The objective of this study was to describe and compare the pathways followed by Malay patients with psychoses (schizophrenia and schizophreniform disorder) and Malay patients with epilepsy to a tertiary health center in the northeastern area of peninsular Malaysia. There were 60 patients in each group. The most popular pathway for both groups was first contact with traditional or alternative healers. Consultation with Malay traditional healers (bomohs) and/or homeopathic practitioners (44.2%) was significantly higher for psychotic patients (61.7%) than for patients with epilepsy (26.7%) (chi(2)(2)=15.609, P<0.001). Direct access (24.2%) was the second most popular pathway and almost equally followed by both groups of patients. The third and last pathway was initial contact with private general practitioners and government doctors, respectively. Patients with epilepsy dominated the last two pathways. The treatment delay (TD) was significantly longer in epileptic than psychotic patients regardless of their visit to a bomoh and/or homeopathic practitioner (P<0001) or not (p<0.01). The socioeconomic status of psychotic patients also was significantly better than people with epilepsy (chi(2)=9.957, chi(2)(4), p=0.041).
Study site: Psychiatric clinic, Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia HUSM
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.