those on the front lines, their potential future health needs and to contribute knowledge to inform public health strategies that provide effective care when similar crises develop in the future,” says Donna S. Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean of the Fitzpatrick College of Nursing.
The CHAMPS Steering Committee at the College is chaired by Peter Kaufmann, PhD, associate dean of Research and Innovation and principal investigator of CHAMPS. His experience in large, multi-site clinical trials and observational studies was acquired at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. He is joined by Dr. Havens, a health services researcher with broad international experience and research addressing the nursing practice environment and the quality of patient care in hospitals and emergency rooms. Janell Mensinger, PhD, FAED, associate research professor and biostatistician, leads the study design and brings her expertise in survey research methods and background in quantitative health psychology and biostatistics to the Steering Committee.