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2.
J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol ; 43(4): 550-556, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931572

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: This study examined experiences during the cessation of fertility treatment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including levels of mental health, coping strategies used to manage uncertainty about treatment due to the pandemic, sources of support, and predictors of mental health. METHODS: One hundred and seventy-five participants in the UK completed an online survey. RESULTS: Half of the participants experienced clinical levels of anxiety and/or depression, and 20% reported suicidal feelings as a result of the uncertainty about treatment due to the pandemic. Support from friends, family and online forums were reported by more than half of participants, but support from fertility clinics or counsellors were reported by less than one quarter. The strategy used most frequently to cope with the uncertainty about treatment due to the pandemic was self-distraction, and this predicted reduced depression. However, self-blame, behavioral disengagement and venting predicted increased depression and self-blame, behavioral disengagement, and denial predicted increased anxiety. CONCLUSIONS: Fertility clinic communication and psychological support, such as counselling, which had substantially reduced during treatment cessation, could include some focus on personal coping, including what to avoid. Psychological support is likely to be more important now than ever. Despite resumption of treatment, the impacts of the period of cessation and of COVID-19 are likely to continue to reverberate.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , Mental Health , Stress, Psychological , Adaptation, Psychological , Withholding Treatment , United Kingdom/epidemiology
3.
Lasers Med Sci ; 37(8): 3147-3153, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1872454

ABSTRACT

Using a patient survey, pulsed dye laser (PDL) treatment of epistaxis for hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) patients was evaluated after initial referral. Subsequently, due to the COVID pandemic, a natural experimental set-up allowed assessment of an enforced withdrawal of treatment. A total of 34 subjects were identified as undergoing PDL for HHT-related epistaxis. They were surveyed to look at the effectiveness of PDL treatment after initial referral and at the effect of delay to treatment during COVID on epistaxis and the associated quality of life. The survey also examined the comparison to other available treatments. Retrospective pre-COVID Epistaxis Severity Scores (ESS) were compared to post-COVID data to assess the effect of treatment withdrawal. The patients were then followed up after resumption of their treatment to assess the ensuing change in ESS. After initial referral, frequency and severity of epistaxis decreased. Fifty-six percent of patients experienced several bleeds per day before treatment, compared to 12% after. 88% of patients had episodes of epistaxis longer than 5 min, which was halved to 44% after treatment. Average ESS pre-COVID was 4.42 compared to 5.43 post-COVID delay, with a significant statistical difference (p = 0.02). On resumption of treatment, average ESS reduced to below pre-COVID levels at 4.39 after only 2 sessions. Seventy-six percent of patients found that withdrawal of PDL during COVID diminished their quality of life. PDL treatment of nasal mucosal telangiectasia reduces the frequency and duration of epistaxis. The ESS is reduced following treatment with PDL and quality of life subjectively improved.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lasers, Dye , Telangiectasia, Hereditary Hemorrhagic , Epistaxis/etiology , Epistaxis/therapy , Humans , Lasers, Dye/therapeutic use , Pandemics , Quality of Life , Retrospective Studies , Telangiectasia, Hereditary Hemorrhagic/complications , Withholding Treatment
4.
Can J Anaesth ; 67(10): 1417-1423, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1777840

ABSTRACT

Symptom management and end-of-life care are core skills for all physicians, although in ordinary times many anesthesiologists have fewer occasions to use these skills. The current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has caused significant mortality over a short time and has necessitated an increase in provision of both critical care and palliative care. For anesthesiologists deployed to units caring for patients with COVID-19, this narrative review provides guidance on conducting goals of care discussions, withdrawing life-sustaining measures, and managing distressing symptoms.


