Volume 6, Issue 4 (Oct-Dec 2017)                   JCHR 2017, 6(4): 240-247 | Back to browse issues page

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Badru A, Kanmodi K. Public Awareness about The Anaesthesiology Profession: A Conference Survey Of Campus People, Southwest Nigeria. JCHR. 2017; 6 (4) :240-247
URL: http://jhr.ssu.ac.ir/article-1-390-en.html
1- Emergency Department, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
2- Cephas Health Research Initiative Inc, Ibadan, Nigeria , kanmodikehinde@yahoo.com
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Public Awareness about the Anaesthesiology Profession: A Conference Survey of
Campus People, Southwest Nigeria
 
Adewale Ismahil Badru 1, Kehinde Kazeem Kanmodi 2, 3,  4*
 
  1. Emergency Department, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
  2. Cephas Health Research Initiative Inc, Ibadan, Nigeria
  3. Department of Dental and Maxillofacial Surgery, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria
  4. Community Health Officers Training Programme, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria
ARTICLE INFO ABSTRACT
Original
Received: 9 Oct 2017
Accepted: 3 Dec 2017
 
Introduction: There is little public awareness on the anaesthesiology profession among the Nigerian population. This study aims to determine the level of anaesthesiology profession awareness among the population of tertiary school students, academic and non-academic staff members who were attending a South-western Nigerian zonal conference.
Methods: Data obtained from a cross-section of 2,748 students, academic and non-academic staff members of various tertiary institutions in South-western Nigeria were used in this study. The study tool was a self-administered anonymous questionnaire which obtained information on the participants’ demographic profile and knowledge of the anaesthesiology profession. Data analysis was done using SPSS version 16 software.  
Results: The mean age of the 2,748 respondents was 22.6 years. Roughly half (48.4%) of them were males, 95.0% were singles, 85.7% were from the Yoruba tribe, and 69.1% were students. Only 32.8% of the respondents were aware of the anaesthesiology profession, most of which (35.0%) were aware of the profession through reading books. Furthermore, the most popular anaesthesiologist’s service known by them (i.e. those that were aware of the profession) was intraoperative analgesia (61.6%), while palliative care service was the least known (13.1%). Doctors were found to constitute one of the underutilised sources of information about this profession.
Conclusion: The anaesthesiology profession is poorly known among literate Nigerians; therefore, a serious public education is needed in this regard. If people are not well-informed about this profession, they will be at risk of falling into hands of unqualified personnel when they are in need of an anaesthesiologist. Furthermore, doctors need to pay more attention on making the public aware of various medical specialties.
 
Keywords: Anaesthesiology, Awareness,  Nigeria, School
 

 
 
Corresponding Author:
Dr Kehinde Kazeem Kanmodi
 

How to cite this paper:

Badru AI, Kanmodi KK. Public Awareness about Anaesthesiology Profession: A Conference Survey Of Campus People, Southwest Nigeria. J Community Health Research. 2017; 6(4): 240-7.

