Assessment of knowledge and barriers that encounter Primary Health Care Physicians in the diagnosis of Dyslipidemia in the Primary Health Care Centers of Ministry of Health, Jeddah

Dr. Ahmed Hussain

Joint Program Family & Community Medicine, Jeddah – 2014

Background: Due to the tragic raises in the prevalence of both obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus in Saudi Arabia, which are associated to changes in style of living associated with modernization and socioeconomic growth , adverse changes in the level of blood lipids are not unexpected.

Objectives:To estimate the knowledge and identify factors associated with it and determine the barriers encounter primary care physicians in diagnosing dyslipidemia in primary health care centers of the ministry of health, Jeddah 2015.

Subjects and Methods: It was a cross-sectional included a representative sample of primary health care physicians who are working in Ministry of Health’s primary healthcare centers (PHCC) in Jeddah city. All 45 Primary Health Care centers were included, and proportionate samples of all doctors in each PHC were selected. A self-administered valid questionnaire was used including inquiries about personal characteristics, knowledge about dyslipidemia using ATP III Guidelines, knowledge about dyslipidemia management and probable barriers to the diagnosis and management of dyslipidemia.

Results:The study included 196 physicians. Their age ranged between 25 and 60 years with a mean (±SD) of 37.9 (±9.1) years. Women represent 56.6% of them. Overall, 63.8% of the doctors had poor knowledge whereas 29.1% had good knowledge regarding dyslipidemia diagnosis. Less than half of the PHC doctors (n=89, 45.4%) stated hearing about National Cholesterol Education Program (NECP ATP III) guidelines recommendations.  Out of them, 70 (78.7%) stated the reading of such guidelines recommendations. Older (>45years), more experienced (>10 years), female and family medicine certified doctors were more significantly knowledgeable than others. The commonest reported barriers faced by doctors in assessing patients for coronary heart disease risk were factors related to the system in the PHCC (89.8%), adherence of patients to recommendations (89.3%) and cost of investigations (87.2%) whereas the commonest reported barriers faced by them in treatment of dyslipidemia were adherence of patients to recommendations (88.8%), factors related to the system in the PHCC (89.8%) and health habits and traditions (86.9%).

Conclusions: A considerable proportion of doctors working at Ministry of Health’s primary healthcare centers (PHCC) in Jeddah city had poor knowledge regarding dyslipidemia diagnosis.  Reading of NECP ATP III guidelines recommendation, although mentioned by one-third of them was associated with good dyslipidemia knowledge. The commonest agreed upon barriers faced by physicians in assessing patients for coronary heart risk were factors related to the system in the Primary Health Care Center, adherence of patients to recommendations and cost of investigations. The commonest agreed upon barriers faced by physicians in the treatment of dyslipidemia were adherence of patients to recommendations , factors related to the system in the Primary Health Care center and health habits and traditions

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