Change in CF care throughout COVID‐19 pandemic: Single‐middle expertise in a center‐earnings setting

Change in CF care throughout COVID‐19 pandemic: Single‐middle expertise in a center‐earnings setting

The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has change into a major world well being downside.1 Many nations have really useful quarantine to lower person-to-person transmission of COVID-19,2 whereas most cystic fibrosis (CF) facilities have suggested their CF populations to isolate socially.3 Historically, constant follow-up care with frequent hospital visits is required to keep away from a decline in pulmonary and dietary well being amongst CF sufferers. In the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, many hospitals shifted their workforces to the quickly escalating numbers of COVID-19 admissions and halted routine medical work, together with outpatient providers, to restrict contamination and an infection dangers.2 Thus emerged the paramount want to watch continual sufferers at house by digital visits utilizing telemedicine.3

To adjust to the social distancing coverage and observe up with our sufferers commonly, having on the similar time a monetary assets limitation, our CF middle contacted all its sufferers by way of cellphone to watch their medical situation and well being care wants throughout the first quarantine interval. The goal of this research was to evaluate the influence of distant monitoring on affected person’s well being standing and day by day upkeep remedy in a middle-income useful resource setting.

A potential research was performed amongst youngsters and adults with CF from March 2020 till Might 2020, now acknowledged because the pandemic’s first wave. A CF nurse carried out month-to-month phone go to calls with our CF sufferers throughout the quarantine interval. A questionnaire was used to gather info instantly from the sufferers or their caregivers on their medical situation, change in respiratory and gastroenteric signs, present weight, fever, or every other issues/complaints; furthermore, medicine adherence, physiotherapy, and bodily train had been recorded. The multidisciplinary CF crew (MDT) carried out common conferences to debate the problems that had been identified within the phone calls. If required, antibiotics or bronchodilators had been prescribed for a doable pulmonary exacerbation or a hospital go to, and doable admission was organized. The research was authorised by the “Hippokration Hospital of Thessaloniki” Ethics Committee. Knowledgeable consent was obtained from all of the sufferers or guardians if the sufferers had been underneath 18 years.

Descriptive statistics had been used to research the research inhabitants. All parameters had been described as imply and SD. Statistical evaluation was carried out utilizing SPSS for Home windows model 20.0 (SPSS Statistics 20, IBM Hellas Inc.).

We contacted 120 sufferers aged 1–30 years by phone from March to Might 2020. The imply (SD) time between the 2 onsite visits within the clinic (earlier than and after the quarantine interval) was 4.08 (1.53) months. The imply compelled expiratory quantity in 1 s (FEV1) %, measured over the 2 onsite visits within the clinic, elevated considerably over the quarantine interval (imply ΔFEV1; 95% confidence interval (COI) (3.19; 0.36–6.02), p = .028; the imply weight elevated considerably; imply ΔWeight, kg; 95% COI (1.0; 0.61–1.4); p < .0001.

A number of CF issues had been reported. A complete of 38 out of 120 sufferers (28.33%) had been recognized to have a doable pulmonary exacerbation, primarily based on the elevated respiratory signs, fever, anorexia, or weight reduction; they had been handled both with oral antibiotics (89.5%) or with IV antibiotics (3%). Furthermore, two sufferers had been recognized with distal intestinal obstruction syndrome; one was sophisticated with pneumothorax, one with hemoptysis, two with latest onset of pancreatic insufficiency, and one affected person with new onset of cystic fibrosis–associated diabetes (polyuria and weight reduction had been reported throughout the phone name).

Earlier than the lockdown, 79.5% of the sufferers reported performing physiotherapy day by day, 8.2% reported performing physiotherapy 2–4 occasions per week, and 12.3% reported performing no physiotherapy in any respect. Many of the CF sufferers (88.5%) didn’t change the frequency of their day by day physiotherapy follow throughout the COVID-19 pandemic (Desk 1). In addition to, earlier than the pandemic, 49.2% of the CF sufferers carried out additional assisted airway clearance by a physiotherapist that visited their house as soon as per week by a house care program. In the course of the research interval, 71.2% of them discontinued this home-care program. Regarding bodily train, earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic, 97 (81%) of the CF sufferers had been reported performing common train weekly. In the course of the pandemic, 72% of the sufferers modified the train kind, whereas 71% diminished train frequency.

