To investigate telemedicine adoption, emergency room avoidance, and related characteristics of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with and without exacerbations since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
We conducted the second of a series of online surveys via SurveyMonkey.com of people with COPD between May 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020. Frequency, percent, and Fisher’s exact test (two-sided) were calculated using SPSS version 26.
More than half of respondents (157, 64%), indicated that they started using telemedicine in 2020. Forty-seven percent of respondents had at least one exacerbation since January 1, 2020. Respondents who had at least one exacerbation in 2020 were more likely to start using telemedicine in 2020 than respondents who did not report any exacerbation in 2020 (75.7% versus 54.3%, p < 0.001). Respondents reporting a 2020 exacerbation indicated significantly higher avoidance of emergency healthcare since the pandemic began (27.8%) as compared to those who did not have an exacerbation in 2020 (10.1%), p < 0.001.
In response to social distancing and other COVID-19 precautions, people with COPD are avoiding traditional, in-person health care environments and turning to telemedicine to prevent and manage exacerbations. Further investigation is needed to identify best practices in and barriers to telemedicine in this population.
JCOPDF © 2020.