The Journal of Bucharest College of Physicians and the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences

Improvement of Quality of Care in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: the Role of Steroid Assessment Tool (SAT) – Results from a Tertiary Center Trial


Background and aims: Corticosteroids play an important role in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease patients. They are used for induction of remission but due to their numerous side-effects they are avoided in the long term treatments.In order to improve medical care for the IBD patients guidelines were developed to avoid steroid excess and to promote regular monitoring of corticosteroid use. The aim of this study was to evaluate corticosteroid treatment using an online tool in a tertiary IBD centre from Romania. Methods: An online monitoring tool – SAT (Steroid Assessment Tool) was used to assess disease characteristics, corticosteroid use, corticosteroid excess as defined by international guidelines and the use of bone protection medication associated to steroid treatment. Two successive evaluations of patients treated in a tertiary IBD center were made, the first one in March 2019 on 44 patients and the second one 12 month later, in March 2020, on 84 patients. Data were statistically analyzed with SPSS® software. Results: The results showed that in 2019 the rate of corticosteroid use was of 34%, while in 2020 there was a decrease of corticosteroid use up to 25%. Regarding steroid excess, in 2019 there were 20.4% of patients treated with steroids in excess, but we managed to reduce it to 5.95% in 2020, a decrease that was statistically significant. Bone protection medication was prescribed to only 6.6% of patients treated with corticosteroids in 2019, but a significant increase up to 95% was obtained in 2020. Discussions: Two SAT evaluations of a tertiary IBD centre from Romania revealed that despite new therapeutic options, the rate of steroid use was higher than that reported in other international studies. The objective evaluation of steroid use determined a change in managing IBD patients, thus we succeeded to decrease significantly the rate of steroid excess and increase the use of calcium and vitamin D associated to corticotherapy. Conclusions: The use of an objective tool for monitoring corticosteroid use determined an improvement in managing IBD patients and thus of quality of care.