OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were 1) to obtain information regarding the prescribing pattern of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the primary care setting at a Malaysian university, 2) to determine the prevalence and types of potential NSAID prescription related problems (PRPs), and 3) to identify patient characteristics associated with exposure to these potential PRPs.
METHODS: We retrospectively collected data from 1 academic year using the electronic medical records of patients in the University Sains Malaysia (USM) primary care system. The defined daily dose (DDD) methodology and the anatomical therapeutic chemical (ATC) drug classification system were used in the analysis and comparison of the data. Statements representing potential NSAID PRPs were developed from authoritative drug information sources. Then, algorithms were developed to screen the databases for these potential PRPs. Descriptive and comparative statistics were used to characterize DRPs.
RESULTS: During the study period, 12,470 NSAID prescriptions were prescribed for 6,509 patients (mean ± SD = 1.92 ± 1.83). This represented a prevalence of 35,944 per 100,000 patients, or 36%. Based on their DDDs, mefenamic acid and diclofenac were the most prescribed NSAIDs. 573 potential NSAID-related PRPs were observed in a cohort of 432 patients, representing a prevalence of 6,640 per 100,000 NSAIDs users, or 6.6% of all NSAID users. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that patients with a Malay ethnic background (p < 0.001), members of the staff (p < 0.001), having 4 or more prescribers (p < 0.001) or having 2 - 3 prescribers (p = 0.02), and representing 4 or more long-term therapeutic groups (LTTGs) (p < 0.001) or 2 - 3 LTTGs (p < 0.001) were significantly associated with an increased chance of exposure to potential NSAID related PRPs.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study in Malaysia that presents data on the prescribing pattern of NSAIDs and the characteristics of potential NSAID-related PRPs. The prevalence of potential NSAID-related PRPs is frequent in the primary care setting. Exposure to these PRPs is associated with specific sociodemographic and health status factors. These results should help to raise the awareness of clinicians and patients about serious NSAID PRPs.
Study site: University Sains Malaysia (USM) primary care system.
WHAT IS KNOWN AND OBJECTIVE: Drug-drug interactions (DDIs) cause considerable morbidity and mortality worldwide and may lead to hospital admission. Sophisticated computerized drug information and monitoring systems, more recently established in many of the emerging economies, including Malaysia, are capturing useful information on prescribing. Our aim is to report on an investigation of potentially serious DDIs, using a university primary care-based system capturing prescription records from its primary care services.
METHODS: We retrospectively collected data from two academic years over 20 months from computerized databases at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) from users of the USM primary care services.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Three hundred and eighty-six DDI events were observed in a cohort of 208 exposed patients from a total of 23,733 patients, representing a 2-year period prevalence of 876·4 per 100,000 patients. Of the 208 exposed patients, 138 (66·3%) were exposed to one DDI event, 29 (13·9%) to two DDI events, 15 (7·2%) to three DDI events, 6 (2·9%) to four DDI events and 20 (9·6%) to more than five DDI events. Overall, an increasing mean number of episodes of DDIs was noted among exposed patients within the age category ≥70 years (P=0·01), an increasing trend in the number of medications prescribed (P<0·001) and an increasing trend in the number of long-term therapeutic groups (P<0·001).
WHAT IS NEW AND CONCLUSION: We describe the prevalence of clinically important DDIs in an emerging economy setting and identify the more common potentially serious DDIs. In line with the observations in developed economies, a higher number of episodes of DDIs were seen in patients aged ≥70 years and with more medications prescribed. The easiest method to reduce the frequency of DDIs is to reduce the number of medications prescribed. Therapeutic alternatives should be selected cautiously.
A cross-sectional study, comparing the nature of services in 15 private clinics and 6 public health facilities, was undertaken in a rural district of Malaysia. Semi-structured interviews and observations using check-lists were employed. Public health facilities were run by younger doctors (mean age = 31.1 years), supported mostly by trained staff. The private clinics were run by older doctors (mean age = 41.2 years) who had served the district for much longer (8.9 years vs 1.5 years) but were supported by less well trained staff. The curative services were the main strength of the private clinics but their provision of preventive care was less comprehensive and of inferior quality. Private clinics were inclined to provide more expensive diagnostic services than the public facilities. 'Short hours' private clinics had very restricted opening hours and offered limited range of services.
