• Usha ChauhanEmail author


Inflammatory bowel disease is a lifelong, chronic condition consisting of two main subtypes: ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). It is often characterized by an unpredictable disease course with fluctuating periods of quiescence and flares despite optimal therapy. As a result, the clinical management of patients with IBD requires flexibility. The majority of patients are managed in an outpatient setting. An outpatient clinic schedule aims to accommodate prompt access appointments for those patients who are experiencing exacerbation of their disease and for those who are experiencing side effects to medical therapy.

Nurses play a key role within the multidisciplinary team by providing clinical support and education and serving as a patient advocate. In a traditional clinic setting where face-to-face follow-up appointments are scheduled at the time of the clinic visit, there is a shortage of available clinic time for urgent, frequent, or prompt medical appointments. As a result, many specialist IBD nurses are filling in the required gap by setting up nurse-led follow-up clinics for prompt access or frequent follow-up appointments within the chronic disease model of care for IBD patients.

The onset of IBD is usually during teen years or young adult life, requiring frequent follow-up clinic visits which can disrupt family members’ daily life to facilitate the scheduled clinic appointment. As a consequence, creative ways of conducting follow-up appointment are being considered through virtual clinic follow-up visits, telephone follow-up visits, or distance self-management. This chapter will cover face-to-face and virtual clinic appointment; however, telephone review and distance management will be discussed more in the e-health ( 44) and advice line ( 47) chapters.


IBD Integrated models of care Virtual clinic Self-management Self-initiated clinic Nurse-led biological clinic 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hamilton Health SciencesMcMaster University Medical CentreHamiltonCanada

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