A National Survey of Primary Care Physicians' Perceptions and Practices Related to Helicobacter pylori Infection

Virender K. Sharma, Colin Howden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Our aim was to assess current perceptions and practices of primary care physicians in the United States concerning Helicobacter pylori infection. Methods: We mailed a structured questionnaire to approximately 2500 primary care physicians chosen at random from a national database. We asked about personal and practice demographics and practices relating to testing for and treating H. pylori infection. Results: We received 424 responses from 2349 questionnaires (18%). Only 3% each had used either the 13C- or 14C-urea breath test; 5% had used the stool antigen test; 92% and 91% recommended testing-and 90% and 82% treatment-for H. pylori in patients with active duodenal and gastric ulcer, respectively. However, only 64% would test for and only 59% would treat H. pylori infection in a patient with past history of duodenal ulcer. Almost half would test patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease being started or maintained on a proton pump inhibitor. The most frequent treatment regimens used were combinations of a proton pump inhibitor, clarithromycin, and either amoxicillin or metronidazole. Most respondents had inaccurate information on antibiotic resistance rates for H. pylori. In the absence of symptoms, 26% would personally undergo testing for H. pylori; 30% would be treated if infected. Conclusions: Primary care physicians usually test for and treat H. pylori infection in patients with active ulcer, but fail to do so in patients with a prior history of ulcer. Some test for H. pylori in gastroesophageal reflux disease patients. Most use efficacious treatment regimens, but have inaccurate information on resistance rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-331
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2004

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Primary Care Physicians
Helicobacter Infections
Helicobacter pylori
Proton Pump Inhibitors
Duodenal Ulcer
Gastroesophageal Reflux
Ulcer
Breath Tests
Clarithromycin
Surveys and Questionnaires
Amoxicillin
Metronidazole
Stomach Ulcer
Microbial Drug Resistance
Urea
Therapeutics
Demography
Databases
Antigens

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

A National Survey of Primary Care Physicians' Perceptions and Practices Related to Helicobacter pylori Infection. / Sharma, Virender K.; Howden, Colin.

In: Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, Vol. 38, No. 4, 01.04.2004, p. 326-331.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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