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Table of Contents
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 312-315

Retrospective study about fear from COVID-19 that makes the patients reluctant to present to otolaryngology outpatients clinic in Medina of Basra Province in Iraq


1 Department of Otolaryngology, Medina General Hospital, Alzahra Medical College, Basra, Iraq
2 Department of Otolaryngology, Basra General Hospital, Basra, Iraq
3 Department of Otolaryngology, Medina General Hospital, Alzahra Medical College, Basra, Iraq; Department of Otolaryngology, Babylon Medical College, Babylon, Iraq
4 Medina General Hospital, Basra, Iraq

Date of Submission07-Mar-2021
Date of Acceptance26-Aug-2021
Date of Web Publication18-Dec-2021

Correspondence Address:
Haider Kadhem Saeed
Department of Otolaryngology, Medina General Hospital, Alzahra Medical College, University of Basrah, Basra.
Iraq
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/MJBL.MJBL_20_21

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  Abstract 

Objective: The objective of the study was to assess the difference in numbers and nature of otolaryngology outpatient clinic presentation during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) era. Materials and Methods: A retrospective comparative study was performed in a single hospital (Medina General Hospital); all data were obtained by reviewing outpatient clinic data records for March, April, and May 2020. The corresponding period from 2019 was also collected for comparison. Results: A total of 551 patients were seen in the otolaryngology department of the outpatient clinic during the COVID-19 era of March, April, and May 2020, compared to 1837 patients who were seen in the same period of 2019 making around 70% drop in the total number of patients visiting ENT outpatient clinic during the COVID-19 era of 2020. Conclusion: Fear of getting COVID-19 infection along with enforcement of quarantine and social distancing resulted in a great drop in the quantity and quality of patients consulting outpatient clinic in Medina General Hospital during March, April, and May 2020.

Keywords: 2019, Basra, COVID-19, otolaryngology


How to cite this article:
Saeed HK, Tawfeek F, Al Abbasi A, Sultan SS, Taq MM. Retrospective study about fear from COVID-19 that makes the patients reluctant to present to otolaryngology outpatients clinic in Medina of Basra Province in Iraq. Med J Babylon 2021;18:312-5

How to cite this URL:
Saeed HK, Tawfeek F, Al Abbasi A, Sultan SS, Taq MM. Retrospective study about fear from COVID-19 that makes the patients reluctant to present to otolaryngology outpatients clinic in Medina of Basra Province in Iraq. Med J Babylon [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Aug 8];18:312-5. Available from: https://www.medjbabylon.org/text.asp?2021/18/4/312/332740




  Introduction Top


The World Health Organization (WHO) used the term 2019 novel coronavirus to refer to a coronavirus that affects the lower respiratory tract of patients with pneumonia in Wuhan, China on December 29, 2019.[1] The WHO announced that the official name of the 2019 novel coronavirus is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and the current reference name for the virus is severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).[2] Cases of COVID-19 have now been reported in more than 120 countries worldwide, and the WHO declared it a pandemic on March 11, 2020.[3] In Iraq, the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in Najaf city on February 24, 2020, while the first reported COVID-19 case in Basra was recorded on February 29, 2020. The first recorded case of COVID-19 in Medina district, Basra was on March 25, 2020 according to the data records of Medina General Hospital.

In this study, we will record the number of patients consulting the otolaryngology outpatient clinic of Medina General Hospital during March, April, and May 2020, comparing these findings with a similar period in 2019.


  Materials and Methods Top


Study Design and Setting

This retrospective, comparative study was done at a single center in the otolaryngology department in the outpatient clinic of Medina General Hospital, Basra, Iraq.

Patients

The study population was all patients consulting the otolaryngology department of Medina General Hospital, Basra, Iraq during March, April, and May 2020, the first 3 months after the outbreak of COVID-19, comparing these findings with a similar period in 2019.

Data collection

The data were collected by reviewing hospital records and otolaryngology outpatient clinic sample data from Medina General hospital. The patients’ identities were kept hidden and approval from the hospital directory, ethical and legal sections were obtained.

Statistical Analysis

The data were analyzed using Microsoft Excel 2019.

Ethical Consideration

The study was conducted in accordance with the ethical principles that have their origin in the Declaration of Helsinki. It was carried out with the patients’ verbal and analytical approval before the samples were taken. The study protocol and the subject information and consent form were reviewed and approved by a local ethics committee.


