For a study, researchers sought to investigate the prevalence of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use among gastroenterology (GI) practitioners. An anonymous online survey was sent to gastroenterologists working at 6 academic and community-affiliated medical centers in the United States. Investigators collected demographic data such as the type of practice and the number of patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease who were seen each week. The monitoring of practitioners for PPI adverse effects, dose modifications, and sources of information about PPI dangers were evaluated by survey questions. The results showed that 60% (256/429) of those surveyed responded. The majority of those who participated in the survey were male (169, or 66%), attending physicians (178, or 70%), and practicing general GI (63, 25%). A total of 92 respondents, or 36%, stated that they tested for PPI side effects every year or more frequently. Most respondents (143, or 56%) noted that patients’ worries about the side effects of PPIs led to the discontinuation of PPI treatment at least 50% of the time. The vast majority of respondents stated that they obtained their knowledge regarding the safety of PPIs from published journals (239, 98%) and the information provided by colleagues (222, 91%). Even though the best available evidence suggests that it is safe to use PPIs for long periods without routine monitoring, patients frequently stop taking PPIs and instead monitor themselves for any potential adverse effects. This was true even among a group of GI practitioners, primarily academics. Alternative measures were required to increase adherence to optimal practices, which was especially important considering that gastroenterologists frequently function as PPI experts.

The survey response rate was 60% (256/429). The majority of respondents were male (169, 66%), attending physicians (178, 70%) practicing general GI (63, 25%). There were 92 (36%) respondents who reported testing for PPI side effects at least once a year. Most respondents (143, 56%) reported discontinuing PPIs at least 50% of the time because of patients’ concerns about PPI side effects. The majority of respondents reported getting their information regarding PPI safety from published journals (239, 98%) as well as colleagues (222, 91%).

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