PHRI’s Director of Statistics Shrikant Bangdiwala is a key player in a large-scale, multinational research consortium seeking to rectify the limitations in research into Disorders of Gut-Brain Interactions (DGBIs). They used rigorous methodology to survey the prevalence of 22 DGBIs in large population samples in 33 countries.
PHRI is the coordinating centre for the consortium, called the Rome Foundation Global Epidemiology Study (RFGES). Bangdiwala is on the RFGES executive committee, and leads a global team of first-tier statisticians, including PHRI Senior Biometric Programmer Rutaba Khatun.
An impressive collection of 15 articles published by RFGES members are showcased in a special issue of the journal, Neurogastroenterology & Motility. The articles reflect the range of RFGES studies: single-country papers; intra-regional studies; inter-regional studies; and one global study.
More than half the papers will be presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW 2003) conference that starts tomorrow and runs through May 9th.
Interesting insights from the publications by the RFGES – which is conducted under the auspices of the Rome Foundation Research Institute (RFRI) based in Raleigh, North Carolina – include:
“Research should focus on “local biologics” and solutions to problems related to language and symptom reporting to elicit the presence, frequency, and severity of symptoms. Local biologics refers to factors such as sanitation, hygiene, nutrition, climate, genetics, et al. that may be different among different cultures and geographical regions.
One should recognize also that health systems vary greatly between countries, and that symptoms, diagnoses and the recognition of syndromes is likely to be influenced by the way these systems operate, as well as by national and cultural understandings.
Even within a single culture there may be differing understandings and rationalization of symptoms depending on the sort of health care or practitioner accessed.”