Evaluating the impact of COVID-19 on rare disease support groups

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Abstract

Objectives:
The impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic has been felt worldwide. Many vulnerable populations rely heavily on peer support provided by individual or collaborative groups. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on groups supporting patients with a rare disease(s). Anecdotally the current pandemic significantly changed the way in which these groups operate and the services they can provide.

Data description:
A targeted survey was conducted online with rare disease individual or collaborative groups. The results of the survey highlight the challenges individual and collaborative groups are facing during this pandemic and help to identify what support should be put in place to enable them to sustain their much-valued service through these trialing times. Groups have experienced an increase in calls to their helplines as well as followers to their websites and social media feeds. Groups are no longer meeting in person and so online meetings, webinars and zoom chats have become a regular occurrence. Fundraising was highlighted as an area of concern for such groups. It is hoped that this data might be used to highlight the support individual and collaborative groups require while also raising awareness of the value they bring to many.
Original languageEnglish
Article number168
JournalBMC Research Notes
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 06 May 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Charity
  • Collaborative group
  • Impact
  • Online
  • Qualitative
  • Rare disease
  • Survey

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