1Bengana Bilal, 1Aridj Tarek, 1Abdellaoui Selma, 1Boukabous Abdenour, 1Lefkir Taffiani Salima

1University Hospital Center Of Beni Messous


The occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the daily activity of rheumatologists especially during epidemic peaks, resulting in an upheaval in the management of chronic pathologies such as chronic inflammatory rheumatism (CIR). This has led to a discontinuity of care and sometimes harmful complications for patients, which has prompted some health organizations and some rheumatologists to adapt their daily practice according to the epidemic context. Through this study, we wanted to assess the impact of the different waves of the COVID19 pandemic on the organization of care in private and public rheumatology practice, but also health stuff position on vaccination against COVID-19.

Material(s) and Method(s):

This is an online descriptive study with an anonymous questionnaire spread through a national network bringing together the most Algerians rheumatologists from both the private and public sectors. We thus collected the data of practitioners interviewed by estimating their attitude during their daily medical  practice during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the various epidemic peaks.


We collected the response of 98 rheumatologists from different regions of the country, half of which is in the public sector, 58% have adapted their activity during epidemic peaks (46% decreased this activity and 12% had it interrupted during the different waves) against 39% who did not adapt at the various peaks (23% maintained the activity without adjustment from the beginning of the pandemic while 16% limited the activity to certain tasks). We noted that 11% of those questioned did not carry out any infiltration or osteoarticular ultrasound during this pandemic for fear of contamination.

Regarding therapeutic management, 22% stopped prescribing NSAIDs  to their patients while 58% did not stop any treatment; 70% of rheumatologist  maintained corticosteroids in their patients and 54% kept the hydroxychloroquine. To start treatment with rituximab, 44% of doctors felt it necessary to delay its prescription during peaks epidemics.

About the COVID-19 vaccination, 67% were in favor of the vaccination of all their patients against 33% who were against. Half of the practitioners have recommended the suspension of the intake of methotrexate during the administration of different doses of the vaccine, while 33% postponed either the course of rituximab for their patients either postponed the vaccination against COVID-19.


The management of rheumatological treatment is severely disrupted by the pandemic COVID-19, thus hampering the effectiveness rheumatic patients’ cure. It invites rheumatologists to review the various recommendations of the companies in order to better manage patients suffering from CIR, but also better handle the different antirheumatic therapies during the various epidemic peaks and during COVID-19 vaccination.