Introduction
Anaesthesiology is a medical specialty that is concerned with the pharmacological, physiological, and clinical basis of anaesthesia, including resuscitation, intensive respiratory care, and pain management (1). Doctors who are specialized in this medical specialty are called anaesthesiologists.
Public awareness about anaesthesiology profession is low in both the developing (2-6), and developed countries (7-9). This is a serious problem, and it had persistently created
problems for both the anaesthesiologist and the patient (3-10). Patients often find it difficult to properly identify who is professionally qualified to meet their anaesthetic needs (3), while anaesthesiologists are sometimes perceived by patients as a skilled surgeon-assistant (3, 10).
These problems need to be solved. They can be solved by public education about the anaesthesiology profession (2, 3). Before this problem can be solved effectively, the current level of awareness on the profession must first be known at the community level (9).
Research studies had shown that only few literate Nigerians were aware of the anaesthesiology profession, and virtually all of these studies were hospital-based (6). This indicates the need for a study that will measure public awareness rate at the community level.
This study aims to determine the level of awareness on the anaesthesiology profession among a population of people working/studying at different tertiary institutions in South-western Nigeria who are
also attending a South-western Nigerian religious conference. The study population is so peculiar because they are supposed to be more knowledgeable than other population groups. The outcome of this study has many benefits as it will help reveal how much this study population know about the role of anaesthesiologist in medical care.
Methods
This study was a cross-sectional survey of students, academic and non-academic staff members from various tertiary institutions within the South-western Nigeria geopolitical zone. This geopolitical zone comprises five states, namely: Oyo; Ondo; Osun; Ekiti; Lagos; and Ogun States (11). The participants were captured as conference delegates attending a non-scientific religious zonal conference that held in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, Nigeria, in 2014. The conference venue was Shogunro Camp Ground, Ibadan, and the date of conference was November 12th to 16th, 2014.
The approval for this present study was formally obtained from the Ministry of Education, Ibadan, Nigeria. The data collection license was also obtained from the conference organizers.
The research tool adopted for data collection was a 9 - item anonymous questionnaire which was developed from literature review (2-9). This questionnaire obtained information on the participants’ demographic profiles and knowledge of the anaesthesiology profession.  
According to the conference organizers, it was estimated   that 6,000 delegates will attend the conference. Based on this obtained statistical figure, the sample size for the study was determined using the Yamane formula:
n = N(1+N(e)2)–1
Where:
N is the population size (=6,000); and e is the precision level (=0.05) at 95% confidence level.
The calculated sample size (n) is 375.
In order to increase the strength of the study,
authors increased their sample size to 2,600
based on their convenience. Authors also planned
for the possibility of missing questionnaires; hence 3,000 questionnaires were printed for the data collection process. 
The participants were approached at the registration desks of the conference venue. They were informed about the purpose of the study and also that their participation was voluntary and confidential. Simple random sampling technique was used in the selection of the 2,996 delegates that participated in this study. Verbal informed consent was obtained from all the participants before they were issued a questionnaire to fill. All questionnaires were self-administered. Out of the 2,996 questionnaires that were issued out, only 2,760 were returned. A total of 12 inappropriately filled questionnaires were discarded during the data cleaning process; hence only the data of 2,748 respondents were statistically analysed for this study. Data analysis was done using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16 software. Analysed data were presented using tables and charts. 
Results
The mean age of the respondents was 22.6 years. The gender distribution of the respondents was fairly equal, with 51.3% of them being females. The majority (95.0%) of them were single, 85.7% were from the Yoruba tribe, and 69.1% were students (Table 1). Furthermore, less than half (46.3%) of them had their formal education to the bachelor degree level (Figure 1).
Table 1. Socio-demographic attributes of the respondents
Attributes [n=2,748] N %
Gender
Male 1330 48.4
Female 1410 51.3
Not specified 8 0.3
Marital status
Single 2611 95.0
Married 131 4.8
Widowed 1 0.0
Not specified 5 0.2
Age (in years)
16 – 25 2178 79.3
26 – 35 385 14.0
36 – 45 66 2.4
>45 26 0.9
Not specified 93 3.4
Mean age 22.6
Tribe
Yoruba 2356 85.7
Igbo 173 6.3
Hausa 1 0.0
Others 212 7.7
Not specified 6 0.2
Occupation
Health personnel 338 12.3
Non-health personnel 481 17.5
Student 1900 69.1
Not specified 29 1.1
n=total number of all respondents; N=total number of respondents in each category
 

Figure 1. Frequency distribution of the educational level of respondents
OND=ordinary national diploma; HND=higher national diploma; NCE=Nigerian certificate of education; BD=bachelor degree; PGD=postgraduate diploma; MD=master degree; DD=doctorate degree; OQ=other qualifications; NS=not specified
 
Only 902 (32.8) respondents had ever heard of the anaesthesiology profession (Figure 2). The anaesthesiology awareness rates among the respondents were also checked and illustrated in respect to their socio-demographic distribution (Figure 3). It was found that the highest levels of awareness rate about anaesthesiology were recorded among the health personnel (66%) and those that were between 36 to 40 years of age (66.7%). However, very low awareness rate (20.1%) on anaesthesiology was recorded among the students.
Furthermore, many of those respondents who were aware of anaesthesiology obtained their information regarding this profession from books (35.0%), internet (25.7%), and lectures (22.9%) (Table 2).
Tables 3, 4, and 5 depict the knowledge distribution of anaesthesiology among those respondents who were aware of anaesthesiology, based on their gender, age, and educational
level respectively. Surgical analgesia (61.6%) and management of patient’s sleep during surgery procedures (45.0%) were the most important anaesthesiologist's duties. Generally, male respondents within the ages of 36 to 45 years, and those who had doctoral degree level of education were recorded to have the highest knowledge about medical roles of an anaesthesiologist.

Figure 2. Response of the respondents to the variable “Before now, have you ever
heard of the profession called anaesthesiology?”

