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The COVID-19 Pandemic: Fears and Overprotection in Pediatric Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Their Families

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Abstract


Purpose: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has influenced the lives of people worldwide. Little is known about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the behavior and fears of pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and their families. We conducted a survey to determine the COVID-19 exposure, related perceptions, and information sources; medication compliance; and patients' and parents' behaviors, fears, and physician contact.

Methods: An anonymous cross-sectional survey of pediatric patients with IBD and their parents at one pediatric gastroenterology unit of a university medical center was performed.

Results: A total of 46 pediatric patients with IBD and 44 parents completed the survey. Parents of pediatric patients with IBD had high fear of their children becoming infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. They perceived schools as the most hazardous environment, whereas the children did not. Half the pediatric patients with IBD feared infection. Patients and parents felt sufficiently informed about COVID-19. The primary source of guidance for pediatric patients was their parents (43%), followed by television and social media, whereas the parents mainly consulted internet news websites (52.2%), television, and public health institutes. Pediatric patients with IBD adhered to their prescribed medication. They also showed cautious behavior by enhancing hand hygiene (84%) and leaving the house less frequently than before. However, in-person medical visits remained favored over video consultations.

Conclusion: Although parents expressed overprotective concerns, both parents and pediatric patients with IBD are coping well with the COVID-19 pandemic. IBD-relevant information should be actively conveyed.

키워드

Inflammatory bowel disease; Children; Adolescents; Coronavirus disease 2019; Behavior

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