OBJECTIVES: To provide Canadian primary care physicians with an evidence-based clinical management tool, including diagnostic and treatment recommendations, for patients who present with uninvestigated dyspepsia. RECOMMENDATIONS: The management tool has 5 key decision steps addressing the following: (1) evidence that symptoms originate in the upper gastrointestinal tract, (2) presence of alarm features, (3) use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), (4) dominant reflux symptoms and (5) evidence of Helicobacter pylori infection. All patients over 50 years of age who present with new-onset dyspepsia and patients who present with alarm features should receive prompt investigation, preferably by endoscopy. The management options for patients with uninvestigated dyspepsia who use NSAIDs regularly are: (1) to stop NSAID therapy and assess symptomatic response, (2) to treat with NSAID prophylaxis if NSAID therapy cannot be stopped or (3) to refer for investigation. Gastroesophageal reflux disease can be diagnosed clinically if the patient's dominant symptoms are heartburn or acid regurgitation, or both; these patients should be treated with acid suppressive therapy. The remaining patients should be tested for H. pylori infection, and those with a positive result should be treated with H. pylori-eradication therapy. Those with a negative result should have their symptoms treated with optimal antisecretory therapy or a prokinetic agent. VALIDATION AND EVIDENCE: Evidence for resolution of the dyspepsia symptoms was the main outcome measure. Supporting evidence for the 5 steps in the management tool and the recommendations for treatment were graded according to the strength of the evidence and were endorsed by consensus of committee members. If no randomized controlled clinical trials were available, the recommendations were based on the best available evidence. LITERATURE REVIEW: Evidence was obtained from MEDLINE searches for pertinent articles published from 1966 to October 1999. The searches focused on dyspepsia, diagnosis and treatment. Additional articles were retrieved through a manual search of bibliographies and abstracts from international gastroenterology conferences.
Background. Empirical therapy with antisecretory agents like PPIs and H2RAs has long been the traditional approach in the initial management of uninvestigated dyspepsia. Aim. The objective of the study was to examine relief of dyspepsia with lafutidine, a second-generation H2-RA, and rabeprazole and to compare their efficacy. Methods. This was a randomized, open, comparative trial in adult uninvestigated dyspeptic patients, who had at least moderate severity of symptoms, defined as a score of ≥4 on a 7-point global overall symptom (GOS) scale, and were randomized to receive once daily either lafutidine 10 mg or rabeprazole 20 mg for 4 weeks. Results. A total of 236 patients were enrolled, out of which 194 patients were included in the analysis. At the end of week 4, a significant difference was observed for symptom relief (lafutidine 89.90% versus rabeprazole 65.26%, P < .01) and symptom resolution (lafutidine 70.71% versus rabeprazole 25.26%, P < .01). Both the drugs were well tolerated. Conclusion. Both lafutidine and rabeprazole provide symptom relief in patients with heartburn-dominant uninvestigated dyspepsia. The present study confirms the appropriateness of lafutidine as an empiric treatment and superior efficacy for primary care practice patients with dyspepsia.
Dyspepsia is a syndrome consisting of epigastric pain, burning, fullness, discomfort, early satiety, nausea, vomiting and belching. Functional dyspepsia (FD) is diagnosed if upper gastrointestinal endoscopy does not show structural abnormality explaining these symptoms. 8%-30% and 8%-23% of Asian people suffer from of uninvestigated dyspepsia and FD, respectively. Most patients with uninvestigated dyspepsia are found to have FD. Patients with FD are usually young and there is no predilection to any gender. Overlap of FD with other functional bowel diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome and gastroesophageal reflux disease is common in Asia. Cultural difference in reporting of symptoms of dyspepsia is well-known. Moreover, dietary factors, socio-cultural and psychological issues, gastrointestinal infection including that caused by Helicobacter pylori, frequency of organic diseases such as peptic ulcer and gastric cancer responsible for dyspeptic symptoms in the study population may also influence epidemiology of dyspepsia. There is considerable heterogeneity in the above issues among different Asian countries. More studies on epidemiology of FD are needed in Asia.
