Patients who self-discharge against medical advice (DAMA) are susceptible to life-threatening consequences. By understanding the factors associated with DAMA, healthcare centres can build strategies to assist patients to receive optimal medical care and prevent unfavourable outcome. The objective of this study was to determine the factors associated with DAMA from the Emergency Department (ED) of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC). This was a prospective unmatched case control study conducted over a 4-month period. For every DAMA episode, two patients who were admitted on the same day were randomly selected as control. Following patient consent, data was collected using a standardized questionnaire. Patients were contacted by the investigator for information regarding hospitalization within two weeks of DAMA. Ninety three patients were recruited; 31 DAMA patients and 62 admitted patients. Payment method was significantly associated with DAMA (OR 3.17 95% CI 1.29-7.98; p=0.01). The likelihood of self-paying patients to take DAMA was three times higher than those who had a guarantor letter from their employer or insurance provider. Other factors which influence DAMA were family obligations (OR 4.08 95% CI 1.09-15.26; p = 0.03) and work problems (OR 3.83 95% CI 1.13-12.94; p=0.03). A total of 19.4% of DAMA patients left following symptomatic pain relief. A total of 80.6% DAMA patients were admitted to hospital within two weeks of the DAMA episode. Payment method significantly influences DAMA. Payment planning, social welfare services, non-governmental organization funds and the introduction of a national health policy scheme may aid hospital payment, alleviate financial limitation of patients and reduce DAMA episodes.
The search for novel biomarkers has taken centre stage in the past decades of research in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). The purpose of the present study was to determine the correlation of serum matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3) with disease activity, joint damage and functional disability in patients with RA. We consecutively recruited RA patients who were under follow-up at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC). Information on the RA disease characteristics were obtained from the medical records and all RA patients were
assessed for DAS28 (disease activity score based on 28 joints) and Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) 8-item Disability Index (HAQ-DI). The hand radiographs of the RA patients were assessed for joint damage using the Modified Sharp Score (MSS). Serum MMP-3 levels from RA patients and healthy controls were measured using the ELISA method. We recruited a total of 77 RA patients and 18 healthy controls. The serum MMP-3 levels were significantly higher among the RA patients (p<0.05). There were significant correlations between the serum MMP3 levels and MSS (r =0.327) and HAQ-DI (r=0.256), both p<0.05. The mean serum MMP levels in RA patients with radiographic joint erosions was significantly higher than in patients without erosions (p<0.05). Likewise, the subjects with significant functional impairment i.e HAQ-DI ≥1; had significantly higher mean MMP-3 levels compared to RA patients without significant disability (p<0.05). Using multivariate analysis, HAQ-DI remained the independent predictor of serum MMP-3 in RA patients. Serum MMP-3 is a potential biomarker and predictor of radiographic joint damage and functional disability in RA.
Keywords: acquired joint deformity, matrix metalloproteinases, rheumatoid arthritis
Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients are at risk of acquiring drug-related problems (DRPs). However, there has been a lack of studies on DRPs in patients with RA up to now.
Method: This retrospective study was conducted in a tertiary hospital in Malaysia from January 2012 to December 2017 with the purpose of assessing DRPs in RA patients and factors associated with its occurrence. A total of 200 patients who had received pharmacological treatment for RA were enrolled in this study. Assessment of DRPs was based on the Pharmaceutical Network Care Europe tool version 5.01.
Results: A total of 289 DRPs with an average of 1.5±1.0 problems per patient were identified, in which 78.5% of the population had at least one DRP. The most common DRPs encountered were adverse reactions (38.8%), drug interactions (33.6%), and drug-choice problems (14.5%). Factors that had significant association with the occurrence of DRPs were polypharmacy (P=0.003), multiple comorbidities (P=0.001), hyperlipidemia (P=0.009), osteo (P=0.040), and renal impairment (P=0.044). These data indicated that the prevalence of DRPs was high among RA patients.
Conclusion: Early identification of types of DRPs and associated factors may enhance the prevention and management of RA.
