In Indonesia, Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma (NPC) is the most frequent cancer of the head and neck region. At first presentation in the hospital most patients already have advanced NPC. Our previous study showed that general practitioners (GPs) working in Yogyakarta, Indonesia lack the knowledge necessary for early detection of NPC. By providing training on early symptoms of NPC we hope that the diagnosis and referral will occur at an earlier stage. Here we assess the current NPC knowledge levels of GPs in Jakarta, evaluate improvement after training, compare the effectiveness of two training formats, and estimate the loss of recall over a two week period. Methods: Two Indonesian GPs visited 31 Primary Health Care Centres (PHCCs) and provided a lecture on NPC. The alternative format consisted of a symposium at the Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, presented by local head and neck surgeons, with all GPs in the region being invited. To evaluate the effect of both formats a questionnaire was conducted before and after. Results: The lecture in the PHCCs was attended by 130 GPs. Sixty-six GPs attended the training in the university hospital and 40 GPs attended both. Pre training the NPC knowledge level was poor with an average of 1.6 symptoms being correctly identified out of a potential maximum of 12, this was increased to 4.9 post training (p<0.0001). GPs attending the PHCC course recorded a greater increase in correct symptoms than those attending the symposium (3.8 vs. 2.8; p = 0.01). After a two week period the knowledge levels had declined slightly from 5.5 correctly identified symptoms to 4.2 (p = 0.25). Conclusion: These results confirm our findings regarding GPs insufficient knowledge of NPC. Lectures in the PHCC and a symposium have both been proven to be effective training tools in the education of GPs.
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