RéSUMé: La prise en charge des symptômes et les soins de fin de vie sont des compétences de base pour tous les médecins, bien qu'en temps ordinaire, de nombreux anesthésiologistes n'ont que peu d'occasions de mettre en pratique ces compétences. La pandémie actuelle de coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) a provoqué un taux de mortalité significatif dans un court intervalle et a nécessité une augmentation des besoins en soins intensifs et en soins palliatifs. Destiné aux anesthésiologistes déployés dans les unités prenant soin de patients atteints de la COVID-19, ce compte rendu narratif offre des recommandations quant à la façon de mener les discussions à propos des objectifs de soins, du retrait des thérapies de soutien vital, et de la prise en charge de symptômes de détresse.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Critical Care/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Terminal Care/organization & administration , Anesthesiologists/organization & administration , Anesthesiologists/standards , COVID-19 , Clinical Competence , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Critical Care/standards , Humans , Palliative Care/organization & administration , Pandemics , Physicians/organization & administration , Physicians/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Terminal Care/standards , Withholding Treatment
5.
Eur J Cancer ; 160: 261-272, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1719649

ABSTRACT

AIM OF THE STUDY: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic significantly impacted cancer care. In this study, clinical patient characteristics related to COVID-19 outcomes and advanced care planning, in terms of non-oncological treatment restrictions (e.g. do-not-resuscitate codes), were studied in patients with cancer and COVID-19. METHODS: The Dutch Oncology COVID-19 Consortium registry was launched in March 2020 in 45 hospitals in the Netherlands, primarily to identify risk factors of a severe COVID-19 outcome in patients with cancer. Here, an updated analysis of the registry was performed, and treatment restrictions (e.g. do-not-intubate codes) were studied in relation to COVID-19 outcomes in patients with cancer. Oncological treatment restrictions were not taken into account. RESULTS: Between 27th March 2020 and 4th February 2021, 1360 patients with cancer and COVID-19 were registered. Follow-up data of 830 patients could be validated for this analysis. Overall, 230 of 830 (27.7%) patients died of COVID-19, and 60% of the remaining 600 patients with resolved COVID-19 were admitted to the hospital. Patients with haematological malignancies or lung cancer had a higher risk of a fatal outcome than other solid tumours. No correlation between anticancer therapies and the risk of a fatal COVID-19 outcome was found. In terms of end-of-life communication, 50% of all patients had restrictions regarding life-prolonging treatment (e.g. do-not-intubate codes). Most identified patients with treatment restrictions had risk factors associated with fatal COVID-19 outcome. CONCLUSION: There was no evidence of a negative impact of anticancer therapies on COVID-19 outcomes. Timely end-of-life communication as part of advanced care planning could save patients from prolonged suffering and decrease burden in intensive care units. Early discussion of treatment restrictions should therefore be part of routine oncological care, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Life Support Care/statistics & numerical data , Mortality/trends , Neoplasms/mortality , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Withholding Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/therapy , Neoplasms/virology , Netherlands/epidemiology , Prognosis , Risk Factors , Survival Rate
6.
Ann Rheum Dis ; 81(6): 889-897, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1709161

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect on immunogenicity and safety of 2-week methotrexate (MTX) discontinuation after each dose of the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine versus MTX maintenance in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: This was a single-centre, prospective, randomised, investigator-blinded, intervention study (NCT04754698, CoronavRheum) including adult patients with RA (stable Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI) ≤10, prednisone ≤7.5 mg/day) randomised (1:1) to withdraw MTX (MTX-hold) for 2 weeks after each vaccine dose or maintain MTX (MTX-maintain), evaluated at day 0 (D0), D28 and D69. Coprimary outcomes were anti-SARS-CoV-2 S1/S2 IgG seroconversion (SC) and neutralising antibody (NAb) positivity at D69. Secondary outcomes were geometric mean titres (GMT) and flare rates. For immunogenicity analyses, we excluded patients with baseline positive IgG/NAb, and for safety reasons those who flared at D28 (CDAI >10) and did not withdraw MTX twice. RESULTS: Randomisation included 138 patients with 9 exclusions (5 COVID-19, 4 protocol violations). Safety evaluation included 60 patients in the MTX-hold and 69 patients in the MTX-maintain group. Further exclusions included 27 patients (13 (21.7%) vs 14 (20.3%), p=0.848) with positive baseline IgG/NAb and 10 patients (21.3%) in MTX-hold with CDAI >10 at D28. At D69, the MTX-hold group (n=37) had a higher rate of SC than the MTX-maintain group (n=55) (29 (78.4%) vs 30 (54.5%), p=0.019), with parallel augmentation in GMT (34.2 (25.2-46.4) vs 16.8 (11.9-23.6), p=0.006). No differences were observed for NAb positivity (23 (62.2%) vs 27 (49.1%), p=0.217). At D28 flare, the rates were comparable in both groups (CDAI, p=0.122; Disease Activity Score in 28 joints with C reactive protein, p=0.576), whereas CDAI >10 was more frequent in MTX-hold at D69 (p=0.024). CONCLUSION: We provided novel data that 2-week MTX withdrawal after each dose of the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine improves anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG response. The increased flare rates after the second MTX withdrawal may be attributed to the short-term interval between vaccine doses. This strategy requires close surveillance and shared decision making due to the possibility of flares.


