Open Access Open Badges Research article

Attentiveness of pediatricians to primary immunodeficiency disorders

Suleiman Al-Hammadi1*, Eiman Al-Reyami2, Sareea Al-Remeithi3, Khawla Al-Zaabi4, Rola Al-Zir5, Heba Al-Sagban6, Taoufik Zoubaidi7 and Abdul-Kader Souid1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UAE University, P.O. Box 17666, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates

2 Department of Pediatrics, Saqr Hospital, Ras Al-Khimah, United Arab Emirates

3 Department of Pediatrics, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

4 Department of Pediatrics, Kalba Hospital, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

5 Department of Pediatrics, Al-Wasl Hospital, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

6 Department of Pediatrics, Dubai Hospital, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

7 Department of Statistics, Faculty of Business and Economics, UAE University, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:393  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-393

Published: 31 July 2012



Primary immunodeficiency (PID) is a cluster of serious disorders that requires special alertness on the part of the medical staff for prompt diagnosis and management of the patient. This study explored PID knowledge and experience among pediatricians of wide educational backgrounds, practicing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


A self-administered questionnaire was used to determine the competency of pediatricians in their knowledge of PID disorders. This study questionnaire included questions on PID signs and symptoms, syndromes associated with immunodeficiency, screening tests, interpreting laboratory tests and case management. The participants were 263 pediatricians of diverse education working in the 27 governmental hospitals in all regions of UAE.


The overall performance of the pediatricians did not differ based on their age, gender, origin of certification, rank, or years of experience. Of the 50 questions, 20% of pediatricians answered correctly <60% of the questions, 76% answered correctly 60 to 79% of the questions, and 4% answered correctly ≥80% of the questions. Seventeen of the 19 PID signs and symptoms were identified by 55 to 97%. Four of 5 syndromes associated with immunodeficiency were identified by 50 to 90%. Appropriate screening tests were chosen by 64 to 96%. Attention to the laboratory reference range values as function of patient age was notably limited.


There was a noteworthy deficiency in PID work-up. Therefore, implementing effective educational strategies is needed to improve the competency of pediatricians to diagnose and manage PID disorders.

Survey; Primary immunodeficiency; Knowledge; Diagnosis; Management