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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1216-1221

Public knowledge and awareness about Parkinson's disease in Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences; Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Alwaleed M Alyamani
College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh - 11623
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_335_18

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Background: Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most prevalent neurologic disorders, leading to progressive disability that can be slowed but not stopped by treatment. It is characterized by tremors, slow movements, stiffness in arms and legs, and balance impairment. Despite advancement in treatment, diagnosis, and care of PD patients, lack of adequate knowledge and associated beliefs among the community might have a key role in limiting access to proper treatment and care. Objectives: To identify the level of awareness of our population regarding PD in terms of causes, signs, symptoms, and treatment. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on Saudis, who have active Twitter accounts. Data were collected through a previously validated questionnaire, which tests recognition of PD symptoms and general knowledge regarding PD. The questionnaire was translated into Arabic. Part 1 of the questionnaire is the demographic data collection sheet, Part 2 of the questionnaire tests recognition of PD symptoms, and Part 3 of the questionnaire tests general knowledge regarding PD. Results: The questionnaire was administered to 3,050 members of the public, of which 2,609 questionnaires (86.20%) were included in the analysis. The tremor was the most widely recognized symptom (86.10%), and weight loss was the most recognized non-motor symptom (24%). Most respondents (56%) were able to identify imbalance as a symptom of PD, whereas only 4.10% of them were able to identify the reduced sense of smell as a symptom of PD. Motor symptoms were significantly better recognized (range 31.30%–86.10%) than non-motor symptoms (range 4.10%–24%). Conclusion: Educational campaigns may be appropriate to improve public awareness of PD and individual knowledge about PD symptoms and treatment.

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