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ACR Open Rheumatol ; 5(6): 290-297, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2320144


OBJECTIVE: The study objective was to prioritize topics for future patient-centered research to increase uptake of common vaccines, such as for pneumococcal pneumonia, influenza, herpes zoster, human papillomavirus, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, among adults living with autoimmune conditions. METHODS: A steering committee (SC) was formed that included clinicians, patients, patient advocates, and researchers associated with rheumatic diseases (psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis), inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis. Through a scoping review and discussions, SC members identified research topics regarding vaccine uptake and/or hesitancy for prioritization. A larger multistakeholder alliance that included patients and patient advocates, clinicians, researchers, policy makers, regulators, and vaccine manufacturers conducted a modified Delphi exercise online with three rating rounds and one ranking round. Frequency analysis and comparisons across stakeholder groups were conducted. A weighted ranking score was generated for each item in the ranking round for final prioritization. RESULTS: Through the Delphi process, 33 research topics were identified, of which 13 topics were rated as critical by more than 70% of all stakeholders (n = 31). The two highest ranked critical topics per the full stakeholder group were "How well a vaccine works for adults with autoimmune conditions" and "How beliefs about vaccine safety affect vaccine uptake." CONCLUSION: A multistakeholder group identified key topics as critically important priorities for future research to decrease vaccine hesitancy and improve uptake of vaccines for adults with autoimmune conditions.

ACR Open Rheumatol ; 3(1): 17-24, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2291882


OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to analyze the concerns and health-related behaviors in patients with vasculitis during the early phase of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in North America. METHODS: Patients with vasculitis in North America were invited to complete an online survey through the Vasculitis Patient-Powered Research Network in collaboration with the Vasculitis Foundation and the Relapsing Polychondritis Foundation. Questions focused on concerns and behaviors related to doctors' visits, tests, medication, and telehealth use. Factors affecting their concern and health-related behaviors were determined. RESULTS: Data from 662 patients were included: 90% of patients were White, 78% were women, 83% expressed moderate or high levels of concern about COVID-19, and 87% reported that their vasculitis moderately or extremely affected their level of concern. Older age, female sex, lung disease, and immunosuppression were associated with greater concern. Doctors' visits, laboratory tests, and other tests were avoided by 66%, 46%, and 40% of patients, respectively. Younger age, urban location, higher income, higher concern levels, and prednisone use (>10 mg/day) were associated with greater likelihood of avoiding visits or tests. Ten percent of patients on immunosuppressive therapy stopped their medication. Twenty-nine percent patients on rituximab avoided an infusion. Forty-four percent of patients had telehealth visits; more visits were reported for younger patients, for patients on glucocorticoids, and in Canada versus the United States. CONCLUSION: During the COVID-19 pandemic, patients with vasculitis have high levels of concern and exhibit potentially harmful health-related behaviors. Health care use varies across different demographic groups and geographic regions. Specific strategies are warranted to facilitate engagement of these patients with the health care system during the pandemic.

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) ; 74(5): 733-740, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565158


OBJECTIVE: We aimed to assess trends in anxiety and interruptions in disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) use among patients with rheumatic diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic and to evaluate whether DMARD interruptions were associated with disease flares. METHODS: ArthritisPower, the Vasculitis Patient-Powered Research Network, and other patient organizations invited members to join a 52-week longitudinal study, with baseline surveys completed March 29 to June 30, 2020, with follow-up through May 2021. Logistic regression incorporating generalized estimating equations evaluated associations between interruptions in DMARD use and self-reported disease flares at the next survey, adjusting for demographic characteristics, medications, disease, and calendar time. RESULTS: Among 2,424 patients completing a median of 5 follow-up surveys, the mean age was 57 years, 87% were female, and the most common conditions were rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis, and psoriatic arthritis. Average Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) anxiety T scores decreased from April 2020 (58.7) to May 2021 (53.7) (P < 0.001 for trend). Interruptions in DMARD use decreased from April (11.2%) to December 2020 (7.5%) (P < 0.001) but increased through May 2021 (14.0%) (P < 0.001). Interruptions in DMARD use were associated with a significant increase in severe flares (rated ≥6 of 10) at the next survey (12.9% versus 8.0% [odds ratio (OR) 1.71 (95% confidence interval [95% CI 1.23, 2.36]) although not any flare (OR 1.18 [95% CI 0.89, 1.58])]. CONCLUSION: Anxiety and interruptions in DMARD use initially decreased over time, but DMARD interruptions increased during 2021, possibly related to an increase in COVID-19 cases or vaccine availability. Interruptions in DMARD use were associated with increased rates of severe disease flares, highlighting the importance of avoiding unnecessary DMARD interruptions.

Antirheumatic Agents , Arthritis, Rheumatoid , COVID-19 , Vasculitis , Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/diagnosis , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/drug therapy , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Symptom Flare Up , Vasculitis/drug therapy