Comment in: Hee HW. Differences in public and private health services in a rural district of Malaysia. Med J Malaysia. 1997 Sep;52(3):296-8
BACKGROUND: Antibiotic resistance is a rising problem in Malaysia. For instance, high antibiotic prescribing rate for upper respiratory tract infection and inappropriate choice of antibiotic is a significant healthcare concern in Malaysia. Our main objective was to study knowledge, attitude and practice of antibiotic prescribing among medical officers in Kedah, Malaysia.
METHODS: A cross sectional study was conducted in outpatient departments of health clinics and hospitals in Kedah from June 2013 until December 2013. Sample size was 118 and systematic sampling was conducted. Research tool used was a validated questionnaire from studies conducted in Congo and Peru.
RESULTS: Response rate was 84.8%. Majority of our respondents were female doctors (71.0%), local graduates (63.0%), and practiced for 4 years or less (61.0%). 52.0% of the respondents prescribed antibiotics more than once daily. Mean knowledge score on antibiotics was 5.31 ±1.19 (95% CI: 5.06; 5.54). More than half (62.0%) of our respondents were confident in antibiotic prescribing and there were merely 18.0% of them consulted any colleagues prior to prescription. There was a significant difference in frequency of antibiotic prescribing between junior doctors and senior doctors (P-value: 0.036). In addition, there was also a significant association between frequency of antibiotic prescribing and awareness of antibiotic resistance in their daily practice. (P-value: 0.002).
CONCLUSION: Knowledge on antibiotic was moderate among our medical officers and antibiotic prescribing was frequent. Training and courses on appropriate antibiotic prescribing should be emphasized to ensure the best practice in antibiotic prescription.
Study site: Klinik Kesihatan, outpatient clinics, district hospital, general hospital, Kedah, Malaysia
The aim of this study was first to analyse the prescribing habits of primary care doctors with a view to providing feedback which may help them to rationalise their prescribing. This analysis was helped by comparing the prescribing practices in two different settings and thus highlighting anomalous differences. The second aim of this study was to obtain data on the diagnoses being made in primary care settings in Malaysia as this information, though available from other countries, is limited here. Lists of the most commonly prescribed drugs and most common diagnoses made are provided, together with tables showing the most commonly prescribed drugs for the ten most common diagnoses. Differences in prescribing habits between the two settings are discussed and possible reasons are suggested.
We report a series of dermatitis cases caused by the staphilinid beetles, Paederusfuscipes Curtis, among university students staying in the residential college in Puncak Alam, Selangor, Malaysia from 1 January to 31 December 2010. A total of 360 cases (6.0%) were recorded in the Student Health Center throughout the year; the majority of patients stayed at a hostel near an oil palm plantation. Skin symptoms included erythema, edema, vesicular papules, painful blisters, burning sensation, pruritus, hyper pigmentation and peeling of skin. The commonly involved sites were the face, neck, shoulders and arms. Most students noticed the symptoms upon awakening in the morning. The patients were treated with fusidic acid cream and the symptoms resolved within 5 days. These beetles are nocturnally active and enter the room whenever a light source is available. The unintentional crushing of these beetles during sleep causes the release of its hemolymph (paederin) which is the cause of the dermatitis.
Introduction: This study seeks to identify the socio-demographic and behavioral characteristics of smokers (aged 18 and above), thus develop a predicting model for tobacco abstinence receiving cessation services for tobacco dependence at the Smoking Cessation Clinics (SCC) in government Primary Health Centers in Malaysia. These predictors would improve the effectiveness and efficiency of these clinics.
