Aim To study the current practise of management of iron deficiency anaemia in children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the hospitals across the United Kingdom.
Methods We conducted an internet based survey among the Paediatric Gastroenterologist, Paediatrician with interest in Gastroenterology and the Specialist Nurses in Paediatric Gastroenterology using Survey Monkey tool. Survey was conducted over a 3 month period from September 2012 to December 2012. Participants were send a questionnaire regarding their case load, criteria for investigations for iron deficiency anaemia in IBD and modalities of treatments used for correcting iron deficiency anaemia. A total of one hundred health professionals were invited to participate in the survey.
Results The total response rate for the survey was 35%. 57% of the responses were from tertiary care paediatric gastroenterology consultants who had a case load of more than 100 children with inflammatory bowel disease. Remaining 40% responses were made up by consultant paediatricians with gastroenterology interest and specialist nurses.
Less than half of the participants reported that they do routine screening for iron deficiency as part of IBD management. The lab parameters used to confirm iron deficiency varied significantly. In our survey, 28% of the participants were unsure or did not agree correcting iron deficiency anaemia alone will improve the quality of life in IBD patients if underlying disease control could not be improved. While majority of the participants (48.5%) used oral iron as the first line treatment, some (8.5%) were using IV iron as their first line. Our survey showed that only 11.4% of the participants reported that they had a local or regional guideline.
Conclusion Our survey highlights that there is significant variation in practise among the clinicians in methods of diagnosing and treating iron deficiency anaemia in children with IBD. It also underscores the need for evidence based national guidelines in this area.