||Misconceptions about sickle cell disease (SCD) among lay people in Benin
Zounon ORNHEILIA ,
Anani Ludovic ,
LATOUNDJI SEMIOU ,
Sorum Paul Clay ,
Mullet Etienne ,
||Objective. The aim of this study was to determine the accuracy of people's ideas in Benin about the
common affliction of sickle cell disease (SCD).
Methods. A questionnaire asking for the degree of agreement with 111 statements about SCD was given in
2011 to 6 physicians (the gold standard) and 178 lay people living in Cotonou, Benin. A misconception was
defined as a statistically significant (pb0.001) deviation of at least 2.5 points on the 0–10 response scale of
the lay people's mean response from that of the physicians.
Results. Lay people tended not to be sufficiently aware that SCD is a hereditary illness, that a genetic test
can detect the gene, that having it does not automatically lead to illness, that SCD may induce severe kidney,
lung, heart, or cerebrovascular disorders, and that SCD cannot be cured by traditional healers. These misconceptions
were greater among those who knew they had SCD or carried the gene than among those who knew
they did not.
Conclusion. Major efforts are needed to overcome the educational and cultural barriers to accurate understanding
of how to prevent and treat SCD among lay people in Benin, especially among those at greatest risk.
||Public knowledge, Prevention, Sickle cell disease, Benin
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