Randomized controlled trial about the use of fecal calprotectin in children in general practice


Prof. dr. M.Y. Berger
Dr. G.A. Holtman
S. Ansems

Nature of the research:
Randomized controlled trial randomized on GP practice level

Fields of study:
GP medicine gastroenterology

Background / introduction
Chronic gastro-intestinal symptoms in children have a major impact on the child’s well-being and the healthcare system. In primary care, almost 90% of these children suffer from functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID), i.e. gastrointestinal symptoms without a known medical explanation. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), among others, needs to be ruled out before diagnosing FGID. For general practitioners (GP’s) it is a diagnostic challenge to differentiate between FGID and IBD, because the clinical presentations can be very similar. We previously showed that the diagnostic value of faecal calprotectin (FCal) test is high in primary care. Whether the faecal calprotectin (FCal) test reduces blood tests and referrals without missing a child with IBD in primary care is not yet evaluated. Additionally, it is unknown whether testing with FCal in primary care will improve clinical outcomes of children with FGID.
Research question / problem definition
To evaluate the clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of fecal calprotectin in children with chronic gastrointestinal symptoms in primary care
This is a project for a medical student for the ‘Stage Wetenschap’ for the full period of 20 weeks. You will perform a literature study, collect data from medical files in participating GP practices, formulate your own research question(s) together with the research theam, perform statistical analyses and write your thesis.
Holtman GA, Lisman-van Leeuwen Y, Kollen BJ, Norbruis OF, Escher JC, Kindermann A, et al. Diagnostic Accuracy of Fecal Calprotectin for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Primary Care: A Prospective Cohort Study. Ann Fam Med. 2016;14(5):437–45.
Holtman GA, Lisman-van Leeuwen Y, Kollen BJ, Norbruis OF, Escher JC, Walhout LC, et al. Diagnostic test strategies in children at increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease in primary care. Ro S, editor. PLoS One . 2017 Dec 6;12(12):e0189111.
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