Learning from the COVID-19 pandemic: health care disturbances and telemedicine as an alternative rheumatology practice in Indonesia

Faisal Parlindungan, Sumariyono Sumariyono, Rudy Hidayat, Suryo Anggoro Kusumo Wibowo, Anna Ariane, Johanda Damanik, Abirianty Priandani Araminta, Khadijah Cahya Yunita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) affects health care services. Our aim was to assess health care disruptions, treatment interruptions, and telemedicine reception regarding autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARDs) in Indonesia. Method: A cross-sectional population online-based questionnaire was conducted in Indonesia from September to December 2021. Results: A total of 311 ARD patients were included, of whom 81 (26.0%) underwent consultations via telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. The respondents showed increased concern about their susceptibility to COVID-19 (score of 3.9/5). Approximately 81 (26.0%) avoided hospital visits, and 76 (24.4%) stopped taking the medication without medical advice. Respondents’ concerns correlated with their social distancing behaviors (p value 0.000, r 0.458). Respondent concerns, behaviors, and blocked access to the hospital during the pandemic were associated with avoiding hospital visits (p value 0.014; 0.001; 0.045; 0.008). Sex was associated with stopping medication (p value 0.005). In multivariate analysis, blocked access and sex remained significant. Approximately 81 (26%) respondents who used telemedicine services during the COVID-19 pandemic as an alternative medical consultation method showed high satisfaction (3.8/5). Conclusion: Health care disruptions and treatment interruptions were affected by patients’ internal and external factors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telemedicine may be the best option to address barriers to health care access in Indonesia’s rheumatology practice during and after the pandemic situation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number451
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • COVID-19
  • Health behavior
  • Health services
  • Rheumatology
  • Telemedicine


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