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Medication Interruptions and Subsequent Disease Flares During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Longitudinal Online Study of Patients With Rheumatic Disease

The COVID-19 pandemic introduced many new challenges to patients with rheumatic disease. This longitudinal study assessed trends in anxiety and interruptions in disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) use among patients with rheumatic disease. Baseline surveys, which were completed March to June, 2020, with follow-up through May 2021, tracked Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) anxiety T scores and DMARD adherence and use. Anxiety and interruptions in DMARD use initially decreased over time, but DMARD interruptions increased during 2021, possibly related to an increase in COVID-19 cases or vaccine availability. This is important because interruptions in DMARD use were associated with increased rates of severe disease flares.


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