Change in Knowledge and Perceptions about Primary Health Care in First Professional MBBS Students of Rehman Medical College, Peshawar after Visiting a Model Basic Health Unit

Seema Ashraf, Saminullah Khan, Ali Raza


Introduction: Inadequate attention is paid to Primary Health Care (PHC) in the MBBS curricula of Pakistan. At Rehman Medical College (RMC), Peshawar, an early interaction of undergraduates with a Basic Health Unit (BHU) is implemented to develop an understanding and interest in PHC that can be built upon in senior professional MBBS years.

Objective: To assess the effectiveness of a planned curricular visit to a model BHU in changing knowledge and perceptions about Primary Health Care in First Professional MBBS students of Rehman Medical College (RMC), Peshawar.

Materials & Methods: The study was conducted in the Department of Community Medicine, RMC in November 2016 on 96 newly admitted First Year MBBS students, by having them visit a model BHU in the department for a one-hour curricular session. Written Pre and Post tests were conducted to assess knowledge and perceptions of students about PHC; changes in responses were assessed by descriptive data analysis using SPSS 15.0; paired samples T-test was used to compare responses, keeping p≤0.05 as significant.

Results: The mean ages of 52(54.2%) males and 44(45.8%) females were 18.85 ± 0.94 years. Most students did not have parents/relatives in the medical profession, nor had any close contacts or themselves interacted with a BHU. Results of Pre and Post tests showed significant improvements in performance for 9/10 (90%) test items (most p values <0.001), with no appreciable gender differences.

Conclusion: Visit to a model BHU markedly improved the knowledge and perceptions of first professional MBBS students about Primary Health Care.

Keywords: Primary Health Care; Basic Health Unit; Immunization; Maternal & Child Health; Students, Medical; Medical Curriculum.

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