Chinese medicine is one of the most famous traditional medicines in the world with a glorious and long written history of at least 2000 years. Recently, acupuncture and the use of other herbal medicine are being gradually accepted globally. In 2011,the International Medical University (IMU) started the Chinese Medicine programme which is the first of its kind in a western medicine university in Malaysia.The author introduced the background of Chinese medicine and the curriculum of the Chinese Medicine programme established in IMU, analyzed the situation regarding the quality of lectures given by internal and
external lecturers in this programme and also discussed on ways to integrate western and traditional medicine in IMU or in Malaysia. The launching of Chinese medicine in IMU is a great step in the development of IMU and also an important step in the development of medical education in Malaysia or even in South-east Asia.
Background: Medical schools have long been concerned with establishing a suitable process of
admission. The criteria used to select students have traditionally focussed on high academic achievement. Method: The International Medical University (IMU) accepts students from a wide range of pre-university entry qualifications for admission into the medical programme. The criteria for the various pre-university entry qualifications used by the IMU were agreed and accepted by the IMU Academic Council (AC), which consist of deans of the IMU’s partner medical schools (PMS). In this study, the various entry qualifications were first grouped into five categories based on the educational pedagogy. Then, this was aligned with the entry qualification data of all students who had been admitted into the IMU medical programme for the period of December 1993 to March 2000. During this period 1,281 students were enrolled into the IMU medical programme. The relationship between the five groups of pre-university entry qualifications and the students’ academic achievement in three end-ofsemester (EOS) examinations namely EOS 1, EOS 3, and EOS 5 were analysed. Results: Students with better grades in their preuniversity examinations showed better performance in their EOS examinations, regardless of the subjects that they took at the pre-university level. Cluster analysis revealed that students who came in with certain preuniversity qualifications generally performed poorly than the more conventional qualifications. However,
after their first year in medical school, there were no significant differences in the clustering of the students. Conclusion: Students with better grades in their preuniversity examinations showed better performance in their EOS examinations, regardless of the science subjects that they took at the pre-university level.
Objectives: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is
an essential dimension of overall human quality of life,
in which disparities have been hypothesised between
women and men, as well as between citizens and
non-citizens of a country in past literatures. This study
is to evaluate and compare the HRQoL of citizens and
non-citizens living in greater Kuala Lumpur and Johor
Bahru, as well as comparing HRQoL between genders.
Materials and Methods: The SF-8 questionnaire was
used to collect information from 1,708 respondents
(1,032 Malaysian citizens and 676 non-citizens),
via face-to-face interview between October and
Results: Overall, respondents reported moderate
HRQoL. Non-citizens reported better HRQoL than the
Malaysian citizens, while men reported better HRQoL
compared to women (for both citizens and non-citizens).
Conclusions: The HRQoL of both citizens and noncitizens’
in Malaysia could be improved. Measures should
be taken to remove the disparity in HRQoL between
men and women, aiming to achieve equal health status
for both genders.
