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Master Thesis

Patients végans, le médecin généraliste en difficulté pour trier le bon grain de l’ivraie

Abstract : Introduction: The vegan movement has been developing rapidly in recent years in all economically developed countries. More than a diet, it is a way of life that excludes the use of animals and animal products in all their forms (consumer goods, leisure, health products including drugs and vaccines). Nutritional deficiencies observed are multiple, interact with each other, play a role in many pathologies and harm the proper development of the child sometimes from the gestation. The main objective of this survey was to establish a state of play of practices and feelings of general practitioners in the care of vegan patients. This work was also motivated by the need to inform primary care physicians about the risks and problems of such a strict and exclusive diet and to suggest some solutions to the difficulties raised by the survey in order to provide a better support to these patients. Materials and Method: This is an observational, descriptive and cross-sectional study, based on a questionnaire sent by e-mail to general practitioners in the Bouches du Rhône and Vaucluse area between November 2018 and February 2019. Only graduated physicians and currently practicing, as GPs were included. Results: 37 general practitioners, or 37% of the sample, answered the form. All of them said they approach nutrition more or less regularly in consultation. 56.8% of them reported they already had to care at least one vegan patient. 16% of doctors admitted not knowing what veganism is. Only 54.1% felt comfortable with a request for a medical prescription related to the vegan diet without mentioning the knowledge of health risks. Discussion: The general practitioner, in the first line of the healthcare system, is the doctor who sees the patients most often. He is also responsible for much of the heavy burden of health education. Even though he is interested in nutrition and regularly approaches it during the consultation, he is not familiar with veganism and its problems and is often unaware that this lifestyle is adopted by some of his patients. The risks of nutritional deficiencies can be very serious. Their knowledge by practitioners is essential in order to no longer see, among others, children with severe growing issues such as irreversible neurological damage caused by the inevitable vitamin B12 deficiency. Thus, the relationship between vegan patients and the medical staff, GPs in particular, must evolve and adapt. Recommendations based on solid studies are also needed to prevent serious risks. Conclusion: The fast development of the vegan movement and the health risks expected from the exclusion of any animal product from diet will sooner or later confront each doctor with medical care problems. It is therefore fundamental that primary care specialists have clear information on this emerging lifestyle and can rely on dedicated recommendations to change the care relationship and improve the overall care of these patients with new needs. This study led to the development of a synthetic practical guide focusing on the most critical points, intended to support the GPs consultation.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 3:05:26 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 5:52:26 AM


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  • HAL Id : dumas-02391318, version 1



Aurore Canela. Patients végans, le médecin généraliste en difficulté pour trier le bon grain de l’ivraie. Sciences du Vivant [q-bio]. 2019. ⟨dumas-02391318⟩



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