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   2008| January-April  | Volume 15 | Issue 1  
    Online since June 16, 2012

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Health needs assessment
Ibrahim A Bani
January-April 2008, 15(1):13-20
This paper takes a public health approach to briefly examine: (i) the concept of community health care need assessment ; (ii) the roles of academic institutions in health needs assessment ; (iii) Jazan study to address the health care needs in Jazan region, Saudi Arabia . The methods included an analysis of the literature, distillation of experience from the recently Jazan Health Need Assessment Survey, and WHO reports. The most important perceived health problems in Jazan region are shortage of health care providers , increased prevalence of communicable diseases and poor environmental health. The academic institutions , Ministry of Health and other health care institutions need to work together to look for innovative approaches, especially to increase the awareness of the society on public health issues, and give more support to increase national and regional funding for community based studies. The findings of the assessment of the health needs of Jazan presented in this review could be utilized as a baseline and reference information for policy formulation, subsequent planning and cost effective intervention programs. It could also be utilized for the curriculum development or review for a community oriented medical schools.
  3,976 667 -
Health and socio-economic hazards associated with khat consumption
Hussein M. A. Ageely
January-April 2008, 15(1):3-11
The consumption of the stimulant leaf Khat (Catha edulis Forsk) is widespread in several countries of East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The leaf comes from a small evergreen shrub that can grow to the size of a tree. Young buds and tender leaves are chewed to attain a state of euphoria and stimulation. Khat leaves contain cathinones, an active brain stimulant that is similar in structure and pharmacological activity to amphetamines. Like amphetamines, Khat ingestion in low doses results in decreased appetite, euphoria, increased intellectual efficiency, and hyperalertness. High doses and chronic use of Khat can cause more serious adverse neurological, psychiatric, cardiovascular, dental, gastrointestinal and genitourinary effects. Besides damaging health, Khat has adverse socio-economic consequences effects on many other aspects of life including the loss of thousands of acres of arable land and billions of hours of work. The purpose of this review is to describe briefly the adverse consequences of habitual chewing of Khat on health, and help educate the general public. The study is based on literature review that includes internet search and journals.
  3,547 465 -
Screening for psychosocial problems in children attending the pediatric clinic at king Khalid university hospital (KKUH) in Riyadh (KSA)
Ibrahim H Al-Ayed, Fatimah A Al-Haider
January-April 2008, 15(1):21-26
Introduction: Psychosocial problems are highly prevalent among children and adolescents. One approach to facilitating recognition and referral of these problems is to use parent-completed screening questionnaire as part of routine primary care. Aim and methods: The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and type of psychosocial problems in a random sample of children attending the pediatric clinic at KKUH at the time of the study. A 2-part questionnaire was designed for the study. The first part contained basic biographic data in addition to items which reflect the socioeconomic status of the family. The second part of the questionnaire comprised the inventory, which is a modified version of the Pediatric Symptoms Checklist (PSC).The inventory consisted of 38 items classified into five categories. The total score of the inventory ranged from 0-114. Results : Three-hundred-twelve questionnaires were completed. The average of the total score was only 22.3 out of 114. The lowest score was 0 and the highest 84. The average scores of behavioral symptoms (BS) were the highest (7.03 out of 27) while that of the learning problems (LP) was the lowest (1.5 out of 18). The average score for mood symptoms (MS) was 5.6 out of 24, that for personality characteristics (PC) was 4.5 out of 24 and that for somatic symptoms (SS) was 4.3 out of 24. Conclusion: This study revealed the feasibility of screening for behavioral problems of children in an outpatient setting. It is necessary to implement screening procedures for psycho-behavioral problems, and train pediatricians to screen children presenting at clinics.
