A study from researchers in New Zealand evaluated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown on mental health and quality of life (QOL) for people with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). This study was published in Rheumatology International.

The researchers enrolled 104 patients with inflammatory diseases, included 26.9% with AS. Patients had previously completed the Patient Opinion Real-Time Anonymous Liaison (PORTAL) survey in 2018. These patients were surveyed again between July and September 2020 regarding their experiences with the first national COVID-19 lockdown in New Zealand. Mental health parameters were anxiety and depression symptoms.

According to the survey, predictors of current anxiety levels were fear of SARS-CoV-2 infection, baseline anxiety levels, and being younger in age. There was a significant reduction in QOL scores compared with levels prior to the pandemic. QOL was predicted by baseline QOL and current depression levels. The researchers reported no variables that were predictive for current depression other than baseline levels.

Source: Rheumatology International https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00296-021-04952-x