The COVID-19 pandemic is significantly affecting the care of chronic conditions globally. Acromegaly is a rare chronic condition with a prevalence ranging between 2.8–13.7 cases/100.000 people. Acromegaly management requires a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals (HCPs), mainly including endocrinologists, neurosurgeons, and specialized endocrine nurses. Frequent consultations, particularly during early stages of the disease, and pre/post-surgery are necessary. Furthermore, injectable somatostatin receptor ligands may require HCP support to administer, while the need for blood-test monitoring necessitates adequate laboratory provisions. All of the above treatment considerations are likely to be impacted during the current pandemic. With median diagnosis occurring during the 5th decade and a high risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, the majority of people with acromegaly are likely to be at a greater risk of severe illness if infected with SARS CoV-2. Although acromegaly itself doesn’t increase risk of infection, people with adrenal insufficiency on glucocorticoid replacement may be at a higher risk. Expert opinion on pandemic-concurrent management of acromegaly has been published, but the real-world impact of COVID-19 has not been established. Decreased quality of life and psychological symptoms, including apathy, blunted affected and depressed mood, are a common feature of acromegaly. The socio-behavioural measures put in place in order to control the pandemic have the potential to exacerbate these issues through the disruption of routine social and work-related activities. In addition, access to resources for vulnerable members of society may be complicated by the fact that acromegaly can often be an ‘invisible disability’. In order to assess the myriad effects of COVID-19 on people with acromegaly and their HCPs, we aimed to conduct an international online survey. The survey is tailored to four audiences: people with acromegaly; endocrinologists; specialized endocrine nurses; and neurosurgeons. The survey for people with acromegaly will focus on five broad categories of questions: impact on day-to-day life; access to HCPs; access to treatment and testing; impact on emotional and financial functioning; and future management. Questions in the HCP surveys will focus on five broad categories: impact on evaluation and diagnosis; access to treatment and management; impact on monitoring; role of technology and remote communication; and future management. Development and completion of the surveys has been achieved through patient and physician specialized societies. Complete analysis will be presented at eECE 2020. Successful multidisciplinary care models implemented during this pandemic could add valuable experience for future care for people with acromegaly and physicians alike.
05 Sep 2020 - 09 Sep 2020