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P178. Perspectives of ulcerative colitis among physicians and nurse specialists in the United Kingdom: results from an international survey

S. Schreiber1, J. Panés2, E. Louis3, D. Holley4, 1Department of Medicine I, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Christian Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany, 2Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, IDIBAPS, CIBERehd, Barcelona, Spain, 3Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital of Liège (CHU), Liège University, Liège, Belgium, 4GfK HealthCare, London, United Kingdom

Background

Previous reports from international surveys have shown differing perspectives between patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and their healthcare professionals related to the impact and management of UC. Perspectives of patients and physicians have also been shown to vary across countries. This analysis evaluates perceptions among nurse specialists and physicians treating patients with UC in the UK.

Methods

Structured, cross-sectional, Web-based questionnaires designed to assess a variety of disease indices were completed by 100 physicians and 50 specialist nurses from the UK. Participants were pre-identified from access panels, or via custom “phone-to-Web” recruitment. Statistical comparisons among physicians and nurses were not conducted.

Results

Nurses and physicians estimated that approximately half of their UC patients (49% and 52%, respectively) had mild UC. Nurses estimated that their patients with mild and moderate UC, respectively, experienced 1.6 and 3.4 flares/year, whereas physicians' estimate was 1.5 and 3.2 flares/year. Both nurses and physicians, respectively, listed natural disease course as the most common cause of flares (44% and 59%), followed by not taking preventive therapy (32% and 29%), stress (20% and 11%), and changes in diet (4% and 1%). Nurses and physicians also estimated that 37% and 35% of UC patients, respectively, had their quality of life disrupted by UC symptoms. Both nurses and physicians, respectively, ranked urgency (58% and 51%) and stool frequency (22% and 36%) as the most bothersome symptoms of UC. Remission was defined by nurses and physicians, respectively, as the complete absence of symptoms (62% and 53%) and a normalised (versus improved) quality of life (62% and 63%). Similarly, nurses (40%) and physicians (44%) recognised that patient definitions of remission were less stringent than their own; 44% of nurses and 35% of physicians thought that patient definitions were probably similar to theirs. Most physicians (79%) reported sharing patient management with nurses; nurses and physicians, respectively, were the first point of contact for 48% and 31% of patients experiencing a flare-up, and 41% and 33% of patients in remission.

Conclusion

In the UK, nurses' perspectives of UC flares and remission were generally similar to those of physicians. More nurses than physicians reported being the first point of contact for patients with UC.