Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology
Original Article

Fear of COVID-19 Among Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease as Compared to Patients with Other Gastrointestinal Conditions


Department of Gastroenterology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark


Unit of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, University Hospital of Santiago de Compostela, Spain


Department of Medicine Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada


Department of Social Sciences, University of Nicosia, Cyprus


Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand


Deakin University Faculty of Psychology, Geelong, Melbourne, Australia


Department of Digestive Tract Diseases, Medical University of Lodz, Poland


CINEICC, University of Coimbra Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, Portugal


Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden


Department of Psychological Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia

Turk J Gastroenterol 2022; 33: 664-672
DOI: 10.5152/tjg.2022.21774
Read: 1063 Downloads: 519 Published: 01 August 2022

Background: Although several studies have reported the impact of fears relating to coronavirus-19 on several chronic illnesses, there are few studies focused on gastrointestinal conditions. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the fear of coronavirus-19 in patients with inflammatory bowel disease to other gastrointestinal conditions and how the fear of COVID-19 manifests across different demographical backgrounds among inflammatory bowel disease respondents.

Methods: Participants with gastrointestinal conditions (age ≥ 18) were recruited from 27 countries. Demographic, clinical, and psychosocial information was collected. An adapted scale for inflammatory bowel disease patients measuring the fear of coronavirus-19 and gastrointestinal-specific fear of coronavirus-19 was used.

Results: In 831 participants (312 inflammatory bowel disease), only significant increases in gastrointestinal–fear of coronavirus-19 were found in between inflammatory bowel disease and other gastrointestinal conditions (mean [standard deviation]: 13.5 [5.5] vs 10.9 [5.0], P < .01). Among inflammatory bowel disease respondents, persons on sick leave had significantly more fear of coronavirus-19 than those employed (median [IQR], 31.0 [28.5-39.5] vs 26.0 [20.0-33.0], P = .035) and significantly more gastrointestinal–fear of coronavirus-19 compared to the employed (18.0 [14.5-22.0] vs 13.0 [9.0-17.0], P = .033) or respondents outside of the labor market (12.0 [7.0-16.0], P = .022). Persons living in a rural setting had significantly more fear of coronavirus-19 compared to persons living in regional setting (29.5 [22.0-37.8] vs 25.0 [20.0-31.3], P = .007) and gastrointestinal–fear of coronavirus-19 (15.0 [11.0-19.8] vs 12.0 [9.0-16.0], P = .02).

Conclusion: Respondents with inflammatory bowel disease are more afraid of coronavirus-19 regarding their disease; especially, persons on sick leave or persons living in a rural setting. This should be taken into consideration to personalize the support that health care providers can offer in mitigating fear related to coronavirus-19.

Cite this article as: Lo B, Barreiro-de Acosta M, Bernstein CN, et al. Fear of COVID-19 among patients with inflammatory bowel disease as compared to patients with other gastrointestinal conditions. Turk J Gastroenterol. 2022;33(8):664-672.

EISSN 2148-5607