High levels of anxiety are a risk factor for loss of control of asthma and deterioration in quality of life due to illness. This emerges from the results of a study recently published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.
Patients treated with omalizumab, mepolizumab or benralizumab as part of the National Program for the Treatment of Severe Asthma were interviewed on their first visit to the clinic after coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019 was. Participants took part in the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), a validated tool for measuring anxiety in adults, and a 15-point questionnaire, which the authors called the “COVID-19 Survey”. The survey was designed to assess concerns about the effect of COVID-19 on anxiety, asthma, and patients’ quality of life.
Of the 88 surveyed patients with severe asthma, 62% showed a decrease in asthma-related quality of life, while 20% experienced an increase in asthma-related quality of life and 18% had no changes. Additionally, 22 of the 88 patients showed a significant decrease in symptom control and 18 patients showed a significant decrease in quality of life. A majority of patients reported that the current pandemic had a significant impact on their responses. However, none of the patients experienced an exacerbation in the 3 months following the assessment.
“Our results show that high levels of anxiety may be a risk factor for clinical deterioration in patients with severe asthma,” the study authors wrote. They added that regular screening of patients with severe asthma using the STAI questionnaire could be valuable and that further studies should assess whether an intervention related to reducing anxiety could help improve asthma control.
Lacwik P., Szydłowska D., Kupczyk M., Pałczyński C., Kuna P. High anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic as a risk factor for clinical deterioration in patients with severe asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. Published online 10 January 2021. doi: 10.1016 / j.jaip.2020.12.060
This article originally appeared on Pulmonology Advisor
Asthma COVID19 Emerging Diseases General Psychiatry General Pulmonology Respiratory