Inova Fairfax Hospital Falls Church, VA, United States
Reem Q. Al Shabeeb, MD1, Esther Lee, BS2, Muhammad El Shatanofy, BS3, Erika Pashai, MD3, Ivy Benjenk, PhD3, Marian Sherman, MD3, Eric Heinz, MD, PhD3, David Yamane, MD3, Marie L. Borum, MD, EdD, MPH3 1Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, VA; 2Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA; 3George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC
Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the clinical responsibilities of gastroenterologists across the United States. Faced with the risk of transmission during aerosolizing procedures, gastroenterologists have taken extra precautions to maintain their safety. The purpose of this study was to explore the factors affecting gastroenterologists’ fear of contracting COVID-19 during upper and lower endoscopic procedures.
Methods: In this IRB-approved multi-center cross-sectional study, we used a snowball sampling approach to disseminate a 42-question survey, pilot-tested for reliability and validity, to gastroenterologists across different geographic locations in the USA. Using a Likert scale from 1-10, with 1 meaning no fear at all and 10 meaning the highest level of fear possible, physicians were asked to rate their fear levels when performing endoscopic procedures on COVID-19 patients. Physician demographic information, including age, presence of comorbidities, and living circumstances were obtained. Data was analyzed using Pearson’s chi-squared, Mann-Whitney U, and Wilcoxon rank tests and significance was determined at a p-value < 0.05.
Results: 69 responses from gastroenterologists at 30 hospitals were analyzed. The following factors were associated with higher fear ratings of contracting COVID-19 during upper and lower endoscopic procedures: Living with someone with comorbid conditions that put them at an increased risk for serious complications of COVID-19 (mean = 7.11 vs 3.59; p=0.001), being the primary caregiver for or living with a person over the age of 65 (mean = 8.2 vs 61.8 ; p=0.041), having comorbid conditions like obesity (mean = 9 vs 6.2; p=0.048), having a history of quarantine (mean = 5.71 vs 3.63;p=0.017), and having a history of declining procedure because the risks were judged to outweigh the benefits for the patient (mean = 5.26 vs 3.32; p=0.005).
Discussion: This study identified factors that augment gastroenterologists’ fear during endoscopic procedures. Factors that increase the risk of COVID-19 complications were associated with increased fear levels during endoscopies. Increased fear following quarantine has also been identified as a factor impacting anesthesiologists’ comfort with performing COVID-19 intubations. Future research can explore educational interventions targeting factors that may alleviate fear when caring for critically ill COVID-19 infected patients.
Reem Al Shabeeb indicated no relevant financial relationships.
Esther Lee indicated no relevant financial relationships.
Muhammad El Shatanofy indicated no relevant financial relationships.
Erika Pashai indicated no relevant financial relationships.
Ivy Benjenk indicated no relevant financial relationships.
Marian Sherman indicated no relevant financial relationships.
Eric Heinz indicated no relevant financial relationships.
David Yamane indicated no relevant financial relationships.
Marie Borum indicated no relevant financial relationships.
Reem Q. Al Shabeeb, MD1, Esther Lee, BS2, Muhammad El Shatanofy, BS3, Erika Pashai, MD3, Ivy Benjenk, PhD3, Marian Sherman, MD3, Eric Heinz, MD, PhD3, David Yamane, MD3, Marie L. Borum, MD, EdD, MPH3. P0427 - Factors Affecting Gastroenterologists’ Fear of Contracting COVID-19 During Upper and Lower Endoscopic Procedures: Results From a US National Survey, ACG 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting Abstracts. Las Vegas, Nevada: American College of Gastroenterology.