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Knowledge of lymphadenopathies, and sincerity in reportage of lymph node examination findings: survey of medical and dental students

Kehinde K. Kanmodi
Babatunde A. Amoo
Timothy O. Aladelusi


Background: Lymphadenopathy is a common clinical finding, and it may also be the first, if not the only indication of an underlying disease condition in patients. Its finding may be pivotal in the diagnosis of many disease conditions. Therefore, sound knowledge of lymphadenopathies is an essential diagnostic tool in proper patient evaluation.

Objectives: To assess the knowledge of medical and dental students on lymphadenopathies. To explore the reportage of their findings on submandibular lymph node (SMLN) examination and to investigate factors that might have influenced the reportage in the past.

Methodology: This was a cross-sectional survey of medical and dental students at the University of Ibadan using a self-administered questionnaire.

Results: The mean age of the 179 respondents was 22.68 (+ 2.21) years. Sixty percent were males and 68.2% were studying Medicine. The majority (96.5%) could associate tender SMLNs with acute infection, and 82.6% could associate stony hard SMLNs with cancer. However, only 55.5% could associate rubbery SMLNs with lymphoma, while 50.9% could associate matted SMLNs with tuberculosis. Forty (22.3%) had presented false report about their findings (on the examination of SMLNs), and the number of times which these respondents had presented such false reports ranged from 1 to 20 times. No association was found between the presentation of false SMLN reports and the respondents' level of study (χ2= 4.87, p= 0.18). The top three reasons given for presenting false report of SMLNs examination were fear of consultant/lecturer, inadequate time to examine SMLNs, and unwillingness of patients to be examined.

Conclusion: The knowledge of our study population on lymphadenopathies is inadequate. Their attitudes toward the examination and sincere reportage of their findings on lymphadenopathies of SMLNs need to be enhanced. Emphasis should be placed on the importance of SMLNs examination and its correct reporting among medical students during clerking and presentations.

Keywords: Clinical Examination, Ibadan Medical School, Skill acquisition, Submandibular lymph nodes

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eISSN: 3027-2890
print ISSN: 1115-0521