Knowledge of healthcare professionals about poliomyelitis and postpoliomyelitis: a cross-sectional study


Sao Paulo Med. J.




ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Postpoliomyelitis syndrome is a clinical condition that can affect poliomyelitis survivors. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to evaluate knowledge of poliomyelitis and postpoliomyelitis syndrome among Brazilian healthcare professionals. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study conducted at a Brazilian public higher education institution located in the state of Goiás. METHODS: The participants (n = 578) were Brazilian physicians, physical therapists, nurses, nutritionists and psychologists. A self-administered questionnaire (30 questions) was designed to probe knowledge about poliomyelitis and postpoliomyelitis syndrome. From the questionnaire, we created a structured test to objectively evaluate the knowledge of these professionals. The test was composed of 20 questions and was scored over a range from 0 (totally ill-informed) to 20 (totally well-informed). RESULTS: In general, the physicians, physical therapists and nurses demonstrated better understanding of poliomyelitis and postpoliomyelitis syndrome. The healthcare professionals who had received previous information about poliomyelitis and postpoliomyelitis syndrome had significantly higher scores than those who had never received information (P < 0.001). On average, this difference was approximately 28.6%. CONCLUSIONS: The findings from the present study indicate that there is a critical need for improvement of knowledge about postpoliomyelitis syndrome among Brazilian healthcare professionals. The services provided by these professionals may therefore become compromised. Furthermore, public healthcare initiatives should be implemented to improve knowledge among healthcare professionals.

Documentos Relacionados