The Covi-19 emergency influenced the worsening of the health condition of 4 out of 10 people suffering from rheumatological diseases
Pain. Inflammation. The discomfort that does not allow you to make the movements, even simple. A rheumatic disease – they are a real archipelago with specific characteristics – often begins like this. But you think it is something different, you may even go through more or less improbable self-treatment and you lose time. Time itself, however, “is the fundamental variable for dealing with the situation. The sooner it comes with the diagnosis the better. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has created problems in this sense: on the occasion of the World Day dedicated to rheumatic diseases, an information campaign is launched, which aims to raise awareness of these complex situations.
The weight of Covid-19
About 4 out of 10 people suffering from rheumatological diseases think that the Covid-19 emergency has directly affected the worsening of their health condition. Almost one in three people (26.2%) had difficulty accessing the drugs needed for their treatment. For over 7 out of 10 people, email and whatsapp were the most used alternative tools compared to the direct doctor-person relationship.
New diagnoses of rheumatological diseases carried out in the last 6 months down by 39.8% compared to the same period of 2019, with peaks of -70% in the South. The Covid-19 effect has had an important impact on the health conditions of over 5 million Italians suffering from one of over 150 rheumatological diseases, as shown by the data of the third edition of the APMARR-WeResearch Observatory research "Living with a rheumatological pathology", promoted by the National Association of People with Rheumatological and Rare Diseases – APMARR APS on the occasion of World Day of Rheumatological Diseases 2020.
"The most worrying figure that emerged from the research" Living with a rheumatological disease "is that 44.2% of the people interviewed, suffering from rheumatological diseases, declared a worsening of their general health condition due to the period of the Covid emergency. 19, in particular people have found particularly negative effects on their psychological condition. The most frequent symptoms of mental distress were: depression and high levels of anxiety due to strong emotional stress. Psychological malaise has caused direct effects in worsening the symptoms of rheumatological disease as well as other related effects such as insomnia. The forced isolation due to the lockdown has made people lack the social support that is fundamental for the psychological well-being of each of us and especially for those suffering from some chronic disease.
A campaign to inform
The information campaign has a stimulating title: "Reuma che? Talk to your pharmacist ”. As Antonella Celano, president of the National Association of People with Rheumatological and Rare Diseases – APMARR APS explains, the goal is to focus on more information and knowledge on rheumatological diseases in order to be able to make a greater number of early diagnoses.
"Starting from October 20, I therefore invite all citizens to go to Italian pharmacies to remove all doubts they have about rheumatological diseases, they will find pharmacists ready to help them by referring them and directing them towards the best diagnosis and treatment path – continues Celano. The campaign will reach over 35,000 Italian pharmacists and over 18,000 pharmacies, demonstrating how the pharmacy is confirmed to be the first trusted health center that citizens meet in their daily lives to protect their health ".
Pharmacies, during the Covid-19 emergency, as evidenced by the data from the APMARR-WeResearch Observatory research "Living with a rheumatological pathology", have in fact been confirmed to be the first health care facility available to citizens to have immediate and direct access to medications. More than seven out of ten people with rheumatological diseases (72.2%) used the pharmacy as a direct channel for the purchase of the drugs they needed, 14.2% used the home delivery service activated by pharmacies while 12.5% obtained the drugs necessary for the treatment of their pathology from hospital pharmacies.
For people suffering from rheumatological diseases, drugs are necessary for their treatment in order to be able to reach a remission of the disease but access to the drug, during an emergency, has not always proved adequate.