IMU is one of 17 institutions of higher learning conducting the Bachelor of Pharmacy course
in Malaysia. The White paper on pharmacy student professionalism by the Task Force of the American Pharmaceutical Association Academy of Students of Pharmacy together with the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Council of Deans mentioned10 essential traits of a professional, recommending their early development. Since the beginning of theIMU Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) (Hons) course in July 2004 on Registration Day, IMU has adopted the concept of developing professionalism in the pharmacy student from the very first day of university, by having the White Coat Ceremony where the entire class takes the Pledge of Professionalism (adapted from the Task Force) against the “Code of Conduct for Pharmacists and Bodies Corporate” by the Pharmacy Board of Malaysia in the presence of the Senior Director of the Pharmaceutical Services Division of the Ministry of
Health, Malaysia and the President of the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS). Throughout their 4 years in IMU, the pharmacy students are exposed to various aspects of professionalism in different subjects in their curriculum. On 23rd April 2012, when the fifth cohort of BPharm students received their final examination results, “Pharmacy Professional Day” was launched. The graduating students took the Oath of a Pharmacist (adapted from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy’s Oath with slight amendment). Talks by alumni and speakers from MPS aimed to facilitate the transition of the new graduate to working life as a pharmacist.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory condition that can be associated with abnormal bone turnover and hence osteoporosis. Osteocalcin (OC) levels are increased in conditions with high bone turnover, including high RA disease activity. Thus, OC levels could possibly be used as a marker to assess bone health and disease activity in RA patients. As there have been no previous studies looking at serum OC levels in Malaysian RA patients, this study was performed to examine possible correlations between OC, bone mineral density (BMD) and disease activity in this population. A cross-sectional study of 75 female RA patients and 29 healthy controls was performed. Serum OC was measured using a Quantikine® ELISA kit. Dualenergy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used to assess BMD. Serum OC levels were not significantly different between RA patients (median 14.44 ng/mL, interquartile range [IQR 12.99]) compared to healthy controls (median 11.04 ng/mL IQR 12.29) (p=0.198). Serum OC increased with age (Spearman’s rho r=0.230, p=0.047). There was no significant correlation between serum OC and body mass index (BMI), menopause status, BMD, DAS28, swollen or tender joint counts. Overall, there were 11 (14.7%) patients with osteoporosis and 27 (36.0%) with osteopenia. Menopause status was significantly associated with BMD at all sites (lumbar spine p=0.002, femoral neck p=0.004, total hip p=0.002). Serum OC were similar in RA patients compared to healthy controls. In RA patients, serum OC did not correlate with RA disease activity or BMD. Menopause status remains an important influence on BMD. Thus, measuring serum OC levels in Malaysian RA patients was not useful in identifying those at risk of low BMD.
Study site: Rheumatology clinic, Hospital Tuanku Jaafar, Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, and Klinik Pakar Puchong, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Metabonomics can be used to quantitatively measure dynamic biochemical responses of living organisms to physiological or pathological stimuli. A range of analytical tools such as high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry (MS) combined with multivariate statistical analysis can be employed to create comprehensive metabolic signatures of biological samples including urine, plasma, faecal water and tissue extracts. These metabolic signatures can reflect the physiological or pathological condition of the organism and indicate imbalances in the homeostatic regulation of tissues and extracellular fluids. This technology has been employed in a diverse range of application areas including investigation of disease mechanisms, diagnosis/prognosis of pathologies, nutritional interventions and drug toxicity. Metabolic profiling is becoming increasingly important in identifying biomarkers of disease progression and drug intervention, and can provide additional information to support or aid the interpretation of genomic and proteomic data. With the new generation of postgenomic technologies, the paradigm in many biological fields has shifted to either top down systems biology approaches, aiming to achieve a general understanding of the global and integrated response of an organism or to bottom up modelling of specific pathways and networks using a priori knowledge based on mining large bodies of literature. Whilst metabolic profiling lends itself to either approach, using it in an exploratory and hypothesis generating capacity clearly allows new mechanisms to be uncovered.
Introduction: Patient falls has been identified as one
of the major issues in today’s health care despite efforts
taken in preventing such incidents from happening
(Cox et al., 2014). Patient falls can be prevented by
using fall risk assessment tools such as Morse Fall Scale.
Morse Fall Scale was implemented in the year 2014 in a
private hospital in Malaysia but the patient fall rate did
Objective: The research objective is to determine the
nurses’ level of knowledge and competency in the use
of the Morse Fall Scale as an assessment tool in the
prevention of patient falls.
Method: A quantitative, descriptive, cross-sectional
research design was conducted with 100 registered nurses
from a private hospital in Selangor, Malaysia. Universal
sampling technique was used to recruit the nurses.
Results: The registered nurses had a moderate level
of knowledge (M = 7.72; SD = 1.72) and competency
(scoring Morse Fall Scale, M = 4.75; SD = 1.26;
planning intervention, M = 13.19; SD = 1.89) in using
the Morse Fall Scale.
Conclusion: It is recommended that a review of the
training programme on the use of the Morse Fall Scale
be implemented in a more structured manner.
