Low knowledge and awareness of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) among general practitioners

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Abstract

Introduction: While multiple myeloma (MM) is a rare diagnosis within primary care, its precursor MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance) is more common, particularly among older populations. Upon first detection, the majority of MGUS patients will be under the care of their General Practitioner (GP)/Family Doctor who is also often the first healthcare professional that patients report symptoms of progression to. However, our previous work with MGUS patients and haematology healthcare professionals has suggested that knowledge and awareness of MGUS is low among GPs. Methods: An online survey was undertaken to investigate knowledge and awareness of MGUS and services needed by GPs/GP trainees to support these patients. The survey was promoted at a large European primary care conference and via social media. Descriptive statistics were utilised to compare participant responses. Results: In total 58 GPs (n = 35 GPs and n = 23 GP trainees) from 24 countries responded. Overall, self-reported familiarity with the term MGUS was low (mean score: 2.21/5, standard deviation (SD): 1.09), but higher among GPs who reported having at least one MGUS patient (mean score: 2.83/5, SD 0.99). The majority (88.2%) of GPs/GP trainees stated they would feel uncomfortable discussing MGUS with patients. The increased risk of haematological malignancies was identified by 62.1% of GPs/GP trainees with MM, lymphoma and myelodysplastic syndromes the most commonly reported cancers associated with MGUS. The majority (81.6%) of GPs/GP trainees were supportive of patient follow-up via telephone clinics (phlebotomy performed in GP practice with patient management maintained by haematology) but only 27.1% stated they would be happy to solely manage all low/lowintermediate risk MGUS patients. A laboratory report alerting to the possibility of MGUS or a haematological malignancy was reported as the most useful service which could be implemented to help GPs manage MGUS patients. The need for MGUS focused information and education resources for GPs was also highlighted. Conclusions: The findings of this study highlight a lack of knowledge and awareness of MGUS among GPs/ GP trainees. The majority of GPs/GP trainees are happy to support haematology in managing these patients but require assistance and support in providing these services.
Original languageEnglish
Article number61
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Family Practice
Volume20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2020

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