Nurse education is undergoing a process of transition. Nurses worldwide are working towards
achievement of higher levels of education and training through an improved education system. Current trends and innovations in nursing education are emerging to prepare more nurses and to deliver education to students across geographical boundaries while taking into
consideration their work and family responsibilities. The current trends and innovations in nursing education range from full time face-to-face interactions to distance education programmes. Teaching approaches such as blended learning, online or e-Learning have provided nurses with an avenue for continuing education for development and progression in their career pathways. Every nurse aspires to reach her highest potential. While the current trends and innovations in nursing education provides the flexibility for nurses to continue learning and upgrade their professional qualifications, there are issues to be considered in catering to the needs of the bottom billion nurses. An exploration of related issues will include views from different perspectives, such as that of the institution/provider, instructor/facilitator and student/learner involved in the development and implementation of the related education programmes.
It is estimated that more than 1.1 billion adults and 115 million children worldwide are overweight. In Malaysia, the second and third National Health and Morbidity Surveys in 1996 and 2006 respectively reported a three-fold increase in obesity prevalence among adults, surging from 4.4% to 14% over the 10-year period. Evidence of rising childhood obesity has also emerged. The aim of this article is to gather evidence from food availability data for an insight into population shifts in dietary patterns that may help explain the rising obesity in this country. The nutrition transition was delineated in conjunction with the epidemiologic transition in order to explain the convergence of dietary practices, and the high prevalence of obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases worldwide. The Food Balance Sheets for Malaysia from 1967 to 2007 were used to provide estimates and trends for the availability of foods and calories. Evidence is generated that indicate at least two major upward shifts in the dietary patterns in Malaysia in the past 4 decades.
These shifts have led to the rising availability of calories from animal products, and from sugar and sweeteners. These major dietary shifts, together with increased sedentariness, constitute core public health challenges faced in addressing the country’s obesity and noncommunicable diseases (NCD) conundrum.
Background: Many proteins released by cells to the blood and other fluids are glycoproteins. One set of glycoproteins carry the ABO blood group determinants and glycoproteins have been shown to be vital in determining the structure and organization of plasma membranes. There is evidence suggesting their important role in cell-to-cell contact, adhesion, hormone interaction and vital transformation. Differences in proteins and glycoproteins in the different human blood groups may influence the invasion process of Plasmodium falciparum. The objectives of the study were to determine whether there are any changes in proteins and glycoproteins of red blood cells upon infection by P. falciparum and whether these protein and glycoprotein changes differ in the various ABO blood groups.
Methods: A Malaysian strain of P. falciparum was cultured in vitro in red blood cells from A, B, O and AB blood groups. Protein and glycoprotein profiles of uninfected and P. falciparum- infected red blood cells from the different human ABO blood groups were analyzed by SDS-PAGE. For protein bands, the gels were stained with Coomassie blue while glycoproteins were visualized following staining of gels using GelCode ® Glycoprotein Staining Kit.
Results: Cell membranes of P. falciparum infected erythrocytes from different ABO blood groups have different glycoprotein profiles compared to uninfected cells. All the infected samples showed a prominent protein band of molecular weight 99 kDa which was not present in any of the uninfected samples while a 48 kDa band was seen in four out of the seven infected samples. The erythrocyte cell membranes of A and AB blood groups showed different glycoprotein profiles upon infection with P. falciparum when compared to those from blood groups B and O.
Conclusion: The two glycoproteins of molecular weights 99 kDa and 48 kDa should be further studied to determine their roles in the pathogenesis of malaria and as potential targets for drug and vaccine development.
The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of Sarcocystis infection in wild and peri-urban rodents in some states in Peninsular Malaysia. The thigh muscle from these rodents were formalin preserved, sectioned and stained with hematoxylin and eosin and examined under light microscopy. Of the 146 muscle tissue examined only 73 were positive for Sarcocystis infection.
Morphological identification showed the presence of some new morphological types to be present. Different species of Sarcocystis were seen in the sections but more extensive studies are needed to identify them to species level.
