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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 213-219

Knowledge, attitude, and practice of primary health care physicians in the management of osteoarthritis in Al-Jouf province, Saudi Arabia

Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, AlJouf University, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Al.Hazmi Ahmad Homoud
Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, AlJouf University, P.O. Box 2014, Sakaka
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.107556

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Background: Primary health care (PHC) physicians manage most patients with osteoarthritis (OA). In Saudi Arabia, very little is known about the management of OA by PHC physicians. This study aims to assess knowledge, attitude, and practice of PHC physicians in the management of OA. Materials and Methods: During October 2011, a cross-sectional survey was conducted on physicians who were practicing at the primary care centers in AlJouf province of Saudi Arabia. The physicians were asked to fill a valid questionnaire comprised of 35 closed ended questions, 6 items about their socio-demographic characters, and a very well modified 29 questions about their knowledge, attitude, and practice in the management of OA. Data was processed and analysed using SPSS (version 16) program, the level of significance was set as Chi-square test was applied for analysis of categorical data. Results: Response rate (77/90=85.6% yielded 77 questionnaires for analysis. The mean ± SD age of respondents was 38 (12.3) years. Majority of the physicians surveyed, 58 (75.3%) considered OA as a common health problem in Saudi Arabia. Only 28 (36.4%) physicians surveyed will achieve continuity of care for OA, whereas more than half (n=44; 57.1%) will refer OA immediately or later to the specialists. The proportion of continuity of care for OA among physicians with diplomas was more than that found among general practitioner (57.1% vs 34.1%; <.05). Only 30 (39%) of physicians appeared to know the radiographic changes associated with OA. 21 (27.3%) of physicians manage an average of 5-10 patients with OA per week. Almost 3/4 th of the physicians ( n=57; 74%) prescribe NSAIDs, and only (n=14; 18.2%) prescribe acetaminophen for OA. Less than 1/5 th of the physicians surveyed ( n=12; 15.6%) prescribe herbal medicine for OA. Almost all physicians subscribe to regular training programs about OA. Conclusions: Appropriate attitude with lack of knowledge was found, and practice of our physicians with regards to this disorder appeared inappropriate. More education focusing on the disorder is recommended.

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