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issn:2229-340
1.  ATTITUDES OF MEDICAL INTERNS TOWARDS THE PRACTICE OF PRIMARY HEALTH CARE 
Background:
Training in different specialties should prepare young physicians to assume responsibilities in primary care. Training for the acquisition of the proper attitude for health care, should be given in the course of the training in different specialties.
Objective:
To assess the attitudes of medical interns who have undergone rotation in the Department of Family and Community Medicine of a large university hospital, towards the provision of primary care.
Methods:
A cross-sectional study incorporating a structured questionnaire was carried out on a sample of 106 interns; and 20 consultants were selected as a reference group.
Results:
All medical interns almost unanimously endorsed continuous, coordinated, accessible and comprehensive care. In contrast, consultants less often supported the provision of such care for their own patients.
Conclusions:
Unless consultants change their attitudes towards the attributes of primary care, the quality of patient care as well as physician training would suffer.
PMCID: PMC3430180  PMID: 23008667
Attitudes; Medical Interns; Primary Health Care
2.  DIETARY MISCONCEPTIONS AMONG DIABETIC PATIENTS IN MAKKA CITY, SAUDI ARABIA 
Objectives:
To assess the prevalence of some dietary misconceptions among primary health care center-registered diabetic patients in Makka City, Saudi Arabia.
Methods:
A sample of 1039 primary health care center- registered diabetic patients was interviewed using a structured questionnaire on diabetic diet -related misconceptions. A scoring system was used to document the frequency of misconceptions. The relationship of the misconceptions to socio-demographic and diabetes-related variables was assessed using chi-squared tests.
Results:
Most patients (68.7%) had a high diet misconception score. More than half of the sample had the misconception that carbohydrates were to be completely eliminated from the diet, and only dried bread and bitter foods were to be consumed. Data included the belief in the consumption of honey and dates; the omission of snacks; belief in the carcinogenicity of the sugar substitutes; and obesity as a sign of good health. The score was significantly higher among males (p<0.01), patients older than 35 years (p<0.02), and among patients whose level of education was low (p<0.01).
Conclusion:
It is important to note that the rate of diet-related misconceptions among diabetics in Makka city is high. The study pointed to the target fraction of diabetic patients among whom these misconceptions prevailed. There is a need for constant motivation and appropriate education at frequent intervals to encourage better knowledge of the disease so that there is compliance to treatment.
PMCID: PMC3430184  PMID: 23008671
Misconceptions; diabetes; diet; Saudi Arabia
3.  DOCTOR-PATIENT COMMUNICATION: A SKILL NEEDED IN SAUDI ARABIA 
Doctor-patient communication is a skill essential for the satisfaction of the patients’ needs and expectations. It involves an art that every practicing physician should have. The situations in health care delivery that demands good doctor-patient communication are many. Diabetes care, the management of hypertension, explaining serious disease diagnoses, prognosis, and investigative procedures are some of the common situations where good doctor-patient communication is very essential. Doctor-patient communication assumes a special status in Saudi Arabia where as a result of mixed ethnicity of the manpower in the health service and the expatriate community, there is a vast diversity of languages, health traditions and beliefs. The skill of doctor-patient communication can be developed and improved by the application of the principles of the patient-centered approach, the utilization of patient-oriented evidence that matters, and its inclusion in the undergraduate curriculum in the first few years of medical school. There should be continuous medical education programs for practicing doctors on the skills of doctor-patient communication through seminars and workshops. This would be a further step towards the improvement of the consumer's well-being.
PMCID: PMC3430176  PMID: 23008663
Doctor-patient communication; Saudi Arabia
4.  HYPERTENSION IN DIABETICS REGISTERED IN PRIMARY HEALTH CARE CENTERS IN MAKKAH DISTRICT, SAUDI ARABIA 
Background:
Hypertension in diabetes is a common and important problem, which aggravates diabetic macro- and microvascular complications. Since both diabetes and hypertension are common diseases, their follow up in primary health care centers should emphasize the early detection of hypertension in diabetes. This study aims at studying the magnitude of hypertension in diabetic subjects registered in primary health care centers.
Methods:
A sample of 1039 diabetic subjects registered at the primary health care in urban and rural Makkah region were interviewed. Information gathered included demographic and diabetes-related variables. Blood pressure and body mass index were determined for 1020 subjects.
