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Assessment of Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice of the Physicians working in private dispensaries and hospitals in Riyadh city Toward Surveillance System


Effective surveillance is the key to effective disease control in the community. It is an important source of epidemiological information. Once an infectious disease has been detected (or suspected) it should be notified to the local health authority, whose responsibility is to put into operation control and preventive measures. However, the knowledge of reporting requirements and responsibilities among physicians has not been examined adequately as a cause of under reporting. This study was designed to assess the knowledge, attitude, practice of physicians in Riyadh private hospitals and dispensaries about disease surveillance.


The study was conducted as a cross sectional study, using self-administered questionnaire. A multistage stratified random cluster sampling technique was used, to identify the physicians in Riyadh private hospitals and dispensaries to be recruited into the study.


A total of 255 physicians were included in this study, out of them 76.5% were male, 46.7% were in age group of 36 - 45 years, and almost, all of them were non Saudi. Of all participating physicians, 76.9% were working in private dispensaries, 14.9% of them were having one year experience in the field of health in Saudi Arabia, about 44% of them were seen to have good knowledge about definition and components of the surveillance system, and only about 9% of them had good knowledge about the correct time for notification. About 76% of participating physicians agree that the case definition in the surveillance system is clear, 63.5% of them agree that the operating surveillance system is good, 67% of them agree that the notifiable diseases are sufficient, only 6% of them had attended training courses in surveillance system, and 47% never received any feedback. There was a statically significant difference in knowledge about surveillance found between physicians according to their work place.


This study had shown that the knowledge of disease notification among doctors working in Riyadh private hospitals and dispensaries was poor, and this poor knowledge can affect disease surveillance. The training and retraining of physicians on disease notification, and regular feedback on diseases reported was recommended in order to improve the disease surveillance system.