Impact of COVID-19 on Clinical and Academic Urological Practice: A Survey from European Association of Urology Section of Uro-technology

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Eur Urol Open Sci. 2020 Oct;21:22-28. doi: 10.1016/j.euros.2020.08.001. Epub 2020 Aug 17.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The unexpected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has spread worldwide rapidly, developing into a global health crisis. At the same time, it has seriously impacted the daily activities in all the fields of urology.

OBJECTIVE: To better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on clinical, academic, and scientific activities as well as on the quality of life of urologists from the main centers in Europe.

DESIGN SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: We conducted a survey using a 37-item questionnaire. The survey included three main sections: clinical practice, academic/scientific activities, and personal/social quality of life.

OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: A descriptive analysis was performed using the collected data.

RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: A total of 107 representatives affiliated to different centers from 22 countries completed the survey. Clinical activities were affected in 54.2% of the centers, and 85.0% of the elective surgeries were cancelled. Of the urological departments, 64.5% were still performing minimally invasive surgery for malignant disease. In 33.6% of the hospitals, dedicated and specially equipped operating theaters for COVID-19-positive patients were not available. According to 72.9% of participants, COVID-19 had a substantial negative impact on academic activities, and 82.3% of the respondents agreed that their quality of life has been affected negatively by the pandemic. Finally, 92.5% of the participants believe that the pandemic will have a moderate to severe impact on the health system of their countries.

CONCLUSIONS: Data collected in this survey provide insight into changes brought about in clinical and academic settings amid COVID-19. Along with shortages such as bed occupancy and personal protective equipment, it highlights negative impacts on academic and scientific activities, including the personal and social life of urologists.

PATIENT SUMMARY: It is essential to understand the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on clinical, academic, and scientific urological activities, as well as on related personal and social issues.

PMID:33123688 | PMC:PMC7430276 | DOI:10.1016/j.euros.2020.08.001