Introduction: Depression is an important problem in primary care practice and is the commonest psychiatric disorder among the elderly.
Aim: To assess the prevalence of depression among the elderly patients attending a rural primary health care clinic in Malaysia and to identify its associated factors.
Method: The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) questionnaire was used as a screening instrument. Patients with positive GDS scores for depression were further assessed for Major Depression.
Results: 14% of the patients were found to have depression. The associated factors identified were gender, marital status, educational level, total family monthly income, living arrangement and if they had someone to confide in. Further clinical evaluation using the DSM IV Criteria for major depression revealed that two-thirds of the patients with depression were suffering from major depression.
Conclusion: The prevalence of depression among the elderly patients at a rural primary health care clinic was high. Primary health care doctors and staff should take extra care to detect depression when managing elderly patients.
Overweight and obese adults are at increased risk of both mortality and morbidity, principally from cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. Intentional weight loss of 5-1 0% is associated with substantial benefits. Weight reduction should be encouraged by dietary and behavioural modification initially, with realistic targets set over an initial 6-month period. It must be emphasised that these measures should continue indefinitely. This can be complemented by pharmacological intervention with orlistat, or perhaps sibutramine when available in the near future. Given the important impact environmental and social factors have on the aetiology of obesity, the community at large should effect programmes to encourage healthy lifestyles among the populace. Town and city planners should include readily available recreational and sporting facilities in residential districts, especially in the urban and sub-urban areas. Physical education sessions in schools in both primary and secondary levels should receive more emphasis to encourage the young to make sports and physical exercise a part of life, rather than being seen as a non examinable appendage of the school curriculum. The key to defeating obesity is prevention, and an effort to lose weight once it accumulates, can often be too little, too late.
Otitis media is a common disease presenting to family practitioners all over the world. There have been many changes in the way these patients were managed over the years. This article attempts to provide an overview to family physicians regarding the latest approach in managing this common condition. Keywords: Otitis, otitis media, otoscopy, eardrops.