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P18: COVID-19 Self-Isolation Measures Seriously Impacted Quality of Medical Care for People Living with Chronic Conditions

Poster Presenter

      Valerie Powell

      • Chief Patient Officer, CorEvitas and EVP, Patient Experience
      • CorEvitas, LLC
        United States


The goal of this research was to understand the impact of social distancing, reduced access to medical care, medication shortages and diminished caregiver capacity on people living with chronic conditions early in the Covid-19 pandemic.


A quantitative online survey to over 5700 people with chronic conditions, from 3/31/20 to 4/10/20, requested feedback on state of health, healthcare visits, prescription challenges, use of telemedicine, and other concerns. (Survey fielded with assistance from Rare Patient Voice and CureClick.)


Two-thirds of those surveyed reported having more health-related concerns because of the COVID-19 crisis. While a significant majority (72%) had not yet seen changes in the quality of their medical care, the trends surrounding prescription challenges and missed healthcare visits suggest more problems to come. Overall, 26% noted difficulties in filling prescriptions, but that number was significantly higher (42%) for those already in poor health, who deal with multiple comorbidities and have more prescription needs. Furthermore, with the increased demand for off-label use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine over a period of several weeks, more than half of those with lupus reported challenges obtaining their medication. While drug availability is a major contributing factor, 32% said they simply had no way to pick up their prescriptions. More than two-thirds (68%) of survey respondents overall said they have more health concerns because of COVID-19, and of that number, more than half report feelings of anxiety, worry or stress. Concerns were highest among patients with COPD (89%), pulmonary arterial hypertension (85%), lupus (83%), cystic fibrosis (83%), and Crohn’s disease (79%). The numbers also underscore a growing need for more widely available telemedicine services. Home delivery of prescriptions was used by less than a third (31%) of all respondents. Only 38% of respondents said they received telephone support from a healthcare professional, with one-quarter having used videoconferencing in place of in-person physician visits.


Optimizing the provision of healthcare resources to chronically ill patients needs to be addressed by the healthcare community. While the severity of impact of COVID-19 on healthcare delivery may be slowly diminishing with the implementation of vaccinations and other precautionary measures, adequate mobilization of prescription delivery services, home health nursing, and telemedicine visits should continue to be prioritized through evaluation, development, and deployment by healthcare entities. Further, social service support for those with increased anxiety and stress levels should also be addressed. Ultimately, this survey highlighted those areas of greatest need for chronically ill individuals and potential areas for further growth and development in support mechanisms.