N22 Inflammatory bowel disease nursing in Italy: the experience of the Academic Hospital of Udine.

Povoli, A.(1);Simonetta, G.(1);D'Agaro, P.(1);Marangone, S.(1);Marino, M.(1)*;Berretti, D.(1);

(1)Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Friuli Centrale, Department of Gastroenterology, Udine, Italy;


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are a group of conditions characterized by a chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. IBDs can lead to extraintestinal manifestations that concern articulations, skin, liver, kidneys and eyes. Given the complexity of the diseases, patient affected by IBD are monitored by a multi-disciplinary team whose IBD nurse becomes one of the main figure. In 2018, the University of Udine fostered the post-graduate IBD nurse education programme called “IBD nurse case manager”, with the aims to a) promote high standards of clinical practice and research initiatives; and b) educate active members of the multi-disciplinary professional network both at national and international level.


A retrospective observational study has been conducted in 2022. All patients who attended the IBD clinic for administration of biological therapy, gastroenterological visits, training for subcutaneous therapy administration, follow-up for clinical studies (also via calls and/or emails) were included. Descriptive statistic has been used to describe the activity of the IBD clinic from 2018 to 2021


From the 1st of January 2018 to the 31st of December 2021, a total of 1,114 patients (47% females; average age of 45 years) were admitted to the IBD clinic. Outpatient visits were 701 in 2018 and 679 in 2019, while 639 during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 708 in 2021; from 2020 to 2021 there was an increase of 11% of activities. The number of drug administrations increased by 35% from 2018 (n=353) to 2019 (n=475); also, these endovenous therapies were not modified in 2020 (n=487, +3%) and in 2021 (n=476, -3%). The number of education sessions for subcutaneous therapy decreased by 15% from 2018 (n=30) to 2019 (n=26); then, the number increased by 34% from 2019 to 2020 (n=35) and by 135% from 2020 to 2021 (n=83). Follow-up appointments for clinical studies decreased by 60% from 2018 (n=26) to 2019 (n=11), then, the number increased by 100% from 2019 to 2020 (n=22) and decreased by 20% during 2021 (n=17). In 2020, virtual visits were implemented, with an increase of 458% of phone calls in 2021 (n=1,329) compared to 2020 (n=290).


Data show that qualified nurses may improve IBD pathways and increase the IBD clinic activities with high quality standards of care. In addition, motivation, satisfaction and willingness to continue education training were perceived among nurses. The collaboration between the University of Udine and the Hospital of Udine showed encouraging results that can be replicated in similar contexts.