Zika virus has been declared as a public health emergency of international concern. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines reminding healthcare workers about the importance of taking steps to prevent the spread of Zika virus, how to test and isolate patients suspected of carrying the Zika virus, and how to protect themselves from infection. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for healthcare professionals to be fully aware of Zika virus preparedness, and response measures should an outbreak occur in Malaysia in order to quickly and efficiently contain the outbreak, ensure the safety of individual or healthcare personnel safety, as well as to prevent further spreading of the disease. This research aims to show how prepared Malaysian healthcare professionals are against Zika virus and how well can they respond during an outbreak. In total, 504 healthcare professionals (128 general practitioners, 215 community pharmacists, 161 nurses) from private health clinics were the target population of the four states of Malaysia where Zika cases suspected. The sample size of each category was calculated by using a formula for estimating the population proportion. An additional 10% of the calculated sample size was added to compensate the non-response rate. The Center For Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organisation provided a checklist to assess how prepared healthcare professionals are for an Zika outbreak. This checklist was modified to a questionnaire in order to assess health care professionals' preparedness and response to the Zika outbreak. Community pharmacists are still lacking in their preparedness and perceived response to the Zika outbreak compared to the general practitioners in the private sector. Hence community pharmacists should attend training given by the Ministry of Health Malaysia as a continuing education, which may help them to respond during a Zika outbreak.
Vaginal yeast infection refers to irritation of the vagina due to the presence of opportunistic yeast of the genus Candida (mostly Candida albicans). About 75% of women will have at least one episode of vaginal yeast infection during their lifetime. Several studies have shown that pregnancy and uncontrolled diabetes increase the infection risk. Reproductive hormone fluctuations during pregnancy and elevated glucose levels characteristic of diabetes provide the carbon needed for Candida overgrowth and infection. The goal of this study was to determine the prevalence of vaginal yeast infection among pregnant women with and without diabetes.
Purpose- Work ethics are practice and speed that should be practiced during working. This study was conducted to identify positive work ethics among health clinic staff who work at the counter and in the clinic
Design/methodology/approach- This study was carried out from January 2008 until December 2008. Health Clinic staff who work at the counter and in the clinic were chosen as respondents. Self- administered questionnaire was used to gain feedback on work ethic practice among staff. The questionnaire consists of evaluation questions on staff in the respondent's deoaftment
Findings- From the study, approximately B0% of staff have practiced positive work ethics, From 15 work ethics practices, there were only three that should be give attention; i.e. (i) gossiping, (ii) apathetic on reprimand and advice, and (iii) hot- tempered, Improvement strategies need to be formed especially strengthening the soft skills courses and increasing the communication skills to the counter staff, It is also wise to form a leader as a'role model' in improving effective supervisory skills in service counter. Keywords: Work Ethics, Counter Staff, Clinic Staff, Health Clinic
OBJECTIVE: To explore the factors, including barriers and facilitators, influencing the practice of evidence-based medicine (EBM) across various primary care settings in Malaysia based on the doctors' views and experiences.
RESEARCH DESIGN: The qualitative study was used to answer the research question. 37 primary care physicians participated in six focus group discussions and six individual in-depth interviews. A semistructured topic guide was used to facilitate both the interviews and focus groups, which were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, checked and analysed using a thematic approach.
PARTICIPANTS: 37 primary care doctors including medical officers, family medicine specialists, primary care lecturers and general practitioners with different working experiences and in different settings.
SETTING: The study was conducted across three primary care settings-an academic primary care practice, private and public health clinics in Klang Valley, Malaysia.
RESULTS: The doctors in this study were aware of the importance of EBM but seldom practised it. Three main factors influenced the implementation of EBM in the doctors' daily practice. First, there was a lack of knowledge and skills in searching for and applying evidence. Second, workplace culture influenced doctors' practice of EBM. Third, some doctors considered EBM as a threat to good clinical practice. They were concerned that rigid application of evidence compromised personalised patient care and felt that EBM did not consider the importance of clinical experience.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite being aware of and having a positive attitude towards EBM, doctors in this study seldom practised EBM in their routine clinical practice. Besides commonly cited barriers such as having a heavy workload and lack of training, workplace 'EBM culture' had an important influence on the doctors' behaviour. Strategies targeting barriers at the practice level should be considered when implementing EBM in primary care.
