Browse publications by year: 2017

    Despite the reported limitations of the qualitative research in comparison to other methodologies, we contend that the common criticisms against it are too often using criteria explicitly analogous to quantitative reasoning. We critically analysed the reported limitations of qualitative research in the literature to deconstruct the conflicting discourses that enable an understanding of their subjectivity. Also, we provide a philosophical justification that both qualitative and quantitative methodologies are appropriate for studying a different form of reality. Lincoln and Guba’s four principles for determining the quality of qualitative research rigour along with confirmability, transferability, credibility and dependability are deemed appropriate rather than the commonly employed internal and external validity, reliability and objectivity. Finally, we argued that a widespread use of a different standard for judging the quality of qualitative research consequential to its philosophical stance is the panacea for the unfair criticisms in the future.
    MeSH terms: Problem Solving; Publications; Reference Standards; Reproducibility of Results; Qualitative Research
    The problem in analysing qualitative study is regularly highlighted when it comes to data analysis process. Unlike quantitative data that deals with numerical and statistical issues, analysing qualitative data requires the researcher to deal with understanding human experiences and interpreting the data. Therefore, validity and reliability of the analysis are often questioned and becomes a challenge in analysing data from qualitative research. The objective of this writing is to highlight some of the challenges and strengths in the qualitative research process. Validity, reliability, and credibility are among the challenges in analysing qualitative study. Rigor in conducting data collection helps in overcoming the problem in validity, reliability and credibility. In addition, in-depth understanding and triangulation techniques such as interview, document analysis and observation used in qualitative researches are among the strengths for qualitative study.
    MeSH terms: Biometry; Data Collection; Humans; Research Design; Writing; Reproducibility of Results; Qualitative Research
    This study was conducted to identify the practices of Malay chefs in preparing traditional Malay dishes at hotels in the Klang Valley. In addition, this study aimed to identify the level of knowledge and practices of these chefs with regard to traditional cooking and to analyse how the knowledge could be passed on to the younger generation of Malay chefs. In reality, these practices and traditions which include the practices in food preparation, skills and cooking techniques to maintain the authenticity and sustainability of the traditional Malay cuisine are slowly being neglected, especially among those in the hotel industry. The younger generation of Malay chefs no longer seems to take pride in the traditional way of cooking. In addition, the use of processed food in Malay kitchens is very common today. In order to achieve the aims of the study, a qualitative research was conducted. Chefs at various hotels in the Klang Valley were interviewed to determine their current practices. The findings showed that the techniques of cooking traditional Malay foods have been tainted with modern culinary techniques due to a lack of exposure and knowledge in traditional Malay cuisine. In general, traditional cooking methods are viewed as outdated, obsolete and not in accordance to modernisation. By conforming to the style of cooking with modern equipment and technology, this has indirectly altered the prevailing practices of the traditional food preparation in hotels.
    MeSH terms: Cooking; Family Characteristics; Maintenance; Malaysia; Social Behavior; Technology; Qualitative Research; Fast Foods
    This qualitative descriptive study, underpinned by naturalistic inquiry, explored the prehospital emergency medical service response time in Klang Valley by providing an in-depth information of the phenomenon. In this study, various levels of health care personnel participated in focus group discussion and semi-structured interview. The staff members consisted of many levels of category from the lower ranks up to the higher level administrative officers. Content analysis was employed in analysing all data. Every one of the key informants was aware of the importance of making immediate responses to each ambulance call received. They shared their thoughts, experiences, and challenges in achieving the ideal response time in line with international recommendations. There were five categories of issues that emerged and challenges that arose from delays in response time, namely, 1) insufficient key information; 2) inconsistent information leading to delayed arrival of ambulance; 3) traffic condition causing delay in ambulance speed; 4) lack of resources contributing to an increase in workload; and, 5) unassertiveness in the attitude of members of staff. The findings have provided an answer to the society with regard to the current pre-hospital emergency medical service issues related to delay in the service delivered. Thus, policy makers and pre-hospital health care service providers should develop a strategic action plan by focusing on these findings to reduce the response time of ambulance call.
