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Intern Med J. 2018 Aug 8. doi: 10.1111/imj.14067. [Epub ahead of print]

Outcome of hospital outpatient treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders.

Author information

1
Department of Gastroenterology, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne.
2
University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.
3
Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs), are the commonest conditions observed in gastrointestinal (GI) practice, yet the outcomes of their outpatient care are not known. We evaluated the outcome for patients with FGIDs attending a specialist GI clinic.

METHODS:

Consecutive, newly referred patients with a FGID attending a specialist GI clinic in a tertiary hospital, over a one-year period were reviewed and then completed a phone survey to assess current symptoms.

RESULTS:

Of 102 patients 57% had IBS, 28% functional dyspepsia (FD) and 15% other functional disorders. At interview a median of 402 days after the last consultation 38% expressed symptom improvement, but 64% remained concerned about their condition despite 62% having been reassured. After treatment 50% of employed patients took time off work because of gut symptoms. FD patients were less likely to be symptomatically improved than other FGIDs (21% vs 45%, P=0.02). Patients given a low-FODMAP diet were more likely than others to achieve symptom improvement (53% vs 31%, P=0.03); PPI-treated patients were less likely to experience improvement (22% vs 44%, P=0.05); other treatments did not predict outcome. Number of visits, seniority of clinician, duration of care, and co-morbidities did not predict outcome.

CONCLUSIONS:

One year after attending a specialist GI clinic a minority of patients with FGIDs were symptomatically improved. Failure to benefit by many patients may relate to the nature of patients and conditions being treated or the limited nature and range of treatments offered. Different models of care, including more diverse multi-disciplinary models, should be explored. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Functional gastrointestinal disorders; Hospital outpatient clinics; Irritable bowel syndrome

PMID:
30091176
DOI:
10.1111/imj.14067

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