Methods : Smokers who sought smoking cessation therapy at the SCCs from 1st January 2004 to 31st
December 2004 were chosen randomly from clinic’s registries, and 254 smokers were recruited from 8 clinics chosen through stratified random sampling. Data analyses were performed with SPSS 12.0. 17.3% of smokers attending SCCs were able to quit smoking for at least six months.
Results : Factors significantly contributing to quitting success were elderly smokers (above 40 years old), smoked for more than 15 years, smoked less than ten sticks per day, had a previous history of quitting attempt, self referral to the clinic, high confidence level, attended SCC at least four times, each counseling session lasted for at least 30 minutes and were satisfied with the clinic service. In logistic regression model, smokers aged 40 years and above were 6.7 times more successful to quit, high level of confidence were nine times more successful, smoked more than ten sticks per day were ten times less successful, self referred smokers were ten times more successful and attending for at least 30 minutes counseling session were 12 times more successful.
Conclusion : This study concludes that more concerted effort is needed to approach various groups of target population and SCCs clinic services need to be improved.
On 24th April 2009 the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) alert phase 4 which was later raised to phase 6 on 11th June 2009. By 11th October 2009, 199 countries were affected with 399,232 laboratory confirmed cases resulting in 4735 death. In Pahang, the state and district operation rooms were activated on the 28th April and 5th May 2009 respectively to monitor surveillance, control and preventives measures carried out. This study was done to describe the situation of Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) in Pahang from 28th April 2009 till 10th October 2009 in terms of laboratory confirmed cases and clusters reported, Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) surveillance, Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (sARI) surveillance and health education activities. During the period, 490 laboratory confirmed Influenza A (H1N1) cases were registered with 5 deaths. The age ranges from less than 1 year to 76 years with median of 16 years old. 207 ILI clusters were recorded, 139 (67.5%) were Influenza A (H1N1) clusters. For surveillance activity, 11,570 (2.2%) of outpatient attendances were ILI cases while 966 (2.0 %) of total admissions were sARI cases. There were 14,927 health education activities carried out during the period. The number of people affected by Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) in Pahang reached its peak in mid August 2009 and later showed a downward trend. ILI surveillance was a useful tool to detect Influenza A (H1N1) activity in Pahang.
Study site: Klinik kesihatan, outpatient clinics, hospitals, Pahang, Malaysia
Perceived risks and benefits of quitting smoking may be important factors in successful treatment. This study examined the association between initial perceived risks and benefits of quitting smoking and outcomes during a two month smoking cessation attempt. Participants (n = 185) were treatment-seeking smokers attending two smoking cessation clinics in Klang Valley, Malaysia. They received structured behavioral therapy and free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). Prior to treatment, a 12 item Perceived Risks and Benefits Questionnaire (PRBQ) was administered. This was used to assess the smoker's initial perceptions during their quit attempt. Participants were re-contacted at the end of two months to determine their smoking status. The results show participants intending to quit demonstrated a greater understanding of the benefits of quitting smoking than the risks of quitting. Those with a higher education level had a greater understanding of the benefits of quitting (p = 0.02). PRBQ items, such as perceived risks of quitting (ie weight gain, negative affect, social ostracism, loss of enjoyment and craving) were not associated with abstinence at two months. However, those who perceived a benefit of higher physical attraction post-cessation were less likely to have stopped smoking at two months (OR 0.18; 95% CI 0.08-0.45). Other perceived benefits at baseline, such as health, general well-being, self-esteem, finances and social approval, were not associated with smoking cessation at two months. The results suggest that in our study population, smokers' baseline perceptions of the benefits of cessation of smoking prior to therapy are not associated with quit results at two months. Counseling patients regarding the advantages and disadvantages of quitting may have changed their perceptions during quitting process and should be further explored in future studies.