Study site: klinik kesihatan, general practice clinics, Klang Valley, Malaysia
OBJECTIVE: To explore factors influencing poor glycaemic control in people with type 2 diabetes using insulin.
RESEARCH DESIGN: A qualitative method comprising in-depth individual interviews. A semistructured interview guide was used. The interviews were audiorecorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic approach.
PARTICIPANTS: Seventeen people with type 2 diabetes using insulin with glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) ≥9% for >1 year.
SETTING: The Primary Care Clinic and Diabetes Clinic in the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Malaysia.
RESULTS: Data analysis uncovered four themes: lifestyle challenges in adhering to medical recommendations; psychosocial and emotional hurdles; treatment-related factors; lack of knowledge about and self-efficacy in diabetes self-care.
CONCLUSIONS: Factors that explain the poor glycaemic control in people with type 2 diabetes using insulin were identified. Healthcare providers could use these findings to address patients' concerns during consultations and help to improve glycaemic control.
Study site: Primary Care Clinic and Diabetes Clinic, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Missed appointments affect patients' health in addition to reducing practice efficiency. This study explored the rate and reasons of non-attendance among patients with chronic illnesses. It was a cross-sectional descriptive study carried out in a family practice clinic over a one-month period in 2004. Those who failed turn up for scheduled appointments were interviewed by telephone based on a structured questionnaire. Out of 671 patients, the non-attendance rate was 16.7%. Sixty-seven percent of non-attenders were successfully interviewed. Males (p = 0.01), Indians (p = 0.015), patients with coronary artery disease (p = 0.017), multiple diseases (> 4) (p = 0.036) and shorter appointment intervals (p = 0.001) were more likely to default. The main reasons for non-attendance were: forgot the appointment dates (32.9%), not feeling well (12.3%), administrative errors (19.1%) and work or family commitments (8.2%). The majority would prefer a reminder through telephone (71.4%), followed by letters (41.3%). In conclusion, appropriate intervention could be taken based on the reasons identified in this study.
Study site: Family Practice Clinic of the
Department of Primary Care
Medicine, University of Malaya
Medical Centre, Malaysia
Diversified leisure involvement pose various health benefits to the elderly population. However, some elderly are too focus on doing a particular type of activity during their leisure time such as religious activity. This study aims to explore factors that could possibly contribute to the higher involvement in religious activity among the Malay ethnic elderly in Malaysia. In depth interviews were conducted, involving a total of 20 elderly aged 60 years and above with stratification by background characteristics. Each interview was conducted for an average of 15 to 30 minutes. They were purposively selected from two health clinics located in two different districts in the state of Selangor, representing an urban and a rural area. Majority of the elderly interviewed perceived that by engaging in religious activities such as prayer and reciting the Holy Quran or old Islamic scripture gives them serenity or calmness. Additionally, they also felt that involvement in such activities is very synonymous with being old and therefore one should be actively involved in religious activities with increasing age. In view of the lack of diversity of leisure involvement among the elderly and the passive and solitary nature of some of the religious activities, the elderly should be made aware of the importance of participating in other types of leisure activities especially physical activities. Although, they gain spiritual and social benefits from involving in religious activities, they also need to perform other form of activities that can improve the physical health status.
RATIONALE, AIMS, AND OBJECTIVES: Few studies focus on patients' views on factors influencing implementation of patient decision aids (PDAs). This study aims to explore patients' views on the factors influencing implementation of an "insulin choice" PDA in a primary care setting.
METHODS: This study used a descriptive qualitative study design. Interviews were conducted using a semistructured interview guide developed based on the theoretical domains framework. Nine in-depth interviews and three focus group discussions were conducted with patients with type 2 diabetes who have been advised to start insulin or were currently using insulin and those who had been seeking diabetes treatment in the clinic for more than 1 year. Interviews were conducted after the participants were familiarized with the PDA. Data were analysed using a thematic approach.
