Category: Professional Posters
Purpose: Probiotics use has increased drastically over the past couple of years, and has accompanied the ascent of antibiotics resistance. With the large diverse availability of probiotics strains and brands in the Lebanese market, a major concern has emerged, which is the prescribers’ extent of the awareness and knowledge of probiotics and their use. This study was conducted to assess the Lebanese pediatricians’ knowledge, attitude and practice of probiotics in acute infectious diarrhea in children.
Methods: A cross sectional multi-center observational study was performed. It included Lebanese pediatricians who are a member of the Lebanese Order of Physicians as well as the Lebanese Pediatric Society, and provided us with an informed consent to participate in the study. The participants were selected by convenience; they were required to fill a comprehensive questionnaire made up of five parts including demographics, knowledge about probiotics, attitude, practice, and knowledge about acute infectious diarrhea in children. A total knowledge score of 32 points (12 points for probiotics’ knowledge and 20 points for their proper use in acute infectious diarrhea) was computed. The primary outcome was to assess the knowledge of pediatricians about probiotics and its use in acute infectious diarrhea in children. As for the secondary outcome, it included the association of different variables on the knowledge score.
Results: Out of 138 eligible pediatricians, 126 completed the questionnaire. Ninety one point one percent of pediatricians were familiar with the proper definition of probiotics whereas 39.8% acknowledged the correct definition of acute infectious diarrhea. Eighty three point one percent of participants believed that probiotics are beneficial and 98.6% prescribed probiotics. The reported median knowledge score was 22 [18-25] points. Linear regression showed that females had a higher knowledge score than males (B coefficient=2.16, P value=0.013), and those prescribing probiotics had a higher knowledge score when compared to those who don’t (B coefficient=2.93, P value=0.045). As for the consultations number per day, those examining 10-20 patients per day had a higher knowledge score than those examining more than 20 patients, and less than 10 patients per day (B coefficient=1.46, P value=0.017).
Conclusion: The data showed a good pattern of prescription of probiotics along with an acceptable knowledge of probiotics and their use, precisely in acute infectious diarrhea, yet it could be further improved. This study emphasizes the importance of continuous education for pediatricians via conferences, lectures, or workshops in order to provide the optimal health care for their patients.