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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 77-82

Knowledge of the asthma guidelines among doctors in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria

1 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
2 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Cross River, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Victor Aniedi Umoh
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-6691.112552

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Asthma guidelines are instituted to improve patient care. The extent to which physicians adhere to guidelines will depend on their understanding of such guidelines. This study was designed to evaluate physicians' understanding of the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guidelines. A cross-sectional survey was carried out among physicians in the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital. Thirty-one multiple choice questions based on the GINA guidelines covering seven core areas were administered on 104 physicians, including 74 Internists, 24 Family Physicians and six Respiratory Physicians. Total scores and subscores were calculated for each respondent. A good understanding of the guidelines was determined by at least 50% correct answers. The average total score for the test was 39.5 ± 1.4% (mean ± SEM). Respiratory Physicians recorded the highest total score of 67.2 ± 2.1%. Respiratory Physicians recorded significantly higher scores than Internists in questions related to education, prevention and disease control (P < 0.05). They also recorded significantly higher scores than all other specialties in questions related to diagnosis, pharmacology and therapy (P < 0.05). Only 32 respondents reported attending a Continuing Medical Education program after graduation, and this was a significant predictor of good understanding after controlling for other variables; OR 4.5, (95% CI 1.3-15.6), P = 0.017. Only 20.2% displayed a good understanding of the GINA guidelines. The findings of this survey provide some explanation for the poor level of asthma control seen in daily practice, due in part to poor understanding of asthma management guidelines. Well-structured educational interventions targeting knowledge gaps will improve the understanding of the guidelines.

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