Vitamin B12 in primary health care and geriatrics—attitudes, knowledge and competence




The objective of the study was to test attitudes, knowledge and competence of Swedish general practitioners and geriatricians concerning B12-associated problems in 1998.


Postal questionnaires were sent to a random sample of 485 GPs and a total sample of 613 geriatricians. The response rates were 70% in the GP group and 69% in the geriatrician group. The questionnaire contained 24 statements to be evaluated by a visuo-analogue scale.


There were small numerical differences between the two physician groups. The geriatricians were more aware of risk groups for B12 deficiency. GPs were less categorical concerning low hit rate in the laboratory testing of clinical conclusions. There were statistical differences in both directions for statements on pitfalls in laboratory diagnostics. GPs were somewhat less prone to give risk groups prophylactic B12 therapy.


GPs and geriatricians appeared to be familiar with the current debate on B12-associated problems, suggesting that health care quality will be unaffected by patient transfer from hospital care to primary health care. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.