Findings from an Italian cohort of Sjögren’s patients have identified a variety of unmet needs resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which, the authors of the study note, can help inform individualized strategies for patient care. '
Investigators contacted 102 Sjögren’s patients for a telephone consultation to discuss disease status and treatment information related to COVID-19. These conversations found that most rheumatology consultations or other Sjögren’s-related tests had been cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic and only 27% of patients had contacted their rheumatologist for a telemedicine appointment despite experiencing disease flares or a shortage of therapy. Thirty nine of the contacted patients were taking hydroxychloroquine, 16 of whom experienced an interruption in treatment.
Notably, disease activity, the VAS dryness, VAS xerostomia, VAS xerophtalmia and ESSPRI worsened during closures related to the pandemic when compared to their most recent face-to-face visit.
Carubbi F, Alunno A, Ferri C, Gerli R, Bartoloni E. The impact of SARS-CoV-2 outbreak on primary Sjögren’s syndrome: an Italian experience. Front Med (Lausanne). 2020 Dec 7;7:608728. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2020.608728. PMID: 33425954; PMCID: PMC7793887.