Dyspepsia; Gastroparesis; Gastrointestinal disease; Helicobacter pylori; Quality of life
The main issue regarding the approach to the patient with uninvestigated dyspepsia are whether the symptoms are the result of important clinical illness which then determines the appropriate management strategy for treatment of the symptoms. A initial trial of empiric anti-secretory drugs is recommended for those without H. pylori infection and no alarm symptoms whereas H. pylori eradication is recommended for those with an active H. pylori infection. Treatment expectations for H. pylori infections should theoretically be similar to other common infectious diseases. In most regions clarithromycin resistance has undermined traditional triple therapy such that it is no longer a suitable choice as an empiric therapy. Four drug therapies such as sequential, concomitant, and bismuth-quadruple therapy are generally still acceptable choices as empiric therapies. Post eradication testing is highly recommended to provides early identification of otherwise unrecognized increasing antimicrobial resistance. However, despite the ability to successfully cure H. pylori infections, a symptomatic response can be expected in only a minority of those with dyspepsia not associated with ulcers (so called non-ulcer dyspepsia). Overall, from the patients stand point, symptomatic relief is often difficult to achieve and physicians must relay on reassurance along with empiric and individualized care.
Dyspepsia; Helicobacter pylori; diagnosis; non-ulcer dyspepsia; gastric ulcer; H. pylori therapy
Dyspepsia is a common symptom. Dyspeptic symptoms may be caused by a variety of conditions such as peptic ulcer disease, gastro-oesophageal reflux, and malignancy. Most often, however, no cause is identified and dyspepsia is deemed to be functional. While symptom severity does influence frequency of consultation, dyspeptic consulters also differ from non-consulters with respect to symptom perception and anxiety. This highlights the importance of understanding the patient's agenda early in the course of evaluation. Patients over the age of 55 years or with alarm symptoms should be referred for prompt endoscopy. In the absence of other clinically apparent aetiologies, uninvestigated dyspeptics can be either tested and treated for Helicobacter pylori or empirically treated with proton pump inhibitors. Uninvestigated dyspeptics failing empiric therapy should be referred for evaluation that includes endoscopy. Further therapy with prokinetics, tricyclic antidepressants, fundal relaxants, antidepressants, or psychotherapy is guided by predominant symptoms and assessment of possible psychiatric factors.
AIM: To compare the effects of Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection on gastropathy between Indonesian and Japanese patients.
METHODS: Biopsy specimens were obtained during upper gastrointestinal endoscopy from 167 subjects (125 Indonesians and 42 Japanese) with uninvestigated symptoms of dyspepsia. The specimens were analyzed for the presence of H pylori using urease analysis, histopathology, and cell culture. The grade and activity of gastritis was assessed using the updated Sydney system.
RESULTS: The percentages of Indonesian and Japanese patients who were H pylori-positive at the antrum or body of the stomach were similar (68% and 59.5%, respectively; P = 0.316). Of those who were H pylori-positive, more Japanese patients than Indonesian patients had high levels of polymorphonuclear cells (P = 0.001), mononuclear cells (P = 0.013), glandular atrophy (P = 0.000), and intestinal metaplasia (P = 0.011) in both the antrum and body of the stomach.
CONCLUSION: The grade of gastritis and prevalence of mucosal atrophy and intestinal metaplasia were higher in Japanese patients. The difference between Indonesian and Japanese patients was significant.
Helicobacter pylori; Gastritis; Gastric cancer; Intestinal metaplasia; Atrophy
The Stretta procedure is an endoscopic therapy for gastroesophageal reflux disease.
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the Stretta procedure and that of competing strategies in the long-term management of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
A Markov model was designed to estimate costs and health outcomes in Canadian patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease over five years, from a Ministry of Health perspective. Strategies included the use of daily proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication (LNF) and the Stretta procedure. Probabilities and utilities were derived from the literature. Costs are expressed in 2006 Canadian dollars. Units of effectiveness were symptom-free months (SFMs) and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), using a five-year time horizon.
In the analysis that used SFMs, the strategy using PPIs exhibited the lowest costs ($40 per SFM) and the greatest number of SFMs, thus dominating both the LNF and Stretta systems. But the cost-effectiveness analysis using QALYs as the measure of effectiveness showed that PPIs presented the lowest cost-effectiveness ratio, while both the LNF and Stretta strategies were associated with very high incremental costs (approximately $353,000 and $393,000, respectively) to achieve an additional QALY. However, the PPI strategy did not dominate the two other strategies, which were associated with better effectiveness.
If SFMs are used as the measure of effectiveness, PPIs dominate the Stretta and LNF strategies. However, if QALYs are used, the PPIs still present the lowest cost and LNF gives the best effectiveness. Regardless of the units of effectiveness or utility used in the present cost analysis, an approach of prescribing PPIs appears to be the preferred strategy.
GERD; Proton pump inhibitors; Stretta procedure
To determine whether a “test for Helicobacter pylori and treat” strategy improves symptoms in patients with uninvestigated dyspepsia in primary care.
Randomised placebo controlled trial.
36 family practices in Canada.
294 patients positive for H pylori (13C- urea breath test) with symptoms of dyspepsia of at least moderate severity in the preceding month.
