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Schizophrenia diagnosis and treatment by general practitioners: A cross-sectional study in district Peshawar, Pakistan

Irfan, Muhammad; Miguel Caldas de Almeida, José; MP Irfan, Uma; Ahmad Raza, Usman; Farooq, Saeed


Muhammad Irfan

José Miguel Caldas de Almeida

Uma MP Irfan

Usman Ahmad Raza


Objective: To assess the knowledge and practices of general practitioners about diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia and determine their association with clinical exposure to such cases in practice.
Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted in Peshawar from August 2009 to December 2011 at the clinics of general practitioners enrolled with the provincial Health Regulation Authority. All the listed GPs were contacted and those consenting to participate were included. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to assess their knowledge and practices related to diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia. They were categorised as having Good Knowledge/Practice, in this regard, when they responded to >60% of the questions correctly.
Results: Of the 135 general practitioners contacted, 114(84.5%) agreed to participate and represented the study sample. Of them, 61(53.5%) physicians did not treat any diagnosed case while 15(13.2%) treated more than 10(8.8%) annually. Only 6(5.3%) practitioners spent more than 30 minutes, while 22(19.3%) spent less than 10 minutes per patient. Besides, 14(12.3%) practitioners had good knowledge about schizophrenia diagnosis and treatment, while 100(87.7%) had poor or no knowledge. Similarly, 32(28.1%) practitioners had good practice skills regarding schizophrenia compared to 82(71.9%) having poor practice skills or no practice regarding schizophrenia. General practitioners who were not treating any patients with schizophrenia had lower knowledge and practice scores compared to those who were treating one or more patients with schizophrenia annually (p<0.001 each).
Conclusion: The knowledge and practice skills of general physicians were below average by medical standards regarding schizophrenia diagnosis and treatment.


Irfan, M., Miguel Caldas de Almeida, J., MP Irfan, U., Ahmad Raza, U., & Farooq, S. (2015). Schizophrenia diagnosis and treatment by general practitioners: A cross-sectional study in district Peshawar, Pakistan. Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, 65(9), 937-942

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2015-09
Deposit Date Nov 30, 2023
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 65
Issue 9
Pages 937-942
Keywords Knowledge, Practice, Schizophrenia, General Practitioner (GP)
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