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Original Articles

Knowledge, attitudes and practices of medical officers in two selected teaching hospitals in the Colombo District in the application of non-communicable disease prevention activities in the ward setting

Authors:

Nalinda Tharanga Wellappuli,

Ministry of Health
About Nalinda

Medical Officer

Organization Development Unit

Ministry of Health

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Nalika Sepali Gunawardana

Faculty of Medicine University of Colombo, LK
About Nalika
Professor in Community Medicine
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Abstract

Background
Non-communicable diseases (NCD) are a significant health problem in Sri Lanka. The national health policy recommends building the capacity of Medical Officers (MO) in the national health system to address this issue. This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices of MOs in two teaching hospitals in the Colombo District in applying NCD prevention activities in the ward setting.

Methods
A cross-sectional study to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices of 465 MOs of two teaching hospitals was conducted using a self-administered questionnaire.

Results
Only 43.7% of MOs possessed a ‘good’ level of knowledge regarding NCD prevention. Only 41.4% were able to name three NCDs that could be screened for and only 18.4% were aware of the location of screening services. Of the MOs, 68% knew of three primary/primordial NCD prevention activities that could be applied in the ward setting. A majority (76.6%) showed favourable attitudes to applying NCD prevention in wards. Considering practices, only 43% provided lifestyle guidance to all in-patients with NCDs and only 14.3% advised family members of patients regarding their role in NCD prevention. Reported barriers to implement NCD prevention were lack of; time (85.9%) and lack of training (47%).

Conclusions and recommendations
Knowledge and practices of NCD prevention strategies that are applicable in ward settings was poor among the majority of MOs while attitudes were mostly favourable. The study recommends improving knowledge and overcoming identified barriers in order to promote MOs to take up NCD prevention in wards.

How to Cite: Wellappuli, N.T. & Gunawardana, N.S., (2015). Knowledge, attitudes and practices of medical officers in two selected teaching hospitals in the Colombo District in the application of non-communicable disease prevention activities in the ward setting. Journal of the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine. 2, pp.E12:1–E1214. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jpgim.7665
Published on 06 May 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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