Knowledge, attitudes, ethical and social perspectives towards fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) among Jordanian healthcare providers

Amal G. Al-Bakri, Amal A. Akour, Wael K. Al-Delaimy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) is a treatment modality that involves the introduction of stool from a healthy pre-screened donor into the gastrointestinal tract of a patient. It exerts its therapeutic effects by remodeling the gut microbiota and treating microbial dysbiosis-imbalance. FMT is not regulated in Jordan, and regulatory effort for FMT therapy in Jordan, an Islamic conservative country, might be faced with unique cultural, social, religious, and ethical challenges. We aimed to assess knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of ethical and social issues of FMT use among Jordanian healthcare professionals. Methods: An observational, cross-sectional study design was used to assess knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of ethical and social issues of FMT among 300 Jordanian healthcare professionals. Results: A large proportion (39 %) thought that the safety and efficacy of this technique are limited and 29.3 % thought there is no evidence to support its use. Almost all (95 %) responded that they would only perform it in certain cases, if ethically justified, and 48.3 % would use it due to treatment failure of other approaches. When reporting about reasons for not using it, 40 % reported that they would not perform it due to concerns about medical litigation, fear of infections (38 %), and lack of knowledge of long safety and efficacy (31.3 %). Interestingly, all practitioners said they would perform this procedure through the lower rather than upper gastrointestinal tract modality and the majority will protect the patient’s confidentiality via double-blinding (43.3 %). For a subset of participants (n = 100), the cultural constraints that might affect the choice of performing FMT were mainly due to donor’s religion, followed by dietary intake, and alcohol consumption. Conclusions: Our healthcare practitioners are generally reluctant to use the FMT modality due to religious and ethical reasons but would consider it if there was a failure of other treatment and after taking into consideration many legislative, social, ethical and practice-based challenges including safety, efficacy and absence of guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalBMC Medical Ethics
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Ethics
  • Fecal microbiota transplant
  • Jordan
  • Social and religious perspectives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy

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