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Gut Liver. 2014 May;8(3):242-7. doi: 10.5009/gnl.2014.8.3.242.

Insufficient knowledge of korean gastroenterologists regarding the vaccination of patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



There is an increased risk for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients to develop infections due to the use of immunomodulators and biologics. Several infections are preventable by immunizations. This study investigated the knowledge and awareness of Korean gastroenterologists regarding the vaccination of patients with IBD.


A self-reported questionnaire was sent by e-mail to the faculty members of tertiary hospitals. Gastroenterologists were asked ten questions regarding the immunization of patients with IBD. A total of 56 gastroenterologists completed the questionnaire.


A majority of gastroenterologists (>60%) had rarely or never recorded an immunization history from their patients with IBD. Moreover, 50% to 70% of the gastroenterologists did not know that live vaccines should be avoided in immunosuppressed patients. The most commonly mentioned resistance to vaccinations was "the lack of concern and knowledge regarding vaccination." Gastroenterologists more frequently asked about the immunization history of influenza, pneumococcal, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B vaccines and recommended these vaccines more often than others.


Korean gastroenterologists' awareness and knowledge regarding the vaccination of patients with IBD were very poor. Intensive educational programs on immunization guidelines directed toward gastroenterologists who care for patients with IBD are required to ensure that these patients receive the necessary vaccinations.


Immunization; Immunosuppression; Inflammatory bowel disease; Vaccine

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