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Original Article

IJMDC. 2022; 6(10): 1284-1293

Knowledge, awareness, and attitudes toward hemorrhoids and related surgical treatments among medical students and general population: a cross-sectional study in Saudi Arabia

Sultan Aiman Neazy, Yasmin Abdul-Aziz Yousef, Kenan Hatem Nejaim, Hussain Amin Alobaidi, Abdullah Saeed Alzahrani, Anas Mastour Alswat, Muhammad Anwar Khan, Alqassem Y. Hakami.


Background: Hemorrhoids occur when the draining veins around the anal canal get distended, causing discomfort, itching, and possibly constipation. This study aims to assess the general population and medical students’ knowledge, awareness, and attitude toward hemorrhoids and different surgical management options in Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study with a self-administered online questionnaire was distributed in all regions of Saudi Arabia. The questionnaire had two sections: demographic data and perception toward hemorrhoids. The data were entered into Excel and analyzed by Statistical Package for the Social Sciences.
Results: About 36 (2.5%) participants answered that they had never heard about hemorrhoids. Notably, only 738 (52%) participants picked straining during bowel movement as a cause of hemorrhoids. Moreover, around 28.7% falsely thought diarrhea was a precipitant to piles. Lifestyle is one factor that was reported in 45.9% of responses. Constant pain around the anal region was identified as a symptom by 921 (64.4%). Physicians were reported as a source of information in only 173 (12.1%) responses. The majority agreed that hemorrhoids would negatively affect the quality of life. Embarrassment was an important reason to avoid visiting the doctor, according to 952 (66.5%) responses.
Conclusion: Despite the common knowledge of hemorrhoids as a disease, our study showed that only half of the respondents were able to correctly identify straining as the primary cause. Whereas one-fourth wrongly thought diarrhea was the actual cause. Counseling and increasing awareness among the population are needed to facilitate the stigma associated with hemorrhoids.

Key words: Knowledge, awareness, attitude, hemorrhoids, medical students.

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