Psychological impact of coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on patients with rheumatological disorders: A web-based cross-sectional multicentric survey
GC Yathish1, Yogesh Preet Singh2, Shiva Prasad3, Nagaraj Srinivasulu4, Sharath Kumar4, R Subramanian5, Pramod Chebbi6, Vikramraj Jain7, Naman Jain2, Satish Kumar8
1 Department of Rheumatology, Manipal Hospital Whitefield, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Rheumatology, Manipal hospitals, Old Airport Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Rheumatology, Apollo BGS Hospitals, Mysuru, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Rheumatology, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
5 Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, JSS Academy of Higher Education and research, JSS Medical College, Mysuru, Karnataka, India
6 Department of Rheumatology, SDM College of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Dharwad, Karnataka, India
7 Department of Rheumatology, Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
8 Department of Clinical Psychology, Manipal hospitals Old Airport Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Dr. G C Yathish
Department of Rheumatology, Manipal Hospital Whitefield, KR Puram Hobli, Bengaluru - 560 066, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in uncertainty and negative psychological outcomes for patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases for several reasons. It is essential to understand the level of anxiety among rheumatic disease patients at the current situation of COVID-19.
Objectives and Methods: A web-based cross-sectional multicenter survey was done across 5 rheumatology centers in India. The study duration was between 9th May and May 16, 2020. The questionnaire included consent, demographic details, medication history, opinion about tele rheumatology services, and anxiety score measured by Beck Anxiety Inventory.
Results: The survey was sent to 2987 patients, there were 933 responses, and 581 were complete (male = 175). Complete responses were considered for data analysis. Rheumatoid arthritis was the most frequent (50.6%) diagnosis followed by other conditions. Most of the patients (43%) were on combination disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug therapy, 12.7% of patients were on biological drugs, and 23.9% of patients were on glucocorticoids (GCs). Statistically significant higher anxiety scores were observed in females (8.79 ± 9.3), fibromyalgia patients (19.78 ± 14.8), patients on GCs (9.26 ± 8.8), and biological agents (10.65 ± 10.6). Difficulty in meeting rheumatologists and getting medications was expressed by 327 (56.2%) and 73 (29.7%) respondents, respectively.
Conclusion: The findings of the study revealed that anxiety is a major concern in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases. Fibromyalgia patients and those who were on GC and biological drugs were found to have more anxiety levels compared to other groups of patients. There is a need to intensify the awareness and address the mental health issues.