Title

Psychological stress among family practice patients visiting a teaching hospital in Karachi

Document Type

Article

Department

Family Medicine

Abstract

Objective: To study psychological stress among family practice patients to highlight its importance.
Design: A cross sectional study. Setting: Family Practice Center of Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi - Pakistan, in July 2003. Patients and Methods: Family practice patients were interviewed without using any systematic randomization. A questionnaire was developed that included data on demographic profile of the patient and questions on patient perceptions whether they were in stress or not, the degree of stress if perceived to be present and its causes including need to seek medical help. They were simultaneously administered a stress screening questionnaire that showed whether they were under stress or not including the degree of stress if present. The questionnaire was administered by an elective student working at the department of family medicine. 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: Total 100 patients were interviewed, of which 51 were females. According to the screening questionnaire 04(04%), 33(33%) and 63(63%) respondents were under “severe”, “moderate” and “no particular stress” respectively. According to patient perception, 03(3%), 10(10%) and 17(17%) respondents reported having severe, moderate and mild stress respectively. Stress was mostly related to work (40%) and domestic issues (20%).
Conclusion: It is important to screen patients visiting family physicians for underlying stress. Patient perceptions of stress matched the screening tool and therefore asking a simple question that patients are stressed may be adequate.

Publication

Journal of Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences