Stone disease and patient compliance

18 August 2015 Joel Vega

Patients who do not have the symptoms or burden of stone disease are less likely to comply with a planned treatment making it more difficult to prevent disease recurrence or achieve cure.

“A stone patient’s compliance with treatment (mostly medical preventive treatment) is a main problem when patients are asymptomatic. Only those who have suffered from many episodes requiring surgical endoscopic treatment and/or multiple Shock-Wave Lithotripsy (SWL) sessions become aware of the importance of the medical prevention of stones,” said Dr. Juan Galán, local organiser and co-chairman of the 3rd Meeting of the EAU Section of Urolithiasis (EULIS), which will be held from 10 to 12 September 2015 in Alicante, Spain.

Although there are no confirmed statistics in Europe regarding the prevalence of kidney stone disease, experts estimate that one in 10 people will form urological stones. Kidney stones are known to have a high rate of recurrence, with first-time stone formers having a 30% to 50% chance of forming another stone within five years.

Galán, however, noted that the challenge lies particularly with patients who are not suffering from symptoms since they have the tendency to underestimate if not ignore the need for active treatment.

“Most of the times diet is so difficult to follow and medical treatment is easy to forget while being asymptomatic (showing no symptoms),” said Galán, who will give a lecture on the topic of patient compliance in Alicante.

Technology may yet improve patient compliance as Galan said that new devices for measuring urinary pH are expected to be introduced in the market.

“As in other diseases (such as diabetes), patients will be able to auto-check their urinary pH and correct dietary habits daily or modify their treatment dose, hopefully making it easier for them to understand their disease and improving their compliance,” he added.

The EULIS meeting gathers urolithiasis experts from across Europe to discuss the latest developments in the diagnosis and treatment of stone disease. Aside from plenary discussions, update lectures and poster presentations, workshops and symposiums will be held during the three-day meeting.

Also to be discussed in Alicante are the goals of EULIS to achieve consensus on a number of diagnosis and treatment issues such as defining stone-free status, the need to standardise endourological complications, and reaching an agreement on classification language which has an impact on the progress of research studies.

Previous EULIS meetings were held in Copenhagen and London, enabling its members and partners to strengthen professional links and offer educational and training opportunities.

For more details on the EULIS event, visit the meeting website.

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