Factors correlating to the propensity of general practitioners to substitute borderline vitamin B12 deficiency

Cham, Grace, Davis, Nichola, Strivens, Edward, Traves, Aileen, Manypeney, Grant, and Gunnarsson, Ronny (2018) Factors correlating to the propensity of general practitioners to substitute borderline vitamin B12 deficiency. Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, 36 (3). pp. 242-248.

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Objective: This study aims to identify factors which correlate to the propensity of general practitioners (GPs) to prescribe supplementation for borderline vitamin B12 deficiency.

Design: Cross-sectional surveys were distributed in person.

Setting: Conferences held in Cairns, Palm Cove Beach, Mt Isa; educational meetings in Atherton; and meetings with individual general practices within the Cairns and Hinterland region. All located in Queensland, Australia.

Subjects: 128 practicing GP specialists and registrars (practitioners in training).

Main outcome measures: Responses to the Likert scale statements with its five options scaling from 'strongly disagree' to 'strongly agree' were recoded to have binary outcomes for analysis.

Results: A survey response rate of 89% was achieved. Participants who felt patient demands influence the management of borderline vitamin B12 deficiency were more likely to prescribe supplementation (OR 2.4, p=0.037). Participants who perceived an overuse of vitamin B12 were less likely to prescribe B12 (OR 0.39, p=0.019). Participants who often saw patients with vitamin B12 deficiency were less likely to request for the complementary biomarkers plasma methylmalonic acid or total homocysteine (OR 0.41, p=0.045).

Conclusions: The identified disparity to prescribe vitamin B12 for borderline deficiency may be described as an attempt in the GP collective to seek a balance between being the patient's or the society's doctor. We propose that relevant authorities try to reduce this disparity by describing a management strategy for borderline vitamin B12 deficiency.

Item ID: 55828
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1502-7724
Keywords: vitamin B12 deficiency, dietary supplements, general practice, primary health care
Copyright Information: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Funders: James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2018 09:01
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420304 General practice @ 50%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3210 Nutrition and dietetics > 321099 Nutrition and dietetics not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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