The objective of this study was to conduct a survey of the opinions and practices of gastroenterologists in the United Kingdom concerning the impact of Helicobacter pylori infection on the management of upper gastrointestinal diseases. A postal questionnaire was sent to all medically qualified members of the British Society of Gastroenterology working in the UK. Replies were received from 670 of 1037 eligible BSG members (65%). Of these, 73% thought that H pylori was a cause of duodenal ulcer and 84% thought that eradication of H pylori decreased ulcer recurrence in comparison with acid suppression. While 80% used anti-H pylori therapy for a chronic relapsing duodenal ulcer, only 25% used such therapy for an ulcer at first presentation and 17% never used anti-H pylori therapy for patients with duodenal ulcer. Although 75% of respondents did not agree that H pylori was a cause of non-ulcer dyspepsia, 69% used anti-H pylori therapy to treat a patient with this condition. At the time of the survey, 69% of those who used anti-H pylori therapy adopted some variant of standard triple therapy. Only 7% routinely tested for bacterial sensitivity to antibiotics and only 22% assessed their patients for eradication after treatment. There was a lack of consensus about whether H pylori was a cause of gastric ulcer or gastric cancer with only 47% and 17% respectively believing in these associations. In conclusion, at the time of the survey, the use of anti-H pylori therapy had been accepted by a majority of specialist UK gastroenterologists in the management of upper gastrointestinal disease. There was, however, a substantial degree of uncertainty and divergence about which patients should be treated.
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