10 Nov COVID-19 Impact on Quality of Life of BIPOC Patients with Rheumatic Conditions
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Courtney K. Wells, PhD, MSW, MPH, LGSW
Assistant Professor & Field Coordinator
Department of Social Work
University of Wisconsin-River Falls and member of CreakyJoints
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: This study was initiated because early in the pandemic there was little information available regarding quality of life and the day-to-day activities of patients with rheumatic conditions. We were particularly interested in patients’ psychosocial experiences and how they made decisions about their health. We found that participants’ understanding of their risk for COVID-19 played a key role in their decision making processes.
At the beginning of the pandemic, many participants viewed themselves as being high risk because of their condition and/or medications and took extreme precautions. These precautions isolated them from their family, friends, and healthcare, all of which negatively affected their physical and mental health. As the pandemic went on, participants described an exhausting balancing act between their risk for COVID-19, their rheumatic condition, and their mental health. Because we did interviews over 6 months, we saw participants shifting their priorities towards their mental health as more information became available and the vaccine emerged. We also learned that rheumatology patients from BIPOC ( Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and immigrant communities experienced unique stressors during the pandemic such as barriers to accessible and trusted healthcare providers and increased experiences of racism.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Stress related to the pandemic exacerbated both physical and mental health conditions and healthcare was inaccessible and insufficient for many patients. Participants wanted more information and support from the rheumatology community to help with making difficult decisions regarding COVID-19 precautions and the management of their rheumatic conditions.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: More research into the balancing act between physical and mental health could inform interventions to help patients with rheumatic conditions make challenging decisions during stressful times in their lives. Also, further research needs to investigate how BIPOC and immigrant communities experience rheumatology care and the barriers they face in receiving services.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: No disclosures. Our research team included several patient partners from diverse backgrounds who helped with data collection and analysis.
ABSTRACT NUMBER: 1599 Meeting: ACR Convergence 2021
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Quality of Life of Patients with Rheumatic Conditions: A Qualitative Analysis of Perceived Risk and Decision Making
Courtney Wells1, Guadalupe Torres2, William Nowell3, Shilpa Venkatachalam3, Laura Stradford4, Kelly Gavigan3, Barbara Boyd-Floering5, Maria I. Danila6 and Kristine Carandang7, 1University of Wisconsin-River Falls, White Bear Lake, MN, 2Patient Partner, Brooklyn Center, MN, 3Global Healthy Living Foundation, Upper Nyack, NY, 4Global Healthy Living Foundation, Nyack, NY, 5Whelton Virshup CreakyJoints Arthritis Clinic/ Global Healthy Living Foundation, Lake Worth, FL, 6University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, 7Independent, San Diego, CA
The information on MedicalResearch.com is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.