Traditionally, Malaysian women (Malay, Indian and Chinese) breastfed their infants as a matter of course and for an extended period of time; only elite Chinese women might have resorted to a wet-nurse. But the introduction of condensed and dehydrated milk in colonial Malaya from the late nineteenth century, and the later marketing also of commercially manufactured baby foods, led to some variation in traditional practice. Structural changes, industrialiZation and urbanisation affected social as well as economic life, and again these broad changes had an impact on infant feeding. Today, few women remain unfamiliar with the wide range of infant food products sold in the most isolated provision shops. This paper focuses on key sociological factors that might predict the frequency and duration of breastfeeding and weaning patterns. The data analysed below, collected during semi-structured interviews with 278 women presenting at Maternal and Child Health Clinics in Peninsular Malaysia, are in part confusing. They suggest that the women most likely to bottle feed only or to breast feed for a short period, and to use commercial baby foods, are young, with one child only, who reside in urban or peri-urban areas and have a reasonable household income. Higher educated women, and women whose husbands are in non-traditional occupations, are also less likely to breast feed or to do so for an extended period. But the profile of infant feeding practices is by no means clear. One of the shortcomings of the study relates to the method of collection of data, and highlights the need for detailed ethnographic studies to better explore the variability and complexity of the patterns of infant feeding.
The Well Man & Well Woman's Clinic in Ipoh Hospital provides screening for coronary risk factors and early detection of cancer. This retrospective review of 1095 patients screened between April and December 1995 showed 48% had one or more coronary risk factors--1 risk (29%), 2 risks (14%), 3 or more risks (5%). Modifiable risks included hypertension (10%), obesity (9%), diabetes mellitus (8%) and smoking (7%). Sixteen abnormal Papanicolaou smears and six cancers (three cervical, two breast and one ovarian) were detected. Public response was good. There is a need for clinics offering comprehensive screening in Malaysian primary health care.
Study site: The Well Man & Well Woman's Clinic in Ipoh Hospital
Despite being a common skin dermatosis in the tropics, physicians in the tropics may miss the diagnosis of cutaneous larva migrans for other pruritic skin manifestation. This is especially in those who live in urban housing with no history of travel. Cutaneous larva migrans, an intensely pruritic skin pathology is mainly contracted by people with history of beach holiday or contact with moist soft sand which had been contaminated with dog or cat faeces. This article reports a patient who presented with intensely itchy papular spots over the dorsum of his foot after walking barefooted in an urban toilet soiled with cat faeces. The patient had initially seen an urban general practitioner who diagnosed the papular skin lesion as an allergic reaction, and prescribed antihistamines. The patient subsequently developed creeping skin lesions and was seen by the author who prescribed albendazole 400 mg twice daily for three days. The patient reported reduction in itching after two days of albendazole treatment and a follow up at ten days revealed a healed infection.
This case report illustrates a 40-year-old woman who presented with chest discomfort that was subsequently diagnosed to have metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a common condition associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. As primary care providers, we should be detect this condition early, intervene and prevent appropriately before complications occur.
A healthy 27 year old Para 3 presenting with abnormal menstruation without a period of amenorrhoea was diagnosed to have left tubal ectopic pregnancy after vaginal examination and abdominal ultrasonography. The case illustrates the need for careful history taking and the need for considering ectopic pregnancy in women in the reproductive age group, who have abnormal menstruation even if they are on contraception.
Introduction : Johor Bahru has one of the highest rates of dengue disease in this country in spite of the implementation of COMBI (Communication for Behavioural Impact) in 2001.
Methods : To identify factors contributing to this problem, a case control study was conducted, focusing on risk factors such as the weather (rainfall and temperature), environment and sociodemography. Cases were selected from confirmed dengue cases from January to June, 2006. Controls were selected from patients who had no past history of having dengue illness from Health Clinics in Johore Bahru. Both case group and control group were matched by age and sex. All risk factors were analysed using SPSS version 11.5.
Results : Results from time-series analysis indicated that the cases of dengue illness were related to changes in the minimum temperature (r =-0.149; p
Introduction: The incidence of diabetes mellitus (DM) is increasing globally and it is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The importance of a better quality of diabetes care is increasingly acknowledged. Objective: This clinical audit was conducted to assess the quality of care given to type 2 DM patients in public primary care clinics. Methods: A clinical audit was conducted in two selected urban public primary care clinics, between April and June of 2005. The indicators and criteria of quality care were based on the current Malaysian clinical practice guidelines for type 2 DM. A structured pro forma was used to collect data. Results: A total of 396 medical records of patients with type 2 DM were included in this audit. Most of the patients had measurements of fasting blood glucose and blood pressure recorded in more than 90% of the visits over the previous one year. Twenty-seven percent of the patients had glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) done every 6 months with a mean of 8.3%. Only 15.6% had HbA1c values less than 6.5 %. Fifty percent had blood pressure controlled at 130/80 mmHg and below; and 13.0% had low density lipoprotein cholesterol values of 2.6 mmol/L or less. The majority of the patients were overweight or obese. Conclusions: The quality of diabetes care in this study was
found to be suboptimal. There is a gap between guidelines and clinical practice. Certain measures to improve the quality of diabetes care need to be implemented with more rigour.
