Knowledge of Asthma among Doctors Practicing in Three South Eastern States of Nigeria

Author(s): Obumneme‑Anyim IN, Oguonu T, Ayuk A1, Iloh KK, Ndu IK

Background: Asthma is a chronic airway disease that has a significant impact on patients with substantial global socioeconomic burden. Appropriate knowledge by health care practitioners is important in the management of asthma. Aim: The aim was to assess the knowledge of asthma among doctors practicing in health care facilities in three South‑Eastern states of Nigeria. Subjects and Methods: This was a descriptive cross‑sectional study. The participants were selected using multi‑staged sampling method and interviewed with structured, self‑administered questionnaires. Comparison of the different outcome variables using the Chi‑square (categorical) and Student’s t‑test (noncategorical) with the characteristics of the participants were done. Result: A total of 283 doctors were interviewed. Eighty‑eight percent of them identified asthma as a common disease in our environment, (P = 0.04) but unrelated to socioeconomic status. Knowledge of epidemiology was poor among medical officers and registrars (P = 0.04). Most of the doctors (80%)(226/283) recognized the pathogenic significance of bronchospasm in exacerbation, while 58.6% (166/283) of them considered chronic inflammation as a significant factor in asthma pathogenesis P < 0.001. Majority of the doctors (84.1%) (238/283) were aware of the use of steroids in acute exacerbation, while 59.4% (168/283) considered aminophylline as the first line medication in exacerbation (P = 0.02). Knowledge about the use of steroids as controller medication was noted in 1.7% (5/283) of the respondents. Only 47.3% (134/283) of the participants were aware of the Global Initiative on Asthma guideline, (P = 0.03). Conclusion: There was good knowledge of epidemiology and clinical features of asthma, but a small number of the doctors had knowledge of pathophysiology and treatment of the disease. For best practices in asthma management, there is a need for further education.


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