RESULTS: Five themes emerged from the data analysis: (a) trust in the physician (patients preferred physicians to other health care providers in delivering the insulin PDA to them as they trusted physicians more when it comes to making decisions such as starting insulin), (b) physician's attitude (patients were more likely to trust a physician who is friendly and sympathetic hence would be more willing to use the insulin PDA), (c) physician's communication style (patients were more willing to use the insulin PDA if the physicians would take time and guide them in the PDA use), (d) conducive environment (patients preferred to read the PDA at home), and (e) cost (patients would not be willing to pay to use the insulin PDA unless they needed it).
CONCLUSIONS: Patients want physicians to play a major role in the implementation of the insulin PDA; physicians' communication style and commitment may influence implementation outcomes. Health care authorities need to create a conducive environment and provide patients with free access to PDA to promote effective implementation.
Study site: Primary care clinic, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
OBJECTIVES: This study explored the experiences and views of individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) on their diabetes self-management and potential roles for community pharmacists in diabetes self-management education and support (DSME/S) in Malaysia.
METHODS: A qualitative study, using semi-structured, face-to-face interviews, was conducted with patients with T2D attending a primary care health clinic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed inductively.
KEY FINDINGS: Fourteen participants with T2D were interviewed. Data were coded into five main themes: experience and perception of diabetes self-management, constraints of the current healthcare system, perception of the community pharmacist and community pharmacies, perceived roles for community pharmacists in diabetes care, and challenges in utilising community pharmacies to provide DSME/S. There were misconceptions about diabetes management that may be attributed to a lack of knowledge. Although participants described potential roles for community pharmacists in education, medication review and continuity of care, these roles were mostly non-clinically oriented. Participants were not confident about community pharmacists making recommendations and changes to the prescribed treatment regimens. While participants recognised the advantages of convenience of a community pharmacy-based diabetes care service, they raised concerns over the retail nature and the community pharmacy environment for providing such services.
CONCLUSION: This study highlighted the need to improve the care provision for people with T2D. Participants with T2D identified potential, but limited roles for community pharmacists in diabetes care. Participants expressed concerns that need to be addressed if effective diabetes care is to be provided from community pharmacies in Malaysia.
Study site: primary care health clinic (klinik kesihatan), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
BACKGROUND: Telemonitoring of home blood pressure (BP) is found to have a positive effect on BP control. Delivering a BP telemonitoring service in primary care offers primary care physicians an innovative approach toward management of their patients with hypertension. However, little is known about patients' acceptance of such service in routine clinical care.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to explore patients' acceptance of a BP telemonitoring service delivered in primary care based on the technology acceptance model (TAM).
METHODS: A qualitative study design was used. Primary care patients with uncontrolled office BP who fulfilled the inclusion criteria were enrolled into a BP telemonitoring service offered between the period August 2012 and September 2012. This service was delivered at an urban primary care clinic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Twenty patients used the BP telemonitoring service. Of these, 17 patients consented to share their views and experiences through five in-depth interviews and two focus group discussions. An interview guide was developed based on the TAM. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was used for analysis.
RESULTS: Patients found the BP telemonitoring service easy to use but struggled with the perceived usefulness of doing so. They expressed confusion in making sense of the monitored home BP readings. They often thought about the implications of these readings to their hypertension management and overall health. Patients wanted more feedback from their doctors and suggested improvement to the BP telemonitoring functionalities to improve interactions. Patients cited being involved in research as the main reason for their intention to use the service. They felt that patients with limited experience with the internet and information technology, who worked out of town, or who had an outdoor hobby would not be able to benefit from such a service.
CONCLUSION: Patients found BP telemonitoring service in primary care easy to use but needed help to interpret the meanings of monitored BP readings. Implementations of BP telemonitoring service must tackle these issues to maximize the patients' acceptance of a BP telemonitoring service.
PURPOSE: A cross sectional descriptive study, which involved government hospitals and health clinics from Peninsular Malaysia sought to identify the continuing professional education (CPE) needs and their readiness for E-learning. This paper focuses on the first phase of that study that aimed to determine the factors that influence nurses' participation in CPE.
