What Happened to People with Non-Communicable Diseases during COVID-19: Implications of H-EDRM Policies.Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Aug 03; 17(15)IJ
People with existing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are particularly vulnerable to health risks brought upon by emergencies and disasters, yet limited research has been conducted on disease management and the implications of Health-EDRM policies that address health vulnerabilities of people with NCDs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper reports the baseline findings of an anonymous, random, population-based, 6-month cohort study that aimed to examine the experiences of people with NCDs and their relevant self-care patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 765 telephone interviews were completed from 22nd March to 1st April 2020 in Hong Kong, China. The dataset was representative of the population, with 18.4% of subjects reporting at least one NCD. Results showed that low household income and residence in government-subsidized housing were significant predictors for the subjects who experienced difficulty in managing during first 2 months of the pandemic (11% of the NCD patients). Of those on long-term NCD medication, 10% reported having less than one week's supply of medication. Targeted services for vulnerable groups during a pandemic should be explored to support NCD self-care.