Practice variations in the management of inflammatory bowel disease between pediatric and adult gastroenterologists

Amit Assa, Irit Avni, Ofer Ben-Bassat, Yaron Niv, Raanan Shamir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Different practice guidelines and consensus statements for both pediatric-and adult-onset inflammatory bowel disease exist. Although variations in medical care among gastroenterologists are common, it is unknown whether there are fundamental differences between disciplines. The primary aim of the present study was to investigate differences in common practices across disciplines. Methods: This was a prospective, questionnaire-based survey of gastroenterologists attending gastroenterology meetings in Israel. The questionnaire covered attitudes to medical resources, diagnostic and follow-up measures as well as therapeutic approaches. Results: Overall, 120 (60%) of the approached adult gastroenterologists (AGs) and 49 (75%) pediatric gastroenterologists (PGs) completed the questionnaire. The 2 groups differed significantly in various practice areas. Pediatric patients are seen more frequently and for longer appointments. PGs tend to assess thiopurine metabolites (96% vs 47%) more often during treatment. There is a significant variation in practice between groups concerning infectious serology status and vaccinations. Methotrexate in Crohn patients is used more commonly by PGs (55% vs 22%). Long-term combination therapy of thiopurines and anti-tumor necrosis factora agents is used more often by AGs. In patients with ulcerative colitis AGs use oral 5-aminosalicylic acid once daily (51% vs 21%) and add rectal agents from the first day of treatment (72% vs 35%) more often as compared with PGs. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that common practices in inflammatory bowel disease patients differ significantly between adult and pediatric practitioners. These findings call for investigating the reasons for these differences and promoting strategies to diminish these gaps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-377
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Crohn disease
  • Pediatric
  • Questionnaire
  • Ulcerative colitis


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