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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-24

Knowledge and training needs of primary healthcare physicians regarding obesity management in Saudi Arabia

1 General Directorate for the Prevention of Genetic and Chronic Diseases, Asser, KSA
2 Department of Family Medicine, Asser, KSA
3 Public Health Institute Federal Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 Collage of Public Health and Health Informatics, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
5 Research Unit, KAIMRC, NGHA, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Shaker A Alomary
Director of the Obesity Control Program, General Directorate for the Prevention of Genetic and Chronic Diseases, Asst. Deputy of Public Health G, Ministery of Health
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2347-2618.184952

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Background: Obesity in Saudi Arabia is reaching an alarming level and hence the role of primary healthcare physicians becomes a necessity. Objective: This study aims to evaluate primary health care knowledge and the training needs with respect to managing obesity in Saudi Arabia. Methods: A questionnaire based cross-sectional survey was conducted among PHCC physicians in Saudi Arabia between May and October 2014. Questionnaire consisted of three parts; demographic data, questions about basic knowledge on obesity and training needs of PHCC physician regarding obesity. Questionnaire was distributed to selected physicians and response by ordinary mail through technical supervisors in general directorates all over KSA. Data entry and analysis were s carried out using SPSS. Results: Seven Hundred and seven physicians completed the questionnaire and returned it to the investigator. General knowledge about obesity was acceptable, as most of questions were answered correctly, 83.6% of the physicians had not received any specialized course or training on obesity. Priority of training requested by physicians was psychotherapy, medications (88%), counseling on nutrition/exercise (84%), and surgical therapy (75%). The difference regarding needs for training was not significantly different in relation to gender and nationality. Conclusion: This nationwide survey found that physicians had acceptable knowledge towards the management of obesity and overweight, however, they need to have more training regarding prevention and management of obesity.

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