PWE-112 Assessing knowledge of gluten containing foods amongst healthcare professionals

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Abstract

Introduction

Coeliac disease affects approximately 1% of the UK population and is a common reason for review in the Gastroenterology outpatient clinic. Furthermore, with growing evidence that gluten intolerance can lead to symptoms of IBS, there is an increasing demand on Gastroenterology services to be well equipped with knowledge about gluten containing products.

Methods

We devised a structured questionnaire (scored out of 40) encompassing 4 main domains. These considered issues such as common foods which contained gluten, grains which contained gluten, foods which didn’t contain gluten but may be contaminated with gluten during the manufacture process, and kitchen/food preparation which could lead to gluten contamination.

Methods

The survey was disseminated electronically to the WAGE database as well as the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Medical mailing list.

Results

There were a total of 115 complete responses (response rate of 10.5%).

Results

As expected individuals with known coeliac disease, or those living in a gluten free household scored highest (Median scores of 93% and 86.5% respectively) and were thus excluded from subsequent analysis.

Results

Of the remaining 112 individuals, 47 (42%) were doctors, 37 (33% were nurses), 25 (22.3%) were dietitians and the remainder were managers/admin staff.

Results

Median scores showed dietitians scored best (85%) followed by doctors (70%), nurses (68%) and managers (55%), p<0.001. GI dietitians scored better (93%) than their non-GI counterparts, although this wasn’t statistically significant, p=0.934.

Results

Within clinicians, paediatricians scored best (93%), followed by surgeons (n=3, 73%), non-GI physicians (n=17, 67%), with Gastroenterologists ranked fourth (n=17, median score=63%). This was found to be dependent on grade, with Gastroenterology SpR’s scoring worst amongst all clinical groups (n=5, median score=38%), p=0.009. Subgroup analysis demonstrated deficiencies in knowledge amongst Gastroenterology SpR’s in domains such as awareness of gluten containing foods and foods which may be contaminated with gluten.

Conclusions

Knowledge about gluten containing foods amongst clinicians is variable. Whilst it is reassuring that dietitians knowledge is best amongst those sampled, we acknowledge deficiency in knowledge amongst gastroenterologists compared to their non-GI counterparts, particularly amongst SpR’s. Whilst the reasons underpinning this are not yet clear, further efforts to educate these clinicians who commonly manage coeliac patients may be required.

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