Melanosis coli denotes brownish discoloration of the colonic mucosa found on endoscopy
or histopathologic examination. The condition has no specific symptom on its own. It is a fairly frequent incidental finding of colonic biopsies and resection specimens. The pigmentation is caused by apoptotic cells which are ingested by macrophages and subsequently transported into the lamina propria, where lysosomes use them to produce lipofuscin pigment, not melanin as the name suggests. Melanosis coli develops in over 70% of persons who use anthraquinone laxatives (eg cascara sagrada, aloe, senna, rhubarb, and frangula), often within 4 months of use. Long-term use is generally believed to be necessary to cause melanosis coli.The condition is widely regarded as benign and reversible, and disappearance of the pigment generally occurs within a year of stopping laxatives. Although
often due to prolonged use of anthraquinone, melanosis can probably result from other factors or exposure to other laxatives. It has been reported as a consequence of longstanding inflammatory bowel disease. Some investigators suggested that increase in apoptosis of
colonic mucosa by anthraquinone laxatives increased the risk of colonic cancer. Recent data, including those from large-scale retrospective, prospective and experimental studies, did not show any increased cancer risk.
The relationship between anatomy and surgery has been historic and epic, spanning many centuries, complementing each other in medical education and being independent as well as interdependent in many ways. However, curricular changes that have happened globally in recent years with the introduction of several contemporary styles of medical teaching have subtly downplayed the importance of anatomy in medicine, allowing young doctors with poor knowledge of anatomy to become surgeons. With a whimsical introduction that metaphorically hints at the strained relationship that exists between anatomy and surgery, the article attempts to explore the ‘anatomy’ of anatomy itself, examining its origins in recorded ancient history, evolution along the centuries in tandem with surgery and its current status in medical education.
Background: The importance of tooth sectioning is realized in disasters such as earthquake, airplane crash investigation, terror, micro leakage studies, age estimation etc. The objective of this study was to develop a simple method to make thin sections (approximately 100 mm) from freshly extracted teeth.
Methods: One hundred and twenty human premolars recently extracted for orthodontic purpose were used for this study. The teeth were stored in 0.5% chorlaramine for 2 weeks and were not allowed to dry at any stage of the experiment. The teeth were thoroughly washed in distilled water teeth and then were sectioned buccolingually from crown to the root portion.
Results: A detailed embedding-cutting-mounting procedure is described. The prepared thin ground sections were then examined under a Polarised light microscope for the enamel and the dentine, as well as the caries lesions can clearly be distinguished.
Conclusion: This is an effective and efficient method for preparation of ground sections in which the hard tissue details are preserved.
Morning surge in blood pressure is an independent cardiovascular risk factor in the middleaged and the elderly. Whether such a surge occurs in young subjects is not known. Eighty normotensive subjects (age: 21.8 ± 1.3 yr) measured their own blood pressure (BP) using an automatic device (Omron HEM-7080,) on going to bed and on waking up, for 2 consecutive days. In contrast to large morning BP surges reported for older age groups, there was much smaller but significant (P
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
The discovery of antibiotics had been one of the most significant events in the history of medicine. Antibiotics had saved countless number of lives and had contributed significantly to the health of mankind.The emergence of resistance is however a major threat to the continued usefulness of antibiotics. There are now strains of bacteria which are resistant to virtually all available antibiotics and these strains are increasingly being encountered in clinical practice. The development of new agents had not kept pace with resistance and it is unlikely that there will be major breakthroughs in the near future. The world needs to conserve and prolong the useful lives of the existing agents. This can only be achieved through good antibiotic stewardship programmes. As antibiotic resistance is a global threat
all major stakeholders have to work together to meet this challenge.
Background: Circumcision though not mentioned in the Quran is believed to be a compulsory practice among the Muslims. In Malaysia, although there are several methods of circumcision available and traditional circumcision is still popular.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out in a small fishing village of Kedah to study the methods of circumcision available to the villagers. This was followed with an in-depth interview conducted with ‘Tok Mudim’, a practitioner of traditional method of circumcision.
Results: Forty three of the eligible 71 subjects participated in the study giving the response rate as 60.5%. The most common age for circumcision was 9 years old. Despite private clinics being the most common place of circumcisions, there was an increasing number of boys going to the ‘Tok Mudim’ for circumcision. A Mass Circumcision Ceremony is traditionally practiced. The ‘Tok Mudim’ described the procedure in detail and was of the opinion that the reason traditional method is still popular was because of the fear of injections and impotency among the parents. Most common complication faced by the ‘Tok Mudim’ was bleeding and infection.
Discussion and Conclusion: Till the community shifts entirely to using modern medicine, there is a need to integrate traditional practitioners into the system. Training the ‘Tok Mudim’ to use modern instruments and aseptic techniques should be considered.
