METHODS: A prospective, non-randomised longitudinal study was conducted in two government integrated hospitals over an 8-month period. Early-stage breast cancer patients who were (1) either already using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) or not and (2) who were on a regime of 5-fluorouracil, epirubicin, and cyclophosphamide were included in the study. Patients who agreed to receive CHM were assigned to receive individualised CHM prescriptions deemed suitable for the individual at a particular time. Those who were not willing to take Chinese herbal medicines (CHM) were assigned to the non-CHM control group. Blood profile and chemotherapy-induced AE were recorded whilst HRQOL assessment was done using the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire on first, third, and sixth cycles.
RESULTS: Forty-seven patients [32 female vs. 1 male, p = 0.31; mean year of age: 52.2(SD = 7.6), p = 0.28)}] were recruited during the study period. Demographics of both groups were comparable. Fifty percent of respondents reported using some kind of CAM before chemotherapy. Diet supplements (40.6%) were the most common CAM used by the respondents. The study showed that patients using CHM had significantly less fatigue (p = 0.012), nausea (p = 0.04), and anorexia (p = 0.005) during chemotherapy. There were no significant differences in patients' HRQOL (p = 0.79). There were no AEs reported during the study.
CONCLUSION: The use of CHM as an adjunct treatment with conventional chemotherapy have been shown to reduce fatigue, nausea, and anorexia in breast cancer patients but did not reduce chemotherapy-associated hematologic toxicity. The sample size of this study was not powered to assess the significance of HRQOL between two groups of patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data from a randomized clinical trial evaluating efficacy of a nonsurgical intervention in women with stress urinary incontinence were used for analyses. The overall score of ICIQ-UI SF ranges from 0 to 21, with greater values indicating increased severity. The ICIQ-LUTSqol ranges from 19 to 76, with greater values indicating increased impact on quality of life. Instruments used in the anchor-based method were the Patient Global Impression of Improvement, patient satisfaction, 1-hour pad test and the incontinence episode frequency. The distribution-based method used an effect size of 0.5 standard deviation. Triangulation of findings was used to converge on a single value of MCID.
RESULTS: At 12-month post-treatment, 106 (88.3%) participants completed the follow-up and were included in the analysis. Anchor-based MCIDs of the ICIQ-UI SF were between 3.4 and 4.4, while the distribution-based MCID was 1.7. Anchor-based MCIDs of the ICIQ-LUTSqol were between 4.8 and 6.9, while the distribution-based MCID was 5.2. Triangulation of findings showed that MCIDs of 4 for ICIQ-UI SF and 6 for ICIQ-LUTSqol were the most appropriate.
CONCLUSION: For women undergoing nonsurgical treatments for incontinence, reductions of 4 and 6 points in ICIQ-UI SF and ICIQ-LUTSqol, respectively are perceived as clinically meaningful.
METHODS: We performed a comparative prospective cross-sectional study assessing the impact of intravesical stent position on the quality of life in 46 patients with a ureteral stent. This is done using the Ureteral Stent Symptom Questionnaire (USSQ).
RESULTS: 52.5% of patients had an ipsilateral positioned intravesical stent, while the remaining had their stent positioned contralaterally. Intravesical stent position significantly influenced the quality of life. The USSQ score was worse for the contralateral group. Subscore analysis found that urinary symptoms and body pain index contribute significantly to the morbidity. Majority of patients in the ipsilateral group reported no discomfort as compared to the contralateral group.
CONCLUSIONS: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study assessing the impact of intravesical stent position on the quality of life in the Asian population. Intravesical stent position has a significant influence on patient's morbidity and quality of life in particular towards their urinary irritative symptoms and body pain. It is imperative to ensure correct distal placement of ureteric stent that does not cross the midline to the contralateral site. We believe that the USSQ should be used in daily clinical practice in assessing the symptoms related to indwelling ureteric stents.
METHODS: The methodology of this study is based on a literature review of accessible peer-review articles from three recognized databases: Web of Science, Scopus, and PubMed. The findings of the selected studies were compared and evaluated.
RESULTS: The findings showed that e-learning educational programs/courses helped caregivers feel more confident about dementia care, reduced their perceived stress and enhanced their feelings of empathy, understanding and concern.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study reveal that the exploitation of e-learning as a support tool, especially for informal caregivers, in the management of dementia may be a promising method, but its implementation requires professional training of informal caregivers in the use of this technology. More evidence-based studies are needed on this topic.
