Gastroesophageal reflux disease: A need for guidelines for the primary care physician

Yaron Niv, Shlomo Birkenfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Guidelines are important for keeping family physicians informed of the constant developments in many fields of medicine. Objectives: To compare the knowledge of gastroenterologists and family physicians regarding the diagnosis and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease in order to determine the need for expert guidelines. Methods: A 25 item questionnaire on the definition, diagnosis and treatment of GERD was presented to 35 gastroenterologists and 35 family physicians. Each item was rated on a four point scale from 1 = highly recommended to 4 = not recommended. A voting system was used for each group on separate occasions. The proportions of correct answers according to the level of recommendation were compared between the groups. Results: The groups' responses agreed on only 4 of the 25 items; differences between the remaining 21 were all statistically significant. For 14 items, 70% of the gastroenterologists chose the grade 1 recommendation, whereas more than 70% of the family physicians chose mostly grade 2. Conclusions: The gap in knowledge on gastroesophageal reflux disease between gastroenterologists and family physicians is significant and may have a profound impact on diagnosis and treatment. Clear and accurate guidelines may improve patient evaluation in the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-686
Number of pages3
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Family physician
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Guidelines
  • Reflux


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