Abstract: Ampicillin-sulbactam combination is the most frequently prescribed antibiotic in diabetic foot ulcers. We conducted a retrospective study to evaluate the antibiotic sensitivity of bacteria isolated to this antibiotic. In 33 patients with diabetic foot ulcer (September 2008-March 2009), 67% were culture positive in which Citrobacter spp accounted for 36% of these isolates. The rest isolated included Pseudomonas aeruginosa (22%), Proteus spp (18%), Acinetobacter spp (9%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (5%), Escherichia coli (5%) and Staphylococcus aureus (5%). These isolates were more likely to be ampicillin-resistant (n=18) than were ampicillin-sensitive isolates (n=4). Ampicillin resistance has raised our concern about current practice of prescribing ampicillin/ sulbactam as monotherapy for majority of our patients with such ulcers.
Appreciation of learning styles can be of use to help both educators and students to enhance the effectiveness of an educational experience. It has been noticed that some students at this College are not very good at expressing themselves in either written or spoken English. Our study aimed to identify the student’s learning styles; assess whether there is any correlation between learning style, baseline demographic data and self rated proficiency in English language; and assess their associations with the assessment performance.
A group of third year medical students voluntarily participated in a questionnaire study to provide us with their learning styles, demographic information and self-rated proficiency in English language. This data was compared to the students’ performance in the assessment at the end of their junior clinical rotations.
This cohort of students (60% Malay, 35% Chinese and 5% Indian) who were mostly visual learners, considered themselves proficient in English. Students with predominantly Visual learning styles and those with poorer English, score significantly lower during their clinical long case examinations. These two predictors appear to be independent of each other.
These results may suggest that our current teaching modalities may disadvantage students with predominant visual learning styles. It also suggests that the long case clinical examination may favour those with more verbal learning styles.
It is ironical to realize that a perfect and free nutritional product, individually produced and naturally distributed to all families, is not universally used. This product is of course breast milk that nurtures the optimal health, growth and development of the human young. Breast milk also protects infants and young children from and prevents diseases in the short and long term. (Copied from article)
Background: Problem based learning (PBL) is a student-centered curriculum delivery tool believed to promote active student participation. Though the PBL is student-centered, the facilitator plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of this system by providing balance in group interaction and discussion of learning issues. In International Medical University (IMU) one of the strategies to ensure the quality of the facilitators was the pre and post PBL meetings. This study aimed to gauge its usefulness in ensuring the quality of PBL facilitation.
Method: The questionnaire to study the perceptions of PBL facilitators on the pre and post PBL meetings included close ended questions on pre and post PBL meeting’s attendance and their scored opinion in improving PBL facilitation skills, open ended questions inviting suggestions to improve these meetings and PBL facilitation in IMU as a whole and self-evaluation as an effective PBL facilitator using a six point Likert scale to a list of statements.
Results: 84.2% of facilitators agreed the meetings were beneficial. Self-evaluation of their facilitator effectiveness showed on average ratings of seven out of ten indicating strong confidence in facilitating skills. Suggestions ensuring facilitator quality included content expert briefing in pre PBL meetings and student appraisals of facilitators given weightage in staff appraisal.
Conclusion: Pre and post PBL meetings enhanced facilitator comfort with the triggers, adding to their confidence and provided a venue to obtain feedback on the triggers.
The importance of incorporating medical (or health) informatics into the education of medical students and medical practitioners is being increasingly recognised. The advances in information and communication technology and the pervasion of the Internet into everyday life have important implications for healthcare services and medical education. Students and practitioners should learn to utilise biomedical information for problem solving and decision making based on evidence. The extensive introduction of electronic health information systems into hospitals and clinics and at the enterprise level in Malaysia and elsewhere is driving a demand for health professionals who have at least basic skills in and appreciation of the use of these technologies. The essential clinical informatics skills have been identified and should be incorporated into the undergraduate medical curriculum. It is recommended that these be introduced in stages and integrated into existing programmes rather than taught as a separate module. At the same time, medical schools should support the integration of e-learning in the educational process in view of the numerous potential benefits.
Introduction: Task-based learning (TBL) has been accepted as an effective tool in teaching and learning activities in most medical schools. Many studies have looked at competencies and learning outcomes essential for undergraduates. Among the essential competencies are interpersonal skills and the ability to engage in a group discussion which this study has focused on. The evidence supporting higher interpersonal skills is however limited because many relevant competencies are hard to measure and require long observational periods.
