PRP060: COVID-19 and Preventive Care: Work in Progress

Scott Laing, MD, CCFP


Context: Preventive care can reduce patient morbidity and mortality; however, COVID-19 is impairing provider’s ability to provide preventive care. Currently, it is unclear to magnitude of this impact. Objective: To quantify the impact that COVID-19 is having on preventive care. Design: A prospective, observational study. Setting: Three outpatient, primary care clinics in Ottawa Ontario. The study is ongoing from March 15, 2020 to now. Population Studied: Data from all patient records at the three clinics were assessed on a weekly basis. This is a secondary use of data from a separate study of preventive care. Intervention: No interventions were undertaken because of this study. Outcome measures: Primary outcome is the percentage of patients that are appropriately screened for cervical cancer, colon cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Secondary outcomes are the overall change in screening rates, the average weekly change, and the estimated deficit based on a 1000 patient panel. Results: Screening has decreased across all three screening tests. Reopening measures have not reversed decreasing screening rates. A 1000 patient panel may need to complete 22.7 cervical cancer, 23.3 colon cancer, and 20.5 type 2 diabetes screenings to return to pre-COVID-19 screening rates. Conclusion: COVID-19 has impaired the provision of preventive care services. Virtual care and reopening measures have not reversed the decreased screening rates. A systematic approach will be needed to address the growing preventive care gap to protect the health of our patients.

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