The objectives were to further understand how individuals living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were impacted by COVID-19 in April 2020. In-person doctor visits are an important part of managing RA, especially physical exams to assess disease activity, and for some patients, to have their medication administered.
Patients with RA may be at higher risk of severe COVID-19 if infected due to factors including underlying comorbidities, age, and/or treatment with immunosuppressive medications. COVID-19 could further impact patient adherence to medication, and patient and provider willingness to have in-person visits.
Within one week, Evidation was able to recruit 1,235 individuals who reported a self-diagnosis of RA from its connected app. Participants provided demographic information and answered questions about their health and disease management behaviors in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Disclaimer: Due to the cross sectional nature of the survey and lack of control group, it is not possible to attribute the independent effect of COVID-19 on behaviors.
Results suggest a high rate of cancellation or postponement of in-person appointments, and a high level of discomfort going to provider’s office during the
How comfortable are you going to your specialist or primary care doctor for an in-person appointment related to your chronic condition during the pandemic?
• 57% report being either uncomfortable or very uncomfortable
The pandemic has far-reaching effects on healthcare
Evidation asked individuals: “In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which of the following medications are you currently taking exactly as prescribed by a doctor?”
Results suggest that self-reported nonadherence to medication has more than doubled during the pandemic.
Overall, 65% of individuals who had a scheduled doctor’s appointment either postponed or cancelled the visit. This suggests that patients were unable to receive routine check-ups or in-office injections due to the pandemic.
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