METHODS: Multistage cluster sampling was used to recruit 1,000 nurses randomly from 12 hospitals and 24 health clinics from four states in Peninsular Malaysia who agreed to be involved. The respondent rate was 792 (79.2%), of which 562 (80%) had participated in CPE in the last 12 months.
RESULTS: Findings suggested that updating knowledge and providing quality care are the most important factors that motivate participation in CPE, with respective means of 4.34 and 4.39. All the mean scores for educational opportunity were less than 3.0. Chi-square tests were used to test the association of demographic data and CPE participation. All demographical data were significantly associated with CPE participation, except marital status.
CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of mandatory CPE is considered an important measure to increase nurse's participation in CPE. However, effective planning that takes into consideration the learning needs of nurses is recommended.
Aim: To explore the help-seeking behavior of primary care doctors during illness. Methods: This qualitative study used focus group discussions to explore participants' help-seeking behavior during illness. It involved 22 primary care doctors (5 lecturers, 12 postgraduate trainees, 5 medical officers) working in a hospital-based primary care clinic. Result: Most primary care doctors in this study managed their illnesses without seeking help. Although most preferred to seek professional help for chronic illnesses and antenatal care, they tend to delay the consultations and were less likely to comply with treatment and follow-up. Explanations for their behavior include their ability to assess and treat themselves, difficulty to find suitable doctors, work commitment, easy access to drugs, and reluctance to assume a sick role. Conclusions: This study found that the help-seeking behavior of primary care doctors was similar to those in other studies. Due to their professional ability, heavy workload and expectations from peer and patients, primary care doctors were more likely to delay in seeking treatment especially for chronic and serious diseases. This highlights the need to enhance support services for doctors during illness. Key words: doctors, help-seeking behavior, illness
BACKGROUND: Patients with type 2 diabetes often require insulin as the disease progresses. However, health care professionals frequently encounter challenges when managing patients who require insulin therapy. Understanding how health care professionals perceive the barriers faced by patients on insulin will facilitate care and treatment strategies.
OBJECTIVE: This study explores the views of Malaysian health care professionals on the barriers faced by patients using insulin.
METHODS: Semi-structured qualitative interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with health care professionals involved in diabetes care using insulin. Forty-one health care professionals participated in the study, consisting of primary care doctors (n = 20), family medicine specialists (n = 10), government policymakers (n = 5), diabetes educators (n = 3), endocrinologists (n = 2), and one pharmacist. We used a topic guide to facilitate the interviews, which were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using a thematic approach.
RESULTS: FIVE THEMES WERE IDENTIFIED AS BARRIERS: side effects, patient education, negative perceptions, blood glucose monitoring, and patient adherence to treatment and follow-up. Patients perceive that insulin therapy causes numerous negative side effects. There is a lack of patient education on proper glucose monitoring and how to optimize insulin therapy. Cost of treatment and patient ignorance are highlighted when discussing patient self-monitoring of blood glucose. Finally, health care professionals identified a lack of a follow-up system, especially for patients who do not keep to regular appointments.
CONCLUSION: This study identifies five substantial barriers to optimizing insulin therapy. Health care professionals who successfully identify and address these issues will empower patients to achieve effective self-management. System barriers require government agency in establishing insulin follow-up programs, multidisciplinary diabetes care teams, and subsidies for glucometers and test strips.
KEYWORDS: diabetes; focus groups; insulin; noncommunicable disease; primary care; qualitative study
Several strategies have been developed to reduce hepatitis B infections. These include antenatal screening, universal immunisation of newborns and immunoglobulin therapy for babies who are at risk. Antenatal screening for hepatitis B is not routinely performed, but all newborns in Malaysia are immunised against hepatitis B. We assessed the prevalence of hepatitis B and the factors associated with it among antenatal mothers in Ipoh. This information is useful in decision-making for future hepatitis B screening programmes for antenatal mothers, allowing for immunoglobulin therapies for newborns if their mother's hepatitis B virus (HBV) status is known.