Figure 3. Column chart showing the socio-demographic distribution of the respondents in relationship with their yes/no responses to the variable “Before now, have you ever heard of the profession called anaesthesiology?”
NOTE: Data of respondents who gave incomplete response to the above cross-tabulated variables were not illustrated in this figure
A=health personnel; B=non-health personnel; C=students; D=male; E=female; F=ordinary national diploma; G=higher national diploma; H=Nigerian certificate of education; I=bachelor degree; J=postgraduate diploma; K=master degree; L=doctorate degree; M=other qualifications; O=16 – 25 years old; P=26 – 35 years old; Q=36 – 45 years old; R=more than 45 years of age
Table 2. Response of 902 respondents that have heard of anaesthesiology to the variable “If you have heard of anaesthesiology before, how did you get to know about anaesthesiology?”.
Source of information* N (%)
Books 316 (35.0)
Media 137 (15.2)
Internet 232 (25.7)
Lecture 207 (22.9)
Friends 141 (15.6)
Doctor 155 (17.2)
Nurse 87 (9.6)
Other sources 53 (5.9)
*Only 902 respondents had ever heard of anaesthesiology; N=total number of respondents in each category
Table 3. Distribution (based on gender) of responses of those 902 respondents that were aware of anaesthesiology to the variable “kindly tick the service(s) that you are aware of as part of what anaesthesiologists render to patients?”.
Response Gender Total (N=902)
Male (N=457) Female (N=442) NS (N=3)
Making patient to sleep during surgical operation 204 (44.6) 199 (45.0) 3 (100.0) 406 (45.0)
Ensuring that surgical operation is performed without pain 281 (61.5) 272 (61.5) 3 (100.0) 556 (61.6)
Caring for the critically ill patients in intensive care unit 91 (19.9) 67 (15.2) 2 (66.7) 160 (17.7)
Management of patient’s breathing pattern and ability 85 (18.6) 73 (16.5) 3 (100.0) 161 (17.8)
Management of pain in women during labour 140 (30.6) 121 (27.4) 2 (66.7) 263 (29.2)
Management of medical and surgical emergencies 108 (23.6) 101 (22.9) 1 (33.3) 210 (23.3)
Palliative care of patients with incurable diseases 67 (14.7) 50 (11.3) 2 (66.7) 119 (13.2)
NS=Not specified; N=total number of respondents in each category
Table 4. Distribution (based on age) of the responses of those 902 respondents that were aware of anaesthesiology to the variable “kindly tick the service(s) that you are aware of as part of what anaesthesiologists render to patients?”.
Response Age (in years) Total (N=902)
16 – 25  (N=704) 26 – 35  (N=136) 36 – 45  (N=44) >45 (N=13) NS (N=5)
Making patient to sleep during surgical operation 291 (41.3) 72 (52.9) 31 (70.5) 9 (69.2) 3 (60.0) 406 (45.0)
Ensuring that surgical operation is performed without pain 417 (59.2) 90 (66.2) 35 (79.5) 10 (77.0) 4 (80.0) 556 (61.6)
Caring for the critically ill patients in intensive care unit 108 (15.3) 35 (25.7) 16 (36.4) 1 (7.7) 0 (0.0) 160 (17.7)
Management of patient’s breathing pattern and ability 103 (14.6) 37 (27.2) 17 (38.6) 3 (23.1) 1 (20.0) 161 (17.8)
Management of pain in women during labour 183 (26.0) 53 (39.0) 20 (45.5) 4 (30.8) 3 (60.0) 263 (29.2)
Management of medical and surgical emergencies 151 (21.4) 35 (25.7) 20 (45.5) 3 (23.1) 1 (20.0) 210 (23.3)
Palliative care of patients with incurable diseases 82 (11.6) 20 (14.7) 14 (31.8) 2 (15.4) 1 (20.0) 119 (13.2)
NS=Not specified; N=total number of the respondents in each category
 
