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N008. IBD patients in remission strongly prefer annual telephone calls by IBD nurses – compared to outpatient visits

P. Bager, R. Hentze, T. Markussen

Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus C, Denmark

Aims:

  • To investigate the willingness among IBD patients in remission to change regularly outpatient visits to annual telephone calls by an IBD nurse.
  • To illuminate potential barriers for introducing Self Management (SM) in the handling of IBD patients.

Background: Incidence of IBD is increasing in the western world. It seems obvious to transfer health care resources from IBD patients in remission to IBD patients with disease activity. One way of doing so is by introducing SM. Elements of SM includes replacement of routine appointments in the outpatient clinic with annual blood samples followed by a telephone call by an IBD nurse. Furthermore an extended acute access to the hospital is needed if flare occurs.

Patients and Methods: 150 consecutive IBD patients attending to the outpatient clinic at Aarhus University Hospital were presented to the SM approach. On a Likert scale they were asked to what extend they were willing to change to SM compared to current routine appointments.

Results: 87% of the patients ‘agreed’ or ‘almost agreed’ to adopt the SM approach. Many patients comment that it was an excellent and timesaving idea.

Those who had doubts were mainly older males with a long history of IBD. Arguments against the SM approach were mainly due to: hearing loss, treatment with biologics or Azathioprine (and the related monitoring regime), other medication related issues and worries about the competences of the IBD nurse. The older male patients preferred things as they were now.

Conclusion: SM seems to be very well accepted of IBD patients before hand. Special attention has to be taken to disabled patients and patients with special needs. Furthermore the IBD nurses must act on a high professional level.