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issn:2229-340
1.  CAN A SHORT-TERM TRAINING COURSE IMPROVE THE PRIMARY-CARE PHYSICIANS’ ATTITUDES TOWARD MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS? 
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.
PMCID: PMC3425748  PMID: 23012033
Mental illness; training course; evaluation; attitude; PHC physicians; Saudi Arabia
2.  AUDIT OF DIABETIC CARE IN A SAUDI PRIMARY CARE SETTING 
Objective:
To audit the care offered to diabetic patients attending the Family and Community Medicine Clinic (FAMCO), King Faisal University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
Design:
A cross-sectional study of medical records of 45 diabetic patients who regularly visited the clinic during a one-year period from June 1997 to May 1998.
Subjects:
Patients who presented at the clinic because of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (type II).
Results and Conclusions:
The level of care for diabetic patients was relatively inappropriate, and some important parameters were under-recorded. Specific measures to improve and promote diabetic care in FAMCO clinics need to be undertaken. These include formulating and using protocols for diabetes management and better training of health-care providers.
PMCID: PMC3437105  PMID: 23008605
Saudi Arabia; medical audit; diabetes mellitus; primary care
3.  Evaluation of Antenatal Referrals from Health Centres to the Maternity and Children's Hospital in Dammam city, Saudi Arabia 
Objective:
To evaluate antenatal referral rates from Primary Health Care (PHC) centres to the Maternity and Children's Hospital in Dammam and factors affecting it.
Methodology:
Four randomly Selected Primary Health Care Centres in Dammam city. A sample of 135 pregnant women referred to the hospital (cases) and 135pregnant women not referred (controls) were randomly selected. A double phase sampling scheme was adopted. Questionnaires regarding the characteristics of the general practitioners (GPs) were distributed to those GPs caring for antenatal patients in the 4 health centres.
Results:
There was a variation in the referral rates of the five generalpractitioners from 11.5 to 21.2 per 100 antenatal consultation. It was found thatS certain characteristics of the GPs had an important influence on the referral rates. High risk factors in pregnancy were present in some of the controls but they were not referred.
Conclusion & Recommendations:
There is a variation in the referral rates between the GPs. There is a need to monitor and improve the quality of the antenatal care and the referral process. Better training of the GPs and implementing shared obstetric care is recommended.
PMCID: PMC3437140  PMID: 23008544
General practitioner (GP); Referral Rates; Antenatal Risk Factors; Primary Health Care (PHC) Centres

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