HealthDay News — For patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), anxiousness enhanced in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, as did suspected depression, according to a letter to the editor published on the web Jan. 27 in Rheumatology.
Takahiro Itaya, from Kyoto University in Japan, and colleagues examined the prevalence of anxiousness and depression amongst RA patients just before and in the course of the pandemic. Outpatients with RA had been enrolled from May 1, 2019, to Aug. 31, 2020 108 patients completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.
The researchers identified that just before the pandemic, almost 9 % of patients reported definite anxiousness, and this percentage enhanced to 12 % in 2020. Eight % of patients reported doubtful anxiousness just before the pandemic, rising to 15 % in 2020. During the study period, patients reporting definite depression remained at 10 %, even though more patients reported doubtful depression in 2020. Anxiety in the course of the pandemic correlated with the Health Assessment Questionnaire, biologic drug use, and the prior anxiousness point (ß [95 percent confidence interval], .21 [0.04 to 0.38], .20 [0.03 to 0.40], and .88 [0.53 to 1.23], respectively). There was a correlation noted for the depression point in 2020 with the prior depression point (ß = .51 95 % self-confidence interval, .21 to .81).
“Patients with high disease activity can become highly prone to psychological distress and should be offered focused care,” the authors create. “As the pandemic fails to subside, more patients are likely to experience anxiety and depression, and the health care professionals must remain vigilant for these psychological changes.”
Several authors disclosed economic ties to the pharmaceutical business.