Prostatitis-like symptoms: diagnosis and management in a Malaysian primary care population.
Lee SWH., Liong ML., Yuen KH., Leong WS., Khan N., Cheah PY., Krieger JN.
BACKGROUND: Little is known about how primary care physicians (PCPs) in Asia diagnose and manage prostatitis-like symptoms. This study investigated the clinical diagnosis of and care provided for prostatitis-like symptoms by PCPs in a Malaysian population, and compared these findings to reports from other areas. METHODS: All members of the Penang Private Medical Practitioners' Society were asked to complete a self-administered survey. Nonresponders were contacted after 3 weeks and received a telephone request after 6 weeks. RESULTS: Of the 786 practitioners contacted, 669 considered themselves to be PCPs, including 279 (42%) who responded to the survey. Adult males with prostatitis-like symptoms typically constitute <1% of the patients seen by PCPs. Most PCPs (72%) believe that prostatitis-like symptoms are caused by bacterial infection. 61% of PCPs base their diagnosis of prostatitis-like symptoms on clinical history, a physical examination and dipstick urinalysis. Standard management was to prescribe 1 or 2 courses of antimicrobials. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the 8.7% prevalence found in a previous survey in this population, prostatitis remains underdiagnosed in Malaysia. In contrast to many other clinical settings, urologists in Malaysia see a large proportion of newly diagnosed and treatment-naive prostatitis patients, providing an opportunity for clinical diagnostic and treatment studies.