To understand the impact of COVID-19 on clinical outcomes and health service utilisation of patients referred to CR in SA and to be able to inform clinicians and managers to better prepare the service for potential future outbreaks, a study was undertaken to undertake the following objectives:
- To compare 3-month clinical outcomes of patients living in areas covered by SA referred to CATCH
- To compare utilisation of the CATCH during COVID-19 situation to pre-COVID-19 SA
- To understand the views of clinicians on the impact of COVID-19 on provision and on their decision-making processes regarding management and delivery of CR for patients in SA
• 13 clinicians from each of the 15 sites (14 rural clinics and the CATCH service) were invited to participate in a qualitative survey.
• Ten responses were received with representation from each of the six LHN areas.
• Most, 70%, of services reported COVID-19 had not impacted their work arrangements but half the services reported an important impact on their ability to assess CR risk/benefit for patients due to the cancellation of face to face group services and switch to telehealth approach.
• The greatest impact on services was the cancellation of exercise programs (90%).
• All services cancelled their face to face sessions during COVID and 9 of 10 offered telehealth options instead.