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Free Content Asthma knowledge and approach among Pakistani family physicians and the impact of an educational programme

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OBJECTIVES: To assess asthma knowledge and approach among Pakistani family physicians and the impact of an educational programme.

DESIGN: A total of 89 family physicians attending a continuing medical education programme were evaluated using a 17-item questionnaire before and after a lecture and seminar-based educational programme. Three scores—total score (TSc), knowledge subscore (KSc) and approach subscore (ASc)—were calculated before and after the course.

RESULTS: A total of 82 (92%) family physicians completed the questionnaire. A minimum TSc of ≥9 was achieved by 57% physicians before the course; this increased to 78% after the course. Physicians with ≤10 years since graduation achieved a higher baseline TSc than those who had graduated ≥20 years previously. The latter group showed a larger post-course improvement. Analysis of individual questions disclosed that 79% of family physicians were unable to assess the empirical risk of asthma in an unborn child, 61% were unable to correctly classify/treat Stage 2 asthma and a similar number peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) (l/min) based acute asthma exacerbation. Reassuringly, 97% correctly identified clinical signs and 87% life-threatening features of asthma.

CONCLUSION: Of all family physicians who responded to the questionnaire, 57% achieved acceptable baseline standards. Deficiencies regarding areas such as genetic counselling and disease severity assessment were observed. Strengths in identifying clinical signs and life-threatening features were evident. Continuing medical education resulted in a significant improvement in the post-course assessment, regardless of the years since graduation.
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Keywords: approach; asthma; continuing medical education; family physicians; knowledge

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan 2: Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital, Essex, UK

Publication date: 01 November 2007

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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