The National Clinical Practice Guideline in Tuberculosis (TB) was designed to improve the quality of tuberculosis care. However, it remains unknown whether primary care doctors adhere to it well. This audit aims to assess the quality of care in the process of TB contact tracing in a primary care setting. Methods: Data on TB contact tracing from 1st February 2013 to 15th February 2013 was obtained retrospectively from all medical records of diagnosed pulmonary TB in a public primary care clinic. All patients who fulfilled the inclusion and exclusion criteria were included in the study. Results: A total of 102 medical records of adult TB contacts were recruited. The median age of the TB contact was 34 (IQR=10) years and 65 % were male. Seventy two percent of the adult TB contact had a TBIS 10C3 form created, and 95% of the medical records were fully documented. History taking and physical examination were recorded on 97% and 99% of patients respectively during the first follow-up at the polyclinic. Eighty five percent and 100% of the patients had a chest-x-ray and sputum direct smear for acid-fast bacilli done respectively. The turn-up rate for the first, second, third and fourth visit was 100% to 32%, 10% and 2% respectively. Conclusion: The quality of care for adult TB contacts tracing in this clinical audit was found to be suboptimal. There is a difference between the current national guidelines and practice in the clinic. Certain measures to improve the quality of care for adult TB contact tracing
are urgently needed.
Situated learning characterises the learning that takes place in the clinical environment. Learning in the workplace is characterised by transferring classroom knowledge into performing tasks and this may take various forms. In the medical education field, the cognitive apprenticeship instructional model developed by Collins (2016) supported this learning in the workplace setting due to its common characteristics of apprenticeship. This paper analysed two concrete learning situations in a Malaysian undergraduate and an Omani postgraduate learning environment. Both learning situations occurred in the primary healthcare outpatient setting. The cognitive apprenticeship model was used to identify characteristics of the individual learning environments and discusses factors that stimulate learning. Attention was paid to the role of reflection in stimulating learning in the described settings. The paper provided the context in both institutes, described the learning situation and provided an analysis based on the theoretical framework. Based on the analysis of the situations, solutions to problems in the two settings were suggested.
1171 urban general practices in East and West Malaysia were compared regarding their service profiles and practice facilities. In general, practices in both parts put important emphasis on preventive health care. More practices in East Malaysia were providing hormone replacement therapy and sexually transmitted diseases services but less were providing intrapartum care, counselling services including sexual and marital counselling and problems associated with social deviance such as alcohol and drug abuse. Although most practices in East Malaysia were solo practices, they were more comprehensive in terms of the provision of practice facilities when compared to those in West Malaysia. A greater number of them had ultrasound facilities, peak flow meters, ECG machines, computers and blood biochemistry facilities.
Introduction : Selangor’s private clinic registry system had been introduced in 2006 following gazettment of The Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act. Through the act, data’s from the private clinics can be obtained and its characteristics can be compared between the urban and rural private clinic. An overview of the services can be known and an appropriate action can be planned.
Methodology : A cross-sectional study was done on private clinics registered in state of Selangor. Using databased known as MedPCs (Medical Practice Control System), a purposive sampling was used to select four districts – two urban and two rural. All private clinics in the selected districts were studied and all details shall be collected online.
Result : District of Gombak and Klang were selected as urban and Sabak Bernam and Kuala Selangor represented rural area. Of a total 625 clinics selected, 90.0% (562) from urban and 10.0% (63) rural. Distributions of clinic were in line with the act. The most prominent services were general treatment (89.4%) and ability to serve more than eight hours daily (89.4%). Medical clinic still dominated at 84.0% compared to dentistry at 16.0%. About 70.6% were operated by male doctors. Though clinic services in rural were relatively as good as urban, the different were significantly observed to the ethnicity of the doctor. Indian doctors more in rural (46.03%), whilst in urban, Malay doctors were more dominant (39.50%). Followed closely by seniority, where rural doctors were much senior (51.02 years old), however, most of the doctors in rural private clinics experienced less exposure in government sectors, compared to those in urban areas.
Conclusion : There were obvious difference in terms of distribution, where more clinics were located in urban compared to rural, but all were still in line to the act and their services were comparable. Most noticeable differences were ethnicity, seniority and past experience working in the public sector. Indian doctors were dominant in rural and Malay in urban. Although rural doctors were more senior, relatively they were less experienced working in the government sector.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to compare the evidence-based practices of primary care physicians between those working in rural and in urban primary care settings.
RESEARCH DESIGN: Data from two previous qualitative studies, the Front-line Equitable Evidence-based Decision Making in Medicine and Creating, Synthesising and Implementing evidence-based medicine (EBM) in primary care studies, were sorted, arranged, classified and compared with the help of qualitative research software, NVivo V.10. Data categories were interrogated through comparison between and within datasets to identify similarities and differences in rural and urban practices. Themes were then refined by removing or recoding redundant and infrequent nodes into major key themes.
