HumanInsight Experience on the Management of Patients with Asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease During the COVID-19 Pandemic: the NEUMOBIAL Study
Adv Ther. 2022 Sep 17. doi: 10.1007/s12325-022-02313-z. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma are treatable but greatly underdiagnosed disorders. Telemedicine made it possible to continue diagnosis, follow-up visits and treatment modifications during the COVID-19 pandemic. The present study describes the management of patients with COPD and asthma, and their treatments during the pandemic from the pulmonologist's perspective.
METHODS: NEUMOBIAL was an ecological study with aggregated data. A total of 279 Spanish pulmonologists answered a 60-question survey about their last 10 patients, focused on the characterisation and changes in visits and treatments during the pandemic.
RESULTS: Most pulmonologists (72.0%) considered that the pandemic negatively altered the diagnosis and follow-up of patients with asthma or COPD. Diagnostic tests were reduced during the pandemic, mainly because they were not recommended by pulmonologists (68.1% and 72.7% in the case of COPD and asthma tests, respectively). Moreover, 17.3% of the COPD and 19.1% of the asthma visits were remote visits. According to pulmonologists, low adherence to treatment was mainly due to a lack of patient knowledge about their disease (75.3% and 81.7% in COPD and asthma, respectively). Other factors that also influenced adherence were inadequate use of the inhaler (59.5% for COPD and 57.7% for asthma) and a lack of knowledge about the device (57.3% for COPD and 57.7% for asthma). Pulmonologists chose Zonda® for COPD because of the ease of use of the device (73.1%) and the ability to check whether the entire dose was inhaled (69.5%). For asthma, Spiromax® was chosen because of the ease of use of the device (85.7%) and the possibility of using a single device for maintenance and reliever treatment (82.4%).
CONCLUSION: According to pulmonologists, during the pandemic, treatments for COPD and asthma were mainly chosen on the basis of their ease of use; treatment adherence was good; and the number of remote visits increased.
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