Participants were randomised to twice daily treatment for 7 days with omeprazole 20 mg, metronidazole 500 mg, and clarithromycin 250 mg or omeprazole 20 mg, placebo metronidazole, and placebo clarithromycin. Patients were then managed by their family physicians according to their usual care.
Main outcome measures
Treatment success defined as no symptoms or minimal symptoms of dyspepsia at the end of one year. Societal healthcare costs collected prospectively for a secondary evaluation of actual mean costs.
In the intention to treat population (n=294), eradication treatment was significantly more effective than placebo in achieving treatment success (50% v 36%; P=0.02; absolute risk reduction=14%; number needed to treat=7, 95% confidence interval 4 to 63). Eradication treatment cured H pylori infection in 80% of evaluable patients. Treatment success at one year was greater in patients negative for H pylori than in those positive for H pylori (54% v 39%; P=0.02). Eradication treatment reduced mean annual cost by $C53 (−86 to 180) per patient.
A “test for H pylori with 13C-urea breath test and eradicate” strategy shows significant symptomatic benefit at 12 months in the management of primary care patients with uninvestigated dyspepsia.
What is already known on this topicDyspepsia is a common problem in primary health care, although controversy exists about its definitionStudies of H pylori eradication in patients with uninvestigated dyspepsia have shown reduced need for endoscopy and thus significant cost savings compared with a strategy of prompt endoscopyThe “test for H pylori and treat” strategy has been recommended for uninvestigated dyspepsia, but there have been no randomised controlled trials showing improvement in symptomsWhat this study addsWhen given eradication treatment in primary care, H pylori positive patients with uninvestigated dyspepsia show improvement in overall dyspepsia symptoms at 12 monthsThis supports the “test for H pylori and treat” strategy
BACKGROUND: The first step in the management of uncomplicated dyspepsia in primary care often consists of prescribing empirical therapy, but in certain cases prompt endoscopy might be preferred. Any decision is usually based on the patient's symptoms and the presumed underlying pathology that causes these symptoms. AIM: To assess the relationship between symptom subgroups and the effect of management strategies on primary care patients with dyspepsia. DESIGN OF STUDY: Randomised controlled trial. SETTING: All patients presenting successively with a new episode of dyspepsia between January 1995 and November 1997. METHOD: The results of four management strategies in dyspeptic primary care patients were compared and the value of subgrouping within this trial was estimated. Patients were allocated to one of either (a) empirical treatment in which therapy was based on the presented symptoms, or empirical treatment with (b) omeprazole or (c) cisapride regardless of the presented symptoms, or (d) prompt endoscopy followed by the appropriate treatment. Patients were retrospectively classified into the subgroups for each strategy using baseline data. The yield of each strategy was measured by counting the number of strategy failures in the first year. RESULTS: Of the 349 included patients, 326 were analysed. No statistically significant difference could be demonstrated between the strategies or between the symptom subgroups. However, patients in the reflux-like subgroup showed a trend towards a better outcome in all empirical strategies. Ulcer-like dyspepsia seemed to benefit from omeprazole. The non-specific subgroup seemed to benefit from cisapride but also had the highest proportion of strategy failure. Prompt endoscopy did not appear especially useful in any subgroup. CONCLUSION: Although this study has relatively low power, we conclude that the use of symptom subgroups seems to be a sensible approach when choosing empirical therapy in dyspepsia. Patients with reflux-like symptoms seem to have the best prognosis in the first year in every strategy.
In Japan, treatment guidelines are lacking for patients with upper gastrointestinal symptoms. We aimed to compare the efficacy of different drugs for the treatment of uninvestigated upper gastrointestinal symptoms.
This was a randomized, open-label, parallel-group multicenter study. Helicobacter pylori-negative, endoscopically uninvestigated patients ≥ 20 years of age with upper gastrointestinal symptoms of at least moderate severity (Global Overall Symptom score [GOS] ≥ 4 on a 7-point Likert scale) were randomized to treatment with omeprazole (10 mg once daily), famotidine (10 mg twice daily), mosapride (5 mg three times daily) or teprenone (50 mg three times daily). The primary endpoint was sufficient relief of upper gastrointestinal symptoms after 4 weeks of treatment (GOS ≤ 2). UMIN clinical trial registration number: UMIN000005399.
Of 471 randomized patients, 454 were included in the full analysis set. After 4 weeks of treatment, sufficient symptom relief was achieved by 66.9% of patients in the omeprazole group, compared with 41.0%, 36.3% and 32.3% in the famotidine, mosapride and teprenone groups, respectively (all, p < 0.001 vs omeprazole). There were no treatment-related adverse events.