Study site: Pusat Perubatan Universiti Malaya (PPUM)
BACKGROUND: Osteoarthritis is a common problem affecting the joints in the elderly, caused disability and consequently decrease the quality of life. The conservative treatment includes the usage of analgesia, but the use of herbal medicine is growing. Momordica charantia or bitter melon has been widely described to have anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory effects. However, its effect on reducing pain in primary knee osteoarthritis is not well studied. We aim to determine the effects of Momordica charantia in reducing pain among primary knee osteoarthritis patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-eight and thirty-seven primary knee osteoarthritis patients underwent 3 months of Momordica charantia and placebo supplementation respectively. Three 500 mg per capsule of Momordica charantia were taken thrice daily. Rescue analgesia was allowed as needed. Pain and symptoms throughout the Momordica charantia supplementation period were assessed using Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score and EQ-5D-3L Health questionnaire, while rescue analgesia intake throughout the period of supplementation was measured using analgesic score.
RESULTS: After 3 months supplementation period, body weight, body mass index, and fasting blood glucose reduced significantly in the Momordica charantia group. There were also significant improvements in Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score subscales and EQ-5D-3L dimension score, and reduction in analgesic score. The placebo group had also shown significant improvements in certain Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score subscales and EQ-5D-3L dimension score, but with increased of the analgesic score.
CONCLUSION: Momordica charantia supplementation offers a safe alternative to reducing pain and improving symptoms among the primary knee osteoarthritis patients while reducing the need for analgesia consumption. These beneficial effects can be seen as early as 3 months of supplementation.
Study site: Orthopaedic clinic, Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM), Kelantan, Malaysia
Knee osteoarthritis (KOA) is a major cause of disability and significantly reduce quality of life (QOL). There is limited information about knee associated problems and functional mobility among Malaysian adults with KOA. The aim of our study was to examine knee associated problems and functional mobility among this population. Forty-five (45) adults with KOA with mean age of 65.02 ± 8.083 were recruited from Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz, UKM. Knee associated problems and functional mobility were measured using Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Scores (KOOS) and Timed-Up and Go (TUG) test respectively. The mean score and standard deviation for TUG test was 11.44 ± 2.69 seconds. Median scores (with interquartile ranges [IQR]) for the KOOS subscale domains were; Symptoms: 80.56, (69.44 to 91.67); Pain: 71.43 (50 to 78.57); Functional Activities of Daily Living: 82.3 (67.65 to 86.76); Sports and Recreation Function: 30 (20 to 60); and Knee-Related Quality of Life: 50 (25 to 75). Generally, participants’ TUG test performance showed that time taken to complete the test was higher than the reference values (7.14 to 8.43 seconds) identified among Malaysian community dwelling older adults with low to high risk of falls. The KOOS scores in adults with KOA in our study is similar to previous reports with Sport and Recreation Function and QOL domains been the most affected. It is important to improve functional mobility and balance in order to decrease falls risk and optimise sport and recreation function and QOL among adults with KOA.
Study site: Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (PPUKM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The objective of the study was to compare the physiological responses among COPD patient to Six Minute Walk Test (6MWT) and Incremental Shuttle Walk Test (ISWT). Twenty subjects were recruited for both 6MWT and ISWT that was carried out randomly. The readings of oxygen saturation (SpO2 ), heart rate (HR) and Modified Borg’s Score (MBS) were being taken before, during (each minute) and after each test. There were no significant difference observed in the peak HR and MBS between 6MWT and ISWT. There was no significant difference observed in the end SpO2 after both tests. In the two tests, HR and MBS increased linearly and were proportionate with time. However, our results showed that the distance walked in both test were significantly different and strongly related with more distance covered in 6MWT, with p < 0.05 (p = 0.01) and R = 0.58. Both 6MWT and ISWT elicited similar peak HRs and MBS suggesting both tests could be used to challenge patient to certain levels of cardiovascular and respiratory stress. There was no significant difference found in this study between the two tests. The two field tests could produce similar physiological responses in COPD patient.
Caring behaviours presented by the nurses while providing care is the essence of nursing. However, operation theatre nurses must also adhere to the nursing value in social sciences and humanities to address the patient's needs. The concern of the nurses should not only be for the basic life sustaining needs but also for physiological, psychological, socio cultural and spiritual dimension ofpatient's human responses. The purposes of this study were to determine the perception regarding caring behaviours and the level of caring among the Operation theatre nurses in Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia. In addition, there were associations when the determination between demographic variables like genders and years of experience of the nurses in relation to their caring behaviours is necessary. It isa quantitative, descriptive survey design and 95 nurses participated in the study. The revised Wolfs Caring Behaviours Inventory was used to measure the dimensions of caring. "Professional knowledge and skill" was identified to be the highest among the five dimensions of caring that was being measured. Findings show that the nurses demonstrated a high level of caring behaviours during their course of work. However, none of the demographic factors studied were significantly associated to their caring behaviours.
