Prevalence of Subjective Health Complaints in Rural Community, Khon Kaen

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Mukda Wichien
Amorn Premgamone
Sompong Srisanpang


Background: Subjective health complaints include variety of subjective illnesses with few or no objective finding. They are the major reasons for granting sickness compensation, and frequent reasons for encounter with the general practitioners.  Determining the prevalence of such problems can help in obtaining the magnitude of the problem

Objective: To determine the prevalence of people with subjective health complaints.

Design: Descriptive study

Setting: The rural communities in Khon Kaen Province

Population and samples: The totals of 1,600 people with aged 15-65 years were selected by multi

stage sampling method.

Method: The Thai version of subjective health complaint inventory was employed.

Main outcome measure: Prevalence of people with subjective health complaints.

Results: The response rate was 70.5%. Prevalence of people with subjective health complaints was 87.4% (95%CI: 87.1 to 87.7). The complains included  69.0 %  musculoskeletal, 48.9% gastrointestinal, 48.0%  pseudoneurological complaints, 36.0% flu-like and 27.4% allergic like symptom. Their health seeking behaviours included 66.2% do nothing/self-observation, 48.9% made self-prescription, 46.1% reformed self-care, 30.5% went to the public health centers, 13.3% went to the community hospitals, 9.8% went to private clinic, 2.5% went to  Khon Kaen Regional hospital and 0.8% went to Srinagarind  hospital.

Conclusion: In Khon Kaen province, prevalence of people with subjective health complaints in rural community was 87.4%. They tended to choose self care more than other treatment resorts. Most of them chosed primary health care before went to hospital.The prevalence was similar to that of the studies in  the Western countries.

key words : subjective health complaints, health seeking behaviour


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