Celiac.com 01/25/2016 - The latest research says that most fail to recommend celiac screening for first degree relatives, although some doctors are better than others.
In a recent study, researchers tried to get an idea of just how frequently celiac disease patients receive a physician-issued recommendation for first-degree relative screening.
For their study, the research team conducted a 12-question survey assessing whether celiac disease patients receive a physician recommendation to screen first-degree relatives for celiac disease, and the impact of such a recommendation, was validated with outpatients in a university gastroenterology practice, called "University"patients. The 12-question survey was then distributed online to members of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA).
The team then collected results over 3 months, and used univariate analysis to compare cohort means, and to assess the association between demographic and diagnostic factors and first-degree relative screening recommendations.
A total of 87 University patients participated in the validation phase. Test-retest reliability of 4 key survey questions was high, with a Kappa coefficient >0.80. The team based its main analyses on data from 677 NFCA and 82 University respondents. Most respondents were female, with an average age of 45 years.
Nearly 80% of University patients received recommendation for celiac disease screening for first-degree relatives, compared with just 44% of the NFCA respondents (p < 0.001).
Of patients who did receive a screening recommendation, from either group, 98% percent discussed the recommendation with family members, leading to celiac disease screening in 71% of University patients, and 79% of NFCA respondents, and to a celiac disease diagnosis in 18% of University patients, and 27% of NFCA respondents.
Physicians commonly fail to mention to their celiac disease patients the importance of screening first-degree family members. Because such screening is so effective, the researchers are suggesting that making such screening recommendations may increase the diagnosis of celiac disease in high risk individuals.