Background: Studies found that guidelines on the management of Helicobacter pylori were not always followed in clinical practice. This study investigated factors that were responsible for the deviation.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey using a structured self-administered questionnaire was used to ask physicians whether they would offer testing and treatment for H. pylori infection in different clinical scenarios.
Results: 170 medical practitioners completed the questionnaires. Respondents in the private sector were significantly more likely to test and treat than those in the public sector for patients with a history of peptic ulcer, gastric cancer or no symptom (p = 0.018, <0.001 and 0.041, respectively). Significant differences in practice were noted amongst practitioners of different specialty and seniority, but not qualification. Medical practitioners in the private sector complied with the guidelines significantly better than those in the public sector (p = 0.002) and so did senior practitioners compared with junior practitioners (p < 0.001). The specialty and qualification of the respondents, however, did not have a significant effect.
Conclusion: There were significant differences in the management of H. pylori amongst medical practitioners from the private and public sectors and amongst senior and junior practitioners. Published guidelines were not completely followed. Further educational campaigns are needed.
Copyright 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.