Does the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) meet patients’ needs? A survey‐based study
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OBJECTIVE: Symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affect approximately 20% of people on a weekly basis. A number of different therapies are prescribed to control the disease. This survey-based study was carried out to assess patients' and physicians' perceptions of GERD and its treatment. METHODS: Randomly selected general practitioners (GPs) from five countries (USA, UK, Japan, Germany and France) took part in a faceto-face interview, using a standard questionnaire, concerning the last four GERD patients (those taking GERD medication) who had consulted them and who consented to be interviewed. Those patients were then interviewed via telephone, also using a standard questionnaire. RESULTS: Completed questionnaires were available for 927 of the 1044 patients who were identified. The mean length of time that patients suffered GERD symptoms prior to consultation was more than 1.5 years, with 52.3% of those consulting a GP stating the reason they sought medical attention was that 'symptoms were too uncomfortable to bear'. Only 36% of patients receiving prescription therapy reported that they were currently asymptomatic; 20.5% of patients were also taking at least one over-the-counter (OTC) medication. CONCLUSIONS: In the primary care setting, many patients receiving GERD therapy do not have fully controlled symptoms. It is recommended that GPs question patients routinely about persistent symptoms on therapy, and OTC use, in order that effective treatment choices are made in the management of GERD.
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