Background: The current crisis COVID-19 has affected the already challenging management of
rheumatic diseases. Since no evidence-based approach is yet available, this survey was conducted
to explore the Iraqi rheumatologists’ attitude in the era of COVID-19 and how they have been
managing their patients, especially with the continuously updating and sometimes conflicting
reports. Patients and methods: A cross-sectional survey was distributed online via telephone and
social media to rheumatologists in Iraq. A questionnaire was conducted about methods of patient
education, preventive measures, and methods of arranging visits and treatment. In addition, an
inquiry about the similarity of the practice between their local institutions and global ones. Results:
144 rheumatologists answered the 14 obligatory questions, of which the majority were specialists.
122 rheumatologists participated in patient education. Half of participants used online information,
social media and websites as a source to communicate and interact with their patients for education
about COVID-19-related issues. Conclusion: Despite the lack of solid guidelines regarding the
management of rheumatic diseases during the COVID-19 crisis, this survey showed the majority of
Iraqi rheumatologists to be familiar with the updating recommendations. Also, as the majority are
waiting for stronger evidence before attempting to embrace controversial issues, surely this reflects
a responsible and scientific attitude.
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