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Free Content General practitioners' knowledge of childhood asthma in Delhi, India

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: To assess knowledge of childhood asthma among general practitioners (GPs) in Delhi, India.

DESIGN: In this cross-sectional study, a total of 157 GPs were interviewed using a validated questionnaire, including six questions of local and social relevance. A response rate of 78.5% was obtained.

RESULTS: Although the GPs who participated in the study had adequate knowledge of the importance of appropriate treatment, the safety of inhalers/oral steroids and the role of medicines in the prevention of frequent asthma attacks, the majority lacked knowledge of symptomatology, exercise-induced asthma and inhaled corticosteroids. GPs with >5 years of practice were more likely to have significantly less knowledge about preventive drugs, certain aspects of treatment of acute asthma and misconceptions, such as ‘drinking milk increases mucus production’ or ‘children with asthma should not consume dairy products, chilled drinks, sour or chilled food’. On the other hand, GPs with ≤5 of practice had misconceptions such as ‘children with asthma have abnormally sensitive airways’ and ‘asthmatic children develop dependence on inhalers’.

CONCLUSIONS: The gaps in knowledge about asthma and its management highlight the need to design well-structured educational strategies for health professionals.

Keywords: India; childhood asthma; general practitioners; knowledge; questionnaire

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India 2: Department of Respiratory Medicine, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi, Delhi, India

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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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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