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Pattern of scrotal examination by physicians in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia

A Alabdrabalnabi, N Al Fareed, A Matouq, M Alazzam, R Al Ajrafi, A Al-zahrani
Published in : HAMDAN MEDICAL JOURNAL ; Vol 8, No 4 (2015): Supplement Issue
DOI : 10.7707/hmj.600


Introduction: A wide variety of pathological lesions affect the scrotal contents. They include both benign and malignant lesions. Missed or delayed diagnosis of such lesions can lead to compromised fertility, cosmetic deformities, testicular loss or even death. Early diagnosis of scrotal lesions can prevent the possible development of such complications.

Objectives: The pattern of scrotal examination by physicians in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia was evaluated in this study to assess the extent of efficacy for early diagnosis.

Materials and methods: In this cross-sectional study of scrotal pathology, self-administered questionnaires regarding scrotal evaluation were answered by physicians of different disciplines, including emergency care, internal medicine, paediatric surgery, family medicine and general practitioners. The questionnaires included direct questions on clinical examination of the scrotum as well as clinical scenario quizzes. Collected data were analysed with SPSS (Statistical Product and Service Solutions) version 17 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). The chi-squared test was used to analysis categorical variables, while the t -test was used for continuous variables. Factors affecting scrotal evaluation were assessed by logistic regression.

Results: 257 questionnaires were analysed. Routine evaluation of the scrotum was performed by only 14% of respondents. Among the physicians who did not perform routine scrotal examination, 64.2% restricted it to cases with scrotal complaints and 16% considered the conservative cultural nature of their patients a hindering factor. Forty-five per cent did not perform scrotal examination in the standing position. Only 27.8% advised patients with high risk of testicular cancer to perform routine self-examination of their testicles.

Conclusions: This study revealed a significant deficiency of early detection of scrotal disease by physicians in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia with a high probability of development of complications. We recommend that all physicians be advised to follow a well-structured protocol for scrotal examination during routine practice.

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