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Home Volume 13 Number 1
Volume 13 Number 1 July 2004

Television as a Source of Health Information for Thai Elderly

Masaki Matsumura

While television has appeared to be a frequently cited source of health information in recently years, very little is known about the characteristics of viewers; who are more likely to watch health-related programs on television? To answer this question, the present study applies the concept of perceived susceptibility drawn from the Health Belief Model. Data from the 2000 baseline survey in Kanchanaburi are used to examine whether elderly people who perceive themselves being susceptible or vulnerable to a disease are more likely to watch health-related television programs. The perceived susceptibility is measured indirectly by utilizing responses to two items in the questionnaire: self-reported chronic illness and the habit of regular smoking. The results demonstrate the tendency that elderly people with self-reported chronic illness are more likely to employ television as a source of health information than elderly people who have not reported any chronic illness.

icon Abstract (73.71 kB)icon Fulltext (172.88 kB)


Modernization and Divorce in Thailand: 1940s to 1970s

Bussarawan Teerawichitchainan

The much-heralded claims about rising divorce rates in Thailand over the recent years are neither based on reliable data sources nor supported by systematic empirical evidence. In this study, the author attempts to provide an accurate reading of level and determinants of divorce in Thailand during the 1940s and 1970s using the 1975 Survey of Fertility in Thailand. The author challenges the conventional wisdom that modernization invariably leads to an increase in divorce. It is found find that overall divorce was fairly common and did not increase as Thai society became more modernized. There were significant ethnic variations in divorce patterns. Divorce was very high and declined over time among Thai Muslims but was very low among Thai Chinese. "Traditional" social statuses (e.g., having no schooling, marrying at an early age) are associated with higher propensity to divorce. These findings suggest that a cross-cultural theory of family change should recognize the much more varied patterns in divorce.

icon Abstract (72.42 kB)icon Fulltext (243.89 kB)


Contraceptive Use among Myanmar Immigrant Workers in Southern Thailand in the Early Phase of Work Permit Legalization: A Baseline Survey and the Short-term Results of Special Health Services

Kyaw Oo , Virasakdi Chongsuvivatwong , Taweesak Natewong , Somboon Aiyarak

Reproductive health is a major concern of health services for immigrant workers worldwide. To be able to understand contraceptive behavior and responses to service, an area in southern Thailand with 1,475 immigrant construction workers was selected for study. Among them, 406 married women of reproductive age were studied. An active family planning service using a special group of providers of the same ethnic origin as the immigrants was conducted during the study period and the effect of the service on contraceptive practices four months later was measured. Initial contraceptive prevalence was 72.9 percent. Oral pills (70.3) and injectables (21.6) were mostly used. Age of women, number of living child, accessibility to health services and size of construction camps were inversely associated with use. Ethnicity was also related to use in large camps. The contraceptive use rate was higher among Mon than other ethnic groups in large camps. Migrant life barriers were strong determinants in controlling fertility. Perception of barriers and ability to overcome barriers was associated with differences in use among different ethnic groups. The abortion rate was reduced from 29.5/1000 woman-yr to 14.8/1000 woman-yr by the intervention. The incidence rate ratio is 0.5 (with 95%CI 0.04- 4.36). The effect of special service was not significant on contraceptive practices for all respondents. However, among the relatively higher educated group, injectable method users and those with an unstable residence were more likely to discontinue. Previous switchers were less likely to discontinue. Injectable method users and previously short duration users were more likely to switch. Women staying in less accessible camps were more likely to be new users. High rates of contraceptive use and switching highlight the need of special family planning services in order to be able to maintain the use rate and through good counseling among the workers.

icon Abstract (93.05 kB)


Some Indirect Techniques to Estimate Maternal Mortality in Nepal

Tika Ram Aryal

This paper outlines some indirect techniques to estimate maternal mortality based on the sex ratio of mortality (for ages between 15 and 49). The model proposed by Bhat, Navaneetham and Rajan (1995) is modified by assuming the sex ratio of mortality (excluding maternal deaths) equal to unity. The proposed procedures provide a consistent estimate of the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) for Nepal and also for Bangladesh. The different procedures provided an estimate of MMR between 490 to 1030 deaths per 100000 live births corresponding to the observed value of MMR of 539 deaths per 100000 live births for the period of 1990-96 for Nepal.

icon Abstract (73.33 kB)


Predictors for Quality of Life of Pulmonary Tuberculosis Patients in Yunnan Province of China

He Chaoyang, Virasakdi Chongsuvivatwong, Alan Geater

Tuberculosis (TB) is an important chronic infectious disease. However, quality of life (QoL) of these patients has rarely been studied. We recruited 150 acid-fast bacilli (AFB) sputum-positive TB patients from Kunming and Xishuangbanna of Yunnan province in China to test and validate a TB patient QoL scale (TBQoL). The scale includes 24 items among 6 domains after principal component factor analysis and necessary modification. The uniqueness of each item is lower than 0.6 and Cronbach's alpha of each domain is greater than 0.7.

For multiple regression analysis, QoL of TB patients is associated with marital status, education, occupation, religion, ethnicities, income and payment style; family income has dose-response relationship with most of domains of the TBQoL. Patients with low income have worst QoL that need more attention. Low education TB patients have poorer social support and poorer relationship with doctor, thus the care provider should be aware of this problem.

icon Abstract (80.54 kB)icon Fulltext (178.4 kB)


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