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2022 Mar 31

Rheumatol Int

Isolation in patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases during COVID-19 pandemic compared to healthy individuals: a questionnaire survey.


Eriksen T E, Dinesen WKH, Uhrenholt L, Dreyer L, Duch K, Kristensen S
Rheumatol Int. 2022 Mar 31.
PMID: 35359192.


As a result of the pandemic, many patients with an inflammatory rheumatic disease (IRD) have isolated themselves. The lack of disease management together with fear of infection could lead to changes in physical- and mental health. The aim of this study was to evaluate the social- and health behaviour in patients with an IRD compared with the behaviour of healthy individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study was a questionnaire survey answered by patients with an IRD and healthy individuals (HI). The questionnaire contained seven sections with questions regarding COVID-19 and quality of life including SF-36, EQ-5D-5L, and visual analogue scale (VAS) pain, fatigue and global health. Of 1663 invited participants, 661 patients with IRD and 266 HI were included in the analyses. Patients with an IRD felt more isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with HI (IRD: 9.5% (61/644), HI: 3.1% (8/259), p-value = 0.001). More HI (5.4%) had been infected with COVID-19 than patients with an IRD (1.7%). Among patients with an IRD those with worse self-reported disease activity outcomes (VAS pain, fatigue and global health, all p-value < 0.001), worse social functioning and emotional well-being were more isolated than individuals with low disease activity. Patients with an IRD feel more isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to HI. Isolation seems to be most pronounced in patients with worse disease related patient-reported outcomes and lower quality of life.