Care for children with atopic dermatitis in the Netherlands during the COVID-19 pandemic: Lessons from the first wave and implications for the future

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Abstract

The first wave of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had an enormous impact on health-care services, including on care provision for children with atopic dermatitis (AD). We investigated the impact of COVID-19 on the care for children with moderate to severe AD at our tertiary outpatient clinic and examined satisfaction with care. We reviewed outpatient records, comparing total number and types of consultations during the first COVID-19 wave (March until July 2020) with the corresponding months of 2019 and 2018. In addition, we conducted a questionnaire-based study investigating the impact of COVID-19 on clinical and psychological symptoms, and satisfaction with care. A total number of 913 consultations (466 individual children) were conducted during the first COVID-19 wave in 2020, while 698 (391 individual children) and 591 consultations (356 individual children) were conducted in 2019 and 2018. The proportion of remote consultations was higher (56.2%) compared to 14.0% in 2019 and 12.7% in 2018. Worsening of AD was reported by 9.7% of caretakers. Overall satisfaction with provided care was high (8.6; interquartile range [IQR] = 7.3–10.0). Caretakers receiving face-to-face consultation were significantly (p = 0.026) more satisfied (9.0; IQR = 8.0–10.0) than caretakers receiving remote consultation (7.9; IQR = 7.0–9.5). The COVID-19 pandemic had an unprecedented impact on care provision for children with AD, particularly on the number of remote consultations. Overall satisfaction with care was high. The impact of COVID-19 on disease severity remained limited. Remote consultations seem to be a useful tool that can be put into practice during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1863-1870
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Dermatology
Volume48
Issue number12
Early online date29 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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