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Keywords:

  • Asia-Pacific region;
  • diagnosis;
  • functional dyspepsia;
  • irritable bowel syndrome;
  • questionnaire;
  • treatment

Abstract

Background and Aims:  Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs), namely functional dyspepsia (FD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are common disorders important to public health in the Asia-Pacific region. Our objectives were to determine the current practices in diagnosis and management of these disorders in the Asia-Pacific region.

Methods:  Forty-three physicians and researchers in FGID who attended the first Asian Pacific Topic Conference at Tokyo in November 2010 were invited to answer a questionnaire. Twenty-three Japanese doctors and twenty doctors from other Asia-Pacific Societies answered the questionnaire, which consisted of 60 multiple-choice questions concerning physician's preferences in diagnosis and management of FGIDs.

Results:  Overall, there were similarities in diagnostic approach, such as differential diagnosis, exclusion of organic diseases, psychophysiological assessment, medical advice or medication with psychological drugs, not only among different Asia-Pacific region but also between FD and IBS. Several notable differences were seen. For example, general practitioners did not commonly use the term FD or diagnose FD by themselves, while the term IBS was widely used and frequently diagnosed. Sub-categorization was more common in IBS than FD. There was also a difference between Japan and other Asia-Pacific region; upper GI endoscopy and blood examination were more common in Japan, while eradication of Helicobacter pylori was more frequently done in other countries. Anti-secretory drugs for FD and mild laxatives or anti-diarrheal drug for IBS were frequently used, and prokinetics were used for all patients with FD or IBS. Interestingly, drugs developed in Japan and Chinese herbal medicines were more frequently prescribed in Japan.

Conclusion:  Information obtained in this survey is useful for understanding the most common clinical approaches for FGIDs in the Asia-Pacific region.