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Osteoporosis care during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands: A national survey.

Arch Osteoporos. 2021 Jan 07;16(1):11 Authors: Peeters JJM, van den Berg P, van den Bergh JP, Emmelot-Vonk MH, de Klerk G, Lems WF, Winter EM, Zillikens MC, Appelman-Dijkstra NM

PURPOSE: During the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no guidance of professional societies or guidelines on the organization of osteoporosis care in case of such a crisis, and treatment relied on local ad hoc strategies. Experiences from the current pandemic need to be taken into account for the near future, and therefore, a national multidisciplinary survey was carried out in the Netherlands. METHODS: A survey of 17 questions concerning the continuation of bone mineral density measurements by Dual Energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), outpatient clinic visits, and prescription of medication was sent to physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants working in the field of osteoporosis. RESULTS: 77 respondents finished the questionnaire, of whom 39 (50.6%) reported a decline in DXA-scanning and 36 (46.8%) no scanning at all during the pandemic. There was an increase in remote consultations for both new and control patient visits (n = 48, 62.3%; n = 62, 81.7% respectively). Lower quality of care regarding fracture prevention was reported by more than half of the respondents (n = 44, 57.1%). Treatment with intravenous bisphosphonates and denosumab was delayed according to 35 (45.4%) and 6 (6.3%) of the respondents, respectively. CONCLUSION: During the COVID-19 pandemic, osteoporosis care almost completely arrested, especially because of the discontinuation of DXA-scanning and closing of outpatient clinics. More than half of the respondents reported a substantial lower quality of osteoporosis care during the COVID pandemic. To prevent an increase in fracture rates and a decrease in patient motivation, adherence and satisfaction, standardization of osteoporosis care delivery in situations of crisis is needed. PMID: 33415510 [PubMed - in process]

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