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We read with interest the preliminary German Society of Rheumatology recommendations for the management of patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic, which highlighted the importance of weighing the infection risk of doctor visits against the risk of missing disease controls in individual cases.1 Indeed, the attendance of our lupus nephritis clinic dropped by 14.4% in the 8-week period after the outbreak compared with the same time last year based on the citywide computerised Clinical Management System (So H, 2020). Those unattended patients were at risk of disease flares, which would lead to damage accrual, but at the same time, the rest were exposed to the threat of COVID-19.2 As the other national body suggested, the use of telemedicine (TM), also known as telehealth, to reduce potential exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 might be a reasonable option in these patients.3 Since this is a shared decision-making process between patients and rheumatology healthcare providers, we conducted an online survey to analyse the patient acceptance and perceptions …
Contributors HS, C-CS and L-ST equally contributed to the work and approved the article for final submission.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, conduct, reporting or dissemination plans of this research.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.