The massive spread of COVID-19 affected many aspects of medical and surgical services. Many patients with sacral neuromodulation (SNM) devices needed integrated follow-up and close communication regarding the programming of the device. In this study, we aimed to explore the effect of COVID-19 lockdown on patients with SNM devices.
This was a multicenter study designed and conducted in four centers performing SNM (Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Canada; King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Al-Amiri Hospital, Kuwait City, Kuwait; and Austin and Western Health, University of Melbourne, Australia). An online questionnaire was created through Google Forms and circulated among patients with SNM devices in all four mentioned centers. The questionnaire was sent to patients during the forced lockdown period in each country.
A total of 162 responses were received by September 2020. Data showed that most patients had their device implanted before the lockdown period (92.5%, 150/162). Most patients did not experience any contact difficulties (91.9%, 149/162). When patients were requested for their preference of programming, 89.5% (145/162) preferred remote programming. Correlation analysis did not show any significant relation between patient diagnosis and COVID-19-related difficulties or preferences.
The difficulties with access to care experienced during the pandemic and the patient’s expressed willingness to participate in virtual care should provide impetus for manufacturers of SNM devices to move forward with developing remote programming capabilities.

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