February 21, 2022

Empowering patients with IBD

The Northern Health Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Service has proudly led a national effort to develop and disseminate dedicated patient information materials for people with IBD, a potentially debilitating condition that affects over 100,000 Australians.

Initiated and chaired by A/Prof Mayur Garg, Director of Gastroenterology, Northern Health, with extensive contributions from Dr Aysha Al-Ani (consultant gastroenterologist), Meera Rajendran (IBD pharmacist), Mr Basil D’Souza (colorectal surgeon), Katherine Healy (senior clinical dietitian), and Charys Winter (IBD CNC), this working group of 29 leading clinicians and consumer representatives from around Australia came together to serve an unmet need for patients with IBD and their care providers.

With endorsement by the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) and its IBD Executive, these comprehensive and easy to understand patient information sheets covering a variety of topics including diet, travel, vaccinations, sexual health, mental health, surgery, and life with a stoma, as well as all the currently available pharmaceutical agents for use for patients with IBD, were formulated. These were launched at  the Australian Gastroenterology Week (AGW) 2021, and have been uploaded on the GESA website for open access to all patients and health care practitioners here.

The President of  the GESA, Prof Ben Devereaux of Royal Brisbane and Womens’ Hospital and University of Queensland, said she was delighted with the release of the IBD patient information material.

“The GESA, IBD Patient Information Materials Working Group, led by A/Prof Mayur Garg, has produced 18 documents covering all aspects of care for patients living with IBD from medications, vaccinations and surgery through to diet, stoma care and sexual health. These will be invaluable for all healthcare practitioners and the patients they care for.”

A/Prof Mayur said this “represents another way by which Northern Health’s staff continue to contribute, not just to our community, but Australian society as a whole. We hope these resources will facilitate greater clinician-patient engagement, as well as empower patients through complex decision-making processes during their chronic disease journey.”

Featured image shows Northern Health’s participants – clockwise from top left: Aysha Al-Ani, Basil D’Souza, Mayur Garg, Meera Rajendran, Katherine Healy