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Original research
Insight from patients and healthcare professionals on the implementation of virtual clinics in patients with inflammatory bowel disease
  1. Aditi Kumar1,
  2. Mohammed Nabil Quraishi2,
  3. Shanika de Silva3,
  4. Nigel John Trudgill4,
  5. Helen Steed1,5,
  6. Matthew James Brookes1,6,
  7. Rachel Cooney2
  1. 1 Gastroenterology, Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, UK
  2. 2 Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3 Gastroenterology, Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, Dudley, UK
  4. 4 Gastroenterology, Sandwell General Hospital, West Bromwich, UK
  5. 5 Faculty of Sciences and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK
  6. 6 Research Institute in Healthcare Science, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Aditi Kumar, Gastroenterology, Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, WV10 0QP, UK; aditikumar{at}


Introduction During COVID-19, the management of outpatient inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) changed from face-to-face (F2F) to telephone and video consultations across the UK. We surveyed patients with IBD and IBD healthcare professionals (HCPs) to evaluate the impact of this abrupt transition on patient and HCP satisfaction outcomes, including the barriers and enablers of this service.

Methods Patient satisfaction surveys were sent to patients who had a telephone consultation from May to July 2020. A second survey was sent to IBD HCPs across the UK. Questions from both surveys consisted of a mixture of multiple-choice options, ranking answers as well as short-answer questions.

Results 210 patients and 114 HCPs completed the survey. During COVID-19, there was a significantly greater use of telephone, video or a mixture of consultation. F2F consultations were consistently preferred by patients, with 50% of patients indicating they did not want the option of for video consultations. Patients were more likely to prefer a telephone consultation if they were stable and needed routine review. Significantly fewer HCPs (5.3%) intend to use F2F consultations alone, preferring the use of telephone (20.2%) or combinations of telephone/F2F (22.8%), telephone/video (4.4%) or combination of all three consultation types (34.2%). 63% indicated they intend to incorporate video consultations in the future.

Conclusion Telephone and video consultations need to be balanced proportionately with F2F clinics to achieve both patient and HCP satisfaction. Further research needs to be done to explore the use of video medicine in patients with IBD.

  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • COVID-19

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  • MJB and RC are joint senior authors.

  • Twitter @dr_dee_kumar

  • Contributors AK designed the survey, distributed the survey at her trust, collected data and analysed results. She researched the literature and wrote the manuscript. She was involved with manuscript revisions. MNQ contributed to the design of the survey and distributed the surveys at his trust. He statistically analysed the results and was involved with critical manuscript revisions. SdS, NJT and HS contributed to the design of the survey and distributed the surveys at their trust. MJB developed the concept and designed the survey. He was involved with critical manuscript revisions. RC developed the concept and designed the survey. She distributed the surveys at her trust. She was involved with critical manuscript revisions.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests SdS has received speaker fees/consultancy from Abbvie, Pfizer, Takeda, Dr Falk, Predictimmune and Janssen; and conference travel from Pfizer, Tillots, Predictimmune, Abbvie, Dr Falk and Janssen. NJT has received research support from Astra Zeneca, Dr Falk, MSD and Pfizer. MJB has received grants and travel expenses from Vifor International and Tillots Pharma, outside of the submitted work.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by local approval processes and registered as a quality improvement project.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplemental information. All individual participant data collected during the study will be made available (after deidentification) upon reasonable request to the corresponding author. Data will remain available from publication for those researchers who provide a methodologically sound proposal. Proposals should be directed to

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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