I fear COVID but diabetic foot (DF) is worse: a survey on patients’ perception of a telemedicine service for DF during lockdown
Aims To evaluate the patients’ perceptions of telemedicine visits during COVID-19 lockdown and their level of anxiety about COVID and diabetic foot (DF).
Methods In May 2020, we contacted by phone all the patients who underwent in March and April to remote monitoring visits for DF during the lockdown for COVID-19, with a structured interview, focusing on their perceptions about telemedicine service for DF and on the anxiety toward COVID and DF.
Results We analyzed 257 remote monitoring visits in 211 patients. Two hundred and six patients answered the follow-up interview; 177 patients (85.9%) remembered the monitoring visit, 140 (67.9%) the health care professional and 181 patients (87.9%) the reason of contact; 169 patients were alone during the visit, 37 with a relative. Patients judged useful both the monitoring during pandemic (4.35 ± 0.28 on a maximum of five) and the possibility to continue after the lockdown (4.34 ± 0.23 on a maximum of five). Eventually, we observed that DF patients were more worried by DF than by COVID on a scale from 0 (not fear at all) to 5 (terrified) (4.79 ± 0.05 vs. 3.27 ± 1.03, p < 0.05). This difference was higher in previously ulcerated patients (4.84 ± 0.03 vs. 3.03 ± 1.13, p < 0.05) and even more in amputees (4.93 ± 0.03 vs. 2.73 ± 1.21, p < 0.05). Conclusions DF patients appreciated televisits during lockdown and the continuation of this service after its end. In this context DF prevails on COVID in the worries of patients, especially if they are recurrent ones.
Keywords Diabetic foot · COVID · Follow-up · Pandemic Introduction