Evaluation of awareness about primary immunodeficiencies among physicians before and after implementation of the educational program: A longitudinal study

PLoS One. 2020 May 29;15(5):e0233342. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0233342. eCollection 2020.


Increasing physicians' awareness is one of the main ways to improve early diagnosis of rare diseases. A survey among physicians of different specialties to evaluate the knowledge about primary immunodeficiencies (PID) was conducted in 2016 and in 2019 -before and after the implementation of an educational program. We compare responses from 82 doctors who participated in the 2016 survey, and 67 doctors who have taken part in the survey in 2019: pediatricians, general practitioners / family physicians and physicians of pediatric sub specialties. The percentage of correct answers to all survey questions after the implementation of the educational program has significantly increased (79.0% in 2019 versus 58.3% in 2016, P<0.0001). This increase in the percentage of correct answers was noted among the surveyed doctors of all specialties. Particular progress was found among pediatricians, who have achieved more than 80% of correct answers. In 2019 the doctors demonstrated better knowledge on the warning signs of PID and specific features of Nijmegen breakage syndrome, DiGeorge syndrome and ataxia-telangiectasia syndrome. Thus, the implementation of an educational program improved physicians' awareness of PIDs, and will contribute to early detection of PIDs and their medical care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Clinical Competence / standards
  • Clinical Competence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • General Practitioners / psychology
  • General Practitioners / standards*
  • General Practitioners / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases / psychology*
  • Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases / therapy
  • Quality of Health Care / standards*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Grants and funding

TH, MK, OB - received a grant from Jeffrey Modell Foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.