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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

Print version ISSN 1130-0108


JIMENO, Jaime et al. Prospective analysis of clinician accuracy in the diagnosis of benign anorectal pathology: the value of clinical information. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2012, vol.104, n.3, pp.122-127. ISSN 1130-0108.

Aim: the prevalence of anorectal disorders in general population is high. The aim of this study was to analyze the influence of clinical symptoms on diagnostic accuracy for benign anorectal pathology among different specialists and evaluate the relationship between diagnostic accuracy and years of professional experience. Methods: seven typical cases were selected. In a first interview, participants were shown images and asked to make a diagnosis. Afterwards, images with additional information (clinical symptoms) were used. Two groups (group 1 = general surgeons and group 2 = medical specialists who attended emergency department) completed both phases of the study to analyze the influence of clinical symptoms on the final diagnosis. Results: forty four specialists were interviewed. The percentage of participants making a correct diagnosis in groups 1 and 2, respectively, was as follows: case 1 (perianal abscess): 100 vs. 80.6%, (p = 0.157); case 2 (fissure): 92.3 vs. 51.6% (p = 0.015); case 3 (thrombosed hemorrhoid): 92.3 vs. 74.2% (p = 0.321); case 4 (anal condyloma): 100 vs. 87.1% (p = 0.302); case 5 (rectal prolapse): 100 vs. 83.9% (p = 0.301); case 6 (prolapsed hemorrhoid): 92.3 vs. 29% (p = 0.001), and case 7 (fistula): 100 vs. 67.7% (p = 0.021). There were significant differences in the number of correctly diagnosed cases between groups (p < 0.001). Information about clinical symptoms significantly increased overall and specific accuracy. There was no correlation between experience and accuracy. Conclusions: clinical symptoms are important for diagnostic accuracy in anorectal pathology. Training in anorectal pathology in medical specialists is warranted.

Keywords : Anorectal diseases; Diagnostic accuracy; Education; Training.

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