Patients with inflammatory bowel disease on immunosuppressive drugs: perspectives' on COVID-19 and health care service during the pandemic

Scand J Gastroenterol. 2021 Mar 26;1-7. doi: 10.1080/00365521.2021.1901308.Online ahead of print.

Kristian Marling Moum 1, Bjørn Moum 2 3, Randi Opheim 2 4


Author information

  • 1Faculty of Health Science, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
  • 2Department of Gastroenterology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
  • 3Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
  • 4Department of Health and Society, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.


Background and aims: Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) have experienced changes to the routine management because of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The aim of this study was to examine patients with IBD's adherence to the restrictions imposed by society and the hospital, worries and concerns regarding medical treatment and clinical follow-up under the pandemic.

Methods: IBD patients (≥18 years) at the outpatient clinic at Oslo University Hospital were included and answered a self-report questionnaire including concerns regarding their disease, medical therapy and follow-up during SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

Results: In total, 522 IBD patients were included, 317 Crohn's disease, 205 ulcerative colitis, 386 patients <50 years. Eighteen percent were in obligatory quarantine, and more often patients <50 years compared to patients ≥50 years. Five patients tested positive to SARS- CoV-2. A higher proportion <50 years reported worries for their medical treatment and risk of COVID -19 disease compared to those ≥50 years. Forty percent avoided family, two-thirds avoided friends, and 4% cancelled their scheduled consultation at the hospital. The hospital changed physical consultation to telephone consultation for 15% of the patients. The preferred follow-up was physical consultation. A higher proportion of the patients <50 years preferred telephone consultation compared to those ≥50 years. Four out of five IBD patients were satisfied with the information about their IBD and COVID-19.

Conclusions: SARS-CoV-2 pandemic affects the daily lives for patients with IBD. It is important to develop evidence-base guidelines in follow-up and treatment, as well as patient information about COVID-19and IBD.

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