The favorable efficacy and safety profiles of omeprazole in relieving uninvestigated upper gastrointestinal symptoms support its use as first-line treatment in this patient group in Japan. Patients who show no improvement in symptoms despite PPI use, and those with alarm symptoms (such as vomiting, GI bleeding or acute weight loss) should receive further investigation, including prompt referral for endoscopy.
Omeprazole; Famotidine; Mosapride; Teprenone; Uninvestigated upper gastrointestinal symptoms
The incidence and prevalence rates of childhood Helicobacter pylori infection vary greatly by nation, with infection rates of 8.9% to 72.8% reported in developed and developing countries, respectively. To date, few studies have assessed the prevalence of H pylori in Canadian children, with studies limited to Aboriginal communities and single tertiary care centres from Ontario and Quebec.
To determine the prevalence of H pylori in consecutive children referred to three Canadian tertiary care academic centres for upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy due to upper GI symptoms, and to determine the sensitivity and specificity of the carbon-13-labelled urea breath test, the rapid urease test and the H pylori stool monoclonal antigen test.
Two hundred four patients were recruited. The prevalence of H pylori was 7.1%. Of the H pylori-positive patients, 41.7% were male, with a mean age of 10.3 years. Ethnic minorities accounted for 42% of the H pylori-positive patients. Consistent with previous observations, the sensitivity and specificity of the carbon-13-labelled urea breath test were 1.0 and 0.98, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of the rapid urease test were 1.0 and 0.99, respectively. Stool samples were collected from 34 patients from one centre, with a sensitivity and specificity of 1.0 and 0.68, respectively. No defining symptoms of H pylori infection were evident and no peptic ulcer disease was demonstrated.
H pylori infection rates in Canadian children with upper GI symptoms are low, and are lower than those reported for other developed countries. Further studies are required in Canada to determine the prevalence in the general population and specifically in the populations at risk.
Helicobacter pylori; Pediatrics; Prevalence; UBT
Patients who presented to their family doctors with previously uninvestigated dyspepsia of at least two weeks' duration were recruited into a placebo controlled trial of treatment with ranitidine (150 mg twice daily) for six weeks. All patients were examined by endoscopy before treatment, and for those with macroscopical abnormalities the examination was repeated after treatment. Of the 604 patients recruited, 559 had endoscopy, of whom 171 (30%) had no apparent abnormality. Of the 388 patients remaining, one third had two or more lesions. The high incidence of underlying disease was coupled with low accuracy in unaided clinical diagnosis. After endoscopy 496 patients with persistent symptoms (median duration six to eight weeks) were randomly allocated to treatment and then reviewed every two weeks. Complete remission of symptoms occurred in 76% of patients who were taking ranitidine and in 55% who were taking placebo (p less than 0.000004). Of those with non-ulcer dyspepsia, significantly more became symptom free taking ranitidine compared with placebo (p less than 0.002). Ranitidine healed most duodenal ulcers (80%) and gastric ulcers (90%) within four weeks. Tolerance to ranitidine was good, and the incidence of complaints was similar on placebo.
Rising demand and increasing waiting times for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (gastroscopy).
Quality improvement study with pre‐ and post‐intervention data collection.
Three endoscopy units in two hospital trusts (Singleton, Morriston and Baglan Hospitals endoscopy units), UK.
Key measures for improvement
Number of gastroscopy requests from general practitioners (GPs) and hospital doctors; their adherence to dyspepsia referral guidelines and the referral‐to‐procedure interval for upper gastroscopy. Data collected for six months before and for five months after the intervention.
Strategy for change
Referrals were assessed against the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for the management of dyspepsia by two part‐time GPs and feedback sent to clinicians where requests did not adhere to the referrals criteria
Effects of change
Adherence to guideline criteria increased significantly among GPs after the intervention (from 55% to 75%). There was no similar effect for hospital doctors, although their adherence rate (70%) was at a higher level than that of GPs before the intervention. The number of gastroscopy referrals for dyspepsia declined after the intervention, particularly from hospital doctors where a drop of 31% was observed, from 26.6 to 18.4 referrals per week. With the inclusion of seasonal effects, an estimated drop of 3.2 referrals per week from general practice was not significant (p = 0.065) while an estimated drop of 10.0 referrals per week for hospital doctors was very significant (p<0.001).
Referral assessment can be successfully introduced and shows promise as a way of improving the quality of referrals and reducing demand. Hospital clinicians are more resistant than GPs to referral assessment but nevertheless responded to the feedback by reducing their endoscopy gastroscopy requests. Most such referrals are generated in hospitals rather than in primary care: this finding has important implications for demand management.
