Healthcare Workers' Knowledge about Chagas Disease: A Systematic Review

Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2021 Mar 8;104(5):1631-1638. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.20-1199.


Transmission of Chagas disease (CD) has decreased in recent decades, but the disease remains an important problem in endemic areas. There was an increase in the proportion of nonvector transmission, mainly in non-endemic countries. The aim of this study was to gather evidence concerning healthcare professional's knowledge about CD. Searches were performed through Medline/PubMed, Lilacs, Web of Science databases, and Scielo archives, from which 13/97 articles were selected for a qualitative analysis after full-text reading. Most of the studies were from the United States, the oldest published in 2007 and the most recent in 2020, and most of them used surveys as the evaluation method. Each article used different methods, according to the epidemiological status of vector transmission. Two studies targeted specialty-related questions, and two used focus groups as methods for data gathering. Despite differences between the studies, all of them presented knowledge deficits among healthcare workers, regarding at least one of the evaluated aspects. In comparison with population surveys, healthcare professionals demonstrated higher results related to clinical aspects and awareness of the disease's importance. Most of the articles showed a low perception of CD's knowledge by the participants and a low probability of considering CD in the diagnosis of their patients. A previous contact with the subject was pointed by some studies as capable of improving knowledge of the participants. This study emphasizes the importance of continuing education to address deficits of healthcare professionals' knowledge.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Chagas Disease / diagnosis*
  • Chagas Disease / epidemiology*
  • Chagas Disease / parasitology
  • Chagas Disease / transmission
  • Education, Continuing / organization & administration
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors / parasitology*
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / statistics & numerical data
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / pathogenicity*
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / physiology
  • United States / epidemiology