Evaluation of the impact of lockdown on the health and lifestyle of users of the Fundació Esclerosi Múltiple’s neurorehabilitation centres in Lleida and Reus
Introduction. On 13 March 2020, a state of alarm was declared due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in total lockdown in Spain. The neurorehabilitation centres of the Fundació Esclerosi Múltiple (FEM) provide care for people diagnosed with neuroprogressive diseases with significant health deficits. We look at how lockdown can affect their way of life.
Aims. To assess and manage the impact of lockdown on persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Patients and methods. Analytical observational study. An anonymous questionnaire was administered to all the patients undergoing comprehensive rehabilitation treatment at two of the FEM centres; the survey included questions on the demographic and clinical characteristics of the subjects, and an assessment of the impact of the pandemic on the physical, social and psychological spheres.
Results. A total of 202 surveys were analysed. The average age of the participants was 49.09 years and 77.8% had MS, while 22.2% had other conditions. The most frequently reported physical symptoms were muscle weakness, loss of balance and fatigue. The study population remained active during lockdown. More than half of them did not report any increase in cognitive symptoms, but they did mention an increased sense of worry on an emotional level.
Conclusions. We can state that the actions deployed by the FEM to reduce the consequences of lockdown have been effective and have minimised the occurrence of maladaptive behaviours. The study has also opened the door for us to add new lines of intervention.
Key words. COVID-19. Effects. Habits. Health. Lockdown. Multiple sclerosis.