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Inborn errors of metabolism in the United Arab Emirates: Are our future healthcare providers knowing enough about it—A crosssectional study

Javedh Shareef, Sathvik Belagodu Sridhar, Atiqulla Shariff, Mustafa Mohamed Sabah, Maadh Younus Hameed.


Health literacy and positive attitude may influence the community in reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with the inborn errors of metabolism (IEM). This study aimed to assess the knowledge and attitude related to IEM among health science university students in the United Arab Emirates. A cross-sectional survey-based study was carried out over 6 months using a self-administered questionnaire. Four hundred and fourteen students completed the study. The overall mean scores were compared using the t-test. There was a statistically significant (p < 0.0001) difference between knowledge and attitude scores among the study respondents. Most of the study participants had inadequate knowledge and had a positive attitude towards the IEM, which was statistically significant (p < 0.0001). The study also identified paucity among the study participants in recognizing the symptoms and most common IEM. Lectures (30.74%) followed by the Internet (19.25%) and healthcare professionals (18.72%) were the most cited sources of information. The study showed a low level of knowledge about IEM despite a positive attitude among respondents, emphasizing the need for such health-related subjects in the curriculum. This will enable the people to make informed decisions and instill into society the right attitude towards the consequent prevention and control of IEM.

Key words: Inborn error of metabolism, knowledge, cross-sectional study, students

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