Keywords: Caring attitudes, Caring behaviours, Dimensions of caring
Governments in emerging markets face mounting challenges in managing health spending, building capability and capacity, modernizing ageing infrastructure, and investing in skills and resources. One path to overcoming these challenges is to establish new public-private models of health care development and delivery based on United States academic medical centers, whose missions are to advance medical education and clinical delivery. Johns Hopkins Medicine is a participant in the collaboration developing between the Perdana University Hospital and the Perdana University Graduate School of Medicine in Malaysia. These two organizations comprise an academic health science center based on the United States model. The Perdana project provides constructive insights into the opportunities and challenges that governments, universities, and the private sector face when introducing new models of patient care that are integrated with medical education, clinical training, and biomedical research.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the correlation between central venous pressure (CVP) measured by conventional central venous access and ultrasonographic measurement of internal jugular vein (IJV) height and inferior vena cava (IVC) diameter.
METHODS: A prospective, cross-sectional, convenience sampling observational study.
RESULTS: 25 patients from the Emergency Department (ED) Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC) were studied between 1st March and 30th April 2013. The median age was 63 years (95% CI 54-67). There was a significant correlation between IJV height and CVP using central venous access (r=0.64 p<0.001). Correlation between IVC diameter in end expiration and CVP was 0.74 (p<0.001). An IJV height measurement >8cm predicted a CVP >8cm H2O (sensitivity 71.4%, specificity of 83.3%).
CONCLUSION: Measurement of IJV height and IVC diameter by ultrasonography correlates well with invasive CVP and is useful for the assessment of volume status in critically ill patients in the ED.
Study site: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Myxoid neurofibroma is benign tumours of perineural cell origin that arise from elements in the peripheral nervous system. We report a case of a 60-year-old female patient presented with history of right ear mass which was slowly growing. Her primary complaint was cosmetic deformity but hearing loss was also present. The mass was excised and histologically revealed a myxoid neurofibroma. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first time that a myxoid neurofibroma arising from external auditory canal is reported. It should be included in the differential diagnosis of a mass originating from this location.
Keywords: Kelantan, Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the use of semi-automated (Medax Velox 2; Poggio Rusco, Italy) and automated (Bard Magnum Biopsy Instrument; Covington, GA, USA) core biopsy needles, for ultrasound guided breast biopsy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A 14G semi-automatic spring loaded core biopsy needle with a 22-mm-throw (Medax Velox 2; Poggio Rusco, Italy) and 14-gauge automated needle device with a 22-mm-throw biopsy gun (Bard-Magnum Biopsy Instrument, Covington, GA, USA) were used for breast biopsies under ultrasound guidance on alternate months during the study period between July 2009 and May 2011. One hundred and sixty lesions were biopsied and specimens were sent for histological evaluation.
RESULTS: The automated needle obtained a higher number of histology reports at 84% (67/80) as compared with the semiautomated needle at 60% (48/80) (Fisher exact test, p value=0.023). Inadequate samples with the automated needle were much less at 9% (7/60) than with the semiautomated needle at 23% (18/60) (Fisher exact test, p value=0.028). The semi-automated needle showed slightly less fragmented samples. However, the number of fragmented samples with definitive diagnosis was slightly higher with the automated compared with the semiautomated needle, at 16% (13/80) and 13% (10/80) respectively. Compared with histology of 29 lesions that were excised, the semi-automated needle had higher sensitivity (100%) but lower specificity (75%) and accuracy (90%) compared with the automated needle (88% sensitivity, 100% specificity, 95% accuracy).
CONCLUSION: Definitive diagnosis from the study samples slightly favours the use of automated core biopsy needle as compared to semi-automated core biopsy needle.
Study site: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Spondyloarthropathy (SpA) is a group of inflammatory conditions that include spondylitis, sacroiliitis, asymmetrical peripheral arthritis and enthesitis. This condition is known as juvenile SpA when the diagnosis is made in patients up to 16 years of age. Enthesitis is a highly specific feature that occurs more often in juvenile SpA than in the adult form. In contrast to adult onset SpA, the initial manifestation of juvenile SpA rarely presents as inflammatory back pain. Peripheral arthritis is the more common presenting feature. We report a case of a 12-year-old boy who presented with a 1-year history of progressive low back pain, gluteal pain and thigh pain. There were no clinical symptoms of arthropathy of the distal extremities. MRI of the whole spine was performed twice, which, unfortunately, was unyielding. Finally, MRI of the sacroiliac joints revealed asymmetric sacroiliitis as well as enthesitis of the hips and pelvis. Further laboratory data showed negative rheumatoid factor and positive human leucocyte antigen (HLA) B27. A diagnosis of juvenile SpA with sacroiliitis and enthesitis was made. The imaging characteristics of juvenile SpA are highlighted.
