Original Research

Medical practitioners’ knowledge and awareness of multiple myeloma at public hospitals, Gauteng, South Africa

Andiswa M. Pooe, Abegail N. Dlova, Sam T. Ntuli
South African Family Practice | Vol 65, No 1 : Part 3| a5644 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v65i1.5644 | © 2023 Andiswa M. Pooe, Abegail N. Dlova, Sam T. Ntuli | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 October 2022 | Published: 27 June 2023

About the author(s)

Andiswa M. Pooe, Department of Haematology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho University, Pretoria, South Africa
Abegail N. Dlova, Department of Haematology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho University, Pretoria, South Africa
Sam T. Ntuli, Department of Statistics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Sefako Makgatho University, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell malignancy associated with morbidity and mortality worldwide, and most patients are referred for specialist care very late with complications. The low index of suspicion among medical practitioners is among the reasons for the delay in MM diagnosis and management. This study aimed to determine the level of awareness and knowledge of MM among medical practitioners working in public hospitals of Tshwane Municipality, Gauteng Province, South Africa.

Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study on 74 doctors working in three district, one regional and one central hospital using a convenience sampling.

Results: Seventy-four medical practitioners participated in this study. Their median age was 37 years with an interquartile range of 43–30 years. The majority (85%) of the respondents were aware of MM, while 74% were knowledgeable regarding MM presentations and diagnostic investigations.

Conclusion: The findings highlighted a high level of awareness and knowledge of MM among the study population, but almost all of the participants requested an educational information brochure on MM.

Contribution: Medical practitioners have a high level of awareness of multiple myeloma; however, there is a discrepancy between this level of awareness and the delayed presentation of patients at the public hospitals. As primary healthcare in South Africa is nurse-driven, the study indicates that not all primary healthcare providers may be aware of this disease. Future awareness campaigns should target other primary healthcare providers, including nurses and private general practitioners.


Keywords

multiple myeloma; awareness; knowledge; Gauteng Province; South Africa

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