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Survey of the Impact of COVID-19 on Chronic Liver Disease Patient Care Experiences and Outcomes

HumanInsight Survey of the Impact of COVID-19 on Chronic Liver Disease Patient Care Experiences and Outcomes

J Can Assoc Gastroenterol. 2022 Jul 18;6(1):8-16. doi: 10.1093/jcag/gwac022. eCollection 2023 Feb.


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has a secondary impact on the health of patients with chronic liver disease (CLD). Our objective was to study this impact on care provision, telemedicine, and health behaviours in CLD patients.

METHODS: CLD patients of an urban gastroenterology clinic who attended a telemedicine appointment between March 17, 2020 and September 17, 2020, completed an online survey on care delays, health behaviours, and experience with telemedicine. Chart review was conducted in 400 randomly selected patients: 200 charts from during the pandemic were compared to 200 charts the previous year. Data were extracted for clinicodemographic variables, laboratory investigations, and clinical outcomes.

RESULTS: Of 399 patients invited to participate, 135 (34%) completed the online survey. Fifty (39%) patients reported 83 care delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the majority (71%) of delays persisting beyond 2 months. Ninety-five (75%) patients were satisfied with telemedicine appointments. There was a longer delay between lab work and appointments in patients seen during the pandemic compared to 2019 (P = 0.01). Compared to the year prior, during the COVID pandemic, there was a similar number of cases of cirrhosis decompensation (n = 26, 13% versus n = 22, 11%) and hospitalization (n = 12, 6% versus n = 5, 3%).

CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to care delays for CLD outpatients, with most delays on the scale of months. These patient-reported experiences and clinical observations can direct optimization of CLD care as effects from the pandemic evolve.

PMID:36785575 | PMC:PMC9384520 | DOI:10.1093/jcag/gwac022

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