The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on severe asthma care in Europe: will care change for good?

Katrien Eger, Dora Paroczai, Alison Bacon, Florence Schleich, Svetlana Sergejeva, Arnaud Bourdin, Isabelle Vachier, Eleftherios Zervas, Konstantinos Katsoulis, Dimosthenis Papapetrou, Konstantinos Kostikas, Zsuzsanna Csoma, Enrico Heffler, Giorgio Walter Canonica, Ineta Grisle, Kristina Bieksiene, Jolita Palacionyte, Anneke Ten Brinke, Simone Hashimoto, Frank W J M SmeenkGert-Jan Braunstahl, Simone van der Sar, Florin Mihălţan, Natalia Nenasheva, Marina Peredelskaya, Biljana Zvezdin, Ivan Čekerevac, Sanja Hromiš, Vojislav Ćupurdija, Zorica Lazic, Branislava Milenkovic, Sanja Dimic-Janjic, Valentyna Yasinska, Barbro Dahlén, Apostolos Bossios, Nikolaos Lazarinis, David Aronsson, Arne Egesten, Abul Kashem Mohammad Munir, Lars Ahlbeck, Christer Janson, Sabina Škrgat, Natalija Edelbaher, Joerg Leuppi, Fabienne Jaun, Jochen Rüdiger, Nikolay Pavlov, Pietro Gianella, Reta Fischer, Florian Charbonnier, Rekha Chaudhuri, Steven James Smith, Simon Doe, Michelle Fawdon, Matthew Masoli, Liam Heaney, Hans Michael Haitchi, Ramesh Kurukulaaratchy, Olivia Fulton, Betty Frankemölle, Toni Gibson, Karen Needham, Peter Howarth, Ratko Djukanovic, Elisabeth Bel, Michael Hyland

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Abstract

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has put pressure on healthcare services, forcing the reorganisation of traditional care pathways. We investigated how physicians taking care of severe asthma patients in Europe reorganised care, and how these changes affected patient satisfaction, asthma control and future care.

Methods: In this European-wide cross-sectional study, patient surveys were sent to patients with a physician-diagnosis of severe asthma, and physician surveys to severe asthma specialists between November 2020 and May 2021.

Results: 1101 patients and 268 physicians from 16 European countries contributed to the study. Common physician-reported changes in severe asthma care included use of video/phone consultations (46%), reduced availability of physicians (43%) and change to home-administered biologics (38%). Change to phone/video consultations was reported in 45% of patients, of whom 79% were satisfied or very satisfied with this change. Of 709 patients on biologics, 24% experienced changes in biologic care, of whom 92% were changed to home-administered biologics and of these 62% were satisfied or very satisfied with this change. Only 2% reported worsening asthma symptoms associated with changes in biologic care. Many physicians expect continued implementation of video/phone consultations (41%) and home administration of biologics (52%).

Conclusions: Change to video/phone consultations and home administration of biologics was common in severe asthma care during the COVID-19 pandemic and was associated with high satisfaction levels in most but not all cases. Many physicians expect these changes to continue in future severe asthma care, though satisfaction levels may change after the pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
JournalERJ Open Research
Volume8
Issue number2
Early online date16 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 16 May 2022

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