    MeSH terms: Administrative Personnel; Ambulances; Emergency Service, Hospital; Health Resources; Hospitals; Humans; Reaction Time; Workload; Focus Groups; Qualitative Research
    A qualitative study was conducted to assess the nursing students’ experiences of their clinical practice at one public university in Sarawak, Malaysia. Purposive sampling was used to recruit nine undergraduate nursing degree students at a medical faculty. An in-depth interview based on an open-ended questionnaire was used to collect data. The open-ended questionnaire was used to assess the students’ expectation, feelings, challenging experiences related to work culture, knowledge and skills in patient care, teaching learning supports, people interpersonal relationship, students’ role and their coping mechanism in clinical practice. Data were analysed using content analysis approach facilitated by Nvivo software (Version 8.) The themes emerged from the data analysis included (a) Gaining insight into the reality of clinical working environment and (b) challenges. The subthemes illustrated the students’ challenges were interpersonal relationship with people at the work place, different ward environment, theorypractice gap and insufficient clinical practice, and anxiety. The participants also reported experiencing anxiety due to challenges; however, after a period of time, they learnt to cope with them. The students were able to use different coping mechanism such as internal and external motivation, and this increased their confidence as they progressed in their learning. The learning difficulties faced by nursing students during clinical placement show that a supportive learning environment is important. This study proposed practical strategies to empower students in clinical learning and increase their self-esteem and confidence. In order to improve quality of students’ clinical education, adequate and effective work collaboration between nursing education and health care services are recommended. Future research should focus on how to create a supportive clinical learning environment in local setting
    MeSH terms: Adaptation, Psychological; Anxiety; Anxiety Disorders; Delivery of Health Care; Education, Nursing; Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate; Emotions; Faculty, Medical; Patient Care; Humans; Learning; Malaysia; Motivation; Surveys and Questionnaires; Software; Students, Nursing; Universities; Workplace; Qualitative Research
  6. Liu J, Soo Yun Tan C, Lan Y, Scherman OA
    J Polym Sci A Polym Chem, 2017 09 15;55(18):3105-3109.
    PMID: 28931970 DOI: 10.1002/pola.28667
    The success of exploiting cucurbit[n]uril (CB[n])-based molecular recognition in self-assembled systems has sparked a tremendous interest in polymer and materials chemistry. In this study, polymerization in the presence of host-guest complexes is applied as a modular synthetic approach toward a diverse set of CB[8]-based supramolecular hydrogels with desirable properties, such as mechanical strength, toughness, energy dissipation, self-healing, and shear-thinning. A range of vinyl monomers, including acrylamide-, acrylate-, and imidazolium-based hydrophilic monomers, could be easily incorporated as the polymer backbones, leading to a library of CB[8] hydrogel networks. This versatile strategy explores new horizons for the construction of supramolecular hydrogel networks and materials with emergent properties in wearable and self-healable electronic devices, sensors, and structural biomaterials. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part A: Polym. Chem. 2017, 55, 3105-3109.
    MeSH terms: Acrylates; Biocompatible Materials; Electronics; Polymers; Hydrogels; Acrylamide; Macromolecular Substances; Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions; Polymerization
  7. Wakamiya T, Tingek S, Okuyama H, Kiyoshi T, Takahashi JI
    Mitochondrial DNA B Resour, 2017 Jan 17;2(1):24-25.
    PMID: 33490434 DOI: 10.1080/23802359.2016.1275847
    In this study, we analyzed the complete mitochondrial genome of the cavity-nesting honeybee, A. koschevnikovi. The mitochondrial genome of A. koschevnikovi was observed to be a circular molecule of 15,278 bp and was similar to that of the other cavity-nesting honeybee species. The average AT content in the A. koschevnikovi mitochondrial genome was 84%. It was predicted to contain 13 protein-coding, 24 tRNA and two rRNA genes, along with one A + T-rich control region, besides three tRNA-Met repeats.
