Public awareness of forensic science: A cross sectional study in Lebanon

Paula Romanos
Independent researcher, Beirut, Lebanon
Corresponding Email: [email protected]

Forensic science is the application of science in order to serve the law. Among the vast field of forensics, forensic DNA casework is widely considered as one of the most outstanding types of forensic evidence. To better implement forensic investigation procedures, public awareness of forensic science is crucially required. The aim of this study is to evaluate the level of awareness among Lebanese public community by assessing their knowledge and perception regarding forensics and to question their willingness to participate in the national DNA database or in scientific research. A cross sectional study was conducted over 400 adult Lebanese from both genders residing in the five Lebanese governorates. The survey questionnaire was designed and carried out from August 2021 to February 2022 with 89% as responsive rate. The participants’ characteristics were under study as well as their knowledge and perception statements in the purpose of investigating their relative association through independent t-test. The study revealed that 40% of the participants were aware of the forensic science. In addition, only 26% of the participants are willing to provide DNA sample. Moreover, sex and marital status factors has no impact neither on their public awareness nor on their intention to donate a DNA sample. Nevertheless, characteristics such as age, education, profession, and residency has significant differences. The survey identified that younger, employed, more educated people, and individuals residing in cities showed a better awareness of forensic science and intention to provide a DNA sample. However, it is very early to decisively predict the level of awareness and the rates of participation given the fact that nationwide surveys have yet to be launched. By consequence, awareness campaigns to increase public awareness on the importance of forensics is necessary to reduce concerns and gaps in Lebanese personal knowledge, and to encourage their future participation.

Full Paper PDF

Knowledge and awareness on cardiovascular diseases among the Iraqi population

Taqi Mohammed Jwad Taher, Shaymaa Abdul Lateef Alfadhul, Ammar Shimal Shwekh, Firas Turki Rashed Sarray   
Wasit University, Wasit, Iraq
University of Kufa, Kufa, Iraq
Al-Zahraa Teaching Hospital, Wasit Health Directorate, Wasit, Iraq
Corresponding email: [email protected]

This community-based, cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the knowledge on cardiovascular diseases among the Iraqi population. The sample was convenient and included all populations aged between 18-80 years old. Data were collected during the period from 1st to 15th of August using a structured questionnaire which was distributed to the participants via Facebook, Telegram, and WhatsApp. All data were entered into the computer software program SPSS version 26 for statistical analysis. Association between variables was assessed by Chi-square test and independent-sample t-test accordingly. The 974 respondents were with a mean age of 37 years. Females represented 71% of them. Around 18% had an overall poor knowledge, whereas 49% and 33 % had moderate and good knowledge respectively. More than two-thirds of respondents (69.8%) identified coronary heart disease as a type of CVDs. Chest pain or discomfort was distinguished as a symptom of heart attack by 84%. Sudden confusion or disturbed consciousness was recognized by 73% as warning symptoms of stroke, whereas severe headache of unknown cause was recognized by only 48%. Most of the participants (91.2%) knew that obesity is a risk factor for this disease, but only 55% identified diabetes as its cause. Overall knowledge related to CVDs is acceptable. Unsatisfactory awareness about types and warning symptoms of CVDs although of good awareness about risk factors. Important determinants of knowledge on CVDs are gender, educational level, residence, monthly income, body mass index, family history of CVDs, perception of lifestyle, and personal history of diabetes or hypertension. The researchers recommend further studies including different educational and socioeconomic classes.

Full Paper PDF