Objective: To find the attitude of doctors working in General Medicine and out-patient Traumatology to the prescription of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) and if these attitudes fit quality criteria.
Design: Crossover, descriptive study.
Setting: General medicine and out-patient traumatology in the inland area of Vizcaya.
Participants: A questionnaire was sent to all doctors working in general medicine (146) and out-patient traumatology (19) in the inland area.
Measurements and results: There was a 78.2% final reply rate. The questionnaire had 14 questions and collected the demographic variables and those which referred to the use of NSAIDs and stomach protectors. The prescription criteria for NSAIDs and stomach protectors were taken from a review of the literature before beginning this study. The most frequent risk factors were a previous history of ulcers (83%) and age > 65 (51.2%).
Conclusions: Although a great many doctors attached great importance to the erosive effects of NSAIDs on the stomach, they still use the most damaging drugs on at-risk patients and prescribe stomach protectors whose efficacy is very doubtful. Age is not thought of enough as a risk factor (only half the doctors considered it); the NSAID which were less damaging to the stomach were little used.