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   2003| September-December  | Volume 10 | Issue 3  
    Online since July 30, 2012

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A pilot study of faith healers' views on evil eye, jinn possession, and magic in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tariq A Al-Habeeb
September-December 2003, 10(3):31-38
Background : Faith healers usually offer unorthodox therapies to their clients who present with an array of physical and psychological symptoms suggestive of the evil eye, jinn possession, and magic. Objective: This exploratory pilot study aims to analyse the pattern of narrated symptoms and treatments given by faith healers practising in the Al-Qassim region, Saudi Arabia. Method : Forty five faith healers who consented to this study were given a predesigned, self-administered, semistructured questionnaire to collect the relevant data. Results: Notably, most faith healers have a poor repertoire of psychiatric symptoms, which could not specifically differentiate the three spiritual disorders. They tend to recommend an array of therapies rooted in religious concepts for the treatment of their clients who, they claim, show substantial improvement in their mental suffering. Conclusion : The revealed symptomatology of each disorder alone may not be specific but it certainly helps them not only to identify these disorders but also to prescribe unconventional therapies. Future research should look systematically into the diagnostic and treatment methods for these disorders.
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Monitoring the practice and progress of initiation of breastfeeding within half an hour to one hour after birth, in the labor room of King Khalid university hospital
Fawzia Ahmed Habib
September-December 2003, 10(3):41-46
Purpose: To monitor the progress in the practice of early breastfeeding of newborn babies within half an hour to one hour after delivery, and to identify the reasons for not breastfeeding the babies in the labor room. Patients and methods: This is a descriptive study conducted in the labor and delivery rooms of King Khalid University Hospital during the months(5) of Jumada I and (11) Dhulqada 1422H. A total of 602 women were included in the study. A structured form was used to assess the extent of feeding and the reasons for not breastfeeding in the first 1/2 to 1 hour after birth. The frequency and the percentage were used to compare the data. Results: It was encouraging to find that 60% of the women breastfed their babies within 1/2 an hour to 1 hour after birth. Of the reasons for not breastfeeding the babies early, two were of the greatest concern. The first is that 13% of the women were either too tired to breastfeed or refused to do so at this early stage. Secondly, the majority of the mothers who had had cesarean sections did not breastfeed their babies. Conclusion: Mothers and their families play a very vital role in building the health of the nation. This can be achieved by early breastfeeding, which contributes to the rearing of healthy babies, increase in intelligence and the building of strong future generations. The health care professional must have continuous education and be frequently updated on breastfeeding standards.
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Hearing impairment and hypertension among long distance bus drivers
Ismail Abdelmoneim
September-December 2003, 10(3):25-29
Objectives: To investigate the prevalence of possible hearing impairment and hypertension in long distance bus drivers compared to the city bus drivers in Abha city. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study involving 62 long distance bus drivers and 46 city bus drivers from October 2001 to March 2002. A specially-designed questionnaire was administered to the drivers to explore some of their socioeconomic backgrounds. A pure tone air conduction audiometry and blood pressure measurements were performed. Results: Long distance bus drivers' workload is significantly higher than that of city drivers (total weekly hours 64.0 + 14.3 compared to 46.7 + 5.5). Hearing impairment was significantly more among long distance drivers in the frequencies of 250, 500, 1000 and 2000 Hz especially in the left ear even after age corrections. The prevalence of mild hearing loss and hypertension were also higher among the long distance drivers (19.4% vs 4.5% and 38.7% vs 13% respectively). Conclusion and recommendations: This study showed more hearing affection and a higher prevalence of hypertension among long distance bus drivers than their counterparts operating in the city. Their hearing acuity should be tested before they start work and regularly afterwards. The stresses and strains of the job should be further studied and relieved; and regular health checks including blood pressure monitoring are to be instituted.
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Can a short-term training course improve the primary-care physicians' attitudes toward mental health problems?
Abdallah D Al-Khathami, Abdel Rahim I Sheikh, Abdallah M Mangoud, Mahdi S Abumadini, Mohammed H Main
September-December 2003, 10(3):19-24
Objective: To measure changes in the attitude of Primary Health Care (PHC) physicians towards mental illnesses after a short-term training course. In addition, to ascertain if this change would persist 6 months after the training course. Method: This is an intervention type study. Out of 296 PHC physicians working in Eastern Saudi Arabia, 191 were randomly selected and divided randomly into two groups. The Study groups were tested for pre and post exposure (immediate and 6months later), to the psychiatric training course. The Control group was not involved in the intervention. The course was run over a 4-day period in June 1999. A 26-item self-administered questionnaire to assess the PHC physicians' attitudes was used. Results: The study group consisted of 45 trainees, 24 (53%) of whom were men. The control group, 121 out of 166 physicians, responded to the questionnaire, with an 83% response rate, men forming 49%. The data analysis indicated a significant improvement in the PHC physicians' attitude after the course (P<0.0001). Six months later, as compared with their immediate post-test, the positive attitudes persisted within the study group (p-value=0.274). Multiple regressions indicated that the duration of undergraduate psychiatric training was the only contributor factor. Conclusion: This training course resulted in a positive change in the trainees' attitudes. Besides, it showed that the undergraduate psychiatric training had a favourable effect on the PHC physicians' attitude. Therefore, there should be frequent mental health training programs for PHC physicians. Moreover, physicians who spent longer period in undergraduate psychiatric training should be given the priority to work in PHC settings.
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The emperor's clothes
David Morley
September-December 2003, 10(3):39-40
  1,485 136 -
The medical profession: The bright past and future challenges
Basil Al-Sheikh
September-December 2003, 10(3):17-18
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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010