Introduction: In maternal healthcare, pre-pregnancy weight is used to predict pregnancy outcomes. Since no recorded data on pre-pregnancy weight, perceived weight is used alternatively. This study examines the relationship between perceived and actual weight among non-pregnant urban Malaysian women of childbearing age and identifies differences in perceived and actual weight by selected socio-demographic characteristics.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted between April and June 2013 among urban Malaysian women attending public health clinics in the Klang Valley. Information on height, perceived current weight and time when their weight was last taken were obtained and actual weight was the average of two measurements (TANITA-HD-323-digital-scale). Socio-demographic data collected were age, ethnicity, education level, marital and employment status and total household income.
Results: Mean age of 371 women in this study was 28.81±5.65, 82.2% were Malays, 62.8% had tertiary education, over 75% were married and employed, with more than half from middle-income households. Overall, the mean perceived and actual weight was 59.29±11.59 and 59.20±11.90 respectively. Pearson‟s Correlation test showed a very strong positive correlation between perceived and actual weight (r=0.957;p<0.0001), ranging between 0.852 to 0.994 among subgroups; 258 (69.5%) perceived their weight accurately (±2.0 kg of actual weight), 49 (13.2%) under and 64 (17.3%) overestimated their weight.Main outliers were among younger women, Malays, tertiary educated, employed, middle-income and had weight last measured a month or more ago.
Conclusion: Strong correlation between perceived and actual weight among women in this study reassured weight perception can be used more confidently in patients‟ history taking and future research among urban Malaysian women using public health services.
A study was conducted at the Outpatient Department (OPD) of Ipoh Hospital, an urban public primary healthcare facility, over a weekend, to determine the profile of patients attending the clinic, the reasons for encounter and the reasons for choosing after hours medical care. The data from this study would be useful in determining the need for and formulating a policy for after hours medical care at urban primary health care facilities in the country. The study showed there was a low proportion of acute illness in the weekend clinic. A total of 17% of the patients had an acute illness and a further 8% had aggravation of an existing illness. This group of patients requires access to weekend medical services. The main reason for choosing after hours care was social, that is the convenience of an off-day from work or school. Several options can be explored to provide after hours care, including volunteer government doctors or private general practitioners running the service. Another option is to direct public patients during the weekends to private general practitioners in their locality who will be subsidized. The cost of providing after hours care is expected to be higher. Misuse of services may have to be considered as the study showed 5 % of the patients were not ill during the encounter.
Study site: Outpatient Department (OPD) of Hospital Ipoh
BACKGROUND: Despite perennial sunshine, vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among Malaysians especially pregnant women. This study determines the vitamin D status and its associated factors among third trimester pregnant women attending government health clinics in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
METHODS: Information on socio-demographic characteristics, obstetrical history, and sun exposure were obtained through face-to-face interviews. Vitamin D intake was assessed using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration was measured and classified as deficient (< 30 nmol/L), insufficient (30-50 nmol/L), and sufficient (≥ 50 nmol/L).
RESULTS: Of the 535 pregnant women recruited, 42.6% were vitamin D deficient. They consumed an average of 8.7 ± 6.7 μg of vitamin D daily. A total of 80.4% of the vitamin D were obtained from the food sources, while 19.6% were from dietary supplements. Fish and fish products showed the highest contribution to vitamin D intake (35.8%). The multivariable generalized linear mixed models, with clinic as a random effect, indicates that higher intake of vitamin D is associated with lower odds of vitamin D deficiency among pregnant women (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.93-0.99). The odds of having vitamin D deficiency was reduced by 87% in non-Malays (OR = 0.14; 95% CI = 0.05-0.41) compared to Malays. No associations were found between age, educational level, monthly household income, work status, gravidity, parity, pre-pregnancy body mass index, total hours of sun exposure, total percentage of body surface area, and sun exposure index per day with vitamin D deficiency.
CONCLUSION: Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among Malaysian pregnant women. Considering the possible adverse obstetric and fetal outcomes of vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, future nutrition education should emphasise on vitamin D-fortified foods consumption among pregnant women by taking into consideration ethnic differences.