Self-reported health complaints in a primary care population living under stressful conditions in the gaza strip, palestine

Academic Article


  • Background: The population in the Gaza Strip has been living under chronically stressful conditions as a result of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Objectives: To identify health complaints reported by attendants consulting primary care physicians in the Gaza Strip. Methods: The study took place in 10 governmental primary health care centres and 5 clinics of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in the Gaza Strip, during autumn 2005. Self-reported health complaints were recorded through face-to-face interviews with 956 respondents using a validated and reliable questionnaire. Results: Abdominal pain and headache were the most frequent complaints reported among patients aged 18 to 44 years, accounting for 23.3% and 22.7% of total complaints in males and females, respectively. Fatigue and joint pain were the most common complaints among patients aged 45 years and above, accounting for 26% and 33.9% of total complaints in males and females, respectively. Conclusions: The most common complaints, as reported by patients attending PHC facilities were stress-related and could be attributed to the ongoing conflict and high level of violence and uncertainty in the area. These complaints present a challenge to primary care providers in their efforts to improve the everyday quality of life of Palestinian residents with scarce means and resources. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 11832697
  • Author List

  • Abu-Mourad T; Koutis A; Alegakis A; Markaki A; Jildeh C; Lionis C; Philalithis A
  • Start Page

  • 68
  • End Page

  • 79
  • Volume

  • 26
  • Issue

  • 1