Vol. 46 (x): 2020 June 6.[Ahead of print]
Cristiano M. Gomes 1, Luciano A. Favorito 2, João Victor T. Henriques 1, Alfredo F. Canalini 3, Karin M. J. Anzolch 4, Roni de C. Fernandes 5, Carlos H. S. Bellucci 1, Caroline S. Silva 6, Marcelo L. Wroclawski 7, 8, Antonio Carlos L. Pompeo 9, Jose de Bessa Jr. 6
1 Divisão de Urologia, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brasil; 2 Unidade de Pesquisa Urogenital, Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro – Uerj, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil; 3 Divisão de Urologia, Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro – Uerj, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil; 4 Departamento de Urologia, Hospital Moinhos de Vento, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil; 5 Divisão de Urologia, Santa Casa de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brasil; 6 Departamento de Saúde Pública e Epidemiologia, Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana, Feira de Santana, BA, Brasil; 7 Departamento de Urologia, Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paulo, SP, Brasil; 8 Departamento de Urologia, Beneficência Portuguesa de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brasil; 9 Disciplina de Urologia, Faculdade de Medicina do ABC, Santo André, SP, Brasil
Objectives: To evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on clinical practice, income, health and lifestyle behavior of Brazilian urologists during the month of April 2020.
Materials and Methods: A 39-question, web-based survey was sent to all urologist members of the Brazilian Society of Urology. We assessed socio-demographic, professional, health and behavior parameters. The primary goal was to evaluate changes in urologists’ clinical practice and income after two months of COVID-19. We also looked at geographical differences based on the incidence rates of COVID-19 in different states.
Results: Among 766 urologists who completed the survey, a reduction ≥ 50% of patient visits, elective and emergency surgeries was reported by 83.2%, 89.6% and 54.8%, respectively. An income reduction of ≥ 50% was reported by 54.3%. Measures to reduce costs were implemented by most. Video consultations were performed by 38.7%. Modifications in health and lifestyle included weight gain (32.9%), reduced physical activity (60.0%), increased alcoholic intake (39.9%) and reduced sexual activity (34.9%). Finally, 13.5% of Brazilian urologists were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and about one third required hospitalization. Urologists from the highest COVID-19 incidence states were at a higher risk to have a reduction of patient visits and non-essential surgeries (OR=2.95, 95% CI 1.86 – 4.75; p< 0.0001) and of being infected with SARS-CoV-2 (OR=4.36 95%CI 1.74-10.54, p=0.012).
Conclusions: COVID-19 produced massive disturbances in Brazilian urologists’ practice, with major reductions in patient visits and surgical procedures. Distressing consequences were also observed on physicians’ income, health and personal lives. These findings are probably applicable to other medical specialties.
Keywords: Practice Patterns, Physicians’; Healthy Lifestyle; COVID-19 [Supplementary Concept]; Urology