Patient self-management of long-term oral anticoagulation therapy is an effective strategy in a number of clinical situations, but it is currently not a funded option in the Canadian health care system. We sought to compare the incremental cost and health benefits of self-management with those of physician management from the perspective of the Canadian health care payer over a 5-year period.
We developed a Bayesian Markov model comparing the costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) accrued to patients receiving oral anticoagulation therapy through self-management or physician management for atrial fibrillation or for a mechanical heart valve. Five health states were defined: no events, minor hemorrhagic events, major hemorrhagic events, thrombotic events and death. Data from published literature were used for transition probabilities. Canadian 2003 costs were used, and utility estimates were obtained from various published sources.
Self-management resulted in 3.50 fewer thrombotic events, 0.78 fewer major hemorrhagic events and 0.12 fewer deaths per 100 patients than physician management. The average discounted incremental cost of self-management over physician management was found to be $989 (95% confidence interval [CI] $310–$1655) per patient and the incremental QALYs gained was 0.07 (95% CI 0.06–0.08). The cost-effectiveness of self-management was $14 129 per QALY gained. There was a 95% chance that self-management would be cost-effective at a willingness to pay of $23 800 per QALY. Results were robust in probabilistic and deterministic sensitivity analyses.
This model suggests that self-management is a cost-effective strategy for those receiving long-term oral anticoagulation therapy for atrial fibrillation or for a mechanical heart valve.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the clinical and economic effects of a strategy using immediate endoscopy to a non-invasive strategy utilizing a serologic test for Helicobacter pylori infection for individuals with symptoms suggestive of peptic ulcer disease. DESIGN: Cost-effectiveness analysis evaluating the clinical and economic effects of alternative management strategies of hypothetical patients with suspected peptic ulcer disease in a computer simulation model. INTERVENTION: Two strategies for hypothetical patients with suspected ulcer disease were evaluated: 1) Immediate endoscopy and biopsy for H. pylori, using antisecretory treatment in all patients with documented ulcers and adding antibiotic eradication therapy for those patients with ulcers whose biopsies were positive for H. pylori. 2) Empiric treatment with antisecretory therapy and serologic testing for H. pylori for all patients, using antibiotic eradication therapy only in patients testing positive for H. pylori. MEASUREMENTS: Cost per ulcer cured over a one-year study period. RESULTS: The more cost-effective strategy was the test-and-treat strategy (Strategy 2) with $4481 cost per ulcer cured. The immediate endoscopy strategy resulted in $8045 cost per ulcer cured. The cost-effectiveness advantage of the non-invasive strategy diminished as the cost of endoscopy fell or as the probability of recurrent symptoms rose in patients initially managed without endoscopy. CONCLUSION: Endoscopy, though costly, precisely guided diagnosis and treatment and, thus, potentially reduced the number of patients inappropriately treated. However, cost-effectiveness analysis supports the continued practice of initial non-invasive management of patients with symptoms suggestive of peptic ulcer disease, achieving the benefits of H. pylori eradication through the use of serologic testing to guide antibiotic use.
Symptoms suggestive of acute bacterial sinusitis are common. Available diagnostic and treatment options generate substantial costs with uncertain benefits. We assessed the cost-effectiveness of alternative management strategies to identify the optimal approach.
For such patients, we created a Markov model to examine four strategies: 1) no antibiotic treatment; 2) empirical antibiotic treatment; 3) clinical criteria-guided treatment; and 4) radiography-guided treatment. The model simulated a 14-day course of illness, included sinusitis prevalence, antibiotic side effects, sinusitis complications, direct and indirect costs, and symptom severity. Strategies costing less than $50,000 per quality-adjusted life year gained were considered “cost-effective.”
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
For mild or moderate disease, basing antibiotic treatment on clinical criteria was cost-effective in clinical settings where sinusitis prevalence is within the range of 15% to 93% or 3% to 63%, respectively. For severe disease, or to prevent sinusitis or antibiotic side effect symptoms, use of clinical criteria was cost-effective in settings with lower prevalence (below 51% or 44%, respectively); empirical antibiotics was cost-effective with higher prevalence. Sinus radiography-guided treatment was never cost-effective for initial treatment.
Use of a simple set of clinical criteria to guide treatment is a cost-effective strategy in most clinical settings. Empirical antibiotics are cost-effective in certain settings; however, their use results in many unnecessary prescriptions. If this resulted in increased antibiotic resistance, costs would substantially rise and efficacy would fall. Newer, expensive antibiotics are of limited value. Additional testing is not cost-effective. Further studies are needed to find an accurate, low-cost diagnostic test for acute bacterial sinusitis.
acute bacterial sinusitis; decision analysis; cost-effectiveness analysis; Markov model
Objective To compare the efficacy of a “Helicobacter
pylori test and treat” strategy with that of an empirical trial of
omeprazole in the non-endoscopic management by empirical prescribing of young
patients with dyspepsia.
