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Management of Gastrointestinal Disorders in Central and Eastern Europe: Self-Reported Practice of Primary Care Physicians / Zdravljenje Bolezni Prebavil V Srednji In Vzhodni Evropi: Podatki, Ki Jih Zdravniki V Primarni Zdravstveni Oskrbi Sami Sporočajo

À propos de cet article


Background. Gastrointestinal disorders account for 7-10% of all consultations in primary care. General practitioners’ management of digestive disorders in Central and Eastern European countries is largely unknown.

Aims. To identify and compare variations in the self-perceived responsibilities of general practitioners in the management of digestive disorders in Central and Eastern Europe.

Methods. A cross-sectional survey of a randomized sample of primary care physicians from 9 countries was conducted. An anonymous questionnaire was sent via post to primary care doctors.

Results. We received 867 responses; the response rate was 28.9%. Over 70% of respondents reported familiarity with available guidelines for gastrointestinal diseases. For uninvestigated dyspepsia in patients under 45 years, the “test and treat” strategy was twice as popular as “test and scope”. The majority (59.8%) of family physicians would refer patients with rectal bleeding without alarm symptoms to a specialist (from 7.6% of doctors in Slovenia to 85.1% of doctors in Bulgaria; p<0.001). 93.4% of respondents declared their involvement in colorectal cancer screening. In the majority of countries, responding doctors most often reported that they order fecal occult blood tests. The exceptions were Estonia and Hungary, where the majority of family physicians referred patients to a specialist (p<0.001).

Conclusions. Physicians from Central and Eastern European countries understood the need for the use of guidelines for the care of patients with gastrointestinal problems, but there is broad variation between countries in their management. Numerous efforts should be undertaken to establish and implement international standards for digestive disorders’ management in general practice.

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Sujets de la revue:
Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Hygiene and Environmental Medicine