Abdulvahap Kahveci, Alper Gümüştepe, Nurhan Güven, İsmihan Sunar, Şebnem Ataman

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Division of Rheumatology, Ankara University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Türkiye

Keywords: Academic publications, COVID-19, pandemic, perspective, rheumatology.


Objectives: This study aimed to analyze the research, publication activities, and perspectives on clinical practices of rheumatology practitioners during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Materials and methods: The survey-based cross-sectional study was designed online and included 24 closed-ended questions. After performing a pilot test and validation of survey, it was conducted among clinicians between September 2021 and December 2021.

Results: One-hundred fifteen clinicians (54 males, 61 females; 78.1% in rheumatology practice for at least five years) responded to the survey. The respondents indicated that they worked in coronavirus-related departments, comprising inpatient service (50.4%), consultancy (42.6%), and outpatient clinic (27.8%). Around 40% of clinicians stated they spent less time on scientific research (43.1%) and clinical learning activities (43.2%), while almost the same proportion of them spent more (41.1% and 45.0%, respectively). This study revealed that 53.5% published at least one paper covering mostly COVID-19 in the scientific citation index (SCI) or SCI-expanded (SCI-E) indexed journals. However, nearly half of them did not have any papers published in the SCI/SCI-E (46.5%) or non-SCI/SCI-E indexed (44.6%) journals. Regarding the perspectives of clinicians about clinical practices, they considered fewer biological (57.0%) and nonbiological (55.0%) drug usage, reported fewer outpatient clinic visits (88.2%), more newly diagnosed rheumatic diseases (62.5%), and more disease exacerbations (31.2%). Most of the clinicians (range, 76.2 to 86.3%) thought they accurately managed their patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conclusion: Clinicians published mostly coronavirus-related papers in the pandemic era, and in the self-assessment, clinicians thought that they correctly manage their patients. In addition, this study reflected the frequency of academic publications and clinicians’ work routines during the pandemic.

Citation: Kahveci A, Gümüştepe A, Güven N, Sunar İ, Ataman Ş. Academic publication activities and perspectives of rheumatology practitioners in the COVID-19 pandemic. Arch Rheumatol 2023;38(4):611-619. doi: 10.46497/ ArchRheumatol.2023.9957.

Ethics Committee Approval

The study protocol was approved by the Ankara University Faculty of Medicine Ethics Committee (date: 04.03.2021, no: I2-172-22). The study was conducted in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki.

Author Contributions

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by KA, GA. The first draft of the manuscript was written by KA. All authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All co-authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.

Data Sharing Statement

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.