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Inflammatory bowel disease patient concerns and experiences on transition to home-based infusions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jacob J, Aintabi D, DeJonckheere M, Cohen-Mekelburg SA, Allen JI, Irani DN, Fendrick AM, Waljee AK, Higgins PDR, Berinstein JA. Inflammatory bowel disease patient concerns and experiences on transition to home-based infusions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research in social & administrative pharmacy : RSAP. 2022 Dec 1; 18(12):4138-4143.

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BACKGROUND: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC issued guidance advising patients and providers to adopt social distancing practices such as home-based infusions (H-BI). METHODS: We performed a mixed methods evaluation to summarize perceptions, concerns, and experiences with H-BI among all inflammatory bowel disease patients 18-90 years of age who transitioned to home-based infliximab or vedolizumab infusions between March to July 2020 at a tertiary care center. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and analyzed using an iterative, inductive thematic approach. Baseline characteristics and outcome on safety, COVID-19 transmission, delays in infusions, and H-BI persistence were collected. RESULTS: Of the 57 participants who transitioned to H-BI, 20 (33%) responded. Four major categories and six major themes related to expectations, experience, perceived safety, and logistical factors were identified. Initial perceptions were mixed, however these resolved. One patient developed COVID-19, one patient experienced an adverse event, 12 (21%) patients experienced an infusion delay, and 6 (11%) patients transitioned from H-BI. DISCUSSION: Despite mixed initial perceptions, respondents had a positive experience with most respondents planning to continue H-BI after the pandemic resolves. Several real-world actionable barriers were identified related to scheduling, communication between stakeholders, and nursing quality. No major safety concerns were identified.

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