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Survey Data Underscores Education Gap in Ulcerative Colitis for Primary Care Clinicians: Daily Dose

Survey Data Underscores Education Gap in Ulcerative Colitis for Primary Care Clinicians: Daily Dose / Image Credit: ©New Africa/AdobeStock
©New Africa/AdobeStock

Patient Care brings primary care clinicians a lot of medical news every day—it’s easy to miss an important study. The Daily Dose provides a concise summary of one of the website's leading stories you may not have seen.

On January 25, 2024, we reported on findings from a survey presented at the 2024 Crohn’s & Colitis Congress, January 25-27, 2024, in Las Vegas, NV.

The study

Researchers conducted an observational, cross-sectional, web-based survey to gain insight into the real-world symptoms and clinical characteristics that may factor into health care providers' (HCPs) treatment choices for their patients with ulcerative colitis (UC). They examined self-reported data collected from HCPs using a standard online questionnaire between November 21, 2022, and December 6, 2022. HCPs were eligible for inclusion if they treated at least 10 adults with UC each month, worked more than 20 hours per week in direct patient care, and finished the survey in English.

A total of 459 HCPs (47.9% men; 55.1% aged 30-49 years) were included in the study, of which 55.3% were physicians, 22.7% were NPs, and 22.0% were PAs. Approximately 50% of the HCPs described their primary medical specialty as primary care/family care, followed by 37.7% in gastroenterology and 12.9% in IM.

The findings

Participants were asked to choose 3 UC symptoms from a list of 13 they considered most important in deciding treatment options. The majority of HCPs selected rectal bleeding (60%), followed by cramping or other abdominal pain (45%), diarrhea (41%), anemia (34%), and bowel urgency (28%). Investigators observed that the proportions were similar across specialties, except a greater proportion of GIs (60%) selected diarrhea than the other specialties (NPs: 42%, P = .0127; FM/IM/PCPs: 33%, P < .0001).

Authors' comment

"Results suggest a need for education among some specialties, particularly FMs, IMs, and PCPs, about the clinical presentation of UC and most important symptoms to consider when deciding treatment options for patients with UC.”

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