Knowledge, attitude and practice of venous thromboembolism prophylaxis among medical practitioners in a teaching hospital setting
Background: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common and potentially fatal clinical condition that is both preventable and treatable. The risk factors for the disease cut across patients and general population which underscores the need for prophylactic measures, early identification and prompt treatment. We aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of prophylaxis in venous thromboembolism among medical doctors in Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, North-West Nigeria.
Methodology: The knowledge, attitude and practice of VTE prophylaxis among medical doctors was assessed using a validated self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of two sections and a total of thirteen questions enquiring on knowledge and attitude/practice of VTE management.
Results: A response rate of 80.5% was obtained following the administration of 200 questionnaires in this survey between July and December 2015. The majority of respondents were males (81.4%) and junior residents (41.6%) with a mean VTE prophylaxis knowledge score of 4.56±1.545. Importance of VTE prophylaxis in clinical practice received an overwhelming concordance among respondents (93.8%). However, about 55.9% admitted to ever prescribing VTE prophylaxis with 8.7% doing it routinely. Low molecular weight heparin was the most frequently used agent for VTE prophylaxis among respondents (40.4%), and there was paucity of knowledge on VTE prevalence in clinical practice among the respondents.
Conclusion: Majority of the practitioners were knowledgeable about VTE and agreed that prophylactic measures are pivotal in preventing and/or reducing morbidity and mortality from the disease. Practice of VTE prophylaxis was suboptimal among the respondents, and the contributory factors included paucity of clear cut guidelines and inadequate knowledge of the disease magnitude. These underscore the need for guidelines towards VTE prophylaxis.
Keywords: Pulmonary embolism, risk factors, health knowledge, preventive