Design Randomised controlled trial.
Setting Hospital gastroenterology unit.
Participants 219 patients under 45 years old presenting with
dyspepsia without alarm symptoms.
Intervention Patients received treatment with omeprazole 20 mg
(group A) or with a urea breath test followed by an eradication treatment in
case of H pylori infection or omeprazole alone in non-infected
patients (group B). Lack of improvement or recurrence of symptoms prompted
Main outcome measures Improvement in symptoms assessed by a
dyspepsia severity score every two months; use of medical resources
(endoscopic workload and medical consultation); clinical outcome.
Results 96/109 (88%) patients in group A and 61/110 (55%) in group B
(P < 0.0001) had endoscopy: in 19 patients in group A and 32 in group B
(20/67 infected and 12/43 non-infected) because of no improvement; in 77
further patients in group A and 29 in group B (7 infected and 22 non-infected)
because of recurrence of symptoms during follow up. Endoscopy showed peptic
ulcers only in group A; oesophagitis occurred significantly more often in
group B than in group A. About 80% of examinations were normal in both groups,
but nine duodenal scars occurred in group A.
Conclusions Eradication treatment allows resolution of symptoms in a
large number of patients with dyspepsia and reduces the endoscopic workload.
After a trial of omeprazole, symptoms recur in nearly every patient. Such
treatment is also likely to mask an appreciable number of peptic ulcers and
cases of oesophagitis.
Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is the most preferable diagnostic examination for patients over fifty when upper gastrointestinal symptoms appear. However, limited knowledge exists in concerns to the compliance of primary care patients' to the doctors' recommendations for endoscopy.
Patients who visited primary care practices in Greece and experienced upper gastrointestinal symptoms within a 10 days screening study, were referred for an upper endoscopy exam. The patients which refused to complete the endoscopy exam, were interviewed by the use of an open- ended translated and validated questionnaire, the Identification of Dyspepsia in General Population (IDGP) questionnaire. A qualitative thematic analysis grounded on the theory of planned behavior was performed to reveal the reasons for patients' refusal, while socio-demographic predictors were also assessed.
Nine hundred and ninety two patients were recorded, 159 of them (16%) were found positive for dyspepsia and gastro-esophageal reflux disease according to the IDGP questionnaire. Out of the above, 131 (83.6%) patients refused further investigation with endoscopy. Patients who refused upper endoscopy were predominantly female (87.8%) (p = 0.036) and over the age of 50. The lack of severe symptoms, fear of pain, concerns of sedation, comorbidity and competing life demands were reported by patients as barriers to performing an endoscopic investigation.
Patients with dyspepsia in rural Greece tend to avoid upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, with two major axons considered to be the causes of patients' refusal: their beliefs towards endoscopy and their personal capability to cope with it. Future research examining reasons of low compliance should be carried out in combination with modern behavioral theories so as to investigate into the above.
BACKGROUND—Dyspepsia drug costs account for nearly 0.5% of the National Health Service budget. We hypothesised that improved management of dyspepsia would lead to reduced drug costs.
AIM—To determine whether a multifaceted educational strategy for general practitioners aimed at improving quality of dyspepsia management can control dyspepsia costs without increasing demand for endoscopy.
METHODS—A multifaceted educational intervention was delivered to general practitioners in West Gloucestershire but not to those in the east of the county. Dyspepsia drug costs, the primary outcome measure, were obtained from the Prescription Pricing Authority and compared between the two sides of the county. Referral rates for endoscopy, admission to the gastrointestinal bleed unit, and delayed diagnosis of gastric cancer were secondary measures recorded in West Gloucestershire only.
RESULTS—Following the intervention, drug costs declined and then stabilised in West Gloucestershire. Drug costs peaked in the control group 15 months after those in the intervention group. Using an autoregressive integrated moving average model it was estimated the overall costs in the intervention group reduced by 57.9 pence per head of population per half year (95% confidence interval 45.8-69.9 pence/half year; p<0.0001) in comparison with the control group. This difference was maintained for three consecutive years resulting in a cumulative saving of £1.13 million. Referral rates for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy remained stable during the study period.
CONCLUSION—A multifaceted educational intervention for general practitioners designed to improve the quality of care of patients with dyspepsia is an effective means of controlling dyspepsia drug costs without increasing demand for endoscopy.
