A new study says that success of GERD therapy depends upon patients' satisfaction with their medications and the quality of interactions with their doctor.
"Although patient satisfaction is a complex issue, improvements in recognition of GERD can improve management of the disease as well as patient satisfaction with their care and treatment," said Dr. Peter Bytzer, of Copenhagen University and lead author of the study.
"Patient satisfaction can be influenced by a number of factors including treatment regimen, general level of well-being, the 'bedside manner' of the physician, the patient's expectations and the quality of patient/physician communication," he added.
Published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the study showed that patients who were given prescriptions for proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) tended to be more satisfied than those given H2-receptor antagonists.
The report further stated that partial responders were likely to be more dissatisfied than patients whose symptoms were fully resolved.
The authors further write that a decrease in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was associated with greater dissatisfaction.
They say that decreasing HRQoL was correlated with decreasing satisfaction with medical care in general.
According to them, patients were more likely to be satisfied if they were taken seriously by their physician and if their symptoms were investigated.
They were also more likely to be satisfied if the patient/physician consultation was interactive, say the authors.
"Of the various factors influencing patient satisfaction, the quality of patient/physician communication is probably the most amenable to improvement. This can be done by using validated questionnaires to help physicians identify more effectively which symptoms patients have, and the impact of these symptoms on the patient's well-being," said Dr. Bytzer.
The researchers reviewed the possible reasons why patients were dissatisfied with the way their disease is managed, and identified 11 studies conducted between 1970 and 2007 to be appropriate for their purpose.
A key strength of the review was the fact that the searches identified a wide range of studies with varying methodologies.