HumanInsight How Did Patients Living With Immune-Mediated Rheumatic Diseases Face the Beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Brazil? Results of the COnVIDa Study
J Clin Rheumatol. 2022 Jun 14. doi: 10.1097/RHU.0000000000001882. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has brought additional burden to patients living with immune-mediated rheumatic diseases (IMRDs), especially at the beginning of 2020, for which information for this population is lacking.
METHODS: COnVIDa is a cross-sectional study on patients with IMRD from all regions of Brazil who were invited to answer a specific and customized Web questionnaire about how they were facing the COVID-19 pandemic, especially focusing on health care access, use of medications, and patient-reported outcomes related to IMRD activity. The questionnaire was applied from June 1 to 30, 2020.
RESULTS: In total, 1722 of 2576 patients who answered the Web questionnaire were included in the final analysis. Participants were most frequently women, 56% were between 31 and 50 years old, and most (55%) has private health insurance. The most commonly reported IMRD was rheumatoid arthritis (39%), followed by systemic lupus erythematosus (28%). During the study period, 30.7% did not have access to rheumatology consultations, and 17.6% stopped chronic medications. Telemedicine was reported in 44.8% of patients.
CONCLUSION: COnVIDa demonstrated a negative impact on health care access and treatment maintenance of patients living with IMRD during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it also presented an uptake of telemedicine strategies. Data presented in this study may assist future coping policies.
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