COVID-19: Telemedicine feasible for PsA management
medwireNews: Telehealth is a feasible approach for managing patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) during the COVID-19 pandemic, Italian researchers report.
Raffaele Scarpa and colleagues from the University of Naples Federico II converted their clinic for biologic- or Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor-treated PsA patients into a telerheumatology clinic during a 7-week period in March 2020. They say that all patients accepted consultations via video or telephone, and 105 remote appointments were conducted during this time.
In all, 94 patients continued with their biologic or JAK inhibitor after the telemedicine consultation, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were added for 10 of these people due to monoarticular or entheseal pain in the absence of redness or local swelling, as established by photographs or medical history.
Scarpa and team say that signs of active disease “were clearly referred by 10 patients and visualised by photographs,” and were associated with an increase in pain scores. These patients attended the clinic for an in-person visit on the same day or the following day.
“In our experience, telemedicine has represented a valuable instrument for PsA care in [the] COVID-19 era,” and “could represent a valid support to maintain social distance,” they write in a correspondence to the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
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