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Title: Impact of Teleconsultation on Subsequent Disease Activity and Flares in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.
Authors: Au Eong, Jonathan TW
Shen L 
Lim, Sandy HH
Mak, A. 
Keywords: COVID-19
disease activity
health care policy
health services
systemic lupus erythematosus
Issue Date: 23-Sep-2021
Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
Citation: Au Eong, Jonathan TW, AISHA LATEEF, Shen L, Lim, Sandy HH, TAY SEN HEE, Mak, A., CHO JIACAI (2021-09-23). Impact of Teleconsultation on Subsequent Disease Activity and Flares in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.. Rheumatology (Oxford). ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Despite the widespread adoption of teleconsultations amid the COVID-19 pandemic, its safety in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients has not been evaluated. Here, we examined subsequent disease activity and flares among SLE patients who received teleconsultation vs in-person consultation. To discern differences in physicians' prescription behavior during both forms of consultations, we compared corticosteroid dose adjustments. METHODS: We studied adult SLE patients who were seen between 1 February 2020 and 1 February 2021. At each patient-visit, rheumatologists utilized phone/video teleconsultation or physical consultation at their discretion. Disease activity was assessed with SLE Disease Activity Index 2000 (SLEDAI-2K) and flares were defined by the SELENA-SLEDAI Flare Index (SFI). We derived a propensity score for patients who were chosen for physical consultation. Multivariable generalized estimation equations were used to analyze SLEDAI-2k and flare at the next visit, adjusted for the propensity score. RESULTS: A total of 435 visits were recorded, of which 343 (78.9%) were physical visits and 92 (21.1%) were teleconsultations. The modality of consultation did not predict flare [OR for physical consultation (95% CI) 0.42 (0.04-5.04), p = 0.49] or SLEDAI-2k at the next visit [estimate of coefficient for physical consultation (95% CI) -0.19 (-0.80-0.43), p = 0.55]. Adjustments of prednisolone dosages were comparable between the two forms of visits [OR for physical consultation (95% CI) 1.34 (0.77-2.34), p = 0.30]. CONCLUSION: SLE disease activity and flares at the subsequent visit were similar between teleconsultations and physical consultations. Medication prescription behavior, determined using adjustment in corticosteroid dosages, was not different between the two forms of visits.
Source Title: Rheumatology (Oxford)
ISSN: 1462-0324
DOI: 10.1093/rheumatology/keab694
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