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Right Match of Drug, Doctor Can Boost Reflux Outcomes
Date:8/21/2009

Review finds PPIs may perform better, and good rapport with physician is key,,

FRIDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic heartburn caused by acid reflux is one of the most common complaints among Americans, and a new study outlines which approaches appear to work best to ease patients' suffering.

The Danish study found that people with the condition -- formally called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) -- typically feel best when placed on medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) by a doctor with whom they have a good rapport.

"The treatment we have isn't always perfect," conceded Dr. Maria T. Abreu, professor of medicine and chief of the division of gastroenterology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study. She agreed that communicating well with patients can go a long way toward increasing their satisfaction, because reflux treatments don't always relieve all symptoms. If doctors said that up front, patients "might be more likely to feel satisfied," Abreu said.

The report is published in the August issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

For the study, Dr. Peter Bytzer, from Copenhagen University, reviewed 11 studies published between 1970 and 2007. Each study examined the reasons why people were satisfied or dissatisfied with their GERD treatment.

"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," Bytzer said in a news release from the American Gastroenterological Association.

He found that patients given prescriptions for proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) -- drugs that include blockbusters such as Prevacid, Prilosec and Nexium -- were more satisfied with their treatment than those given H2-receptor antagonists, which in
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