PARTICIPANTS: There were 55 primary care physicians who participated in 10 focus group discussions (n=31) and 9 individual physician in-depth interviews.
SETTING: The study was conducted across three primary care settings-an academic primary care practice and both private and public health clinics in rural (Pahang) and urban (Selangor and Kuala Lumpur) settings in Malaysia.
RESULTS: We identified five major themes that influenced the implementation of EBM according to practice settings, namely, workplace factors, EBM understanding and awareness, work experience and access to specialist placement, availability of resources and patient population. Lack of standardised care is a contributing factor to differences in EBM practice, especially in rural areas.
CONCLUSIONS: There were major differences in the practice of EBM between rural and urban primary care settings. These findings could be used by policy-makers, administrators and the physicians themselves to identify strategies to improve EBM practices that are targeted according to workplace settings.
Disease patterns among outpatients seen at static and travelling dispensaries, as well as among hospital admissions and hospital deaths are compared between 1959 and 1974. While disease patterns of patients seen by travelling dispensaries show no change, patients seen by static dispensaries and hospital admissions in 1974 show a marked relative decline in infective and parasitic diseases and an increase in accidents, poisonings and violence. Causes of death in hospitals in 1974 were different, there being relative increases in diseases of early infancy, diseases of circulatory system, neoplasms, and accidents, poisonings, violence while infective and parasitic diseases, and diseases of the digestive system declined.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the morbidity patterns in public and private primary care clinics; determine patients' reasons for encounter (RFE) and diagnoses using the ICPC-2, and compare ten commonest diagnoses and RFEs.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study on randomly selected clinics was conducted nationwide. Doctors completed the Patient Encounter Record (PER) for systematically selected encounters for a week.
RESULTS: Response rate was 82.0% (public clinic) and 33% (private clinic) with 4262 encounters and 7280 RFE. Overall, the three commonest disease categories encountered were respiratory (37.2%), general and unspecified (29.5%), and cardiovascular diseases (22.2%). Public and private clinics handled 27% versus 50% acute cases and 20.0% versus 3.1% chronic cases i.e. 33.7 and 5.6 chronic diseases per 100 RFE respectively.
CONCLUSION: Doctors in public clinics saw more chronic and complex diseases as well as pregnancy related complaints and follow-up cases while in private clinics more acute and minor illnesses were seen. Health services should be integrated and support given to co-manage chronic diseases in both sectors.
KEYWORDS: Malaysia; Primary practice; delivery of health care; morbidity pattern; reasons for encounter
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.
Introduction: Bekam, an Islamic variant of cupping, is an ancient form of traditional medicine still practised today in Malaysia. There are published findings indicating that cupping benefits patients with low back pain, other musculoskeletal pain and even pain from cancer, herpes zoster and trigeminal neuralgia when pain is measured on an analogue scale. We proposed to investigate whether in addition to pain improvement on an analogue scale we could show if pain relief might be demonstrated in terms of reduction of analgesic use.
Methods: We carried out a retrospective cross sectional study on subjects who had been for outpatient clinic treatment with chronic pain of at least one month and who completed at least two bekam therapy sessions. In addition to documenting a pain score before and after therapy we documented their analgesic consumption.
Results: A total of 77 respondents, with overlapping symptoms of headache, backache and joint pains were included. The mean pain score before bekam therapy was 6.74±1.78, and was 2.66±1.64 after two sessions of therapy. Twenty eight respondents completed six sessions of bekam therapy and had a mean pain score of 2.25±1.32 after. Thirty-four patients consumed analgesic medication before starting bekam therapy and only twelve did so after. The consumption of analgesics was significantly lower after bekam therapy.
Conclusions: Bekam therapy appears to help patients experience less pain and reduce the amount of analgesic medication they consume. Nevertheless only a randomised prospective study will eliminate the biases a retrospective study is encumbered with and we believe would be worth doing.
Improvement in the service quality system of health clinics in Malaysia had increase with the increase of national development. However, customer dissatisfaction towards regular service still has become an issue in the provision of health service in clinics throughout this country. This study aims to identify factors that influence customer satisfaction such as sociodemographic factors of patients, the location of clinic (rural or urban) and the most important SERVQUAL dimensions in determining customer satisfaction. This study conducted in October and November 2008 in Hulu Langat District. SERVQUAL questionnaires were used. Probabilistic sampling was used for the selection of respondents and the number of samples for each clinic was based on the workload of the clinic. Overall, the results showed that there are differences in levels of customer satisfaction between urban clinic (25.8%) and rural (30.7%). The most critical service quality dimensions for urban clinics are the responsiveness and reliability dimensions with a mean value of -0.7018 and -0.7434. Responsiveness, existence and reliability are the weakest quality service dimensions (mean -0.6317, -0.6718 and -0.6028) in rural clinics. It was found that customers’ ethnicity and education affect customer satisfaction in both the urban and rural clinics. Gender and type of work are factors that affect customer satisfaction only in urban clinics. Overall customer satisfaction at health clinics in Hulu Langat District is low. The difference between urban and rural clinics show the customers' needs in the area is different.
Key words: Customer satisfaction, SERVQUAL, health clinics, services.