Dupuytren Referrals and Awareness Lacking, Survey Shows

November 29, 2011

Close to half (41%) of patients with Dupuytren contracture are not receiving prompt referral to a specialist, visiting their general practitioner (GP)/doctor almost 3 times before being referred, according to a Pfizer UK Limited survey of 700 GPs from 6 European countries.

Close to half of patients (41%) with Dupuytren contracture are not receiving prompt referral to a specialist, visiting their general practitioner (GP)/doctor almost 3 times before being referred, according to a Pfizer UK Limited survey of 700 GPs from 6 European countries. A factor that may be contributing to referral delays is GPs/doctors’ low awareness of the full range of the treatment options for patients with the condition.

Other key survey findings include the following:

 •  Although nonsurgical options are available, more than half of the GPs/doctors (61%) think that surgery is the only option for Dupuytren contracture.
  •  If patients express a fear of surgery, 41% of GPs/doctors are discouraged from referring; 36% do not refer because they think that their patients may not be fit for surgery or anesthesia.
  •  Dupuytren contracture is a chronic condition that has psychological, social, and physical implications resulting from the progressive loss of hand function caused by the permanent bending of the finger or fingers into the palm.
  •  Dupuytren disease affects about 3% to 13% of persons in Europe, and the condition will progress to Dupuytren contracture in an estimated 25% of them.

Earlier medical intervention and treatment can prevent permanent damage to the hand, and successful management of Dupuytren contracture lies in ensuring that patients are fully informed about their treatment options, it was noted.

Surgery has been the mainstay of treatment. Recent advances include XIAPEX (collagenase clostridium histolyticum), the first pharmaceutical treatment indicated for Dupuytren contracture in adult patients with a palpable cord, which was made available in Europe earlier this year and has been approved by the FDA in the United States. Pfizer has the marketing rights to XIAPEX in Europe, and Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc has the rights in the rest of the world.

 

Problems / comments about this article? Please send feedback.