Publication details for Professor APS HunginHungin, A.P., Hill, C. & Raghunath, A. (2009). Systematic review: frequency and reasons for consultation for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and dyspepsia. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 30(4): 331-342.
- Publication type: Journal papers: academic
- ISSN/ISBN: 0269-2813, 1365-2036
- DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2009.04047.x
- View online: Online version
- Durham research online: DRO record
Author(s) from Durham
Background Upper gastrointestinal symptoms impose a substantial illness burden and management costs. Understanding perceptions and reasons for seeking healthcare is a prerequisite for meeting patients’ needs effectively.
Aim To review systematically findings on consultation frequencies for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and dyspepsia and patients’ reasons for consultation.
Methods Systematic literature searches.
Results Reported consultation rates ranged from 5.4% to 56% for GERD and from 26% to 70% for dyspepsia. Consultation for GERD was associated with increased symptom severity and frequency, interference with social activities, sleep disturbance, lack of timetabled work, higher levels of comorbidity, depression, anxiety, phobia, somatization and obsessionality. Some consulted because of fears that their symptoms represented serious disease; others avoided consultation because of this. Inconsistent associations were seen with medication use. Patients were less likely to consult if they felt that their doctor would trivialize their symptoms. Few factors were consistently associated with dyspepsia consultation. However, lower socio-economic status and Helicobacter pylori infection were associated with increased consultation.
Conclusion Patients’ perceptions of their condition, comorbid factors and external reasons such as work and social factors are related to consultation rates for GERD. Awareness of these factors can guide the clinician towards a more effective strategy than one based on drug therapy alone.