Trial document




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  DRKS00023789

Trial Description

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Title

Developing an ars moriendi nova in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic – a prospective mixed-methods survey

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Trial Acronym

ArsMoriendi-COVID

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URL of the Trial

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Brief Summary in Lay Language

Since the Spanish Flu in 1918, there has been no other virus disease in the past century with such high an impact on all societies around the globe as SARS-CoV-2. This is particularly true for Freiburg and its surrounding region since it was severely hit by the first wave and is still reporting high numbers of infections during the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic in Germany. Globally, the scientific focus is on researching ways to treat the disease and on developing effective vaccinations. Those directly affected by the pandemic, specifically those working within the health care system and directly caring for COVID-19 patients need to cope with a multitude of practical and psychological challenges. Our aim is to describe attitudes and reactions of people during the Coronavirus pandemic. We would like to focus on stressful experiences during the pandemic, coping with stress and well-being and ask about meaning-making and posttraumatic growth in the context of the pandemic. Religious attitudes, faith and spirituality as possible resources that help coping will be explored. Design: This is a cross-sectional mixed-methods study using an online survey of students and staff member of both Freiburg university and Freiburg university hospital, and qualitative interviews via telephone to elicit more in-depth answers about the topics of coping during the Coronavirus crisis.

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Brief Summary in Scientific Language

Background: Since the Spanish Flu in 1918, there has been no other virus disease in the past century with such high an impact on all societies around the globe as SARS-CoV-2. Research to date focuses on the medical treatment of this infectious disease next to the short-term psychological impact on health care professionals and the general public. In this study, we propose to determine the holistic bio-psych-social-spiritual impact of the Coronavirus pandemic in a region in Germany characterised by high COVID-19 incidence. We propose to study how the pandemic may lead the individual to a different way of reflecting on uncertainty and mortality when witnessing infections of family members and friends or when being confronted with the fear of experiencing a severe infection themselves.
The confrontation with vulnerability, finitude and mortality as part of the uncertainty and contingencies in life is a challenge and opportunity during the pandemic to develop, re-learn and practise a new ars moriendi.
Aim: The aim of this project is to systematically develop, renew and empirically establish approaches to an ars moriendi nova in the face of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The project focuses on bio-psycho- social-spiritual, philosophical, theological, and medical aspects of experiences, living with and coping with the pandemic. Our main objectives are: 1) To describe and establish changes in attitudes, behaviours and worldview/self-image; 2) To describe the specific psycho-social-spiritual impact of COVID-19 by exploring coping mechanisms, social and spiritual aspects; 3) To describe respondent’s quality of life, life satisfaction, and their degree of distress in response to trauma; 4) To measure and explore their death awareness and death-related cognitions; 5) To determine moderators (demographic, cultural and lifestyle factors) and mediators; 6) To integrate the quantitative and qualitative findings of the ars moriendi nova into a framework.
Design: This is a prospective, mixed-methods cross-sectional study using a standardised online survey and qualitative, semi-structured interviews with staff members and students of both Freiburg University and Freiburg University Hospital. A quota sample of both scientific and non-scientific personnel and students as well as a purposive sample for interviews will be drawn. The online survey uses the following questionnaires: sociodemographic details and infection status (own infection or infection of family members/friends), health behaviour and spiritual/religious behaviour, negative consequences and stress due to the Coronavirus pandemic (Büssing et al., 2020a); Brief Multidimensional Life Satisfaction Scale BLMSS-10; Gratitude/Awe Questionnaire (Büssing, Rechia & Baumann, 2018), WHO-5 Wellbeing Index, Perceived Changes Questionnaire (Büssing et al., 2020b), Death Reflection Scale (Yuan et al., 2019). Topics of the online survey will be explored in-depth in the qualitative telephone interviews. Quantitative data will be analysed with multiple regression models and a multiple mediation model for modelling determinants and mediating factors for the outcome death reflection. The qualitative analysis will use interpretative-phenomenological methodology, combined with elements of Grounded theory and framework analysis. Quantitative and qualitative findings will be integrated into an ars moriendi nova model.
Conclusion: This foundational framework can help vulnerable groups to make sense of their experiences during the pandemic. It can serve as a foundation for developing guidance, interventions, and resources to help people cope with the impact of the pandemic, particularly those at the frontline like health care workers.

