Background: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) has a major impact at the primary care level and there is a need to evaluate whether the diagnosis and therapeutic management of GERD in Europe needs to be improved. Methods: This project was designed to test the hypothesis that a new primary care management strategy would improve outcomes for patients with GERD, compared with usual care, in Europe. The analysis pools five separate cluster-randomized studies conducted in Austria, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden. These studies used a strategy based on the self-administered GerdQ questionnaire to stratify adult patients with symptoms of heartburn or regurgitation according to the frequency and impact of symptoms. A score of ≥8 indicates a high probability of suffering GERD. Patients with a GerdQ impact score ≤2 were treated with generic proton-pump inhibitors according to local guidance, and patients with an impact score ≥3 were treated with esomeprazole 40 mg once daily. Results: In total, 2400 patients were enrolled across the five studies. The protocols were modified by individual countries according to their local guidelines/requirements. In Norway, the new management strategy was compared with traditional routine endoscopy and 24-hour pH-metry, and encompassed proton-pump inhibitor reimbursement restrictions. Outcome measures differed by country, but included control of GERD symptoms, self-rated health status and work productivity, treatment changes, specialist referrals and physician adherence. GERD-related use of healthcare resources was also evaluated. Conclusion: The pooled analysis will determine whether a locally adapted primary care management strategy for GERD, using GerdQ as a patient-tailored diagnostic and therapeutic evaluation tool, is beneficial compared with usual care across five countries with different standard approaches to GERD management and control.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Pooled analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas