Topical corticosteroids knowledge, attitudes, and practices of primary care physicians

Sarah F Alsukait, Najd M Alshamlan, Zeina Z Alhalees, Sami N Alsuwaidan, Abdulmajeed M Alajlan
Saudi Medical Journal 2017, 38 (6): 662-665
To assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices of primary care physicians (PCPs) toward topical corticosteroids (TCs). Methods: A cross-sectional, 53-item questionnaire based study on TCs was conducted among PCPs in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between January and March 2015. A maximum score of 30 was calculated for the knowledge portion. Results: Out of 420 PCPs, 336 responded (80%). Most participants (89.6%) reported prescribing TCs. The mean knowledge score was 17.14 (SD=5.48). Only 39% PCPs correctly identified that there are 7 or 4 TCs potency groups (2 different classification systems). The MBBS/MD and diploma-certified physicians scored lower than board-qualified PCPs (p less than 0.05). Family medicine physicians scored higher than general practitioners (GPs) (p less than 0.05). Hospital-based PCPs scored better than private practice PCPs (p less than 0.05). Moreover, those who felt somewhat comfortable (32.5%) in treating dermatology patients were more knowledgeable (p less than 0.05). Lastly, 76.5% of physicians were interested in attending courses on dermatologic therapies.  Conclusion: Knowledge of TCs among PCPs was inadequate. Targeted educational interventions delivered by dermatologists are recommended.


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