Recent data suggest that inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients do not receive preventive services at the same rate as general medical patients.
Dr Francis Farraye and colleagues from Massachusetts, USA provides guidlelines in preventive care in IBD.
Patients with IBD often consider their gastroenterologist to be the primary provider of care.
To improve the care delivered to IBD patients, the team reported health maintenance issues need to be co-managed by both the gastroenterologist and primary care team.
|Gastroenterologists need to explicitly inform the primary care provider of the unique needs of the IBD patient|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
The team noted that Gastroenterologists need to explicitly inform the primary care provider of the unique needs of the IBD patient, especially those on immunomodulators and biologics or being considered for such therapy.
In particular, documentation of up to date vaccinations are crucial as IBD patients are often treated with long-term immune-suppressive therapies and may be at increased risk for infections, many of which are preventable with vaccinations.
Health maintenance issues addressed by the researchers include identification, safety and appropriate timing of vaccinations, screening for osteoporosis, cervical cancer, melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer as well as identification of depression, and anxiety and smoking cessation.
Dr Farraye's team concludes, "To accomplish these health maintenance goals, coordination between the primary care provider, gastroenterology team and other specialists is necessary."