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Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the management of patients with RA: a survey of rheumatologists in six European countries

Machado, Pedro M; Verschueren, Patrick; Grainger, Rebecca; Jones, Hannah; Piercy, James; van Beneden, Katrien; Caporali, Roberto; ... Fautrel, Bruno; + view all (2023) Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the management of patients with RA: a survey of rheumatologists in six European countries. Rheumatology Advances in Practice , 7 (1) , Article rkac108. 10.1093/rap/rkac108. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to describe, from the perspective of rheumatologists in Europe, how the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted their management of people with RA and the continuing medical education of physicians. METHODS: Rheumatologists participating in the Adelphi RA Disease Specific ProgrammeTM in six European countries were contacted in August and September 2020 for a telephone survey. Rheumatologists were asked seven attitudinal questions on changes to patient management, prescription behaviour and continuing education owing to COVID-19. Results were summarized with descriptive statistics. RESULTS: The telephone survey was completed by 284 rheumatologists. The most commonly reported changes to patient management were increased utilization of video/telephone consultations (66.5% of respondents), fewer visits (58.5%) and limiting physical contact (58.1%). Furthermore, 67.9% of rheumatologists who indicated that prescribing behaviour had changed switched their patients to self-administered medication, and 60.7% reported not starting patients on targeted synthetic DMARDs, biologic originator DMARDs or biosimilar DMARDs. In total, 57.6% of rheumatologists believed that changes in management would persist. Rheumatologists reported that 38.0% of patients expressed concerns about how COVID-19 would impact treatment, including access to treatment and the risk of infection. The biggest impact on rheumatologist education was a switch to online training and conferences. CONCLUSION: All countries saw changes in patient management and prescribing behaviour, including the rapid uptake of telemedicine. It is important that the international rheumatology community learns from these experiences to prepare better for future pandemics and to address ongoing rheumatologist shortages.

Type: Article
Title: Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the management of patients with RA: a survey of rheumatologists in six European countries
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/rap/rkac108
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/rap/rkac108
Language: English
Additional information: VC The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: COVID-19, RA, attitude of health-care professionals, health policies, medical education, pandemic response, quality of health care
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10163038
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