Background: Relatively few studies have been carried out regarding assessment of knowledge and attitude of primary care physicians in Saudi Arabia towards Basic Life Support (BLS) and its training, as most of the studies were carried out among health care professionals in general, with the emphasis on hospital workers.
Aim: The aim of the study was to determine the knowledge and attitude of primary health care physicians in Taif towards BLS, in order to identify deficient points for further intervention.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in a random sample of primary health care centers in Taif city, Saudi Arabia, from January 2018 to June 2018. Primary health care physicians working in these centers constituted the target population of the study. A pre-designed self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from the physicians. The questionnaire included sociodemographic data, history of attending training courses in BLS and obtaining a BLS license, and knowledge and attitude. Data were analyzed by IBM-SPSS version 22, using descriptive statistics, Chi-square test of independence, multivariate logistic regression, and calculating the odds ratios and adjusted odds ratios. A p-value of ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: One hundred and eighty three primary health care physicians were included in the study. About two-thirds of them (65.6%) were males. The majority of the participants (82%) were non-Saudis. All participants had attended BLS training courses. The majority of them (98.9%) had a valid BLS certificate. Overall, satisfactory knowledge regarding BLS was observed among 56.3% of the PHC physicians. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that non-Saudi physicians had a lower probability of having unsatisfactory BLS knowledge compared to Saudi physicians (Adjusted odds ratio “AOR”=0.30, 95% CI: 0.12-0.75, p=0.010). Compared to physicians with 5 years or less experience in PHC practice, those having more than 10 years of practice were at almost three-fold the risk of having unsatisfactory BLS knowledge (AOR=2.99, 95% CI: 1.27-7.03, p=0.012). Considering physicians who had Bachelor of Medicine (MBBS) as a reference category, Master holder physicians were less likely to have unsatisfactory BLS knowledge (AOR=0.17, 95% CI:0.03-0.83, p=0.030), whereas FM board certified physicians were more likely to have unsatisfactory BLS knowledge (AOR=5.14, 95% CI: 2.28-21.08, p=0.004). Physicians` age was significantly associated with BLS knowledge (p=0.017), but the magnitude of the association was low (Cramer's V coefficient =0.211).
Conclusion: Knowledge of physicians regarding BLS was unsatisfactory in some issues. More than half of the PHC physicians had satisfactory knowledge. Attitude of the physicians towards BLS was positive in Saudi physicians, and family medicine residents had more negative attitude towards BLS than their counterparts did. Since the BLS certificate is validated for two years, additional courses could be given to primary health care physicians between the mandatory courses.
Keywords: Basic Life Support, Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation, American Heart Association


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