Journal of Parasitology Research (2021-01-01)

Physician Perception and Diagnosis of Intestinal Parasitic Infections among Patients with Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Ghana

  • Verner N. Orish,
  • Saviour Anorkplim Simpiney,
  • Sylvester Yao Lokpo,
  • Percival D. Agordoh,
  • Duniesky Martinez Lopez,
  • Thelma M. Alalbila,
  • Adekunle Sanyaolu

DOI
https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/6695313
Journal volume & issue
Vol. 2021

Abstract

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This study evaluated physicians’ perception and diagnosis of intestinal parasitic infections (IPI) in patients with gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. This cross-sectional survey used a Google form questionnaire distributed online. Demographic and clinical practice information was solicited, including if “IPI was considered as a diagnosis in the last patient seen,” “if stool investigation was requested among the last patients seen,” and physicians’ perception of the burden of IPI in the country. Using Pearson chi-square and multivariate logistic regression analysis, we tested the significance of the associations of the job cadre of the physicians and their perception of the IPI burden with consideration of IPI as a diagnosis in the last patient seen, request for stool investigation in the last patient seen, and overall frequency of the request for stool investigation. Ultimately, 184 physicians responded. The majority agreed to “often seeing patients with GI symptoms” (156, 84.7%), “not considering IPI among the last patient seen” (106, 57.6%), and “not requesting stool investigation among the last patient seen with symptoms” (136, 73.9%). House officers (81, 44.2%) constituted the highest proportion of physicians who considered IPI as a diagnosis among the last patient seen (39, 48.1%, p=0.05). Most physicians (138, 75%) considered IPI as a burden in Ghana. They constituted significant proportions of the physicians who considered IPI as a diagnosis among their last patients seen (65, 83.3%, p=0.02) and were twice more likely to consider IPI as a diagnosis among the last patients seen than their colleagues who did not consider IPI as a burden in Ghana (AOR 2.26, p=0.04). The consideration of IPI as a diagnosis among patients with GI symptoms and request for stool investigations was low among physicians in this study. Further engagements with physicians in Ghana are needed to help improve their diagnosis of IPI in patients with GI symptoms.