The impact of Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on Italian Gynaecological Units practice and the compliance and satisfaction with available guidelines/recommendations is unknown. Therefore, a survey was conducted among all Italian Gynaecological Units Directors in April 2020. The response rate was 90% (135/150). 77.8% of centres performed surgery only for oncologic or not deferrable pathologies, and 9.6% was closed. 68.7% of directors were at least moderately satisfied by published guidelines/recommendations, but 94.8% of respondents identified limitations, mainly (83%) the absent definition of benign non-deferrable pathology. Responders considered as non-deferrable severe endometriosis (69.6%), endometriosis with organ failure/dysfunction (74.1%), and unresponsive symptomatic fibroids (89.6%). Despite guidelines/recommendations, respondents treated ovarian (77%) and endometrial (71.6%) cancer as usual. Only a minority of respondents reduced the laparoscopic approach (11.2%) and adopted all recommended surgical precautions (9.6%). Compliance with available guidelines/recommendations appears incomplete. Reconsidering guidelines/recommendations regarding oncological cases and specify non-deferrable benign pathologies would improve guidelines/recommendations compliance.Impact statementWhat is already known on this subject? The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has profoundly influenced medical routine practice worldwide. Surgery units have been forced to reduce or even completely restrict their activity to re-allocate human resources. Many major international gynaecological societies have released statements and guidelines, providing various recommendations to guide practice changes. However, the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on Italian Gynaecological Units practice and the compliance and satisfaction with available guidelines/recommendations is unknown.What do the results of this study add? Study results provide evidence showing how the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has changed surgical activity in the Italian Gynaecological Units. Most centres reduced surgical activity, limiting surgery only for oncologic or not deferrable pathologies. Moreover, our research shows the level of compliance and satisfaction with available guidelines/recommendations and where they need to be improved. Most directors were at least moderately satisfied but identified different limitations. Guidelines/recommendations do not provide enough details, such as the absent definition of benign non-deferrable pathologies.What are the implications of these findings for clinical practice and/or further research? The limited compliance with available guidelines/recommendations and identified limitations suggest reconsidering guidelines/recommendations focussing on identified gaps. Provide more details, such as specifying non-deferrable benign pathologies, would improve guidelines/recommendations compliance.
Stefano Uccella;Simone Garzon
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