Desk 1.
Impression of the COVID-19 pandemic on sufferers’ day by day airways clearance and bodily exercise

Complete topics

No change in frequency

Much less steadily

Extra steadily

Each day airways clearance


99/120 (82.5)

12 (10.0)

9 (7.5)

Assisted airways clearance


16 (27.1)

42 (71.2)

1 (1.7)

Each day bodily exercise


44 (45.4)

69 (71.1)

7 (7.2)

Word: Knowledge are introduced as numbers (%).

Abbreviation: COVID-19, coronavirus 2019.

The present COVID-19 pandemic elevated telemedicine’s want to watch sufferers with continual ailments at house, forestall contamination, and disseminate COVID-19.2 Shut monitoring of the CF sufferers by common phone calls led to early detection and acceptable administration of pulmonary exacerbations and CF issues. Early recognition and therapy of those episodes have a vital influence on the long-term decline in lung operate, high quality of life, and life expectancy.

The decline in FEV1 is typical of just about all sufferers with CF.2 Apparently there was a rise in FEV1 after the lockdown interval, in comparison with the interval earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic, which may be defined by the truth that our sufferers had fewer chest infections, in all probability due to the low unfold of viral infections because of the lockdown measures.1 Dwelling isolation with a low incidence of viral infections, much less bodily exercise, and extra ultra-processed meals consuming may clarify the load achieve over the quarantine interval.

Physiotherapy is an integral part of CF care, together with airway clearance and train; our sufferers had been inspired to observe self-physiotherapy applications and bodily train to keep up their bodily health. As a consequence of social distancing measures, most households with CF sufferers have stopped the assisted physiotherapy house care program. Bodily train varieties a vital a part of commonplace take care of folks with cystic fibrosis because it has a number of useful results.4 In the course of the lockdown measures established over the coronavirus outbreak, gyms have been closed, and crew sports activities actions have been halted. Though a major proportion of our CF inhabitants had made bodily train a part of their on a regular basis life, they needed to change the train kind throughout the lockdown days, and 71% of them diminished train frequency. Over these peculiar circumstances, we have to encourage them to take part in various train applications to keep up their health.

In the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a change in CF care in most CF facilities; digital visits have changed face-to-face onsite visits with the MDT. In our CF middle, to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic in a middle-income setting, the onsite visits had been changed by a phone go to name primarily based on a questionnaire. Shut monitoring of the CF sufferers with a phone go to program appears to be an inexpensive, easy, and simply relevant resolution with important useful well being results in youngsters with continual ailments in a center useful resource setting over the COVID-19 pandemic. It might be a priceless device to watch the well being standing, doable exacerbations of the illness, issues, adherence to medicine, physiotherapy, and train. Additional research are wanted to judge affected person outcomes when transitioning from face-to-face to telemedicine clinics.


We want to acknowledge all of the sufferers and their households for agreeing to take part anonymously on this research; we might additionally prefer to acknowledge our CF nurse, Efrosyni Kalaitzidou, for contacting all of the households and supporting them, particularly throughout this era of social distancing.


The authors declare that there are not any battle of pursuits.


Elpis Hatziagorou: conceptualization (lead); knowledge curation (lead); formal evaluation (lead); investigation (lead); methodology (lead); venture administration (lead); assets (lead); supervision (equal); validation (lead); visualization (lead); writing authentic draft (lead); writing overview & enhancing (equal). Ilektra Toulia: knowledge curation (equal); investigation (equal); writing authentic draft (equal); writing overview & enhancing (equal). Vasiliki Avramidou: knowledge curation (supporting); writing authentic draft (supporting). Asterios Kampouras: knowledge curation (supporting); writing authentic draft (supporting). Venetia Tsara: writing authentic draft (supporting); writing overview & enhancing (supporting). John Tsanakas: conceptualization (equal); knowledge curation (equal); formal evaluation (equal); investigation (equal); methodology (equal); venture administration (equal); assets (lead); supervision (lead); validation (equal); visualization (lead); writing authentic draft (lead); writing overview & enhancing (lead).

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