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Title: Psychological problems in Saudi Arabian primary care patients : a preliminary exploration of barriers to effective treatment
Author: Alqahtani, Mohammed M.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3418 3835
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2006
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The importance of primary care in treating Psychological Disorder (PO) has repeatedly been emphasized. Many patients with psychological needs may find several barriers to receiving benefit from their GP. Unfortunately, there is no study within Saudi Arabian (SA) primary care about the prevalence of PO and the process of dealing with it. Therefore, this thesis reports the results of four studies. The first three quantitative studies and the fourth, qualitative, study attempted to explore PO and relevant barriers to receiving help from the GP. Study One was conducted in Saudi primary care (N=224 patients) in one specific area (Assir Area). It contains two chapters: in the first chapter assessment included prevalence of PO, prevalence of medically unexplained symptoms (MUS), and GPs' ability to detect PD. Findings from this chapter suggest that PO is high using GHQ-I2 and GHQ-28. Only about 15 percent of the sample was MUS. GPs were likely to misdiagnose PD. In the second chapter assessment included patients' aetiological beliefs, reasons for delay in seeking help, sources of help consulted, stigma, satisfaction, and patient intentions. There were significant differences between cases and non-cases related to their beliefs, stigma, and patient intentions. Cases reported more psychological and cultural beliefs than non-cases did. Women reported more stigmatization than men. Study Two (N=104 patients) had the specific aim of comparing the two methods of wording format for answering the GHQ-12: the Arabic method of wording vs. the Goldberg method of wording. The Arabic HADS was used as a gold standard criterion. Findings from this study suggest that the Arabic answering format works in almost the same as the Goldberg answering format. Study Three (N=606 patients) was conducted in primary care in different geographical areas of Saudi Arabia. This study contains four chapters: prevalence of PO and MUS, patients' beliefs, patients' intentions, and GPs' diagnoses and treatment decisions. Prevalence of PO and MUS were compared with Study One, and were almost the same. Two scoring methods of the GHQ-12 were tested vs. the HADS. GPs were again likely to misdiagnose PD. Cases reported more psychological and cultural beliefs than non-cases did. Cases' beliefs changed after consultation to be more physical. Cases showed more need for emotional support from their GP than non-cases. GPs' assessments of patients' intentions were significantly different from what patients requested. There was no clear evidence that the GPs' decisions for cases were different from non-cases. Study Four was qualitative (N=27 patients). This study examined the ways in which psychological, physical and cultural factors interacted in patients' beliefs about their symptoms and what patients want from their GPs and how they respond to GPs. Patients with beliefs that psychological factors are involved in their problems also report more beliefs in cultural reasons for their symptoms and they believe more in cultural sources of help. Patients reported that they consulted their GPs for more than medication and drugs alone. This thesis concludes that Saudi primary care patients with psychological disorders encounter several barriers which need to be overcome if they are to receive proper help. Primary care providers need to educate patients, train GPs and provide help for psychological disorders presented in cultural ways, especially for women and for those patients with cultural needs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available