  2,826 279 -
Prevalence of somatization and minor psychiatric morbidity in primary healthcare in Saudi Arabia: A preliminary study in Asir region
Mohammed M Alqahtani, Peter Salmon
January-April 2008, 15(1):27-33
Objective : To determine the prevalence of psychological disorders and somatization among primary care patients from a semi-urban area of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Design : Screening of consecutive patients with the 12-item and 28-item versions of the General Health Questionnaires and assessments of physical symptoms associated with somatization, using the HSCL-12. Eight primary care health centres in Assir, Saudi Arabia. Results : About half of the sample had one or more psychological disorders. The prevalence of somatization detected by the GHQ-28 was 16%. The prevalence of somatization indicated by GPs' identification of medically unexplained symptoms was 14%. Women displayed higher levels of somatization than men. Conclusion : This study reported prevalence of psychological disorders that was as high as found in the more modern areas of Saudi Arabia such as Riyadh. The view that individuals in less open areas are protected from psychological disorders associated with stress and lifestyle pressure seems to be unsubstantiated. The results highlight the potential value of screening for psychological disorders using such simple instruments as the GHQ
  2,559 336 -
Parental attitudes toward the prescription of psychotropic medications for their children
Fatima A Al-Haidar
January-April 2008, 15(1):35-42
Objective: To explore parental attitudes towards the prescription of psychotropic medication for their children. Method: A questionnaire built to collect socio-demographic data of parents and their attitudes was distributed among parents. Results: One thousand and ten questionnaires were filled by parents. Fathers who completed the questionnaire were double the number of mothers. Eight hundred and eighteen parents (84.3%) agreed to the dispensing psychotropic medication to their children if necessary. About 83.5% preferred to start with psychotherapy before trying medication. Fathers are more than twice likely than mothers to agree to the use of psychotropic drugs. Older parents more easily agreed to give their children psychotropic drugs. Parents who used psychotropic drug themselves were more likely to agree to the use of psychotropic drug by their children. Having a child with a psychiatric illness is the most significant factor in making parents accede to giving children psychotropic medication. Other factors such as pressure from schools and the side effects of drugs could also modify decision of parents. Conclusion: Although most parents agreed to give their children psychotropic drugs if necessary, they preferred to start with psychotherapy sessions before giving them the drugs. Fear and worries about such issues as side effects of drugs or addiction should be considered. Pressure from school should also be considered when deciding on drug therapy.
  2,333 286 -
Assessment of the accuracy of death certification at two referral hospitals
Abdulaziz A BinSaeed, Muslim M Al-Saadi, Khaldoon A AlJerian, Saad A Al-Saleh, Mosaad A Al-Hussein, Khalid S Al-Majid, Ziyad S Al-Sani, Khalid A Al-Rabeeah, Khalid A Arab, Khalid A Al-Sheikh, Sheik S Ahamed
January-April 2008, 15(1):43-50
Background : Death certification is a vital source of information used in mortality statistics worldwide to assess the health of the general population.This study focuses on the consistency of information between the death reports and the clinical records (files) of deceased patients in two hospitals: the King Khalid University Hospital (KKUH) and King Fahad National Guard hospital (KFNGH) in Saudi Arabia. Methods: A random sample of the records of 157 deceased patients' registered in 2002 in the two hospitals was retrospectively reviewed independently to determine the underlying cause of death and compare them with death reports. It was also to check the accuracy of the translation from English in to Arabic. Results: It was found that the underlying cause of death was misdiagnosed in 80.3% of the death reports. When the two hospitals were compared, no significant difference was observed (p>0.05). In addition, 81.8% of the accurate (correct) death reports in both hospitals were of patients who had died of a malignant disease. However, the translation of the underlying cause of death in KFNGH was correct in 86.1% of the death reports, while in KKUH it was only 25%, which is highly statistically significant (p<0.0001). Conclusion: With the limitation of studying only a small number of cases, these results indicate a discrepancy between the file and death reports in relation to the cause of death. Also, the translation of the cause of death was inconsistent in the two hospitals. Hence, there is a real need to adopt suitable measures to improve the quality of death certification.
  2,214 269 -
An integrated approach to a psychiatric perspective: A bio-psycho-social model
Mahdi S Abumadini
January-April 2008, 15(1):1-1
  2,079 250 -


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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010