Background: Accurate diagnosis and effective management of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be challenging for clinicians and other health care professionals.
Aim: To develop a patient-centred, self-assessment questionnaire to assist health care professionals in the diagnosis and effective management of patients with GERD.
Methods: Questions from patient-reported GERD instruments, previously documented in terms of content validity and psychometric properties (RDQ, GSRS and GIS) and data on the diagnosis of GERD in primary and secondary care were used in the formal development of a diagnostic and management tool, the GerdQ, involving psychometric validation and piloting in patient focus groups.
Results: Analyses of data from over 300 primary care patients, moderated by patient input from qualitative interviews, were used to select specific items from the existing instruments to create a new six-item diagnostic and management tool (GerdQ). ROC analysis indicated a sensitivity for GerdQ of 65% and a specificity of 71% for the diagnosis of GERD, similar to that achieved by gastroenterologists.
Conclusion: The GerdQ is a potentially useful tool for family practitioners and other health care professionals in diagnosing and managing GERD without initial specialist referral or endoscopy.