    MeSH terms: Animals; Bees; DNA, Mitochondrial; RNA, Transfer; Genes, rRNA; Genome, Mitochondrial
  8. Gwani AS, Asari MA, Mohd Ismail ZI
    Folia Morphol (Warsz), 2017;76(4):682-688.
    PMID: 28553850 DOI: 10.5603/FM.a2017.0049
    BACKGROUND: The foot is composed of medial, lateral and transverse arches which, particularly the medial arch, provide it with the ability to function both as a flexible and rigid structure for proper locomotion. Arches of the foot, as well as their effect on lower extremity function, have been studied. However, quantitative data on the relationship between these arches still remain scanty. The purpose of this study was, therefore, to examine how the three arches of the foot intercorrelate.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seventy-six participants (58 males, 18 females) were recruited to participate in the study. Bilateral weight-bearing lateral radiographs of the right foot were taken from each participant. Navicular heights (NH), medial cuneiform height (MCH), calcaneal inclination angle (CIA) and calcaneal-first metatarsal angle (C1MA) were measured to represent the medial arch. The lateral arch was represented by cuboid height (CH) and calcaneal-fifth metatarsal angle (C5MA) whereas; MCH and CH represented the transverse arch. Mean difference of variables between males and females was compared using independent t-test while the correlation between the variables was determined using Pearson correlation.

    RESULTS: All the variables were not significantly related to gender. Significant moderate to excellent linear correlations were observed between the variables. CIA showed the strongest correlation with C1MA (r = -0.90) and C5MA (r = -0.84) whereas, CH had the least correlation with other variables.

    CONCLUSIONS: The moderate to excellent correlations between the variables indicate that deformation or elevation of the medial arch may consequently result in similar movements of the lateral and transverse arches and vice versa.

    MeSH terms: Calcaneus; Female; Foot; Humans; Locomotion; Male; Metatarsal Bones; Tarsal Bones; Weight-Bearing; Lower Extremity
  9. Gan HM, Takahashi H, Hammer MP, Tan MH, Lee YP, Voss JM, et al.
    Mitochondrial DNA B Resour, 2017 Feb 06;2(1):73-75.
    PMID: 33473721 DOI: 10.1080/23802359.2017.1285206
    The complete mitochondrial genomes of four fish species of the commercially important family Latidae were sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq, thereby significantly increasing the mitogenomic resources for the family. Whole mitogenome-based phylogenetic analysis supports the monophyly of the genus Lates and more generally the family Latidae. The mitogenome sequences from this study will be useful for future assessments of the diversity within and between Lates species and studies of phylogenetic relationships within the diverse and taxonomically challenging perciform fishes.
    MeSH terms: Animals; Fishes; Perciformes; Phylogeny; Genome, Mitochondrial
  10. Gan HM, Amornsakun T, Tan MP
    Mitochondrial DNA B Resour, 2017 Mar 17;2(1):148-149.
    PMID: 33473747 DOI: 10.1080/23802359.2017.1298418
    We sequenced and assembled three whole mitogenome sequences of the commercially important snakeskin gourami Trichopodus pectoralis isolated from Malaysia (introduced), Viet Nam (native) and Thailand (native). The mitogenome length range from 16,397 to 16,420 bp. The final partitioned nucleotide alignment consists of 14,002 bp and supports the monophyly of the genus Trichopodus (95% ultrafast bootstrap support) with T. trichopterus forming a sister group with the members of T. pectoralis.
    MeSH terms: Animals; Fishes; Malaysia; Nucleotides; Perciformes; Thailand; Vietnam; Genome, Mitochondrial
  11. Okuyama H, Tingek S, Takahashi JI
    Mitochondrial DNA B Resour, 2017 Jul 31;2(2):475-476.
    PMID: 33473869 DOI: 10.1080/23802359.2017.1361344
    The complete mitochondrial genome of the cavity-nesting honeybee Apis cerana from Sabah on Borneo Island was analyzed using next-generation sequencing. The mitochondrial genome of A. cerana was a circular molecule of 15,884 bp and was similar to that of the other cavity-nesting honeybee species. The average AT content in the A. cerana mitochondrial genome was 84.4%. It was predicted to contain 13 protein-coding, 22 tRNA, and two rRNA genes, along with one A + T-rich control region.
