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    To measure the COVID-19 pandemic impact on missed ophthalmology clinic visits and the influence of patient and eye disease characteristics on likelihood of missing clinic visits before and during the pandemic. A retrospective observational study analyzing eye clinic patients at a large tertiary care academic institution. We identified patients scheduled for eye care during pre-COVID-19 (January 1-February 29, 2020) and early COVID-19 (March 16-May 31, 2020) time periods. Missed appointment frequency and characteristics were evaluated during each time period. Multivariable logistic regression models were developed to examine adjusted odds of having at least one missed appointment during a given time period. Covariates included age, sex, race/ethnicity, marital status, preferred language (non-English vs English), insurance, distance from clinic, and diagnosis. Overall, 82.0% (n = 11,998) of pre-COVID-19 patients completed all scheduled visits, compared to only 59.3% (n = 9020) during COVID-19. Missed visits increased dramatically in late March 2020, then improved week by week through the end of May 2020. General ophthalmology/cataract and strabismus clinics had the highest rates of missed clinic visits during the COVID-19 period; neuro-ophthalmology, retina, cornea, oculoplastics and glaucoma had the lowest. Females, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, ages 50+, and married patients had higher adjusted odds of missing clinic visits, both pre-COVID-19 and during COVID-19. Asian, elderly, and cataract patients had the highest adjusted odds of missing clinic visits during COVID-19 and had significant increases in odds compared to pre-COVID-19. Non-married, diabetic macular edema, and wet age-related macular degeneration patients had the lowest adjusted odds of missed visits during COVID-19. Missed clinic visits increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among elderly and nonwhite patients. These findings reflect differences in eye care delivery during the pandemic, and they indicate opportunities to target barriers to care, even during non-pandemic eras. © 2021 Brant et al.


    Arthur R Brant, Suzann Pershing, Olivia Hess, David Rooney, Jeffrey Goldberg, Geoffrey Tabin, Sophia Y Wang. The Impact of COVID-19 on Missed Ophthalmology Clinic Visits. Clinical ophthalmology (Auckland, N.Z.). 2021;15:4645-4657

    PMID: 34916776

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