Background: Primary immunodeficiency diseases (PIDs) are monogenic disorders that affect the immune system and increase the susceptibility to infections. The lack of knowledge about PIDs is the main cause of the delayed diagnosis that leads to subsequent increments in morbidity and mortality. Thereby, this study aimed to evaluate the knowledge about PIDs in medical students in Riyadh city, Saudi Arabia.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted by recruiting university undergraduate students (3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th-year medical students) from four universities in Riyadh, from February to March 2020. A questionnaire was distributed to the participants through mediators in each university.
Results: A total of 387 students participated in the study. The majority (69%) was 21-23 years old and a little more than half were female (52%). The students knowledge score ranged from 3 to 33, with a mean of 14.1±5.6. The sample was classified based on the level of knowledge into two groups: below-average group and average/above-average group with a cut-off point of 60% of the total score. The majority (83%, n = 322) was in the below-average group, while 17% (n = 65) were in the average/above-average group. The number of average/above-average knowledge participants was highest among the 6th-year students as compared to the other academic years (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The results indicated a lack of knowledge about PIDs among medical students. PIDs should be emphasized more in medical education.
Key words: Knowledge, immunodeficiency, medical students, Riyadh