There has been a significant decline in maternal mortality from 540 per 100,000 live births
in I957 to 28 per 100,000 in 2010. This decline is due to several factors. Firstly the introduction of the rural health infrastructure which is mainly constructing health centres and midwife clinics for the rural population. This provided the accessibility and availability of primary health care and specially, antenatal care for the women. This also helped to increase the antenatal coverage for the women to 98% in 2010 and it increased the average number of antenatal visits per women from6 in 1980 to 12 visits in 2010 for pregnant women. Along with the introduction of health centres, another main feature was the introduction of specific programmes to address the needs of the women and children. In the 1950s the introduction of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) programme was an important
step. Later in the late 1970s there was the introduction of the High Risk Approach in MCH care and Safe Motherhood in the 1980s. In 1990, an important step was the introduction of the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths (CEMD). Another significant factor in the reduction is the identification of high risk mothers and this is being done by the introduction of the colour coding system in the health centres. Other factors include the increase in the number of safe deliveries by skilled personnel and the reduction in the number of deliveries by the Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs). The reduction in fertility rate from 6.3 in 1960 to 3.3 in 2010 has been another important factor. To achieve the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) to further reduce maternal deaths by 50%, more needs to be done especially to identify maternal deaths that are missed by omission or misclassification and also to capture the late maternal deaths.
Keriorrhoea is the involuntarily passing of orange oil per rectum. One of us (PMB) had the misfortune to experience this symptom, together with considerable gastrointestinal disturbances for a prolonged period of time after consumption of a deep sea fish, orange roughy, which is rich in liquid wax esters (LWEs). This paper presents a summary of available evidence concerned with the physiology and pathology of ingestion of LWEs, which can enter the human diet in substantial amounts from consumption of several species of deep-sea fish. LWEs are poorly digested and absorbed by the human body. They generally cause keriorrhoea when ingested deliberately or accidentally. Jojoba oil, which is a plant LWE, together with certain nutritional products (e.g. olestra) and medical (e.g. Orlistat) which are not LWEs may mimic the effects of LWEs, and cause similar gastrointestinal disturbances. This paper discusses the potential effects of LWEs as components of gastrointestinal micelles, and predicts that the orange oil which is leaked from a bout of keriorrhoea may contain considerable volumes of triacylglycerols (TAGs).
Introduction: The prevalence of cataract surgeries
ranges from 7 to 12 million cases in 2000, 20 million
in 2010 and an estimation of 32 million cataract
surgeries annually by the year 2020 worldwide (WHO,
2015). Traditionally, the healthcare providers were
only able to give health education before the patient
is discharged from the healthcare setting while followup
can only be done when the patient comes for their
follow-up. But most of the patients will remain confused
or had forgotten about the post-operative care even
after receiving a comprehensive discharge preparation.
However, with the advancement of technologies in
this modern era, nurse-led telephone follow-up can be
considered as a tool to assist healthcare providers in the
follow-up care in Malaysia. On the same note, a private
eye specialist organisation with centres throughout
Malaysia, had taken the initiative to provide telephone
follow-up service for their patients with three main
objectives namely, to provide pre- and post-education
on cataract surgery, to detect early post cataract surgery
complications as well as to minimise anxiety among
their patients. However, till date no patient feedback
regarding the service was conducted.
Objective: The research objective for this study was to
determine patient’s level of satisfaction with the nurseled
telephone follow-up after cataract surgery at a private
eye specialist centre in Penang.
Method: A cross sectional quantitative descriptive study
design was used to study ninety post cataract patients in
a private hospital, Penang through universal sampling
method. A validated self-developed questionnaire based
on the three main objectives of the telephone follow-up
service was used for this study.
Results: Overall, the level of patient’s satisfaction with
nurse-led telephone follow-up after cataract surgery at
a private eye specialist centre in Penang was high (49.9
±4.85) especially for the health education provided
(4.18 ±0.21) followed by the effort to detect early
complications (4.16 ±0.12) and to minimise patients’
anxiety level (4.16 ±0.12).
