Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 173-181

Knowledge, attitudes, and practices of primary care physicians about irritable bowel syndrome in Northern Saudi Arabia


Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, AlJouf University, Sakaka, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Ahmad H Al-Hazmi
Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, AlJouf University, PO Box 2014, Sakaka
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.96450

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Background/Aim: 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 and 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: This study suggested that PHC physicians had a suitable attitude toward IBS, but they lacked knowledge, and their practices toward this condition were inappropriate.


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