Introduction: The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has demanded care changes for patients with chronic disease. Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) are considered at higher risk of developing severe manifestations in the case of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and a need for new ways of safer care delivery has been required to avoid transmission.
Objectives: To assess the impact of the lockdown during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and remote monitoring on patient's health status and daily maintenance therapy in a middle-income resource setting.
Methods: During the first wave of the pandemic period, we changed from regular clinic visits to telephone visit calls to monitor our patients' health condition and adherence to physiotherapy and physical exercise.
Results: A total of 120 patients or their caregivers have been contacted by telephone call visits over 10 weeks. During this period, 38 patients (28.33%) were identified to have pulmonary exacerbation; 89.5% were prescribed oral antibiotics, 3% were hospitalized to get iv antibiotics, and 8% of the patients presented other CF complications. Most of the patients did not change the frequency of the daily physiotherapy. Moreover, 71% of the patients who performed regular physical exercise changed the frequency and the type of exercise during the quarantine period. Interestingly, mean forced expiratory volume in 1 s and body weight increased significantly and after the lockdown period.
Conclusions: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of telephone contact processes aiming for CF patients' appropriate care is of great importance. Further studies are needed to evaluate patient outcomes when transitioning from face-to-face clinics to telemedicine clinics.
Keywords: COVID-19; cystic fibrosis; monitoring; telemedicine; telephone visits.
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