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  • Author or Editor: Waris Qidwai x
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Background: Consultations in primary health care are considered ideal for opportunistic health promotion. A need exists to study opportunistic health promotion practiced in our setting. Objectives: To study opportunistic health promotion among family practice patients visiting a teaching hospital for treatment. Methods: A Questionnaire-based cross-sectional survey was conducted at the Family Practice Center, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan, in July and August, 2005. It included demographic profile of the patients and questions based on study objective. Written informed consent was taken and confidentiality was ensured. SPSS computer software was used for data management. Results: 274 patients were interviewed. The mean age of the respondents was 37 years, a majority being married housewives, with above grade X education, and in private service, student or self-employed. Reasons for visit during which opportunistic care was explored were regular check-up, chest pain, palpitations, and heart problem, antenatal care, orthopedic and eye problems and hypertension/ diabetes mellitus in 139 (50.8%), 43 (15.7%), 26 (9.5%) 20 (7.4%) and 9 (3.3%) cases, respectively. 259 (94.5%) patients want a doctor to provide opportunistic health promotion, while it was provided to 160 (58.4%) patients. Tobacco use was asked, and advice provided on diet, physical exercise, immunization and weight control in 109 (39.8%), 182 (66.4%), 165 (60.2%), 72 (26.3%) and 207 (75.5%) cases, respectively. Advice to check serum cholesterol was provided in 140 (51.1%) cases. Patients were screened for heart disease, cancers, and depression in 111 (40.5%), 82 (29.9%) and 120 (43.8%) cases, respectively. Blood pressure was checked in 234 (85.4%) cases. Conclusions: We have documented opportunistic health promotion in our setting. Research and interventional strategies are recommended to further promote it and also to look at its advantages and disadvantages in our settings.

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Objectives: To study patient attendant’s views regarding their role in doctor-patient consultation. Methods: A Questionnaire-based survey was conducted at the Family Practice Center, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan, in June 2004. The Questionnaire included a demographic profile of patient’s attendant and questions in line with the study objective. It was administered by study investigators to 100 individuals, visiting Family Practice clinics. Ethical requirements including the administration of written informed consent and the provision of confidentiality were ensured. SPSS computer software was used for data management. Results: The mean age of the study population was 36.91 years, with a majority comprising well-educated housewives. Well over 90% of the attendants expect the physician and the patient to allow them to sit during consultation, while 95 (95%) expect the physician to ask questions from them about the patient’s medical problem. Eighty-nine (89%) attendants feel that their presence during consultation can assist in the treatment. Ninety-seven (97%) attendants believe they have a right to ask questions about the patient’s medical condition, eighty-eight (88%) feel they can exert a positive influence in the treatment of the patient, while 89 (89%) believe that patient and attendant should be considered as a unit. Ninety (90%) attendants do not agree that a patient attendant has no role other than accompanying him/her and facilitating the visit to the physician. Conclusions: The findings of our study suggest that the patient’s attendant should not be considered merely a person accompanying and facilitating patient visit but one that can exert a positive influence on the patient’s medical care.

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