Malaysia has good environmental laws to protect the outdoor environment and public health. However there are no laws governing indoor air quality (IAQ) and the knowledge among the public about its importance is also lacking. Environmental professionals think it is not a priority and this influences the policy decisions in the country. Therefore there is a need to create awareness by way of research, education and other promotional activities. What is much needed at this time is the establishment of standards for the conduct of risk assessment studies. To establish standards we need reliable data which can be used to develop appropriate guidelines for the purpose of mitigation and adaptation programmes. IAQ can have significant influence on health resulting in drop in productivity and economy of a country. It has been estimated that in the US, building related illnesses (BRI) symptoms have a relationship with decrease (3 to 5%) in work performance in an affected population resulting in an annual loss of US$60 billion in revenue. However, based on efficient management programmes they have also projected that the potential annual savings can be in the region of US$10 to 30 billion. This establishes that fact that good management programmes based on efficient guidelines is of economic value to a country and wellbeing of the population. The IMU has embarked on a research programme to collect the much-needed data for the framing of a good IAQ guideline for Malaysia.
Bacillus thuringiensis is an anaerobic, spore forming bacterium that produces various toxic proteins both during its vegetative stage and sporulative stage. During its sporulative stage, it produces parasporal proteins that have long been used in the agriculture fields as insecticides. Although anticancer effect of Bacillus thuringiensis parasporal proteins can be dated back to the 1970s, research in this area went through a giant leap in the late 1990s, with much of the work being done in Japan. It has been found that some strains of non-insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis produce parasporal proteins that exhibit anticancer activity. Due to their selectivity against human cancer cells but not normal cells, some of these proteins have been extensively studied for their anticancer effect and the mechanism of action by which these proteins kill cancer cells have also been widely explored in Japan and Malaysia with sporadic reports from other parts of the world. The abundance of these bacilli in nature and their selectivity have made them potential candidates for cancer treatment. However, literature on the in vivo effect of these proteins is scarce. Since different Bacillus thuringiensis strains produce different cytotoxic proteins with wide variations in their anticancer effect and mechanism of action, further investigations are necessary and their effect in vivo must be well established before they can be used in human subjects.
This is a questionnaire survey of dietary supplement usage among students in the International Medical University. Just over two-fifths of these students reported using dietary supplements daily. This high usage of dietary supplements is in contrast their expressed ambivalence about these products.
Surgeries are seen as stressors that trigger preoperative anxiety. Preparing the patients for surgery through preoperative teaching becomes crucial to allay anxiety level. In a cross sectional descriptive study conducted on eighty patients (age: 18–65 yr) who had undergone open abdominal surgery, 78.8% (n=63) stated that they experienced anxiety prior to surgery. Among these anxious respondents, 47.5% (n=38) experienced high state anxiety. Three of the top information that patients perceived as important to allay anxiety towards major surgery were: details of surgery, details of nursing care to surgery and information on anaesthesia. Nurses working in the surgical wards need to proactively address patients’ psychological concerns towards surgery and provide preoperative information based on patients’ needs to allay anxiety.
There have been significant achievements in research at IMU as indicated by the increasing amount of external funds obtained, and number of publications and postgraduate students produced since it started its research activities in the year 2000. However, it is a great challenge indeed to ensure sustainability of our research, which is currently heavily dependent on internal funding. There is a need to realign our strategies to further enhance our competitiveness in securing external funding for research. In line with this, the Institute for Research, Development and Innovation (IRDI) was officially established on 18 September 2012. The Institute will serve as a platform to support all research activities at IMU. There are four Centres of Excellence based on the identified thrust areas under
IRDI, namely 1) Centre for Bioactive Molecules and Drug Discovery; 2) Centre for Environmental and
Population Health; 3) Centre for Cancer and Stem Cell Research, and 4) Centre for Health Professional Education Research. Major findings based on research in these four thrust areas are reviewed in this paper. With the strategic planning and establishment of IRDI, it is our aspiration to bring research at IMU to a higher level.
