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Title: Psychiatric services in primary care settings: A survey of general practitioners in Thailand
Authors: Manote Lotrakul
Ratana Saipanish
Mahidol University
Keywords: Medicine
Issue Date: 24-Jul-2006
Citation: BMC Family Practice. Vol.7, (2006)
Abstract: Background: General Practitioners (GPs) in Thailand play an important role in treating psychiatric disorders since there is a shortage of psychiatrists in the country. Our aim was to examine GP's perception of psychiatric problems, drug treatment and service problems encountered in primary care settings. Methods: We distributed 1,193 postal questionnaires inquiring about psychiatric practices and service problems to doctors in primary care settings throughout Thailand. Results: Four hundred and thirty-four questionnaires (36.4%) were returned. Sixty-seven of the respondents (15.4%) who had taken further special training in various fields were excluded from the analysis, giving a total of 367 GPs in this study. Fifty-six per cent of respondents were males and they had worked for 4.6 years on average (median = 3 years). 65.6% (SD = 19.3) of the total patients examined had physical problems, 10.7% (SD = 7.9) had psychiatric problems and 23.9% (SD = 16.0) had both problems. The most common psychiatric diagnoses were anxiety disorders (37.5%), alcohol and drugs abuse (28.1%), and depressive disorders (29.2%). Commonly prescribed psychotropic drugs were anxiolytics and antidepressants. The psychotropic drugs most frequently prescribed were diazepam among anti-anxiety drugs, amitriptyline among antidepressant drugs, and haloperidol among antipsychotic drugs. Conclusion: Most drugs available through primary care were the same as what existed 3 decades ago. There should be adequate supply of new and appropriate psychotropic drugs in primary care. Case-finding instruments for common mental disorders might be helpful for GPs whose quality of practice was limited by large numbers of patients. However, the service delivery system should be modified in order to maintain successful care for a large number of psychiatric patients. © 2006 Lotrakul and Saipanish; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
ISSN: 14712296
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2006-2010

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