To understand the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown on the self-care of people living with chronic diseases and on their self-perceived health, and to identify factors that may influence the management of their disease in emergency situations.
A qualitative study conducted in 2020 (March and April) in Andalusia (Spain) during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, through virtual focus groups, using the Zoom telematics tool. Three virtual focus groups were conducted, including 34 patients from Andalusia with different chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, breast cancer and fibromyalgia.
People with chronic diseases reported effects of the lockdown in relation to their emotional experience, their coping resources, the information they received, the difficulties to manage self-care, and the contact or access to health services. They also suggested some lessons learned for the future. The need for more and better information, patient training, involving patient associations, and improving telematics access to health services are the main areas for improvement to minimize the impact of future quarantines on the self-care and the health of people with chronic diseases.
Besides the risk of contracting COVID-19, the difficulties encountered by people with chronic diseases during the lockdown include interferences in the self-care and the health care received. Health crisis situations demand more information, training for patients and improvements in the health services accessibility for patients with chronic conditions.

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