Keywords: dyspepsia; drug costs; general practitioners
There is uncertainty whether low-risk episodes of febrile neutropaenia (FN) in adult cancer patients are best managed in the in- or outpatient setting.
A Monte Carlo cost–utility model was created to compare four treatment strategies for low-risk FN: (1) treatment in hospital with intravenous antibiotics (HospIV); (2) early discharge after 48 h in-patient observation, followed by oral outpatient treatment (EarlyDC); (3) outpatient management with IV antibiotics (HomeIV); and (4) outpatient management with oral antibiotics (HomePO). The model used a health-care payer perspective and a time horizon of one FN episode. Outcome measures were quality-adjusted FN episodes (QAFNE), costs (Canadian dollars) and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER). Parameter uncertainty was assessed with probabilistic sensitivity analyses.
HomePO was cost saving ($3470 vs $4183), but less effective (0.65 QAFNE vs 0.72 QAFNE) than HomeIV. The corresponding ICER was $10 186 per QAFNE. Both EarlyDC ($6115; 0.66 QAFNE) and HospIV ($13 557; 0.62 QAFNE) were dominated strategies. At a willingness-to-pay (WTP) threshold of $4 000 per QAFNE, HomePO and HomeIV were cost effective in 54 and 38% of simulations, respectively.
For adult cancer patients with an episode of low-risk FN, treatment in hospital is more expensive and less effective than outpatient strategies.
cost effectiveness; fever; neutropaenia; ambulatory care; in-patients
T o determine the best treatment strategy for the management of patients presenting with symptoms consistent with uncomplicated heartburn.
We performed a cost-utility analysis of 4 alternatives: empirical proton pump inhibitor, empirical histamine2-receptor antagonist, and diagnostic strategies consisting of either esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) or an upper gastrointestinal series before treatment. The time horizon of the model was 1 year. The base case analysis assumed a cohort of otherwise healthy 45-year-old individuals in a primary care practice.
Empirical treatment with a proton pump inhibitor was projected to provide the greatest quality-adjusted survival for the cohort. Empirical treatment with a histamine2receptor antagonist was projected to be the least costly of the alternatives. The marginal cost-effectiveness of using a proton pump inhibitor over a histamine2-receptor antagonist was approximately $10,400 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained in the base case analysis and was less than $50,000 per QALY as long as the utility for heartburn was less than 0.95. Both diagnostic strategies were dominated by proton pump inhibitor alternative.
Empirical treatment seems to be the optimal initial management strategy for patients with heartburn, but the choice between a proton pump inhibitor or histamine2-receptor antagonist depends on the impact of heartburn on quality of life.
cost-utility analysis; heartburn; proton pump inhibitor; histamine2-receptor antagonist; quality of life
Epidemiological studies suggest that there is a considerable overlap between functional dyspepsia (FD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The aim of this study was to examine concurrent gastrointestinal symptoms in FD and IBS.
A total of 186 college students filled out a questionnaire regarding whether they had uninvestigated dyspepsia (UD, FD without endoscopic examination) and IBS based on Rome-II criteria. Gastrointestinal symptoms were measured using the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) questionnaire.
A total of 181 students (98 males, mean age 24.6 years) completed both questionnaires. The prevalence of UD, IBS, and UD+IBS overlap was 12 (6.7%), 40 (22.1%), and 8 (4.4%), respectively. A significant UD+IBS overlap was observed (66.7% IBS in UD, 20.0% UD in IBS). Reflux scores of GSRS in either UD or IBS were significantly greater than in those without. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), defined as weekly occurring moderate symptoms of heartburn and/or acid regurgitation and evaluated using the GSRS, was found in 16 (8.8%) of the subjects. The prevalence of IBS was significantly higher in GERD patients than in non-GERD patients (50.0% vs 19.4%).
The considerable overlap not only between UD and IBS, but also between GERD and IBS, suggests the involvement of common pathophysiological disturbances in the two conditions.
Dyspepsia; Irritable bowel syndrome; Gastroesophageal reflux; Overlap; Gastrointestinal symptom rating scale
In a four-centre trial, the use of sputum cell counts (sputum strategy [SS]) to guide treatment had resulted in fewer and less severe exacerbations without the need for a higher corticosteroid dose, compared with the use of symptoms and spirometry (clinical strategy [CS]).
To compare the cost of the SS with the CS in the treatment of patients with moderate to severe asthma.
In 39 patients (19 in the SS, 20 in the CS) from one of the centres, the cost (third-party payer) of the two treatment strategies was compared. Resource use data were collected using a structured questionnaire. Corresponding unit costs in 2006 Canadian dollars were obtained.