Subject(s)
Arthritis, Rheumatoid , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Methotrexate , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/drug therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Methotrexate/administration & dosage , Methotrexate/therapeutic use , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Withholding Treatment
7.
Chest ; 161(2): e97-e101, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1664781

ABSTRACT

CASE PRESENTATION: An 84-year-old man with an active smoking habit presented to the ED with dyspnea, hemoptysis, and thick phlegm that was difficult to clear. He reported no weight loss, no fever, and no chest pain or dysphonia. He denied both international travel and previous contact with confirmed cases of TB or SARS-CoV-2. He had no known occupational exposures. The patient's personal history included a resolved complete atrioventricular block that required a permanent pacemaker, moderate-to-severe COPD, rheumatoid arthritis (treated with oral prednisone, 2.5 mg/d) and B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia (treated with methotrexate and prophylactic oral supplements of ferrous sulfate). Moreover, he was in medical follow up because of a peptic ulcer, atrophic gastritis, and colonic diverticulosis. The patient also had a history of thoracic surgery after an episode of acute mediastinitis from an odontogenic infection, which required ICU management and temporal tracheostomy.


Subject(s)
Bronchoscopy/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Ferrous Compounds , Lung Diseases , Multiple Chronic Conditions/therapy , Respiratory Aspiration , Aged, 80 and over , Biopsy/methods , Bronchoalveolar Lavage/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Diagnosis, Differential , Ferrous Compounds/administration & dosage , Ferrous Compounds/adverse effects , Hematinics/administration & dosage , Hematinics/adverse effects , Hemoptysis/diagnosis , Hemoptysis/etiology , Humans , Lung Diseases/chemically induced , Lung Diseases/diagnostic imaging , Lung Diseases/physiopathology , Lung Diseases/therapy , Male , Respiratory Aspiration/complications , Respiratory Aspiration/diagnosis , Respiratory Aspiration/physiopathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Tomography, X-Ray Computed/methods , Withholding Treatment
9.
J Clin Pharm Ther ; 47(2): 243-247, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511340

ABSTRACT

WHAT IS KNOWN AND OBJECTIVE: Procalcitonin (PCT) levels rise in systemic inflammation, especially if bacterial in origin. COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, presents with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Elevated procalcitonin in COVID-19 is considered as a marker for severity of disease. There is no study available that indicates whether elevated PCT in COVID-19 is associated with inflammation or superimposed bacterial infection. The objective of this study is to evaluate the association between PCT levels and superadded bacterial infection, and the effect of discontinuation of antibiotic in the low PCT (<0.25 ng/ml) group on patients' outcomes. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of patients admitted with COVID-19 pneumonia at a single tertiary care centre. We collected information on demographics, co-morbidities, PCT level, antibiotic use, culture results for bacterial infection, hospital length of stay (LOS) and mortality. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Continuous variables were summarized with the sample median, interquartile range, mean and range. Categorical variables were summarized with number and percentage of patients. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: We studied a total of 147 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. 101 (69%) patients had a low PCT level (< 0.25 ng/ml). Bacterial culture results were negative for all patients, except 1 who had a markedly elevated PCT level (141.ng/ml). In patients with low PCT, 42% received no antibiotics, 59% received antibiotics initially, 32 (57%) patients antibiotic discontinued early (within 24 hours) and their culture remained negative for bacterial infections during hospitalizations. LOS was shorter (6 days in low PCT group compared to 9 days) in high PCT group. LOS was 1 day shorter (5 days vs 6 days) in no antibiotic group compared to antibiotic group. Our study examines the association between PCT level and superadded bacterial infection in COVID-19 pneumonia. Our results demonstrate that most patients admitted with COVID-19 have a low PCT (<0.25 ng/ml), which suggests no superadded bacterial infection and supports the previously published literature regarding low PCT in viral pneumonia. WHAT IS NEW AND CONCLUSION: Procalcitonin level remains low in the absence of bacterial infection. Early de-escalation/discontinuation of antibiotics is safe without adverse outcomes in COVID-19 pneumonia. Early de-escalation/discontinuation of antibiotics is associated with lower LOS.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Antimicrobial Stewardship/methods , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , Procalcitonin/blood , Withholding Treatment , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , Female , Humans , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Neurotherapeutics ; 18(4): 2397-2418, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509358

