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Knowledge of childhood asthma among medical students

Knowledge of childhood asthma among medical students

Asian Pacific Journal of Allergy and Immunology 15(4): 177-182

As future health care providers medical students should acquire an adequate knowledge of bronchial asthma before graduation from medical school. The aim of this study was to assess whether knowledge about childhood asthma increased during the medical course. The 590 medical students enrolled in the School of Medical Sciences, University of Science Malaysia during the 1995/96 session were studied utilizing a validated questionnaire. There was a significant increase in the mean total scores from 11 (95% CI 10.5-11.6) in Year 1 to 23.4 (95% CI 22.9-24) in Year 5. Questions about symptoms of asthma, pathogenesis of airway narrowing during acute exacerbations, preventive and reliever medications, side effects of steroids, addiction to asthma drugs and assessment of severity revealed a progressive increase in knowledge over the five years. Among 5th year medical students 44.6% named infection and 65.1% named exercise as two common triggers of childhood asthma; only 30.1% could name two prophylactic drugs for asthma. Although the asthma knowledge of medical students increased progressively during the five year curriculum, their knowledge regarding trigger factors and preventive medications were deficient. As childhood asthma affects some 10% of Malaysian children its importance requires greater emphasis in the medical curriculum.

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Accession: 046508400

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PMID: 9579609

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