Health professionals' attitudes toward acute diarrhea management


McIntosh IB, Swanson V & Howell K (2001) Health professionals' attitudes toward acute diarrhea management. Journal of Travel Medicine, 8 (2), pp. 60-65.

Background: Travelers' diarrhea is the most frequent health problem in those participating in international journeys, and is responsible for many consultations abroad and on return home. Methods: A questionnaire assessing attitudes toward treatment and management of travel-related and nontravel-related diarrhea was administered to 542 GPs, nurses and pharmacists. Results: Health professionals' attitudes to management of acute diarrhea are variable, with marked divergence regarding adherence to published "good practice" guidelines and recommendations. Inconsistencies exist in stated attitudes toward prescribing antispasmodics and antimotility agents and actual prescribing behavior. Conclusion: Current treatment guidelines may be outdated. Inappropriate or delayed treatment disadvantages the patient. Limiting the use of antidiarrheal agents can deny access, for those inflicted with diarrhea, to a medication which may shorten symptomatology and morbidity, and speed the return to normality. Review of guidelines for diarrhea management in adults is overdue, as is standardization of treatment response. Educational initiatives are required to encourage active intervention and improved provision of care.

Journal of Travel Medicine: Volume 8, Issue 2

Publication date31/03/2001