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Do you plan to share individual participant data with other researchers?

Yes

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Description IPD sharing plan:

Individual participant quantitative data underlying the results can be shared after de-identification and in the format of a correlation matrix to individuals whose proposed use of the data has been approved by an independent review committee identified for this purpose. Researchers wishing to work with the data need to contact Prof. Dr. Gerhild Becker gerhild.becker@uniklink-freiburg.de with a research proposal and analysis plan for data usage. Proposals for individual participant meta-analysis may be submitted up to 36 months following article publication. Data from the qualitative interviews are not available for data sharing.

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Organizational Data

  •   DRKS00023789
  •   2020/12/18
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  •   yes
  •   Approved
  •   20-1160, Ethik-Kommission der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
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Secondary IDs

  • [---]*
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Health Condition or Problem studied

  •   U07.1 -  Emergency use of U07.1
  •   Any medical conditions that may exist
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Interventions/Observational Groups

  •   Observational study - Students and staff members of Freiburg University and Freiburg University Hospital complete a cross-sectional online survey and qualitative telephone interviews about their experiences and change in attitudes during the Coronavirus pandemic.
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Characteristics

  •   Non-interventional
  •   Observational study
  •   Single arm study
  •   Open (masking not used)
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  •   Uncontrolled/Single arm
  •   Other
  •   Single (group)
  •   N/A
  •   N/A
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Primary Outcome

Changes in attitudes, behaviours and well-being, dealing with one’s own mortality during and through the Coronavirus pandemic (measured via validated, self-report questionnaires)

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Secondary Outcome

Self-reported experiences, attitudes and changes in these, reflection of one’s own mortality and dealing with one’s own finiteness during the Coronavirus pandemic (measured via semi-structured qualitative telephone interviews)

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Countries of Recruitment

  •   Germany
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Locations of Recruitment

  • University Medical Center 
  • other 
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Recruitment

  •   Planned
  •   2021/02/01
  •   850
  •   Multicenter trial
  •   National
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Inclusion Criteria

  •   Both, male and female
  •   18   Years
  •   no maximum age
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Additional Inclusion Criteria

Staff members of two institutions with main work contract and including all status groups (scientific and non-scientific staff members, health care professionals involved in patient care at the university hospital), students of Freiburg University

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Exclusion Criteria

Staff members and students not directly affiliated with Freiburg University or Freiburg University Hospital.

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Addresses

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    • Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
    • Hugstetter Strasse 49
    • 79095  Freiburg
    • Germany
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    • Caritaswissenschaft und Christliche Sozialarbeit, Theologische Fakultät, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
    • Mr.  Prof. Dr.  Klaus  Baumann 
    • Platz der Universität 3
    • 79098  Freiburg
    • Germany
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    • Universität Witten-Herdecke, Fakultät für Gesundheit (Department für Humanmedizin), Lehrstuhl für Medizintheorie, Integrative und Anthroposophische Medizin
    • Mr.  Prof. Dr.  Arndt  Büssing 
    • Gerhard-Kienle-Weg 4
    • 58313  Herdecke
    • Germany
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    • Klinik für Palliativmedizin, Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
    • Ms.  Prof. Dr.  Gerhild  Becker 
    • Robert-Koch-Str. 3
    • 79106  Freiburg
    • Germany
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    • Klinik für Palliativmedizin, Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
    • Ms.  Dr.  Christina  Ramsenthaler 
    • Robert-Koch-Str. 3
    • 79106  Freiburg
    • Germany
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Sources of Monetary or Material Support

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    • Klinik für Palliativmedizin, Universitätsklinikum Freiburg
    • Ms.  Prof. Dr.  Gerhild  Becker 
    • Robert-Koch-Str. 3
    • 79106  Freiburg
    • Germany
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Status

  •   Recruiting planned
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Trial Publications, Results and other Documents

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