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Kurlander JE, Kolbe M, Rubenstein JH, Richardson CR, Heisler M, Weissman A, De Vries R, Saini SD. Internists' Perceptions of Proton Pump Inhibitor Adverse Effects and Impact on Prescribing Practices: Results of a Nationwide Survey. Gastroenterology research. 2018 Feb 23; 11(1):11-17.
Background: Observational studies have linked proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) with serious adverse effects. The study aimed to evaluate internists' perceptions of PPI harms and effects on prescribing. Methods: This was an online survey of a representative sample of the American College of Physicians in 2013. We queried familiarity with and concern about PPI adverse effects (1 - 7 Likert-type scales, anchored by "not at all" and "extremely"). We also asked how frequently (often, sometimes, rarely, or never) participants used any of three "de-escalation" strategies to stop or reduce PPIs because of concern about adverse effects: reducing patients' PPI dose, switching to H2 blocker, or discontinuing PPI. We used multivariable logistic regression to evaluate associations between sometimes/often using any PPI de-escalation strategy and gender, time in practice, familiarity, and concern. Results: The response rate was 53% (487/914). Seventy percent were male, median time in practice was 11 - 15 years, and most practiced general medicine (58%). Ninety-nine percent reported at least some familiarity with reported adverse effects (mean 4.9, standard deviation (SD) 1.0), and 98% reported at least some concern (mean 4.6, SD 1.3). Sixty-three percent reported sometimes/often reducing the PPI dose, 52% switching to H2 blocker, and 44% discontinuing PPI. In multivariable analysis, familiarity with adverse effects (OR 1.66 (1.31 - 2.10) for 1-point increase, P < 0.001) and concern (OR 2.14 (1.76 - 2.61) for 1-point increase, P < 0.001) were independently associated with de-escalation. Gender and time in practice had no effects. Conclusion: Almost all internists report awareness and concern about PPI adverse effects, and most are de-escalating PPIs as a result. Research on which approach is most effective for which patients is critically important.