Triaging advanced GI endoscopy procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic: consensus recommendations using the Delphi method

Mandeep S. Sawhney, Mohammad Bilal, Heiko Pohl, Vladimir M. Kushnir, Mouen A. Khashab, Allison R. Schulman, Tyler M. Berzin, Prabhleen Chahal, V. Raman Muthusamy, Shyam Varadarajulu, Subhas Banerjee, Gregory G. Ginsberg, Gottumukkala S. Raju, Joseph D. Feuerstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: There is a lack of consensus on which GI endoscopic procedures should be performed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and which procedures could be safely deferred without having a significant impact on outcomes. Methods: We selected a panel of 14 expert endoscopists. We identified 41 common indications for advanced endoscopic procedures from the ASGE Appropriate Use of GI Endoscopy guidelines. Using a modified Delphi method, we first achieved consensus on the patient-important outcome for each procedural indication. Panelists prioritized consensus patient-important outcome when categorizing each indication into one of the following 3 procedural time periods: (1) time-sensitive emergent (schedule within 1 week), (2) time-sensitive urgent (schedule within 1 to 8 weeks), and (3) non-time sensitive (defer for >8 weeks and then reassess the timing). Three anonymous rounds of voting were allowed before attempts at consensus were abandoned. Results: All 14 invited experts agreed to participate in the study. The prespecified consensus threshold of 51% was achieved for assigning patient-important outcome(s) to each advanced endoscopy indication. The prespecified consensus threshold of 66.7% was achieved for 40 of 41 advanced endoscopy indications in stratifying them into 1 of 3 procedural time periods. For 12 of 41 indications, 100% consensus was achieved; for 20 of 41 indications, 75% to 99% consensus was achieved. Conclusions: By using a Modified Delphi method that prioritized patient-important outcomes, we developed consensus recommendations on procedural timing for common indications for advanced endoscopy. These recommendations and the structured decision framework provided by our study can inform decision making as endoscopy services are reopened.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-542
Number of pages8
JournalGastrointestinal endoscopy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2020


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