Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Rheumatology Care

The coronavirus pandemic (also known as COVID-19) has caused massive changes to the way clinics are run in the National Health Service (NHS).

Rheumatology treatment has been continuing though, but in new and different ways. And we have all been looking at how we can best care for our patients under the new circumstances.

Face-to-face clinics are now often replaced by telephone or video appointments. In some cases, clinic appointments have had to be cancelled all together.

We are a group of doctors and researchers from University College London. In this short questionnaire, we would like to find out how you’ve been affected by these changes.

In particular we are interested in;

1.     How coronavirus has impacted on your care.
2.     Whether there have been changes to your usual medication or if you have had difficulties in getting your medicine.
3.     What you would like for your future care in the rheumatology clinic.


This is your opportunity to help shape how future care is given! This survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete

 
The results of this survey may be interesting for other doctors and nurses at other hospitals and by completing this survey you are consenting to us sharing the results in the form of anonymised publication. None of your personal identifiable information will be collected in this study. It is completely anonymous.
Thank you
Dr Chris Wincup, Dr Raj Amarnani & Prof Ian Giles
University College London Rheumatology

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* 1. Where do you live?

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* 2. What is your gender?

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* 3. How old are you?

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* 4. What is your ethnicity?

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* 5. What conditions are you currently being looked after for in the rheumatology clinic? For example, what is often put as the diagnosis on your clinic letters

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* 6. Do you have any of these other health conditions?

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* 7. Have you been told by a doctor or nurse that you were required to ‘shield’ or were in an ‘extremely clinically vulnerable group’ at any point since February 2020?

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* 8. Compared with before coronavirus, how difficult have you found it to contact...

  Very difficult / impossible Difficult Neither difficult nor easy Easy Very easy N/A
Your GP
Your rheumatologist
Your rheumatology nurse

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* 9. What treatments have you taken in the last 12 months?

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* 10. Thinking about the medication you use to control your rheumatic illness, since the coronavirus pandemic started in February 2020, have you experienced any of the following? (Please select all applicable)

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* 11. How many appointments have you had with your rheumatologist in the 12 months before lockdown (excluding attending for infusion treatment)?

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* 12. How have your planned hospital appointments been affected as a result of the coronavirus pandemic? (Tick all applicable)

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* 13. Have you had a remote consultation (telephone or video appointment) instead of your planned face-to-face appointment since the coronavirus pandemic started?

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* 14. Prior to coronavirus (i.e. before February 2020), have you previously had a telephone or video appointment instead of a face-to-face appointment (excluding being called in an emergency or your doctor calling you about results of blood tests or scans). This includes with your GP, rheumatologist or other doctor

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* 15. In relation to face-to-face, video and telephone appointments. How much to you agree with the following statements?

  Strongly disagree Disagree Neither agree nor disagree Agree Strongly agree
Telephone / video clinics would be easier for me as I do not have to travel to see the doctor
I would find it easier to be honest with my doctor in a telephone appointment compared with a face-to-face appointment
I am satisfied with the current care I am receiving
The care that I am currently getting from the rheumatology clinic is worse than before the coronavirus pandemic
I feel that I need to see my rheumatologist now but I have not been able to get an appointment
I am worried that my future care will be negatively affected because of changes to my appointments
It is important to me to see my doctor face-to-face in a hospital appointment
Face-to-face appointments allow me to show my doctor what is wrong and I do not think this can be done as well through telephone or video appointments
I am happy to travel to the hospital to see my rheumatologists as I feel that it is easier to communicate and explain my symptoms / worries in person
I am worried about attending face-to-face appointments at the hospital with my rheumatologists because I fear I may catch coronavirus
If offered a face-to-face appointment in the hospital, I would want to be able to bring a friend or relative with me

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* 16. The next set of questions are about your future care in the rheumatology clinic. This includes both the short term (in the next few months) and in the next 2-5 years (when we hope that coronavirus will no longer be a significant danger). How much to you agree with the following statements?

  Strongly disagree Disagree Neither agree nor disagree Agree Strongly agree
If given the option in the next few months I would rather have a telephone appointment than a face-to-face appointment
If given the option in the next few months, I would rather have a video appointment than a face-to-face appointment
If given the option in the next few months, I would prefer to continue with my usual face-to-face appointment
Thinking longer term (2-5 years), I would prefer all my appointments are via telephone
Thinking longer term (2-5 years), I would prefer all my appointments are via video appointments
Thinking longer term (2-5 years), I would prefer all my appointments remain face-to-face like they were previously
I have good access to the internet and a computer so would find it easy to have video appointments
I worry that if I can’t answer my telephone when the doctor calls then I will miss my appointment and it will be cancelled
In the next few years, I would like to have a combination of face-to-face appointments, telephone appointments and video appointments instead of all being face-to-face
I would prefer to see my doctor face-to-face for every appointment

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* 17. If given the option in the next few months, what proportion of telephone and remote appointments (remote meaning video or telephone) would you prefer, assuming the remainder will be face-to-face

More remote appointments (video or telephone) Even split between both More face to face appointments
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i We adjusted the number you entered based on the slider’s scale.

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* 18. If given the option in the next 2-5 years, what proportion of telephone and remote appointments (remote meaning video or telephone) would you prefer, assuming the remainder will be face-to-face

More remote appointments (video or telephone) Even split between both More face to face appointments
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i We adjusted the number you entered based on the slider’s scale.

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* 19. If your future rheumatology care involves less face-to-face visits, how do you think this would influence your willingness and ability to take part in research studies including clinical trials in which you need to come to hospital for treatment or give blood samples for research?

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