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RMJ. 2018; 43(4): 764-766

Primary-care physicians' perceptions and practices regarding History of Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease: a national survey

Faizan Shaukat, Masood Jawaid, Amber Rizwan, Besham Kumar.

Objective: To ascertain Primary-care physicians' perceptions and practices regarding history of Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
Methodolgy: This cross sectional survey was conducted from September 1st 2016 to 30th November 2016 in different outpatient department of different hospitals in Pakistan. General physicians, consultants and Post graduates were included in survey after taking informed consent. Response rate for doctors was 75.52%. Data were analysed with SPSS version 24.0.
Results: Total of 831 doctors participated; 21.2% were consultant 9.3% were post graduate and 69.6% were General Physicians. Out of total, 80.5% do ask in history of GERD if patient has experienced heartburn, 75.2% ask if their patient experienced it after meal, 66.8% look complain for the heavy stomach. Only 40.5% physicians ask for difficult swallowing and only 43.6% ask patients about burping or retching. There was no significant difference between preference of questions among consultants and physicians while taking history for GERD. About 87.5% consultants ask about heart burn in history verses 79.2% post graduates and 78.5% general physician.
Conclusion: Majority of physicians ask about heart burn (80.5%) and heart burn after meal (75.2%). Only 40.5% physician asks for difficult swallowing and only
43.6% ask patients about burping or retching. Though heartburn and regurgitation are the two most common symptoms, it is possible to miss diagnosis of GERD as it may present with atypical symptoms as well. So having a structured questionnaire for complete history and diagnosis will further aid health care professional in diagnosing GERD with more accuracy.

Key words: GERD, diagnosis, perception, treatment, Pakistan.

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