- Fecal Incontinence
|What Are the Most Challenging Aspects of Inflammatory Bowel Disease? An International Survey of Gastroenterologists Comparing Developed and Developing Countries
Inflamm Intest Dis. 2021 May;6(2):78-86. doi: 10.1159/000512310. Epub 2021 Feb 5.
Richard B Gearry 1, Andrew M McCombie 1, Morten Vatn 2, David T Rubin 3, Flavio Steinwurz 4, Edward V Loftus 5, Wolfgang Kruis 6, Curt Tysk 7, Jean-Frederic Colombel 8, Siew C Ng 9, Gert Van Assche 10, Charles N Bernstein 11
Background and aims: As inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) becomes more prevalent, the challenges that gastroenterologists face in managing these patients evolve. We aimed to describe the most important challenges facing gastroenterologists from around the world and compare these between those working in developed and developing countries.
Methods: An online questionnaire was developed, and a link distributed to gastroenterologists. Data were analyzed descriptively using Friedman and Wilcoxon matched-pair signed rank tests to compare rankings for responses. Mann-Whitney U tests were used to compare rankings between responses from gastroenterologists from developed and developing countries. Lower scores reflected greater challenges.
Results: Of 872 who started, 397 gastroenterologists (45.5%) completed the survey. Respondents represented 65 countries (226 [56.9%] from developed countries). Overall, the challenge ranked most important (smallest number) was increasing IBD prevalence (13.6%). There were significant differences in mean ranking scores for many simple aspects of care for those from developing countries compared to providers from developed countries, such as access to simple IBD treatments (5.52 vs. 6.02, p = 0.01), access to anti-TNF drugs including dose escalation (3.33 vs. 3.93, p < 0.01), access to good stoma care (2.57 vs. 3.03, p < 0.001), access to therapeutic drug monitoring (1.47 vs. 1.84, p < 0.001), and access to care for people from low socioeconomic status (2.77 vs. 3.37, p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Increasing IBD prevalence is seen by gastroenterologists as the greatest challenge facing them. There are significant differences between the IBD challenges facing gastroenterologists from developed and developing countries that reflect inequities in access to health care.