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Einstein (Sao Paulo). 2013 Dec;11(4):479-85.

Medical awareness concerning primary immunodeficiency diseases in the city of São Paulo, Brazil.

[Article in English, Portuguese]



To evaluate medical knowledge of primary immunodeficiency in the city of São Paulo (SP).


A 14-item questionnaire about primary immunodeficiency was applied to physicians who worked at general hospitals. One of the questions presented 25 clinical situations that could be associated or not with primary immunodeficiency, and the percentage of appropriate answers generated a knowledge indicator.


Seven hundred and forty-six participated in the study, among them 215 pediatricians (28.8%), 244 surgeons (32.7%), and 287 clinicians (38.5%). About 70% of the physicians responded that they had learned about primary immunodeficiency in graduate school or in residency training. Treatment of patients that use antibiotics frequently was reported by 75% dos physicians, but only 34.1% had already investigated a patient and 77.8% said they did not know the ten warning signs for primary immunodeficiency. The knowledge indicator obtained showed a mean of 45.72% (±17.87). Only 26.6% if the pediatricians and 6.6% of clinicians and surgeons showed a knowledge indicator of at least 67% (equivalent to an appropriate answer in two thirds of the clinical situations).


There is a deficit in medical knowledge of primary immunodeficiency in the city of São Paulo, even among pediatricians, despite having greater contact with the theme over the last few years. The improvement of information on primary immunodeficiency in the medical community is an important step towards the diagnosis and treatment process of these diseases.

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