The impact of COVID-19 on community neurology patients

Allana Louise Gurney, Peter K Panegyres


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a worldwide impact. People with neurological disorders are at an increased risk of severe infection and consequent mortality. In this study we investigated the impact of COVID-19 on community neurology patients in the absence of direct infection with the virus to see if their wellbeing was affected.

To determine whether and how the COVID-19 pandemic affected people with neurological disorders, in the absence of COVID-19 infection.

A prospective survey of patients with neurological conditions to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their quality of life, physical and mental wellbeing, access to goods/services and areas of unmet needs relating to the pandemic. The survey was completed by 243 community neurology patients in Perth, Western Australia from April to June 2020.

Most respondents reported that COVID-19 impacted their daily life (80.7 per cent) and family relationships (73.1 per cent). 10.3 per cent of patients had a substantial effect on their access to facilities such as the gym, and services such as physiotherapy; as well as access to finances (7 per cent) and care (5.8 per cent); whilst anxiety was increased to a minor degree in over half of patients (55.97 per cent). Unclear public health information and guidelines, social isolation and disruption to routine were also identified as difficulties.

Despite the absence of direct infection with COVID-19, many neurology patients experienced physical and emotional detriment as a result of the pandemic. This study identified the need for organisation and amendment to provisions of neurological services in preparation for future pandemics.
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