Study site: Smoking cessation clinics, University Malaya and Universiti Teknology Mara, Klang Valley, Malaysia
The hemoglobinopathies include all genetic diseases of hemoglobin (Hb) and fall into two main groups: the thalassemias and structural hemoglobin variants (abnormal hemoglobins). Thalassemia is a public health problem in Malaysia. About 4.5% of the Malays and Chinese are β-thalassemia carriers. We performed hemoglobin analysis on a total of 499 patients from a Government Hospital and Health Clinics in the state of Perlis, Malaysia. About 91.4% of the patients were Malays. All patients had microcytic hypochromic anemia except for a few who went for thalassemia screening. Female patients outnumbered male patients in the ratio of 3.5:1. About 75.7% of the female patients were of childbearing age (17 - 40 years) and a majority of them were there for their antenatal checkup. Using our screen tests (full blood count, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and agarose gel electrophoresis), the common hemoglobinopathies detected were HbE trait (19.3%), β-thalassemia trait (14.6%), HbH disease (1.8%), Hb Constant Spring (1.6%), Homozygous HbE (1.4%), and HbE- β-thalassemia (1.4%). Thalassemia is preventable through screening and education programmes, and prenatal diagnosis. Thalassemia screening is provided free of charge at various government hospitals and health clinics throughout the country.
Key words: Hemoglobinopathies screening, β-thalassemia trait, HbE trait, Thalassemic diseases
Knowledge of the characteristics of older adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is indispensible for improvement of their care. A cross-sectional study in two rural public primary healthcare centres in Malaysia identified 170 actively engaged older patients with T2DM, with suboptimal glycaemic control and frequent hypoglycaemia. The prevalence of multiple co-morbidities, complications of T2DM, high cardiovascular risk, neurological, musculoskeletal and visual deficits suggested high risk of disabilities and dependency but not yet disabled. This short window for interventions presents as an opportunity for development of a more comprehensive approach extending beyond glycaemia control to risk management, preventing functional loss and continuity of social participation.
Study site: Klinik Kesihatan, Selangor, Malaysia
An audit of Diabetes Control and Management-Diabetes Registry Malaysia (ADCM-DRM) was started to monitor the provision of diabetes care in the country. A total of 20,646 patients were registered in the registry until 31st December 2008. This report set out to determine the Type 2 diabetes controls and treatment profiles of these cohorts of patients. This was a registry-based observational study conducted from May to December, 2008. An online standard case record form was available for site data providers to register their diabetic patients aged 18 years old and above annually. Demographic data, diabetes duration, treatment modalities, as well as various risk factors and diabetes complications were reported. Data were analyzed using Data Analysis and Statistical Software (Stata) version 9. A total of 81 centres, 6 of which were hospitals, participated in this registry until 31st December 2008, contributing a total of 20646 patients. A majority of them (99.2%) had Type 2 diabetes mellitus. The mean HbA1c was 8.0% (SD 2.10), with 30.1% and 17.9% of the patients who attained HbA1c < 7% and HbA1c < 6.5%, respectively. Metformin was prescribed more than sulfonylurea while only 11% had insulin. A review of the diabetic care policy and strategies in the primary health care clinics is needed to implement a more effective treatment of diabetes in this country.
Ethnicity is an important factor in diabetes care. The understanding of its effect in this country may help to improve diabetes care, glycaemic control and diabetic complication rates. This study was to determine the diabetes control profile in relation to complication rates between the three main ethnics group in Malaysia.
Our study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practice behaviours of primary healthcare professionals in government Maternal and Child Healthcare Clinics (MCHC) on the association between oral health and pregnancy outcomes namely pre-term and/or low birth weight (PT/LBW) infants and to identify the barriers of utilisation of oral healthcare services by pregnant mothers. Questionnaires were distributed to government healthcare professionals working at all seven government MCHC in the Manjung District, Malaysia. 136 out of 158 questionnaires were returned completed yielding a 92% response rate. The questionnaire covers respondents characteristics, attitude and practice behaviours related to oral health and barriers faced when referring pregnant mothers to the dental clinic. 65% of respondents noticed dental/ gum problems in the pregnant mothers that they encountered. The two most frequent response for outcome of delivery linked to gum/ dental problems were premature delivery (49%) responses and low birth weight (27%). Although 95% of the respondents believed that regular dental check-ups is compulsory for pregnant mothers, only 69% regularly refer pregnant mothers for dental check-ups. There was a significance between healthcare professionals that receive continuing dental education and their referrals of antenatal mothers for dental check-ups .
