APEPOC and the Spanish foundation of pneumology (NEUMOMADRID) conducted a study to assess the impact of COVID-19 on COPD patients and healthcare attention.
Summary of the report:
The results of the surveys reveal that the impact of the pandemic on COPD in Spain has been very important. At the patient level, patients show a worsening in shortness of breath and quality of life and sleep, and a worsening of their mood, with more than 80% of patients reporting feeling depressed and not wanting to do anything. It also highlights the difficulty of access to health services during the pandemic. In terms of health care, this impact is evidenced mainly at the level of missed examinations, follow-ups, and pulmonary function tests.
The COVID-19 pandemic has motivated a change in the health system. While it is true that acute patient care has focused a large part of the available resources, people not infected by coronavirus continue to have chronic diseases that require proper healthcare. The imposition of the state of alarm by the Spanish Government, as the main measure to avoid contagion, represented a new healthcare scenario that made it necessary to redefine the care of chronic patients, giving rise to a short and long-term change in the clinical approach to patients with respiratory diseases, such as COPD.
A study on the impact of COVID-19 on people with chronic disease in Spain, based on an online survey of 529 volunteers who participated anonymously, showed that almost 80% of the participants had more than one chronic disease and had presented various problems and situations during the state of alarm related to their pathology, such as:
- Delay in their consultations
- Tests or scheduled interventions
- Difficulties getting their medication
- Symptoms caused by their illness
- Forgetting to take medication
- Perception of worsening of their health
- Lack of specific information about the prevention measures they should take specifically for their disease or chronic symptom.
This highlights the impact of COVID-19 on COPD patients.