Purpose: On March 16, 2020, the Spanish government declared a state of alarm due to the rapid spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were restricted to remain confined at home, and medical visits were cancelled for 3 months. The impact of this lockdown on the manifestations of COPD and the quality-of-life of these patients has not been explored.
Patients and methods: One hundred patients with COPD were interviewed by telephone from May 2-18, 2020. The interviews included questions about the lockdown, missed medical appointments, fears of the disease, possible COVID-19 infection, and exacerbations of COPD suffered during this period and their management. In addition, the COPD Assessment Test, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression, and the 5-Dimension Euro Quality-of-Life questionnaires were administered.
Results: Sixty-four (64%) patients claimed to have strictly complied with the lockdown, and only 42 (42%) stated they had left home at least once during lockdown. Only one patient (1%) was hospitalized due to COVID-19, and 13 (13%) patients presented an exacerbation of COPD self-managed at home with no admissions due to exacerbation of COPD during this period. A medical consultation or complementary test was cancelled in 90% of the patients, but 61% had a medical telephone visit with a high degree of satisfaction (mean 9.3/10). Most patients declared that their feeling regarding lung disease and general health was similar or even better during lockdown (82% and 81%, respectively).
Conclusion: Our results indicate that in general lockdown had a low impact on COPD patients. Only one patient was affected by COVID-19, but moderate exacerbations of COPD were not infrequent. Although many medical visits and test were cancelled, patients were very satisfied with the medical telephone visits.
Keywords: COPD; COVID-19; lockdown.
© 2020 Pleguezuelos et al.