Health-seeking behaviour, views and preferences of adults with suspected increased intestinal permeability: A cross-sectional survey of Australian adults

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Integrative Medicine Research, 2022, 11, (1), pp. 100757
Issue Date:
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Background: The public health consequence of increased intestinal permeability (IP) is currently limited by the lack of patient-centred research. This study aims to describe the health-seeking behaviour of Australian adults with suspected IP. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 589 Australian adults who have been diagnosed with IP or have suspected (undiagnosed) IP. Results: The majority (56.2%) of participants with suspected IP reported self-diagnosing their condition, with the majority (56.7%) of these participants preferring to be assessed using an accurate method by a general practitioner or naturopath. On average, Australian adults with suspected IP spent 11.1 (95% CI: 9.5, 12.8) years between first suspecting IP and receiving a formal diagnosis. Over the previous 12 months, participants spent an average of $699 on consultation fees, $2176 on dietary supplements for the treatment of IP, and an average of $287 on the assessment of IP. Furthermore, participants who find it difficult to live on their available household income spent significantly more (mean=$2963) on dietary supplements compared to participants who find it easy to live on their available household income ($1918) (p=0.015). Conclusion: The investigation of Australian adults with suspected IP found the majority of participants experienced a considerable length of time between first suspecting IP and receiving a diagnosis of IP. The out-of-pocket expenditure associated with the management of IP suggests a financial burden for people with suspected IP. The results of this study provide novel patient-centred considerations that can be used to inform a clinical practice guideline for the management of IP.
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