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Objectives: To obtain information about the number of patients attended by general practitioners indifferent stages of schizophrenia; relevant knowledge, diagnostic skills and ongoing practice concerningmanagement of patients suffering from severe mental illness.
Methodology: For this cross sectional survey conducted from May to September 2010, a semi-structuredquestionnaire, obtained and modified from that of Simon AE et al was distributed among generalpractitioners working in Bannu district. The participants were requested to fill the questionnaireanonymously and return it to research worker.
Results: Out of 100, 72 general practitioners responded to the request of filling the questionnaire. Amongthem 60 (85%) were males. Only 17% replied that they could spare more than half an hour for theassessment of schizophrenic patients. Sixty four percent reported delusions and hallucinations as the mostfrequent symptoms of schizophrenia. Seventy percent relied on personal history for diagnosis ofschizophrenia. Sixty percent practitioners considered pharmacotherapy as the first line therapy. More thanhalf of them wanted to continue treatment for six to twelve months in first psychotic episode. Seventypercent preferred to refer the patients to specialist care for complete handover. No one of the workingpractitioners participated in continuing medical education CME on schizophrenia during the past fewmonths of their professional life.
Conclusion: The knowledge of general practitioners about signs and symptoms of schizophrenia isreasonable but they lack interventional skills. They need easily accessible specialized services for referraland regular training programmes to update their knowledge.
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