METHODS/DESIGN: This quasi-experimental study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the SNP between intervention and comparison groups before and after the SNP, and after a 3-month follow-up. The SNP consisted of two main components, whereby three nutrition education sessions were implemented by trained teachers using three standardised modules, and healthy school food environment was implemented by the canteen food handlers with the provision of healthy menu to children during school recess times. Children from intervention group participated in the SNP, in addition to the standard Physical and Health Curriculum. The comparison group attended only the standardised Physical and Health Curriculum and the school canteen food handlers were reminded to follow the standard canteen guidelines from the Ministry of Education Malaysia. The assessment parameters in evaluating the effectiveness of the programme were knowledge, attitude and practice on nutrition, eating behaviours, physical activity, body composition, psychological distress, cognitive performance and health-related quality of life. Assessments were conducted at three time points: pre-intervention, post-intervention and 3-month follow-up.
DISCUSSION: It was hypothesised that the SNP would be effective in promoting healthy lifestyle among school children, and further contributes in preventing malnutrition problem, enhancing cognitive performance and improving health-related quality of life among school children. Findings of the present study can be expanded to other schools in future on ways to improve nutrition education and healthy school food environment.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: UMIN Clinical Trial Registration UMIN000032914 (Date of registration: 7th June 2018, retrospectively registered).
PROTOCOL VERSION: 16th September 2019 & Version 4.
DESIGN: This was a qualitative study comprising semi-structured face-to-face interviews guided by 10 open-ended questions. Interviews were conducted until data saturation was achieved and no new ideas were formed. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed for themes. To derive themes, we employed directed content analysis of transcript data. Coding was completed using a combination of open, axial and selective coding.
SETTING: Four nursing homes in Singapore.
PARTICIPANTS: The study involved 17 participants (comprising 4 doctors, 4 pharmacists and 9 nurses).
RESULTS: Two key themes were identified, enablers and challenges. These were enablers and challenges faced by doctors, pharmacists and nurses towards deprescribing. The identified subthemes for enablers of deprescribing were: (1) awareness of medications that are unnecessary or could be targeted for deprescribing; (2) improving quality of life for patients with limited life expectancy; (3) improving communication between doctors, pharmacists and nurses; (4) systematic deprescribing practice and educational tools and (5) acknowledgement of possible benefits of deprescribing. The identified subthemes for challenges of deprescribing were: (1) symptoms not acknowledged as possibly drug-related; (2) lack of knowledge in patient's and family members' preferences; (3) lack of coordination between health professionals in hospitals and nursing homes and (4) limited tools for deprescribing. The development of a local guideline, mentoring nurses, case discussions, better shared decision-making and improving multidisciplinary communication, may help to support the process of deprescribing.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, this study highlighted that deprescribing in the nursing homes is perceived by health professionals to be challenging and future research could assess how routine case studies, mentoring and better multidisciplinary communication could improve deprescribing knowledge and process in the nursing homes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data was collected using a self-administered pilot-tested questionnaire. Dentists awareness about link between oral and systemic link was assessed on five point likert scale. Data was entered and analysed using SPSS.
RESULTS: Of the 588 dentists, 500 completed the questionnaire (response rate 85.03%). About 93% of the participants (mean age 25.82 ± 4.21 years) agreed that oral health was associated with systemic health. Most dentists were aware of a connection between periodontal disease and diabetes (84.4%) and heart disease (70.2%). Similarly, 85.6% believed in the negative impact of oral disease on the quality of life of patients. More female than male dentists were aware of the relationship between periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis (P < 0.001). Most dentists (97%) believed that more patients would seek oral care if they were aware of the oral-systemic link. After adjustments, private dentists were 4.65 times more likely than public dentists to believe in improving access to oral care with increased patient awareness of the oral-systemic connection (P = 0.011).
CONCLUSIONS: Most dentists were aware of the oral-systemic link. They believed that patients' access to oral care would improve if they were aware of a connection between oral and systemic health. Therefore, patients should be informed of the oral-systemic link to improve their oral health.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Double-blind, randomised study involving 34 patients with either tremor-dominant Parkinson's disease or essential tremor. Patients were randomised to Group A (DBS leads inserted using conventional landmarks) or Group B (leads guided into the DRTT using DTIT). Tremor (Fahn-Tolosa-Marin) and quality-of-life (PDQ-39) scores were evaluated 0-, 6-, 12-, 36- and 60-months after surgery.
RESULTS: PSA-DBS resulted in marked tremor reduction in both groups. However, Group B patients had significantly better arm tremor control (especially control of intention tremor), increased mobility and activities of daily living, reduced social stigma and need for social support as well as lower stimulation amplitudes and pulse widths compared to Group A patients. The better outcomes were sustained for up to 60-months from surgery. The active contacts of Group B patients were consistently closer to the centre of the DRTT than in Group A. Speech problems were more common in Group A patients.
