Healthcare Workers’ Knowledge about Chagas Disease: A Systematic Review

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  • 1 Faculdade de Medicina da Bahia, Universidade Federal da Bahia (FAMEB-UFBA), Salvador, Brazil;
  • 2 Instituto Gonçalo Muniz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (IGM-FIOCRUZ), Salvador, Brazil;
  • 3 Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut

Transmission of Chagas disease (CD) has decreased in recent decades, but the disease remains an important problem in endemic areas. There was an increase in the proportion of nonvector transmission, mainly in non-endemic countries. The aim of this study was to gather evidence concerning healthcare professional’s knowledge about CD. Searches were performed through Medline/PubMed, Lilacs, Web of Science databases, and Scielo archives, from which 13/97 articles were selected for a qualitative analysis after full-text reading. Most of the studies were from the United States, the oldest published in 2007 and the most recent in 2020, and most of them used surveys as the evaluation method. Each article used different methods, according to the epidemiological status of vector transmission. Two studies targeted specialty-related questions, and two used focus groups as methods for data gathering. Despite differences between the studies, all of them presented knowledge deficits among healthcare workers, regarding at least one of the evaluated aspects. In comparison with population surveys, healthcare professionals demonstrated higher results related to clinical aspects and awareness of the disease’s importance. Most of the articles showed a low perception of CD’s knowledge by the participants and a low probability of considering CD in the diagnosis of their patients. A previous contact with the subject was pointed by some studies as capable of improving knowledge of the participants. This study emphasizes the importance of continuing education to address deficits of healthcare professionals’ knowledge.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Alice Monteiro Soares Cajaiba Soares, Faculdade de Medicina da Bahia, Universidade Federal da Bahia (FAMEB-UFBA), Salvador 40110-060, Brazil. E-mail: alicecajaiba@gmail.com

Title: Multidisciplinary Interinstitutional Project for the Study of Chagas Disease in the State of Bahia FAPESB Grant Term PET0023_2013.

Title: Environmental Changes and Risk of Re-emergence of Chagas Disease in Salvador, Ba. - Neglected Diseases.

Financial support: This study was funded by CNPq process 400904/2013-6-PROEP.

Authors’ addresses: Alice Monteiro Soares Cajaiba Soares and Rita de Cássia Pereira Fernandes, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Faculdade de Medicina da Bahia, Salvador, Brazil, E-mails: alicecajaiba@gmail.com and ritafernandes@ufba.br. Martha Silvia Martinez-Silveira, Instituto Gonçalo Muniz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Salvador, Brazil, E-mail: martha.silveira@fiocruz.br. Diego Lopes Paim Miranda, Laboratório de Patologia e Biologia Molecular, Fiocruz Bahia, Salvador, Brazil, E-mail: diegolpmiranda@hotmail.com. Mitermayer Galvão Reis, Instituto Gonçalo Muniz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Salvador, Brazil, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Faculdade de Medicina da Bahia, Salvador, Brazil, and Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, E-mail: mitermayer.reis@fiocruz.br.

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