02.02.2023 | COVID-19 | Nephrology - Original Paper
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to healthcare, physical and mental health among patients with chronic kidney disease in Victoria, Australia
Erschienen in: International Urology and NephrologyEinloggen, um Zugang zu erhalten
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the difficulties healthcare systems face to care for patients with chronic diseases. In the state of Victoria, Australia, the government implemented a state-wide lockdown and restricted the delivery of healthcare to limit the spread of the virus. This study investigated the impact of the pandemic on healthcare access, mental and physical health for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Patients with stage 4 or 5 CKD were recruited from the nephrology unit of a metropolitan hospital in Victoria. Participants completed a quantitative and qualitative questionnaire that assessed the impact of the pandemic on their access to healthcare and mental and physical health. The quantitative data were analysed by a series of one-way between-groups analysis of variance (ANOVAs) comparing impact between different time periods since the beginning of the pandemic.
Participants (n = 75) completed the questionnaire from 30 March 2020 to 29 September 2021. Participants reported significant disruptions to accessing healthcare in the initial 6 months of the pandemic. There were no significant differences in the quantitative assessments of physical and mental health of participants across the 18 months of this study. The participants’ qualitative comments about disrupted normal activities, feeling vulnerable to COVID-19, transitioning to telehealth, feeling isolated and vaccination protection provided further insight into the cumulative negative mental health impact of the extended lockdown.
Our findings highlight the importance of optimising telehealth to improve communication between CKD patients and their treating teams and continuing to monitor the impacts of pandemic restrictions on patients’ mental and physical health.