Better education on rare diseases needed for future healthcare professionals
Although most nursing, physiotherapy, and medical students said they had heard of the term “rare disease” most were not able to identify the most common causes or prevalence rates, according to a study to assess the awareness of rare diseases among future healthcare providers in Poland.
In addition, most students did not have a basic knowledge about their country’s health care system for patients with rare diseases.
Overall, 95% of nurses, physiotherapists, and physician students said their knowledge was insufficient or very poor. The majority of medical students (92%) and physiotherapy and nursing students (84%) said they did not feel prepared for caring for patients with rare diseases. However, only 45% of medical students, 76% of nursing students, and 88% of physiotherapy students responded that they thought rare diseases should be included in their medical studies.
The authors concluded that “caring for [rare disease] patients requires a multidisciplinary approach, by identifying the gap in the education of future nurses, physiotherapists, and physicians this study shows that there is an urgent need for better education about [rare diseases] among future healthcare professionals.”
Domaradzki J, Walkowiak D. Knowledge and attitudes of future healthcare professionals toward rare diseases. Front Genet. 2021;12:639610. DOI: 10.3389/fgene.2021.639610. PMID: 34122502; PMCID: PMC8194301