Medical students' knowledge about the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Nigeria

Obianuju Beatrice Ozoh, T. Awokola, S. A. Buist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


SETTING: College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria. OBJECTIVE: To determine the level of knowledge of medical students regarding the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). DESIGN: Descriptive cross-sectional survey using a structured questionnaire on risk factors for COPD and some of the diagnostic criteria recommended by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) and treatment options. RESULTS: Among 139 questionnaires analysed, the mean total score (maximum 14) was 8.35 ± 2.75. Based on the opinion of pulmonologists in Nigeria who were considered an appropriate standard, 53 students (38.1%) had good (≥70%), 52 (37.4%) had fair (≥50 to <70%) and 28 (20.1%) had poor knowledge (≥30 to <50%)about COPD management; 76 (54.7%) students were familiar with the GOLD guidelines, and 111 (79.9%) knew that spirometry was the means of confirming a diagnosis of COPD. Most students (93.5%) recognised cigarette smoking as a risk factor for COPD; history of tuberculosis (20.1%) was least recognised as a risk factor for COPD. Thirty-nine (28.1%) students were aware that inhaled steroids and inhaled bronchodilators were the correct options for treatment of stable COPD. CONCLUSION: Knowledge about COPD management among medical students in Nigeria is modest, and familiarity with the content of the GOLD guidelines is inadequate for optimal COPD management. More rigorous training would better equip medical students for COPD management in their careers as doctors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-121
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Africa
  • Attitude
  • Diagnosis
  • Practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases


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