Measuring the knowledge of juvenile idiopathic arthritis among Israeli paediatricians and paediatric orthopaedic surgeons: what needs to be improved?

D. Schujovitzky, A. Ziv, M. Heshin Bekenstein, S. Eylon, Z. Grossman, P. J. Hashkes, Y. Uziel, R. Haviv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective Approximately 1 child in 1,000 is affected by juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Persistent, undiagnosed JIA with high disease activity interferes with daily life and carries a risk of irreversible physical and psychosocial damage. Due to its relative rarity, primary care physicians often do not recognise it. Consequently, diagnosis and referral to paediatric rheumatologists are delayed. We aimed to evaluate the knowledge of Israeli paediatricians and paediatric orthopaedic surgeons regarding the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, laboratory parameters and treatment of JIA. Methods An 11-item, online questionnaire regarding JIA was sent to Israeli paediatricians and paediatric orthopaedic surgeons. The questionnaire was completed by 318 paediatricians and 30 paediatric orthopaedic surgeons (total response rate 22.5%). Results The average score was 67/100 points and the pass rate was 70.1% (set at 60 points). Several factors were associated with better overall scores: paediatric residents compared to senior physicians, exposure to rheumatology during residency, and seeing more patients with JIA in the past 5 years. No significant difference was found between paediatricians and paediatric orthopaedic surgeons. The true incidence of JIA was underestimated by 40% of participants, 30–45% were not familiar with its clinical presentation (age of onset, pain characteristics, chronic uveitis symptoms), and 60% were not familiar with up-to-date treatments. Conclusion Paediatricians and paediatric orthopaedic surgeons in Israel have gaps in knowledge regarding JIA. This could result in delayed referral and treatment, which might affect outcomes. The results of this study highlight the need for better education and exposure to a rheumatologist, to improve knowledge and recognition of JIA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2188-2193
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Volume40
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • education
  • health survey
  • juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • knowledge

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