School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

Not to be Overlooked: The Need for Increased Dialogue Between Patient and Provider Surrounding Medical Foods in IBD

Poster Number

147

Document Type

Poster

Status

Medical Student

Abstract Category

Clinical Specialties

Keywords

Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's, Medical Food

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

Background

Medical foods are treatments with growing evidence for use in a variety of gastrointestinal diseases. They are safe and have proven efficacy in helping to manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). They can be used as monotherapy or in addition to traditional therapies. While medical foods offer new, evidence-based options to treat IBD, physician awareness of them remains uncertain. We examined the frequency with which gastroenterologists discussed their use for IBD management and explored associations with gender or race.

Methods

A retrospective review of all IBD patients seen at an urban university gastroenterology practice in a 6-month period was performed. There were no exclusion factors. Patient age, gender, ethnicity, and disease type were obtained. Records were evaluated for discussions about medical foods as IBD therapy. The associations between discussion of medical foods and gender or race were analyzed with a Chi-square test.

Results

268 records were reviewed. Of those, 118 were men and 150 were women, with a mean age of 43. 80 were Black, 143 White, 6 Latino, 10 Asian, and 29 other. 158 had a diagnosis of Crohn’s and 109 had ulcerative colitis (UC), while 1 had indeterminate colitis. 8 (3%) in the cohort had a documented discussion about using medical foods to treat IBD. 6 discussed VSL#3 (2 Crohn’s, 4 UC), while 2 discussed Ensure (2 Crohn’s). There was no association between discussion of medical foods and gender (P=0.3) or race (P=0.9).

Conclusion

Medical foods are emerging in IBD management, with new evidence supporting their use in a diversity of clinical settings. While previously unclear, our study demonstrates that few IBD patients have documented discussions about medical foods. Though some discussions about medical foods may be undocumented, that only 3% of patients had documented discussions suggests clinicians are missing an opportunity to utilize this therapeutic option. Given the growing evidence for therapeutic use of medical foods in IBD, physicians should increase the visibility of their use.

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Creative Commons License
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Not to be Overlooked: The Need for Increased Dialogue Between Patient and Provider Surrounding Medical Foods in IBD

Background

Medical foods are treatments with growing evidence for use in a variety of gastrointestinal diseases. They are safe and have proven efficacy in helping to manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). They can be used as monotherapy or in addition to traditional therapies. While medical foods offer new, evidence-based options to treat IBD, physician awareness of them remains uncertain. We examined the frequency with which gastroenterologists discussed their use for IBD management and explored associations with gender or race.

Methods

A retrospective review of all IBD patients seen at an urban university gastroenterology practice in a 6-month period was performed. There were no exclusion factors. Patient age, gender, ethnicity, and disease type were obtained. Records were evaluated for discussions about medical foods as IBD therapy. The associations between discussion of medical foods and gender or race were analyzed with a Chi-square test.

Results

268 records were reviewed. Of those, 118 were men and 150 were women, with a mean age of 43. 80 were Black, 143 White, 6 Latino, 10 Asian, and 29 other. 158 had a diagnosis of Crohn’s and 109 had ulcerative colitis (UC), while 1 had indeterminate colitis. 8 (3%) in the cohort had a documented discussion about using medical foods to treat IBD. 6 discussed VSL#3 (2 Crohn’s, 4 UC), while 2 discussed Ensure (2 Crohn’s). There was no association between discussion of medical foods and gender (P=0.3) or race (P=0.9).

Conclusion

Medical foods are emerging in IBD management, with new evidence supporting their use in a diversity of clinical settings. While previously unclear, our study demonstrates that few IBD patients have documented discussions about medical foods. Though some discussions about medical foods may be undocumented, that only 3% of patients had documented discussions suggests clinicians are missing an opportunity to utilize this therapeutic option. Given the growing evidence for therapeutic use of medical foods in IBD, physicians should increase the visibility of their use.