COVID-19 and spinal cord injury and disease: results of an international survey
Stillman, Michael D.
Longoni Di Giusto, Melina
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Summary in foreign language
Study design An online survey. Objectives To query the international spinal cord medicine community’s engagement with and response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and to assess pandemic-specific information needs and patient concerns. Setting An international collaboration of authors and participants. Methods Two near-identical surveys (one English and one Spanish language) were distributed via the internet. Responses from those questions shared between the surveys were pooled then analyzed; four questions’ responses (those not shared) were analyzed separately. Results A total of 783 responses were submitted from six continents. Few participants (5.8%) had tested their outpatients with SCI/D for COVID-19; only 4.4% reported having a patient with SCI/D with the virus. Of respondents who worked at an inpatient facility, 53.3% reported that only individuals with symptoms were being screened and 29.9% said that no screening was occurring. Participants relayed several concerns offered by their patients with SCI/D, including vulnerability to infection (76.9%) and fragility of caretaker supply (42%), and those living in countries with guaranteed health care were more likely to report widespread availability of COVID-19 testing than were those living in countries without universal care, χ2 (3, N = 625) = 46.259, p < 0.001. Conclusion There is substantial variability in the rehabilitation medicine community in COVID-19 screening practices and availability of screening kits. People living with SCI/D are expressing legitimate and real concerns about their vulnerability to COVID-19. More and rapid work is needed to address these concerns and to standardize best-practice protocols throughout the rehabilitation community.
Link to resourcehttps://www.nature.com/articles/s41394-020-0275-8
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