Objective: To determine students’ self-perceived value of TBL in enhancing their interpersonal skills during the clinical phase.
Material and Methods: All students’ (semesters 6-10) in the clinical school of International Medical University (IMU) were invited to participate in this cross-sectional study done in December 2007 utilising a self-administered questionnaire with a 5-point Likert scale. It assessed the students’ perception on TBL sessions conducted during their clinical attachments in the various disciplines. Mean-scores, standard deviations, and confidence interval were used.
Results: Response rate was 62%. The results indicated that students were favorable in their opinion on TBL as a suitable forum for active communication and participation in group discussion. The results also show that both male and female students’ have similar perception. As for the comparison according to semesters, this showed that students’ maturity does not influence their perception as well.
Conclusion: In conclusion, the study has shown positive students’ perception on the effect of TBL on acquired skills such as interpersonal communication. Our findings are consistent with many earlier studies which show students’ perception of the method of learning as important factor in the enhancement of their interpersonal skills which is fundamental to clinical practice. Further research is necessary; long-term and larger scale observational studies would undoubtedly be optimal to minimise response bias.
The International Medical University (IMU) has encouraged and facilitated research activities since 2001. Research activities by undergraduates, postgraduates, and faculty members have increased substantially since then. The governance aspects of research activities are closely monitored by the Institutional Review Board which is the IMU-Joint Committee on Research and Ethics. (Copied from article)
Pharmacogenomics (or pharmacogenetics), the study of the effects of genetic differences on a person’s response to drugs, can help in optimizing drug efficacy and minimizing adverse drug reactions. Interperson difference in drug metabolism is one of the important consequences of such genetic variation. This variation is determined in part by mutations in cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs). IMU is part of a major collaborative research project in the area of phamacogenetics and drug metabolism. Working together with USM and UiTM, our group has, since 2000, generated useful population database on genetic polymorphism of various CYP isoforms. We have successfully genotyped three major ethnic groups, Malay, Indian and Chinese for their allelic frequency of important isoforms. These include CYP2D6, CYP2C9, CYP2C8 and CYP2A6. Data generated so far collectively have contributed to our effort in mapping and constructing genomic database for Malaysian population.
Since early 2002, our research has been focusing on developing in vitro methods in studying the functional consequences of genetic polymorphism of CYP enzymes. Using site-directed mutagenesis, CYP mutants, carrying nucleotide changes as reported in known alleles in human populations, were generated and expressed in E. coli system, and the expressed recombinant proteins were characterized using enzyme assays to determine the functional consequences of mutations. We have established a series of HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography)-based and fluorescence-based assays to investigate CYP activities. Assays that have been developed include tolbutamide methylhydroxylase, paclitaxel 6α-hydroxylase, dextromethorphan O-demethylation, testosterone 6β-hydroxylation and coumarin 7-hydroxylase assays. These assays serve as activity markers allowing comparison of catalytic activities of mutant proteins generated. Another focus of our work is to use the developed assays as a screening tool to investigate drug-herb interactions. This was achieved by co-incubation of herbal extracts and active constituents with the probe substrates in the assays followed by characterization of the kinetic behaviors of the enzymes involved using various pharmacokinetic parameters such as Km, Vmax, IC50 and Ki. This work is currently carried out with collaboration from the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) and is supported by MOSTI’s eScienceFund under RM9. It is envisaged that this screening work will give us insights on the potential of the commonly used herbs to cause pharmacokinetic interactions with other drug substrates, and allow us to elucidate the mechanisms involved in the interactions.
Background: The World Health Organization recommends the practice of exclusive breastfeeding of infants for the first 6 months after birth. The objective of present study was to estimate the prevalence and the factors influencing exclusive breastfeeding. The perceptions of mothers about breastfeeding in an urban slum area of Western India were also enquired.
Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted over six months amongst 200 mothers of children in the age group of 6 – 12 months attending the growth and development clinic in one of the urban health centres. Data was collected using a pre-tested, structured questionnaire on breastfeeding practices. Factors related to exclusive breastfeeding were analysed using bivariate and multivariate analysis.
Results: Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding reported by the participants was 61.5%. Having a male child, maternal age < 30 years, level of education of mother parity, receiving infant feeding advice, initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth and administration of colostrum to the baby were associated with exclusive breastfeeding (p