The clinical characteristics of the patients were similar to the study population at the four centres. In the SS, the number of visits to a family physician for health disorders indirectly related to asthma (P=0.003) and the amount of inhaled long-acting beta-agonists (P=0.007) were less than that of the CS. While the total estimated median cost per patient for spirometry ($393; range $299 to $487) was less than that for sputum induction ($1,008; range $907 to $1,411), the total cost of the SS ($2,265; range $1,466 to $4,347) was less than that of the CS ($3369; range $2208 to $3927) (P=0.216). This cost difference was due to lower costs of physician and hospital visits and services (P=0.078), of inhaled short-acting bronchodilators (P=0.067), of long-acting beta-agonists (P=0.002) and of inhaled corticosteroids (P=0.064) in the SS.
In patients with moderate to severe asthma, the use of sputum cell counts to guide treatment is more effective and is likely to be less costly than management using symptoms and spirometry.
Asthma; Cost; Spirometry; Sputum cell counts; Symptoms
Background: Dyspepsia is a chronic disease with significant impact on the use of health care resources. A management strategy based on Helicobacter pylori testing has been recommended but the long term effect is unknown.
Aim: To investigate the long term effect of a test and treat strategy compared with prompt endoscopy for management of dyspeptic patients in primary care.
Patients: A total of 500 patients presenting in primary care with dyspepsia were randomised to management by H pylori testing plus eradication therapy (n = 250) or by endoscopy (n = 250). Results of 12 month follow up have previously been presented.
Methods: Symptoms, quality of life, and patient satisfaction were recorded during a three month period, a median 6.7 years after randomisation (range 6.1–7.3 years). Number of endoscopies, antisecretory medication, H pylori treatments, and hospital visits were recorded from health care databases for the entire follow up period.
Results: Median age was 45 years; 28% were H pylori infected. Use of resources was registered in all 500 patients (3084 person years) of whom 312 completed diaries. We found no difference in symptoms between the two groups. Median proportion of days without symptoms was 0.52 (interquartile range 0.10–0.88) in the test and eradicate group versus 0.64 (0.14–0.90) in the prompt endoscopy group (p = 0.27) (mean difference 0.05 (95% confidence interval (CI) −0.03 to 0.14)). Compared with the prompt endoscopy group, the test and eradicate group underwent fewer endoscopies (mean difference 0.62 endoscopies/person (95% CI 0.38–0.86)) and used less antisecretory medication (mean difference 102 defined daily doses/person (95% CI −1 to 205)).
Conclusion: On a long term basis, a H pylori test and eradicate strategy is as efficient as prompt endoscopy for management of dyspeptic patients in primary care and reduces the use of endoscopy and antisecretory medication.
dyspepsia; endoscopy; Helicobacter pylori; randomised controlled trial
Guidelines for the management of patients with nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding (NVUGIB) are inconsistently applied by health care providers, potentially resulting in suboptimal care and patient outcomes. A needs assessment was performed to assess health care providers’ barriers to the implementation of these guidelines in Canada.
Semistructured telephone interviews were conducted by trained research personnel with 22 selectively sampled health care professionals actively treating and managing NVUGIB patients, including emergency room physicians (ER), intensivists (ICU), gastroenterologists (GI), gastroenterology nurses and hospital administrators. Participants were chosen from a representative sample of six Canadian community- and academic-based hospitals that participated in a national Canadian audit on the management of NVUGIB.
Participants reported substantive gaps in the implementation of NVUGIB guidelines that included the following: lack of knowledge of the specifics of the NVUGIB guidelines (ER, ICU, nurses); limited belief in the value of guidelines, especially in areas where evidence is lacking (ER, ICU); limited belief in the value of available tools to support implementation of guidelines (GI); lack of knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of health care professions and disciplines, and lack of effective collaboration skills (ER, ICU and GI); variability of knowledge and skills of health care professionals within professions (eg, variability of nurses’ knowledge and skills in endoscopic procedures); and perceived overuse of intravenous proton pump inhibitor treatment, with limited concern regarding cost or side effect implications (all participants).
In the present study population, ER, ICU and nurses did not adhere to NVUGIB guidelines because they were neither aware of nor familiar with them, whereas the GI lack of adherence to NVUGIB guidelines was influenced more by attitudinal and contextual barriers. These findings can guide the design of multifaceted educational and behavioural interventions when attempting to effectively disseminate existing guidelines, and for guideline implementation into practice.
Acid suppressive therapy; Drug therapy; Endoscopy; Gastric; Peptic; Proton pump inhibitors; Stomach