    MeSH terms: Animals; Bees; Borneo; Malaysia; RNA, Transfer; Genes, rRNA; Genome, Mitochondrial; High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing; Islands
  12. Takahashi JI, Tingek S, Okuyama H
    Mitochondrial DNA B Resour, 2017 Sep 05;2(2):585-586.
    PMID: 33473910 DOI: 10.1080/23802359.2017.1372714
    The cavity-nesting honeybee Apis nuluensis inhabits only the highlands of Mount Kinabalu of Sabah, Borneo Island. The mitochondrial genome is a circular molecule of approximately 1.6 kb that includes 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, two rRNA genes, and one AT-rich control region. The average AT content was 84.5%. The start codons ATC, ATG, and ATT were found in one, three, and nine genes, respectively, whereas the stop codon TAA was observed in all genes. The phylogenetic relationship, inferred using 13 PCGs, was consistent with that reported in previous studies that predicted a sister taxon relationship between A. nuluensis and A. cerana.
    MeSH terms: Animals; Bees; Borneo; Malaysia; Phylogeny; RNA, Transfer; Codon, Initiator; Codon, Terminator; Genes, rRNA; Gene Order; Genome, Mitochondrial; Islands
  13. Liu J, Niu YF, Ni SB, Liu ZY, Zheng C, Shi C
    Mitochondrial DNA B Resour, 2017 Dec 12;3(1):13-14.
    PMID: 33474051 DOI: 10.1080/23802359.2017.1413317
    The Artocarpus heterophyllus, native to Western Ghats of India, Malaysia and south-eastern Asia, is a tree member of the mulberry family (Moraceae). Chloroplast genome sequences play a significant role in the development of molecular markers in plant phylogenetic and population genetic studies. In this study, we report the complete chloroplast genome sequence of A. heterophyllus for the first time. The chloroplast genome is 160,387 bp long and includes 113 genes. Its LSC, SSC and IR regions are 88,422, 18,869 and 26,548 bp long, respectively. Phylogenetic tree analysis exhibited that A. heterophyllus was clustered with other Moraceae species with high bootstrap values.
    MeSH terms: Chloroplasts; Far East; Genetics, Population; India; Malaysia; Phylogeny; Research Design; Moraceae; Artocarpus; Morus; Genome, Chloroplast
  14. Huang X, Shan L, Cheng K, Weng W
    ACS Biomater Sci Eng, 2017 Dec 11;3(12):3254-3260.
    PMID: 33445368 DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.7b00551
    The topography at the micro/nanoscale level for biomaterial surfaces has been thought to play vital roles in their interactions with cells. However, discovering the interdisciplinary mechanisms underlying how cells respond to micro-nanostructured topography features still remains a challenge. In this work, ∼37 μm 3D printing used titanium microspheres and their further hierarchical micro-nanostructured spheres through hydrothermal treatment were adopted to construct typical model surface topographies to study the preosteoblastic cell responses (adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation). We here demonstrated that not only the hierarchical micro-nanostructured surface topography but also their distribution density played critical role on cell cytocompatibility. The microstructured topography feature surface with middle-density distributed titanium microspheres showed significantly enhanced cell responses, which might be attributed to the better cellular interaction due to the cell aggregates. However, the hierarchical micro-nanostructured topography surface, regardless of the distribution density of titanium microspheres, improved the cell-surface interactions because of the enhanced initial protein adsorption, thereby reducing the cell aggregates and consequently their responses. This work, therefore, provides new insights into the fundamental understanding of cell-material interactions and will have a profound impact on further designing micro-nanostructured topography surfaces to control cell responses.
    MeSH terms: Adsorption; Biocompatible Materials; Cell Communication; Cell Differentiation; Microspheres; Titanium; Cell Proliferation; Nanostructures; Printing, Three-Dimensional
  15. Mirasol R, Thai AC, Salahuddin AA, Tan K, Deerochanawong C, Mohamed M, et al.
    J ASEAN Fed Endocr Soc, 2017;32(1):6-12.
