Aim: To assess the level of knowledge for bronchial asthma of the primary healthcare physicians serving a rural population on the island of Crete, both before and immediately after a one-day educational course. Methods: Twenty-one primary health care physicians, randomly selected from a list of 14 Health Care Centres on the island of Crete were invited to participate in the study and attended an educational course. Nine of the 21 physicians were fully qualified general practitioners, while the remainder were non-specialized (NSs) physicians who had recently graduated from the University of Crete, Medical School. A questionnaire of 20 items based on current bronchial asthma clinical guidelines was used. Three scores, the mean total, knowledge subscore and attitudes subscore, were calculated for each group of physicians, both before and after the course. Results: At baseline mean total score and knowledge and attitudes subscores were higher for non-specialized physicians than for the general practitioners, but the differences were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). The knowledge subscore was improved in both groups, however the difference was statistically significant only for the non-specialized physicians (t = 2.628, d.f. = 11, p < 0.05). The mean total score after the course was significantly higher for the non-specialized physicians in comparison to that of the general practitioners (t=-2.688, d.f. = 19, p < 0.05). Conclusions: This study adds to the information about the success of continuing medical education, and also demonstrates that the recent graduates in the studied population, could be educated with more positive results than the fully qualified practitioners.
2001. Vol. 1