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 24 May 2018

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News

Negative colonoscopy is valuable to patients with GI symptoms

This month's Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology investigates the value of a negative colonoscopy in patients with non-specific gastrointestinal symptoms.

News image

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The yield of colonoscopy for neoplasia among patients aged under 50 years with non-specific gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms is very low.

A negative colonoscopy may benefit these patients by decreasing anxiety and thereby reducing subsequent health resource utilization.

Sustained improvement in anxiety scores at 1, 2 and 6 months
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Drs Tuba Esfandyari and Gavin Harewood from Minnesota, USA characterized the effect of a negative colonoscopy.

The team enrolled 59 consecutive patients, aged 18 to 49 years.

The patients were under 50 years of age with non-specific gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation.

The researchers assessed reassurance value, and decreasing health resource utilization.

The patients underwent their first colonoscopy for evaluation of non-specific gastrointestinal symptoms.

Health-related anxiety was evaluated before and immediately after disclosure of the negative result of colonoscopy.

The researchers used a validated questionnaire at 1-, 2- and 6-month intervals postcolonoscopy by telephone follow-up.

Symptom scores and health resource utilization were assessed prior to colonoscopy and at 2 and 6 months postcolonoscopy.

Mean health anxiety score declined immediately after colonoscopy from 21 to 18.

The team observed sustained improvement in anxiety scores at 1, 2 and 6 months.

The team found symptom scores also decreased at 6 months for abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation.

The research team found a significant decrease in all four measures of health resource utilization at 6 months postcolonoscopy.

Dr Esfandyari and colleague concluded, "Despite minimal diagnostic yield, colonoscopy for non-specific gastrointestinal symptoms in patients under 50 years of age is associated with a decline in health-related anxiety and symptom scores."

"These effects appear to translate into reductions in health resource utilization."

J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2007: 22(10): 1609-14
14 September 2007

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