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Osteoporosis is one of the commonest silent diseases leading to high morbidity and mortality. The challenge for Primary Health Care (PHC) physicians is to prevent, diagnose, and treat osteoporosis before fractures occur. The lack of knowledge about this disease is considered as an important barrier to appropriate risks identification and management of this common health problem. The objectives were to measure the knowledge of PHC physicians regarding osteoporosis, to determine their practice, and to identify the barriers facing them in management of osteoporosis. A cross sectional study using self-administered validated questionnaire distributed to all PHC physicians working in the Ministry of Health in Abha city was used. The questionnaire contains 47 questions to assess the knowledge. The level of knowledge was calculated as (number of correct answers/total answers×100). A 61% to 75%, and 76% to 85%, were considered as good knowledge and very good knowledge respectively while ≥ 86% was considered as excellent knowledge. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences Version 20 (SPSS V.20). The response rate was 92%. A total of 66 PHC physicians were included in this study with mean age 36±7 years and 79% were males. A 52% were general physicians followed by 36% family physicians and 12% of other specialties. The main percentage of correct response was 67%. The percentage of correct response was significantly associated with age and reading about osteoporosis. Overall Knowledge was good in 54.5% and poor in 25.8% of participants. But the average overall score of knowledge was 67%, which is considered as good knowledge. Knowledge about risk factors was good in 50.0% of participant and excellent, very good and poor in 9.1%, 22.7% and 18.2% consecutively. Knowledge about DEXA indications was very good in 31.8%, excellent in 30.3%, good in 25.8% and it was poor in only 12.1% of participants. Knowledge about management of osteoporosis was poor in 62.1% of the participants and was good in 33.3% of participants and very good and excellent in only 1.5% and 3.0% consecutively. The high percent of poor knowledge about osteoporosis among PHC physicians needs more attention to find out the reasons and to improve the education and training of physicians especially about the management of this prevalent disease. Also, insignificant association between family medicine specialty and degree of knowledge about osteoporosis needs further improvement of family medicine program in Abha city.
Primary Health Care Physicians, Osteoporosis, Practice, Diagnosis, Management