ABSTRACT

In the last 25 years, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) has had a major impact in the successful treatment of previously untreatable or poorly controlled autoimmune neurological disorders. Derived from thousands of healthy donors, IVIg contains IgG1 isotypes of idiotypic antibodies that have the potential to bind pathogenic autoantibodies or cross-react with various antigenic peptides, including proteins conserved among the "common cold"-pre-pandemic coronaviruses; as a result, after IVIg infusions, some of the patients' sera may transiently become positive for various neuronal antibodies, even for anti-SARS-CoV-2, necessitating caution in separating antibodies derived from the infused IVIg or acquired humoral immunity. IVIg exerts multiple effects on the immunoregulatory network by variably affecting autoantibodies, complement activation, FcRn saturation, FcγRIIb receptors, cytokines, and inflammatory mediators. Based on randomized controlled trials, IVIg is approved for the treatment of GBS, CIDP, MMN and dermatomyositis; has been effective in, myasthenia gravis exacerbations, and stiff-person syndrome; and exhibits convincing efficacy in autoimmune epilepsy, neuromyelitis, and autoimmune encephalitis. Recent evidence suggests that polymorphisms in the genes encoding FcRn and FcγRIIB may influence the catabolism of infused IgG or its anti-inflammatory effects, impacting on individualized dosing or efficacy. For chronic maintenance therapy, IVIg and subcutaneous IgG are effective in controlled studies only in CIDP and MMN preventing relapses and axonal loss up to 48 weeks; in practice, however, IVIg is continuously used for years in all the aforementioned neurological conditions, like is a "forever necessary therapy" for maintaining stability, generating challenges on when and how to stop it. Because about 35-40% of patients on chronic therapy do not exhibit objective neurological signs of worsening after stopping IVIg but express subjective symptoms of fatigue, pains, spasms, or a feeling of generalized weakness, a conditioning effect combined with fear that discontinuing chronic therapy may destabilize a multi-year stability status is likely. The dilemmas of continuing chronic therapy, the importance of adjusting dosing and scheduling or periodically stopping IVIg to objectively assess necessity, and concerns in accurately interpreting IVIg-dependency are discussed. Finally, the merit of subcutaneous IgG, the ineffectiveness of IVIg in IgG4-neurological autoimmunities, and genetic factors affecting IVIg dosing and efficacy are addressed.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System/immunology , Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System/therapy , Autoimmunity/immunology , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous/administration & dosage , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous/immunology , Withholding Treatment , Autoantibodies/drug effects , Autoantibodies/immunology , Autoimmunity/drug effects , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Treatment Outcome
11.
Lancet Oncol ; 22(11): 1507-1517, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505808

