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Khalid A. Althobaiti*, Shatha Alam, Ahmad Almarhon, Adeeb Alyousif, Abdullah Albugami, Nourah Alsumairi and Faisal Althobaiti


Objectives: Our aim in this study was to assess the level of awareness and knowledge of population in Saudi Arabia about Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Methods: We conducted a cross sectional study from October - November 2017 at different region in Saudi Arabia to assess the Awareness and Knowledge of population about Systemic Lupus Erythematosus(SLE). Any Saudi male or female above age of 20 years were invited to participate in the study through an online invitation. To assess the SLE knowledge and awareness we build up a questionnaire that includes 17 questions focusing on the general awareness and knowledge about SLE risk factors, clinical picture, treatment, and consequences/complications, A score of 0-5 was considered as poor knowledge, 6-12 as fair, and 13-17as good knowledge of SLE. Participants were divided into two groups, poor knowledge and fair/good knowledge. Result: A total of 1424 adult participated in the study. Participants' mean age was 28 and they were mainly urban residential, had bachelor's degrees or higher. Eighty percent of the participants were from the Eastern or Central region of Saudi Arabia. Less than one-third of the participants were either working or living with someone who worked in the medical field, but the majority was unemployed. One third of the participants knew someone with SLE, but only 6.2% suffer from the disease. The mean overall score was 7.9 with most of them in the fair SLE knowledge category. Participants were mostly aware about the SLE complications component while they were least aware about the SLE risk factors-related component. Increased risk of immunodeficiency and risk or transmission to fetus of affected pregnant mother were the two complication about which participants were most aware. When compared to those with poor knowledge, those with fair/good SLE knowledge were more likely to be urban residents, have a bachelor's degree and be unemployed, live with someone who works in the medical field, affected by SLE and know someone with SLE. (P<0.001). Conclusion: Among the participating Saudi population, our study show high prevalence of un-optimal awareness and knowledge, mainly in those area related to SLE risk factors.

Keywords: Systemic lupus erythematosus, lupus nephritis, awareness and knowledge.

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