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Pubmed-Functional gastrointestinal disorders in children and adolescents: Knowledge, practice and attitudes of Australian paediatricians.

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Functional gastrointestinal disorders in children and adolescents: Knowledge, practice and attitudes of Australian paediatricians.

J Paediatr Child Health. 2019 Jan 09;:

Authors: Heinsch ML, Nightingale S

Abstract
AIM: To investigate paediatricians' understanding of, and approaches to, the diagnosis and treatment of functional abdominal pain (FAP) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in children.
METHODS: This study used an electronic survey of doctors subscribing to a popular Australian-based paediatrics email forum. Responses about investigation and management in two clinical vignettes were correlated with respondent demographic data, practice setting, attitudes and knowledge.
RESULTS: The 327 respondents were mostly female (60.3%), aged <45 years (54.5%), general paediatricians (53.5%), working in public outpatient clinics (50.5%). Awareness of Rome III diagnostic criteria was low (37.2%) but associated with confidence in diagnosing FAP/IBS in the vignettes. Respondents who lacked confidence in diagnosing FAP/IBS requested more investigations (P < 0.05), although most acknowledged they would not be helpful. Most (70.5%) believed that families are unlikely to accept an FAP diagnosis without investigations requested. Fewer than 1 of 3 were aware of clear evidence for the effective therapy of FAP or IBS, although awareness did not influence management options selected. Two-thirds of respondents believe that FAP is a psychological rather than a medical problem, while few (8.8%) believe the same about IBS (P < 0.001). Parental pressure to find an immediate cure was cited as the most frequent challenge to successful management in both FAP (86.6%) and IBS (75.9%).
CONCLUSIONS: Awareness of the Rome criteria was associated with greater confidence in diagnosing FAP and IBS. Attitudes to FAP and IBS being diagnoses of exclusion are prevalent among paediatricians and associated with more investigations requested. There is a lack of awareness of evidence-based therapies for FAP and IBS.

PMID: 30628135 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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