IBD patients encouraged to take COVID-19 survey

Jessica is a 31-year-old Kellyville resident who is living with Crohn’s disease.

People who experience inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are encouraged to take part in a national survey to determine how they have mentally and physically coped during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those with IBD have been identified as at-risk because many, despite being young, are taking medications that can lower their immune system.

Blacktown Hospital gastroenterology advanced trainee Dr Madiha Cheema says IBD patients are more at risk of having complications if they contracted COVID-19 and are classified as high-risk.

“Thirty per cent of patients with IBD already suffer from depression and anxiety, and have had little or no contact with family or friends while self-isolating,” Madiha said.

“Some people haven’t attended their medical appointments or seen their GP to manage their conditions and were worried about contracting COVID-19.

“More than 4500 individuals in western Sydney are affected by IBD, so we want to hear from you.”

The survey for anyone 18 years and over with inflammatory bowel disease is voluntary. Participants can remain anonymous. 

The survey takes 20-30 minutes and can be accessed by clicking here.

Survey results will provide key information for health professionals on how to plan for future IBD services during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey meets requirements of the Medical Research Council’s National Statement on Ethnical Conduct in Human Research and the CPMP/ICH Note for Guidance on Good Clinical Practice. It has been endorsed by the WSLHD Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC).

Blacktown Hospital IBD service started in 2014 and has grown over the last six years to now manage hundreds of patients who suffer from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The service runs consultant-led outpatient clinics each week, providing expert advice on outpatient care and a twice-weekly biologic infusion clinic.  

If you are experiencing bowel problems please seek help from your General Practitioner who will advise if Blacktown’s IBD clinic is right for you.