Knowledge and Awareness of Rheumatic Valvular Heart Disease among Diagnosed Patients
Objectives: To assess the knowledge about valvular heart disease among the patients who are already diagnosed with rheumatic valvular heart disease (RVHD).
Methodology: In this cross-sectional study was conducted at the outpatient of a tertiary care cardiac centre. We included consecutive patients of either gender between 18 to 60 years of age with the established diagnosis of RVHD. Their knowledge and awareness regarding the disease itself and regarding its primary and secondary prevention and treatment options was assessed with the help of a structured self-developed questionnaire.
Results: Among the study sample of 505 patients, 255 (50.5%) were male and overall mean age was 37.3 ± 10.9 years. A majority (90.3%) of the patients had household income of ≤ PKR 40,000 and 35.3% were illiterate. More than 41% were not aware of their diagnosis, 40% were aware of childhood infection as the cause of RVHD. About 40% of the patients could not recall history of fever/sore throat in past. About 19.8% of the patients considered percutaneous transvenous mitral commissurotomy as complete cure for RVHD and 46.3% of the patients were not aware of a prophylactic treatment. Only 33.9% considered the need to maintain good dental hygiene as part of the prophylactic treatment.
Conclusion: High incidence of lack of awareness regarding their disease and its prophylaxis in our study population is alarming. To improve the RHD awareness, sessions and seminars should be arranged in the general population. Further studies are required to identify the cause and hence identifying measures to improve awareness.
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