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Asthma control, self-management and healthcare access during the COVID-19 pandemic in Beijing
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  • Chun Chang,
  • Linlin Zhang,
  • Fawu Dong,
  • Ying Liang,
  • Yahong Chen,
  • Ying Shang,
  • Mairipaiti Abulikemu ,
  • Yongchang Sun
Chun Chang
Peking University Third Hospital
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Linlin Zhang
Peking University Third Hospital
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Fawu Dong
Peking University Third Hospital
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Ying Liang
Peking University Third Hospital
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Yahong Chen
Peking University Third Hospital
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Ying Shang
Peking University Third Hospital
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Mairipaiti Abulikemu
Peking University Third Hospital
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Yongchang Sun
Peking University Third Hospital
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Abstract

Background Social distancing and restriction measures during the COVID-19 pandemic may have impacts on asthma control and management in terms of medication availability and healthcare access. We aimed to understand the status of asthma control, exacerbations, self-management and healthcare utilization during the COVID-19 pandemic in Beijing, China. Methods Patients with asthma, selected randomly from our hospital database, were interviewed by phone call. During the interview, sociodemographic information and clinical data, including status of asthma control, asthma exacerbation, self-management and medication before and during the COVID-19 pandemic (From January 25, 2020 to April 25, 2020), were collected. Results We contacted 286 patients, of whom 178 (62.2%) responded with valid results. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 4.5% (8/178) and 6.7% (12/178) of the patients, respectively, had been hospitalized and visited emergency departments due to asthma exacerbations. 66.7% (118/177) had received maintenance medication. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority (92.1%, 164/178) of the patients felt that their symptoms were similar or improved compared with usual times. The mean ACT score of the patients was 22.76 ± 3.06. 24.7% (44/178) of patients sought medical care for asthma. 25.6% (45/176) of the patients ever experienced aggravation of asthma symptoms, but mostly managed by themselves. 13.5% (24/178) of the patients had worried about potential shortage of medications and some reduced dosing. Conclusion It is important for patients to continue taking their prescribed asthma medications as usual and maintain good asthma control during the ongoing pandemic.