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The Impact of COVID-19 on Harm Reduction Services in the United States: A Scoping Review

Christman, Anna Catherine (2022) The Impact of COVID-19 on Harm Reduction Services in the United States: A Scoping Review. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Introduction: The onset of the Coronavirus 2019 pandemic (COVID-19) in the United States brought about many changes, including those that impacted harm reduction services. Harm reduction is an essential component of healthcare, and its necessity has only increased with the intersection of the overdose and pandemic crises. The aim of this scoping review is to broadly determine how COVID-19 has affected these services in the U.S.
Methods: Using the Ovid-Medline database, a comprehensive literature search was conducted on February 22, 2022. The University of Pittsburgh Health Science Library System granted Institutional access to all literature. Original research, both quantitative and qualitative, published in the United States between 2020-2022, was included.
Results: The literature search resulted in 18 studies that were eligible to be included in this review. In reviewing literature to determine how COVID-19 impacted harm reduction services, 5 themes of impact emerged: services provided by programs/not provided by programs, treatment retention, patient outcomes, program adaptations and access, and patient/staff experience and satisfaction.
Conclusions: Despite harm reduction programs facing various challenges, many remained operational and innovative to continue serving their patients. While there were numerous successes, there are still disparities and service gaps which need to be addressed as the
pandemic continues and eventually concludes. This review has public health significance in demonstrating that harm reduction services remain a pillar of healthcare and require greater, continued support to maintain the preservation of health for both individuals and communities.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Christman, Anna Catherineacc107@pitt.eduacc107
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDeGenna, Natachadegennan@pitt.edudegennanUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberHawk, Marymary.hawk@pitt.edumary.hawkUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberArnold, Aaronaaron@pppgh.orgUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 17 May 2022
Date Type: Completion
Submission Date: 29 April 2022
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 51
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19, coronavirus, coronavirus 19, harm reduction, SSP, syringe service program, PWID, people who inject drugs
Date Deposited: 17 May 2022 13:16
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 05:15


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