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Type: Journal article
Title: General Practitioners' Knowledge of, and Attitudes to, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Author: Tan, M.
Holloway, R.
Lange, K.
Andrews, J.
Citation: Internal Medicine Journal, 2012; 42(7):801-807
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1445-5994
Statement of
Michelle Tan, Richard H. Holloway, Kylie Lange and Jane M. Andrews
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic disease requiring longterm management. General practitioners (GPs) are often the first point of contact for initial symptoms and flares. Thus we assessed GPs’ attitudes to, and knowledge, of IBD. METHODS: A state‐wide postal survey of GPs was performed collecting demographic details, practice and attitudes in IBD‐specific management and knowledge. RESULTS: Of 1800 GPs surveyed in South Australia, 409 responded; 58% were male, 80% Australian trained and 73% practised in metropolitan areas. Most GPs (92%) reported seeing 0‐5 IBD patients per month. Overall, 37% GPs reported being generally “uncomfortable” with IBD management. Specifically, they were only somewhat comfortable in providing/using maintenance therapy, steroid therapy or unspecified therapy for an acute flare. They were uncomfortable with the use of immunomodulators and biologicals (71% and 91% respectively). No GP reported never referring, referring sometimes (12%), often (34%) or always (55%). Most (87%) GPs rated their communication with private specialists positively; while only 32% were satisfied with support from public hospitals. Of concern, most (70%) monitored patients on immunosuppression were on a case‐by‐case basis rather than by protocol. In multivariable analyses, GPs’ IBD‐specific knowledge did not influence comfort with overall management, nor did knowledge influence GP comfort with any particular therapy. CONCLUSION: Individual GPs care for few IBD patients and have variable attitudes in their practice. Whether improvement can realistically be achieved given individual GP’s paucity of patients, is questionable. These data support the provision of better support and specific action plans for IBD patients.
Keywords: Humans
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
Data Collection
Attitude of Health Personnel
Clinical Competence
Middle Aged
South Australia
General Practitioners
Rights: © 2011 Sydney South West Area Health Service. Journal compilation © 2011 Royal Australasian College of Physicians
DOI: 10.1111/j.1445-5994.2011.02586.x
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