How Has COVID-19 Impacted Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Care

How Has COVID-19 Impacted Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Care?

How Has COVID-19 Impacted Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Care? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

How has myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) care been impacted by COVID-19? Expert Dr. Krisstina Gowin from University of Arizona Cancer Center shares information from an MPN care study by the Mayo Clinic on some of the impacts experienced by patients. 

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Lisa Hatfield: 

So the pandemic has resulted in significant changes to many aspects of daily living for many of us, but for patients living with cancer like myself, there are different realities that we’ve had to deal with. Do we go in for our monthly blood draws, or do we wait a couple of months? So question for, Dr Gowin, can you give us an overview of the impact that COVID-19 has had on MPNs or MPN care?

Dr. Krisstina Gowin: 

Absolutely. Well, there was a really wonderful study that was done, really led out of Mayo, by Jeanne Palmer and Ruben Mesa, and it was an international study, and it looked at 1,500 MPN patients. And they asked questions like, “How many of you are actually having telemedicine?” And this was in 2020, kind of at the beginning. And over half of them had already been engaging in telemedicine. And about a quarter of them felt that their care actually was delayed a little bit and that there were actually consequences to that delay, so that really speaks to an international kind of change in the paradigm of how we’re delivering care for MPN patients. The other thing is the lockdowns, the lockdowns that were occurring for us here in the US and really internationally. And what they did is, they asked patients their MPN symptom burden, and those that were on lockdown, not surprisingly I think to all of us, had a significantly higher symptom burden.

So I think that really speaks to that A, yes, there was a very large impact of COVID on the development of telemedicine and the need for telemedicine. But it also underscores the need for symptom management that we now have a group of patients that are having a higher symptom burden, probably likely secondary to more sedentary behavior, more anxiety, more depression, but a higher symptom burden because of COVID. And so we really need not only more therapeutics and perhaps non-pharmacologic interventions to support their symptom burden, but it needs to be delivered on a digital platform.

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