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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

Print version ISSN 1130-0108

Abstract

ARGUELLES-ARIAS, Federico et al. Knowledge of disease and access to a specialist reported by Spanish patients with ulcerative colitis: UC-LIFE survey. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2017, vol.109, n.6, pp.421-429. ISSN 1130-0108.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17235/reed.2017.4748/2016.

Background and aim: Education of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) about their disease and access to a specialist are important to improve health outcomes. Our objective was to determine, by collecting information directly from the patients, their information sources and knowledge of the disease, and the options for access to the gastroenterologist. Methods: The information was collected using a printed survey handed out by 39 gastroenterologists to 15 consecutive adult patients with UC. Patients answered anonymously from their home. The responses were stratified by hospital size (> 900; 500-900; < 500 beds). Results: A total of 585 patients received the survey and 436 responded (74.5%; mean age of 46 years [13.5], 53% men). The main information source was the specialist physician (89.2%). Between 32% and 80% of patients had areas of improvement regarding knowledge of their disease. Knowledge of the disease was better in patients from small hospitals (< 500 beds). The frequency of routine visits was also higher in small hospitals. In case of a flare-up, 60% stated they were able to contact their doctor by phone and 37%, that they could get an appointment on the same day. The percentage stating that they had to ask for an appointment and wait until their physician was available was lower in small hospitals. Conclusions: There are areas of improvement with regard to knowledge of their disease in patients with UC followed in hospital clinics. Patients followed in small hospitals seem to know their disease better, are followed more frequently in the clinic, and have better access in case of a flare-up.

Keywords : Ulcerative colitis; Self-management; Information sources; Knowledge of disease; Access to physician.

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