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Surgery is the main modality of cure for solid cancers and was prioritised to continue during COVID-19 outbreaks. This study aimed to identify immediate areas for system strengthening by comparing the delivery of elective cancer surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic in periods of lockdown versus light restriction. METHODS: This international, prospective, cohort study enrolled 20 006 adult (≥18 years) patients from 466 hospitals in 61 countries with 15 cancer types, who had a decision for curative surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic and were followed up until the point of surgery or cessation of follow-up (Aug 31, 2020). Average national Oxford COVID-19 Stringency Index scores were calculated to define the government response to COVID-19 for each patient for the period they awaited surgery, and classified into light restrictions (index <20), moderate lockdowns (20-60), and full lockdowns (>60). The primary outcome was the non-operation rate (defined as the proportion of patients who did not undergo planned surgery). Cox proportional-hazards regression models were used to explore the associations between lockdowns and non-operation. Intervals from diagnosis to surgery were compared across COVID-19 government response index groups. This study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04384926. FINDINGS: Of eligible patients awaiting surgery, 2003 (10·0%) of 20 006 did not receive surgery after a median follow-up of 23 weeks (IQR 16-30), all of whom had a COVID-19-related reason given for non-operation. Light restrictions were associated with a 0·6% non-operation rate (26 of 4521), moderate lockdowns with a 5·5% rate (201 of 3646; adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0·81, 95% CI 0·77-0·84; p<0·0001), and full lockdowns with a 15·0% rate (1775 of 11 827; HR 0·51, 0·50-0·53; p<0·0001). In sensitivity analyses, including adjustment for SARS-CoV-2 case notification rates, moderate lockdowns (HR 0·84, 95% CI 0·80-0·88; p<0·001), and full lockdowns (0·57, 0·54-0·60; p<0·001), remained independently associated with non-operation. Surgery beyond 12 weeks from diagnosis in patients without neoadjuvant therapy increased during lockdowns (374 [9·1%] of 4521 in light restrictions, 317 [10·4%] of 3646 in moderate lockdowns, 2001 [23·8%] of 11 827 in full lockdowns), although there were no differences in resectability rates observed with longer delays. INTERPRETATION: Cancer surgery systems worldwide were fragile to lockdowns, with one in seven patients who were in regions with full lockdowns not undergoing planned surgery and experiencing longer preoperative delays. Although short-term oncological outcomes were not compromised in those selected for surgery, delays and non-operations might lead to long-term reductions in survival. During current and future periods of societal restriction, the resilience of elective surgery systems requires strengthening, which might include protected elective surgical pathways and long-term investment in surge capacity for acute care during public health emergencies to protect elective staff and services. FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research Global Health Research Unit, Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland, Bowel and Cancer Research, Bowel Disease Research Foundation, Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons, British Association of Surgical Oncology, British Gynaecological Cancer Society, European Society of Coloproctology, Medtronic, Sarcoma UK, The Urology Foundation, Vascular Society for Great Britain and Ireland, and Yorkshire Cancer Research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Neoplasms/surgery , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Communicable Disease Control/legislation & jurisprudence , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/classification , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Proportional Hazards Models , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Time-to-Treatment , Withholding Treatment
14.
Pharmacol Res Perspect ; 9(6): e00861, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487514

ABSTRACT

Most but not all observational studies of statin treatment of COVID-19 patients suggest that treatment improves outcomes. However, almost all of these studies fail to consider that withdrawing statins after hospital admission may have detrimental effects, a finding which cardiovascular investigators have known for 15-20 years. Continuing or starting statin treatment after hospital admission consistently improves cardiovascular outcomes. Similarly, inpatient statin treatment of COVID-19 improves survival. For this reason, observational studies of the effectiveness of outpatient-documented statin treatment of COVID-19 patients must consider the negative consequences of statin withdrawal after hospital admission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Meta-Analysis as Topic , Observational Studies as Topic , Patient Admission , Treatment Outcome , Withholding Treatment
16.
J Med Ethics ; 46(8): 495-498, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467727

ABSTRACT

Key ethical challenges for healthcare workers arising from the COVID-19 pandemic are identified: isolation and social distancing, duty of care and fair access to treatment. The paper argues for a relational approach to ethics which includes solidarity, relational autonomy, duty, equity, trust and reciprocity as core values. The needs of the poor and socially disadvantaged are highlighted. Relational autonomy and solidarity are explored in relation to isolation and social distancing. Reciprocity is discussed with reference to healthcare workers' duty of care and its limits. Priority setting and access to treatment raise ethical issues of utility and equity. Difficult ethical dilemmas around triage, do not resuscitate decisions, and withholding and withdrawing treatment are discussed in the light of recently published guidelines. The paper concludes with the hope for a wider discussion of relational ethics and a glimpse of a future after the pandemic has subsided.


