METHOD: This 2016 study located every dental practice in Malaysia (private and public) and mapped these practices against population, using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools. Population clusters within 5, 10 and 20 km of a dental clinic were identified, and clinic-to-population ratios were ascertained. Population data were obtained from the Population and Housing Census of Malaysia 2010. Population relative wealth was obtained from the 2014 Report on Household Income and Basic Amenities Survey for Malaysia. The physical address for each dental practice in Malaysia was gathered from the Official Portal of Ministry of Health Malaysia. All data for analysis were extracted from the integrated database in Quantum GIS (QGIS) into Microsoft Excel.
RESULT: The population of Malaysia (24.9 million) was distributed across 127 districts, with 119 (94%) having at least one dental clinic. Sixty-four districts had fewer than 10 dental clinics, and 11.3% of Malaysians did not reside in the catchment of 20 km from any dental clinic. The total dental clinic-to-population ratio was 1:9,000: for public dental clinics it was 1:38,000 and for private clinics it was 1:13,000.
CONCLUSION: Dental services were distributed relative to high population density, were unevenly distributed across Malaysia and the majority of people with the highest inaccessibility to a dental service resided in Malaysian Borneo.
METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, the Malay version of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) was administered to 227 caregivers of children with ASD. The caregivers were recruited from ASD databases in four tertiary hospitals in Kelantan and a meeting was set up during the child's follow-up in the clinic. Multiple linear regression analyses were applied to determine the predictors of perceived stress.
RESULTS: The mean total perceived stress score was 20.84 (4.72). This was considered higher than average. Higher perceived stress was significantly predicted among caregivers who live far from the health institution, caregivers who do not own transportation to bring the child to the treatment center, and caregivers who have an ASD child with a learning disability.
CONCLUSION: Caregivers of an ASD child perceived significant stress while taking care of their children. Institutions should alleviate the factors that were predicted to increase the caregivers' perceived stress to improve the quality of the lives of children and ASD families as a whole.