General Practitioners’ knowledge about atopic dermatitis pathogenesis, diagnostics, treatment and the need for clinical guidelines

Neringa Borodičaitė1, Vaidilė Strazdienė2

1 Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine

2 Antakalnio policlinic

Introduction: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease for which patients consult General Practitioners (GPs).

Aim of the study: To evaluate GPs’ knowledge about AD pathogenesis, diagnostics, treatment and the need for clinical guidelines.

Methods: GPs and resident doctors completed an anonymous survey which consisted of 25 questions. The first 9 questions addressed sociodemographic data and clinical guidelines while the remaining 16 questions evaluated doctors’ knowledge about AD pathogenesis, diagnostics and treatment (max. 36 points). Data analysis was performed in Excel and SPSS 23.0 programmes.

Results: 107 doctors participated in the survey91 women (85.0%) and 16 men (15.0%). Survey participants were 42 ± 12 years old and graduated in year 2002 ± 14 years. The average score was 22 points. The study showed that 41 (38.3%) doctor had insufficient knowledge of AD. Doctors’ knowledge about AD negatively correlated with their age (r = -0.493, p < 0.001) and years after graduation (r = -0.513, p < 0.001). 27 (25.2%) doctors correctly answered all questions in the AD pathogenesis section, while 81 (75.7%) doctor correctly answered all questions in the AD co-occuring diseases section. Only 11 (10.3%) doctors knew how to accurately diagnose the disease. No respondents correctly answered the questions on the AD treatment. Only 2 (1.9%) doctors correctly responded to the AD complication treatment questions. 57 (53.3%) doctors solved clinical situations correctly. 102 doctors agreed with the need for AD clinical guidelines.

Conclusion: Almost 40% of the surveyed doctors had insufficient knowledge about the AD. Drafting AD Clinical guidelines is necessary to improve doctors’ understanding about the AD pathogenesis, diagnostic and treatment.

Keywords: Atopic dermatitis, general practitioners, knowledge, clinical guidelines.