Objective: To assess the level of knowledge, attitude, and practice of Pakistani doctors regarding the diagnosis, management and prevention of iron deficiency anemia (IDA).
Methodology: This descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out at different teaching hospitals and private clinics all over Pakistan from February to August 2015. Close-ended questionnaires were distributed to a convenience sample of 220 general physicians and gynecologists. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 20.0.
Results: Out of 220 questionnaires sent, 154 (70.0%) were duly filled and returned. Among these, 84 (54.5%) were working in private clinics and 70 (45.5%) in teaching hospitals. The mean age of health care professionals was 42.4±8.4 years and the male to female ratio was 1:3. Regarding diagnosis of IDA, 44 (28.6%) diagnosed it clinically and on complete blood count (CBC); 41 (26.6%) on clinical grounds only, 36 (23.4%) by using CBC only, and 20 (13%) by all three tools. Only 13 (8.4%) diagnosed it through serum iron profile. Majority of physicians prescribed iron supplements along with diet (n=140: 90.9%) and 14 (9.1%) advised iron supplements only. No one prescribed treatment of IDA with diet only. Mostly oral iron therapy was prescribed in around 68.8%. Less than one month therapy was prescribed in 28 (18.18%), 1-3 months in 65 (42.2%), and >3 months in 61 (39.61%).
Conclusion: Our survey demonstrated that most healthcare professionals were aware of IDA and were following the standard guidelines for diagnosis, management and prevention of this disease.
General physicians, gynecologists, iron deficiency anemia, survey.