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Feature Article

Inflammatory bowel disease: the GP’s role in shared care of patients

Britt Christensen, Belinda Headon, Peter R Gibson

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Abstract

Shared care between GPs and specialist gastroenterologists is the ideal model of care for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. GPs play important roles in recognising the symptoms early, supporting the patient, screening for long-term complications and treatment.

Key Points

  • Inflammatory bowel disease is becoming more prevalent in Australia and is associated with significant morbidity.
  • Ideal management involves shared care between GPs and specialist gastroenterologists.
  • The role of the GP in the management of patients with IBD includes early diagnosis, patient support, preventing disease complications, monitoring for disease relapse and medication side effects and providing nutritional, smoking cessation and psychological support.

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