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Original Research

RMJ. 2019; 44(2): 240-243

Knowledge, attitude, and practice of health care professionals regarding iron deficiency anemia in Pakistan

Pushpa ValiRam, Asha Mahesh, Sumera Shaikh, Shaima Sultana.

Objective: To assess the level of knowledge, attitude, and practice of Pakistani doctors regarding the diagnosis, management and prevention of iron deficiency anemia (IDA).

Methodology: This descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out at different teaching hospitals and private clinics all over Pakistan from February to August 2015. Close-ended questionnaires were distributed to a convenience sample of 220 general physicians and gynecologists. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 20.0.
Results: Out of 220 questionnaires sent, 154 (70.0%) were duly filled and returned. Among these, 84 (54.5%) were working in private clinics and 70 (45.5%) in teaching hospitals. The mean age of health care professionals was 42.48.4 years and the male to female ratio was 1:3. Regarding diagnosis of IDA, 44 (28.6%) diagnosed it clinically and on complete blood count (CBC); 41 (26.6%) on clinical grounds only, 36 (23.4%) by using CBC only, and 20 (13%) by all three tools. Only 13 (8.4%) diagnosed it through serum iron profile. Majority of physicians prescribed iron supplements along with diet (n=140: 90.9%) and 14 (9.1%) advised iron supplements only. No one prescribed treatment of IDA with diet only. Mostly oral iron therapy was prescribed in around 68.8%. Less than one month therapy was prescribed in 28 (18.18%), 1-3 months in 65 (42.2%), and >3 months in 61 (39.61%).
Conclusion: Our survey demonstrated that most healthcare professionals were aware of IDA and were following the standard guidelines for diagnosis, management and prevention of this disease.

Key words: General physicians, gynecologists, iron deficiency anemia, survey.

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