National Healthcare Group Polyclinics1
Deficiency in knowledge, inappropriate attitudes, and false beliefs among primary care physicians (PCPs) towards pain management can lead to suboptimal care. Canada investigated the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours (KAB) of PCPs on pain management. The study found that Canadian PCPs’ KAB was sub-optimal. This study aimed to investigate the KAB of chronic pain management of Singapore PCPs by using the Knowpain-50 questionnaire (KQ), comparing the KAB score between Singapore and Canada PCPs, and investigating specific socio-demographics characteristics were associated with higher KAB score.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among Singapore PCPs from 5th November to 22nd December 2020. An anonymous online survey was used to collect data regarding participants’ sociodemographic characteristics and participants’ KAB on chronic pain management with KQ. The mean scores of KQ were computed to determine the KAB score on chronic pain management. Multivariable linear regression was used to examine the association of sociodemographic characteristics with the KAB score.
The mean score of the KQ was 56.1% (SD 5.9%). This was lower than Canada PCPs. The regression model showed that female physicians scored statistically significant lower mean scores than male physicians after controlling for other independent variables [β-coefficient = -5.67 (CI -10.86, -0.49), p=0.03]. Physicians with GDFM attained statistically significant lower scores compared to physicians with MMED (FM)[β-coefficient = -11.39 (CI -17.69, -5.10) p<0.01].
Our study demonstrated lower KAB scores on pain management of Singapore PCPs compared to Canada PCPs. Physicians with higher Family Medicine qualification and male physician were associated with higher KAB scores.