Purpose: The roleof life style changes (LSC) in the mangement of reflux esophgitis (RE) is controversial.We wanted to find out how many practising gastroenterologists prescribe LSC after doing EGD if RE is found on endoscopy.Also we wanted to find out if there is difference between the younger and older gastroenterogists in this respect.
Methods: Full members of AGA and ACG were randomly contacted by phone or by interview to know about their views and practices about this issue of LSC in RE patients.The trainee members were not contacted.Information about the age ofrespondents was obtained from AMA Directory and ABMS Directory.None of the physicians contacted declined to participate in the survey; participation was 100%.
Results: There were 103 gastroenterologists in this survey.There were 8/103 (7.7%)women.The mean age was 52.7 years (range35–95).There were 56/103 (54.3%) gastroenterologists who prescribed LSC in RE patients.; 39.2% gave the insructions verbally; 41% gave them as written material and 21.4% gave insructions both verbal & written.In 37.5% the insructions were given by the physician; in 66.0% they wer given by the nurses.47/103 (45.6%) did not prescribe LSC to RE patients; 46.8% believed they were not effective; 53.1% felt do not follow the insructions; 12.7% said they did not have time for it and 44.6% believed the availabilty of Proton Pump Inhibitors has made LSC unnecessary.The respondents were divided into two groups.Group I had 41 respondents who were 49 years or youger in age; their mean age was 42.6 years (range 39–45).GroupII had 62 respondents 50 years or older in age; their mean age was 59.4 years (range50–89).In GroupI 13/41 (31.7%) prescribed LSC but 27/41 (65.8% did not.In Group II LSC were prescribed by 43/62 (69.3%) respondents; 20/62 (32.2%) in GroupII did not prescrbe LSC.The difference between the two groups in this regard is significant (Chi SQ.; P,0.05).
Conclusions: A majority of practising gastroenterologists still prescribe life style changes in Reflux esophagitis patients but a significant minority do not. Younger gastroenterologists are less likely to prescribe such changes in RE patients.