The PANSI is a measure designed to assess the risk and protective factors related to suicidal behaviors. The present study evaluated the psychometric properties and factor structure of the Positive and Negative Suicide Ideation (PANSI) Inventory in a sample of clinical outpatients at a major hospital in Malaysia. In this study, 283 psychiatric patients and 200 medical (non-psychiatric) patients participated. All the patients completed the PANSI and seven other self-report instruments. Confirmative factor analysis supported the 2-factor oblique model. The internal consistency of the two subscales of PANSI-Negative and the PANSI-Positive were 0.93 and 0.84, respectively. In testing construct validity, PANSI showed sizable correlation with the other seven scales. Criterion validity was supported by scores on PANSI which differentiated psychiatric patients from medical patients. Logistic regression analyses showed PANSI can be used to classify the patients into suicidal or non-suicidal. The PANSI is a reliable and valid instrument to measure the severity of suicidal ideation among clinical outpatients in Malaysia.
Study site: Psychiatric clinic, Medical clinic, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) clinic, Ophthalmology clinic and orthopedic clinic, Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (PPUKM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Scale, Questionnaire and Device: Positive and Negative Suicide Ideation Inventory (PANSI), Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21), Reasons for Living Inventory (RFL), Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS), Provision of Social Relations (PSR), Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (RSE), The Adult Trait Hope Scale (ATHS)
BACKGROUND: Acute pain assessment in the emergency department (ED) is important in particular during the triage process. Early pain assessment and management improve outcome. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of documentation and display of patient's self-assessment of pain using numerical rating scale (NRS) on analgesic use among adult trauma patients in ED.
METHODS: A randomized control trial was conducted recruiting 216 trauma patients who presented to ED of two tertiary centers. Pain score was done using NRS for all patients. They were randomized into pain score display group or not displayed in the control. The outcome measured were proportion of patients receiving analgesics and timing from triage to analgesic administration.
RESULTS: The proportion of patients who received analgesics when pain score was displayed was 6.5% more than when pain score was not displayed. This difference was however not statistically significant. However, stratified categorical analysis using chi-square showed that the displayed severe pain group was 1.3 times more likely to receive analgesics compared to the non-displayed group. The mean timing to analgesic administration for the displayed and non-displayed groups were 81.3 ± 41.2 (95% C.I 65.9, 96.7) and 88.7 ± 45.4 (95% C.I 69.0, 108.3), respectively (p > 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The proportion of patients who received analgesics increased when NRS was displayed. However, the pain display has no significant effect on the timing of analgesics.
KEYWORDS: Acute pain; Analgesic; Pain score; Triage
INTRODUCTION: HPS is a potentially life-threatening histiocytic disorder that has been described in various viral infections including dengue. Its involvement in severe and fatal dengue is probably more common but is presently under recognized.
CASE DESCRIPTION: A 38-year-old female was admitted after 5 days of fever. She was deeply jaundiced, leukopenic and thrombocytopenic. Marked elevation of transaminases, hyperbilirubinemia and hypoalbuminemia were observed. She had deranged INR values and prolonged aPTT accompanied with hypofibrinogenemia. She also had splenomegaly. She was positive for dengue IgM. Five days later she became polyuric and CT brain image showed gross generalized cerebral edema. Her conditions deteriorated by day 9, became confused with GCS of 9/15. Her BMAT showed minimal histiocytes. Her serum ferritin level peaked at 13,670.00 µg/mL and her sCD163 and sCD25 values were markedly elevated at 4750.00 ng/mL and 4191.00 pg/mL, respectively. She succumbed to the disease on day 10 and examination of her tissues showed the presence of dengue virus genome in the bone marrow.
