Attitude of Iraqi Rheumatologists While Managing Rheumatic Diseases in the Era of COVID-19: An Online Survey
ياسمين عباس حمادي
Authors : Nizar Abdulateef Jassim1 , Dina Yasiry2 , Yasameen Abbass Hummad
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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