The evolution of the changes in the clinical course: a multicenter survey-related impression of the ophthalmologists at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey

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Erdem B., Gok M., Bostan S.

INTERNATIONAL OPHTHALMOLOGY, vol.41, no.4, pp.1261-1269, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 41 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10792-020-01681-1
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.1261-1269
  • Keywords: COVID-19, Ophthalmologist, Anxiety, Pandemic, Survey, TELEMEDICINE
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No


Purpose The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has become a difficult pandemic to control worldwide. The high transmission risk and mortality rates of COVID-19 cause serious concerns in ophthalmologists and may cause disruptions in clinical functioning. This study aims to identify changes in the clinical approaches of ophthalmologists, understand their anxiety levels, and exhibit how patients' follow-up processes progress during the pandemic. Methods A questionnaire that including demographic information, ophthalmology clinical activity scale, and Beck anxiety scale was sent to ophthalmologists in Turkey. Google Forms was used as a survey platform in this study. Results A total of 121 ophthalmologists participated in the study. The participants stated that they could not continue routine interventional diagnosis and treatment practices during the outbreak. It was clearly stated that there were changes in their clinical approach and decreased patient examination quality. For this reason, 14.9% of physicians said to missed the diagnosis in this process. Physicians who encounter infected patients state that it is more difficult to provide ophthalmological services and their clinical approaches are affected more negatively. Anxiety levels of physicians who could access personal protective equipment (PPE) and show positive solidarity with their colleagues in the process were found to be lower. Conclusion Our study revealed that ophthalmologists, like other healthcare professionals, were severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Accordingly, healthcare managers should provide adequate PPE for ophthalmologists, organize the clinical operation, and support the mental health of ophthalmologists.