Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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A cross-sectional survey on the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on inflammatory bowel disease patients in Saudi Arabia


1 Department of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Gastroenterology, King Faisal Medical City for Southern Region, Abha, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Jeddah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Pediatrics, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
5 Department of Medicine, Royal Commission Hospital, Jubail, Saudi Arabia
6 Department of Medicine, King Fahad Specialist Hospital, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
7 Department of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
8 Department of Gastroenterology, King Saud Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
9 Department of Medicine, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mahmoud Mosli,
Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Sulimaniah Street 059, 21589 Jeddah
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjg.SJG_220_20

Background/Aims: The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused significant disruption to patients with chronic illnesses. We explored the emotional state, perception, and concerns of Saudi patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) during the crisis. Materials and Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey from 30 March to 5 April, 2020 using a pre-designed questionnaire distributed through social media platforms to IBD patients. The five-part questionnaire included an assessment of psychological wellbeing using a previously validated Arabic version of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), which includes domains for anxiety (HADS-A) and depression (HADS-D). A logistic regression analysis was used to uncover possible associations between patient characteristics and anxiety and depression. Results: The data from 1156 IBD patients were analyzed. Normal, borderline, and HADS-A scores consistent with a diagnosis of anxiety were reported by 423 (36.6%), 174 (15.1%), and 559 (48.4%) patients, respectively. However, 635 (69%) patients had normal scores and 273 (30.1%) had borderline HADS-D scores; no patients reported scores consistent with depression. Based on a multiple logistic regression analysis, patients educated till a high school diploma (OR = 2.57, 95% CI: 0.09–6.05, P = 0.03) and that had indeterminate colitis (OR = 2.23, 95% CI: 1.27–3.89, P = 0.005) were more likely to express anxiety. Conclusions: Many patients expressed symptoms of anxiety, although not depression. Female patients, patients educated till a high school diploma, and those with indeterminate colitis were more likely to have anxiety. IBD patients require greater attention during a pandemic to avoid adverse disease-related outcomes.


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    -  Mosli M
    -  Alourfi M
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