CONCLUSION: DTIT-guided lead placement results in better and more stable tremor control and fewer adverse effects compared to lead placement in the conventional manner. This is because DTIT-guidance allows closer and more consistent placement of leads to the centre of the DRTT than conventional methods.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to collect real-world cost and HRQOL data, and investigate their associations with multiple disease-severity indicators among AD patients in Thailand.
METHODS: We recruited AD patients aged ≥60 years accompanied by their caregivers at a university-affiliated tertiary hospital. A one-time structured interview was conducted to collect disease-severity indicators, HRQOL, and caregiving information using standardized tools. The hospital's database was used to retrieve healthcare resource utilization occurred over 6 months preceding the interview date. Costs were annualized and stratified based on cognitive status. Generalized linear models were employed to evaluate determinants of costs and HRQOL.
RESULTS: Among 148 community-dwelling patients, average annual total societal costs of AD care were $8014 (95% confidence interval [CI]: $7295-$8844) per patient. Total costs of patients with severe stage ($9860; 95% CI: $8785-$11 328) were almost twice as high as those of mild stage ($5524; 95% CI: $4649-$6593). The major cost driver was direct medical costs, particularly those incurred by AD prescriptions. Functional status was the strongest determinant for both total costs and patient's HRQOL (P value
OBJECTIVE: To assess and compare the RQoL of the occupationally exposed (firefighters and traffic police) and the occupationally unexposed populations in Penang, Malaysia.
METHODS: We recruited male traffic police and firefighters from 5 districts of Penang by convenient sampling during June to September 2018. Participants completed the SGRQ. Scores (symptoms, activity, impacts, total) were derived using a scoring calculator. Higher scores indicate poorer RQoL. Univariate and multivariate linear regression models were fitted to explore the relationship of the independent predictive factors with participants' RQoL.
RESULTS: We recruited 706 participants---211 firefighters, 198 traffic police, and 297 from general population. Smokers had significantly higher scores than non-smokers in all SGRQ domains. Regardless of smoking status, the "occupationally exposed group" had higher symptoms score than the "occupationally unexposed group," who had higher activity and impact scores. Smoking status, comorbidity status and monthly income were significant independent predictors of SGRQ total score.
CONCLUSION: In comparison with the general population, firefighters and traffic police reported poorer RQoL; smoking further deteriorated their respiratory health. There is a need to strengthen preventive health measures against occupational disease and smoking cessation among firefighters and traffic police.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This was a community based crosssectional study involving 397 adult respondents conducted in February 2016. Data was collected by face-to-face interview using a structured questionnaire. Data regarding socio-demographic factors (age, gender, ethnicity, education level, marital status and monthly income, working hours), current behavioural stage of physical activity and perceived benefits and barriers to physical activity were collected. Physical activity measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) with the cut-off point of less than 600 met-min per week was considered to be physically inactive.
RESULTS: The prevalence of physical inactivity among adult population was 36.3%. Factors significantly associated with physical inactivity included age, gender, marital status, working hours and current behavioural stage of physical activity.
CONCLUSION: Physical inactivity is high among the adult community in Negeri Sembilan district, Peninsular Malaysia and was strongly associated with age, gender, marital status, working hours and current behavioural stage of physical activity. It is important to identify individuals with physical inactivity and its associated factors early as this could severely affect the quality of life of the individuals.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the self-esteem among oncology patients receiving chemotherapy in selected government state hospitals, Peninsular Malaysia.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted using selfadministered questionnaires. 953 respondents were given questionnaires which included socio-demographic profile, physical effect, depression, anxiety, quality of life and self esteem. Inferential analysis was done by using Independent T-test or Pearson's Correlation and the level of significance was p<0.05. Multivariate logistic regression was then used to determine the predictors using Statistical Package for Social Sciences software version 22.0 RESULTS: All 953 respondents selected participated in this study. The overall mean self-esteem in this study was 22.67, SD=4.98. The significant predictors of self-esteem where pvalue was <0.05 were age; gender; marital status; working status; anxiety; depression; nausea; anemia; hair loss; skin and nail changes; overall quality of life and psychological domain of quality of life. The finding of this study indicates that predictors of selfesteem among patients undergoing chemotherapy should be taken into account to improve their quality of life. Guidelines on how to manage self-esteem in a chemotherapy patient can be done using this study as the baseline.