Year : 2018  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 178-182

Assessment of medical practitioners' knowledge of fibromyalgia in Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Anesthesia, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Abdullah Mohammad Kaki
Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, P.O. Box 2907, Jeddah 21461
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sja.SJA_458_17

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Background: Fibromyalgia (FM), a relatively common disease, is difficult to diagnose owing to its subjective symptoms and poor knowledge among medical practitioners. The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge regarding FM among medical practitioners in Saudi Arabia and the need for educational programs at the undergraduate level. Subjects and Methods: An online survey was administered to physicians, nurses, and technologist/technicians in different regions of the country. Responses were obtained from 104 medical practitioners. Knowledge regarding FM including clinical symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment was assessed. Results: Only 26% of the respondents reported that FM was part of their undergraduate curriculum, and only 8.7% attended educational programs about FM. (Approximately 50% of the medical practitioners either referred FM patients to unrelated specialty or did not know whom to refer these patients to). Only 33.7% of the respondents were familiar with the diagnostic criteria. Physiotherapy (69.4%) and pharmacological treatment (63.9%) were predominantly reported as the appropriate treatment. Conclusions: Knowledge regarding FM among medical practitioners in Saudi Arabia is poor. Further education at the undergraduate level is needed to improve knowledge and avoid delays in diagnosis and treatment.

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