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23.07.2021 | COVID-19 | Observational Research | Ausgabe 10/2021 Zur Zeit gratis

Rheumatology International 10/2021

Mental health and quality of life for people with rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis in Aotearoa New Zealand following the COVID-19 national lockdown

Rheumatology International > Ausgabe 10/2021
Grace Johnstone, Gareth J. Treharne, Benjamin D. Fletcher, Roisin S. M. Lamar, Douglas White, Andrew Harrison, Simon Stebbings
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The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of lockdown on the mental health (anxiety and depression) and quality of life (QOL) of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and public health measures instituted at a national level by the New Zealand Government. The present cohort was 104 individuals with RA (73.1%) and AS (26.9%) who had previously completed surveys for the Patient Opinion Real-Time Anonymous Liaison (PORTAL) project in 2018. Participants completed an online survey between July and September 2020 assessing their experiences over the first national COVID-19 lockdown in New Zealand (March–May, 2020). Fear of SARS-CoV-2 infection, baseline anxiety, and being younger in age were all predictors of participants’ current anxiety levels. Current QOL scores were significantly lower than prior to lockdown and were predicted by baseline QOL and current depression. No variables predicted current depression other than baseline levels. The COVID-19 pandemic appears to have had an impact on QOL and anxiety levels, but not depression for people with RA and AS in New Zealand. These novel findings imply that appropriate screening of mental health issues should be included in planning within the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and for future pandemics to optimise the wellbeing of people with RA and AS.

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