    PMID: 33442078 DOI: 10.15605/jafes.032.01.02
    The Asia-Pacific region carries a high disease burden, with over half of the global diabetic population residing in this region. Increasing evidence shows that without targeted intervention, the progression from impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) to type 2 diabetes occurs more frequently in Asians compared with Caucasians. Furthermore, IGT is independently associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and should be managed as early as possible. Because diabetes is now a major public health issue, strategies aimed at prevention and treatment are urgently required. Lifestyle modification, including weight loss, dietary changes and increased physical activity, play a major role in controlling the disease. Significant evidence also supports the effectiveness of a combination of lifestyle modification and pharmacologic therapy, such as metformin, in delaying the onset of diabetes. Although the importance of lifestyle interventions is well recognized throughout Asia, many countries do not have formal recommendations to guide the diagnosis and management of individuals at risk of progression to diabetes. At a recent regional meeting, experts from the Asian region convened to develop consensus recommendations to guide clinicians in the management of Asian patients with pre-diabetes. These consensus recommendations provide a clear and concise approach to the management of individuals with IGT based on the available evidence and current best clinical practice.
    MeSH terms: Asia; Behavior Therapy; Cardiovascular Diseases; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2; Humans; Hypoglycemic Agents; Life Style; Metformin; Prediabetic State; Public Health; Weight Loss; Exercise; Cost of Illness; Glucose Intolerance; Consensus; Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  16. Abdullah NRA, Akbar RZA
    J ASEAN Fed Endocr Soc, 2017;32(1):50-53.
    PMID: 33442085 DOI: 10.15605/jafes.032.01.09
    Autoimmune thyroiditis in the course of other autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is common because these disorders are attributed to the production of autoantibodies against various autoantigens. Beyond this association, autoimmune thyroiditis can occur before, during or after the development of SLE. In this report, we describe a female who presented with facial puffiness, lethargy and progressive abdominal distension. She was diagnosed with autoimmune thyroiditis followed by the diagnosis of SLE complicated by a massive ascites, a rare form of lupus peritonitis, which is sterile ascites that results from severe serositis. Her presentation was complex and posed a diagnostic challenge and dilemma to the physicians involved in her care.
    MeSH terms: Ascites; Autoantibodies; Autoantigens; Autoimmune Diseases; Female; Humans; Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid; Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic; Peritonitis; Physicians; Serositis; Thyroiditis, Autoimmune; Hashimoto Disease; Lethargy
  17. Tong CV, Hussein Z
    J ASEAN Fed Endocr Soc, 2017;32(1):54-56.
    PMID: 33442086 DOI: 10.15605/jafes.032.01.10
    For ectopic adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) syndrome (EAS), when surgery is not feasible, or in cases of severe biochemical disturbances, immunosuppression or mental instability, medical therapy with agents such as etomidate is indicated. We present our experience in using etomidate for a 41-year old female with EAS secondary to a malignant mediastinal paraganglioma. We were able to demonstrate that etomidate can be used effectively to control severe hypercortisolism in a lower dose than previously described.
    MeSH terms: ACTH Syndrome, Ectopic; Adrenocorticotropic Hormone; Cushing Syndrome; Etomidate; Female; Immunosuppression; Paraganglioma; Paraganglioma, Extra-Adrenal
  18. Loh LT, Lim V
    J ASEAN Fed Endocr Soc, 2017;32(1):57-59.
    PMID: 33442087 DOI: 10.15605/jafes.032.01.11
    Thyroid function is usually normal in differentiated thyroid carcinoma. We describe a case of a female patient who had metastatic follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC) to the spine and lungs, who was clinically euthyroid but had very low free tetraiodothyronine (fT4) and normal thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Free triiodothyronine (fT3) and total T3 (TT3) were normal. Levothyroxine treatment increased fT4 marginally but caused a two- to three-fold rise in fT3 and TT3 along with suppressed TSH. This is likely due to hyperconversion of T4 to T3 from elevation in D2 deiodinase activity in the tumor. This phenomenon has been reported to occur in about 20% of metastatic FTC.
