During the first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Switzerland, confinement was imposed to limit transmission and protect vulnerable persons. These measures may have had a negative impact on perceived quality of care and symptoms in patients with chronic disorders.
To determine whether patients under long-term home noninvasive ventilation (LTHNIV) for chronic respiratory failure (CRF) were negatively affected by the 56-day confinement (March-April 2020).
A questionnaire-based survey exploring mood disturbances (HAD), symptom scores related to NIV (S3-NIV), and perception of health-care providers during confinement was sent to all patients under LTHNIV followed up by our center. Symptom scores and data obtained by ventilator software were compared between confinement and the 56 days prior to confinement.
Of a total of 100 eligible patients, 66 were included (median age: 66 years [IQR: 53-74]): 35 (53%) with restrictive lung disorders, 20 (30%) with OHS or SRBD, and 11 (17%) with COPD or overlap syndrome. Prevalence of anxiety (n = 7; 11%) and depressive (n = 2; 3%) disorders was remarkably low. Symptom scores were slightly higher during confinement although this difference was not clinically relevant. Technical data regarding ventilation, including compliance, did not change. Patients complained of isolation and lack of social contact. They felt supported by their relatives and caregivers but complained of the lack of regular contact and information by health-care professionals.
Patients under LTHNIV for CRF showed a remarkable resilience during the SARS-CoV-2 confinement period. Comments provided may be helpful for managing similar future health-care crises.

© 2021 S. Karger AG, Basel.