Anxiety and behavioral changes in Japanese patients with inflammatory bowel disease due to COVID-19 pandemic: a national survey

Hiroshi Nakase, Kohei Wagatsuma, Masanori Nojima, Takayuki Matsumoto, Minoru Matsuura, Hideki Iijima, Katsuyoshi Matsuoka, Naoki Ohmiya, Shunji Ishihara, Fumihito Hirai, Ken Takeuchi, Satoshi Tamura, Fukunori Kinjo, Nobuhiro Ueno, Makoto Naganuma, Kenji Watanabe, Rintaro Moroi, Nobuaki Nishimata, Satoshi Motoya, Koichi KuraharaSakuma Takahashi, Atsuo Maemoto, Hirotake Sakuraba, Masayuki Saruta, Keiichi Tominaga, Takashi Hisabe, Hiroki Tanaka, Shuji Terai, Sakiko Hiraoka, Hironobu Takedomi, Kazuyuki Narimatsu, Katsuya Endo, Masanao Nakamura, Tadakazu Hisamatsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Given the increasing health concerns for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we investigated the impact of the pandemic on the anxiety and behavioral changes in Japanese patients with IBD. Methods: We analyzed 3032 questionnaires from patients with IBD, aged 16 years or older visiting 30 hospitals and 1 clinic between March 2020 and June 2021. The primary outcome was the score of the anxiety experienced by patients with IBD during the pandemic. Results: Participants reported a median age of 44 years; 43.3% of the patients were women. Moreover, 60.6% and 39.4% were diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, respectively, with a median disease duration of 10 years. Participants indicated an average of disease-related anxiety score of 5.1 ± 2.5 on a ten-point scale, with a tendency to increase, 1 month after the number of infected persons per population increased. The top three causes for anxiety were the risk of contracting COVID-19 during hospital visits, SARS-CoV-2 infection due to IBD, and infection by IBD medication. Factors associated with anxiety were gender (women), being a homemaker, hospital visit timings, mode of transportation (train), use of immunosuppressive drugs, and nutritional therapy. Most patients continued attending their scheduled hospital visits, taking their medications, experienced the need for a family doctor, and sought guidance and information regarding COVID-19 from primary doctors, television, and Internet news. Conclusions: Patients with IBD experienced moderate disease-related anxiety due to the pandemic and should be proactively informed about infectious diseases to relieve their anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-216
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 03-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gastroenterology


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