Introduction. An early diagnosis of primary immunodeficiencies (PID) prevents the development of complications and improves the quality of life of children with PID. A large number of PID are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. An important challenge is improving the awareness of physicians about these diseases.
The objective of the study was to evaluate the knowledge about primary immunodeficiencies among postgraduate medical students of different specialties.
Methods. A survey among postgraduate medical students of different specialties on awareness of PID was conducted. The study involved postgraduate medical students (interns) of I. Horbachevsky Ternopil State Medical University, Ukraine. There were 93 participants: 17 pediatricians, 27 general practitioners / family (GP/F) physicians, 39 internists, 10 surgeons. The survey consisted of a questionnaire containing 25 questions.
Results. The average percentage of correct answers given by the surveyed postgraduate medical students was 63.6%, and ranged from 24.7% to 91.4%. The highest level of knowledge was demonstrated among pediatricians (76.9%). The lowest knowledge was revealed concerning the specific signs of PID, in particular verification of ataxia-telangiectasia and management of Nijmegen breakage syndrome. The percentage of correct answers about warning signs of PID in children was 88.2% among pediatricians and 63.5% among internists.
Conclusions. The study has shown insufficient knowledge about PID among postgraduate medical students of different specialties. Identified weaknesses in educating and training of postgraduate medical students about PID will help to enhance the educational programs that may benefit of early diagnosis, patient’s management and improve quality of life of children with PID.
Keywords: primary immunodeficiencies, postgraduate medical students’ awareness, pediatricians.
PID – primary immunodeficiencies
GP/F – general practitioners / family
CVID – Common Variable Immunodeficiency
AFP – alpha-fetoprotein
NBS – Nijmegen breakage syndrome
WBC – White Blood Cells
A-T – ataxia-telangiectasia
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