Deprogramming: “People felt abandoned”, according to France Assos Santé – France

What has been the impact of deprogramming for the chronically ill?

This is a theme that we identified quite soon after the first wave. We had a lot of feedback through the France Assos Santé network. Everyone was affected: there was a huge drop in consultations in town. The impact was even stronger in people with chronic diseases than in the general population, which was already very affected and quite anxious. In chronically ill patients, deprogramming has much more impact with a collapse of the grafts and deprogramming of surgical procedures in oncology.

During the first wave, there was great distress. A large proportion of patients felt abandoned: there was no news, no date, no horizon and no information on the consequences of deprogramming concerning them.

Does the situation recur with the 3rd wave?

The tension is on the rise. This 3rd wave was not anticipated enough to still surprise, but I think there will be progress, even if we are not yet in a position to assess it. Deprogramming disorganizes the hospital at all levels.

Has the information of the patients concerned improved?

It is too early to see it. During the first wave, it had been very heterogeneous. It may depend from one hospital to another, or even from one department to another. Just being contacted by phone can make a lot of difference. With the deprograms, people felt abandoned. When you are a chronic patient followed regularly, it is hyper anxiety-provoking.

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