Open Access Research article

Assessing the knowledge of bronchial asthma among primary health care physicians in Crete: A pre- and post-test following an educational course

Emmanouil Rovithis1*, Christos Lionis12, Sofia E Schiza3, Dimosthenis Bouros3, Antonis Karokis1, loannis Vlachonikolis4 and Nikolaos M Siafakas3

Author Affiliations

1 Clinic of Social and Family Medicine, Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Crete, 71409 Heraklion, Crete, Greece

2 Department of Medicine and Care, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Linkoping, Sweden

3 Department ofThoracic Medicine, University Hospital of Heraklion, Crete, Greece

4 Biostatistics Laboratory, Department of Social Medicine, University of Crete, Greece

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BMC Medical Education 2001, 1:2  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-1-2

Published: 1 August 2001



To assess the level of knowledge for bronchial asthma of the primary healthcare physicians serving a rural population on the island of Crete, both before and immediately after a one-day educational course.


Twenty-one primary health care physicians, randomly selected from a list of 14 Health Care Centres on the island of Crete were invited to participate in the study and attended an educational course. Nine of the 21 physicians were fully qualified general practitioners, while the remainder were non-specialized (NSs) physicians who had recently graduated from the University of Crete, Medical School. A questionnaire of 20 items based on current bronchial asthma clinical guidelines was used. Three scores, the mean total, knowledge subscore and attitudes subscore, were calculated for each group of physicians, both before and after the course.


At baseline mean total score and knowledge and attitudes subscores were higher for non-specialized physicians than for the general practitioners, but the differences were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). The knowledge subscore was improved in both groups, however the difference was statistically significant only for the non-specialized physicians (t = 2.628, d.f. = 11, p < 0.05). The mean total score after the course was significantly higher for the non-specialized physicians in comparison to that of the general practitioners (t=-2.688, d.f. = 19, p < 0.05).


This study adds to the information about the success of continuing medical education, and also demonstrates that the recent graduates in the studied population, could be educated with more positive results than the fully qualified practitioners