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2 UMCG Covid research projects receive ZonMW subsidy

22 July 2020

Two Covid-related research projects of the UMCG have been rewarded a subsidy from ZonMW. The first study focuses on Covid patients who were ill at home and have not been admitted to a hospital. The second study looks at general practitioner care during the corona pandemic. The research project will receive a subsidy of respectively €430.000,- and €500.000,- from ZonMW.

Research project 1: UMCG examines Covid patients who were sick at home

The UMCG conducts research on COVID-19 patients who are not hospitalized, and their family members. With the study, the researchers want to gain more insight into the impact and consequences of the disease on this large group of patients and their families, in order to draw up guidelines for the treatment of COVID-19 patients at home on the basis of this. The research, called COVID-HOME, is carried out by the Department of Medical Microbiology & Infection Prevention of the UMCG in collaboration with the GGDs Groningen, Drenthe, Friesland and IJsselland. ZonMW has made a subsidy of almost € 430,000 available for this research.

Guidelines on COVID-19 diagnoses and treatments are being developed while experts do not yet know everything about this new disease. Most attention in research focuses on patients admitted to hospitals. Little is known about the impact and consequences for non-hospital patients - their infectiousness, the distribution routes of the viruses and how long they have to remain in isolation.

More knowledge is needed to properly treat patients who are isolated at home and to improve guidelines. The research aims to gain more knowledge about how the disease progresses in this group of patients. The knowledge can help to give patients the right treatment in the future and to be able to check in time when their disease is going to deteriorate. Understanding these patients' infectiousness helps determine how long they should remain in isolation and when they can leave their homes without the risk of passing the virus on to others.

The project leaders Adriani Tami and Ieneke van der Gun want to monitor about 200 positively tested persons, including their family members. They are visited weekly at home from the time of positive testing to obtain clinical and laboratory data. This is done by, among other things, taking a nose and throat swab, blood and urine. Family members of people who have tested positive are also invited to participate in the study. Nose and throat swabs are also taken from them to determine if and when they become infected.

Research project 2: UMCG and Nivel start research into GP-care during corona pandemic

Together with the Nivel Institute, Radboud UMC and Maastricht UMC, the UMCG will investigate general practitioner care during the corona pandemic. By gaining knowledge about this, the impact of the corona pandemic can be better understood and GP care may be better organized. ZonMW has made a subsidy of € 500,000 available for this research.

Since the start of the corona pandemic, a lot has happened in healthcare, including in general practice. Many necessary changes have been made to the organization of general practice care. The number of people who used their general practitioner or the out-of-hours GP-post has fallen sharply in some regions, while other regions general practitioners were faced with a high burden on patients with COVIVD-19 complaints.

Project leader Dr Lilian Peters of the UMCG wants to find out what can be learned from the way in which these challenges were addressed and solved? How did the patients experience this and did they get good access to (general practitioner) care during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The researchers make use of data from general practices and general practitioners and use interviews and questionnaires to check the experiences of patients and general practitioners. The researchers also want to know whether much use has been made of The research focuses on specific (vulnerable) patient groups, including children, pregnant women and the elderly.

The research is a collaboration of various UMCs and the Nivel, in which the academic GP networks, Zorgbelang Groningen and Stichting Sterk uit Armoede en Sociale Uitsluiting will also work together.

The study lasts two years.

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Last modified:22 July 2020 09.50 a.m.
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