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Study finds many gastroenterologists unaware of appropriate immunizations for IBD patients
Date:5/16/2011

(Boston) Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), along with clinicians from Boston Medical Center (BMC), have found gastroenterologist knowledge of the appropriate immunizations to recommend to the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patient is limited. These findings, which currently appear on-line in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, may be the primary reason why the majority of gastroenterologists believe that the primary care provider (PCP) should be responsible for vaccinations.

Current therapy for IBD patients often involves agents that suppress the immune system, placing patients at an increased risk for developing infections, of which several are potentially vaccine preventable. According to the studies' authors, many IBD patients are not being vaccinated appropriately.

One thousand gastroenterologists, randomly selected from the membership of the American College of Gastroenterology, were asked to complete a 19-question electronic survey regarding suitable vaccines for the immune-competent and immunosupressed IBD patient and the barriers to recommending the vaccines. The researchers also assessed the perceived role of the gastroenterologist versus the PCP.

The researchers analyzed 108 responses and found only 56 (52 percent) of the gastroenterologists took an immunization history most or all of the time. There was no significant difference between gastroenterologists with smaller practices (less than 40 IBD patients) compared with those with larger practices (greater than 40 IBD patients) in how often they asked their patients about immunization history. In contrast, more academic physicians (67.5 percent) asked their patients about immunization history most or all of the time compared to 42.4 percent of private physicians. Sixty-nine (64 percent) of the respondents thought the PCP was responsible for determining which vaccinations to administer to the IBD patient and ninety (83 percent) believed th
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Contact: Gina DiGravio
gina.digravio@bmc.org
617-638-8480
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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