To determine the knowledge, attitude and practice of hospital based physicians in the diagnosis, management and prevention of asthma.
The study was conducted in a tertiary government hospital involving physicians in practice of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Pulmonary Medicine. A 31 point questionnaire was distributed consisting eight subject areas: assessment, asthma diagnosis, education, pathology, prevention, pharmacology, severity and therapy. The score for each of the subjects and the total score were calculated and grouped according to the level of training of the physicians and specialties. The mean score for each group of physicians were compared using the one way analysis of variance with level of significance set at p< 0.05 with 95% CI.
A total of 144 (75.8%) physicians out of the 190 responded.The mean score is 45.8 +/- 13.4 (mean, SEM) performing best in asthma diagnosis and scored poorly in prevention of asthma triggers. The pulmonary fellows in training got the highest mean score (59.7 SEM 12.3). The physicians performed least in asthma assessment, education, prevention, severity classification and therapy. Significant differences were noted in physician understanding of the guidelines concerning:diagnosis(p= .001),pathology(p<.001), pharmacology (p < .001), severity (p < .001) and therapy(p< .001). Across different specialties,pulmonary specialists got the highest mean score (61.7 SEM 11.6).Significant differences in understanding of the guidelines were observed in asthma diagnosis (p < .001), assessment (p < .026), pathology (p < .001), pharmacology (p < .001), prevention (p <.001) and therapy (p < .001).
The results of the study showed that there is a need for further improvement in the knowledge and understanding of the NHLBI Global Initiative for Asthma among physicians at the VMMC.Subject areas that should be emphasized in asthma guidelines dissemination are proper assessment, asthma education, prevention of asthma triggers, proper severity classification and choice of appropriate therapy.
Proper diagnosis and management of asthma will reduce its fatal consequences. This can be achieved by ensuring physicians’ understanding of existing guidelines through continuing medical education.
Ogee Mer Panlaqui, None.