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The general practitioner's approach to irritable bowel syndrome: from intention to practice.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Although general practitioners play a critical role in the management of irritable bowel syndrome because they deal with the most patients, guidelines are developed mainly by specialists.

AIMS

To evaluate the clinical features of irritable bowel patients and the general practitioners' approach to irritable bowel syndrome in Italy.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS

A questionnaire focusing on the management of this syndrome was completed by 28 general practitioners. Clinical features and diagnostic and treatment measures taken in 229 patients were analysed.

RESULTS

Only 35.7% of the general practitioners were familiar with the Rome II criteria. Changes in bowel habits and abdominal pain/discomfort were the most common symptoms. Constipation (74.2%) was more frequent as the main symptom than diarrhoea. Routine blood tests (76.4%) and abdominal ultrasound (42.2%) were requested more frequently than colonoscopy (31.1%). At least one specialist consultation was recommended in 63.3% of patients. Drugs (mainly antispasmodics) were prescribed more frequently for diarrhoea (91.4%) than for constipation (55.7%).

CONCLUSIONS

General practitioners are little acquainted with the Rome II criteria. Diagnostic tests and specialist consultations are often recommended; antispasmodics are the most frequently prescribed drug. Guidelines should be developed together by general practitioners and gastroenterologists to effectively manage patients at a lower cost.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pisa, Via Roma, 67, Italy. mbellini@med.unipi.it

    , , , , , , , , ,

    Source

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Aged
    Aged, 80 and over
    Family Practice
    Female
    Humans
    Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    Italy
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Surveys and Questionnaires

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    16243592

    Citation

    Bellini, M, et al. "The General Practitioner's Approach to Irritable Bowel Syndrome: From Intention to Practice." Digestive and Liver Disease : Official Journal of the Italian Society of Gastroenterology and the Italian Association for the Study of the Liver, vol. 37, no. 12, 2005, pp. 934-9.
    Bellini M, Tosetti C, Costa F, et al. The general practitioner's approach to irritable bowel syndrome: from intention to practice. Dig Liver Dis. 2005;37(12):934-9.
    Bellini, M., Tosetti, C., Costa, F., Biagi, S., Stasi, C., Del Punta, A., ... Marchi, S. (2005). The general practitioner's approach to irritable bowel syndrome: from intention to practice. Digestive and Liver Disease : Official Journal of the Italian Society of Gastroenterology and the Italian Association for the Study of the Liver, 37(12), pp. 934-9.
    Bellini M, et al. The General Practitioner's Approach to Irritable Bowel Syndrome: From Intention to Practice. Dig Liver Dis. 2005;37(12):934-9. PubMed PMID: 16243592.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - The general practitioner's approach to irritable bowel syndrome: from intention to practice. AU - Bellini,M, AU - Tosetti,C, AU - Costa,F, AU - Biagi,S, AU - Stasi,C, AU - Del Punta,A, AU - Monicelli,P, AU - Mumolo,M G, AU - Ricchiuti,A, AU - Bruzzi,P, AU - Marchi,S, Y1 - 2005/10/21/ PY - 2005/02/28/received PY - 2005/06/22/accepted PY - 2005/10/26/pubmed PY - 2006/3/8/medline PY - 2005/10/26/entrez SP - 934 EP - 9 JF - Digestive and liver disease : official journal of the Italian Society of Gastroenterology and the Italian Association for the Study of the Liver JO - Dig Liver Dis VL - 37 IS - 12 N2 - BACKGROUND: Although general practitioners play a critical role in the management of irritable bowel syndrome because they deal with the most patients, guidelines are developed mainly by specialists. AIMS: To evaluate the clinical features of irritable bowel patients and the general practitioners' approach to irritable bowel syndrome in Italy. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A questionnaire focusing on the management of this syndrome was completed by 28 general practitioners. Clinical features and diagnostic and treatment measures taken in 229 patients were analysed. RESULTS: Only 35.7% of the general practitioners were familiar with the Rome II criteria. Changes in bowel habits and abdominal pain/discomfort were the most common symptoms. Constipation (74.2%) was more frequent as the main symptom than diarrhoea. Routine blood tests (76.4%) and abdominal ultrasound (42.2%) were requested more frequently than colonoscopy (31.1%). At least one specialist consultation was recommended in 63.3% of patients. Drugs (mainly antispasmodics) were prescribed more frequently for diarrhoea (91.4%) than for constipation (55.7%). CONCLUSIONS: General practitioners are little acquainted with the Rome II criteria. Diagnostic tests and specialist consultations are often recommended; antispasmodics are the most frequently prescribed drug. Guidelines should be developed together by general practitioners and gastroenterologists to effectively manage patients at a lower cost. SN - 1590-8658 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/16243592/The_general_practitioner's_approach_to_irritable_bowel_syndrome:_from_intention_to_practice_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1590-8658(05)00379-8 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -