Primary care research and clinical practice: gastroenterology
- Professor R Jones, King’s College London, Department of General Practice & Primary Care, 5 Lambeth Walk, London SE11 6SP, UK;
- Received 8 February 2008
- Accepted 29 June 2008
Gastrointestinal problems account for a significant proportion of general practitioners’ workload, and gastrointestinal cancers, taken together, make up the largest group of malignancies. Approximately 10% of consultations in general practice in the UK are for gastrointestinal symptoms or problems, split roughly equally between the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract. Gastroenterology represents about 10% of the work of hospital specialists and the prescribing costs involved in the management of gastrointestinal disorders in general practice are around 14% of the drug budget. These disorders range from relatively minor and self limiting conditions such as acute gastritis and acute gastroenteritis, through the more significant, chronic digestive disorders such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and coeliac disease, to much more serious problems including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and upper gastrointestinal and colorectal cancer.
Competing interests: The author is founding president of the PCSG and was founding chair of ESPCG.