Background: Identification of population at risk of NAFLD necessitates knowledge about associated conditions, screening strategies, in addition to a time investment to perform an evaluation. Furthermore, knowledge about management strategies including self-management and appropriate referral is a key to reducing further morbidity and excess mortality.
Objectives: To assess the knowledge, awareness of management strategies, attitudes, and perceptions regarding NAFLD, and the barriers to providing care for patients diagnosed with NAFLD.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey among family physicians at Primary Health Center at Prince Sultan Medical Military City (PSMMC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Data was collected through a self-administrated questionnaire that contains questions that measure the level of knowledge, attitude, and practice barriers, besides the demographic data. The questionnaire was taken from another study after taking the author's permission.
Results: A total of 160 family physicians participated in the current study, 56.58%were males, and the qualifications were mostly (60.87%) SBFM. The overall mean (±SD) score of the knowledge level was 5.12, indicating a poor knowledge level. The total mean score differed significantly only by the number of years passing out faculty. More than half (53.9%) of the participants reported screening obese and diabetic patients for NAFLD, and 61.3% refer NAFLD patients to a gastroenterologist. Only 6.2% of the participated physicians know the NAFLD prevalence in Saudi Arabia, and less than one-quarter (23.6%) know who they should screen for NAFLD. Lack of patients compliance and lack of physician confidence were the main barriers to NAFLD management among the participated physicians, by 62.1%, and 43.5%, respectively.
Conclusion: Overall, the knowledge level about NAFLD among the participated physicians is poor, which highlights the need for a better understanding of NAFLD and the best way forward would be continuous medical education of clinicians on this subject.