J Korean Med Sci.  2020 Dec;35(48):e423. 10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e423.

Changing Patterns of Medical Visits and Factors Associated with No-show in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis during COVID-19 Pandemic

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Nursing, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Yangsan, Korea
  • 2Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Yangsan, Korea
  • 3Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Haeundae Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea
  • 4Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, Korea
  • 5Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Pusan National University Hospital, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Busan, Korea

Abstract

Background
The main barrier to the effective rheumatoid arthritis (RA) therapy is poor adherence. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have led to a significant change in the pattern and the number of medical visits. We assessed changing patterns of medical visits and no-show, and identified factors associated with no-show in patients with RA during COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods
RA patients treated with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs at least 6 months who had been in remission or those with mild disease activity were observed for 6 months from February to July 2020. No-show was defined as a missed appointment that was not previously cancelled by the patient and several variables that might affect no-show were examined.
Results
A total of 376 patients and 1,189 appointments were evaluated. Among 376 patients, 164 patients (43.6%) missed appointment more than one time and no-show rate was 17.2% during COVID-19 pandemic. During the observation, face-to-face visits gradually increased and no-show gradually decreased. The logistic regression analysis identified previous history of no-show (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 2.225; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.422–3.479; P < 0.001) and fewer numbers of comorbidities (adjusted OR, 0.749; 95% CI, 0.584–0.961; P = 0.023) as the independent factors associated with no-show.
Conclusion
Monthly analysis showed that the no-show rate and the pattern of medical visits gradually changed in patients with RA during COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, we found that previous history of no-show and fewer numbers of comorbidities as the independent factors associated with no-show.

Keyword

COVID-19; No-show Patients; Rheumatoid Arthritis
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