Article Text

Clinical communication in inflammatory bowel disease: a systematic literature review protocol
  1. Neda Karimi1,2,
  2. Alison Rotha Moore3,
  3. Annabelle Lukin4,
  4. Ria Kanazaki1,5,
  5. Astrid-Jane Williams1,5,
  6. Susan Connor1,5
  1. 1Faculty of Medicine, South Western Sydney Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Gastroenterology Research Group, The Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3Faculty of Law Humanities and the Arts, School of Humanities and Social Inquiry, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences, Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  5. 5Department of Gastroenterology, Liverpool Hospital, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Neda Karimi; Neda.Karimi{at}


Introduction Evidence regarding effective communication between clinicians and patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is limited. Studies that investigate clinical communication in IBD are much fewer in number than studies that investigate the perceptions of patients and clinicians about communication in clinical encounters. The current review aims to identify, organise and summarise systematically what is currently known about (1) the characteristics of interactions between clinicians who manage IBD and patients with IBD, and (2) how clinical discussion affects health outcomes in IBD.

Methods and analysis Scopus, PubMed, Embase, Communication Abstracts, Health & Society, Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts and PsycINFO will be systematically searched for studies that investigate the characteristics of IBD clinical interactions during recorded consultations, from earliest available dates within each database to May 2020. A specifically developed quality assessment tool, grounded in linguistic theory, will be used to critically assess the evidence. In addition, a data extraction template will be developed and utilised to provide a description of the characteristics of IBD clinical communication as well as an estimation of its effect on health outcomes in a narrative synthesis.

Ethics and dissemination Ethical review and approval is not required for this systematic review as no primary data will be collected. The results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at academic conferences.

PROSPERO registration number International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) on 28 April 2020 (registration number: CRD42020169657).

  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • communication
  • clinical communication
  • clinical encounter
  • systematic review

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

Statistics from

Supplementary materials

  • Supplementary Data

    This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.

  • Supplementary Data

    This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.


  • Contributors NK, ARM and AL conceived the idea of this systematic review project. NK developed the protocol and prepared the first draft of this manuscript with feedback from ARM, AL, SC, RK and A-JW on the design of the protocol and the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests NK, ARM and AL have received grant support from Janssen. RK has received research and educational support from Pfizer, Abbvie, Takeda and Janssen. AW has received Honoraria from Takeda, Ferring, Janssen and Abbvie. SC has received Honoraria, speaker fees, educational support and/or research support from AbbVie, Celgene, Ferring, Gilead, Janssen, MSD, Novartis, Orphan/Aspen, Pfizer, Shire and Takeda.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.