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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

Print version ISSN 1130-0108


ARGUELLES-ARIAS, Federico et al. The management of lactose intolerance among primary care physicians and its correlation with management by gastroenterologists: the SEPD-SEMG national survey. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2015, vol.107, n.9, pp.554-559. ISSN 1130-0108.

Introduction and aims: The understanding of lactose intolerance (LI) is limited in some professional settings. Sociedad Española de Patología Digestiva (SEPD) and Sociedad Española de Medicina General (SEMG) have developed a survey in order to: a) Analyze primary care physicians (PCPs) knowledge and clinical management; and b) to compare results with those of a previous survey of Spanish gastroenterologists (GEs). Material and methods: An online questionnaire was sent to SEMG members with 27 items on various issues: Demographics, occupational characteristics, outlook on LI, diagnostic tests, treatment, and follow-up. Results were compared to those from a survey of GEs. Results: A total of 456 PCPs responded, versus 477 GEs. PCPs had an older mean age and longer professional experience. Level of understanding of LI was similar, albeit a higher proportion of PCPs lacked epidemiological awareness (p < 0.01). GEs tended to consider LI a "minor" condition (71.3 vs. 40.1%; p > 0.001), and LI symptoms as overlapping those of irritable bowel syndrome (93.5 vs. 88.2%; p = 0.005), although symptoms perceived as suspicious of LI were similar in both groups. Dietary recommendations were recognized as the primary therapeutic approach. Conclusion: This study reveals the outlook of PCPs on LI, and allows comparison with that of GEs, as a basis for the development of strategies aimed at improving LI understanding, approach and management in our setting.

Keywords : Lactose intolerance; SEPD; Family doctors; Primary care physicians; Survey; Lactose intolerance management; Hypolactasia.

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