Background: Some argue that Malaysia’s extremely low
organ donation rate is attributed to religion, specifically
Islam. Testing this argument, this study asked Malaysian
Muslims their views regarding various issues on organ
donation and examined whether their decisions to
donate organs are framed by religious beliefs.
Materials and Methods: This study investigated the
perspectives of Malaysian Muslims between October
and December 2013 in Kuala Lumpur. Self-administered
questionnaires were distributed to 900 people, with 829
responses collected (92% response rate). Respondents’
verbal consent was taken before proceeding with the
Results: The survey found that more than half of
respondents felt that organ donation is permitted in
Islam and that it is a communal responsibility. However,
the same proportions were unsure on the issues of rewards
for organs or on whether Islam permits the procuring of
organs from brain dead patients.
Conclusions: Malaysian Muslims are not against organ
donation; however, encouraging organ donation requires
the state to address public concerns on Islam’s views on
this sensitive issue through effective policy tools to help
address these gaps in Malaysian Muslims’ understanding
of organ donation. The organ donation rate could
improve by using Islamic scholars as ambassadors for an
organ donation drive to convey the message of Malaysia’s
urgent need for organ donation.
Consent is defined as the “voluntary agreement to or acquiescence in what another person proposes or desires”. In the context of medical practice it is now universally accepted that every human being of adult years and of sound mind has the right to determine what shall be done with his or her own body. Informed consent is now a central part of medical ethics and medical law. There has been a change in the public’s expectations of their role in medical decision making. The paternalistic approach by doctors is no longer acceptable. Today the patient has the right to receive and the doctor the obligation to give sufficient and appropriate information so that the patient can make an informed decision to accept or refuse a treatment option. This has led to higher standards of practice in the process of informed consent taking. Consent taking is both a legal and moral requirement. Failure to comply with standards of practice can result in criminal prosecution, civil litigation or disciplinary action by the relevant professional authority. Consent taking is a process and not merely a one-off affixation of the patient’s signature on consent form. It involves a continuous discussion to reflect the evolving nature of treatment from before the treatment is given to the post-operative or discharge period. The regulatory authorities in many countries have established standards for consent taking which would include the capacity of the patient, the person who should seek consent, the information to be provided and the necessary documentation.
Acute appendicitis is an infrequent yet the commonest surgical emergency in pregnancy occurring in about 1:1500 pregnancies. The classical abdominal pain in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen is the only reliable clinical sign. Delay in diagnosis is attributed to presence of symptoms commonly seen in pregnancy like nausea and vomiting and difficulty in localizing abdominal pain due to displacement of the appendix with advancing gestation. Perforated appendix and generalized peritonitis impacts adversely on pregnancy contributing to increases in miscarriage, pre-term delivery, fetal loss and even maternal mortality. Imaging studies like abdominal ultrasonogram, helical computerized tomography and magnetic imaging have been utilized to complement clinical suspicion and decrease ‘negative appendectomies’ but robust data on their routine use is awaited. Although the laparoscopic approach is a useful diagnostic and therapeutic tool in early pregnancy, its use as the primary approach for appendicectomy in pregnancy requires further evaluation as increases in the incidence of fetal loss of 5.6% has been reported compared to 3.1% in open access surgery
We report a case of occult primary spontaneous
pneumothorax in a 30 years-old woman. She
developed symptoms and signs that were suggestive of
pneumothorax. However, chest radiograph failed to
reveal pneumothorax. Therefore, we proceeded with
computed tomography (CT) thorax which revealed
significantly moderate right pneumothorax. The
diagnostic approach and the management of this case
Papillary thyroid microcarcinoma is not uncommon
and constitutes almost one third of all differentiated
thyroid carcinomas. It is generally regarded as low risk
and usually an incidental finding from histopathology
examination. Some areas of management of this entity
remains uncertain and requires a multidisciplinary
approach. We present a patient who initially came to
us with symptoms of hyperthyroidism, later underwent
thyroidectomy for a suspicious lesion but was found to
have micropapillary thyroid carcinoma in another part
of her thyroid gland.