Endoscopic sedation practices of Greek gastroenterologists: a nationwide survey

Authors Adonis A. Protopapas, Evangelos Stournaras, Georgios Neokosmidis, Dimitrios Stogiannou, Athanasios Filippidis, Andreas N. Protopapas.


Background Sedation in gastrointestinal endoscopy is rapidly evolving worldwide. However, this has led to significant disagreements, especially regarding the use of propofol by nonanesthesiologists. The aim of this study was to document the practices of Greek gastroenterologists regarding sedation and compare them to previous surveys.

Methods The study was conducted in 2 periods, December 2015 and June 2018. In each period, the same online questionnaire regarding endoscopic sedation practices was sent to all registered Greek gastroenterologists (509 and 547 gastroenterologists, respectively).

Results The response rates were 38.3% and 47.1%, respectively. In each period, 25.1% and 16.7% of physicians did not use sedation. Most gastroenterologists (approx. 70% in both instances) answered that they “almost never” collaborate with an anesthesiologist during endoscopy. Midazolam was by far the most popular sedation agent, used by almost 90% of physicians in both periods. Propofol was used by 30.8% and 27% of physicians, respectively. Physicians using propofol were significantly more satisfied with the sedation than other physicians, while propofol was the agent selected by most physicians if they were to undergo endoscopy themselves. Most physicians cited medicolegal reasons and inadequate training as chief reasons for not using

Conclusions Sedation use is widespread among Greek gastroenterologists. Although midazolam is the most commonly used agent, propofol is preferred (theoretically) by most physicians and achieves the best satisfaction. The introduction of a strict training curriculum for endoscopic sedation can effectively eliminate the barriers preventing gastroenterologists from administering propofol, while at the same time ensuring optimal patient safety during endoscopy.

Keywords Gastrointestinal endoscopy, sedation, Greece, questionnaire, practice patterns

Ann Gastroenterol 2020; 33 (4): 366-373

Original Articles