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Patients With IBD Report Concern About Impact of COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 28, 2020 — Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) report concern about the impact of COVID-19 on their health, and many perceive themselves as being at increased risk for contracting the virus, according to research published online Oct. 16 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Thomas M. Goodsall, M.B.B.S., from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Adelaide, Australia, and colleagues surveyed patients from a tertiary IBD service to examine the attitudes, concerns, and health behaviors of IBD patients during COVID-19. Data were included from 97 respondents.

The researchers found that 98 percent of the respondents reported concern about the impact of COVID-19 on their health and 43 percent felt that they had an above-average risk for contracting COVID-19. Overall, 62 and 11 percent reported concern about medication-induced COVID-19 risk and stopped medications due to COVID-19, respectively. All medications were thought to increase the risk for COVID-19 susceptibility and severity. Forty-five and 16 percent of patients preferred telehealth and face-to-face clinic reviews, respectively. In decreasing order, the preferred tool for IBD monitoring was blood testing, stool collection, gastrointestinal ultrasound, magnetic resonance enterography, and then colonoscopy.

“The insights provided by the survey are informative for a possible ‘second-wave’ of COVID-19, including acceptance of telemedicine, safe delivery of accessible noninvasive investigations as colonoscopy surrogates, and a need for dissemination of information and education,” the authors write. “These lessons learned may well transcend the pandemic period and lead to shifts in care delivery toward a more patient-centered and efficient model.”

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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