Better GERD diagnosis, treatment pushed
MANILA, Philippines - Research-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is working with specialists to “localize” a patient questionnaire that can help primary care physicians better diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a common digestive disorder that is often undiagnosed, untreated and improperly managed.
The Philippine Society of Gastroenterology (PSG), Philippine Academy of Family Physicians (PAFP), and the academe, in cooperation with AstraZeneca Philippines (AZP), are embarking on a research initiative for the translation and cultural adaptation of the scientifically validated GERD Questionnaire (GerdQ) from English to selected major Philippine regional languages, namely Cebuano, Hiligaynon (Ilonggo), Ilocano, and Tagalog.
Once completed, the localized GerdQ versions will be eventually provided to primary care physicians nationwide, including family physicians and general practitioners who are at the forefront of patient care in the country.
“AstraZeneca is privileged to partner with the PSG, PAFP and the academe in improving patient care in the Philippines. Because physicians face the challenges of making an accurate diagnosis of GERD, and patients may not have access to the expertise and diagnostic tools due to cost barrier, we believe that the localized GerdQ will help improve GERD diagnosis not only in Metro Manila but in most regions of the Philippines as well,” said AZP president Amal Kelshikar.
“This partnership shows AstraZeneca’s strong commitment to caring for Filipino patients. Apart from developing innovative medicine to treat diseases, we also create tools to improve diagnosis treatment and management,” added Dr. Chinnie Tan, AZP medical director.
Developed on the basis of evidence and information collected from high-quality clinical studies, as well as from qualitative patient interviews extensively carried out in North America and Europe, GerdQ consists of six questions (four on symptoms, two on disease impact) that must be completed by the patient while overseen by a physician.
Answers are compiled according to a scale of options and are scored accordingly. The symptom scores and impact score are used to compile a GerdQ score, which the physician can use to make an initial diagnosis and appropriate treatment recommendations.
GerdQ can also be used to monitor the effect of therapy on patients’ symptoms and quality of life over time.
“Given the considerable variation in the presentation and impact of GERD across patients, this localized GerdQ will empower Filipino primary care physicians to make accurate, symptom-based diagnosis of GERD and guide them in their treatment decisions,” said PSG president Dr. Diana Alcantara-Payawal.
“Through the localized questionnaire, we hope to improve the identification and the management of patients suffering from GERD, particularly in rural areas of our country where there are no specialists and sophisticated diagnostic equipment,” said PAFP vice president Dr. Christine Serrano-Tinio.
“Translating GerdQ to the country’s major regional languages will enable physicians nationwide to elicit a more accurate assessment of symptoms from patients with undiagnosed GERD, thereby making prompt initial diagnosis and treatment possible. The process of localizing GerdQ is a manifestation of our recognition of the cultural and linguistic differences among patients in the different regions of the Philippines,” said Prof. Nina Castillo-Carandang, health social scientist of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology of the University of the Philippines’ College of Medicine.
Incidentally, the PSG and PAFP are celebrating their 50th anniversary of bringing quality health care to Filipino patients.
AstraZeneca likewise has been in the forefront of gastroenterology research and development for about the same period.
Together, they rearffirm their commitment to provide excellent treatment in gastroenterology care for years to come.
Nov 23, 2010