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Primary health care (PHC) physicians manage most patients with Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In
Saudi Arabia, there are limited data on their knowledge, attitudes, and practices about this disorder. This study aimed to assess
knowledge, attitudes, and practices of primary care physicians about IBS.
Patients & Methods:
A cross-sectional survey of 70 practitioners aged 36 ? 10.25 years was carried out in primary care centers in
AlJouf Province of Saudi Arabia. The physicians were asked to fill a valid questionnaire containing their sociodemographic data,
and well-modified questions regarding their knowledge, attitudes, and practices about IBS. Data was processed and analyzed
using SPSS (version 15) program, and the level of significance was set at P<0.05.
A response rate of 92.9% yielded 65 questionnaires for analysis. Majority of physicians surveyed (83.1%) considered
IBS as a common health problem in Saudi Arabia, and (55.4%) believed it is underestimated. There was a significant association
between physicians' qualifications and using diagnostic tools to facilitate IBS diagnosis (14.3% vs. 35.5%; P<0.05), while utilization
of "Rome or Manning criteria" was more frequent by physicians with master's degree (35.5%) compared to residents (14.3%).
Also, 35.4% of physicians (15 males and 8 females) were not sure how to diagnose IBS.
This study suggested that PHC physicians had a suitable attitude toward IBS, but they lacked knowledge, and their
practices towards this condition were inappropriate.
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