Results:
Diabetic subjects who had high blood pressure readings amounted to 560 (54.9%), of whom with stage 1, 2, and 3 hypertension formed 25.5%, 7.0% and 2.5%, respectively. Subjects with undetected high blood pressure amounted to 225 (22.1%). There was significant association of high blood pressure with age, male gender, body mass index and low education.
Conclusion:
The problem of hypertension in diabetes could be sizeable. Many patients may remain undetected. A diligent search for diabetic subjects with elevated blood pressure should be made through an efficient system of follow up in the PHCC centers.
PMCID: PMC3437077  PMID: 23008627
Diabetes mellitus; Hypertension; Primary Health Care Centers
5.  DRUG CONTROL OF HYPERTENSION IN PRIMARY HEALTH CARE CENTERS-REGISTERED PATIENTS, AL-KHOBAR, SAUDI ARABIA 
Objective:
To assess the quality of the pharmacological control of hypertension.
Design:
A cross-sectional study.
Subjects:
Primary health care centers-registered hypertensive patients.
Setting:
Primary health care centers in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
Methods:
Data was recorded, using a structured questionnaire, through direct interviewing of patients, and from their medical records. It included demographic characteristics, hypertension related, and doctors’-related variables; and patients’ utilization of other health facilities and whether they had other chronic diseases.
Results:
The proportion of patients with controlled hypertension was 37%. It was significantly increased with age below 55 years, with non-Saudis, duration of treatment shorter than 5 years; and with the use of monotherapy. Doctors’ care-related variables did not show significant variation with the number of controlled patients which may imply that the quality of follow-up might not be adequate.
Conclusions:
The proportion of controlled patients cared for in the PHC centers is low. The factors associated with control were age, and the use of a single antihypertensive drug. The study questions the quality of follow-up of patients by the PHC physicians.
PMCID: PMC3437093  PMID: 23008573
Hypertension control; Primary health care; Saudi Arabia
6.  Utilisation of Health Services by the Primary Health Care Centres-Registered Elderly People in Burraidah City, Saudi Arabia 
Objective:
To assess the pattern of and factors associated with geriatrics′ utilisation of health services.
Design:
A cross-sectional, study involving a random sample of 266 elderly subjects registered in the primary health care centres in Burraidah city, Saudi Arabia.
Setting:
The primary health care centres in Qassim Region, Saudi Arabia.
Methods:
Data was collected from PHC centres-registered elderly subjects at their homes. Information including utilisation of primary health centres, hospital admissions and duration of hospital stay were recorded.
Results:
The response rate was 96.7%. Twenty percent of the sample had not used any health services facility during the previous year. Two-thirds of subjects made visits to the primary health care centres, majority of them having made 6 visits or less. Significant factors positively associated with those visits were female, advancing age, and having a family. Three-quarters of the sample did not have hospital admissions. Significant factors positively associated with admissions were diabetes mellitus, hypertension, paralysis, advanced age, and living with a family.
Conclusions:
Geriatric health services utilisation by the study sample is affected by family ties and the high prevalence of chronic diseases. Subjects living alone or crippled by immobility may not be able to utilise available health services properly. Community based geriatrics services can help this vulnerable group.
PMCID: PMC3437139  PMID: 23008543
Geriatrics; Health services utilisation; Saudi Arabia
7.  Assessment of the Knowledge of Primary Health Care Staff about Primary Health Care 
The orientation about Primary Health Care among staff working in the PHC centers was assessed. Staff members numbering 909 were studied. The main criteria for judging orientation were a working knowledge of the definition and elements of PHC in addition to knowledge of the meaning of the word Alma Ata. Differences of this knowledge depending on sex, age, spoken language, type of job, postgraduate experience, previous experience in PHC and previous training in PHC were assessed. The main findings of the study were that the correct definition of PHC was known by only 51.4%, functions of PHC by 62.6%, and what Alma Ata, means in terms of PHC was known by 76.2% of the staff. This knowledge was significantly better in females than males, non-Arabic speaking staff than those who spoke Arabic, General practitioners and nurses than other staff; it was better in those staff who had long postgraduate experience, previous experience or previous training in PHC.
In conclusion, the study reveals the current status of awareness of PHC staff of the implications of simple concepts of PHC and points to the importance of the orientation of staff towards these concepts in order to help them practice PHC effectively.
PMCID: PMC3437150  PMID: 23012208
Primary health care; Alma Ata; General practitioners; Nurses

Results 1-7 (7)