Topical corticosteroids knowledge, attitudes, and practices of primary care physicians

Saudi Med J. 2017 Jun;38(6):662-665. doi: 10.15537/smj.2017.6.17586.


To assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices of primary care physicians (PCPs) toward topical corticosteroids (TCs). Methods: A cross-sectional, 53-item questionnaire based study on TCs was conducted among PCPs in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between January and March 2015. A maximum score of 30 was calculated for the knowledge portion. Results: Out of 420 PCPs, 336 responded (80%). Most participants (89.6%) reported prescribing TCs. The mean knowledge score was 17.14 (SD=5.48). Only 39% PCPs correctly identified that there are 7 or 4 TCs potency groups (2 different classification systems). The MBBS/MD and diploma-certified physicians scored lower than board-qualified PCPs (p less than 0.05). Family medicine physicians scored higher than general practitioners (GPs) (p less than 0.05). Hospital-based PCPs scored better than private practice PCPs (p less than 0.05). Moreover, those who felt somewhat comfortable (32.5%) in treating dermatology patients were more knowledgeable (p less than 0.05). Lastly, 76.5% of physicians were interested in attending courses on dermatologic therapies. Conclusion: Knowledge of TCs among PCPs was inadequate. Targeted educational interventions delivered by dermatologists are recommended.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians, Primary Care*
  • Saudi Arabia


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones