Prostatitis-like symptoms: diagnosis and management in a Malaysian primary care population

Urol Int. 2009;82(1):32-7. doi: 10.1159/000176022. Epub 2009 Jan 20.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Malaysia / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Physical Examination
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'* / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Health Care* / statistics & numerical data
  • Prostatitis / complications
  • Prostatitis / diagnosis*
  • Prostatitis / epidemiology
  • Prostatitis / therapy*
  • Reagent Strips
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urinalysis / instrumentation
  • Urine / microbiology
  • Urodynamics
  • Urology* / statistics & numerical data


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Reagent Strips