  Results Top


A total of 551 patients consulted the otolaryngology department in the outpatient clinic of Medina General Hospital in March, April, and May 2020, 296 patients were in March 2020 making 53.7% of the total number, 49 patients were only in April 2020 representing 8.9% of the total number of patients, and 206 patients visited otolaryngology department in the outpatient clinic of Medina General hospital in May 2020 making about 37.4% of the total number of patients in 2020. These data are shown in [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Frequency of distribution of patients presented to otolaryngology department in Medina General Hospital during 2020

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Comparing to the same period in 2019, 1837 patients visited the otolaryngology department of the outpatient clinic in Medina General Hospital during March, April, and May 2019. A total of 646 patients representing 35.1% consulted the ENT outpatient clinic in March, 863 patients representing 47% consulted during April, and 328 patients visited the ENT outpatient clinic during May, representing 17.9% of the total patients in that period of 2019 as shown in [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Frequency of distribution of patients presented to otolaryngology department in Medina General Hospital during 2019

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There is a drop in the total number of patients presented to otolaryngology outpatient clinic during the COVID-19 era in 2020 compared to the patients presented in the same period in 2019 by 70%.

The nature of the presentation was classified into the following:

  1. Emergency complaints like a foreign body in the ear, nose and throat area, epitasis, and trauma.


  2. Nonemergency complaints including all other complaints like rhinitis, sinusitis, ear infection, and others.


The emergency complaints during March, April, and May 2020 represent around 28.6% of the total complaints, whereas during the same period of 2019 it was 4.4% as shown in [Figure 3].
Figure 3: Frequency of distribution of patient’s complaints presented to otolaryngology outpatient clinic in Medina General Hospital during March, April, and May in 2019 compared to the same period in 2020

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  Discussion Top


The first COVID-19 case in Medina district was recorded on March 25, 2020, but the news of infection in other regions of the country and the world travel fast in the whole of March down to April 2020 resulting in great fear and anxiety of getting infected. The enforcement of healthy quarantine and work closure by the higher committee of health and safety in Iraq during March, April, and to a lesser effect in May 2020 resulted in a decrease in the number of patients’ consultations to the outpatient clinic in the hospital.

In this study, we found a dramatic drop in the number of outpatient clinic consultations in the first 3 months after recording COVID-19 cases in Iraq; March, April, and March 2020 up to 70% compared to the number of consultations to the outpatient clinic in the same period in 2019. The total number had drop from 1837 patients in 2019 to 551 patients in 2020. This as we said might be attributed to the fear and anxiety of getting COVID-19 infection and the enforcement of health quarantine by the local authorities.

The quantity and quality of patients presented to the outpatient clinic also differed during the COVID-19 era with an increasing number of emergency complaints (28.6%) in 2020 compared to the complaints (4.4%) in 2019. This might be explained by the total drop in patients’ number in 2020 as compared with 2019 making only patients with new or urgent complaints consult the hospital outpatient clinic rather than old and recurrent complaints.

The decline in the number of patients consulting ENT outpatient clinics in this study was similar to the findings of David AK,[4] Kowalski LP,[5] and Givi B.[6]


  Conclusion Top


Fear and anxiety from getting COVID-19 infection along with enforcement of quarantine resulted in a great drop in the quantity and quality of patients consulting outpatient clinics in Medina General Hospital during March, April, and May 2020.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Bruce A, Wannian L. Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). 2020:16-24.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Hamidreza S. A review on novel coronavirus (COVID-19): Symptoms, transmission and diagnosis tests. Res Infect Dis Trop Med2020;2:1-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
WHO Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report 53 2020. https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200313-sitrep-53-covid-19.pdf (accessed May 13, 2020).  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
David AK, Sina JT, Emily LS, Benjamin LJ, Manes RP. Outpatient Otolaryngology in the Era of COVID-19: A Data-Driven Analysis of Practice Patterns. Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation; 2020. p. 1-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Kowalski LP, Sanabria A, Ridge JA, Ng WT, de Bree R, Rinaldo A,et al. COVID-19 pandemic: Effects and evidence-based recommendations for otolaryngology and head and neck surgery practice. Head Neck 2020;42:1259-67.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Givi B, Moore MG, Bewley AF, Coffey CS, Cohen MA, Hessel AC, et al. Advanced head and neck surgery training during the COVID-19 pandemic. Head Neck 2020;42:1411-7.  Back to cited text no. 6
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]



 

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