Table 5. Distribution (based on educational level) of responses of those 902 respondents that were aware of anaesthesiology to the variable “kindly tick the service(s) that you are aware of as part of what anaesthesiologists render to patients?”.
Response Level of Education Total (N=902)
OND (N=131) HND (N=34) NCE (N=92) BD (N=428) PGD (N=16) MD (N=48) DD (N=25) OQ (N=52) NS (N=76)
Making patient to sleep during surgical operation 48 (36.6) 14 (41.2) 24 (26.1) 201 (47.0) 11 (68.8) 34 (70.8) 17 (68.0) 30 (57.7) 27 (22.4) 406 (45.0)
Ensuring that surgical operation is performed without pain 68 (51.9) 21 (61.8) 36 (39.1) 288 (67.3) 11 (68.8) 41 (85.4) 17 (68.0) 38 (73.1) 36 (47.4) 556 (61.6)
Caring for the critically ill patients in intensive care unit 17 (13.0) 9 (26.5) 12 (13.0) 81 (18.9) 3 (18.8) 7 (14.6) 8 (32.0) 16 (30.8) 7 (9.2) 160 (17.7)
Management of patient’s breathing pattern and ability 10 (7.6) 9 (26.5) 7 (7.6) 82 (19.2) 4 (25.0) 12 (25.0) 8 (32.0) 19 (36.6) 10 (19.2) 161 (17.8)
Management of pain in women during labour 20 (15.3) 10 (29.4) 14 (15.2) 141 (32.9) 7 (43.8) 20 (41.7) 13 (52.0) 20 (38.5) 18 (34.6) 263 (29.2)
Management of medical and surgical emergencies 31 (23.7) 9 (26.5) 10 (10.9) 105 (24.5) 6 (37.5) 15 (31.3) 8 (32.0) 16 (30.8) 10 (13.2) 210 (23.3)
Palliative care of patients with incurable diseases 11 (8.4) 6 (26.5) 5 (5.4) 61 (14.3) 3 (18.75) 9 (18.8) 6 (24.0) 13 (25.0) 5 (6.6) 119 (13.2)
N=total number of respondents in each category; NS=not specified
OND=ordinary national diploma; HND=higher national diploma; NCE=Nigerian certificate of education; BD=bachelor degree; PGD=postgraduate diploma; MD=master degree; DD=doctorate degree; OQ=other qualifications
Discussion
Patients’ mismanagement by non-specialists is a problematic issue in developing countries, particularly in Nigeria (12). Many victims of quackery had been sent early to the grave, due to this unethical practice (12). Most of such victims were found to be ignorant of who is medically qualified to manage their health problems. Furthermore, awareness rate about medical professions is very low among the lay populations, and this finding has been found to cut across all socioeconomic strata regardless of educational status (2, 14). The present study determined the level of awareness of the anaesthesiology profession among students, academic and non-academic staff members from the tertiary institutions within the South-western Nigeria geopolitical zone.
Some medical professions have been found to be more popular in the society, while some others are still behind the curtains. The anaesthesiology profession, for example, is one of the medical specialties that is poorly recognized by the public (2, 3, 9, 13). This fact can be supported by our findings, as we observed a very low awareness rate (32.8%) among the respondents in the present study. By comparing figures, this rate is relatively lower than that reported among Koreans and rural Indians (2, 9).
Authors also observed that the majority of the respondents who had heard of the anaesthesiology profession got their information from books, lectures, and internet (Table 2). It is noteworthy that relatively few of them were aware of this profession through a doctor. This indicates that doctors are one of the weakest sources of public information on anaesthesiology. Furthermore, some socio-demographic factors such as gender, age, and higher education also influenced the distribution of anaesthesiology knowledge among respondents. Male respondents, between the age of 36-45 years, and those with the doctoral degree level of formal education were more aware of anaesthesiology than other categories.
Researchers found that an anaesthesiologist is mostly known for: induction and maintenance of patient’s sleep during surgery; labour analgesia; and intraoperative analgesia (Table 3). Recent research studies have shown that analgesia
is a well-known area of expertise for anaesthesiologists (2); and findings made in this present study strengthen those reports.
Results showed that palliative care is known to be the least commonly known anaesthesiologists’ service (Table 3). This may be attributed to the fact that palliative care is one of the new areas of health care services in Nigeria (14, 15).  This awareness rate among the study respondents is relatively low, when compared to that reported in western countries (16-18).
Emergency and critical care services are also medical services within the scope of the anaesthesiologist’s duties. We also found these services not to be well-known among the study respondents.
This study had some limitations. Only those students, academic and non-academic staff members who attended the conference were surveyed in this study. Those institutions that had no delegate at the conference meeting were not surveyed. The study did not also survey the Nigerian illiterates.
Conclusion
The findings made in this study had revealed a very low awareness rate on the anaesthesiology profession among literate Nigerians. This is a major concern of public health relevance. Nigerians need to be properly educated about the anaesthesiology profession.  The creation of public awareness about this profession will also bring prestige to the anaesthesiologists
Acknowledgements
Authors deeply appreciate Mr Simeon Ndem, the registration coordinator of the 2014 Deeper Life Campus Fellowship Congress, and those who participated and helped in the data collection process. Authors also express their gratitude to the conference delegates for participating in this study.
Funding
This study was self-funded
Conflict of Interest
Authors have no competing interest to
disclose.
Authors’ Contributions
Both authors’ contributed equally to this research.

 
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Review: Research | Subject: Health education
Received: 2017/10/9 | Accepted: 2017/12/16 | Published: 2017/12/16

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