Study site: Maternal and Child Health Clinics (Klinik Kesihatan), Manjung District, Perak, Malaysia.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether the use of apatient decision aid (PDA) for insulin initiation fulfils its purpose of facilitating patient-centred decision-making through identifying how doctors and patients interact when using the PDA during primary care consultations.
DESIGN: Conversation analysis of seven single cases of audio-recorded/video-recorded consultations between doctors and patients with type 2 diabetes, using a PDA on starting insulin.
SETTING: Primary care in three healthcare settings: (1) one private clinic; (2) two public community clinics and (3) one primary care clinic in a public university hospital, in Negeri Sembilan and the Klang Valley in Malaysia.
PARTICIPANTS: Clinicians and seven patients with type 2 diabetes to whom insulin had been recommended. Purposive sampling was used to select a sample high in variance across healthcare settings, participant demographics and perspectives on insulin.
PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Interaction between doctors and patients in a clinical consultation involving the use of a PDA about starting insulin.
RESULTS: Doctors brought the PDA into the conversation mainly by asking information-focused 'yes/no' questions, and used the PDA for information exchange only if patients said they had not read it. While their contributions were limited by doctors' questions, some patients disclosed issues or concerns. Although doctors' PDA-related questions acted as a presequence to deliberation on starting insulin, their interactional practices raised questions on whether patients were informed and their preferences prioritised.
CONCLUSIONS: Interactional practices can hinder effective PDA implementation, with habits from ordinary conversation potentially influencing doctors' practices and complicating their implementation of patient-centred decision-making. Effective interaction should therefore be emphasised in the design and delivery of PDAs and in training clinicians to use them.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the diagnostic accuracy of the two questions with help question (TQWHQ) in the Malay language. The two questions are case-finding questions on depression, and a question on whether help is needed was added to increase the specificity of the two questions.
METHOD: This cross sectional validation study was conducted in a government funded primary care clinic in Malaysia. The participants included 146 consecutive women patients receiving no psychotropic drugs and who were Malay speakers. The main outcome measures were sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios of the two questions and help question.
RESULTS: The two questions showed a sensitivity of 99% (95% confidence interval 88% to 99.9%) and a specificity of 70% (62% to 78%), respectively. The likelihood ratio for a positive test was 3.3 (2.5 to 4.5) and the likelihood ratio for a negative test was 0.01 (0.00 to 0.57). The addition of the help question to the two questions increased the specificity to 95% (89% to 98%).
CONCLUSION: The two qeustions on depression detected most cases of depression in this study. The questions have the advantage of brevity. The addition of the help question increased the specificity of the two questions. Based on these findings, the TQWHQ can be strongly recommended for detection of depression in government primary care clnics in Malaysia. Translation did not apear to affect the validity of the TQWHQ.
Anemia is the most prevalent nutritional deficiency during pregnancy. Except for a study conducted 10 years ago in Kelantan, Malaysia's available statistics are based on isolated small urban maternity hospital studies from the 1980s. There was therefore, a need for a large study at national level to estimate the magnitude of the problem in the country as well as to understand its epidemiology. This multi-center, cross-sectional study was conducted from February to March 2005, to assess the prevalence of anemia. Multistage stratified random sampling technique was used and 59 Ministry of Health (MOH) primary health care clinics were selected. Our final dataset consisted of 1,072 antenatal mothers from 56 clinics. The overall prevalence of anemia in this population was 35 % (SE 0.02) if the cut off level is 11 g/dL and 11 % (SE 0.03) if the cut-off level is 10 g/dL. The majority was of the mild type. The prevalence was higher in the teenage group, Indians followed by Malays and Chinese being the least, grandmultiparas, the third trimester and from urban residence. After multiple linear regression analysis, only gestational age remained significant. These findings are useful for our Maternal Health program planners and implementers to target and evaluate interventions. Work is in progress for outcomes and cost-effectiveness studies to best tackle this problem. In conclusion, the prevalence of anemia is 35% and mostly of the mild type and more prevalent in the Indian and Malays.
