Care by general practitioners for patients with asthma or COPD during the COVID-19 pandemic

Corinne Rijpkema, Lotte Ramerman, Maarten Homburg, Eline Meijer, Jean Muris, Tim Olde Hartman, Marjolein Berger, Lilian Peters, Robert Verheij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on general practitioners' (GP) care for patients with asthma and/or COPD is largely unknown. To describe the impact of the pandemic on asthma or COPD-related GP care, we analysed routinely recorded electronic health records data from Dutch general practices and out-of-hours (OOH) services. During the COVID-19 pandemic (2020), the contact rates for asthma and/or COPD were significantly lower in GP practices and OOH services compared with the pre-pandemic period (2019) (respectively, 15% lower and 28% lower). The proportion of telephone contacts increased significantly with 13%-point in GP practices and 12%-point at OOH services, while the proportion of face-to-face contacts decreased. Furthermore, the proportion of high urgent contacts with OOH services decreased by 8.5%-point. To conclude, the overall contact rates in GP practices and OOH services decreased, while more contacts were remote. Lower contact rates have, after a short follow-up, not resulted in more patients with exacerbations in OOH care. However, this might still be expected after a longer follow-up.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15
Pages (from-to)15
Journalnpj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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