Screening and management of viral hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma in Mongolia: results from a survey of Mongolian physicians from all major provinces of Mongolia. BMJ open gastroenterology Kim, Y. A., Estevez, J. n., Le, A. n., Israelski, D. n., Baatarkhuu, O. n., Sarantuya, T. n., Narantsetseg, S. n., Nymadawa, P. n., H Le, R. n., Yuen, M. F., Dusheiko, G. n., Rizzetto, M. n., Nguyen, M. H. 2016; 3 (1): e000119


According to Globocan, Mongolia has the highest worldwide hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) incidence (78.1/100 000, 3.5× higher than China).We conducted an anonymous survey of physicians from major provinces who attended an educational liver symposium, analysing their demography, practice, knowledge, perceptions and proposed solutions. Multivariate logistic regression was used to estimate OR relating demography and practice factors with higher provider knowledge and improvement.Of the 121 attendees, 44-95 (36-79%) responded to each question. Most were female (87%), young (79% age <50), subspecialists (81%), university-affiliated (74%), and practised in urban areas (61%). The mean pretest and post-test scores per physician were 60.4±20.4 and 65.6±21.3, with no observed significant predictors for baseline knowledge or improvement. Most (>80%) noted that <50% of patients who need hepatitis or HCC screening receive it. The main perceived barriers to screening were inability to pay for tests, lack of guidelines and poor patient awareness. Hepatitis treatment rates were low; 83% treated hepatitis C virus in <10 patients in the past year, and 86% treated hepatitis B virus in <10 patients/month. Treatment barriers were multifactorial, with cost as a principal barrier. Proposed solutions were universal screening policies (46%), removal of financial barriers (28%) and provider education (20%).Physicians from major regions of Mongolia noted low screening for viral hepatitis, even lower treatment rates, financial barriers and the need for increased educational efforts. We advocate broad-based medical education tailored to local needs and based on needs assessment and outcome measurements.

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