Background: Helicobacter pylori infection is highly prevalent and may cause disease in 10% to 15% of infected individuals: duodenal and gastric ulcer, gastric cancer and gastric lymphoma. Guidelines for a test-and-treat policy have been published by the European H. pylori working group in Maastricht. Goals: To assess the current approach to H. pylori-related diseases, indications for testing and eradication therapy, among internists and surgeons of a University affiliated medical center. Study: A 15-items questionnaire was formulated according to the Maastricht II test-and-treat recommendation and distributed among the physicians of 6 internal medicine departments and the department of surgery. The questionnaires were completed anonymously at the department's staff meeting, under the supervision of the head of the department. All questions required a yes/no answer; the maximum possible score was 15. The relative ratio (RR) of correct answers was calculated for every question and by subgroups as follows: all participants, internists, surgeons, experts and residents in internal medicine and surgery. Results: The response rate was 68% (55 out of 80 physicians). Total score for all participants was 10.9 (RR = 0.73), significantly lower than the maximum score of 15 (RR = 1.00). The internists had significantly higher average score than the surgeons for 2 questions: causative agent in gastric cancer (p = 0.003) or gastric lymphoma (p = 0.003), 1 question about triple therapy, PPI, penicillin and azythromycin being not recommended (p = 0.022), and for 1 question of test-and-treat policy: should this strategy apply to family members of gastric cancer patients (p = 0.045). Only 56% of the internists and 21% of surgeons knew what MALToma is, and the correlation with H. pylori infection. Conclusion: Knowledge of Surgeons and Internists regarding H. pylori infection and correlation with diseases or test and treat policy should be improved.
- Helicobacter pylori
- Internal medicine