Subject(s)
Decision Making/ethics , Ethics, Clinical , Health Care Rationing/ethics , Health Equity/ethics , Health Personnel/ethics , Pandemics/ethics , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disaster Planning , Humans , Moral Obligations , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Poverty , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Professional-Patient Relations , Resuscitation Orders , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Values , Triage/ethics , Vulnerable Populations , Withholding Treatment/ethics
19.
Adv Rheumatol ; 61(1): 55, 2021 09 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388847

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Anti-rheumatic drugs can increase the predisposition to infection, and patients may be unaware of continuing their treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess whether patients maintain their treatment for rheumatic conditions during the pandemic period and determine the factors responsible for discontinuation. METHODS: Patients were randomly selected from the prospectively collected database of our tertiary referral center. The patients were interviewed by telephone through a standardized closed-ended questionnaire, which is targeting the continuity of the treatment plan and the considerations related to the individual choice. The patients were asked whether they hesitated to visit the hospital for follow-up or intravenous drug administration. RESULTS: A total of 278 patients completed the questionnaire. While 62 of the patients (22.3%) had reduced or interrupted the treatment, only 11 patients (3.9%) stopped the treatment completely. A significant difference was observed between the duration of illness and the discontinuation of treatment. (p = 0.023) There was a significant difference in disease activity between the group that stopped treatment and continued treatment. (p = 0.001) There was no statistically significant difference in other demographic characteristics. One hundred thirty-five patients (48.6%) made the treatment decision by themselves, and 80% continued the treatment. Reasons for stopping the treatment were anxiety (48.4%), not being able to go to the hospital for intravenous treatment (45.1%), and not being able to find the drug (6.5%). CONCLUSION: Since patients with long-term illnesses were found to be significantly more likely to stop their treatment, this group of patients should be monitored.


Subject(s)
Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , Attitude to Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Rheumatic Diseases/drug therapy , Withholding Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Antirheumatic Agents/supply & distribution , Anxiety , Continuity of Patient Care , Databases, Factual , Decision Making , Female , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Rheumatic Diseases/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data , Tertiary Care Centers , Young Adult
20.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol ; 147(5): 1469-1479, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384445

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The severe acute respiratory syndrome-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic disrupted medical care for persons with cancer including those with lymphoma. Many professional societies recommend postponing, decreasing, or stopping anti-cancer therapy in selected persons during the pandemic. Although seemingly sensible, these recommendations are not evidence-based and their impact on anxiety and health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) is unknown. METHODS: We surveyed 2532 subjects including 1060 persons with lymphoma, 948 caregivers, and 524 normals using a purposed-designed questionnaire on a patient organization website. Respondents also completed the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety and patient respondents, the EORTC QLQ-C30 instruments to quantify anxiety, and HRQoL. We also evaluated caregiver support and an online education programme of the Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology (CSCO). Data of HRQoL from a 2019 pre-pandemic online survey of 1106 persons with lymphoma were a control. RESULTS: 33% (95% confidence interval [CI] 30, 36%) of lymphoma patients and 31% (28, 34%) of caregivers but only 21% (17, 24%) of normals had any level of anxiety (both pair-wise P < 0.001). Among lymphoma respondents, physical exercise and better caregiver support were associated with less anxiety, whereas female sex, receiving therapy, and reduced therapy intensity were associated with more anxiety. Paradoxically, lymphoma respondents during the pandemic had better HRQoL than pre-pandemic controls. Reduced therapy intensity was associated with worse HRQoL, whereas respondents who scored caregiver support and the online patient education programme high had better HRQoL. CONCLUSION: During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, lymphoma patients and their caregivers had significantly higher incidences of anxiety compared with normals. Lymphoma respondents reported better HRQoL compared with pre-pandemic controls. Reduced therapy intensity in persons with cancer may have unanticipated adverse effects on anxiety and HRQoL. Regular and intense support by caregivers and online education programmes alleviate anxiety and improve HRQoL.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Lymphoma/therapy , Quality of Life/psychology , Withholding Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Caregivers/psychology , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Internet , Lymphoma/psychology , Male , Middle Aged , Psychosocial Support Systems , Risk , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
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