DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2349-3933.ijam20220435
Published: 2022-02-23

Assessment of physicians’ knowledge and awareness of fibromyalgia: a cross-sectional study

Airenakho Emorinken, Mercy Ofunami Dic-Ijiewere, Oluwaseun Remi Agbadaola, Tijani Idris Ahmad Oseni, Patrick Ojojarumiu Echekwube, Asuwemhe Johnson Ugheoke, Onosegbe Moses Aikhuomogbe

Abstract


 

Background: Fibromyalgia is not an uncommon cause of chronic musculoskeletal pain, and despite its rising prevalence, it remains a diagnostic challenge for physicians. This study aimed to assess the knowledge and awareness of fibromyalgia among Nigerian physicians.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional, self-reported online survey. A total of 502 physicians participated in the study. The data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire. The questionnaire comprised of sociodemographic data and questions related to fibromyalgia. A scoring system was developed to stratify knowledge of fibromyalgia into very low, low, average, high, and very high. The level of significance was set at p<0.05.

Results: Responses were obtained from 502 physicians with a mean age of 36±7.02 years. Most of the respondents (41.3%) had low fibromyalgia knowledge levels. Only 15.2% of the respondents obtained their knowledge of fibromyalgia during their undergraduate training, and 33.5% were familiar with at least one diagnostic criteria. Physical exercise (79.2%), opioids (65.6%), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (63.8%) were the most selected treatment options. The years in clinical practice, type of health facility, respondents’ cadre, and specialty were significantly associated with fibromyalgia knowledge levels (p<0.001). The number of years in clinical practice was found to be a predictor of fibromyalgia knowledge (p=0.001).

Conclusions: This study found low levels of fibromyalgia knowledge among Nigerian physicians. The survey emphasizes the importance of improving Nigerian physicians' training modules for the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia.


Keywords


Awareness, Fibromyalgia, Knowledge, Physician

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References


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