Study Suggests Healthcare Workers Don’t Know Enough About Childhood Brain Tumors

A recent survey presented at the recent International Symposium on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology (ISPNO) suggests that healthcare workers have some knowledge gaps when it comes to central nervous system (CNS) tumors in children.

For their study, researchers from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital distributed questionnaires to healthcare providers as part of a cross-sectional survey. Their objective was to evaluate the knowledge these providers had about tumors in children. The questionnaire’s main focus was on the symptoms and imaging indications of central nervous system tumors.

Every healthcare provider was invited to fill out the questionnaire before and after an educational seminar, which focused on juvenile CNS tumors. In total, about 887 pre-tests and 391 post-tests were conducted, with the majority of the tests — 73% vs. 88% — taking place in Asia. Latin America followed closely, with 18% of the pre-tests and 6% of the post-tests done within the Middle East (5.3% vs. 4.2%) and Eurasia (1.9% vs. 1%).

The researchers found that the least tests were performed in Africa and Europe, which conducted (0.8% vs. 0.3%) and (0.5% vs. 0.3%) pre-tests and post-tests, respectively.

Most of the healthcare providers who took part in the study had been in the field for no more than five years, with researchers noting that most of the participants were pediatricians, medical students and residents.

In the pre-tests, the researchers found that not many providers knew that Cushing’s triad wasn’t a common symptom of childhood CNS tumors while only 15% were aware of the fact that late diagnosis was still a risk for children aged ten and above. Additionally, about 54% of the healthcare practitioners stated that medullablastoma was the most common type of CNS tumors in children, even though it wasn’t, with roughly 47% also admitting that they weren’t aware that parents tended to be better at suspecting that certain symptoms could be associated with these tumors.

The post-test results were slightly more encouraging with more than 94% of the healthcare providers correctly pointing out that low-grade glioma was the most common central nervous system tumor symptom. However, about 32% still held the false belief that children aged three or below faced the risk of delayed tumor diagnosis.

Ironically, pediatricians had the worst scores on both tests. Despite this, researchers didn’t find any major difference in knowledge scores based on the providers’ geographical regions, level of clinical experience and number of diagnosed cases.

Either way, the study indicates that plenty of healthcare providers have significant knowledge gaps regarding childhood central nervous system tumors.

In their report, the researchers note that integrating targeted education during undergraduate, nursing, residency and post-graduate programs could help to alleviate this problem. This is particularly important because many companies, such as CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP), are working to develop superior treatments, and it would be ideal for those pediatric brain tumors to be diagnosed early with treatment commencing promptly for better outcomes.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CNSP

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