Publications by authors named "Wei V Li"

2 Publications

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COVID-19 and mental health of food retail, food service, and hospitality workers.

J Occup Environ Hyg 2021 Apr-May;18(4-5):169-179. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Department of Child, Family, and Population Health Nursing, University of Washington, School of Nursing, Seattle, Washington DC, USA.

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a detrimental toll on the lives of individuals globally. In addition to the direct effect (e.g., being infected with the virus), this pandemic has negatively ravaged many industries, particularly food retail, food services, and hospitality. Given the novelty of the disease, the true impact of COVID-19 remains to be determined. Because of the nature of their work, and the characteristics of the workers, individuals in the food retail, food service, and hospitality industries are a group whose vulnerability is at its most fragile state during this pandemic. Through this qualitative study, we explored workers' perspectives on the impact of COVID-19 on their mental health and coping, including screening for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol use disorder symptoms. Twenty-seven individual interviews were conducted, audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Four key themes emerged: being infected and infecting others, the unknown, isolation, and work and customer demands. Considering the many uncertainties of COVID-19, workers in these three industries were experiencing heightened levels of mental distress because of where they worked and the already existing disparities they faced on a daily basis before the pandemic started. Yet they remained hopeful for a better future. More studies are needed to fully understand the magnitude, short-term, and long-term effects of COVID-19. Based on this study's findings, programs are critically needed to promote positive coping behaviors among at-risk and distressed workers. Recommendations for employers, occupational health and safety professionals, and policy stakeholders to further support these service workers are discussed.
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May 2021

Interventions to promote hotel workers' health: A scoping review.

Am J Ind Med 2020 12 7;63(12):1095-1103. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

Background: The hospitality industry employs millions of workers and is a key contributor to the US economy. Despite being essential drivers in the industry's success, hotel workers, particularly hotel housekeepers, are exposed to occupational hazards and experience disproportionate rates of injuries and chronic health conditions. Thus there is a significant need for health promotion efforts directed toward these workers. However, little is known about existing interventions targeting their health.

Methods: We conducted a scoping review to identify and appraise workplace health promotion interventions targeting hotel employees. We performed a scoping review following the framework outlined by Arksey and O'Malley (2005). Our literature search process was recorded using the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Basic study information was compiled into a matrix table. Study quality was assessed using the template for intervention description and replication.

Results: Eight unique interventions were identified, occurring at over 30 hotels with participants ranging between 16 and 1207 employees. Though many of the reported health outcomes were not statistically significant, studies reported results with clinical implications, including decreased numbers of injury claims, reduced anxiety, improvements in cardiovascular disease risk indicators, such as body mass index, and increased knowledge among participants.

Conclusions: This is the first review to interrogate the literature on existing workplace interventions targeting the health of hotel workers. While some studies found significant improvements in health outcomes, few conducted rigorous program evaluation. The results highlight the need for more and effective interventions targeting these at-risk workers.
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December 2020