The COVID-19 pandemic might add to the stressors experienced by people living with rheumatic diseases. This study aimed to examine rheumatic patients’ functional and psychosocial states during the pandemic and assess its impact on their quality of life.
Our time-series study included a patient-centered electronic survey, sampling adult rheumatic patients living in Saudi Arabia at different time points from March to August 2020. Patient-reported outcomes included physical function, anxiety, depression, fatigue, sleep disturbance, ability to participate in social roles, and pain interference domains were measured using the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS-29 Profile v2.1).
A total of 1278 respondents were enrolled. Results showed significant variation in patients’ experiences. Our analyses revealed that the physical well-being of rheumatic patients was significantly impacted, and such effect was persistent over time irrespective of public health measures to control the COVID-19 outbreak.
Our findings consistently demonstrated the need for psychological and social consideration to improve rheumatic patients’ quality of life. Nevertheless, there is still a lot to be learned about the extent of COVID-19 impact on rheumatic patients and the implications it has on long-term disease outcomes.