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Prioritising Urological Surgery in the COVID-19 Era: A Global Reflection on Guidelines

      Abstract

      Background

      Determining whether members follow guidelines, including guidelines prepared to help direct practice management during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, is an important goal for medical associations.

      Objective

      To determine whether practice of urologists is in line with guidelines for the management of common urological conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic produced by leading (inter)national urological associations.

      Design, setting, and participants

      Self-selected urologists completed a voluntary survey available online from March 27 to April 11, 2020 and distributed globally by the Société Internationale d’Urologie.

      Outcome measurements and statistical analysis

      Responses to two survey questions on the (1) management of 14 common urological procedures and (2) priority scoring of 10 common urological procedures were evaluated by practice setting and geographical region using chi-square and one-way analysis of variance analyses, respectively.

      Results and limitations

      There were 2494 respondents from 76 countries. Oncological conditions were prioritised over benign conditions, and benign conditions were deferred when feasible and safe. Oncological conditions with the greatest malignant potential were prioritised over less aggressive cancers. Respondents from Europe were least likely to postpone and most likely to prioritise conditions identified by guidelines as being of the highest priority. Respondents’ priority scoring of urological procedures closely matched the priorities assigned by guidelines. The main limitation of this study is that respondents were self-selected, and access to the survey was limited by language and technology barriers.

      Conclusions

      Prioritisation and management of urological procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic are in line with current guidelines. The greatest agreement was reported in Europe. Observed differences may be related to limited resources in some settings.

      Patient summary

      When deciding how best to treat patients during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, urologists are taking into account both expert recommendations and the availability of important local resources.

      Keywords

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