Patients are the focus of the entire January issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology (AJG), the flagship journal of The American College of Gastroenterology. This groundbreaking issue. “Putting Patients First,” is dedicated to patient-reported outcomes (PROs).
Published research is often “tangential” to patient experience or of “distant” impact on daily medical care, AJG Co-Editors-in-Chief Brennan M.R. Spiegel, MD, MSHS, FACG, of Cedars-Sinai Health System, and Brian E. Lacy, MD, PhD, FACG, of Mayo Clinic Jacksonville write in an introductory column. With this in mind, the January issue features studies that are powered by PROs and “emphasize the patient’s experience of their disease.”
“These studies have in common a focus on the patient experience and a recognition that clinical success is measured by patients, first and foremost,” the Co-Editors state.
In 2017, Dr. Lacy and Dr. Spiegel released a request for manuscripts seeking studies which use a patient-reported outcome as the primary metric of treatment success.
“We want to know what improves the patient experience, how to reduce the burden of symptoms, or how to improve health-related quality of life, no matter the intervention,” the Co-Editors asked. They pared down submissions to a selection of 14 original research articles for the Putting Patients First issue.
The following are some of the highlighted studies across this impactful issue:
- From Patient to Patient-Entrepreneur: Development of an Ostomy Bag Sensor: A patient-turned-entrepreneur recounts how he created a new technology to improve his quality of life, along with that of many others.
- The Reflux Improvement and Monitoring (TRIM) Program Is Associated with Symptom Improvement and Weight Reduction for Obese Patients with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Rena H. Yadlapati, MD, MSHS, et al. explore whether and how the TRIM program would assist patients with obesity and GERD.
- Optimizing Selection of Biologics in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Development of an Online Patient Decision Aid Using Conjoint Analysis: In this study from Christopher V. Almario, MD, MSHPM, et al., an online decision tool allows patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease to participate in shared decision-making and enhance their personalized biologic selection with their provider.
- Depression Is Associated With More Aggressive Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Bharati Kochar, MD, MSCR, et al. examine depression in inflammatory bowel disease patients, including how it should be assessed by providers.
- Characterizing Normal Bowel Frequency and Consistency in a Representative Sample of Adults in the United States (NHANES): What is “normal” when it comes to bowel patterns? This is the ever-so-common question addressed in this piece from Shuji Mitsuhashi BS, et al., the first study to assess normal bowel frequency and consistency in a representative sample of adults in the United States.
As these highlighted studies demonstrate, the focus of this issue is singular—to put patients first.