DISCUSSION AND EVALUATION: It is described here, a case of fatal dengue with clinical features of HPS. Though BMAT results did not show the presence of macrophage hemophagocytosis, other laboratory features were consistent with HPS especially marked elevation of ferritin, sCD163 and sCD25. Detection of dengue virus in the patient's bone marrow, fifteen days after the onset of fever was also consistent with the suggestion that the HPS is associated with dengue virus infection.
CONCLUSIONS: The findings highlight HPS as a possible complication leading to severe dengue and revealed persistent dengue virus infection of the bone marrow. Detection of HPS markers; ferritin, sCD163 and sCD25, therefore, should be considered for early recognition of HPS-associated dengue.
KEYWORDS: Bone marrow; Dengue; Ferritin; Hemophagocytic syndrome; MAS; Macrophage
Study site: University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Aim. Poor sleep quality due to pain has been reported among opioid-dependent male patients on methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) but objective pain data are lacking. This study aimed to investigate the rate of pain-sensitivity using cold pressor test (CPT) and the relationship between pain-sensitivity and sleep quality in this population.
Methods. A total of 168 male participants were included into the study. Objective pain-tolerance was evaluated at 0 h and at 24 h after the first CPT. Malay version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and the subjective opiate withdrawal scale (SOWS) questionnaires were administered to evaluate the quality of sleep and withdrawal symptoms, respectively.
Results. The mean age of study participants was 37.22 (SD 6.20) years old. Mean daily methadone dose was 76.64 (SD 37.63) mg/day, mean global PSQI score was 5.47 (SD 2.74) and mean averaged SOWS score was 5.43 (SD 6.91). The averaged pain-tolerance time ranged from 7 to 300 s with a mean time of 32.16 (SE 2.72) s, slightly below the cut-off score of 37.53 s. More specifically, 78.6% (n = 132) of participants were identified as pain-sensitive (averaged pain-tolerance time ≤37.53 s), and 36 (21.4%) participants were pain-tolerant (averaged pain-tolerance time >37.53 s). The pain-sensitive group reported poorer sleep quality with mean (SD) PSQI of 5.78 (2.80) compared with the pain-tolerant group with mean (SD) PSQI of 4.31 (2.18) (p = 0.005). With analysis of covariance, pain-sensitive group was found to have higher global PSQI scores (adjusted mean 5.76, 95% CI 5.29; 6.22) than pain-tolerant participants (adjusted mean 4.42, 95% CI 3.52; 5.32) (p = 0.010).
Conclusions. Majority of opioid-dependent male patients on methadone treatment are pain-sensitive with CPT. Poor sleep quality is associated with cold pressor pain-sensitivity. Pain and sleep complaints in this male population should not be overlooked.
Study site: Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM) and other MMT clinics (Kota Bharu, Pasir Mas, Pasir Puteh and Bachok), Kelantan, Malaysia
AIM: To determine the pattern of utilization of emergency department (ED) services by older patients in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, compared with younger patients in the same setting.
METHODS: The sociodemographics, clinical characteristics and resource utilization of consecutive patients attending the adult ED at the University Malaya Medical Center were recorded during a typical week.
RESULTS: A total of 1649 patients were included in the study; 422/1649 (25.6%) were aged ≥60 years and 1077 (74.4%) were aged <60 years. Older adult patients were more likely to be diagnosed with ischemic heart disease (12.6% vs 2.5%, P
BACKGROUND: The Snaith-Hamilton Pleasure Scale (SHAPS) is a self-assessment scale designed to evaluate anhedonia in various psychiatric disorders. In order to facilitate its use in Malaysian settings, our current study aimed to examine the validity of a Malay-translated version of the SHAPS (SHAPS-M).
METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, a total of 44 depressed patients and 82 healthy subjects were recruited from a university out-patient clinic. All participants were given both the Malay and English versions of the SHAPS, Fawcett-Clark Pleasure Scale (FCPS), General Health Questionnaire 12 (GHQ-12), and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) to assess their hedonic state, general mental health condition and levels of depression.
RESULTS: The results showed that the SHAPS-M has impressive internal consistency (α = 0.96), concurrent validity and good parallel-form reliability (intraclass coefficient, ICC = 0.65).
CONCLUSION: In addition to demonstrating good psychometric properties, the SHAPS-M is easy to administer. Therefore, it is a valid, reliable, and suitable questionnaire for assessing anhedonia among depressed patients in Malaysia.
KEYWORDS: Malaysia; anhedonia; depression; neuroscience; pleasure; psychiatry; psychology; validation
Study site: Psychiatric clinic, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia