Morbidities and health-seeking behavior of elderly patients attending primary health care in the Kingdom of Bahrain
Samya Bahram1, Adel Salman AlSayyad2, Fatima Al Nooh3, Wafa Al Farra4, Ali Al Ekri5
1 Family Practice Residency Program, Training Department; Professional Skills Department and Community Medicine, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
2 Epidemiology and Public, Public Health Directorate; Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine & Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
3 Naim Health Center, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
4 Ahmed Ali Kanoo Health Center, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
5 Jidhafs Health Center, Ministry of Health, Sanabis, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
Family Practice Residency Program, Training Department, Ministry of Health, Building 929, Road 1015, Sanabis 410* P.O.Box: 12
Kingdom of Bahrain
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Understanding the health-seeking behaviors help in increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the health-care system; however, there is lack of knowledge regarding the health-seeking behavior of the elderly population in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Objective: The objective of this study was to identify the morbidity profile and determine the health-seeking behavior of the elderly population.
Methods: This cross-sectional study included all elderly patients (≥60 years) who attended four primary health-care centers that represent four governorates with the largest catchment area in the Kingdom of Bahrain between June 19 and August 31, 2021. Information concerning their sociodemographic data, morbidity profile and health-seeking behavior were collected through direct interviewing using a structured, predesigned and pretested questionnaire.
Results: A total of 414 elderly patients were included, with the majority being Bahraini (89.1%) and male (55%). The most prevalent morbidity was hypertension (67.6%), followed by hyperlipidemia (54.7%), diabetes (52.6%), and arthritis (32.1%); arthritis was significantly more common among females than males (P < 0.001). The majority reported the reason for their visit being “repeat prescription” (32.1%). Almost one-third (28.2%) attempted self-management prior to their visit, and almost half (46.7%) reported seeking non-professional medical advice. The majority rated their health as good (39.4%) and moderate (38.2%). Less than one-third (28%) reported having had a health problem for which they did not attend to a health care facility.
Conclusion: The study highlighted the morbidity profile and the health-seeking behavior among elderly population in Bahrain, which may serve as a point from which further efforts may be directed to improve the services.