National Antenatal HIV Screening Programme has been integrated as a routine screening in antenatal care in early 1998 and in Terengganu since May 1998 involving all health centers in the state. As of December 2001, a total number of 57,882 antenatal mothers were screened (97.5% of all new antenatal mothers). The HIV prevalence rate among antenatal mothers was found to be 0.052%. All HIV positive mothers were married and majority were Malays (93 .3%). Ninety percents of them revealed that the only risk factorfor HIV was through sexual contact. HIV positive status was confirmed in 66 .7% ofthe husbands. All twenty eight mothers that managed to be followed up delivered to live birth babies. All newborns reported to have good Apgar score (9 at 5 minutes of life). Mean birth weight was 3 .08 kilograms 1- 0.45 and only 8% were premature babies. The observed rate of HIV vertical transmission was 6.25% and this is lower than the expected mother to child transmission rate of 30% without intervention.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to determine the knowledge about asthma and the prevalence, disclosure and evaluation of the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among asthmatic patients.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 95 patients diagnosed with asthma in a primary healthcare centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia using a self-administered questionnaire.
RESULTS: Ninety-five patients with a mean age of 47.06 years (±12.8) participated, the majority were female (66.7%), Malay (72.6%). The prevalence of ever-CAM use was 61.1%. The non-ever-CAM users' mean age was 51±13.9 years while the ever-CAM users' mean age was 44.5 ±11.5 years (P = 0.021). Sixty-three females (66.8%) used CAM compared to 14 males (43.8%) (P = 0.014). Thirty-six (62.1%) CAM users had not discussed use of CAM with their doctors. The main reason of non-disclosure was the doctor never asked (55.6%), and the main sources of information about CAM were family and relatives (46.6%). There was no significant difference between use of CAM and knowledge about asthma. The majority of asthmatic patients used rubs (39%), foods (16.9%) and herbs (16.9%). About 76% of asthmatic patients perceived CAM as good for their disease management. On linear multiple regression, Malay race (P = 0.026) and female gender (P = 0.006) were significant predictors of CAM use.
CONCLUSION: Use of CAM among asthmatic patients is relatively high, particularly among females. The majority of asthmatic patients valued the use of CAM. Non-disclosure was high in this study. Health education of asthmatic patients about CAM is highly recommended.
KEYWORDS: Asthma; Malaysia; complementary and alternative medicine; disclosure
Study site: Primary care clinic, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
BACKGROUND: Statins are a class of potent drugs that can be used to reduce cholesterol, especially low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). However, their effectiveness is limited if adherence to treatment is poor. The objectives of the study are to estimate the proportion of diabetic patient who has achieved LDL-C goal and to determine the association of LDL-C achievement with socio demographic factors and statin therapy adherence.
METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study involving 234 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and dyslipidaemia attending an outpatient clinic in a hospital in Kelantan. Interviews and self-administered questionnaires were used to determine their sociodemographic and clinical characteristics. Adherence to therapy was assessed using the Medication Compliance Questionnaire (MCQ). The associations between the achievement of LDL targets and sociodemographic/clinical factors, including adherence, were analysed with simple logistic regression.
RESULTS: About 37.6% of patients achieved their LDL-C target. The percentage of patients who adhered to statin use was 98.3%, and 20.5% of these patients reported full adherence. There was no significant association between achievement of LDL-C targets with adherence or any other sociodemographic factors, such as age, gender and educational or economic status (all P-value < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Despite a high level of adherence, the majority of patients failed to achieve LDL-C targets. More concerted efforts are needed to improve this.
Study site: primary
care clinic in Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia,