Background: Rapid advancement of stem cell (SC) therapies provides both
opportunities and risks for patients and physicians alike. Physicians
have a role in counseling patients about unproven SC therapies,
requiring a basic level of knowledge and access to information about
SCs. Objective: This study sought to assess SC-related knowledge of and
attitudes among physicians in Jordan to elucidate areas of deficiency
that can be addressed. Methods: A cross-sectional survey, comprising
questions on demographics and SC knowledge and attitudes, was designed
as a scoring system to evaluate physicians’ knowledge and attitudes.
Participants were recruited from 10 major hospitals in Jordan over 3
months between February and April 2019. The internal consistency of the
scoring scales was calculated using Cronbach’s alpha reliability
coefficient. Gender differences were evaluated with an independent
t-test. Results: 382 physicians in Jordan completed the survey (59.9%
response rate). They demonstrated a low/moderate level of overall SC
knowledge (51.3%), but most lacked confidence in their ability to
answer patients’ questions about SC therapies (64.7%). However, the
total attitude score was moderate/high positive (66.8%) and most were
interested in learning more about SCs (80.8%). Male physicians reported
significantly more knowledge than females (p<0.0001).
Conclusions: This study reveals Jordanian physicians’ hesitancy to
counsel patients about SC therapies, largely due to gaps in knowledge.
However, overall attitudes toward SC research and therapies are
positive. The results of this study demonstrate a need to cover
SC-related information in medical curricula in Jordan, as well as to
support initiatives to regulate SC tourism in Jordan.