    MeSH terms: Female; Humans; Iodide Peroxidase; Lung; Spine; Thyroid Function Tests; Thyroid Neoplasms; Thyrotropin; Thyroxine; Triiodothyronine; Adenocarcinoma, Follicular
  19. Hussain S, Men KK, Majid NA
    J ASEAN Fed Endocr Soc, 2017;32(2):132-138.
    PMID: 33442096 DOI: 10.15605/jafes.032.02.06
    Objectives: We aim to compare the clinical and biochemical profile of metabolic syndrome between obese children below and above 10 years attending Paediatric clinic Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM) from 2006 to 2015. This is to determine if age, particularly the transition to puberty, modifies the prevalence of components of metabolic syndrome in obese children.

    Methodology: The medical records of 84 obese children under 18 years of age seen at Paediatric clinic HUSM from 2006 to 2015 were reviewed. Demographic (age, gender, ethnicity), anthropometric (weight and height), clinical [body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP)] and biochemical [serum total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), fasting plasma glucose (FPG)] parameters were recorded, analyzed and compared.

    Results: Majority of subjects in both age groups were boys, with 68.2% <10 years old. Mean age was 9.69 years (±3.36). The clinical and biochemical parameters of metabolic syndrome were similar between those <10 years old and >10 years, with the exception of BMI, waist circumference, SBP and TG level. Multivariate regression analysis showed that the parameters of metabolic syndrome significantly associated with age ≥10 years were systolic hypertension (adjusted OR 7.17, 95% CI, 1.48 to 34.8) and BMI >30 kg/m2 (adjusted OR 3.02, 95% CI, 1.16 to 7.86).

    Conclusion: There were similar clinical and biochemical parameters of metabolic syndrome in both age groups. The proportions of children with metabolic syndrome were similar regardless of age group. The overall prevalence rate of metabolic syndrome was 27.3%. In view of the alarming presence of components of metabolic syndrome even in children less than 10 years of age, efforts aimed at the prevention of childhood obesity in the community should be intensified.

    MeSH terms: Adolescent; Blood Glucose; Blood Pressure; Child; Ethnic Groups; Fasting; Hospitals; Humans; Hypertension; Cholesterol, HDL; Cholesterol, LDL; Malaysia; Male; Medical Records; Men; Puberty; Regression Analysis; Triglycerides; Body Mass Index; Prevalence; Waist Circumference; Pediatric Obesity
  20. Dharan SS, Kamaruddin NA
    J ASEAN Fed Endocr Soc, 2017;32(2):169-172.
    PMID: 33442102 DOI: 10.15605/jafes.032.02.12
    Acromegaly is a rare disease with an annual incidence of 3 to 4 cases in a million.1 Diagnosis is often delayed due to the slow progression of the disease. Persistent elevation of growth hormone (GH) in acromegaly causes a reduction in life expectancy by 10 years. Aside from multiple cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic co-morbidities, it has also been proven to cause an increased incidence of cancer. The main treatment of acromegaly is surgical excision of the functioning pituitary adenoma. Multiple comorbidities, including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and soft tissue swelling, make surgery complicated, if not impossible. Medical therapy to reduce comorbidities may be indicated in certain situations. Somatostatin receptor ligands (SRL) are able to reduce, and possibly normalize, IGF-1 levels.2 Reduction of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), the main mediator of GH, is able to resolve headache, sweating, fatigue and soft tissue swelling, and also reduce ventricular hypertrophy. This case report illustrates the successful use of the SRL octreotide LAR in treating acromegaly. It also confirms the observation from several case series that thyroid cancer is the most common malignancy in acromegaly.
    MeSH terms: Acromegaly; Fatigue; Headache; Insulin-Like Growth Factor I; Life Expectancy; Ligands; Pituitary Neoplasms; Growth Hormone; Sweating; Thyroid Neoplasms; Octreotide; Incidence; Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular; Receptors, Somatostatin; Human Growth Hormone; Sleep Apnea, Obstructive; Rare Diseases
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