Upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy in patients with functional dyspepsia is often carried out merely to reassure patients that symptoms are not due to serious pathology.
Dr van Kerkhoven and colleagues from the Netherlands evaluated anxiety, depression, and health-related quality of life in patients with functional dyspepsia.
The research team assessed these values before and after upper gastrointestinal endoscopy between 2002 and 2004.
The patients scored anxiety and depression using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and health-related quality of life using the EuroQol-5D questionnaire
The researchers asked the patients to give their impression of their own general health using a visual analogue scale, 2 weeks before endoscopy and again 1 month afterwards.
|42% had organic abnormality during upper GI endoscopy|
A total of 420 patients were included, of which 42% had an organic abnormality of some sort during upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.
Neither the anxiety nor the depression frequencies differed before and after endoscopy, either in patients with organic abnormalities at endoscopy or in those without.
The general impression of health did not change after endoscopy, neither in those with organic abnormalities or functional dyspepsia.
Only patients who had organic abnormalities reported a slightly improved quality of life 1 month after endoscopy.
Dr van Kerkhoven's team concludes, “In patients with functional dyspepsia, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy does not improve psychological well-being or health-related quality of life.”
“In view of the invasiveness, cost, and potential harm associated with endoscopy, careful consideration should be given to whether this procedure should be carried out merely for the sake of the patient's ‘peace of mind'.”